The Red Squirrel Agenda

 Anime, Polar Bear Cafe  Comments Off on The Red Squirrel Agenda
Sep 072012
 

Polar Bear is a badass. He can slip out of any bizarre situation unharmed using his masterful mix of martial and culinary skills. He’s the Steven Seagal of the animal world.

But when faced with a pack of rabid, bargain-conscious housewives, he meets his match.

That bit with Panda Mama was pretty weird. It seemed pretty innocuous at first. Just a bunch of housewife types shopping and eating cake. But the Red Squirrel made a little snarky comment that colored the whole sequence. While she and Panda Mama are loading up on nuts at the grocery store, Red Squirrel criticizes Panda Mama for not stuffing enough nuts into her plastic bag:

“You won’t be able to survive in this capitalist society like that.”

Apparently I forgot to talk about this in a previous post, but when the red squirrels first popped up I immediately pegged them as undocumented workers. They work in a shed out behind Polar Bear’s place, doing a manual, menial, and most definitely low-paying job: sorting coffee beans. Polar Bear makes some offhand comment about them being part-timers or something, but the circumstances tell me these women are illegal immigrants. Polar Bear probably sees this as doing them a favor– giving them an under-the-table gig where they won’t be harassed by immigration officers and the like– all secluded and protected by Polar Bear’s connections and shit.

Red Squirrel’s aforementioned comment cements that idea in my head. She sees this concept of “all you can eat” as something inherent to a capitalist society, and her attitude suggest she’s not exactly down with that on a conceptual level. That tells me she’s likely from a country with more of a socialist bent. But while she’s not all that keen on this culture of excessive consumption, she can’t help but exploit it at the same time. By stretching out her plastic bag and stuffing as many nuts into it as possible, that’s her way of thumbing her nose at decadent capitalist culture while saving a few bucks at the same time. Win-win for her.

That also tells me that the panda clan has probably been in this part of the world for some time. They aren’t native to whatever country this is, but they don’t have that same level of awareness. Panda and his sister are clearly children of this country and not of the “old world,” and Panda Mama herself seems pretty acclimated to this society’s attitudes. They also have that swanky place of theirs. Even if the family shares in the bills, that place must cost some serious money. Maybe Panda Papa is an industrialist who owns factories over in China or something and chose to move his family out of the country or something.

But yeah, Red Squirrel and her penny-pinching attitude is the first thing to really defeat Polar Bear in this series. He believes that he’s being generous by offering half-price refills. After all, his coffee is hand-sorted and roasted by a master of the craft. This isn’t your diner-style, mass-produced coffee. This isn’t even Starbucks. This is fucking boutique here.

But she won’t have that. Half-price refills are “hotel prices.” That’s how the man and his capitalist pig ways gets you. Lure you in with cheap cakes and then milk you dry with overpriced drinks. And thus Polar Bear has to cave into their housewife powers and lose money on satiating their unconquerable thirst. Not even his polite mannerisms, such as holding the door for them, can save him from death by free refill.

Also: Did the K-On girls ever drink anything, or did they only eat cake? I never hear people complaining about them drinking tea or anything. I bet they’re a bunch of socialists trying to make a political statement. Let them eat cake, but don’t let the man make you drink expensive beverages.