Amok Time

« August 2005 »

Before I start - I know I'm a bit behind on mentioning this, but there's been a ton of really choice stupidity lately, and I was so far ahead on columns for a change that it was difficult to be topical.

I would just like to point out to the fine people of Richmond, Virginia that if you're pissing yourself, trampling people, and whacking people with chairs in your struggle to buy a $50 used iBook from a school district, you're TOO RETARDED TO USE IT. Most of you stupid fucks probably wanted one because you read somewhere you could turn old Macs into fish tanks. Hope you've got really thin fish, dipshits.

Why is it "political correctness" that always seems to "run amok"? It seems like an odd verb to attach to something that essentially means "don't be an asshole". Can the state of not being asshole really be said to run amok, and if so, could it please start soon? Because as fads go, we could do worse.

I'm sick of the entire phrase "political correctness" anyway. A bit of terminology that was never useful in the first place, and is a shitload less useful now that it's a pointless epithet. It's the pointless epithets that are running amok, if you ask me.

So what rights are being trampled upon as the political correctness runs amok? The right of, say, Southern Oklahoma State University to call its team the "Savages". And to have people dress up as Native American parodies to coax crowds into cheering for college football.

At least, only during the NCAA's Byzantine post-season, which involves, the last time I checked, seven spatial dimensions, two of which are devoted entirely to corporate sponsorship. Anyway, what it boils down to is this. If one of the 18 teams with, shall we say, aboriginally-inspired nicknames want to play in postseason, they'll have to leave the name, and the mascot, and the imagery, back home. And if they ever want to HOST a post-season game, they'll have to change the name entirely.

Savages, Fighting Sioux, Utes, Seminoles, Illini, Indians (7 different colleges!), Braves (2 different colleges!), Redmen, Choctaw. The measure of any assholery is found in the quantity and quality of indignance once it is challenged, and that's certainly held true in this case. Of all the arguments I've seen against the NCAA's decision, only one of them makes a damn bit of sense.

The Tribe Doesn't Mind. - And this is that one. In the case of the Seminoles, the tribe has come forward and said the college has their blessing to use the name. The issue's complicated by different branches of these tribes having different opinions, but in general, it's the people being used as the mascot that get the ultimate decision on whether they're fine with that. The NCAA recognizes this, and will apparently have an appeals process.

The tribes SHOULDN'T mind. - I love this one. The fallback position is always that they're HONORING the Native American spirit by having a twenty-year-old hung-over frat-boy put on a stinky feathered headdress and dance around. Please. You're fooling nobody.

Sports teams named themselves after Indians for the same reason they named themselves after vicious animals. It sounds "tough". They want to attach themselves to the sterotypical view of natives as murderers, savages, and brutes. The Last Of The Machismo. Calling that "honoring" is like saying the Chicago Bears are honoring grabbing fish out of streams, or the Tampa Bay Lightning are honoring electron flow.

"I don't know why they'd be offended" is the common cry of the majority, who seem not to understand how incredibly patronizing that is. Not only does the minority get to be turned into a mascot, they then have to have their offense VETTED by an ad hoc panel of The Man who will use their own comprehension skills as a benchmark. That way lies madness.

It's A Tradition! - The last refuge of the entrenched bigot. "Tradition" keeps the Confederate flag flying. "Tradition" banned interracial dating at Bob Jones University. "Tradition" keeps gays from marrying.

It's a football team. Get over it. The net value to the fabric of society of you keeping the word "SAVAGES" is nonexistent. Sports teams change their names all the time. They start new traditions. The underwear industry rebounded when "Knickerbockers" had its nom de bris, so I'm sure your institutions of higher learning can go on handing out BA's in Communications when your teams are named after forces of nature, cars, or collections of focus-grouped syllables.

I think the SOSU Runamoks has a nice ring to it.