Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Fulminations

Why are the media giving the out-of-control, tantrum-throwing toddler of a minister in Florida so much power? Have none of these people ever been the parent of a three-year-old? Ignore.

Speaking of ill-parented children, I am still pissed about the Johnston-spawning Palin spawn mucking up my Dancing With The Stars, as a cautious foray into the ABC message boards indicates the presence of a rabid audience that is determined to tie up their cell lines, landlines, e-mail, and any unattended phone in the vicinity to OMG VOTE 4 BRISTOL and keep her on into perpetuity. And I so wanted to see Margaret Cho eviscerate the poor little thing with a smile.

In other news of questionable taste, my high school alumni group is in a kerfuffle because a Native American historian across the street at Notre Dame noticed that the school's mascot is an Indian, and has asked the diocese of South Bend to look into making a change. My reaction was wow, I can't believe they managed to hang onto the Indian this long, but judging by Facebook comments, the larger reaction is OMG TRADITION POLITICAL CORRECTNESS BUT NOTRE DAME'S MASCOT IS A SHORT IRISH GUY AND NOBODY COMPLAINS MUSLIMS QURAN !!!!!11!!!!!!111CHEEZITS!

The school board apparently checked with the Pokagon band of the Pottowattomie a few decades ago and got the okay to use the word "Indians" and a single image of a guy in a Lakota-style headdress (in northern Indiana, go figure). I do not know if the current Pokagon leadership have been consulted--although the band's education coordinator graduated in my class and, very not surprisingly, has so far declined to weigh in on a comment thread in which a bunch of mostly white people are insisting that it's not at all disrespectful to let a white kid in fringed pajamas and face paint hop around a basketball court at halftime, or for a bunch of white kids in the stands at a football game to do the Florida State/Atlanta Braves tomahawk chop. Or that it's no more insulting to Native Americans to call our team "Indians" than it is insulting to some curiously unspecified group to have nearby Mishawaka High School call their teams "Cavemen," or, inexplicably, insulting to... Catholics? martyrs? that the New Orleans NFL team is called "Saints."

If the Pokagon really think "Indians" and the logo and the Florida State-style spear on the football helmets is a nice tip of the hat to their culture, then I don't have a problem with it. If they'd like to set new guidelines ensuring a respectful appropriation of their ethnic group and cultural artifacts, I'm all for that too (maybe retiring the old "Indians, St. Joe Indians, whoop whoop!" cheer would be a good start? I'm just sayin'). And if they decide that all the half-assed good intentions in the world about honoring some vague notion of Native American nobility and courage through a 1950s caricature of a chief just don't cut it any more and put the kibosh on the whole thing, I'm okay with that as well. They're knocking down the old school building pretty soon anyway and moving to a new campus downtown; when it's over, it's over.

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