Wednesday, January 25, 2012

P.C. in Athletic Teams

Here's a little bit of wackiness from Utah: P.C. in sports team names gone amuck.

The story line is simple: Student body votes on a team name; the school district overrules them, saying it's disrespectful. A little P.C. So whose sensibilities were being spared?

Would-be Corner Canyon High School is due to be finished in 2013. The students chose the Cougars as their mascot — a name that the principal, the unfortunate Ms. Bailey said carries an ugly connotation that is disrespectful to women.

Whoa! Cougar is disrespectful to women?

In popular culture, the cougar is a sexually aggressive middle-aged woman who attracts younger men. Someone should have sent copies of the memo from them to the University of Houston and Brigham Young University!

The school board, helpful to a fault, changed the team name to Chargers। Like the San Diego Chargers. Perhaps they should have also referred to this handy guide:
Cougar (sex reference)
Bear (gay sex reference)
Trojan (condom reference)
Indians (Ethnically offensive)
Bulls (offensive, too much like BS)
Hawks (might be seen as making fun of conservatives)
Kings (celebrates totalitarianism)
Giants (offensive to those with growth abnormalities)
Bullets (too violent)
Warriors (too violent)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Where You Can Pee in Tennessee

The General Assembly of Tennessee may go officially on record regulating where its citizenry can tinkle. Specifically, if a person is to use a public restroom, he or she must use the bathroom in which the sex on your birth certificate matches that of the sex on the sign on the bathroom door. No, this is not a spoof.

State Senator Bo Watson of Chattanooga wants to fine anyone using the wrong sex bathroom $50. While Watson's bill's intended effect is to keep drag queens out of the ladies' room, it also makes it illegal for little boys to go to the bathroom with their mother or for women who are sick of waiting in a long bathroom line to use the men's room when it's unoccupied. The ban on crosssex peeing is absolute.

The proposed legislation states:
where a restroom or dressing room in a public building is designated for use by members of one particular sex, only members of that particular sex shall be permitted to use that restroom or dressing room.

I can imagine myself being with my knees firmly together, seeking to wantonly pee in the men's room of a cafe, voiding in a guys' loo in a Memphis fern bar, and (as the piece de resistance, doing it in the Senate's men's room in Nashville. I need Volunteers to do this massive civil disobedience with me! Tinkle rights for all.

I'm glad I'm from Tennessee, where both sexes and cross-dressers can still use the woods option. What's good for the bears should be okay for us. Or will there someday be separate woods for women and men, with admittance based on birth certificate.

An additional manifestation of legislative stupidity from Nashville comes in the form of the "Don't Say Gay" bill to be discussed today. Specifically, it forbids mentioning in elementary school any form of sexual orientation except heterosexuality. Why don't they also change the name of Gay Street in Knoville while they're at it?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Hillside Letters

Some western communities have the initial of a town or a school on a nearby hillside. Among the illustrations of this is the large "V" for Virginia City (they weren't ambitious enough to do a "V.C." or they were too busy hanging outlaws) and the large concrete "M" representing Missoula, which can be easily seen on Mt. Sentinel (see below). While these were originally made as reflections of community pride, in recent times some environmentalists have complained that they mar the landscape. Because of this, a waning of community pride or boosterism, these hillside letters in many locations have fallen into states of disrepair.

There's also a legend about one: It seems that one of the Schools of Mines has a rivalry with another institution. On one occasion they used dynamite to blow up the opposition's hillside letter!

Wikipedia gives us a list of these hillside letters. Enjoy!

Here's also a link to a parody site. See the Jan. 6 entry: Tennessee resolves not to make ridiculous headlines in 2012.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Proudy Sculpture

When it comes to public art, the typical viewer is often amazed as to what gets erected. This one in Prague is just too astonishing for words; but I'll describe it: two brothers, standing in a basin shaped like the Czech Republic, and voiding their bladders while doing so. Supposedly, you can send an email message ad get the bronze guys to pee your name in the water.

I can only speculate on how such an artwork might be received in the United States. This is definitely related to place in question. I can imagine the Midwesterners or the Bible Belt crowd saying that it's obscene, the Bostonians thinking it's in abysmal taste, and New Yorkers considering it to be a suggestion.

Chicago and Seattle have public art, some of which is regarded as innovative, such as the Picasso's in Chicago. Tennessee had abstract art placed at several of the welcome stations to the Volunteer State, and they seem to be enjoyed or at least tolerated. However, big issues with regard to public art are these:

a. Who's going to pay for it?
b. Who decides whether an effort is art?

I can see the liberals and conservatives going on about this, particularly since both have dogs in that fight!