Aren’t people getting just a wee bit tired of others trotting out the “oh, you’re just being politically correct” line when you oppose their ideas?
I got that one, today, when I decided to let my views on the name of a London, Ontario baseball team be known.
The “London Rippers.” They’ll play, next year, in the Frontier league, a 14 team loop based in the United States, with that one Canadian team added for 2012.
Now, when I first heard that some people were upset with the name “London Rippers,” I must admit that I rolled my eyes and thought “come on.” That’s because “ripping” is a well-worn rounders term, synonymous with belting the baseball. I figured that the team would have some big, burly lumberjack looking kind of a guy with a Roy Hobbs penchant for swatting taters as their logo. The “London” and “Ripper” connection would have to be made by those with at least some imagination. You may even have thought of that name as a little mischievous, with no real link to the serial killer that terrorized London in the 1880’s. Unless you made it so.
It was after I got a gander at their logo, that I rolled my eyes for other reasons.
Sure looks to me like we’re supposed to make the connection between their club and the notorious serial killer. And that’s foul.
It’s not even just a women’s issue, as some have maintained since the team’s name and logo were unveiled. Never mind that Jack The Ripper is believed responsible for the killing of between 5 and 11 women in the Whitechapel District between 1888 and 1891. Point really is, whoever he was, he killed people.
I’d have a pretty simple rule if I were the owner of a new sports franchise, if not a few simple rules. That rule would be: “Don’t name the team after a serial killer.”
Whether the Ripper killed people 120 years ago, or 1200, makes no matter. You’d be attaching the image of your team to a criminal of the most heinous order. In my opinion, that’s just flat out a poor decision. Or, a thoughtless one. Or classless or tasteless. Many adjectives will suffice. It’s not “edgy” or “clever.” It’s – nevermind politically incorrect – it’s just plain incorrect. Wrong.
I tweeted my disdain over this team’s marketing strategy on Friday:
Some geniuses in London, Ontario, have named their baseball team “The Rippers.” With a Jack-like spectre as a logo. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
Now, fair is fair. I wouldn’t expect them to take that without feeling insulted. Know what came back to me from the team’s Twitter account?
why why why, dumb dumb dumb? shall I give you a laundry list of names some may find offensive?
Ahh. The “Others have been dumb so it’s ok for me” argument. Classic.
From the Rippers:
Awww, thats changing our words… If you’re a stickler for following the rules look up “libel” =)
Then let’s hear it in plain english. Does your team name and logo trade on the famous london serial killer?
That’s no reply at all. Let’s hear a real one.
I waited awhile, then decided to see if I could find a reply somewhere else. I did. According to the team’s owner, David Martin, it must all be in my head. Here’s his explanation of the name and logo, courtesy of the London Free Press:
Martin said the character’s name is Diamond Jack, a frustrated hockey player who found he could “rip” the cover off baseballs. Despite his talent, teams grew weary of the expense of replacing balls so Diamond Jack decided to form his own team in London, Ontario.
So, I guess I’ll just have to conclude that I’m only assuming that their name and logo have anything to do with the notorious serial killer, right? Right.
My bad, I guess. Look, If I’m wrong about this, if I’m just too sensitive and uptight for my own good, okay. I look forward to the team playing against the (town name here) “Pogos.” Cool. The logo could be the spectre of a clown brandishing a paint brush as a baseball bat. Why the hell not? His back story could be that of a failed rodeo clown who found that his skills at distracting rampaging bulls by waving his arms made him the perfect third base coach.
Getting back to political correctness.
Once, the phrase had some real meaning. It was tied to politicians who would not step up and say exactly what was on their mind because that might cost them in their chosen arena. That they might actually suffer getting fewer votes at the polls if they stuck their necks out on what they really believed.
Now, however, the phrase has been hijacked much too often by those who merely want to shut down your opposing views, without a real counter.
“Oh, you’re just being politically correct,” they’ll say, as though that must be the reason you say you don’t agree with them. That, if you were really being honest and had the courage of your true convictions, you’d see it their way. There’s an arrogance in that, even if unintentional.
The time has arrived where calling someone’s opinion “politically correct” has lost much of its true meaning. Because too many have lazily used it as a cudgel against a more extended discourse. And because of that, ironically, being politically incorrect may have actually, itself, become politically correct.
Agree with me on the London Rippers, or disagree with me. That’s fine. But don’t insist I must just be trying to be “politically correct” with my position. I’m just trying to be plain ol’ correct.