And a mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone. — Tyrion Lannister
by L. Neil Smith
Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
When is the last time you and your friends sat thrilled, watching the Racine Rapists defeat the Miami Child Molestors in sudden death overtime?
Okay then, how about the Philadelphia Pederasts and the Pittsburgh Perverts? Say -- I thought you were all big sports fans, out there! Don't tell me that you never hovered on the edge of your seats as the Cinncinnati Serial Killers met their old adversaries the Annapolis Addicts. Then how about those Delaware Deadbeats versus the Washington Winos? Or maybe the Concord Congressmen versus the Salt Lake City Lawyers?
"But," I pretend I can hear you complaining, "entrepreneurs and capitalist don't name their multi-hundred-million dollar professional sports teams after rapists, pederasts, addicts, winos, and lawyers. Most often, they choose to name them after things worthy of respect or admiration."
Well then, how about the animal kingdom? Why are there no Laredo Leaches, Salem Slugs, Boston Box Elder Bugs, or Atlanta AIDS Virus? Again, it's because investors tend to name their teams after creatures that are majestic or commendably fierce. Eagles became a team symbol, not because, as Robert Heinlein once pointed out, "They eat carrion, never pick on anything their own size, and will soon be extinct", but because of the thousands of years of mythology behind them and the way they look, soaring in the sky. Sharks get honored, not because they're one of the most disgusting organisms ever to evolve, and have a brain the size of a withered peanut, but because they're ferocious and implacable.
So what does it mean, when a sports team is named, for example, the Atlanta Braves or the Cleveland Indians, and certain individuals -- falsely claiming to be "native Americans" (there are no native Americans, ask Folsom Man -- oops, you can't; the Indians killed and ate him), and to represent the group being honored -- pretend to be insulted?
My mother's maiden name is Coveleskie. Would I be insulted if someone named a team the Pasadena Poles -- or even the Pulaski Polacks -- to honor millions who escaped serfdom in the (Bad) Old Country and came to America to make a new life for themselves and their children? I'm the most widely published and prolific libertarian author in the world. Would I be insulted if somebody named a team the Lancaster Libertarians?
The cautious tendency these days is to name teams after something inanimate or impersonal, like boulders, tornados, whirlpools, or sewer systems. Possibly the most cowardly city, when it comes to naming its sports teams, is Denver. Once home to Bears, Grizzlies and all sorts of splendidly terrifying beasts, today it could be honoring Arapahoes, Utes, Cheyennes, and other local Siberian-Americans, or the pioneers, mountain men, sodbusters, cattle ranchers, and goldminers -- if it weren't for the vile influence of political correctitude. Instead -- the trend apparently began a long time ago with the Denver Zephyr -- we have the Avalanche, the Rockies, the Rapids, and the ... er ... Nuggets.
What's a Zephyr? It's what you get when you tell one of these team- naming weenies to blow it out of an orifice where the sun don't shine.
On the other hand, when they think nobody's looking, the Bering Straiters don't hesitate to name their own sports teams after themselves, so it must not be much of an insult, after all. Driving in the southwest, a friend of mine took a picture of a genuine sure-enough Indian sign on a genuine sure-enough reservation, proclaiming the local high school the home of the "Red Mesa Redskins". So what they really seem to be claiming, here, is a monopoly -- or they're simply haggling about the price.
Because the simple, horrible truth is that the degenerates who spend their time protesting the names given to sports teams aren't doing so because the naming shows disrespect for whatever the team is named after. On the bleeding contrary. Given the most excruciatingly charitable explanation I can, they do it because their own lives are so miserable, meaningless, and trivial, they have no other use for them.
Less charitably, those who lead such misfits hope to "jacksonize" the sports corporations by making everyday operations so difficult that the teams will pay the leaders off in some manner to shut them up.
Following the example of these national blackmailers, the would-be blackmailers down at the junior high and high school level are merely rehearsing, practicing for a day when they, too, have their own moment in the sun -- or better yet, like Jesse, their millions in the bank, secure in the knowledge that their basic public premise is flawed, fallacious, and fraudulent, and there isn't a snowball's chance in hell that anyone will ever honor them by naming his team the Exeter Extortionists.
Or the Rantoul Race Baiters.
Reprinted from The Libertarian Enterprise for June 24, 2002
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