Big Red Letter

On saturdays I often go down to the local doughnut emporium to purchase confections for my family and friends and hold converse with the staff. Those who make doughnuts are sort of mid field bakers in that while they do raise their dough with yeast, and are hence long bread bakers as opposed to those who use purely chemical rising and are short bread bakers, their goal is a texture diametrically opposed to that of traditional bread. So hey have a different set of survival norms and views that can be educational.

In this instance I made note, as I entered the building, of someone with a burgundy colored pickup truck – the vehicle of choice of the scarlet necked bog – who had parked at an oblique angle in the fire lane, hence obstructing almost all of the lane. What was notable was the application of a large, almost a half meter tall, red “A” magnet appliqué on the tail gate of the truck. This has since been a matter of some consideration.

In my experience, there are three categories or states of human who display large red “A”s in public. The first is the classical or traditional practitioner of adultery who has been caught and subjected to punishment. Normally this consists of either branding or requiring the wearing of a red “A” on one’s shirt, but in recent years those who advocate more open marriage and run afoul of the medieval attitudes of Alibam legislators have become more demonstrative.

The second, per the encouragement of folk like Richard Dawkins and P. Z. Myers, are those who espouse atheism as a public cause.

And the third are those who are fanatics, almost never alumni, of the University of Alibam at Tuscaloosa and its football team.

The latter is the most common of the three, at least here in the superstition ridden old Confederacy.

Bu what intrigued me was the confluence of these three things. There are very few atheists, at least professing ones, in Alibam outside places like Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill and the more enlightened college campuses – obviously faculty at colleges who require all students to attend chapel services and pass a religion course are not going to advertise exception. And while there are avowing atheists, I suspect, who are Alibam football fanatics, the probability that an Alibam football fanatic is an atheist is vanishing small even if not zero.

So we may take that the mode is that Alibam football fanatics are religionists. But we are also confronted with the blatantly demonstrated behavior that these same people, in the main, consider whoever is the current head football coach of U Alibam Tuscaloosa to be an incarnation of the deity. And this is most patently contrary to religionist doctrine for all of the larger sects of the old Confederacy.

So we have a situation where most of the fanatical followers of Alibam college football belong to a religionist organization, attend religionist services, and participate in the ceremonies of that religion. But they consider someone else to be deity.

I am not sure what the proper term is for this, but it partakes of the other two. It has an atheist aspect in that belief in the deity of th organization is absent; a belief that this organizational deity is not the deity. And there is an aspect of cheating in a relationship, which is a form of adultery.

So we may postulate, on good statistical grounds, that if one sees a vehicle in Alibam displaying a large red “A”, that it indicates that the owner of the vehicle is a football fanatic, an atheist (of sorts), and an adulterer (or sorts.) All three rolled into one. A wonderful thing that can only occur in Alibam. (Maybe?)

Twin Oak Terrorism

Alibam has once more attained national attention for being a third world state.  It seems that some football fanatic, this one of the campus of the Black Warrior or more properly, the Red Flud, has committed chemical terrorism on a holy site at Alibam Polytechnic’s campus.

This is multiply saddening. One of the most distressing of human emotions is to witness the destruction of heritage. I felt this earlier this week with the article in SCIENCE about the display of ancient stonework at the Pergamon Museum in Germany. This stonework, collected by assiduous German scientists and preserved from the further ravages of weather and bogs, was effectively destroyed during the Great Patriotic War when the building it was contained in caught fire during a bombing raid – so much for the accuracy of high altitude bombing – and the superheated statuary exploded when exposed to the cooling water of fire hoses.

The same applies to the oak trees at Auburn, API’s sacred grove, as it were. The whack who committed the act of terrorism is evidently not a graduate of the shul he so fanatically supports. In which instance we need correct ourselves in that he is a beneficial parasite of the football team of the shul, and herein lies the root of much of the cause and blame of this dastardly attack.

The glorification of the football teams at both the campus of the Black Warrior and API are the main azimuths of the reduction of college ‘education’ to a business. College athletics is supposed to be amateur, yet college football, especially in the old Confederacy, consistently has more cash flow than profession football. This is not the situation in other regions of the Yankee republic, but it is here in the land of shame and defeat.

The management, we can no longer accurately call it administration, of these shuls have chosen to warp the whole education mission into one of business. As a result education has become something that is treated as a commodity. What one knows is irrelevant. What courses one has passed is all that counts and not always that. Ticket punches have replaced knowledge. And whatever makes money is implicitly good.

One should think that college athletics would only be of interest to the students and alumni of that college, that college apparel and accoutrements would only be of interest and available to these folks. Wrong! The majority of those interested in college athletics, especially football, and college attire are those who have never attended the shul, in many cases attending no college at all, who identify because they are encouraged by the management instrumentality of these colleges to do so in compensation for their own inadequacies.

Simply put, college football in the old Confederacy looks amazingly like an evangelistic religious organization.

And the folks to blame for this noxious assault on the campus of API are the folks who created this terrorist-believer. Yes, while we may threaten this wasted human who has so little purpose and function in life and society with all manner of legal and illegal punishment, the real perpetrators of this crime are the executives who manage the colleges that foster this selfsame fanaticism.

If we can expend effort on bin Laden as the architect of Islamic terrorism, we should also bring effort to bear against the architects of Red Flud and API fanaticism.

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Stepping In Something, Again

Yesterday was also the occasion of a football game that epitomizes the rivalry in the state of Alibam and serves as a demonstration of just how thin civilization can be. Since my father attended Alibam Polytechnic Institut and I attended the campus of the Black Warrior, a notorious party shul as I was reminded by my son-in-law Thursday, I was ambivalent on the matter other than pangs of not being able to consume an Italian ham sandwich. This, of course, has nothing to do with the apparently asentient competitiveness so when I observed this cartoon, [Link]

I was captivated by the commonality and the analysis. The comparison with war is, I suspect, a bit overblown in that while the basis of a football game, or any game for that matter, is over policy engendered by people agreeing to play, it is patently an extreme act of artificiality even for human society, recognizing that even that is, in a way, an artificiality. In the sense that sedentaryness and thence civilization lead directly to excessive reproduction, the penalty of biological sensualism, and overpopulation, war may be considered natural. It is not at all clear this may be extended to football although there may be a connection between excessive reproduction and the aintelligence of fanatics.

And given that the vast majority of people who slavishly attended to rituals such as yesterday’s, I have to entertain the concept, tenable only to democrat social engineers, that

“only students, alumni, and faculty of a college be permitted to view the athletic events of that college.”

I know this would increase the education level of the group so engaged although I am unsure of whether it would be due to culling of those unable to learn or increasing the enrollment and matriculation rolls of the college. I should hope the latter.

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Mascot Dementia

Sometimes the academic world can be highly educational. And no, I do not mean in the classroom. The case in point [Link] is the athletic mascot of the campus of the Boneyard.

The previous mascot, a student attired in the ceremonial garb of an Illinois area Amerind chieftain, who executed interpretive gymnastic dancing, was retired in 2006 CE after complaints were filed by Amerind groups and tyrannical sanctions were imposed by the athletic authorities. Our point here is to address neither of the outre behaviors of the athletic authorities or the Amerind groups, but rather the nature of mascots.

It has been my observation that colleges usually have two types of mascots: those that are of importance to the student body and hence alumni; and those that are of importance to athletic fanatics of the college who are neither students nor alumni. In rare occasions the mascot may span both populations but often the student interest is limited to those students who are wanna-be fanatics despite their student, eventually (?) alumni, status. Even college admission officers can occasionally admit these folks.

Here in the third world state known as Alibam, we are quite familiar with these folks, especially in regard to our first rank – if we may use such a term in the state of Alibam – football universities, Auburn – the former Alibam Polytechnic Institut – and the University of Alibam at Tuscaloosa. The students and fanatics of the football teams of these two institutions, one is somewhat leery of calling the latter a ‘real’ university, display this division, between those who attend college for an education and may display a healthy interest in the shul’s football antics, and those who do not attend or attend for the football antics and become (often) dysfunctionally fanatic. The latter are encouraged by the administration of the shuls since they will purchase anything associated with the athletic antics including embossed or autographed coprolites.

I should comment out of fairness that the ratio of rations to fanatics is substantially higher for Auburn than for UAT.

I am unsure of whether Auburn has a mascot; I know UAT does, a student clad in an elephant suit with the presence of an overgrown Ty “Beanie Baby” (R). I cannot however tell you if this mascot existed while I was a student at the campus of the Black Warrior inasmuch as its existence was irrelevant to my purpose there. The nature of my attendance at football gaes has been described elsewhere on this blog and I will not reiterate.

Evidently overblown stuffed animal mascots are not as objectionable as human archetype mascots? Or is it just that Amerinds want to be paid for the use of what should be common social history? And athletic authorities have to express their authority.

But the matter at the campus of the Boneyard is clear. After four years of ambivalence the issue of mascot is not yet settled. Some students (and alumni and fanatics) want the old mascot reinstated and tuberculosis ridden blankets provided the Amerinds (thank you, Mr. Franklin). Some students want no mascot at all, feeling such is irrelevant to what colleges should be about. One suspects these are the same people who think college athletics is meaningless and a parasite on the flanks of education. They are probably accurate. But some of the students (and probably fanatics as well) want a mascot for reasons of ‘spirit’ and silly expenditure of funds.

The resolution should have been easy for the administration. If they want a mascot to satisfy the students, then pick some fuzzy ‘beanie baby’ character and live with the lumps until it catches on. If they want revenue hire a marketing firm to pick the ‘beanie baby’ and take their lumps from the students until the thrill of flunking wears off. But don’t sit about and do nothing.

Perhaps we could interest you in an elephant suit? Then we could get to the purpose of education and ship all out fanatics to Illinois. Might improve Alibam greatly?

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