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  1. #1
    Google "chemtrails" Bush Did 9/11's Avatar
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    Default Our official seal? Offensive? .. yeah, well, there's a funny story..



    Whitesboro residents to vote on controversial village seal - News - Uticaod - Utica, NY

    Whitesboro seal �takes a little explaining’ - News - Uticaod - Utica, NY


    Alright. So, seals. Logos. Whitesboro, NY's seal clearly looks like it depicts a white dude choking a Native American. That's kind of controversial.

    But an official says "[...] I think that once we explained it to some of the people, they accepted it." The explanation is that
    the seal portrays a legendary, friendly wrestling match that [Hugh] White [(some historical guy)] won, thereby gaining the local Indians’ respect.
    which actually seems pretty reasonable.

    However. Semiotics 101 tells us that meaning isn't explicitly tied to symbols.. but, you know, c'mon. It seems to me that if a seal needs a backstory, you might expect some problems with interpretation.

    You know, along the lines of

    "Okay. I know that our logo is the Swastika. But hear me out. The whole thing behind it is that our town hates Nazis, and so in 1944 we stole their logo in order to convey that it's powerless. That there's nothing to fear. Right? You see the logo on TV all the time, in the news, people out there in the streets underneath flag upon flag bearing the logo. It can be intimidating seeing it everywhere. But, in reality, it has no power. And that's why our logo is the Swastika."



    Ultimately, residents voted to retain that logo. And, of course, now people see the town as some ass-backward garbage racist cesspool.

    But should the town take the thing down?

    And also -- Does a town's historical integrity matter more than its outward appearance? How much impact do logos, seals, and flags have on an entire town anyway? (And what about covers of Disney DVDs that look like they have a bunch of penises in them? There are shitstorms about those all the time.)
    Last edited by Bush Did 9/11; 01-12-2016 at 05:01 PM. Reason: I totally mucked that one up
    J. Scott Crothers
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  2. #2
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    If that's a village near Utica they should just desert the town and unincorporate altogether.
    That's an awful place.
    Take the weakest thing in you
    And then beat the bastards with it
    And always hold on when you get love
    So you can let go when you give it

  3. #3
    ציפור Julius_Van_Der_Beak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jscrothers View Post

    And also -- Does a town's historical integrity matter more than its outward appearance? How much impact do logos, seals, and flags have on an entire town anyway? (And what about covers of Disney DVDs that look like they have a bunch of penises in them? There are shitstorms about those all the time.)
    I'm reminded of the city hall murals of Pawnee, Indiana in Parks & Recreation.

    I think outward appearance matters more than historical integrity. How many people are going to be bothered to learn the actual explanation? Regardless of the story behind it, it looks pretty bad. And, like it or not, the appearance is what people are going to pay attention to. Few people will remember or care about the backstory behind it.

    I guess what matters the most is how Native Americans actually feel about it. Does it bother them? There's probably a diversity of opinion regarding the whole thing, so I'm never really sure what to think regarding something like this.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by jscrothers View Post


    Whitesboro residents to vote on controversial village seal - News - Uticaod - Utica, NY

    Whitesboro seal �takes a little explaining’ - News - Uticaod - Utica, NY


    Alright. So, seals. Logos. Whitesboro, NY's seal clearly looks like it depicts a white dude choking a Native American. That's kind of controversial.

    But an official says "[...] I think that once we explained it to some of the people, they accepted it." The explanation is that

    which actually seems pretty reasonable.

    However. Semiotics 101 tells us that meaning isn't explicitly tied to symbols.. but, you know, c'mon. It seems to me that if a seal needs a backstory, you might expect some problems with interpretation.

    You know, along the lines of

    "Okay. I know that our logo is the Swastika. But hear me out. The whole thing behind it is that our town hates Nazis, and so in 1944 we stole their logo in order to convey that it's powerless. That there's nothing to fear. Right? You see the logo on TV all the time, in the news, people out there in the streets underneath flag upon flag bearing the logo. It can be intimidating seeing it everywhere. But, in reality, it has no power. And that's why our logo is the Swastika."



    Ultimately, residents voted to retain that logo. And, of course, now people see the town as some ass-backward garbage racist cesspool.

    But should the town take the thing down?

    And also -- Does a town's historical integrity matter more than its outward appearance? How much impact do logos, seals, and flags have on an entire town anyway? (And what about covers of Disney DVDs that look like they have a bunch of penises in them? There are shitstorms about those all the time.)
    Did you know that in the UK there was a band called Kula Shaker which was pretty big, in the charts all the time, not sure if they had number ones or not but the guy who was their lead singer did a cooky interview once in which he said he loved the swastika, now the band was into their mystic bullshit and all sorts of symbolism and was pretty clear that the symbol was not anti-semitic in origin and was instead revered by indian or asian faith communities which had nothing to do with the Nazi appropriation of it and the runic alphabet (apparently this all has to do with a pretty bizarre set of beliefs known as indo-European and relates to the caste structure of hinduism and all sorts)?

    That guy had to do another, subsequent interview and like a full two page retraction in the New Musical Express, which was the music magazine/newspaper at the time, because it almost ruined them, now in years since with the general shift to the far right in the UK NME is now thought of as a pretty PC propaganda sheet but at the time in question they definitely didnt do anything other than cover what the guy said himself which was that he loved the swastika and it was nothing in his opinion to do with nazism. And then they printed lots of readers letters which was then the equivalent of a present day twitter storm or something.

    I remember Lemmy from Motorhead doing a subsequent interview in which it was mentioned that he was one of the worlds foremost collectors of nazi memorabilia, apparently he liked to mash it up with confederate gear and cow boy aesthetics sometimes on stage or out at his house or something, anyway, he just shot it all down with something like "would you like to talk to my black girlfriend about whether or not I'm racist?".

    Personally I'm wary of semiotics 101 or anything of that sort, I like the fact that people have thought long and hard about these things and that its a talking point for some intellectuals, however, I dont want a white wash of history, no way, I dont want uncomfortable or dissonant pasts to disappear down the memory hole, it ought to all be there and be known about and the legacies worked out without anyone getting afraid or upset or anything like that.

    The reality is that there were "Injun fighters" just like there were famous bear fighters etc. Native americans were considered subhuman by white colonists, although a lot of the time the same native americans cut a pretty terrifying and mean figure too, especially for a lot of the colonials who were refugees running the fuck away from persecution elsewhere in the world and often running away from it in the US too, the history of early US life was mean as all hell, sectarian, racist, ethnocentric divided, you name it, Irish, Italian, Latin, they've all got tales of woe and persecution which they usually escaped by settling some stretch of land which had been occupied by natives. Its the history of the place.
    It is a luxury to be understood - Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities - Voltaire

    A kind thought is the hope of the world - Anon

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