Saturday, January 30, 2010

The U.S.A.: Where Utterly Ridiculous Political Correctness Happens

Hyper-sensitivity in uber-politically-correct America has reached an all-time low. Seriously. All-time. There is no conceivable way that political correctness could possibly sink any lower. Mark this date -- January 29, 2010 -- for it is the 2012 for common sense in American media. (Mind you, I say this fully knowing that, at some point in the near future, some new issue will trump the one I’m about to discuss.)

But without further ado, here is the latest uproar in NBA circles:

Kobe-LeBron Nike ad features gun language

By BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney, Ap Basketball Writer – Sat Jan 30, 12:01 am ET
NEW YORK – An advertisement featuring the NBA's two biggest superstars includes a gun reference, the same week two players were suspended for carrying firearms to the locker room.
The Nike ad, which appears in several publications including Sports Illustrated and ESPN The Magazine, has LeBron James on one page and Kobe Bryant on the other. Along with the slogan, "Prepare For Combat," is a quote from each player showing how tough he is.
Bryant's blurb says: "I'll do whatever it takes to win games. I don't leave anything in the chamber."
The chamber in a gun is the compartment that holds the bullet before it is fired.

Really? Seriously? Like, are you seriously serious? Has anyone that raised and responded to this issue (more on that in a sec) taken even a second to consider how completely asinine they sound? How many so-called gun references our everyday pervade language? Is it now wrong to say a person was fired from their job -- seeing as how a gun fires bullets? But let's not even reach that far. Let's stay focused here.

Kobe Bryant is a shooting guard. Basketball at all levels since the '70s keeps statistics on the number of blocked shots. Every night, over 150 times per game, an announcer reports that a player has shot the ball. Just last Friday, the Indiana Pacers coach summarized his team's recent poor play by saying "We played two championship contenders, and they played like it against us. We did not have enough bullets in our gun to make games of it." Shockingly, no one said nary a word on Mr. O'Brien's gun-tottin' mouth.

Mind you, the O'Brien quote was prefaced, in the very same ridiculous AP article above, by the text "O'Brien was unhappy with his team's poor shooting." Why hello hypocrisy, so nice of you to stop by.

Sadly, it gets worse. When asked about the subject, Kobe Bryant and NBA spokesman Tim Frank agreed that "the quote was inappropriate." Way to give in to idiocy. In an ironic twist, the one person so far whose quotes indicate they are on the sane side of the looking glass was Mr. LeBron James, who summarized the issue with "to...say that he was referencing guns is totally ridiculous." Kudos LeBron; ridiculous about captures it.

I suppose the rest of us just didn't get the memo about acceptable language in the fallout (wait, I'm sorry, is that too violent a metaphor given the images of nuclear bombs?) of the Arenas/Crittenton episode. But after some scouring with my trusted servant Google, I finally came across the new set of rules, which I'll now share with you in a bulleted list.

Appropriate Language:
  • The 2-guard position in the NBA will heretofore be known as the Attempt Guard.
  • The act of directing the ball towards the hoop will be known as a throw, or a squirt (thank you commenter memfisblues).
  • NBA Legend Pete Maravich will now be known as Passin' Pete.
  • Wilt Cham***lain will be permanently removed from the Hall of Fame.
  • Any reference to and information about Tom Cham***s will be stricken from NBA history.
  • Effective immediately, Andrei Kirilenko, and any player wearing uniform number 9, 22, 38, or 45 is permanently banned from the NBA.
  • During All-Star weekend, the Happy-Trip-Down-Memory-Lane Competition will replace this contest.
  • Any high-scoring duel will be referred to as a whole-lotta-points-scored-out.
  • Foot Locker and AT&T will be fined $1,000,000 any time they reference past sponsorships in All-Star weekend events, and everyone from Larry Bird to Dirk Nowitzki will return their trophies and prize monies immediately.

In the NFL:
  • A QB that is not lined up under center will be said to be in the really-far-back formation.
  • Any quick-hitting offense will be known as the run-and-favre.
The pole that is firmly lodged up the collective nether regions of U.S. media thanks you for your adherence in this matter.

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