Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Language and "Islamo-Fascism"

The College Hockey News Blog is reporting that this coming season the Boston University Dean of Students is planning to give the boot to hockey fans that use profanity. Apparently the student section for years has been giving the business to Boston College with profanity laced chants and cheers. Long time formidable hockey writer Mike Machnik covers the issue in his post with a series of relevant questions. The real problem in my mind are the few who complain vs. the majority who aren't offended and therefore don't express themselves. My natural tendency is to be crude, rude and socially unacceptable so I can't really let this issue pass without commenting.

My first reaction to organized cheering at a hockey game is ... I don't get it. No doubt they probably chant some funny stuff. But, the fact that it's premeditated or rehearsed etc makes it seem so Jr. High School to me. BU isn't the only school that has student sections that go in for this sort of cheerleading. In the WCHA the Wisconsin student section has a well-earned reputation for the same sort of thing. One example though that immediately comes to mind is from the Michigan Tech student section who have a heated rivalry (ala UAA/UAF) with Northern Michigan. NMU had a player named Bryce "Cockburn" (pronounced "Co-burn"). I'm sure you can easily imagine the sexually transmitted disease chants that occurred. Like I said such things are sorta lame but I'd definitely chortle if I'd heard them.

But it doesn't leave others chortling. It pisses them off. Dean's of Students and Administrators want to protect the reputations of their schools and maintain what they call a "family atmosphere" at their events. Here's why they're wrong to try:

Words are words. Intrinsically no single word has any more or any less value than another. Yet human culture has a long history of controlling words for one reason or another. Current culture dictates that there are "bad words" we shouldn't say. We all heard from our parents that it was inappropriate to use those words. The hypocrisy is that virtually ALL of us use those words from time to time. OK ... OK ... some ultra-conservative and/or religious folks probably have never uttered the word shit. My guess is that those people must say that they have to "eliminate their fecal matter". Maybe they're not so formal and instead say "poopy" or "doodoo". It's not the best example to make my point because most people just excuse themselves and don't reference their defecation at all. I briefly coached a U-16 soccer team some years ago and attended a tournament in Squarebanks with the team. At one point in a game one of my players slipped badly on the turf and went down on his butt pretty hard; he was surprised by the fall and said something my grandmother probably would have said if she'd fallen in such a manner ... he exclaimed, "Oh shit". The referee immediately gave him a yellow card. I was dumbfounded then and no less so all these years later. We all laugh at stupid fart jokes in movies and television; ever see the PBS show BoohBah? It's designed for young children and has very little actual language but does have an almost unending series of fart noises (PBS defines them as "fluttering power hums") to entertain the little ones (make sure your volume is on when you click the Boohbah link). Farts are funny but the process that creates them are off-limits? See? ... I'm so not getting it. You can't type the word "ass" on USCHO's fan forum but you can type STFU* or WTF** all day long. WTF is that about? I've had other fans at UAA games report me to the usher-nazi's because I said "kick his ass" or "you suck ref" or tried to start a "bullshit" chant. Those people wanted to insulate their children's ears from such horrendous language. I've raised a kid. When appropriate I explained to her what was wrong with a particular situation. I didn't try to impose my standards on others. I wonder; would they have reported me if I'd said "hey ref, you remind me of someone that is orally inclined to ingest large volumes of air" or "use all your physical abilities to deter that opponent" or "that call was reminiscent of bovine excrement"? I'll try to start a "bovine excrement" cheer this year and find out.

I'm likely to get some crap for making my next analogy but what the hell; I'm doing it anyway. There's a group of people in the world that currently don't care too much for western culture. They think it's corrupt and vile. They've even taken action to voice their displeasure with our corruption. They did so 5 years and 2 days ago.

Anyone really want to sit next to me?

*Shut The Fuck Up
**What The Fuck


Anonymous said...

TFF* Donald TFF* Their are too many people out there in the world and at Hockey games that want to impose their will upon us. They paid for their seat, but than again so did I. Screw 'em. Now that I bring my little girl to the games, I don't much. If I hear something to vulgar, I will just get up and move. Going to the Seawolves games these days allows for that (hopefully that will change). Anyway, I love your rant, and hope to continue to hear it during the season.


*Too Fucking Funny

Runninwiththedogs said...

I prefer funny stuff to outright obscenity. These are college kids, they should be creative enough to make up cheers that aren't all fuck this and fuck that and whatever else they're saying.
At hockey games, I only swear when I'm pissed off. I guess, in real life, I only swear when I'm pissed off.
I used to swear on my blog, and I used to link to a blog that's... well, even more obscene than this one. (Really, this isn't all that profane, though.) Then one day, I was showing my blog to a relative, and he clicked on the link, and there was some rant about some cunts doing this or that or something, and I was totally embarrassed.

I guess that was a total sidebar, but my whole point is, these students should be a little more creative. It's so lowest common denominator to just curse your tuckus off. Then if you drop the occasional f-bomb... well, maybe no one notices.

dggoddard said...

Nice article. I'm with you on all points, but the BU kids brought this on themselves by swearing at the Regionals.

Its an amusing situation and getting kicked out of the game doesn't seem like a very severe penalty...

UAA Student said...

I am with runninwiththedogs on this one. I have been to many UAA games and have much swearing and been told not even when i didn't say it (of course security made a point to talk to my friends about things before every game last year). The point is words do have social value and there are words that are becoming far more socially acceptable but are not yet.

Not to mention that profanity is just so uncreative and crude. their is a reason it is called vulgar, because it is common and easy to just throw out there. that is what makes college hockey better than teams like the aces or nanooks who only know how to yell you suck. I enjoy UAA games because there is a much better atmosphere than at Aces games where people don't know about hockey or about school traditions and fun creative chants rather than just yelling profanity.

Suze said...

uaa student is right that many Aces fans don't know about hockey. I get such a chuckle at the ignorance of so many Aces fans, they don't even know the rules. UAA fans know much more about the game.

DTP, I just hope I am not nearby when someone throws popcorn on you again! ;)

Anonymous said...

There once was a time when hockey was not a college sport (and if it was it was played in America only by up tight pricks from the now IVE schools…how are they doing?), but instead a sport played by our northern neighbors with pride. It wasn’t for money (Canadian isn’t worth much. Just joking, thought It was funny) or scholarships, but instead it was for the pride of winning. This was the time when the northern fans would jump the boards high on Molson to fight the opposing team while yelling classy lines like, “Fuck you eh”, or “Go back to Frenchadia (made up) Fucker….eh.” My point is let drunk college students at UAA act like hockey fans. God Knows we don’t have enough fans, so why discourage the drunk college students! They are young and dumb, but loud as shit! And god bless them for it!

Suze said...

I don't think I have ever seen a drunk college student at UAA games.

Anonymous said...

How is UAA Volleyball doing right at this point winless in conference and sitting at 3-8. Another good hire by Steve Cobb. Time to get a new AD.

Donald said...

Dear Anon Cobb Hater,
On the fifteenth of May, in the jungle of Nool,
In the heat of the day, in the cool of the pool,
He was splashing…enjoying the jungle’s great joys…
When Horton the elephant heard a small noise.

So Horton stopped splashing.
He looked toward the sound.
“That’s funny,” thought Horton.
“There’s no one around.”
Then he heard it again! Just a very faint yelp
As if some tiny person were calling for help.
“I’ll help you,” said Horton.
“But who are you? Where?”

If you read the rest of the story you'll find out that Horton is hearing something that nobody else can hear. Something that is so devoid of volume that only his giant elephant ears can hear.

I ain't Horton.

Jimjamesak said...

LMFAO* man. I'm all for college kids to speak freely. I mean we can't do it in many other places. Let us have one at least.

*Laugh My Fucking Ass Off

Anonymous said...

ok so i am a former UAA student and I was talked to before every game last year because of my insainity. I understand that some people are offended by swearing and it is true that UAA fans are the best hockey fans in the state of alaska but, When you get on awsome chant that may include one or two words that socity has deemed inopropate who cares. The whole thing is if you can make a clever chant that might make grandma blush but everybody eles laugh and its in good fun go for it. Yes UAF can only yell you suck but students at other schools are able to make a origanal chat that is awsome or funny go for it case point UW-madison football one half of the student section will yell a phrase and the other half yell a reply both have one swear word in it but if you are in the "family"section of the staduim you cant really tell what they are saying cause it sounds like kids having fun so let the students be and incourage creativity yes it shouldnt be on chant of fuck you but if it slipps in there owell as long is there some funny stuff in it I still do not see the problume with shaking your money maker at the opposing goalie stupied sully security.

Stu said...

.... "My guess is that those people must say that they have to "eliminate their fecal matter". Maybe they're not so formal and instead say "poopy" or "doodoo"....

While I share your disdain for those referring to scatological moments as the high point of the day, neither am I in favor of those constantly walking around "letting it all hang out".

.... I'll try to start a "bovine excrement" cheer this year and find out.....

You might think of placing a toe in both camps and see if you can get support for a "methane production" chant.

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