Wasilla, Alaska's high school has - again - attracted national attention (even making the big time with a post over at Pharyngula): this time for coddling the repressive and pathological projections of some Concerned Parents™. This manufactured controversy is about a sculpture which has upset the community pearl-clutchers, and resulted in school officials wrapping that rascal, and then coyly re-unveiling it again. Teasers.
All this aside, there is a certain irony in the complete lack of any criticism regarding the official logo for the school in question. The tiresome Noble Savage aka Indian head logo represents the team spirit for the "Warriors," and is emblazoned right there on the masthead of the school's homepage, plus scattered about other team websites, and popping up on its apparel pages. This frequently controversial image stereotypes indigenous cultures, and is an astonishingly stupid choice for a mascot. One can only wonder at the righteous indignation of Wasilla residents if a caricature from, say, the infamous Faces of Meth campaign was used to represent what may in fact be a much more accurate portrayal of local demographics. Assuming there are at least a few more meth-heads than any random Plains Indians living in the Mat-Su valley. Or they could at least see how Athabaskans might feel about it.
|Note the conspicuous lack of any heads.|
Worst of all is the blatant symbolism used in the sexually encoded "football" shape pictured here to the left. Makes one wonder why can't Wasillains channel a fraction of the creativity it takes to misinterpret a sculptural work as genitalia - and use it instead to come up with a better icon for their logo? One theory is that the same puritanical mentality that motivates such censorial impulses effectively short-circuits any artistic endeavors. At the very least it runs counter to any sense of objective self-awareness and ironic appreciation for hypocrisy. Still, I'm willing to bet that there's many a local talent that could come up with a more appropriate mascot - it'd even make for a great art class assignment. Or, better yet, they could just hire the original artists Jim Dault & Shala Dobson to design one.