Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Gaucho & Laser ridiculosity
ecently, a student friend of mine encountered a Latino instructor who expressed annoyance that the Lariat has evidently decided to use an angry Mexican bandit to represent the "Gaucho," Saddleback College's mascot.
The problem: Gauchos are not angry bandits, they are dignified cowboys. Further, Gauchos are not known for wearing Mexican sombreros (not that there's anything wrong with Mexican sombreros!). Gauchos are Argentinian cowboys that have an identity--and a hat--all their own. (See above poster.)
Plus there's a good reason that Frito Lay abandoned its "Frito Bandito" character--a character so like the angry Sombrero-wearing bandit. It's an offensive stereotype.
Well, the student decided to visit the Lariat to explain all of this. Like the instructor, he assumed that the unfortunate "Gaucho" image was the work of the Lariat, not the college. "Surely a college would know enough not to use a bandit to represent a Gaucho!", thought he.
So he marched down to the Lariat office and made his points. The Lariat staffers listened patiently. They then walked El Correcto to the gymnasium and pointed at a wall.
There, writ large, was the college's official "Gaucho" image. It was the same angry Sombrero-wearing bandit! D'oh!
OK, so Saddleback College has adopted the "Gaucho" as their mascot, and, evidently, (a) Saddleback College doesn't know what a Gaucho is and (b) Saddleback College is using a "Gaucho" image that is not a Gaucho. Rather, it is using an image not unlike the infamously incorrectly stereotypical "Frito Bandito."
But if you're gonna have an angry Mexican bandit (or nonbandit) as your mascot, then you really oughta call yourselves the angry Mexican bandits or the angry Mexicans.
his whole Gaucho thing is ridiculous. The only thing more ridiculous is IVC's "Laser."
Why is that ridiculous?, you ask. Well:
* We decided to call ourselves the "Lasers" cuz we had one. That is, we got one of those gadgets and we built a program around it.
* Of all the programs on campus, exactly two seem to be going down in flames: (1) Ray's student-free engineering program (check out his enrollments), and--you guessed it!-- (2) the laser program.
That means that we're gonna be the Lasers even though we don't have one. Or we've got one, but there's nobody around who knows how to turn the damn thing off.
* Entirely independently of that problem (I don't think that problem is recognized as a problem), some at IVC have been considering changing our mascot and even our name.
"The ocean," say some, "is attractive. We need to stick 'Pacific' in our name!"
So get ready for "Irvine Pacific College" and its formidable Moondoggies.
* I'm told that, when the "mascot" issue first came up at IVC, then-President Ed Hart was determined to choose, as IVC's mascot, a critter like the Wolverine. "Wolverines"? said everybody. "Yeah, goddam Wolverines!" said Ed. He was like that.
Well, I asked IVC's surviving geezers--there's like three or four of 'em, and you have to catch them between naps--and some of 'em say it was the Wolverines, and some of 'em say it was the Wildcats.
There's a great "Wildcat" story. Once the "Wildcat" mascot idea was put out there, the campus was immediately divided about it. So one of the opponents of Wildcattery found a photograph of a cat engaging in, um, personal lickage. This lurid photo was circulated around campus.
Upon it was written, "Nobody licks the Wildcats!"