Raznor's Rants

Costarring Raznor's reality-based friends!

Friday, May 20, 2005


What's in a Name? Especially if it's still a long-ass drive?!?

Posted by Ross

In your friendly neighborhood totalitarian regime, you're gonna have your petty criminals, rapists, murderers. It goes with the terrain of governing over huge swaths of population, and, as in the democratic world, there is a system in place to neutralize such deviations of society without it contaminating the populace.

But unlike the democratic world, your friendly neighborhood totalitarian regime doesn't take kindly to those who will speak or write in a manner that may portray said repressive regime in a negative light. In Iran, for example, there is a persistant government crackdown of bloggers, which has garnered some international press.

In "1984", you might recall, when Winston has been imprisoned, it is noted that the criminals, rapists and murderers are almost chummy with their captors, while the harshest, cruelest punishments are given to those who have dared place themselves at ideological odds with Big Brother.

It's the power of words. Because once a thing is said, once a thing is consumed by a populace, it cannot be unsaid, cannot be unconsumed, and this can many times place the powers-that-be in a precarious situation. So the Nazis burn books. The Catholics ban books. And the American populace... doesn't read books.

We've been witness, these past two weeks, to the phenomenal impact of the written word when a Newsweek article that mentioned Koran flushing at Guantanimo sparked violent, deadly protests in Afghanistan. Nevermind the Bush administration's masterful ability to deflect its own flagrant human rights violations onto the "liberal media; nor the fact that, whether Koran flushing actually happened, there is still compelling evidence that the Muslim holy book has been desecrated at Guantanimo; nor the fact that the article was merely the straw that broke the camel's back for the desperately poor, war-ravished Afghans.

What we are witnessing is the almighty power of the written word. And though this power may stem from the actual "words on the page," it also comes from interpretation, spin and, ultimately, the nebulous concept of "who's to blame?" Not that finger-pointing necessarily solves problems. But it did help get Bush re-elected.

And now we get to another fascinating chapter in the power of the written word: the Dodgers-Angels interleague series this weekend. Why so much news? It has to do with the Angels' name change over the off-season, in which they went from the Anaheim Angels (Anaheim, being the headquarters of former owner and Mein Fuhrer the Disney Corporation) to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. This name change infuriated the town of Anaheim. Angry letters and lawsuits followed, but when the smoke had cleared, Los Angeles remained part of the Angels' name.

Nevermind that, well before the Dodgers trekked across the country from Brooklyn, the local team was the Los Angeles Angels of the legendary Pacific Coast League.

So, now that there are two LA baseball teams - in name only, of course - journalists, satirists and morons alike will beg the pointless question: "which is LA's real team?"

Of course the LA Metropolitan Area is so massive, it could easily fit a third Major League team (or fourth, if we include the San Diego Padres into the equation). But as far as I'm concerned, there's only one way in which the Angels will ever take the Dodgers' place as number one in LA: if they actually MOVE here.

Do you realize what a fucking trek it is to go to Edison Field? Like an hour drive on ugly freeways through urban sprawl. And then, when the game's over, you get to get back on the freeway, where you crawl through the gridlock traffic created by the ballgame, until, an hour and a half later (if you're lucky), you finally get home.

I say let 'em keep the name. The White Sox and Cubs are both Chicago. The Yankees and Mets are both New York. The Lakers and Clippers are both LA, for fuck's sake.

So worry, if you must, about what's in a name. As for me, I'm more concerned with whether the Dodgers can field a productive third baseman.

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