The name of he Fremantle football club isn’t a four letter word vulgarity, but you still can’t use the word because an American garment company owns the word and they won’t let fans (mostly in Western Australia) use that word when rooting and cheering for the Aussie team.
Perhaps a bit of explanation is needed.
When baseball season plays the season opener game, this columnist usually likes to make some snide remarks about the likelihood that an American team will, most likely, win the World Series later in the year.
To make the point in a really sarcastic manner, we decided to root for a foreign team that didn’t even play baseball. In an Australian guidebook, we found some information about professional sports in the Fremantle area and would note that they didn’t have a snowball’s chance in the Sahara Desert of getting into the playoffs.
For this columnist the annual shtick became a part of our repertoire and so when we finally indulged in our life long desire to go to Australian and explore it all (which is impossible on a three month visa because it’s so darn big and there’s so very much to see), we soon found ourselves staying at a hostel in Fremantle. As long as it was only a short stroll, we decided to go visit the stadium (they take their summer vacation in December) and maybe get a souvenir T-shirt or some other tourist type tchotchke.
When we ambled into the parking area, we talked to some of the team employees and were informed that the name we used was no longer a word that could be said. Ever on the alert for a story, we asked how that could be.
We were told that an American company (they were too polite to add any negative editorializing comments lest the delicate ears of an American tourist should be offended) owned the word and would only let folks use it when they were referring to the permanent press pants that the company makes and sells.
It seemed odd that this story hadn’t been carried in the blogisphere where hysterical writers were constantly lamenting the disappearances of the citizens’ rights and freedoms.
Wouldn’t that make a good feature story for the Business sections of America’s biggest daily newspapers? On second thought, maybe the advertising department would discourage any such negativity.
Wouldn’t the absence of the name of the Fremantle Football Club’s pet name be something that would exasperate Democrats and amuse conservative talk show host?
Could bloggers use the fact that that word is being held hostage, as positive proof that 1984 has arrived in American society? Uncle Rushbo would probably goad the liberals in his audience into adding that it was all George W. Bush’s fault that the use of that word is so highly regulated by its owner. Is that company’s headquarters in Texas?
In Australia, football clubs play soccer. No wonder the apparel company fears that those guys might misuse and abuse use their word. You won’t find the forbidden word on the team’s official web page
(In Australia, they call auto body repairmen panel beaters.)
In the final analysis, the worst that can happen is that some Australian sportscaster will blurt out the word **ckers. No worries mate, just a slip of the tongue. How much would the fine be?
Many Australians are comfortable with the contention that America practices cultural imperialism. Most Americans are ignorant of the concept.
[If only Americans can win it, then why is it called “The World Series”? We’ve been told that when the annual baseball competition first started it was sponsored by the World Tobacco Company and hence it was referred to as “The World Series.” Who knew naming rights were a money maker that long ago? We tried to fact check this urban legend on line but the effort was inconclusive. Readers are encouraged to do their own fact checking on this and many other items offered in contemporary American culture.]
Harry Bridges has been quoted as saying: “There will always be a place for us somewhere, somehow, as long as we see to it that working people fight for everything they have, everything they hope to get, for dignity, equality, democracy, to oppose war and to bring to the world a better life.” Does the blosphere need an official motto?
Now, the disk jockey will play Harry Belefonte’s “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song),” “A Pub with no Beer,” and Otis Redding’s s song “Sitting on the **ck of the Bay” and we’ll slide on out of here and go buy a pair of permanent press trousers. Have a “watchin’ the tide roll away” type week.