Tuesday, 28 October 2008

The Fanatics Do It Again

It's been a while, and it's taken a significant event to get me out of blog-hibernation. But you can always trust the Fanatics to raise my ire.

My contempt for the Fanatics is a matter of public record. See the Orange Roughy in my Caribbean blog entry. If you can't be bothered wading through that diatribe (fair enough: you're already reading one diatribe), suffice to say that the Fanatics tend to coopt Autralian patriotism for their own private purposes and make a profit by exploting it. Nothing illustrates this better than the "ANZAC Fanatics" beanies on display.

Not content with befouling their own national icons with their "brand", it seems they have taken it a bit further with an utterly offensive t-shirt made for the tour which had a couple of Fanatics locked up for wearing them.

See the story here.

But this story is about more than schadenfreude (but not much more). There is a bit of humour to be gleaned from the responses to the accusations that the Fanatics were offending the sensibilities of Indians. Have a look:

The slogans written were 'Beer with Mahatma, Bets with Gupta, Dancing with Indira and still getting runs'.

Noone could reasonably argue that Mahatma and Indira in that sentence do not refer to the Gandhis, both icons in modern Indian history. But who said the Fanatics argue reasonably?

"one of the Australians fans defended the slogan, arguing it referred to former SBS and ABC TV newsreader Indira Naidoo, rather than the former Indian PM"

Yeah, all the Aussies get that reference - let alone Indians, but not many of them will see that t-shirt in India.

Another report said quoted Exploiter-in-chief of the Fanatics, Warren Livingstone, saying that "Mahatma referred to the former Test cricketer Greg Ritchie's "Mahatma Coat" Character".

As hard as that is to believe, even if it were true it's hardly less offensive to say you're gonna have a drink with a knob in blackface taking the mickey out of Indians.

The funniest of the defences of the Fanatics is this:

The fans said the slogan had been given to them by one of their Sri Lankan friends.

i.e. Its OK because someone with skin as dark as you said it's OK.

I'm surprised they didn't go to Pakistan to get permission. They're near enough aren't they?

Livingstone was also incorrect when he stated that "the Fanatics had sailed through their three previous tours to India without any such controversies." Actually that's not true. On their previous tour of India in 2004 they got into hot water for depicting Ganesh, one of Hindu's most loved gods, holding a beer. A big no-no.

Good to see you learn your lessons. Morons.