Springbok Emblem

I walked past a lampost today that proclaimed another twist in the ‘Springbok emblem saga’. Well that’s important enough to keep the announcement of the new World president off the headlines…

But seriously, why is everyone getting so worked up about this? People kicked up almost no fuss when the cricketers got labelled ‘The Proteas’ (not the most inspiring of emblems, but at least it’s not likely to spawn an annoying dancing foam-covered mascot). And what’s at stake here anyway? After all, we’ve grown used to some of the most appalling names and emblems, for example:

  • The French rugby team are represented by a chicken. A chicken! Tremble in fear before them!
  • One of our provinces, with free reign to choose any mascot, decided upon the ‘Cheetahs’. Now, English might not be too popular over in the Free State, but have they not heard the proverb, ‘Cheetahs never prosper’?
  • Our soccer team is called Bafana Bafana, which means ‘boys boys’. I think the duplication is a form of intensification, but despite having a nice ring to it, it’s not the most flattering handle. Anyway, the point is that it’s not as if renaming our football team ‘The Hardcore Demon World Champion Soccer Heroes’ is going to earn us the cup in 2010. [And I think that name is taken by the Japanese national team].
  • And then have we noticed that our entire country is called South Africa. Have you thought about how absolutely devoid of life that name is? ‘We live in Africa. Right in the South. South Africa.’ When presented with the majesty of Table Bay, the Drakensberg, the Valley of a Thousand Hills… inspiration struck and we came up with South Africa. We are the international equivalent of mugs that have the word ‘coffee’ printed on them.

So, who cares if it gets changed? If most of the country associate it with racism, then let’s get rid of it. It’s not like it’s the most appropriate symbol anyway. Sure, it’s a local animal, but real Springbokke are little antelope that are fleet of foot and agile. South African rugby and its supporters are not. My mental picture of South African rugby is a bald white man with untidy body hair, no neck and three extra stomachs for beer. Perhaps our new emblem should be a gorilla. Or a tractor.

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Springbok Emblem

  1. Daran says:

    I solved this design problem about a week ago… we change it to a grasshopper, call them the spingkaans… they keep the “spring”, the locusts have a voracious appetite so we meet your extra stomachs criteria & im pretty sure we can put the grasshopper at the same angle as the springbok without much jiggling…

  2. Inks says:

    Hey Jordan,

    I didn’t even know you had a blog… I haven’t read any of your post because I can see that it’s not the kind of blog you read with a headache and noisy kids in the background.
    I will read it though as soon as I fin the mute button and the panado pills!!
    Long live Long Wind!
    :)

  3. Sharky says:

    The only sigle thing that has ever brought this country together is the Springbok Rugby Team, twice.

    Those advocates of getting rid of the eblem as a remider of some idiotic past policy should get a life and forget walking around with a chip on their very racist shoulders.

    One day, when hell freezes over, our national soccer team may make us proud as a nation and perhaps the problem is the fact they have a name nobody is proud of!

    I stronly suspect those who support getting rid of the Sprinbok emblem dont have any idea of the game of rugby anyway!

  4. Jordan Pickering says:

    Thanks Sharky. Regardless of the tone of what follows, I do appreciate your comments.

    OK, if we’re going to take a light-hearted post far too seriously, let’s be serious for a minute. I would consider the ‘bringing together’ effected by the world cups to be extremely superficial, and not based on anything real or lasting. One wonders also why the winning of AFCON (our soccer team has made us proud before) didn’t have a similar impact on white folk as we expect the rugby to have had on blacks.

    I can understand why you address the Apartheid system as some distant hazy memory that is now a ‘chip’ on the shoulders of the true ‘racists’, by which I think you mean black people who oppose the Springbok emblem. I can understand where it comes from, but it is a deeply, deeply naive and ignorant thing to say. I recently did a bit of self education on Black Consciousness and the Apartheid struggle, and it opened my eyes to the issues from the perspective of those who suffered under it. It was an evil that we can never hope to undo or forget, and it struck a vicious blow to the heart of human dignity, one that will be felt for generations. This is to say nothing of the social and economic disaster that we continue to feel as a direct result. I imagine that a once-prosperous family that was booted out of the city and onto a distant wasteland, with no way of affording transport to work and no prospect of receiving an education, just for being too tan, and now watching their grandchildren literally die of starvation, I imagine that they’re not finding it so easy to dust off Apartheid.

    Your suggestion that we should all have just forgotten about it by now, and that those who remain offended by it are racists, is the kind of bigotry that continues to add boorish insult to deep injury. Take off your rugby boots and wear someone else’s shoes for a while.

  5. Debbie says:

    Hah! I found your website! I had Googled “Jordan Pickering” a few times and found only some film producer guy or something like that!
    Your dear wife gave me the name at book club!

  6. Headache says:

    RE: “So, who cares if it gets changed? If most of the country associate it with racism, then let’s get rid of it. It’s not like it’s the most appropriate symbol anyway. Sure, it’s a local animal, but real Springbokke are little antelope that are fleet of foot and agile. South African rugby and its supporters are not….My mental picture of South African rugby is a bald white man with untidy body hair, no neck and three extra stomachs for beer. Perhaps our new emblem should be a gorilla. Or a tractor…”

    This about sums up your attitude towards the whole issue does’nt it? Have you watched any rugby lately? If so, how on earth is this your mental picture of SA Rugby? Salty pricks like you should piss off back to the UK and leave SA to the people who actually have a history here and have no other place to call home!

  7. Jordan Pickering says:

    Hi Headache. Thanks for reading and for your colourful comments. I still have no idea why you got the impression that South Africa is my temporary home? I’m born and raised, and I have nowhere else to go, just like you. In fact, I wrote this post because I don’t like the tendency of South African rugby supporters to wave the old flag and ‘verlang aan die ou dae’. I think that the Sprigbok emblem is clearly one that wounds those who suffered under apartheid, and so in the interest of discouraging the imperialist ‘soutie’-ism that you seem to suggest is my sickness, I think we should trash it happily. What’s in a name? In the case of the name ‘Springbok’, a little too much of the bad old days.

    [And no, I have no love for rugby ever since they sidelined my hero Honibal in favour of a thug like Butch James, and countless others who couldn’t do the basics, let alone justify a seven-figure salary. I am very pleased for everyone else that they are now doing well, and exhibiting a skilful game, but I still find myself unable to tear myself away from my family in order to watch 80 minutes of it].

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s