Monday, January 01, 2007


I was only half-listening to the radio this morning when a word caught my attention:


So I paid attention, and found that the newsreader was talking about this morning's Rose Parade, and the "stormtroopers" marching in the parade had something to do with the Star Wars movies -- I've only seen the first of the series, and that was many years ago -- and the fact that George Lucas was Grand Marshal of the parade.

I may be showing my age, but the word "stormtrooper" does not have particularly healthy connotations for me. I think of Adolf Hitler, the Third Reich, war, misery, extermination camps and millions of dead human beings.

Therefore, I find it offensive that the name is now applied in a benign way to a bunch of geeked-up Trekkies in uniforms. No doubt they are fine people, in no way interested in joining the departed legions of Hitler's S.S., but that makes no difference. The name, like other names that drive certain people crazy, has been corrupted to an extent that it can no longer be properly applied to "fun" groups like George Lucas's "stormtroopers."

I never thought I would see the day when people would be laughing about "watching the stormtroopers parading down Colorado Boulevard."

What the hell. There are lots of words and phrases that infuriate and offend me. Like "comprehensive," as applied to so-called immigration reform, otherwise known as "let all the illegals flow freely across the border." Or "stay the course," as in "don't confuse me with the facts about Iraq." Or "diverse," as in "let's give some people preferential treatment, because we want a diverse society." Or "free trade," as in "it's okay to screw American workers, 'cause we can make bigger profits for ourselves."

Still, we supposedly have free speech in this country -- though I notice, more and more, that those who yell most loudly about it are the ones who want to purge certain words from our vocabularies, and make it criminal to use them -- and if these pimply faced Star Trek fanatics want to call themselves "stormtroopers," that's their right.

But it's my right to find this offensive, damnit. And I do.


GoGo said...

I'm not sure (since I've never been a HUGE Star Wars freak), but I watched a special on the Nuremberg Trials, last night...and it occurred to me then--in a rather fleeting way--that perhaps the "stormtroopers" from Star Wars were referencing the Third Reich and making a parallel statement (i.e. Darth Vader=Hitler in an off-hand kind of way).

I'm blathering...sorry.

Happy New Year!

Sunny said...

Oh geesh! I completely forgot all about the Rose Bowl parade that I usually watch New Years day. {{Hugs}}

MrScribbler said...

Good to see you, GoGo! I think their might be more tasteful ways to draw parallels...especially since so many of Hitler's victims are still alive.

likeisaid said...

I didn't watch the parade either..I was sleeping. Darn!

KauaiFinn said...

I enjoyed your translations of the terminology we've been hearing all too much in the media.

There is one word that has been abused since 9-11 which doesn't necessarily infuriate me, nor does it have a hidden meaning (that i know of), but the fact that i keep hearing this word over and over and over again is starting to irritate the hell out of me. That word is: "Unprecedented".

It is beginning to wear on me almost as much as the phrase: "War against terror".

The media is seriously lacking in creativity.

lowandslow said...

There is indeed a lot of hypocracy in this country. Example: Those who say the Bill of Rights is sacred...mustn't be violated. Freedom of speech...check. Right to bear arms (2nd amendment)...hold on now! #2 is a bad one...throw that one out. We are apparently allowed to pick and choose which rules we like. Hypocracy.

Anonymous said...

yes, many times the application can change the word from a perfect descriptive to offensive- context, context.

HarpO'Fly said...

Yay!!! A Scribbler rant. Even though I don't necessarily agree on the free trade aspect---I see it as code for corporate welfare since they spec in some companies over others in their agreements---I'm always glad to see your rants.
Somehow all the things totalitarian that once made us cringe are being cloaked in Mickey Mouse suits as we happily learn to embrace them

kelly said...

I was gonna say something like "Star Trek" doesn't have "stormtroopers" and "Star Wars" does but.....well.....

MrScribbler said...

Okay, Kelly...I admit "Trekkies" was the wrong word...what do they call the pimply faced geeks who are all wrapped up in "Star Wars," anyway?

See, all those movies look alike to me....

T-E said...

LOL. You're kind of showing your age. I'm picturing you yelling at the stormtroopers to stay off your lawn.

They keep replaying the parade on an HD channel. I Tivo'd it for a buddy of mine that is actually a member of the group that attended. He was unable to attend himself, and yes, he owns one of the suits.

While not a PC name, I can't see the Rose committee telling George Lucas he couldn't use them.

kelly said...

Scrib, I might be one of those geeks that adores Star Wars. When I hear Bob Seger's "Against the Wind" I think of "The Empire Strikes Back" - that song was playing while on the way to see the movie for the first time. It always reminds me of how sad I was when Han Solo got frozen....anyhooo