Before diving into this needlessly vitriolic piece, a few baseline things need to be established. One – there is nothing empirically wrong with Gritty as a mascot entity. It’s fine, it’s silly, it’s unique, it’s harmless, and it’s ultimately for children. Second, this may come as a shock to some readers, but my political leanings are basically just center of communist. The only thing that could have actually gotten me to the polls earlier in the week would have been if there were guillotine referenda on the ballot. And now with those two facts in place…
Fuck Gritty, and fuck the slack-tivist Left for turning him into some kind of meme-machine cultural icon for the #Resistance and Antifa. Perhaps this is a case of living inside a bubble and how I have curated my own social media experience, but there seems to be an onslaught of promotional material aimed at YOUNG PEOPLE on the left containing fan art of Gritty dedicating himself to the plight of the proletariat and bringing capitalist pigs to justice. It was so prevalent that even a publication with its finger so far up its own ass it can barely find the pulse of anything else, the New Yorker, ran a feature story on the phenomenon. But there it was one tweet in particular that simply made all of this a bridge too far and solidified the internet’s collective ability to beat something to death within mere moments:
The @NHLFlyers just crossed the Ritz-Carlton picket line in Boston.
— Brett Banditelli (@banditelli) October 25, 2018
It’s extremely difficult to tell whether this post is ironic in tone or not, but either way there is a tremendous disconnect here between those with internet brain worms and what the reality of the situation actually is. First of all, the thought that a fucking mascot has anything to do with the logistical operations of a professional SPORTSBALL team is laughable. Not to mention the fact that the chances of an NHLer going rogue for the cause of something he’d seen and been made aware of on Leftist Twitter is so far fetched it’s insane. Nearly 99% of NHL players are in all likelihood MAGA chuds because a) they stop attending school in 8th grade b) they come from rural areas which bend heavily conservative, and c) they’re basically all rich which makes one pathologically averse to wealth redistribution or even taxation of any kind.
And even if all of this weren’t true, it makes zero sense to attribute any of these tenets to a logo owned by a team in a sport which is arguably the most racially and economically exclusive of any of the “major” North American team sports, which in and of themselves are a cesspool of rape and entitlement culture. Not to mention that the Flyers specifically, are a subsidiary of Comcast, a borderline monopoly that cannot wait for net neutrality laws to be fully repealed so that they can price gouge even further and reap even bigger profits despite the fact that internet access has reached the point of being a utility out of its necessity to modern life. What’s more, Ed Snider, the Flyers’ former chairman who sold a healthy stake in the team to Comcast (and is dead and assuredly burning in hell for all of eternity) personally donated huge portions of his substantial wealth to virulent right wing think tanks like the Ayn Rand Foundation and The Atlas Society, and tried to destroy every labor union he ever came across, including the NHL players association. And for fuck’s sake, because this is Philadelphia being discussed after all, it’s a solid bet that the guy that’s actually in the goddamn costume itself has got a Facebook page filled with Blue Lives Matter memes and routinely throws around homophobic slurs when hanging out on South Street.
The counter-argument to all of this would be that using Gritty is re-appropriating a corporate logo for a nobler purpose and that anyone who indirectly gets involved in the community because they initially found the memes with the orange googly-eyed creature amusing is a net benefit. Which, ok, sure, but the energy spent on writing Gritty revolutionary slash-fic with intricate illustrations would be better spent throwing a brick through the window of the Comcast Center.
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