ONLY IN AMERICA
Prompted by the NCAA's recent decision to prohibit sports teams with nicknames and mascots that are deemed "hostile and abusive" from using that imagery in post season tournaments, and forbidding those teams from hosting postseason tournament games, a collective of Tablet PC users today filed a petition to the NCAA to force similar sanctions on the Southern New Hampshire University Penmen.
A number of leaders in the still small, but growing, Tablet PC community took a break today from installing the beta of Windows Vista on their Tablet PCs and inked their strong feelings about this issue in a shared OneNote session, a Skype conference, and later a broadcast on MSNBC.
According to Spencer Goad, founder and owner of Tablet PC Buzz, "there are enough problems with the platform gaining acceptance given the poor marketing efforts by OEM's. Those of us who know and love Tablet PCs and recognize the potential this technology has to truly change personal computing do not want to see any future hindrance caused by the very visible association with the nickname Penmen, when it so obviously refers to ancient technology."
Tablet PC MVP Rob Bushway offered, "While the nickname Penman may not be deemed hostile or abusive to any particular ethnic group, we do find the label to be particularly abusive to those who suffer from bad penmanship. It reflects on a past age when pens meant writing with a pen and paper and good penmanship was a prized attribute. With the new handwriting recognition, one no longer needs to feel the societal stigma brought about by bad penmanship."
Renowned blogger and podcaster, James Kendrick, also a Tablet PC MVP, stated, "As someone with notoriously bad handwriting, I concur with Rob. Look, the Tablet PC is a winning technology. SNHU has never won anything, not even a penmanship award. To associate themselves, even peripherally, with Tablet PCs by using this nickname demeans the entire platform and it's development community. What's next? The Podcasters? Let's hear a podcast first. Show me the ink."
Another Tablet PC MVP, WNewquay, speaking about nicknames stated, "Many of us refer to ourselves in forums and on blog posts as Tableteers. That's sexy. It evokes a sense of Dumas-like adventure. I don't think there would be this objection if the name would be changed to reflect those attributes. Perhaps the Fighting Styli."
First Lady of the First Family of Tablet PCs, Lora Heiny, speaking on behalf of the entire First Family stated, "perhaps if the entire university adopted the Tablet PC in its instructional methodology this would be a different issue. Give a Tablet PC to each student and faculty member, or institue a Tablet PC development curriculum and then maybe, maybe, they could lay claim to a nickname like the Penmen, although the Fighting Styli does have a neat ring to it."
Tablet PC developer Josh Einstein stated strongly, "The letters PC don't appear in the platform name without a reason. As much as I hate and loathe political correctness, I have to stand up for what is right here, damnit."
Tracy Hooten and Trevor Claiborne of The Student Tablet PC Site issued a separate, joint communication. "As students we recognize the intent of the NCAA's sanctions. We also recognize the transparency and hypocrisy of their statement that the NCAA can not force any institution to forcibly change the nickname or mascot, LOL. Prohibiting these teams from using offending imagery in post season activities is no less than economic extortion. It is the equivalent of requiring a MSDN subscription in order to receive a clean install disk of the Tablet OS."
Marc Orchant summed up for the group stating, "The Tablet PC community may be small but it is strong and vocal. It is also persistent. If you compare the length of time that it took the NCAA to finally reach a decision on this issue regarding Native American nicknames and the length of time it took to resolve the infamous Tablet PC memory leak, I think you will see that our persistence and loud voices can make a difference."
Robert Scoble, Microsoft, the NCAA, and Southern New Hampshire University were unavailable for comment.
In other news, members of the Tablet PC community announced that they are taking a cue from the new film, The Aristocrats, and each inking their own version of the infamous joke. The finished version will be on display at PDC and on Channel 9 shortly thereafter.
Disclaimer: The words and statements ascribed to various friends (I hope they still are) in the Tablet PC community are all mine and coined in an attempt at satire and good humor. No offense intended except towards the dunces in the NCAA who pulled off this feat of intellectual chicanery. As for SNHU, Go PENMEN!