While the Neanderthal-right foes of "socialized medicine" are busy packing heat, screaming "Heil Hitler" at Jews and generally scaring the crap out of the nation, Louisiana's Nicholls State University is otherwise occupied terrifying its students and alums with a redesigned mascot.
Before, "Colonel Tillou" was an ancient Confederate officer who evoked no-longer-amusing visions of the Lost Cause. Now, to the horror of, well . . . everybody, the modernized Colonel Tillou looks like a Nazi SS officer cleaning out the Warsaw ghetto.
LAST WEEK, the New Orleans Times-Picayune took note of the recent mascot unpleasantness over in Thibodaux:
With his chiseled face, military-style cap and saber poised for action, the recently unveiled mascot at Nicholls State University was supposed to convey a new and improved public image, signaling a break from the past and an end to the mascot controversy that has dogged the Thibodaux campus for years.NOW, LOTS of folks in Louisiana -- particularly those who didn't go to Nicholls -- will tell you the school's administration was on the right track but picked the wrong Nazi.
Instead, the updated Col. Tillou mascot, named for the university's founder, former Louisiana governor and Confederate officer Francis Redding Tillou Nicholls, has stirred up a firestorm within the university's community.
Outraged by the image's "menacing" appearance, hundreds of people have flooded social networking sites and college sports forums to vent their concerns about the revamped logo design, with a number likening the black, red and gray-hued colonel to a soldier from Adolf Hitler's Third Reich or a member of Soviet Russia's Red Army.
"It looked like a Nazi soldier -- a very angry Nazi soldier," said Nicholls alumna Hollie Garrison, 27, who saw the logo online for the first time this month. "My jaw dropped. I was speechless. I kind of thought it was a joke."
Garrison, who lives in Lafayette, has started a group on Facebook called "I hate the new Tillou a.k.a. 'Nicholls the Nazi.'Â¤" As of Saturday afternoon, the site had attracted more than 275 members.
Matthew Marant, a 2009 graduate, was similarly stunned after his first glimpse of the logo.
"I was appalled," said Marant, 23, who lives in Houma. "The new image seems evil, faceless and inhuman."
Thus, in the spirit of friendship, I give you a redesign of the redesigned Nicholls State logo:
RECOGNIZE the guy?
How about now?