Evolution T-Shirts, Journalism, & Brain Death

THE story we posted recently — Kansas City: Evolution T-Shirts Banned — has been making the rounds, and because of high-powered bloggers like PZ Myers the subject has been getting national attention. The story is about a moronic bureaucrat’s decision (at least one redundant word there) to confiscate a high school band’s T-shirts because they featured a cartoon of a monkey evolving into a man.

The reason we’re writing again about this locally embarrassing idiocy is because a follow-up story we found today is so amusing (in a twisted way) that it could stand on its own merits. It appears at the website of a TV station, KOMU of Columbia, Missouri, located near ground zero of the T-shirt controversy. The station is an NBC affiliate owned by the University of Missouri, and it serves as a training ground for their School of Journalism. That explains a lot.

Anyway, here’s the story: High School Becomes Focus of Media Attention. The bold font was added by us:

SEDALIA – The school’s marching band is really striking a chord. A new logo designed for the band’s “Brass Evolutions” fall program t-shirt is generating world-wide attention.

“Striking a cord” isn’t bad. Not great, but that’s okay. Let’s read on:

The shirt has images of Darwin’s famous theory of evolution picture.

Darwin’s famous picture? That’s a catastrophically stupid sentence. The image is a cartoon, nothing more. We continue:

Each figure transforming from monkey to human is holding a different brass instrument to symbolize the evolution since the 1960s of the brass pieces.

Co-owner and co-creater [sic] of the shirt’s design, Jack H. Lewis, says he cannot believe the feedback he’s gotten. “This is nation-wide coverage. We’re getting requests from different countries for this shirt. Every state in the union there’s probably someone wanting a shirt. What can I say? People dream of this kind of exposure.”

Journalism student can’t spell? Can’t even use spell-check? Anyway, at least there’s a happy T-shirt designer out there, so a bit of good has come from all this. Here’s more:

One local woman has friend’s [sic] overseas requesting their own personal shirt [sic].

That was quite a sentence. We already know that journalism schools don’t require any knowledge of history, economics, the US Constitution, or science, but one would expect that they’d at least teach the proper use of the apostrophe. And what’s with all those overseas friends requesting a shirt (singular)? Moving along:

However, despite the high demand for the shirt, School Board officials have recalled the shirts from the band program. The evolution logo offended some parents and local Sedalian’s [sic].

The first apostrophe blunder wasn’t a typo. What we’re dealing with here is … well, let’s not describe the obvious. Instead, we’ll read one last excerpt:

Much controversy has surrounded the issue since the shirt’s debut.

School Board officials bought the shirts back from the band program for $700. Students are no longer allowed to wear them and the band director is currently designing a new shirt.

Okay, class, now what have we learned? We’ve learned that journalism school is about as much about education as, say, stewardess school. Both teach grooming, makeup, and personal deportment. But let’s not dwell on that.

Here’s the main reason we’re posting this today — there’s a high school band in desperate need of a new logo. We feel their pain. As a Curmudgeonly public service we want them to know that they can find what they need here: “Teach the Controversy” T-Shirts. Check the place out. They’ve expanded their offerings since we wrote about the site a year ago, so it’s definitely worth another look.

Hey, they even have a TimeCube shirt. Maybe the journalism school could get some inspiration from that.

Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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8 responses to “Evolution T-Shirts, Journalism, & Brain Death

  1. Ha! Loved the shirts. Especially the “It’s turtles all the way down” one.


  2. LRA says:

    Loved the shirts. Especially the “It’s turtles all the way down” one.

    I’m partial to the Time Cube shirt.

  3. That’s not fair. Intelligent Delivery Theory is not the same as Scientific Storkism. IDT takes no position on whether Scientific Storkism is true, and only claims that naturalistic theories are inadequate to explain childbirth, 😉

  4. I’ve seen this apostrophe’s-go-wild [sic] syndrome growing on the internet over the last couple of years, especially in the porn stories I read (only for the pictures, you understand). However, I think you need to consider the source of this article. It is evidently from a TV journalism student and not a print journalism student. On TV it doesn’t matter how a story is written, it only matters that the talking heads can speak it correctly. So students don’t need to learn such trivialities like punctuation. One would hope the school’s newspaper would have proofreaders or editors that would have caught this sort of error before printing it.

    BTW, according to Wikipedia this “is the world’s first school of journalism.” ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missouri_School_of_Journalism )

  5. Of course, the Russell’s Teapot one was pretty great too.

  6. Journalism student can’t spell? Can’t even use spell-check?

    Spell-checkers aren’t always completely foolproof. They usually have a thingy on them that says “Add Word to Dictionary…”

  7. retiredsciguy

    “…there’s a high school band in desperate need of a new logo.”

    Curmy, why don’t you suggest they use the “Hey,Casey!” gorilla photo from a few months ago? (Insert link here, please.) [Hey Casey!] The school board might find it amusing, don’t you think?

    And the overseas friends “requesting their own personal shirt “? What, they’re not into sharing?
    “Let’s see, I’ll wear it Monday, you can have it Tuesday, Sam gets Wednesday…”

  8. Love the Teach the Controversy t-shirts, especially the Terry Pratchett reference and ‘Young Earth’. The journalism on display in the article is equally entertaining!