Friday, February 20, 2009

Fruity Socialists Doing Yoga: The Perils of Namasté

Namastesm1 Namasté’s CEO, Blake Jones, is quite upfront about the benefits of the stimulus plan for his company, a solar panel supplier in Colorado:

Depending on the details, Jones said the passage of the plan would allow him not only to lift his hiring freeze put into place in October but would allow him to start hiring again.

"It might have a huge impact on our business," Jones said. "If things were to continue on the present course without the stimulus, we'd have to lay off half of our staff and close one of our offices."

And we say, fine. Whatever one may think of the stimulus, this is what it is supposed to do, and keeping these technologies rolling along is a net good.


However, what to make of some of the commentary around Namasté? Jones introduced the President and Vice President during their stimulus bill barnstorm, amusingly mispronouncing Biden’s name after Biden mispronounced Namasté. (You can likely call it what you want as long as you order some panels.)

From the snark side, there’s this:

Obama chose the perfect face for his "signing the stimulus" party: a blonde, clean-cut young yuppie fellow who owns a small business. A small hippie business.

The guy owns a solar power something-or-other called—wait for it—"Namasté." Which meant that half the press conference involved the assembled officials, from Biden to Obama to the governor of Colorado, amusingly mispronouncing a fruity yoga word.

Then the secret hippie who who's stealing all the stimulus money to buy hemp called our Vice President "Joe Bidden." Namasté!

Actually, the leading N and trailing é makes us think of Neslé, so maybe that should be “chocolaty yoga word.”

From the ideological side, here’s Tracy Byrnes on Glenn Beck’s Fox News show:

Now, "Namasté" is a greeting of respect in Sanskrit. Now, the company Namasté will most likely benefit from all the president's energy incentives that are stuffed into this plan. This 2-year-old company needs all the money it can get. It can barely keep its 55 workers onboard.

But it's not just the company's financial distress that's got people thinking. It's these collective in-house rules of this solar company that are making people wonder why the president decided to associate himself with it.

So to start, all Namasté employees, no matter what their job description, are on the same pay scale, and a portion of everyone's salary goes to charity. Hmm. All major decisions are made by a consensus of all the company employees -- all 55. And everyone gets six weeks vacation a year. It's no wonder the company is struggling and needs financial assistance. But for many of us taxpayers, it seems odd.

Actually, “many of us taxpayers” are probably jealous that those 55 folks have jobs that they’re now likely to keep. We’re also fairly sure almost no one outside of Byrnes is wondering “why the president decided to associate himself with it.”

Stuff like this makes us feel very – provincial – small – and stupid.

Namasté’s logo. We guess it’s meant to represent sun rays – it’s certainly colorful.


Anonymous said...

"Fruity?" What is this, junior high school?

Any chance you could try to make your points without indulging in homophobia?

I don't care if it's in a quote; you use it in the headline too. Grow up.

Mark Flanagan said...

We do wonder whether people google certain words to find things to be offended over. We think Gawker (and we know we) meant fruity in the sense given in the Urban Dictionary:

Dorkiness which doesn't even know that it's dorky, but celebrates its own dorkiness anyway.

Seems just right for Namaste. And kind of a compliment, too.


Anonymous said...

A lot of people take the term in the sense of one of the other Urban Dictionary definitions:

A 1980's term used by homophobes to denote persons or items seemingly gay.

I think many people find this terminology offensive as a slur against gays, without any resort to Google. You've got the right to say whatever you want, but you should at least acknowledge that reality. And in what's supposed to be a policy discussion, try to be a little more thoughtful.

Nice use of the royal "we," by the way.

Nuclear advocate said...

Wow. It's obvious that this blog item was not intended to be an attack on gays. There is absolutely no context in this blog that would have any relationship with homophobia.

Fruity also means flaky. Using a claim of homophobia is involves a clear effort to chill a discussion that clear relates to solar energy and socialism.

Brian Mays said...

And sometimes fruity means something that relates to, is made with, or resembles fruit.

Webster's dictionary doesn't include a definition for fruity that mentions homosexuality; however it does include a slang definition that reads: crazy, silly.

Why some people are so quick to jump to conclusions and yell bigot just baffles me. I suggest that the anonymous commenter follow his or her own advice and "grow up."

Man Overboard said...

I think the anonymous Big Lebowski needs to stop trying so hard to be offended.

Man Overboard said...

I think Post Fruity Pebbles is clearly an attack on gays. This is further evidence that proves Fred Flintstone is stuck in the stone age.

Anonymous said...

The original caption on the cartoon had one cop saying to the other, "Jeez, Ed, you saw him. That fruity chimp was coming after me." Well the NY Post editor found it offensive, and they changed it...