Friday, May 25, 2007

Fred Phelps Says "Go Google!"

Dear Google:

You know I like you. I was one of your earlier adopters back in the late 90s, abandoning Yahoo!, AltaVista and other not-as-nice search engines. Your clean interface is my homepage. I think this Blogger service you provide is really, really valuable, and I appreciate that it’s totally free. I use your Gmail, too. Thanks.

I keep hearing that you intend to take over the world someday and become the Antichrist, but until you attempt to compel me by force to receive the Mark of the Beast, I’ll keep using your services and appreciating them.

I note how you alter your logo on off-the-wall holidays such as Persian New Year, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s birthday, World Water Day, and of course, Halloween. You give a nod to traditionally Christian holidays such as Christmas and Easter, keeping them safely Pagan with elves and bunnies. That’s cool. Mustn’t offend the hundreds of sensitive groups out there.

Which brings me to Memorial Day. It was never intended to be just another three day weekend or the official start of summer. Now I know one of your founders, Sergey Brin, was born in Russia and maybe doesn’t have an appreciation for this American holiday, but I’m asking Sergey, Larry and the rest of the 12,000 or so Google employees to consider once again honoring America’s war dead with a Memorial Day logo.

Here’s how you’ve responded in the past to requests for a Memorial Day logo:

We understand your interest in seeing a Memorial Day Google logo. If we were to commemorate this holiday, we’d want to express reverence; however, as Google’s special logos tend to be lighthearted in nature, this would be a particularly challenging design. We wouldn’t want to create a graphic that could be interpreted as disrespectful in any way.”

Excuse me, Google, my friend, but I respectfully call “Bullshit.” Here are a few of the respectful, not-so-lighthearted logos your designers have come up with in recent years for various special days.

I’m no designer, but maybe a simple flag, perhaps a cartoon eagle bugler blowing "Taps." Something. Anything. Here you go; try this quick, one-off, reverent attempt:

That sort of PR crap coming out of your headquarters is not helping you one bit. It’s transparent, disingenuous, and it makes you look petty.

Do you fear being seen as partial to one particular political party? Will honoring war dead somehow implicate you as supportive of Bush’s Iraq war? Here’s news, Googleites: soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and coastguardsmen come in every color, they are of every political stripe, of every faith, age and temperament. The ones we honor on Memorial Day have one thing in common: they died in service to their country. Whether the war they died in was one we consider worthwhile or justified is not the point.

Throughout the summer after 7th grade, every day I would hoist my bicycle over the low stone wall of the beautiful public park that is Arlington National Cemetery, on my way to spend the day at the swimming pool on Fort Myer, Virginia. It was the shortest route from our house in Arlington, and the shade tree lined winding roads within the cemetery were much nicer than the traffic snarled streets on those sticky Virginia summer mornings and evenings. It was a quietly haunted but peaceful place, with names of people from long ago whizzing by in a quick recap of America's many wars. Sometimes I’d ride slow and look at the names, calculate their ages at death, note the crosses, stars of David, or the crescent moons.

It’s hardly shameful, Google, to acknowledge the sacrifices of all those people in Arlington National Cemetery and hundreds of other cemeteries nationwide and across the seas. You do your good name and esteemed brand a great disservice by refusing to pay them the respect of a simple one-day logo alteration. I hope you break with tradition this Monday.

Thanks to Freelance Fred for the heads-up.

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  • Nicely said.

    By Blogger Thinking In Vain, at May 25, 2007 at 11:41 AM  

  • Well put.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 25, 2007 at 11:50 AM  

  • Wow! I'm wiping the tears. Sniff Sniff. Very powerful.

    By Anonymous dirtsister, at May 25, 2007 at 4:57 PM  

  • Jetpacks, that post just made my day. Eloquent, reasonable, decent. You can't fool me. You've done this writing thing before.

    By Anonymous captain flummox, at May 25, 2007 at 9:28 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Make the logo bigger, at May 26, 2007 at 2:20 AM  

  • You write sassy mister.

    Is Googlecrite a word? Ironic they ran the Liberty Bell image. I’d think they'd have a problem with that seeing how many lives were lost in battles that helped make the symbol possible.

    I look at it in another more bitter, resentful way:

    Google wouldn’t be able to set up shop anywhere else in the world and make the $ they have. Not without those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice allowing them that chance.

    Name the largest, most successful brands in the world, ever. What country did they start off in? Serge baby, you started as, not for a reason.

    By Blogger Make the logo bigger, at October 20, 2007 at 5:56 PM  

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