Thursday, March 21, 2013

Dancing with the devil: The League City logo, Part 2

Those of you who are astute readers of Galveston County Daily News may have noticed that the League City logo controversy has been gently but firmly kept alive for these past three weeks or so. 
The new city logos as screengrabbed from this original GCDN news article.  The city's own information site for these logos is available here

This whole thing started around February 27, 2013, when League City released its new logo to the public, GCDN covered the story, and I published this post which was quoted by GCDN shortly thereafter. 

Since that time, GCDN has conducted a feedback poll to solicit input from residents who were "for" or "against" the new logo, and there have been additional references

This morning, Aulds published this description of League City's current beautification efforts.  Once again, we see continued reference to the logo controversy. 

But perhaps the most telling statement published to date derives from the short but powerful editorial authored by one Pat Hoyland of League City

Let's not talk about what your friendly neighborhood blogger thinks about the logo - let us not even go there.  And please let's not shoot this messenger, either, as we focus solely on Hoyland's assessment, because what falls out of it is fairly fascinating.  If I get any negative comments on this post, I'm going to immediately refer back to the clause about not shooting this messenger. 

In Hoyland's personal editorialized opinion, the logo, "looks like the top of a devil’s head, with a Texas dunce hat on it".

OK, given that I am a visually-oriented person, let's parse that statement.

Would you like your dunce hat in white?

Man in dunce cap partial image from this Image Source siteFair Use:  Low-resolution partial screengrab for the purposes of commentary in a nonprofit context with source attribution. 
Or would you like your dunce hat in blue?

Dunce cap low-res partial screengrab from this site
Hoyland used the word "amusing" to describe this controversy, and the juxtaposed imagery above is indeed amusing. 

But that's not the fascinating part.  The fascinating part is Hoyland's use of the word devil.  The devil is evil.  The devil is not typically associated with dunce-hood.  If you review the history of the word dunce and the dunce cap concept, you'll find that it refers primarily to stupidity, social stupidity in particular.  It does encompass dumb and disrespectful interactive behavior, but not evil or sinister intention. 

I have worked in the consulting industry for more than twenty years.  As a consultant, it's a huge part of my job to meticulously interpret the mind states of people, so that I can deduce how best to communicate with them from their starting points of comprehension, so that we can work together to resolve whatever issue prompted them to seek a consultation in the first place.

Of course, I'm not evaluating any of this logo situation in any professional capacity - I blog solely as a private citizen and taxpayer.  But I do access general life lessons in my thought processes, as every private citizen does.  And very often when I see people swiftly mixing concepts that are not otherwise typically associated, it means that there's something else going on at depth.  It often means that there's an additional idea brewing in their subconscious minds, an idea that hasn't yet broken through to the surface to become a formal, speakable thought. 

That's the immediate sense I got when I read Hoyland's statement.  Hoyland probably doesn't know what subconscious awareness might have triggered that particular pairing of words.  I have never met Pat Hoyland, I don't know Pat Hoyland, and perhaps there are no additional concepts lurking behind Pat Hoyland's statement.  But if I had to put money on it, I would guess that there's more going on with this logo controversy than currently meets the eye. 

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