What’s in a name? That which we call the Swine Flu
By any other name would still kill you.
Nonetheless, the latest global epidemic has the name-calling communities in a mudslinging stir, especially the swine aficionados and pork producers, who feel the deadly influenza uprising will systematically slaughter the pig trade.
Having been bred and raised in Iowa, a leading pork-producing state, I can see how the unsolicited branding of the swine flu could breed misconceptions, fear, paranoia, and hatred in the pigheaded global community, in particular anti-swine extremists who have already declared a jihad on Porky Pig – America’s most beloved stuttering swine: “Th-th-that’s all folks!”
Clearly these folks aren’t pop-culturally learned, for if they had seen the 1985 film “Porky’s Revenge,” they would know that ol’ Porky Wallace (see pic) is a big force (pun intended) to be reckoned with, especially if your name is Meat.
Moreover, some religious sects are up in hooves over the name (and bad puns) over the swine flu. Israel Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman said the reference to pigs is offensive to Muslim and Jewish sensitivities to pork and suggested we should call it the “Mexican flu.” Even though the latest strand of swine flu allegedly began in Mexico, I don’t imagine that Mexicans will take too kindly to this name change.
I imagine there’s one sect of the global population that is quite pleased with the swine flu name: the pigs. I wouldn’t be surprised if the pigs, stealing a chapter from George Orwell’s cautionary tale “Animal Farm,” are the ones behind fanning the anti-swine propaganda with an updated slogan:
“Four legs deadly, two legs better watch the fuck out.”
(This slogan was sponsored by the International Swine Workers Union to commiserate this year’s International Workers’ Day (May 1).)
I suspect these pissed-off pigs are still bitter when the Communists’ and Socialists’ propaganda machines butchered their name by attaching it to western capitalists: Imperialist Pigs
In an attempt to ease fears in the global swine community, which has already lined up to ban pork imports from the United States and Mexico, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, led by our former governor Tom Vilsack, announced that the swine flu is no longer the “swine flu,” rather “H1N1 flu.” Yeah right, I’m sure that name is going to stick and bleed like a stuck pig into American discourse.
Worse than HINI flu, the European Union announced yesterday that they will now call the new virus “Novel Flu Virus,” which I guarantee will be shortened by the media to the “Novel Flu.” I realize novel means “new” but as a high school English teacher, the prospect of attaching novel to a deadly virus in mind boggling. While pushing novels on to unsuspecting young readers over the last eight years, I’ve had a hard enough time closing the deal, when students contend: “Why should I read? Our president doesn’t read and he got elected not once, but twice.”
My only defense to this anecdotal evidence: “True, but he was elected by an electorate that doesn’t read regularly, and now look where that has landed us.”
If health officials were smart, they would revamp their flu epidemic marketing strategy and change the name by replacing swine with something they want people to fear, hate and/or avoid like the plague.
Here are some suggested swine substitutions, compliments of Say Something Funny:
Deep-Fat Fried Flu
Hollywood Sequels Flu II
Rush Limbaugh Flu (although, given the literal girth of this influenza strand, it’s completely unavoidable)
One Flu Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Corporate Farm Flu
American Idle Flu
Poo –Too-Tweet Flu (or Twitter Flu)
Any Movies Starring Keanu Reeves Flu
Dick Cheney Flu (or Dick Jokes Flu)
That’s What She Said Flu