When I was at uni we went out for a punk themed night and my friend Martyn wore a shirt which had on the back a crossed out swastika and the words “Nazi Punks Fuck Off”, the title of a pretty bitching Dead Kennedys track.
A little while later I saw my friend without the shirt on and not looking too happy about it, it turned out that one of the Student Union staff had come up to him and said that someone had complained that the shirt was offensive. Martyn and I were both a bit dumbfounded by this, especially as the only people who could really be offended would be actual Nazi Punks, and while I don’t like to offend anyone, Nazis are fairly low on the list of people to tiptoe around their sensitivities.
I never really thought about it, but if you’d asked me I’d probably have said I’d struggle to imagine a dafter fuss being made over a shirt happening, and for over 5 years nothing did (the fact it’s been more than a half a decade since I graduated has made me feel really old).
But then this week I saw this story that rivaled it in terms of stupidity over clothing.
This dude, Wynand Mullins, got onto an airplane to go from Sydney to Auckland and was waiting for take off when one of the air hostesses approached him to see if he could change his shirt as other passengers had complained as they found his shirt “intimidating”.
So, what was on this offensive shirt?
It turned out that the shirt was based on a quote from one of my all time favourite movies, The Princess Bride, the words:
“Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
If you haven’t seen the movie, then you definitely should as it’s a ridiculously entertaining and funny movie with a great cast and wonderful script from William Goldman. Anyway, in the movie the quote is the speech that Spanish sworsman Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) plans to deliver when he gets his vengeance. It’s a wonderfully simple line that could just be a cheesy revenge line from an old movie, but here it becomes a mantra for Montoya and during the climactic duel he repeats it over and over, continuing despite his injuries.
Now, first of all unless you’d killed Inigo Montoya’s father you have nothing to fear, unless some of the idiots aboard thought that Inigo Montoya sounded terrorist-y, but I’d imagine that terrorists would be a tad more subtle.
And secondly, I can’t believe that on a crowded plane only one other passenger (who laughed at the hostesses’ request to Mr Mullins) recognized the quote. If I’d been the pilot I’d have said that everyone else should get off instead of hassling Mullins or at least made damn sure that The Princess Bride was the inflight movie.
Maybe I’m being unfair though, and rather than ridiculing the other passengers I should pity them. I mean, if they’re intimidated by this shirt then they must be a right bunch of nervous Nellies and spend the majority of their time being terrified of things like Chihuahuas, falling leaves and Barry Scott shouting at them.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.