Wednesday, 14 May 2003

Mr. Pravda's back

The discipline’s favorite cynic has returned to H-POLMETH, this time with a brutal assault on the American Political Science Association’s new logo, which purportedly “is intended to represent APSA’s mission to bring together political scientists from all fields of inquiry, regions, and occupational endeavors within and outside academe in order to expand awareness and understanding of politics.” Exactly how three swooshes of orange is supposed to represent that escapes me entirely, but Mr. Pravda has seen through the layers of deception:

As I continue staring at the logo while uncorking my second bottle of wine, it all suddenly becomes clear. The point is obvious: there is no point. This design is intended to convey different ideas to different people. It is, in that sense, fundamentally democratic. Each of us can assign his or her own meaning to it. To the Quantoid, it can represent pure spatial logic. To the Perestroikan, it can signify the diversity of cultures and peoples. To the cynic, it can serve as a reminder of why it’s always a good idea to underreport your professional income when paying dues to the APSA.