‘Thunder’ a non-starter name

Friday, May 18, 2018

I wrote articles and drew cartoons deriding the decision to drop our beloved Turners Falls High School Indian logo. But when it was done for good I started to jot down names for its replacement. I quickly had about 25 new names and when the “criteria” for said logo were handed down by the Gill-Montague Regional School Committee I began to cross off those that didn’t fit said “criteria,” which, by the way, was pretty specific.

Then they announce three finalists, and there is “The Thunder’ as one of the choices. A name I erased for two reasons. Creatively, artistically, visually, color-wise, and originality, it’s a total dead-end. So bad is Thunder that the accompanying artwork, is not even Thunder, it’s a lightning bolt.

That’s like having your team name “the dogs” but we’re going to put “cats” on our helmets instead, because, you know, they’re the same. Thunder and lightning are not the same just as peas and carrots are not the same. Also, once a lightning bolt is your logo that’s it artistically, while the “CHARGER” war horse, and velociraptor for “RIVER RAPTORS” are an Art Department’s dream. The entire student body’s imagination can run amok with costumes, masks, posters, merchandising and endless visuals. The inspiration for elementary kids to want to participate in high school activities should not be overlooked. Horses and dinosaurs are the two favorite animals of elementary school kids. Talk about building school spirit early. That is the artistic reason to choose Chargers or River Raptors over Thunder.

But the main reason, and this happens often when you’re talking “art by committee,” is a group gets criteria down but in the end abandons it, and picks what it likes, while the rest of us who strived to follow the “criteria,” are left with “Oh well, that’s the way it goes.” Among the list of “criteria” the main point was the logo should be historically relevant to the town. Yes, it does thunder here like 99 percent of the planet. Then a committee member told me there was a cheer called “thunder-thunderation” and that’s what made it historically relevant. First, it is not a cheer. It is an unoriginal, monotonous, one-word chant that every other cheer squad in the country did at one time or another. If you can listen to it for more than two minutes, then congratulations, you’re the type of person who can be happy watching paint dry while listening to a metronome.

The “Fire Hydrants” in Montague have more relevant history. So even if the committee and task force didn’t follow their own “criteria,” in the name of fair play you can boycott Thunder with your vote. Otherwise, I, along with others should be allowed to re-submit logos we kiboshed because they didn’t fit the “criteria.” 

Denis F. Bordeaux