On March 30th, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst unveiled a new “brand mark” designed to expand the school’s “visual identity system” (UMass website).   Yes, the phrases in quotation marks actually appeared in the announcement, unaccompanied by puzzled or laughing emojis. 

The new brand mark, otherwise known as a “logo” to rank-and-file humans, is the letter “M.”  

When a reporter observed that “M” could represent any one of EIGHT flagship universities around the country, John Kennedy, Vice Chancellor of University Relations at UMass, went on the offensive, trashing the other seven states by name.

His rant:

“Montana?  Hell, it’s not even a state, it’s a territory.  Union troops are still clearing out tribes of Chippewa, Sioux, and Crow holed up in Bozeman and Missoula.

“PLEASE don’t get me started on Maryland.  I’m not saying that students in College Park are slow, but there must be a reason the school’s mascot is a terrapin.  The state is shaped like a jigsaw-puzzle piece designed by someone who sits on a park bench all day and screams at pigeons.  No way Maryland deserves an “M.”

“Missouri?  Seriously?  You have a big ol’ arch in St. Louis that celebrates McDonald’s.  And you had a World’s Fair back in 1904.  Get over it.

“Mississippi?  God, no.  In Yalobusha and Tallahatchie counties it’s still legal to own slaves.  What kind of message does that send?

“Minnesota?  Don’t make me laugh.  The Vikings have played in four Super Bowls and lost them all.  When it’s 20 degrees below zero you cut a hole in one of your 10,000 frozen lakes and go ice fishing.  How pathetic is that?

“Maine?  Ever try to have a conversation with someone from Downeast?  They can barely speak English.  And let’s face it: without a tub of butter, Maine lobster is just a radial tire masquerading as seafood.  

“Michigan?  I’ll grant you, the University of Michigan has a terrific fight song.  But nothing beats 30,000 drunken New Englanders singing ‘Sweet Caroline’ and ‘Dirty Water’ at Fenway Park on a Saturday night in July.  Close your eyes and smell the warm beer sloshing in your Dixie cup.  

“Are there any other questions?”