Is it just me or does anything that comes out of the states look like its come from the 1970's? (Or Germany)
Maybe its just the filter on the camera used...
Anyway, I want one!!
Kiddies toy outfit Hasbro has pulled off a bit of a branding blinder with the release of its "Spastic with Stunticons" Transformer, which apparently forms part of its Power Core Combiners 2011 Wave 2 range. The Spastic Transformer Transformer fan site Seibertron.com contacted Hasbro when it discovered that the word spastic …
In the US, at least where I am, spastic is equivalently offensive to retard, merely derogatory terms for different conditions. Really, I suspect this would be seen as offensive here as well.
Personally I would neither be offended by this nor a transformer named Retard, or the dastardly Short Bus decepticon. But my skin is not so thin.
Political correctness does nothing to stop the prejudices prevalent in society despite the nanny brigade's best efforts to eliminate them. As one word becomes offensive and is replaced with a new PC term, the PC term itself becomes offensive after a while and the nanny brigade have to endlessly come up with new ones. Spastic -> Scoper being a notable example, as mentioned here:
That "spastic", "spazz" and variants thereof aren't seen as being as offensive in the US as here. Witness the outcry here over the Colours In Motion wheelchair model called the Spazz. In the US there's no big deal over it. The Spazz-G is the next version up but has the unfortunate blurb "Have you been dreaming of that unique custom wheelchair that would not cost you an arm and a leg?"
That said, this would surely raise a laugh from some of my less politically correct friends and be a good choice of Christmas gift for them.
Me and my partner* have been working our way through Buffy the Vampire Slayer from start to finish and what I find odd is that whenever the word "spaz" comes up (which it does, once or twice) it does seem to be in connection with physical disability/malcoordination. So it obviously /means/ the same thing, but it's not seen as offensive? I am confused.
* It would be really witty and clever to reply with some sort of masturbatory implication here. I'm handing it (hur hur) to you on a silver platter.
It's the usual prejudicial stereotyping of groups, not all people called Spazzes suffer from spasticity, but may be disabled otherwise. Group stereotyping is only natural by the way, shunning "other types" or those genetically non-viable to the point of procreation is part of the process of evolution. In the meantime however us homo sapiens apparently evolved intelligence, introspection and empathy so I'd be surprised if such prejudice was commonplace these days.
...growing up in the states is that it's a term somewhat commonly used to describe a person who is acting erratic and/or hyper. IIRC, I have heard the term very rarely whispered to describe a handicapped person exhibiting spasms (but not really the disabled in general, which as I understand is the pejorative usage in the UK), so the usage and connotation in the UK isn't *completely* foreign but maybe I could sum up the difference as such:
In the states, the use of the word spaz is not considered offensive provided: 1.) you are describing a non-handicapped person and, 2.) that you are not in the presence of a handicapped person that would be properly/medically described as spastic/exhibiting-spasms.
Mind you... I'm not saying any of that is right or wrong in a moral/ethical sense, just describing the usage I've seen.
Here in BC, Canada, I regularly hear the phrase "spazzing out" indicating aforementioned erratic or unpredictable behaviour involving violent motion or just generally getting miffed off.
I think the origin is the same as in the UK playground of my childhood, but they don't think of it as offensive, merely a simile to describe the behaviour.
I heard some teenagers refer to someone as a Joey for the original reasons but no doubt they haven't a clue why. Big respect to Blue Peter for bringing these issues to the young of the 70's, I don't know if disability issues are addressed on today's kids' TV, but I suspect it's much more inclusive in the mode of Kid-A is in a wheelchair but we don't notice. Didn't McDonald's or some fast-food chain a few years back have a kids meal featuring a larger than representative disabled contingent?
That is "ISTON" as in the gor blimey rhyming speak phase "StuntIcons". Whatever it is I bet they feel like one now...
Years ago I remember the look of blank emptiness on the face of a US software guy; He just couldn't undersand that his reports didn't work because we Yerpeans used A4 paper and not Legal, which he'd hard coded in to the system.
Generally being called spazz was just a commentary on a particularly uncoordinated effort on someone's part as opposed to calling names at someone who was actually spastic (and that type of thing was kind of frowned on even back when i was young...in spite of how much fun kids made of each other).
Maybe they should have just called it (after Paris) a spunkedicon.