Oh no! Not Yeti...

Say it out loud and it’s like praying: sesquicentennial. It just sort of rolls around in your mouth and then pours out in the most delightful way. And in Oregon we’re celebrating our sesquicentennial next year—on February 14, 2009 to be exact. In true Oregon fashion, we’ve formed committees and created an official organization to plan our activities and marketing of this event, called Oregon150.

You can visit the website and read Oregon Stories, with more being collected. These prove to be lovely little gems about the experience of living in Oregon, and so far are nicely capturing a wide range of experience and emotion.

And the steering committee list is a who’s who of Oregon community leaders and involved citizens. (http://www.oregon150.org/).

But, oh, what a disappointing day did I have earlier this summer when the official mascot of the Oregon150 celebration was unveiled. I know Oregonians do love a party. And a theme party is even better; add the opportunity to wear costumes and, well, a lot of us get a little misty. So I’m not on principle opposed to celebrations that involve people in costumes of some kind.

But this?

And I don’t mean Byron Beck, on the right. It’s that Sasquatch. That yeti. That abominable abomination of a mascot, who has been given the moniker of “Seski the Sasquatch.”


All kinds of themes and costume possibilities come to mind that would celebrate the best of what is Oregon. I know we have to be careful to not focus on the west side of the state only; so too much emphasis on wine making, beach combing, fussy cuisine creation, or Powell’s books would be seen as Portland-western-centric. All good. But is a yeti (please, no dissertations on the differences between a yeti and Sasquatch. Whatever…) really the best we can do?

Oregon has come a long way since 1859—I hope! We have amazing cultural wealth to be proud of. We have natural beauty and variety unrivalled in the country. We have real, versus mythical, creatures and people to celebrate. I just can’t believe that most Oregonians will swell with pride when they see “Seski” representing the first 150 years of our state in parades, personal appearances, or, please god no!, in media appearances that might leak outside the state. Much of the country already thinks we spend a lot of time in tents with our favorite combustible weed; I think a glimpse of “Seski” might cement that reputation.

Another of our illustrious group of Culture Shock bloggers has some small fame among a close group of culture mavens for his willingness to dress in mascot outfits – he’s been seen publicly as Charlie the Tuna and wandering up and down Broadway in a huge Shakespeare puppet, all in the service of art. But I think even he will agree – please, not yeti.

P.S. I did a little research to see if Seski has managed to break into the world of online social networking, and therefore spreading this embarrassing depiction of Oregon even farther afield. But the Seski MySpace page turned out to belong to a teenage boy in Wisconsin who evidently thinks “sexy” is spelled “seski.” Poor kid won’t be leaving his mom’s basement for a few years.


appreciable said...

That is funny! Thank you for sharing it with us.

MightyToyCannon said...

You know, it might have been easier to see if Tonya Harding was available to be the mascot. Doesn't she represent Oregon as much as Sasquatch? Plus, the costuming would be a lot simpler.

And please, don't ask me to dress up in a mascot costume again. The role of Charlie Tuna was among the least rewarding in my artistic career. I was unable to create an authentic portrayal of the real Charlie--the Charlie that yearned to be heard and respected--while encased in foam rubber.

MightyToyCannon said...

Furthermore ... Now I have at least two images running through my brain:

1) The Oregon 150 mascot singing "If you think I'm Seski, and you want my body ..."

2) The Oregon 150 mascot being chased by Benny Hill and a buxom blonde in a nurse's uniform holding a paddle. Cue the theme song.

3) Pioneer TV comedian, Ernie Kovacs and the "Nairobi Trio" -- worth a trip to YouTube at the following link:


MightyToyCannon said...

Moreover ...

I know I said "two images" and then listed three in the last comment. So sue me. (Or make fun of me).

cynseattle said...

Mightytoycannon might be a great wearer of mascot uniforms, but his math skills are about as good as a yeti's...

there, is that enough poking fun??? :-)

shobiz said...

Regarding the second comment above, are we certain Tonya Harding isn't IN the Sasquatch costume?

MightyToyCannon said...

According to a NY Times report this morning, tests of DNA from the putative discovery of a Bigfoot carcass have disproved the claims of its discoverers.

According to the Times story, "The story was fueled by a photograph of a hairy heap, bearing a close resemblance to a shaggy full-body gorilla costume, stuffed into a container resembling a refrigerator."

Turns out that one of the DNA samples tested was human, the other was 96% opossum. (I suppose the remaining 4% could have been Sasquatch). Sounds like an episode from that new series, "CSI Chattahoochee Swamp."

What does this mean for Oregon 150and its mascot Seski?