Here's a little marketing tip for the deutsche-bags over at the turd Reich: Nazi symbolism will leave your company hanging.
If by chance the newly-instituted Zuffa and Strikeforce ban on Hoelzer Reich clothing doesn't exterminate the market value of these goose-stepping Klutzstaffels, the public backlash against their historical ignorance should freeze their profitability like a long Russian winter.
In case you're just joining us, the Hoelzer Reich clothing line has come under fire, well more specifically, Zuffa employed fighters have come under fire for accepting sponsorship from the Hoelzer Reich brand because a majority of their outfits are adorned with symbols and imagery that have come to be synonymous with Nazi Germany.
Iron crosses, German war helmets, peaked caps -- even the not so subtle "das vierte reich hat begonnen," which joyfully translates into "The Fourth Reich has begun." For those of you who may have missed Reich's 1-3, I can assure you they weren't user friendly.
Now mind you none of that should be associated with Adolf Hitler or Nazi Germany according to Hoelzer Reich. They neatly wash their hands of any hard feelings with an impotent disclaimer via their official website:
"We do not have any Political affiliations with any organizations, nor specific views of any controversial parties. Our interest in the Iron Cross and German history comes strictly from a historical and ancestral standpoint. For many years, we have collected German memorabilia dating back to the early 1800's, which has been passed through the family for generations. The Iron cross symbol and other German-inspired imagery used on our apparel dates back hundreds of years, and does not depict a certain time of German History."
Uh-huh. Sounds like those idiots who get a swastika tattoo and defend it by calling it the Hindu or Buddhist symbol for good luck. Are shamrocks that passe that we must resort to a swastika in hopes of improving our fortune? You know in my day we had the rabbit's foot or monkey's paw, but I digress.
What's even more disturbing is the company's failure to acknowledge their culpability:
"The imagery that we reference dates back hundreds of years before Nazi Germany, and we did not realize that the brief association some of the imagery had with Nazi Germany over 70 years ago would still be so sensitive to so many people."
Brief association. That's funny. A brief association is Tom Hanks as Buffy Wilson in "Bosom Buddies," not a six-year war started by the invasion of Poland.
I can almost say without exaggeration that I might have given them a pass if they had bluntly stated "Sorry, we thought the iron crosses and scary helmets looked menacing, I guess we kind of went too far," but instead they ask us to believe that a German-based organization is naive enough to miss the implied meaning of their own creation.
We don't believe it -- and neither does the brass at Zuffa, who nailed the sponsorship of Hoelzer Reich to their own iron cross. Take your symbols and your vision of a "Fourth Reich"and peddle it elsewhere.
If you're proud of your German ancestry, as I am, there are countless ways to embrace it and even profit from it. Heck, I'd wear a shirt depicting a rotten Bratwurst stomping on a bottle of warm Oktoberfest, but if you choose to take the most despicable imagery from a time in our civilization that a majority of us would rather forget, don't be insulted when the world puts you on trial.
Verdict? You've heard mine. What's yours?