By the way, that whole pineapple thing? Mayhew’s witty “Pineapple go home!” on Facebook, Vacula’s witty repetition of “Pineapple go home!” farther down the thread on Facebook, “Pineapple go home!” as the title of the first episode of Vacula & Porter’s new podcast, Mayhew’s witty cartoon of “Pineapple go home!”?
I take it they have no clue what the pineapple is about. It’s about something. I didn’t make my profile picture a pineapple just because I wanted a piece of fruit as my profile picture. No. No, I made my profile picture a pineapple in solidarity with the Reading University Atheist, Humanist and Secularist Society. There was a little incident last October, which I blogged about several times. I first blogged about it on October 5.
I will just repost the whole thing here, because it’s mine, and I can do that.
And on the same day, in another part of the forest…
…another busy representative of another university Student Union meddled with another Atheist, Humanist, and Secularist Society. Reading University this time, and RUSU and RAHS. This time not a Jesus and Mo toon on a Facebook page, but a pineapple named Mohammed.
Among the material displayed on our stall was a pineapple. We labelled this pineapple “Mohammed”, to encourage discussion about blasphemy, religion, and liberty, as well as to celebrate the fact that we live in a country in which free speech is protected, and where it is lawful to call a pineapple by whatever name one chooses.
Towards the end of the afternoon, we were informed by a member of RUSU staff that there had been complaints about the pineapple, despite the fact that no complaints had been made at any point to anybody on the stall. Our commitment to freedom of expression meant that we refused to remove the pineapple from our stall. After a few minutes, we were told by another member of RUSU staff that “Either the pineapple goes, or you do”, whereupon they seized the pineapple and tried to leave. However, the pineapple was swiftly returned, and shortly was displayed again, with the name Mohammed changed to that of Jesus.
Shortly afterwards, the second RUSU staff member returned and ordered RAHS to leave the Freshers’ Fayre. At this point, a group of around five students, some of whom self-identified as Muslim, approached the stall and began to criticise us, asking and telling us to remove the pineapple. Though these students mainly engaged in discussion, one removed the label from the pineapple without our permission.
And on it went, wrangle wrangle, until they felt forced to leave, although they continued to hand out leaflets outside the event.
One fire is put out while another is set ablaze.
Back in the present now.
So you see the pineapple has a meaning – one that even Justin Vacula and Sara Mayhew might appreciate. But they’ve been too busy making videos and podcasts to jeer at us, or cartoons of angry pineapples to jeer at us, to pay attention to things like the above incident. So they jeered at the poor loyal pineapple. Sad, isn’t it.