My connection to the Royal Navy is non-existent, but I am completely dismayed to hear of the once-proud sea service’s commercial deal with Time-Warner which has lead to the naming of several Royal Navy vessels after DC Comics superheroes. The first ship has been christened HMS Batman. Yes, you read that right, HMS Batman. Other ships such as the aircraft carriers in the fleet will be suitably equipped for communication with this new vessels.

Municipal stadiums are one thing. We all know local governments are commercial whores ready to sell out to the nearest casino, dodgy factory looking for a tax handout, or sports teams. So it’s not like professional sports clubs are anything but a giant collection of pimps looking to set up their stables with a good sugar daddy. That’s where 3Com comes in. However, pimping the long honorable tradition of the Royal Navy in the name of a few extra bucks is just… sleazy. Nevertheless, Royal Navy spokesman LTC Archibald Kensington said “We stand by our decision to name our ships after Time-Warner properties. Batman is one of the most popular superheroes of the classic DC line and makes a fine addition to the fleet as first of Batman-class destroyers. Batman has the requisite toughness to go with our historical position as the victors of Trafalgar. Given that his secret identity is millionaire Bruce Wayne, definitely a touch of genteel class we feel is appropriate for the modern Royal Navy.”

This is utterly pathetic. As we all know, there is no cannibalism in the British Navy (which means there is some). And they used to say that about sodomy, too. Certainly after the Royal Navy was left to rot in the post-World War II era, there is no money. Geez, they even need to outsource on these ships. But superheroes!?!?!? If they were going to get a sponsorship, at least they could have had the decency of being sponsored by a British company. I’m sure Richard Branson could have put up the money, which would at least give us a Virgin Atlantic Fleet. If they must have superheroes, they could at least have had the decency to use British superheroes like Captain Britain or my personal favorite, Psylocke. Unfortunately, Marvel Entertainment just doesn’t have the kind of money Time-Warner does. Perhaps HMS V (for Vendetta) would be a better choice, given the DC connection. But seriously, what’s next? Sponsorship by the porn industry? I can just see it: HMS Jenna Jameson. I have little doubt it would be a popular posting with a fair number of able seamen.

Hopefully the United States Navy (to which I do have a tenuous connection: my father and uncles were Navy men) won’t suffer similar budgetary pressures and a desire for corporate sponsorship. At least we have the decency to name our naval vessels after the people who really paid for them… politicians!

(Inspired by Angry Midwesterner and with a BIG assist from Angry Cascadian.)