do You feel that if i write something in a public domain about You, that You should take it to heart? do You suspect that i am hereby, for example, talking about You? or Am i, (t)hereby, implicitly talking about Universal You--the Everybody You? is it Your right to decide? or is it my obligation, as a writer, to clarify for You? this is the problem You face when reading about You. sure, You may have far greater problems to keep You busy in the world, yet if You are unable to discern just to whom a writer is speaking, You may be missing out on some serious wisdom fully intended for You. on the other hand, if You are one of those who just takes on all the responsibility that comes with being the actual You that You are reading about, wow, You could just find Yourself completely overwhelmed. it's a lot for You to think about. thank You for Your time.
A Team By Any Other Name
There is no reason the world needs my opinion on this subject, no, nor probably even wants it. And yet, since I watch football I feel I have to say something. There are two things that matter when sharing with our fellow entities in the play-doh - in communicating with them. There is the intent and there is the interpretation. Neither is preeminent. The discrepancy (which haunts all our interaction) is core to why we prefer things that include referees, panels, judges, and juries. When it’s just you and me talking we pretend to experience a mutual “sharing” and much of our tone and gesture and physical expression are meant to help us with the idea that we are having (at the very least) a somewhat interrelated experience (something beyond mere proximity and noise).
When it comes to the franchise name of the Washington Redskins, this process has broken down. Words don’t have inherent meaning. Words can be used in ways that are hurtful and can later change to become words that express honor and pride. If you don’t think this, look at the emergence of the expressions “That was the shit!” or “You are a bad-ass.” It isn’t about the specific words one uses; it is about the intent and interpretation. If words are heard in a negative way by a majority, perhaps change should be considered – but it must remain a choice. We should take great pains to avoid legislating expression. We have to have room for words to change their connotations and implications.
The Packers received their team nickname from the Indian Packing Company (who provided their first uniforms) and one of the early insults to their fan base “Cheeseheads” has been adopted as a term of pride. Raiders and Buccaneers are ruthless characters that were both murderous and outlawed. Texans were members of a country that was destroyed (or co-opted) by the United States. And Patriots are Jihadists in other countries… the NFL keeps trying to go international so Cowboys & Vikings can both be considered race/religion/lifestyle or other references to human life choices. Are the Chiefs next?
If it is not clear that the team, region, and bulk of the NFL consider the term “Redskin” a point of pride and honor and glorification of something that was not appreciated during its time – that the intent is to express everything good about the concept, then we should start calling them teams: A, B, C, D… etc. but if we did that, we might have to face the hideous implication of order… I mean why does “C” come before “D” anyway?
Securing Our Security
I've decided to start collecting baggage stickers. I'm just leaving them on my travel luggage. Okay, it's not so much my Choice as an issue of not being Able to remove them. The ones that the counter attendants loop around the handle--replete with destination city, bar code ID, etc.--are not a problem. Those come off just fine with a little elbow grease and some persistence. No residue, even: the sticker sticks ... to itself! (Imagine That.) But not so with these now seemingly mandatory government inspection adhesive jobs. These bitches are Permanent. Every time I travel (and that's aplenty), each piece of luggage gets tagged with at least two that might just as well be Welded to the side of the bag. I've spent hours trying to peel 'em away, succeeding only in tearing free the thinnest shreds, then hours more attempting to rid my hands of one of the stickiest substances known to man. So I've surrendered to the TSA. I've got so many inspection stickers now, with hardly a glance the handlers just know I'm good to go. My bags are Secure, and therefore so am I.
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Greater awareness of the devastating effects of sports-related concussions has prompted NFL rules committees to significantly alter the style of play in the game. And subsequently, fan frustration grows to maddening levels. I, for one, think maybe the league should stop padding the men up so thoroughly that they scarcely feel the impact of their massive collisions. Instead, why not go with throwback uniforms, featuring minimal shoulder padding and leatherhead helmets with no face masks? I highly doubt you’ll see players spearing “defenseless receivers” or diving headlong toward oncoming competitors without even so much as a thought of form tackling. Ridiculous? Perhaps. Yet the direction the rule-makers are moving is, at this point, misguided. I certainly appreciate that the health of the players is of utmost importance, but I dread the idea of what the game is fast becoming.