The NFL is seriously considering a 15-yard penalty for, as it is explained, use of the N-word. Some commentators are already asking how on earth they plan to police that, which is a worthwhile question, given that some of the most effective trash-talking is done where the refs won't hear it.
Clay Bennett points out something even more ridiculous about the concept: The NFL's own attitude towards racial epithets.
Aside from doing away with the hypocritical practice of refs pretending not to hear, it's an issue of the dubious necessity of such a rule. It's already covered, if anyone wanted to make the call.
I'd love to see some ref throw a flag for taunting based on having heard a racial insult, and I see nothing in the current rules to keep it from happening:
Redskins today, Redskins tomorrow, Redskins forever.
And here to comment in favor of our position on the matter is He-Who-Steps-and-Fetches.
The NFL's attitude reminds me of a place I worked that had among its staff a young Israeli-American woman who voiced her objection to calling the annual celebration a "Christmas party," to which the solution was to change it to a "holiday party."
Amid much grumbling, but somehow we all managed to get together, drink too much, inadvertently reveal the various current office affairs and pretend to have fun despite having changed the name of the ghastly event, which I had always referred to as the "Corporate Prom" anyway.
So after serving a year in the ad department and another eight months or so as my assistant, she moved on to more ambitious things, and the reaction?
"Now we can call it the 'Christmas party' again."
Yes. Yes, you can. And, with Jim Thorpe dead and Sonny Sixkiller long retired, no reason to dump an insulting, racist team name.
I'm sure the proud good men in charge can cite some great-grandparent who was part something-or-other, to show they are not actually insensitive.
Meanwhile in the other half of the world
Oh, hurray -- It's time to start reading Madam & Eve again!
South African cartoons have been a bit impenetrable since World Cup ended a few years ago, because the Zuma government's outrageous corruption has taken center stage and you sort of have to be immersed in the ugliness to get the jokes.
Nor has the imposition of highway tolls or the corruption of school funding been the kind of universally hilarious stuff we can all get behind without being there.
Well, thank god the trial is finally starting for Oscar "Bladerunner" Pistorius, the courageous athlete who overcame double amputation to become one of the fastest runners in the world and to shoot his live-in girlfriend to death through the bathroom door.
He thought she was a burglar, because, in the dark, it's hard to know whether there is another person in your bed, and that's not the sort of thing you would wonder about if you woke up and heard someone in the bathroom.
By the time this whole extravaganza is over, Pistorius may wish he had simply taken his girlfriend on a vacation to Florida where that sort of thing is legal.
The National Cartoonists Society has announced the nominees for Cartoonist of the Year, and it includes a mix of personal friends and people I have barely met but whose work I also admire: Wiley Miller, Stephan Pastis, Hilary Price and Mark Tatulli.
Having, then, essentially, four horses in a four-horse race means I really don't have a favorite. And the fact that I despise awards takes away some of the spine-tingling suspense right from the start.
Howsoever, winning a major award can awaken the syndicate's sales team and it may also impress an editor or two, which, given that most editors are cloth-eared dolts when it comes to evaluating comics, means the award really does have meaning, if only as a marketing tool.
Still, I hope the other three will remember that such things only really matter to people who need the pat on the back and that, in the words of Bob Dylan, "Applause is kind of bullshit."
Juxtaposition of the Day
Whether or not to have children is a personal decision, and it's nobody else's business.
There seems to be a Tiresomeness Contest between those who won't shut up about their kids and those who won't shut up about not wanting them.
So far, it appears to be a tie.