What I’m thinking about today:
1. The term Redskin is positive.
2. Gross fast foods: don’t read before lunch
3. Don’t read this one either–stripping senators
4. I ‘Saw’ what you did before summer break

1. The term ‘Redskin’ is positive. Wow. I’ve seen a lot of ‘spin’ in my day but NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has taken the prize. Goodell and the NFL received letters from members of Congress asking that the Washington Redskins change their name as the term ‘Redskin’ is offensive to Native American, even saying that “Native Americans throughout the country consider the ‘R-word’ a racial, derogatory slur akin to the ‘N-word’ among African Americans or the ‘W-word’ among Latinos.”

Goodell responded with a letter of his own, not only defending the Redskins name but saying ‘Redskins’ should be viewed as a positive symbol:
“For the team’s millions of fans and customers, who represent one of America’s most ethnically and geographically diverse fan bases, the name is a unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect.”

I am amazed that Goodell reacted this way. Whether you agree that the name is offensive or not, most of us would at least respect the other side’s argument as well as the sensitivities of those who are offended. Personally, I feel Goodell’s defense is poor and actually reinforces how the name could be offensive. When you claim that something – a symbol, an icon, a mascot – represents and unifies a large population of people I would think that the large group of people would have a say in what that is, if anything. I also think to trivialize that large group of people by claiming that they can be represented by a logo, symbol, icon, whatever, is insulting.

I remember going to Cleveland Indians games in the mid-90s and seeing people protesting the name and Chief Wahoo. This is a debate that has been going on for some time and isn’t going away. My views have changed on the argument, however, regardless of what they are or yours are, I don’t feel Goodell handled this correctly.

2. The grossest thing I’ve ever read. I’m not kidding. I made the mistake of flipping through this after lunch and I had to really focus to keep lunch from coming back up. AdWeek did a piece on the 11 Grossest Fast-Food Abominations in the World. Now, some of these will not be coming to a McDonald’s near you any time soon as the cultural implications are just to great. But, I have to ask, what’s wrong with us as a human race that we would put some of this stuff in our bodies? Pizza Hut, I’m looking at you – apparently there is a ‘death by pizza’ concoction for every corner of the world. Lord. Hopefully you’ve never eaten or want to eat any of what you’re about to see. And don’t say I didn’t warn you!

3. Speaking of disgusting reads… AdWeek gave me a double whammy when I stumbled upon this ad for Represent.us, an organization formed last year to fight the influence of money in politics. Let’s stop there for a minute. We actually have start-ups formed to help watch dog the use of money in politics? That’s how big of a problem this is? So apparently there’s money to be made in monitoring the influence of money.

At any rate, Represent.us put out an ad featuring a U.S. Senator stripping down to his tighty red, white and blues and dancing for cash. (Again, not something to watch before lunch.) The agency that created the ad did it pro bono, of course and it will run online and in Washington D.C.

4. What the hell, France?? Do you remember your last week/day of school? Wasn’t it the best feeling? Sure, it was hot as anything and the teachers finally let you open the windows, which only made it more hot, but that smell of summer…that smell of freedom…made it all worth it. And you got to take extra recess, play games and watch movies. Most of you probably remember fondly, that time in sixth grade when you finally came of age and your teacher popped in your first horror movie.

What? You didn’t do that? Well apparently we really are missing out by not going to school in Paris, France. A sixth grade teacher showed his class their first horror movie – even going as far to say ‘this will be your first horror film’ – when he popped in ‘Saw’. You know, one of the bloodiest, goriest horror movies, not to mention purely psychological torture for anyone not to mention 11-year-olds.

As you can imagine, some kids were upset and some parents were pissed…and yada, yada, yada…the teacher was fired on the spot….wait, no, he wasn’t? He was given a one-day suspension? What? Oh well, I guess we should be grateful he didn’t want to show the class their first porn movie.