Not long ago while driving with my NPR loving wife I was accidentally exposed to a radio panel “conversation”1 about offensive team names. Unless you’ve been off-planet for the last few decades you’re probably aware that it’s no longer acceptable to name teams after BIPOC’ky2 people. To do so is to commit the heinous crime of cultural appropriation. How naming a football team the “Redskins” or a hockey team the “Blackhawks” steals culture is not entirely clear but trust me it is. BIPOC’ky people are incapable of error. Their opinions, however nonsensical, are absolute and must not be questioned, especially by pasty, pink people — you know racist white guys. This is the prevailing NPR orthodoxy and the radio panel, comprised of a meek approval-seeking host, and two sullen aboriginal youths (Indian teenagers) accepted it without a trace of introspection.
The panel went on way too long about the youth’s struggle to rename high school basketball teams and their refusal to stand up and recite The Pledge of Allegiance. I fully sympathized with their take on The Pledge of Allegiance. It’s a creepy loyalty oath that induces more nausea than loyalty. I hated chanting it as a kid and nobody was forcing me onto a reservation. Unthinking loyalty is a bad look for sentient beings.
It’s hard to take whining teenagers, even the BIPOC’ky ones, seriously but as a thought experiment let’s assume that baseball teams should not be given names like the “Braves.”
What the Hell should we call them?
I’m pretty sure that the people bitching about offensive BIPOC’ky names will not take to culturally unappropriated names. Would changing “Redskins” to “Whiteskins” fix the problem? Instead of “Braves” how about “Confederates”, or even better, “Klansmen.” See no cultural appropriation!
We’ve arrived at the fundamental problem. No matter what you call a team some fragile butthurt pussy boy will crawl out of the pussy boy closet and moan about how lily-white “Vikings” raped and sodomized his even whiter ancestors and, how dare you, name a team after them! We’re living in an age of cheap outrage.
Now, tone to the contrary, I am keen to solve the offensive team name problem: no greater threat imperils civilization. But, here’s the thing. I’m not a quick-fix guy. I don’t want to rename teams only to rename them again a few years later when new aggrieved parties surface. I want, dare I say it, a final solution, to the offensive team name problem. If we’re going to rename teams, rebrand all their merch, update their fight songs, and swap out their stadium signs let’s do it right. Let’s pick names that have never offended anyone, anywhere, anytime.
Fortunately, it’s easy to concoct such “names.” We nerdy People of Programming (POPS) generate untold billions of inoffensive names every single day and despite living on a planet of 7.5 billion complainers we’ve yet to log a single objection.
What are these inoffensive names?
They go by many monikers with the most famous being GUIDs (Globally Unique Identifiers). GUIDs are generated by clever algorithms that ensure each GUID is globally unique. Here’s one in hexadecimal “9259781A92E4B542BEE9585BDEE07B19”.
It’s extremely unlikely that anyone on this planet, or any other, has ever seen this exact GUID before. Also, it’s extremely unlikely you will ever see it again; that’s the globally unique bit. “9259781A92E4B542BEE9585BDEE07B19” has no history, no context, no NPR nuance; there’s nothing about this completely novel bit pattern that could possibly offend anyone. “9259781A92E4B542BEE9585BDEE07B19” did not abuse your ancestors, call you names, or disrespect your authority. It’s even more innocent than a newborn baby because it isn’t even white! So, let’s give the “Redskins” of the world names like “9259781A92E4B542BEE9585BDEE07B19”: offensive team name problem solved.
As perfect as “9259781A92E4B542BEE9585BDEE07B19” is it has a few problems. “9259781A92E4B542BEE9585BDEE07B19” doesn’t lend itself to mob cheers.
“Go 9259781A92E4B542BEE9585BDEE07B19 Go,” is decidedly less catchy than “Go Utes Go.”
Also, “9259781A92E4B542BEE9585BDEE07B19” won’t fit on T-shirts and ball caps. The cap and T-shirt problem is easily fixed. Simply wrap “9259781A92E4B542BEE9585BDEE07B19” into nice patterns like:
925978 1A92E4 B5 42 BE E9 585BDE E07B19
As for the cheer problem. I agree that “9259781A92E4B542BEE9585BDEE07B19” is a mouthful but it comes with a life-saving plus. It functions as a fan sobriety test. If you’re too drunk to chant “9259781A92E4B542BEE9585BDEE07B19” you’re too drunk to drive or vote.
So there you have it. Simply substitute GUIDs for offensive team names and then, for the love of logic, shut the fuck up and attend to real problems.