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Photo from BleacherReport.com

The National Football League has suspended Marcell Dareus of the Buffalo Bills for four games for testing positively for marijuana. In response to the team’s statement, I am issuing this statement:

The National Football League’s policy on marijuana use is heavy-handed bullshit. I mean, really: four games for getting high?

This is a league that, week after week, dispenses painkillers like potato chips—substances that leave hurting players' bodies in a numbed-out sensory stupor, subjecting them to further injuries that they'll live with for the rest of their lives—and now the NFL can crack down on the menace of herb and act all "We Are Serious" about it?

This is reeking hypocrisy. It's Reefer Madness redux. The team statement sounds like Big Brother wrote it. There’s not a word in it that shows an ounce of concern for Dareus the *person.* Instead, it's full of pious bleating about the sacred Order of the Team.

Maybe he gets high as a distraction from the crippling pain football inflicts on players. But I haven’t seen evidence that this thought has even flickered in the minds of the “trade-this-bum” bleating sheep football fandom—and “trade this bum” is a mild summary of the remarks of thousands of people who probably haven’t done anything more strenuous than lugging a case of beer from the car to their couches every Sunday afternoon.

This suspension is a cynical ploy to distract us from the fact that the NFL is decadent and depraved. It lied for years about CTE and then, when it couldn't deny its culpability any longer, offered retired players a chump-change settlement that will have about as much effect on the owners' wallets as buying a can of pop would have on yours.

The NFL chews people up and spits them out without an iota of appreciation or compassion, knowing full well there are younger, healthier replacements waiting for their shot at the show.

This is a league that blackmails taxpayers into building stadiums by threatening to move franchises, knowing full well the rubes, I mean fans, will eventually cough up because eight home football games a year are so freaking *important* to a community's image and pride. And speaking of fans, there is nothing more pathetic than a grown man wearing a team replica jersey with a current player’s name on the back. Jesus H. Christ on the night bus to Utica …

The owners and their lapdog commissioner are arrogant, craven swine whose greasy obsidian hearts are driven by savage greed and treacherous mendacity. They have the ethics of hyenas and the social consciences of deer ticks and Zika mosquitoes.

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Nota bene: “Fear has governed my life, if I think about it. ... I always feel like I’m not good enough for some reason. I wish that wasn’t the case, but left to my own devices, that voice starts speaking up.” – Trent Reznor

“I hate to say this, but not many people care what you do. They care about what you do as much as you care about what they do. Think about it. Just exactly that much. You are not the center of the universe.” — Laurie Anderson

"The path's not yours till you've gone it alone a time." – William Carlos Williams

“Filling this empty space constitutes my identity.” – Twyla Tharp

"My definition of peace is having no noise in my head." – Eric Clapton

"The wreckage of the sky serves to confirm us in delicious error." – John Ashbery

"We are all here by the grace of the big bang. We are all literally the stuff of the stars." – Dwight Owsley

"For my part, I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream." – Vincent van Gogh

"It is only with the heart that one can see right; what is essential is invisible to the eye." — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

"Forget about being a perfectionist, because entropy always wins out in the end." – Darren Kaufman.

"Impermanence. Impermanence. Impermanence." – Garry Shandling

"Fame is a vapor; popularity an accident; the only earthly certainty is oblivion." – Mark Twain

"There is no realm wherein we have the truth." – Gordon Lish

"Actual life is full of false clues and sign-posts that lead nowhere." – E.M. Forster

“Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe." – Frank Zappa

“I try to leave out the parts that readers tend to skip.” – Elmore Leonard

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• Journal title and subtitle: Ian Hunter, “Man Overboard”

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