Thursday evening I logged onto Twitter as I sometimes do, trying to figure out what the world was up to–and boy did I ever. Most of my feed was filled with images and mentions of a dress and sets of colors: blue and black and white and gold. Confused, I knew I quickly needed to jump aboard this dress train before it passed me by. The internet is a quick moving hive of people where things go from a thing to viral to post-viral to think pieces about said thing to exaggerated eye rolls to Buzzfeed listicles about the best reactions to blank in a matter of hours.

I scrolled and scrolled noting every mention of the dress–something like 75% of all of my Twitter feed activity. I scrolled three hours back into my feed before I started seeing less and less mentions of the dress, yes, the internet talked about the dress for over three hours straight.

And let me tell you, I think this is marvelous.

I am on board with #thedress craze–let it be known.

If there ever was a moment to truly capture the current generation, how it reacts, and the spirit of the internet age it has to be #thedress. Something minor, a photo of a dress, was spread around so much that it got everybody in the world talking about it! Kim Kardashian tried to break the internet by doing something (quite literally) the opposite of #thedress and it failed at least in comparison to this white and gold (no BLUE AND BLACK!) #thedress.

Within hours everybody knew about it, articles were published, and people had faux-arguments over its colors with hashtags galore representing the divide between those who saw it one way or another.

Even though it was a divisive issue–the whole thing started by people arguing over its color–in a way it united us in a sort of silliness, a debate that didn’t really matter that in the morning everyone could laugh off. It was like a large comment board where in the end there were no racist comments, death threats, or cyber bullying. It captured all of the potential of the internet, where anonymity doesn’t reveal the depravity of humanity, instead it offered us its best version possible.

When I first saw #thedress I had to do research to make sure I wasn’t being trolled. I saw the dress as white and gold and like many others had to figure out if the blue/black-ers were all making it up or what exactly was happening. It did seem to be that people were being honest in seeing the dress a different color.

I reloaded Twitter and the dress had changed colors to blue and black. I was taken aback, but wondered whether someone had uploaded the picture in blue and black. I scrolled and found other pictures I knew I had seen before, they were also blue and black.

I sat there a little stunned. Okay, what do I do with this? This seems to be real and I don’t have an answer as to what is happening.

How often does something viral fill you with this feeling?

Rebecca Black’s “Friday” lead people to write hateful messages to a 16 year old girl.

Charlie Bit Me was comical, but pretty straight forward.

“Gangnam Style” was just ridiculous.

But this was truly mind-boggling in a kind of wondrous way.

I would later discover the real reason–a scientific one based in the ways our eyes perceive color–thanks to a friend who shared the answer with me. I think this is even more thrilling, the internet freaked out about something because of SCIENCE! That’s amazing!

The whole thing, even if it had not blown up our social media feeds, is spectacular on its own, taking something that we rely on to shape our sense of the world–sight–and making it utterly confusing and subjective. In a moment the way that we see something can completely change…

I love that the internet freaked out over this, I love that everyone talked about it–jokingly prodding one another over what color it was, and I love that it was completely legitimate. This is the sort of thing that the people of the future who make their own Mad Men about us will cover in an episode, drawing complex meaning from it and portraying us in our strange state of internet.

For a few moments this weekend, the internet went crazy over a #thedress and it was wonderful.

NOTE: I know that someone is bound to link to people talking to each other in abhorrent ways about this, showing that no the internet did not really get along over this–I accept it, after all this is the internet.

Vulnerable about Not Being Vulnerable

Vulnerability is having a moment right now. Increasingly authenticity and realness are seen to be defining traits in people, whether it be celebrities, politicians, or other leaders. Even in the age of internet memes, those who are real with their audience have grown to the top.

Take for instance certain current hip-hop artists like Drake or Kanye who go against type to be honest and somewhat somber across big and bold beats. Hip-hop, known for its self-promotion and braggadocio, has become more emotional and self-doubting to great success of the aforementioned artists.

Look at two of the biggest podcasts around, WTF with Marc Maron and You Made it Weird with Pete Holmes, both bring in guests–usually comedy types and ask them serious questions about their lives. Maron revitalized his career and the podcast format through his honesty and unique ability to draw authenticity out of his interview subjects. Holmes admittedly mirrored the format of Maron’s podcast, but took the vulnerability interview to another level–focusing specifically on religion and sex–forcing his interviewees to “make it weird” by revealing information they would usually be closed off to. Despite the faults that both interviewers (and occasionally their guests) lay on the table, they are adored–their vulnerability is part of the charm.

Being honest about one’s failures and doubts and mistakes is a risky thing, but by opening up about these sorts of things we slowly realize how shared these are and it draws us closer to one another. You are broken just like I am broken. It’s beautiful.

Which makes me wonder, why can’t I be vulnerable?

I am such a child of this moment, I bask in other people’s vulnerability, despising those who put up a front for their own reputation, yet I can’t really talk about my feelings. I went through that third-wave emo phase where we all were sad. For some reason this hasn’t transferred over into adult life and things like sharing how. you. feel.

There are even times on this here blog where I don’t want to share things or to put things in public places, I guess for fear of what people will think, I’m not really sure.

I’ve pondered this for a little bit now and memories have begun to come back to me. I’ve always been an emotional kid, overtly serious about serious things. And I think being serious and emotional and caring about stuff began to haunt me when I didn’t see it reciprocated around me.

I remember my parents made us do an acted out lip sync of “Christmas Shoes”, yes that song about the kid who is buying shoes for his dying mother. The song had just come out so everyone was very emotional about it. There were three characters in the song, played by my brother, sister, and I. I don’t remember which one I was (there was the cashier, the boy, and the man standing in line) and though I was only nine or ten, this song gave me a real case of the feels. There was a moment when we were rehearsing it that I think I closed my eyes in a piece of impassioned performing during a real emotional part. Did my family go, ‘that Jacob is really trying to get into character here’ or ‘wow he’s a little weird for being so into it, but I guess that’s cool’, no, they laughed. I got upset. And I think a little part of the “don’t let them see you cry” piece of me grew.

In high school we had this big presentation come through about one of the Columbine victims in an anti-bullying effort. The assembly was pretty affecting, talking of the need to treat one another well in order to prevent great tragedies like the Columbine one. I was pretty moved by it, wanting to devote myself to a campaign of kindness to everyone around me. But as I looked around it seemed as if no one took it as seriously as I. They had a large piece of paper up on the wall where everyone was supposed to go sign their names to commit to these principles. I remember being semi-embarrassed because I went to do it, but none of my friends were quite as enthused as I.

Being young it is hard to deal with serious and emotional subjects, there is no understanding there and it is easier to harden yourself to the things you don’t understand. I always had a soft hard, but it is one that has calloused over time–hardening with years of feeling and having nobody to really meet my feeling. You don’t want to bawl your eyes out after A Walk to Remember ends? Saosin’s “You’re Not Alone” doesn’t make you want to befriend every person and wallow in sadness with them? Oh.

Maybe everyone was just too scared then. Irony is an easy train to jump aboard–foregoing all sincerity for a good laugh.

Maybe as time goes I’ll unlearn this habit of bottling it all up.

Anyway, I welcome the age of vulnerability for all those participating in it and those growing up with serious and emotional hearts like mine.

Privelege and Privacy

I did laundry the other day–an oft skipped chore due to a lack of quarters and an apathy to seek out quarters. We have communal washers and dryers in our apartment complex and as I stood there I realized that this was one of the few forced communal activities that I take part in. Most things throughout my day are done in privacy, I am rarely forced to interact with people or even be near people that I don’t choose to be. This is a form of privilege, one that I had rarely considered. Like all forms of privilege, it is one that must be checked, its innate unfairness must be thought through, and what to do about it should be judged according to its benefits.

Only the privileged can afford privacy; to weed out various types from their lives–picking and choosing when they want to spend time with people. This comes in obvious forms like the difference between houses and apartments. Houses are larger and often come with more space between each one, apartments are large buildings filled with many rooms that share walls. Apartments are invasive, your words and actions are not entirely your own and your neighbors are daily a part of your lives. With houses more effort is required to annoy, but even so, as houses raise in nicety privacy often increases with night watches, gates, and Beware of Dog signs rising all around. As your upward mobility takes you to larger and more expensive places you can afford to construct people out of your life.

In most parts of the US it is the poor who take public transportation, occupying the buses, metro lines, and trains. Those who can afford cars take them, often by themselves to avoid the inconvenience and to dwell in the privacy. Cars ensure that we don’t have to talk to anyone, bump into anyone, or be disrupted in any way. The upper class are also more likely to be able to avoid being in government service buildings, places packed with long lines of often anxious and nervous people. People put their kids into expensive private schools–places meant to fit specific needs for those who can afford to get their children there. Public schools are more random, dependent on whoever lives in the particular neighborhood.

When we are privileged we don’t have to (get to?) have these experiences. We systematically set ourselves up to choose who we want to see, interact with, and be a part of our lives. When we do participate in communal activity it is in the social clubs of our choice (think of the stereotypical country club, the monocultural church, or a book club). The ability to make this choice is not necessarily wrong, even if it is privileged, but there is a lot of power in being able to make these choices and we must be careful with who we choose because our histories of exclusion have often been ugly portraits of marginalization, discrimination, and injustice.



Yesterday the new ABC sitcom Fresh Off the Boat premiered (it should be noted that I only watched the pilot, but two episodes did air). The show is about a young boy whose family moves from Washington DC to Orlando so that his dad can open up a new restaurant. The series is based off of Eddie Huang’s memoir Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir, but its real headline is that it is something like the second primetime television show to be about Asian-Americans.

The show follows Eddie as he deals with his family’s move from the far more diverse Washington DC to the monoculturally white Orlando. It is a comedy partly about the immigrant experience, partly about family, and partly about growing up. Its jokes aren’t the most brilliant, some of them fall flat, but the show absolutely thrives off of its core cast and their experiences. It’s pretty simple, but highlights how much we miss out on when we ignore a diversity of voices in our pop culture and media.

Eddie is an Asian-American who is in love with hip-hop culture–he says it’s always been the anthem of the outsider–and the show makes great use of 90s hip-hop legends like Notorious B.I.G. and Nas. His dad, Louis, is in love with America and the opportunity it can provide for his family–this is shown by his restaurant’s wild west theme. His mother, Jessica, tries to fit in with a rollerblading group of young blondes in the neighborhood, much to her chagrin. His siblings Emery and Evan adjust quite well to their new neighborhood, though one eats string cheese and discovers he’s lactose intolerant.

The immigrant experience and the cross-cultural America we our currently experiencing (though it has always been a big mix of people) is pertinent and fascinating. The show does a good job of representing the mix of people and varying experiences. Eddie and a group of white boys bond over Biggie, Louis hires a white guy (played by Paul Scheer!) to attract customers to his restaurant, the restaurant’s cook is a tattooed Latino, and Louis’ biggest problem at school ends up being the only other minority–who picks on him in order to elevate himself from his perceived place at the bottom. Fresh Off the Boat acknowledges the multicultural world, using it to its advantage  to make a pilot episode that is exciting, charming, and very promising.

You’re Hired! Or… Why I’ll Never Be Hired

Job interviews are the worst; while they are a place of potential prospering, they end up turning into a sort of audition, where you better have your lines ready. I’ve heard people be asked questions like: “when is one time you went above and beyond at work?” and “what does integrity mean to you?”. Both of these are questions anyone would want know about a potential employee, but asking them seems to highlight a different skill entirely.

I assume that employers looking for new employees through a list of applicants must find the balance between a good-looking résumé and a good interview. A résumé shows the experiences that you’ve had, building a portrait of your capabilities, and giving references to people who can account that you are indeed a good employee. This is of course an easily manipulated experience–anybody can look good on paper. To combat this, interviews are conducted in order to see if the face actually matches what is on the paper, attempting to figure out just who this person is and whether they are suited for the job.

These interviews at times seem biased towards a certain type of person, one that does is not necessarily more capable of performing the tasks required of the job. The interviewer asks questions that are largely unknown to the interviewee (I suppose the “what’s your biggest strength/biggest weakness” are a given) from which they then must improvise an answer to convince the other they are worthy of the job. The thing that this actually feels most akin to is a performance–here’s me at my most energetic and smiley, trying to seem like I can give a good definition of integrity because apparently this is integral to my get hired (see what I did there?).

I know that for me personally, this is not a place where I excel. I’m not good at trying to convince others that I’m worthy of something. I need like five minutes to prepare what I’m going to say before I actually say it and when I do say it, it will only end up being like one minute (when we do group prayers at church, I have to plan ahead every single thing I’m going to say, because I can’t come up with it on the fly). There is a disadvantage going into interviews when you don’t naturally speak or converse well.

Susan Cain has a TED Talk based on her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Won’t Stop Talking, in it she advocates for a world that adapts to people’s strengths rather than forcing a certain mold onto all people. The larger systems are designed to benefit certain kinds of people, while others are left by the wayside. My personal experience has seemed to be that charm is a necessary ingredient to success, at least when it comes to job acquisition.

I do suppose that it is difficult to determine good questions to ask when it comes to hiring somebody. Certain questions will be able to suss out past experiences the potential employee has had doing that kind of work and this is surely helpful. Others will show what kind of a person they are, their desires and personality inclinations. Yet open ended questions naturally fall back to the charm of the person and their ability to say something coherent.

Obviously some interviews and hiring processes do quite a lot to weed out people and to find a perfect fit for their job. Multiple interviews probably help to paint a larger picture of a person and references help to give an outsider perspective. There are jobs that need people to be personable and outgoing, so of course this should be a part of that process. People should also probably be able to state what skills they have to fit specific positions. In any case, résumés and interviews feel like an insufficient way of measuring a person’s hiring worth–I’m sure some people have complex processes that determine people that would fit well in their company, but at this point the application process continues to feel like an extrovert’s paradise.

The Disobedience of Marshawn Lynch

NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks Team Media Availability

I have a confession to make: I kind of love Marshawn Lynch.

For some of you this is no big deal, for others–the 49ers fans of my friends and family–this is a huge deal, even a deal breaker. Lynch is on the biggest rival of my precious 49ers–the Seattle Seahawks. Not only that, but he is a sort of 49ers killer, seemingly unstoppable even with the 49ers’ top tier defense.

Now in the world of 49er fandom it’s not entirely unacceptable to like Seahawks’ players. Russell Wilson is an acceptable choice, his humble demeanor and religious beliefs do a lot for him, making him a likable figure. But Lynch is a somewhat cocky and brazen figure, not quite on the level of Richard Sherman, but close.

Yet I can’t help but admire the performance he has put on for the media this week. He has been known previously to dislike talking to the media (read Dashiell Bennet’s piece if you want an outline of his history and Bennett’s opinion on why it’s okay ) but this week he really went for it. Lynch completely trolled them, only showing up so that he wouldn’t get fined (as he repeatedly stated) and then left after his minimum time had been reached.

I love this for a couple of reasons. The first reason is it is almost a form of civil disobedience. Lynch doesn’t want to be put into this situation–we can debate whether he is right for not wanting to–so he responds to it in a way that sheds light on how stupid the situation is. He could show up and regretfully answer questions or he could skip the whole thing and get fined, instead he shows up and holds a mirror to the parade, showing us all how ridiculous we look.

Now I like the spectacle of the Super Bowl, it’s a fun event that at this point is probably the seventh largest holiday that America celebrates (1. Christmas 2. Thanksgiving 3. Easter 4. New Year’s Eve 5. Fourth of July 6. Valentine’s Day). Without the large media coverage, it probably would not be as fun of a day, so I’m accepting of the situation. But one thing I hate–which leads into the second reason I love what Lynch is doing–is the sports media.

Think about the kind of coverage we get from them, Michele Tafoya’s interview with coaches headed to the locker room–“Well, we’re trying our best and hopefully we’ll score more and be able to win”–OH REALLY!?! The coaches and players almost certainly don’t want to talk to media during the game and probably aren’t thrilled to talk to them after. The information we receive from them usually isn’t anything important, because they are not going to give us their actual, real game plan, and so we are left with some sort of pre-scripted statement that essentially means nothing. Pre- and post-game coverage wastes everyone’s time, well, except for maybe Michele Tafoya’s!

Yet players are forced to participate in this even while they must maintain league standards for what they say and how they present themselves. You must be subject to this interview and you must wear our brand and you must not say anything controversial or WE WILL FINE YOU. Civil disobedience may actually be necessary.

Lynch’s actions will certainly impact how other players behave in interviews just like it will impact the NFL’s policies. The NFL will try to stop this, likely with larger and stricter fines, but perhaps by loosening the types of forced interviews. Players will continue to figure out ways to undermine the NFL’s efforts at controlling acceptable behaviors. But my question is about what happens to the media–how will they evolve and adapt?

They are–for me–an insufficient and uninteresting part of sports, but there is potential there. Longer forms of sports journalism can bring insights into the minds of athletes, coaching decisions, and other larger sociological parts of sports. The media either needs to put more effort into getting grander results in the moment or needs to figure out better questions to ask to get better results. “What was going through your mind when you made that play?” and “How are you going to approach [insert athlete name] tomorrow?” aren’t going to cut it. We live in the age of Marshawn Lynch and until somebody does figure this out, let’s celebrate Lynch and his Skittles.

Podcast Review: Good Muslim, Bad Muslim

I’m going to start trying to write more reviews of the things that I consume. My first one, albeit a strange medium to review (Ira Glass just tweeted about this), is going to be a podcast review. I listen to over 25 podcasts on the regular and rarely have the time to consume any more, but find myself consistently browsing the iTunes podcast section. Last week as I was browsing, I came across one titled Good Muslim, Bad Muslim and decided to give it a listen. Here are my thoughts on it:

Good Muslim, Bad Muslim is hosted by two comedians: Tanzila ‘Taz’ Ahmed and Zahra Noorbakhsh, both women who grew up in the United States as Muslims, but feel varying degrees of connection to the religious practice today. However, they remain strongly connected to their families and culture from which their religion is inextricably tied, even if their personal practice has dwindled over time.

The title refers to this idea that, as Ahmed and Noorbaksh explain, there are varying expectations thrown around as a Muslim from both inside and outside the Muslim community. To be a good Muslim according to Muslims has to do with following the guidelines set by the religion, but to those outside the religion a good Muslim may be someone who doesn’t hold onto what they see to be strict guidelines and rigid belief. This is the world that many third culture kids have to inhabit, that of their parents who bring in expectations from their own worlds and of their new friends who are from a different culture, experiencing their own youthful rebellion and world exploration.

Not only is this tension a fascinating one, but the hosts explore it with great humor and wit. The show is more of a comedy podcast than a cultural or religious one–each revelatory point is met with funny anecdotes that allow it to flow from topic to topic. This ability to make fun of people on both sides allows any outsider (like me) to enter in, understand, and perhaps relate to their lives.

I found myself–raised an Evangelical Christian and still a practicing one–relating a lot to their world. Though I wasn’t raised in an outside culture, Evangelicalism is known to create its own separate way of viewing the world, one that can be quite at odds with what popular culture is doing, even with American culture’s ties to Christianity. There lies a tension–easier than being a Muslim in America I’m sure–to either be a ‘cool’ Christian, one who constantly says “I’m a Christian, but I’m not like those other Christians”, or to lean the other direction toward a more fundamentalist rigidity.

There’s an incredible cognitive dissonance required to walk through the world like this. Respecting the authority of your parents and their religion (who tell you to reject those who tell you your beliefs are wrong) and your peers on the outside (who may not tell you to reject it, but have no understanding as to why you should live that way). Good Muslim, Bad Muslim reaches right at the center of this, doing so with humor and empathy, shedding a light on globalized America.

(Oh I didn’t mention that they talk about Serial a bunch, giving the perspective from someone raised by immigrant Muslim parents–like Adnan–presenting, perhaps, an entirely different way of thinking about the show.)

In Defense of the Patriots

belichick brady

Casual sports conversations typically devolve in three ways: The first is the fan bro-down, in which two fans of the same team talk about “our” struggles as a franchise, complain about certain players, and riot at coaching decisions. If it turns out, there is no overlapping fandom the conversation then turns to the big event, revolving around a discussion of which team will win. After this, who will win changes into who we want to win as we present our criteria for who we like and why that story is what we are pushing for.

This NFL season–for those of us without a home team to cheer for (*sob*)–those teams whom people believe to be deserving have been the Broncos–with non-controversial QB god Peyton Manning–and the Colts–with heir to the non-controversial QB god Andrew Luck. The Seahawks have gotten a lot of hate, but the team that seems to have the ire of the people that I regularly converse with is the Bill Belichick/Tom Brady lead New England Patriots.

The Patriots are in the middle of a couple of familiar things right now. They are entering into their sixth Super Bowl in the last 13 years and are in the middle of another fairly large cheating scandal. These two things lead to acceptable reasoning for not liking the Pats. Continued success is just the worst for an outsider, and I would probably cheer for the Yankees to lose every game even if they had lost every game for five straight years, just because I perceive them to have won so much. The cheating things are also unacceptable, but there are too many unknown details to truly have any strong opinion on this. These are enticing reasons to hate the Pats, but I feel like the dislike is strangely directed at Belichick/Brady.

This is where I must put forth my opinion, because I, 49ers faithful that I am, find myself constantly cheering for the Patriots in non-49ers related scenarios. Part of this likely harkens back to that first 2002 Super Bowl, in which Brady miraculously leads the underdog Patriots to a victory over the “greatest show on turf” St. Louis Rams. These underdog charms may still be in some part of my heart even as Bellichick/Brady have gone from rebels to brazen kings.

But I don’t think that’s it entirely. There is something about seeing the best be able to be the best and to do it over and over. Unlike the aforementioned Yankees franchise, the Pats don’t have unlimited wealth and have risen to the top despite very flawed teams. Their continuous success is instead based in the brilliance in Belichick’s work as a head coach. He finds ways to exploit other teams, avoiding convention to instead do what he thinks will work and his success at doing this is undeniable. Brady too has turned subpar receivers into record breaking All-Pros with his amazing ability. There is something inspiring to seeing this approach work over and over again.

We must address their personalities as well, because there is no denying they come off as cocky. Brady is dating a supermodel and seems to boss around his teammates, the portrait of the jock Homecoming King everyone hates in all the movies. Belichick looks like a slob and his social graces are lacking at best. Both are flawed characters in the story lines we make up in choosing who to cheer for.

And I think this is exactly why I like them. Instead of plastering himself in all sorts of annoying commercials about State Farm and Papa John’s, Brady is only seen in ads where he is made to look like a model. Sure this is absolutely ridiculous, but at least Brady isn’t feigning to be anybody else. So many sports stars are treated like celebrities and they try to live up to this, creating these marketing campaigns to make themselves look good. Brady is good at what he does, he’s rich, and he doesn’t want to feign that this isn’t true–he doesn’t want to hang out with us commoners. Good for him, he doesn’t have to, his foremost responsibility is to perform and I like to watch him do it.

I’ve heard others complain about the Belichick press conferences, his short worded answers to the media are hardly insightful and don’t have the candor and charm of other personnel. That is great, in fact it helps his image as this man who was just on a completely different level than everyone else and would be one of the greatest coaches of all time. If anything Belichick is hilarious in his response to the media, who tend to be more annoying than the sports stars themselves.

I’ve written this before, but I still believe it–sports stars do not have to live up to our strangely moral expectations–they are people who are doing a job that is for some reason the most watched piece of entertainment in America. Sure I’d like it if Belichick/Brady were super nice people; I’d also like it if you gave half of your money away to support charities who work amongst the poor.

You don’t have to cheer for the Patriots this upcoming Super Bowl, but I would suggest doing so, because those Seahawks are a bunch of jerks!

A Few Thoughts Upon the Internet Crashing

Well, I was about 1/3 of the way through a piece and then my internet crashed and apparently the new WordPress doesn’t save any of your work automatically anymore, so I am left here with a blank page of the second day of my goal to write once a day. Someone with a much weaker will would give up on the goal two days in, taking it as a sign that the universe was against this goal, but I am not that individual!

Who am I kidding, there is no way I am rewriting that piece today. Instead I am sitting here improvising what I am going to write about, feeling as if I’ve already expended half of my writing energy, which is not enough to approach any of the ideas that I already have.

A few off the cuff things I’ve been thinking about:

That Sleater-Kinney album seems to be pretty good. I’m not old enough to have experienced them their first go-around and what I have heard seems to be pretty good at best, but this new album really hits hard at all the right places. It hits my female-lead angsty rock phase I seem to be going through.

Parks and Recreation‘s final season is four episodes in and they are of course knocking them out of the park. The decision to fast-forward three years makes every episode intriguing in its own way, leaving a whole pile of mysteries to unlock, and allowing character relationships to go easily into brand new territory. This was highlighted last episode as we finally discovered the reason Ron and Leslie became enemies, leading to an absolutely heartbreaking conclusion on a level that I don’t know if the show has reached before. While the network’s decision to air two episodes each week feels as if they are rushing out one of the greatest sitcoms of all time (I went there), it has almost had the opposite effect, making each week feel like an event leading up to the grand conclusion.

I haven’t seen American Sniper and although I probably will at some point, I feel as if I have a lot of opinions about it. While I totally believe that people should actually watch something before throwing out their opinions about it, I have found it saddening (and almost tragic) the way this film has crushed Selma. One presents a man who gained notoriety for being the best sniper, killing hundreds of people in combat, and (from what I’ve heard) is celebrated in the movie as a hero. The other is about one of the most famous men in American history, who gained fame for intentionally avoiding violence in order to incite change and bring about civil rights, and presents him as a complex figure. You guess which one Americans have flocked to see.

That’s it for now, stayed tuned until tomorrow where I will defend Bill Belicheck and Tom Brady.


Hello internet.

I’ve been thinking lately about really committing to this thing that I have going here. Last year I really clamped down on writing and actually came up with something that ended up being somewhat consistent and I am thinking that I want to commit more to that.

I enjoy writing and I think that it really gives me equal opportunity for expression and the ability to process certain thoughts. I read other amateur bloggers and grow irksome toward them, because I apparently feel that I have greater talent than they who spark highly commented Facebook discussions that reach the thoughtful levels of “Nice post!” and “I agree!” But I rarely put forth effort into my writing–I enjoy it, but want to get it out of my sight as soon as I’m done, rather than letting it sit or pining over whatever mistakes I have made.

I think this next sort of project is a way to fight against this urge. What I plan on doing, at least for the next few months, is to increase my output (because if you can’t give ’em quality, at least give ’em quantity). I want to have something up every weekday. The format is going to be very loose, this means it could be a well thought out think-piece, a review of some kind, a top ten list, a piece of poetic poetry, a quirky reaction to something, or a diary-like entry. I still plan to write under the “Weekly Thoughts” category–a somewhat serious look into my head during the week–the rest will be whatever I can come up with.