Top Posts of 2021

Second tough year in a row? Well, at least you can take comfort in knowing you had some good posts to read.

Here are the top 5 blog posts from 2021, according to viewership:

My review of Spider-Man: No Way Home

What Clint Smith and Frederick Douglas Taught Me About Critical Race Theory

I Was Wrong About Starbucks

My Review of The Circles Around Us by Brad and Kristie Montague

Where Have All the Gargoyles Gone? An Open Letter to FHU Students about Makin’ Music

No Way: Spider-Man Hits Home

You know, one thing I always appreciated about Spider-Man is how universal and balanced his character is. He’s super but normal, friendly yet amazing. His main theme is always the same, in case you didn’t know the first time:

With great power comes great responsibility.

So why give us the same message every time? Is it a lack of creativity? I actually think it’s because the story needs to be told again and again. Repetition is how we educate the young. Repetition is how we persevere in the face of obstacles. Repetition is how we grow in our talents. Continue reading

8 Reason A Christmas Carol is Not As Individualist As You May Think

While one of the most famous Christmas stories of all time, Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol sometimes comes under criticism for weakly addressing the problem of poverty. The complaint goes like this: Ebenezer Scrooge is but one person who learns an individual lesson, and that lesson is for private individuals to be a bit more charitable. One day a year. Thus, the Dickens classic tosses a breadcrumb to the poor, but doesn’t do a thing to address serious social ills. A sentimental tale, but a moral flop. Continue reading

No Time To Die Review: Bond Comes Full Circle

The Daniel Craig era of Bond films is over, and there’s no question he changed the franchise more than any actor since Connery. Of course it was also the work of writers and directors, who constantly had to redefine a Cold War character. In the span of five films, we saw the rebirth, new life, and passing on of an icon: 007. The last of these films brought the story arc full circle.

Continue reading

When 2+2=22

“You may have a reason why two and two should make five, but they will still make but four.” -Samuel Johnson

We all know, if we’ve even so much as heard of Orwell’s 1984, that a totalitarian government can brainwash its citizens into believing that 2+2=5. Well, maybe it could happen. It would actually be very hard to accomplish. The novel is an exercise in imagining the power of language to erase and impose.

And while Orwell’s ’84 does an astounding job at creating a world alien and familiar where the state has coerced us to accepting any lie imaginable, the truth is that it doesn’t have to take an all-powerful oligarchy to do so. Continue reading

The Startup Wife: A Review

“No one wants to be married to the guy who thinks he’s going to save the world.”

I bought a book on my Kindle after hearing an interview with the author on NPR, and it may have been the first time I’ve done that. I know nothing about the world of startups, but being one of billions of people hooked up to them, I catch a whiff of that culture all the time. It seeps into anything and everything. Just one passage intrigued me enough to read it through. That book is The Startup Wife by Tahmima Anam. Continue reading