Category: Uncategorized

  • Santorum and Cultural Catholicism

    On Monday, Frank Bruni examined the most recent example of the yawning gap between the institutional Church and professed Catholics. His column takes the candidacy of Rick Santorum as a kind of touchstone for adherence to Catholic orthodoxy. He points out the many ways that Santorum’s campaign is a megaphone for the Church’s various positions […]

  • A Dumb Smart Picture

    This picture comes from a Birmingham News report on an Alabama-Florida game. Notice the face of the kid in the stands (click the image for a larger version if you can’t see it here). He’s making the same face as the larger version of his head he’s holding. There’s something to be said here about […]

  • The Dumbest Sentence Published Today

    The half-century between 1912 and 1962 was a period of great wars and economic tumult but also of impressive social cohesion. –from today’s column by David Brooks. To be charitable to Brooks, the first half of the sentence is not entirely incorrect. Between 1912 and 1962, there were many great wars and much economic tumult. […]

  • Ice Cube Wasn’t Always Like This

    Proof that some of the best humanities research is taking place outside the cushy confines of academe: this simple tumblr post. Poster Donovan Strain set out to figure out when, precisely, was the nominal good day in Ice Cube’s 1993 hit “It Was a Good Day.” He uses specific references in the song’s lyrics (e.g. […]

  • “At best moronic, at worst an epic swindle”

    That’s how this article from The Dallas Observer describes college football’s bowl system. The point of the article, believe it or not, is not that the BCS is a terrible way to decide a champion or that the bowl system is a diluted shell of what it traditionally has been. Instead, it makes a very […]

  • Against Utility

    There is something of a cottage industry in publishing tracts on the “crisis in the humanities,” usually as a smaller but more fervent sub-crisis of the “decline of higher education.” Often in apocalyptic tones and always accompanied by disturbing charts – oh, those charts! – these essays and books point to the ascendance of corporate […]

  • The Ballinest-Outta-Control Picture Ever

    Warren Buffett at the re-launch of the 40/40 Club.

  • Everything Right About College Football, Part II

    Paul Rhoads is the coach of the Iowa State Cyclones. This past Friday, his team beat Oklahoma State, the second ranked team in the country at the time. This was his speech to his team after the game. Coaching is about teaching. Coaching is about modelling. Paul Rhoads can coach my team any time.

  • This is a Thing

    One of my favorite things about the internet is the preponderance of things that may or may not be a thing. This is definitely a thing. What type of thing, I cannot say. The dog-person in me loves the pooch’s reaction about 58 seconds in. He doesn’t know what’s happening either. The scholar in me […]

  • Landmarks in Cultural Criticism: Coldplay

    More than six years ago, John Parles penned “The Case Against Coldplay” for the New York Times. I don’t disagree with anything he says. In the intervening half-decade of music-for-moms-who-shop-at-Target, Coldplay has only grown more into the band whose sound is bigger than its ideas. But I think Parles takes Coldplay too seriously, even on […]