Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Football Counter-Programming 2018: Pre-game


As I begin a new season of trying to distract you from the hegemonic influence of college football social media, I must at least begin by addressing the Buckeye-shaped elephant (Crimson Tide?) in the room . . . the culpability of Urban Meyer, head coach of THE Ohio State University's college football team.

1. I am NOT surprised by the choice that tOSU made in retaining Meyer. tOSU's football team is the most visible public face of the University, it generates a ton of revenue, and Meyer is the most highly-paid member of that organization. When faced with giving all of that up . . . the school found itself unable to turn away.

2. The university's decision to suspend (without pay) Meyer and the AD for only the first three games of the season is a token punishment that needs no further comment from me.

But if I had to add any further comment, that would only be . . . disgraceful.

3. I have no other specific notes to make about this.

There are people who earn their living thinking about Urban Meyer, tOSU, the state of college football, the outsized influence of college football in American society, toxic masculinity, the NCAA, and whatever else you want to pin to this headline. I am none of those people. A quick trip to your favorite search bar will yield a bevy of other opinions on this topic.

4. In honor of this counter-programming season-long (?) topic of distraction, I am considering illustrating each week of the FC-P with an OSU-related visual. Do you have an opinion on that? (Or would you rather I just reuse some variation on Sad Pizza memes for thirteen weeks?)

Monday, August 13, 2018

Happy WWYG-versary

Yesterday marked the fourteen year that I have managed to keep this blog live on the Internet without giving up completely and deleting the entire affair.

It's a meaningless date, but I still find a bit of happiness whenever I reach this point. And every year I hope that I can find some use for it . . . or at the very least find a reason to write on it more regularly.

For instance . . . Sarah and Grace just starting watching LOST episodes again. Which motivated me to go back through my existing LOST Rewatch posts from the past and edit them and clean up obvious typos and replace broken images.

[See the link at the top of the page if you are interested.]

Maybe, maybe, maybe I'll squeeze a bit of time now and then to add a new post and AT LEAST finish season 2?

Friday, August 10, 2018

How can you defend Dolores Umbridge?

This morning I was scrolling through my YouTube subscriptions and ran across this recent upload from the wonderful podcast Harry Potter and the Sacred Text.

I watched it and immediately began to struggle with how to accept the point of view that is being suggested in the video. I have always thought that Dolores Umbridge is one of the worst villains in the HP universe and I do think that it is rather unambiguous. She is shown to be racist, extremely narrow-minded, trending toward fascistic, unafraid to physically harm children, blind to evidence and reason, etc.

So . . . how can you attempt to make her a sympathetic character? (I feel similarly about Severus Snape, by the way--but that is another post.)


So, Umbridge a character worthy of sympathy? That is hard. But as a Christian, I must remember that Umbridge represents a person--full stop. And I should NOT write her off as entirely irredeemable and lacking worth.

I need to struggle to understand why she acts as she does and what are her reasons for these actions. Only THEN can I hope to approach her character and what she represents with understanding. Then I can begin to refute the way that she thinks.


Umbridge is a fictional character. But she represents so many people in the world around me. (And it is how others may choose to view me, as well.) That is obviously WHY this video was made in this way. When I am faced with entrenched and opposed views on the Internet, in my office, in my neighborhood, in any place. I need to remember this video and pause. I need to ask the question why and then formulate a way forward from there.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Party Month 2018--Closing it out

Here we are deep into August and I still haven't closed out Party Month with my traditional review of the end event--Sarah's birthday.

And this one was a milestone: her eighteenth, her achievement of majority in between high school graduation and college departure, etc. She is an adult and she is getting ready to embark on her own journey into her own life: beginning to fully take the reigns of that life and make it entirely her own. (I say all this with the hope and the perspective that she won't still need our aid, our advice, and our presence in the future--especially in these new college years.) But . . . there are new things a-comin'.

Her party? A low-key affair: per her request. A family dinner out, some elaborate dessert, some presents. The traditional Happy Birthday banner hung in her honor by the breakfast table.

She did have separate fun out with her friends. But the days of scavenger hunts, big decorations, and sugary cakes are no more.

And that's a notable point to make and something that I realize more forcefully as I type these words. Because this WWYG?! blog really began with Sarah and with Grace. It started in part as a way to chronicle my own experience as a parent and to capture the events of my children as they grew, away from the rest of my family. Forcing me to try and convey something of my own new life across a distance that I had not imagined when I was younger and thinking into my own unknown future.

Sure . . . WWYG?! is about a lot more than my kids. But family has always been the biggest category encompassing the most of the blog posts I've written over the years. (No matter how many times I might have gone on and on about LOST back in the older days when I posted multiple times a week.)


I won't stop posting, of course. I've got two more kids to get into adulthood and then many more exciting things to report about their achievements for years to come. (And maybe I'll do something in my own life worth remembering as well.)

Until those events happen . . . Happy Eighteen birthday Sarah! Congratulations on all that you have accomplished and all that you are.