🔗 On Americans

The American spirit is a hell of a thing. For better or worse.

The same disobedient spirit that helped us to establish liberty here also makes us uncooperative, obstreperous, and, sometimes, dangerous. It’s a package deal.


Americans are bananas, and American public policy has to take the whole banana bunch into account.

Every time I hear Senator Bernie Sanders talk about the wonders of Denmark, and every time I myself argue that Switzerland is probably the best-governed country in the world, I reiterate: “The difference is that Denmark is full of Danes, Switzerland is full of Swiss, and America is full of maniacs.” That’s the fact, Jack.

Americans Are Hard to Quarantine

Review: Joker, 2019 – ★★★★½

I didn’t see a lot of new movies in 2019. But I am catching up now that most of the best movies from last year are out. Joker was number 2 on my list and it did not disappoint.

My Letterboxd review:

Wow. I didn’t think it was possible for this movie to live up to the hype; I was wrong. It should have won a lot more awards. A lot.


The Best Car Commercial Ever?

“Here’s a couple of things America got right: cars and freedom.”

Just shy of a decade later, I still think about this commercial from time to time. 🇺🇸


Sports Illustrated Praise for Gandy-Golden

I’ve been enjoying the coverage of Antonio Gandy-Golden this off season. Naturally, I hope the Cowboys draft him, but that seems doubtful. Either way, it’ll be fun watching him play on Sunday.

Antonio Gandy-Golden, Liberty (6-4, 220): Gandy-Golden finished his senior year ranked No. 4 in the country in receiving yards (1,396) and No. 5 in receiving yards per game (107.4). As a senior, he had 79 receptions for 1,396 yards (17.7 average) and 10 touchdowns to earn a place in the Senior Bowl. He became the first player in program history to record 1,000 receiving yards in three consecutive seasons (1,396 yards as a senior, 1,037 as a junior and 1,066 as a sophomore). He is the school’s all-time leader in receiving yards (3,814), receptions (240) and receiving touchdowns (33).

Gandy-Golden didn’t begin playing football until his freshman year of high school. The big guy’s balance and flexibility comes from his gymnastics background. That’s the sport he competed in as a youth in Chicago as a way to keep him out of trouble. “My balance is definitely better because of the tumbling,” Gandy-Golden told the Daily Orange. “I’ve always been strong for my size but I have a better idea of how to jump and use my body.” He put himself on the map with 13 catches for 192 yards and two touchdowns vs. Baylor in 2017. “It just shows because he has unbelievable balance. He can do all types of frontflips and backflips and all that type of stuff,” Liberty receivers coach Kyle DeArmon told the News and Advance. “All of that stuff transitions over to the football field mainly because of the balance that he has. He’s able to stay on his feet, he’s able to control his body to go up and make those type of catches.”

H/t Sports Illustrated


Review: 1917 – ★★★★

I think 1917 will most likely be remembered as one of the best films of 2019. Here’s my Letterboxd review:

Mendes’ World War 1 epic is striking. The cinematography is breathtaking. The “one shot” style is a gimmick, but a well executed gimmick that does add something to the atmosphere. That said, I don’t think it was necessary. The relationship between brothers is the unrecognized greatness of the film. Without placing them in a single scene together, Mendes succeeds in showing the real, deep bond felt by brothers. Brilliantly done.

Full Letterboxd review.


Talent on Loan from God

Seeing Rush get the Medal of Freedom brought tears to my eyes. I grew up listening to Rush on long car rides with my grandpa to Little Rock or Gonzales or God knows where. His bumper music is seared into my brain and brings a smile to my face even today. Love him or hate him, few people have done more to promote freedom and America than Rush Limbaugh. Well deserved.


Good News for Liberty Flames Fans

Glad to see Coach Freeze isn’t looking jet out of Lynchburg after getting that first bowl win. Per Jon Manson writing for

“I’ve had several reach out to me or to Jimmy (Sexton), who kinda handles that,” Freeze said on the radio interview. “Flattered, but man Liberty has done so much for me and for my family and all my family is together there. I have a daughter who is a senior. It would be very, very difficult for me to consider that at this time, with where my family is and with the goodness that Liberty has been to me.”




The Liberty Flames are Bowl Eligible and it Feels Good

I’m proud to be a Liberty alumnus. Very proud. I don’t love everything about the school (or, more accurately, everyone who runs it…), but I loved my time there. What I love most as an alum is getting to cheer on Liberty athletics in what is shaping up to be a golden age.

Last year, Liberty’s Men’s Basketball capped their season with an amazing win over Lipscomb for the ASUN Conference championship and an upset that shocked the nation against Mississippi State in March Madness. It was a good time to be a Flame.

But I’m not much of a basketball fan.

Which is why this past Saturday, for me, was the best day (so far) in Liberty sports history. In case you missed it, on Saturday, the Flames clobbered New Mexico State to get their 7th win on the season and to secure bowl eligibility.

There have been some good days to be a Liberty fan: our last minute, upset win over conference rival Coastal Carolina; our shock upset over Baylor in week 1 of 2017; our win against Old Dominion in our first ever FBS game.

But this, this game, this win, this day was the best of all.

Odds are, the Liberty Flames will be playing in a bowl game this year. In their first year of eligibility. I don’t know if any other team has pulled that off; if so, I bet the list is short.

What a season.

This profile of Buckshot Calvert in The Athletic is worth your time (sorry about the paywall). This bit is particularly impressive:

For the first three years of Calvert’s Liberty career, it was a little too perfect. The ballistics definition of Buckshot would imply a lot of throws without much regard for accuracy, and that described the previous iteration of Calvert pretty well. He never got his completion percentage out of the 50s, and as a junior he threw 18 interceptions to go with his 21 touchdowns.

But since throwing three interceptions in Liberty’s first two games of 2019 (losses to Syracuse and Louisiana), Calvert has attempted 281 passes without a pick.

Even with a pair of interceptions against UVA, Buckshot’s stat line for the season is still impressive: 233 completions, 3,393 passing yards, 26 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions.

Also worth your time: this profile of Frankie Hickson from A Sea of Red. A Highlight:

For [Hickson] to be part of the football team that saw the program rise from the FCS ranks to the FBS and be on the first team to become bowl eligible is the real perfect story. Maybe there will be a movie written one day about this team, this season, and this running back who was part of this team.

“This is home,” Frankie said. “Liberty is home. Williams Stadium is home. No better way to cap it off.”

Thanks for indulging me. Fan The Flames!


XKCD: “Reionization Plays a Lot of Selena Gomez.”