The Political Football: Cynical Collapses and Redemptive Comebacks

Joe Lieberman endorsed John McCain for President almost exactly three years ago, at a time when McCain’s shots at the GOP nomination were widely dismissed as DOA because of his reputation as a “moderate,” and as a “maverick” willing to stand up to his party’s right-wing base.  McCain’s popular reputation was that he was a man…

Little Match Girl Passion.

What I like most about the An die Musik performance space in Baltimore is the low stage, which to me represents the basic spirit of the place. It’s no more than two feet high, and it extends wall-to-wall across the full forty-or-so foot width of the yellow room. There’s no curtain, for this stage is…

Defending Basketball Mysticism

I know I should be talking about Four Loko or Thomas Friedman’s latest column on the horrors of deliberative democracy, but the start of a really compelling NBA season demands some sports blogging. Despite a pathological hatred for pretty much everything related to numbers, I find advanced basketball statistics pretty interesting. Part of this can…

Ludwig und Yeezy.

I’m at my desk listening to the new Kanye West album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. I’m not going to argue with the pop critic consensus: it’s good. When the staff of the music review website Pitchfork named rap duo Outkast’s “B.O.B.” the best track of the last decade, they praised the song for its…

Bread & Circuses: A mini-review of Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

I finished the third installment of The Hunger Games last night, Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins, and my goodness what a read. All three books are absurdly intense page-turners bound to keep one up far past one’s appropriate bedtime. If you are married and both spouses are reading these at the same time, prepare for some…

How Boys Learn to Read

Great op-ed from The Wall Street Journal: The appearance of the boy-girl literacy gap happens to coincide with the proliferation of video games and other electronic forms of entertainment over the last decade or two. Boys spend far more time “plugged in” than girls do. Could the reading gap have more to do with competition…

“Nuclear chivalry.”

As many have said before, it’s no coincidence that in the world of Hollywood blockbusters the last decade has been the decade of the superhero film. In the nineties our blockbusters brought us fantasy about the apocalyptic near-destruction of society. In the country’s most globally dominant decade, it was as if our only possible challengers…

Capra-corn and the life of our time

There’s a quote about Carl Jung that I’ve come across a couple of times and shamelessly stolen every chance I’ve had: “We live a double life whether we know it or not. We live our own life and we live the life of our time.”  Economists are now warning of a double-dip recession, even though…

Bloodbuzz Ohio

I was remiss in my last music post. Several readers pointed out that The National’s Bloodbuzz Ohio is an excellent tune and should have been included. Well here it is: Some great lyrics in this one. I was carried to Ohio in a swarm of bees. And if you missed it, this now-aging but still-worth-the-read…

Wednesday jukebox – The National

Why wait for Friday night to do a music post? I say let the jukebox play whenever you put another dime in it, baby. Anyways, I’ve been almost obsessively listening to The National lately. I realize they’ve been around for a while, but I’m hopelessly unhip so I’ve only just stumbled on them. Here are…

Why I watch soccer

The weekend beckons, so I thought I’d write something about the World Cup. At his personal blog, Jonathan Last links to a pretty apt take-down of soccer evangelists he wrote in 2002, when Americans were in the grip of another pseudo-World Cup craze.* I say ‘pseudo’ because despite its best efforts, the media-industrial complex is…

Friday Night Jukebox – Lissie

I haven’t bought Lissie’s album yet, but I’m going to do it soon. She’s got a ton of promise; specifically, a voice like a damn rocket. I know these videos have been floating around for a while, but the League has never claimed to be a cutting-edge music blog. Enjoy. She does nice cover songs…

Hurting the musicians.

If you like music, this is really important. The architecture of online music distribution has been amazing for the consumer. With iTunes or Pandora or eMusic, the savvy listener can get just about whatever she wants whenever she wants it, and for cheap. Of course, the problem of piracy was killing off the record labels,…

The Other Tournament

Unsatisfied by First Things’ Tournament of Novels? The Morning News put on a similar tournament of books published last year. The only entrant I’ve read happens to be the winner, but Wolf Hall was a pretty enjoyable diversion. I’d recommend it for anyone interested in historical fiction, the Tudors, or the English Reformation.

A few books that have made me

This is more for my own satisfaction than the edification of our readers, but I can’t let a great meme go to waste. I tried for the ‘gut instinct’ approach, but that left me with about 30-odd books that say more about my interests than what really influenced my worldview. The final list is a…

Dragonlance

“This book was one of my earliest introductions to fantasy and thus to the limits (or lack of limits) of the imagination. I read Dragonlance before I read Tolkien, and was just amazed by the bigness of the world. All I wanted for my tenth birthday was to swing my sword like Caramon, and get…

Ten Books

Following the meme, here are the ten books that changed my life the most. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. This book de-Catholicized me, or at least it began the process. It set me on the path to libertarianism, after I’d read Atlas Shrugged. It offered a sense of life, and a lifelong obsession. I still…

Community, technology, & work

I think this Amanda Marcotte piece is pretty interesting.  She touches on the idea of work and community and how the modern workplace has, until very recently, served to cut us off entirely from our loved ones during the day.  This, she asserts, was not always the case.  People used to come into more contact…

Essential Albums of the 1980s

Noted Creed apologist Joe Carter has assembled a list of the 80s’ essential but-not-too-obvious albums.  I missed out on the decade, but I’ll go ahead and nominate The Replacements’ back catalog, The Cure’s “Disintegration,” The Pogues’ “Rum, Sodomy and the Lash,” and maybe a Tom Waits album or two.

All the good band names are taken

Which probably explains why the new ones keep getting longer and longer. As far as ridiculously long musical monikers go, my favorites are “I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness” and the delightfully gothic-sounding “And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead.”