It’s Time to Embrace the Label “Far Right Extremist”
NFL analyst Tony Dungy tweeted a dumb joke last week. You might even call it a “dad joke” (Dungy is father to ten). In response to a Minnesota high school’s plan to put tampons in the boys bathroom, Dungy quipped that other schools were supplying litter boxes for students who identify as cats.
How To Escape the Media Prison
Almost half a century later, Peter Finch’s “I’m mad as hell” speech from 1976’s Network still stirs the blood. But can we admit it’s a little outdated? The anger that Finch’s Howard Beale urges us to wield against the media has been coopted: getting us mad is now part of the business plan. We can find a more pertinent diagnosis of our current situation in a movie released just five years after Sidney Lumet’s beloved classic: My Dinner with Andre.
To Form New Habits It Helps to Start Small
Anyone who felt genuinely discouraged by a certain fitness chain’s recent “We Don’t Speak January” marketing gimmick probably doesn’t belong in a gym anyway. At least not yet. It feels good to buy a gym membership. It feels decisive. But big, symbolic gestures are not where you’ll get your gains. You have to make exercise a habit, something you can do without thinking too much. This is why it needs to be specific and actionable. We don’t “practice good dental hygiene” before bed; we just brush our teeth. So it is with “getting in shape.” Building a routine takes time, so it’s got to be easy enough that you can do it every day, with enough of a reward that it generally seems worth the effort, if only in retrospect.
The Secret of the Great Pyramid Revealed
As historian Paul Johnson writes, “The Great Pyramid was a triumph of the stonemason’s art; it was also a miracle of labour-organization, and labour cannot be effectively organized over long periods if it is ill-treated.” The best defense against the stream of mediocre, soul-crushing, at times downright wicked content our media assails us within the name of “pop culture” begins at home. Keep a guitar around. Learn to play. Have sing-a-longs. Get your kids to play. Start a family band.
How to Make Your Own Entertainment
Back in the ’40s, Woody Guthrie stuck a message on his guitar: This Machine Kills Fascists. Today’s humble home troubadour might go with a different slogan: This Machine Kills the Global Entertainment Complex.
The best defense against the stream of mediocre, soul-crushing, at at times downright wicked content our media assails us with in the name of “pop culture” begins at home. Keep a guitar around. Learn to play. Have sing-a-longs. Get your kids to play. Start a family band.
The Internet is a Dumpster. Let’s Look for Treasure
Whatever happened to just being wrong? “Spreading misinformation” is what we like to call it now, a passive-aggressive way of saying “you’re lying but you’re too stupid to realize it.” It’s patronizing and it portrays skepticism (about certain handpicked, sacrosanct views, at least) as immoral. Those questions you say you’re “just asking”? People will die. The people most vocal about saving us from misinformation never seem to be concerned that they’ll fall for it.
How to Be Handy (Even for the Deskbound)
In his conversion memoir Surprised By Joy, C.S. Lewis attributes his early vocation as a writer to his utter inability to do anything else with his hands: “It was this that forced me to write. I longed to make things, ships, houses, engines. Many sheets of cardboard and pairs of scissors I spoiled, only to turn from my hopeless failures in tears.”
How to Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude
The importance of gratitude cannot be overstated. How can we cultivate it during the other 364 days of the year? Mindfulness is one popular suggestion. Savor each breath, each bite of food, and live in the moment. But despite its widespread reputation as a benign, “science-based” cure-all, mindfulness has its pitfalls.
How to Live in the Real World (Does God Exist?)
The title of Frank Sheed’s Theology and Sanity combines two notions we don’t often contemplate together. Religion in 2022 seems best understood as a personal preference or a lifestyle – what does sanity have to do with it? And yet Sheed’s more than 75-year-old book offers a bracing reminder of what’s really at stake in the question of faith.
Breed the Change You Want to See in the World
It’s easy to be gloomy this November; the days of winning so much we get bored of winning seem far behind us. But perhaps we should be grateful for the wake-up call. It’s in that spirit that Align’s parent company, New Founding, invites you to take this brief Cancellation Risk Assessment quiz.