Posts appearing in the Align Men newsletter
Four All-American Ways to Prepare for Baseball’s Opening Day
Major League Baseball doesn’t get going until April 7th, but our little league players stepped up to the plate this weekend. Of all the sports kids play in our town, America’s pastime has most successfully remained rooted in the neighborhood.
To Win We Need a Better Word than “Woke”
“Woke” is such a handy catch-all for the various forces making America miserable that it’s easy to forget we’re using our opponent’s term. And it’s a well-chosen one. It implies rejecting complacency in order to question received, official narratives. It implies looking beyond our self-interest to become aware of the suffering of our fellow man. What kind of moral cretin would oppose that?
Five Small Purchases to Improve Your Daily Life
We all buy too much junk. Fast fashion, disposable novelties, useless kitchen items. And plastic tubs to store them all in until we summon the will to throw it out. So it makes sense to ask yourself if what you really want is the product in question, or just the dopamine rush of clicking that final button.
Books are Better Banned than Bowdlerized
Roald Dahl was my first favorite writer; his stories were the first I consciously attributed to a real person doing a job. What hooked me was the sense that he didn’t kid-proof his books. His delightful fantasies of eccentric candy makers, talking worms, and telekinetic schoolgirls had something pleasingly hard-nosed about them.
Four Leggings Made in the USA
A woman in leggings in a woman armed for battle. This practical yet not unflattering garment allows her to execute a variety of familial (school drop-off without forgetting its “crazy hair day”), professional (coffee with a client), and personal (maybe Pilates later?) missions with efficiency and aplomb. If you were to design a statue commemorating the American Mom circa 2023, the easiest decision would be to outfit her in this athleisure staple.
Is a Harvard Degree Really Worth $60,000 a Year?
Maybe the ability to read 19th century English prose, like the ability to read Homer in the original, has become one of those skills we simply no longer value outside of certain specialist communities. Maybe the same fate awaits reading and studying literature in general.
M3GAN Is The Big Tech Busybody We Need
Many of us have gotten a little nervous about AI these days. M3GAN takes those fears and combines them with parental guilt at how easy it is to “outsource” child raising to screens. We all know how hard it can be to separate a kid from an iPad. Now imagine an iPad that won’t let go of your kid. M3GAN is a fun, funny movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously; it’s also a cautionary tale that’s looking more plausible by the day.
How to Resist the Valentine’s Day Soulmate Psyop
This is not the kind of news I enjoy sharing around Valentine’s Day, but Machine Gun Kelly and Megan Fox may be about to break up. At the very least, their year-long engagement is in critical condition.
Break-ups are always difficult, but celebrity splits can be especially painful. Fans may find themselves confused and betrayed; they may even wonder if it’s somehow their fault. To witness two beautiful people lose interest in each other is to grieve not just the relationship, but also the very possibility of love. If these crazy kids can’t make it work, what chance do any of us have?
Look Away From the Big Shiny Balloon
It’s a pleasure watching a skilled pediatrician give a baby her shots. Our doctor was a master. Just a deft bit of misdirection with a squeaky toy duck and a quick prick of each chubby thigh. It was over before she even considered crying. If I got the lollipop to her in time the tears never came at all.
How to Celebrate Groundhog Day The Right Way
Thursday is Groundhog Day. I’m not going to make any predictions, since I live in southern California, where six more weeks of winter just means they have to turn on the Chateau Marmont patio heat lamps.
This month also marks 30 years of Groundhog Day, the rare cinematic classic not spoiled by pointless sequels, reboots, or Broadway musical adaptations. Much has been written about the surprising philosophical resonance of the hero’s dilemma, inexplicably condemned to repeat the same 24 hour period over and over. Buddhists have seen it as a depiction of the cycle of death and rebirth known as samsara. Others have interpreted it through the lens of psychoanalysis or self-help.