My College Experience

Four years ago I made one of the best decisions of my life. I’ve made a lot of stupid decisions in my day, but let me tell you, choosing Oswego is one I will never regret. Two weeks after graduating, I face the reality of stepping out into the real world without a real plan, something that scares the living shit out of me, and I’m looking back at everything I’ve experienced at this school. The good, the bad, the weird, and I wouldn’t trade any of it for anything. The winds may be fierce, the snow may be powerful and the D Bus may have one of the most grammatically incorrect Facebook pages I’ve ever fucking seen, but its all part of the experience. And I had an amazing one.

So why am I writing this now? For starters, I like to write. And sometimes I like to be a little sappy. I also like to reflect on my experiences and how they’ve shaped me into who I am today. Combining all of those things, it just felt right. It’s a love letter to my time at Oswego, and maybe an apology to some (we’ll see once I get writing). It also gives me something to do during this post-grad life, which includes applying to jobs, trying desperately to hang out with the few friends you still have left at home and overall just doing your best to keep sane.

Okay, maybe that’s an over exaggeration. I’ve been doing okay. And maybe, just maybe, this will help someone entering their senior, or even freshman, year who doesn’t have a fucking clue about what they want in life, or someone like me who just graduated who feels the same. And maybe your surrounded by peers who have it all figured out and you’re just sitting there like “wow, I graduate in a year/just graduated, what the hell am I doing with my life?” And you know what? That’s just fine. You don’t need to have already accepted a job to be a success after college. As Nicki Minaj would say, we’re still young, and so is the night. Or something like that.

I came to Oswego after being dead set on going to Le Moyne College. After a visit to Oz, I decided it was the better choice, both financially (not that it really matters because I’M STILL GOING TO BE STUCK IN DEBT FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE) and socially. I knew a few people who were already at Oswego, and by my town’s standards, a few people means roughly 65 percent of the population. I didn’t know whether I would ever see them, but it felt like a safety net, knowing others from my small town made it at this place. This would be the first of many reminders that sometimes good things just magically land in your lap, whether you want to call those things luck or a blessing or fate or what have you is up to you.

I ended up falling into a pretty prime friend group early on freshman year, something not a lot of freshman get the chance to say. They would go on to be some of the best friends I’ve ever had, people I’ll be sure not to lose touch with until I’m old and can’t remember their names anymore. I was a pretty awkward guy freshman year, so I’m grateful. But anyone who says they’re not awkward their freshman year of college is FUCKING LYING TO YOU. Yeah, there may be the guys who seem too cool for school who seem to just have the right amount of “swag” and that base-bumping playlist they want the entire residence hall to hear, but they still wear a fucking snapback.

I would go on to make a lot of different experiences and meet a lot of different people that would end up helping to define the person I am or want to be. If there’s anything I learned in my four years at Oswego, it’s that with every bad thing comes something good. And while it may be hard to remember that in these post-grad months, it’s something I always try to remind myself. While I had my fair share of accomplishments and unforgettable moments, there were also disappointments. The last 9 months have been an up-and-down roller coaster ride. It will continue to be one until I figure out what I want to do with my life in these next couple months.

In one of the final episodes of “Mad Men,” Don Draper is told that there are “three women in every man’s life” (this wouldn’t have felt complete without a “Mad Men” reference, and if you’ve never watched it then what’s wrong with you?) Indeed, a big part of my college career was shaped by the women in my life. I had my ups and plenty of downs, and I’m still learning what it all means. As far as the downs, most of it was my fault, some of it not. Not everything worked out the way I would have hoped, but in the end, I guess that’s part of the experience. I’m lucky to have had a college sweet heart, or the one that got away, or any of the other relationships I experienced for better or for worse.

As for the other experiences, I wouldn’t trade them for the world. I like to think I was involved on campus as much as I would have liked. I became an RA my junior year and as far as great decisions go, it’s up there with the best of them. People can poke fun at or hate on ResLife all they want, but the fact of the matter is that I was doing something that felt rewarding and I experienced people and moments I never would have had I not applied for the job. CAY-WHAT!

However, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end (which I don’t think is entirely true but whatever). During the spring semester I received an internship with Indiewire, one of the most well respected online sources for film and TV. It was bittersweet to leave behind Oswego, Cayuga, my RA position, the Oswegonian, everything, during my last semester as an undergrad. But it was an opportunity I couldn’t really pass up. During that time, I experienced anxiety I’d never really experienced before. It was a rough time making the transition but I think, like everything else, it was an experience that helped shape me into who I am this very moment.

In all, I think that’s the point of this little essay or whatever you’d like to call it. I’ve always believed that people should always be changing, that they ARE always changing. I once heard a quote that said “the worse thing that anyone can tell you is ‘you haven’t changed.’” I don’t believe I’m the same person I was nearly three years ago when I started dating my first college girlfriend. I don’t think I’m the same person I was before I became an RA. I don’t think I’m the same person I was before I got my internship. Every experience has helped form me into the person I am, and while it may not appear to be that way, I think it’s true.

As I sit here typing this, I’m thinking back to the final couple nights I had in Oswego, the night before and the night after graduation. A friend of mine once said “it’s not Oswego that we miss, it’s the people and the experiences we had with them while there.” So those last two nights, I didn’t go to the bars. I didn’t go to Bevs, I didn’t go to the Bluffs or what have you. I stayed in and had one final hang out session with my friends. I got wasted, but that’s besides the point. When all is said and done, Bevs, Old City, the Bluffs, Aztecas, everything will still be there when we’re gone. But our friends won’t be. And my friends have helped me realize a lot of what I’m typing right now.

With that said, I have a lot of decisions to make within the next couple months. I got into a grad program at Oswego and could easily go back if that’s what I decide. Or I can continue to job search if I don’t have one by then. And while I’m terrified at the uncertainty (I’ve never been one to plan, but in this case, it would be nice to know), it’s nice having that option there. Whatever happens, I’m sure it’ll be for the best. I’ve come to believe maybe some things do happen for a reason. Maybe relationships are meant to start, and end, to simply realize we aren’t right for each other. Maybe I’m meant to go back to Oswego. Or maybe a job will pop up and there’s where my destiny lies. Who knows. But it sure is exciting. Horrifying. But exciting all the same. There will still be ups. There will still be downs. But it will all be an experience.

Best Films of 2014

2014 was an amazing year at the theater. Whether it’s a struggling actor trying to make it big on Broadway or a seemingly guilty husband trying to make sense of his wife’s disappearance, 2014 offered up bold, risky and innovative films to be remembered. Yes, Boyhood will be eyeing Oscar gold come Feb. 22, but the year was at it’s best when its films grabbed you by the brain and wouldn’t let go.

10. The Grand Budapest Hotel Wes Anderson’s quirky, surprisingly violent, but no less charming tale of a hotel concierge and the lobby boy who becomes his best friend was released way back in March. Yet it’s a top contender in the awards race (it has a shot at best original screenplay and Anderson is finally in the picture and director fight) which says a lot for its staying power.

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9. Guardians of the Galaxy One of two summer blockbusters to make the list, James Gunn’s Guardians is the less Marvel-y of all the Marvel films released thus far (apart from maybe Iron Man 3). Yet its mega-popular. Why? Apart from the fact it introduces Marvel’s full-fledged cosmic universe, it’s just a damn good, entertaining film you can watch over and over again without getting bored (I know I have). Who needs Iron Man when you have Groot?

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8. Nightcrawler While Jake Gyllenhaal came up empty handed when it came time for Oscar nominations, he still gives one of the best performances of the year as the dangerously obsessive Lou Bloom, who, once he’s roped into the world of crime journalism, will do whatever it takes to get the perfect footage. Its dark satire on the way we perceive news…and the way its given to us.

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7. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Yep, it is that good. Say what you want about the Planet of the Apes franchise, it’s come back in full-swing thanks to the vision of Matt Reeves. Not to say that Rise of the Planet of the Apes hadn’t already pushed it towards success (it was surprisingly good), but Dawn take it to another level and lands in the pantheon of sequels to top their predecessor in every way.

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6. Interstellar Christopher Nolan’s space opera is sometimes too ambitious for its own good. Nevertheless, it is a mind-boggling, emotion-heavy epic, one that pulls at both the mind and the heart in ways few films can achieve. Only Nolan can be so frustrating, yet so genius, as a filmmaker.

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5. Whiplash The most “normal” film on the list, Whiplash is simply about a young guy trying to be one of the best drummers in the world (an ever-growing Miles Teller), while an emotionally–and sometimes physically–abusive instructor (a never-better J.K. Simmons) berates him every step of the way. The film hangs on its stars’ performances, but its also the energetic style of a young filmmaker that raises it to greatness.

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4. Snowpiercer Maybe I’m cheating a little, but this South Korean film–set in a world where remaining survivors of a climate-change apocalypse live on a globe-trekking, class-based train–made it’s official release in the U.S. in 2014, so don’t mind me if I put this insanely inventive film on the list. One of the most visually stunning and creative films I’ve seen, Snowpiercer reels you in from the start and never lets go.

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3. Foxcatcher Foxcatcher is a tough film to watch. It’s even harder to accept that it’s all true. All the more reason to put it on the list. The real-life story of delusional multimillionaire John du Pont (Steve Carell in a shocking turn) and the Olympic wrestler he recruits to lead his team to gold (Channing Tatum at a career-best), Foxcatcher sticks with you. Research it after you see it and you will appreciate it even more.

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2. Gone Girl It seems like a film only David Fincher could pull off. Thankfully, that’s exactly what happened. Ben Affleck plays a husband who’s the prime suspect in his wife’s disappearance, but it can’t be that simple right? Rosamund Pike it Oscar worthy here, and the power in the film is in its almost darkly comedic deconstruction of love, marriage and the roles of men and women in society. Gillian Flynn, who also wrote the novel, was robbed of a best Adapted Screenplay Oscar nomination.

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1. Birdman Birdman is cinema at its finest. The majority of the film from start to finish is all one shot and if that doesn’t pull you in, how’s this: Michael Keaton may be on his way to an Oscar in the best performance of his career. It’s funny, insanely cool (Edward Norton embodies cool) and an all-around commentary on society’s obsession (and then castration) of celebrities. All the more reason to be obsessed with Birdman.

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Thoughts? Agree? Disagree? Wonder why Boyhood didn’t make the list? Comment!

Destiny Beta Reactions

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What better way to spend time while the Destiny Beta is offline for maintenance than to write about the Destiny Beta! What a great Beta it is, too. And to think this is only a snippet of what we can expect when the final game drops soon. While it may seem silly to “review” a beta, which is basically an almost-ready test-phase, I wanted to highlight some of my reactions. I feel I’ve played the beta enough to cover all of its ground.

First things first, those graphics. Those oh so pretty graphics. Bungie is taking full control of the next-gen console (specifically PS4). I always thought Halo was kind of behind on this front (they weren’t bad by any means, but there were also better looking games. The pinnacle was obviously Reach). But Destiny is shaping up to look grand. The moment I knew this game would look fantastic when released was standing at the edge of the Tower, looking out into the distance. Just jump over the rail and stand out there. Do it. And dance while you’re there (I find the dancing one of the most enjoyable parts of being at the Tower, honestly. Fuck getting upgrades–just kidding, I really love getting upgrades).

There’s a lot to look forward to in this beta. You’ve got 5 story missions to complete before the Crucible (6v6 multiplayer) opens, and there’s a “Strike” mission that you can complete with a fireteam of 3. The story missions are kind of repetitive. Straight-forward get-in, get-out situations that bring you to the same place multiple times. But I’m sure the full game will be fleshed out and the story could be trash and still rock because Peter Dinklage is your guide.

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The strike mission is pretty damn hard. Granted, I beat it, but I did it on Level 6 rather than 8. I’m gonna beat it on the harder level. The key is consistency. After the initial wave of Fallen (not Transformers’ Fallen, these are way better) you go up against a giant mechanical spider-tank thing (that’s the best way to describe it) and then a giant glowing robot eye-thing (also the best way). Thankfully you get checkpoints after each, but good luck getting through each phase without dying tons of times. And if every squadmate dies, that’s it. You just gotta keep fire concentrated on the big fuckers no matter how long it takes.

And then there’s the Crucible. I always thought Halo had a pretty good story (maybe I’m in the minority) but it’s multiplayer was obviously a big draw. The same can be said of Destiny. While I’m hoping for a good storyline for the campaign, there’s no doubt that online multiplayer is the game’s backbone, and rightfully so. While the only mode open for the beta has been capture-the-flag type, it looks like there will be plenty to choose from once the full game is released. Destiny is going to set the bar for next gen multiplayer. If only we weren’t placed on the moon so many goddamn times.

Character creation doesn’t offer a lot of options. You get to choose between a class and race and then choose a color scheme and some extra features. It’s limited, but while the game is similar to an RPG, I’d say it’s more of a shooter with RPG elements. The upgrading is pretty great, though, and your character starts taking on a look of its own once you upgrade your armor and such. The level cap for the beta is 8 but looking through some of the weapons and armor for level 20 makes me want the game NOW. If you get accustomed to the gameplay and rock the Crucible enough, levling up becomes pretty simple.

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Gameplay is a cinch. It’s very Halo-esque, but…better? I don’t quite know how to describe it. There’a a great variety of weapons to choose from. My favorite is the Scout Rifle I’m using now. Deals a lot of damage and once upgraded has great accuracy and range. I haven’t exactly used my secondary weapon all that much (the sniper rifle is good on the moon if you sit in a good location), but once you get heavy ammo it’s a treat to use your heavy weapon. I use the grenade launcher and love it, probably because I get to use it so rarely. My favorite weapon though isn’t really even a weapon. As a Titan class, once I get “super charged” I can literally punch the ground and send my enemies flying, killing instantly. It’s the best to get multiple people at once with it.

As for bugs and glitches, I was only booted from the system twice, which I think is pretty good for a beta. Other than that, I haven’t ran into a single problem. It’s impressive. Lets just say this is miles ahead of the Alpha, so I can’t wait to see what the actual game is like. The only reason I would have gotten an X-Box One is for Halo, but with Destiny I’ll get my fix and then some. This is only a glimpse at what the game has to offer and I’m beyond excited.

The 20 Best Summer Movies of the Last Decade

With possibly two of the best summer films ever on the horizon-Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Guardians of the Galaxy-I want to take a look back at the last 10 years (not counting this year-2004-2013) of summer films. Some summers stood out with memorable pictures (thank you, 2008) while others fell into the best-left-forgotten zone (I’m looking at you, 2006). To form the list, I factored in, to a degree, popularity and summer movie-ness-as in, whether it has all the necessities to be a great summer movie and uses them effectively. But the best ones will be the films that transcend being just a summer flick. So, here are the 20 best summer movies of the last decade.

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20. Pineapple Express (2008)
The start of a beautiful on-screen friendship, Seth Rogen and James Franco’s Pineapple Express isn’t just the pothead’s comedy (even though it does cater to a specific demographic). It’s arguably the film that propelled Franco into his current “bad boy” persona (even though it was probably only the cheery on top). The duo has since starred together in This is the End (we’ll get to that later) and will be featured in this year’s The Interview, the movie that may take us to war with North Korea. But when the bombs drop, lets not forgot about this little gem that started it all.

19. Tropic Thunder (2008)
Another fantastic comedy from 2008, Tropic Thunder was a surprise smash, garnering Robert Downey Jr. an unexpected Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his turn as an Australian actor portraying a black man. While Downey is the highlight of the film’s main cast, it’s the supporting players that really stand out. Matthew McConaughey, pre-Oscar, is hilarious, channeling his “Wolf of Wall Street” character five years before he knew it would even exist. And then there’s Tom Cruise, who absolutely kills it in a cameo/supporting role that has to be seen to be believed.

18. Pacific Rim (2013)
Before Garreth Edwards tried infusing Godzilla with a much more serious tone in this year’s reboot, Guilermo del Toro last year wanted to create his own take on the monster genre, taking it back to basics. This became Pacific Rim, a giant monster vs. giant robot extravaganza that is everything you could ever want from a movie with that kind of description. As far as summer bloackbusters go, Pacific Rim embodies everything you could ever want out of one, and never takes itself too seriously. The phrase “leave your brain at the door” usually has a negative connotation when it comes to films (Bay’s Transformers for instance) but in the case of Pacific Rim, it’s okay because the film never tries being anything more or less than what del Toro’s vision promises.

17. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)
Its sequel, out this weekend, is already getting rave reviews-the Hollywood Reporter called it the “Empire Strikes Back” of the franchise-but lets not forget the stand-out film of the summer in 2011, Rise of the Planet of the Apes. It was a surprising critical success, garnering positive reviews almost across the board. The highlight? The amazing visual work on the apes and Andy Serkis’ fantastic motion capture performance of their leader, Ceasar, who many raved should garner him an Academy Award nomination. Seeing him return in Matt Reeves’ follow-up will be a delight.

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16. Superbad (2007)
The film that shot stars Michael Cera and Jonah Hill into super stardom, Superbad is the epitome of the teenagers-trying-to-have-sex movie. More quotable, memorable, funny, and even heartfelt than most in its genre, Superbad was to many teenage guys their life put on screen. It captured desperation and awkwardness in a way that hadn’t really been captured in quite some time, and remains one of the funniest movies of the last decade.

15. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The first of many super hero (and Nolan) movies to make the list, TDKR is the conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s epic, genre-lifting Batman trilogy. It’s a film that, in time, has garnered mixed reactions among fans. It’s full of plot holes that one wouldn’t expect from a film this substantial and has a plot twist that kind of reduces an otherwise fantastic villain. But despite its negatives, TDKR is still one of the best summer, and super hero, films of all time, thanks in large part to its epic scope, strong performances and Nolan’s signature vision.

14. Star Trek (2009)
While the 2013 sequel may have been kind of lackluster to most, J.J. Abrams’ 2009 film was a solid reboot to a beloved franchise that sky-rocketed the Trek franchise into a “cooler,” sleeker, more modern era. While it may resemble Star Wars more than what Trekkies are accustomed to, it’s a smart, great looking sci-fi adventure. While Abrams won’t be returning to the franchise for a third outing due to his ties with Star Wars, we can still thank him for giving us an actual positive reboot.

13. Iron Man (2008)
It was a surprise juggernaught at the box office and even more of a surprise with critics. But Jon Favreau’s Iron Man was a smart, funny, cool and overall great super hero film that kick-started Marvel’s Avengers franchise. We didn’t know that at the time, though, until the infamous after-credits scene. But before there were the Avengers, there was only Iron Man, personified perfectly by Robert Downey Jr. (it was a good year for him).

12. This is the End (2013)
Another strong outing for Rogen and Franco, This is the End is a creative and hilarious take on the “world-ending” genre. The stars, along with Michael Cera, Jonah Hill and others, star as themselves and it is amazing. It is a tour de force in celebrity cameos, from Rihanna to Emma Watson, and features a fantastic ending featuring a very nostalgic boy band.

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11. Batman Begins (2005)
The beginning of Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy is to many considered to be the best in the series. It’s not without its merits: everyone knows Batman’s origin story but it’s never really been told properly on the big screen. Nolan does it justice in a mature and sophisticated way, and gives birth to a Batman we’d never seen before. It more than made up for Joel Schumacher’s terrible mishandling of the franchise that almost destroyed it.

10. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
Because a Harry Potter film obviously had to be in the top 10. But more than that, the third outing for Harry and friends is considered by many to be the best in the franchise, thanks to Alfonso Cuaron’s (a decade before his Oscar win) impeccable vision. The film takes the franchise into bold new territory, stripping away the childish ways of the first two installments for a more mature, darker story that the rest of the franchise would be modeled after.

9. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)
It was hard choosing a top comedy for summer movies. This is the End is a strong contender, but Anchorman, now a decade old (can you believe that) takes the edge, not only for its timelessness (its well-intentioned sequel couldn’t match it) but it’s superb quotability and great comedic performances. Will Ferrell is at his best here.

8. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
While it often feels like an after-thought now in the wake of Marc Webb’s reboot, Sam Raimi’s original trilogy had its merits. The biggest being his superb second installment, which, at the time, set a new standard for super hero films. Having recently watched it, it has admittedly aged, but 10 years will do that to a movie. It’s still one of the best super hero movies ever, with a villain in Doc Ock (perfect casting of Alfred Molina) that has actual true motivations, camp in all the right places, and one of the best fight scenes ever in a super hero movie. Whatever you do, don’t forget this gem when Sony is rebooting Spider-Man for the third time years in the future.

7. Wall-E (2008)
The first Pixar film to make the list, Wall-E is a heartfelt achievement in animation that I believe could have been the first Pixar film nominated for best picture had the Academy changed the rule a year in advance. It is a splendid film about the dangers of pollution and over population with a cute robotic love story at the center.

6. The Avengers (2012)
Nothing quite says summer these days like Marvel, and in 2012 everything Marvel had been leading up to was released. Joss Whedon was a surprising pick to helm the crown jewel of Marvel Studio’s achievements, but it worked to near perfection. The film harnesses Whedon’s witty charm and balances all of the individual characters quite well. Sure, poor Hawkeye may not have gotten his due, but besides that, it’s a well-made summer blockbuster that was a critical and financial success. No one could have guessed that an Avengers movie could work so well. Whedon proved everyone wrong.

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5. Toy Story 3 (2010)
Another Pixar favorite, Toy Story 3 was a long time in the making, but some times the best things are the ones you wait for. It was everything fans could ever want in the conclusion to Pixar’s beloved trilogy, with a tear-jerker ending and moments that make us remember why we feel in love with these characters in the first place.

4. District 9 (2009)
District 9 was the little engine that could. No one really knew anything about it at the time. It seemed like an interesting sci-fi movie but until its release kind of flew under the radar. But once it came to theaters, the positive response was astounding. First time director Niel Blomkamp created a visually terrific, insanely unique sci-fi film that is not only entertaining, but a metaphor for genocide and other acts of violence. It went on to be nominated for best picture, and rightly so.

3. Inception (2010)
Nolan appears on this list quite a few times, but this non-Batman movie is a true creative work of art. Part heist movie, part sci-fi action film, part character drama, Inception, like District 9, is a rare breed of summer film that infuses Oscar level craftsmanship with the right dose of summer entertainment. Every time I watch it I pick up on something different, and that’s the beauty of this mind-boggling thriller.

2. Up (2009)
Up, the final Pixar film on the list, is an emotional roller coaster. It tells the perfect love story in its first 10 minutes better than most romance films can do in an entire two hours. Its characters are fun and its story is heart-warming. Up was the first Pixar film to be nominated for best picture, and in a perfect world, maybe it could have won. But the world isn’t perfect, you just have to make the best of it-that’s what Carl learns.

1. The Dark Knight (2008)
It might be the cliche choice, but Nolan’s follow-up to Batman Begins is a near-perfect film that remains arguably the best comic book based film ever. When one thinks of “summer” they may not necessarily think of The Dark Knight. But that’s why it’s the best. It breaks down the doors to its genres and doesn’t look back. There isn’t much more to be said about the film and Heath Ledger’s Joker that hasn’t already been said. I don’t even consider it a comic book movie so much as a crime drama. That’s how good it is.

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Agree? Disagree? Any that could have been added? Let me know!

America’s Favorite National Pastime: Hating Ann Coulter

Before I begin, let me remind my loyal seven readers that this is not a sports blog but an entertainment blog (which, to be fair, are sports not entertainment for those watching? But I digress). For the rest of you who may be reading this blog for the first time, I do not write about sports. I watch sports. I enjoy doing sporty things. But as someone who majors in Broadcasting and knows very talented people who are “sports guys,” I must clarify that I am not a “sports guy.” With that said, I read something tonight that kind of angered me. I must admit, I probably sound a little bias as a quote-unquote “liberal,” but let me be absolutely clear: I’m not writing this as a liberal. I’m writing it as someone who just cannot stand outright closed-mindedness (this, turns out, is a word…moving on). People have their opinions, I get that. Everyone knows I have mine. But for the love of God, can we just find a way to stop Ann Coulter from having opinions?

Yesterday, Coulter posted a column called American’s Favorite Pastime: Hating Soccer ( http://www.anncoulter.com/columns/2014-06-25.html) and now it’s making its social media rounds. At the time of writing this, Coulter was the top trend on Facebook, and I’m sure Twitter will have at it, too. In the column, to sum things up, Coulter basically writes about how much women suck at sports, how much liberals suck at everything, and about how much she herself sucks at finding joy in anything. But I’m not writing this to attack Ann Coulter. It’s merely a reaction post, and if it seems like I’m attacking Ann Coulter, I’m sorry.

(1) Yes, individual achievement does play a big part in sports. Why else would we select MVPs? The ego is both a splendid and treacherous thing, and it can often get in the way or drive someone to victory. Egos are sometimes just as big a tool to athletes as talent, motivation and hard-work, and some things exist to reward those egos. But since when does “individual achievement” make a sport a sport? Hell, we’re still trying to figure out whether cheerleading is a fucking sport and they have to trust others to literally throw them in the air and make sure they don’t hit the floor in a mess of blood and broken bones.

If Coulter wants individual achievement, she can find it in Landon Donovan in the 2010 World Cup. She can find it in Cristiano Ronaldo, who basically advanced the US into the final 16 this year’s World Cup, and he plays for Portugal. Individual achievements in sports give fans a posterboy they can look up to and a topic at the water cooler (i.e. Twitter). They drive the sportscasts-your Lebrons and your Mannings. But at the end of the day, nearly two weeks after the Spurs beat the Heat in game 5 of the NBA finals, no one is saying that Lebron lost and Tim Duncan won . The Heat lost and Spurs won.

Individual achievement plays a large role in sports. But it doesn’t make a sport.

(2) If a woman wanted to play American football, the school would probably have to let her. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a school with a woman’s football team. The majority of the time, if a woman wants to play football in this country, she’s playing with men. What was that about co-ed sports? I wonder if Coulter even stopped to think about the fact that football is the only sport, that comes to mind, that doesn’t have male and female teams. Probably because she didn’t even think about the prospect of a woman wanting to play football in a school setting. But that’s not the point. The point is that Coulter thinks that girls and boys can’t even play a sport together when they’re still pissing their pants.

(3 & 4) “t’s a lot harder to score when a half-dozen 300-pound bruisers are trying to crush you” says Coulter, referring to American football. She seems to have this idea in mind that a sport has to physically hurt you in order for it to count. Blood has to be spilled. While that makes it more exciting, and while I love football as much as the next guy (it’s actually my favorite sport, whodathunkit), that’s not the case. Unless a golfer hits someone in the face with a club, people are rarely getting hurt in golf. But that’s not to say injuries don’t happen in soccer. It’s a contact sport, and while people aren’t getting pummeled to the ground because that’s the name of the game, serious injuries do happen.

And if a sport isn’t hurting you, it has to at least humiliate you. I hope Coulter doesn’t have children.

(5) No, you can’t use your hands in soccer, “eliminating the danger of having to catch a fly ball.” Wow, thanks for clarifying that Ann. That’s the whole point of the game. A sport is supposed to challenge the body (all those injuries, remember, Ann?), and what better way to challenge oneself than to take away their ability to use their hands. I feel like professional baseball players don’t really find catching balls all that “dangerous” unless it was with bare hands. But soccer players still have to let a ball the size of their face bounce off their head.

Before I move on, please note I’m not trying to eliminate the strengths of any particular sport like Ann is. I can acknowledge that catching a baseball can still be dangerous even in MLB. But I don’t think it’s a fair point on Coulter’s side.

(6) Girls and Beyonce are fucking fantastic.

Anyway, people don’t have to endlessly remind us why American football is exciting because it originated here. There is an immediate conflict between American football and soccer because the rest of the world calls our soccer football. And a lot of Americans feel the need to be offended by that for some reason. In all honesty, American football is to a capacity “more exciting” but that shouldn’t take away from soccer.

(7) I think Ann Coulter trying to sound like the voice of African Americans speaks for itself.

(8) Why does she keep equating “liking soccer” to “being liberal?”

(9) I’m not going to pretend like I’m an expert on whether soccer is “catching on” or not, but if social media is any indication, it does seem to be impacting a large population of Americans. Whether that will stick or not after the World Cup remains to be seen. I can admit I don’t watch soccer any other time, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t enjoy the Cup. It’s like the Olympics–when else do you watch gymnastics or volley ball or ice skating unless you’re a die hard fan? Never. But it’s the Olympics, so we watch it. And this is the World Cup, and that means being a part of something much bigger than just a puny debate over whether soccer is “exciting” or not. It’s about rooting for your country in a sport that we don’t by any means dominate in, but this Cup we can say we’re still in it.

So what is the point of all this? Soccer and football don’t need to be at odds with each other just because one is “foreign;” liking soccer doesn’t make you a liberal pyscho and it doesn’t mean the end of mankind if America does like soccer, even if only for a short time; Ann Coulter will devour your children; and there’s nothing wrong with rooting for your country and experiencing something bigger than oneself. I’m sure a conservative like Ann Coulter can at least respect that if nothing else.