|Any New Year's Resolutions this year? Um, to stay away from simplistic binaries.|
14. In this defense of the film The Guardians of the Galaxy, I attempted to beef with Time Magazine's Richard Corliss. He has yet to respond, so the beef has remained just me ranting. I'm told it takes two people to beef.
13. In the article "Paul George: Better than Icarus", we mourned the loss of a young NBA superstar to a season ending leg injury. It was atrocious. It made everyone reexamine the value of ever leaving the ground.
12. In August, I discussed the similarities and differences between two allegories: "Holding Hands: Gravity & All is Lost". And, despite the title of this piece, it is not actually about Paul George.
11. Towards the start of the school calendar, I reflected on some nonfiction books: "The Truth about Summer: Recently Read Nonfiction". Now, I guess, we're reflecting on the reflection.
10. In the article "Okonkwo's Funeral: Reflecting on Adichie's Americanah & Beah's Radiance of Tomorrow", I scrambled to say something about contemporary fiction out of West Africa. In hindsight, I probably should have discussed each book independently of the other.
9. "The Most Honest Ice Bucket Challenge" tried to start a conversation about why we give. Not sure the article accomplished that, but, as I think back on the summer's charitable trend, one thing that still troubles me is this: while The Challenge raised undeniable funds and awareness with which to combat ALS, the awareness raised deserves a hashtag before it. What I mean by this is that The Challenge was unable to account for cuts to medical research spending by the federal government over the last few years, and I'm not sure what to make about the act of patting ourselves on the back for raising #awareness as we simultaneously cast ballots that take away from the same causes we claim to support. I tread lightly here because I don't want to say that The Challenge did not do good, when it clearly did, but I'm not sure the #good it did is the same good it actually did when considering the context of a long fight against ALS that both governmental and voting trends have made much more difficult.
8. At the start of 2014, I reflected on the film Fruitvale Station. Since then, I feel this topic has become all too relevant, and as I think on it some more, I believe it's worth noting that institutional racism makes victims of both police officers and citizens, which is why it's so important that these matters be observed, discussed, and analyzed with an understanding that long histories and large structures influence both those who have been shot and those who have pulled the trigger. Moreover, each of those categories includes both cops and citizens. This is not a simple conflict, not now, not last January, not at the start of the 21st century, not during the course of the 20th, nor any century prior to our lifetimes.
7. We talked some more summer reading. This entry to the LCB archives was about fiction.
6. When Richard Sherman unleashed himself on the world after his Seattle Seahawks defeated the San Francisco 49ers in last season's NFC Championship Game, I had visions of doing a seven part analysis of his interview. I mapped it out, wrote drafts of every part, and, in the end, only completed two parts of it ("A Prologue of Diverse Talent" and "Living in the Moment"). I kind of wish I'd finished what I originally set out to do; maybe one day I will. Until then, my thoughts on Richard Sherman are unfinished, which is probably as they should be, considering both his career and his life still have a lot of unfinished business about them.
5. Aisander Duda wrote this narrative about Duke's exit from last season's NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: "In the Time of Blue Devils: A Short Story." I liked it a lot; I wish he'd write more often.
4. Last month I wrote about A'mare Stoudemire and the Knicks. Oh, and Dylan Thomas too!
3. In probably the most eclectic piece mentioned here, I wrote about Mandela and Catching Fire.
2. Following Aisander Duda's lead, Mike Langston wrote "In the Time of Volunteers: Ignoring the Shadow of Bruce." It's about Tennessee's exit from the NCAA Basketball Tournament.
1. Lastly, here's a piece on Captain Phillips and how maybe the film's economic themes might have been better served by a more inclusive title rather than one in search of a traditional cinematic protagonist.
Happy New Year! Enjoy 2015. Bryan Harvey can be followed @LawnChairBoys.