“The Ballad of Sara Berry" - Performed by Lindsay Mendez, Alex Brightman and Jay A. Johnson at the Kennedy Center
From the musical 35MM
Composer-Lyricist Ryan Scott Oliver and Photographer Matthew Murphy
From the late 70s to early 80s, the greatest rivalry in football was in the old Soviet Union between Lobanovsky’s Dynamo and Beskov’s Spartak.
"…What’s striking to note is that a rivalry that once defined football in eastern Europe essentially ended when political realities made it impossible for it to continue. Obviously the situations in Spain and the old USSR are very different in many ways. Spain needs Catalonia in ways that Russia doesn’t necessarily need Ukraine—although Putin’s recent actions suggest he may be more interested in Ukraine than many westerners once thought. In any event, football rivalries only function for as long as the political realities of the local place will allow. When the situation changes, the identity of a football club can change very quickly—just ask the Crimean clubs that went from being in the Ukrainian FA to the Russian over the past year.”
I would like to thank God and also Jesus for letting me be alive at the same time as Xavier Hernández Creus
Inspired by a silver trophy from 1987, a diverse group of athletes in a remote Alaskan fishing hub recently participated in the International Friendship Cup. Annie Ropeik has the story of this unique community-building soccer tournament on Unalaska Island.
[Messi] has always seemed oddly nonthreatening for someone with a legitimate claim to being the best soccer player in history. He seems nice, and maybe he is. (He goes on trial for tax evasion soon; it is impossible to believe he defrauded authorities on purpose, because it is impossible to believe that he manages his finances at all.) On the pitch, though, this is deceptive. It’s an artifact of his indifference to your attention. He doesn’t notice whether or not you notice. His greatness is nonthreatening because it is so elusive, even though its elusiveness is what makes it a threat.
In one way, then, it feels strange to mark this anniversary at all. Cristiano Ronaldo would RSVP yes to your banquet for him, but Messi? You have no sense that he craves it. But that’s what I meant earlier, when I said that we needed the breakthrough goal more than he did. It’s the same with the anniversary. The Grand Canyon doesn’t care whether you watch it, either. When something is that awe-inspiring, you just want to."
— On this day in 2004, Lionel Messi made his professional debut with FC Barcelona. Brian Phillips assesses his career, ten years in.
¡Es con voz de la Biblia, o verso de Walt Whitman,
que habría que llegar hasta ti, Cazador!
Primitivo y moderno, sencillo y complicado,
con un algo de Washington y cuatro de Nemrod.
Eres los Estados Unidos,
eres el futuro invasor
de la América ingenua que tiene sangre indígena,
que aún reza a Jesucristo y aún habla en español.
Eres soberbio y fuerte ejemplar de tu raza;
eres culto, eres hábil; te opones a Tolstoy.
Y domando caballos, o asesinando tigres,
eres un Alejandro-Nabucodonosor.
(Eres un profesor de energía,
como dicen los locos de hoy.)
Crees que la vida es incendio,
que el progreso es erupción;
en donde pones la bala
el porvenir pones.
Los Estados Unidos son potentes y grandes.
Cuando ellos se estremecen hay un hondo temblor
que pasa por las vértebras enormes de los Andes.
Si clamáis, se oye como el rugir del león.
Ya Hugo a Grant le dijo: «Las estrellas son vuestras».
(Apenas brilla, alzándose, el argentino sol
y la estrella chilena se levanta…) Sois ricos.
Juntáis al culto de Hércules el culto de Mammón;
y alumbrando el camino de la fácil conquista,
la Libertad levanta su antorcha en Nueva York.
Mas la América nuestra, que tenía poetas
desde los viejos tiempos de Netzahualcoyotl,
que ha guardado las huellas de los pies del gran Baco,
que el alfabeto pánico en un tiempo aprendió;
que consultó los astros, que conoció la Atlántida,
cuyo nombre nos llega resonando en Platón,
que desde los remotos momentos de su vida
vive de luz, de fuego, de perfume, de amor,
la América del gran Moctezuma, del Inca,
la América fragante de Cristóbal Colón,
la América católica, la América española,
la América en que dijo el noble Guatemoc:
«Yo no estoy en un lecho de rosas»; esa América
que tiembla de huracanes y que vive de Amor,
hombres de ojos sajones y alma bárbara, vive.
Y sueña. Y ama, y vibra; y es la hija del Sol.
Tened cuidado. ¡Vive la América española!
Hay mil cachorros sueltos del León Español.
Se necesitaría, Roosevelt, ser Dios mismo,
el Riflero terrible y el fuerte Cazador,
para poder tenernos en vuestras férreas garras.
Y, pues contáis con todo, falta una cosa: ¡Dios!"
— “A Roosevelt,” Rubén Darío (1904)
"Kauwboy", 2012, directed by Boudewijn Koole (b. Netherlands)
One Time - A collaborative storytelling series featuring the YouTube community.
If you’re not watching One Time, you’re missing out.
I spend about 75% of my free time writing in the park. As a life choice, I really enjoy it. (en Plaza Independencia Mendoza)
My piece is on the front page! Check out my featured article on Native Americans in YA literature.
Non-Native authors have also confined Native Americans to a more nebulous cultural reservation, allocating them only two typical representations: the noble savage and the romantic mystic. The menacing, violent Native Americans of Little House on the Prairie―the phrase “the only good Indian is a dead Indian” appears in the children’s classic three times―became by the 1980s the grunting, naïve “chief” of The Indian in the Cupboard. The suspiciously environmentalist Native Americans of Dear America books, “retold” myths, and Disney movies have spawned a commercialized “native” spirituality that offers little in the way of relevance to Native Americans today. Taken together, the noble savage and romantic mystic tropes, alongside a sports mascot or two, are often the only images of Native Americans that young people, Native and non-Native alike, get."
— I’m in The American Conservative discussing Native representation in young-adult literature. Happy
Columbus Day Día de la Raza weekend, everyone.
Absurd as it may sound to say this about a career as a second-stringer for an average team, nothing I’ve done in my life felt as important at the time I was doing it.
This is not because my life is a failure, and it is not because football stole my youth. Football’s enemies have an accurate sociological observation, but their conclusion is backward. Nothing else pumped so much adrenaline through me that I couldn’t feel my feet underneath me as I ran and could barely remember my name, or made me weep or scream uncontrollably. It is the adventure of your life, a chance to prove yourself as a man before other boy-men who, even if you never see them again, you will always regard as brothers-in-arms.
This is an increasingly antiquated conception of male socialization. George Orwell, the old socialist, was well ahead of his time when he scribbled out an angry rant against the sporting ethic, which, he wrote, ‘is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence: in other words it is war minus the shooting.’ That is all more or less true. But shooting is precisely the problem with war. War minus the shooting is actually pretty great."
I have many thoughts, but can we start with the idea that war without the shooting is “pretty great”?
— Christian hip-hop artist Lecrae talks to The Atlantic about rap, God, and faith in art.
David Fincher: “And the Other Way Is Wrong”
"Rarely does a week pass without my hearing this at coffee hour on Sunday," Sarah writes.
As I ruminate on this, I keep coming back to the possibility that all-vitamins-no-carbs Christianity is somewhat classist. (Soon, I’ll be writing a piece on LGBT celibacy and socioeconomic status. Stay tuned.) It assumes that everyone lives and has grown up living a comforted, middle class, white, suburban American lifestyle and struggles with a tendency to resist Christianity’s more rigorous demands. It assumes that if given the choice and both options were equally Christian, everyone would naturally gravitate toward parishes and traditions that serve cotton candy because it’s pleasant and requires no sacrifice…thus, the need to reinforce awareness of our failings and our need to overcome passions.
I think the primary reason that rantings against cotton candy Christianity evoke fear in me is my upbringing was very different from that of most people I’ve attended church with as an adult. There was absolutely nothing soft or comforting about the Christianity of my childhood. The majority of my home county’s population was (and still is) part of the working poor, or lower middle class at best. My parents worked their fingers to the bone for every dime my family had. I don’t want to overplay our financial state because many families had only a fraction of what we did, but I can say without hesitation that as a child my opportunities were minimal when compared to what my suburban Midwest and East Coast friends had at their fingertips from birth. It was inconceivable to think that any Christian in my home county viewed Christianity as light and fluffy: there was nothing light and fluffy about life itself. …
Many people who grew up like I did don’t benefit much from reminders about the rigor of true Christianity.