Book Review: Moral Man & Immoral Society

Moral Man and Immoral Society by Reinhold Niebuhr

Moral Man & Immoral Society: A Study in Ethics and Politics by Reinhold Niebuhr (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001; originally published in 1932. 288 pp) Reinhold Niebuhr was a theologian, ethicist, and professor at Union Theological Seminary. Niebuhr attended Elmhurst College, Eden Theological Seminary, and Yale Divinity School. His views have influence countless leaders including Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter, John McCain, and Madeleine Albright. In 1964, Niebuhr earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He died in 1971. Looking Back Review the 20th Century and you’ll find plenty to criticize. World wars. Genocide. Massive technological advances. For every slice of progress, it seems there’s an equal and opposite setback. Two steps forward. Two steps backward. With the benefit of hindsight,… Read More →

Television Show Review: House of Cards: Season 4

House of Cards Season 4

House of Cards: Season 4 created by Beau Willimon (Media Rights Capital, Panic Pictures, Trigger Street Productions, Netflix) Starring Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, Michael Kelly, Nathan Darrow, Mahersala Ali, Molly Parker, Jayne Atkinson, and Elizabeth Marvel. All Hail the Death of Political Drama Political drama is dead. We have killed it. Over the previous three seasons of House of Cards, the Achilles’ heel of an addictive show emerged in its suspension of disbelief. The viewer can only go so far before the murder, betrayal, and political scheming becomes absurd. And yet, our current political climate suggests we aren’t going far enough to push the absurdity of our political drama. Granted, none of our current Presidential runners go to the depths… Read More →

Television Show Review: Show Me a Hero

Show Me a Hero

Show Me a Hero written by David Simon and directed by Paul Haggis (Blown Deadline Productions, Pretty Pictures, Home Box Office) Starring Oscar Isaac, Carla Quevedo, Alfred Molina, Ilfenesh Hadera, Natalie Paul, Peter Riegert, Jon Bernthal, Winona Ryder, and Brianna Horne. Literary Quotes “Show me a hero and I’ll write you a tragedy.” —F. Scott Fitzgerald The path of righteousness is a lonely road. The right side of history does not often equate with the populace. When a hero takes a stand, you better bet she’ll face opposition. It’s the nature of the beast. Even more interesting are the people whose leadership emerges in shades of gray. Taking a stand occurs as a matter of convenience, or as the best… Read More →

Book Review: The Lowland

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahirir

The Lowland: A Novel by Jhumpa Lahiri (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2013.  352 pp) Born in London to Bengali immigrants, Jhumpa Lahiri moved to the United States at the young age of 3. Her first published work, Interpreter of Maladies, won the Pulitzer Prize in 2000. In 2007, Hollywood adapted The Namesake into a feature film.  A recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, Lahiri is a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children. Reality Suspension Why do you read? One of the big reasons for me is the ability to transport into different settings, cultures, and points of view. When an author succeeds in suspending reality and… Read More →

Television Review: House of Cards: Season 1

House of Cards: Season 1 developed and produced by Beau Willimon (Media Rights Capital, Panic Pictures, Trigger Street Productions, Netflix) Starring Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, Michael Kelly, Kate Mara, and Corey Stoll. Welcome to the Future of Television I can’t tell you how many times I’ve complained about cable. For me, an avid sports fan and a connoisseur of shows with more depth than network television can offer, I would probably only pay for sports channels and AMC if I had a choice. But I don’t. It’s either all or nothing, and at this point I go for all just to get something. But what if television could be an entirely different endeavor? What if you could pay for what… Read More →

Album Review: Document

Document by R.E.M. (I.R.S. Records, 1987. 40 minutes) Formed in 1980 in Athens, Georgia, R.E.M. is one of the first alternative rock bands. The band has released 15 full-length studio albums and is well known for campaigning for political and humanitarian causes. R.E.M. disbanded in 2011. Chasing the Tree Recently, the Seattle Mariners traded Mike Carp. This occurrence has nothing to do with R.E.M. other than it serves a point I am about to make. This AAAA First Baseman/Left Fielder is the latest player in a long line of acquisitions that can be traced back to the Mark Langston trade in 1989. More specifically, Langston became Randy Johnson became Freddy Garcia became Jeremy Reed became Mike Carp. Something about tracing… Read More →