This weekend produced two guild stunners that shook up the Oscar race in a big way. We all thought after Best Picture wins from many critics groups and the Golden Globes, “Boyhood” would easily stroll its way to victory.
Or so we thought. Read more
My son, John (Jack) Joseph Williams III, was born on October 10, 2014. If you visit my social media page or run into me, it’s clear how much I love Jack. And most times, you’ll find me quickly veering away from my usual favorite topics of discussion (politics, film, TV, sports, and books) and talk as much as possible about Jack and being Jack’s father.
I’ve been hesitant to blog about my newfound fatherhood, though, for a variety of reasons. 1) I have no wisdom to offer or insight to provide. If anything, fatherhood simply humbles you and makes you more in awe of God the Father and his love for us. Like marriage, you begin to grasp slightly more yet still only a sliver of the all-encompassing love, grace, and sacrifice of God the Father and Christ the Son. 2) No matter what I say, it won’t be as hilarious as Seth’s “10 Things You Need to Know About Babies that Doctors Will Not Tell You.” 3) Fatherhood is the best thing that’s ever happened to me… but I don’t want to be THAT guy.
Yet here I am, a little over three months into parenting, and I’m blogging about fatherhood. What brought me to this point? Well, like most things with me, it all started with George Bailey.
For a full list of nominees, go here.
Alex: No “Lego Movie”? I mean, seriously Academy. No “Lego Movie”?
It was the snub of the morning we certainly didn’t see coming. Sure, things like “Nightcrawler’s” Jake Gyllenhaal getting the boot in favor of “American Sniper’s” Bradley Cooper were a surprise. We’re used to late-in-the-year flicks coming in and snatching of nominations from early releases, though. Read more
Care to watch the Golden Globes this year? That’s OK – I didn’t really feel like it either. Yep, this Awards Addict who normally eagerly anticipates this time of year was less than enthused to tune in Sunday night. I sucked it up and gave this trainwreck of a movie season a chance, mostly out of a mental obligation to my profession, I suppose. Read more
Over the crowded Christmas season, I took a day to head to the local theater and watch Disney’s new release “Into the Woods.” The Meryl Streep-headlined musical is an adaptation of the popular 1986 stage production, which was crafted by theatrical legend Stephen Sondheim. Read more
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Selma (**** out of 4) is ultimately about the hard sacrifices made by ordinary Americans “in order to form [this] more perfect union” mentioned in the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution. This sometimes means breaking unjust laws to establish justice or insuring domestic tranquility by disturbing the peace. Our nation’s history and the history of humanity in general is filled with such paradoxes in order to ensure the general welfare of our nation and other civilizations do not leave behind oppressed minorities who have historically been discriminated against and denied equal dignity. The blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity have not always been extended to everyone.
When I taught U.S. History and U.S. Government in a diverse high school, my favorite topics to teach were the causes of the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement. These topics allowed me to build from foundational knowledge and push my students’ thinking to new levels. One of my favorite activities was dissecting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail and discussing non-violent protest with my students, pointing out how restrained and strategic agitation could successfully bring white moderates into the fold, forcing politicians to take action. But my favorite question to pose to my students was this: Would you be willing to be spit on, beat up, called numerous vulgar names, and not respond with any violence or hatred in return? If you knew your name wouldn’t be in the history books, would you still be willing to sacrifice your dignity temporarily so that dignity could be recognized by law and fact for yourself and your posterity?
Throughout my history classes, I tried to demythologize the legends from our own history. I tried to teach Lincoln, MLK, and others as the flawed humans they were so that my students could truly appreciate the obstacles they faced, sacrifices they made, brilliance they displayed, and history God gave them the opportunity to shape. I wanted them to know that these men and women were no different from them and that these eras in history required men, women, and children whose names we’ll never know.