On John Updike & Easter

While Joseph reflected on Good Friday last year, we urge you to enjoy this poem from John Updike and Michael Bowman's reflections so that you can let this year's celebration of Easter impact your life beyond Easter Sunday. Have a blessed week! "Seven Stanzas at Easter" by John Updike Make no Read more

Roundtable: 2014 NBA Playoffs Preview

Spring has sprung, The Masters has come and gone, so now The Wise Guise and the sports world are focused on one thing: The NHL Playoffs -- er (clears throat), excuse me... THE NBA PLAYOFFS, BABY! The Grizzly Bears have nestled into the 7 seed and will face a familiar foe in Read more

He Said, She Said Movie Review: Veronica Mars

Joseph and Palmer were supporters of the Veronica Mars movie from its KickStarter's early beginnings. Now that the movie has come out, Joseph and Palmer give their reviews of the feature length reunion of one of the first shows they watched together as a married couple. Joseph: In its first weekend Read more

Bitten by the Green-Eyed Monster

We all fall victim to the green-eyed monster. It has plagued mankind since the beginning of time. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that the first reference the green-eyed monster dates back hundreds of years to Shakespeare's Othello. O, beware, my lord, of jealousy; It is the green-ey'd Read more

My Weekend at The Masters: Bubba, History, and How It's Supposed to Be

It was clear on Saturday night how things were going to go, if you looked at Twitter, watched the Golf Channel, and listened to the pundits. On Sunday, here's how it was supposed to be… - Bubba Watson had only won 1 out of 14 tournaments that he had led Read more

Feeny Friday: First Girl Meets World Teaser Trailer

Happy Feeny Friday, you Feeny Fanatics! Today's post is as simple as it is wonderful - the first Girl Meets World teaser trailer is here. We are also getting more GMW cast photos, as well as confirmations that Feeny will be back for the pilot (premiering sometime this summer), Minkus will be back Read more

Jon Stewart Takes On the ObamaCare Launch

Posted on by Joseph Williams in Featured, Politics, Television | 1 Comment

Screen Shot 2013 10 22 at 8.37.33 AM Jon Stewart Takes On the ObamaCare Launch

When he’s good, he’s good. Jon Stewart has made two things clear during his long and hilarious run as host of The Daily Show:

(1) He leans left and is more sympathetic to liberal causes and the Democratic Party.

(2) He takes no prisoners and will call a spade a spade, hilariously attacking incompetence from politicians and policies across the political spectrum and from both parties.

Combined together, this means he often reserves some of his most scathing critiques for failures coming from liberals and the Democratic Party.

And the failed launch of the ObamaCare website is no exception. His takedown last night had me laughing until I cried. Enjoy!

Fantasy Worldviews – From Middle Earth to Westeros (Fare Forward Excerpt)

Posted on by Joseph Williams in Books, Entertainment, Featured, Movies, Television | Leave a comment
The Hobbit Fantasy Worldviews   From Middle Earth to Westeros (Fare Forward Excerpt)

The Hobbit

Author’s Note: This post is excerpts of an essay I wrote for Fare Forward. I highly recommend you visit that site, like the publication on Facebook, and even become a subscriber.  It’s a collection of people much smarter and much better at writing than me, discussing all topics you could imagine through a deeply intellectual Christian worldview.  I’m humbled to have written for them previously and for them to have been kind enough to invite me back to write again. They’re far too kind to me. I’ve tricked them into thinking I’m a legitimate writer.  Please don’t destroy this illusion. But do support Fare Forward. It’s amazing what they’re doing. 

This post contains excerpts of my essay entitled, “Fantasy Worldviews: From Middle Earth to Westeros.” Whether you’re a fan of Tolkien’s Middle Earth or Martin’s Game of Thrones universe, I think you’ll enjoy my reflections on what Martin borrows from Tolkien and what each fantasy epic tells us about ourselves and our time.

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Dear Homeland

Posted on by Jeremy Wilson in Entertainment, Featured, Television, TV Reviews | Leave a comment

Homeland season 3 Dear Homeland

Dear Homeland,

I hope this letter finds you well. I began writing this after the second episode, but then I thought I was jumping the gun and being a bit too harsh. I thought that it wasn’t fair to judge a show so quickly that has such a strong history.

However, after watching episode three, I can’t hold back anymore.

Homeland… you know when you’re reading a book and you catch yourself zoning out? Then, you have to go back and find the part that you last remember? That happened THREE times to me during Homeland on Sunday. THREE TIMES! How many times have I had that happen during a TV show before? ZERO—and for what it’s worth, it’s not like I watch TV once a week. One time when I was rewinding the show, I realized that the last part I remembered was Carrie building a house out of popsicle sticks in the psych ward. Yes, THAT was a “memorable moment” of last night’s show. A show that once had its viewers squeezing the couch as the main character was escaping burning buildings now has this same character building miniature houses out of popsicle sticks.

Homeland, it’s as if no one told you that your show started three weeks ago. After three weeks, I feel like I’m watching the part of a show that happens in between seasons that isn’t supposed to be filmed or seen.

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Thank you, Warner.

Posted on by Alex Beene in Assorted Wisdom, Featured, Misc. Posts | Leave a comment

327091 10100175957052516 2117622088 o 300x199 Thank you, Warner.

Warner Russell is one of the guys who taught me what true friendship is. Saying that seems strange at first; we barely knew each other throughout college until we were both months away from graduation. Truth be told, we’ve only seen each other in person a handful of times in recent years, at dinners, movies and weddings of mutual friends.

However, span of time is something overrated in assessing the impact one has had on another’s life. There are some people I’ve known for years that haven’t offered a positive word, while there have been others who have sent me thoughtful messages just days after meeting them.

I first met Warner when we were both working at “The Daily Mississippian.” I was Arts & Life Editor, and he was a writer for the opinion section. I started reading his stuff each week, a real rarity because I never browsed pieces outside of my section. I’d laugh frequently and get joy out of hearing his insights.

A few weeks later, a mutual friend of ours, Clint Rosenblatt, connected us, and the following week Warner started writing for my section. He’d continue to do such until graduation in May. During that time, the Arts section got some really great content – comical, engaging and even sometimes touching.

There’s something I learned from my experience with Warner, though. Up until that final few months, I had been pretty hard about dictating exactly what writers for my section should write. I was controlling and was quickly angered if one of my writers failed to comply with a suggestion.

Imagine my surprise when I e-mailed Warner a list of topics his first week on the job as suggestions of things to cover, and he did exactly zero of them. I scratched my head when I got his first article. In the cockiest of mental sayings, I thought to myself, “Does this guy not know who I am and what I want?”

When I began to read his work, all my dread melted away. What was left was a profound appreciation. From that week forward, I never told or even hinted at what Warner should write about; I let him make the decisions for topics. And, in those final few weeks, I employed the same tactic with my other writers.

Warner’s ignoring whatever I requested wasn’t an act of rebellion but an issue of trust. I had brought him in as a great writer, and I knew he thought I should trust in him to write words of wisdom for me. And that he did.

Years later, when I began to write for The Wise Guise, Warner and his friends returned the favor. They’ve given me complete freedom in what I choose to write about each week. And sure, we may throw ideas out to one another from time to time, but we don’t direct one another on the exact words or tone of a piece. We trust in each other to create good content, and it shows.

Independence is the absolute most difficult element of life to incorporate into a friendship, relationship or business setting. As humans, our default mode is to be controlling and needy, constantly expecting others to sacrifice their time and effort to fit our personal desires.

For years, I did this. Even throughout college, as I was “growing up,” I attempted to rotate my friends’ needs around my own because it was what was good for me. What you discover is when you don’t allow people to have independence in their actions, complain at them for not altering their schedule or appearance to your wants, and offer directives instead of letting free thought roam…well, you’re not really abiding by the rules of friendship. If you’re in a relationship, locking someone to you isn’t love. And if there’s no trust in business, then I doubt your operation is going to make it for long.

It’s the independence Warner and his friends have given me to write on this site that has helped get me through some hard personal and professional times. Writing is the best form of therapy, as it allows me to vent my feelings on a range of topics the same way a fighter would take to a punching bag.

And most important of all, it’s the constant enthusiasm and appreciation Warner has greeted my work with that makes me feel blessed to be a part of this team. I enjoy hearing from and chatting with him not out of some strange, invisible obligation from college to reach out every once and a while to an old friend, but rather because I genuinely enjoy hearing what perspective he brings to a conversation.

Why do I say all this? What’s with the Warner love fest? I could ramble on with explanations, but does there have to be one? We so often fail to communicate to people how important they are to us.

What you should know is The Wise Guise wouldn’t be the great blog it is without Warner Russell, and I wouldn’t be the somewhat-respectable guy I am today without the traits he taught me.

Warner, from all of us here at The Wise Guise, we just want to thank you for enriching our lives. You’ve been there for us, and we are proud to be there for you. Take care, my friend.

Someone to Second My Motion for a Permanent Government Shutdown?

Posted on by Grant Oster in Featured, Politics | Leave a comment

photo e1381769775171 Someone to Second My Motion for a Permanent Government Shutdown?I got in my car Thursday morning and headed to work like I normally do–with a few, slight changes to my regular route. In looking at the map to your right, I live at the purple dot and I work at the red dot. However, this morning I would end up at the blue dot. Yes, it was way out of my way, and it made me late to work; however, I could not bear to pull into my office and get out of my car. In fact, I drove past my office twice before heading to the blue dot. But let’s start at the beginning of my journey. Read more

Top 20 Things Learned from New York Magazine’s Interview w/ Justice Scalia

Posted on by Joseph Williams in Assorted Wisdom, Faith, Featured, Politics | Leave a comment

scalia Top 20 Things Learned from New York Magazines Interview w/ Justice Scalia

In an era of social media and 24-hour news cycles, people disagree often. Whether it’s Miley Cyrus, the government shutdown, award shows, or football games, people disagree vehemently always and often. In this era, there is arguably no one who invokes more ardent loyalty or utter disgust than Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Some view him as the lone voice of reason in the wilderness standing for what is right in America, while others think he hates minorities of every kind and is terrible for America. Most admit that he is one of the smartest and wittiest minds in the legal field today, although people debate to what extent he uses his legal powers for good or evil.

Regardless, Scalia is a fascinating figure and has had a front-seat to U.S. legal, political, and cultural shifts since the mid-1970s. So it was refreshing recently when New York Magazine interviewed Scalia in a free-wheeling, no-holds-barred interview. While there is a lot of insight for legal nerds of all ideologies, there was a lot revealed in the interview that should be interesting to all Americans. What does Scalia think about Facebook, Seinfeld, different media outlets, the current state of political gridlock, Pope Francis, poker, heaven, hell, the Devil, and his place in history?

Well, here’s the Top 20 things we learned. Enjoy! To read the entire interview (which is well worth doing especially if you want to understand how he thinks about legal matters), click here.

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My Apologies to Miley: Lessons in Ego and Work Ethic in the Modern Age

Posted on by Alex Beene in Entertainment, Featured, Music | 1 Comment

Miley Cyrus Tongue Out My Apologies to Miley: Lessons in Ego and Work Ethic in the Modern Age

I know, I know. For weeks, many of you have been coming to The Wise Guise frantically searching for the words “By Alex Beene” scrolling beneath one of the headlines. When it was absent, you take the flask out from your coat pocket, down a quick gulp and ponder how in the hell you’d make it through another work day without my wisdom.

Today is your lucky day. The good news is you’re going to get some new views from yours truly that will hopefully make your 8-hour sit at the office more bearable. The bad news is this will be my final column for a while. I’ll be away doing daily tasks much more boring than providing five minutes of disposable entertainment for your day, I assure you. So, look for me to root on my fellow staff from the sidelines in the coming weeks instead of playing in the game.

I hadn’t planned on writing this, but something has been bothering me for a while now. A little over a month ago, I wrote a tirade on Miley Cyrus’ performance at the VMAs. I felt good about it after sending in the final copy. Since it was published, I’ve actually reread it a few times, a task I rarely do with my writings. And each time, I kept saying, “Alex, you missed the mark big time.” Read more