Wrestling with Death: The Next Big Thing in Reality TV


If you aren’t watching Wrestling with Death, you 100% should be. Wrestling with Death chronicles the life of LaFonce Latham and his family as they run a funeral home while also running a professional wrestling promotion in Osceola, AR. You see what they did there with the name of the Read more

The Bachelor 2015: Episode 4 (Shameless Plug Week!)


My sincerest apologies for the delay on this post – my real job that actually pays me money got in the way. Don’t worry, I have found a way to prevent this from happening in the future. I set up a Kickstarter page that opens every Monday, so you Read more

"Birdman" takes lead in Best Picture Battle


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. The Producers and Actors guilds had different plans, Read more

The Bachelor 2015: Episode 3 (Costco is for Lovers)


Alternate Titles: Chris kissed me and all I got was this lousy t-shirt; or, Jillian's little black box; or, Big time players make big time plays, and in this case the big time player is Jade. Dear Friends Who Watched Farmer Chris Kiss Everyone on Television Last Night, I must confess Read more

Fatherhood, Faith, and Film


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, Read more

My Problem with Maroon 5’s New Video for “Sugar”


Earlier this week, Maroon 5 released their video for Sugar, a catchy, hook-filled, bubble-gum pop of a song. Just to clarify, no shame here, I think it’s pretty good. Whatever. The video shows Adam Levine and the boys crashing weddings and playing the song at the receptions. They have their Read more

The Sacred, the Secular, and Lecrae

Posted on by Joseph Williams in Entertainment, Faith, Featured, Music | 4 Comments

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It boggles my mind and, yet, it’s the primary example that it can be done with hard work, faithfulness, and, most importantly, the grace of God.

It boggles my mind because I first met Lecrae back in the early days of college when he performed a concert at Christ United Methodist in Memphis, TN where I was a youth group intern for the summer. He was also well-known by my friends who worked at Kanakuk Kamps over the summer. We all had hope for Lecrae because, while he was a Christian rapper performing in Christian environments, he was not like most of the other Christian rappers. He was not like most of the other Christian artists.

His work was at a higher level than most other Christian art, whether they be film, music, or television. It was at the next level.

But not in my wildest imagination did I ever dream of the day where Lecrae would sit in with The Roots on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and be introduced as having the #1 music album in America.

Not the #1 Christian rap album or #1 Christian album or #1 rap album.

Nope. Lecrae’s latest album, Anomaly, is the #1 album in America. Period. Full stop.

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Memo to the NFL: Clean it up or Close it down

Posted on by Alex Beene in Featured, Football | Leave a comment

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Two weeks ago before a video emerged of Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice brutally hitting his wife in a hotel elevator, I gave my students an assignment as a writing prompt. “NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said if a player is accused of domestic abuse moving forward, the punishment will be a six-game suspension for the first offense and indefinite suspension after the second. Is this penalty too harsh or not harsh enough?” Read more

What to do if You Just Got Laid Off or Fired

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

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To me, other than the loss of a loved one, I cannot think of an event more disheartening, more unnerving, more earth-shattering than being laid off or fired from what provides you and your family with basic necessities–food, clothing, and shelter. It seems to me, as of late, that everyone I know is being laid off. I’ve had four friends get laid off in just in as many months. As my friends struggle to find new employment, it really had me thinking (and to be honest, worrying a little about my future). Therefore, I took some time to research “What to do when you’re laid off,” and “What not to do when you’re fired.” I figured that I’d look into the information now, as it would be better processed when I’m not in desperate need of employment. The following are some helpful tidbits of advice that can help you or your friends in their time of need. Read more

Is Ghostbusters the Perfect Comedy? Quite Possibly.

Posted on by Joseph Williams in Entertainment, Featured, Movies | Leave a comment

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When my colleagues recently organized a matinee viewing of the remastered re-release of the 1984 classic, Ghostbustersto kickstart Labor Day weekend, I was all in. I’ve always loved the movie, Ghostbusters, but admitted that I hadn’t seen it from beginning to end in over a decade. Sure, I’d seen clips here and there on late night showings on cable TV, but I did not fully appreciate it as one of the all-time best comedies, a masterpiece which launched a new genre, cemented and catapulted numerous careers, and remains an inspiration for the comic films in the three decades since its release in summer 1984.

Whether you’ve seen Ghostbusters once, can quote the entire film, or have never seen it all, I highly recommend you take the time to read the two oral histories published this year even though there is a decent amount of overlap.

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A (Video) Wake-Up Call

Posted on by Alex Beene in Entertainment, Featured, Football | Leave a comment

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We’re all guilty of it at one time or another. Our favorite actor, sports star or politician finds himself or herself in a bad place. Perhaps it’s an affair that stuns, domestic abuse that horrifies or – worst of all – murder to another human being. We, the fans, are burdened with the task of either choosing to condemn this celebrity with the media bandwagon or defend them. Read more

Joan Rivers: An American Institution

Posted on by Alex Beene in Entertainment, Featured | Leave a comment

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“Think positive. Make a list. “One, I don’t live in Bosnia. Two, I never dated O. J.”

I started to write a memorial for Joan Rivers and found the task more difficult than I expected it to be. Why? Celebrity deaths hurt, especially when we feel like we’ve known the personality for years. That concept is nothing new. Read more