20 years ago, I was trying to get a small business building computers and installing local networks off the ground (partially because the whole college thing hadn’t been going so great). I’d landed an installation deal at the place where my future wife and her older sister worked, and agreed to come in on Black Friday to get all the heavy lifting done.
My future sister-in-law let me in—and when I realized I’d need a couple more network cards than I had, drove me out to Best Buy. Well, Best Buy on Black Friday in 2001 was so parked up as to be impassable, so she drove me to Circuit City instead.
There was a local radio fan, doing a remote hit, promoting a giveaway: A Nintendo GameCube, a copy of Wave Race: Blue Storm
(which was criminally underrated), an extra controller and a memory card. Being broke and failing at everything, I’d already decided I was going to miss out on the GC, and possibly that entire generation of video-game consoles. On my way out, the radio guy stopped me—wasn’t I going to enter? They were just about to draw!
We both entered.
He stopped me again—they were just about to draw, didn’t I want to stick around?
No, I had work to do.
My sister-in-law drove me back to her office, and just for fun we tuned it to the appropriate channel. As we pulled in, they did the draw. Something about the way he hesitated after he said, “And the winner is—” convinced me he was about to stumble over my name.
I was right.
We turned around.
Though the GameCube’s legacy wasn’t an amazing one—something Khan digs well into—it gave me plenty of hours of fun-filled play. I can’t believe it’s been 20 years.
This is a fun fluff piece, service journalism, and an interesting commentary on the nature of sports arenas all at once. The New York Islanders have come up with 17 different ways to charge hockey fans $17 for a can of beer—which is an achievement all its own—from a wide-open Heineken draft terrace to a literal speakeasy you’ll need a password to enter and won’t be able to watch the game from.
Wyshynski and his ESPN associates visited, photographed, and reviewed all 17 of them on the opening night of the Isles’ new digs. I’m delighted, I’m horrified, and I’m impressed.
One of my foundational moral principles is living in reality—the world we have, not the one we wish we had. Working to reduce real harms and improve the lives of real people. Fighting for positive change instead of sitting around waiting for perfect change. Leading by example rather than trying to lead by fiat. Finding out the truth and doing what works, rather than insisting the world must be the way that makes me comfortable and then insisting it bend it to my will.
Nikole Hannah-Jones and The 1619 Project
have become prime examples of doing all the former things at the expense of all the latter ones. Holding up a mirror to all
of U.S. history, not just the parts that feel good to Americans to celebrate. As a result, she may not be the right wing’s Public Enemy No. 1, but she might just be on their Public Enemy Mount Rushmore.
Here’s a great discussion with PBS Throughline about why telling the whole truth matters—for the past and the present.