I’ll always remember pulling up my then-favorite Internet hangout and seeing the top post, “THE GLASS DESERT,” full of comments about how we should nuke ‘em 'til they glow.
I’ll always remember the guy who drove his pickup truck into the Islamic Center of East Lansing the day after.
I’ll always remember the U.S. Senate voting 98-1 for a plainly unconstitutional law that to this day allows our police, military and intelligence agencies to spy on us basically as much as they want.
I’ll always remember all the big mouths on TV and all the big words in fancy papers agreeing that the only sensible recourse was to kill whoever did this, kill whoever was associated with anyone who did this, kill whoever lived in the same country as anyone who did this and maybe even just go ahead and kill anyone who looks like anyone who did this, just to be safe.
I’ll always remember the outrage directed toward anyone who dared suggest it might not actually be super awesome to respond to terrorist attacks on symbols of American financial, military, and political might by spending trillions of dollars on killing millions of people to make a political point.
I’ll always remember being assured by The Adults in the Room that it would be un-American to oppose not just any wars the President might want to do in the name of revenge, but also any policy goals he felt like enacting. As a result, we gutted our public schools and gave rich people $5.6 trillion of our money, huge social losses we’ve never recouped.
I’ll always remember the security theatre: The Land of the Free and Home of the Brave not just willing but eager to strip itself of any right to decency or privacy. Eager to sacrifice liberty and democracy in the pursuit of security. Eager to give up everything that makes our country great just to be able to go back to not thinking about it.
I’ll always remember Pat Tillman: the remarkable young man who left the NFL to answer the call to serve, discovered the cause he was fighting for was unjust, got killed by his compatriots, had his death covered up by the military he served and still has his memory disrespected every single year by people who want to pretend his story stops at that first comma.
I’ll always remember the military-industrial hogs fattening themselves on 6.4 trillion dollars of government pork. I’ll always remember the black sites and war crimes and illegal mercenaries. I’ll always remember the unending rivers of blood.
I’ll always remember the outpouring of goodwill from around the world, our longtime allies (and longtime enemies) grieving along with us. I’ll always remember how that goodwill curdled as we burned the world in vengeance. I’ll always remember how we repaid the French vowing “Les Français N’oublieront Jaimais” by chowing down on “Freedom Fries.”
I’ll always remember how our leaders and bosses used the tragedy as cover to spend the next 20 years dismantling the peace and prosperity Millenials were raised to believe was our birthright–and slipped it all into their pockets.
I love America. I love our people. I believe in our values and ideals. I honor the service of those who’ve put their lives on the line to uphold those ideals. I mourn for all those who lost their lives, their loved ones, or their way of life on September 11th, 2001. I’ll never forget.
But I’ll always remember.
Photo via VICE, who ganked it from a Flickr account
One of the many experiences that inspired me to launch Gimme Schalter was launching a pretty cool football podcast with a couple of amazing people, pulling a bunch of A-list guests, doing two shows a week for nearly a year and having absolutely no one listen to it.
It didn’t help that the fledgling sports-media network we allied ourselves flamed out almost immediately—or that as a result, we had to change our name, our host, and our RSS feed. But since we started last fall, Three & Out quickly matured into the excellent show I thought it could be when Michael Schottey, Samantha Bunten and I first talked about it.
We’ve been going non-stop ever since, getting better the whole way. With Week 1 of NFL football kicking off tonight (!!!), we just dropped our best-ever episode.
It’s smart, it’s funny, it’s got former NFL Executive of the Year Randy Mueller on for a guest segment, AND it’s got a full slate of Week 1 NFL picks sponsored by Pickwatch.com:
I host the show, I produce the show, and sometimes I still listen to the show anyway just because it is the thing I wanted to exist.
C'mon, give us a shot. We’re on:
Oh! Speaking of Pickwatch, the new column I teased last week is up and running on there. It’s full of interesting nuggets on predicting the always-unpredictable opening week. It’s short, it’s quick, it’s fun, it’s good, feel free to click and enjoy.
I’ve repeatedly expressed my anxiety about launching a newsletter just after the peak of the Substack Bro Backlash, as I’m not trying to do anything like what those guys are doing, in either form or content.
Well, one of the Those-iest of Those Guys, Andrew Sullivan, has just published a collection of his published writing (“1989-2021,” as if Sullivan’s planning on exporting a “2022-2053” volume directly from Substack). Though conservatives, such as Sullivan, typically decry viewing everything through the lens of identity, he’s as gay as he is Catholic, and his grappling with the contradictions therein are a huge chunk of the book.
Peck’s meticulous, provocative, deeply personal review proves again that art critique by someone who shares identities with the artist can give us all a much better understanding of exactly how the work succeeds—or, in this case, fails.
Qualifying for the men’s World Cup in 2022 kicked off this past weekend, and Wednesday’s incredible come-from-behind 4-1 win on the road at the literal murder capital of the world had USMNT fans like myself experiencing the full range of emotions sports can inspire.
SiriusXM’s Jason Davis and his longtime podcast partner Jared DuBois have covered U.S. soccer and MLS as authentically, intelligently, professionally, passionately, and goofily as anybody ever, and their work has been set to download onto my phone for over a decade. If you want to go along for the ride as the U.S. men try to right the wrong of missing the last World Cup, here’s the show you need to get on board with (and here’s the podcast link, if that’s your thing).
Also, I called in to this one [eyes emoji].
That’s a heck of a title, now that I’ve copied and pasted it.
But it’s also a heck of a piece. Constructed as a kind of oral history of Dan Campbell’s football life, it’s two metric tons of incredible anecdata about a guy who most NFL fans only know as a dude who looks like The Dude and ranted about biting kneecaps at his introductory presser. This is some really, really impressive reporting by Nick and Chris on the story of a guy who’s a walking story.
Oh, and if it asks you to subscribe? I’m pretty sure The Athletic’s got a deal going on, and if you like any kind of sports I’m quite sure it’s worth the money.
Jason’s Genre Grapevine newsletter is indispensable service journalism for anyone who likes genre fiction and geeky media. His new novel THE PLAGUE BIRDS is one of my most anticipated reads for this year.
But this piece is neither of those things. It’s a beautiful, difficult, wide-ranging medication on the nature of discovery, inspiration, ideation, and professional creative work.
Block out some time, some quiet space, and take it in.
I took my annual pre-football Labor Day camping vacation, and I’ve got the beach TikToks to prove it. I started a new football-writing gig immediately prior to the NFL kickoff, which again is tonight, and also I had a bunch of kid and family stuff come up (such as working soccer concessions).
What I’m saying is, the #TyNoWriPro did not get much attention.
HOWEVER, I did get some crucial research reading done over four days by Lake Erie: A non-fiction book that speaks directly to a key concept underpinning the novel’s second half, and a couple of potential comp titles for the novel’s pitch.
As I frantically draft this newsletter to meet my self-imposed Thursday deadline, I know I’m going to get a chance to jump back into CODEX 17.