Batman v Superman is the movie America needs right now

If you’re like me, you’re up late watching CNN coverage of the 2016 election. You’ve finished your most on-the-nose strong beer (in my case a 32-ounce can of Arizona Wilderness American Presidential Stout). You should go to bed, but you can’t stop fretting over the future of this country.

This is worse than, say, the Cubs winning the World Series. It’s times like these that I go back to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

It’s the most divisive movie of 2016. While fans like me loved the movie, critics panned it for its dour tone and murky character motivations.

But what are you doing tomorrow? You sure as hell don’t want to watch the news. That doesn’t make you feel good. Instead you feel fever. Rage. Powerlessness. Continue reading Batman v Superman is the movie America needs right now

I was all-in on bad science, and I’m sorry

I was selfish. I was arrogant. I willfully contributed to an environmental and public-health crisis that is putting my children, your children, everyone at risk. All I can say is I’m sorry, I’ve changed, and I’ll do my best to make this right.

I’m talking about antibacterial soap. Chemicals like triclosan and triclocarban have contributed to the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria like MRSA. They’re known endocrine disruptors that our babies wind up consuming in breast milk. They’re contaminating our water supply.

The state of Minnesota has banned triclosan, and the FDA is mulling a national ban on antibacterial soap (big update on this below). For more on the problem, check out this article from Arizona State University (go Devils).

But I’m not here to lecture you on the dangers of antibacterial chemicals. For me, the issue is personal. I remember my high-school biology teacher sounding the alarm 17 years ago, and I didn’t listen. Continue reading I was all-in on bad science, and I’m sorry

All 8 Quentin Tarantino movies, ranked

Podcasts are a big stay-at-home dad life hack. They provide hours of free, portable entertainment. They get me through the dishes and fulfill my oft-neglected need to hear only adults talking.

Some friends of mine have a world-renowned podcast with hundreds of episodes and many thousands of listeners. I don’t often listen because it’s about professional wrestling. But the good folks at The Steel Cage have invited me to appear on two of their off-topic episodes, better known as the Unfunny Nerd Tangent.

In the latest installment, we come up with the definitive ranking of Quentin Tarantino’s films. Don’t forget, dads, that in Kill Bill Vol. 2 (pictured above), Tarantino showed us the best possible way to welcome a stressed-out mom home from work. Continue reading All 8 Quentin Tarantino movies, ranked

Dusting off Dad’s glory days of writing

In the fall of 2003, a panel of Arizona State University staff asked me what I wanted my legacy to be at ASU. I told them I wanted future students to read my school-newspaper columns and think, “That guy got it right.”

The panel didn’t appoint me to homecoming court, and I’ve always blamed that dumb answer. My journalism career quickly beat into me the idea that nobody cares about old opinion pieces.

I was wrong! Today, national sports blog SB Nation noticed that ASU’s Sun Devil Stadium expressly prohibits tortillas. Turns out the definitive reporting on fascist anti-tortilla policies comes from a column I wrote in 2002.

Author Bill Hanstock calls me “a brilliant student reporter” and, immediately thereafter, includes a painful reminder about how old I am.

I’m pretty sure tortillas have been on the blacklist since I was in school, and this year ASU is cracking down on kegs and drinking games at tailgates. No “shot gunning,” a tailgating activity so familiar to me that I would have written it as one word.

See, the point of throwing tortillas at football games in 2002 was to carry on a tradition. That’s probably why I shotgun the occasional beer at tailgates. Thinking these activities are misguided doesn’t make you a fascist.

But the fun police need to appreciate that all these little things add up to a legacy of fandom. Fourteen years of these shenanigans have made me a bigger fan of ASU football than any other sport.

I want my kids to be as passionate about ASU football as I am. I realize that my debauched traditions are slowly giving way to more family-friendly activities. In time, though, the kids will come up with their own wild stuff. That’s a legacy.

Look what I'm doing with tortillas now!
Look what I’m doing with tortillas now!

Arizona State needs legacies like these. Already, the university is forcing students to subsidize athletics with a $150-per-student fee. ASU claims the largest student section in the Pac-12, while student attendance is dwindling at traditional football powerhouses.

Keep “The Inferno” rowdy, and my kids will happily pay to build their little legacies there. I’ll be on the other side of the stadium, riling up the alumni. In a good way.