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YANG | This One’s for the Theater Kids

When the trailer for NBC’s new series, Rise, popped up on my news feed a few weeks ago, I cursed Facebook’s advertising algorithm and made a mental note about the pilot airing date simultaneously. I mean, a show about a high school theater troupe putting on Spring Awakening, starring Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother) and Auli’i Cravalho (Moana) and produced by Jeffrey Seller (Hamilton)? It practically has my name written all over it. So naturally I had high expectations going in, but I also worried that Rise might fall into the dangerous trap of clichés. And I believe I was right to a certain degree.

LEE | Playing Without the Ball

“He has lost much of the eye-catching dribbling ability of his Manchester days, and certainly appears much less entertaining than his number one rival, Lionel Messi.”

HAGOPIAN | Santorum in Perspective

If my time as a newspaper columnist has taught me anything, it’s that the written word is far from the best way to reach people. When I was hired by The Sun, my own arrogance allowed me to believe that I could be different from so-called “echo chamber” journalists. I told myself that I would aim my words not at those who already agreed with me, but at those who didn’t. Such a thing is easier said than done, however. Fundamental ideological differences, emotional reactions to the mention of certain issues and the inherent ambiguity of language are tough obstacles to overcome in a medium in which no clarification or follow-ups are possible.

RUBASHKIN | Last Call at the Jacobin Club

I’ve been trying to come up with a topic for this column for the past 10 hours, and as of yet, I’ve been unsuccessful. One minute I think I’m onto something, and then the next thing I know I’ve been drawn back online and I’m watching a video of Christopher Hitchens being waterboarded by Vanity Fair in the name of journalism. No, these past 10 hours spent on the couch in my lounge have been entirely unproductive, and even a much-needed break to watch Game of Thrones failed to bear any much-needed information. This is quite unfortunate, given that my column is due in 11 hours and I have yet to begin studying for my exam this week. It is also unfortunate because this is my last column of the year, and my sentimental side is lobbying hard for a thousand words imbued with some sense of finality or conclusion.