The European Super League or how to be rich and fail with delusions of success

Plenty of extremely smart and well informed people have written eloquently since the European Super League imploded on itself in the week of April 19, 2021: Miguel Delaney, the inimitable Brian Phillips, the Football Ramble folks, everyone at Stadio, Jonathan Wilson, Tariq Panja, you get the idea. More brilliant commentary will come (and indeed has since I started tinkering with this essay), but I particularly like this bit from Marcelo Bielsa in Wilson’s piece. Bielsa is the coach at Leeds United and arguably one of the most influential coaches in modern football:

“The logic in the world at the moment…


Star Wars fandom might kill what it loves, but only if Disney doesn’t beat them to it

As I was daydreaming about a fancy new graphic grappling for my ranking of all the saga films (or whatever we’re calling the core Star Wars films these days), my favorite thought was about this street installation at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum that puts the planets proportionally far from the sun (the Museum) along the Mall, which is pretty cool, because a)it still includes Pluto as a planet and b) the gap between Pluto and the rest of the planets just about captures how I feel about the prequels’ distance from the rest of Star Wars.

Apologies to Jeffrey Bennett and the other Voyage communities

But…


Or the year I raced to the end

Whew. Wow. 2019 was a wild year for me on the movie front. I had intense periods of engagement with film, film criticism (at least in the Twitterverse), and film podcasts. On the other hand, I also had loooooooong periods of complete detachment from all of those things either because I was ultra busy or the release schedule was ultra subpar (like this extremely blah summer). Fortunately, I had time right when the release schedule got completely extra and here we on, on the other side of the finish line (except for Oscar prep).

Yeah, like that kind of endurance race, exactly

My overall impression of the year…


This is not a recipe

I knew as soon as I saw the recipe that I had to make them. Had. To. Make. Them. I have been extremely privileged the last few years in that the only meals I very much had to cook were certain holiday meals that the family expected (like whatever quiche variation I could drag from my memory at Christmas or the spatchcocked turkey that saved Thanksgiving by freeing up the oven). Every other meal was just an opportunity to make something extravagant or decadent or just extremely inefficient. I’ve made pork tonkotsu ramen over the course of 48 hours starting…


Thinking about the NFL’s S-curve

Students of chemistry are achingly familiar with the S curve, not only because we had to stare at so many of them while preparing for our lab sections on acids and bases, but also because so many of us bombed those very lab sections. We hadn’t mastered the delicate dance of cracking open stopcock on a burette just enough while keeping our eye on the pH meter to accurately record the moment that liquid hit. I have fond memories of my chemistry days, but I can’t quite remember why I needed to know the equivalence point between an acid and…


Quentin Tarantino almost gets it totally right

At his very best, Quentin Tarantino leverages his encyclopedic knowledge of all corners of cinema and cinematic conventions into movies structured around innovative narrative strategies, filled with quirky characters spouting iconoclastic dialogue punctuated by visceral moments of violence. He makes it work even if you personally don’t know any of the references and never stopped to think about how stories are told for even one second of your life. At his worst, QT employs harsh, racist language he has no business using, perpetrates horrific violence on human beings for maybe only a laugh…


Chernobyl is a show that is resolutely and solemnly about the past made in such a rigorous way that it can’t happen but make me think about the lack of rigor in our day to day consumption and production of information. NPR produced a podcast with Craig Mazin, the writer and producer of Chernobyl, and Peter Sagal so that they could unpack the levels of obsessive detail on the show. It’s a worthy companion to the hit show, an almost real-time director’s commentary, much of which is Sagal asking Mazin “Really?! That really happened?!” …


My parents made sure I watched the jubilant dismantling of the Berlin Wall on TV, “This is important,” they said. And they were right. Since then, I got an advanced degree in German cultural history and Berlin became my favorite city in the world, so I often find myself thinking about the incredible transformation of that city and of Germany since the fall of the Iron Curtain.

Roughly: This house used to be in a different country.

Mikhail Gorbachev is arguably the single person most specifically responsible for those transformations, the ones that get me choked up on random streets when I have the privilege of spending time in Berlin…


The one with Elle Fanning

Teen Spirit is a vibe, an experience, powered by the sonic grace of some of the foremost pop music operators in the world and the visual grace of a riveting performance, songs included, by Elle Fanning and a talented creative team led by cinematographer Autumn Durald. The title refers to the fictional Idol-like competition that Fanning’s Violet Valenski is inspired to enter as a way to escape her rural surroundings and drown herself in music. …


A faint glimmer of light in a dark timeline

It happened by accident, as my favorite discoveries on Twitter tend to. I can’t even remember how I saw a tweet from Ian Dunt, the editor of politics.co.uk, Parliament watcher, and host of the Remainiacs podcast. It’s not difficult to discern where Dunt’s inclinations lie: his tweets are full to the point of bursting with exasperated white hot anger at the malevolent incompetence on display in Parliament and coming from that address on Downing Street. He wears his heart on his tweets.

He has also been live-tweeting the intense, nerve-wracking parliamentary process of late stage Brexit with almost forensic detail…

Erin Teachman

Theatre. Sports. Econ. Cocktails. General geekery. The usual.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store