Five Alternate Endings for Last Friday Morning

Last Friday morning was a difficult one. A little after nine months after separating from my wife, I finally made the soul-crushing journey down to the local circuit court to file for divorce. It was an overwhelming experience in many ways. It was expensive. The paperwork was confusing. And worst of all, it meant I could no longer be in denial that our marriage was over. Continue reading

New Year’s Resolutions for 2017

Photo by Billy Hicks.

Any expert in making New Year’s resolutions will tell you the same thing: it is important to set attainable and measurable goals. Otherwise you are only setting yourself up for failure and the humiliation of having to admit to friends and family at the end of the year that you have accomplished nothing. With that in mind, I have worked out a set of goals for myself in the New Year that I think are both practical and modestly ambitious. Continue reading

Death or Something Like It

Last night I walked around downtown Grand Rapids, feeling like a ghost who was haunting the city. You don’t have to die to leave your life behind; people do it all the time for different reasons. You can build up an idea of who you are, what your identity is, and have it pulled out from underneath you like the tablecloth in a cheap parlor trick. You’re left suspended in air for that brief moment before—like Wile E. Coyote in a Road Runner cartoon—you realize with horror that you’ve been defying the laws of physics. Then when you finally hit the ground, it doesn’t feel like you’ll ever get back up. Continue reading

The Live-Action Punishers, Ranked


The Punisher was one of my favorite superheroes as a kid. He is the vigilante element of the superhero distilled down to its core essence. Like Batman, The Punisher didn’t have any superpowers, just a whole lot of anger. Unlike Batman, he didn’t feel the need to get all theatrical about it. Forget dressing up like a bat and pretending like that would do anything but make criminals kind of scratch their heads a little, all The Punisher needed as his costume was a goddamn skull on his shirt.

There have now been four different live-action takes on The Punisher, three on the big screen and the most recent one in Netflix’s Daredevil series. They have had varying degrees of success, both creatively and financially, and they have also been quite distinct from each other. I’ve seen them all, and I’m here to give you my hot take on which are the best and which are the worst.

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Why I’m Done with Kanye


I’ve been a Kanye West apologist for years, much to my wife’s chagrin. “But he’s such a misogynist asshole,” she would protest anytime I would mention him. “Well yeah,” I would respond, “but he makes such great music.”

It’s often difficult to know where to draw the line when separating an artist from his or her music. It’s only the rare occasion that the line is clearly drawn, like with Bill Cosby. How many people are going to be firing up their Cosby Show DVDs now, after it has become entirely apparent that he is a serial rapist? Well, apparently Kanye has no problem with it. Continue reading