A Lottery Winner Gone Rogue

This post was originally published at smerconish.com I’ve been reading the story lately of the woman in New Hampshire who won a $560 million Powerball jackpot and is now fighting the state in order to remain anonymous, an action that strikes me as both suspicious and un-American. The hiding of amazing good fortunes, especially when it involves sums of money that few of us can even fathom, is just something that Americans don’t do. We are a proud, boastful, immodest, braggadocious people and the idea of not wanting to lord your windfall over others seems to go against the core of who we are. In this country, there are only two reasons you don’t want people to find out that you just got a whol

A New Era For Hollywood

This post was originally published at smerconish.com Marvel’s Black Panther, the first black super hero to be featured in his own movie, hits the big screen this weekend. Between fan excitement, interest from the black community, and strong reviews, it’s expected to be one of the biggest comic book movies ever. A film of this magnitude, popularity, and cultural significance raises a question: Is Black Panther’s race the character’s defining quality or does race just add color to the story? A little bit of comic book and Hollywood history first. Comic books and now comic book based movies have had a long and complex relationship with both race and social issues. Sometimes, they’ve been progre

The Better Olympics

This post was originally published at smerconish.com Once again, the Olympics are upon us. It’s not a particularly popular perspective, given that many look at the Winter Games as the ugly stepsister of the Summer Games, but I’ll share it anyway: When it comes to viewing, there are very few sporting events, Olympic and otherwise, that can hold a candle to the Winter Games. Now, I understand why more people watch the Summer Games. There are more athletes from more countries competing in more events than at the Winter Games. Probably more importantly to most people, those events are predominately athletic contests that most people played growing up. Running, swimming, diving, bicycling, gymnas

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