Archives

Therapy of the Masses: On Scientology, the National Football League, and ‘Going Clear’

By Ryan Henry Joe 1. Last weekend was fascinating for college football in Arizona. On Saturday, my alma mater UCLA, lead by a true freshman quarterback named Josh Rosen, completely annihilated the University of Arizona, 56-30. [EDIT: Annnnd UCLA just lost in an upset against Arizona State. FML.] The next day however, my other college […]

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Nothing’s Shocking: On Lawrence Wright’s ‘Going Clear’and the Lies We Tell Ourselves

By Adam Boretz 1. I have a confession to make: I was laboring under a significant misapprehension when I nominated Lawrence Wright’s Going Clear for Football Book Club. My thinking at the time went something like this: Here’s an interesting book full of wacky/weird/funny/ridiculous stories about Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard. That will be a […]

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Book 4: Steven Millhauser’s ‘Edwin Mullhouse’

This week, Football Book Club will be reading Steven Millhauser’s Edwin Mullhouse: The Life and Death of an American Writer 1943-1954 by Jeffrey Cartwright and talking about Lawrence Wright’s Going Clear — and the sadness of life without the NFL. Pulitzer Prize-winner Millhausuer’s debut novel operates as a biography of the late Mullhouse — the fictional […]

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Her Headspace: On ‘Brain Fever’ and the Five Stages of Chicago Bears Grief

By Adam Boretz 1. Because my body is a wreck and due to a week of innumerable medical appointments[1] , I read Brain Fever in a fragmented, desultory fashion: in fits and starts and fragments — a poem or two in waiting rooms or between visits to neurologists and physical therapists and physicians. The effect was […]

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Torrential Output From Meager Input: On ‘Brain Fever’ and Transcending Any Available Evidence

By Dan Bjork 1. When I was 19, David Hume hit me like the holy ghost. It’s a typical story really: In high school, I was a slightly above-average student who hid inside the security of playing socially acceptable sports; a 10th-grade honors English open essay assignment found me sunk inside The Waste Land (which […]

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Undercounted Stars: The Elliptical Coolness of ‘Brain Fever’

By Yona Harvey I finally broke down and told my family I wasn’t watching football this season. I heard a collective, audible gasp. It was a major say-what-now? moment. The general consensus: that’s family time! Followed with: OK, player. Suit yourself. On the one hand, my family’s response meant I’d described our NFL bonding time […]

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So Much to Say: On Mark Strand, Dorsey Levens, and ‘Brain Fever’

By Rob Casper 1. This weekend was difficult. I knew the Packers were playing the Seahawks, for the first time since last year’s disastrous NFC championship. Aside no. 1: To my mind, the only thing worse than being a Packer fan after last year’s NFC championship is being a Seahawks fan after the Super Bowl […]

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Making Connections: On Jim Tomsula, the 49ers’ O-Line, and ‘Brain Fever’

By Ryan Henry Joe I was at the Toronto airport on Sunday, where the local team is the Buffalo Bills. So I couldn’t watch the 49ers at the Pittsburgh Steelers even if I wanted to. And after a few Twitter updates, I really didn’t want to. Here are some first half favorites: At least airport […]

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Book 3: Lawrence Wright’s ‘Going Clear’

This week, Football Book Club will be reading Lawrence Wright’s Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief and talking about Brain Fever by Kimiko Hahn — our selection from last week — and life without the NFL. Pulitzer Prize-winner Wright’s Going Clear promises to be reveal tons of super creepy details about the Church of Scientology, […]

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Malignant Mutations: On Family, Jay Cutler, and ‘Winesburg, Ohio’

By Adam Boretz 1. It has recently come to my attention that the once charming eccentricities of my more distant family members have devolved into full blown pathologies. The wild uncle once known for his cutting wit and free spirit has grown shiftless, unreliable, and selfish. The morbid aunt has become clinically depressed and briefly […]

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