Quinton Jackson wears a steel bicycle chain around his neck, has a tattoo of a black panther on his enormous bicep, and has a tendency to howl like a wolf. He is also born-again, the loving father of four children -- and known for delivering the hardest blow in the history of professional sports. Now, in attempting to defend his Ultimate Fighting Championship title, he is also trying to hold onto his sanity. An intimate portrait of a mixed martial artist -- and of the growing American fixation with the warriors who earn their living beating each other bloody.
What the Rise of Southern Football Says About America
7:37 am EST, Dec 8, 2008
Darren Everson, in WSJ:
The South is dominating college football like never before, but its ascent isn't just a matter of good coaching. How a population boom and a growing economy have helped turn a regional obsession into a national juggernaut.
From the archive:
In a small town in Japan, Kirie comes upon her boyfriend's father silently videotaping a snail. He seems unaware of her presence and she thinks no more of it.
Later, the man's obsession with spirals becomes more and more bizarre, ending in his suicide in a washing machine which turn his body into a spiral.
Soon other inhabitants become possesed with different forms of spirals, one student seems to be mutating into a snail, another's hair becomes strangely medusa-like.
The entire town becomes possessed.
This is what happened at the CIA: A culture of process destroyed a culture of excellence. There are many outstanding people at the agency, in both the Directorate of Intelligence and in Operations. The agency's obsession with the intelligence process crushes these people daily. Those who flourish in this environment are those who can sit through long meetings without falling asleep. The people who can peer through the darkness and see the truth are either sucked into the surreal world of modern management or shunted aside.
The best way to fight terrorists is to go at it not like G-men, with two-year assignments and query letters to the staff attorneys, but the way the terrorists do, with fury and the conviction that history will turn on the decisions you make -- as an obsession and as a life style.
The hulking timbers illustrate Gehry's obsession with "big wood" ... which probably says more about who we are today than it does about ... the occasional burst of pseudomedieval pomp ...
The obsession of parents and policy makers with quantifiable achievement has created a world in which measured results are all that matter.
We are sliding towards an irreversible obsession with totally visual communication.
Analysis of the new Census Bureau annual estimates of state population changes for 2006-7 shows that the sinking housing market has yanked back high-flying states like Nevada and Arizona. An even bigger tug in growth occurred in Florida, another housing-boom driven state. With credit harder to get and the disappearance of housing deals, the allure of these states appears to have dimmed.
Meanwhile, the up-scale states—California, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts—are seeing fewer residents leave for a lower cost of living elsewhere. And those states benefiting from the previous flight to affordability—Nevada and Arizona in the west; Florida in the south; and Pennsylvania and New Hampshire in the east—have shown slower migration gains or greater declines.
Even the states surrounding Washington, D.C., another hot market, have attracted fewer migrants. Potential home buyers in the outer suburbs of Virginia and Maryland face trouble getting credit and recent buyers in the District and inner suburbs are stuck because they cannot sell.
The D.C. region has, in short, become a microcosm of the nation’s reaction to the housing bust. Like in Nevada and Arizona, the market for the region’s suburban buyers is drying up due to the credit crunch, and construction and in-migration is stalling. But the District and inner suburbs are more like coastal California, where housing-rich residents are waiting to sell in order to move to opportunities elsewhere.
In sum, there appears to be a migration correction going on. We’re at the beginning of a leveling off of migration between unaffordable and affordable America. As with the broader economy, we don’t know how much longer it will last.