My Life in Review: The People Who Changed Me

Published: Good Men Project (December 31, 2014)

As the calendar moves forward, Matthew Rozsa looks back at 6 life-changing relationships he’s had and lost.

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In less than 72 hours, the dictates of the Gregorian calendar system will draw the current year to a close and a new chapter—on this occasion 2015 A.D.—will begin. As humanity collectively commences with this latest small slice in its epic history, it’s generally regarded as useful for each person to take a step back and look at the history of their individual life … with an emphasis on the word “story” and the type of protagonist everyone hopes to be when writing their own. read more

Why Facebook makes you think the world is ending

Published: Daily Dot (December 29, 2014)

Back in October, a Fox News article on apocalyptic belief systems by Dr. Robert Jeffress observed that “47 percent of American Christians believe that the end of the world as described in the Bible will occur within the next 40 years.” Around the same time—but, notably, on the opposite side of the ideological spectrum—Roger Cohen of the New York Times proclaimed that “many people I talk to, and not only over dinner, have never previously felt so uneasy about the state of the world,” before closing that “the search is on for someone to dispel the foreboding and embody, again, the hope of the world.” read more

‘The Interview’ Has A Smart Argument That Deserves Respect

Published: Good Men Project (December 28, 2014), The Daily Dot (December 30, 2014)

The Interview has been getting a lot of sympathy but, from a critical standpoint, not a great deal of respect. After seeing the film twice, I find this attitude a tad dismaying.

For those who haven’t seen the movie and wish to watch it with a fresh set of eyes, there are two things you should know:

1) At its core, The Interview has a remarkably insightful thesis about human nature and politics—namely, that people respond more to theatricality, sensationalism, and emotional appeals than they do to facts and reason. While it’s certainly not the first satire to offer this observation, it is surprisingly effective at making its point, which is why it deserves more respect than it’s getting—and, even if they weren’t directly responsible for the Sony hacks, it almost certainly explains the North Korean regime’s efforts to denounce and suppress the film. read more

The ‘War on Christmas’ isn’t real – but these 6 Yuletide controversies are

Published: Daily Dot (December 25, 2014)

The nativity, whether on a church lawn or brazenly displayed at City Hall, is a fixture of American Christmases—as is, of course, controversy. While arguments over nativity scenes trend toward questions of the separation between church and state, nativity scenes gone wrong run the span from bizarre, to funny, to actively offensive. It’s not a War on Christmas, per se, but a war over Christmas, one that deeply speaks to definitions of a changing America. read more

A Call To Dispense With Our Culture of Fear

Published: Good Men Project (December 23, 2014)

Matthew Rozsa offers three suggestions to protect both the police and the communities that fear them and calls for both groups to demand that politicians enact them.

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Believe it or not, Michael Brown and Eric Garner share one very important quality with the pair of NYPD officers who were brutally slain earlier this week:

Both of them live in a society that forces them to fear for their lives.

While the 2016 presidential election is nearly two years away, America mustn’t ignore the implications—positive as well as negative—of the fact that this potentially unifying factor exists between two communities that are currently so fiercely divided. There is an opportunity here to promote policies that can address both the individual concerns of each group and the underlying shared fear that their members carry every day. read more

Stop criticizing ‘The Interview’ for killing Kim Jong-un’

Published: Daily Dot (December 22, 2014)

Say what you will about The Interview, but let’s abandon the notion that the filmmakers were wrong for their fictionalized depiction of Kim Jong-un’s death. The reason is simple: It is healthy to assert that Kim Jong-un deserves to die.

Kim Jong-un is not just some interchangeable foreign leader. This is a point critics, like Justin Moyer of the Washington Post, partially acknowledge, conceding that “it’s impossible to summon much sympathy for Kim Jong-un,” before urging his readers to “imagine this assassination farce was made not in Hollywood, but in North Korea or Moscow, and the leader assassinated in the film was a president of the United States. Or imagine the film was made by Iran, and the leader assassinated in the film was the prime minister of Israel.” read more

Does Sony’s Fear Know No Bounds?

Published: Good Men Project (December 19, 2014)

Matthew Rozsa is mad as hell that Sony pulled ‘The Interview.’ But he’s equally horrified by the company’s racist attitudes.

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If North Korea has shown the world anything, it is that the executives at Sony are abject cowards.

This may sound rough, but it needs to be said. And since I’ve already expounded at length upon the free speech issue involved here —which, make no mistake about it, is the most pressing one in terms of current events—something should be said about what the hacked emails reveal about that company’s racist attitude toward African Americans.

Because there are two halves to the problem, we’ll inspect them separately. read more

7 things Americans think are more plausible than global warming

Published: Daily Dot (December 18, 2014), Salon (December 20, 2014)

Seventy-seven percent of the country believe in angels. Only 40 percent concede climate change is a reality

In a video that went viral this week, Bill O’Reilly has spoken, not only for himself but (generously) for the rest of America: “It’s easier to believe in a benevolent God and the baby Jesus than it is about some kind of theory about global warming. It’s just easier!”

Is he right? Roughly 73 percent of Americans believe Jesus was born of a virgin, while only 61 percent believe the Earth’s temperature has been warming. Even worse, only 40 percent of the Americans who concede that climate change is happening will admit that it’s primarily due to man-made activity. read more