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Howard Balzer on Cardinals Tempering Expectations – Sports Illustrated

Posted: June 4, 2020 at 3:48 pm

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AllCardinals publisher Howard Balzer joined's Madelyn Burke to discuss how the Arizona Cardinals are managing the elevated expectations on them since acquiring DeAndre Hopkins, arguably one of the best wide receivers in the league, among other new additions. The hype surrounding the Cardinals has grown exponentially and their players are mediating them and working on a defense that lacked in the 2019 season.

The full transcript is below. You can access our full story here.

Burke: The Arizona Cardinals had a splashy offseason headlined by the trade for wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. But despite the overwhelming hype surrounding the squad, the Cards are doing their best to temper expectations. Joining me now is Howard Balzer of SI's AllCardinals and Howard, acquiring arguably the league's best wide receiver is a big move for this Cardinals team, yet how is this team navigating these expectations?

Balzer: Well, the big thing is they're saying all the right things and they all have a lot of confidence so that this can be a good year for them. But they always then say, "The sky's the limit." But then they say, "But, of course, that's only on paper." They're concentrating on the things they have to do to come together as a team because of the confidence they have. One of the biggest aspects, as you mentioned Hopkins, of it is the improvements on defense because that's where this team had some struggles. Last year, they were better towards the end of the season and everyone believes that they can pick up where they left off and have the makings of a well-balanced team this season.

Burke: And balance, obviously, the key. I mean, we've seen in the past and in recent history, even with the Browns, with the addition of Odell Beckham Jr. and the hype that that team struggled to live up to. How key are some of these other moves outside of this DeAndre Hopkins trade?

Balzer: Well, a lot of moves are very strong: of course, they got Kenyan Drake re-signed on the transition tag and on defense, the moves that they made with Jordan Phillips and De'Vondre Campbell and Devon Kennard and then drafting Isaiah Simmons. One real key that is overlooked a little bit is that Robert Alford, who was supposed to be a starting cornerback last year, missed the entire season with an injury and Patrick Peterson missed the first six games because of a league suspension. So, they get those players back to go with everything else. Plus, being in the second year of Vance Joseph's system and that's where a lot of the confidence is building from on this team. As I mentioned, it's with that defense.

Burke: "Defense wins championships" is the old adage, Howard Balzer, thank you so much for the insight.

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Howard Balzer on Cardinals Tempering Expectations - Sports Illustrated

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June 4th, 2020 at 3:48 pm

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Kuiper: Stop playing the victim | Opinion | –

Posted: May 25, 2020 at 12:50 pm

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I recently watched No Safe Spaces, a 2019 documentary about the controversies of free speech on todays college campuses.

One can view it, for a fee, at, or order the DVD. The film features conservative talk show host Dennis Prager and comedian Adam Carolla, former co-host of the nationally syndicated radio program Loveline. Carolla is now a successful podcaster. The film also features many other commentators on both sides of the political aisle, such as political analyst Van Jones, professor Jordan Peterson, and YouTube interviewer Dave Rubin.

The film does a great job of revealing how free speech is increasingly under assault at colleges across the country, showing conservative speakers being shouted down, or even riots taking place when a college invites a speaker which the left finds offensive.

One thing that stood out for me was the fact that so many of the young people who attend college see themselves as victims. Whether they are women, people of color, transgender or anything other than a straight, white, male, the left has convinced them they are a victim of some kind of oppression. Once you view yourself as a victim it can be a horrible obstacle, but also a powerful weapon.

In the film Prager states hes convinced that a certain percentage of unhappy people are addicted to being unhappy. Talk show host Dave Rubin agreed with Prager, stating, Think about how empowering it is to say, your problems are not because of you . . . the system is against me. Rubin is a former liberal who no longer identifies with the left, due to what he calls their close-mindedness and hostility toward anyone who does not follow the liberal orthodoxy.

Shelby Steele, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, also is featured in the film. He condemned the victimization culture, which is especially embraced by his fellow blacks.

At some point down the road, he said, we as blacks, are going to realize the degree to which we identify our aspirations, in victimization. The degree to which we rely on it, not just as an excuse, but as self-definition.

Steele does not deny the existence of racism in America but is concerned that far too many young blacks use racism as an excuse for failure. Or they use it as a reason to act out in an aggressive manner, such as shouting down speakers they disagree with, which is common on college campuses.

The film also features a clip from a speech by conservative talk show host Ben Shapiro, given at the University of California, Berkeley. This was a presentation that was greatly protested by the left, and required $800,000 in security, because Shapiro made controversial comments, such as, America is the greatest country in human history. You are not a victim. If you are a victim of something, you need to show me what you are a victim of and I will stand beside you. But do not blame the freest, most civil society in the history of planet Earth for your failures, because thats on you.

But, why do so many young people at our colleges view themselves as victims, and then act out in an aggressive manner? There are many reasons, but perhaps the main thing is it is easier to attack someone rather than take responsibility for your own failures. A persons grief at being a victim becomes a grievance. An IOU becomes a you owe me, according to the magazine Psychology Today.

In one of his books, conservative black author Larry Elder writes of a time when he was ready to take an academic test with a group of people, among them another young black man. After they took the test and were waiting for the results, the other black man told Elder there was no way either of them was going to pass the test, because the system was stacked against them. When the results came in and the other person failed, he told Elder, See, I told you so, and then walked out. Elder, however, passed the test and ended up completing the course. For Elder, it was one of his first realizations that far too many of his fellow blacks use their skin color as an excuse for their own failings. We used to advise young people to get a thick skin, such as sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me. Now, we seem to be intolerant of insults, even if unintentional. For example, on some college campuses it is considered offensive if you ask a student, Where are you from? I even came across a diversity seminar where the presenter advocated that words are just as harmful as bullets!

If you view yourself as a victim of oppression or stand up for others who are perceived as victims, you are going to view yourself as holding the moral high ground. You are going to tend to divide people into good and bad, or victims and oppressors. The problem is that when you view the other side as bad people, then you feel justified in your aggression. And that is why many young people advocate restricting speech. But they are not against all speech, just hate speech. And they will be the ones who define what hate speech is, which means they have the power.

Unfortunately, this power does not translate into resilience, as some colleges have established safe spaces: areas where students can get away from anything that may be causing them stress. Sadly, as the documentary No Safe Spaces shows, it is the entire college that a conservative speaker is not allowed, not just a safe space. Thus, freedom of speech is the actual victim of oppression. And this is one victim we should all be concerned about.

Tom Kuiper lives in Sibley. He may be reached at

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May 25th, 2020 at 12:50 pm

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Jonathan Kay: It takes a true artist to find new ways to shock the conscience. Kent Monkman has done that – National Post

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Three years ago, an esteemed Canadian magazine published a fine essay titled, What Happens When Authors Are Afraid to Stand Alone?, in which author Jason Guriel noted that, The idea of the writer as an individualistic outsider has acquired a layer of dust. We used to be OK with literary types asserting independent, fortified egos. Poets and novelists were almost expected to be aloof, even anti-social. But today, were too savvy to indulge such a romantic myth. The aloof rebel is nothing more than an affectation.

Anyone who has tried to produce art, or even write a half-decent essay, will recognize the almost tautological truth of Guriels argument. It is absolutely correct that there are plenty of people who write important tracts dedicated to the interests of this or that community. Those tracts are laws, press releases, pamphlets and tweets. If youre trying to write something fresh and original while also bending the knee to this or that community, on the other hand, youre certain to fail at the former, and likely the latter as well.

Long before it was co-opted by the likes of Ayn Rand, this truth was anchored within the foundations of the hell-raising Jacobin left. Jean-Jacques Rousseau himself famously announced his scandalous La Nouvelle Hlose by warning that, This book is not made to circulate in society and is suitable for very few readers. As Nicole Fermon commented, Rousseau despised the society of Paris, which he judged to be almost completely vitiated by never-ending demands of self-interest or amour propre. And in adapted form, his bold individualistic spirit came to infuse every countercultural movement tilting at establishment conventions, from beat poetry to postmodern literary subcultures.

But now that the central fixation of salon society is an insistence on salon societys own irredeemable bigotry, Rousseaus countercultural postures have turned in on themselves like an ouroboros. And so the highest calling in literature and art now is imagined to be a retelling of the same stencil-set messages about privilege and victimhood, dogmas that have come to be enforced by a salon establishment that still masquerades as a Rousseauvian insurgency. Which is why What Happens When Authors Are Afraid to Stand Alone? attracted so much controversy, by suggesting that people should simply write what they want. In a rebuttal published in the same magazine, English Prof. Paul Barrett argued that Guriels putative lone genius is but the unknowing heir to an invisible community of privilege, since the history of Canadian literature is the forgery of a white Canadian definition of literary excellence. By contrast, non-white writers simply dont have the luxury of believing that there is a voice outside of community; community participation and esthetic excellence are not merely related they are politically and culturally inextricable.

Now the central fixation of salon society is an insistence on salon societys own irredeemable bigotry

Ive met Guriel, and can attest that hes almost as white as me. And based on his university web page photo, Paul Barrett seems to have us both beat. And so I dont really expect many Indigenous and black writers and artists to be particularly interested in this lily-white forge-o-rama three-way. But for what its worth, Id say that Barrett might have things backwards: as the recent furor surrounding Cree artist Kent Monkman attests, the strictures imposed by community can, in some instances, be even more stifling when theyre applied to minority artists.

As some of my regular readers know, I often like having a bash at the government-subsidized amateurs who populate the field of Canadian arts and letters. (Its not their fault: when the government pays for something, you often get too much of it.) But Kent Monkman is very, very much not in that category. He produces big, colourful epics that dramatically mash up the visual idioms of Judeo-Christian historical tradition with Indigenous characters and narratives. He often inserts an alter ego he names Miss Chief Eagle Testickle to (as he puts it) reverse the colonial gaze to challenge received notions of history and Indigenous peoples. This all sounds rather pretentious, I realize, but art either works or it doesnt. And Monkmans works well enough that he can charge $175,000 a pop, which is approximately $175,000 more than your average art-school grad. Whats more, he is a living, breathing advertisement for the value of diversity in art by which I dont mean diversity of bloodline, which is meaningless, but diversity of perspective. No white person could have produced his masterpieces any more than Mordecai Richler could have written The Handmaids Tale.

No white person could have produced his masterpieces any more than Mordecai Richler could have written The Handmaid's Tale

Great art often is produced by outsiders as, either by choice or necessity, they are the ones who can stand back from a societys accepted conventions, and who assign themselves the most moral latitude in defining or satirizing them. This not only explains how my people took over Hollywood, but also why Rosedale hedge-fund managers are climbing over each other to plunk down the cost of an Audi R8 so that dinner-party guests can enjoy the image of if you will forgive my lapse into sophisticated gallerist parlance Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on all fours after taking it hard and bloody.

What I am describing here is Monkmans new painting Hanky Panky, an image of which, I am hoping, accompanies this column. (For reasons described below, certain other media outlets are treating it like those 2005-era Muhammad cartoons that were originally published in Jyllands-Posten. But I give my own National Post editors marginally more credit.) The thing is classic Monkman: violent, shocking, subversive and brutally original. It also fulfills that trite but true definition of art as that which makes you think. And much will be thunk by those who gaze upon dozens of Indigenous women laughing hysterically as sallow white patriarchs from out of Canadas past look on at the #MeToo-ing of a none-too-pleased-looking Justin Trudeau.

Over time, we have become numb to the endless calls for solemnity and contrition over the legacy of residential schools, MMIWG and the rest of the horrors that whites have visited upon Indigenous people. Its all become predictable and performatively morose, which is why every new commission or inquiry has to keep ramping up the genocide rhetoric to keep our attention. It takes a true artist to find new ways to shock the conscience, to elevate our focus from the tragedy of each brutalized life to the dark comedy of a confused Canadian nation that remains caught between proud old fables of John A. Macdonald and Wilfrid Laurier and lacerating self-loathing. Like every country on earth, Canada is a bolted-together gag-ball of hypocrisy and myth. And the women in the picture are absolutely right to laugh at us insofar as we are metaphorically represented by the humiliated prime minister and the passed-out victim in red serge. (Oh right, forgot to mention: an RCMP dude also gets the #MeToo treatment.)

But of course, the first rule of social justice is: thats not funny. And on Canadian Twitter, fury predictably erupted. Not among progressive white Canadians alarmed at seeing their prime minister sexually humiliated on canvas. Rather, the hue and cry was raised in the rarified cancel-culture circles presided over by the likes of Indigenous author Alicia Elliott, the unofficial church lady of Canadian arts and letters. Before retiring in a state of claimed emotional exhaustion, Elliott declared on Twitter last weekend that Monkman took Indigenous womens laughter, which is one of the most healing sounds in the world, into a weapon he could utilize to titillate and shock white folks. I dont care if he claims the Trudeau lookalike was consenting.

She then went on, in all-caps, like some CanLit version of Donald Trump, HE USED A MMIWG2S SYMBOL THAT IS ABOUT GIVING WOMEN A VOICE AS A BUTT PLUG, THEN DISMISSED INDIGENOUS WOMEN AND 2SQ FOLKS WHO COMPLAINED. AKA SILENCED THEM. AND DOESNT UNDERSTAND THE IRONY. (Yeah, this is definitely someone we want deciding what art gets produced.)

Like every country on Earth, Canada is a bolted-together gag-ball of hypocrisy and myth

In my ideal world, Monkman would have dashed off a new painting, indicating to Elliott exactly where she could stick her complaints. But Monkman is in a tough place, as he is not only a successful artist but also a much-admired member of the Indigenous community, a community that, as he is constantly told, he must listen to and support. And so he walks a fine line.

The Globe and Mail headlined its coverage, Provocateur Artist Kent Monkman Apologizes for Painting Depicting Sex Assault. But thats actually not true. In a statement posted to Facebook on May 18, he did say he deeply regret(s) any harm that was caused by the work, and acknowledge(s) that the elements I had included to indicate consent are not prominent enough. But he isnt destroying or renouncing the work. I know this for a fact because I inquired about buying it, figuring that the controversy surrounding the piece might lower its price and provide me with a singular opportunity to get a real Monkman at a big discount, this being the way of my people. But this hope proved to be very much misguided. So the Hang in There! poster with the cat on the tree branch wont be coming down anytime soon.

Perhaps the surest sign that Monkman sits at the absolute pinnacle of Canadian artistic excellence is that he is now being treated to the same tall-poppy-cutting treatment as the few non-Indigenous Canadians who have risen to his level of fame and influence. In its old-stock national soul, Canada embraces a cult of mediocrity when it comes to artists and writers. Having worked (as a fraud) in the boiler room of one particular CanLit institution, I can attest that the most venerated figures among the toiling acolytes often are righteous obscurities who subsist on grants and church-basement vernissages. Once someone shows true skill and gets feted in New York and London, Canadas great and good worry that hell overshadow everyone else (take up too much space, in the Twitter parlance), and, possessing the financial means necessary to shake off the constraints imposed by funding councils, go ideologically rogue.

And so it is no coincidence that almost every Canadian whose work is culturally influential outside Canadas borders Margaret Atwood, Steven Galloway, Jordan Peterson, Joseph Boyden has at one time or another attracted a mob of pious nobodies seeking to take them down. Until now, Monkmans Indigenous identity had protected him somewhat. But no longer. Indeed, his perceived obligations to community make things more complicated, as all it takes is one slip-up to get smeared as a two-spirited Judas. According to one Indigenous poet on Twitter: Its become disturbing clear that (Monkmans) work was never for us. It was never intended to keep us safe, nor empower us. In fact, it trivializes many of our experiences with sexual assault.

Canada embraces a cult of mediocrity when it comes to artists and writers

Such critiques, widely retweeted over social media in recent days, show how a fixation on community can be just one more burden on non-white artists and writers: despite all the dumb things Ive written over my career, never once did a white guy ever respond by tweeting that Jonathan Kays work was never for us.

Three weeks ago, well before the controversy over Hanky Panky began, Canadian Art magazine ran a scathing attack on Monkman, bitterly denouncing the installation of two of his paintings in the central interior entrance area of New Yorks Metropolitan Museum of Art. When it comes to identity politics, Canadian Art is well known to exist in a land beyond parody. But this article particularly stood out because of the absurd jaccuse question embedded in the headline: Who is the Audience for These Works?

After dispensing with the pro forma bafflegab about Monkmans failure to question art-historical inequalities between settlers and Indigenous peoples, the author proceeded on a tedious brushstroke-by-brushstroke hunt for neo-colonial esthetic heresies, like an old Papist inquisitor rifling through a Portuguese merchants ledger-book for a doodled penis or boob. Only at the end did we get to the main indictment that these paintings are made for a predominantly white audience, presented in an institution historically composed of white cultural workers and displayed in harmony with, rather than in contradiction of, a colonial institution. Oh, how much more pure the world would be if Monkman had instead burned these masterpieces and focused on putting on culturally authentic Cree-language puppet shows outside his home in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. Hey, maybe hed even get a grant for it.

For those whove never been to the Met, I can attest that its full of white people. A lot of museums are even, horror of horrors, right here in Canada. If you tell an Indigenous artist that he shouldnt be pitching his work to this audience, youre basically telling him to go live off charity for the rest of his life, just like all those downwardly mobile white kids churning out triptychs about their pronouns from the rec-room space over their parents Woodbridge garage.

I, too, belong to a community. Its the community of white cultural workers that Canadian Art dislikes so much (even if most of the magazines own staff resemble the standing-room section at a David Sedaris book reading). And if I may presume to speak on behalf of this community, Id like to say that Hanky Panky suits our colonial white gaze just fine. By which I mean that it makes us think about our country in a different and more honest way, and that it challenges a lot of what we think we know. These are the things that a great artist does, notwithstanding the spirit of self-interest and amour propre that suffuse the hectoring of lesser talents.

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Jonathan Kay: It takes a true artist to find new ways to shock the conscience. Kent Monkman has done that - National Post

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May 25th, 2020 at 12:50 pm

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Graduation 2020: Westby Area High School – The Westby Times

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Members of the Westby Area High School Class of 2020 include (front, from left) Chloe Stellner, Jordan Gettelman, Bree Hatlan, Liza Jackson; Row 2: Kaydan Jothen, Karley Anderson, Estelle Fisher-Fortney, Eva Lee, Haley Nelson; Row 3: Dakota Bakkestuen, Robbie Purvis, Tyler Lasky, Bobby Frydenlund, Izaak McCauley, Finn Trautsch Row 4: Devin Nelson, Mitchell McKittrick, Logan Turben, Zach Harris, Evan Peterson, Manuel Chavez, Josh Gunderson; Row 5: Karolyn Jaeger, Logan Paduano, Evan Hendrickson,, Kaili Swanson, Jaden Cronn, Austin Mowery, Tyler Christianson; Row 6: Payten Nelson, Faith Gardner, Sedona Radke, Katie Wollman, Melody Berg, Rebecca Buckles, Linda Schmitz, Savana Radke; Row 7: Gabe Engh, Claire Griffin, Molly Stenslien, McKenna Manske, Alayna Winterfield, Alexis Ellefson, Haley Hagen, Anna Ofte, Theresa Wintersdorf; Row 8: Ty Milutinovich, Cooper Lipski, Carlos Gastelum, Lucas Wieczorek,, Noah Benish, Jake Krause, Davontae Spears, Adam Teadt, Austin Hall; Row 9: Mason Mageland, Andrew Bechtel, Brendan Griffin, Noah Nelson, Andy Role, Dominic DelMedico, Conor Vatland, Zeke Santiago and Haley Kittle.Not pictured: Joe Armbruster, Josi Bishop, Luke Bjorkund, Jackson Bunch, Kyle Falkers, Gabriella Felten, Cohner Fish, Riley Hagen, Ashton Hill, Abbie Larrington, Tyler Madison, Amanda Marshall, Cody Meyer, Jullian Nagle, Gavin Olson, Cora Ostrem-Hanson, Cole Peterson, Benjamin Schmidt, Kassandra Sherpe and Dylan Songer.

Due to restrictions related to COVID-19, the graduation ceremony will be postponed to a date to be determined in July.

Valedictorian: Joseph Armbruster. Salutatorian: McKenna Manske.

The class motto is 2020: A class with a vision. The class flower is a white rose with red tips. The class colors are red, black and silver.

Class of 2020 officers: President Conor Vatland, Vice president Bree Hatlan, Secretary Claire Griffin, Treasurer Josi Bishop.

Candidates for graduation: Karly Anderson, Joseph Armbruster, Andrew Bechtel, Noah Benish, Melody Berg, Josi Bishop, Luke Bjorklund, Rebecca Buckles, Jackson Bunch, Manuel Chavez, Tyler Christianson, Jaden Cronn, Dominic DelMedico, Alexis Ellefson, Gabriel Engh, Kyle Falkers, Gabriella Felten, Estelle Fischer-Fortney, Cohner Fish, Robert Frydenlund, Faith Gardner, Carlos Gastelum, Jordan Gettelman, Brenden Griffin, Claire Griffin, Joshua Gunderson, Haley Hagen, Riley Hagen, Austin Hall, Zachary Harris, Bree Hatlan, Evan Hendrickson, Ashton Hill, Liza Jackson, Karalyn Jaeger, Kaydan Jothen, Hailey Kittle, Jake Krause, Abigail Larrington, Tyler Lasky, Eva Lee, Cooper Lipski, Mason Mageland, McKenna Manske, Amanda Marshall, Izaak McCauley, Mitchell McKittrick, Cody Meyer, Ty Milutinovich, Austin Mowery, Jullian Nagle, Devin Nelson, Haley Nelson, Noah Nelson, Payten Nelson, Anna Ofte, Gavin Olson, Cora Ostrem-Hanson, Logan Paduano, Cole Peterson, Evan Peterson, Robert Purvis, Savana Radke, Sedona Radke, Andy Role, Ezequiel Santiago, Benjamin Schmidt, Linda Schmitz, Kassandra Sherpe, Dylan Songer, Davontae Spears, Chloe Stellner, Molly Stenslien, Kaili Swanson, Adam Teadt, Finnegan Trautsch, Logan Turben, Conor Vatland, Lucas Wieczorek, Alayna Winterfield, Theresa Wintersdorf, Katherine Wollman

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Graduation 2020: Westby Area High School - The Westby Times

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May 25th, 2020 at 12:50 pm

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Cardinals reportedly have interest in Everson Griffen –

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Posted by Mike Florio on May 23, 2020, 11:41 AM EDT

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Free-agent defensive end Everson Griffen remains in a holding pattern. The 32-year-old has been linked to Seattle but not many other teams has he looks for a new NFL home.

The Cardinals reportedly have interest in Griffen, according to Jeremy Fowler of

Arizona is trying to boost a defense that needs plenty of help. Given all the attention devoted to Chandler Jones, Griffen would likely see some favorable matchups and, at a minimum, one-on-one opportunities.

Chad Graff of recently explained that Griffens status has been influenced in part by the inability to make visits to teams. As Vikings G.M. Rick Spielman told #PFTPM in the aftermath of the draft, the door isnt closed on a return to Minnesota; however, the Vikings lack the cap space to give Griffen the kind of deal he may expect.

Griffen has 74.5 sacks in 147 career games. He had a career-high 13.0 sacks in 2017.

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May 25th, 2020 at 12:50 pm

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Jordan Peterson is back at work on his next book

Posted: May 20, 2020 at 4:49 am

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In February it came as quite a shock to many that Jordan Peterson was going through detox at a clinic in Russia after developing a dependency on benzodiazepine. At the time, Petersons daughter Mikhaila said he had nearly died several times but she suggested he was finally on the road to recovery.Theres some indication that he is indeed back at work now. Last week his website put out a call for new illustrations for the sequel to his bestselling book 12 Rules for Life.

I am currently in the process of writing my next book, and am searching for an illustrator to produce 12 images. Each chapter of my previous book, 12 Rules for Life: The Antidote to Chaos, was preceded by one line drawing, which was placed on its own page

I am planning something similar with the book I am working on now. The new illustrations must be line drawings, in black and white (because the book will not be printed in color). They will occupy a page at the beginning of each chapterjust as indicated, above. They also do not have to precisely duplicate the style of the previous illustrations, although they should bear some relationship to them, as the two books are companion volumes.

Peterson writes that he is specifically looking for an illustration for a chapter titled Do Not Carelessly Denigrate Social Institutions or Creative Achievement which should be based on this tarot image of the fool:

In addition to this blog post there have been several recent updates to Petersons Instagram account. This one links to the call for an illustrator and includes a photo of Peterson working on the book, which will apparently be titled Beyond Order.

I also noticed this one from last week which includes a video of Peterson playing with a remote controlled car, apparently at home. His daughter wrote, Spotted@jordan.b.peterson actually enjoying himself. Hope you guys are finding time to do the same.

My initial reaction when I learned of Petersons drug dependency and near-death experience was that his career in public was over. After all, many in the media have been eager to see him fail for the past couple of years and it seemed like he had in fact failed in some sense. I was expecting most of the media to take a see, we told you so approach.

That may still turn out to be true, but I have to say Petersons timing may also turn out to be excellent. The next book is reportedly about chaos in the way the former book was about order. Its not hard to imagine that Petersons own experience of chaos in his personal life might become part of telling that story. If nothing else, he suddenly has a very new story to tell and one that is relevant to millions of people in the U.S. alone where deaths from drug addiction in recent years have far outpaced deaths from the coronavirus thus far.

The chaotic state of the world right now might also provide a perfect moment to say something about chaos more broadly. After all, there are no shortage of progressives suggesting now is the moment to capitalize on this crisis to build a new world. Even if you dont like their socialist solutions, its a timely idea.

I hope Peterson is able to recapture his footing and once again go toe to toe with his critics. He was a helpful corrective to a lot of progressive nonsense on the world state. It would be nice to have him back.

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Jordan Peterson is back at work on his next book

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May 20th, 2020 at 4:49 am

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The one ACC team Michael Jordan wanted to beat most while at North Carolina – Sporting News

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It doesn't take much to tick off Michael Jordan.

As we saw repeatedly in "The Last Dance," His Airness could hold a grudge against anyone he'd even create fictitious slights by opposing players and use that bitterness to fuel his competitive drive.

MORE: The greatest Michael Jordan game you definitely don't remember

It turns out that drive goes back to well before his days as a professional. As a senior in high school, Jordan had caught the attention of big schools all over the country, with the most interest coming from Atlantic Coast Conference programs.

Everyone knows that Jordan chose to play for Hall of Fame coach Dean Smith at North Carolina, where he helped lead the Tar Heels to the 1982 national championship as a freshman by knocking down the go-aheadshot from the left wing with 18 seconds remaining in regulation. But what if he had chosen differently?

As it turns out, Jordan had interest in another ACC school: Maryland.

The Terrapins, also coached by a Hall of Famer in Lefty Driesell, were national contenders at the time as well. They'd finished first in the 1979-80ACC regular season and were runner-up to UNC in the 1981 ACC Tournament, losing a one-point thriller in the final.

'LAST DANCE': We wanted to see more aboutthese seven topics

Maryland was also interested in recruiting Jordan, though not as much as the young shooting guard might have liked. According to Buzz Peterson, Jordan's roommate at North Carolina, Driesell dangled his last scholarship spot in front of three recruits: Jordan, Petersonand Jeff Adkins.

"(Driesell) says, I've got one scholarship left, and the first one who takes it gets it,'"Peterson told Washington City Paper.

That apparentlydidn't sit right with Jordan (shocker, right?). To pile on, Peterson and Adkins were namedParade MagazineAll-Americans in 1981while Jordan was left off. Adkins ended up taking that scholarship offer from Driesell, and Jordan and Peterson went to UNC.

As if that wasn't enough motivation for Jordan, he got a little more incentive to hate the Terps at the 1981 McDonald's All-AmericanGame. Jordan put together a 30-point performance on 13-of-19 shooting from the field and4-of-4 shooting from the free throw line to go with six steals and four assists. He also made the game-winning free throws with 11 seconds remaining to help the East All-Stars beat the West96-95.

But the co-MVP honors went to Maryland commit Adrian Branch (24 points for the East) and Aubrey Sherrod (19 points for the West), who went on to play for Wichita State.

With all that in mind, it's pretty easy to figure out which team was on Jordan's mind when he looked at UNC's schedule and saw the Terrapins twice every year.

"He was interested in Maryland," Peterson said. "Maryland was the one that he would talk about."

Jordan used that anger as fuel, posting a 5-1 record against the Terrapins in his three years of college.

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The one ACC team Michael Jordan wanted to beat most while at North Carolina - Sporting News

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May 20th, 2020 at 4:49 am

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Michael Jordan wanted to beat one ACC team more than any other – 247Sports

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If there's one thing that was further cemented during ESPN's acclaimed docuseries "The Last Dance", it's the fact that Michael Jordan's competitive drive and will to win is unmatched. And used every ounce of motivation, bulletin board material or whatever you want to call it to get there along the way.

Jordan's enemies on the court was fuel to his fire, as the 10-episode documentary showed. Whether it was the night George Karl walked past his table at a restaurant or Karl Malone's NBA MVP award during the 1997 season, when Jordan felt slighted, he was often at his best.

According to Washington City Paper, there was one school Jordan wanted to beat more than any other during his playing days at the University of North Carolina. Former ACC rival Maryland, a fellow basketball blueblood, was led by star Adrian Branch during Jordan's tenure in Chapel Hill and the two went after it every time they met.

"At North Carolina Jordan maintained an intense interest to play against Maryland more than any other team in the ACC, (Buzz) Peterson claims," writes Dave Ungrady. "It originated from what Jordan considered a slight against him at the 1981 McDonalds All-American game in Wichita, Kansas. In the game, Jordan scored 30 points, including game-winning free throws with 11 seconds remaining to help the East All-Stars beat the West All-Stars, 96-95.

"Jordan converted 13-of-19 field goals, made all four of his free throws and recorded six steals and four assists. But Maryland commit Adrian Branch, who grew up in Seat Pleasant and attended DeMatha Catholic High School, was voted a co-MVP of the game in Wichita along with Aubrey Sherrod. Jordan used the incident as a consistent motivational force against the Terps."

Before choosing to play for Dean Smith and the Tar Heels, Jordan considered an offer from Maryland legend Lefty Driesell. But the future NCAA champion and six-time NBA Finals MVP didn't appreciate how it was presented to him along with Peterson and Jeff Adkins.

He says, Ive got one scholarship left, and the first one who takes it gets it, Peterson, Jordan's roommate at North Carolina told Washington City Paper. "He was interested in Maryland. Maryland was one that he would talk about."

Jordan would end up going 5-1 against the Terps during his career at North Carolina.

You cant knock his success, God bless him and his family. But all that super-suit, Jordan stuff dont fly over here. We wanted them as badly as they wanted us. Wed shake their hands win or lose. It was a healthy competitive respect. But no love lost," Branch said. "When he came to town, we were ready with one foot down, and another foot up. We werent no passive dudes.

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Michael Jordan wanted to beat one ACC team more than any other - 247Sports

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May 20th, 2020 at 4:49 am

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Patrick Peterson: This is probably best team Ive been part of on paper – Yahoo Sports

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Cornerback Patrick Peterson has had some mixed feelings at times about being a part of the Cardinals in recent years, but theres no chatter about trades or anything else this offseason.

Peterson counts himself among those who think the team has made strong moves over the last couple of months. They signed defensive tackle Jordan Phillips and linebacker De'Vondre Campbell, traded for wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and drafted versatile linebacker Isaiah Simmons in the first round to headline those maneuvers.

Thats left Peterson feeling like this years team sets up to be better than any of the others hes played on since coming to Arizona in 2011.

This is probably the best football team Ive been a part of on paper. . . . What weve been able to add to the team this year, what the front office has been able to accomplish this offseason (without) being able to see guys and not being able to be around, its been second to none, Peterson said. I mean, unbelievable. Peterson said on The Hyperice Lab podcast, via the Cardinals website.

Peterson has been on a couple of playoff teams in Arizona, including one that made it to the NFC Championship Game, and added that success wont happen by putting a bunch of pieces together. He said that he and other veterans have to manage the locker room, manage the egos and make sure everybody is on the same page if theyre going to go from looking good on paper to looking good in the standings.

Patrick Peterson: This is probably best team Ive been part of on paper originally appeared on Pro Football Talk

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Patrick Peterson: This is probably best team Ive been part of on paper - Yahoo Sports

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The Indy Book Club: Convenience Store Woman is a gothic love story with a sickly capitalist kink – The Independent

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Keiko Furukura describes the Hiiromachi Station Smile Mart shes worked at for 18 years as though it were her boyfriend. She tells of how the whirring of the freezers and the beeping of the coffee machine ceaselessly caress my eardrums. And when alone at night in her small, pokey flat, she dreams so much of the brightly lit and bustling store that she begins to shape herself to please it: I silently stroke my right hand, its nails neatly trimmed in order to better work the buttons on the cash register.

Keiko is the emotionally detached star of Sayaka Muratas Convenience Store Woman, which in 2016 became the first of her 10 Japanese novels to be translated into English. Prior to getting hired at the Smile Mart aged 18, Keiko was a societal outcast who lived life in such utilitarian terms that she often horrified those around her. When as a kid she found a pretty bird dead in the school playground, her first instinct was to grill it for dinner. As a teacher struggled to break up a fight between two students, Keiko whacked one of them over the head with a spade, so hard there was blood. She gets older and fantasises about silencing her sisters wailing baby with the small knife they just used for slicing birthday cake. If it was just a matter of making him quiet, it would be easy enough.

It is only in the transparent glass box of the convenience store that she finds acceptance and purpose. On her first day, Keiko receives a uniform and a manual that prescribes her behaviour right down to the scripted interactions she must have with customers. Certainly. Right away, sir! she chimes. Thank you for your custom! She finds fulfilment in the easy rhythmic chugging of daily tasks. Stacking fizzy drink cans high. Pushing the sale of mango-chocolate buns because they are on offer. Making more croquettes than usual because people prefer them when theyve gone cold. The whoosh and thump of the fridge doors slamming under her fingertips. The glint of the light on the floor shes shined. She believes she can hear the stores voice telling me what it wanted, how it wanted to be. I understood it perfectly.

Through her work, Keiko is able to ape the actions of a normal person and thus assimilate into a society she had hitherto been pushed out of. I felt reassured by the expression on Mrs Izumi and Sugawaras faces, she says after mirroring their anger at another employees failure to restock shelves properly. Good, I pulled off being a person. Id felt similarly reassured any number of times here in the convenience store.

She is so good at her job, devoting herself so wholly to its demands, that any self that exists outside of work begins to slip away into nothing. Keiko becomes like an electronic arm on a machine, picking up and putting down when its buttons are pressed. I automatically read the customers minutest movements and gaze, and my body acts reflexively in response, Keiko thinks, as she predicts from the motion of a shoppers hand that he will pay on card.

While initially Keiko goes to the Smile Mart in order to fit in, as she reaches 36, her family worry about her lack of prospects. Staying there starts to seem like an act of defiance. Worried about the fate of her work, Keiko takes useless shop worker Shiraha home with her, hoping that having a fake boyfriend might get everyone to leave her alone. Hes a greasy, lazy slob who says things that wouldnt sound out of place on an incel Reddit thread. The youngest, prettiest girls in the village go to the strongest hunters, he says, reeling off another Jordan Peterson For Dummies-style theory. They leave strong genes, while the rest of us just have to console ourselves with whats left. Feeding off her finances like a tapeworm, Shiraha eventually convinces Keiko to quit her job for a better paid one and its a breakup which leaves her devastated.

Convenience Store Woman is a gothic love story for our times, not with a vampire, a ghost or a zombie, but with those temples of consumption that glow on the edges of street corners, promising short queues and reliable products. Its capitalism kink and it makes readers anxious. How easily we are charmed by the allure of efficiency. The smooth running of the machine. Productivity distilled to its most concrete essence. But its not a manifesto, so Furukura withholds judgement and gives us permission to enjoy the love story from the bottom of its Plasticine pink heart. At least thats something you cant buy.

Heres what some of our readers thought...

May, 34, Leeds

So much of the time, in life, we are taught to want more, but in seeking it often you only get less. I work in marketing, which is supposed to be a good job, but often I miss the calm regularity of my days working in the supermarket. The coronavirus has highlighted our reliance on key workers such as shop staff. When I worked there, I didnt have any anxiety that what I was doing was useless. I feel useless often in my office job. Keiko knows the importance of what she does.

Emily, 22, London

Keiko is meant to be the weird one but as the novel progresses, you realise it is more everyone around her who is odd. Why are they so obsessed that she get a better job when she is happy? Why does she need a boyfriend or a baby? The only thing I think is a bit disappointing is that this critique of society is channelled through a character whose inability to relate to others ordinarily would be read as autistic. You dont have to have a developmental disorder to think that our fixation on career, marriage, childbirth is strange. I do too!

Matt, 45, Newcastle

Often when we work, we become not human. People dont see you when youre in a uniform. You speak in a way thats more like a robot than a person. Sometimes its relaxing it takes you out of the anxieties of wanting more, that you should make a podcast, get a new outfit. But another kind of work is possible, one where Keiko could gain pleasure not because shes erased but because shes allowed to become more herself.

Our next Indy Book Club pick will be voted for by you. Send your thoughts to

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The Indy Book Club: Convenience Store Woman is a gothic love story with a sickly capitalist kink - The Independent

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