R.J. is a writer, podcast host and CEO of Hashtag Productions. He lives in Los Angeles and always eats his vegetables.

Why March Madness is the Cure for Our Culture’s Ills

When you grow up in a cold-weather city like Chicago, March is a big deal. You jokers who were raised in places like Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Miami will never be able to fully appreciate what Spring means to those of us who have just endured months of frigid temperatures, snow pants and seasonal depression … Continued

Culture, Sports

Let the Kids Eat Cake

My parents always took the teacher’s side. I grew up attending public schools in the Chicagoland area and I can count on two fingers the number of times (out of hundreds of opportunities) that my Mom and Dad thought a teacher had gone too far.  Today, by contrast, teachers routinely face obnoxious, know-it-all parents who … Continued


The Problem(s) With ‘Live Chilling’

The 2013 Spike Jonze film Her depicted a not-too-distant future, in which disillusioned, depressed humans learn to love again by avoiding potentially difficult interpersonal dynamics, and instead, getting intimate with the artificial intelligence platform that powered their smartphones. Less than four years later, the future is now. American teens are quickly replacing face time with … Continued


Women’s Basketball Has a Dirty Little Secret: Bullying

There are certain narratives about discrimination and prejudice in our culture that do not lend themselves to any form of deviation. Rich people mistreat poor people. White people aren’t comfortable with “people of color” moving into their neighborhoods. Straight kids bully the gay kids. These formulas become easily recognizable to those who regularly follow the … Continued

Culture, Sports

Should You Watch ‘The Young Pope’? Nope

The great Catholic writer Gilbert Keith Chesterton once said, “It is the test of a good religion whether you can joke about it.” I wonder what Old Chesterton would think of the latest effort from HBO, The Young Pope, a show that, judging by its first few episodes, is neither funny nor a test of … Continued

Entertainment, Television

January Jones Thinks a Manny is as Good as a Father

In a sane world, any father who abandons his children (and his children’s mother) would be deported and sent to a penal colony on some snake-infested island in the South Pacific. I’m not referring to the breakdown of a marriage, subsequent divorce, and a father splitting custody with his ex-wife while staying actively engaged in … Continued