About Win Jordan

Mockingbird Intern for the Summer of 2013. I'm a rising third-year at the University of Virginia where I am double-majoring in Government and Media Studies.

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    The Idiot Forgiveness of Nelson Mandela

    The Idiot Forgiveness of Nelson Mandela

    I spent a semester during my Junior year of high school at a boarding school in the countryside of South Africa. It is a beautiful country with a vibrant cultural heritage. Yesterday, God called one of South Africa’s proudest sons home, Nelson Mandela, and I thought it would be apropos to celebrate the ways in which his life illustrated God’s idiot forgiveness.

    Mandela was a political activist in South Africa under the brutal and repressive Apartheid system. Apartheid was a system of government largely run by the Afrikaners (descendants of the German and Dutch colonists of the area) which functioned by…

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    Mariano Rivera and Success Made Memorable by a Failure

    Mariano Rivera and Success Made Memorable by a Failure

    As a Red Sox fan, the many laws of sports kinship demand I hate Yanks closer Mariano Rivera. But the reality is, while I’ve watched him shutdown countless potential Sox comebacks, I’ve always respected him. Then the other day The Atlantic ran this article on his blown save in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series against the Diamondbacks. This is the moment that shattered his aura of invincibility. When Rivera came into the game with the Yankees leading, the Championship seemed like a lock.

    Whenever Rivera, often referred to as the Hammer of God for the merciless manner in which…

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    Elysium: The Promised Land (Not of Film)

    Elysium: The Promised Land (Not of Film)

    Like many people, I loved Neill Blomkamp’s District 9 for its powerful message mixed with a fresh and intriguing sci-fi story. It was also impressive that it was done on a (relatively speaking) tiny budget of $30 million. So I was excited to see what Blomkamp would do when given a budget four times greater, and bona fide stars like Matt Damon and Jodie Foster. The result was Elysium, and as much as I wish it weren’t the case, it disappoints.

    The titular space station is a paradise for the “haves” who have escaped the disgustingly overpopulated Earth. Its name is…

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    Don’t Worry, Just Dance!: The Songs of Summer ’13

    Don’t Worry, Just Dance!: The Songs of Summer ’13

    Summer is always an amazing time for music, and this year has been no exception, with several notable releases. Usually there’s a single track that is unofficially crowned “the song of the summer.” It’s that one song you can’t escape. You hear it on the radio all the time and you can’t get it out of your head. Last summer it was the bubblegum anthem “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen. 2011 had the ultra-catchy “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO. 2010 was “California Gurls” by Katy Perry, and who could escape 2009’s “I Gotta Feeling” by The Black Eyed…

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    The Beautiful Nonsensicality of The Way, Way Back

    The Beautiful Nonsensicality of The Way, Way Back

    The summer movie season has had its highlights for me (Much Ado About Nothing, The Great Gatsby, and – admittedly – Despicable Me 2). But it’s been the blockbusters that have often been biggest letdowns. Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, and The Wolverine were all pretty underwhelming, each reaping as much destruction on their worlds as possible (and then some). Maybe I’m just tired of all of the buildings collapsing.

    Yesterday, I found the perfect antidote in The Way Way Back, which tells the story of the 14-year-old Duncan (Liam James) who is forced to spend the summer with his…

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    Uncoerced Love in Chaos and Grace

    Uncoerced Love in Chaos and Grace

    An excerpt from Mark Galli’s Chaos and Grace: Discovering the Liberating Work of the Holy Spirit:

    Freedom is not some abstract concept about the ability of the human will. It is nothing less than a way to talk about love. When writing about love, I’m often tempted to add an adjective to it and talk about uncoerced love. True love is always uncoerced, always freely given. But we live in an age in which love is often construed as an obligation or a quid pro quo. We love our spouses because they love us. Or we are required to love the poor….

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    The Freedom of Robert Galbraith

    The Freedom of Robert Galbraith

    As we all know, expectations can be crippling. Success breeds expectations for more success and higher, sometimes unfair, scrutiny can be placed upon a person. This scrutiny can be debilitating, and after an acclaimed bestseller – well, what do you write next?

    Last year, J.K. Rowling published her first book since the finale of Harry Potter, called The Casual Vacancy, under her own name. The book received mixed reviews, but almost all of the negative reviews (e.g. in The New York Times and The LA Times) used Harry Potter as the baseline – the standard – by which to evaluate the…

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    Gideon’s Army and the Best Attorney There Is

    Gideon’s Army and the Best Attorney There Is

    HBO has been on fire with their summer documentary series, but the highlight thus far has definitely been Gideon’s Army. Fifty years ago, the Supreme Court ruled in Gideon v. Wainwright that everybody deserves legal representation in the court system, and if somebody cannot afford representation, then the state must provide an attorney for them. Gideon’s Army follows the lives of three of those attorneys who are called “public defenders.”

    The job of a public defender is difficult and under-appreciated. A public defender might represent about one hundred clients at a time for very little money, which often falls far short…

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    Pixar and the Beauty of Ugly Emotions

    Pixar and the Beauty of Ugly Emotions

    The reviews are in for Pixar’s latest project, Monsters University, and most of its criticisms direct readers to previous films in the franchise, implying Pixar has produced better (reinforcing the Law of High Quality Content). But the reviewers still say that the film is immensely entertaining. I can’t disagree. I loved its parallels with the classic college stereotypes—the overly peppy orientation leader, the coffee-guzzling finals studying, the privilege-pompous frat stars. The film even disguises a game of beer pong as monster tic-tac toe.

    And while these tropes are fun to see re-enacted with Oozma Kappa in the Scare Maze, they neglect…

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    God is Not the NSA

    God is Not the NSA

    The National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden has been all the rage in the blogosphere these past couple weeks. The debate over whether or not he is a traitor or a patriot is not dying down and, amidst this fray, it almost seems that we have forgotten about Snowden’s actual revelations, that the American Government has a massive surveillance system in place.

    Regardless of where you “stand” on that debate, there’s a natural unease that comes with this news. You may not be coordinating terrorist activities, you may even feel you have nothing to hide, but the thought that somebody behind a…

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    Tim Tebow at the Bottom of His Barrel

    Tim Tebow at the Bottom of His Barrel

    Guess who’s back?! Everyone’s favorite sports talking point (including Mockingbird’s) is heading to the New England Patriots, and the initial reactions are just as polarized as any conversation about Tim Tebow has ever been. There’s the cautious optimist, there’s the outright optimist, and then there’s the severe pessimist, to name just a few.

    The Patriots are building a track record for giving high-profile names a second shot after failure. Sometimes it has worked (see Randy Moss) and other it has failed (Albert Hayensworth). Even though he is willing to give these second chances, the Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick, isn’t exactly the…

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    Another Pearl from McNeely’s Romance of Grace

    Another Pearl from McNeely’s Romance of Grace

    So often, we see ourselves through the eyes of the world that is constantly evaluating and judging us. What if we looked at ourselves through the eyes of God? What would we see? In his book, The Romance of Grace, our friend Jim McNeely has an uplifting, but rather scandalous answer which he takes from Matthew 13: 44-46. “The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls and, upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.”

    “If God is the merchant, what- or who- is the pearl? Here is the…

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    The Golden Age of Television (Criticism)

    The Golden Age of Television (Criticism)

    The new season of Arrested Development came out last week, and let’s make one thing clear; it is amazing. It’s what it’s always been, while full of new gags and tropes that made me excited to go back and watch again (because I’m sure I missed plenty). While I admit, it is rocky in places—the George Sr. storyline being considerably weaker than the others and, sure, editing could have been tighter—it is still the same brilliant show.

    The return of Arrested marks another exciting notch in what critics have called “The Golden Age of Television.” Streaming websites like Netflix have become…

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