Liquid Ink

The official website of Gint Aras

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Why is American education in crisis?

There are many reasons. I’ve come up with three very important ones for this, the last True Community article I’ll write. I’m taking a hiatus from writing weekly articles, and while I’ll continue to blog here on Liquid Ink, I hope to spend more time working on longer form essays that I might submit to other magazines.

Writing True Community was, if short lived, loads of fun, even if the topic of men’s education is often distressing. Thanks to all the people who supported the column and shared my articles on social media.


Photo by Jason Eppink.



No more NFL for me

This past weekend I watched my last NFL game. The game has been bothering me for a long time, but I always stopped short of shutting off the tube, deluding myself that it was enough to be mindful of the game’s flaws. Being a fan has provided me with wonderful experiences and memories, even friendships. But I can no longer associate myself with this culture.

I am not a former high school player. I don’t see how it matters. Yes, I buy the arguments about how football builds character and responsibility. But plenty of cultures (er…all except Canada?) do not play American football, and plenty of American children never put on pads. You can’t possibly believe the vast majority of human beings  are irresponsible and lack character.

Gardening builds character. So do chess, meditation and swimming. Ballet teaches responsibility, discipline, body control, focus, determination, fitness, respect for one’s body, healthy expression of oneself, and ballet dancers perform through pain. Those lessons and that kind of perseverance are common to many activities, especially when performed by someone serious about them. American football, as a culture and society, offers no unique or superior lesson. Those football players I knew in high school and college who felt superior were sadly, tragically deluded.

Yes, most athletes, whatever the sport, are decent people. Some are less than angelic. We should look up to them with caution, and deifying them is foolish. Make your arguments about hockey thugs and footballer (I mean soccer) goons, many full of themselves. If you love American football so much that you’re willing to look past this latest cover up, to rationalize it away, or even to blow it off as unimportant, your certainty should not motivate you to argue with a guy who’s stepping away from consuming the sport. Neither you nor the game will miss me. My absence will have no effect.

And that’s exactly the point. If we’re angry and offended but continue to watch, it’s hard to convince anyone we’re all that angry or offended. If we keep the game on, our offense, large as it might be, will still remain smaller than whatever positives we believe football provides.

As a fan of the sport and long-time supporter of this league, therefore a participant in its culture, often a consumer of its advertised goods, I’m being asked to define the positives. Are they available in no other community or space? Is there no way to disassociate myself from an organization that pooh-poohs domestic violence? That question is inescapable, and the answer is obvious.

They won’t care about our protests or any noise we make. They will only care when the cost of a Super Bowl ad skydives. This year, even in the aftermath of the recent scandal, I predict the price will have risen since last February. And that will show what we truly value.

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I bought beer for my high school students

I admit it. The secret has been with me so long. I must finally reveal the truth. You’ve wondered what kind of person buys teenage boys beer? Look no further. I’m the guy.

Read the shocking truth here.

Photo by Bernt Rostad.


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The Guy With The Vulgar Shirt

I revised my take on the guy with the vulgar shirt for today’s True Community. Downtown Abbey fans will dig what I came up with.  Check it out here.

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Didn’t you think?

Didn’t you think that your dream of the woman’s hands depended on a memory of a woman’s hands?

Didn’t you think that the memory came first, followed then by the imagined vision, the game, the mental play?

Or have you been thinking that those hands you keep seeing were never before your eyes? Do you think, sitting here now, seeing those hands, that you’re able to generate them entirely, their skin and lacquered nails, from the memory of completely different hands?

Did you think, before we had this conversation, that blind men imagine hands as vividly as you do?

Can you ever be sure that any image in your mind, in that field that rushes forth and pulls back instantly and endlessly, is either imagined or remembered?

Does it matter what it is if it’s not before you right now, if the image is only dredged up from the past or anticipating a future, one unlikely to come?


Photo by Kheel Center.


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