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Because I am a Jew, and a New York Jew at that, and because I am furthermore employed in publishing, I am, as is well known, bound by tradition and perhaps even natural law to sign a book deal. And so I have. It’s a rather pleasant thing to do, entering into a writing contract, despite the mental labor required to produce a book (I grow weary even now as I think of it). I do, however, work for a monthly magazine at which several colleagues have either written a book, are currently writing one, or are mulling the idea of it. I am therefore expected to behave as though securing a publishing deal is a good, but not overly momentous, event. In this regard I have undoubtedly failed to uphold the standards of my industry. I talk incessantly of my project, to all and anyone foolish enough to listen. And my literary self-commendation is not limited to work fellows: My girlfriend hears much of my project, as does my 4-year-old boy, my ex-wife, both of our divorce attorneys, my neighbor, my college friends, the folks who only hear from me via social media, my cheesemonger, close and distant relatives, and yes, my dog, Frankie. –“Mistaken Identity,” Theodore Ross, Tablet
Such is the sacredness of our relationship with our bowels that we’re all programmed to pretend no one ever poops (or writes about it), despite the fact that every day on this planet, we humans produce 1.5 billion pounds of the stuff. The plain truth is, we all poop. Even athletes. Especially athletes. One of the sports world’s last unspoken dirty little secrets is that this perfectly normal bodily function has a profound effect on all levels of competition. And the more you understand the way exercise impacts the intestinal tract, the more you’ll wonder how any athlete ever manages to hold it in. In fact, a lot of times, they don’t. A survey by the Oklahoma Foundation for Digestive Research, released in 2000, found that 72 percent of conditioned athletes have suffered from lower-intestine distress. –“It Happens,” David Fleming, ESPN, The Magazine
Albert Speer was relaxed during our interview and had no qualms about revisiting his lurid past. He could talk about those years for hours in that fluent, Franconian-accented English of his. He learned it from his American and British military guards in Berlin’s Spandau prison where he was incarcerated for war crimes until 1966. He was lucky not to have been hanged with Ribbentrop and the others. “Why do you agree to meet foreign journalists like me, and patiently answer our endless questions?” I asked him. “It is my duty,” he replied. –“The Master Architect,” Peter Foges, Lapham’s Quarterly
Bernie Madoff + child molester=journalism gold!
just anyone can finish your sprawling, ceaseless epic;
forgive me if I hope never to consider technology a “pre-existing condition of the universe,” even if it absolutely is (please see: wheel, sliced bread, et al.)
Beat it, Chinese
More from TedRoss:
On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in California’s ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.
In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as “indigenously Californian” elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a “home without its mother.” Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the “world’s biggest selfies,” and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”