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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:
Ratio of the average cost of a gallon of gas in Britain last September to that of a gallon of Starbucks coffee:
Her Majesty's Customs and Excise (London)/Starbucks Coffee Company (London)/Harper's research
The faculty of embarrassment was located in the pregenual anterior cingulate cortex by neurologists who made brain-damaged subjects sing along to “My Girl” and then listen to their own singing played back without musical accompaniment.
Greece evacuated 72,000 people from the town of Thessaloniki while an undetonated World War II–era bomb was excavated from beneath a gas station.
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"It is an interesting and somewhat macabre parlor game to play at a large gathering of one’s acquaintances: to speculate who in a showdown would go Nazi. By now, I think I know. I have gone through the experience many times—in Germany, in Austria, and in France. I have come to know the types: the born Nazis, the Nazis whom democracy itself has created, the certain-to-be fellow-travelers. And I also know those who never, under any conceivable circumstances, would become Nazis."