Welcome to Poop Reads, a hand-picked collection of the best writing on the web. Where you read us, and what you're doing there, is your own business.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

"Somebody Has to Be in Control" by Ian Parker - Newyorker.com

Normally I eschew celebrity profiles because I think actors are generally vapid and whiny and sending someone to portray them in a different light is almost always uninteresting. That being said, George Clooney is fucking cool. How true is his line about the kind of people you hang out with on Sundays?

P.S. also this "(Clooney, in 2005, speaking about suicide bombers: “But, really, who wants seventy virgins? I want eight pros.”)" God Bless.

"Bo Knows Best" by Michael Weinreb - ESPN.com

Sorry for all the sports stuff today if that's not your bag, but Bo Jackson talking about killing a grizzly bear with a handgun was just too good to resist. Here's Bo proving the old adage: you don't have to be the fastest, you just can't be the slowest--casual racism an amusing plus.

"I wasn't scared," Bo says. "I wasn't scared because I knew I could outrun my white buddy. You've got to think about these things, man."

"Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu" by John Updike - Newyorker.com

An oldie but a goodie, this piece about Ted Williams' last game by John Updike is considered one of the best pieces of sports writing of all time. Ted Williams just amazes the shit out of me. Last man to bat .400, 521 career ding knocks, missed five years of his prime to two different wars and was such a sick fighter pilot the military made him an instructor for other fighter pilots. Love to see A-Rod's fancy ass do that. Splendid Splinter indeed.

"'Would You Rather with Joe Mauer'" by Rafi Kohan - GQ.com

Love this game. Just the things you find out about people's psyches y'know? People are crazy. Joe Mauer would rather be bald for the rest of his life than finish last in his stupid division just once. That's what I call long-term dumb.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"Same .270 Average, Varied Weight" by Ben Shpigel - NYTimes.com

The Times weighs in on the Yankees on their season's eve. Oddly enough, Jeter and Rodriguez were two of only five MLB players who batted exactly .270 last year. Obviously people are tweaking out about Jeter's drop in batting average, but no one's made a mention of Rodriguez at the same number.

I don't know, I guess it can be rationalized by A-Rod's power numbers. I'm just still trying to figure out if I'm impressed that he's 6'3" 222 at 9% body fat. I expect more.

P.S. Right?

"Lebron and My New Race Riot Act" by Scott Raab - Esquire.com

Weird turn of events for this shorter piece. Starts off with the writer--a more than middle aged white man--getting "quitness" shaved into his head in preparation for his seats just behind the Heat's bench when they played the Cavs in Cleveland last night. It ends with a rather eloquent take on race in America.

"Goodbye, LCD Soundsystem: James Murphy's Art of Hopeless Commitment" by Nitsuh Abebe - Nymag.com

Sadly, LCD Soundsystem is about to call it a day. This tribute to lead singer James Murphy from New York Magazine is a fitting elegy to one of the most influential NYC bands of the past decade. Don't worry James, you never lost your edge.

P.S. Cribbed this one from the singer himself. It's called a James Murphy: Pour a shot of whiskey in a champagne flute, fill the rest with champagne. The champagne gets you drunk, and the whiskey keeps you that way.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"Bill Zinser Has His Cake" by Kevin Koenig - Power and Motoryacht

This Boating Writer's International award winning story is probably the very best profile of a yacht captain you will ever read. You might not think you like boats, but this dude drives a 281-foot luxury yacht around paradise for a living. Not a bad look. Sue me. http://www.powerandmotoryacht.com/derecktor-shipyards/bill_zinser/

"Deadspin Funbag" by Drew Magary - Deadspin.com

So these Deadspin funbags are usually not so hot, but I actually enjoyed today's. The "10 movie quotes to yell out during orgasm" answers were pretty funny. Earn this! Good. http://deadspin.com/#!5786816/10-good-movie-quotes-to-yell-out-during-orgasm

Monday, March 28, 2011

"A Girl's Nude Photo, And Altered Lives" by Jan Hoffman - NYTimes.com

They could have titled this article "Why No Guy You Know Is Pumped To Have A Daughter" and it would have had the same effect.

"Tiger Woods Will Be Redeemed" by Stephen Marche - Esquire.com

Pretty good article by Esquire's pop culture guy making an argument why we'll forget that Tiger smashed all those chicks while he was married. Talent eclipses indiscretion. It's as simple as that. Besides, it's not like he electrocuted a bunch of innocent dogs or anything. I mean, some things the public just won't forgive . . . http://www.esquire.com/features/thousand-words-on-culture/tiger-woods-scandal-0411

"Coach Shaka Smart has become VCU's Brightest Star" - by John Branch - NYTimes

VCU's coach is like 15 years old or some bullshit, coaching in the Final Four. Out of high school he got accepted at Harvard, Yale, and Brown but chose to go to Kenyon College instead. Guy'll never amount to anything.


"MMQB" by Peter King - SI.com

Monday Morning Quarterback me one time Peter King! Draft special.


Friday, March 25, 2011

"The Man Who Wouldn't Die" by Michael Paterniti - GQ

This is a profile of former Greco-Roman wrestler turned The Biggest Loser contestant Rulon Gardner. Dude's hard to kill:

"Olympic hero Rulon Gardner has fallen off trucks, tumbled off tractors, and gotten stuck in a baler. He has been impaled on an arrow, broken his neck, and gashed his knee clean to the bone. He has survived several catastrophic high-speed accidents, endured a frostbitten night in subzero temperatures, and most recently, swam away (barely) from a plane crash in Lake Powell. In between, he pulled off one of the great upsets in sports history and became an American legend. Meet Rulon Gardner, the luckiest man on earth."

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"A Conversation with Sam Calagione, Founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery" by Daniel Fromson - The Atlantic

I guess I never realized Dogfish Head beer was such a big deal, but this interview has me sold. Sounds like this guy, the company's founder, really takes this stuff seriously, and has a really cool attitude about it too. Plus I just found out that there's such a thing as "beer writer" which if this whole Poop Reads thing doesn't pan out, I might have to become.

"My Mom Couldn't Cook" by Tom Junod - Esquire.com

This piece from Esquire came out a while ago and was just nominated for a James Beard award, which is kind of a big deal in the magazine world. Very well written, it traces the author's deft cooking skills back to the fact that his mom sucked in the kitchen so his dad did all the cooking. Now Tom Junod cooks (and writes) like a man.

"The Bonus" by Zack O'Malley Greenburg - SI.com

Remember in "Lean Back" when Fat Joe raps "Kay keeps telling me to speak about the Rucker/Matter of fact, I don't want to speak about the Rucker"? Yeah, I always wondered what the hell he was talking about too. Turns out Jay-Z formed an all-star basketball team featuring Lebron, Lamar Odom, Jamal Crawford, and Sebastian Telfair explicitly to win a tournament at Harlem's legendary Rucker Park courts, blew through the tourney undefeated, and then him and his team didn't show up for the final because Jay was taking Beyonce to Europe for vacay. Jay-Z on some real baloney shit huh? Anyway, this article is really well written and gives good insight into Hova's mentality.

Oh and Fat Joe's team won the tourney by forfeit.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"Drug Busts" by Silvana Paternostro - TheAtlantic.com

Phenomenal title to this story about this chick who used to smush Pablo Escobar and now is the poster girl for Colombian drug dealers girlfriends. She got fake tits from her mom for 18th birthday, God bless her.


Trying something new here, linked to the print version. Let me know how it works.

"Lakers-Heat Running Diary" by Bill Simmons - ESPN.com

Bill Simmons kind of mailed this in but eehhhhhh, slow day on the internet today folks, not gonna lie.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Yogi Berra's Wikipedia Page

When you come to a fork in the road, take it to the place where you keep all ten of your World Series rings. Respect.


"Derek Jeter's Swinging Years" by Seth Mnookin - GQ

This is a profile of Derek Jeter from the new GQ. It's high quality, but that's not what I want to talk about. Did you know Jeter just got voted second greatest New York athlete of all time? Do you know how absurd that is? Jeter's probably not even a top five Yankee of all time. Let alone NYC baseball player. And God forbid you say NYC athlete. Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle are no-brainers. But then you have to sift through Whitey Ford, Don Mattingly, and oh yeah, Yogi Berra and his 15 All Star appearances, ten World Series Rings and 3 MVP awards. Do people realize how good Yogi Berra was? Read his http://www.wikipedia.com/ page, its absurd. Talk about short shrift, guy probably is a starter on an all-time greats team and all anybody remembers about him is the dumb shit he said about a fork.

Oh, Willie Mays and Lawrence Taylor also were NYC athletes. Jeter is duking it out with Ewing and Namath for like 10th place and they should all be happy if they snag it.

Just riffing there, enjoy your poops.


ps. 1. Ruth 2. Taylor 3. DiMaggio 4. Gehrig 5. Mantle (Mays was probably better but he wasn't as iconically New York as Mantle)

"Monday Morning Quarterback" by Peter King - SI.com

Peter King checks in with MMQB. What a stalwart that guy is. More labor talk, blah blah blah, not my thing, but it might be yours. Then a pretty cool/unexpected stat comparison between Old Man Tiki and Adrian Peterson. And of course stuff PK thinks he thinks. Go.


Monday, March 14, 2011

"The 6th Floor" by Edith Zimmerman - The New York Times Magazine

Heads up, this one's a bit of a quick hitter and may not print that well. But I wanted to give due propers to my former colleague Edith Zimmerman, just killing the game right now with her new column about the internet at The New York Times Magazine. Chick's legit funny.

"Vanished" by Devin Friedman - GQ

This article seemed appropriate unfortunately after the Tsunami in Japan. It's a stark, moving examination of the human toll of the tsunami that hit Thailand a few years ago. Not exactly a beach read, but worth your while nonetheless.

"Is It Dunk And Done For Perry Jones?" by Michael Sokolove - The New York Times Magazine

This is a piece about "one and done" guys, super talented players who normally would have jumped straight from high school to the pros before a rule made them go to college for a year before going to the NBA. It's focused on the case of Baylor's Perry Jones, a projected top draft pick this year. I have no idea how Baylor still has a basketball team, let alone a good one. Weren't their players busting caps in each other's asses like, recently? I dunno. Doesn't make much sense to me.

"How Charlie Sheen Is Giving Us What We Want" by Brett Easton Ellis - The Daily Beast

I know, I know, you're starting to get sick of Charlie Sheen stories. This one's different though. It's by American Psycho author Brett Easton Ellis, and it posits that Sheen is not really having a break down, but instead just really, really "gets" celebrity down to its rotting, fraudulent core. Definitely an interesting take, and one I think I agree with myself. Sheen's recent antics are almost Nietzschean to me. He's kind of transcended the plane of normal celebrity behavior and now is rampaging across the land, like some great, blonde*, celebrity-beast.

* I know he's not blonde you guys.

thanks to noah

Thursday, March 10, 2011

"My Bodyguards" by Tom Chiarella - Esquire

I love this story. Tom Chiarella, a writer for Esquire whose name you'll see a lot here, went out and hired four bodyguards to escort him around New York City. People stare at him, he gets into just about every club, he gets a bunch of phone numbers slipped to him, and generally feels invincible. Chiarella writes a lot of stories about how our reality is often a contruct of other peoples' perceptions. Pay attention.


"Consumed" by Grayson Schaffer - Outside

So this crazy-ass South African dude Hendrik Coetzee was one of the best whitewater kayakers in the world and lived a life straight out of a Hunter S. Thompson novel. The title of the story,"Consumed," is a metaphor for how some of the most dedicated people in the world lead their lives. But its also not a metaphor for what happened when this guy met a crocodile on the Nile River.


"The Boy from Gitmo" by Michael Paterniti - GQ

So this dude got arrested when he was 12 for blowing up some soldiers in Kabul and it turns out he didn't do it. They figured it out after he spent his entire teenage-hood in Gitmo. Tough hand dealt. Here's an awesome quote from the story between a hardened terrorist and his assigned Marine lawyer. Trust me, read this quote and you'll read the whole article.

"Don't you know I'm your enemy?" he says. Montalvo responds that, legally speaking, he feels that a First Amendment argument can be made on his behalf, but al-Bahlul interrupts, jangling his chains. "Don't you know that if that door were opened and we both were out there free, I'd kill you?" Nothing has prepared Montalvo for this kind of venom, but his reaction is visceral. He leans forward and says, "Don't you know that if that door were open and we both were free, I'd kill you first?"


"David Simon, Creator of The Wire, Speaks on Felicia "Snoop" Pearson's Arrest" by Nina Shen Rastogi - Slate.com

Short poop read her folks. Might want to print out an addendum if you're gonna be locked down for a bit, but here is David Simon's take on Snoop's recent arrest on a drug trafficking charge. Believe this, the Poopreader who sent this in said it best: "David Simon is on some other shit."

For real though? Your hair look good girl.


thanks big made

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"A Real Mad Man" by Katie Roiphe - The Financial Times

Profile of the real-life Don Draper like whoa. He basically says the guys on Mad Men party like a bunch of wide-eyed nannies compared to what actually used to go down. This article was written by Katie Roiphe, a really interesting author to choose, as she made a name for herself in the 90's with a book that basically told college girls to stop whining about date rape, or "date rape," as the case may be. Good read.


"Held by the Taliban" by David Rohde - NY Times

So this dude was held hostage by the Taliban for 7 months and 10 days. The Poopreader who sent this to me pointed out that his story should be long enough for about 7 to 10 dumps. Sounds like someone has been HOUSING Fiber One bars.

Stay regular, bros!


thanks to spike

"Secret Fears of the Super Rich" by Graeme Wood - The Atlantic

So as it turns out money really can't buy you love or happiness, and unless you're Roman Abromovich, it won't even buy you the biggest yacht at the docks. Take it from me dude, it doesn't matter how much money you spend, someone will always be able to look down on the top deck of your yacht from the top deck of theirs. And just like the human body hasn't evolved to the point where it can effectively metabolize that 4th slice of pepperoni pizza without getting fat, the human mind will not be satisfied by a simple excess of funds. So relax Stanley Striver, some of the best thing in life really are free.


thanks to strap

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"Last Drop" by Brad Melekian - Outside.com

I am a dummy. I totally forgot about Outside magazine. I love Outside, great stories there, and I always buy it at the airport (I travel a lot for work). Anyway, here's an article on the late surfer Andy Irons, a total badass who passed away under strange circumstances last November. Enjoy.


"Just Throw the Damn Ball, Tom Brady" by Tom Chiarella - Esquire.com

It seems only appropriate that amidst the media firestorm that has descended upon Tom Brady's be-ponytailed head for his ridiculously bad dance moves, we should remember that the man is still pretty cool, and most of us are awful dancers too. And we don't get to smush Giselle, even if Bridget Moynahan was hotter.


Monday, March 7, 2011

"Is Islam the Problem?" by Nichols D. Kristof

New York Times stand up! Kristof's column asks why the Middle East fell so far behind in the last 800 years after thriving intellectually, culturally, and financially until about 1200 AD. He cites a new book which posits that secondary Muslim practices may have upset the balance. For example, unlike in the West, where large estates were passed down to the family's eldest son, wealth and land was distributed more equally among Muslim families, hence making vast accumulations of wealth, and consequent large investments in technology, less likely.


"The Northwestern Human Sexuality Class was the Best Class I ever Took" by Joseph Bernstein

This from The Awl, the writer took a class with the guy who had those rando's dildo each other in front of a bunch of Northwestern students and he loved it (the class, not the dildo'ing). In truth, the writer comes off as the kind of guy who people probably have wanted to beat up/beaten up a lot throughout his life and he has no idea why, but the article is thought provoking nonetheless.


"Monday Morning Quarterback" by Peter King

Lay it on us Pete! What the hell is going on in the NFL labor talks? And what do you think you think?


"Tour de Gall" by A.A. Gill

This Vanity Fair article calls Paris's L'Ami Louis the worst restaurant in the world, and Gill makes a pretty convincing case too. The description of the foie gras is decidedly, um, offputting.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

"The Day the Movies Died" by Mark Harris

So it looks like Hollywood is done telling stories and now is only doing prequels and movies based on toys. I don't care because I have the attention span of a goldfish and haven't made it through a whole movie since like '88, but you might.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

"Go Easy on Yourself, a New Wave of Research Urges" by Tara Parker-Pope

This is the most emailed article on nytimes.com at the moment. You'll basically be healthier if you show more "self-compassion." Not sure I buy it. Pretty sure I'm in my best shape when I physically beat the piss out of myself, but that's just how we do it in the Dirty Jerz, son!


"The Rude Warrior" by Peter Biskind

This piece from Vanity Fair is pretty refreshing in that it is willing to paint Mel Gibson as not a complete and utter douchebag--a tall order. It's weird to think that just a few years back Gibson was known as a family values kinda guy with one of the strongest marriages in Hollywood (is that kind of like being the toughest kid in the chess club?) Anyway, great title to this article, and a good read.