Welcome Back, SPY. [Esquire] “Then came the last year: the withdrawal of Stewart and Colbert from Comedy Central, the death of Gawker, the return of Hillary, and especially the rise of Donald Trump. SPY pioneered the exposure and ridicule of Trump back in its day, of course, always referring to him as "short-fingered vulgarian Donald Trump"— and in this campaign, astonishingly, that epithet (and the general tiny-hand critique) resurfaced in a big way. As Trump became the Republicans' presumptive nominee, lots more people, pretty much every day, said to me, "SPY really needs to be rebooted, if only just for the election."” [more inside]
"I cannot reconcile the divide between two of the biggest civil-rights movements I've covered—marriage equality and Black Lives Matter. How can two such quintessentially American fights occur so near each other yet feel so disconnected? How were the revelers on the steps of the Supreme Court so far from the implosion of a major American city happening just up the street?"
"Hey, I'm not going to womansplain feminism to the readers of Esquire! That's not happening on my watch! You're sophisticated, 21st century men with a copy of the El Bulli cookbook, a timeless pair of investment brogues and a couple of Joni Mitchell albums — for when you want to sit in your leather armchair, and have a little, noble, necessary man-cry." [slEsquire, Caitlin Moran]
Oasis songwriter/guitarist/vocalist Noel Gallagher, interviewed by Alex Bilmes for Esquire: “I have an opinion on everything and if I don’t have an opinion, I’ll fucking make one up on the spot.”
Manisha Aggarwal-Schifellite, How Esquire Engineered The Modern Bachelor,The Awl.
"The thing I find very exciting is waiting for the subway train and sometimes you'll get a glorious one that arrives decorated like a birthday cake!" Watching My Name Go By is a short 1976 BBC documentary about graffiti, artists, and graffiti artists in New York City. The film is based on Norman Mailer's 1974 essay for Esquire magazine, "The Faith of Grafitti." [via]
Beware, music lovers of a certain age: the time of Uncle Ezra Ray is upon us. Mark McGrath, Kevin Griffin of Better Than Ezra, and Uncle Kracker have joined forces, exploiting the current '90s nostalgia boom to sell us a mid-aughts pop country song. Their debut single "B.Y.H.B. (Bring Your Hot Body)" is out, and God help me, I'm going to listen to the whole thing.Dave Holmes (previously, previouslier) reviews the debut single from '90s
"I can't even fit all of you in my eyes." Esquires polls 22 comics on the best jokes of all time. Includes videos.
"His wife was just thirty-four. They had two little girls. The cancer was everywhere, and the parts of dying that nobody talks about were about to start. His best friend came to help out for a couple weeks. And he never left." (SL Esquire)
Siri talked only to a few limited functions, like the map, the datebook, and Google. All the imitators, from the outright copies like Google Now and Microsoft's Cortana to a host of more-focused applications with names like Amazon Echo, Samsung S Voice, Evi, and Maluuba, followed the same principle. The problem was you had to code everything. You had to tell the computer what to think. Linking a single function to Siri took months of expensive computer science. You had to anticipate all the possibilities and account for nearly infinite outcomes. If you tried to open that up to the world, other people would just come along and write new rules and everything would get snarled in the inevitable conflicts of competing agendas—just like life. Even the famous supercomputers that beat Kasparov and won Jeopardy! follow those principles. That was the "pain point," the place where everything stops: There were too many rules.
The idea was audacious. They would be creating a DNA, not a biology, forcing the program to think for itself.John H. Richardson for Esquire
By the time they reach high school, nearly 20 percent of all American boys will be diagnosed with ADHD.
- Monday. I am asked to interview Michael Keaton. They tell me he lives in Montana.
- I tell my brother, who texts back: 220, 221, whtvr it takes.
- A call from my editor: "They said maybe you should go pheasant hunting. He's making a movie called Birdman. Stay tuned. It might be soon."
Dr. Eben Alexander's book Proof of Heaven has a complex backstory. One that's not very heavenly. [more inside]
Gay Talese's "Frank Sinatra Has A Cold" appeared in Esquire Magazine in April 1966. Sinatra had turned down interview requests from Esquire for years and refused to be interviewed for the profile. Rather than give up, Talese spent the three months following and observing the man and interviewing any members of his entourage who were willing to speak -- and the final story was published without Sinatra's cooperation or blessing. In 2003, editors pronounced it the best article the magazine had ever published. Nieman Storyboard interviewed Talese last month about the piece and has annotated it with his comments. [more inside]
If you've never done the Wingate-cycle test, let me try to explain what it feels like: It feels like your legs are giving birth. It feels like you've got an eight-martini hangover in your calves. Your face contorts like a porn star in an AVN-award-winning threesome scene. You emit noises that resemble feedback at a thrash-metal concert. Maybe your eyes are closed and you're rocking your head back and forth. The upside: It's over in 30 seconds. ... I rode the Wingate cycle as part of my research on a surprising and potentially life-altering theory called high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Think of it as the Evelyn Wood of exercise. The idea is that lightning-quick intense workouts might be as good for you as — if not better than — longer medium-intensity workouts.[more inside]
Vanity Fair: What's Wrong With The Michelin Guide. Esquire:Why It's Hard To Trust The Michelin Standards. FT:Star-Crossed: Once universally revered, the Michelin Guide is now dismissed by some as a relic of a bygone age
Charlie Pierce is a longtime sportswriter and author who has, among other things, reported for Grantland, Slate, and the Boston Globe, paneled on more than a few games of Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, and fished diapers out of trees as a state forest ranger. He's also made a name for himself as one of the sharpest and most incisive political columnists since Molly Ivins. The lead writer for Esquire's Politics Blog ever since a caustic article on former Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell cost him his Globe job, Pierce has churned out an uninterrupted stream of clever, colorful, and challenging commentary on the 2012 election season and its implications for the nation's future, dispatches often seething with eviscerative anger but shot through with deep love of (or perhaps grief for) country. Look inside for a selection of Pierce's most vital works for some edifying Election Eve reading. [more inside]
"Had I ever given a compliment that made someone feel worse? Or that had no effect at all? I decided to learn how to deliver good ones. I devised a plan in which I would give a lot of them in a short time and work to figure out exactly how the best compliments worked, and why."
"Several executives involved in the transaction have either abruptly decided to retire or been sacked."
Last month, JP Morgan Chase announced it had lost $2 billion dollars in a 'hedging' maneuver. Today, Jamie Dimon, Morgan's chairman and CEO, testified before the Senate banking committee. [more inside]
The recession didn't gut the prospects of American young people. The Baby Boomers took care of that.
The United States of 2012 : Esquire Magazine pulls together five maps that they believe reflect the zeitgeist of the current era. Of special interest is the "Where's Waldo"-like fourth map, which illustrates how minorities and the poor are either included in or excluded from American communities. (2805 x 1813 px version) Also, the aforementioned Eric Fischer's Flickr photostream is excellent collection of his maps.
In a daring rejoinder to the kind of anti-ginger prejudice (previously) that can fictionally manifest itself as gingercide, one brave redhead gets his hair did, going from suedehead to fashion plate in “nine long months.”
The Memorial. "People talk a lot about the "healing process." Well, this is New York. In the aftermath of a tragedy of monumental proportions, the healing process has been noisy and rude, with elbows out, redolent of greed, power, and the darker forces that drive human existence. And most of the shouting has been about how to make a fitting monument to what happened here. But in a hundred years, all the shouting and all the politics will be forgotten. What will be remembered is what is built here, now, on these sixteen acres." [more inside]
Only 13% of articles in the New Republic, 22% of articles in The Atlantic and 30% of articles in the New Yorker are by women. ThinkProgress' Alyssa Rosenberg wonders why men's magazines underserve women and women's magazines underserve journalism. Anne Hays is boycotting the New Yorker for publishing too few women. Ta-Nehisi Coates thinks it's about old-fashioned class norms. Are the "female stars of long-form journalism" the solution to the problem or a red herring?
"I was intrigued by your recent expression of the interest in the 'actual weight' of the outlandish pumpkin head of the total A-hole, R. Limbaugh. By grand good chance, a friend of mine is a professor in bio-physics here at the university, and, with some sophisticated instruments, and his professorial savvy, he was able to take the measurements necessary for the calculations directly off the video screen."
A look back at 1971's "Albert Brooks' Famous School for Comedians," a founding document for a generation of humorists. [more inside]
‘Don’t let up on ’em. Drive ’em off the road. Starve ’em to death. Pull their money out of their bank accounts.’ The colorful, on the lam Randy and Evi Quaid are interviewed and profiled at length in the newest Vanity Fair and Esquire magazines.
Newt Gingrich: The Indispensable Republican. In the twelve years since he resigned in defeat and disgrace, he has been carefully plotting his return to power. As 2012 approaches, he has raised as much money as all of his potential rivals combined and sits atop the polls for the Republican presidential nomination. But just who is Newton Leroy Gingrich, really? (SLEsquire)
Meet the Man Who Could End Global Warming The miracle solution goes by different names: the sodium fast reactor, the integral fast reactor, the liquid-metal-cooled reactor. It burns nuclear waste, emits no CO2, and shuts itself down in an accident. We have enough fuel to power the whole world for tens of thousands of years. It will end global warming, and even if global warming is just another paranoid Armageddon fantasy, it will save us from the dying oceans and starvation and resource wars that are inevitable as the world's energy supply dwindles. It will unleash new industries and revitalize America's manufacturing industry.
Can you say Hero? The Life and Times of Mr. Fred Rogers One of the most influential people ever to grace television, Mr. Rogers was a neighbor to millions of children across the US. His legacy has left a long lasting impression on the fabric of society. With today's children being force fed Hanna Montana, and Joey 101, wouldn't it be nice if we could go to the kingdom of make believe, just one more time?
An extraordinary piece of magazine writing by Chris Jones. Jones tells the story of how the body of Sergeant Joe Montgomery makes its way from a Baghdad suburb to its final resting place in a grave in Indiana. It's one of the finest pieces of journalism that I've read in years. It’s extremely moving without being saccharine or twee. It’s a military story, but utterly without jingoism or indictment. And it’s wonderfully observed. If I taught a first-year creative writing course, I'd make this required reading.
Vint Cerf on age, marriage, technology, jokes, and a three piece suit.
The Best Sandwiches in America Esquire magazine lists the very best examples of many very delicious sandwiches nationwide.
This story is about something called Radical Honesty. It may change your life. (But honestly, we don't really care.)
I appreciate you for reading this article. I resent you for snarking in the thread without reading it.
The Man Who Could Kill YouTube. Bob Tur is the little guy who is suing one giant (Google) to do what another giant (Viacom) probably never will -- shut YouTube down
A Soldier's Lament by Brian Mockenhaupt in Esquire, brought to you via MSN. We've seen a similar post by a Marine officer recently, but I liked the tone of this one a bit more because it does a better job of showing us the inside of a warrior's head.
Esquire sends out 250 napkins to writers across America - from prolific novelists to those finishing off first works. Nearly a hundred respond back - from sex to frustration, poetry to twisted liaisons, even a mini book and plans for murder.
What I've Learned: Al Green, Alex Trebek, Alyssa Milano, Andy Grove, Arianna Huffington, Arny Freytag, Arthur Miller, Bill O'Reilly, Billy Bob Thornton, Bobby Bowden, Burt Reynolds, Carroll Shelby, Charles Townes, Christie Brinkley, Christopher Reeve, Clive Davis, Conrad Dobler, Curt Gowdy, Dan Rather, David Bowie, David Brown, Don Rickles, Edward Teller, Even Knievel, Faye Dunaway, Forest Whitaker, Garry Shandling, Gene Simmons, Haley Joel Osment, Heather Locklear, Homer Simpson, Hugh Hefner, Hunter Clemons, J. Craig Venter, 1=8991">Jack Bauer, Jaime Pressly, James Caan, James Watson, Jeff Bezos, Jim Willett, Jimmy Dean, Joe Frazier, John Kenneth Galbraith, John McCain, JR Simplot, Julia Child, Katie Couric, Keith Richards, Kirk Douglas, Lou Reed, Lucinda Williams, Mark Burnett, Mia Farrow, Michael Wright, Muhammad Ali, Neil Young, Ozzy Osbourne, Pamela Anderson, Peter O'Toole, Phil Spector, Philip Johnson, Ray Charles, Red Auerbach, Richard Branson, Richard Petty, Rip Torn, Robert Altman, Robert DeNiro, Robert Evans, Rod Steiger, Rodney Dangerfield, Roseanne, Roy Jones Jr., Sarah Silverman and Jimmy Kimmel, Siegfried and Roy, Suge Knight, Tom Petty, Tommy Franks, Walter Cronkite. [Slightly More Inside]
Falling Man: the many faces of a 9/11 riddle chronicles the attempts of Tom Junod to identify the "falling man" photographed by Richard Drew on September 11, 2001. Junod wrote an Esquire article about the Falling Man in September 2003 (August 2003 NPR interview) that inspired a documentary. The Falling Man may have been Jonathan Briley.
The Greatest Stories Ever Told (in Esquire) The magazine picks six candidates to be the best story from its first 70 years. Gay Talese's "Frank Sinatra Has a Cold" was their choice as the best.
Thinking of reading Moby Dick? Let David Sedaris do it for you. And don't forget the amazing Assassinations Foretold in Moby Dick!
Every Esquire Cover [more]
In a long letter to Esquire magazine, the former head of Bush's Office of Faith-Based Programs blasts the White House as having practically no interest or expertise in making sound social policy: "[O]n social policy and related issues, the lack of even basic policy knowledge, and the only casual interest in knowing more, was somewhat breathtaking." DiIulio may have a bit of an ax to grind here, but it is still a fascinating look inside the Bush policy-making apparatus. (The letter was the basis for an article by Ron Suskind in Esquire which is not available online [press release here]. The saga leading to the publication of the letter is recounted in today's Tapped)
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