Bill Simmons, Grantland boss and 30 for 30 executive producer, went from a little known Boston blogger to one of the most successful sports writers in the history of American media. Rolling Stone's Rob Tannenbaum took a deeper look at Simmons.
"This is the true ‘bomb’ contained in Obamacare and the one item that will have more impact on the future of how medical care is paid for in this country than anything we’ve seen in quite some time. Indeed, it is this aspect of the law that represents the true ‘death panel’ found in Obamacare—but not one that is going to lead to the death of American consumers. Rather, the medical loss ratio will, ultimately, lead to the death of large parts of the private, for-profit health insurance industry."
John Avlon, senior political columnist for Newsweek-The Daily Beast, created an informal poll listing 15 historically vital columns, basing the sample on research for his new book, Deadline Artists: America’s Greatest Newspaper Columns. He passed the list around the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, and they and a public poll on their web site ranked the top 10. The winner was Ernie Pyle's The Death of Captain Waskow. All 15 columns are available for download in a PDF file.
High court hangups and There's no place like a hotel are short humor pieces by Miles Kington featuring the Socratically uncooperative testimony of one Mr Chrysler who's accused of stealing 40,000 hangers from hotels. [more inside]
AppreciationFilter: Molly Ivins --she's on hiatus while undergoing treatment for breast cancer. From a bio of her: ...She began her journalism career at the Complaint Department of the Houston Chronicle, then rapidly worked her way up to the position of Sewer Editor... , and some choice quotes of hers here. : >
¡Ask a Mexican! is a recurring feature in the Orange County (CA) Weekly (archives) in which columnist Gustavo Arellano tackles questions from pochos and gabachos alike, about politics, cultural differences, and stereotypes. What started as a one-off joke has become one of the alt weekly's more popular columns (LA Times), complete with crude, foul-mouthed, politically incorrect ruminations on the origins of "the dirty Sanchez" and random slaps at Guatemalans. Why do Mexican men always wear cowboy hats? Because "[w]earing a sombrero here screams "POR FAVOR DEPORT ME." Why won't Mexicans tip? Actually they tip better, and "leave a little extra for a job well done—which includes how caliente the chica is."
Do you know River Huston? She's the poet laureate of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She is a sometimes controversial HIV/AIDS educator, columnist for POZ, a magazine "founded primarily to get information to HIV positive persons", she authored A Positive Life; a photo documentary book about women living with HIV. Yes, she is HIV positive, but it changed her life in ways she didn't expect: "It took getting an HIV-positive diagnosis for me to realize I was a sex goddess. If there is one thing that will improve a girl's sex life it is finding out she has AIDS."
Got a health question? Go Ask Alice! Fielding questions ranging from the common cold to way out there sexual dysfunctions, Go Ask Alice!--Columbia University's "Q&A Internet Service"--handles even the most bizarre sounding questions with honesty, humor, and good advice. I visit this site about once a week, and have learned quite a bit.
You've been Crossed. Comedian's comedian David Cross would rather open for bands than typical comics and has had some funny roles in some unfunny movies and TV shows, but Cross has taken centre stage with his new double comedy album on Sub Pop and several biting columns in vice magazine. There is also a newly published behind-the -scenes look at his cult sketch comedy show ("Mr. Show") and Cross recently appeared at a Autism fundraiser called "Clash of the Titans" alongside his Mr. Show alumni and Janeane Garafolo, Triumph the Insult Comic dog and the Kids in the Hall (here is a related auction and show review). Even though it looks like the feature "Run Ronnie Run" has been shelved by New Line, the future is looking bright for Mr. Cross (including the possible addition of more live dates for "Hooray for America" in the spring). For a brief look inside his mind, check these out.
Caley Meals, is a sex columnist. What seperates her from the crowd of them, is that she is published in a college school newspaper. Jokingly, in her first column she states that, "I will try to keep the students of Madison with their heads in the right place: the gutter." She then goes on to cover imortant topics such as, how to work the college sex life around a roomie, the drunken bootie call, fornication with food, female domination and many others. Is it real journalism or only riding on pure shock value? "Writing about sex is about as interesting as talking about sex, which is to say it's not interesting at all compared to the real thing. But at least it can be a little naughty."
The ever catty Michael Musto (of The Village Voice) first gives us a sad look at Windows on the World's Executive Chef Michael Lomonaco and the great loss he sufferred. But what makes this column linkable, I think, is Musto's defense of preserving irony in the face of those who declare it dead: "I'm also going borderline thanks to all the columnists, editors, and talk show hosts declaring the end of irony (excuse me, but a wry, mocking sense of perspective is the hallmark of a free society), and saying that what they do is now trivial and irrelevant and they're having trouble continuing. Funny, they did their trivial s**t all through the AIDS crisis and other globe-threatening horrors, but now they're thinking twice? Well, I've always thought my subject matter was smallish and specialized, but I approach it with utter seriousness, because it matters to me and aims to provide relief, entertainment, and sometimes even information to others. If I could cure cancer or reattach limbs, I would, but this is what I do, and in the face of threats to our liberty, it's crucial to seize back the chance to do what we do! Besides, there are enough people beating their chests, waving the flag, and screaming, 'Get the bastards!'"