Each week, members of the WFPL news team will spotlight interesting stories we’ve read over the past week for your weekend reading pleasure:
Gabe Bullard: I was in long line this week (though not at my polling place). How long was it? So long, I exhausted my usual list of smartphone-generated distractions (Twitter and a few fun new apps: Circa, a new kind of news reader, and a word game called Letterpress) and ended up going deep into the backlog of articles I saved in Instapaper, but never got around to reading. This great Paris Review interview with Hunter S. Thompson proved to be a bit longer than my wait, but it was worth finishing when I got home. It’s from 2000, and it’s an interesting look at Thompson’s life at a time when he wasn’t producing much notable work. Read “Hunter S. Thompson, The Art of Journalism No. 1.
Laura Ellis: What I’m reading this week is a GQ story called “Clear Eyes, Full Plates, Can’t Puke.” It’s an in-depth, and sometimes awesomely gross, look at the world of competitive eating. Here’s a passage in which the reporter becomes disillusioned with the sport.
Competitive eating, he says, is rife with unfair advantages. ”I’ve seen everything,” he says. “People throwing hot dogs under the table. People making the biggest messes you can imagine.”
My eyes widen. “So there’s such a mess under the table it’s impossible to determine what counts as an eaten thing?” I ask. ”Oh, there’s techniques,” says Bob. “People suddenly get happy feet.” He mimes an eater dropping an item of food and then covertly stamping it into the ground. I’m appalled.
Erin Keane: The Believer just published this wonderful interview with the late Maurice Sendak that I’m
slowly making my way through this week. My favorite part so far is when Sendak is asked about e-books, he responds: “I hate them. Its like making believe theres another kind of sex. There isnt another kind of sex. There isnt another kind of book. A book is a book is a book. I know thats terribly old-fashioned. Im old, and when Im gone theyll probably try to make my books on all these things, but Im going to fight it like hell. [Pauses] I cant believe Ive turned into a typical old man. I cant believe it. I was young just minutes ago.” Read the Maurice Sendak interview.
Joseph Lord: Basketball season is here, which is good news for those off us who are passionate about the Cardinals, Wildcats, Hoosiers, Racers, Knights, Hilltoppers, Pacers, Bulls or whoever else people pull for around here. It’s exciting –Maybe we’ll exceed expectations, maybe we’ll win it all! And it’s anxiety-ridden — as in, Maybe we’ll flop. “The Greatest Team that Never Was” is about an NBA team full of potential that produced few results: the Houston Rockets of the 1980s. Maybe you don’t want to think about it, hoops fans. But, as basketball seasons begin, you should. Read “The Greatest Team that Never Was.”