Much like the Steelers and Cardinals, I'm in need of a bounce back week!
Let's see if I can write an NFL picks thing for a few weeks in a row, shall we?
Does this thing still work? This thing where you post a link and it goes on the home page of our site? Hello?—JS
I had a bad dream. I wrote about it.
I never stopped loving "The Office," even if I occasionally stopped liking it for half-hour periods here and there. Still, it will be missed.—JM
I'm on board with all of these ideas.—BK
I never had a great deal of interest in Bob Woodward or John Belushi, but I found this fascinating. Lots to learn about storytelling, journalism, writing, and memory.—JS
Terrific inside look at how the writers of a top sitcom go about assembling an episode. (But major spoilers if you haven't watched the episode yet.)—BK
DuckTales was one of my favorite shows of its era, and remains a fond memory. Herein, the lengthy and fascinating profile of it that I never knew I always wanted.—JS
Terrific analysis of the past, present, and (lack of) future of Community. (However, contains a couple small spoilers from the first two episodes of the new season.)—BK
Close personal friend of PoopReading.com Mike Scully on TV and TV writing.—JM
The best take so far on this ridiculous story, which would be unbelievable if it weren't so familiar.—JS
If you know me, you know I don't care a whit about robots replacing umpires, or instant replay, or anything else you want to change about baseball. But we've got to get live transcription of umpire fights, stat.—JS
The author's remembrance of the time she met Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver serves as a hopeful example of the best-case scenario for getting to greet the famous people we admire most.—BK
There has been many a column written in the less than 24 hours since the Baseball Hall of Fame voting results were revealed, but this one might be the best.—BK
Holy crap! And this is only part one of what will be a three-part oral history! [Devolves into unintelligible ravings]—BK
Haven't read this yet, but let's assume it's as awesome as every other Bill Murray profile of the last 15 years.—JS
How could anybody not love Murray at this point? He's absolutely enchanting.—BK
Times food critic tries Food Network star Guy Fieri's new Times Square restaurant. The results are predictable, but the review is sublime.—JS
Well. This was enlightening, engaging, intelligent, and incredibly well written. I'm not entirely sure it belongs on the Internet.—JS
To quote Silver himself on the backlash from political pundits and reporters over his work: "There weren't nearly so many assholes in sports coverage."—BK
My God, this person must be tiresome to be around. (Albert Brooks manages, so I'll give her the benefit of the doubt.) My one and only parenting commandment: Moderation in all things. We'll see how I do once my child is old enough to be measured in years.—JS
Doesn't quite rise to the level of retrospectives we've posted about Party Down or Cheers because, well, EW can't – but Sanders was an incredible show, so even this is good.—JS
I'm squarely in the loving Elliott camp. His mainstream appearances (HIMYM, Raymond) don't do him justice. It's the more offbeat stuff (Letterman, Eagleheart, Get a Life) where he shines.—BK
Oh my, this is what I'd write if I could come up with anything more eloquent than "P.T. Anderson? Fuck that guy!" (All the hoopla reminds me of Maeby Fünke's words: better say you liked the movie; don't want to seem stupid.)—JS
Eventually Deadspin will cover ever NFL team in their "Why Your Team Sucks 2012" feature, but I can only imagine it's a lot more fun when the team actually sucks.—JM
"The happiest, most successful children have parents who do not do for them what they are capable of doing, or almost capable of doing; and their parents do not do things for them that satisfy their own needs rather than the needs of the child."—BK
This is considerably less dickish than it sounds like it's going to be. Pretty interesting, all in all.—JS
Fascninating stuff, though it really has more to do with psychology than math.—BK
I love comedy. I love women. I love Adam Carolla. I love the internet. When all of those things threaten to converge, "Denzel-and-Chris-Pine-in-a-runaway-train"-style, I've simply got to say something.
Well, obviously she's just too stupid to love Sorkin's new HBO show, The Newsroom. (Seriously, though, if "it's exactly like every other Sorkin show" is the worst criticism you can level at it, I'm in!)—JS
These are always worth reading. (And can we maybe agree that there are some interview subjects who deserve their last name beside their responses instead of their initials?)—JS
I don't watch Conan regularly, but I check in from time to time, and I generally agree with this article's assessment of the show: not quite what you hoped it would be.—BK
More on the fallout, including some cast and writing staff reactions, and a look at what may lie ahead for the show.—BK
Sepinwall does a great job of outlining all the reasons this could go wrong, and I'm inclined to agree with him.—BK
All my favorite people are nerds. Reading this analysis of the nerd psyche reminded me of all the reasons I love them.—JS
Posnanski, God bless him, tries to answer the question of whether fictional baseball scout Scotty Carson double-crossed the Judge by signing Roy Hobbs in The Natural. Just another reason why the internet is beautiful.—BK
New Girl staked a claim as one of the best and funniest shows on TV this season. (Article is full of spoilers if you haven't watched the show, including this week's season finale.)—BK
This is a great write-up of Community's virtues, and actually gives me greater appreciation for the "Virtual Systems Analysis" episode, which didn't wow me on first viewing.—JS
Credit for pointing out this link goes to my fancy-pants brother, who attended Harvard with the author.—JM
Pretty interesting, except where it's shrilly over-the-top. Suggesting that the ironic use of "thug life" is racist implies you think all thugs are racial minorities – which sounds pretty racist to me.—JS
The essential Dick Clark tribute. Try as they might, no other game show could ever top The 'Mid.—JS
This essentially boils down to the same two reasons, written in different ways. But the underlying message is a good one: naked time, yay!—JS
Season 2 of Eagleheart starts tonight, and if you're a fan of Chris Elliott, it is absolutely worth 15 minutes of your time. (The title is misleading, as he mostly talks Season 1, and there are some mild spoilers from those episodes.)—BK
The short version: "Titanic is basically a 3.5-hour-long Zales commercial, only slightly less emotionally compelling."—TG
TV has a long history of handily replacing departing characters, and the biggest factor in Community's continuation may be its new syndication deal with Comedy Central.—BK
Sorry to keep going back to this well, but I have always found it utterly fascinating how Chase's ego has caused him to burn bridges and blow opportunities throughout his career.—BK
Nice profile of Will Ferrell and his particular brand of comedy. (Contains a few mild spoilers from Casa de mi Padre.)—BK
A whole lot more thoughtful than the tiresome talking point that is its title.—JS
Co-contributor Brandon Kruse and I are approaching Chabon's new sci-fi adaptation John Carter from entirely separate sources of excitement.—JS
Any Oscar that Warrior doesn't win is an Oscar that goes to the wrong person. Well, except maybe costume design. The guys in Warrior mostly just wore fighting trunks.
Some interesting thoughts on the structure of TV episodes and their relationship to the season and the series. You could actually throw How I Met Your Mother into the list of offenders, these last few seasons.—JS
The more I'd try to explain this, the less funny it would sound. But it's funny. Definitely read it. Eddie Izzard is great.—JM
As someone who enjoys seeing movies in the theatre so much more than at home, I know this man's lament. It is nearly impossible to watch an entire movie without at least one jackass trying to ruin it, and the anxiety that someone might is enough to curtail my viewing by about 90%, much to my dismay.—JS
A pretty fascinating look at the rapid fallout.—TG
Helpful perspective on how impossible it is to "enjoy every minute" of parenting.—TG
Yeah... there's nothing wrong with the way health care is administered in this country.—JS
The most exhaustive and fascinating account I've ever read of anything I just became dimly aware of two days before.—JS
This conversation is about two years late, in my opinion, though it's well executed in this case. But the reality is that sitcoms don't tend to age well after eight seasons, and that's where The Office is right now.—BK
When we're tempted to gripe about corporate greed, the answer usually comes back: "They can't help it; the sole purpose of a corporation is to create shareholder value." Turns out, that's just a theory (like "evolution", or "the sun").—JS
Let's get this over with.
I'm not ready to give up on it yet, but it definitely needs fixing. These ideas would be a good start. (As you might expect, this contains spoilers.)—BK
It's "Oh My God, What's Going to Happen to Community?!? Day" here at PoopReading. This link delivers some solid, no-nonsense answers about the biggest questions surrounding NBC's decision.—BK
I could sit and read profiles of the "South Park" guys all day.—JM
One of the most personal and well-written columns I've read about the horrifying scandal over at Penn State.—BK
Sure the World Series has been an absolute classic... but now it's time to read about football!
Baseball alone could have produced a game like the one between the Rangers and the Cardinals last night.—JM
Seven billion people? That's a lot. That's like one person for every mirthless McRib joke on Twitter. (My kid is only half baked, but I already feel guilty about him.)—JS
If Sweeney's daughter is confused about how babies are made now, just wait until she sees her first "It's Pat" sketch.—JS
I am not a religious person, and neither is Sugar, and yet, it's human nature to search for meaning in life. And she finds a little of it in our collective empathy in the face of pain and suffering.—BK
That's an incendiary, overblown title. Of course it isn't! Come back!—JS
A lot of games this week are going to have that "new quarterback smell."
The first paragraph is the ultimate in inflammatory hoo-ha. ("I've got a headline and, dammit, I'm gonna prop it up!") But it's an interesting topic, and a glance at any movie release slate in the last five years will tell you there's something to it.—JS
10-6 with the picks last week... inching toward respectability! ("Inching Toward Respectability" will be the title of my autobiography, incidentally)
(Cue Paul Harvey) ...and that sitcom grew up to be... Parks and Recreation.—BK
50-50 for the second straight week... finally, my picks are not appreciably worse than flipping a coin!
I used to tape record episodes of "Loveline" off of the radio onto a cassette and listen to that on my commute, so it was safe to assume I'd become a regular listener of Adam Carolla's podcast.—JM
If there has been a better night of baseball than last night in my lifetime, I can't remember it. And if there's a better baseball writer than Posnanski working today, I haven't read him.—BK
We're getting there, folks. Just a few more weeks, and I should have this whole thing all figured out.
Will you still view me as a credible critic after seeing The Glee Project on my list? I suppose that means you had to see me as credible in the first place, so there.
There will be an opening at Number 1. So long, "Friday Night Lights."
Thank God for Bob's Burgers, or this would be just another list of things that me and my friends have said about the same set of shows for years.
With shout-outs to Ken Jeong, John Carroll Lynch, and Judy Greer, among others.—BK
Week 1 is basically my preseason, i.e., the records really shouldn't be of any concern. It's just all about getting your schemes installed. This week, it's for real!
Empathetic, common sense advice for all parents – moms AND dads – in the face of the anger and frustration we all sometimes feel toward our children.—BK
The glorious return of my not-so-glorious football picks. Please enjoy responsibly.
Posnanski makes the case that pitcher wins are a necessary connection to history, while still pointing out their many flaws as an indicator of a pitcher's skill.—BK
Possibly the best part of this interview is that the abbreviations make it sound like a conversation between a surge protector and the lead character in Kung Fu Panda.—JS
The discussion that partly inspired Posnanski's column, featuring a response from Keri that nicely details how statistics and stories can and should coexist.—BK
This is a totally typical Cracked article, but I'm a sucker for violent animal stuff.—TG
I thought the Paul Rudd Autolinking Bot would have already posted this on behalf of Jameson, but I guess it's on the fritz. Thanks for nothing, P.R.A.B.!—BK
Historian Tsuyoshi Hasegawa makes a very persuasive case that the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki weren't the be all and the end all.—JM
I've had the burgers at Five Guys, In-n-Out, and Shake Shack, and all three are great, though Shake Shack is my personal favorite.—BK
"I wish Jim Thome had hit his 600th home run back when we all still believed in lovable lugs." Here's the thing: I've had the pleasure of watching Thome as a Twin for a year and a half now, and he's such a genuinely great guy that he will MAKE you believe in lovable lugs again, even after all the steroid nonsense.—BK
So have I, and after reading this – even though the author and I don't see eye-to-eye on every point – I want to go watch them all again.—BK
If everyone acted precisely like this, we'd have a better universe.—TG
The Wonder Years, Arrested Development, and Ricky Gervais's The Office are all great choices, but it's the presence of the Cheers pilot that signals these guys know what they're doing. It remains, for my money, the best sitcom pilot ever made.—BK
After a recent project about diabetes, I am more and more convinced that our society is hell-bent on making Wall-E a true story.—TG
Read how a group of college journalists learned to use old-timey printing equipment. I thought this might be cute or annoying, but it's actually a pretty fascinating read.—TG
Reading about this a year ago, I thought it was a unique and interesting theory. Today it's getting harder and harder to make the case for any alternative explanation.—JS
My family swears by them.—BK
There's some crazy stuff in here, roles that you'd never associate him with in a million years.—BK
I believe, and will continue to believe, that Friday Night Lights is the first television show in the history of the medium that qualifies as "significant world literature." Though the show is over you can expect to keep hearing about it here (so you may as well go watch all the DVDs!).—JM
Ostensibly about the decision to have children (or not), this is a brilliant look at the unlived life that haunts each of us.—TG
As Feig says, let's hope people focus on the story and character work, and not just the fact that the laughs got raunchy.—BK
Chuck Klosterman argues that out of the consensus "four best television shows of the past 10 years" – The Wire, The Sopranos, Mad Men and Breaking Bad – Breaking Bad is actually the best of the bunch. Chuck Klosterman also makes a lifelong enemy of anybody who's ever seen Friday Night Lights by not including it in the group... but that's sort of beside the point.—JM
Oh please oh please oh please let there be a Step Brothers 2.—BK
Proof that the phrase "too sexy to be stopped" makes any piece of writing 10% funnier.—TG
Let us not lament that "Party Down" existed for but a pair of all-too-brief seasons on the pay-cable wasteland that is the Starz network. Let us simply celebrate that it existed at all.—JM
Wonderful look at some of the scenes you don't see in Waiting for Guffman.—BK
Our enduring recession is the best thing big business could hope for: hiring freezes and staffing cuts are justified by "tough times", and the tax cuts demanded on the pretext of "creating jobs" push net profits through the roof. Recovery? Why ruin a good thing?—JS
Another Louis C.K. interview as the PR blitz for Season 2 of Louie kicks in. (This one lets you gaze/cringe at a screen grab of his naked ass.)—BK
A sobering look at one of the ugliest trends in modern writing.—TG
Talks about Season 2 of his FX show (it's back this week!) and elaborates further on his defense of Tracy Morgan.—BK
Anybody who grew up with a dad will like this piece. Anybody who grew up with a cheap dad will love it. As such, it might be my favorite piece of all time. Happy Father's Day!—JM
If you're too cool for Weird Al, you're too cool.—TG
Slate has ingeniously taken the critic movie ratings data from RottenTomatoes.com and put it into graph form, allowing you to look at the career trajectories of your favorite actors and directors.—BK
Among the most prolific and talented film composers of our time, Burwell describes himself as a "very private person," which may account for the lack of interviews. Still, this FAQ from his website reads like a good one.—JS
Entertaining and thought-provoking musings on the relationships we have with our consumer devices.—JS
I've been a Marc Maron fan for over a decade, and it's nice to see his standing in the comedy game start to rise to the level of his talent. It's largely due to the success of his "WTF" podcast, to which you should listen often.—JM
This is like that YouTube guy who reviews the Star Wars prequels: batshit insane, but very entertaining nonetheless.—JS
Or, why climate change deniers and vaccination avoiders aren't that different from Rapture believers. (At least not if you believe these studies on the subject.)—JS
When "Think of the children!" hysteria runs up against "Think of the children!" hysteria.—JM
Congratulations to Michael Schur and Parks and Recreation on a fantastic season of TV. (Oddly enough, contains two spoilers for The Shield and The Sopranos.)—BK
"Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" was not a good TV show, but recently the "cast and crew" of the late, unlamented program have all begun Tweeting as if the show-within-the-show was actually real. And still on the air. This might be the greatest idea anybody has ever had.—JM
I have a daughter named Daphne Mulder, and both of her names are mentioned in the second paragraph of this article. In the context of "Frasier" and "The X-Files"... but still.—JM
They don't really say that. But read this if you want some behind-the-scenes scuttlebutt on the pair's transcendent Broadway musical "The Book of Mormon."—JM
PoopReading.com's Tenessa Gemelke is unable to post links today, so I gladly offer this Citizen Kane-themed link at her behest.—JM
In-depth look at the father of sabermetrics, his fascination with serial killers, and his new book about it.—JS
Heh. That one guy's name is "Smallwood."—JM
Obviously this is insane. But it's also a really fascinating discussion-starter about the post-labor economy. What will work be like when we have robots for everything (including the manufacture and maintenance of robots, and defense against robot uprisings)?—JS
Listen to your wife when she says you stink.—TG
Talking Wet Hot American Summer as the movie approaches its 10th anniversary.—BK
I love this idea. (Though I have to admit, you could shuffle numbers 11 through 38 anyway you want and it wouldn't really matter to me. I might quibble with the order of the Top 10, but I can't quibble with the choices.)—BK
As someone who grew up in the Midwest, then spent time on both coasts, then returned to the Midwest, everything in this article rings pretty true to me. Well, except for the stuff about clogs at the end.—BK
I wish I could link to the first half of an article. The literary criticism is great, but the opening meditation on paperwork and the office drone is intriguing and delightful.—JS
As Kobe Bryant showed us this week, sports is basically the Western world's last bastion of anti-gay bigotry. I imagine it's even more difficult in professional wrestling circles...—JM
Caissie St. Onge is one of the most genuinely likable people on the internet.—TG
You probably don't need to have seen all 40 of Woody Allen's feature films like the author – or even 27 of them, like me – to get something out of this.—JM
This interview is a year old, but it's a good reminder that Paul Rudd should be running the show in Hollywood.—TG
Good old Joe Posnanski. Any time an old baseball dinosaur or an idiot sportswriter denounces useful and illuminating statistics, Joe will be there to make him look like the asshole he deserves to be regarded as. And that's not quite what this piece is; this piece is just funny. But still.—JM
A rant about how unpleasant it is to talk on the phone, complete with snarky Miss Manners quip? Count me in!—JS
You hear a lot about athletes "inspiring" people, but generally that's just lip service. Joe Posnanski writes about one instance in which the inspiration was real and deeply affecting.—JM
I don't entirely agree with the premise, but I do have to admit that it's an interesting take on the issue.—BK
Given her awesomeness, how could you expect anything less?—BK
If you allow for a very, very elastic definition of both "famous" and "alums," this is a fun list.—JM
Late night TV's Jimmy Kimmel was in Bora Bora when the earthquake hit. There was a tsunami warning, but no actual tsunami.—JM
Expert after expert says parents need to stop worrying so much, and they're right. But in defense of parents, sometimes it's easier said than done.—BK
This is the most accurate piece I've ever read about the way it feels to lose a parent.—TG
Plenty of richly snarky metaphors for bad food in this review of the world's worst restaurant. (Kind of makes me wish we had a food metaphors label.)—JS
I don't want to spoil it for you, but it's The Beatles, Nirvana, Michaelangelo, the Sex Pistols and Francis Ford Coppola.—JM
Whether or not you like sports or have heard of the Tampa Bay [Devil] Rays, you'll enjoy this story. Who doesn't enjoy stories about rich guys who are horrible, stupid and insane?—JM
Part review of the new album, part discussion of the band's post-Berry career.—BK
Evocative writing survives all constraints. In fact, it often thrives because of them.—JS
Having once been a resident and street-parking car owner in Chicago for several years, I can attest to the fact that this is a very real and emotionally charged social issue.—BK
Interesting and infuriating analysis. I would've posted this a couple of weeks ago, but we were overrun with Splitsider links that day.—JS
Turns into a nice pros and cons discussion between Swansburg and his iPad-loving colleagues.—BK
I would happily marry either of these people.—TG
Lots of talk about Cedar Rapids, so there's a few spoilers in there, but nothing big.—BK
An unguarded and meandering interview, which makes for a fun read.—JS
I was all set to post about the Republicans' presidential chances, but then Joe swept it out from under me, so this post about the "Jeopardy!"-playing robot will have to do. (What, he got that, too? Aw, screw it.)—JS
As an added bonus, the picture of Deakins at the top of the interview makes him look like he could totally pass for Brooks Hatlen in The Shawshank Redemption.—BK
Adams calls these the "bad versions" of the ideas, to get the ball rolling, but I (a dirty, lefty hippie) am on board with all of them. Especially the idea of extra votes – we've already implemented that one!—JS
The last five Best Picture winners haven't been particularly "Oscary"... could new front-runner The King's Speech change all that?—JM
It's short, but it's Patton Oswalt.—TG
A nice look at many of the qualities that have made the show such a success. (Unfortunately, several of the points are made by using an upcoming episode as an example, so beware of spoilers.)—BK
For a Cracked article, this is a downright serious examination of how digital distribution models are being hobbled to keep the old paystreams viable.—JS
An argument that our era of "Twitter-sized attention spans" might actually be better than the way it used to be before? Sure... I'll bite.—JM
This is an easy enough find-and-replace task, but I've probably spent a significant portion of my editorial life correcting this error.—TG
You can always count on Cracked.com.—JM
Some movie chains are offering upscale cuisine in the theater for a "premium" moviegoing experience, but you know people will find a way to ruin it. People are the worst.—BK
Or, How the Wealthiest Americans Get Their Tax Cuts Whether the Income Tax Rate Falls or Not.—JS
I hate when sites present these lists as slide shows, but there's plenty of good text with each one.—TG
Simple as that. (Follow-up Q&A included.) Merry Christmas to all!—JS
This is an older piece (circa Baby Mama), but the bland Reader's Digest tone makes for a surprisingly interesting, snark-free interview.—TG
A breakdown of the Oscar race. It's never too early, folks!—JM
Once published on the NFL.com's long-gone Blog Blitz website, now published here
Having attended a book club in which the topic of circumcision almost incited fisticuffs, I appreciate this article very much.—TG
He was great on MASH, he was great on ER, he was great on The West Wing, and he's been great so far on 30 Rock. Alan Alda simply makes TV better.—BK
I always found this story very moving. It's a traditional tale, apparently, but Adams does have his own way of saying things.—JS
An absolute must-read if you have kids. Or if you had parents. In short: an absolute must-read.—JM
Keith Powell is "Toofer," by the way. (But what I don't get is: why isn't it "Twofer"? I mean, that's the joke – he's black and he's a Harvard grad, so he's two-for-one. Is it simply to avoid any pronunciation problems?)—BK
Boston uber-fan – and Los Angeles resident – Bill Simmons writes about how he poisoned his 5-year-old daughter against the Lakers. I could definitely use some of these tips if either of my girls ever start to look favorably upon UCLA...—JM
"[T]he mongoose isn't fighting snakes for food, or for territory, or for survival – it's fighting snakes because fuck snakes."—JM
Michael Schur: former founder of FireJoeMorgan.com, son-in-law of Regis Philbin, co-creator of Parks and Recreation, and object of my secret gay crush. (Dammit! I knew I should've bought a computer with a delete key!) [Also, FYI, the link has some P&R mild Season 3 plotline spoilers.]—BK
This contains a few spoilers for those of us who haven't seen (ahem) ANY of these shows, but this is a fascinating look at the transformation of a relatively unknown cable channel.—TG
Uh-oh. The TSA went and made Ebert mad.—JS
Turns out feeling grateful can do more than just round out your Thanksgiving experience – it can also improve the quality of your life.—BK
As if my crush on Annie from Community weren't straining my relationship enough as it is, now I'll never get these images out of my head.—JS
As the former New Jersey governor Tom Kean put it this week in an interview with Capital: "The presidency could come to him."—JM
Finally, a "we're all doomed" piece that seems legitimate. We are doomed, apparently.—JM
Hmm, let's see... over the last week, I've posted two Toy Story 3 links, two late night comedy wars links, and a 30 Rock link. Boy, I sure hope you like the same stuff we like, or else I'm being kind of a jagweed (30 Rock glossary shout out!).—BK
I love it when the headlines do the blurb writing for you.—BK
Darabont's involvement and AMC's track record of excellence have me very excited about The Walking Dead, even though I wouldn't classify myself as a zombie aficionado. Ever since The Shawshank Redemption, he's had a lifetime pass from me.—BK
Equal parts frank and silly–just the way I likes 'em.—TG
An interview with Bob Gale? How often do you see that? Did somebody use a flux capacitor to go back in time and make this happen?—BK
(I.e., exercises his right to refuse the backscatter scan.) I've heard theories that if we all followed this hero's example, the resulting snarl would force a rollback of the more arcane security procedures – but if obscene delays were likely to make that point, wouldn't it be made already?—JS
In anticipation of Thursday night's live episode of 30 Rock, here's an interview with executive producer Robert Carlock about that live episode. (Contains a few mild spoilers.)—BK
Let's all focus on the amazing no-hitter shall we, instead of the fact that the Twins have now lost 10 consecutive playoff games (and possibly 11 by the time you read this)?—JM
I'm not sure if everyone loves Pee-wee Herman, but I still do.—TG
A tough read in light of Giraldo's untimely passing, but a window into the sort of forces that impel a great artist.—JS
I propose that all PoopReading.com contributors immediately begin growing mustaches, even Tenessa. Especially Tenessa.—JM
A cautionary tale for dumb thieves in the age of the internet, and a reminder that the kindness of strangers does still exist.—BK
An interesting look at media messages about teachers' unions.—TG
Finally, a list that salutes the triumph of Becker reruns and live-to-tape coverage of professional bowling!
If you've never read anything by James before, this piece about Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, and why breaking the rules is a very American trait, is pretty much the perfect introduction to his style and tone. (And worth reading even if you're not much of a baseball fan.)—BK
So let me get this straight: we've known for almost 25 years that there's this awesome, hilarious guy Reg Mellor, who can keep ravenous ferrets down his pants for the better part of six hours, and we've done nothing about it – but some slacker doofus tweets his dad's bigoted rants and a year later it's a sitcom?—JS
"I sympathize afresh with the mighty Voltaire, who, when badgered on his deathbed and urged to renounce the devil, murmured that this was no time to be making enemies."—JM
Finally, somebody else brings up the utter pointlessness of the Inglourious Basterds. (the characters, that is; not the movie. The movie is a fun watch; but the existence of the actual Inglourious Basterds, in the world of the movie, turns out to be pointless and inconsequential). Spoilers abound, for Basterds and other films.—JM
Everyone hopes the injury problems affecting phenom Stephen Strasburg are nothing serious, but as JoPo details, baseball has a long, sad history of pitching injuries derailing talented young careers.—BK
In the age of Hallliburton and Blackwater, you'd think Eisenhower's "military-industrial complex" speech would get more play when it's time to beat the deficit drum. (Okay, that's hopelessly naïve, but anyway...)—JS
One of the many reasons you should be watching Parks and Recreation. (And if you already are watching, you may find it hard to read this interview without hearing her character April's voice.)—BK
Parnell talks about his new Comedy Central show Big Lake, and makes a brief mention that there's more Dr. Spaceman in his future (woo-hoo!).—BK
If you thought the franchise started going downhill with Return of the Jedi and that damn Ewok party, well, Kurtz says you're pretty much right on.—BK
A fun review of some the best (or worst, you decide) facial hair in MLB history.—BK
I'm telling you: beekeeper outfits. My daughters will never be allowed out of the house wearing anything more revealing than beekeeper outfits.—JM
Bob Inglis (R-SC) forfeited his incumbency in this year's primary because he disagrees with Glenn Beck, won't publicly denounce Obama as a "socialist," and steers clear of a few of the zanier conspiracy theories.—JS
More sharp criticism for 3D movies, centered on Christopher Nolan's announcement that his third Batman film won't be shot in 3D because the process interferes with the brightness and contrast of the image.—JS
The laugh track may be the scourge of sitcoms today, but it still occupies a fascinating place in TV history. (Please excuse the freak coincidence that the authors of today's links have co-written a book; I didn't plan this.)—JS
Apparently, America is what she is today because the Pilgrims ran out of beer. I'd be prouder of that story if America wasn't one of the worst beer-making nations on the planet, but, there you go.—JM
It's a Bill Murray interview, which means you will read it and like it. What are you waiting for?—JS
You think you get upset when Google Maps gives you directions that mire you in traffic? Imagine if you were involved in a contentious border dispute with the neighboring country and Google kept moving the lines!—JS
I love hearing from Penn & Teller pretty much any chance I get.—JS
A look at why music concerts are being cancelled or downsized this summer. Gee, you mean a bloated, overpriced industry that's in bed with Ticketmaster is starting to see some consumer backlash? Go figure.—BK
"Evolution favored meat-eating primates, enlarging their brains and enabling them to live in more and more complex and survivalist societies that today extend our life spans, provide genteel habitats, and produce philosophers who have the wherewithal to object to the very components of their own existence."—JM
Think we're sick of posting Louis C.K. links here at PoopReading.com? Think again!—JM
This guy makes the stupid Facebook game sound practically like Scientology. That's good for a link in my book.—JS
Your sitcom is awful, but the network is contractually obligated to keep airing it. What do you do? Make it good? No – make it bizarrely awful! (Hat tip, Tenessa G.)—JS
Anniversary piece on the classic and influential Airplane!. (And, to makers of "direct hit" spoof movies that have taken that influence awry, Patton Oswalt explains the difference.)—JS
Thinking of giving your child a ridiculous, made-up name, or saddling your boy with a girl's name (or vice-versa)? This may have consequences beyond making you look like an asshole.—JS
This piece about parenting makes me feel a little bit better about my occasional lapses into a more laissez faire (i.e., "Just play your computer game while Daddy finishes 'Last Comic Standing'") style of child-rearing.—JM
I can't say I agree with everything here, but it's an interesting read nonetheless.—BK
Yes, the new A-Team movie inspired the list, but no, it did not make the cut.—BK
Like with most things, I'm naturally inclined to blame Clinton and hippies. But in this instance, try as I might, I couldn't find a way to blame Clinton.
Defending Steve Jobs against claims of exaggerated marketing-speak becomes a really interesting discussion on optics and the limits of human vision.—JS
This is one of those inspired ideas that makes you (well, alright, me) jealous: which current Major League Baseball player will be last former Montreal Expo to retire from the game?—BK
Geez, P.J. O'Rourke is really mean. Still, pre-obituaries are a pretty good idea.—JM
Including a probability puzzle which will drive you as mad as the Monty Hall problem – honestly, what is wrong with these people?—JS
I would have called the piece "Humans: Why We Triumphed," because the likelihood of a non-human ever reading it seems pretty low. Other than that, though: pretty interesting stuff.—JM
I'm not necessarily a huge fan of NBA basketball or of the Star Wars films, but I have at least heard of both of those things. And I think that's just about all you need to be able to enjoy this piece. Not that Posnanski ever isn't enjoyable.—JM
How Law & Order became a lifeline for New York actors during its 20-year run on NBC.—BK
Part of a series on the 2009-10 TV season, it's a look at how the fantastic Modern Family is crafting a new formula for the family sitcom. (Spoiler alert if you haven't watched the episode "Starry Night" from earlier this year.)—BK
It's a shame Singel takes such a pee-drinking, tinfoil-hat-wearing, shrill tone, because some of the privacy concerns he cites would sound downright reasonable coming from a normal person.—JS
Jamie Moyer is still pitching in the Major Leagues – and pitching effectively, for the most part – at age 47. 47!—JM
Joe devotes a non-sports column (though there's still a little sports) to a long, meandering (but always interesting) explanation of why Brendan Fraser just might be his favorite actor working today (seriously).—BK
Just a fascinating look at how baseball has grown more specialized, and the result is more plate appearances than ever ending in a walk or strikeout, which means less action on the field, longer games, and, for many fans, a slightly more boring product.—BK
I suspect that "Friday Night Lights" will hold this title until it goes off the air for good. There's really nothing "Modern Family" or anybody else can do, which is a bit of a shame, but "Friday Night Lights" is just so damn good.
As you might expect, Ebert makes a number of excellent points, written, as always, from the point of view of someone who simply loves movies with every fiber of his being.—BK
This is, hands down, the longest Scott Adsit interview I've ever seen. I can only now conclude, based on this evidence alone, that Movieline is awesome.—BK
As you might expect, loads of praise for Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, but the best part is the candid honesty about the worst movie he's ever appeared in.—BK
Nice look at how baseball is evolving in the post-steroid era. (Hat tip, Matt K.)—BK
A nice recap of the Tonight Show situation, a plausible George Lopez reenactment, and a Pimpbot shout-out. Basically, everything the Internet needs.—JS
Fey talks about comedy, her new hit movie Date Night, and, of course, Poop Reading favorite 30 Rock.—BK
If he is real, he may be planning to go again.—JS
Great profile of Sarah Silverman and her new memoir, The Bedwetter.—BK
You hear that, people of Southern California? It's not my fault... it's science.—JM
"But once you try one, you won't be able to resist." The title and that line pretty much sum it up, huh?—BK
The astonishing thing is, aside from being highly entertaining, it is actually pretty good advice. (Not that any advice on the subject is remotely useful.)—JS
Nice look at how baseball is embracing a new emphasis on fielding, even if its fans may not be so crazy about the idea.—BK
Includes the awesome Alan Alda 30 Rock/MASH joke, so it gets my seal of approval.—BK
The NFL just ruined overtime, and the NCAA might just ruin their basketball tournament next year by expanding to 96 teams. But for now, while we can, let's revel in one last weekend when everything was as it should be...—JM
Posnanski gives his take on the Kansas Jayhawks' bracket-busting loss to Northern Iowa this weekend.—BK
Thorough, cogent, and surprisingly readable – gosh, it's fun to hate banks! (Plus, I linked to The Nation; I believe I win a Volvo.)—JS
Including Iron Man 2, Toy Story 3, and the latest from Christopher Nolan.—BK
Great point about how baseball writers and fans tend to romanticize and whitewash the behavior of past players while demonizing the players of the present.—BK
If you're not watching ABC's Modern Family, you really should be; it's easily among the best comedies on TV right now.—BK
Chad Moeller talks about some of the memorable pitchers he has caught during his 10-year career as a journeyman catcher.—BK
We conclude our look at the most overlooked by taking a look at Best Picture. Also, be sure to check back with us every day this week... we're about to go Oscar nuts at PoopReading.com!
Ebert gives a thumbs up to the in-depth profile of himself that recently ran in Esquire Magazine.—BK
The girl with the cheesy last name talks about her work on Mad Men and Community, though really, it's no contest: it's much more fun to watch her on Community.—BK
We finish out the week – but not the Snubbies, so don't worry – with Best Actress. More to come, so join us again on Monday. Or Tuesday. No later than Tuesday.
We continue our week-long righting of the past decade's Oscar wrongs.
Making the case for Thomas belonging in the Hall of Fame. I'm on record as despising Thomas during his playing days (his constant whining and money-grubbing really turned me off), but even I readily admit the guy should be a no-brainer Hall of Famer.—BK
Surprisingly interesting, detailed, and witty. (Also, "Testicond" would make a great name for a band – or a tablet computer.)—JS
We have finally realized the true potential of robotics. And sex.—JS
ChatRoulette is the next big hit from the "social web" machine - like speed dating via webcam. Needless to say, it's overrun with perverts, crazies, and crazy perverts.—JS
Isn't it comforting to know that someone is out there making these lists so we don't have to?—BK
The rare opportunity to read Breathed talking about Bloom County is one worth seizing. In a perfect world, I'd apply for three weeks' paid leave to just sit and enjoy the new five-volume anthology.—JS
And, in some cases, 11 minutes that can really ruin your weekend. (I'm telling you, this "time-in" idea is a winner!)—JS
Being a Royals fan is so painful, it has led Joe to discover a new addition to Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross's famous five stages of grief.—BK
Exhaustive trend analysis from one of the more user-friendly online dating sites out there. (Although, if you want the one that works, it isn't pretty but it's plentyoffish.com.)—JS
Pretty interesting: partly for the stuff Facebook is doing; partly for the stuff they think it's worthwhile or important to do; and partly for how cool they think they are for doing it.—JS
Rabin, on loan from the A.V. Club, gives an excellent summation of Leno's career and his role in NBC's late night turmoil.—BK
A write-up of the brilliant sketch comedy show by someone who, like me, came to appreciate it only after it had come and gone.—JS
It really was, wasn't it?—JM
How books shrank during the '00s. (When the average person's attention span is measured in tweets, a thousand page novel doesn't seem so viable.)—JS
Chuck, Lost, Don DeLillo, and Tim Burton. The A.V. Club and I are definitely not looking forward to the same things this year.—JS
The baseball journalism legend says farewell with his typical humility and grace.—BK
Leopold, who earlier this year made us giddy by linking to our Movie Draft, offers up a look at whether The Simpsons has stayed on the air too long. But he missed his chance to link to us again.—BK
More Scott Adsit interviews and features that I can link to, please.—BK
Normally when I think of James Franco, I think, "What the fuck?" As in, "Why do I have to watch this douche be on-screen?" After reading this treatise on performance art, dada, and how it pushed him to appear on General Hospital, I'm saying "What the fuck?" with horror… and just a little respect.—JS
A piece about Brett Favre? That's a linkin'. A piece by Joe Posnanski? That's a linkin'. A piece about Favre, written by Posnanski? You better believe that's a linkin'.—JM
Crime, pedestrian safety, increased exhaust emissions... just a few of the reasons some U.S. cities are ending their love affair with the fast food drive-through.—BK
Everyone had a bad Week 13 picking games, apparently. Not just me.
This is not exactly a knee-slapper, but it's an interesting read.—JM
The author believes this death is a good thing, because the Method is no longer a proper fit for this era. I can't say I disagree.—BK
I could not agree more with the premise of this article, nor with its praise of Ron Swanson as played by Nick Offerman.—BK
A look at baseball players who received between 15 and 20 Hall of Fame votes in their first year of eligibility; enough to indicate support from writers, but not enough to keep them on the ballot in the future.—BK
I haven't caught "The Daily Show" in a little while; I can only assume they're all over this story. Right?—JM
A holiday classic from a year ago that inspired a fantasy draft of our own.—BK
This guy is desperate to show you how smart he is, and his "look how many words I know" writing style makes this a bit of a chore to get through. Still, any time somebody wants to analyze reality TV from a sociological standpoint, I am so there.—JM
A.V. Club also has personal faves Ricky Jay and Richard Dawkins this week, but we've agreed not to overlink the same site too much and Levitt's the one debunking the TSA, rethinking the response to global warming, and talking about penis size. Advantage: Levitt!—JS
The bye weeks are done. Everybody's playing. Life is as it should be.
There's danger all around us. Danger that explodes with awesome destructive force.—JS
I've been featuring an awful lot of Joe Posnanski on the site recently, but as long as he keeps writing stuff you ought to read, I'll keep linking to it.—JM
The best part is comparing the grosses of the sequel to the grosses of the original, which in most cases, shows that not only were these movies unexpected, they were unwanted by the public.—BK
A thoughtful piece about Glenn Beck (not that Jon Stewart's sillier work on the subject hasn't been excellent). Includes a nice parallel to the great Andy Griffith movie A Face in the Crowd (which inspired the Gabbo Simpsons episode).—JS
They actually give out awards for pharmaceutical ads, rather than holding the accountable parties at gunpoint until they promise to shut up and leave us all alone. What a world!—JS
Joe Posnanski agrees with me, and with math.—JM
I could have won money on the NFL last weekend, but I voluntarily chose not to. Details inside...
"Hey, if the game is rigged, rig the game." Indeed. The Yankees have a decidedly unfair advantage (though who could blame them for taking advantage of it? Not this Twins fan, for one...). That they hadn't won in nine years only shows how unwisely they used their overwhelming financial advantage before getting it right this season.—JM
The A.V. Club is doing a "Best of the Decade" theme this month, and this one about cancelled TV shows is a goodie. With Invasion and Wonderland, plus an honorable mention for Boomtown, I'm satisfied.—BK
I couldn't be happier about how good Parks and Recreation has become, and Chris Pratt is certainly a big part of that. (And even if you're not a fan, you should at least skip down to the middle of the interview for a great Nick Offerman quote about the "new" American dream.)—BK
I loved Barbara Ehrenreich's appearance on The Daily Show, and I'm intrigued by this thoroughly unexpected train of thought resulting from her book.—JS
One of these games will obviously have to be bumped off the list when Brett Favre and the Vikings visit Lambeau Field on Sunday...—JM
This isn't exactly news (Fischer died in January of 2008), but the bizarre story of the chess champion's life remains morbidly fascinating.—JM
The actress talks about her new one-woman Broadway show, Wishful Drinking, and the life that helped inspire it.—BK
What can poker teach us? Pretty much everything, if this piece is to be believed.—JM
With stops to work on Heat Vision and Jack and The Sarah Silverman Show in between.—BK
Worth reading, if only for the insanity that was former NFL coach Dick Vermeil.—BK
I'm delighted to be validated on this one. A quirky, tonal send-up with a certain acquired-taste appeal, Down With Love was nonetheless much better than it ever got credit for.—JS
An eloquent exploration of the role that depression and mental instability can sometimes play in the creation of great art.—BK
I had the great pleasure of seeing The Big Lebowski for the umpteenth time on the big screen with a theater full of fellow fans this weekend. That has nothing to do with this link, other than to give you a glimpse into my mindset: Coens!—BK
Sometimes, don't you just kind of feel bad for people who don't like football?
Hitchens, evidently no fan of the Nobel Peace Prize, nevertheless finds Obama's "premature." Perhaps "hopeful" would be a nicer way of putting it.—JS
New "30 Rock!" New "30 Rock!" New "30 Rock!" New "30 Rock!"—JM
Wow; talk about my wheelhouse: a piece about how boring it is to read bad children's books to your kid. I will make one point in defense of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar," however: it's short. Lots of tediously bad children's books are not.—JM
The answer to this question: yes, but just barely.—JM
ABC's new reality show "Shark Tank" is even better than this review would lead you to believe.—JM
One of the best Cracked entries we've linked to (which is saying something). Manages to be funny while staying mostly "straight" (except for the photo captions). It just proves what I've always said: women aren't not funny.—JS
Please indulge Joe and I in a little "farewell to the Metrodome" (at least for the Twins) excess this week. Posnanski does a great job of nailing the "hate it but I've grown to love it" attitude many of us have toward the dump, and how, at the end of this baseball season, it's refusing to go away quietly.—BK
True stories behind the battle to put "naughty" words in dictionaries. (The language may get rough, but if you're offended by that sort of thing, I doubt you're on this page to begin with.)—JS
I had hoped this would be in verse form – still, it's a savvy look at the prospects and shortcomings of The Jay Leno Show. (And I was surprised to learn Marina Franklin is on it – maybe I'll tune in!)—JS
I'm sure that the arts community would be defending him just as vociferously if he were a Catholic priest rather than an acclaimed director. Aren't you?—JM
"For easy reference, I made up lists of alternative names for breasts, penises and vaginas, and supplementary lists later on for buttholes, as that trend gained popularity." Not for the squeamish reader, but very entertaining.—JS
Smashing a sand-smoothing vehicle into an outfield wall and nearly tipping over a wheelbarrow full of infield dirt were two of the ways the author embarrassed herself while working as a member of the Washington Nationals grounds crew.—BK
Ricky Gervais on his directorial debut The Invention of Lying, and on his penchant for abusing himself on screen. (Contains a couple tiny spoilers, for those concerned about such things.)—BK
Turns out every new advance in communication, from the typewriter to the telephone to writing things down, was met with resistance and prophesies of doom, so maybe Twitter won't destroy the world after all.—JM
"FNL" Seasons 1 and 2 are available to stream on Netflix, so you don't even have to wait for the DVDs to come in the mail. There's no excuse anymore. Get off your ass like I did last week, and start watching this show. (more "FNL" info to come very soon in a "Best Show On TV" piece if "Glee" is bad again next week)—JM
The number of quality shows on this list is simply astounding. Perhaps there's something to be said for self-referential television.—BK
The "death panel" idea is a farcical lie, but I actually wish it weren't. I stand ready to pull my mom's plug, precisely because of how much I love her.—JS
Today is apparently the "official" start of the new fall TV season, as this week is when the Nielsen tracking kicks off. In honor of that, here's a solid preview from TV critic Alan Sepinwall.—BK
And we're off to a .500 start...
Don't let the title mislead you; this is about sports. Or, more specifically, about Posnanski debating fellow writer Ken Rosenthal about the debate over whether Joe Mauer should be AL MVP. (I think he should.)—BK
As the owner of a mixed breed dog, I'll admit I'm curious about these DNA tests being offered. Not curious enough to spend $60 to $125, but curious nonetheless.—BK
More than worth linking to for the caption on the picture of the squirrel alone, but the entire piece is pretty good.—JM
In light of Kanye West's most recent bizarre, off-putting outburst, this piece written back in May is worth revisiting. The author is kind of kidding, but not really, and makes a pretty convincing argument.—JM
How we overuse the term, sometimes to the point of diluting its significance.—BK
How the "Wildcat" offense has infiltrated the NFL, and what it means for the future of the game.—BK
Are you ready for some [guy's picks column about] footbaaaaaaaaall?
It's "Glee." It'll be "Glee" for a while.
With all of newspapers' bellyaching about their declining relevance, it's sometimes easy to forget that they refuse to work at being relevant.—JS
A nice feature on the fake Seinfeld reunion that will be a part of the new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm (a feature that EW took their sweet time posting online). It's going to be awesome! (It's got to be awesome, right?) [I'm getting paranoid that it might somehow turn out less than awesome.]—BK
Inspired by LaGarrette Blount's post-game coldcocking of a Boise State player, Page 2 takes a look at other such incidents. If you are in a position to watch the videos that are linked in this piece, all the better.—JM
The author and a high-ranking former narcotics officer calculate the yearly cost of America's war on drugs: more than 15,000 deaths and 50 billion dollars spent.—BK
Time to lay the hammer down, bitches!
The creator of "Hypothetical Horatio" weighs in with a half-dozen points, only a few of which are suggestions about how to fix the NFL, but all of which are dynamite.—JM
Turns out money can help buy happiness if you use it right, which is what I've always assumed.—JM
How Hunter's success in baseball (first with the Twins, and now with the Angels) and the revelation of a half-brother brought a troubled family together.—BK
Heavy on comedy, light on drama, and devoid of all reality. Shows! Reality shows was what I was... sigh.
Ebert deconstructs the phrase, questions Facebook politics, ponders health care reform and end-of-life issues, and properly explains the oft-misused term "meme." (My hero!)—JS
Which shows will make the list? Who will be Number 1? Will your favorite show make the cut? Brett Favre! [okay, Brett Favre doesn't actually have anything to do with this, but I just wouldn't feel right not including him somewhere]
Which is not to say that's a bad thing, as evidenced by the presence of excellent works like In Utero, Kid A, Different Seasons, and Pinkerton.—BK
The Chevy Volt sounds impressive, but we've been hearing about it for years – and other numbskull moves by the automaker we all partly own.—JS
You may be thinking "Who's that?", but if you've seen Role Models, Party Down, or The Hangover, you definitely know who he is. He's been doing such good work over the last couple years that it's great to see him finally getting recognition.—BK
Lies, damn lies, and statistics...—JM
Not the actresses, but the writers, more than half of whom are women. (Contains some spoilers from the first two seasons in case you aren't caught up on the show.)—BK
Poe on plagiarism, punctuation, and God. (With some surprising sarcasm in the balance.) Get 'em, Eddie!—JS
Let's hope not (unless the end of such a "moment" lets him operate outside the scrutiny of such moronic scorecarding), but it is fascinating how comedy tastes change, and how success can be unpredictable.—JS
A few quibble-worthy selections, but mostly a good list, with a number one pick that will make fellow PoopReading.com contributor Jameson Simmons very happy.—BK
Do drunks become writers, or do writers become drunks? [that's not quite an apt blurb for this piece, but it's cute and pithy so I'm keeping it here]—JM
It really is a great site, and Sean Forman's success is deserved, as it sprang from hard work, dedication, and a quality product.—BK
If you've grown tired of us trying to convince you, let the Brits give it a try.—BK
Always nice to hear from the guys over at Cracked.com.—JM
Bateman talks about drugs and alcohol, getting clean, the rebirth of his career, and yes, even a little mention of the Arrested Development movie.—BK
With Rickey Henderson's Hall of Fame Induction just a week away, several of his former teammates share their memories of the eccentric superstar.—BK
If I've got a link in the Sports category, you can bet it's a nerdy link. (How can you not love nerd athletes?)—JS
Come on, EW! Don't you know how much we love this kind of thing? Why must you always screw it up? There's far more than 25 people, midway through they just chuck the "America" part, and there's an undeserved pick at #20. That said, they get a lot right, and I do loves me some listmaking.—BK
ESPN's "30 For 30" has to be one of the best ideas in the history of television, and apparently a lot of the credit goes to PoopReading.com favorite Bill Simmons.—JM
Keep churning out sane, difficult-to-refute arguments in favor of marijuana legalization, and I'll keep linking to them.—JM
The Sci Fi Channel just rebranded itself as "Syfy." When I first heard that, I thought "what possible reason could there be for something like this?" Turns out there were a few good ones, actually.—JM
Great profile of Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy as he finds peace in marriage, parenthood, and the success of his band.—BK
Budget cuts and commercial alternatives are putting state-funded interstate rest areas at risk, depriving travelers not only of a place to stretch their legs or walk their dog, but also a bit of local flavor.—BK
A rare inside look at the busiest – and highest paid (I think) – man in television comedy.—BK
A slightly hysterical overview of parallax in the TV depiction of baseball pitching: more accurate vs. easier to watch.—JS
Infidelity may no longer be the political career-killer it once was.—BK
A few election predictions make it a little dated, but overall a nice introduction to a fascinating topic.—JS
As with most successful people who didn't benefit from nepotism, John Grisham's rise to publishing super-stardom took talent, hard work and a decent amount of blind luck.—JM
I've always tended to join the torch-wielding masses when it comes to Fehr, hating him for his part in the 1994 strike and the steroids problem in baseball. But you can always count on Joe Sheehan to play the contrarian to conventional wisdom, and that's why I love reading his stuff.—BK
Well, duh. But Henry Fairlie said it all along, and his decades as a political essayist make for a revealing account of one conservative's deepening dissatisfaction with conservatism.—JS
One of the phone's latest tricks is already making for gritty suspense drama on the streets of Chicago.—JS
Seems to be an interview minus the questions, with all of Cera's answers provided with no context. So it's a bit of an odd duck, but still interesting.—BK
Most of what we know is how much we don't know, but it's still fascinating when we get a little new perspective (on both).—JS
A book excerpt from Wertheim's tome about the epic 2008 Wimbledon final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Father's Day is coming up, you know...—JM
A "comfort wipe" is basically a stick to help old and/or obese people wipe their butts.—JM
Pitch counts in baseball have evolved from a beneficial cautionary guideline to an overly simplified rule and a way for managers to avoid criticism in the press. Joe and Bill like how Nolan Ryan and the Rangers are trying to change that mindset, and I concur.—BK
A book by Richard Wrangham, it is theorized that mankind really made the evolutionary leap once we started cooking our food. I don't know about you, but, I love stuff like this.—JM
The "reality shows are destroying television" rant has been done to death. But when it makes me laugh as hard as this did, done-to-death is just fine.—JS
Which is, of course, the best kind of Larry David encounter to have.—BK
A pivotal clip from Downfall, with the subtitles adjusted, can say pretty much anything you want it to, with hilarious results.—JS
I listened to Teresa Strasser almost daily for about three years on Adam Carolla's morning radio show, and grew quite fond of her. Alas, she married another. Now she's blogging about her pregnancy, which may be of interest to those of you who are pregnant, or have been pregnant. Or who once had a pregnant spouse, or relative, or friend. Or Mom.—JM
Dipping back into the A.V. Club archives for a second opinion on one of my underappreciated favorites.—BK
Believe in Michael Moore or don't, but his passion on this issue is undeniable. (And he can sound loony and poetic at the same time, which is kind of cool.)—JS
Halfway through your third decade on the planet? Sars has some advice for you, and it boils down to: grow up.—JS
On top of this, Conan O'Brien gives the movie kudos in the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly. Everything's coming up marionette!—BK
The difficulties and rewards of attempting to visit all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums in a single season.—BK
Y2K, global warming, the Mayan calendar coming to an end in 2012... like they once said on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," I find myself needing to know the plural of "apocalypse."—JM
Can you guess which shows the TV networks just announced for the fall season? The answers may be more ridiculous than you think.
As Sesame Street turns 40, it faces reduced episode counts, staff layoffs, and sagging ratings. My kids watch it, but I have to admit, it's not their favorite show. Still, I'm grateful to have a cultural touchstone we can share.—BK
Action scribe Shane Black gives a short guide to what every action movie should have – which is, oddly, tied to the dopey Renny Harlin movie 12 Rounds.—JS
Will I get tired of nerdy science types deconstructing the tropes of science fiction? Not until someone travels back in time to stop me.—JS
For Memorial Day, your requisite dose of "freedom isn't free." True freedom, of course, involves even the freedom to take for granted the sacrifices of those who came before, and unfortunately that's a freedom of which I occasionally avail myself.—JM
I know it's not football season, and I know it's not 2008. Still, this is one of the greatest things I've ever seen. Also, the Major League Baseball draft is coming up, and I'm going to steal the living hell out of this idea.—JM
Just one of many jaw-dropping revelations in this short Q&A about teens and new technology. (Sadly, danah boyd is the "actual" spelling of her name.)—JS
Networks clamor for "Buffy"-like material, but when they get it, they have no idea what to do with it. Some updates on the Buffyverse.—JS
The piece doesn't quite live up to the title, although to be fair, no piece could ever hope to live up to that title. But, apart from a few tiresome "fork" puns, it's a fun read.—JM
Don't get hung up on the title of this piece; it's something of an in-joke between me and PoopReading.com contributor Jameson Simmons, from back before this website was even a gleam in anyone's eye. The piece itself is about "Glee," the TV show.
Twenty and thirtysomething singles are still relocating to Portland, Seattle, and Austin in droves, but the poor economy means there are fewer jobs waiting for them when they get there.—BK
You mean there are guys out there like me, funnier than 90% of monologue jokes? And they're getting paid for it?—JS
It's pretty simple: if there's Big Lebowski material out there worth reading, we're going to link to it. I hope everybody's cool with that.—BK
"Fringe," I saw a couple of times but don't really watch. "Dollhouse," I've flip-flopped on several times over the course of its short run; right now, I'm a fan.—JM
It should go without saying that you should probably listen to doctors and scientists more. It should.—JM
It's a fascinating story all around, but to answer the obvious question: yes, there was a girl involved.—JS
You mean there's a guy out there like me, writing a vicious riposte whenever anyone belittles Pixar? And he's getting paid for it?—JS
Posnanski makes a compelling argument against knee-jerk hatred of egomaniacal baseball agent Scott Boras. I'm still going to hate Boras, but I'll try to mull it over for a minute before I do it.—BK
Interesting – if generous – perspective. I could've handled a lot of the other stuff if Topher had been more like Xander and less like an obnoxious ass.—JS
"Excessive use of exclamation marks in expository prose is a sure sign of an unpractised writer or of one who wants to add a spurious dash of sensation to something unsensational." That's what an English usage guide cited in this piece says, and that's what I'll assert 'til the day I'm deep in the cold, cold ground.—JM
How 30 Rock's storylines have a tendency to embrace a conservative worldview. It's a really interesting observation, even if the writer – understandably – isn't quite sure what to make of it.—BK
Lots of stuff to cover this week, folks. We've got sports, we've got TV; well... mostly just sports and a little bit of TV.
I suspect that Bill Simmons wrote this column a few years ago and just held onto it until the time came to run it, like newspapers do with obituaries for really old celebrities.—JM
A link that our own Brandon Kruse put up earlier in the week inspired me to think about who has earned my "lifetime pass." Kevin, Joss, Sarah and Norm: thanks for all the good work.
ESPN.com's "The Sports Guy" is dead serious about wanting to be the general manager of the Minnesota Timberwolves. There's not a chance in hell it could happen, of course, and that's quite a shame.—JM
If you know Penn & Teller, you know Teller never speaks. If you really know them, you know it's always fascinating when he does.—JS
ESPN's Tuesday Morning Quarterback has nice things to say about the late Jack Kemp, with whom he was (slightly) personally acquainted.—JM
As in which entertainers can't fall out of your good graces, even when they deliver a clunker or two. The Coen Brothers, Steve Martin, Albert Brooks, and U2 come to mind for me, and all have tested that status at one point or another.—BK
Think the slumping economy might mean a nice cut in ticket prices for your favorite team's games? Turns out that might not necessarily be the case...—JM
The ongoing battle between high-fructose corn syrup and cane sugar, one that could potentially have a big impact on soda drinkers (gulp).—BK
Fascinating insights into the development and mentality of infants. You were one, once.—JS
An interesting piece on, among other things, how Team Obama makes lemonade from Joe Biden's lemons.—JM
Gay marriage, Kent Hrbek, and "Chuck."
(this blurb should not be taken to mean that Kent Hrbek is getting gay married to a guy named Chuck. I mean, I haven't specifically heard that he isn't, but, in this particular case, I think we can take the absence of any evidence that he is to mean that he is not)
Observations on fatherhood, the state of the term "nerd," and the author's ongoing gay crush on Jason Statham.—JS
It's good to see someone devote some column space to the underappreciated Adsit, though I can't help wishing it was longer and more in-depth.—BK
How do you get two byline links in the same week here at PoopReading.com? By making at least one of your pieces about Michael Schur, of course.—BK
How the success of This is Spinal Tap and the mockumentary in general have made it harder for some real documentaries to be taken seriously – particularly a new one about a very Tap-esque band named Anvil.—BK
Yes, it failed to live up to the ridiculously high expectations, and sure, it almost destroyed the Kids in the Hall, but it deserves a little love and the A.V. Club is here to give it.—BK
You never thought you'd see the day, but after four months it's finally here... I unveil the second of my multi-part series, in which we consider the top TV shows ever set in Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida and Georgia.
Anna Faris was a much-debated omission from this PoopReading column, and since I was the guy who shot her down, my posting of this link will no doubt now cause Jameson's head to explode.—BK
How some MLB teams are starting to embrace advanced statistical analysis of fielding as a way to get a competitive edge.—BK
It's not just a stupid promotional gimmick that ruins otherwise good cinema, it's also physically detrimental!—JS
Simon Callow (the actor, I can only assume) on a new Charlie Chaplin biography by Simon Louvish.—JM
Jim Caple takes a look at what the failures of newspapers, and the corresponding loss of baseball beat writers, means for the fan.—JM
A meaty profile of San Diego State pitcher Stephen Strasburg, who has clocked 103 mph on the radar gun and might someday throw the fastest pitch ever.—JM
A.V. Club embraces its own onrushing irrelevance. "Aren't as bad as you think," maybe – but "among the series' best?" Not this jumble of non-actor cameos and lame film/TV spoofs, no way.—JS
Why that particular benchmark has always been an unreliable indicator for presidential success.—BK
I've got a VHS copy of Dirty Work, and I personally got it signed by both Norm Macdonald and Artie Lange. I figured I'd mention that now, since opportunities to mention it don't come up all that often.—JM
Exploring the concept of baseball stadiums as architecture via a look at the new Yankee Stadium and Citi Field.—BK
I didn't want to like Brand, the whole time he was winning me over in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Since then, despite his style and appearance, he's only grown on me.—JS
The awesomeness of the idea is diminished a little by the author's atrocious spelling.—BK
Exporting our memory (phone numbers to our cell phone, addresses to Google, facts to Wikipedia) means dramatically increasing our storage space. More memory equals smarter.—JS
A second look at the project that killed the Mike Myers comedy dynasty. Conclusion: it still stinks.—BK
What does Guitar Hero's popularity mean for the future of rock and roll?—BK
The original article sounds interesting, but this recap/extension hits the high points succinctly.—JS
Strikes and scandals haven't just hurt the game; they've hurt the moviegoing public.
I'm of the opinion that you can't assume any player is/was clean, but if you have to pick a slugger to make that assumption about, Delgado seems like a good choice.—BK
A look back at the NBA legend's brief foray into Major League Baseball.—BK
Sixteen films that do exactly what the title implies.—JS
A nice take on the fallacy of trying to rewrite the baseball record books.—BK
Having recently viewed it for a second time, I have to agree: it never really got a fair shake.—BK
A thoughtful – if not necessarily groundbreaking – rumination on Abraham Lincoln in general, and how different generations have perceived Lincoln in particular.—JM
A list that includes two famous players whose bans you might not be aware of (I certainly wasn't).—BK
The first of many Oscar-themed links and posts you'll see this week.—BK
If Alex Rodriguez is the most hated man in sports right now, hockey player Bryan Little of the Atlanta Thrashers should be the most beloved.
While everyone debates which movie deserves to win at this year's Oscars, we take a look at who should have won in 2003. Be warned: the Academy's choices don't look any better in the long view.
Wasn't Grover Cleveland fictional? I mean, that name... come on. Put a colon in the middle and you've got the title of a regional Sesame Street spin-off.—BK
A few months ago, Clint Eastwood basically called our generation a bunch of pussies. Was he right? In there anyone out there who can take up the mantle of Clint, or, for that matter, of Harrison Ford? This piece's title might give you a clue...
Out of all the links we've posted, this one kept a smile on my face the longest.—JS
A computer-generated sci-fi epic with grand ambitions to communicate the perils of war and racism fails to remember the principal rule of filmmaking: Do Not Suck.—JS
In which I take you on a magical journey from the 27th-best Super Bowl ever all the way to... the 18th-best Super Bowl ever. Don't worry; the good ones are coming soon.
In which I cover reality TV and grammar. And if there are two more compelling subjects out there waiting to be tackled, I'd certainly love to hear what they are... yeah. Thought so.
You can quibble about the rankings or the omissions (Bowfinger anyone?), you can complain that you can't get it all on one page, but the fact remains: it's still a chance to spend several minutes of your day reveling in Steve, and that's a wonderful thing.—BK
Some say the Steelers-Cardinals Super Bowl was the greatest ever played. Spoiler alert: it wasn't. You'll have to wait until later in the week to find out what was; for now, though, read about all-time-best Super Bowl #43 through all-time-best Super Bowl #28. Why #28? Because that's when I got tired.
The all-too-brief interview touches upon their recent reunion, new projects, and yeah, the whereabouts of those damn DVDs.—BK
David Denby has seen the enemy, and it is this year's Best Picture nominees. (FYI: Contains a few small plot details that might be considered mildly spoilerish.)—BK
WALL-E director Andrew Stanton discusses the animation ghetto, and the trouble with sequels. (Hat tip, AC for the link.)—JS
Number one on their list (and mine): those annoying head-box DVD sets The Simpsons used starting with Season 6.—BK
Come on, Steelers. You've got to win. For anything to make any kind of sense, ever again, you've just got to.
Too much committee thinking and group input will invariably lead to the worst possible solution.
Personal ads in the London Review of Books. We're all just looking for a little companionship. These people do it with dry wit and a charmingly antiquated spelling of "favourite."—JS
Good stuff, though sadly the list does not include the time Scooby Doo and the Gang met the Harlem Globetrotters.—BK
It's hard to know what to make of this, but it's fanciful and fun to think about.—JS
It's less about Obama than it is about the changing ways Hollywood has portrayed black men over the last 50 years; but an interesting read nonetheless.—BK
Typical MLB crisis management: identify a problem long after it has become obvious to everybody, commission a half-assed study, refuse to share the resulting data, then institute unsatisfying new rules that piss people off.—BK
In which we examine some films that are shoo-ins for Academy Award nominations, and why they shouldn't (necessarily) be.
We originally published this piece back in November, but it seems like a good fit for inauguration day. And, if you haven't read it, it's new to you!
This list was written before the NFC title game, so the Cardinals aren't on it. And even if the Cardinals win the Super Bowl, they belong on it.—JM
Pretty much everyone went 1-3 last week; I went 2-2. So, at least that's something. Plus, I single-handedly fix the NFL's overtime problem.
Interesting research regarding the impact of urban stimuli on our mental health.—BK
The hilarious New Zealand duo talk about the upcoming season of their HBO series.—BK
An interesting look at the emerging field of photography-as-art-history. Sort of heady, but that's okay once in a while.—JM
This is the week we turn it around. I feel good about things. I mean, if I can go 0-4 last week, I can just as easily go 4-0 this week. I mean, you'd think so, right?
If you've never read anything by Edward Gorey, consider this out-of-print 1965 parody of an etiquette book – written as Hyacinthe Phyppe, fake social expert – your introduction to his demented genius.—BK
As millions prepare to descend upon D.C. for the Obama inauguration, the place where they will spend a good deal of their time is in disrepair.—BK
A look at twin failed adaptations of the same Elmore Leonard novel. An entertaining read, even if you haven't seen either film (as I have not).—BK
A compare-and-contrast look at the various methodologies used by spell-check programs in word processing versus online search engines. What's that? It sounds boring? Well... you're boring!—JM
I know next to nothing about the NBA, and even I can find a lot wrong this this piece. Still, it makes for a good read, as do most things dealing with the Lebron-to-New York topic.—JM
Looking back to the 1930s for clues about how baseball might weather the current economic downturn.—BK
Pretty much what you'd expect – "in my day" this, "kids today are pussies" that – which is to say: awesome.—JM
An interview with Bill Lawrence on the eve of the show's revival on ABC.—BK
Meets the minimum acceptable standard by listing Jack Donaghy, then exceeds it by including several Poop Reading favorites from Pushing Daisies, The Office, and How I Met Your Mother.—BK
I would have sworn that it was "on a pile of money with many beautiful women," but, I looked it up and Brandon had it right. I shouldn't have doubted him. Anyway, here's some crap about football.
A professional athlete and a burgeoning screenwriter. I suppose he also sleeps on a pile of money with many beautiful ladies.—BK
Dog emotions, math gender gaps and the dangers of excessive flip-flop wearing; it's all here.—BK
Newly discovered, even though it was written a year ago. You can quibble with the rankings or the omissions (Gil, Dr. Nick Riviera), but anybody who references the Krusty Brand Chew Goo Gum-Like Substance gets an A+ in my book.—BK
A look at an artistic tradition that too often veers into laziness and comic absurdity.—BK
In defense of Jason Statham, Counting Crows, and, believe it or not, Boat Trip.—BK
UniWatch is the non-sports-fan's dream come true – provided said non-fan is a geek for trivial minutiae (and he damn well ought to be).—JS
As the last major distributor abandons the format, so goes the final nail into the coffin.—BK
A look at why the Tom Cruise brand, like the stock market, may be on the verge of collapse.—BK
A review of the worst, strangest and funniest band names of the year. With apologies to those of you who are fans of Anal Hearse.—BK
If you don't want to hear from a pessimistic Vikings fan who can imagine several nightmare scenarios whereby his team misses the playoffs... then don't read this. Otherwise, enjoy!
Nothing misleading about that title... TWoP looks at their favorite films of 2008. It takes a bit more mouse-clicking than is ideal for our purposes, but it's not that bad.—JM
How the man did his homework and scammed thousands from Press Your Luck. (The guy who beat The Price Is Right this week apparently took the honest route.)—JS
Will the 2008 Detroit Lions one day join this illustrious list? That is, if they haven't already?—JM
Mmmmm, football good. Politics bad.
Two winning weeks in a row, everybody. The force is strong with this one. Read on...
Not only is Ranger Joe Popped Wheat Honnies a great cereal name, it could also double as the headline for a criminal case involving midwestern beauty pageant winners and a state park employee.—BK
On Jim Carrey's legacy of characters locked in struggle with the self.—JS
An odd, fascinating profile of what is either a mid-life crisis or a period of enlightenment for Murray. I can't tell whether to feel pity or be impressed. Don't the Germans have a word that means both?—BK
In the first of a series, we take a look at Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas and California. And yes, we know there are only 50 states; the District of Columbia has shows, too.
Good advice for Baron von Funny contributors. (Not really, but it's tops in unintentional hilarity.)—JS
Checking in with Joe's former co-workers from Cheap Seats.—JS
Cracked.com has some great stuff, but it isn't ideally formatted for our purposes. This one, however, absolutely must be read. Must!—JM
Finally, a winning week last week, folks. Can't nothing stop us now!
Interesting tales from their collaboration, on the eve of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Pitt's much-anticipated third film with the director.—JS
Because nothing says Christmas like a surprise dinner visit from your boss or stealing the identity of a man you just killed.—BK
Finally, we get to talk about the ladies. Part One was a regular sausage fest, huh fellas?
These people should have been recognized. Now, finally, in the form of an internet post that almost no one (except you!) is ever going to read, they will be.
Why college recruiters are more successful than NFL scouts at finding gridiron talent.—BK
A beautiful idea executed to comic perfection. I'm jealous. (Ignore the early formatting problems, they go away.)—BK
Where the lesson is: never trust ABC.
Corporate innovation in the time before history. Fear not: no real bears are involved.—JS
Michael Ian Black is nothing short of a national treasure.—JM
Included herein: several paragraphs of boring commentary about NFL officiating, followed by 32 Zooperstars. What are Zooperstars, you ask? Well, you're in for a treat...
A terrific Q&A session that will make you miss them all over again.—BK
In a train car on a dark night in Sydney, I find out all I will ever need to know about Adelaide. I'm dying to visit someday.
This is the week. I can feel it, guys; my picks are good. My picks are solid. This is the week.
A gesture of friendship takes an unexpected turn.
Remembering the former MLB pitcher and Indians radio broadcaster with just the right mix of lighthearted sentimentality.—BK
Joe said it more succinctly: The Daily Show is very likely to survive Obama's presidency. But in case you're curious why it will, read on.
The classic list, now with 10% less hate-filled swearing!
Most UniWatch columns rely almost completely on clicking on links. This one, mostly an interview with the designer of the MLB logo, does not, making it ideal for our purposes.—JM
In defense of an embarrassing buffoon.
Everyone should vote... to read my NFL picks column! (Get it? 'Cause... the election?)
Jameson, Joe and I have been making this point for years. Way to jump on the bandwagon, L.A. Times!—BK
I haven't had a winning week in a while; that means I'm due, right?
An oldie but a goodie, FJM takes a look at one wacked-out Pittsburgh columnist's outsized obsession with superbike racing.—JS
I feel really good about this weeks picks, you guys. Of course, I wouldn't tell you if I didn't...
Explaining the judicial consequences of an Obama presidency.—JM
Because my guess is as good as yours.
Winning another Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy doesn't necessarily signal the end of worrying over ratings.
Somebody finally succeeds in convincing Joe to be scared of an Obama presidency, without even calling Barack a Muslim!—JM
Shows 10 through 5... the other half of the list is coming soon.
I always say that you don't really know anything until Week 5. Well, it's Week 5... and I'm still confused.