Recent books by Michael Moss and Mary Roach look, respectively, at the grossest parts of our alimentary processes: The terrible foods we put in our mouths, and what our wonderful, revolting bodies do with them after.
Fifty years ago, a gay, cross-dressing, black singer named Jackie Shane scored a surprise radio hit in what was then staid and uptight Toronto. A few years later, he disappeared. On Shane's legacy, and the under-appreciated gifts he gave to a sometimes self-congratulatory city.
Linda Grace Hoyer had little luck as a writer, so she encouraged her son, John Updike, to follow the path. His success might have sparked a grudge, but let’s not pretend that means she wasn’t a good mother.
For the longtime Communist leader, sports were as much a hallmark of his legacy as they were a tool to trumpet the revolution’s triumphs. As a writer, though, he wasn’t always as different from your average sports columnist as you might expect.
“…and the sonuvabitch bites me!” Clayton stabs his fork back into the plate of scrambled eggs and holds his other arm up for exhibit. Nora flinches at the mouth-shaped shadow darkening her husband’s forearm. She watches him shovel food into his mouth. She used to get a kick out of his farmer’s grip on a fork. Thought it made him real, salt-of-the-earth...
Wendy O. Williams killed herself 15 years ago this Saturday. She left presents for her partner, Rod Swenson, including noodles he liked and seeds for salad greens, as well as a few notes: “My feelings about what I am doing ring loud and clear to an inner ear and a place where there is no self, only calm.” Then she went out into the woods and shot herself.
Williams and Swenson had met over 20 years earlier, when she landed in New York and applied for a job with Captain Kink’s Sex Fantasy Theater (he was Captain Kink). They formed the Plasmatics, part punk-metal band, part art concept, and she was a spectacular frontwoman: a grunting, nearly naked force of id who could stand still in front of an audience as naturally as she could slice a guitar in half with a chainsaw. Her career lasted a decade, and when it was over she moved with Swenson to Storrs, Connecticut, where he built them a geodesic dome to live in. MORE
Georges Perec's dream journals are full of the weird minutiae one would expect, but they add up to a biography—Perec's life in the dreamworld, where we all spend at least a third of our time.
The sinking of the Titanic 101 years ago today killed around 1,500 people, and led to vast improvements in shipbuilding and safety protocols that have saved countless lives since. That's often the end result of tragedies and accidents—they improve human life.
Ben Goldacre has spent the last decade holding the medical establishment to account, while also debunking the pseudoscience of TV quacks. Hazlitt talks with Goldacre about his new book Bad Pharma, and why our mistrust of big drug companies is warranted.
Man to man.
If only I knew more about the human heart,
I could fuel its fire or stamp it out
completely. If only I knew more
about songbirds, I could tell you
exactly what is singing there unseen
in that tree across the street – that song
has been, so far, the best part of my day,
a song as old as our four-chambered hearts,
older maybe, a melody composed a million
years ago and never altered – surely
musical genius thrived before the wheel,
before our weapons and our calculus,
and when we’re gone that song
will continue in the trees and will not change.
Hazlitt talks with the author of Ghana Must Go about transnationalism, identity, and why we can’t escape our families.