Lambert looks at the sex scandals involving photographer Terry Richardson and American Apparel CEO Dov Charney, and asks: how did they stick around for so long anyway?
I remember thinking in 1999 that we were finally on the brink of the future. I saw how wrong I was about that repeatedly. After 9/11, the culture became demonstrably more conservative. Gender essentialism returned, and the ’90s were suddenly considered a failed experiment, like the ’60s, in pushing the boundaries for sex roles too far.
PUBLISHED: June 28, 2014
LENGTH: 11 minutes (2845 words)
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An account of Nintendo's rise from a playing card manufacturer in 1889 to a video game industry giant in the '80s and '90s. Adapted from Console Wars, out this month:
After several decades of staggering success, Fusajiro Yamauchi retired in 1929 and was succeeded by his son-in-law Sekiryo Yamauchi, who ran Nintendo efficiently for nineteen years, but in 1948 he had a stroke and was forced to retire. With no male children, he offered Nintendo’s presidency to his grandson, Hiroshi, who was twenty-one and studying law at Waseda University. It didn’t take long for Hiroshi Yamauchi to make his presence known. He fired every manager that had been appointed by his grandfather and replaced them with young go-getters who he believed could usher Nintendo beyond its conservative past.
With innovation on his mind,Yamauchi branched out into a number of other, less lucrative endeavors, including an instant-rice company and a pay-by-the-hour “love hotel.” These disappointments led Yamauchi to the conclusion that Nintendo’s greatest asset was the meticulous distribution system that it had built over decades of selling playing cards. With such an intricate and expansive pipeline already in place, he narrowed his entrepreneurial scope to products that could be sold in toy and department stores and settled upon a new category called “videogames.”
PUBLISHED: May 14, 2014
LENGTH: 20 minutes (5168 words)
On the career of Anthony Gatto, arguably the greatest juggler alive, who at 40 is now running how own concrete resurfacing business:
Since 2010, Gatto has juggled in Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba, a show based at Walt Disney World in Orlando. Recently, though, I heard a rumor that Gatto was getting ready to retire from juggling to open a coffee shop. I did some Internet searching and discovered he now runs a concrete company in Orlando. It’s called Big Top Concrete Resurfacing LLC. The “T” of the Big Top logo is in the shape of a circus tent, but otherwise there’s no hint of Gatto’s achievements on the company website. “We are committed to offering a cost effective solution to tearing out and replacing old, damaged and deteriorating concrete,” reads the “About” page. “From stained micro-toppings to metallic floor finishes, counter tops and garage floor epoxy coatings, we have the solution for you.” A small head shot shows what looks like a smiling Gatto. Next to the head shot is a name. The name is not the one that has amazed audiences for the last 30 years. “Owned and operated,” the page says, “by Anthony Commarota.”
How did the greatest juggler in the world end up working in concrete?
PUBLISHED: March 18, 2014
LENGTH: 25 minutes (6300 words)
This week's picks from Emily include stories from The A.V. Club, The Awl, The Hairpin, and Grantland.
A brief history of how reporters first covered performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball, starting with the time Baseball Weekly writer Pete Williams hit the gym with Ken Caminiti:
His post-workout high set him off to report on creatine, the supplement Baseball Weekly would dub the game’s “new gunpowder.”
Baseball Weekly had a decent travel budget and Williams was able to interview lots of players. The list now reads like a suspect list of the steroid era. Mark McGwire. Jason Giambi. Mike Piazza. They wanted to talk to Williams. The word cheater was barely in circulation. In the age when few ballplayers took weight lifting seriously, the players thought of themselves as innovators. Orioles center fielder Brady Anderson, whose home run total jumped from 16 in ’95 to 50 in ’96, pulled out supplement after supplement to show Williams. There’s this, Anderson said. And this … McGwire declared Power Creatine “the best product on the market today.”
PUBLISHED: Jan. 16, 2014
LENGTH: 25 minutes (6273 words)
A visit behind the scenes of Maury Povich’s long-running daytime talk show—and how he ended up the reigning king of televised paternity tests:
Listen to the familiar voice of Maury Povich:
This is Tiffany. In two months, Tiffany is marrying her fiancé, Cornelius. But the results of this lie detector test may stop that wedding dead in its tracks.
Cornelius is a rapper. But Tiffany fears he’s using his studio to lay down a lot more than just tracks. And get this: Tiffany has a very good witness — their neighbor, Candice.
PUBLISHED: Nov. 8, 2013
LENGTH: 15 minutes (3994 words)