How Louie Simmons Defined the Extreme Sport of Power Lifting

Even if you’ve never tiptoed near the shrine of powerlifting, you’ll find something to love in Lauren Michele Jackson’s obituary of the iconic Westside Barbell founder. And if you have? The same — plus you’ll leave wondering why the writing about strength sports can’t always be this lyrical.

The place became a home for big bodies with troubled pasts who were joined in their commitment to pushing and pulling stupid amounts of weight. Simmons has described the psychology of the place in terms of the movie “Shogun Assassin,” in which a young son joins his father on a bloody path of vengeance. “That’s what this gym is: a journey into Hell,” he explained in the 2019 documentary “Westside vs. the World.”

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Apr 7, 2022
Length: 7 minutes (1,823 words)

Digital Jukeboxes Are Eroding the Dive-Bar Experience

The times they are a-changin’, sang Bob Dylan way back when people could smoke inside airplanes. Now digital jukeboxes are changing the vibe at America’s bars, but is that a bad thing?

Source: The Atlantic
Published: May 8, 2018
Length: 8 minutes (2,179 words)

The White Lies of Craft Culture

How the artisanal-food movement has built its success by appropriating — and erasing — the labor of people of color.

Source: Eater
Published: Aug 17, 2017
Length: 11 minutes (2,886 words)