March 29, 2012
Links

1. Patrick Hruby interviews former-agent Josh Luchs about his new book, which outlines a plan for reforming the NCAA. Lots of practical suggestions for blowing up the NCAA.

2. Apparently, Fifty Shades of Grey is hot, steamy, literature porn for suburban moms and it’s burning up the best-seller list. Never heard of the book until now.

But as a hot publishing phenomenon (Vintage Books has paid seven figures for the rights to a trilogy) that pours female-oriented erotica over a base of Twilight leavings and makes brilliant use of the discreet portability of e-books, Fifty Shades of Grey is in a class by itself.

3. New York Magazine tackles the phenomenon of young foodies. Do with this what you will:

Chang arrives at the tiny Thai place with her friends Jasmine, a stylist, and Marcos, a graphic designer. They, too, have their food bona fides: Marcos snaps quick photos of each dish as it is placed on the table; Jasmine’s phone holds carefully curated favorite-restaurant lists for New York and L.A. Both are a little older—30-plus to Chang’s 27—but Chang is clearly the group’s leader. She has picked the place, orders for everyone (shrimp salad, deep-fried catfish, and crispy pork off the restaurant’s “secret menu”), and generally steers the conversation toward the plates in front of us.

Petite and stylish, with a self-­consciously goofy smile, Chang works in online and social-media marketing. She is, in culinary parlance, a civilian—her job has nothing to do with New York’s sprawling food industry or with the chattering class that’s gathered around it. Her leisure time and modest discretionary income, however, are devoted almost entirely to food and restaurants.

“I’m not a foodie, I just like what I like,” she says. “Yes, I know, it’s just like hipsters saying, ‘I’m not a hipster.’ ” (The cliché cracks her up.) “But it’s like when my boss says, ‘Oh, you’re such a foodie.’ I’m like, Oh God. When I hear the word foodie, I think of Yelp. I don’t want to be lumped in with Yelp.” Just then, her iPhone goes off, and I glimpse her screen saver. It’s a close-up photo of a pile of gnarly, gristly pig’s feet, skin singed and torn, half-rendered fat and pearlescent cartilage beaming back the flash. The dish is from a tiny food stall in Taipei, she tells me. “It’s braised in a soy-based sauce, and they serve it on rice with pickled mustard greens.”

4. How ‘Hunger Games’ Built Up Must-See Fever. I’ll admit, the marketing for the movie couldn’t have been better. I also think, as much as I loved the movie and feel like it was the best possible version of the book they could have made, it’s not going to be a movie that ages well.

5. Lenny B. Robinson is a Maryland resident who occasionally dresses up as Batman and goes to visit sick children in hospitals. You may remember a few weeks back he was pulled over by police and became something of a viral sensation. His actual story is pretty amazing. More people like this please. [via @greatwhitesnark]

6. “As singularly epic as the Hogan-Andre match was, and as technically perfect as the Savage-Steamboat match was, if somebody asked me to show them one match off the WrestleMania III card that symbolized the whole night, and the whole era, part of me would be tempted to go with Jake “The Snake” Roberts versus The Honky Tonk Man.”

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