Hunter S. Thompson, Jack Kerouac and Ernest Hemingway Review No Country for Old Men

This piece, originally written for, but never published by, McSweeney’s Internet Tendencies has been one of the most popular pieces on this website ever since I first posted it, and has received many compliments.

hunter_jack_ernestHunter S. Thompson

The theatre was dark and reeked with the stench of a hundred overfed accountants gorging on chemical drenched popcorn and syrup water. I’d been assigned to review No Country for Old Men for Rolling Stone, and was already a week past deadline, but had abandoned the assignment partly because when you eat as much mescaline as I had it’s very hard to focus on a predetermined task, and also because I realized what a fleecing the operation was. Fifteen dollars for a ticket. Eight dollars for popcorn. Four dollars for soda. This wasn’t art. It was a twisted perversion of the American dream, a herding of overweight suburbanites into giant pens with flashing pictures on the wall to stupefy them into paying outrageous prices for sickening foods.

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The Top Twenty Bizarre English Names in Taiwan

Xpat Magazine June, 2007

Top_20_NamesAt least once in their career, most English teachers in Taiwan stand in the unique position of naming children, or encountering a Taiwanese person, young or old, with a desire to assume an inappropriate English name. Sometimes kindie teachers, spurred by lack of sleep and unmetabolized alcohol, give kids wacky names for their own amusement, but more often Taiwanese people choose these names themselves and are unwilling to give them up despite the protest of their conscientious foreign educators and friends. Either way, Taiwan is a cornucopia of strange, incongruous, and hilarious names. I scoured various Internet bulletin boards in search of the most ingenious, insulting and comical English names that local xpats have come across. Here are the best that I found.

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A Kiss from Kiki

Published under the pseudonym Salvatore Paradisio
Xpat Magazine March, 2007

“…there’s so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once, and it’s too much. My heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst. And then I remember to relax, and not try to hold on to it. And then it flows through me like rain.”
Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) American Beauty (1999)

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Ultramarathon Man: An Interview with Kevin Lin

Photography courtesy of Kevin Lin
Xpat Magazine December, 2006

ultramarathon_manWhen Kevin Lin, a postgraduate student and Taiwan’s most famous endurance athlete, agreed to an interview with Xpat I was stoked. Kevin is an internationally renowned ultramarathon champion. He races distances measuring in the hundreds of kilometers through extreme climates such as deserts and arctic snowfields. He was recently commissioned by Matt Damon’s movie company, LivePlanet, to join a team of three endurance athletes that will run over 4000 miles across the Sahara desert in less than 80 days (more than two marathons per day). If you mention his (Chinese) name to your Taiwanese friends they will undoubtedly nod in recognition. This was going to be a groundbreaking interview for Xpat – our first real celebrity.

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Taipei Museum of Contemporary Art

Xpat Magazine June, 2006

mocaIn Xpat’s never-ending endeavor to bring you cool, cutting-edge, flip-your-wig-back art, we present this interview with Taipei’s Museum of Contemporary Art. MOCA is one of the most progressive museums in Taiwan supporting innovative and unusual art from sculpture to multimedia to interactive installations. We recommend stopping by. You’re guaranteed to see at least seven things you never imagined you’d see in your life (or even thought existed).

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The Exploding Dog: An Interview with Sam Brown

Illustrations by Sam Brown
Xpat Magazine September, 2006

I first found the website because my roommate had a hilarious wallpaper on her laptop of a stick-figure hippo and I asked her where it came from. is a “semi-collaborative” art project in which random visitors send Sam Brown captions for drawings and he draws them and posts them on his website. His simply drawn stick-figure interpretations of the captions range from straightforward to philosophical to hilarious. His personality is equally so, as you will see in this interview.

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