Champions Read ________.

Dear Readers,

The Champions need your help!  We need to select a new book for our next installment of Champions Read!  Don’t let us down, public.



Where Have All the Innovators Gone? China.

My original nominee for the latest installment of Champion Scampion of the Week was a cupcake shaped like a hamburger.  I loved how this particular cupcake flouted the new logic in food trends:

Cupcakes no longer hold the imagination of respectable New Yorkers (the rest of the country doesn’t exist, even as I sit in San Francisco).   Pie is the new cupcake, Magnolia Bakery!  Shove off and take your dry, tasteless vanilla cake recipe with you!

I also debated giving notice to the deliriously fabulous trailer for Darren Aronofsky’s new psycho sexual camp ballet drama, “Black Swan.”  That’s some crazy doppelganging right there.  My ass is in that seat come December 1st.

While hamburger pastries and point dancing are fine additions to any Champion’s wall, my new nominee for Champion Scampion of the Week is Chinese transportation innovation!  Champions, I present to you the “Straddling Bus!”

Did you see the simulated bus straddle the highway full of simulated speeding cars?!  That’s the Champion Scampion spirit, China!

Step up your game, America!


Look How Many Books There Are About Vaginas!

The vagina, better known as “Nature’s Rubik’s Cube”, has dozens of pieces of literature dedicated solely to better understanding it’s powerful abilities. All I can say is: wow. Don’t believe me???…Take a look for yourself!

My personal favorite is:

That’s why I nominate Joe Schatz, author of Daddy, Where’s Your Vagina?, as the motherf*ckin’ Champion Scampion of the Week. Hope you found your balls at some point, Joseph Poops (aka Joe Schatz). If not, you may want to check your publisher’s house. Also, this cover is straight up gross.


A Quick Champion Sign Off

“sleep tight champion. like only a champion would.”

No truer words were ever spoken, Champion Smash.


Champions Weep, Become Hopeful

New York Times

September 6, 2010, 11:00 am

For E. B. White’s Willow Tree, Chapter Ends


old willow treeEd Ou/The New York Times Nico Burnstein, 3, on a tree stump placed in his backyard that came from the old willow tree that E. B. White wrote about in his 1949 book “Here Is New York.”

In the 1940s, when E. B. White, the author and columnist for The New Yorker, looked out of his back windows onto the private Turtle Bay Gardens along East 48th Street in Manhattan, an old but picturesque willow tree commanded his view.

He draped the tree in metaphor and imbued it with immortality by writing about it in the concluding lines of his 1949 book, “Here Is New York.” A believer in world government, he wrote this passage soon after airplanes dropped atomic bombs onto Japan and just as the United Nations complex was rising at the end of his street along the East River:

It is a battered tree, long suffering and much climbed, held together by strands of wire but beloved of those who know it. In a way it symbolizes the city: life under difficulties, growth against odds, sap-rise in the midst of concrete, and the steady reaching for the sun. Whenever I look at it nowadays, and feel the cold shadow of the planes, I think: ‘This must be saved, this particular thing, this very tree.’ If it were to go, all would go — this city, this mischievous and marvelous monument which not to look upon would be like death.

Almost 30 years later, an editorial in The New York Times took up the parable and gave it new life at a moment — the 1970s — when the city was feeling financially wretched and otherwise miserable. “As the tree endures,” the editorial concluded, “so can the city — painstakingly pruned to weather its fiscal storms, but confident still …”

But now, the tree is gone. In 2009, the thoroughly bald and rotted tree was chopped down to save it the indignity of cracking and collapsing on its own. There was a small ceremony at the time, and this summer, the enclave’s garden committee had the remains of its trunk dug out and removed as well; now the sun shines down on the garden’s nearby fountain a bit more brightly.

So what of the city?

If its symbol of hope and growth against all odds has died, sacrificed to the ravages of time and disease, does that mean New York’s demise — a fate often forecast and one that not all would regret — is at hand?

“Ohhh, noooooo. I hope this doesn’t portend ill for the city,” said Steve Dougherty, a freelance writer whose grandmother lived near the gardens on 48th Street and who himself lives near ground zero. “I hope it doesn’t mean what it symbolically is supposed to mean.”

Peggy McEvoy, a retired United Nations program director whose grandchildren represent her family’s fourth generation to live in Turtle Bay Gardens, holds onto that hope as well.

“I certainly felt very superstitious about cutting it down,” said Mrs. McEvoy, who has been on the garden committee for many years. “Several of us were very, very upset about having to do it. We only acquiesced under great pressure by some of the members when it cracked and we knew that it was dangerous.

“But certainly there was a feeling of mourning among the older members of the gardens who understood what was going on,” she said.

“I’m not going to speculate on what it might mean in light of all that’s been written about it,” said Pamela Hanlon, author of “Manhattan’s Turtle Bay: Story of a Midtown Neighborhood,” published in 2008.

Bill Logan, whose Brooklyn company Urban Arborists has maintained the gardens for the past six years, had the ignominy of recommending and then overseeing the slaughter of the E. B. White willow.

“I would much prefer to have kept it,” Mr. Logan said. “We tried everything, really. We had already cabled it three different ways, but it got worse and worse.”

A buckling at the base of the trunk and a break in a large branch below the spot where the ropes had secured it convinced Mr. Logan that he should prescribe the arboricide.

When his workers sliced through the tree trunk and showed that it was hollow, a thin circle of wood surrounding a cushion of air, Mr. Logan felt some small relief. It was clear that a fungus had eaten away for years at the willow, a species of tree not known for being able to fight off disease.

“White’s writing about it was so lyrical, and so prescient,” said Mr. Dougherty, who wrote about the tree in The New York Times in 2002. “I reread the book after Sept. 11 and went to see if it was still there because he cast it as a symbol of hope for the city. I assumed it was long gone and was surprised to find it.”

Once he established that it still lived after the Twin Towers fell, he became emboldened by the sign. “I thought it would outlive me,” Mr. Dougherty said. “There were no leaves, no sprouts on it at all. It looked almost like a piece of driftwood. It was beautiful, though. It had this really graceful shape to it and seemed to be lifting up toward the sky.”

Now Mr. Dougherty looked for the silver lining in the death of the tree: “It served its purpose — it gave hope at the times when it was needed, first for White and then later for everyone else after Sept. 11.”

Mr. Logan kept a couple of tree cuttings, a foot or so long. He planted them behind his business in Red Hook, Brooklyn, about as far spiritually, perhaps, as one could get from Manhattan’s East Side and still be in the five boroughs. If the cuttings lived, he said, they’d probably be two or three feet high by now. The idea at the time was, perhaps, to replant them back in the East 48th Street garden.

“Let me just walk downstairs and make sure I’ve got a couple propagated. Let me check,” he said recently when, during a telephone interview, he was reminded of the cuttings. “I’m going to have to go all the way to the back. It’s been hidden back here in a corner of our yard all this time. It’s hard to get back there.

“Oh, for God’s sake. Ha-ha-ha! Is this it?!” he said on his cellphone as he walked into his yard, with rising delight in his voice. “Yah! We’ve got quite a considerable cutting here. It’s doing fine! It’s now fully eight feet tall. It’s going gangbusters. We better decide what to do with it before it gets too big to move.”

Welcome to the Mo*herfucki#g Champion of the Week, Champions…

…where we spotlight someone who has shown bravery, heroism, selflessness, brilliance, athletic ability, whatever, during the week, in the same spirit of a True Champion. This week’s Shrimp Scampion Stampion of Champion goes to:

2-year-old Dianita Barrett, who narrowly escaped a Tiger attack at Miami’s Jungle Island. Allegedly, a “mischievous” monkey named Watson provoked the feline, causing him to jump over his 14 foot cage, into the unsuspectiong Miami Crowd, making him first runner up for this week’s Shrimp Scampion Stampion of Champions (because who does that?) Dianita’s mother, Diana, rounded the corner to find Dianita face to face with a 507 lb Bengal tiger named  Mehesh. Diana scooped up her daughter and walked away, and apparently the tiger was actually sort of just like, “what the fuck am I doing out of my cage? I want back in there.” What a ‘tard.

BUT! Who is the real Champion in this story? Look at the passion in little Dianita’s eyes:

Much like Madeline, to the tiger in the zoo, Dianita said, “Poo-Poo!”

This girl doesn’t take shit from anyone. She probably doesn’t even strap on her safety harness whilst riding in the grocery cart with her mom. Needless to say, she truly embodies the quintessential spirit of A Champion.

Look at the tiger, who seems like an easy target for FU Penguin. Like, please, Mehesh. Who the hell do you think you are? Wipe that shit-eating grin off your face. Do you realize all the trouble you almost caused? Do you think you can do whatever you want? You’re on the motherfucking JUNGLE ISLAND, where  you, my friend, are no longer King of the Jungle.

Oh, wait. That’s lions. You were never King of the Jungle. And now you never will be.

And now, once more, Dianita:

Eyes of an angel, that one.

Dianita, we salute you.


Champions Drive, See Double Rainbows

Champions one and all, I invite you to witness fate leaping across the sky of Montana:

What does this mean?  Those rainbows reach from Montana to Racist Night.