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Simon Maxwell Apter
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Entries by Simon Maxwell Apter

Why Reality TV Is the Best Place to Reinvent Your Image

(1) Comments | Posted October 6, 2010 | 6:05 PM

In an essay in The Washington Post about so-called "second acts" of disgraced public figures -- i.e. an appearance on Dancing with the Stars for Tom DeLay, a new CNN talk show for Eliot Spitzer -- Laura Kipnis bemoans the staying power of society's latter-day transgressors. "Scandals have...

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NYC Burrito Challenge III: Dos Toros Taquería

(14) Comments | Posted September 13, 2010 | 6:31 PM

Every food has a "cheater" ingredient, a sort of killer-app component of a recipe that can bail out even the most disappointing piece of work. While baking scones and muffins at Great Harvest Bread Co. in Portland, Oregon, I determined quite early that enough butter could save even the most...

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New York City Burrito Odyssey: Pinche Taquería's California Bean & Cheese

(1) Comments | Posted September 10, 2010 | 5:40 PM

Burrito season is in full swing, and given the nature of the daunting burrito-eating festival/competition ahead of me, I went simple on Tuesday--and not all that Mexican, to be perfectly honest: a California Bean & Cheese from Pinche Taquería in New York. Given the Pacific Ocean-inspired nature of...

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Wanted: One Good Burrito

(56) Comments | Posted September 7, 2010 | 7:43 PM

Don't get me wrong -- I love a good Caracas-style arepa, and I think Salvadoran pupusas are top-notch. Argentines are rightly proud of their steaks; a Brazilian feijoada can absolutely satisfy; and the ceviches of Ecuador and Peru may represent...

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LeBron James's Ego: Presumed Missing in Cleveland

(10) Comments | Posted August 5, 2010 | 5:42 PM

It's not often that we get to witness a full-color, slow-motion, and entirely self-motivated, fall from grace -- President Clinton's wasn't self-motivated; thank Gingrich and Starr for that -- but over the course of the summer, that's exactly what we've been treated to courtesy of LeBron James. James and his...

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From Snooki to the Situation, the New Jersey Shore Is Way Too Mean

(10) Comments | Posted August 3, 2010 | 4:42 PM

Alas, we cannot all just get along. Thanks a lot, Jersey Shore.

Last week, on the same day that Barack Obama appeared on The View -- ostensibly, according to some commentators, to reassert some of the civility that Americans have hoped he'd restore to political discourse...

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Jack Tatum, "The Assassin," Is Dead. What Is the Future of Football?

(6) Comments | Posted July 29, 2010 | 7:37 PM

The Assassin is dead. Long live the Assassin? Former Oakland Raiders defensive star Jack Tatum, whom ESPN once ranked as the sixth most feared tackler in pro football history (though anyone on the receiving end of a Jack Tatum stick will tell you that #6 is...

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GTL at NYSE: MTV's Jersey Shore Is Back: But Where's the Reality?

(0) Comments | Posted July 29, 2010 | 11:52 AM

The cast of Jersey Shore rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange yesterday, and sadly, I was a little disappointed by their performance. Sure, they all looked good, nary an Ed Hardy T-shirt to be seen, and they did a damn fine job with that...

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LeBron James Leaves Cleveland -- and a Petulant Owner -- Behind

(75) Comments | Posted July 9, 2010 | 6:48 PM

Frankly, I'm just glad he didn't choose to first spend a year with the Jets before moving on.

I'm cool with LeBron James's decision to take his game to Miami. I'm not cool with the reaction in Cleveland. The King has a talent, a gift,...

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Apple and iPhone 4: The Revolution Will Be Televised

(8) Comments | Posted July 8, 2010 | 11:20 AM

After updating my iPhone to the iOS 4 operating system, the device quickly transformed itself from the pride of my pocket into an utter joke. With the fourth generation operating system, everything, as Apple claims, has indeed changed. Calls are dropped, text messages unsent. Using the phone to...

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Africa: The Future of American Soccer

(14) Comments | Posted July 1, 2010 | 12:36 PM

So, we lost to Ghana. Again.

Yet, hidden in plain sight within the U.S. defeat last Saturday is the key to the sport's future success in the United States. And it has nothing to do with sending more of our boys to Liverpool,...

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World Cup Memo: U.S. Soccer Must Stop Idolizing the English

(8) Comments | Posted June 15, 2010 | 3:11 PM

American soccer's Anglophilia always has and always will confuse me. Take one listen to ESPN analyst and former U.S.-team star John Harkes, and you'll hear it in his lilt; that weird accent of his wasn't cultivated in his childhood home near Newark, New Jersey. Now, don't get me...

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Armando Galarraga, Perfect Games, and Major League History

(11) Comments | Posted June 9, 2010 | 4:35 PM

Before the Dream Team dominated basketball at the Barcelona Olympics in '92, and before the '08 "Redeem Team" took gold in Beijing, the most famous U.S. national basketball team in history was Coach Hank Iba's 1972 Munich squad. The American players, all amateur college...

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Don't Stalinize Baseball

(7) Comments | Posted January 13, 2010 | 2:56 PM

It's common knowledge that, more than any other American institution, Major League Baseball is enamored with its own past. This is one of the reasons, of course, why America loves the sport so much. Obsessing over the game's historical statistics is perhaps the most mainstream of wonkish hobbies (in a...

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Jersey Shore: The Apotheosis of Reality

(9) Comments | Posted December 22, 2009 | 5:00 PM

A month into the show, I must admit: I absolutely adore MTV's Jersey Shore. Not since the network's legendary Real World Las Vegas have I been so invested in a television show. After all, Jersey Shore represents the triumph of the American Dream, pure and simple. It is kandy-kolored "ego-porn,"...

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If He Hollers, Let Him Go

(0) Comments | Posted December 10, 2009 | 5:57 PM

There's one aspect of the ongoing Tiger Woods drama that I just don't understand. How did he get from Point A, a minor single-vehicle traffic accident; to Point B, an admission of "transgressions" against his family to anyone and everyone in the world with an Internet connection; and now...

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Who Called Ms. Manners?

(4) Comments | Posted September 16, 2009 | 4:42 PM

There are a good many rules, written and unwritten, that govern behavior on the New York City Subway. You can't spit. You can't assault the conductor. You can't ride in the interstice between cars. You can't use the straphangers' poles like vertical couches. These transgressions are actually against the law,...

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Super Bowl Purity

(6) Comments | Posted January 30, 2009 | 6:25 PM

I've spent, like much of professional football-watching America, the past two weeks getting my mind around the concept of a Super Bowl featuring the Phoenix Cardinals. (Yes, I know they're really the "Arizona" Cardinals, but I still refer to the Tennessee Titans as the "Houston Oilers," and I try to...

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RFK for Twentysomethings

(1) Comments | Posted June 5, 2008 | 1:10 PM

Superheroes are having a good decade. The X-Men had a nice run, and Spider-Man, too. Batman and Superman rebooted themselves as younger, more conflicted personalities, and even the more cultish figures -- Hulk and the Fantastic Four, to name a handful--had (and have) respectable big-budget movies. In 2008, then, it's...

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R.I.P.: '07 NFL Season

(0) Comments | Posted February 29, 2008 | 12:21 AM

You may have thought the 2007 NFL Season ended on Sun., Feb. 3, around 9:30 p.m. ET, when Eli Manning found Plaxico Burress wide open in the left corner of the end zone with 35 seconds left in Super Bowl XLII. Perhaps -- and probably if you're a Patriots fan...

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