Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Entries from February 28th, 2012

A Matlock Moment

February 28th, 2012 · 2 Comments

I’m a sucker for a tale in which the American legal system is asked to rule on the legitimacy of a medical treatment. No matter how dubious a quack’s product, he or she can always scrounge up satisfied customers to attest to its power, as well as a few expert witnesses who will say almost […]

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A Note of Gratitude

February 24th, 2012 · No Comments

Just wanted to offer a quick bayarlalaa to y’all for sticking with this project over the past few weeks. Been hectic times here at Microkhan global headquarters, what with the book deadline looming and both the health-insurance and education systems conspiring to make the fam miserable. Better days ahead, for sure.

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The Forces Arrayed Against Nachos

February 24th, 2012 · 3 Comments

I’m a sucker for creative metrics, such as measuring a creature’s ferocity by how quickly it can skeletonize a cow. One of my favorites is the way in which a nation’s development is assessed by how rapidly it’s being colonized by Western franchises. Take Indonesia, which is revealed here to be “opening a new convenience […]

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A Corner Turned

February 23rd, 2012 · No Comments

Back to the book today, after receiving some tragic news about one of the lead characters. Make do with some classic Joan Jett from the heyday of West German television. Back tomorrow about Indonesia’s raucous business climate.

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A Perverse Incentive

February 22nd, 2012 · 3 Comments

I’m a few pages from the end of Kevin Myers’ Watching the Door, the peak of which is an extended discussion of how The Troubles became economically advantageous for both sides. I particularly enjoyed this dissection of how Belfast’s various paramilitary organization profited off the mayhem they created: Glaziers—who, because they were associated with the […]

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Bending the Rules

February 21st, 2012 · No Comments

Far be it from me to shed a tear for a murderous scoundrel whose various scams increased the price of everything in my adopted hometown. But did John Gotti get a raw deal when the Catholic Church denied him a funeral mass? A scholar makes the case here (PDF), arguing that the Church broke its […]

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The Exchange

February 17th, 2012 · No Comments

Tough to believe I just recently stumbled upon this treasure trove of Roma-related information, which includes a bevy of rare photos and dozens of audio-enhanced oral histories. I came across the project while trying to get a better sense of what it’s like to endure aerial bombardment—more on that soon—but I ended up most absorbed […]

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Built to Spill

February 15th, 2012 · No Comments

Was just about to post about Roma wedding rituals when a health-insurance catastrophe struck. Can’t believe how hard they’re screwing us right now—jetting into town to see if I can fix anything through bribery and/or high-volume yelling. Back soon.

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Long in the Tooth

February 14th, 2012 · 5 Comments

Based on my formative experiences with BJ and the Bear reruns, I’ve long imagined the archetypal American trucker as a picture of health. But the men and women who brings goods to market are actually a pretty grizzled lot these days (PDF): The average age of a truck driver in the United States is over […]

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The Downward Spiral

February 10th, 2012 · 2 Comments

I’m sorely tempted to launch a whole new Microkhan series about the late-career floundering of high achievers. I’m just fascinated by this concept of how the truly great cope with the inevitable diminishment of their skills, as well as the revelation that they really should have taken better care of their personal affairs while riding […]

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The Supple Flesh of a Champion

February 8th, 2012 · No Comments

My tremendous thanks to everyone who turned out for last night’s live performance in Soho, at which I hopefully did a passable job of explaining Yuriy Sedykh’s physical genius. There was one technical hiccup for which I must apologize, though—the video of Sergey Litvinov, the Soviet Union’s golden boy of the hammer throw, cut out […]

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Exit the Tripods

February 8th, 2012 · No Comments

Saddened to hear of the passing of John Christopher, creator of one of my formative sci-fi experiences: the harrowing Tripods Trilogy. As I discussed nearly two years ago, Christopher’s tale of alien overlords was far more than crackling adventure yarn; it also centered on a powerful metaphor for parenthood that I admire to this day. […]

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Live Spot in Soho

February 7th, 2012 · No Comments

If you have access to the New York City subway system, please consider coming down to Housing Works Bookstore Cafe this evening to check out Microkhan in the flesh. I’ll be performing as part of the revamped Adult Education lecture series, waxing poetic about a certain Soviet hammer thrower who has gotten much attention ’round […]

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Word Association

February 6th, 2012 · 1 Comment

Just slammed today, with both reporting for my Wired column and preparations for tomorrow’s performance in Soho. Leaving you with some classic Europop and some salient thoughts on creativity from the great Sean Price: HipHopCanada: What starts your creative process? Sean Price: The beat. The beat’ll tell me what to do. And sometimes I have […]

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The Knife Thrower’s Assistant

February 3rd, 2012 · 1 Comment

A big challenge I’ve faced with my book is the difficulty of grasping the rationales of truly eccentric characters. Even when I’ve been able to interview such folks, I rarely come away with a full understanding of why they made certain choices—their reasoning tends to be opaque, at least to a fairly normal bloke like […]

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The Crunch Begins

February 1st, 2012 · No Comments

Gonna spend this unusually warm Queens day tackling the book, having finally surfaced after a ten-day stretch of Wired work. I have roughly 648 hours before the first three-quarters of the first draft is due, so I’m feeling the heat. Enjoy a track culled from the latest installment of Fresh Produce, and see you back […]

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