Tired of reading the same recommended books from the usual sources? Just think of our weekly What We’re Reading column as your non-committal book club with FADER and some of your favorite bands and artists. For this installment, bassist Sean Yeaton from Parquet Courts takes a slightly more experimental approach, picking some of his favorite things to read from the far-flung fringes of the Web.
Air transports of heads of state and government Wikipedia page
Getting lost in a Wikipedia wormhole is something I do less and less these days. Random nuggets like this remind me just how vast the fuckin’ website really is. A couple of my favorite factoids on here are that the English translation of the Japanese Air Force One is "Japanese Air Force One" and that Mobutu Sese Seko leased a fucking Concorde in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s for diplomatic missions and European shopping trips.
If the internet is an endless frontier of things and stuff, Reddit is your sherpa guide through all of it. I'm no expert on the goddamn thing and my favorite of its offerings is definitely one of the more popular ports of embarkment on the site. “Today I Learned” is a buzzing hive of trivia and borderline useless knowledge but the more you know, right? To be honest, I rarely click the headlines but sometimes it’s enough to know that Willie Nelson is a fifth degree black belt in Gong Kwon Yu Sul—a martial art that combines elements of Hapkido, Judo and Jiu Jitsu—without having to get tangled up in the bulky details.
"Street Fighter: The Movie—What Went Wrong?" by Chris Plante
Now this is a fucking hell of a read. One that's tremendously inspirational and humbling. So the fucking Street Fighter movie, right? It was terrible stuff, remember? I was eight when it came out and even then I couldn't for the life of me understand why or how Jean-Claude Van Damme got cast as Guile, the American military dude with American flags tattooed on both of his arms. I remember feeling like someone was really fucking up at the movie factory when they didn't even incorporate any of the cool super moves of the characters into the movie. For years these unsettling observations inhabited a nebulous catacomb in my subconscious only to be resurrected when I read this wild essay, which explains why the whole thing was so fucked up.
Woodhull Hospital on Yelp
I've heard it a hundred times since moving to New York, If you get hit by a cab or blackjacked or whatever, try to stay conscious enough to tell the ambulance driver specifically not to take you to Woodhull. One look at the goddamn thing and you can begin to understand why. The dark beige and smoke-colored obelisk looks like it was designed by H.R. Giger and as far as someplace to go when you're feeling under the weather is concerned, it's about as inviting as a pit of vipers. I've never been but I don't really like doctors. At any rate, it's no shock that Woodhull doesn't exactly stand a chance of slapping a "People Love Us On Yelp" sticker on the door. If it's schadenfreude you're after, look no further. Below are some of my favorite comments.
"[E]ven if I was shot in the dick, right in front of Woodhull (which isn't that far-fetched a scenario) I would crawl to Broadway and catch a cab to Beth Israel. Take my advice: avoid Woodhull at all costs." -Richard, Brooklyn (1 star)
"It was a busy night in the ER, I tried to remain positive for the first 6 hours or so but after a certain point I snapped and became just as crazed as the insane people that were handcuffed to their beds around me." -Chris, Brooklyn (1 star)
"I went there in pain after my foot got ran over by a car. I came in, asked if they took my insurance, they did! Talked to the triage nurse who admitted me. and that's where it came apart. After the paperwork, they took me into a waiting room, where a guy was writhing in pain. Then he died. And no one seemed to give a shit." - Louis, Bedford Stuyvesant (1 Star)