Categories
Writing

My Very Best Writing from 2015

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Overall, 2015 was probably my best year as a writer. A lot of great things happened.

Categories
Films Movies

Ben Affleck’s Student Film

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I am a Ben Affleck defender, so much so that my latest book was partially inspired by the fact that I wanted to defend him so I dedicated a chapter to him (the racial undertones in the hatred for his relationship to Jennifer Lopez are all too real). I think he’s underrated as an actor and he’s going to make a great Batman.

Categories
Books Rankings

The Best Books I Read in 2015

The best books I read in 2015.

This list will be different than most because only a few of them actually came out this year — that’s just when I finally got to know them. There are plenty of celebrated works that were released this year — Between the World and Me, Dead Wake, A Spool of Blue Thread — that I simply haven’t gotten to yet.

Continue reading…


Christopher Pierznik is the author of eight books, none of them nearly as successful as any of these, but all of which can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, and many more. He has been quoted on Buzzfeed and Deadspin. Subscribe to his monthly reading review newsletter or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

Categories
Books Knowledge Learning Opinion Writing

5 Books That Everyone Loved but I Loathed

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Book lovers are like fans of anything else. They’re quick to offer their opinions and proud when you agree, but often upset when you don’t.

Categories
Week in Review

Week in Review (December 4, 2015)

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I’m going to see Jerry Seinfeld perform live tonight.

Categories
Flashback Friday Flop

Flashback Friday Flop: “Immobilarity”

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This is the latest entry of Flashback Friday Flop, a weekly feature in which I will examine a hip-hop album from years ago that was considered a flop, either critically or commercially or both, when it was released and see if it has gotten better – or worse – over time.

This week: Raekwon’s Immobilarity (1999)

I make no secret of my devotion to all things Wu-Tang. I’ve studied their albums, their synergies, and even made it a point to be there to drink a beer dedicated to them.

But I’m also a realest, an honest disciple, and I’ll be the first to tell you that the Wu has had some rough times. Neither 8 Diagrams or A Better Tomorrow were good and it looks like they’ve  become the hip-hop version of The Rolling Stone: no one wants to hear their new stuff but people will still pay money to see them perform their classics live.

Categories
Greatness Life NBA Nostalgia Sports

Kobe, Peyton & Tiger Make Us Face Our Own Mortality

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It’s nearly 2016, so that means it’s been a decade since three of the greatest athletes in American sports history were in their absolute primes.

Kobe Bryant was leading a scrub-filled Lakers team that year, which included his absurd 81-point game in January, 2006.

2006 was the year Peyton Manning finally got over the hump, topping Tom Brady and Bill Belichick in the AFC Championship, and winning the Super Bowl.

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Tiger Woods added two more majors to his collection in 2006.

Now, they all look like they made a wrong turn on the way to the local playground, but still decided to try to compete at the highest level.

Kobe is shooting for 30% from the field (20% from three) and playing worse defense than James Harden. Peyton Manning’s arm is weaker than my 3-year-old daughter’s and can barely even move after games. And Tiger Woods says his days are filled with walking and video games.

At first, we feel sad for these former kings, but they all seem relatively content with life. Yes, they would all love to get back to dominating their respective sports, but they also know that their time has come and gone. Kobe is making jokes in post game press conferences and Tiger says that any more PGA victories will be “gravy.” Only Peyton seems insistent on fighting Father Time, at least publicly, but he knows his career is coming to an end. When was the last time he was benched?

Greatness fades.

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But athletes try to hang on too long – Willie Mays with the Mets, Patrick Ewing with the Sonics – only because they just want to keep playing. It’s both their passion and their career. Who would want to give that up? It is the rest of us that place arbitrary labels and caveats on careers, like “Joe Namath’s time with the Rams doesn’t count” or “we ignore Michael Jordan’s years with the Wizards.”

That is for us, so that we can leave our memories pristine and our idols unblemished. That way, even if we didn’t accomplish everything we dreamed of in our own lives, at least our icons did. Jordan didn’t care that he (supposedly) ruined his perfect ending, his fans did. They didn’t want to see a mortal, they wanted to remember a superhero, one that left with his arm outstretched and his cape flapping in the breeze.

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Kids that were born in the ’90s and were adolescents in the 2000s who believed Kobe was God and Jordan worshipers were clinging to a long dead past are now defending their own weary deity against a generation that knows without a shadow of a doubt that Steph Curry is the greatest basketball player to ever step foot on a court.

And so it goes.

The same is true with music. Every generation believes the music of its youth was the pinnacle and everything that came after it is shit. People my age are positive that nothing will ever beat ’90s hip-hop or ’90s NBA. Part of this is rooted in fact, but much of it is because we romanticize the past and wax nostalgically about how life was better back then, because life is better when you’re young. Mortgage, career, and responsibilities or high school, college, and carefree fun. Which would you choose?

When I watch Tiger’s chip-in at the 16th hole at Augusta in 2005, I am immediately transported back to that time, when I was 25 years old. But that was a decade ago and so much happens in ten years. The world keeps spinning.

Tiger has made peace with his mortality. It’s time for the rest of us to do the same.


Christopher Pierznik is the author of eight books, all of which can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, and many more. He has been quoted on Buzzfeed and Deadspin. Subscribe to his monthly reading review newsletter or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

Categories
Comedy Films Movies

Jay and Seth Versus The Apocalypse

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have written some great films together, including Superbad and Pineapple Express. My favorite aside from Superbad is probably 2013’s This Is the End, a hilarious film about Rogen and his actor friends – James Franco, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride, Jonah Hill, and Jay Baruchel (playing hyper versions of themselves) – as they are barricaded in Franco’s house during the apocalypse.

I only recently discovered that the concept was originally utilized as a short nine minute film written solely by Goldberg titled Jay and Seth Versus The Apocalypse. It employs the same idea, but on a smaller scale – Rogen and Baruchel arguing while locked in their apartment during the rapture. For a short, the production values are pretty damn good. The basic idea is the same, but the feature film is quite different, which, according to Wikipedia, “frustrated many fans, who expected to see a feature closer to the 2007 release of the trailer online.”

I’m sure the rest of the Internet has known about it since it was made in 2007 (and was included on the Blu-Ray of This Is the End), but I just found out about it so it’s new to me, dammit. Carve out nine minutes and watch it now:


Christopher Pierznik is the author of eight books, all of which can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, and many more. He has been quoted on Buzzfeed and Deadspin. Subscribe to his monthly reading review newsletter or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

Categories
Artist Documentary Tuesday

Documentary Tuesday: “The World’s Most Expensive Stolen Paintings”

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Most people care little about art theft. Unless it’s the Mona Lisa or something equally as famous, very few people give much thought to what a painting being stolen means to us. However, as the film suggests, art is part of our culture and having it stolen is an assault on all of us.

Categories
Books Learning Life Process Writing

Time Maximization: Pursuing One’s Passion with a Career and a Family

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In three-and-a-half years, I’ve published eight books, written at least a thousand posts for a variety of websites, and have averaged reading five books per month, all while working in finance for a Fortune 15 multinational with a wife, child, and a home to upkeep.