Matt Taibbi Week: Day 4
The allure of subject.

Matt Taibbi Week: Day 5

Well, I certainly hope you've enjoyed Matt Taibbi Week. Today, just a quick rundown of his books and his author bio for you. Do give him a try sometime. I know he gave me a lot to smile about this week.*

Taibbi's first book is titled The Exile: Sex, Drugs, and Libel in the New Russia (co-authored with Mark Ames), and is about his years spent in Russia, much of it editing an independent periodical called eXile. This is the only book of his I haven't read.

Then there's Spanking the Donkey: Dispatches from the Dumb Season, a campaign diary of sorts from the 2004 election.

Next, Smells Like Dead Elephants: Dispatches from a Rotting Empire, another collection of political and cultural essays.

In 2008 he published The Great Derangement: A Terrifying True Story of War, Politics, and Religion at the Twilight of the American Empire, about his experiments going undercover in various religious and political subcultures. Promoting this book is when he did the great Daily Show segment about casting out the demon of anal fissures. (I liked this book a lot too.)

And then there was 2010's Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History, one of my favorite books of the year and a truly depressing read. You should still read it, though.

Now check out one of the guy's author bios. I'm sorry, you've just got to like a guy with a bio like this (although this is an early one, and some info is outdated): "Matt Taibbi is a columnist for New York Press and a contributing editor to Rolling Stone. He worked for ten years as a journalist in Russia, where he edited the satirical magazine The eXile. He has also played baseball for the Red Army and professional basketball in Mongolia."

Come on. Professional basketball in Mongolia? I love this guy.

*A friend of mine once opined that she saw him speak at some sort of program and she was disturbed by how chipper he was. As in, how can a guy who knows all this and writes such seemingly cynical things about politics, culture, and finance possibly be chipper? Well, that just made me like him better. (I think he recently got married too, and if that's making him chipper, well, that's just too cute for words.) That reminds me of when Stephen Colbert was interviewing the great William Langewiesche about his book The Atomic Bazaar, and Colbert asked him how he could sleep (knowing what he knows about the inevitability of everyone, even nations that aren't the U.S.--gasp--getting nuclear weapons). Langewiesche didn't bat an eyelash as he answered, "I sleep very well." I don't know why I find that comforting but I do.