Mayweather : The Boxer and the Batterer

An essay on Floyd Mayweather Jr. as both :

I can’t, of course, say what’s behind Mayweather’s serial abuse — physical, verbal, or emotional — of women. Men who are rich beat women; men who are poor do, too. They do it in Alaska and South Carolina, in New York and Oslo and Dubai. They do it when they get away with it, and they do it when they don’t. Every day, an average of three women in the United States are killed by a current or former lover. But the more I watched Mayweather fight, and the more I read about his allegedly violent acts outside the ring, the more I began to see it as all of one piece. The circus that follows him. The bag filled with cash and gambling slips. The entourage. The houses and the women installed in them, the diamond rings as collars. The way he takes the measure of a situation in the ring, determining when it’s safe to punch and when to duck.

→ Grantland

Birdman : The Pigeon King and the Ponzi Scheme

In a typical Ponzi scheme, like Bernie Madoff’s, the scammer moves money between investors, to pay what he claims are dividends on an investment that doesn’t actually exist. But Galbraith didn’t have a fake investment as a front. He had birds — lots of birds, and those birds created more birds, which he, in turn, was obligated to buy, then house, feed, water and medicate at considerable cost until he could sell them off to someone else. He appeared to miss the whole point of a Ponzi: He took the hidden, fungible fictions that give the scam its power and turned them into tangible liabilities.

→ The New York Times