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About Reluctant Habits

Reluctant Habits is devoted to books, films, arts, technology, culture, politics, and journalism. It has been singled out by The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, Newsday, The Daily Telegraph, Details, and numerous other outlets of questionable repute. Reluctant Habits often includes 3,000 word essays on books, film reviews that often contain strange digressions, breaking journalism, and long-form conversations with the writers, artists, and cultural figures of our time.

On January 10, 2011, Managing Editor Edward Champion initiated The Modern Library Reading Challenge, an ambitious attempt to read the top 100 novels, as decided upon by the Modern Library of America, from #100 to #1 and write at least 1,000 words for each title. These essays are included within all the coverage. Mr. Champion is presently working on #89: Henry Green’s Loving.

As he spent five years reading (and finishing!) Finnegans Wake, he started a nonfiction counterpart.

Past contributors have included Levi Asher, Nicholson Baker, Nigel Beale, Michael Czobit, Richard Grayson, Sarah Hall, Erin O’Brien, Richard Powers, and Brian Francis Slattery.

To pitch ideas for articles or to address any corrections or inaccuracies, please contact Managing Editor Edward Champion. (Please also see our editorial policy, which addresses our ethics and journalistic practice.)

As of November 2014, we are not presently accepting physical material and we have largely moved away from books coverage (save for the Modern Library essays).

Edward Champion — Managing Editor

Twitter: @edwardchampion

Edward Champion is the Managing Editor of Reluctant Habits. He is a Brooklyn writer with a receding hairline who sometimes answers to the name Alfredo Garcia. He once had a literary blog here called Return of the Reluctant from 2003 to 2007, but, in 2008, it was absorbed into the long-form written format of Filthy Habits, before this was transformed into the short-form/long-form halfway house known as Reluctant Habits, before this was in turn transformed into a long-form cultural entity called Reluctant Habits in 2010.

His work has appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Sun-Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, New York Magazine, Time Out New York, The Philly Inquirer, Newsday, as well as more disreputable publications. He is a podcaster of questionable repute, a playwright and director (Wrestling an Alligator, the San Francisco Fringe Festival), an award-winning audio dramatist of twenty-nine radio plays (along with comedic and dramatic writing for numerous other places), and a fiction writer. He can also cook up a pretty good breakfast and has learned to make several exotic dishes during the pandemic (including Iranian and Thai entrees). He also feels very silly writing bios about his considerable accomplishments.

Champion’s empathy-driven worldview is apparently so distinct that it has resulted in a great deal of confusion from readers. His friends have joked that, despite possessing a congenial and exuberant disposition, he is something of a Rorschach test for other people. He has been identified as a feminist, a Republican, a Democrat, a socialist, a Buddhist, a Christian, an atheist, an evil goon, a kind man, a snappy dresser, and an ignoble slob. What might you call him today?

For nearly eleven years, he ran The Bat Segundo Show, a radio show in which he conducted extensive and unusual long-form conversations with the writers, filmmakers, musicians, and other fine cultural people of our time. Said conversations were also absorbed into the Reluctant Habits canon, which includes close to four million words of essays, interviews, and dispatches — most of it authored by Champion himself. He’s been on the Internet for quite a long time and has been called “o.g.” by some of his younger peers.

For the last four years, he has been the writer and showrunner of the Parsec Award-winning audio drama, The Gray Area, an elaborate audio drama anthology series with an interconnected stories that deals with moral questions and psychological character studies, but that also contains such fun elements such as interdimensional portals, talking animals, peppy aliens, and a giant winged creature named Chester. There are close to 200 speaking roles for this massive operation. Champion writes, directs, edits, mixes, engineers, and does the sound design for all this. He has even composed songs for his audio drama and, upon being identified as a “fun actor,” has been frequently enlisted for voiceover gigs. He can often be found in discount stores buying unusual items that sound interesting. He sometimes performs improv and was trained at UCB.

He also sings and plays guitar. Before the pandemic hit, he was a karaoke king at two New York venues and starting to become a hit on the open mic circuit. You can find him on Instagram and TikTok. He is utterly confused by the fact that his weird TikTok videos have been appreciated by a younger audience, but he is grateful for their kind words.

He is also hired to speak before crowds from time to time.

If you’re interested in hiring Mr. Champion to write something for your publication, to make your podcast sizzle with originality, or you wish to employ him as an entertainer for your wedding (or some other interesting affair), email him here.

(Photo © Edward Champion)

Here is a small sample of Mr. Champion’s past journalism.

47 Comments

  1. In response to your Kindle bloggers become Amazon bitches does the same objection to the license clause in Amazon’s agreement apply to authors of novels as well as bloggers? I have held off selling my novel on Kindle and my book on Amazon because of it.

  2. I’ve just read your article, The Cooks Source Scandal: How a Magazine Profits on Theft, and was very surprised at reading my name.

    I also was never contacted to ask permission to use my copyrighted article on the “Hamburgers – History and Legends of Hamburgers” at http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/HamburgerHistory.htm.

    Thank you for publishing your article on this theft and making me aware of it. I have been trying to find an email address for the editor of Cooks Source Magazine, but haven’t been able to. Do you have an email address (that actually works) for the magazine?

    Linda Stradley
    Whats Cooking America

  3. Friend. You came up on my Google “alerts” list, under search terms:
    capitalism, society

    Very good this interview with Eduardo Porter

    Mr. Porter might be interested in my blog, jacksgreatblog.blogspot.com

    a poor choice of blog company. I know, I know. I live sloppy

    Also, on that blog which is my second serious attempt at blogging, there is a piece I called “Payless” and I think also another about the metaphysical nature of prices

    One of my standard tropes is to suggest that guys like author Porter, E. always always know more about economics than economists do. Why?….

  4. Sir,

    Thank you for including us in your list of alternatives to the Borders that are closing. We are flattered to have made it onto your list.

    I did note, however, that you chose not to include a link to our website. I’m not complaining! But, on the off-chance that you didn’t have our URL…
    http://www.theyorkemporium.com

    Thanks again for including us on the list.

    Jim Lewin
    The York Emporium
    343 West Market Street
    York, PA 17401
    717.846.2866
    http://bookflaps.blogspot.com

  5. Great piece on alternative bookstores waiting to fill the voids left by Borders closings across the country. Hopefully you will include Alamosa Books as one of the Albuquerque, New Mexico alternatives. We celebrate our first anniversary of business the first weekend of April, and consider ourselves a viable alternative as much as any of our fellow indie bookstores in the area. Thanks for shedding light on this issue.

  6. In your article about Independent bookstore alternatives to the Borders closed stores, you left out The Magic Tree Bookstore in Oak Park, Illinois. The address is 141 N. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park, Il. 60301. The Norridge Borders store would be the closest Borders store.

    Thanks.

    Iris

  7. Re: Borders Closing in Colorado

    Begging your pardon, Sir, but Grand Junction does indeed have not just one, but two fine independent bookstores. Twice Upon A Time Bookshop at 2885 North Avenue has been around for 15 years or so, and is happily doing well. It’s sister store, Grand Valley Books at 350 Main Street in the Downtown commercial core is about to celebrate its 1st anniversary on April 30th despite the construction on Main Street and the buffeting winds of the local economy.

    As the proud and grateful owner of both stores, I encourage readers to stop in and browse at both of our stores. We offer an eclectic mix of both new and used books with a focus on Regional History, Western Americana, Native Americana and bestselling fiction and non-fiction at wallet-friendly prices. Grand Valley Books offers a calendar of events including lectures, signings, Lunch and Literature (20% discount with a receipt for lunch at any of the downtown restaurants) and lively discussion groups. Both stores have a knowledgeable staff and offer world class customer service.

    We partner with other independent bookstores in the West when searching for out of print and rare titles. Stop in for a visit and make yourself at home in two of Colorado’s best independent bookstores.

    Margie Wilson, Owner
    Grand Valley Books
    350 Main St.
    Grand Junction, CO 81501

    970-424-5437

    and

    Twice Upon A Time Bookshop
    2885 North Avenue
    Grand Junction, CO 81504

    970-242-3911

  8. Hi, read your comments about google’s terms of service section 11.1 in 2008. Still haven’t fixed the problem. Would appreciate hearing more of your thoughts.

  9. Hi Edward. I just published my latest book, a time travel novel called, ‘A New Jersey Yankee In King Arthur’s Court.’ It’s available at Barnes & Nobel and smashwords.com as an e-book. The first 50% is free and should you purchase it the e-book costs $3.00. It’s a family book and a great read.

  10. Edward, thank you for your comment on my post,”Some Thoughts on Finnegans Wake.” How it would gladden my heart were you to review in Reluctant Habits either of the the two novels I have out in Kindle, Foreign Matter (http://goo.gl/jxYwO) and The President’s Palm Reader (http://goo.gl/btTkQ) (review copies in PDF available on request). They are, I promise you, infinitely pleasanter reads than Midnight’s Children; indeed, if you don’t laugh out loud several times I’ll pay for dinner.

  11. “He has been identified as a feminist, a chauvinist, a Republican, a Democrat, a socialist, a Buddhist, a Christian, an atheist, an evil goon, a kind man, a snappy dresser, and an ignoble slob. What might you call him today?”

    After reading the Danica McKellar article and accompanying comments, I’d call him a douchebag.

  12. This is a message for Edward Champion. My name is Edward Feiner from Sydney Australia.
    I just happened to come across your assassination of Paul Fischer back in 2010. I took the liberty of leaving a belated comment at the end of that article. Actually, I left two comments, as I had a couple of typo’s at the end of the the first one, which I amended in the second.
    I’ve known Paul for over 30 years, so I feel qualified to comment on your article. I ask that you and your readers that may have read your article view my comments in the interests of balance. I have not discussed this with Paul Fischer at this stage.

    Thanks and Regards

    Edward

  13. I like your approach and your taste in the arts. When I noticed the following phrases (Line 3, first paragraph: “outlets of questionable repute” and line 5 under Ed’s bio: “more disreputable publications.”) I realized that you must be familiar with either my book, my website, or both.

  14. First, thanks for your kind and insightful blog on our friend and former co-worker Wayne Shannon. Someone has picked it up, and now its circulating among our facebook friends and especially the ExKRONvicts newsgroup (former news staff at KRON, San Francisco). A fellow writer, Kevin Wing, writes for Off-Camera and is interested in contacting you. Would you be kind enough to provide a contact email or phone number? I’ll be happy to forward it. Of it’s on this site, and I missed it, please direct me to it.
    Again, thanks for remembering Wayne.
    -Don

  15. Can the first novel sentence be an original (my own) or does it have to be from an established author ?

    If it may be an original of my own : “She was given to bouts of whimsy now and again.” from my work in progress, “Love In Passing. Thanks for your time and consideration.

    Ineffably, E.G. Boggs

  16. Thank you, thank you. I thought I was going mad. None of my friends or acquaintances had read Anthony Burgess other than A Clockwork Orange so haven’t brought this up for years. This has always been one of my favourites.

  17. What I’m trying to understand is why you say that you won’t employ the Oxford comma but then go on, in fact, to use it throughout…

  18. HAHAHA Who is this clown? all i know is anyone who sounds like you do – is someone I would never want to meet , like damn most obnoxious shit ever.

    I don’t know how you got Ross McElwee on your show, he didn’t even know what it was when I asked…. but I love the haters, and you hahahaha i don’t know why it is so funny to me but Ed or whatever the fuck your name is – you truly sound like an idiot.. haha fuckin CHAD… dude you are SUCH A CHAD hahaha its not even funny

    “n*gga you don’t know me”

    But keep making a fool of yourself , if i had nothing better to do… id roll in and interrupt whatever stupid fatty sweating rant you were going on and just absolutely make you cry on the air for getting owned by someone more intelligent than you, better looking, more successful, younger, and…. too bad no one cares bout this.

    Careful or your site just might find itself awww hijacked and hacked, databases deleted all content ever, and ‘jus gone like in da wind” , just saying not me, but i just heard that sometimes happens to clown haters who slander

    well do u have a teak yacht and quail hunt when you aren’t skiing that deep pow hell skiing trips in Alaska ? Rhetorical question of course. Not ever in your lifetime bruh…

    PS. yeah sooo spoiled, its called growing up BO$$ status, but then now bout to be 26, and listen fatty, I worked harder than u ever did in just a matter of years, and sold, caked out, and then enjoy the passive revenue streams… call em exotic green money fruits of my labor.

    HAVE A GREAT DAY BUDDY!

  19. You have a nice website.
    I am interviewing any authors with published books or new bands that would like to get the word out.

    Please contact me for an interview either via reply email or at dalanbinder@gmail.com

    Hello, I am David Alan Binder and I also would appreciate your professional opinion of my website at:
    https://sites.google.com/site/dalanbinder

    Additionally I would appreciate any and all comments and suggestions on my site either via reply email or at dalanbinder@gmail.com

    Thanks so much, David Alan Binder

    P.S. I offer a Ghost Write service and a Write Coach service if you’d like.

  20. Re: Josh Ostrovsky, Plagiarist: His Lies to Katie Couric and His Serial Instagram Thefts
    Re: Katie Couric interview… when talking about the HillBilly Image. He said “..A friend of mine actually made that and like just really exploded my brain into like a thousand pieces.”…UM…NO. I made that! I am a member of the ‘Freaking News’ website for Photoshop contests. I made the image for a contest for ‘partial face transplants on 11/29/2006 and uploaded it at 8:38:50 PM. Here’s my stats page for that image: http://www.freakingnews.com/Bill-and-Hillary-Clinton-Hybrid-Face-Transplant-Pictures-30621.asp
    How do I go about calling this guy out on his lies?

  21. I rarely comment online.; perhaps carryover from decades of mainstream journalism before its alleged death.
    I have been on Ms. McG’s trail for years – even challenging NPR’s On The Media – which I usually respect very much. It is my understanding that before she became Our Lady of the Games, she was employed by Blizzard, Nintendo & various fortune 500 firms. But extreme skepticism did not prepare me for the stunning observations she made for a science journal defending -indeed promoting – the motherF of them all: (From) http://www.sciencealert.com/play-these-6-video-games-to-help-improve-your-problem-solving-skills
    “Taking on the role of a criminal in a big city in Grand Theft Auto may help train you to process information faster and keep track of more information – up to three times the amount as non-gamers, some studies suggest – in high stress situations.”

    I don’t have the time or inclination to go deep on her story.
    Still, thought you should know.

  22. Hello Edward ~

    I just finished reading the about page of Reluctant Habits. Amazing stuff. Your bio makes me feel inadequate and small. Sigh. Anyhow, my state of mind is not why I wrote you.

    I produce a podcast too and I’d be thrilled to have your review and recommendation if you like it.

    Please take listen to podplanet.org. We’re a non-fiction story-based podcast from Toronto/Minneapolis.

    You can find us on PRX too. And all the usual podcatchers.

    Season One is 12 episodes running between 10 – 23 minutes long. It’s satire memoir with a little film noire thrown in for good measure.

    Best

    Clive Desmond
    Toronto

  23. Ohio state fuckeyes suck balls, ass,dick. The coach urban Meyer,Anthony schelegel and their arrogant fans can suck on my Michigan nut sack dry. Let’s go blue. Fuck Ohio state.

  24. Can you put my book in your queue of books to review? I don’t care how far back it is. If it gets read before you die, I’ll be happy. The title is Devil Out Of Texas. Thanks.

  25. Ohio state sucks balls and ass Go illini make ohio state spill their guts and lie on your nut sack buck the fuckeyes. Go illini.

  26. Ohio state still sucks balls and ass. Go blue. Go badgers make Ohio state spill their guts and make them lie on your nuts. Buck the fuckeyes.

  27. Thanks for your recent work to consolidate video and timelines of Umbrella Man and Pizza Guy. Have you or someone else followed up even more? (You speak of having some connection to activist Pizza Guy?)
    Umbrella Man’s actions are so egregious that I hope he is found and prosecuted. If he is a provocateur (or insurance claim actor…) the public needs to know. “Dirty tricks” starting in the Nixon era have had profound consequences – Umbrella Man’s window busting probably led to the looting (and burning?) of that auto parts store.
    We had a similar instance in Reno NV with two separate individuals dressed VERY distinctly, being the initial breakers of the windows of our City Hall. It would be very useful to find if such people come from an identifiable “group”.
    Thanks for your efforts – Might you give me an update?

  28. Karlos Dillard is AKA
    Detroit, MI, Florida, Washington
    His true name is: Carlos Remize Gum
    B: 15 July 1992
    Employment:
    1. Lancome (beauty advisor)
    2. Michael Kors (Stylist)
    CRIMINAL:
    25 March 2010
    Marion County Florida
    Charge: No Valid Drivers License
    Case Number: 422010CT002599AXXXXXGUMCAR19920715
    4&5 November 2010
    Marion County, Florida
    Charge: “Offer To Commit Prostitution”
    Case Number: 422010MM009319AXXXXX (Don’t know why the X’s)io
    17 March 2010:
    Marion County, Florida
    Charge: “No Valid Drivers License”
    Case Number: 422010CT002599AXXXXX
    13 June 2011:
    Marion County Florida
    Charge: “No Proof of Insurance”
    Case Number: 11TR017097AX
    More in Florida: Expired tags, Special Hazards, speeding too fast for conditions.
    4 November 2016:
    Municipal Court of Seattle
    Charge: “Assault”
    Case Number: 619691
    4 November 2016 #2:
    Municipal Court Seattle
    Charge: “Use of Weap.”
    Case Number: 619691
    29 March 2018: (Name change: Karlos Dillard)
    Lynwood Police Department
    Offense Description: “No Contact/Protection Order Viol.”
    Case Number: 8Z0451528
    2 February 2018: (Name change: Karlos Dillard)
    Lynwood Municipal Court
    Offense Description: “Assault 4th Degree”
    Case Number: 8Z0249197
    2 February 2018 #2:
    Lynwood Municipal Court
    Offense Description: “Malicious Mischief-3”
    Case Number: 8Z0249197
    2 February 2018 #3:
    Lynwood Municipal Court
    Offense Description: “Disorderly Conduct”
    Case Number: 8Z0249197
    2 February 2018: #4:
    Lynwood Municipal Court #5:
    Offense Description: “Resisting Arrest”
    Case Number: 8Z0249198
    2 February 2018 #5:
    Lynwood Municipal Court
    Offense Description: “Obstruct Law Enforcement Officer”

  29. Still would appreciate any follow-up on Umbrella Man and Pizza Guy.

    If there is someone else or someplace else that makes more sense, please note that link.

    Thanks.

  30. Thank you so much for calling Karlos Dillard out. It only took me one watching of the 10 plus minute video to see she was genuinely terrified and he was a liar (10 minutes and no proof of the alleged wrong). The above mentioned posting of his restraining order censored HIS address. If Karlos Dillard wasn’t such a lying pot stirrer he would be willing to post his address on social media, an act even he is unwilling to do due to the danger inherent in it.

  31. (The news cycle charges forward…)
    I would still appreciate it if you would pursue the Umbrella Man/Pizza Guy story.
    On re-reading your thread evidently Umbrella Man waited for protesters to be pushed towards the auto parts/ police precinct area before breaking the windows.
    This strongly suggests an agent provocateur trying to aid the “looting” narrative.
    Could you stick with this story?
    Have you talked with Elijah Easley?
    Have you talked with GreenEyedGypsy (?)
    Has anyone from mainstream media talked with the proposed police officer?

  32. (make that
    𓂀 Mama Minnie ☥
    @GypsyEyedBeauty )

    It’s is unfortunate that there is no direct link of your stories to the “Contact” comments to those stories.
    Also putting the most recent at the bottom of the thread doesn’t seem that helpful…
    Is all this just “journalism theater”?
    Thanks anyway for what you have put together previously.

  33. Ed, in some ways I genuinely feel for you.

    I think you still need to reckon, though, with the fact that the “comical” voices and/or personae you adopt are not perceived as such by the people you interact with – “not” as in “never.” And this is for the simple reason that most functioning adults don’t do shtick in ordinary everyday interaction. You may think you’re “doing a character,” in other words, but all anyone else sees is Ed being a douche. My unsolicited advice to you would be: never do that again. You’re obviously neither funny or charming enough to sell it. (That’s no crime, by the way, as virtually nobody is.)

    For what it’s worth, I read all 50,000 words of your self-justification, and it’s sadly clear to me that you still just don’t get it. It doesn’t matter what correspondence you reproduce in full in an attempt to exculpate yourself. You may feel that the content of your correspondence narrowly disproves some nasty thing that someone’s said about you, and in fact it may! But what the content of that correspondence makes much, much clearer still is how poor your judgment is, how tone-deaf you are on picking up on signals people are clearly sending, and incidentally just how exaggerated a sense you have of your own talent. I get that the world must seem like an unjust and bewildering place to you, and I’m sorry for that. But when you’re in the bottom of a ditch, most people understand that the best thing to do is stop digging.

  34. There are many people who disagree with your take and who get my work. I have 4500 followers on TikTok (earned over a few months) that regularly call me funny and charming. I’ve won awards for my audio drama. And I don’t particularly care what some cowardly fuck hiding behind a Jersey town name has to say about anything I do. What have you done? What have you attempted? My guess is nothing much at all. Go find a large forest to get lost in. Or come back with YOUR list of achievements and THEN we’ll talk.

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