The MonkeyPope Archives

My good friend is a brilliant writer, up there with Chuck Palahniuk and Chuck Klosterman in terms of modern men’s writing.  He’s created several blogs but he abandons them pretty quickly after some wonderful posts.  His emails are amazing, probably shareable mostly only to their original intended recipients.  But I wanted to save them and make them public.  I believe he could be a successful writer one day.  At any rate, one of the most talented writers I’ve ever read.

So I’ve put his works on my blog so that they’d stay on the net longer.  I put them under the MonkeyPope Archives category.  My favorites are his post on his final week of Airborne School, and his ridiculous résumé for Stilton Camembert, Esq., a chauvenistic modern-day elite gentleman who has turn-of-the-20th-century manners.

This guy is seriously good.  His name is MonkeyPope.

Basketball IQ

My buddy Chris and I spent most of the 2010-2011 Washington Wizards season in our season ticketholder seats amazed at John Wall, lamenting the Agent 0 trade, blown away by JaVale McGee’s both amazing dunks and stupendously retarded plays.  We’ve been discussing (measurable life qualities and reputation) and have now centered on a new subject:  basketball IQ (BBIQ).  It’s the difference between a pure talented kid with hops but no brains and a seasoned vet who knows how to use old man tricks, draw fouls, and make gamebreaking plays.

With Chris’s permission, here are our email exchanges related to BBIQ.

Chris – April 20

by the way, the knicks and celtics is such an intriguing series. I hate em both regular season, but I can’t help but root for the underdog knicks in the playoffs.

But Amare’s and Melo’s play in the final minutes of both games exemplify why I hate knicks fans. The fans acted like these guys were saviors — real top-tier talent, yet once again, they proved that they can’t win when it matters. Low bbiq or apathy or who knows. Billups is worth more than the two of them combined. The final two minutes of play is what separates a Jordan from a Malone, a Bird from a Barkley. Malone and Barkley were great players but very simple reason why they never won a championship — they couldn’t outplay anyone in the final two minutes of a game. The greats can. There’s a reason beyond luck why Robert Horry collected eight thousand championships — smart fucking player who was at his best in the final two minutes.

If fans can’t realize that, well, then they ain’t very good fans. Trust me, neither of these guys will end their careers in NY unless they get injured. They’ll get burned by the city and by the press for never delivering on their ‘promise’ (because they’re incapable of doing it) and they’ll demand a trade eventually to somewhere warmer, calmer, more accepting, like Phoenix or Portland.


Chris – May 6

Ok, I’ve been thinking about this a ton and still don’t have an answer. It made me realize a couple things:
  1. Advanced stats aren’t very advanced. The majority of advanced stats take the usual metrics (FGA. FTA, A, R, B, TO, Wins, etc) and weigh them according to arbitrary and/or stasticially proven standards. They’re just mashing up the same stats in different ways….for the most part.
  2. So we’re not measuring much of anything new.
  3. What would be a true advanced stat of a player’s capability?
  4. BBIQ would be a component of that. But it wouldn’t be the only thing. The guy with the highest BBIQ in the world might be a fat chain-smoking midget. Kinda useless.
BBIQ + athletic ability (speed, vertical leap, etc) + height/build (no tweeners, guys with long reach)
So how to define BBIQ?
  1. shot selection. Not shots made. Players should take shots that are consistently good shots for them. If a player averages 60% on FGA but routinely takes a shot from a specific spot on the floor that they only shoot 30%, that is stupid (extreme nearly impossible example, but you get the idea). Allen Iverson.
  2. Controlling possessions. You can’t score if you don’t have the ball. Sounds stupid but the obviousness of it makes it overlooked (cept when people are talking about Kevin Love). A:TO doesn’t make much sense (cept for PGs) because one is a measure of facilitating buckets; the other is a measure of lost possession. It’s not an apples to apples comparison. Need a stat that measure gaining (OR) or maintaining (not a TO!) possession versus losing possession (missing the OR, TO, shot clock expiring, ill-advised shot, poor pass that results in ill-advised shot).
  3. Not breaking plays unless the play must be broken. How to measure that? Freestyle players only work if they’re good enough to transcend the system. Kobe Bryant. When they’re not, they’re Stephon Marbury. How do you measure that?
  4. 2nd and 3rd assists. i’ve harped on this before, but Nash is a great example of a guy whose stats aren’t reflected well enough in the box. Time after time he sees the entire play unfolding and will make the pass that will facilitate the pass for the next pass for the bucket.
  5. Wins. If a player consistently wins…they gotta be doing something right, yeah? However, I don’t think the inverse is true. Klove is a very smart player stuck on a historically bad team with a bad coach and bad management. He shouldn’t be penalized for that (I think his MIP award was concurrence of that opinion. Interesting that his MIP could be considered an indictment of the Wolves organization).
What you got? What you think? BBIQ is ultimately measurable. It’s the how and in the beginning it would be a lil arbitrary in how we weigh the different factors, but it would resolve itself in the end.


Ben – May 9

Hmm, I think BBIQ is most easily detected on defense, because a lot of the stats are missing for that side of the game.  Defense is only quantified through RBD, ST, BS.  I know that the Mavs started measuring deflections and stuff like that.  Maybe you could measure how much time an opposing team takes to make a shot (e.g. did that possession result in 0secs left on shot clocks, for a TO?).  For BBIQ you could probably qualitatively come up with a good list.  For example, JaVale is automatically cut for either 1) that ridiculous dunk attempt from the FT line at the end of the game or 2) having a Twitter account where he refers to himself as Pierre.  DQs could also be for missing an easy layup, dunk, or even a FT.  Are there high BBIQ players that have low FT%?  Guessing not too much, but maybe there are some randoms.

So what if you started measuring things like pick/screen-assists, given to people who got a shooter free?  What about measuring successful boxouts limiting big rebounders?  Altered shots?  Battier-type stats.  Drawn charges.  Weakside blocks.  Double-team steals.  Those hustle plays.  Those things to me mean BBIQ.  But they could also be hustle.  I guess it’d have to be carefully broken down.

What about those players who are just kind of magic?  You know it when you see it.  The ones who somehow do something amazing, and make a great pass or shot when nothing was there…not lucky, but that extra spin or fake that makes it all work.  The ones who are always involved even if they’re not the ones scoring.  They have that intangibleness that immediately makes a team tougher.  Kind of like Chandler?  Or Ibaka on paint defense?


Chris – May 24

So, hear me out. Critics of Dave Berri say he overvalues rebounding.  Dave Berri says everyone else overvalues scoring (and he illustrates this by using WP to show that if most team’s top scorer was replaced by the same position average WP player, no chance in overall W/L). I think the truth is Dave Berri does not overvalue rebounding but still undervalues scoring.

Why? No matter what advanced stats show, all that matters in the end is who scores more. Who rebounding more? Doesn’t matter. Who had more assists? TOs? Shot a better FG? Doesn’t matter. The winner is decided only by score. It is the most important stat. So here’s how I’m starting to break it down.

A team has to maintain/gain possession AND capitalize on a possession (ie score) while denying the other team from doing the same. This is why Kevin Love is overrated in most advanced stats scoring. He rebounds like a motherfucker (maintain/gain possession) but he does not always capitalize on a possession. So stats that capitalize on a possession should be weighted more than those that don’t. So

  • maintain/gain possession
  • positive column
  • OR, DR, steal, Block, drawn charges
  • negative column
  • errant pass, stolen ball, missed rebound from poor positioning

Capitalize on a possession (*1.3?)

  • positive column
  • FGM (!), assists, 2/3rd assists
  • negative column
  • BA, FG missed

We gotta break down turnovers — are they turnovers that changed possession, e.g, a steal, OR turnovers that prevented a score and changed possession, ie a block (so yes, a block is much more valuable than a steal)? We also gotta break down fouls. This is important. A good sign of BBIQ would be a ratio of fouls committed to how many fouls the player causes their opponents to commit. Great players minimize their own fouls while forcing their opponent to sit on the bench. Moreover, did those fouls change possession OR resulted in free throws? A foul that results in free throws capitalizes on possession, ie it’s more valuable than a foul that simply changes/maintains possession, but yet we count all fouls the same right now.

So somewhere in all this would be my formula for a one be-all number — some ratio of how well a player maintains/gains possession, capitalizes on possession (all stats herein weighted arbitrarily higher than maintaining possession) versus how well they keep their opponent from doing the same.

Also, random thought — I was thinking about using FT% as an indicator of work ethic. Subjective? Yeah, but I bet most players who shoot over 85% work pretty hard on all aspects of their game, and again, most important thing to do is score while preventing your opponent from scoring. Would be interesting to check the stats of good FT shooters.


Ben – May 29

Okay, BBIQ.  Definitely free-throw shooting seems to be highly correlated with high BBIQ.  Also, I think a lot of stats are useless because as we both know, many games actually go down to the last 3 minutes, where they’re settled.  That’s when coaching, time management, running plays, execution, all make the difference between close wins or close losses.  How many games are blowouts?  Also, I think you could just do a crude add-up of high BBIQ or low BBIQ plays to get a rough idea of who to even consider for having any IQ at all.  Drawn charges, jumping into a defender to draw a foul.  On the bad side, getting a ticky tack and 1 foul on a layup where he should’ve let the ball handler just go.  Or getting 2 fouls early in the 1st quarter.  Shit like that.

I agree that scoring is overrated.  Once scorers go cold, the entire offense goes cold.  It’s easy to look like you’re good when you just make shots.  Maybe calculate easy scores off extra passes, or scores in the paint.  That’s why I’m worried about the Mavs vs. the Heat, because if Dirk is shut down or has off-par games, then the Mavs can’t win.  The Heat will go on fast break off misses and do well.  I was surprised the Bulls interior D didn’t do better against the Heat.  Anyway, I think the core metric for basketball is not scoring (Suns always sucked in crunchtime, while some teams like to win in low-scoring affairs), or possessions (any team v. the Suns could have higher possessions than average).  I’m not sure what that core metric is.  I would tend to err on the side of fundamentals — good FT, assists, ball movement will save a lot of headaches later.  I think there’s an added component to rebounding too by the way.  Rebounding has a psychological drain on your opponent.  If you keep getting rebounds, it really throws off the other team’s ability to run a fast break, and they will wonder if their hard work to stop a possession will be worth it if you keep getting the ball back.



MonkeyPope Archives: Stilton Camembert, Esq. on “Episodic Madge”, 22 Jun 09

[I have a friend who is an amazing writer but he tends to abandon his writing projects often. I wanted to save his writings for posterity and make them more widely available.  The MonkeyPope Archives contain his collected works.]


Stilton Camembert, Esq.

June 22, 2009

Episodic Madge

Eventually all of our inequities lay barren under the midday sun…and such it comes that I must speak of Madge’s. Dear gentle reader, is it my fault that I endeavor to maintain this veneer of nigh perfection for your sake? What would the lower classes aspire to if they ever knew that we too are beset with issues, albeit none pertaining to financial clemency or a dearth of education? What I speak of so circumspectly — my poor Madge had another one of her episodes. For some time now, she has been prone to these paroxysms of idiocy, as I call them. Speaks utter nonsense, issues dares that are not in the least daring, giggles incessantly, claims that ‘there may be more than all this’ with a dismissive wag of her finger and roll of her eyes, ad nauseam. The family and I felt we had little choice but to have her committed.
We found a lovely sanitarium in the Swiss Alps for her and I have been sojourning in a rustic cabin on the lake while awaiting her recovery, with a few trips to Monaco to enliven my mood. Switzerland can be so dreary.
Thus I have lacked opportunity to update this internet’s blog and the few opportunities I had, it would have been impertinent of me to have discussed the situation in detail. However, now I’ve come to believe that possibly the opprobrium of your class may be the only thing to shame my poor Madge back to her former glory. I would do almost anything for her, within acceptable limits.
Dear reader, please wish her a genuine and speedy recovery, as I wish your economy the same.
As the Swiss say…well, I don’t really talk much to the Swiss to be truthful. I mean, they’re Swiss. So I will have to say in my native and infinitely better tongue than theirs, until next time, I remain faithfully yours.

MonkeyPope Archives: Stilton Camembert, Esq. on “My Wife Discriminates Unfairly”, 25 Mar 09

[I have a friend who is an amazing writer but he tends to abandon his writing projects often. I wanted to save his writings for posterity and make them more widely available.  The MonkeyPope Archives contain his collected works.  Stilton Camembert, Esq. is a character of his who lives in modern-day but was forged in the chauvenism of the turn of last century.]

Stilton Camembert, Esq.

March 25, 2009

My Wife Discriminates Unfairly

Of late, Madge has been attempting to occupy my waning interest with talk of politics. Ludicrous. Apparently there is some hullabaloo regarding our new President of color. Seems to be the talk of her social circle, as if it is some great scandal. Really, I see no issue whatsoever. He seems a fine and capable man for such a position. Why would color matter in the least for political office? It has no bearing on his ability to ostensibly govern or to control the legislative bodies. After all, the President is the President, whatever color he/she may be.
Now if this President Obama were to amass a wealth on par with those of yesteryear, say that of Rockefeller, Hearst, or Carnegie, or even this nouveau riche Gates I’ve heard about, then of course that would be a reason for concern. Such a situation would be naturally unacceptable. But as it stands, he is merely the President.
And yes, I have heard of ‘Oprah.’ And she is fabulously wealthy. In fact, she’s had the pleasure of conversing with me at more than one cocktail party. I am quite fond of her, but I must set the record straight. I assure you, good reader, she is not black. It is a ruse…a ruse for rubes!
Still, it pains me to know that my wife has such misguided bias. Why can’t she share the enlightened view that color matters not in politics? Regardless of race, religion, color or creed, a politician is utterly useless. It is the giants of industry that pull all the strings and these politicians are the marionettes.
I hope in the least that my view of the matter has assisted your understanding, good reader, as I can not reconcile Madge’s perspective. Until next time, I am Stilton Camembert.

MonkeyPope Archives: Stilton Camembert, Esq. on “Telephonic Pitch for the Treatment for the Screenplay of ‘Kiss Me, You Moroni!”, 23 Mar 09

[I have a friend who is an amazing writer but he tends to abandon his writing projects often. I wanted to save his writings for posterity and make them more widely available.  The MonkeyPope Archives contain his collected works.  Stilton Camembert, Esq. is a character of his who lives in modern-day but was forged in the chauvenism of the turn of last century.]

“Look, I got a treatment in my hands here that I think you need to hear about. First of all, open mind. Outside the box here. Either sit down or pace cuz you’re gonna feel this one. Alright, here’s the set-up…you still there? Ok, here we go.”
“Cable mini-series…yeah, preferably, HBO will be interested. What’s been bread and butter of late?…No, no, shut up. Period pieces. Showtime’s The Tudors. HBO’s John Adams. Rome…Yeah…Right? Right? Well, check this out — a biography of Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Latter-day Saints.”
“What? No. Mormons, dude, mormons…Yeah, yeah, he founded the Mormon church…No, they have nobody in Hollywood. No one in politics either…Absolutely nothing to do with Scientology. Totally in the clear…But let me finish. There’s a twist.”
“You ready for this? A musical…Well, why the fuck not a musical?…I know Rome wasn’t a fucking musical. That would have looked a little fucking silly, don’t you think? Can’t quite do high kicks wearing leather skirts…This is completely different…and no, not just because they wore fucking pants or knickers or what the fuck ever in 19th century America. Jesus. This is capitalizing on the zeitgeist, man! People want musicals, they want happy! Look at the fucking economy! You know what feels good when you have no money, no food, and can’t provide for your kids? A fucking musical! A singing, dancing, praising musical!…I know, right?”
“You’re seeing it now…yeah…yeah…totally. Basically West Side Story meets John Adams meets The Tudors meets Jesus of Nazareth…well, I mention the Tudors cuz there’s lots of period sex in that. You know, old British big dresses, bustiers, and tits hanging out and shit…oh, John Adams cuz it’s American, man, appeals to patriotism…yeah, Jesus cuz it’s religious. Well, kinda, I mean they’re Mormon.”
“Actually, no. I’m thinking unauthorized. Unapproved. Makes it sound more daring…plus, I don’t think the Mormon church would be too happy about us explicitly showing how polygamous Joseph Smith was…oh yeah, sleeping with people’s daughters, multiple wives, arrested, ran out of towns, tarred and feathered, excommunicated, received revelations from God…it totally does sound like a soap opera. And it sounds like a fucking hit! So whaddya think?”
“Great, great, that’s what I thought. Let me call my people and we’ll get a draft together, ship it off to ya, and then we’ll start shopping the bitch…oh, the title? Jeez, my bad. It’s ‘Kiss Me, You Moroni!’…Why not Mormon? What are you, retarded? Moroni was the angel that first visited Joseph Smith…yeah, I know. It is genius. Alright, let me get to work on this. Peace out, holmes.”

MonkeyPope Archives: Stilton Camembert, Esq. on “Rogue Postings Undoubtedly the Work of Savage…Rogues”, 22 Mar 09

[I have a friend who is an amazing writer but he tends to abandon his writing projects often. I wanted to save his writings for posterity and make them more widely available.  The MonkeyPope Archives contain his collected works.  Stilton Camembert, Esq. is a character of his who lives in modern-day but was forged in the chauvenism of the turn of last century.]

March 22, 2009

Rogue Postings Undoubtedly the Work of Savage…Rogues

Dear Gentle Reader,
Unfortunately it seems some vulgar youths have attempted to corrupt my website on this internet. I assure you that I never intended any sort of offense of the likes they have orchestrated. All attempts are being made to remove said vulgarities post-haste. I hope this disturbance has not upset the equanimity of your being or in the least unsettled the blossoming nature of our relationship.
Steadfastly Yours,

MonkeyPope Archives: Stilton Camembert, Esq. on “Apologies Again”, 22 Mar 09

[I have a friend who is an amazing writer but he tends to abandon his writing projects often. I wanted to save his writings for posterity and make them more widely available.  The MonkeyPope Archives contain his collected works.  Stilton Camembert, Esq. is a character of his who lives in modern-day but was forged in the chauvenism of the turn of last century.]

Stilton Camembert, Esq.

Apologies Again

Possibly this is more trouble than it is worth! These newfangled technologies will doom us all to an electronic hell! I swear when my manservant, a small obsequious Oriental with an unpronounceable name, provides dictation, I encounter none such problems as these!
Again, gentle reader, I am forced to apologize for acts I neither committed nor had the power to prevent. The last posting regarding an apparent transcription of a telephone call was not under my name or authority. The only possible explanation is that these internets became confused with other wires. I must contact these ‘wordpressers’ and see what they are about. In the meantime, I assure you that Stilton here is in fine shape and I am enjoying the company of an old colleague of mine, Bob Stewart. We are relaxing upon my father’s palatial estate located on a small, private island off Cuba, which we normally occupy briefly in March and April. Chin chin is nowhere to be found, but we are perfectly capable of mixing our own drinks these days. We are men after all. Oh, Chin chin is what I call my Oriental. I don’t mean to sound crass nor demean the man in any manner for he is a loyal and capable companion, but I swear, one would have to have three tongues to pronounce that man’s name properly.
At any rate, dear Mr. Stewart has express interest in these internets and does pray that I permit him to post a story or two of his. As they are of such remarkable interest, I can’t see how I could possibly say no! I dare say, gentle reader, you are in for a treat once that day comes.
Well, to the setting sun and men of vigor and leisure, I say adieu!

MonkeyPope Archives: Stilton Camembert, Esq. on “Pussy Steamroller by Pussy Steamroller and The Quartet Five guest starring Lil Vag da Fifth”, 10 Mar 09

Stilton Camembert, Esq.

March 10, 2009

Pussy Steamroller by Pussy Steamroller and The Quartet Five guest starring Lil Vag da Fifth

You think it’s safe to walk the streets at night
cuz your boyfriend is always ready for the fight
but what you don’t know
is I fuck you ho’s
and I’m unstoppa-bo
Pussy steamroller gonna ruin you, a’ight?
I flatten your va-jay-jay
lay your flaps out like a pancake
little man in the boat
better jump ship
cuz that clit’s gonna look like a split lip
yo, I rhyme my verse and I rhyme my verse quick
And if you talk shit, I’ll steamroll you with my dick
[chorus sung by the pussy-having ladies]
Pussy steamroller, pussy steamroller
Pussy, pussy steamroller
Mmm, flatten my va-jay-jay, baby
[female rapper] My pussy‘s a silly little bitch
won’t talk no sense
Every now and then I get to thinking
Shit! I’m a bitch and shouldn’t be thinking!
I best be drinking
Pull up my skirt and take me from behind
Steamroll my ass till my juices run down my thigh
I’m your construction site
And you one Catepillar motherfucka
Yo, that’s trademarked….
Pussy Steamroller, Pussy steamroller
Pussy, pussy steamroller
mmm, flatten my va-jay-jay, baby
Yeah, if pussies could talk and pussies could walk
Then they’d get in a line to get steamrolled by my cock
And if pussies could sing and if pussies could dream
then every night they’d cream and scream
ain’t no nightmare, ain’t no lie
Pussy steamroller all up in your eye
[chorus repeats while rapper yells the following]
One Catepillar motherfucka, motherfucka!
I romanticize the shit! Give you something you’ll never forget!
Flowers are for faggots! I know what you want and you’ll take it!
Shut the fuck up and let yo’ pussy do the talking!
Then I’ll make it shut the fuck up, too!!

MonkeyPope Archives: Stilton Camembert, Esq. on “Theme Rap for When Me and Obi-Wan Kick Some Zombie Ass”, 09 Mar 09

[I have a friend who is an amazing writer but he tends to abandon his writing projects often. I wanted to save his writings for posterity and make them more widely available.  The MonkeyPope Archives contain his collected works.  Stilton Camembert, Esq. is a character of his who lives in modern-day but was forged in the chauvenism of the turn of last century.]

Stilton Camembert, Esq.

March 9, 2009

Theme Rap for When Me and Obi-wan Kick Some Zombie Ass

Hold up, Obi-wan
let me grab my gun
oh shit, here they come!
I’ll kill em one-by-one
you pull some jedi tricks
do some cool ass kicks
they be suckin your jedi dick
damn, your moves are slick
you’re are only hope
cuz your moves are so dope
you’re more badass than the pope
can’t even fucking cope
the living dead think they bad
think the living have been had
but you know it’s kinda sad
chopped up cuz my jedi’s kinda mad
and don’t play me like a chump
I kill em like they forrest gump
piles of bloody stumps
and my hair’s still perfect like the Trump
So when judgment day comes
and you all bumming like fucking bums
me and my jedi gonna come get some
ain’t got nowhere left to run
Stay fresh, motherfuckas!

MonkeyPope Archives: Stilton Camembert, Esq. on “The Resume of Stilton Camembert, Esq.”, 08 Mar 09

[I have a friend who is an amazing writer but he tends to abandon his writing projects often. I wanted to save his writings for posterity and make them more widely available.  The MonkeyPope Archives contain his collected works.  Stilton Camembert, Esq. is a character of his who lives in modern-day but was forged in the chauvenism of the turn of last century.]

Stilton Camembert, Esq.

March 8, 2009

The Resume of Stilton Camembert, Esq.

Welcome! As it is impossible to make a formal, proper introduction in our online forum, I am resorting to a novel technique to make your acquaintance. It has come to my attention that the other classes use these ‘resumes’ as a means of applying for work. How bizarre! But as it has piqued my fancy, I present to you the resume of Stilton Camembert, Esq.

N.B. I am of course not applying for any sort of formal work. I would be appalled if I gave that impression. Secondly, I am new to this internet and I ask that if you are to read my site, please possess a sense of culture and be clean.

Stilton Camembert, Esq.
Residing at Multiple Resorts
Contact my secretary by means of your secretary

To be appreciated for my sense fashion and exceptional nose for wine; to engage in leisurely activities along the French Riviera; to be sailed; to witness abominable acts and comment in a manner apathetic and pithy; to impregnate with impunity, in fact to do all things with impunity, especially if the objects of my actions belong to the petit bourgeois.
Private Schooling since Youth. I refrain from naming my alma mater for fear of embarrassing those who did not attend it. I majored and minored in subjects my father thought would be beneficial, but for the life of me, I can’t recall them. Also active in a number of clubs, both country and social, all private.
Professional Experience
Please, I am not a field hand. If you seek someone with callouses and burnt skin, then I beg of you to disengage from my acquaintance.
Well yes, I am of some refinement from years of training. What more would one require?
Observing Polo, tea sandwiches (they are so dainty!), collecting harpsichords, gin, daydreaming I am a British officer at the height of Imperialism, and mild buggery