Mitch Moxley

Writer//Editor//Brooklyn NY

Mitch's writing has appeared in GQ, The New York Times Magazine, Playboy, The Atavist MagazineThe Atlantic, The California Sunday MagazineGrantland, Slate, Men's Journal, the Wall Street Journal, TIME, Esquire, the Globe and Mail, The Walrus, Maclean's, and elsewhere. Below are some sample articles.

The script called for an epic battle. In the movie’s third act, the forces of the Eight Faery Kingdoms defend their aquatic empires from annihilation by the evil Demon Mage and his spectral legions. Five hundred extras would play the opposing armies. But in January 2010, when Jonathan Lawrence, the director ofEmpires of the Deep, showed up for the shoot, in Qinyu, a resort town in coastal China, he saw only about 20 extras, mostly ornery Russians complaining that they hadn’t been paid in weeks. How would he turn 20 people into 500? On top of that, their costumes—swamp green rubber suits decorated with scales, octopus suckers, and shells—looked like poorly made Halloween getups. Some of them had fins glued to their heads. ... READ MORE

The script called for an epic battle. In the movie’s third act, the forces of the Eight Faery Kingdoms defend their aquatic empires from annihilation by the evil Demon Mage and his spectral legions. Five hundred extras would play the opposing armies.

But in January 2010, when Jonathan Lawrence, the director ofEmpires of the Deep, showed up for the shoot, in Qinyu, a resort town in coastal China, he saw only about 20 extras, mostly ornery Russians complaining that they hadn’t been paid in weeks. How would he turn 20 people into 500? On top of that, their costumes—swamp green rubber suits decorated with scales, octopus suckers, and shells—looked like poorly made Halloween getups. Some of them had fins glued to their heads. ... READ MORE

Every foreigner living in China has his share of China Stories. Jonathan Kos-Read has more than his share. Here’s one: Not long ago, the 43-year-old American actor received a call with an offer to appear in “Ip Man 3,” the third in a series of biopics about Bruce Lee’s martial-arts master. The role was small, but his agent negotiated what Kos-Read considered an “outrageous” amount of money for it, and the producers agreed. Kos-Read was thrilled until he read the script and noticed another part for a foreign actor — a bigger and better role as a mobster named Frank. This was troubling. Kos-Read, who is known in China only as Cao Cao, is by far the leading foreign actor working in the country today, having appeared in about 100 movies and television programs since his career began in 1999. He is famous throughout the mainland, and his career has been on a steady upward trajectory. Last December he appeared in the action film “Mojin — The Lost Legend,” currently the fifth-highest-grossing movie in Chinese history. Who, Kos-Read wondered, would the producers have cast instead of him? ... READ MORE

Every foreigner living in China has his share of China Stories. Jonathan Kos-Read has more than his share. Here’s one: Not long ago, the 43-year-old American actor received a call with an offer to appear in “Ip Man 3,” the third in a series of biopics about Bruce Lee’s martial-arts master. The role was small, but his agent negotiated what Kos-Read considered an “outrageous” amount of money for it, and the producers agreed. Kos-Read was thrilled until he read the script and noticed another part for a foreign actor — a bigger and better role as a mobster named Frank.

This was troubling. Kos-Read, who is known in China only as Cao Cao, is by far the leading foreign actor working in the country today, having appeared in about 100 movies and television programs since his career began in 1999. He is famous throughout the mainland, and his career has been on a steady upward trajectory. Last December he appeared in the action film “Mojin — The Lost Legend,” currently the fifth-highest-grossing movie in Chinese history. Who, Kos-Read wondered, would the producers have cast instead of him? ... READ MORE

Meet Ruby Temptations. That’s her, spread-eagle and nude from the waist down on a king-size bed in the sun-drenched penthouse of the Berlin Sheraton, surrounded by a roomful of vibrators and dildos. Ruby, a 20-year-old adult-film actress from the United Kingdom with strawberry-blonde hair and porcelain skin, is a girl-next-door type—if the girl next door had double-D breasts and had filmed 40-odd scenes in just three months in the porn industry. Ultimately Ruby wants to move her career across the pond to Los Angeles. The scene is “slightly more seedy in the U.K.,” she says. But first, a mold of Ruby’s vulva will be created for a line of adult toys, which she hopes will jump-start her American ambitions. For that to happen, her crotch must be 3-D scanned, and that’s why she finds herself in Berlin. A few weeks ago, Ruby entered an online vulva beauty contest organized by sex-toy entrepreneur Brian Sloan, the brains behind a wildly successful crowdfunded blow-job machine called the Autoblow 2. In all, 182 women submitted close-up photos of their vulvas, and more than 2.7 million votes were cast. Sloan flew the winners and a handful of runners-up, including Ruby, to Germany for the scanning. Likenesses of their privates will be available as removable synthetic sleeves for Sloan’s signature Autoblow product sometime this summer, as well as for 3Fap, a new multi-orifice masturbation toy. But first, Sloan is scanning the women himself. ... READ MORE

Meet Ruby Temptations. That’s her, spread-eagle and nude from the waist down on a king-size bed in the sun-drenched penthouse of the Berlin Sheraton, surrounded by a roomful of vibrators and dildos. Ruby, a 20-year-old adult-film actress from the United Kingdom with strawberry-blonde hair and porcelain skin, is a girl-next-door type—if the girl next door had double-D breasts and had filmed 40-odd scenes in just three months in the porn industry. Ultimately Ruby wants to move her career across the pond to Los Angeles. The scene is “slightly more seedy in the U.K.,” she says.

But first, a mold of Ruby’s vulva will be created for a line of adult toys, which she hopes will jump-start her American ambitions. For that to happen, her crotch must be 3-D scanned, and that’s why she finds herself in Berlin. A few weeks ago, Ruby entered an online vulva beauty contest organized by sex-toy entrepreneur Brian Sloan, the brains behind a wildly successful crowdfunded blow-job machine called the Autoblow 2. In all, 182 women submitted close-up photos of their vulvas, and more than 2.7 million votes were cast. Sloan flew the winners and a handful of runners-up, including Ruby, to Germany for the scanning. Likenesses of their privates will be available as removable synthetic sleeves for Sloan’s signature Autoblow product sometime this summer, as well as for 3Fap, a new multi-orifice masturbation toy. But first, Sloan is scanning the women himself. ... READ MORE

Kim Jong-il loved the movies.After a hard day running the world's most oppressive regime, the jumpsuit-clad dictator would, according to local lore, repair to his private cinema deep inside a Pyongyang bunker, where he'd select his entertainment from a collection of 20,000 videos. The Dear Leader, who ruled North Korea from 1994 to 2011, was reputed to worship Rambo, and it requires little imagination to picture him chortling at the explosions, the macho dialogue, the buxom actresses, the sheer charisma of the vigilante. Comrade Kim—whose official titles included Iron-Willed Brilliant Commander and Guiding Star of the Twenty-first Century—died in 2011, and yet he attends the movies still, in a manner of speaking. Here he is now, in a sprawling mural on the wall of the Ponghwa Art Theatre lobby, standing alongside his father, the Great Leader and Eternal President Kim Il-sung, surrounded by smiling soldiers and dancing women and cheering masses. Together they welcome guests and delegates to a very special event: the opening ceremony of the biennial Pyongyang International Film Festival. ... READ MORE

Kim Jong-il loved the movies.After a hard day running the world's most oppressive regime, the jumpsuit-clad dictator would, according to local lore, repair to his private cinema deep inside a Pyongyang bunker, where he'd select his entertainment from a collection of 20,000 videos. The Dear Leader, who ruled North Korea from 1994 to 2011, was reputed to worship Rambo, and it requires little imagination to picture him chortling at the explosions, the macho dialogue, the buxom actresses, the sheer charisma of the vigilante.

Comrade Kim—whose official titles included Iron-Willed Brilliant Commander and Guiding Star of the Twenty-first Century—died in 2011, and yet he attends the movies still, in a manner of speaking. Here he is now, in a sprawling mural on the wall of the Ponghwa Art Theatre lobby, standing alongside his father, the Great Leader and Eternal President Kim Il-sung, surrounded by smiling soldiers and dancing women and cheering masses. Together they welcome guests and delegates to a very special event: the opening ceremony of the biennial Pyongyang International Film Festival. ... READ MORE

The day I fly from New York to Miami to attend a kidnap prevention and survival course, I read an article about a foiled abduction of two Americans at a barbershop in Yemen. The kidnappers, it turned out, had chosen their victims poorly: One was a United States Special Ops commando, the other a CIA officer, both attached to the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen’s capital. The Americans shot and killed their would-be abductors. They had followed Andy “Orlando” Wilson’s Golden Rule of surviving a kidnapping: Don’t get kidnapped. ... READ MORE

The day I fly from New York to Miami to attend a kidnap prevention and survival course, I read an article about a foiled abduction of two Americans at a barbershop in Yemen. The kidnappers, it turned out, had chosen their victims poorly: One was a United States Special Ops commando, the other a CIA officer, both attached to the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen’s capital. The Americans shot and killed their would-be abductors. They had followed Andy “Orlando” Wilson’s Golden Rule of surviving a kidnapping: Don’t get kidnapped. ... READ MORE

DAY 1—April 26, 2013 The crew calls it a vessel. Not a boat, or a ship, or a freighter. A vessel. The most common topic of conversation among the sailors, when they bother to talk to one another, is how much they loathe being onboard the vessel—three-month stretches for the European officers, six-months at a time for the Filipino seamen—and the most common question for me, the MV Hanjin Geneva’s lone passenger, is “Why are you on this vessel?” said with raised eyebrows and an amused smile that suggests, You’re a fucking moron. ... READ MORE

DAY 1—April 26, 2013

The crew calls it a vessel. Not a boat, or a ship, or a freighter. A vessel. The most common topic of conversation among the sailors, when they bother to talk to one another, is how much they loathe being onboard the vessel—three-month stretches for the European officers, six-months at a time for the Filipino seamen—and the most common question for me, the MV Hanjin Geneva’s lone passenger, is “Why are you on this vessel?” said with raised eyebrows and an amused smile that suggests, You’re a fucking moron. ... READ MORE

Not so long ago, I played the worst basketball game of my life. I missed layups, turned over the ball, allowed my opponent free reign to the hoop. It was dark. As I slumped on the sidelines after the game, I realized how far I'd fallen from my prime a decade ago. Back then, I could dunk; now, at 33, I could barely curl my fingers over the rim. My game had regressed to hovering around the arc jacking threes. The last time I dunked a basketball, Michael Jordan was a Washington Wizard and people still listened to Coldplay. ... READ MORE

Not so long ago, I played the worst basketball game of my life. I missed layups, turned over the ball, allowed my opponent free reign to the hoop. It was dark. As I slumped on the sidelines after the game, I realized how far I'd fallen from my prime a decade ago. Back then, I could dunk; now, at 33, I could barely curl my fingers over the rim. My game had regressed to hovering around the arc jacking threes. The last time I dunked a basketball, Michael Jordan was a Washington Wizard and people still listened to Coldplay. ... READ MORE

Sebastian Petion slumped on the court, wearing a red warm-up top over his team’s school-bus yellow uniform, legs stretched in front of him, exhausted before the championship game even tipped off. The crowd was still trickling into the outdoor arena, which had developed a block party vibe. Spectators lingered on the court drinking chilled cans of Prestige, Haiti’s most popular beer, while snacking on dried plantains that vendors sold from baskets carried atop their heads. Petion’s team, Bongu — a contraction of bon gou, which means “tasty” in Haitian Creole — is named after its sponsor, a company that produces food and household goods. The players had been warming up for 45 minutes in the 90-degree heat. It was 7 p.m. — an hour after the game was loosely scheduled to start. “It’s taking too long, man,” Petion muttered. “Everything starts late in Haiti.” ... READ MORE (photo: Michael Magers)

Sebastian Petion slumped on the court, wearing a red warm-up top over his team’s school-bus yellow uniform, legs stretched in front of him, exhausted before the championship game even tipped off. The crowd was still trickling into the outdoor arena, which had developed a block party vibe. Spectators lingered on the court drinking chilled cans of Prestige, Haiti’s most popular beer, while snacking on dried plantains that vendors sold from baskets carried atop their heads.

Petion’s team, Bongu — a contraction of bon gou, which means “tasty” in Haitian Creole — is named after its sponsor, a company that produces food and household goods. The players had been warming up for 45 minutes in the 90-degree heat. It was 7 p.m. — an hour after the game was loosely scheduled to start. “It’s taking too long, man,” Petion muttered. “Everything starts late in Haiti.” ... READ MORE (photo: Michael Magers)

Tonight is trash night in Lower Manhattan, and where there is trash, there are rats. New York City has a lot of both. The city’s residents and businesses produce about 50,000 tons of residential and commercial waste each day, much of it food waste—uneaten bagels and unwanted pizza crusts, fish bones and meat scraps, coffee grounds and vegetable peels. In every neighborhood and borough, trash is collected in plastic bags and stored in apartment building courtyards and alleyway bins. On pickup days, which vary depending on neighborhood, bags are stacked high on sidewalks and left to sit, sometimes for hours, sometimes overnight—rotting and reeking—until a garbage truck comes to haul them away. For a rat, the time in between is the Golden Hour: the time to feed. ... READ MORE (Photo: Bonnie Arbittier)

Tonight is trash night in Lower Manhattan, and where there is trash, there are rats. New York City has a lot of both. The city’s residents and businesses produce about 50,000 tons of residential and commercial waste each day, much of it food waste—uneaten bagels and unwanted pizza crusts, fish bones and meat scraps, coffee grounds and vegetable peels. In every neighborhood and borough, trash is collected in plastic bags and stored in apartment building courtyards and alleyway bins. On pickup days, which vary depending on neighborhood, bags are stacked high on sidewalks and left to sit, sometimes for hours, sometimes overnight—rotting and reeking—until a garbage truck comes to haul them away. For a rat, the time in between is the Golden Hour: the time to feed. ... READ MORE (Photo: Bonnie Arbittier)

HELLO PLEASE SOUND HORN PLEASE. These words are painted on the back of a truck passing me on a highway in the state of Kerala, in southwestern India. It’s a massive truck, a blue whale of a truck compared with my minnow of a vehicle. And it’s not alone. I’m driving a seven-horsepower, two-stroke, three-wheeled auto rickshaw—ubiquitous in Indian cities, and designed for ferrying passengers a few blocks, not for trekking across the country, which is exactly what four friends and I will attempt over the next two weeks. We’ll travel 2,500 miles to Shillong, in northeastern India, in a pair of vehicles whose average speed is about 25 miles an hour. These are tiny machines; my 6-foot-3-inch frame barely fits in the driver’s seat, and to tap the brake, I have to stick my knee through the opening to my left, where, on a less crazy automobile, you’d expect to find a door. ... READ MORE

HELLO PLEASE SOUND HORN PLEASE.

These words are painted on the back of a truck passing me on a highway in the state of Kerala, in southwestern India. It’s a massive truck, a blue whale of a truck compared with my minnow of a vehicle. And it’s not alone.

I’m driving a seven-horsepower, two-stroke, three-wheeled auto rickshaw—ubiquitous in Indian cities, and designed for ferrying passengers a few blocks, not for trekking across the country, which is exactly what four friends and I will attempt over the next two weeks. We’ll travel 2,500 miles to Shillong, in northeastern India, in a pair of vehicles whose average speed is about 25 miles an hour. These are tiny machines; my 6-foot-3-inch frame barely fits in the driver’s seat, and to tap the brake, I have to stick my knee through the opening to my left, where, on a less crazy automobile, you’d expect to find a door. ... READ MORE

Not long ago I was offered work as a quality-control expert with an American company in China I’d never heard of. No experience necessary—which was good, because I had none. I’d be paid $1,000 for a week, put up in a fancy hotel, and wined and dined in Dongying, an industrial city in Shandong province I’d also never heard of. The only requirements were a fair complexion and a suit. ... READ MORE

Not long ago I was offered work as a quality-control expert with an American company in China I’d never heard of. No experience necessary—which was good, because I had none. I’d be paid $1,000 for a week, put up in a fancy hotel, and wined and dined in Dongying, an industrial city in Shandong province I’d also never heard of. The only requirements were a fair complexion and a suit. ... READ MORE

In the Mongolian capital Ulan Bator, "Shoot the Chinese" is spray-painted on a brick wall near a movie theater. A pair of swastikas and the words "Killer Boys ...! Danger!" can be read on a fence in an outlying neighborhood of yurt dwellings. Graffiti like this, which can be found all over the city, is the work of Mongolia's neo-Nazis, an admittedly implausible but often intimidating, and occasionally violent, movement. (Photo: James Wasserman) ... READ MORE

In the Mongolian capital Ulan Bator, "Shoot the Chinese" is spray-painted on a brick wall near a movie theater. A pair of swastikas and the words "Killer Boys ...! Danger!" can be read on a fence in an outlying neighborhood of yurt dwellings. Graffiti like this, which can be found all over the city, is the work of Mongolia's neo-Nazis, an admittedly implausible but often intimidating, and occasionally violent, movement. (Photo: James Wasserman) ... READ MORE

OTHER ARTICLES:

Superman of Havana, Roads & Kingdoms (December 2015)

The Hard Stuff, The California Sunday Magazine (November 2015)

How To Make Therapy Actually Work, GQ (October 2014)

New York's Chinese Supper ClubRoads & Kingdoms (March 2014)

Fear and Loathing at the China Daily, The Atlantic (Aug. 3, 2013)

The Problem with Hollywood's China PanderingEsquire (Aug. 29, 2013)

Why Are the Chinese So Sad? Maclean's (February 2013)

A Perfectly Imperfect Beijing Day, the Globe and Mail (Sept. 24, 2012)

In China's Hawaii, Surf Boards and Blue Jeans, the Globe and Mail (Oct. 19, 2011)

Chollywood Confidential: Behind the scenes of China's booming film industry, The Atlantic (July 2011)

The Mysteries of Myanmar, the Globe and Mail, Feb. 26, 2010)

Chasing the Iron Rooster: Riding the Rails in China, the Globe and Mail (Oct. 29, 2010)

Camping on the Great Wall, the Globe and Mail (July 31, 2009)

The Peace Plus One Social Club: Inside the budding Chinese environmental movement, The Walrus (June 2009)

Beyond the Bunny Hill in Beijing, the Globe and Mail (Feb. 7, 2009)

Do Avatars Dream of Electric Streets? A virtual fantasia of China, The Walrus (September 2008)

The Fog of War: Agent Orange Still Poisons Vietnam's Water, Soil and Blood, Maisonneuve (May 2006)

@mitch_moxley