The site Grantland was shut down last week, several months after Founding Editor Bill Simmons was fired by ESPN. The Sports and Pop Culture site featured an amazing collective of writers, and produced reams (digitally, of course, as well as printed quarterlies) of the best long-form writing and cultural analysis out there. There really was nothing like it and it will be difficult to replace. As soon as the news broke last Friday, countless stories and tributes went up, as well as collections of favorite stories. Of course, there were the haters as well, those who think Simmons is a fratty blowhard, and the type of self-involved, long-winded, bloggish writing his writers publish is obnoxious and overrated. Either way, below are some of the best Grantland-related links:
However, in other news, the amazing Pank Magazine has returned, after we all thought it was gone for good!
A great cultural history of Dungeons & Dragons.
The following story is really fascinating, about a girl who matched on Tinder with Martin Shkreli, the infamous douche-bro hedge fund dude who recently jacked up the price of the AIDS drug Daraprim by 5000%. Like most of the rest of America, I loathed him outright and wished horrible fates upon him. There is a need for pure villains in our society, and he fit the bill perfectly. But it’s more complicated when we dig beneath the surface and unearth the soft humanity in even the coldest, most amoral of hearts. Another iteration of what Hannah Arendt called “the banality of evil.”
Stunning poem by Gabrielle Calvocoressi.
The only horror movie I watched on Halloween was American Werewolf in London, one of the absolute classics of the genre. Afterwards, I read this great story of its making.
George Saunders writes a characteristically amazing personal artistic history.
Choir stalwart Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib is relentlessly prolific lately. It seems like every week we are blessed some new, heart-rendingly personal essay that makes you want to simultaneously weep and shout with joy. This one is no different.
Mary Karr, knockout poet and best-selling memoirist, just released her new book, The Art of Memoir. Here is the original “Art of the Memoir” from the Paris Review, a few years ago.
Two micros from Choirista Stevie Edwards.