The Linkstravaganza: Links on Links on Links Edition
This edition of the Linkstravaganza is particularly packed with stuff. Suffice it to say, it's been a pretty busy two weeks, so I won't bother you with much intro. On to the links!
First things first: Please go read Shea Serrano’s account of what it’s like to experience a hurricane hitting your town from far away. Then, please go find an organization that’s providing ongoing Hurricane Harvey relief. Then, please go find an organization providing Hurricane Irma relief. Then, please help both of those organizations out however you can. Then, please spread the word for other people to do the same. Please.
Michael Franco wrote a very basic beginner’s guide to Reddit for Lifehacker, which is excellent because I still don’t understand how to work the damn thing.
I don’t need to tell you how stupid ESPN’s handling of Jemele Hill and her tweets has been. But I will let The Ringer’s Bryan Curtis peel back the curtain on Hill’s life and career, and I will definitely let Charlie Pierce tell you about the changes to the journalistic profession that got us here.
It might be impossible to believe, but there was a New Orleans football player even more hyped than Leonard Fournette: Joe McKnight. He was “the next Reggie Bush,” but then his career faltered, and then he was killed in 2016. The Ringer’s Micah Peters, a Louisana native, reflects on McKnight’s life and death.
Marc Hogan, who’s pretty much an essential read when it comes to the music industry, writes about the phenomenon of respected indie bands transitioning to major labels for Pitchfork.
The Ringer’s Justin Charity looks at the incident in which YouTube personality PewDiePie used the n-word during a livestream and ponders whether copyright law might turn out to be an effective tool for developers to combat racism in the gaming industry.
Deadspin’s Felix Biederman explores the life of Rich Piana, a bodybuilder and YouTube star who died last month, and delves into the psyche of the “gymgoer.”
Some of you like baseball. Some of you are nerds. Some of you might even be both of those things, in which case you’ll enjoy physics professor David Kagan’s exploration of the physics behind pitches with “late break” for The Hardball Times. (Shouts to SB Nation’s awesome newsletter “Say Hey, Baseball!” for sourcing this.)
Kashmir Hill takes to the Gizmodo Special Projects Desk to remind us that Google is an incredibly powerful company, and that sometimes they use that power to push down ideas that don’t suit them.
If you are at all interested in sports journalism, please go take the time to read Laura Wagner’s massive Deadspin piece on how the SB Nation empire is built: namely, on a foundation of unpaid and underpaid workers. If you want more, read her follow-up about the site’s post-count quotas for the contributors it swears are just passionate fans.
“Stick to sports” is basically the dumbest thing you can say when an athlete or coach is unafraid to speak their mind or get political. Fortunately, people like Sacramento Kings coach David Fizdale and reigning NBA Rookie of the Year/my hero Malcolm Brogdon don’t listen.
Check out NPR’s Hazel Cills on how the concept of a personal music library has changed now that we largely pay for streaming access rather than real ownership. There are even references to the movie Diner if you’re into that sort of thing.
Netflix recommendation of the week: BoJack Horseman. Yes, it's an animated show where most of the characters are anthropomorphic animals. Yes, there's some absurd/cringey humor, and plenty of classic "Hollywood jokes on Hollywood" material. But underneath that surface, the show's fourth season, which dropped earlier this week, digs into depression and self-sabotage and asks some tough questions about whether we have the ability to dig ourselves out of a rut that it feels like we were born into.
And finally this week, this is the official french fry stance of It’s Pretty OK. Don’t @ us—or do, because steak fries are hot garbage.