I did this last year, so why not do it again? 2012 was a great year for reading long things in magazines and on websites that are neat, so here—in no particular order—are a few things that I found neat enough that I remembered them when I decided to make a list of neat things to read that are also long.
Want to read about a reclusive artist who’s a postman and designs in-demand scarves for Hermes? This is the story for you.
This one combines baseball and familial lore into one story that’s really got all the things you could want out of a story about either baseball family.
Finding out why a man would cheat at a marathon is just as interesting as finding out how he does it.
Sure, Colorado and Washington state have legalized it, but what does that really mean? A great example of how the more things change the more things stay the same.
1810. A freed slave in England becomes a boxer. It will make a better movie than Django Unchained if handled correctly. After reading this, the only reason to remain frustrated about Grantland is that everything they do isn’t as good as this.
About how young drug offenders wind up becoming police informants and have a strange habit of turning up dead. One of the those pieces that’s so great you don’t notice how it’s broken your heart until well after you’re done reading it.
An amiable relationship between two old men turns sour over a land dispute. One of them ends up dead and the two families start a feud. A fascinating look at an extreme example of being stubborn.
This story came out the same day as one on the same subject by Chris Jones in Esquire. What was lost in the ensuing conniption CJ threw—and possibly the source of it—is that Heath’s version is just plain better.
I’m going to be writing about video games, specifically the sports ones, for Complex.com. My first piece, about violent sports games, can be read here. I like it a lot, and I hope you do as well.
Here’s a deleted scene of one of the games that did not make the cut because it’s just too bizarre, but provides a nice window into how my brain works.
California Games might seem like a strange choice, but stay with me here. Have you seen the documentary The Bridge? It’s about suicides off the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s a very popular place to go and take pictures and video (touristy!). But it’s also a very popular place to go and end your life and wouldn’t you know it, these worlds collide frequently to form a Venn diagram of making-me-feel-miserable-when-all-I-was-doing-was-enjoying-some-Netflix-Instant-with-my-Chinese-food. Point is, if you have seen the documentary, you’ve seen people commit suicide and that’s a door that cannot be closed. Now, California Games is, on paper, a simple game. The cover is exactly how you think a NES game from the late-80s called California Games would look like: some babe (shot from the neck down, but you can just tell there’s a shitload of hairspray up top) in a yellow bikini has one hand on her hip and the other holds a frisbee. On her feet? Roller skates with white socks. She is ready for literally anything so long as flat surfaces are involved. She is flanked by a guy with a skateboard, a guy with a surfboard, and a guy on a BMX bike. If there was another dude with a hackysack, you would have all of the things you can do in this game: skate by board or by roller, toss a frisbee, go surfing, ride a BMX bike off some dirt jumps, and play hackysack. So where does the violence come? For the hackysack portion of the game the player—alone, presumably struggling against the wind—hackies and sacks and gets points. In the background? The Golden Gate Bridge. Think of all the hours spent playing a super-realistic game like California Games. Think of how many pixelated people took their lives. How many who just couldn’t pixelated go on anymore? All that pixelated anguish. California Games attacks its player with psychological violence. No other game on this list does that.
Man Pleased With Fantasy Football Team
Ever wonder where Heath Ledger took his inspiration for his role as the Joker in The Dark Knight? It’s been said that Ledger based his chaotic disheveled look on Sid Vicious, and incorporated some of Malcolm McDowell’s mannerisms from A Clockwork Orange. But what about the very distinct voice Ledger created for the Joker? Well, take a look at this Tom Waits interview from 1979 and see if it reminds you of anyone…
In honor of The Dark Knight Rises coming out:
Adam West on The Simpsons
For close to an eon, the Hanson Brothers were the only hipsters in sports. A trip to a minor league baseball game on a theme night solidified for me how sports-fandom and hipsterdom (or whatever) are not mutually exclusive and haven’t been for a while and why that’s wonderful. It’s here, on The Classical, so please go read it and refresh it a thousand times.
Good times in Greece.
This is my new favorite tweet. Whips!