Tag Archives: media

Monday 06/26 2017
Remembering Frank Deford

“When people ask me why I write about sports, instead of some or any other thing, I tell them this: when it comes to social constructs—the membranes and ligaments which hold groups of people together, the bonding agents not visible on a map or in a flag, things that tie us together socially, not politically—there are only three which can rightfully claim true and enduring power: religion, war, and sport.

Those three social constructs reach, bring together, and separate more people than art or music or movies (both so close!) or literature or whatever else is generally deemed “more important” than sport.

And so, should not our writers who cover so important a social construct be admired and examined with the love and seriousness commensurate with what they cover? All of which is a long way of saying, sport matters, sportswriting matters, and Frank Deford was a fantastic sportswriter. His writing matters, and so does he.

And what fucking writing! Go on ahead and Google an image of Deford, because the easiest way to explain his rhetorical stylings is to say that he wrote how he looked. Unafraid of the purple and being picaresque, large but not bulky or intimidating, charming but not unctuous. He’s a rakish hero, broad shouldered and be-pompadoured, glossy and flashy but never to the point of inelegance.”

Read the rest in The Classical

Thursday 02/2 2017
Cat Marnell’s Amphetamine Memoir and How We View Addiction

“While at Lawrence Academy in Groton, Massachusetts, Marnell is introduced to Ritalin and the entire trajectory of her life changes. Armed with a methylphenidate prescription, her grades soar, along with her social status. The performance-enhanced work/play dichotomy first established at Lawrence is repeated throughout the rest of the book, throughout the rest of her career; it is the speed which helps her rip through the hallowed halls of Condé Nast like garden shears through satin, pushes her into parties past dawn, sends her careening about the streets of Alphabet City, fitting in to exceptional designer jeans as she chases more drugs, work and people.

The image of the addict as hopelessly in the gutter, completely incapable of functioning, is torn asunder. She has crippling depressive periods, of course, wherein she does nothing for days, weeks, months, but Marnell is a voltaic little bee for much of her memoir, omnipresent around Magazine World. It would be impossible to deny her work ethic, drug-derived or not; Marnell’s desire to work in magazines and publishing is a constant lodestar, even if one being navigated while on a particularly unstable fuel source.”

Read the rest of my feature-cum-review of Marnell’s memoir at Paste

Saturday 10/15 2016
People Over Pictures

“Rather than shooting away and then gathering names and information, Schukar spent time with the protestors, learning about them and why they were there. The information informed her photos, becoming images of people rather than Pipeline construction and protests. “I’m much more interested in people than I am in photography,” she says.”

Read the rest of my profile of photojournalist Alyssa Schukar in The Creators Project

Thursday 07/21 2016
Johnny and Tara Take Sports

“That “entertainment factor” is what led NBC to promote Weir and Lipinski to the top broadcasting slot for figure skating in the run up to PyeongChang 2018, and propelled them to be the delightfully different voices at such venerable sporting institutions as the Super Bowl and the Kentucky Derby and, now, the Summer Olympics. It is what keeps their social media feeds humming with roughly half a million followers, and also what caused my non-sports-fan friends to gush pronouncements of love for the pair when I told them about my assignment, and that is what makes them so important. In a sports-media landscape choked with old white guys offering hot takes, where antiquated notions of toughness and “honor” are conflated with masculinity and used to obfuscate or excuse violence and misogyny, Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski bring something beyond entertainment and knowledge. They bring inclusiveness.”

Read the rest at VICE Sports

Monday 03/7 2016
Beyond the Crimson Veil (With Apologies to Doctor Strange)

“Holmquist’s tale is one of super-heroics, for the most part, the delightfully abstracted figures of his  paintings—long, electric, possessing in the them the quality of dancers, shimmering like Wonder Woman’s gauntlets or Superman’s curl with sprayed enamel and Holmquist’s proprietary quick-drying paint mixture, which allowed for the celerity of their creation, which in turn allows for these heavy and gorgeous paintings-as-sculptures to seem, despite the obvious weight of their application and density, impossibly fast, alive—moving throughout the exhibition and gallery and even dimensions, their powers seeming most like Doctor Strange’s, the man who walks through worlds … there they are in a painting! Again in a sculpture! Again in costume! Again in film!”

Read the rest of my review of Andrew Holmquist’s Carrie Secrist Gallery exhibition Stage Left at New American Paintings

Friday 06/13 2014
Death & Sportswriting in the Digital Age

“A girl died in southeastern Pennsylvania. A mere 16 years of age, she was driving a 2004 Honda Civic on Bethel Church Road. She lost control of the vehicle, skittering across the median into the southbound lane before striking a tree, slamming metal and plastic and bark and bone. Rescued from the crash, she was driven to the hospital, where she would pass away shortly after the accident.

The typical types of descriptors were bandied about; bright, music loving and much missed by family and friends. A varsity soccer player at one of the high schools on my beat, her team was to take the field for the first time without her on my assignment. Purple headbands and wristbands were there–purple had been her favorite color–and the emotion was palpable. I made the requisite mention of her in the piece, then moved on to the game. The local paper’s coverage was different.”

Read the rest of my essay for the Loyola University (Chicago) Center for Digital Ethics and Policy.