Some people see his interventions as a sign of trouble—if hip-hop were healthy, would it need a defender, much less a white one from Chevy Chase?

Andrew Marantz profiles Peter Rosenberg, one of the most influential voices in hip-hop (subscription required): http://nyr.kr/1pEIJIB (via newyorker)

Hip-hop X newyorker

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  • 1 week ago
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There was a moment. It was a Wednesday night in early February. A hellacious winter storm had rendered downtown Cleveland even more of a ghost town than it typically is during such a time, save for the 10,000 or so fans who piled into Quicken Loans Arena in hopes that their team, the Cavaliers, would snap what was a 21-game losing streak. The Indiana Pacers were in town. Danny Granger was a star in the making; Paul George was coming off of the bench; Tyler Hansbrough, Jeff Foster and Josh McRoberts were all receiving key minutes. Having lost the previous two games by 16 and 27 points, respectively, the Cleveland Cavaliers were somehow winning.

As the fourth quarter ticked away, fans rallied, standing and shouting as a means of encouragement. Byron Scott stood by — patiently. Clad in a dark grey suit and extra-wide grey and white-striped tie, his arms were crossed as he looked on. His team — and what a team it was — was attempting to hold on. As J.J. Hickson and Antawn Jamison both missed mid-range jump shots, however, the Pacers would regain the lead.

With 27 seconds remaining, Scott drew up a play that would, in an ideal world, put his team on top with nothing but a prayer left for the opposition. Players scurried about as the official handed the ball to Jamison for the inbounds pass. The ball would wind up in the hands of the player who was called upon to save the day. Unfortunately for Cleveland, that player was a 35-year old Anthony Parker who would proceed to lob a five-foot floater off of the back of the rim as guys named Christian Eyenga, Samardo Samuels and Manny Harris were watching from the team’s bench. The Q went silent as the Cavs would drop their 22nd straight contest despite the pleas from fans toting signs that begged for the alternative. They would go on to lose four more before pulling out an overtime thriller.

How we didn’t see this train barreling down the tracks — one where Anthony Parker is to ever play the role of hero — I’ll never quite understand.

My contribution to an SI.com column which relives the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 26-game losing streak of 2010-11.
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  • 2 weeks ago

If journalism were as easy as tricking people into pushing buttons, it would have been automated by now. It’s a trade, and the art is in satisfying a bewildering variety of competing interests by working not only in service of all the impossibly interesting stories in the world—some of them very important, some not very important at all—but also the impossibly busy people who might read them. Some are interested in celebrity breasts, some are interested in NSA spying, and most are interested in both and other things, too. You go out and find stories that might appeal to them, you point them to other people who have found such stories on their own, and you try to get their attention, just as Darren Rovell and brand marketers and the Poynter Institute and the New Yorker are.

Tim Marchman in “Shut up about ‘Clickbait’”
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  • 2 weeks ago

All this reporting took about seven months. I’ve always had trouble writing anything before all the questions are answered, so I didn’t sit down at a computer until I was finished reporting. We got back from the last trip to Maine on Oct. 1, and my deadline was Jan. 1. In hindsight, this was stupid. I had about 90 days to write, and the contract called for 70,000 words. Goal: 1,000 good words a day, to leave a little time for revision. A friend, Hank Stuever, told me I’d have days where I wrote 500 words and days where I wrote 2,000. He was right, though there were more 500-word days than 2,000-word days.

Writing the Book: Ben Montgomery on Grandma Gatewood’s Walk by Ben Montgomery, who reported and wrote a beautiful 70,000-word narrative while maintaining a day job. This wasn’t your average day with the LexisNexis…
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  • 3 weeks ago
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We do not canonize anyone who did it right six or seven years ago. We allow for collective praise of famous men who have just dropped a single, or who have just set the world record, or who are recently engaged or pregnant or gay or bereaved. We encourage acclaim for those who have died in ways we would not want to. But we don’t revisit those whom we misrepresented or underrepresented or were never otherwise afforded the retrospection they deserve.

Why Are We Still Waiting for Great Men to Die to Call Them Great? by Ben Collins (via Esquire)
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  • 3 weeks ago
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With gifts come curses; with credit comes blame; with wins come defeats. They are a package deal, and if you are going to own one, accept one, then you have to own and accept the other. Which means there is no celebration without mourning, and there is no summer without winter, and for some men, for some families, there is too much of both to take in. So they take in none of it, or at least they pretend to take in none of it. They disappear instead into their carefully constructed universes, into the small pockets they might still make as immaculate as miniature golf courses, into their dogged pursuits of the routines and rhythms that blind and deafen them to everything else. They say things like “It could have been worse,” and they refuse every last invitation from pity or sentiment, because those are luxuries not given to households half-emptied by terminal disease. Acceptance is their only way out.

Chris Jones in "A Long Journey to Spring"
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  • 3 weeks ago
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