“As long as I take those three pink lithium-carbonate capsules every day, I can function. If I don’t, I will be riding on top of subway cars measuring speed and looking for light in elevated realms”: Friend of Gawker Jaime Lowe writes about lithium, the element that helps control her bipolar disorder.
The New Yorker, a magazine, has just opened its Internet "archives" (dating back to 2007) as a readers' jubilee in advance of its upcoming move to the world of paywalled journalism, three months hence. So much New Yorker to muck around in! So many words! So many stories! So many stories with so many words in them!
What if I told you that mozzarella sticks never had to end? That for $10, you could eat for free (for $10) for the rest of your natural life? That there exists a spot in the space-time continuum in which it is always Friday? That there are free refills on all Slushes™ excluding Red Bull® branded items?
Sometimes, instead of writing 40 words to go along with a viral Internet video, we write many words. Thousands of words, even. Since we do this somewhat frequently, those pieces can be easy to miss. With that in mind, we've collected our favorite Gawker longreads from 2012. No one's really working this week, so please print these out (just kidding, use your smart phone), kick back, and indulge.
On a gray Wednesday morning in October, the car headed west on the Lincoln Highway Bridge hit 100 miles per hour and I started to worry it might hurtle off into the tangle of rusted-out warehouses and smoke stacks that pass for a landscape in northeastern New Jersey. I peeked over the driver's shoulder, watching the speedometer approach the sound barrier. But my companion in the back seat of the Buick, the 27-year-old hacker and internet troll Andrew "Weev" Auernheimer, seemed not to notice as we nearly doubled the speed limit. He slouched and explained to the driver, who had asked him for a cigarette, why he didn't have any.
Last Wednesday afternoon I called Michael Brutsch. He was at the office of the Texas financial services company where he works as a programmer and he was having a bad day. I had just told him, on Gchat, that I had uncovered his identity as the notorious internet troll Violentacrez (pronounced Violent-Acres).
The sonogram technician, Tina, is short, conservative. Her two children smile from pictures of birthday parties past, blonde and generic, proof that life in all its red, white and blue glory does go on. The younger of the two is missing teeth, mugging for the camera and aiming an ice cream cone directly at the viewer. You are not at the point where you resent other people's children, though you can see how it sometimes happens.
If you're a porn star and you learn that a bunch of other porn stars have a bad STD, what you want to know right away is if you've fucked any of those people. This August, a syphilis outbreak plunged the San Fernando Valley's multibillion dollar porn industry into chaos, and any information about the origins and extent of the scourge was maddeningly sparse. So when the porn gossip blogger Mike South confirmed the identity of the outbreak's "patient zero" as a porn star who'd covered up his positive syphilis test, the relief was palpable among performers who could now at least roughly gauge their own exposure.
Somewhere on the brief walk from the Macon Mall's Spencer Gifts to rue21, a bright discount store glittering with pageant-level tackiness but no pretensions of refinement, somebody farted. Loudly. It was in the potential earshot of the staring kiosk workers in the Georgia mall, the mass of people who were trailing the nine of us, and even the paparazzi 20 yards ahead.
I met Liván, Takeshi and the rest of their band of frikis—rock and metal fans of the punk-and-anarchist subcategory—around nine one Thursday night on the median of Havana's G Street. I'd come to Havana to write a book about what it was like to be a young adult in the post-Fidel city and, since G Street was the biggest party in town, it was where I began.
It's not easy to listen to Terry talk about the time he had sex with a seven-year-old girl. But after his psychotherapist put us in touch, he agreed to lay it all out for me during a phone call and email, and I was enthralled the way one might stare at a man falling from a bridge. Terry is 38, a small-business owner, and deeply religious—he ends all our correspondence by saying, "Blessings to you, Cord"—but back then when it happened Terry was 20 and a meth head. He was living with his then-wife, his marriage to whom had made him the co-guardian of her two nieces and a nephew. The one niece was a baby, but the other was seven, and it wasn't long before Terry, addicted and in a marriage he calls "abusive," fell for his niece and began a sexual relationship with her.
My grandmother married a beautiful brown troll named HaLester "Les" Myers 20 years ago. The Christmas before last, Les slumped across from me in Grandma's gaudy pink throne while she finished making supper. I watched the still water flooding the gutters of Les's sleepy eyes, the way his nappy gray chin folded snuggly into the top of those musty blue overalls, and I knew that the dusty joker really believed what he said the night before about Kanye West and the importance of treating females like cats.
When I was six, my mother left a box of small garbage bags lying around. I found one, cut the bottom off, and used the cinch-tie at the top to make a small, crude dress. I put it on and looked at myself in the mirror. As my reflection stared back at me, a wave of well-being surged over me, sweeping away any real specifics of that moment. All that remained was a feeling of correctness, like finding just the right word to describe something: a reflection of myself as I knew myself to be, but had yet to see. I turned away from the mirror with a new sensation of beauty and lightness buoying my step. I descended the stairs to show my parents, who sat in the enclosed porch.
Please excuse this brief interruption to your regularly-scheduled programming, but we have a quick announcement to share with you that we hope you'll find exciting: Gawker has teamed up with Longreads, the best source for long-form journalism (etc.) on the web, and we now have our very own page over there.