Gawker announced yesterday that it would be shutting down. I have been reading Gawker for a long time. I don’t agree with every post on Gawker. But I also don’t believe that it should cease to exist. And the fact that it will no longer exist, and how all of that came about, is troubling.
Right now, they’ve not yet decided what will happen to the Gawker archive. Which is why I spent much of last night revisiting most of Caity Weaver’s old posts. Caity writes for GQ now. Her piece on Justin Bieber in February was, in my opinion, the best magazine profile of a celebrity so far this year. But before that she was brilliant at Gawker. She wrote extensively about candy, she fangirled over the Brange wedding, and, my favourite, she articulated exactly why Reese Witherspoon is terrifying. And there’s so much more, so much that might not be there anymore in a few days. Hopefully Caity’s pieces will be preserved. If not, here’s a suggestion for how to spend your weekend: read (or meet, if you haven’t already) Caity Weaver.
Then, maybe, if you’re still feeling nostalgic, go back to The Toast and spend some time with another old friend. I come back to Brittany K Allen’s essay on race and romance novels over and over again. The Toast shut down in July. I’m not saying that the reason for The Toast’s closure is at all the same as why Gawker’s gone (it is not the same, I repeat it is not the same). I’m saying that both were a source of great writing and, in particular, great writing by women. The internet can be a f-cked up place. It is far from perfect. It is, sometimes, horrifically unsafe. But it’s also introduced me to some unforgettable female voices.
On that note, here’s Anne Helen Petersen’s latest for Buzzfeed on how the Hollywood publicity machine misjudged and mishandled Nate Parker’s rape history. Roxane Gay is also planning a piece about Nate Parker for The New York Times and I have no doubt she will challenge me and provoke me and make me think and make me think some more, because in the writing of it she would have challenged and provoked herself, and made herself think the most. That kind of effort takes time though, which is what all of the writers mentioned above would have needed. And then, after that, a place to share their work.
Have a great weekend!
Yours in gossip,