My October 2015 Photo of the Month is Treepost, a black and white image from Ryan Ranch in Joshua Tree National Park. Continue reading
RIP: The Death of Grantland
Last week, ESPN announced that publishing of Grantland.com would be suspended immediately. Since the unceremonious exit of Bill Simmons from ESPN’s platforms, including the Grantland site he founded, the demise of the website seemed inevitable.
The loss of Grantland is profound. In an age of terrible content-aggregating websites like Bleacher Report, Huffington Post, Bustle, and others, Grantland stood out for it’s commitment to well-written content without gimmicks like listicles, slideshows, and click-bait. Bill Simmons (ESPN-supported) hired amazing writing talent. A new dawn in writing seemed to emerge, when a vanity website was able to lure a Pulitzer prize winner (Wesley Morris), but to me the bigger story was the emergence of relatively obscure writers like Zach Lowe and Bill Barnwell.
Zach and Bill quickly became among the best of the NBA and NFL writers in the entire country. They possessed a talent for bridging the divide between the observation crowd and those committed to analytics, bringing a complete look at their sports that nobody was pulling off.
So what was the issue with Grantland, beyond the loss of their founder, leader, and tour de force? The unfortunate answer is that the site simply wasn’t profitable. ESPN seemed willing to let it’s vanity site continue while supporting one of it’s most expensive personalities, but without Bill Simmons at the helm, that support immediately waned.
That’s what makes the demise of Grantland particularly sad. Those gimmicks, listicles, slideshows, and click-bait are making a lot of websites profitable. It could be that a site of the size and scope of Grantland was simply not feasible given today’s internet economics. And it could follow that the market for writers could be continuing to contract, leaving the low-paid bloggers and content farms to provide the bulk of the writing output.
This, my friends, is sad and tragic. The loss of Grantland is a loss for all of us.
At a Scouting event held locally in San Diego’s Mission Bay (San Diego Youth Aquatic Center), the Naruwan Taiko performed in front of over 500 people. Their performance was excellent. In hindsight, I should have set up video to share with everyone. I did create still images of this very impressive group in action.
Their performance is loud, rhythmic, and athletic. If you haven’t seen a taiko drumming performance, it is remarkable. Memories of Kishin Daiko performing at Section Conclaves in the early 2000s was the catalyst to invite this drumming team to be a part of the Saturday night show. While I don’t post a lot of images from Scouting events on my photography blog, I thought the drumming performance was too cool to not share.
Overall, their performance was about 30 minutes and included several songs. They also got an assist from the audience during their final song and earned a standing ovation from the crowd. I had a lot of freedom of movement along the Youth Aquatic Center stage, which enabled me to capture various parts of their performance from a variety of angles. I needed my flash unit and a quick shutter speed to catch them still before they moved too quickly (and they move fast!).
If you are interested in having Naruwan Taiko perform at your event, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. They are great people and excellent to work with.
Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy the images.