Grantland, The Dissolve, and the Downfall of the Internet

I have a drafts folder full of notes and ideas and topics I think I may want to write about one day. One of them was about YouTube Red and the increasing commercialization of the online world. It was called “The Death of the Internet.”

I never wrote it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

Huge companies are slow to adapt, but once they do, it’s game over. They’ve finally done it. They’ve figured out how to monetize the World Wide Web. They saw us cutting our cords and getting our information not from TV but from our phones and while it took them a while, they changed their business models and came online with a vengeance.

They’re in it for the money. Slideshows are easy; attention-grabbing headlines are profitable. The race to be first is so important that being right is a distant second. Read Ryan Holiday’s book about how easy it is to get a rumor to go from a blog to CNN. Buzzfeed is the 21st Century version of a bad sitcom with a laugh track that gets millions in ad money.

Grantland wasn’t in it for that. The Dissolve wasn’t in it for that. These sites are what we dreamed about when we were kids. We didn’t have the Internet, but I always wondered why the media didn’t pay attention to the stuff we were talking about. Why didn’t they see what we saw?

As the online world grew, we found people like us, who weren’t tied to the old way of thinking. Those sites embody that mindset. They did deep dives into movies that were beloved but not famous. They let their writers document their trip into a YouTube wormhole. They had discussions and arguments we had in our homes or our favorite bars, but they did it for all of us to read.

A few years ago, someone on Twitter said that they could see my style of writing belonging on Grantland. It was one of the greatest compliments I’ve ever gotten. I knew I wasn’t polished enough to write for it, but I kept that dream alive. I didn’t read every piece published on the site and I didn’t even enjoy reading every writer, but others did. That’s what it’s all about. I don’t like chocolate ice cream, but I don’t begrudge a store for selling it because so many others do. There was something for everyone and the site rarely pandered or treated its audience as if it were stupid or less than.

Grantland, The Dissolve and sites like them are the best of what the Internet has to offer and they’re dying.

We’re in trouble.


Christopher Pierznik is the author of eight books, all of which can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, and many more. He has been quoted on Buzzfeed and Deadspin. Subscribe to his monthly reading review newsletter or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

Flashback Friday Flop: “Blood in My Eye”

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Welcome back to the latest edition of Flashback Friday Flop, a weekly feature in which I examine a hip-hop album from years ago that was considered a flop, either critically or commercially or both, when it was released and see if it has gotten better – or worse – over time. 

This week: Ja Rule’s Blood in My Eye (2003)

From 1999 – 2002, Ja Rule released four albums, all of which went platinum with two of them reaching triple platinum status. He mixed the street with the charts and became a hit machine, breaking through into the mainstream with 2000’s “Put It On Me.” His combination of singing and rapping helped bridge two separate styles that often needed a collaboration to pull it off. Ja could do it on his own.

Continue reading “Flashback Friday Flop: “Blood in My Eye””

The Pierznik Monthly Volume 19 (October 2015)

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It was a busy month. I had a few late nights in the office and weekends full of fun stuff like Cape May, pumpkin patches, and digging out from under piles of leaves and acorns, so reading sadly took a backseat. Hopefully as the weather gets colder, I’ll have more time to rip through a lot of books.

Continue Reading…


Christopher Pierznik is the author of eight books, all of which can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, and many more. He has been quoted on Buzzfeed and Deadspin. Subscribe to his monthly reading review newsletter or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

My Words are Weapons

I never want to be an asshole, but I often say things that immediately make me an asshole.

I’m sorry.

Continue reading…


Christopher Pierznik is the author of eight books, all of which can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, and many more. He has been quoted on Buzzfeed and Deadspin. Subscribe to his monthly reading review newsletter or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

Documentary Tuesday: “Exit Through the Gift Shop” [2010]

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Banksy has captured the world’s attention with his wonderfully clever works of street art, most of which speak to the issues affecting our world. In 2010, he directed a documentary (possibly a mockumentary) called Exit Through the Gift Shop that follows a French immigrant living in Los Angeles that documents his every waking moment and ultimately becomes obsessed with street art.

The film was was nominated for an Academy Award.

Previously in Documentary Tuesday: Room 237


Christopher Pierznik is the author of eight books, all of which can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, and many more. He has been quoted on Buzzfeed and Deadspin. Subscribe to his monthly reading review newsletter or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

2004 Philadelphia Eagles Highlights

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The Philadelphia Eagles have never won a championship in the Super Bowl era. In fact, they’ve only ever made it to the Super Bowl twice, in 1980 and 2004.

I was born in 1980, so I don’t remember that team (although I’ve seen plenty of highlights) but the 2004 team is one of my favorite sports teams ever (behind the Michigan Fab Five, the 1992 Dream Team, and a few others). That year, Terrell Owens was a god in Philly.

This team was the pinnacle of the Andy Reid era and it doesn’t look like the Chip Kelly era is going to approach it either. So, rather than dwelling on Sam Bradford, soak up the greatness of Donovan McNabb, T.O., Brian Westbrook, and Brian Dawkins leading the best team in franchise history.


Christopher Pierznik is the author of eight books, all of which can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, and many more. He has been quoted on Buzzfeed and Deadspin. Subscribe to his monthly reading review newsletter or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.