Thoughts from the Recorder: On Grantland

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I wanted to write about the World Series on Monday. I wanted to write a wrap-up about the culmination of the Royals journey, a journey that started last October and ended on November 1st with Kansas City sitting on top of the world. I wanted to write about the sheer joy of seeing a team come together, about the sheer joy with which that Royals team played baseball, about the fact that even in the most dire of moments, this team always felt like they would rise above everything.

But I didn’t. Because my heart was broken a few days earlier when ESPN announced that they were shuttering Grantland for good.

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The People We Know

It’s hard to believe how many people you get to know throughout your whole life. I mean like really get to know. They float through our vision like a love we may never feel or a flavor that remains unknown. We know they are present; always present. But once they cease to exist, we seem to long for them more than before. There’s an absence that’s hard to explain and yet it’s so obvious. We should have known all along. The lives and people we strive for seem apparent to the lucky ones. The rest of us are left wishing we had hoped just a little bit more once they’re gone.

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A Cinderella Story: The Addison Recorder’s Brief Tribute to Harold Ramis

Hollywood has sucked hard so far in 2014, in ways that have nothing to do with the quality of movies. The best are dying and dying so fast.

In the aftermath of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death, so eloquently memorialized here by Alex, the number one clip I kept seeing over and over on the Internet was of the Lester Bangs scenes in Almost Famous, the scenes that made Hoffman feel like our cool older brother or uncle. In the same way, Harold Ramis, native of Addisonian territory, graduate of high school in Edgewater, former member of both the Second City and the Chicago Daily News, could truly be seen as a father figure for our generation.

Two examples from my personal life: I got my first pair of glasses just after I turned four years old in 1988 and I’ve worn them ever since. Back then, I had all the action figures and the Ghost Traps AND the firehouse headquarters playset for Ghostbusters. I watched the movie over and over and never missed the Saturday morning cartoon show. And Dr. Egon Spengler–Harold Ramis–was my hero. Venkman and Ray got the laughs, but Egon knew all the science. Egon came up with the plans that worked and kept the team together. Egon wore glasses and it didn’t keep him on the sidelines or make him be treated like a nerd the way all the other characters I saw who wore glasses were treated. 

And in my family, every time somebody says the line “I just talked to her last week…she was going to make a pot for me!” we all crack up.

But I need to take this beyond me. All of us who write for The Addison Recorder exercise our purely creative muscles beyond non-fiction in one way or another. Harold Ramis’s work shaped our ideas on how to be entertaining. How to be hilarious. How to tell the truth in an inventive way.

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