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Activism, Branding, And Writing While Black, With Tyler R. Tynes

Kevin Durant warms up before Tuesday's game against the Timberwolves in a meaningful t-shirt.
Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

There is by now a legible rhythm to the dread that runs throughout the national day-to-day, from the inevitable and endless eruptions of state violence, through the cycles of popular response and state counter-response, cosmetically through various legal and administrative processes that never quite deliver anything like accountability and cycles of media commodification that bleach and sanitize it into shelf-stable content, and then back around again. The sense that all of it has happened before, and in roughly the same ways adds an element of insult to the horror. The slogans that are painted in the end zones, or screened onto the t-shirts worn during a pregame warmup, or stitched on as a nameplate with league approval will change, but there’s something ceremonial about it.

The theatrical shape and bottomed-out feeling of all this, what’s familiar about it and what’s embedded in that familiarity, was not exactly what we had GQ‘s Tyler R. Tynes on the podcast to talk about. Drew and I are both fans of his writing, and he was funny when he came on our NFL show on Twitch during the football season, and also we are all currently in A Jeffrey Lurie News Cycle. The grim theatrics of NBA protest wasn’t all we talked about, either, but the conversation we had about it was exactly why we wanted to have him on the show.

As a result of that heavier stuff in the first third, you will have to wait until the back half of the podcast to hear Tyler suggest that I look like someone who “makes cheese.” By that point we had already touched upon the aesthetics of legalized marijuana, the bulletproof mediocrity of Eagles GM Howie Roseman, what it’s like to work for Bill Simmons at a website built in and around his own image, and heard a shocking and honestly pretty concerning revelation from Drew about his personal policy re: washing his own damn legs. There is a lot in here to find, in short. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some curds to tend to.

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