“Ball, Beats, Battlestar Galactica,” David Dennis Jr.’s New Medium Blog

Your weekly dose of pop culture, sci-fi, sports and race…and whatever else comes to mind.

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First off, a bit of news. I’ll be writing weekly posts on my own personal Medium page, which is right here where you are. If you like what you read on a given week, please feel free to hit the follow button so you can get more of my articles in your inbox. If you’re a regular at Medium then you know a lot of my work is over at Level, which is an incredible publication (also, shout out to Zora…I don’t write there but it’s my favorite site on the internet so you should go there, too). But this space? This space will be for the other random, unfiltered, thoughts I have. I had originally wanted to name these posts “Ball, Beats, Battlestar Galactica” because it highlights all of the bases I’m gonna cover here: sports (and race), pop culture, and some nerd culture (and race). And it would also highlight my love of The Office. Perfect, right?! Maybe I’ll have a graphic for it or something or maybe one of you geniuses will create one. This is just one big adventure so we’ll see how things pan out.

Now, with that out of the way, here’s who I am, for those who don’t know. I’m a writer. I have a book coming out sometime in the future called The Movement Made Us about my dad’s Civil Rights activism. I think it will be good and you should buy it when it’s available.

Okay, now with that out the way, too, here are some other things I’ve written lately to give you a feel for who I am for those who don’t know:

“It’s impossible to talk about the killing of Ahmaud Arbery without talking about its intersection with the uniquely terrifying time we are living in. On the surface, there shouldn’t be much of a connection between a Black man gunned down on the street and a global pandemic. Unlike humans, viruses don’t discriminate based on race. But a pandemic can exacerbate society’s underlying ills — and this one has overwhelmingly targeted Black people.”

  • A few weeks ago, I wrote a long thing about Drake and people argued with me and called me bad names on the internet but I think it was good lol

“Drake is an executor — or, more aptly, an executive. He’s a one-man boardroom, assessing the musical and cultural landscape and then building his gleaming high-rise smack in the middle of the hot neighborhood, towering over everyone else’s developments.”

  • Earlier this year, I did a super expansive article on the history of the Black internet and I’m really proud of it and am just happy as hell to celebrate Black-ass Blackness.

“In 2020, there’s a digital bird representing the duality of curses and blessings: Twitter. The social media platform has blessed careers, jump-started social justice movements and created cultural trends. This has been especially true for black users who have used Twitter to circumvent traditional channels to get their voices heard.”

Those are some of the things I wrote that I hope you don’t think are trash. Now, here are some thoughts about some stuff going on in the world right now that I want to touch on…then we’ll come back next week and I’ll have more formulated thoughts on…well I’m not quite sure yet.

  • Flowers For Maria Taylor — I first saw Maria Taylor on ESPN’s Get Up probably a couple of years ago and she was immediately captivating. She was always super-informed on everything from college football to NBA to NFL and she just commanded the camera every time she spoke. Her rise has as meteoric as it has been deserved. In the last few months, she’s been one of the most passionate, concise and eloquent voices in relaying the pain, frustration and pride of being Black in America in this very moment of unrest and police killings of Black folks. As is always the case, mediocre white men have made it their duty to make this dynamic Black woman feel unwelcome and unqualified to be in her position in sports journalism. Those white men are big trash and not even worth naming here. This is about giving Maria Taylor flowers and reminding her that we got her back.
  • Lovecraft Country Thoughts — I haven’t written about Lovecraft Country yet because I really want to wait for the whole season to pan out first. It reminds me of what used to be my favorite comic book, Planetary, which was an ode to genre art with each issue seemingly disconnected from one another but it all came together towards the end. (The creator and writer, Warren Ellis, has since been credibly accused of using his power to groom young women in the industry so the book has to go in the “do not read again” pile.) Lovecraft Country feels the same way. The episodes are all loosely connected but seem to be more odes to various forms of horror and science fiction, complicated by the history of race in America. I’m taking the show as such until the full plan starts to reveal itself and will be interested to see how the show puts the tapestry together into one piece and how it sticks the landing.
  • Quick Emmys Talk — I have a really interesting relationship with awards shows. I generally try to ignore them because of the way they continue to tokenize Blackness every single year by making Black faces the focal point of the promotions but giving white people the awards. However, I get happy when Black people win because they are happy and Black people who watch are happy. Zendaya winning for Euphoria was excellence and Regina King is really on a Jordan-like run she absolutely deserves. Also, shout out to Succession for being one of the greatest white shows of all time. Now if we can get the show a Grammy for “L To The O-G”….

Alright, I’ve taken too much of your time. Next week I promise this will be shorter and we’ll have a LOT to talk about.

(The feature image was made by the good folks at Covatar, who are making images of people and donating proceeds to charity because they’re dope like that.)

Written by

Smoking Section Alum. Level Contributing Writer. ESPN The Undefeated, The Atlantic, Washington Post, etc. Forthcoming book: The Movement Made Us (Harper).

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