The Trouble with ESports Commentary, Moving a Gorilla, and More: Today’s Recommended Reading


Here at Flavorwire, we pride ourselves on not only writing some of the best content on the internet, but keeping an eye on all of the great writing that other folks on the ‘net are doing, too. Today we’ve got an investigation into the wild world of esports commentary, a reexamination of the adverb, a guide to moving a 390-pound gorilla across the country, and an updated look at Kesha’s legal situation.

First, New York Magazine‘s Christian Lorentzen reexamines the adverb. He begins the piece almost as a polemic, but as his writing unfolds, it’s revealed to be a smarter, more nuanced dive into what exactly “adverb” means, which, it turns out, is not much of anything.

But some adverbs are the most powerful words in English. We can no more escape the adverbs of time than we can escape aging. Without the adverbs of place, we wouldn’t be anywhere, not even nowhere. I am in awe of “yesterday” and “tomorrow” and of “here” and “there.” All these words can provoke potent feelings along the spectrum of sadness and happiness and are essential to getting on with the job of reporting what has or will have happened and where.

Next, from The Atlantic, a necessary update on the life of Kesha, the musician who has been hamstrung by a longstanding recording contract between her and Dr. Luke’s label, Kemosabe. Kesha has long alleged that Luke sexually assaulted her, and that he and his label have malicious control over her output. This claim was strengthened by yesterday’s news that Kemosabe had forbidden her from performing at the Billboard Awards.

Kesha soon after confirmed on Instagram that her performance had been cancelled, but said that she was only ever planning on paying tribute to Bob Dylan with a cover of “It Ain’t Me Babe.” “ I was never going to use a picture of [Luke], speak of him or allude to my legal situation in any way,” she wrote. Gottwald, Kemosabe, and Sony Music have yet to comment on the situation. The turn of events underlines the fact that record contracts for many musicians are about more than just booking studios and distributing albums. Kemosabe can wield influence over Kesha’s public performances—even if, according to the implication of her Instagram post, she isn’t performing her own songs (I’ve written to lawyers on both sides of the case asking for clarification). Which raises the question: What other kinds of expression might Kemosabe bar?

At KillScreen, where we get our otherwise nil gaming news, a look at the wild, new world of esports commentary, a profession that is more difficult than one might think. Keeping up with movements in traditional sports is hard enough, but keeping up with games that operate with twenty times the amount of essential information shooting around? Nearly impossible. Which is why the spots for commentators are coveted and those who succeed are cherished.

In effect, esports commentators are required to provide exposition of the competitive specifics of the game at hand during the broadcast itself. Only then can they help viewers to understand the reasons behind each in-game action. This might be explaining that a teammate hit their partner in Super Smash Bros. in order to allow them to use their recovery move again, or spelling out the rationale behind what appears to be a seemingly nonsensical weapon selection in Counter-Strike. Complicating this further is the fact that, in my personal experience, people often tune in and out at any given time during broadcasts. This is true for both traditional sports and esports commentating.

The wildlife humankind has yet to eradicate should be just as cherished as a talented ecommentator, which is why it’s important to understand the lengthy process of moving mature gorillas from one home to another. Luckily, Wired has it all mapped out for us. They followed the trail of Goma, a gorilla who seemed to be pretty laid back, all things considered.

Goma was a surprisingly chill roadtripper. “I was surprised to look back early on and see him doing some nest building, fluffing up alfalfa and hay with his hands, which is something gorillas do when they are comfortable,” says Bredahl. He chowed down on road snacks—sadly, gorillas are vegetarians, so no In-N-Out Burger, just fruit, carrots, and romaine lettuce—and laid on his back, playing with his feet. He would stare at cars when they passed. “He was pretty active as we drove through some absolutely beautiful mountainous areas, so he might have been looking at the scenery, but you can’t be sure,” says Bredahl. Twenty and a half hours later, the walkie talkies at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo crackled to life: “The ZooMobile has arrived with a special package.” The staff was abuzz, the guests unaware. The female troop of gorillas had been moved to a large indoor enclosure so Goma could be forklifted through the outdoor yard to his special quarantine pen.