The Year We Found Goatse and Visited the KKK: The Best of Gawker's 2012 Longreads

Sometimes, instead of writing 40 words to go along with a viral Internet video, we write many words. Thousands of words, even. Since we do this somewhat frequently, those pieces can be easy to miss. With that in mind, we've collected our favorite Gawker longreads from 2012. No one's really working this week, so please print these out (just kidding, use your smart phone), kick back, and indulge.

The Year We Found Goatse and Visited the KKK: The Best of Gawker's 2012 Longreads

Finding Goatse: The Mystery Man Behind the Most Disturbing Internet Meme in History

For years, Johnson has been rumored to be the Goatse man, based on their similar frame, skills, and matching moles on both Goatse's and Johnson's ass. Reader, I examined the moles. They match. Read »

The Year We Found Goatse and Visited the KKK: The Best of Gawker's 2012 Longreads

How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America: A Remembrance

Not sure how or if I've helped many folks say yes to life but I've definitely aided in few folks dying slowly in America, all without the aid of a gun. Read »

The Year We Found Goatse and Visited the KKK: The Best of Gawker's 2012 Longreads

The New York Times Profiled the Brant Brothers Because the New York Times Hates You

We at Gawker have warned you previously that the New York Times Style section exists solely to introduce you to society's biggest shitheads, and yesterday's profile of the Brant Brothers is no exception. Read »

The Year We Found Goatse and Visited the KKK: The Best of Gawker's 2012 Longreads

Kid Rock Is Soul-Fucking America

There are lots of opinions about Kid Rock. Many of them are that he is fucking terrible. Read »

The Year We Found Goatse and Visited the KKK: The Best of Gawker's 2012 Longreads

A Portrait of a Portrait of an American Family: A Day With the Here Comes Honey Boo Boo Clan

"Reality TV don't last more than three years," June said. "People have a good run for about three years. Some people fizzle out within a couple of weeks. We've had about 10 weeks and if it stays for the next three years, great." Read »

The Year We Found Goatse and Visited the KKK: The Best of Gawker's 2012 Longreads

The King of Porn Gossip: Meet Mike South, the Man Who Got to the Bottom of The Industry's Syphilis Outbreak

"I've never claimed to be objective; I'm not a journalist—my site is an op-ed piece and it's my opinion." Read »

The Year We Found Goatse and Visited the KKK: The Best of Gawker's 2012 Longreads

Unmasking Reddit's Violentacrez, The Biggest Troll on the Web

There are many sides to Violentacrez, and now that I had Michael Brutsch on the phone I hoped to find out where the troll ended and the real person began. Read »

The Year We Found Goatse and Visited the KKK: The Best of Gawker's 2012 Longreads

Sexile in Guyville: Lady Writers and the Male Celebrities They Profile

Not every girl can cook dinner or have a boozy night with a famous dreamboat, but at least she can read in a magazine about someone who did. Read »

The Year We Found Goatse and Visited the KKK: The Best of Gawker's 2012 Longreads

My Kasual Kountry Weekend With the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan

Welcome to the national headquarters of The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. I hope you're white. Read »

The Year We Found Goatse and Visited the KKK: The Best of Gawker's 2012 Longreads

Giving the Elephant a Pink Manicure: A Night Out With Mindy Meyer, the Internet's Candidate for Senate

Mindy's all-pink mini-gala was the single closest real-world re-enactment of viral culture I've ever witnessed. Read »

The Year We Found Goatse and Visited the KKK: The Best of Gawker's 2012 Longreads

Who Needs a Log Flume When You Can Get a Blow Job In a Theme Park Bathroom Instead?: My Family Vacation

There is no cuddling in this story, but if you turn back now, know this, at least: Grindr offers the kind of rides that theme parks don't. What I experienced was an entirely different kind of 4D. Read »

The Year We Found Goatse and Visited the KKK: The Best of Gawker's 2012 Longreads

Among the Junketeers: 90 Hours in Vegas, Selling Out Hard

"Journalists from ESPN, Esquire, LA Times, and FOX are already on board," promised the email. "So this is legit." Journalistic duty fairly demanded that I attend. To observe. To report. To junketeer. Read »

The Year We Found Goatse and Visited the KKK: The Best of Gawker's 2012 Longreads

I Used to Love Her, But I Had to Flee Her: On Leaving New York

I've never felt more important than when I lived in New York. Read »

The Year We Found Goatse and Visited the KKK: The Best of Gawker's 2012 Longreads

I Went to the Pre-Oscar Celebrity Gifting Suites and All I Got Was This Sense of Disgust

I was there in search of free stuff. Foolish. In Beverly Hills, nothing is free unless you absolutely, positively don't need it. Read »

The Year We Found Goatse and Visited the KKK: The Best of Gawker's 2012 Longreads

Please Don't Infect Me, I'm Sorry

As a gay man in New York with an active, multiple-partner sex life, the chances are that I have hooked up with an HIV-positive guy or five and didn't know it. Maybe I didn't know it because he didn't know it. Maybe I didn't know it because he was a liar. Maybe I didn't ask. Read »

The Year We Found Goatse and Visited the KKK: The Best of Gawker's 2012 Longreads

A Girls Writer's Ironic Racism And Other ‘White People Problems'

Was there ever a chance that Girls would get race right? (Or even get it at all?) Read »

The Year We Found Goatse and Visited the KKK: The Best of Gawker's 2012 Longreads

The Dog Whistle Has Sounded: How the Right Talks About ‘Thugs' Like Trayvon Martin

The most important effect of race-baiting through the dog whistle, however, is that it really does function as bait. When you conspicuously label black kids as "thugs" and white kids as "unruly teens," you bait someone else into noticing it and responding. Read »

The Year We Found Goatse and Visited the KKK: The Best of Gawker's 2012 Longreads

How to Get Away With Murder and Other Things the Killing of Unarmed Black Teen Trayvon Martin Teaches Us

Tell them you shot him because you were afraid for your life. When the police tell you that neighbors heard someone cry for help, tell them that was you. Read »

The Year We Found Goatse and Visited the KKK: The Best of Gawker's 2012 Longreads

Our Father's Not in Heaven: The New Black Atheism

Black America's religious problem isn't that it's highly religious-most of America is religious-it's that, in my experience, it's highly religious to the point of exclusion, as if black people living their lives without God don't count. Read »

The Year We Found Goatse and Visited the KKK: The Best of Gawker's 2012 Longreads

What's 50 Grand to a Revolutionary Like Me?: Watch the Throne and the New Black Power

It's one of the strangest celebrity phenomena of the past couple years: Jay-Z and Kanye West styled, by themselves and others, as voices of revolution. Read »

The Year We Found Goatse and Visited the KKK: The Best of Gawker's 2012 Longreads

The Internet's Best Terrible Person Goes to Jail: Can a Reviled Master Troll Become a Geek Hero?

Internet trolling is typically the haphazard pursuit of idiot teenagers who mindlessly rack up outrage with spam or obscenities. But membership in the GNAA is exclusive, and members take pride in pissing people off creatively. Like Auernheimer, they consider themselves artisanal trolls. Read »

The Year We Found Goatse and Visited the KKK: The Best of Gawker's 2012 Longreads

The Bain Files: Inside Mitt Romney's Tax-Dodging Cayman Schemes

Bain isn't a company so much as an intricate suite of steadily proliferating inter-related holding companies and limited partnerships, some based in Delaware and others in the Cayman Islands, Luxembourg, and elsewhere, designed to collectively house roughly $66 billion in wealth in its many crevices and chambers. Read »

The Year We Found Goatse and Visited the KKK: The Best of Gawker's 2012 Longreads

Andrew Breitbart: Big Deal, Big Coronary, Big Corpse

Provocateur, website founder and collector of America's largest wads of spittle Andrew Breitbart died last Thursday morning, when some sentient shred of his cardiac organ kamikazed out of an exhausted sense of justice. Read »

The Year We Found Goatse and Visited the KKK: The Best of Gawker's 2012 Longreads

‘Celebrities With Big Dicks' and Other Tales from the Weird World of Wikipedia Books

When we talk about the future of book publishing we talk about ebooks and the move from print to digital; here in front of me is the stunted result of a move in the other direction, an analog artifact of a weird moment in the history of publishing. Read »

The Year We Found Goatse and Visited the KKK: The Best of Gawker's 2012 Longreads

From Otherkin to Transethnicity: Your Field Guide to the Weird World of Tumblr Identity Politics

There aren't many people undergoing the exact same struggles as Draven (a pseudonym taken from goth classic The Crow), though: unlike most teenagers and 20-somethings, Draven isn't, he claims, human. Read »

The Year We Found Goatse and Visited the KKK: The Best of Gawker's 2012 Longreads

Even for a Minute, Watching Hulk Hogan Have Sex in a Canopy Bed is Not Safe For Work but Watch it Anyway

Hulk strips down. His tan line is exposed and his hairline is vulnerable and silly without the do-rag, but there is sex to be had regardless. Read »

The Year We Found Goatse and Visited the KKK: The Best of Gawker's 2012 Longreads

Audacity: Losing My Fear of Outside

My rape story makes me feel guilty. I will tell it as simply as I can. Read »

The Year We Found Goatse and Visited the KKK: The Best of Gawker's 2012 Longreads

Exorcists, Empty Suits, and Granny Starvers: The Gawker Guide to Mitt Romney's VP Picks

Paul Ryan's economic model is a disease whose existence is proved by any symptom proximal to it. Welcome to The Gawker Guide to Mitt Romney's VP Picks. Read »

The Year We Found Goatse and Visited the KKK: The Best of Gawker's 2012 Longreads

Have You Heard the One About the Religious Woman Who Stops Being Religious in College?

Have you heard the one about the religious person who stops being religious in college? You have; excellent, I will be brief. Read »

All images by our brilliant Art Director, Jim Cooke.