If you’re burned out after a long week of talking, or not talking, to your family, or even from looking at adorable photos and GIFs on the Internet, perhaps we could interest you in a select handful of the exemplary longform stories BuzzFeed has published in 2012?
From an epic meditation on the complicated legacy of Mitt Romney’s father to the travails of underage runway models to the craftiest of apocalypse profiteers to the science behind chill-inducing tunes, these stories reflect the range of topics and ideas of interest to us, and, hopefully to you. Enjoy ‘em, share ‘em, enjoy ‘em some more.
Happy reading and Happy New Year. And much, much more of this kind of thing to come in 2013.
2. Can You Die From a Nightmare?
It was creepy to wake up violently in the middle of the night. It was creepier when no one could tell me why it was happening. by Doree Shafrir
3. Making Mitt: The Myth Of George Romney
The Republican nominee’s father didn’t walk out of the ‘64 convention. And George Romney didn’t teach Mitt that you lose by being honest — he taught him that you change your positions to win. by John R. Bohrer
4. Atari Teenage Riot: The Inside Story Of Pong And The Video Game Industry’s Big Bang
On Nov. 29, 1972, a crude table-tennis arcade game in a garish orange cabinet was delivered to bars and pizza parlors around California, and a multi-billion-dollar industry was born. Here’s how that happened, direct from the freaks and geeks who invented a culture and paved the way for today’s tech moguls. by Chris Stokel-Walker
5. Tracking the Biggest Star in the World
6. The Man Who Sold the End of the World: Meet the Doomsday Boom’s Rising Star
Tim Ralston is building an empire selling the Crovel, a half-shovel, half-weapon for practical-minded doomsday preppers, spinning the American Dream out of our worst nightmares. In the woods and up the creek with the end times’ greatest success story. by Chadwick Matlin
7. Inside the Dark World of Online Sugar Daddies
I signed up for a site that sets up escorts with men who want to pay them — handsomely — for sex and company. After meeting a slew of men, I learned they often have to hustle harder than the women. by Alex Belanger
8. The Struggles of Girl Models
This story has nothing to do with eating disorders. Models’ biggest problems — like getting paid for their work and maintaining decent working hours — are actually much more basic than that. by Amy Odell
9. A Mormon Reporter on the Romney Bus
How America got used to his religion, and mine. by McKay Coppins
10. The First Gay Major Leaguer Already Has a Lot of Friends
There are no out male athletes in the major league sports world today. But among pro ballers, the straight part of the gay-straight alliance is finally getting itself off the ground. by Chris Geidner and Kevin Lincoln
11. Why Music Gives You the Chills
I never knew what the intense physical sensations certain songs gave me were until I heard about the phenomenon called ASMR. Could it be the answer to my musical mystery? by Sean T. Collins
12. Google’s Lost Social Network
How Google accidentally built a truly beloved social network, only to steamroll it with Google+. The sad, surprising story of Google Reader. by Rob Fishman
13. The Vices Of The Knife: Oliver Stone Talks Politics, Weed, And The Potential Petraeus Coup
The BuzzFeed Interview features the Oscar-winning director, whose ten-part reassessment of modern American history launched in November on Showtime. He voted for Obama, but explains how casting a ballot for Romney could make sense: “The more mistakes you make, the faster the changes.” by Michael Hastings
14. Bryan Fischer’s Last Stand Against The Gays
From Idaho to Tupelo, how the last, loudest, proudest scourge of homosexuality made it to the center of the presidential campaign. He thinks Obama is punishing us for our racism, and says he’s Romney’s “best friend,” whether the candidate knows it or not. by Roise Gray