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These Dicks Are Buying Up Your Alt-Weeklies And Turning Them Into National Review Or Some Shit
Hi. It's me, your editrix. I am the boss here, and I DON'T LIKE TO WRITE ANYMORE, so I SHOULDN'T HAVE TO WRITE, and yet here we are, because who else is going to tell you about the millionaires and libertarians who just bought LA Weekly and fired the whole staff, to be replaced by unpaid contributors*, or about ARMSTRONG FUCKING WILLIAMS licking his chops at the chance to buy the noble and beloved Washington City Paper, and what this means for the mythic "alt weekly," which was a thing that came out once a week on leaves made from shredded trees and through which you found a roommate, a job, and multiple sex partners at once?
Nobody else can tell you about this, so I guess we are stuck with each other, chump.
Are you an old? Of course you are, you are reading Wonkette! Youngs, apparently, read the Outline or some bullshit, where they become terribly angry that your Editrix -- me again! -- has the temerity to exist in her 40s, and that Dok may one day claim Social Security! (Also, I once drank a glass of wine, which means we are all gross centrist liberals who shout WINE O'CLOCK, because those particular youngs can make an offense out of anything . Really, just don't click the link unless you like one million words about made up bullshit.) Well, you, being an old, remember "the '60s," and the heady days of the Rude Youths buying mimeograph machines to rage against "Nixon," isn't that sweet? And wouldn't you trade for Nixon in a heartbeat today? First there was the Village Voice, which was probably in the '50s actually, since Norman Mailer was very relevant at the time, and then there was the Boston Phoenix, and then they sprouted up through every college burg and good-sized city in the land. Heck, there were "alternative weeklies" in Oklahoma, and St. Louis, Missouri, and probably other places too, nobody knows, because back in the day when your editrix started in alt-weeklies, there was no Google to look up answers to things, and when we wanted to fact-check, we called the local reference desk librarian, and in honor of "the day" I won't be bothering looking shit up either. The Village Voice was raped by the New Times guys and is digital-only now. Boston Phoenix is defunct. Baltimore City Paper was killed last month, along with most of the rest of them.
Being only a middle old, I can still remember the fat days of the '90s, when I started at the Santa Barbara Independent, and then continued at OC Weekly, and then helmed LA CityBeat for about five minutes until I quit in my second fit of editorial autonomy. And I have lived to tell you: In my 17 years in alt-weeklies, we were reasonably paid and left to our own judgment, and shit made a difference. Alt-weeklies consistently investigated and broke stories the daily papers couldn't be bothered with; they regularly broke innocent people out of prison and put corrupt sheriffs and lawmakers into them; they said the truth and the f-word and didn't layer bullshit about how "on the other hand, one in five dentists disagrees." Writers and reporters were either experts in their field or quickly became so, and didn't need to hide a well-informed opinion in case of "bias." (Unlike the rightwing media, pertinently, this did not mean "making things up" or "ignoring inconvenient facts.") Most importantly, while we did it, we had a fucking rollicking time.
Now a Claremont Institute douchebag is taking over LA Weekly to make it great again. Unfamiliar? Here's the Claremont Institute's scholarly and legal work on Messicans:
They are bad people on every topic, at every level, and their vice president dipshit will now be in charge of Los Angeles's "counterculture." Which I guess is to be expected, since "the counterculture" these days is MRAs and actual nazis.
Then there's noted actual propagandist Armstrong Williams musing out loud about how neat it would be if Washington City Paper ran fun, soft profiles about "Hope Hicks's hobbies" and "Steve Bannon's charitable works," which we assume means providing robes for underprivileged Klan Kids.
I've called it the end of the line for alt-weeklies before, and I wasn't being too overly dramatic . But I'd say now is the time to start watching the institutions you care about, like I cared for the industry that taught me to laugh and dance during a revolution. They came for the schoolboards in the 1980s, then the pharmacology colleges (to make sure entire towns didn't let floozies get the Pill); they've taken the TV stations and always had talk radio; now they're reaching into the hardiest bastions of irreverent un-group-think and re-molding them for a new group of free-thinkers: the free-thinkers who free-think that eugenics are awesome and black brains are bad, that women were happier when Mike Cernovich was raping them, that the free market will save the world by giving all the money to the wise, libertarian rich and the earth probably is flat, after all. Watch your universities, academics, and your social welfare organizations, social welfare workers. Keep vigilant in your bookstores, your slam poetry readings, and hell, your AA meetings. They don't believe in history or science or basic fact that can't be retrofitted to their greasy lust for money. And they want to make America great like them.
* Do you know who pays her contributors even though she's one middle class woman instead of five millionaires and a libertarian dick? THIS GUY.