Wednesday, October 02, 2002

hi snapdragons

so on the one hand i am bummed out, because the village "fancypants" voice ate my paper, the la new times.

editor's correction: the new times ate its own baby. so did the voice. (it's complicated.) just think of these sorts of companies as giant, overgrown feral hamsters, like in The Nutty Professor II.

specifically, i am bummed because i really loved my editor, dan reines. he was good for me, because he really liked my writing, and he trusted me enough to let me flail and wobble and figure it out on the go, on the page. he held my hand the whole time and said, you can do it!

and he let me say "grok" twice in two months, which he really shouldn't have.

the other great thing is that dan made me laugh every day. he has a dry sense of humor and he always tries to be funny, so that even when it's not very funny, it's still funny.

i'm also bummed because my next column was going to be my first profile of an unknown local musician with flaming flames of talent shooting out of his ears. i was going to interview him tomorrow at the 101 coffeshop near my house. now i don't get to do that.

i am bummed because i had my dream job.

oh well. the buddhists have that story about the farmer that i can never remember right. his son breaks his leg and everyone says, how sad, and he says, who knows? then there's a war and the son doesn't have to go and everyone says, how great, and he says, who knows?

who knows? i have three other blueberry pies that I have put on the back burner for this column, not to mention all the exciting new rock bands that Spin is finally starting to cover which I've had to pass on.

One of my blueberry pies involves doing radio!

One involves writing about radio!

One involves sticking a radio in my eye!

(not really!)

Guess what else. Tomorrow a puppy baby named Lola is coming to my house and we are going to see if we make a love connection.

Don't you fucking love her name?

If we make a love connection, then I will get to call her Lolita sometimes.

It sounds like I'm trying not to sound sad. I am sad. But I'm also old enough to get kind of excited by radical change and to know that turns of event are pretty much never what you think.

But I always feel angry whenever a paper dies. I was on the other side a few years ago when the voice killed the twin cities reader. i felt sickened then too. and i was on this side when prognosis died. i think all papers are sacred beings and should not be killed unless they suck total ass. but it seems that usually good ones die.

in this case, though, each chain agreed to kill one of their own papers, so it doesn't seem quite so brutal.

still. i have never been comfortable with the fact that newspapers are run by businesspeople, and that businesspeople have it in their minds that it's a good thing to kill the competition. they always think they're doing you some big fucking favor by killing your competition, like they're some kind of winners.

they do not not understand that from a writer's perspective, this is the worst thing. writers--well, i'll speak for myself anyway--do not care about money. i don't give a shit which paper sells more ads or pays more or any of that. all i care about it, which is the cooler paper? who's funner? smarter? funnier? braver?

these qualities are not nurtured in a monopoly.

i don't think of the l.a. times as competition. they're like apples and oranges. i believe in dailies and i think people will always rely on both dailies and weeklies, and we need both.

anyway, so i have a lot to do before Lola comes over. Like eat and clean and go to my shrink. yesterday i went to asian men in koreatown to fix my tummy, and they stuck needles in me, and laughed, and told me things about myself just by looking at my tongue and taking my pulse. they said:

"you like to drink warm liquids.'

(true: I drink hot coffee even on hot summer days)

"you are very emotional!"


"you have cold feet and hands."

(yo, double duh)

they also told me that it's good for me to eat red meat!


i love this sort of doctor.

now i have to go.



ps: Matt Welch just explained to me that it's even worse that both chains killed one paper, because it means more papers died. and now i see that this is true.

i repeat: newspaper businesspeople have it all wrong in their tiny little brains about what is good for newspapers. not to mention what is good for readers, for jiminy crockett's sake.

pps: the big three killed my baby is a white stripes song, yo.

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