First off, for those of you who haven't had a chance to read it yet, you can read City Paper's latest cover story online here. In fact, I don't often suggest people ever leave behind the metaphorical, yet highly addictive rubber cement fumes that is The Anti DC, but in this case, I'm doing just that. So go forth, read that article, but then return. Please! The HTML code that allows this blog to exist will be here for all eternity, so feel free to take your time, too. If you don't
[Waiting for someone to return...still waiting...hmm...oh no! What have I done?! Where are you!? Anyone! Hello? Yes? Phew. Thank e-heavens you came back. I started questioning my e-worth...]
That article truly struck a chord with me -- an E chord to be exact! (LOL! You came back for the clever puns, I know...). Anyway, as a writer and a former editor of an endeavor in Moscow very similar to (albeit much sh*ttier and shadily funded than) City Paper, I have a soft spot for "alt-weeklies." While alt-weekly cover stories rarely break news the way news is broken in daily publications like the Washington Post or examine serious issues like serious issues are examined in magazines like The Atlantic, alt-weekly cover stories still serve a purpose. Not only do these stories almost always illuminate some hidden facet of the city (or cess pool, as it were) in which you choose (or are monetarily and epic cash-influx-willingly just temporarily forced) to reside, but the voices with which journalists write those articles are often more creatively crafted and entertaining than any given daily newspaper. For a perfect example, see that link above, although I trust you already have.
Anyway, this week's City Paper cover story is amusing, clever, thought-provoking and, most notably, suited solely for the alt-weekly format. Something like this would never fly in the Post or any other mainstream (for lack of a better term) publication. I mean, where else could a paper get away with accusing its readers of being a bunch of illiterate, schizophrenic a-holes? Nowhere. Which is why the thought of City Paper losing pages in its print edition to concentrate further on its "blogging" endeavors is so disheartening.
Now, as a blogger (and a fairly obsessed one at that), I realize it's a bit hypocritical of me to
Think about it: How many items posted on any given blog -- um, save for the one you're currently reading, of course -- do you read from beginning to end? (Although honestly, even though it e-kills me a little, I'm curious as to how many people who wind up here actually read my e-scribblings from start to finish or just peruse it for pictures of Norm Coleman and Putin with Flock of Seagulls hair. Hmm.) Moreover, how many of those few posts that you actually read from start to finish do you remember the next day? Or even the next hour? It's accepted knowledge that blogs are made for short attention spans. Hell, I don't remember what the hell I wrote yesterday, so, hell's bells, I certainly don't remember what the hell anyone else wrote. In fact, I don't know what the hell I'm writing even as I type this. Which probably explains why I just used the word "hell" five times in the last two sentences. What were we talking about?
Anyhell, the point is, losing the unique long-form articles that City Paper has proven itself pretty damn adept at in exchange for another DCist-like blog (not because DCist sucks, mind you I like it, but because I'm unlikely to start regularly reading another local truncated news service as it seems City Paper would like to morph into), is not only a loss for the wider community, but, more importantly, it's a personal loss for me as I've been working on some ideas for articles to pitch to CP editors (I told you I'd ultimately keep it self-indulgent). Less readers of City Paper equals less freelance positions for me. Which sucks because I'm poor. And, if I do say so myself, I'm also pretty damn good at narrative long-form journalism, so, you know, this equates to your loss, too. :-P (You also come here for the sweet emoticons, right?)
But really, this whole City Paper going bankrupt sh*t is just the latest in a series of blows against my chosen profession. It's hard out there for a