1. Wednesday, April 9, 2008

    yesterday i gave a speech to 30-40 young journalists 

    and aspiring journalists who came to the Times, ate some food, sat down, and listened to four of us talk about the paper and online and etc.

    i went to the thing not because i thought i was gonna give a speech but thats how they get you, they tell you theres gonna be free food and drink, you look around and theres 35 young ladies and 3 dudes, then someone taps you on the shoulder and says, wanna say a few words? and you put down your pasta and say, who me?

    i asked the kids how many of em had blogs. about half of them rose their hands. i asked them how many wanted to write for a living and almost all of them rose their hands. so i said blog. i said blog twice a day. i said if you think you really wanna be a pro writer to blog three times a day.

    i said the reason why is cuz one day you might actually get the job of your dreams and unlike their faves like maureen o’dowd and the like, real writers in the year 2008, especially young ones, write. i said you might come into the office and they look at you and say, can you make it to LAX to interview the CEO of Virgin and review the Donnas playing right there in the terminal and do it with a flute of bubbly in your hand, and can you speed back to the office and write about something else, and help fix this person’s HTML and help fix Typepad, and help resize photos in a web based photo application thats not Photoshop and can you handle it all before it gets dark?

    i said if you blog several times a day when youre young you can write those pieces in the middle of all that beautiful chaos. but first you have to practice at home writing about the things youre passionate about.

    i said write when you come home from the club drunk. i said write when youre sad cuz your dude just broke yr heart. i said write when youre mad write when your glad write when you believe you dont have shit to say. all of thats practice. all of that is so that you can knock out one piece after another when youre getting paid to do it. but you hafta do it when youre young. cuz if you cant do it when youre young you will make up some lameass bullshit when youre not young and then you’ll realize you probably werent a writer in the first place.

    and i dont know exactly how i was describing these things but the ladies laughed and questions were asked and people laughed more. afterwards people were all tony you were great. it was amazing. for some reason i have the shortest memory and the lowest self esteem because way back in the day i used to give sales training seminars in buttfuck california in the basements of Montgomery Ward before the store opened and i would be able to get those people to laugh. and for some reason i forgot that i could still do that.

    we talked about perez hilton and our #1 blogger at the Times, andy malcolm, we talked about why they shouldnt worry about hits and why they shouldnt worry about being popular. because none of that shit matters. all that matters is theyre writing several times a day. all that matters is that even if they dont wanna be writers one day God gave rock and roll to you and she gave you the internet to write about it. so bust bitches.

    afterwards one of the three dudes in the room started asking me about making money on the web and how to get ads and i was all, didnt i tell you to forget about those things? didnt i tell you that of the 100 million blogs even 1% of them dont make money? he said yeah but im a business major and i was all dude youre in a building for artists, not get rich quick schemes. this is the fourth estate. this is a special part of town. money is not the motivator here, the truth is. and art. theres an art in writing and photography and illustration and reporting and editing and working as a team.

    and he said but isnt this a bad place to be in la? arent newspapers dying? and i said my friend, whats going on with the housing market? whats going on with magazines laying off people, whats going on with tv news cutting jobs? what youre seeing is a recession. we’re losing a war where we’ve funneled a trillion dollars (a number that may triple) and then flushed it down the can, do you really think an economy can do that and nothing at all is effected? i said have you been to canada? have you seen how the dollar used to be worth more than the looney and then it was even steven and now you gotta pay more than a buck to get one of their bucks? i said, you think just newspapers are going through rough times? its called 2008 my friend. no ones safe. so write.

    and i got home and i opened up the $5 subway from the sweaty bag. and i saw that the Travel blog had published my piece about the Donnas and i gotta say it looks soooo good up there, but its so sad that the pics are so tiny on that blog. i think 350 pixels wide, which is teeney if you ask me.

    but word is The Guide is gonna be relaunched very soon and later the blogs on The Guide and if everything works out those columns will be broadened so we can bust with bigger pics. until then heres some pics that didnt make the post, but for those of you who wanna see what it was all about, click here, and make sure to click the video over there so you can see the Donnas’ entrance and entire first song.

    ps because there was hella backlight action i had to move to the side so bear with me. i didnt video three times a day when i was young.