even though i don’t look it, i’m 51.
i don’t have children or a fancy house or a boatload of money in the bank.
but for a short period of time i was given the keys to a blog that very few people knew about, and enough of a salary that i could pay my rent while i tried to make it big.
after time there was a little money for an assistant editor who posted on the weekends, but other than us no one at LAist got paid while i was there.
and yet dozens of people wrote for the fledgling thing every day.
and quickly we did make it big.
it got so big that many of us were able to get gigs at fancy newspapers and exotic magazines and giant websites. that’s right, our dreams came true: we got to work at the places we always dreamed of working. and there we used what we learned at LAist to continue to kick ass.
when i look back at my life LAist was my baby. no, i wasn’t the first editor there or even the one who got the most hits. and for sure i was not the one who was there the longest. but for a while it was my everything. and when people today, ten years later, say “oh i read LAist every day.” that means more to me than even compliments about this very blog because LAist is meant for everyone. and i am so proud to have been part of it at a crucial part of its adolescence.
speaking of today, today the patriarch of the owners of my beloved Chicago Cubs pulled the biggest bitch move i’ve ever seen. he closed down all the Gothamist sites and deleted the archives. all because the writers wanted to unionize.
old Joe Ricketts, who gave Trump tons of cash, got butthurt that it was going to cost him a little more cash if he continued to own the network of local blogs.
so he took his ball and went home.
and on the way he carpet-bombed the past. which weirdly is something you can sorta do online.
what Joe will never understand is how not everything is about money.
he could probably never get why 30+ people a week would contribute to a blawwwg for free, spending time writing about strangers, or pouring their hearts out about how hard it is to date in LA, or letting people know about a restaurant no one’s ever heard of.
for some money is everything.
the reason LAist worked when i was there was because i was looking for people who were more interested in Love.
i wanted them to write about what they loved for the love of it.
i wanted photographers who took pictures for love.
in return i promised them the thing my bosses gave me: freedom.
i am heartbroken tonight, but thinking about all the people i met who were once strangers but who became my staff and then my friends is cheering me up because even though our archives might be harder to access and so many memories are locked away,
as Ozzy said, you can’t kill rock n roll
it’s here to stay.
so fuck you Joe Ricketts, and fuck your obsession with money and power.
a year ago tonight your kids’ hard work with the Cubs made millions of people’s dreams come true. and today you have tainted their legacy with your pettiness, selfishness and narrow-minded spite.
but you can’t take away the one thing that made Gothamist, LAist, SFist, DCist and all the other offshoots of the Jake and Jen universe so magical:
they breathed and celebrated life.
while you are only about death.
so see you in Hell.
i’ll be the one asking you where the fuck is my baby.