Gonzo Marketing:Winning Through Worst Practices The Bombast Transcripts: Rants and Screeds of RageBoy
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Sunday, July 27, 2008
The Women of Salon
at least one is a mixed bag
And by one, I mean this one, the one with the oversized teeth. Yes, it's About You, baby. It's all about you, isn't it? Her bio says, "I joined Salon in 1998..." Well, I was there at the creation, literally, in the first days Salon came online. It looked as if it had a shot there for a minute, but during Joan Walsh's tenure, it has turned into a cheap-shot scandal rag. Her bio also says: "I love baseball, Bruce Springsteen, Stephen Colbert and long walks on the beach." Really, need I say more?

But I will, however belatedly. I will say, first off, that Joan Walsh -- who brags, "I've written for everyone from the Los Angeles Times and Washington Post to Vogue and the Nation" -- is no journalist. Journalists are people who, when purporting to report on someone (as opposed to simply reporting him), picks up a telephone and calls that person rather than publishing email she got from an unnamed "friend," as in this instance...

As a woman writer friend e-mailed me after reading Denton's fierce defense of Locke on Valleywag: "There is nothing like hysterical masculine self-pity posing as righteous indignation." I couldn't put it any better than that. Man up, fellas!
And yes, that Locke would be me. The article, should it have slipped your memory, was her 31 March 2007 piece, Men who hate women on the Web.

Just for the record, I don't hate women, as many women would, I think, gladly attest. I suspect even Kathy Sierra would say so, as we became quite friendly during that whole "journalistic" feeding-frenzy, which ended with both of us being sand-bagged by CNN and their promise of airing a "fair and balanced" story. They didn't use that phrase, of course, but they might as well have. (I will send this to Kathy and publish her response if she would like to contradict any of that.)

But oh, I do hate you, Joan. With a passion. To be specific, I think you are the worst sort of stupid bitch, the expression of which opinion, however distasteful you may find it, I believe is (still, GWB and the likes of you notwithstanding) guaranteed to me as an American citizen. I believe said citizenship guarantees me quite a bit more leeway than that, in fact, so I hope you will take note, not simply of my unkind words here, but of my restraint in not calling you even worse things that would doubtless disturb those long beach walks you're so fond of. I dearly hope someone will share these paragraphs with you. And your teeth.

I have to admit, Joan, that it was hard not to rise to the bait when you trolled the following bit....

...how a guy who calls himself "Rageboy" can have his reputation harmed by Sierra's complaints kind of escapes me, but Locke is entitled to his hurt feelings.
I imagine there are a great many things that "escape" you, huh? Though you probably don't let on about those things. Do you? But you being a seasoned journalist and all, I suppose you are due a fuller accounting than I was willing to give back then -- even though you never asked, too chickenshit to call or email me before printing your doctrinaire -- shocked, simply shocked! -- knee spasms.

Why I didn't "man up" at the time and come simpering my personal apologies to your affronted sensibilities was therefore something you could not have known. Something, in fact, that I am only now for the first time publicly divulging here. It is that, just prior to that shitstorm you took such joy in abetting, I had received a fatal medical diagnosis. As in yeah: I'm dying. I've gotten OK with it since then -- didn't somebody once begin a book "We die"? -- but back then as I was reading your honeyed words, it was hitting me pretty hard. Plus, I'd quit smoking only the week before. Under the circumstances, I can't adequately convey how much fun it was to be called out as everything short of a child molester by every Tom, Dick, and Harriet in the mainstream media -- and in some of the sidestreamers, like yours.

You also probably don't know why people call me RageBoy®. Well, I'll tell you. It's because I've been known to say simply awful things to people I think are intellectually unequipped to wield the power they seem to command in our current "culture," very likely due to some flaw in Intelligent Design. So to clear things up for you, Joan, here's putting it as artfully as I can:

But I did title this The Women of Salon, didn't I? Plural, though I had only two in mind. The other is Heather Havrilesky, about whom I have only the best of good things to say. Hang onto her, Joan. She's the only real writer you've got left there. I'll leave you with this intro to her latest "I Like To Watch" column, this one about Shark Week.

Sharks are exciting and full of promise, but that only goes part of the way toward explaining why Shark Week always brings joy to the hearts of so many. Yes, sharks are fascinating to watch, cartoonish and beautiful, graceful and horrifying, magnificent and intimidating and nonchalant. Either because we don't have to elbow past them in the grocery store or because we try very hard not to think of them during the other 51 weeks of the year, sharks seem exotic, and fixating on them feels almost self-indulgent.

Shark Week, then, is more than just a week to look at sharks. Maybe it started as such 21 years ago, when the Discovery Channel, like the awkward kid who brings his dad's python to school for a momentary glimpse of popularity, first shouted "Hey everybody! Look over here! Sharks!" But since then, Shark Week has evolved into a high concept, divorced from its original intention. Shark Week doesn't just mean, "Let's look at scary, fascinating sharks together! Let's watch them circle menacingly and chomp on bloody fish! Let's hear about the most gruesome shark attacks and worry about the next time we dip a toe in the water!"

No, Shark Week also urges us to celebrate something arbitrary, something divorced from tradition or religion or national significance. The spirit of Shark Week reminds us that we get to choose what matters to us, and we can make today Taco Day or make this Nap Week, or expand Nap Week into the Year of Avoiding Real Work. We can celebrate frogs or expensive shoes or good friends or cheap beer or big hair by giving each its very own holiday, and if we choose to sit on the couch and eat snacks and watch sharks on TV for a full week, that's a perfectly legitimate choice, too.

The founders of Shark Week recognize how empty and directionless our lives can be. They know how we drift along, searching for some worthwhile distraction. They know how we're aching for something to rally us forward, like Miley Cyrus fans who need a cheery beacon through the bewildering hinterlands of puberty. And unlike campaign coverage, Emmy nominations, Olympic trials or the Tour de France, Shark Week doesn't require cogitation or analysis. We're tired of thinking. We don't want to worry about the impending recession. We don't care about Angelina Jolie's twins ... or her two brand-new babies, for that matter. We just want to watch sharks, damn it!

Happy Shark Week, America!

Now I realize Ms. Havrilesky wasn't really writing in code about you, Joan. But that description does seem to apply to your brand of "journalism." And you have to admit you do bear a more-than-passing resemblance to a Great White.

28 July Addendum: However, re my "wasn't really writing in code," above, see Frank Paynter's curious discovery in Women who write.

4:48 PM | link |

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"RageBoy: Giving being fucking nuts a good name since 1985."
~D. Weinberger
28 October 2004

Chris Locke's photos More of Chris Locke's photos

Until a minute ago, I had no photos. I still have no photos to speak of. I don't even have a camera. But all these people were linking to "my photos." It was embarassing. It's still embarassing. But I'm used to that.

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