Monday, September 7, 2015
Letter to The City Pages
The City Pages is our local events weekly newspaper in the twin cities. Many a rival paper has come and gone...
Dear City Pages Editor,
No, I really do. It is a cruel world out there for an urban weekly. There's all the fly-by-night competition, gunning for your tiny market share. There's every one of your good writers eventually going on to more prestigious jobs or giving it up because it's all so thankless and low paying.
And then there's the Internet. The Internet is cruel. Powerful, ubiquitous, agile, and monstrously large, it eats everything except for the too little things, the things keeping a low profile, the things that lay flat to the ground, cowering.
You are a survivor. You cut every extraneous piece of The City Pages you could. Every feature went. You were like a family trying to survive a famine. Bread, no butter, and not much bread at that. So no comics. No saucy, chatty columns. No off kilter advice letters. Indeed every scrap of entertainment had to go. You went down to one main article, the reviews, a smattering of local news, and you hung on for dear life.
No, I'm not making fun of you, I mean, for the most part. And I am not at all chastising you. It is not for me to waggle my finger at the one who has lived through all this.
But here, now, dear editor, lift up your head a little, out of the dust. The Twin Cities Reader weekly newspaper is gone, long gone, long ago killed by the cruelties of your business. The Onion, as a local weekly, has retreated back to its Internet empire. Vita Mn (or whatever that was), has folded up shop. The Internet has seized all it will seize. It still hunts, but what big game is there left for it?
Look around. Yes it is a bombed field, wasted, a field of dust, but it is yours. It is cleared for you.
When I started this letter to you I thought I was going to submit some of my writing to you. But now I feel it would be taking advantage.
So let me just say, yes, now is the time to rise once again from the dust, see what you can do in this hard new world. Dare to give life again to your emaciated weekly newspaper. Go slow, maybe a single cartoonist, an advice columnist, a witty, regular essayist, paid just a little. But not me. I will not cravenly press my ambitions after all you've been through. I think you just need a friendly voice and a reminder.
Piece the joy and the fun carefully back together, little by little. City Pages is alive.
You are alive.