Thursday, January 24, 2008

On the re-arranging of deck chairs.

So, yeah, I think that the decision to axe Megan Carpentier from Wonkette was a mistake, not that anyone asked my opinion. I like Ken Layne quite a bit, enjoy the shit out of his writing, and weirdly, I sort of feel like Carpentier's output would have been a really nice complement to it.

Gawker Media, oy...what a mess. Thank God for Jezebel. That site has been the place to find the sort of writing that went down in the Choire-Doree-Emily-Balk era*: at times fierce, at times righteous, but leavened with a certain degree of humility and vulnerability. It's in those unexpected latter moments that Gawker gets truly subversive. Right now, I think Pareene is doing a good job at their flagship site but that it's otherwise succumbed to rudderless dullness.

Just today, they allowed someone, ruminating on the Fox Business Channel's "Happy Hour" Program, to say things like, "Did you ever see Mel Brooks’ 'The Producers?' It’s a story about a hapless producer and a nebbish accountant who concoct a scheme to make the worst Broadway play ever made," and conclude by citing (and grammatically mangling**) the popular Mencken quote about going broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public. Something just rang false with me--the Gawker reader doesn't need to have The Producers explained to them, and is not likely to be impressed with a post that tidily sums itself up with an idea that veteran readers likely accept as gospel.

A mess!

* Recreate the magic: Here, here, here, and here.
**They write, "No one has ever went broke..." Jesus wept!

1 comment:

Rusty said...

I don't like biting the hand that feeds (Wonkette send an awful lot of hits my way) but Gawker is dead. There's the infrequency of Leitch posts on Deadspin. The desperate posts about cocaine use and sex with strangers by Slut Machine on Jezebel (if I wanted to read that shit I'd stick with X-rated Star Wars fan fiction). Idolator's and Gawker's shortcomings are obvious.

And now the firing of the Anonymous Lobbyist. Ugh.

Ken Layne's fever dream half-baked conspiracy theories are not my cup of tea. My only experience with him has been on the site's comments where he's been quite the asshole. Having me banned from Gawker commenting privs because I didn't catch a reference to a 1941 Capra movie. I do not look forward to his tenure.