Go Fuck Yourself, Bill Keller, You Solipsistic Jackass

I wish I had something more civil and acceptable to say, but honestly, when I talk about why newspapers are currently sucking donkey sack, this is basically the sort of thing I mean:

Bored by the soggy sleep-ins and warmed-over anarchism of Occupy Wall Street? Fed up (Fed Up!) with the presidential Race to the Bottom? Depressed by the warning signs of the next Depression?

I bring relief. Like Nurse Jackie scavenging in the medicine chest for stray painkillers, I have assembled some capsules of hope from places you probably haven’t noticed lately, because the dominant news is so disheartening you can’t bear to proceed beyond the front page.

Hee hee, protesting is silly and boring and none of those people matter and nobody’s opinion is really important compared to My View of Big World Events, which will not affect my paycheck no matter how wrong it is. Also, reality is depressing. Depressing is bad. Depressing is something I should combat in my columns! Get happy, everybody, Europe’s about to fuck over its middle class almost as bad as we do right here!

Also, a reference to a Showtime program makes me relevant. Hipness! Young people!

I especially love how his implicit suggestion to readers is that if the news is bothering them, they should seek out good news or feel free, with the editor’s express permission, to tune out and claim some kind of burnout caused by reading the fucking paper. As if that’s just like patrolling Fallujah or something. As if that is an excuse you even GET, when the earth is caving in. You’re tired of reading bad news?

Imagine living it, you rich horsefuckers.

You know what an alternate way to go would be? To politely suggest to readers that if they find unregulated capitalism stifling, to get off their asses and change it. To nudge readers toward action in regards to a Republican presidential field that is a mix of mildly stupid and full-on evil, such that perhaps they would demand different candidates. To point out that a coming second Depression is entirely a creature animated by political will, and that no matter how much money corporations pour into elections if everybody voted instead of about half of us, those corporate bagmunchers wouldn’t be able to control SHIT.

All that stuff requires passion for one’s community, a drive to improve the lives of readers and the ability to not give a fuck about the ragaholic conservative message groups that will be screaming bloody blue murder about the liberal New York Times. I don’t see Bill Keller, of all people, having the stones to actually make any of that stick. Besides, what the fuck difference does it make to him? He’s not missing a meal no matter how many protesters get maced outside his building.

If you want to know why newspapers are dying, don’t look at the Internet. Don’t look at conservative versus liberal bias. Look at the endlessly reinforced message that nothing MATTERS anymore, that nothing should matter, and that mattering is passé and probably Communist. You keep telling people not to give a shit, eventually they’re going to listen to you.


12 thoughts on “Go Fuck Yourself, Bill Keller, You Solipsistic Jackass

  1. But , like, what about the advertisers? And pandering? And very serious people? And all those mean Republicans?
    Methinks you must live in an ivory tower woman.

  2. I don’t see Bill Keller, of all people, having the stones to actually make any of that stick.
    Not to suggest that children of wealth and privilege can’t write about the 99%, but worth noting, I think, that Keller’s dad was the CEO of Chevron.

  3. Yes, I can see Bill Keller as an upscale French fop of the Louis XVI era, pressing his perfumed hanky to his nose and complaining about the stink of the lower orders…just as they come back from big doings at the Bastille…

  4. Astonishingly snooty tone for someone who says he wants to give a tip of the hat to people doing the right thing. As a professional writer who knows all about tone, he can’t even claim it just came out wrong.

  5. I am profane. Ask anyone who knows me in person. Curse a blue streak. And I create characters in my fiction who are as profane as I think they should be. But I believe using profanity in an opinion piece or in narration, whether journalism or fiction, is a failure of vocabulary. As it shows the writer at a loss for words, it diminishes the value of his thinking.
    I’m not offended. It’s not that. It’s that I think you cheated yourself by being lazy in your work.

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