Gawker, 2002–2016
Alex Balk

I’m enormously conflicted about this Jeremiad. I mean, not confused like I’m-a-middle-aged-bisexual-man-who-loves-women-and-finds-almost-all-men-under-attractive-yet-still-has-dreams-about-cock. But more like confused like I am lactose intollerant and can’t stop eating fart-flavored ice cream. On the one hand, Gawker was a great training ground for a large number of witty — sometimes important — writers. And, like Spy before it, Gawker was ruthlessly critical of media, class elites and bottle service. On the other hand, the Invisible Hand of Denton was so firmly implanted up the ass of every writer that Gawker pretty much invented ruthless, meaningless click-bait. So, I feel very sorry for the staff, and hope them well. But in the end, really great writers — like Maura Johnston(!!!), Choire, Jessica Coen, Balk, Analee Fucking Newitz (!!!), HamNo, etc, etc, etc — will land talent-side-up. I’m thankful they critiqued the mediocretins, rather than lap-dance their careers into back-slappy white-washing of power. If that makes any sense. And if it doesn’t, I blame Say That’s Cool, who roofied me earlier.

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