Wednesday, September 05, 2018

1992 The Village Voice


That day chilly day in October of 1955, the Village Idiots gathered at Figaro’s at Bleecker and MacDougal and we were outraged. There was a new newspaper in town, the Village Voice and it was going to kill the puny little “Villager” newspaper.

People from 14 to well over 40 (how OLD that seemed in those days!) saw ruination by competition.  How dumb we were.  But not for long.

Where The Villager had stories about lost cats, panhandlers, movie listings and where to buy the best gnocchi and breadsticks, The Voice had Norman Mailer and Jules Feiffer. Oh, and some pretty racy ads.

Now, in 2018, The Villager is still cranking out neighborhood fare, The Voice has stopped posting after a slow coast to a dead halt.  The print edition was closed a year or so ago.  Now, the website is fodder for researchers.

In the intervening years, the Voice won Pulitzer Prizes, exposed wrongdoing from City Hall to Washington, and hired some of the best editors, writers, musicians, critics and photographers since the invention of the printing press.

It was the New York Times for Beatniks. It was the Herald Trib for hippies. It was the grandfather of alternative newspapers.  

Well, we all know print is in hospice care with big money footing the bills until the lights go out. The Boston Globe and the Washington Post are the playthings of billionaires.  The big chains… Gannett, Newhouse, McClatchy, etc. are swimming against the tide and losing. 

And we all know that when the real game is in the boardroom the team loses on the field. Those big companies are in debt up to their eyebrows and/or looking for lifeboats, rafts and inflated auto tubes and not finding them.

So, The Voice is just another former newspaper.

Kudos to the folks at the Reading Eagle who tried to save it after it was passed around from owner to owner like a joint at Figaro.  The Eagle swooped down to pull The Voice from its contra-tide swim. But eventually it got hungry.  And then the Eagle did what eagles do: it had lunch.

-No one ever passed around a lit joint at Figaro, rumors to the contrary notwithstanding.

-New definition of an investigative reporter: Someone who reads the second paragraph of the wire story.

-It hasn’t happened yet, but one of these days some poor copy editor is going to die of adjective poisoning.

-Oh, wait… there ARE no copy editors and this blog is living proof.


-trump is doing the impossible… making Jeff Sessions look heroic.

TODAY’S QUOTE: “I’m sorry, I’m not going to be able to do this.” -- Monica Lewinsky before she walked out of an Israeli TV interview when asked a question about Bill Clinton that the interviewer had agreed ahead of time not to ask.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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