Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My Life on the Blacklist PT. 2 (An Egotistical Interlude)



“I only say those things about you because you’re a terrible, cynical, disingenuous news organization.” – Jon Stewart about FOX News (But it works for NT as well, I could argue .)

Hello Blogiteers!

When I last left you, I was at my therapist’s, but he cut our session short after I started recounting those dreams I’ve been having about swimming with Axl Rose look-alike dolphins who for some reason, sing nothing but Michael Jackson songs.

Badly.

You’ve had that one too, right?
Anybody?
Anyone?

Ok…..Um, anyways…. To recap my earlier meanderings in PT. 1 about my email tardiness- due to the overwhelming amount of messages I received, it was at least two days or so before I came across Amy Silverman’s Email.

Did I mention she’s New Times Managing Editor? I did? Good. You will see soon enough why I keep dropping her job title, just bear with me. Thanks.

As I was saying… Since my email is not set up alphabetically, she was [literally] the last message I read.

I know, I should have used the Sesame Street server, but I didn’t- that stupid salesman for The Electric Company got to me first, what can I say? When I finally opened the message, this is what it said:

FIRST EMAIL MESSAGE FROM AMY SILVERMAN: [aka MANAGING EDITOR OF NEW TIMES]

my name is amy silverman. i'm managing editor at phoenix new times. I understand you've had some sort of conversation with claire Lawton regarding content on our web site? would you please share your concerns
with me?

thanks.

amy

FINI.
-------------------------------------------

I liked it at first sight.The tone was polite. Friendly. Open. Almost curious. Much like a cute little poo flinging monkey that also writes. OK- maybe it was written without proper capitalization, seemingly in the manner of a 12 year old girl, but certainly that couldn’t be a portent of things to come, could it?

Note to self: In future: go with your gut.

So feeling slightly embarrassed for not being on top of this email sooner, I hastily composed the following reply to apologize for my delay in returning Amy’s message:

WAYNE’S SLIGHTLY EMBARASSED, HASTILLY COMPOSED, HONESTLY APOLOGETIC, E MAIL REPLY MESSAGE TO AMY SILVERMAN: [aka MANAGING EDITOR OF NEW TIMES]:

Ms. Silverman-

Sorry for the lateness of my reply, but I have been up to my neck in responding to my email accounts, due to an unnaturally heavy amount of traffic the last three days. As to my concerns-, I fear that email is not an adequate conveyance to express them clearly.

If you are interested in hearing my views, Sunday, Monday, and most nights work well for me.

I did offer a option (albeit curt) in the "comments" section of JR, and as I said- I am serious about it.
Please let me know what works for you.

Respectfully,
Wayne Michael Reich

FINI.
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See? I can be nice, even gosh darn cuddly sometimes.

And, to up my “street cred” as a mature adult, I even admitted that I might have been a tad curt in my responses online, all in the naïve hope of opening a dialogue about improving NT’s dearth of local arts coverage.

Amy’s response to my very nice response? An even nicer response!

AMY SILVERMAN’S [aka MANAGING EDITOR OF NEW TIMES], EVEN NICER RESPONSE TO WAYNE’S SLIGHTLY EMBARASSED, HASTILLY COMPOSED, SEMI APOLOGETIC, E MAIL REPLY MESSAGE:

I'd be more than happy to meet with you. I can meet Monday, July 19, any
time between 1 and 4 p.m. at New Times, 1201 E. Jefferson Street, or the
following Monday in the same time frame. Please let me know if either
works for you.

Thanks!
Amy Silverman

FINI.
------------------------------------------------

More than happy? I actually got a “More than happy”! I never get that. In my life, it’s more along the lines of “Less than melancholy.” A dialogue was opening here- I could just feel it.

But just like so many years ago when I dyed my hair, painted my fingernails black, wore alternative fabrics and started humming “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” every five minutes- it was a huge error in judgment. I actually believed at this point that our meeting would be a “sit-down” of sorts- either to discuss the issues I had raised, or more realistically, to challenge those concerns through some form of debate like rational people tend to do.

But then again….It was New Times after all, and I was [at that moment] blissfully unaware that I was about to meet an up and comer for my honorary title of Queen Bitch of the Universe. As usual, I am getting ahead of myself yet again. Sorry about all the jumping around, but when I am forced to deal with stupidity combined with arrogance and an unjustified ego, I get sort of scrambled.

Now, I wasn’t knocked down or out for that matter- I was thrown for a loop. If you look online at NT’s article on yours truly, you will see that Amy Silverman [aka: New Times Managing Editor] posted TWO comments regarding the “debate” that was ensuing- to quote:

AMY SILVERMAN’S [aka MANAGING EDITOR OF NEW TIMES] FIRST OF TWO COMMENTS POSTED ON NEW TIME’S LAME ASS ATTEMPED BITCH SLAP OF WAYNE MICHAEL REICH WHERE SHE SEEMS TO WANT TO START A DIALOGUE ABOUT NT’S ARTS COVERAGE:

 “Thank you for all of the feedback regarding our arts coverage!

As you know, New Times has covered the arts forever in print, but our blog, Jackalope Ranch, is still in its infancy. In the paper we barely have room each week for a visual art review OR a theater review.
On the blog we have infinite space, and we appreciate your patience as we feel our way around. The categories of "music" and "food," which we've covered on phxmusic.com and phxfood.com for years now, are just that -- categories. "Culture"? This time, we've bitten off a larger hunk. We won't get it perfect overnight, and even at that, many of you won't ever like us. We can live with that.
But love us or hate us, do tell us what you think!
Your input (well, much of it, anyway) on Jackalope Ranch is invaluable. Please keep it coming. It's nice to know you care”
----------------------------------------------------
 Amy does seem interested in starting a dialogue here, does she not? Well, that warm fuzzy feeling lasted about 10 minutes, and then someone posted a comment accusing New Times of journalistic backpedaling- which led to the following:

AMY SILVERMAN’S [aka MANAGING EDITOR OF NEW TIMES] SECOND OF TWO COMMENTS POSTED ON NEW TIME’S LAME ASS ATTEMPED BITCH SLAP OF WAYNE MICHAEL REICH WHERE SHE SEEMS TO GET A TAD BITCHY AFTER BEING ACCUSED OF JOURNALISTIC BACKPEDALING:

“Believe me or not (and frankly, I don't care whether you do) I'm happy to see a dialogue about the arts scene in Phoenix. (At least, in the places I can pick that out amongst other trappings here.)
There's a place for haters, too, always has been in the arts, and we welcome you here. No, we won't please you all the time. At least, I hope not. That would be boring beyond belief.
Just a thought: You can launch insults, or you can try to do something productive. Either way, know that I'm thrilled to see your input on Jackalope Ranch.
One last thing -- you'll have a lot more cred if you put your name to your comments. Just sayin'.”
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

At this point, that whole “give us your input” thing is still being expressed, but her uncalled for comment of “and frankly I don’t care whether you do or not” seems to negate that previously open mindedness she had just a few mere moments ago. 

In addition, it also shows a small streak of egotistical pettiness, I think. She is not the story, the blogs bitching about NT's implied lack of art coverage is the focus, and yet, she attempts to insert herself as the sole focal point- this becomes important later in our saga, so please hold this issue in your memory.

However, Amy does get two points for telling the haters to post their actual names, so that’s turning a negative into a positive I guess. Now- my responses to the comments posted above and to the NT article were short and to the point... well somewhat, anyway. For those of you have read all the comments under the online article, feel free to skip this next part, as it is just my final response to NT’s journalistic fluff ball. Smoke em’ if you got em’, I always say.
                                                                                                                 
WAYNE’S SHORT AND TO THE POINT [SOMEWHAT] REPLY TO NT’S LAME ASS ATTEMPED BITCH SLAP, VIA A PERSONAL MESSAGE TO AMY SILVERMAN: [aka MANAGING EDITOR OF NEW TIMES]:

“Once again- wow. All this from my little blog.
I guess I hit someone's nerve, otherwise why would Steve waste his time on little ol' me?

Seems strange, especially since Claire Lawton claimed that NT "gives voice to all kinds of viewpoints." Especially the ones that agree, otherwise why bother with a blog that is usually written for my own entertainment? Now to be honest, my screeds usually get an avg. of 500 or so hits every time I write, but they do seem to get forwarded a lot. I get e-mails from a wide variety of people who enjoy my little rants, and that's fine.

But apparently, I must have ticked off someone at NT to inspire Steve to write this weak candy ass tripe. Rather than debate the issues I've raised, let's just keep name calling and taking cheap shots - that will fix the problem eventually, I'm sure.

So along those lines....

Martin C: I have no idea what your comment means, so I'll ignore it. Except to say your trolling on Steve's behalf was well done, if disingenuous.

Pete: You rock- that is all.

Amy S.: Nice to see the big wig get involved. But one small point? In your own words: "You can launch insults, or you can try to do something productive."

The only way NT's blog has been productive was to drive people to my website- for that I thank you.
[http://www.waynemichaelreich.com]

If you guys were upset or felt slighted, you (IE: NT) could have called me to get perspective as a responsible newspaper would have done- you did not. Rather you asked Steve to cobble together this embarrassment of riches (for me at least) and did nothing except prove my point that NT is completely out of touch.

You claim that NT has limited space-I cheerfully disagree. NT does not have limited space, NT has limited writers.The NT article by Craig Outhier that started all this could (and should) have been dropped for something actually worth writing about- be it a new artist, musician, or bricklayer.

"Who will swipe Jordin's V- card?"

That's classy, let me tells ya. I can not sleep at night sometimes not knowing who will f**k Jordin Sparks. Sophomoric comedic "journalism" is not what I would consider great use of the "limited space". Every week NT has the ability to inform, entertain, and direct public opinion.Yesterday, NT directed some of that vital energy at me- rather than debate the points I raised, or offer solutions, NT decided to throw down, and if my email is any indicator- you guys got stomped like a narc at a biker rally. 

Way to use the machine. If you don't agree with my POV, why didn't you just ignore me? You've been pretty good at that for the least ten years or so, it should've been easy.

So I offer a challenge- you want "differing viewpoints"? Talk to me- I dares ya. Not an interview, I'm obviously not fishing for that. Nothing more than a simple little chat over coffee. (cookies optional)

You can even bring Steve and his high chair. Or I'll come to you- walking into the Lion's den as it were.

Either way, I promise to be entertaining company. You got the stones? I got the time.
But if what I've seen lately is any indicator, you're chucking pebbles.                                                      
 Respectfully, WMR”
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Ok everyone, back into one happy group. that's good. Does everyone have his or her blog buddy?  Awesome.                                                                                                                                     

 Now, I know what you are thinking- why would anyone in their right mind want to meet with yours truly, after I just metaphorically spanked, humiliated, and dope slapped them upside the head? Using their website as my pulpit, I might add. It did strike as strange, but under the false impression that this meeting would be a positive experience, I soldiered on, mentally preparing for the best.

So, I dressed all artsy*, memorized my notes for the “dialogue” to follow, and prepped for my meeting with Amy Silverman. [aka: New Times Managing Editor]
[* By artsy, I mean I was wearing my black jeans, my white crucifix tee shirt, polished motorcycle boots, and my usual complement of custom made silver jewelry. BTW, I look DARN good in this outfit, just saying.]

As an added bonus, and because I am a man of my word, I brought along a box of Costco chocolate chip cookies as an icebreaker. After all, I did verbally bitch-slap NT, and I surmised that perhaps there could be some residual tension directed at yours truly because of all that. Chocolate chip cookies, by the way, are awesome for reducing all sorts of tension no matter who offers them. I may hate your guts, but if you offer me good chocolate chip cookies, I will endure your presence until they are gone.

In addition, the cookies that Costco stocks are as big as your freaking head, with HUGE chunks of chocolate in them, and they are not cheap either - these are like seven-dollar cookies, a price I was more than happy to pay in favor of a possibly larger return.

I did say that cookies were optional in my response, but I was flat out lying. Chocolate chip cookies are never optional as far as I am concerned, and seriously- who doesn’t like chocolate chip cookies?

I did find that last part out, much to my chagrin.

"The whole business is built on ego, vanity, self-satisfaction, and it's total crap to pretend it's not."
-George Michael



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