From B. to C. and back again
The enigmatic, spiky B. Kite's passionate missive to the Voice is featured as its "letter of the week." The published version still has oomph, but it condenses much, and B. has asked me to post the whole thing here. (He wrote a very nice thing about me, which was cut in the printed version; my inclination is to remove this mention, but this could cause him to find another blog that will publish the real uncut version! I'm going to just use my initials.)
When it comes time to write the history of how the Voice went from a vital news and review source for readers across the country to a carbon copy of the lame and forgettable "alternative weeklies" owned by the inbred new management, I think we'll be able to assign at least three stages to the decline. First there was the brilliant idea of removing the Voice from the national stage by firing the likes of James Ridgeway and putting the lid on any but local political coverage.
Now, many managers, finding themselves in charge of a paper with national (and even international) influence, might imagine they had come into a pretty hot property, and seek to expand its reach. But this team takes "Go parochial!" as its rallying cry and rushes to restrict the paper's influence to a narrower sphere. It's an idea! And besides, rumor has it that the new head man doesn't like to hear people say nasty things about Bush anyway.
Stage two is the ongoing destruction of the film section. Here again management makes a bold move by taking what was widely considered to be the most essential and intelligent film coverage of any American weekly and dumbing it down to the level of the other links in their sorry chain, largely by making the editors use their (mostly) slackjawed syndicate critics. You know, running more capsule reviews from these yobs doesn't really equate to expanding arts coverage, as you've claimed. (Neither does expanding your damn LISTINGS!)
Stage three, the most recent, is the gutting of the books section (maybe the most eclectic and readable around, way better than the NY Times') and, to top it off, firing E- P---, the section's editor and long one of the Voice's most engaging, sharp, and funny writers. Do you have any idea what you're losing?
I'd like to think there's some greater plan behind all this, but judging from your past work, it seems you just suck.
Art (that's his name — it's very conceptual) told me about this short video, "C for Vendetta," which has a pretty high chuckle quotient.