Readers in many
The master template for this shit-for-brains newspaper genre is the New Times in
I have read The Voice for over thirty years, and was a regular subscriber for almost twenty. Although it was published in
Right off the bat, the excellent James Ridgeway was fired, and Sydney Schanberg quit. That’s when I cancelled my subscription. Since then, we’ve seen Michael Atkinson and Dennis Lim axed from the film section, and Robert Christgau and Chuck Eddy from the music pages. Those are just some of the bigger names—over thirty other staffers have been fired as well, to be replaced by idiot clones of editor David Blum, and recycled writers from other New Times rags.
The usual line you read is that The Voice was already predictable, a shadow of its former self. And Lacey talked like he was going to make the paper better, more “relevant.” All you had to do was pick up any one of his birdcage-liner publications across the country to know that this was a lie. But the proof is in the pudding, or in this case, the putrid swill.
In a time of illegal war, right-wing Republican scandal, and a level of both political meltdown and progressive activism not seen since the 60s, you can read The Voice now and barely have an idea that any of this is going on. Nat Hentoff is the only one writing about national issues--in fact the only real columnist left. We’ve had cover stories about American Idol, a gay rugby player, a woman addicted to candy, and an exposé of male pick-up techniques (which turned out be both phony and plagiarized). A recent cover story purports to criticize Tom Wolfe for writing about historical preservation just to salvage his career, a charge which applies more to the article itself, which offers nothing but baseless insinuations in a desperate attempt to be “cutting edge.”
You can read the first three paragraphs of any of these articles and know exactly what they’re going to say. They’re always boring. Whereas I used to spend hours reading The Voice, I can now just go to the library, scan the first part of the paper briefly for something interesting (which I never find, outside of Hentoff), read J. Hoberman on film, Feingold on theater, and be done with The Voice in less than twenty minutes. It’s now an empty, cowardly, dull, mindless publication, just like everything else Lacey has ever touched.
Memo to Mike Lacey: fuck you. You’ve turned one of the country’s best and only progressive newspapers into a piece of shit. Your features are just like every other stale “alternative” weekly article I’ve ever read. Despite your pretentious blatherings, what you produce is not journalism. I have read journalism, and I have read The New Times, and I know the difference. Please sell The Voice to someone with a soul—you can go back to
Lacey will just keep on sucking the life out of newspapers, which is what he knows how to do. All I can say is, don’t subscribe to The Voice, or buy from the companies who advertise in it. If The Village Voice is ever to be reborn, this zombie New Times imitation of The Voice needs to die.