Let's Take the Alex Pareene Challenge

This Alex Pareene newsletter post is in part a dig at people like me, Substack bros. (Inspired by the more successful ones rather than me, I’m sure, but it’s a category in which I’m frequently placed.) There’s so much fucking metadiscourse about independent publishing and the supposed insincerity of those within it already that I’d like to wash my hands of it all. But the fact remains that there is very little space at all within traditional media for those who are critical of establishment liberalism and the Democratic party, other than Republican shitheads like Bret Stephens or Jennifer Rubin who are disdained by regular conservatives. (Breitbart et al. are their own separate world, a deeply unpleasant one.) The claim that writers like me are just in it for the money inevitably redounds to the benefit of the gatekeepers of progressive media, who I am confident Pareene does not support. Pareene is also himself writing from Substack, which makes it more interesting. But among other things he’s certainly alleging insincerity, the notion that people with politics like mine writing for newsletters like this one are in on some sort of con. And this is the only one of the common insults that bugs me at all, in part because for like a decade the book on me was that I was annoyingly sincere. So let’s just dive in, with the caveat that I understand that it’s a little nutty to write a direct rejoinder to something like this.

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