I don’t ordinarily like to send out emails that don’t have a lot of solid content in them, but I’ll make an exception to tell you that I have returned to the New York Times today with a piece arguing that American socialists need to stop whining about how the system is against us and do the long, slow work of convincing regular people that our agenda is right for them and for the country. I am sure that neither the piece’s argument nor my presence in the pages of the NYT will cause any angst on Twitter.
I never really felt much intrinsic pressure to publish in fancy places; when I started blogging it was as a hobby and I was content to scribble away for my own little audience. But as I started getting more readers and attention people in the professional media world kept dismissing me because I was just a blogger. One day this guy Michael Moynihan tweeted something like “he just sits around and defames people on Blogger,” and I had enough. That day I wrote a list of all the publications I would write for, something like 15 or so. And over the course of the next five or so years I gradually scratched them all off. Feel a little bit the same, here, to be back. It’s great to be in the NYT and I appreciate the audience and the promotion. But for the record this isn’t in any authentic sense more meaningful for me than what I do here at Substack. Still feels really cool and I’m grateful.
Next step is that somebody should snatch me up as a regular book reviewer, because I’m really good at that. (I’d still do them here too, don’t worry.)
Finally, this will further anger people who believe that I am obligated to just go away. Well, without opening a can of worms, I will reiterate: I lost my job and found that the two large-scale Twitter meltdowns about me in 2017 and 2018 had rendered me unemployable. I applied to dozens and dozens of jobs in 2020 in many different fields, from selling car insurance to waiting tables to teaching. The only offer I got was for NYC’s minimum wage, and no matter how I did the math I couldn’t make that work. So I was compelled to write for money again. In other words, the bouts of vitriolic anger about me on social media have forced me back into the public conversation.
In other other words, congratulations. You played yourselves.
Update: To head off a narrative here, I published in WaPo last year and have been turning places down fairly often in the past six months, to focus on this newsletter. So this isn't some sudden reemergence into the light that you can blame on the Times.
My start-to-finish commentary on David Graeber and David Wengrow’s The Dawn of Everything will start with a post tonight, in the Book Club section, for subscribers only, so look for that.
I literally was hoping for this exact response from this exact person lol
Congrats! Love to see the Times include more diverse perspectives, I think the competition from Substack has essentially forced their hand, but nonetheless good to see. I would also love to see the meltdowns happening on the company slack over the last few months.