"I mostly write out of disgust and dissatisfaction. I want a beautiful life but I’m stuck in this Garbage World with you people. Very slowly, I’m figuring out I probably should not waste any more time on writing. It seems increasingly passive and banal, the whole exercise." —An interview with writer and self-help guru Ken Layne.
Before Flickr, before Tumblr, before Instagram or Chatroulette or sideboob slideshows on corporate media websites, there was TonyPierce.com. From his East Hollywood bachelor pad at the dawn of the century, Tony combined his own L.A. snapshots with pilfered celebrity photographs, found objects, PG-13 pictures submitted by the camgirls, and freeform essays on his favorite subjects: his bus ride to work, Howard Stern, the Chicago Cubs, 19-year-old girls in their underwear, Charles Bukowski, the Los Angeles Times. Tony went pro as editor of LAist.com and then blog editor at the Los Angeles Times, where he created and edited iconic blogs such as L.A. Now and Hero Complex. We talked [...]
"I’ve never had any luck with publishing companies. Nobody has, really—discounting the handful of Famous Bestselling Authors you read about in the NYT. It occurred to me, a few weeks ago, that I personally know about forty people who have sold books to big or medium-sized publishers, and their experiences are all the same: Long after you’ve written it and long after you’ve spent the advance on food and rent, a forgotten little bundle of words with an inscrutable cover is released in the night, you might do a few readings in empty Barnes & Noble stores on a weekday, and then four or five years later you still [...]
The meaning of life AND the making of Nick Denton's fortune, all in one handy advice column. Contains hobbitry.
Do people still have media diets? If you do, here is a new thing on the Internet that you should add to your media diet. It is about the outdoors and the environment, but not in the preachy, annoying way which characterizes so much of that discussion and causes even the most ardent conservationist to dream of a world that has been entirely plowed under, paved over and fracked like there is no tomorrow. You won't find that here! Plus, they've got a very amateur logo, which means they are sincere in the best kind of way.
An old schoolhouse, two feed stores, an "84 Lumber" yard, the sheriff's substation and a western wear store were the notable tenants on the main street of Lakeside, California. It was just a half-hour's drive from the beaches of San Diego, but it had the dusty half-abandoned look of a Texas panhandle town. The "lake" was a pond in the small park at the end of the road. State Highway 67 ran parallel to the two-block-long downtown, and in a faded Old West-themed plywood strip mall, a lean middle-aged man in a brown corduroy sports coat was behind his desk with his typewriter and a coffee mug full of Bushmill's, [...]
Dignity, a new book by Ken Layne, is a novel composed of found letters, set in the post-housing crisis California wasteland, when people must learn again how to make food.
My friends in Goleta Meadows,
I think about you always and honor the sacrifices you make for our community.
How is our little group? Are people from the area still showing up for the weekly suppers? Keep your gates open to neighbors, and hide nothing from the honestly curious. We are living without the three poisons by choice, to show the world a new path, in fact a new map of the world. Don’t be weary. [...]
The End of the 00s: Horrible Decade of Constant Terror Doesn't Officially End Until the World Does, In 2012, by Ken Layne
Y2K was the thing that was going to Destroy Earth when this dumb, nameless decade began. It's hard to remember the pre-Muslim threats, but this was a big one: All the planes were going to fall out of the sky, at midnight on January 1, 2000… based on the time zone they were flying over, I guess? It was never very clear, which is why it was such an effective End of the World scenario. Also, your teevees and ATMs would stop working. Because of those rotten computer programmers! Me? I was drunk in Madrid, which had not yet been blown up by Muslims, and also airfare was incredibly cheap [...]
Talking Hats VIDEO BLOG: Ken Layne With Choire Sicha On Wonkette, Teabags, Traffic And The End Of The World
On behalf of all of us here at The Awl, I wanted to ask Ken Layne, proprietor of Wonkette, some questions about how to run a website, and also about the politics, which he supposedly knows about. And about how the world is flat, and how bad that last fake "Star Wars" movie was. Also the hobos in our neighborhood. So we did it on video! (PLEASE NOTE: It takes a second to buffer. PLEASE NOTE: Please don't be horrified by The Awl's offices. ALSO: I am an idiot.) Anyway, it's just like BLOGGING HEADS, but half as long and with slightly more cursing, and with more [...]
"America's largest open-air mental hospital," that's how Oceanside police spokesman Bob George described this run-down coastal city between Camp Pendleton and the surfer towns of North San Diego County. I called it the Slum by the Sea. Despite the miles of beach and the beautiful old Spanish mission and the Southern California weather, Oceanside was a honky tonk Marine Corps town on the west side of Interstate 5 and a sprawling mess of trailer parks and starter-home suburbs to the east.
I spent a lot of time at Bob's desk in the back of the OPD headquarters. Sometimes it was as a police beat reporter, sometimes it was as the [...]
Watergate, The Night Stalker, the Church Committee, Rod Serling's "Night Gallery," the Pascagoula Abduction and the Jonestown Massacre: this was my 1970s youth. My mom, who recalls taking pro-communist flyers from Lee Harvey Oswald outside the downtown New Orleans building where she worked as a secretary, once lifted a tobacco pipe left behind by Jim Garrison at a cocktail party, and kept it in a place of honor. My dad would occasionally reference the mysterious classified part of his job at NASA in Texas, on the team that prepared the Eagle [...]
It seems like only yesterday when this website hit the 100,000 comment mark. Which it was. In recognition of that auspicious event, I asked if The Awl would consider regular posts where less stupid comments are highlighted for awl to enjoy.
This week, in our little Friday afternoon video chats, I wanted to ask Ken Layne of important politics site Wonkette a bit about the White House Correspondents Dinner, which is happening down in D.C. this weekend. That was exciting, if slightly terrifying, but! Then Ken showed me our new promo reel, that he made for advertisers for both our sites. Wow! This is going to bring in the big bucks, man! It's just like the one Gawker Media released this week. I think this will really knock your socks off. ARE YOU READY?