Sunday, March 9, 2008

Yes it's true, we're moving and more

As has been announced again and again, WNE is moving. Well, there's more to it than that. A rival blog has bought ours and gobbling it up like the disgusting establishment consumer driven corporate monster it is. Part of the mission of this blog is to stick it to the Man but the Man has stuck it to us. This isn't actually a huge travesty. Lots of media outlets are being taken over or closed down.
Sad it is. Especially when it's Rupert Murdoch doing the grabbing. And while our new owner (me) is not completely a greedy tyrant, he isn't a saint either. There are changes going on. WNE's editor (also me) has been meeting with our new owner at his posh skyscraper offices on the bustling business street of 57th Street in Hyde Park and I've got to say, it's pretty nice. I'll have my own editor's office with a beautiful view of Lake Michigan and the rest of the current senior staff will as well. We also have a lovely gourmet cafeteria and the new owner brings in world-renowned chefs weekly. I honestly fought hard to retain the status quo but with all the new bells and whistles involved in this change, I couldn't resist. Please forgive me.
We're moving to wordpress because WNE is really not the blog it once was. It's bigger, more demanding in the quality of writing, and really it requires more organization and space. We need an area for our musings and crap. We need a little separation and order. All this wordpress can provide and blogger cannot.
I originally started the blog (which had a different name and went through a series of name changes before we were blessed with the Write No Evil title) because...well...I don't exactly remember why but since then I've yearned to own a blog similar to Elm Rock City's. Well that's not going to happen. A dog can't become a cat. WNE needs to be the best it can and so part of this move is so that we continue to strive for excellence in that mode.
Now here's the announcement I've been dreading most. The Write No Evil name won't come with us. The company that bought us, The 57th Street Company will take the title. Here's why:
  1. was already taken
  2. I've gotten tired of it. It means nothing. Its tone no longer matches the blog's. As I said, we're a bit more serious now.
  3. Most important, the new name is also the name of a real (like seriously real) business venture we're starting. We're moving into the freelance journalism business. There's going to be more serious journalistic writing and reporting on the blog and we're also offering our services as writers.
So here it is, WNE is evolving into The 57th Street Company! The new name is based on a street where Ben and I grew up. On 57th Street of Hyde Park are numerous quality bookstores and also restaurants but those eateries vary in tastiness. There are also a lot of memories on that street. Some of them are good, some of them are bad but all of them are worth commemorating. So, being the sentimental sap who needs everything to have meaning that I am, the blog's name is changing. The "Company" meaning is intended in both ways, as an actual group of people and a business. It's an entirely new entity.
One other thing about our move. We now have tabs! These tabs are important. Most of our serious writing will happen in the main newsroom of our new offices but the various farts and dumb ideas that each of our senior staff produces goes to a personal tab, not the front page. I must confess though, this is news to everyone, including the staff. I haven't told them yet. I can already feel the many objections but this is a deal breaker for me.
Let's end on a good note! I am also happy to announce we are promoting our very own Little Max to Chief Comic Correspondent. He's going to head our Comic Unit and will do an excellent job. Congratulations. The URL is below. Please forgive us once again for the various kinks that will be going on in the first few weeks as we get used to everything. But rest assured, we're still here and we're only getting better.

Check out the new place!


Write No Evil Editor

Poll Results: Everyone Is A Liar

I popped into the WNE offices today to pick up my banjo and the yogurt culture that I had left on top of the radiator. On my way out, I peeked into Daniel's office and was surprised to see that his desk had been replaced with some kind of large device shrouded in a thick velvet curtain. I could see Mos Daniel's two-tone shoes underneath and asked what the hell was going on. He called back that he was very busy, something about moving our operations up-town, and would I write the poll results, thank you very much.

Our most recent poll confirms what I have known since birth, which is that 50% of humanity are cowardly liars unable to acknowledge their own failings. So, it's not really "all" of you, but it worked better than anything else.

When we asked you, the readers, what you were happiest about having back now that the TeeVee Writer's Strike was over you answered:

16% (1 vote) were happiest about having Jon Stewart back in their lives
16% (1 vote) were overjoyed at the possibility of watching Jack Bower explode something
16% (1 vote) just wanted to watch Grey's Anatomy, which I assume is an educational program for Med Students
50% (3 votes) said that they didn't care about Television, or the state of anyone's strikebeard because they claimed they read books.

All you people you claimed to read books, you should be ashamed of yourselves. I don't need to know what kind of sick habits you have, but if you have to cover them up by claiming that you read books, then honestly I don't want to know.


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Comic Strip "Perry Bible Fellowship" Becomes Semi-Retired

In my continuing bid to claim the title of "Official WNE Comic Correspondent," I write to you all with sincere sadness at the news that Nicholas Gurewtich is moving his excellent comic strip Perry Bible Fellowship to the back burner. Gurewitch made the announcement fresh on the heels of releasing a book of selected strips, and appearing on Fox News (of all things).

PBF, as it is often abbreviated, is an off-beat comic strip that appears both in print and on the web. An award winning strip, two Ignatz awards among others, it's known for its varying artistic styles and often dark sense of humor.


What a first time reader of PBF will realize is that PBF can be scary, gross, or even down-right disturbing but always funny. Gurewitch has a profound skill for the unexpected, and creating truly uncanny situations that surprise even the most ardent reader. It's the kind of comic that sometimes makes you cringe a little bit -- just a little -- after you finish a strip. Decapitations, cat drowning, death, evangelism, and questionable parenting never felt this good.

Common in Gurewitch's comics is putting the reader in a truly unique environment in every strip. The kind of place where dinosaurs have telepathic discussions with each other, or where an unrequited lover can attempt to prove himself in the worst possible way. It's not just Gurewitch's punchlines, the set-ups of PBF are golden, and shine with a genuine wit and intelligence not often seen in modern humor (let alone comics). For instance, in his strip titled "Preserves," Gurewitch explores a world inhabited by human-like beings who have peanut butter or jelly jars for heads. It works so well that the first panel could stand on it's own, but of course it doesn't and ends brilliantly.

What the artistically minded tend to celebrate most, and what is obvious to even a layman such as myself, is that Gurewitch commands more artistic styles than most comic artists. Equally comfortable with Chinese brush styles, gothic Gorey-eque work, or a heavily detailed style, to name but a few, Gurewitch is a true renaissance artist. These styles aren't just for show, either. Instead they inform and enhance whatever place Gurewitch takes us. Unlike many strips which are often constrained in their styles, PBF explored whole new visual worlds.

PBF's reputation as a horrifically funny and ingenious strip will not be taken anytime soon, and though it will be missed by its readers (this author included) it has offered a funnier, more complex counter to an industry often filled with mediocrity.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Poll results

First, an apology from the editor about the lack of posts lately. We're here. Most of the staff was on vacation though. Worry not! The r&r is over and we're pontificating again!
Now for the poll results:
So this week we went on the external a little bit and explored what the most important event has been nationally and internationally and it was a tie.

40% of polltakers (2 votes) said that Fidel Castro stepping down was the biggest event of the week.
40% (2 votes again) said that Kosovo declaring its independence was the most important news.
20% (1 vote) said that Barack Obama getting the upperhand in the democratic election was what deserved the most attention.
0% said Hillary Clinton accusing Obama of plagiarism was important, which is good for Obama...I guess...

And here we see that people recognize what's going on in Europe and Cuba has a direct impact on life in the States. I wonder if that's because of the never ending Iraq War?
I'm a little surprised at the Cuba thing. As The New Yorker put it, "And so it should end so ingloriously! No fighting to the last man at the battlements, no martyr's surrender to an assassin's bullet, only a creaking, shuffling exit through the ward's doors, hospital gown flapping."
With many more changes going on elsewhere in the world, I would have thought Cuba was only a faint thought in the back of everyone's minds, written off as a docile pariah. I guess not.