An Indecent Proposal

If anyone reading has access to Angel Capital or is an Angel investor themself, I have a proposition. I’m thinking of starting an Online mag, that can also publish and disseminate hard copy editions, that will rival and overtake Vice, which we all know has sold out, and by some accounts may have been an intelligence rag and psyop all along. They sure seem to gain unprecedented special access. How do they do that without the aid of certain special “insiders?”

The Revolution Will Not Be Vice

Vice was once a humble magazine about doing heroin and having sex (on heroin). Now, Vice is a global multimedia company, partly owned by Fox, valued at $1.4 billion. Vice is so successful that it no longer needs to exist.

On Friday, news broke that 21st Century Fox, which was recently spun off from News Corp, is sinking $70 million into Vice for a 5% stake in the company. That means the notional value of Vice as a whole is $1.4 billion. That means that Vice is worth about six times as much as the Washington Post, and just a wee bit less than the New York Times. If there was any doubt left, the counterculture has now become the establishment. There is now only one degree of separation between Rupert Murdoch and “The Meth-Fueled, Weeklong Orgies Ravaging London’s Gay-Sex Party Scene.”

Vice does a lot of great things. It makes a point of covering the dirty corners of the world. It does stories in war zones, and poverty-stricken slums, and authoritarian hellholes. Sure, some of those stories are little more than wide-eyed disaster tourism and painfully oblivious smirks at situations that deserve sobriety. But as a media entity, Vice produces a great deal of content on issues, places, and situations that tend to be neglected by what is colloquially called the “mainstream” media. And that is worthwhile in aggregate, even if it is sometimes exasperating in its particulars.

Honesty demands that Vice’s accomplishments be acknowledged. It also demands that we call Vice what it really is: an ever-expanding machine for selling counterculture cool to the world’s largest and most mainstream corporations. All media companies including ours are in the business of selling their audience’s attention, of course, but Vice stands out for its twin passions of wrapping itself in antiestablishment symbols and simultaneously hustling harder than anyone to become part of the establishment. More than most media companies, Vice is a trick pulled on its own audience: lured by the promise of not giving a fuck, cool kids are assembled into a space where their desirable not-give-a-fuckness can be sold to corporate sponsors for hefty fees, which go into the pockets of Vice’s owners.

Everyone else in the media is very jealous of Vice’s skill at pulling this trick. Just about every other upstart media company would love to be able to do it as well. And most of them would happily accept that Fox money and huge valuation. Vice, institutionally, is not any less scrupulous than anyone else in this business. Nor any more scrupulous. And that is the point. The cool kids, the angry kids, and everyone who feels the need to rage against the machine should simply be aware that all of their rage and anger and anomie is being happily packaged and sold. The revolution won’t be televised on HBO, nor funded by Rupert Murdoch. The revolution is the next generation of upstarts that begin with nothing and gradually rise up to eat Vice, and Gawker, and which are eventually eaten themselves by the next generation. None of us should get too comfortable.

In the meantime, congratulations to Vice on its billionaire status.

And just what were Vice‘s murky, mythological origins? It’s funny you should ask. This article explores how it all came about. Just another American success story — and how appropriate it precedes my Coming To America series.

Founded in Montreal, Canada, in 1994, the magazine started as a government-funded project, as part of a community-building welfare programme. Then known as the Voice of Montreal, it was originally run by three friends – Shane Smith, Suroosh Alvi and Gavin McInnes – and became the Voice before Vice was finally born. Now with its headquarters in New York and more than 900,000 readers across 22 countries, Vice is building an empire – complete with its own web-based television channel, fashion range, online store and record label.

And, it turns out Vice‘s founders are liars, too. But, of course, if you’ve been following along, we all are to some degree — certainly some more than others. It looks like Shane Smith’s pretty darn good at this game resulting in a current net worth of $400 million, keeping in mind of course that net worth is a misleading wealth indicator. Smith’s liquid cash-out today is probably valued more in the single digit millions, the rest is just papered perception, but hey, it sounds impressive. Still, single digit millions is nothing to sneeze at, is it — especially from a former English teacher/poet/foreign war correspondent for Reuters or anything you care to, or Shane Smith cares to, make up to put on Smith’s resume?

VICE founder, famous for truth telling, has history of lies

And sources close to Smith, including former employees and friends, tell The Daily Caller that his career has long been paved with pure untruths.

In May 2007, Smith told Patrick Sisson in a Playboy interview that he was a wartime reporter for Reuters in Bosnia.

“You wrote for Reuters in Bosnia in the 1990s,” Sisson began in the Playboy interview. “Did that experience affect how you viewed the world and the way you look at Vice?”

“Definitely,” Smith replied. “I went down to Serbia and Croatia during the war. I covered the ethnic cleansing and did a big thing on [former Yugoslavian dictator Josip Broz] Tito,” he said.

The Financial Times also credited Smith with doing some work for the Budapest Sun, in addition to Reuters.

“[Smith] moved to Hungary, freelancing for the Budapest Sun and Reuters, and carved a lucrative, yet precarious, sideline as a currency hedger,” wrote Matthew Garrahan in December 2012.

But representatives for both the Budapest Sun and Reuters told TheDC that neither company has a record of Smith ever working for them, let alone a massive story on Tito under his byline, which he would have had to write in his early twenties.

Additionally, a records search of Google, Lexis Nexis and Factiva provided no documented journalism from Smith until well past 2004.

Alex Detrick, VICE’s communications director, repeatedly confirmed that Smith had worked at Reuters and the Budapest Sun in a series of text messages, emails, and a phone call with TheDC. Detrick did not reply when asked directly why it was that Reuters and the Budapest Sun have no record of Smith’s relationship with either organization.

More at link

Alright, you get the point. Vice and Catcher In The Lie share some similarities but we’re also distinct in many ways and I want to keep it that way as this endeavor takes off and burgeons. Unhampered, unfettered satirical muckraking is the goal, and if a following were to develop, or better yet, a readership, it shouldn’t be cultivated or engendered, but rather a natural, organic byproduct of hard-hitting investigative journalism that explores the cracks and crevices mainstream and alternative media overlook and even avoid at all costs.

Pursuant to that, let’s get this thing rolling. I think I’ve provided a firm basis and jumping off point for the direction and vibe with this initial blog and its Pulitzer Prize worthy series of posts, but it’s time to take it to the next level, and if you’re in a financial position to do so, you can help. Also, if you are an aspiring writer or just a writer in general, guest posts are welcome and perhaps we can form a Committee of Correspondence to develop this theme and platform.

If you’re interested, I can be reached by email at coldnholefield@gmail.com. If not, I don’t give a shit anyway, so stuff it and go look for yet another tech company to invest your ill-gotten gains in you stingy prick(s). May you die on your yacht after a heroin overdose fed to you by a high-priced call girl from Atlanta. Make sure you click the link, it’s worth it. I have to laugh at all the glowing reports from his friends and acquaintances despite the fact the scum was leading a double life. Still, his wife and children won’t harbor a grudge since they’re left with a pot of gold. Money does that — it buys you immunity from moral condemnation. Without it, you’re going straight to hell.

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8 thoughts on “An Indecent Proposal

  1. While reading the Washington Post article about the Google exec murdered by the skanky prostitute (she doesn’t look so hot without the make-up), I noticed this story. The reason I bring it to attention is because it’s a perfect contrast and juxtaposition with what BRH typically posts over at Clusterfuck Nation. It’s as though BRH works for Capital Cities in its current manifestation and is responsible for disseminating its propaganda talking points in those hard-to-reach alternative media spaces. It’s that, or he has his ear tuned to Limbaugh all day long. Either way, we hear you BRH, the niggers and spics are killing each other, but so too are the crackers, you just don’t like to mention it. Funny that.

    And Q. Shtik, I know you have your feelings hurt because I wouldn’t post your journal entry over at CFN. Get over it. I’m not your chump. I’m nobody’s chump, and in fact, that’s one of the underlying themes of this blog; “don’t be a chump.” So many are these days, it’s an exception to the rule to not be.

    Man charged with capital murder in execution-style slaying of Texas family

    I thought Utah was Happy Happy land with all the zombie-like Mormons sauntering down pristine streets and shopping aisles (“I really must get this recipe”) like Stepford people. Jon Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith comes to mind.

    • we hear you BRH, the niggers and spics are killing each other, but so too are the crackers, you just don’t like to mention it. Funny that. – Catch
      ========

      I think you’re missing the point of BRH’s comments. Virtually all the violence he describes is happening in the cities of his beloved Connecticut. In Hartford, for example, there aren’t all that many “crackers.” I can appreciate his lament…I lived and worked in CT for a couple of years in the early ’70s when it was a much better place than it has degenerated to today.

      • Go back another 200 hundred years, and one will find Connecticut was just as violent as it is today, and that violence was even more irrational. You are aware of the true history of the Puritans, are you not? They were not a tolerant people and weren’t shy about using brutal violence against infidels and non-believers. It’s ironic since the story line is that they fled to America to avoid persecution when in fact they had an equal penchant for persecution as did those who persecuted them.

        Anyway, Connecticut is one weird-ass place. I can’t put my finger on it, but that history of violence has allowed an egregorial shroud to smother that place with an aura of doom and dread. It’s in the molecules that make up the air, soil and water — the rub of that violent history lingers like a pestilent residue until it’s adequately reconciled.

  2. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/11/world/middleeast/kurdish-leader-calls-for-iraqi-premier-to-resign.html?_r=0

    In the picture that accompanies this article the Kurdish President, Barzani is explaining to Maliki of Iraq that he was stopped on the street by a very gentlemanly American biker of the Hell’s Angels clan who pulled a cloth from his right rear pocket and offered it to him as a gift. “He referred to it as a hand-ker-chief” said Barzani who, astonished by this warm gesture, said he would wear it at an important meeting he was about to attend.

    By the way, what’s up with referring to a leader of the Kurds as “Kurdish?” Why “ish?” Is he merely “like” a Kurd but not fully a Kurd? Same question goes for the term Jewish. After all, do we say that Obama is an Americanish president?

    • By the way, what’s up with referring to a leader of the Kurds as “Kurdish?” Why “ish?” Is he merely “like” a Kurd but not fully a Kurd? Same question goes for the term Jewish. After all, do we say that Obama is an Americanish president?

      Religions are funny when you refer to their adherents — unlike nations or states, the name gets shortened when referring to the inhabitants/adherents. For example, an adherent of Judaism is a Jew and an adherent of Catholicism is a Catholic. But none of it is hard and fast or absolute. English allows for so many exceptions to rules, as is the case with Buddhism and Buddhist — there is no shortening.

      In referring to the inhabitants of states and nations, a general trend is to lengthening the word used to describe an inhabitant. So, we get someone from America referred to as American and someone from Russia referred to as Communist. Communist is an especially egregious lengthening since it hardly resembles the name of the country in any way but yet it’s synonymous with it.

      The worst is Peru — an inhabitant of Peru is a Peruvian. Four letters are added to designate an inhabitant of that lonely South American backwater.

      Canada is a weird one — an i is placed before the a and then an n is placed last in the sequence of letters resulting in Canadian, but China, which also ends in an a following a consonant, drops the final a and in lieu of it, “ese” is added resulting in Chinese.

      Nuts, but it keeps the loony bin packed with people like you who make frequent pit stops there trying to sort this mess out.

      • Speaking of “Canadian” here’s an excerpt from “A brief history” I delivered at the memorial service for my late mother-in-law, Sonja:

        Mrs Q arranged to get Mom into a 9 till 2 program at Parker Adult Day Center a quarter mile from our home. I drove her there 4 days a week and Parker delivered her back home in a van.

        To get Mom there by 9, Mrs Q and I were a tag team, a well-oiled machine, a Swiss watch. She got Mom dressed on the 3rd floor while I went to the kitchen, fed the cats, made coffee and set the table. Mom would arrive in slow motion, teary eyed. “Am I doing something today?” “Yeah, you’re going to Parker.” “Have I been there before?” “Hundreds of times.” “Oh my God, I don’t remember. Are there other people there like me?” “No, they’re all basket cases, you’re ‘high-functioning’.”

        “No more chit-chat Mom, did you put your plate in? Oh, don’t tell me, you never took it out. Get the pills out.” “Where are they?” “In the basket next to your left hand where they’ve been for the last 8 years.”

        Mrs Q: “Here Mom, here’s a half a bagel.” “Oh, I can’t eat that much.” “Come on Mom ya gotta eat, you’re wasting away. Here, take a sip of coffee, then come in the bathroom so I can do your eyebrows and lip stick.”

        Like a stage manager, Q makes an authoritarian announcement in a deep resonant voice: “TEN MINUTES, TEN MINUTES” Mom asks, “ten minutes till what?” “Till you go to Parker.” Oh no, do you think I should go there when I don’t know what I’m doing?” “Take a bite of that bagel.” “I’m not hungry, old people don’t eat as much.”

        Mrs Q: Oh my God Mom, why are you wearing those shoes, those aren’t the shoes I layed out for you. Drink some more coffee while I run up and get the right shoes, then brush your teeth, and don’t forget to brush your plate.”

        “TWO MINUTES, TWO MINUTES.”

        “Do I take this jacket off when I get there?”

        “If you’re warm, take it off, if you’re cold leave it on. And keep all your other clothes on whether you’re warm or cold.”

        “Have I been there before?”
        “I don’t think I should go.”
        “Do they tell me what to do when I get there?”

        “Come on Mom, out the door.” I buckle her in and quickly head for the driver’s side door. As I slide in I see Mom has already flipped down the sun visor and is checking her look. She couldn’t tell you what she just had for breakfast but she knows exactly where that sun visor mirror is.

        “Mom, flip that thing up, I can’t see…. and for God’s sake you’re 91, how could you even give a shit?” “Nobody you’re going to see gives a shit.” In my mind I can just hear Mrs Q say “SHUT UP Q, people DO give a shit….. don’t say that to Mom just because YOU don’t give a shit what you look like. Look at those dorky white socks your wearing.”

        I hang a right onto River Road, we’re running a minute or two late. I get to Cedar lane and catch a red light. When I’m running late the light is always red. If I’m ahead of schedule it’s always green. As we wait Mom looks to her right and asks “What are they building there?”

        I say, “Well we’ve covered this every day for the past year but let me explain once again…. they’re building a couple hundred condos and town houses and each one is going for almost half a million.”

        “REALLY!? Where do people get that kind of money?”

        “They’re all drug dealers.”

        “This is true??”

        “No, this is sarcasm.”

        The light turns green, I check my watch and simultaneously roll down the window to scream at the truck in front of me “DO YOU THINK YOU CAN DRIVE THAT THING ANY SLOWER?” He gives me the finger.

        We’re passing the vast lush grass of the Johnson Park soccer field with a thousand birds on it.

        Mom says “Look at all those ducks!”

        I say, “They’re New Jersey Geese, Mom”

        She says “Oh…but I thought they were called Canadian Geese.”

        I say, “yeah, actually it’s ‘Canada’ Geese. They used to call them that but they never go home and there are so many in this state now they officially renamed them New Jersey Geese.”

        She asks “This is true??”

        I say “no, this is sarcasm.”

        We turn right into Parker. There are two meticulously maintained flower beds. I say “Look at the pretty flowers Mom.”

        She says “I was just going to say that.”

        I say, “I know but I got the jump on you.”

        We pull up to the entrance……..9:02…… Whew, close enough for government work.

      • “Look at those dorky white socks your wearing.”

        Should be you’re. You rarely if ever make this mistake. I’m stunned.

        Should Canada Dry be Canadian Dry by your interpretation of the enigmatic rules?

  3. I’d like to help. How much do you need to get started? I’ve recently come into a cash windfall and am embarking on a journey as a financial good samaritan. As we proceed I’ll need some information from you like your real name, social security number and bank account numbers and pins. I’m looking forward to a prosperous relationship. All the best. Neil

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