Former OW staffer wants things the way they were
Published: November 24, 2011
In 2008, my dreams came true. I was hired as the calendar editor for this free liberal rag you clutch in your hand (or that your monitor is radiating to you). I was a creative writer with a journalistic bent and a love of this community, so this was my apex, like being swept away in my personal modern epic.
What’s the story where Beowulf watches sausage get made?
Over the next two years, disillusionment (and mounting debts) grew until I realized this whole medium was a buggy whip factory that would crush me when it eventually crashed. So in 2010, I jumped ship for the emerging and noble industry of localized agriculture.
And in the intervening time, I learned an important lesson. “Emerging” means “not here,” and “noble” means “unpaid.”
So, I have a message for Orlando Weekly publisher Rick Schreiber: I need you to play Santa this year. Give me back my job! (Cost: $28,000 plus benefits.)
OK, not my old job. My replacement, calendar editor Aimee Vitek, is rocking the calendar. I’m thinking more like a color commentary deal. Maybe I could write some back-page column on drinking at weird Orlando happenings and snark at the caricatures I see out and about. Or I could write movie reviews. Is anyone handling that?
I’m not really picky. I just want a paycheck again. And an office where I can sleep off my hangovers. And a boss who takes me out drinking.
Which brings up the second part of my wish. I want former editor Bob Whitby back (cost: “a couple beers and a good bahn mi,” according to my source). Again, not to replace the excellent new editor, Erin Sullivan, who has expertly focused the paper (not to mention that she promised me, like, $50 for this). I just need Whitby to pick up the tab and listen while I prattle on about the coming apocalypse and the need for localized agriculture.
None of this addresses the original problem: journalism’s impending death (cost: a literate populace?). Maybe what I should wish for is to shore up the general economy for another 40 years (cost: some $500 trillion to plug the derivatives market and another oil field the size of Ghawar in Saudi Arabia).
Because what I really want back is an Orlando of hope and innovation. An Orlando that dreams of trains and gets drunk on a Tuesday. An Orlando where the alt paper gets to be a comedic thorn in an otherwise-working status quo’s side, instead of a tragic Cassandra shouting on empty street corners because no one can afford to go out. In short, I want an Orlando that can afford to waste time on people like me (and by “like me” I mean “me”).
Really, I come cheap.
Trevor Fraser was calendar editor forOrlando Weekly from June 2008 to April 2010. We can’t give him his job back, but we will buy him a beer for Christmas.
> Email OW Trevor Fraser