Trying to find someplace to replace my beloved ‘Fazione, I sat for about four hours this afternoon in the Cafe Collage with my laptop and nursed large coffee while trying to figure out what’s going on with the economy, my online journals, and my laptop. It’s smoking like an oil burning rod.
As the faithful readers here know (and I mean FAITHFUL, if you’re a reader here, as there hasn’t been anything in A-while to read!) my day job is as editor for The Moss Problem. Things have not been going well there, so today I drafted a letter to the writers– meaning to be both fear inspiring and inspirational. I’m going to wait a day or two, however, before I present them with it. I’d like to reread it with a fresh perspective before publishing it there. So here it is. Tell me what you think!
Open letter from Anthony Franciosa to Moss Problem writers.
I had my accountant look over the books for The Moss Problem and he tells me we are in serious financial trouble. As many of you know, it has long been my preference to let people motivate and govern themselves while I simply fulfill my roll as sage, guidance counselor, and small town traffic cop. But with the recent upheavals in the economy, I, and indeed WE, no longer have the luxury to lackadaisically lollygag, loaf, and fuck around, and get paid for it. I realize that your writers’ salary isn’t much, but take a look around you! Many fine, longstanding journalists at publications more formidable and with a greater advertising base than this one have been shown the door and are now working as baristas and bike messengers. Maybe I let you people slide for too long, and you haven’t had the benefit of fear or hunger to motivate you. Well, sorry to say, things are gonna change, baby.
Some of you haven’t written a single article IN THE PAST YEAR. We cannot allow this kind of sloth to continue if we’re going to compete with the big boys. You people are cashing your paychecks—for what? To grace our contributor list? Readers aren’t stupid; when they see no new articles appearing in our pages, it means only one thing to them: no new articles. Soon, they will look elsewhere for news and intellectual stimulation. I really don’t want to have to let any of you go, but if things don’t change I will soon be forced to make cuts. I will be forced to trim, and even, though I hate to say it, perform surgery without anesthetic. And finally, I will be forced, though against my aesthetic judgment and warmer feelings, to separate the wheat from the chaff.
From today on we must have changes. Big changes. If you writers aren’t going to come up with articles, I will have no choice but to cease calling you writers. I will call you deadbeats. Unless one of your brilliant postings is titled: “An open letter to Anthony Franciosa: Why I Should Continue To Get Paid Even Though I Make No Contributions To The Moss Problem. Well, here it is. I well just cease to pay you, that’s all. You can go off and write for Yelp, for all I care. And it has come to my attention that some of you already do. Please explain THAT to me.
From this day forth, writers, don’t even bother coming into the office unless you plan to leave copy on my desk. And you’re going to have to spell-check it yourself, because the first ones to go are our copy editors and fact checkers. That is, after the accountant, who I really didn’t need to tell me we’re in deep financial shit. At any rate, hear me out: If you aren’t coming to the office with an idea and some inspiration, don’t bother to come in at all. If you aren’t coming into the office operating at 110%, don’t bother to come in at all. We must look at every day like it is the Superbowl, but even more than that, the Superbowl of The Future, where the losing team gets euthanized, carved up, and barbequed at post-game tailgate parties. In short, if you are not coming into the office to PERFORM, stay at home and do whatever the hell it is that writers do when they’re at home. Procrastinating is my best guess.