Sunday, July 12, 2009

Left for dead, and hung out to dry...

by the Alternative Mainstream Media:

Okay, it's not like I don't have better things to do now than belly wail. I sure can use a shower, but there's something I need to get off my chest.

When I was having a hard time getting an article I wrote, "Remember Guantanamo: for Daniel Pearl," published by The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other mainstream media newspapers, a friend of mine suggested I try blogging. "Oh," I said, "that sounds onanistic. Besides, no serious writer would be caught dead writing for free," and quickly dismissed the idea.

Then, a funny thing happened when I spent that summer looking for new digs, trying to move back to L.A. for the umpteenth time from the Ventura area. I found myself writing about what I witnessed while staying at a ramshackle hotel, on Burbank Blvd., a few miles from North Hollywood. One of the major blogs published it, and I had my first cyberspace orgasm miraculously watching something I write instantly appear on my computer screen. I've always been a sucker for immediate gratification.

I tested the water and it was fine, so I jumped in, and became a bona fide blogger (actually, a serious writer with an immediate gratification jones).

One thing I did notice, and that was that not all Web sites are created equally. I wasn't able to penetrate the glass ceiling which, by the way, still exists at places like Truthdig, and Truthout, neither of whom will return my e-mails, but happily find myself, and my work, appreciated at The Huffington Post. No one makes a dime off selling advertising space on my articles---I'm not a celebrity blogger, so I'm especially grateful to those places like HuffPost, and the Atlantic Free Press, who appreciate and publish what I write, but I also want to say how hugely disappointing it is to find the same infrastructure of exclusion, and exclusivity, a hierarchy (again, mostly male) of writers who one sees over and over again, with no room for a new face, and no more appetite for taking risks than the MSM that suffered a major collapse for its lack of imagination.

Funny thing about glass ceilings, if you look closer, they're really mirrors, and what they reflect about the social innovations of our day is that we have largely recycled the same old elitism in different packaging.