By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
I don't know if you knew this about the OC Weekly, but in the 11 years since we started it, it's been basically Smurf Village—all hand-holding and hair-braiding and candy fights. Our small staff—about a dozen of us in editorial—functions as a living organism: if the pancreas needs to take a couple weeks off to go somewhere and dry out, the liver steps in to help. (Okay, that's probably not how a living organism works, and I probably don't care.)
Yes, I know you think we're a godless rag, but we think we put out the best alt.-weekly in the nation. You've got Moxley, the finest investigative reporter in Southern California, maybe the state. You've got Schou and Dave Wielenga, breaking stories that ended in prison stints for more than one mayor of Huntington Beach. You've got Gustavo, who's put our rag in the national consciousness with his °Aska Mexican! (which, frankly, kills us dead, like Raid!). You've got Steve Lowery, who's the funniest among us, and who's just been named our interim editor. There's Theo Douglas, a workhorse who goes and looks at art and Jesse James so you don't have to. There are Matt and Ellen and Vickieand Tom, holding it together like Jenga blocks. You no longer have our founding editor, Will Swaim; he resigned this week. You no longer have Chris Ziegler; he followed.
And you no longer have me.
I haven't told our New Times daddies I'm giving notice tomorrow;I doubt they'd let this last column run if I did. It could have been worse: Dean Singleton could have bought our newspaper. At least this way, we still get to call people twats.
But this paper will be a very different place a year from now, and I'm not particularly interested in being the last rat off.
I have some cash money saved up, and the suits owe me five weeks' vacation. I've got a couple things cooking but nothing in the can. I've got enough saved up for a couple-few months, as long as someone else is buying the drinks, but I could use a job, so call me. As long as it's not topless, I'll consider all offers.
I type 75 words a minute. I also interpretive-dance.
We've had a lovely run. There was all that fun we had with the sheriff, and all the righteous rage we got to spill onto our smudged pages about all the nasty, spiteful perpetrations of the local (nasty, spiteful) GOP. There were the bars and underground parties and chichi art events, and I won that big-ass award. While the news boys were busting people out of prison or putting them in it, depending on the week, my greatest achievement remains getting the racist "jigaboo" painting removed from the women's room in the Swallow's Inn.
And there was you.
There was you calling me a Jew, and you calling me a slut, and you calling me a "selfish little wimp." There was you, screaming into my voicemail, "Rebecca Schoenkopf, you are nothing but a terrorist, you fuckin' cunt!" and there was you saying, in what remains the best letter ever to Commie Girl, "Stick to writing your crap, and stop thinking you are an expert in anything other than pathetic, self-centered, pompous dumbasses like yourself. You will be forever doomed to writing your self-involved little bullshit columns on toilet-paper rolls in your cat-feces-infested motel room long after OC Weekly finally wakes up and fires you." Joke's on you, Mary from Rancho Santa Margarita, because I just quit.
So I'll see you around. Be good, and be kind. Don't forget to vote. Give me some money.
I loved you all. Or at least it seemed liked it.