Victor Sasson’s “Eye on the Record” seemed an amusing diversion at first.
It also gave some of us a vicarious thrill, as the Vicster lay bare the failings of a company that actually had the wherewithal to help itself but lacked the balls — or the brains — to respond when that passing fad, the Internet, took a sledgehammer to its monopoly.
One thing the Route 80 Rag has refused to do throughout the “downsizing crisis” is take responsibility for its own demise. Denial of the fullest, really. It also has made a practice of stripping its institutional knowledge: Younger, after all, is cheaper.
For you young’uns, Victor was a brilliant reporter in his day. As persnickety a copy editor as you’d ever find, he somehow thought the job description also gave him the right to exercise his opinions on stories — sometimes in the very headlines he wrote — instead of pushing commas. When the music stopped at his particular unit, he was without a chair. So after clearing out his work station, he filed his complaints, got a real nice food blog going, then apparently decided to stalk his former employer online.
Alas, the cranky fucker’s 401k didn’t include a sense of humor.
At first, “Eye on The Record” was dead-on. But pithy observations quickly turned into pissy complaints. “They suck. They suck. They suck.” I tried warning him early, but it was already too late: He’d transformed into the old guy in the window: “Hey you kids. Get away from that car!!!”
I know you’re broken and you been hurt, my friend. Show me somebody who ain’t. But at some point, dinner buddies let your calls go to voicemail if all they can expect is a retelling of what a douchebag your ex wife was. At the very least, give the paper props when deserved — it gets you some cred. And if you’re gonna redline the thing, go down to the library and read copies; don’t brag about your ex-employee’s discount and then bitch when some tired guy with a day job shortarms the morning fling and your single-bagged paper ends up in a fuckin’ puddle.
You smacked the paper for going big on the Yanks’ World Series win. Why? It’s good business, Crankopotamus. I’m a Mets fan and I think the paper nailed it. After all, collectors’ editions don’t all have to be from the days after the Kennedy and King killings, or 911. A newspaper is not a public trust; it’s a private enterprise. If it doesn’t cover the area you live in and it doesn’t do so in the manner you wish it would, then don’t read it. Wanna find out what’s going on out there, do what I do: TALK TO PEOPLE.
The worst, by far, is this unfair, vicious treatment of line staff who truly are trying their best to excel. Do everyone a favor, Victor Victorian: Stop pissin’ on good people, before someone ends up takin’ a Joe Ax to your Van Dusen. If I were launching my own newspaper today, they are two guys I’d fall over myself to start with (Actually, if I were launching a newspaper today, I would hope someone would dial 911 and have me involuntarily committed).
And for Christ’s sake, Victor, lay the fuck off the woman who has to create food content from scratch. Focus on the Box of Rocks lifer in the corner office — who only got HER job cause her dad worked in the print shop for, like, a thousand years — for putting the kid in that position, on her own, to begin with.
Picking on the prols serves no good purpose — especially when you have overpaid, undereducated editors who are such easy targets.
Who didn’t tire of those Post anecdotes after the first few weeks? I swear, I’ve got more things to do in Denver when I’m dead than Andy Garcia. If it was so great there, “Pull It, Sir” Pete, why don’tcha go back? You’ve got more years HERE now. Why not talk up the good work THESE people do, you girlie-laughin’, nubile-stalkin’ prick?
I once accompanied the skullcap-in-a-suit to a conference in Atlantic City, where someone I greatly respect and admire thought it would be a good idea to have him give a presentation to a group of prosecutors and police chiefs who gathered there essentially to get hammered, hit on chicks and ride a hard eight at the craps table. So what does Mr. Carpal Thumbs do? He shows slides of Colombine (Toward what end, I still don’t know. Neither did any of the LEOs I later spoke to). Then he shuts off the laptop and, with the big screen white behind him, TALKS MORE ABOUT DENVER.
The grumbling actually began in the back. Like “the wave,” it made its way forward, until Sparky got the hint. Trouble was: He couldn’t get the disc out of the laptop. He asked for help, and, at one point, had the then-State Attorney General, the then-head of the FBI branch in Newark and an area prosecutor holding the laptop upside down, poking at the drawer button, quizzically looking at one another.
“You’re a computer guy, Jer,” Standthere said. “Do something.”
So I waited for them to turn their backs . Then I powered up the notebook, popped out the disc, and turned it off again. I quietly slipped the disc to Jellyfish on the side like I was handing him a bag o’ weed, then I was off like a shot for the casino bar, where I spent the rest of my night watching a bunch of cops from other parts of the state try and pick up hookers. At the end of the bar was the prosecutor of a county that shall go unnamed (let’s just say it’s south of Elizabeth). Several ladies each took a crack at him, and each time he looked up to find me still down the other end, poundin’ Crown Royal.
“You know, you’re costin’ me business,” one said to me as she fetched a roll of quarters from the bartender.
Finally, around 3 a.m., Mr. Prosecutor threw in the napkin. He walked all the way around the bar, then slapped me on the shoulder.
“Not tonight, my friend,” he says. “No story here.” Then he was gone.
See Victor? You can make your point while telling a story. You can keep readers engaged, give them a nice, soft Tootsie Roll instead of a bucket o’ bile. Otherwise, you end up like my 3-year-old in front of the bowl — piss flyin’ everywhere (the tank, the cabinets, the floor, my leg). Little bastid thinks it a riot, but I ain’t exactly entertained, if y’know what I mean.
You can start by leavin’ the kids alone. Zero in on the unimaginative mouth breather who spends meetings wiping crumbs off the front of his shirt. Show succinctly how Chief Sitting Bullshit forgot what it means to help people (after too many years sitting inches away, I got tales that could make your head spin). And don’t forget to give the Borglings all they can handle. It is their submarine, after all.
You had the perfect anecdote when you told the story of how Corey Feldman introduced himself to most of the company employees by showing a picture of his house — only you left out the part when he said he likes to read women’s magazines cause they have lots of pictures and words he can understand.
Continue to do that and I, for one, will continue to read your blog, you crazy bastid. Find the humor in the absolute cluelessness of people paid to know what’s really going on. THEN show us how these yokels are driving that Beverly Hillbillies truck they call a newspaper right into the cee-ment pond.
Otherwise, you’re just giving everyone reason to ignore you — while granting me inside post position to tell TRUE stories of how decisions were made in the sandbox.
Trust me, my friend. I’ve got a few lulus.
Yours in unlawful termination,