For the last 15 years, Mr. Brûlé, an Estonian-Canadian who keeps his perma-stubble artfully cropped like Tom Ford’s, has gone outside the publishing establishment and started two culture magazines regarded as bibles in certain design-savvy circles: Wallpaper and Monocle.
And he did so while upending notions of what a media company does.
While everyone hailed the iPad as the savior of print, Mr. Brûlé put out a limited-edition newspaper for the slopes of Gstaad and the beaches of Cannes. While retailers rushed online, Mr. Brûlé opened a chain of Monocle boutiques, a micro-extension of the magazine’s shopper-as-curator ethos. And while music migrates to the cloud, Mr. Brûlé started a radio station, with “an international playlist” that samples sounds “from Seoul to Stockholm.”
The common thread behind these disparate ventures is Mr. Brûlé himself, who embodies the border-agnostic sophisticate whom the Monocle brand is built around. His globe-trotting persona (cocktails-with-Danish-diplomats intellectualism, sleeper-seat jaunts to Taipei) has inspired legions of followers, who hang on his oracular pronouncements on what’s next.
I love what I do, but after so many years spent writing/editing/managing blogs, certain parts of me have become jaded. It happens to all of us, men or women, who write online; our skins thicken. It’s a survival mechanism. But I’ve become particularly jaded in regards to this specific sort of story — anonymous haters attacking a woman because she dares to do something online — because I’ve seen it so many times. I’ve even been on the receiving end of it. Disgusting emails, awful phone calls, pricks harassing my parents. It was a long time ago, but to keep on working and not be intimidated, I guess I just became numb. For years. And that was what worked for me, because I never stopped seeing stories of women who were harassed online. Didn’t even matter what they were writing about; women are just punished for existing on the internet.
Image: Julie Doucet
The diva death-match of the century is back! And this time, neither party did anything to directly ignite the flames.
This week, we are confronted again with the Madonna versus Lady Gaga paradigm. Gay fans, apparently, don’t have enough gigabytes in their little iMachines to fit both of the women’s bodies of work.
You see, Lady Gaga’s “Little Monsters” (all of them!) are outraged that Madonna is presenting Anderson Cooper with an award at the GLAAD Media Awards in New York on March 16. How could GLAAD be so insensitive?! Don’t they know that Madonna invented AIDS! The Little Monsters (all of them!) went insofar as to co-write a letter to GLAAD demanding that Madonna admit she has been copying Lady Gaga since 1992 (or something like that). All this, mind you, according to a one-person blog.
The Little Monsters (all of them!) then decided that, instead of sending the letter exclusively to the New York Times or MTV, it’d cause the most impact if they posted it on a totally ridiculous, little, tiny ass “fan” blog called Little Monster Art Pop – which has now been deleted.
The letter and the blog post was then picked up by Examiner.com, which gives writers the power to publish any nonsense whatsoever under the disguise of “news” without the journalistic or ethical training to, you know, detect a farce.
But apparently, the Examiner lent the story enough credibility to fool BuzzFeed, Queerty and the Huffington Post.
The HuffPost even reprinted more contentious statements from the fan blog. ”Many gay men listened to [Madonna], had unsafe sex, and contracted AIDS. They died. They were so stupid to listen to such a slut that their death was karma.” You hear that, Keith Haring! It’s your fault you got AIDS because you hung out with that crazy ho Madonna back in the 80s (pictured right).
Are you fucking kidding me? If you’re going to use that as a quote in your story, then you fucking better make sure to attribute those words to a first and last name, not to just a link on an anonymous website. You are basically corroborating crap.
Here are more questions my journalism professors would have asked:
1. How is it possible that one unofficial fan blog has the authority to speak for the entire Little Monsters fan community?
2. Wait, isn’t this the same blog that sparked the Osbourne/Gaga feud by writing that Kelly Osbourne should kill herself?
3. Was the letter ever even sent to GLAAD? Did anyone call them to confirm?
4. Don’t we have a moral responsibility to deny exposure to something as illogically vile as accusing a single artist of being responsible for the AIDS epidemic?
5. Are the pageviews worth my journalistic integrity?
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we live in a world when you can post an outrageous letter that you intend to send to an organization on behalf of millions of people and have it eaten up by media sites. And they ate that shit up for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Just goes to show that you should never trust everything you read on a website that ends with blogspot, or really… any website whatsoever.
BOY TOYS TALK BACK: Don’t news websites loose so much credibility when they help spread bullshit like this?
An important point LGBT readers must remember: LGBT news sites and blogs often work as advocates for their community as well, something CNN, The New York Times, and other traditional news organizations do not. The loss of LGBT media is not only the loss of a news outlet, but the loss of a soldier in the battle for equality.
- David Badash from The New Civil Rights Movement writing about the state of gay media last year. To answer that overly-contentious headline (“Will Your Favorite Still Be There Next Year?”), Queerty not only survived another year but has since doubled its audience.
Also noteworthy in the last year, The Huffington Post and BuzzFeed have ramped up their LGBT coverage like no one’s business. I wonder if a mainstream site with a devoted gay section can be as effective an advocate in the battle for equality as Metro Weekly, Good As You or Pam’s House Blend. A question for Chris Geidner, I guess.
My conversation with Coyne, frontman of the Flaming Lips, starts at the 2:25 mark. Towards the end, host Jim Shearer forced a little debate between me and another writer where I had to defend Rolling Stone against Spin (which wasn’t hard), but that didn’t make it on the clip above.