Stuff That Interests Me

MARCH 2, 2012 4:44PM

Working the Core

Rate: 25 Flag

Today I joined Salon Core.  I can't say it was because Joan Walsh convinced me that joining Core would piss off Rush Limbaugh, but if my Core membership causes Rush intestinal distress, well that's worth my $45 by itself.

I also grabbed a gift year's subscription to The Atlantic (free, free, free -- except that I'm now on their mailing list).  Frankly, I don't recall ever reading a word of The Atlantic, but according to those Northeastern journalists who claim to know what a good magazine is, they like The Atlantic.  That The Atlantic is a Northeastern magazine, I'm sure is mere coincidence.

That reminds me -- my membership in the Sierra Club might be coming to an end if I don't renew.  Or maybe it's already over and the renewal notice is buried somewhere on my desk.  I really don't know how my fairly cheap desk sustains so much weight.  I joined the Sierra Club last year because I really, really care about the environment.  Or, at least, that's what I tell those who ask me.  All I wanted was the 1890s- style replica backpack that came with a new membership (while supplies lasted).  The backpack hangs from a closet doorknob, unused.  But it looks good.

Becoming a Core Member (yes, we get to capitalize "Member" - make your double entendre joke here) has been in the back of my mind -- mostly in the far reaches of the back of my mind -- since the inimitable Greg Correll endorsed joining some three months ago.  At times it takes me awhile to make a decision.

Joan and the Salon staff make various promises about exclusive invitations to buy their books, and watch them on webcasts and the such.  And something about partying with Salon Celebrities when they show up at a town near you.  As best as I've been able to tell, Salon Celebrities have only shown themselves in their natural habitats of San Francisco and New York.  As anyone who can read a map (which are fewer and fewer each year -- there should be a map-reading competency requirement before being allowed to use a GPS; cause when that GPS fails -- and it will eventually -- and leaves you on some frak-nothing county road, you will be royally screwed if that's your only means of navigation), [did everyone get through that parenthetical?  Good.  Back to the sentence.] knows, Chicago ain't squat near either coast.  So unless, a Salon Celebrity is hawking a book, no one is going to show up here just to party.

[As a completely unrelated aside, one "hawks a book," but "hocks a loogie."  "Hawk/hock" sort of sound alike, yet there's no etymological connection.  If you suddenly have a marketable idea, the idiom could be that you "coughed up the idea," hence you "hocked the idea," then "hawked it to investors." The joys of the English language.]

Which leaves me with ... what?  When I comment on a Salon article, a magic symbol will appear next to my screen name, telling all that I'm a Salon Core Member, hence my opinion means more than the freeloading non-Members.  So that's something.  Of course, I've never left a comment on a Salon article before.  Though I almost did when Mary Whatever Her Middle Name Is Williams tried to tell us readers that Will Farrell is a brilliant comic, more than worthy of the Mark Twain Award he received.  [No, I'm not going to take the time to look up the column and link to it.]  A fine 10-page rant popped fully formed in my head, all ready for typing.  Instead I took 30 deep breaths and decided that it wasn't worth it.  Arguing the absurd position that Farrell is worthy of being mentioned in the same vein as Richard Pryor pretty much sums up my rant.

Is Salon Core Membership worth $45?  Will my $45 buy access to the halls (who am I kidding, it's Salon, they only have one hall)  to the hall of power?  Will Kerry take my call?  Will Joan learn how to spell my name?  Will my posts be granted automatic EPs and covers (oh, fuck no, we all know that's not happening)?

Why lay out cash for an online product that I already use for free, in addition to getting a magazine that, most likely, I'll barely look at?  I guess the $45 is a commitment.  A commitment to what, I'm not always sure.  But I'm making a year's commitment to Salon, and more importantly for me, to Open Salon, which for my three years here has been more than worth $45.  Maybe not $45 per year, but amortized, it's been a solid $15/year investment.

So, Kerry, now that you're contractually obligated to read me (it's gotta be in the Terms of Service somewhere), when you finally decide that Salon needs a fantasy baseball columnist, you know how to reach me:  I'm a Salon Core Member.

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I agree that you've made a solid investment.

Enjoy being cored. :)

To be honest, I quit reading big Salon when they quit taking my free comments. Too many hoops to jump through. I'll keep an eye on you to see how you like it.

Too bad we can't have a Midwest Meet-up, but the logistics might be a bit much. Who would put us all up? Slumber party!
Congratulations on becoming a VIP! And also on owning what seems like a really cool backpack...due to another membership, of course. The first man I ever loved, had a thing for nature, so I got him a Sierra Club membership as a gift. The free bag at that time was some cheap red backpack thing that looked like what a kid would have at summer camp. Maybe that's why he left me.....
"Will Kerry take my call?"

Maybe!! He took mine once but then discovered it was me and hung up quickly!! Bastard!! ~:D
Sheesh ... I thought this was going to be an exercise post. It's Friday, I was gonna read it for fun before pounding back the Burgundy. Instead I'll be keeping an eye out for the spikes in your automatic EP's, Stim.

Signed free-loading OS member, SS.
DoaHSS - "being cored" Damn it. I hate when I miss using a good euphemism.

phyllis45's - Maybe enough people would show up at a state park. A state park with a lodge, cause there's no way a camping trip is going to happen.

Alysa - You were way too good for him and he knew it.

Tink - Kerry just changed his phone number to unlisted.

Scarlett - My exercise post would be "Ignoring the Core."

Kate - Cookies! I'm way ahead on this deal.
" I'm a Salon Core Member."
So how does it feel when you say that? Do you feel any different from how you did when you were a freeloader like many? I like your etymological references but now I have to look up what is a loogie .
Hey Stim, signing up for Core was one of my New Years resolutions. But I noticed you don't have any special tag on your comment below so now I'm rethinking. As for the initiation fee, to quote an old Texan poker-playing colleague of mine "Hell, I'd pay $45 to watch a dog take a piss".
Is it any easier to join now than it was a few months ago, because I thought, "Why not?" but quickly found I had to jump through so many hoops I gave up...and I'm not usually a quitter. I just donated my $45 to the Arthritis Foundation, maybe they can help me blog more without so much pain.

You captured this well. I signed up and paid the money too.

And the tone and skepticism you communicate so well here is pretty much what I see too.

I wrote on this same subject the other day.

And as has always been the case, I found that the people who run salon either don't get or don't care about communicating with the people who are paying them or supplying their content.

I'm not talking about "Editors Picks". I'm talking about basic communication.

Once again---I am immensely grateful for open salon.

But in terms of fulfilling the promise of their brand? In terms of communication from both sides? What it looks like is that these folks either don't have a clue as to how to do it---or they don't care.

I once had a guy tell me that his art adorned the offices of famed former salon editor Joan Walsh. And this guy was often featured. He said he talked to the New York editors---whoever they were--all the time.

Course maybe he was just making that up. I wouldn't know.

Because, as you say, the only way these people are going to show up here in fly-over country is if they have a book to hawk.

They talk a great game. Sold me.

FusunA - I feel emensly empowered now that I'm a Salon Core Member. I feel ... I feel ... nah, I feel the same. Now aren't you glad you looked up "loogie?"

Abrawang - Maybe the magic symbol pops up if I comment on a Mama Salon article. That's the big time. That's what the big bucks buy.

Buffy - I just clicked through the link in Joan's article.

Chicago Guy - I started having buyer's remorse while sitting on the bus ride home.
Well, if YOU joined I supposed I will have to, also.
Like Scarlett, I too thought this would be about strengthening my abs.
I'm intrigued, though and wouldn't mind a subscription to The Atlantic since I read it anyway. ~r
Core . . . I respect that suggestion from Joan Walsh.

I'll never . . . (never say "Never" ?-) based on Principle.
I did that twice - That's $45 bucks X's two = $90 Smackers.
That was mine
That was my sons
I dreamt a dream
Kerry Lauerman:
The Salon editor:

He visited the V.A.
met his future wife . . .
retired Marine
retired editor
meets a sailor
@ 5th Avenue
tattoo parlor
Folk can do
they choose
Oops another typo . .
not ` GreatCelery!
I meant to type`
a proud editor
meets podiatrist
who get toe fungus
Behave. Be nice . . .
I always act nice . . .
He'll see in hell . . .
It took me a little longer to get the buyers remorse---but not much longer.

And they never even activated my Atlantic subscription. I wonder if that was a scam or if they just forgot? Or maybe they did it and didn't tell me.
Yeah---I'm guessing its that.
You'll be glad you have access to the Core when the Piles in your Reactor flare up!
Wooo, I was thinking as I read this that you were enjoying an Irish coffee morning, but then I checked the time. This was an afternoon delight!
The Mark Twain award is a joke in a bad way. The man who Hemingway said created American literature now has his name taken in vain to honor slapstick that wouldn't make it into a Three Stooges episode.

The Atlantic had a hand in making Twain famous with a highly favorable review of an early work. I had beginner's luck and sold two pieces to them in 2006 and have been 0-forever since.
OE - Yes, you must join. I cannot be the only one slouched at the bar during those exciting Salon parties.

JoanH - A subscription to The Atlantic is cheaper than Core, but you can get a 6-month subscription to Mad Magazine for free.

Art - I like "Great Celery." It's something a superhero sidekick would say. "Great Celery, Awesome Man. That dastardly Stinkbomb robbed the bank."

Chicago Guy - Maybe they just notified The Atlantic's mailing list department, so they could, in turn, sell your name elsewhere.

Greg - Ok, "Piles in the Reactor" -- we're either talking about nuclear reactors or hemmoroids.

CM - An afternoon delight in the middle of the office, no less.

Con - The Twain Award quickly degenerated into a money-making farce. As a valuable subscriber to The Atlantic, I'll insist that the editors offer you a regular column.
I'd need to know about the daily drink specials before I'd commit, although I do like the idea of a Member.
BV - On their budget, we know Salon won't pick up the drinks. I guess we have to find a friendly watering hole. I'll look for a joint with 100 beers on tap, just for you.
It's "MaryTKelly." No Williams.
Wow Stim, I feel so honored that you noticed I'd posted -- given you're big time now. :-)
It is probably too late to warn Fusun about looking up loogie.

A fine 10-page rant popped fully formed in my head, all ready for typing. Instead I took 30 deep breaths and decided that it wasn't worth it.

30?? Exactly 30? The set-up and ending was so visual I could almost feel the tension and then the "forced" relaxation. R
OK nice info here but unfortunately I have to save up for a new camera!
.........(¯`v´¯) (¯`v´¯)
............... *•.¸.•* ♥⋆★•❥ Thanx, Smiles (ツ) & ♥ L☼√Ξ ☼ ♥
⋆───★•❥ ☼ .¸¸.•*`*•.♥
Cathy - Noted.

PattyJane - If by "big time" you mean that I have to resort to begging and bribing people to read my blog, then, yes, I'm big time.

Natalie - It was 30 breaths exactly. Though the first 16 were hyperventilations.

Algis - I understand. You should save up for a camera in order to take photos of Salon Celebrities parties that you'll eventually go to.

Seer - Instead of magazines that no one reads, as a sign-up gift, Salon should offer monitor-friendly handiwipes.
I appoint you to the post of Official Salon Celebrity. I really think you're the first and only one.
Razzle Dazzle - LOL! Such a low bar we've set.
I'm waiting to see if this is anything like "3 Card Monte"! ha ha R
Marilyn - Follow the Queen Joan card. Now you see it. Where did she go?
I bet now you'll gets lots of EP's too. :)
Fay - Not a chance. Apparently my bribery skills are as poor as my writing skills.
I appreciate you being a test case . . . will be interested to see how it all comes out!
Owl - They're tying me down for my first Core Member injection. The ambulance is on stand-by.