Well obviously not me specifically because as a Liberal I am merely a fitful figment of the collective Conservative imagination. Probably just an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato. In fact I'll bet there's more of pastrami-on-rye than of writer about me, whatever I am!
But Mr. Sullivan does exhort people to shower dollars on hard-working writers such as Mr. Sullivan because it's hard out there for a writer:
It’s Hard Out There For A Writer
OCT 31 2013 @ 1:40PM... I’m pinioned between these two conflicting forces. Magazine writers were coddled in luxurious greenhouses for years and in some ways, the new desert we are struggling in is a tonic against some of the mediocre crap that used to be run at endless length in what were effectively gilded guilds. And yet, the new landscape is also more of a desert than a plain. There’s almost nothing to eat unless you do something other than writing as well. Some new media patrons seem to be filling in the gaps – in nonfiction, we have Bezos and Omidyar and Hughes coming to the rescue. Others may follow. But that would be – yes, I will retire this metaphor in this sentence – a bunch of precious, gilded oases, in a still-vast wasteland, rather than a viable, renewable ecology.What interests me is finding a way to pay writers with money that comes from readers. It’s that simple really. The end of paper and print as the delivery system should make that feasible in principle. After all, what the old media barons used to have on their side was their unique ability to pay for all that industrial-sized printing and mailing. Now, all those costs have disappeared. So where are the new journals and magazines and blogazines, founded by writers and aimed at readers? There are many online, and at the Dish we do all we can to find and promote them. But there is as yet no viable, sustained model for them to stand on their own two feet....
Banner ads can also be useful – but it’s hard (and ethically tenuous) for a lone writer to both do her job and also persuade companies to sponsor her. Remnant advertizing – breakthroughs in testosterone! – can work too. Put some or all of this together and you have a model that might provide more writers with a way to make a living as writers.In other words, what makes my own job so exhilarating – and nerve-wracking – is the chance not just to create and constantly evolve an online blogazine, but to pioneer a bit of this new writing economy. Dish subscribers already pay six full-time writers and researchers (including interns) and give everyone health insurance; in the future, we’d really like to start using this still-new model to commission and pay good money for long-form journalism. We won’t be able to help book-writers (except for promoting, examining and talking about), but we hope to be able to help nonfiction writers more generally – and not just with eyeballs. That’s why subscribing to the Dish is not just about the Dish. It’s about trying to create a new economy for writing...
Mr. Sullivan sells his pitch with this punch directly to my heart:
So while I obviously agree strongly with "Pay The Effing Writer" I also retain vivid memories of the last couple of "New!Digital!Economy!" schemes which ended with a few people getting very rich and everyone else wondering what the hell had happened to the revolution that was supposed to be just around the corner.Harlan Ellison has a great, if somewhat excessive, rant on this:
Either way, I strongly endorse Andrew Sullivan's idea that you should send me money, because even if you think after eight years that I am undeserving or talentless or too sweary or just a fragment of underdone potato, remember, you're not sending me money just for my sake. Oh heavens no! You are a pioneer, goddamn it! Pioneering your pioneer heart out to create an even newer, new economy
for the world's oldest profession!
So commence to pioneering!