Here at The Daily Banter, we don’t claim to be out to cure all the world’s ills and we damn sure aren’t trying to remake it in the image we feel is the only correct one. We fight a couple of battles we think are worth fighting, try to be as tethered to reality as possible, throw out a few four-letter words then go get drunk. We don’t pretend to be the Huffington Post, the Atlantic, or the Daily Beast and while their readership and revenue streams would be nice, we wouldn’t want to. No offense to any other site, but we’re good with just being us. Not better or worse than anyone else, just — us. We hope that brings us oodles of success. If not, well, our ideals will pay the rent, right?
With that in mind, when we make fun of Salon, as we have many times in the past, there’s an appreciation for the fact that they actually do crank out some pretty good stuff on occasion. There’s also no professional jealousy involved, other than maybe a little over the fact that Salon founder David Talbot probably has a pretty awesome home in Pacific Heights that’s worth more than every apartment I’ve ever lived in during my 43 years on this planet. Here’s the thing, though: Patton Oswalt was right when he said recently, after the site inexplicably decided to pick a fight with him for the second time this year, that Salon has changed. It’s not what it used to be. What it used to be was a pioneer in online journalism and a beacon of smart thinking for those left and center-left. Now it’s basically troll-bait. Link-bait. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Again, there’s still some great stuff there — but holy shit the nonsense you have to wade through to get to it.
Every morning I get Salon’s promotional e-mail with a quick list of its content for that day. I used to really anticipate reading through it because I figured there’d always be at least a few things I’d be interested in. These days I find that I enjoy getting it for an altogether different reason: because it gives me a good laugh. I peruse the headlines, contemplate which specific indignation centers of my brain they’re aimed at kicking into overdrive, chuckle a bit, and finally just close out and go back to doing whatever I was doing. Admittedly, some days are “better” than others in that they’re more entertaining. Some are even “better” than others in that there’s a Pareene, Walsh, or Mary Beth piece that I know I’m actually going to enjoy for all the reasons I used to enjoy Salon. Today, however, was one of the best days ever — best in the former sense rather than the latter. It honestly read like the hashtag trending topic Patton started a couple of months ago, #SalonArticles. In other words, it read like self-parody.
It’s sad that I now have to relegate Salon to the same pile I used to put Fox News in — that being the “I watch it so you don’t have to” pile — but here now were Salon’s headlines from this morning, handed to you on one non-clickable platter so you can get all the laughs with none of the regret that you’re feeding the ridiculousness.
The world’s premiere troll interviewed by Salon’s resident navel-gazing sex kitten (with a couple of links to Jezebel columns thrown in for good measure). Two women enter. Both, unfortunately, leave.
Those Obamas and their, their — dog discrimination. And why, while we’re on the subject, did they choose a straight dog? More confirmation of our patriarchal culture’s grotesque cisgender bias and heteronormative orthodoxy coming from America’s most pro-majority minority family. Look for the term “dogsplaining” to become a thing.
Speaking of heteronormative orthodoxy, it’s time to demand more LGBT characters in film. Provided, of course, that they meet the entirely arbitrary standards necessary to presumably ensure that Salon can’t complain about them. Hint: impossible.
Because not a day goes by that some asshole doesn’t say something stupid and inflammatory on Twitter that’s cause for everyone to stop doing what they’re doing and make piling-on their life’s mission. Here’s the thing: You didn’t give a shit about anything Dr. Phil had to say before yesterday — why do you suddenly care today?
Teen daughter/stepfather sex is never funny! It is, however, in this case, hilarious. For the record, there’s nothing less funny than people who aren’t the least bit funny telling people who are funny what isn’t funny.
Tracy Clark-Flory comes back a second time to drop a giant bomb of millennial casual sex lingo on you, because that’s just how she rolls.
Saving the best for last: Sirota. Just — Sirota. When you’re a desperate sad-sack whose only dream is to be as important as Glenn Greenwald, how can you even look at yourself in the mirror in the morning?
This is the way it is over at Salon these days. Humorless outrage porn from an intractable left-wing element that can do nothing more than talk amongst itself, shouting into its own Fox News-style echo chamber, one hermetically sealed off from the rest of the planet. Headlines designed to troll hard and articles aimed at inciting rather than informing.
It’s ironic that the site picks on Patton and the Onion quite a bit, given that nobody does parody like Salon right now. I’m pretty sure the whole damn thing is just a performance art project at this point. At least that would be legitimately funny rather just cringe-funny.