Yesterday, after winding down after a long and bitter day of literal fear and loathing in regards to what some refer to as “society,” one of the local propaganda channels here decided to give me gut punch before I drugged myself into a what barely passed for a few hours of slumber. Translation? Yesterday, Folio Weekly, the only alt news paper here folded for good. They are yet another victim of Covid-19.
Why share this news here, you ask? Because as long as I’ve been shipwrecked out here, Folio Weekly has been a constant source of alt news and push back against mainstream propaganda and bullshit. They’ve kept the media and political hacks on their toes and called out bullshit on the regular. They were advocates for truth and most people took them for granted.
But more than that, they were a constant ally of BSP – they reviewed almost every single book I published, helped me with publicity and well as interviewed me several times over the years. I’ve had great relationships with most of the editors over the years. They also allowed me a platform to write many scathing back page editorials, which I enjoyed doing quite a bit. They never censored me or tried to tell me what to write. I had carte blanche and it was awesome. Try that with a daily!
This is a huge blow to the community here and also to BSP, as indie presses do not typically get anything from mainstream news orgs. This will help dirty politicians and cops hide, it will allow corruption to go unchecked and it will deprive a vibrant community of artists a voice.
This is yet another sign of the times. More and more longstanding print publications have folded or are about to. I’ve watched it happen in much larger cities than Jax. The thing here though is that Folio was it – there are no other alt sources of news and I have no hope that another will step in to fill that void.
There is no one else in print here who has the balls to push back against local politicians, corruption or who give a voice to artists, musicians, poets, writers, publishers and more. The void Folio leaves will be impossible to fill and it bums me out as we seem hellbent on sucking the digital teat into the apocalypse.
As I’ve said too many times to count, print – tangible, hold in your hands and read – print, is the last battleground for freedom of speech. Once it’s completely gone, we will have lost everything.
So, if you still have an alt paper in your area, you might consider showing them a little love before there is no such thing as an alternative press. We’re very close to that point now.
Stay safe, stay focused and more importantly, stay away from stupid people.
Death to Videodrome. Long live the new flesh!
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