Look, this feeling? It kinda sucks.
No, actually, it doesn’t kinda suck. It completely sucks. It sucks that I’ve been refreshing Deadspin out of instinct all day, only to realize nothing new is coming out of it. It sucks that a better writer than me can’t explain why what happened to Redskins offensive tackle Trent Williams is bonkers. It sucks that we have to bully a freelance writer who just wants to make a living doing something creative into not taking a job at our favorite site. It all sucks.
It can be easy in moments that suck to give up. The day after Donald Trump was elected was one of those days. I woke up with a feeling of absolute dread the likes of which is truly unimaginable. I could barely talk. No one could. It was a gray, cold, rainy day in Maryland, which seemed to match the collective mood of the country. How the hell had we fucked up so bad? What the fuck were we going to do?
I continued in this mood for the next couple days, until my then fiancee, now wife, finally got fed up and asked me what was wrong.
“Donald Trump is President,” I choked out.
“And shit is bad.”
“Are you alive?”
“So why is shit so bad?”
“…I feel like you don’t get it. Donald Trump is President. He can make life bad for all of us.”
“Fuck Donald Trump. I’m not going to let that motherfucker ruin my life and you’re not either. Quit moping. You want some Chick-Fil-A?”
(If you don’t understand why I married her than I’m sorry, you have no soul and can’t comprehend basic human emotion.)
From that day forward, I tried my hardest to not let the overarching bullshit of a system basically designed to make you miserable, from doing just that. I deleted my Twitter account. I hung out on Kinja more, where the talk was funnier, and more substantive. I got a less shitty job. I tried my best to not let the outside world beat me up.
Some days are easier, some day are harder. But the thing that sticks with me was that my wife, a Hispanic woman, stared a man who would call her Mexican and demand she be deported in a heartbeat dead in the eye and said “Fuck you, you won’t beat me. You don’t get to win, motherfucker.” It’s been my guiding ethos, not letting them win. Just keep swimming and all that.
(Side note: When I wanted to get a tattoo of Dory from Finding Nemo that said “Just Keep Swimming”, my wife absolutely refused to let me do so. This made me sad at the time, but…look, my wife is just smarter than me, I’m not ashamed to admit it.)
Jim Spanfeller is several magnitudes richer than I will ever be. He will break the other blogs in much the same way he broke Deadspin. He will drain this place of it’s life. He will hire desperate, creative people longing to get a big break to pump out #CONTENT, and when the operation shuts off the lights he will sell this place and he’ll walk away and go to fuckin’ ruin some other site, someone else’s dreams. He’s no different that any other million-slash-billionaire whose life is sustained not by his own creativity or hard work but that of others that he can exploit.
But fuck that; he doesn’t get to win.
Deadspin will live on. It’s traveling troupe of triumphant authors will move on to a variety of creative places. Their writing has inspired countless others to say “hey, I can make dick jokes on the internet and make a decent living!”. They will be saddened by this, but they’ll also be freed.
And us? We’ll be alright. We’ll pick up the pieces the best we fucking can, and then shove them up Spanfeller’s ass. If he kills this place, we’ll go somewhere else. Spanfeller can never really “kill Deadspin” because Deadspin is more than some brand. It’s impact will outlast every content mill and Barstool Sports. The goodwill and the laughs will never die.
To paraphrase a very wise woman I just so happened to marry; fuck Jim Spanfeller. I’m not going to let that motherfucker ruin my life and neither are you. Now quit moping.
Ya’ll want some Chick-Fil-A?