What I'm Thankful For... by Tony
I'm thankful for so much this Thanksgiving that I don't even know where to begin, so let's start with the basics: I'm thankful of you, my family, my friends, loose women, cheap vices, Guitar Hero, and the Good Lord.
I'm thankful for something that you probably don't have, the greatest bosses alive and the coolest gig. For example can you say fuck to tens of thousands of people today? Fuck.
I'm thankful to live in America where even now in our darkest days I can say things like fuck the president, fuck the vice president and fuck everyone who voted for them, especially the second time.
I'm thankful for my staff, the finest group of volunteer writers, artists, photographers, and editors of any city blog ever. I so don't deserve them. But I will take 'em because they've taken me to the top.
I'm thankful to live in Los Angeles, greatest city in the world. Everything you could ever ask for is here and most of it's legal. We have the most awesome record store ever, the best food, the coolest cars, the sweetest houses, the prettiest girls, and the lamest dudes that make us normal guys look better than we actually are. Likewise I'm thankful for the smog, the traffic, and the real estate prices which scare away the fakers who don't have what it takes to stick it out here. Have fun in Florida, fuckers.
I'm thankful for Ev Williams and Al Gore who created blogging and the Internet, respectively. Because without them I wouldn't have the greatest job ever, and the most badass In Box ever which is filled daily with offers of killer concerts, free booze, and wild sex with women way out of my league.
I'm thankful for Digg, StumbleUpon, Defamer, Google News, PinkIsTheNewBlog, Americablog, HowardStern.com, Fark, TV Tattle, Wonkette, BoingBoing, Crooks & Liars, Reddit, College Humor, GorillaMask, Drunken Stepfather, Fleshbot, CityRag, and all the other huge sites that link to us from time to time. Not just because they provide spikes, but because oftentimes those readers will come back and stay, which is the reason that LAist is almost ten times more popular today than it was when I started.
Likewise I'm thankful for all the smaller blogs and message boards and fan sites for linking to us because anyone can get a big spike now and then, but its the steady stream of love that will keep you alive during the quiet times.
I'm thankful for all the local venues and record labels and PR firms who give us free concert tickets and cds and access to stars so that we can tell you what the rock is like. I'd really like to thank them for trusting us when we were only getting 125k pageviews because anyone can give a site with a million visitors credentials, but when a blog is small is when it needs a break the most. So thank you Goldenvoice/AEG and Nederlander and MTV and MSO and LiveNation and Nasty Little Man and Filter for letting us have the same access as AP and Reuters and the LA Times and all the other big boys.
I'm thankful for all the sideline quarterbacks and snarks, trolls, and living room copy editors for making me feel superior, because anyone who bitches about grammar or spelling in a blog is lamer than I've ever been even on my worst days.
I'm thankful for all the readers who routinely leave supportive comments, especially for my staff. I've been writing in public for a long time, I don't need a lot of positive feedback to stay motivated, so I am always happy when my writers, particularly the new ones, get love from the peanut gallery. The occasional "right on" goes a long way on the web, so if you're feeling it, let the writer know. Kindness is a powerful thing and bs can be deadly for a new blogger.
I'm thankful for the Gothamist IT department, especially Neil and David for keeping this crazy site on the air. We have done some nutty shit here like fill posts with huge images and then find it on Digg in the middle of the day, which sucks bandwidth and memory and stretches this whole thing to its limits. We have only grown because our infrastructure allows it, and that is only due to the invisible geniuses behind the scenes. Thank you, fellas, and thank you again.
I'm thankful for my friends for putting up with my lack of friendship over this last year and a half. Running LAist is a dream come true and I spend far too much time on this obsession and not enough time with the people in my life that were there with me when there was no blogosphere. I'm very thankful that I will get to spend Friendsgiving with some of them today, those like me who don't have a mom here in LA to cook for us.
I'm thankful for The Go! Team, The Format, Sonic Youth, Bruce, Roger Waters, Tsar, Kanye West, Matthew Good, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, N.W.A, The Replacements, The Grates, the Arcade Fire, Zeppelin, The Beasties, Sea Wolf, Lou Reed, Weezer, Miles Davis, and Nirvana for providing the music that I play almost every single day.
I'm thankful for BitTorrent, Sirius, Directv, and broadband for giving me everything that wasn't available in most of the last century.
I'm thankful for my good health, my pleasant disposition (unless you diss any portion of this holy blog), almost every adult orientated animated series on tv, and the endless supply of adult entertainment that magically is available today at the click of one finger, because it is ok to be an adult and nowadays is the best time ever for that too.
I'm thankful for Carolyn Kellogg for choosing to move to Pittsburgh to get her masters, I'm thankful for my previous employers for firing me, and I'm thankful for God for putting those two events right smack dab next to each other - almost like it was meant to be.
I'm thankful for McDonalds' grilled chicken combos, Zankou half chicken plates, and the taco pastor at Midnight Tacos.
I'm thankful for my education up at UC Isla Vista. Not just the formal training in the classes, but the real stuff at the Daily Nexus taught by my peers, many of whom are even bigger stars than they were way back when we were in school. The '27 Yankees had nothing on us. And still don't.
I'm thankful for rent control, the fact that my dick has never let me down (knock wood), Charles Bukowski, Pablo Picasso, Malingering, The Cobra Snake, SXSW, priceline.com, Facebook, Diet Dr. Pepper, Diet Coke with vitamins, Canadian girls half my age, Santee Alley, The Vista and the ArcLight, the UCLA Undie Run, all the big time organizations who have poached my editors thus giving them real jobs and us credibility, Obey, and 99 cent soul food over by USC.
But most of all I'm thankful that none of the people who I angrily invited to lick my taint in flame wars in the comments ever took me up on my offer.
In many ways I consider myself the luckiest man in LA, and it's mostly because of blogging, and now it's because of this blog, which wouldn't be here without Jen Chung and Jake Dobkin who have blessed me with the finest compliments ever: trust and freedom. I am so thankful for them it's ridiculous.
Which is why when I say fuck it's usually in awe, which is the best way it could ever be delivered.
photo of the Teddy Bears by Joey Maloney, photo of two unidentified UCLA Undie Runners by Adam Rose, the rest by Sonny I. LaVista, all for LAist