Thursday, December 08, 2005

Savage Responds: "I was poor til age 30"

thanks for the mini-bio.


i think i was 26 or 27 when i moved to seattle. had no money. worked
shitty jobs - including bar back at the eagle (!). for the first
three years we didn't really get paid to do the stranger. so i was
almost thirty before i made money doing anything other than waiting
tables, which is mostly what i did.

any my mansion on vashon? three bedrooms, one bathroom. falling apart
when we bought it. still needs to be painted. but, hey, i'm grateful.


Dan Savage
c/o The Stranger
1535 11th Ave. Third Floor
Seattle, WA 98122

Seattle Smut Superstar Dan Savage Got Rich Quick

When I announced the debut of the Seattle Tattler blog last week Dan Savage, editor and co-owner of the Stranger, emailed me, saying he was entertained by the "Almost Live" story, and asking where we had worked together. He said it would have to either be a restaurant or the Stranger (I worked at the Stranger for over two years) but he "didn't remember."

That restaurant Dan worked at as a waiter, briefly, before he became famous, gets alot of mileage from Savage and his cohort Tim Keck, Stranger publisher. They love to tell stories about the early days when they were struggling to get by. The truth is, they blew into town, started a paper, and became literally overnight successes thanks to a unique comedic style inherited from Keck's previous paper, The Onion, and a gay/straight/irreverent/fuckyou synergy. Oh, and also thanks to timing - every youthful poser from here to Kansas was flocking to Seattle in the early 90s because of that grunge thing, and the only alt-weekly they had to read was the incredibly clueless hippy-dippy Seattle Weekly, which then was 75 cents. The phone sex revenue didn't hurt either. Who could have imagined that hip, attractive twenty-somethings would need to resort to expensive phone personals in order to hook up?

Dan Savage - capitalist pig or advocate for the poor?

Savage's opinionated, repulsive, sexually explicit weekly syndicated sex advice column helped buy him a mansion on an island, and for this he is loved and hated by gays and straights alike. Some think he got too rich too soon, without paying any dues - like a rock star. A guy named George Clark even took it upon himself to devote ten years of his life to satirizing Savage and the Stranger on behalf of the anti-Savage wing of the local gay biker community. Savage has also received more than his share of death threats and other weird correspondence from neo-nazis, kooks, and crazies. It's just part of his job.

Dan Savage is a very privileged person, and although I think talented creative types like him deserve every penny they can wrench out of the system for being daring and original and all that, I hope he never forgets the working class everyman that he advocates for sometimes in his non-union newspaper. His days of bitter struggle did not shape him as an artist, because he never had any.