Originally appeared in issue seven of Megawords.
Interview by Anthony Smyrski / Photography by Elissa Bogos.
You probably don’t want to talk about the Philadelphia Independent.
The more time passes, the better I am at—I meet people and they’re like, “I can’t believe you’re the guy that wrote that! That’s so awesome!” I don’t know why that sucks. It shouldn’t. But it does.
How long has it been since [you left] the Independent?
A long time. Almost three years. The last issue came out the very beginning of 2005, February 2005.
Compare what you were doing for the Independent with your experiences working for larger, more established publications.
When I was doing the Independent, whenever I would get close to powerful people, or establishment people, or anybody with a lot of money, power or legitimacy … I would tighten up and move away. I think I was intimidated. I got this award from Philadelphia Magazine for being on their “People to Watch” list. This was a big deal at the time, like it could really help me materially. I went to the awards party, but I dressed really strangely, in ratty jeans and a military jacket from I. Goldberg. I tried to act like I didn’t care. I wanted everyone to look at me and know immediately that I was separate from this since I thought I was superior.
Do you think that was a mistake?
I don’t really know if it was a mistake. I was probably secretly worried that they would change me if I came close to them because I recognized that they were powerful. If you resist them, you wind up being defined by then, anyway. (more…)