If you had told me 10-and-a-half years ago that I'd be kicking off the Intrepid Media 10-year anniversary column by talking about the book we're releasing this month, I would have asked; "What the hell is Intrepid Media? Do you mean JoesBigWorldWideHappyFunPage.com?"
Indeed, we are releasing a book. And it'll be on Amazon. And it's the second release in two years. And we've got four or five more in the hopper. And freaking Julianelle is doing one. And all of this is taking place under an exclusive partnership with the world's biggest print-on-demand distributor.
Man, Year Number 10 has been flat-out awesome.
And look, we're not totally about books. I mean, we're totally about books, we love them, we're into them, definitely a little too into them. What I'm trying to say is that Intrepid Media is not now nor has even been solely about the pursuit of a bound collection of written words. We're broader than that. We're about music, film, pop-culture (mostly) and definitely about opinion and a way to make said opinion entertaining. We're about humor -- we love to make you laugh. We're about social concerns -- we love to make you think. We're definitely about discovering talent, whether that be thousands of readers discovering the brilliance that is any of our staff writers and contributors, or someone finding our site, signing up, posting some columns, and discovering the talent within themselves.
But in Year Number 10, we were totally about books.
Because books are the future.
You heard me.
I've long been a proponent of the argument that books aren't going away. That doesn't mean I'm anti-digital. I'm in fact very pro-Kindle. I just believe that there's something more to a good book than the content. Presentation is huge.
Take one of my favorites: Jennifer Government.
First of all, I picked this book up off the shelf at the Barnes and Noble simply because the title caught my eye. And believe me, I'm not a huge bookstore browser. It makes my stomach turn. This particular inspection probably went something like this.
My Story. My Pain. My Haiku
Shopping is my God and Shoes are my Jesus
How Stella Got Her Power Tools Back
Admittedly, this was a while ago, before every other book was about vampires.
Anyway, I picked it up off the shelf and the cover was outstanding. Now, bear in mind that they're making a movie, or maybe not, but probably, and when they do, the cover will change to feature whomever plays Jennifer. But this combination got me to page one, which got me to page two, which got the book to the counter and into a green bag with a copy of "Muscle & Fitness" and an itty bitty book light.
I'm embarrassed about that joke. I mean, the book went into a Dick's Sporting Goods bag with a dumbbell, a handgun, and some jerky.
The thing is, books are cool to have around. Like a good CD collection (those are those shiny things music used to come on), the books you have lying around your house say a lot about who you are -- or at least you think they do. Honestly, in my bathroom (yes, I'm going there) I used to keep copies of "ESPN the Magazine," "Wired," and "Maxim" (sporty, nerdy, trendy), and now, swear to God, is a gifted copy of Mr. Rogers Guide to Parenting (Chapter 1: Quit All The Smacking, Chapter 2: Sweaters). Unlike music, however, books also define you as you read them, provided you read them in public. I liked sitting on a airplane with a copy of Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs. The flight attendant asked me about it, then quickly lost interest when I told her it was a collection of Klosterman's (sporty, nerdy, trendy) essays and columns. You can't show off your music unless you buy the T-shirt.
The same thing is true with the web.
And now we've come full circle. Books are the portable, look-at-me version of the web. And they have to be book books, not eBooks. A copy of On the Road under your arm makes you cool. A Kindle under your arm makes you a geek. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but one says "I read Kerouac" and the other says "I read… things" plus "I'm too hyperactive to seek out, purchase, and tote around relics from the 20th Century. Now where's my Snapple?"
For that reason, we love books. And for that reason, we're sticking with the original.
That and the whole taking down the publishing establishment with technology and brilliant undiscovered writers.
Joe Procopio trades in pop culture and tech culture, allowing him to poke fun at so many things. He's written for a number of online and offline publications from the late, lamented Smug to the fancy-pants Chicago Tribune and also for television. He's a novelist, a shredder, a joker, and a family man. Scoff at joeprocopio.com or follow on Twitter @jproco.
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IF YOU LIKED THIS COLUMN...
9.2.09 @ 10:50a
What are your favorite moments from the first 10?
A couple of mine:
Jael (in leather pants?) getting up on stage with the band at IM3 in Chapel Hill and taking over and then rocking the mic.
Just about every moment of IM Vegas, but the high point may have been the bar in NYNY.
The mornings after the drunkenest nights at the first and second IMDCs. The first time I was amazed to be back in my hotel room (thanks Jael!). The second time I got presented with this amazing scrapbook (thanks Jael, Tracey, Michelle, etc.).
The first copy of We Are All Adequite arriving to HQ and the first sale on Amazon.
9.2.09 @ 11:32a
That brunch in D.C. ... we were not in good shape.
Heather sticking up out of the sunroof on the highway.
Looking at a photo from IM3 that someone posted and thinking "where the hell was I when this was taken," only to discover that I had taken the exact same photo with my camera.
Having my own Amazon author's page.
9.2.09 @ 1:08p
I think those pants were red vinyl. No, wait, they were the shiny jeans with the slits and grommets. Man, we could do a Illustrated History of IM In (and Out Of) Pants. Put that on the project list!
Pouring joe into the IMDC1 cab was a two-person job: thanks 'chelle. I believe that evening also included the pitching of illicit citrus.
It's hard to match that very first Intrepid in-person event, way back in 2001, where we all came together for the first time.
And when we got boards. And when we went Premium. And when we compiled a kick-ass short story collection that was also a kick-ass album.
Happy 10th to the most dangerous, least conventional, best-looking writing team on the interweb today.
9.3.09 @ 8:12a
Meeting my wife.
9.3.09 @ 11:55a
Meeting your wife.
No! Meeting my wife.
Come to think of it, more than half of what I appreciate about IM is meeting all y'all.
9.3.09 @ 5:21p
For me the most memorable on-line moments were reading two columns. One was Jack Bradley's fear of clowns column. It was one that stuck with me, and the other was Cash and Carry by Brian Anderson. Not that ALL the columns aren't memorable, but those two have stuck with me throughout the years.
The live and in-person moment had to be seeing Rocko Dorsey play in Manhattan.
michelle von euw
9.5.09 @ 9:07a
Oh, the NC Heather-sunroof moment, and the citrus/illicit cell phone/cab ride evening in DC1 ("I'm not going to lie to you, I've had 37 drinks") are up there.
Some other random favorite memories:
Allison serving leftover meat for breakfast in Chapel Hill.
Playing pigs in Iowa City.
The weddings. My god, the weddings.
Tracey, Jael, & JVR deciding it would be a really good idea to fold one of their deliciously tall selves into a cot.
Joe's Brad Pitt column.
Dancing at 4AM in a Vegas club in a pink feather boa. Hell, all of Vegas, from the hurricane that staggered us out there at different times to the cot to 9lines to the build a bear to tracking JVR's cellphone that was lost in a cab up & down the strip.
"Mouthful of Orange fur."
Roger picking me up at the airport at 8AM on a Saturday morning after y'all had been partying all night, and still being friendly & awesome & chipper, despite no sleep & a houseful of hungover Intrepid folks.
Russ's sign at the St. Louis airport.
Jael's second person column on writing a novel over a weekend.
Not knowing how good beer could be until I met Erik.
Not knowing how good television could be until I met Mike.
Not knowing how good people could be until I met Tracey.
Being on both the giving and the receiving end of phone calls on cellys that get passed around bars and wedding receptions.
Sarah's lost in books column.
"Hi, I'm Joe."
9.5.09 @ 10:26a
I can't even...it's hard to...and then there was...
...yes, I'm teary with the roll of memories unfurling. Teary and smiling and laughing, like I am at the end of every IM event.
I love everybody. You all mean the world to me.
And we need another damn big IM gathering somewhere.
9.6.09 @ 5:32p
2) The boobies
3) Driving Heather to Michelle's place in Pete/Roger's Bug
4) Getting married (second time)
5) Encouragement to go to Iowa Workshop alone
12.7.09 @ 3:44p
Sorry. Michelle's right. Harryn Pottert. Forgot about that.
12.9.09 @ 12:01p
God I was drunk.