dear joe procopio
(some of the 107 faces of intrepid media)
by matt morin
Dear Joe Procopio,
"Do you think you could do me a favor?" she asked, leaning against the doorway of my office during a late afternoon in December of 2000. "I have this writer's website I occasionally do articles for and I was wondering if you'd look my latest column over for grammar and spelling and stuff?"
"Sure, no problem," I said, somewhat honored that she'd show me her writing. And with that, Lee Anne Ramsey introduced me to your wonderful world of Intrepid Media.
Joe, I apologize for the fact that it took me another six months to actually sign up for the site and start observing, reading, discussing and critiquing. But once I did I was hooked. It didn't take long to make myself feel at home. In less than two and a half months - and a full month before I'd write my first column - I had already made fun of Adam several times, been called on a few cinematic misspeaks by a number of staffers, and successfully invited Jael to fly cross country for dinner and a movie (at the same time.) It was fun. It was challenging. And, like I said in a discussion of a Tracey Kelley column, "Why do I feel like I'm in a gang initiation, where all the boyz jump me and beat the shit out of me? And if I survive, then I'm in."
You had somehow assembled a group of people who were interesting, intelligent, funny, witty and entertaining. (On the opposite end was Mike Julianelle, but I digress.) They wrote smart, clever, touching and hilarious columns. Discussions were lively and marked by a camaraderie that seemed more like childhood friends than people who had never even met. (Well, at least until recently.) And that, I realized, is what makes your vision work, Joe. The people.
You run the site. I know you're aware of who everyone is. But I just wanted to bring a few to your attention. There are 107 contributors (and counting) and while their writings say a lot, sometimes their bios say more.
Certain contributors just explain who they are. "I'm a melancholy Pisces with Holden Caulfield aspirations and a shameless lust for bad girls like Winona Ryder."
Others tell you what they enjoy doing. "She won't hesitate in the meantime to use pick-up lines such as, 'I'm only intended for those 12 and older', and 'I may cause nausea.'"
Humor is a pretty common attempt on the bios. Sometimes it's successful. Sometimes it's not. "Mom was a militant feminist so radical she refused to serve chick peas."
There are the bizarre ones. "Desperately trying to get the blood off my clown suit...."
And the crazy ones. "He has been known to spread lies about people he barely knows and to disbelieve fortune cookies."
Some people don't want to be stereotyped. "Okay, she's from North Carolina but stop right there before you deduct the mandatory 100 IQ points."
Others are proud of where they came from. "Born the son of a circus monkey..."
There are those who take the biography assignment literally. "Human being..."
Those who take it seriously, "Female, 43 a beautiful son 19 still at home attending local collage. Searching for all life has to offer. No clue what I'm doing, but will have fun trying."
And those who take it...um...differently. "From the jungles of central America there arose a phoenix."
There are the contributors who are a little too honest. "I suffer from an overactive mind with a need to unload. I need to 'Kill the Pain'! The hamster keeps running in that little ball..."
And those who thankfully hold a little back. "I have a few theories, none of which I am about to share with you. One of them involves thumbtacks, an El Camino and free-basing."
Some you're not sure what to make of. "A boy who dies a lot, but otherwise is pretty cool."
And some you really don't know what to make of. "I eat a lot of garlic. I play with matches. My aura is jungle green. I want to trade in my poodle for a llama. I don't write self-help books. (I should.)"
A few keep it short and sweet. "I have no bio except to say that I think too much."
A few go on and on and on. "Born a baby in Charlotte, NC, she cut her teeth on chicken-fried steak and milk gravy, was raised in the era of Jim and Tammy Faye Baker (but never gained admission to the PTL club), spent summers on a farm learning to climb trees backwards, developed an avid love of the outdoors, and for 30-some-odd years now has cultivated a fondness of the written word. Three academic adventures have helped to sculpt her multilevel view of the world as we know it, and a newfound love of golf is improving her patience, persistence and rhythm. She has many friends (and a few enemies) who are helping to chisel her as yet amorphous literary persona. Oh yeah, did I mention she loves Intrepid Media?"
One or two are a bit mysterious. "See that job title? Check it out: 'Spy'. How cool is that? I know, you're probably wondering what it means to be a spy for an international organization like Intrepid Media, huh? Well I'd love to tell you, but I can't. It's all part of the spy game, baby."
And some just like to dream. "As the next Barbara Walters (although much younger and more attractive), she spends her days working, writing poetry and hanging out."
There are probably a hundred sites like Intrepid, and there are none like Intrepid. As much as I've gained from reading some amazing articles, receiving insightful critiques and having wonderful discussions, that's not what makes Intrepid the first place I go when I log on every morning. It's the people. So Joe, I just wanted to say thanks for doing what you're doing, because God knows what trouble Jeff Walker would be getting into if this site wasn't around to occupy some of his time.
Matt would love to be George Plimpton...welll, except for the being dead part. He supplies the doing and the writing. All he asks of you is the reading.
ABOUT MATT MORIN
more about matt morin
IF YOU LIKED THIS COLUMN...
7.29.02 @ 12:08a
11% smart ass.
7.29.02 @ 1:06a
You know, it scares me what I do with my free time, too.
Oh yeah - oddly enough, I changed my description Sunday afternoon (7/28), and THEN saw this column for the first time when it first posted on 7/29. (there's proof - I e-mailed joe when I made the change to ask if it was o.k. what I had done - he had written my old description for me). Isn't that odd? Maybe I'm omniscient.
7.29.02 @ 1:24a
Hey Russ, I noticed the same thing. I think Matt's short changing himself a few percentage points there, but I liked the column.
7.29.02 @ 8:46a
I'm thinkin' this still won't stop Joe from calling you a f@*%s!k, or mocking you for ....(wanna know? Become an Intrepid Media Premium Member!).
But I agree. The folks on this site are marvelous. All hail Joe!
7.29.02 @ 10:48a
I think it's important to note that you said we behave more like a childhood friends because, uh, yeah... we're a real mature bunch.
7.29.02 @ 12:55p
Anybody have a tissue?
7.29.02 @ 1:08p
In looking over everyone's bios, it was really funny to see how each person's writing style came through. They all read just like a mini-column.
7.29.02 @ 1:50p
I recognize most of them, though there are a couple that I'll have to hunt around for to see who they belong to. Have I mentioned that I'm proud to have been quoted?
7.29.02 @ 2:50p
I think I'm relieved not to have been quoted. And since Matt making fun of me (see paragraph 3) hurts about as much as sitting on a couch, I think I got away pretty much unscathed.
Unfortunately, I can't use my original title for my August column, "F**k Joe Procopio."
7.29.02 @ 2:53p
That was my original title, too. But I thought he might take it as an offer.
7.29.02 @ 3:07p
Actually, I was thinking about auctioning him off on eBay, but I didn't think I'd make more the 25¢ it would cost to place the add.
7.29.02 @ 3:48p
You make me inspired to spice up my bio. Not saying its gonna happen, but I was inspired.
7.29.02 @ 4:07p
You're both fired.
7.29.02 @ 4:18p
Heather, I had a great time going through everyone's bios. Most of them are good reads. And now I find myself paying a lot more attention to the bottom of a column where the bios are.
7.29.02 @ 4:47p
I've definately always loved reading them. Gives insight on the writer. Kudos for touching on a few of my favorites in this article.
7.29.02 @ 5:36p
Awesome article. And i though my bio was cool...hehehe. I wonder what the other 2% compromises. Care to share?
7.29.02 @ 6:28p
Oh, I'm definitely going to have to change mine. Expect something new by next Monday for my next column.
7.29.02 @ 7:50p
The other 2% is a combination of high fructose corn syrup, benzoate (a preservative), and .04% Jael McHenry fan club president.
7.30.02 @ 9:21a
Ah, a mote of respect. Always the gracious one.
My bio has changed now.
7.30.02 @ 9:42a
Living in the past, I see.
7.30.02 @ 9:45a
Ah, a mote of respect. Always the gracious one.
Nope, he just wants you to save his ass when Joe comes hunting for it.
7.30.02 @ 10:39a
Oh, if that was intended to curry favor I think need more than not even 1/20 of a percent of a curry.
lee anne ramsey
7.30.02 @ 11:58a
It seems like FOREVER ago that I wrote my bio. I would change it, but I just can't quite come up with something better.
7.30.02 @ 12:47p
Now everyone's going to go change their bios and no one reading this column will be able to find the examples I used.
7.30.02 @ 12:57p
No, the people who were quoted were fine, it's just that they made us all feel inferior.
Not to speak for anyone else, of course.
And, I know, setting myself up for Adam to make an "inferior" joke.
(And an inferior joke it would be... ba-dum BUM!)
7.30.02 @ 1:00p
Jael, looking at your new bio, I think that even God would have a hard time making you feel inferior. Shouldn't you be Empress of Iowa by now?
7.30.02 @ 1:18p
I need something punchy for the end, like "She also speaks French." (Which I do, but poorly.)
7.30.02 @ 2:17p
How about, "She also has really cool faults."
7.30.02 @ 2:58p
Or, "But what she really wants to do is direct."
7.30.02 @ 3:41p
Yeah, like that.
7.31.02 @ 1:38p
So, Jael? Did you come up with a catchy end to your bio?
7.31.02 @ 1:53p
Nope. But while I was thinking about it I realized I needed to add the oboe, so that's in there too.
Which .5% of you is Michael Jordan, by the way?
(It had to be asked.)
7.31.02 @ 2:20p
Well, I have been known to put a basketball through a hoop. I figure that's .5% worth. Either that, or I make .5% of what he does.
There's almost never a good reason to add the oboe.
7.31.02 @ 5:17p
Oh, I don't know about that. This one time, at band camp...
8.1.02 @ 10:36a
It slightly bothers me that I cannot remember how the hell I found IM... It wasn't terribly old when I did though. And I can't think of any logical process that would have led me to this site. Ho hum.
8.1.02 @ 11:05a
Maybe you were doing a global search on "Procopio"...
8.1.02 @ 12:00p
emphasis on 'logical'
8.1.02 @ 12:02p
Oh, right. That.
8.1.02 @ 3:34p
I'm guessing it was a global search for "blondes in leather."
8.1.02 @ 5:10p
Or Mike's pants.