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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Goodbye, Cruel Slog

posted by on June 4 at 12:20 PM

So this is how it ends.

I began helping Eli Sanders cover the presidential election about two months before the Iowa caucus—back when Bidens and Dodds still roamed the Earth. My job was to keep a close eye on the no-chance candidates, to act convinced that by some ugly stroke of luck the country would reject making history and instead put their bet on the competent shoulders and ridiculous hairdo of some old white guy.

And now all the old white guys (save for McCain) are back doing whatever it is they do. And I mean that in a very literal way. I have no idea what Tom Tancredo is up to now. It probably involves outlandish bondage gear, but that’s mere supposition.

I got to cover a couple of the no-chancers first hand: Mike Huckabee, who gave one of the most humane and well written speeches to be delivered by anyone running in a Republican primary, and Ron Paul, who gave one of the finest speeches to ever be delivered near a cafeteria at the University of Washington to a bunch of people who spend the majority of their days on Second Life.

Both men, in their own weird and valid way, were total historical throwbacks, and they were fascinating.

And then there was Mitt Romney, who wasn’t fascinating to listen to or a historical throwback, but is very, very tall.

Regardless, whatever cynicism you may hear about reporting on this race, you’re getting a chance to cover history, and there are incredible stories in every angle of it.

Which is why, despite the looming notion of the worthlessness of a journalism degree, you should be scratching and clawing desperately to get this internship. Journalism may be a collapsing industry where even the job you do get won’t pay you particularly well, but it’s a fun job. And this internship was, beyond a shadow of a doubt, a lot of fun.

Thank you to all at the Stranger staff, and to the commenters. Despite the panic attacks and weeping inspired by some of our first meetings, you’re a cruel but fair mob. Except when you’re not, in which cases you should all be dumped into the ocean.

That’s all. To paraphrase one of my favorite crazed rightwing fanatics:

“Old interns never die, they simply write query letters to Cat Fancy.”

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Bye, thanks for the great posts!

Posted by Justin J | June 4, 2008 12:24 PM

Ryan, you were a great addition to the paper and slog. I've genuinely enjoyed your writing. Sorry to see you go.

Posted by Jonathan Golob | June 4, 2008 12:40 PM

I think you mean "save for McCain and half of Obama." (I know that Obama isn't big at promoting his mixed heritage, but it's super annoying for us multiracial peeps who are constantly resisting the directives to "check one box.")

Best of luck Ryan!

Posted by Kim | June 4, 2008 12:41 PM

bye ryan! good luck with the cat fancy queries.

Posted by tfifany | June 4, 2008 12:47 PM

Alas, poor unpaid intern, we hardly knew ye'

Posted by COMTE | June 4, 2008 1:36 PM

Ahhh, that's why you were here!

I was a little disappointed that they didn't have you swabbing out busses, or squeezing anal glands. But oh well.

Better luck next assignment!

Posted by NapoleonXIV | June 4, 2008 1:49 PM

Damn...when I saw the title of this post I had hoped it was being written by Chelsea Alvarez-Bell.

Disappointed again.

Posted by michael strangeways | June 4, 2008 1:55 PM

You should have let us buy you drinks more often.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 4, 2008 2:36 PM

Good luck, Ryan!

Posted by Sam | June 4, 2008 2:41 PM


You're the best journalist ever. I almost get an erection whenever I read your literary masterpieces. I'll miss you. So will my partner Carlito.


Posted by Negrodamus | June 5, 2008 8:25 AM

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