09.20.11

Special Guest Columnist Percy Rust Addresses The Nation’s Truly Needy

Posted in Blogged Down, Percy Rust at 1:41 pm by

(ED NOTE: Millionaire Percy Rust is known for his philanthropic work. He offers help and encouragement for those in need. He has earned a fortune and a wealth of knowledge during his lifetime and cannot wait to give large chunks of both away to you, the desperate and the undignified. His motto :  “give a man a fish, feed him for a day.  Teach a man to break into a supermarket, feed him for several days.”)

Dear Mr. Rust,
My mother works very hard to raise my younger brother and me, and we both help her as much as we can. I have been trying to find a job for over a year so I can help at home. Now that I’m 14, I can start a good-paying job for $3.35 an hour after school and on Saturdays. My mom can’t leave her job to drive me back and forth and my old bike keeps breaking down. If you could please lend me money to buy a bike, I will pay you back $5 a week. I’m going to work hard and become a millionaire like you.
- M. N., Dallas , Texas

Dear M.N.

Do your initials stand for “Moaning Nincompoop” or “My Nuts”?  Because it’s the latter you can SUCK UPON.  “I’m going to work hard and become a millionaire”, yeah, not bloody likely.  Do you have any idea how easy it is to pick a Kryptonite lock?  I do — I bought the fucking company and laid off two-thirds of their workforce. 

Dear Mr. Rust,

I’ve gone into business for myself after having worked for others for my entire life. Recently, I’ve opened a small diner and I’m trying my best to show my children that with a real work ethic, we all have a chance to succeed in this great land. The thing is, with all the overhead associated in starting this small business, I can’t afford health insurance.  The doctor says I’ve got a lump on my breast and I cannot possibly afford the $1000 for the biopsy.  Is there any chance you could loan me this money?  God bless you, Mrs. T. W., Sandusky, OH

Dear Mrs. T.W. ;

I think $1000 buys me many photos of you in your underwear. Possibly hundreds. However, without a sample or two, I really can’t process this request. But feel free to try again!

Dear Mr. Rust,

Me and my friends would like to publish a sports website. Not just any sports website, mind you, but one that features a well-respected, exceedingly hip writing staff, and all the sort of back-end bells & whistles that will make our site look like a less douchy Grantland a legit business enterprise. We’d love to begin publishing, but it’ll take at least $50,000 (USD) before we can make even one single post — possibly more if we hope to stop more of our writers from going to work for the Bleacher Report.  What do you say? – Mr. C, NYC, NY

Pal,

Your audacity and utter lack of perspective are reminiscent of a young Percy Rust.  A really good looking, young Percy Rust, one that works out several times a week. I’ll cut you a check on one condition — under no circumstances should you agree to any limitations concerning editorial content with an ad vendor like Yardbarker.  If your nauseating brand of self-promotion hasn’t cost you any credibility, allowing those craven motherfuckers to censor you certainly will.  And take it from Percy Rust, at the end of the day, all you really have is your good name.  Well, that and some of my money.

16 Responses to “Special Guest Columnist Percy Rust Addresses The Nation’s Truly Needy”

  1. David Roth says:

    I don’t get it.

  2. GC says:

    Let me be a little less cryptic, then. Congrats to the sports blogging equivalent of the 2010-11 Miami Heat on achieving their fund raising goal.

  3. David Roth says:

    Thanks. I finally know how D-Wade felt when the last fan contribution of $25 kicked him up to $14,200,000. It feels real good.

  4. GC says:

    Actually, that was pretty unfair on my part. To the Miami Heat. While the Big 3 did have a very public coronation before actually doing anything, I shouldn’t suggest they took public contributions while peers/competitors financed their own operations.

    Also, at no time did LeBron, Wade or Bosh ever attempt to pass the hat while also touting the high-tech superiority of the Bleacher Report. Though it does sound like something Bosh would get blamed for.

  5. David Roth says:

    I should probably just say thanks again. I clearly made a mistake in skimming the middle chapters of The Gerard Cosloy Guide To Entrepreneurship and Fundraising Etiquette, but I’m not going to sweat that too much. I still don’t really get it, but I’m not fully sure I need to get it.

  6. GC says:

    I’d think you’d have no difficulty obtaining a free copy of The Bethlehem Shoals Guide To Talking Out Of Both Sides Of His Mouth. In the meantime, I do wish to stress that I’ve never published a book called “The Gerard Cosloy Guide To Entrepreneurship and Fundraising Etiquette” — perhaps you’re confusing it with my straight-to-Kindle effort, “Not Everyone Is Lined Up To Suck The Classical’s Dick”?

    But if it’s advice you’re after, I would make the following suggestions — free of charge!

    a) persons who claim they cannot possibly publish anything more legit than a shitty WordPress blog without $50K in startup funds are asking for this sort of treatment.
    b) that a bunch of independent journalists successfully publicized their launch of a new, writer-owned site is a mostly nice thing. At least until one of ‘em takes a gig with a content farming monolith and then spends a portion of that fundraising month declaring said shitbag operation a friend to young writers (!) and/or some kind of operation to be marveled at. On the record, anyway.

  7. David Roth says:

    I’ve never understood what you’re on about with this, or why you’re even on about it. But I don’t know who exactly is putting a crown on us, or talking about us like we’re the future of anything in particular, and I know for a fact that no one has asked to suck my dick in literally hours. I do know that I’ve never said — none of us have ever said — that we sought anything in the campaign but a shot to do what we want to do as best as we could do it. We made a case for what that would be and almost a thousand people gave us (mostly) small amounts of money because they wanted us to do it, and now we’re going to get to do it. And of course it’ll either be good or it won’t. You can find objectionable about all that whatever you’d like, of course. But if it truly somehow registers as less legitimate to you because of something one guy said in an interview and something someone else is doing (that I probably wouldn’t have done, but then I was not asked and am also not him or in his circumstances and so how could it matter what I think I would or wouldn’t do) to pay bills… I don’t know, it’s your blog. Blog about how you feel about all that, if you want to.

    Also, though: I cash checks every month from both Rupert Murdoch and Pete Peterson, and I can assure you that — and I’ll put my disdain for B/R up against anyone in the universe’s, here — those two f-cakes have done far more to make all our lives worse than the tech-buttheads getting rich off underboob slideshows built by unpaid frat kids. I’m proud that people thought enough of the idea to give us money to do it, and I will do my utmost to make them proud to have done it. I’m not proud of everyone I took money from to get myself, in my life as a freelancer, from there to here with the smallest amount of personal debt. But it’d be silly of me to expect to be completely proud of every single decision I made, right? Who, in real life, actually gets to feel that way or be that righteous?

  8. GC says:

    Hey, have you also “never understood” what I’m on about when I knock Phil Mushnick or Will Leitch for being totally full of shit, or shouldn’t such scrutiny be applied in equal measures? I’m presuming you’ve figured out by now that professional cronies of yours are not magically off-limits around here.

    I have no gripe with individuals deciding for themselves which causes are worthy and which are less worthy. That you guys raised $50K + is a testament to your wonderful reputations, the goodwill you’ve generated and the fact that people are willing to shell out for something that might elevate the discussion a bit more than Page 2 or Deadspin. That’s what makes the following comment from your colleague, Eric Freeman, so disappointing and so thoroughly pathetic ; “we need money so we can run The Classical like a real venture and not some quickly designed WordPress blog or Tumblr.” There’s all sorts of “real ventures” out there that got off the ground sans 50K startup dough — you’re reading one of ‘em right now. Some of these characters might not have stated goals like going head to head with Grantland, but that doesn’t make their operations any less legit or any less culturally important. Were it not for the dogshit, DIY avenues of free expression, where would The Classical’s talent pool have come from? Where would American humorist/humanitarian Tom Scharpling be today if instead of publishing his first ‘zine, he declared he couldn’t get out of bed for less than fifty large?

    None of that makes The Classical “less legitimate” in my eyes, but at the moment, it’s not legitimate, either. It’s vapor. I have every confidence you guys (and presumably, token gal added after the initial buzz) have the chops & imaginations to do the sort of things no Gawker/SBN/Yahoo property will be able to touch. And the money won’t be the reason why at the end of the day.

    “if it truly somehow registers as less legitimate to you because of something one guy said in an interview and something someone else is doing (that I probably wouldn’t have done, but then I was not asked and am also not him or in his circumstances and so how could it matter what I think I would or wouldn’t do) to pay bills”

    Freeman’s comment was booshite and I’m not inclined to stop giving him grief for it because it cuts to the heart of why things like CSTB even exist. But your eagerness to totally gloss over Shoals’ participation with B/R is nothing short of staggering. I mean, the pretending-to-be-dense-in-public thing is not something you oughta do on a routine basis — you’re really unconvincing. If Shoals needs to pay bills, fine. There’s a world of difference between that reasonable acknowledgement and using a B/R debut column (if not a Basketball Jones interview the prior day) to shill for his new employers. Something as bland and benign as “it’s really exciting to work with a company as established as Bleacher Report” would be just a tad less galling than deliberately putting a bogus spin on their content farming (“it’s great experience for college kids who aren’t very well connected!”) and their Google-rigging tendencies (which have a negative impact on the financial bottom line of every other site competing for traffic, including the one you’re trying to launch).

    Has Rupert Murdoch done more bad bad bad things to the planet than B/R? Absolutely. But I’ve not singled you out in this discussion and saw no reason to do so. This is not a personal attack on Shoals nor would I deny him the right to support his family or pursue whatever career path he wants. But those unpaid frat kids have rights, too — a handful might even turn out to be decent writers (at least that’s what Shoals seemed to argue in his B/R debut post a few weeks ago — y’think he was less than sincere?). There’s a massive contradiction between asking the general public to support an enterprise as seemingly noble as The Classical —- (in all likelihood) a smart, funny, writer-owned commercial enterprise, while one of your fellow founders also takes on a highly promoted new position with Bleacher Report (a commercial enterprises that is neither smart, funny, nor do they have a history of cutting more than a handful of their 7000 + contributors in on the spoils).

    (Rupert Murdoch has been accused of many things that have been detrimental to journalism ; unless and until he is widely considered to be the single biggest force dumbing-down sports blogging and preventing it’s practitioners for earning an honest wage, I am NOT inclined to find anything screwy about your taking his money while also being a prominent member of Team Classical).

    If this is merely a matter of your sticking up for your friends, well, that’s noble, too. Were they not your friends and were you not a part of The Classical, I suspect you’d have a slightly better idea of what I’m talking about. While it might be true that no one has literally sucked your dick in hours, the public was repeatedly asked (via multiple platforms) to contribute $50K before you guys published a single entry. I’m sorry if you think the blow job analogy is a tad crude — surely there’s some consolation in getting what you asked for?

    “it’s your blog. Blog about how you feel about all that, if you want to. ”

    That’s exactly what I’ve been doing for a little more than 8 years. That you’ve only publicly taken issue with it once an endeavor you’re connected to is criticized, is, I’m certain, just a wild coincidence.

  9. Mommy and Daddy, quit fighting!

    G: They’re just trying to get paid. Sure, we haven’t seen pixel-one, but we haven’t seen rough-cuts of “Just Gimmie Indie Rock”, either, and imagine how (much more) dismal the kickstarter effort would be if we had?

    David: He’s basically right. But if you guys somehow take the money, eat Deadspin’s lunch, put Grantland out of business and make BR obsolete by… I dunno… paying the freelancers that are worth a dime and squeezing quality content out of them (That’s what the $50,000 is for, right?), then you’ll have done something unique and significant.
    If.

  10. David Roth says:

    I assure, I really am not glossing over how I feel about Shoals working for B/R — I really don’t care to say much about how he makes his living, although I’ve told him (and you!) the tensions I see in the decision and told him (and you) that I didn’t think it was a good choice.

    But this is a lot of words for something I shouldn’t have followed up on anyway, and none of them explain how vapor can be full of shit, but I’m not a physicist, and it doesn’t explain to me how anyone but an expert in semantics (or someone looking to take offense) could see Eric’s comment as in some way impugning the quickly-designed-whatever-whatevers that gave me and him and most of the rest of the people on the masthead our start (and for which we still write, for free, regularly). So: I am sorry if my Facebook post and periodic tweet promoting the venture fucked up your feed, and you are correct in assessing that all this overreaching, pre-emptive criticism from a guy I like a lot (and on a site where I wrote tens of thousands of words, of ten in just one post) did indeed hurt my feelings. Not as much as the comparison to Mushnick, though.

  11. David Roth says:

    And now we’ve upset Braden. Sorry, Braden.

  12. GC says:

    Actually, we _did_ see a rough cut of ‘Just Gimmie Indie Rock’. A trailer, anyway, which was mercifully / inexplicably removed shortly after being posted on Kickstarter.

    That The Classical’s founders hope to be fairly compensated for their work is not outrageous in the slightest. That one of ‘em can so easily suggest B/R’s minions are in fact, LUCKY to receive such exposure, is kinda grotesque given the hope & money invested in The Classical by so many hundreds of (future) readers.

  13. GC says:

    if this entire discussion was simply about how you, David, personally have represented yourself and/or promoted and presented The Classical, there would be no discussion at all. That you’ve taken these criticisms personally is unfortunate, but not as troubling as your refusal to acknowledge the bigger picture. But hey, far be it for me to suggest someone else is “looking to take offense”.

    This isn’t about how Shoals chooses to earn a living — I have no right or desire to pass judgement on that. That you’d rather write this off with a joke about the odd Facebook post says to me you’re in denial about the ways B/R and the Classical’s biz & journalistic models actually impact a craft & trade you’re otherwise very devoted to. Believe it or not, the stakes are a little bit higher here than whether or not your personal rep has taken a hit because of some stupid things your colleagues have said.

    For whatever it is worth, I don’t think your rep has suffered in the slightest. You’ve never been asked (in this space, anyway) to distance yourself from someone who shills for B/R while simultaneously soliciting funds for the Classical. But for fuck’s sake, you can’t pretend that didn’t happen, and you can’t pretend my pointing it out is some kind of new direction at CSTB.

    Since we’re having such a hard time communicating here, I’ll explain the whole “vapor” / “full of shit” thing as clearly as possible. The Classical is vapor. As of this moment, anyway. At some point in the near future, I’m sure it will be fully legitimate. Persons such as Freeman and Shoals are full of shit when they either a) suggest a sports blog cannot even publish a day’s worth of content without establishing a war chest or b) claim B/R’s unpaid internships are an awesome deal (unless, of course, you’re married with kids, in which case you deserve to get paid).

  14. David Roth says:

    That is all fair enough in re: my response, honestly. Given that I make my living by writing about things for money, I assure you I’m not glossing over or denying any of the fucked-ness of the big picture. I live in this particular picture, with that fucked-ness, by my own choice. I’m figuring out how to live in it just like everyone else.

  15. I’m guessing GC was not the one who dropped 5k into the kitty.

  16. L.A.M.F. says:

    It wasn’t until reading this exchange that I realized that Shoals has become a personality cult. Being too lazy/cowardly/bereft of talent to start a blog of my own, I’ve lived vicariously through the CTSBs, Free Darkos and Mr. Destructos of the world. Being a fan, and excited for The Classical, I quite nearly found myself agreeing with Shoals paean to his new employer. Cognitive dissonance is a bitch. The Classical, like any other highly publicized, star-studded attempt to be the new voice in the wilderness does deserve criticism, constructive AND otherwise. This probably won’t happen, but I wouldn’t mind reading a smoldering 10000 word preemptive, largely ad hoc eviseration of The Classical’s key players like the flaming turd bag Destructo left on Simmons’ doorstep.

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