The Village Voice, that alt-left rag that even most New Yorkers thought had died years ago, is dead. Again.
At least until someone buys the brand and starts it up again.
The lefty tabloid, which for years existed on Kool cigarette ads and sex trafficking, had gone into a slow and steady decline. First the Voice became free. And then no one read it anyway. Its final stories typify its mix of LES nostalgia and attempts to glom on to recent trends.
There are rants about landlords, a piece on Robert Crumb, attacks on conservatives and mourning the loss of New York’s soul.
Sadly, New Yorkers, (these days mostly hipsters and people from the Midwest who moved here to work in publishing), will be deprived of future trenchant stories from the 1980s like these.
Once upon a time the Village Voice was at least relevant to something. Now it’s nostalgic noise. An echo of a time of partial gentrification when the areas it served were still hip, instead of faux hip, when everyone didn’t have access to all the concert schedules on their phone, and when its huge smeared pages seemed like a pathway to something cool for twenty something readers at Simon and Schuster, instead of a pathetic joke.
The Voice goes silent with a bad faith millennial whimper. With a defense of Sarah Jeong, the New York Times’ new racist, titled, “Oh the Caucasity”, and with Emma Whitford insisting that Julia Salazar, who lied about being Jewish and immigrant, was really telling the truth.
But that wasn’t enough to save the Voice, which was never going to be able to compete on lefty malice with the likes of Splinter or Gawker. Its pop culture coverage was inferior. As was everything else. It was a local paper for a scene that was no longer local and that had no more locals. It was a nostalgia trip for people who were no longer there. It was irrelevant. And now it’s dead.