Who's gonna let it roll?"
– Bob Dylan
We've been busking at this corner of the blogosphere for a few years now without ever passing the hat. But unfortunately, the time has come to put out the fedora and see what drops in. Your humble correspondent has been axed from his paying journalistic job once again, and for the same reason as last time: "new directions" emanating from the editorial chair.
First it was the Moscow Times last August, and a new editor opting to concentrate more on Russian affairs, with no further need for a column that over its 11-year history had evolved into a compendium of the "high crimes and low comedy of the Bush Imperium." Now Truthout.org, where I landed almost as soon as Moscow gave me the heave-ho, has also suddenly announced the dreaded new direction, opting to focus on original reporting by a staff of "young, green writers" and dropping more analytical and adversarial geezers like me.
This loss of income puts a real strain on the upkeep of Empire Burlesque – a dicey thing in the best of times. It actually takes a good deal of dosh to keep such a website running: custom-built from the finest open-source software, with its own dedicated servers, and the full panoply of features that it offers. All of this has been put together, maintained (and is constantly improved) by EB's co-founder and webmaster, Richard Kastelein, the internationally recognized web craftsman. Neither of us make any money from Empire Burlesque; the revenue brought in by the few ads goes right back into the site. Thus any crimp in the cashflow brings us to the edge of the digital abyss.
So if you have found Empire Burlesque useful to you at all – if you feel that it offers a voice and a viewpoint that you would rather not see disappear from the internet – then you might consider tossing a few spare coins our way, if you've got any. Of course, what's really needed to secure the site's long-term future is another paying journalism gig – so if you know of any venue that wouldn't mind laying a few home truths about the powers-that-be on their readers, do let me know. Or let them know about the work here at Empire Burlesque.
Anyway, here's how to find the hat. Simply look up in the top right hand corner of the this page, and you will find a small notice exhorting you to "take up alms against the empire." There, in the blanks provided, just put down how much coin you care to part with, and that's it.
Any and all assistance will be greatly appreciated. And if you can't give, please keep reading anyway; we'll keep writing as long as the lights stay on.