This Idolator post reminded me of one of my almost-first New York writer jobs.

I moved to NYC in 2005 not to find love, start a new life/career, or find myself, but to get out of Tucson. I love Tucson as a place, but as a collection of people it was lacking. Nothing affirms this more than going back and seeing who’s stayed (minus half a dozen people).

I moved to NYC in 2005 with the same job I left in Tucson: my boss let me commute from across the country, which was very nice of him. But I did spend my free time applying for writerly jobs. I answered a post with the headline “Snarky writers with an interest in celebs and Pop Culture wanted.” It asked for a piece of celebrity news and one rant:

Okay so example no.247 that Courtney Love will put anything in her body—or not? Both she and Steve Coogan have been busy denying that she’s pregnant with his baby. And really, between the drugs, the drugs, the booze, the drugs and the court dates, when would she have the time? The same judge who ordered her one-month stay in rehab said he’s considering sentencing Love to a stay in a long-term rehab program, or possibly sending her to jail. He’ll have his chance when Love appears back in his courtroom on September 16. Frankly, I blame Frances Bean for all this. Frances, where have you been while your mother’s been falling apart and taking in seed from minor British comedians? Trying to have a childhood? Please.

My rant was on the diminishing quality of celebrity sex tapes (this was 2005, mind, when Chyna’s steroidily-enlarged vaginal region had just seen the LCD-light of day). The rant will not be posted here.

I found out what I was applying for when I received this response:

Hey Jessica,

I’m very interested.

The job doesn’t pay.

Is that okay??


The “P” stood for Perez Hilton, whose name I had to Google. We debated over the level of ‘doesn’t pay”-edness involved: Could I go to parties? Get a byline? But I dropped it after I started working at CMJ. He was very polite but pretty firm on the lack of payment or credit of any kind, and, even then, I was pretty insistent on some kind of benefit for me (I was writing news for Pitchfork for free at the time, but that at least got me a byline).

Seeing as how his site still is his alone, in terms of its voice, and I don’t see any bylines (though I bet he farms out most of his posts), I think I made the right decision. It’s funny that he’s being talked up as some sort of tastemaker. I haven’t looked at Perez Hilton’s site in months.*

*Except, when Heath Ledger died.