I’m writing to you from the last echoes of a wet and dreary, yet oddly comforting Thanksgiving weekend, feeling pretty thankful that ANTIGRAVITY is about to make it through another year. You can’t take these things for granted and sometimes (dare I say most times) it can feel like each issue might be the last. So to close out the year here’s a handful of one editor’s musings.
You may recall that this has been a short year for us. We took a break at the end of 2021—two years into the COVID-19 pandemic and getting cold-cocked by Ida left your AG staff (along with much of the city) bruised and more than a little shell-shocked. So we paused for the first three issues and came roaring back in April. That was a glorious three months, where we all got to refresh and reset, and I was able to pull the AG engine apart practically piece by piece and give each gear a little TLC before slapping it all back together, along with onboarding some fresh talent. Of course, slowing down a runaway train like this magazine is no easy feat, and neither is getting it back up and running (which is why I don’t think we’ll be making that move again anytime soon, and the January 2023 issue is already shaping up nicely!). For anyone feeling le burnout, I highly recommend considering a hiatus or break or whatever you want to call it—especially if you ultimately want to keep going. Pause or perish, you might say.
Bernard & Louie
While it was bittersweet to lose two titans of the New Orleans music scene this year—King Louie Bankston, the unhinged skateboarding garage rocker holding down Harahan; and Bernard Pearce, the world-traveler chef avant-garde jazz poet noise aficionado—it was such a joy to revisit their respective contributions not only to the city but to ANTIGRAVITY itself. I’m really thankful we got to document these two polar opposite yet perfect ambassadors of South Louisiana.
Voting Guide Donations
With this past round of elections almost behind us, I’m really overjoyed at the donations that came in—not so much for the money but what it represents. It seems like, especially these days, we’re so used to getting cheated out of hard-earned wages only to be offered subpar products and services, in a way that often feels coerced. Regarding our entirely optional ask to help compensate our voter guide team and their research, we found that a lot of you gave above our modest $5 ask. So it’s nice to see that a system which lets people freely decide what something is worth to them can work. And when everyone is free to do (or not do) something, we all come out ahead.
It’s hard to say what the future holds for Twitter, as it seems to be run now almost exclusively by a very rich and lonely man. And like a lot of you I have mixed feelings about whether or not the whole thing goes down in flames. Sometimes I wonder if, somewhere in the distant future, we’ll look back in horror at our current social media habits (mine included) the way we view how the WWII generation and a few of the early Boomers smoked cigarettes everywhere, all the time—in restaurants, in the office, right before bed, in bed. But all that said, I am grateful for the NOLA Twitter community. We did a pretty good job of replicating the messy-ass incestuous family dynamic that has been a staple of New Orleans culture for as long as I’ve lived and observed it.
They say you should never be the smartest person in the room and once again I’m delighted to tell y’all that the AG staff—editors, writers, illustrators, photographers, transcriptionists, distro and mail order team (hi mom!), legal advisers, and so on—makes me feel like one blissful, dumb motherfucker. Extra special gratitude to everyone hustling over a long holiday weekend, some of y’all working from airports and locations across the globe! Thank you all for another great year. Here’s to doing it one more time (every time) in 2023.
December 2022 cover by Thom Karamus