The sky’s the limit

And the skies are not cloudy all day? Where’s the fun in that?

My man Hal Walter hasn’t been writing a ton lately. But when he settles down to it, he does a job of work.

His latest can be found over at Substack, a platform that helps free-range weirdos like Hal and me crank out whatever for a small fee. But you needn’t reach for your wallet quite yet — you can have a look around without signing up for a newsletter subscription.

I’m not certain that email newsletters are the way to go. Not for me, anyway. Unlike Hal, I’m fairly comfortable with the WordPress platform, and I’m not really interested in trying to make money off this little one-ring circus of mine.

Anyway, does anyone really need another newsletter cluttering up the in-box? That’s pretty much all I get anymore, or so it seems. I have to scroll a long way down the in-box to find an email from an actual human being.

Hal’s Substack presence is very much a work in progress — at the moment, it’s a blog without the email newsletter. But while you’re waiting on the mail, you might pop round to see what he’s nailed to the wall.


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13 Responses to “The sky’s the limit”

  1. Pat O’Brien Says:

    I started reading just to get a taste of it, but then I could not stop. Chapeau to Hal. Life in the high country is something special.

  2. carl duellman Says:

    nice read. but being the ignorant fuck that i am, who or what was the ghostly presence at the edge of the group?

  3. khal spencer Says:

    There does seem to be a proliferation of these little substacks. How much of that is the result of the mainstream media not wanting to pay people decent salaries any more? IIRC, there was once a national bicycle racing publication that decided one day it didn’t need journalists. Or papers like the NY Times making folks with unwelcome opinions, such as Bari Weiss, as uncomfortable as someone with fire ants in their pants? Or maybe its just easy to go it alone if you want to say exactly what you want (Glenn Greenwald, Andrew Sullivan, etc)?

    Does Substack have a bulk rate where you pay your shillings once and get like, five, ten, or twenty authors? Guess I should check.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I expect the proliferation of email newsletters is a reaction to a number of different things. Consolidation in the media has croaked a lot of jobs, and it’s only gonna get worse; there will be maybe two companies owning all the newspapers here before long. They’ll syndicate a handful of columnists across all their properties and the rest can go whistle Dixie.

      This has been going on since before I got into the newspaper game, by the way. There were maybe a thousand editorial cartoonists when I decided I was gonna be the next Pat Oliphant, and there’s a damn sight less of ’em now. Thank Mencken an adviser suggested I have a Plan B.

      Anyway, the email newsletter is kind of like an extension of blogging, or so it seems to me. Every writer a publisher. That’s why I like it. I answer to myself and my audience, period.

      I could do most of what Substack offers right here with the old WordPress blog. But I’d have to set it up and manage it and all that ol’ shit. Substack handles the un-fun stuff and charges a fee. It’s probably worth it, if you can build a following and a certain percentage of the readers think your wisdom is worth a pfennig or two.

  4. khal spencer Says:

    Ladies, Gentlemen, and those who self-define as otherwise. A moment of silence.

  5. B Lester Says:

    He STILL holds the most celebrated record in sports history.

    I have him on my desk in the form of nesting dolls. Aaron on the outside, inside him is Eddie Mathews, and inside him is Warren Spahn. Those guys won the World Series my hometown Milwaukee Braves the year I was born. Beat those goddam Yankees. I remember it well.

    • SAO' Says:

      Might own it outright again. He’s missing a month of Negro League records, so if they can track down newspaper accounts of those games, I believe he needs to find 8 fingers.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Can you imagine being so good at something, one of the best ever, and not being able to enjoy it because a bunch of assholes thought your dreams should top out somewhere around Pullman porter, dishwasher, shoeshine boy?

      Jesus H. Christ. It’s a wonder he never used that magic bat for some other purpose.

      “Cracker, I’m taking you downtown.” Pow!

      • khal spencer Says:

        Defensive end Bruce Smith was one of those franchise players who made four championships possible for the Bills, but he put up with all kinds of racism in Buffalo from honkies who had one hundreth his talent or cool. Which is probably why they hated him. He wrote this essay recently. Pardon the maddening popups and crap.

        My Uncle Ralph, a five foot three Italian guy who always had connections, somehow got me into the Bills clubhouse when I was a little kid and we were at a Bills game at the old Rockpile, War Memorial Stadium. I snagged a handshake from tight end Ernie Warlick (who caught a touchdown pass in the Bills 1965 championship win), along with a signed picture. Ernie was huge, with hands the size of a small home, and so kind and friendly.

        I simply don’t understand racism.My better half and I walked out of one of my other uncle’s homes in Buffalo one day after his kids bragged about running Black folks out of the neighborhood. The difference between two sets of cousins born of the same family still bothers me.

    • khal spencer Says:

      Should still own it. There should be an asterisk on the guy who caught him. Just as TCWSNBN was on chemical assist, I think what’s his name was on chemical assist in getting the home run “record” away from Hank.

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