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Tuesday, January 9, 2007
Say it ain't so, Joe!
Back in October, I mentioned here in Brainiac how much I'd enjoyed having a beer with Joe Keohane, editor of Boston's Weekly Dig since 2003. Singlehandedly, he has transformed a once-lousy altweekly into a lousy altweekly with a brilliant editorial (by himself) and a handful of other great features (written pseudonymously, for the most part, I suspect, by himself) that spoke truth to power: City Hall, State House, and Boston Globe.
Since 2003, I have picked the Dig up every single Wednesday morning and read it, laughing aloud, on the train to work. So it was a blow to hear, today, that Keohane is quitting to become a freelance writer. Although his official announcement doesn't say so, one fears that he -- like most of the local writers I've admired -- will soon leave town for a city where a freelancer might actually make a living.
Not that Ideas hasn't done its part to keep Keohane in town. We've hired him to write about Sinclair Lewis's "It Can't Happen Here," and J.P. Donleavy's "The Ginger Man." Keohane is the kind of thinker and writer I was talking about in my Brainiac post about The American Scholar: He's an authentic public intellectual, conversant with the past and outraged about the present, immune to the allure of academe, funny and smart, eloquent and bloody-minded.
So... Joe, I applaud you, since quitting your job is a brave and creative act. But Boston will sorely miss your influence.