I am still not entirely sure what the hell I was doing at BULLETT, or how I lasted here that long. When it started it was the epitome of artsy New York fashion cool, and I was just grumpy asshole from Boston that had decent taste in music. But over time, after the print operation went under—a big loss because it really was a beautifully designed magazine—and a lot of the very smart and creative staff moved on to bigger projects, and things around here began to get a little looser, it ended up being one of the more fulfilling and freeing writing jobs I’ve ever had. There’s no greater joy for a writer than to have a great editor—and there were times here that I did have that—besides having no editor at all.
That was what made it appealing to me for so long, the ability to try something weird, or avant-garde, or downright incomprehensibly convoluted, just because it made me laugh. Sometimes only me. More frequently it managed to find an audience that was looking for an alternative to Content. The four or five years I was writing here, often times mostly on my own toward the end of my run, like the last Japanese soldier on an island that didn’t know the war was over yet, overlapped with the Great Push For Scale. Every website was becoming the same, all of the topics being written about were interchangeable from one site to the next, and everyone approached culture with the same moronic OMG I CAN’T EVEN RIGHT NOW attitude. It was truly a brutal time to be online and we are all worse off for having lived through it! BULLETT, first with Idil and Ben Barna, then under Mike Herman, allowed me to fight back against that flattening effect in my own small, stupid way. Don’t get me wrong, it didn’t do anything, and the internet as a whole just kept getting worse and worse, but at least I got to take a lot of cheap shots at Buzzfeed.
We had a few laughs. That’s the best you can say about anything when it’s over. A publication. A relationship. A life. It’s easy to be too precious about the passing of a website, but I am sad to see BULLETT go, because the people there, and the site itself, weirdly, did more for my career than anywhere else I’ve ever worked, and that’s the important thing, right? The team of writers that passed through over the years were often inspiring and filled me with giddy energy that I don’t often feel anymore. But fuck it. Everything ends. The memories will always be there, as will the music publicists who still email me dozens of times a day asking for premieres on the site.
Anyway, thanks to everyone who ever read any of our stuff here. I gotta go. Please leave me alone.
-Luke O’Neil, Writer
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