It’s only fitting to use the term made popular during BULLETT’s heyday, circa 2014, by Gwenyth Paltrow’s marriage counselor to announce our own split from ‘the Industry.’ Rest assured, our demise—not unlike the Hollywood couples’—shall be acquiescent and graceful (or will it? See last paragraph).
BULLETT’s humble beginnings and its infamous make-it-work disposition can be summed up with one particularly desperate occasion from the early days: As we scrambled for funding during the making of our second issue, we were forced to dress a group of friends (and a few relatives) head-to-toe in black (with white gloves and everything), and have them arrive to our cover shoot pretending to be catering while delivering aluminum containers (the kind only super-legit catering places use—but you can also find at the dollar store) containing food we had cooked at home earlier. It was the only way we could afford to feed Mark Ruffalo without having him second-guess his commitment to appear on our cover.
Since those days, we’ve come a long way. First through the medium of print, then through digital, we flourished. We established a signature tone and aesthetic that soon claimed its audience. We found delight in carving a niche existence, a safe island if you will, in an ocean of click-bait content. We always aimed to deliver a fresh perspective and support emerging talent while navigating the fickle waters of trend and taste.
The last eight years were anything but dull—the fangirl in me will always cherish memories of getting chased off of Christopher Walken’s property (he forgot our scheduled interview and presumed the strangers on his lawn were paparazzi), and receiving my very first cease-and-desist letter from Coachella for our most viral article.
Our column, Character Study—where celebrated actors wrote letters to their most iconic characters (i.e. Carrie Fisher to Princess Leia, Sheryl Lee to Laura Palmer, Rose McGowan to Courtney Shayne, Thora Birch to Enid Coleslaw, Heather Matarazzo to Dawn Weiner, James Van Der Beek to Dawson Leery)—and the op-eds on cultural phenomenon like twerking alone would be reason enough to mourn BULLETT. Who else will tell you shit like the fact that everyone wants to fuck Siri now?
As the appetite for niche content dwindles, audiences skew more towards easy-to-consume stories that serve as idiotic escapism. People no longer want to read an in-depth profile of a woman raised by monkeys or a long-form essay on armpit hair—they’d rather click through a list of Hollywood stars too ugly for Hollywood. Who can blame them? The shit we want to escape from only gets more fucked up by the day.
What we really need is an app that lets you hide under a rock. Call it ‘the Ostrich.’
Like everything else, journalism is also becoming a form of sedation. Thus, our competition: self-proclaimed fashionistas and their outfits-of-the-day, Tumblr-girls-turned-Instagram-girls and their cyber-goth selfies, Refinery29… We. Just. Can’t.
We can’t conquer something we don’t even understand anymore. And we don’t really even want to. (Yes, all of a sudden, we are the grandma shaking her cane in the air, complaining about millennials. The irony is not lost on us either).
But the measures that we are held accountable for by advertisers—”likes,” “follows,” “unique visitors”—in order to meet their target quota set skewed standards for what’s expected of journalism. Reputable organizations that have dedicated years raising talent and capital are now outstaged by bloggers who can barely spell or turn the camera away from themselves.
We are swimming against the current (a.k.a. Facebook’s temperamental AF algorithm). A guy who spanks meat has more of a following than all niche magazines in New York City combined. This is what culture today boils down to: Memes.
It’s a tough task to analyze something on the verge of extinction. What we do here at BULLETT is to watch, dissect and discuss the zeitgeist of modern culture. And the culture we’re interested in is evolving into something we no longer recognize.
Every time a new iPhone is released, a magazine somewhere dies.
Information revolution is information mayhem. Making sense of it all is our job and we are just as lost as you. Perhaps more.
Also, Trump is the fucking president!
We bow out.
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