Stop With The Socks And Fruitcake
Slack Tide is having a holiday sale
Editor’s Note: I always enjoy saying “editor’s note,” setting off the writing I normally do from the announcement that needs made in the magisterial voice of “The Editor.” I don’t wish to puncture any illusions, but I’m both the writer and editor in these parts. Which is how I like it. Add another man or woman, or even worse, several more, and next thing you know, you’re holding editorial meetings, matching 401(k)’s, conducting humiliating team-building exercises at zip-line courses, and reporting to an HR department. This way it’s streamlined. If I goose myself while standing at the printer, I just tell myself to stop, that I am not a piece of meat. Then I give myself a hard smack in the chops, and everyone moves on with their day. This is the beauty of a one-man-shop: no paperwork.
In any case, “The Editor” is making a guest appearance here to say that after this overly long announcement (which might be cut in half if I had a real editor to kill my babies - editors are child-murderers by nature), I will not be publishing new material until the Year of Our Lord, 2023, which is right around the corner. Though I do plan to publish a New Year-themed piece from the archives on either New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, depending on what we decide in the staff meeting. Partly, this is because in my experience, nobody reads during Christmas-to-New-Year’s week, except for the store clerks who have to read your gift receipts when you return the unwanted junk that has been bestowed upon you by “loved ones.” Partly, it’s because I really need to see more of my family, who I’ve had locked in the basement since late September. (Silence concentrates the mind.) But don’t worry. The New Year’s column will be new material to 97 percent of you. Therein lies the beauty of timeless writing. It lends itself to occasional recycling. And timelessness is precisely why you should subscribe to Slack Tide. Here, we do write on the news. But we also often don’t. And any time you can take the timeless route, it’s probably a good time to do so. Because generally speaking, news ages badly, and tends to age us badly, as well. It makes us smaller and meaner. It pinches our spirits. Not unlike trying to squeeze into those Christmas corduroys that are now a size too small since you’ve spent the last month carb-loading until your Spanx cry uncle.
Which brings The Editor – finally – to his real order of business (he’s a windy bastard): we have never once, in the 15-month history of Slack Tide, conducted a subscription sale. But we’re doing so from now until December 30th. If you hit any of the subscribe buttons below, an annual Slack Tide subscription can be all yours for 30 percent off. (This does not include monthly subscriptions.) The sale price reverts back to regular pricing after one year. But you can cancel before then if so inclined – you will be reminded by email before your year comes up. I’m not a math genius, as readers are fond of pointing out when I make calculation errors. (Thanks, nerds.) But my international syndicate of math-savvy sources assure me that what that means for you is that instead of $50 per year, you can now have access to all new Slack Tide pieces, plus the full archive, plus the comments section (where I regularly mix things up with readers, who are some of the smartest, most humane, finest readers in the business and who sometimes write engaging mini-essays of their own) – all for the rock bottom price of $35 per year. What is $35 to you in these inflationary times? That’s like a pound of ground beef. Good for maybe ten tacos. You could polish off ten tacos in a night. But a Slack Tide subscription is like eating tacos all year – with guacamole and maybe a little side of frijoles negros refritos.
Our prices have remained the same since launching – five bucks per month (or $50 per year). While many Substack pros have jacked up their prices over the last year, I’m well aware that your dollar doesn’t go as far as it used to in these heinous, price-gouging times, so I’m leaving it be. But a $50 annual subscription only amounts to $4.16 per month. And with a 30 percent discount, that comes out to $2.92 a month, about half a cup of coffee at Starbucks. All of which is the very bottom tier of most Substackers’ pricing, if you look around.
Though I encourage you not to look around. (Who needs the competition?) Just look into your dark heart instead. Maybe it’s time to stop having your hopes’n’dreams dashed every time you smack into a paywall just when you’re getting to the good part. Maybe it’s time to stop telling yourself that you’re saving your Christmas money to buy that much ballyhooed Nicolas-Cage-face-on-a-wooden spoon that all your Facebook friends are buying. You know you think you’re better than they are. So act like it!
Maybe you’re already a paid subscriber (I thank you), but you no longer wish to hide my light under your bushel (which might run afoul of HR), and you want to buy your friends or family members a gift subscription. Now is the time. Maybe you run a small business or large corporation, and are tired of your employees watching porn all day. Maybe you want them to waste company hours reading something more inspirational and educational with minimal nudity. Which you can do by buying a Slack Tide group subscription. And maybe in the new year, it’s time to scotch all those futile resolutions you make every January. Who cares if this isn’t the year that you lose that last stubborn 75 lbs? I don’t. I like you husky. There’s more of you to love. Do something that satisfies instead. Eat a bag of Oreos while reading Slack Tide without a paywall. You’ll feel healthier. You’ll be healthier. I believe it was the Surgeon General who said, “Slack Tide is an anti-inflammatory for the soul.”
So for those who haven’t jumped aboard, do so. And for those who already have, you’ve continued to make this thing of ours possible. You are the wind beneath our knees. Both my imaginary editor and I sincerely thank you and look forward to what the next year brings for all of us. Have yourself a merry little Christmas, and a blessed New Year.
Slack Tide by Matt Labash is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts
Bonus Christmas Tracks: Two things I love this time of year are Christmas boat parades and melancholy holiday music. Put them both together, and you get The Weepies’ “All That I Want.” I first heard the song a decade-and-a-half ago in a JCPenney commercial, back when there was still a Penneys in most malls. (And back when there were still malls, come to think of it.) The husband/wife duo that made up the band hasn’t fared much better – they divorced in 2020, and The Weepies are no more. When I first heard the tune, someone on YouTube had played it over the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, which was perfect. The video’s been taken down. But to replicate its feel, I suggest playing the song in the first video, while playing and watching the boat-parade video below it with the sound turned down. Which just about gets us there.
Here’s Texas troubadour Robert Earl Keen doing a fantastic live version of “Merry Christmas From the Family” off of his 1994 Gringo Honeymoon album. It’s a lyrical feast. The first verse goes:
Mom got drunk and Dad got drunk
At our Christmas party
We were drinking champagne punch
And homemade egg-nog
Little sister brought her new boyfriend
He was a Mexican
We didn't know what to think of him
'Til he sang "Feliz Navidad, Feliz Navidad"
And it just gets better from there.
This girl can't resist a good sale! Thanks Matt!
You do know you are the best, yes? Well, you and Walter Kirn. And my husband of nearly 45 years. He really is first on this list. I only have a select few subscriptions and yours is my favorite. I have had a couple of chit chats with other commenters, and for some reason, it is exciting! I agree, you have the best set of commenters and I have no hesitation chiming in, without fear of being gnashed to pieces for some innocent remark. Thank you for that and your wonderful writing style. Merry Christmas and enjoy your family and music! You are one good dude.