Hard to believe it’s been exactly 365 days since the mothership went down for good. Like so many of you on that fateful day one year ago, I felt confused, angry, and pretty lost; I was very grateful for the crew here at [Door Flies Open] to welcome so many people with open arms. After five years of reading Kissing Suzy Kolber, and many more than that for many others, it was hard, initially, to see it go. After reading and re-reading Christmas Ape’s “Smell You Later Forever, KSK”, though, I think many people have come to peace with its departure, at long last.
Today is a commemorative day in our internet history, and I was very grateful to have our dear former Commander in Chief answer a few questions we had for him. Mike Tunison was unquestionably the heart and soul of KSK for almost five years as editor-in-chief, and the work he put in daily to make the old site such an incredible spot to read, comment and hang out is not lost on just about all of us who loved KSK so dearly.
Thanks, Ape, for taking the time to answer a few questions. These were pulled from some group email threads and I can’t recall who asked what, exactly, but we appreciate your answers very much all the same.
Do you stay in touch with Drew or Ufford or Kogod or the others?
It’s pretty limited. We have a group email that gets updated once every few months. That’s about it.
What was your favorite post on KSK?
They’re all my precious little snowflakes, except the many I’m ashamed of.
Do you have a favorite recurring character?
I enjoyed doing the J.T. O’Sullivan posts because they were so ridiculous and were a rare chance for me to be super flowery with language without pissing people off.
Have you heard from Otto? We miss his presence around these parts.
I have not.
Do you want to vent about UPXXXX at all?
I’ve moved on from my time there. I will say I still follow Uproxx on Twitter just to make sure I’m not missing anything important and I’m pleased to report the overwhelming majority of what they crank out is boring summations of whatever was popping on social media a few hours earlier.
Do you visit DFO at all?
I check in from time to time. I salute you for keeping Falco’s CFL beat alive, among other things. [ed. note: FUCK YEAH I HAVE PERSONAL RECOGNITION FROM AN INTERNET CELEBRITY]
Is the reporting you learned at school dead or mostly dead?
In general or as far as my career is concerned? In both cases, it’s… fine, I guess. I’m still doing reported freelance stuff.
Did you get enthused with interviewing Curt Menefee?
Uh… sure? He was kind and reasonably forthcoming for an outlet he’d probably never heard of.
Do you have another book in the works?
Not at the moment.
Will Le’Veon Bell have an AP type of return season after his ACL surgery? Put another way: #1 FF draft pick, right? RIGHT!?
As long as he steers clear of Vontaze Burfict, he’s a perfectly reasonable choice at no. 1. Though I reserve the right to pretend I never said this if you angrily confront me about it in November.
How has Pro Wrestling influenced political discourse in the last 10 years?
It’s clearly influenced the Trump campaign and it’s not like he isn’t familiar with that world. He cuts what might as well be wrestler promos constantly. Pro wrestling as a storytelling form generally cares little about continuity and neither does Trump. It does whatever works in the moment and keeps its fans happy. I mean, obviously Trump has some overlying themes that he sticks to but on minor points he’s all over the place. He contradicts himself constantly and it doesn’t really matter if you like Trump because you enjoy seeing him say Trump shit with bravado.
Do you see yourself branching out to non-Internet media?
I’m open to just about any medium so long as the job looks fun/rewarding/not-deadening. The Internet is mostly a shithole, but it’s the shithole I know. So that’s where I am for now.
Your pieces often emphasize NFL perfidy on the head trauma issue. Should fans feel guilty for watching the NFL? Do you feel the current NFL players are making an informed decision to play, given what is now known on CTE and head trauma?
To some extent, fans should feel guilt. Even if you can somehow get past the fact that the players are ruining their bodies and minds in the long run, the owners are horrible people who take public money for what is essentially a money-printing enterprise and spent years lying to those athletes. Players now are certainly better informed than they were even 10 years ago, though many were already in the league or on the pipeline at that point. For the most part players have accepted the risk to a sufficient degree that I still watch without experiencing a huge moral crisis. I think knowing players got guaranteed deals would make it easier to live with. That players can be cast aside for no reason really makes it hit home as a cynical enterprise.
What advice might you give to someone who wants to make a career (or even just a lifelong hobby) out of writing and wants to keep things fun and engaging as much as possible?
Often the idea of advancing your career and having fun can seem like opposed concepts, so I would focus more on the enjoyment of it. The more you’re chasing jobs or status the more you’re writing things you don’t believe or feel strongly about. That leads to burnout. And readers can sense when you’re not enjoying yourself. Your stuff isn’t as creative and the logic seems strained. Hopefully what you love doing will resonate will people, but that isn’t always the case. At least you won’t hate yourself.
Best of luck with everything, Ape – on behalf of everyone here at [Door Flies Open], thanks for being such a role model for the rest of us. We only hope we can make this place even a quarter as good as the old site. Enjoy a beer or bourble today with all of us around the world.