It's almost the full complement of those of us who produce the Dish every day. Conor, alas, is on the West Coast and couldn't make it for the photo. That's from left to right: Zoe holding Dusty, Chris beaming, Eddy posing, some clapped out old bear with glasses, and Patrick, a rampart of the Dish for so long. We don't have the staff and resources of a big magazine - although we now have more readers than most opinion journals online - but we make up for it in passion and a work-ethic that would make Max Weber proud.
Which is part of a plea to ask you to support us in the coming year by doing some of your Christmas shopping at the Dish. We've put together an array of merchandise from $5.95 to $50, and all of it of the highest quality.
First up, some good news. We heard your complaints about $50 T-shirts - although, believe me, the quality and uniqueness of these hand-printed shirts (you can see us modeling them above) really do pay for themselves they last you so long. You can still buy them here. But we asked the team Rogues Gallery to come up with some cheaper ones and here they are - with the price slashed in half to ... $24!
Yes, that hard-to-read one says "To See what Is In Front Of One's Nose Needs A Constant Struggle" - but you have to put one's nose very close to the shirt to read it. Maybe not the most inspired of sight-gags, but we enjoyed it. A bargain at $24! The beagle one is also a classic. For women's sizes in these unisex t-shirts, just drop the size one level. So for small, pick x-small. I'd like to thank Alex Carleton, the design genius behind Rogues Gallery - whose entire site is worth perusing - along with Sean Safford, Timmy Powers, and Justin Briand for their enormous help in making this happen - and their amazing creativity and panache. Here's that link again.
If you prefer a more literary offering for your Dishhead friends or yourself, The Cannabis Closet is available from Blurb for a low $5.95 and shipping that keeps the total cost to under $10 (use promo-code DISH at checkout for a savings of $3).
You can preview the book here, and buy it here. As I wrote introducing the book yesterday, it's a compilation of first-person pot use testimonials, from top executives to responsible parents, from entrepreneurs to A-students, from unwinding suburbanites to the very sick. In more than 120 personal stories, it demolishes every hoary "stoner" stereotype of the regular pot-user. It doesn't glide over the downsides of pot-use, but it does explain more graphically and powerfully how marijuana-use has become as American as, er, brownies and milk. It shows how responsible pot-use is already compatible with middle-class life and its obligations. Browse and buy it here.
Reading it as a whole is a totally different experience than reading it one email at a time. When I got Chris's first draft, I couldn't stop reading it, and couldn't help but be strangely moved by it all over again, even though I had read every single word of it before. There's something about the cumulative impact of so many heart-felt testimonials that does more to change the mind than any abstract argument, and Chris has shaped it into a compelling narrative - from shame and doubt to a form of liberation and success - that packs a real punch. It's a truly powerful way to persuade anyone of the rightness and sanity of this cause - created by the anonymity and free expression of new media, now re-purposed into the classic staple of old media: a simple, short, easily pocketed paperback.
The book and the Rogues Gallery merchandise will help us finance future efforts in online book publishing, and the Dish in general. We have lots of plans but not that much funding as of now. So think of your purchases as a way to help us keep innovating. So if you're looking for holiday gifts, please think of us. If you add up the hours you have spent the last year reading the Dish, buying something for as little as $5.95 or as much as $50 might seem a cool way to give a little love back. We work extremely hard, seven days a week from dawn till past dusk.
It's a stunning book - covering the world from dawn to dusk. You can read reader reviews here. They were all raves. And for a four-color book, $33.95 is about as cheap as it gets. Great for bathrooms and coffee tables. We get no profit from this as we attempted to keep the price as low as possible. But it's still a wonderful way to share the Dish love this holiday season.
And from all of us, a Merry Dishmas and the very best for what's shaping up to be a transformative 2011 for the Dish itself.