Savage Love

The prose of Dan Savage is bold and crystal clear – and edifying to a profound degree. It always has been. I started reading his column in the San Francisco’s alt-weekly back in the early 90s and kept up that happy habit after I moved to Vancouver, digging threw the classifieds section in The Georgia Straight, where his column was buttressed by some pretty prurient personal ads.

This week Savage announced that he will no longer syndicate his column on the web. According to the Straight, Savage wrote his publishers and editors:

I want to thank you for running “Savage Love” and for rolling with recent changes. This has been an extraordinarily tough few years for alt weeklies (and for everyone and everything else) and I’ve deeply appreciated your flexibility as I’ve been attempting to adapt.

This isn’t a change I’m making lightly. The truth is that the many publications that ran “Savage Love” did not survive the pandemic — margins narrowed, ad rates had to be slashed, people got laid off. I’ve seen this first-hand at The Stranger [Seattle’s weekly, which Savage edited for years]. 

And that’s why I began giving the column to papers for free at the start of the pandemic, more than two and half years ago. I wish I could continue offering the column for free to appear on your websites. But I need to make this change—a change lots of other writers have already made. But, again, I will still be making the column available for free in print.

This last point touched me deeply. It’s a sentimental but serious salute to the days of publishing during which I made my own first stand.

You will still be able to read Savage’s work online at Savage.Love.

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