Journalism + booze = immortality
At the National Magazine Awards gala last Friday, host Adam Sternbergh cracked a joke about Walrus editor Ken Alexander’s drinking habits. I forget exactly how it went, but really, it was a throwaway line. Everyone who ever worked at The Walrus had a story to tell about Alexander and the bottle. And now it’s time to share them over a pint: Alexander’s days at The Walrus will be officially over on July 4.
Alexander embodies a forgotten but time-tested formula in this trade: journalism + booze = immortality. I have never written a word for The Walrus and don’t know Alexander from a hole in the ground. From the moment The Walrus was launched, Alexander had a lot of disbelievers—myself included—and in the ensuing five years he made a lot of enemies. People have stopped predicting the magazine’s imminent demise, though we still like to deride it: Sternbergh also cracked a joke that The Walrus had more award nominations than readers. But there it sits, still on newsstands every month. Even if The Walrus were to fold tomorrow, people in the business would tell stories about it for years to come. That’s more than anyone can say for the last few years of Saturday Night. I was a senior editor there when the plug was pulled. I had hitched myself to that sinking ship, determined to restore it to its former glory, and was crushed when I was told my best wasn’t good enough. I guess I shoulda drunk more.
• Walrus Magazine Editor resigns [Globe and Mail]