Saturday, 14 May 2011

HOW TDB BLAZED A TRAIL FOR SKY GILBERT & BRUCE LaBRUCE + THE TDB ARCHIVES

The 11th Ave website also runs this publicity still of Bugs and Skye from the first season of the reality-TV series Out in the City that ran on the Life Network (2002-2004)

(May 14) The Montreal Gazette's Denise Duguay this week profiles me on her terrific website 11th Ave and - while you all know I'm no stranger to shameless self-promo - I admit I blushed when I read it!

Denise writes in her intro to her monthly Proust Questionnaire 5.0, "I first met Richard Burnett on the pages of the Montreal weekly HOUR, where he wrote the self-syndicated column Three Dollar Bill. But “met” is such a tame word. Bugs, as he is known (“My life is a veritable cartoon!”), is not just “met”, As Richard Burnett the columnist and activist, he provokes, engages and enrages, amuses, shocks, delights and seduces. Impressive and also a little intimidating. When I met the man face to face, to fete outgoing Gazette film critic John Griffin last winter, I was nervous as a triple-espresso chihuahua. But (of course) this was not Richard Burnett the columnist. This was Richard Burnett the “sweetheart”, as I’ve often heard him described, who unsettled only with how hard he watches and listens. He has moved his TDB column to his own website, and long may it prosper in the wake of the crumbling of HOUR."

Last issue of Hour  (April 7, 2011)
Meanwhile, Yahoo! bloggerMarc Weisblott, in a May 5 post about the closings of Montreal's HOUR mag and Toronto's EYE Weekly, and headlined "Canadian alternatives like Eye Weekly adjust their attitudes to remain in print," really missed the boat when he wrote, "[HOUR] relaunched last month as Hour Community, which has emphasized sincerity over snark."

Last issue of Eye (May 5, 2011)
Meanwhile, when Bill Reynolds (now an assistant professor at Ryerson University's School of Journalism) was editor-in-chief of EYE, I pitched them Three Dollar Bill. The paper instead decided to go with someone local, first hiring Sky Gilbert (his loudmouth column was called Pink Panther) and then Bruce LaBruce (his was called Feelings). 

"I love it that I can brag I blazed a trail for both notorious playwright and author Sky Gilbert and infamous underground indie filmmaker Bruce LaBruce," I wrote in a 2009 TDB column interview with Bruce. "Yes, it’s true and, by the bye, when it comes to humility, I’m the greatest." 

Anyway, it's true I have a big mouth, but interviews like the one by Denise Duguay are always humbling. Thank you, Denise!

Incidentally, I've included links below for Three Dollar Bill archives at some of the newspapers the column has run in over the years. Thanks for reading TDB!



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