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Seattle, Meet Seely

RFT staff writer Mike Seely—loved by some, loathed by others—is taking his act back to Seattle, where he'll join the staff of New Times' newest acquisition, the Seattle Weekly. We hear you've got a few weeks to bid him adieu.

UPDATE: an astute reader points out that there is officially no such animal as New Times anymore; rather, all the former Times properties are now amalgamated into Village Voice Media.

Posted under People by Amanda Doyle on Tue., Jan 31, 2006 at 9:59 AM


Don't forget, Mike Seely came to the RFT from working for Dan Savage's The Stranger alt-weekly in Seattle, where he wrote this:

[Posted by a on Tue., Jan 31, 2006 at 2:24 PM]

I actually wrote that piece for the Stranger after I moved here and joined the RFT staff. Used to freelance a ton for the Weekly before I moved here, too, so you're correct in that it's a homecoming of sorts.

[Posted by Mike Seely on Tue., Jan 31, 2006 at 3:56 PM]

An old beat-up bitch, eh?

Good riddance.

[Posted by jack on Tue., Jan 31, 2006 at 11:04 PM]

If any one ever misses Mike Seely, read this quote from the Stranger article once or twice- "It's so bad that it's good. "-Mike Seely

Throw in some almost offensive psuedohip slang and there you are. Its just like he never left us.

[Posted by Choo Choo on Thu., Feb 2, 2006 at 3:48 PM]

This short thread is emblematic of the hyper-defensive smugness that turns so many people off to St. Louis. There's a lot I'll miss about this place -- people, mainly -- but ain't no looking back once I'm gone.

[Posted by Mike Seely on Thu., Feb 2, 2006 at 4:14 PM]

I do believe that Seattle is known for its own unattractive smugness...

[Posted by Michael Allen on Thu., Feb 2, 2006 at 6:28 PM]

Seattle's smugness is quite attractive, actually

[Posted by Mike Seely on Thu., Feb 2, 2006 at 9:39 PM]

Mike, I think it's safe to say that we're kind of a defensive city; certainly we ourselves have a love-hate relationship with it. But to go behind the back of a city that's a little unsure of itself, bash it in print in blunt, insulting terms in a more thriving city, and then to waltz back and expect to be the toast of the local press is very, very presumptuous.

[Posted by a on Fri., Feb 3, 2006 at 12:19 AM]

I didn't expect to be the toast of the local press for that story, but maybe I did expect people to be show a little sense of humor about it. What I said about the city in that piece is I love it despite its warts. And I wrote that piece knowing full well people around here would see it. Anybody who thinks you can slip something behind someone's back on the internet age is kidding themselves. I was asked to write that piece, so I wrote it.

[Posted by Mike Seely on Fri., Feb 3, 2006 at 7:14 AM]

For someone who seems to think he's hip, Mike sure is bitchy. Since when was it hip to be bitchy?

[Posted by goodbye on Fri., Feb 3, 2006 at 3:38 PM]

Take it easy Mike. Thanks for coming through

[Posted by mid on Fri., Feb 3, 2006 at 11:52 PM]

Seattle is one of the most competitive news towns in the nation. Two dailies, two weeklies. Seely will have to do a lot better than this to succeed:


If the first thousand words of this story aren't completely fabricated, then I'm the reincarnation of Lady Di and Elvis put together. Notice how "Peter" the protagonist is so cloaked--what school does he attend, please, and what's his major--as to be utterly untraceable, even to his editors. Please. If the writer doesn't include such basics as the college and the major, even when such obvious details wouldn't betray "Peter's" identity (but would corner the author if his supervisors/fact checkers held him accountable) then, I'm sorry, but I have to assume this is fiction. C'mon--a real live crack whore with a rock in her hand doesn't ask anyone's permission to take a hit. And how is it that the author comes to be in such an intimate setting? When's the last time you were invited to watch an illegal sex act? At the very least, the reader is owed an explanation of some sort as to how the writer becomes this kind of fly on the wall. Poor, shabby, disgraceful journalism. For my money, Seely's a Jason Blair. And sooner or later, he'll be found out.

[Posted by good riddance on Sun., Feb 5, 2006 at 1:22 AM]

I did not fabricate the piece Mr. Harper is accusing me of inventing. I can only assume Mr. Harper is a bitter, wannabe writer who has some bad blood with the RFT for one reason or another. And I've competed in "Seattle" before. I'll be fine. Mr. Harper won't, obviously.

[Posted by Mike Seely on Sun., Feb 5, 2006 at 12:45 PM]

Yeah, everyone who criticizes or defends the RFT must have a personal connection to it...

Actually, given how useless it has become since New Times bought it, Seely is probably right in his assumption.

[Posted by RFT Wannabe on Sun., Feb 5, 2006 at 2:27 PM]

I like the fact that this thread has gone on for as long as it has. Reminds me of the typical STL carping on certain listservs I was once sucker enough to waste hours on. And while I'm on the subject of wasted time, I am also leaving St. Louis quite soon.

Bully for you, Mike, and it's certainly graceful of you to say some of the nice things you've said about this town and its people on your way out the door. I cannot claim ownership of such grace when it comes to many of the St. Louisans I've been surrounded by for too many years. I want to grab these specimens by their heads and shake their small-thinking, milquetoast, backward brains onto the hot pavement, then crack in some eggs for an omelette.

Drop me a line so I know how to stay in touch, Mike.

The rest of you may now flame me. I won't be returning to check your clawings, however.

poslam pozdrave,

[Posted by John J. Goddard on Mon., Feb 6, 2006 at 11:58 AM]

Interesting that folks who pooh-pooh the small-mindedness of St. Louisans ignore those of us locals voicing the demand that the RFT stop acting like a Carbondale college rag reject and start acting like a real big-city weekly.

But those folks have a little financial interest in the scheme to water down our local culture, huh?

[Posted by Real F. Tedious on Tue., Feb 7, 2006 at 6:43 PM]

I thought it (the stranger article) was an entertaining read. I don't agree with it all (some, I have to admit, I do agree with), but I can certainly laugh at it. You don't have to take everything so seriously.

[Posted by jeff on Wed., Feb 8, 2006 at 11:11 PM]

Seely's article on St. Louis as an ass-backwards town (but beating Seattle is some ways) was an entertaining read, even if it was hard to take. I think Seely's articles are almost always funny and clever, so I will miss his presence in the RFT.

After spending a year in San Francisco, I'll be moving back to St. Louis in the near future. Even though Seely will be gone, I can't wait! St. Louis, I feel, offers many opportunities for a twenty-something like me to get involved and shake things up. This city quite a few hang-ups, but in StL you have easy ACCESS to everything from the political scene and various social circles to quick commutes and cheap real estate. None of which are easy to access on the Left Coast.

It hate seeing Seely boast about St. Louis in an insulting way, but I think the Seattle snobbery will enjoy a good roast of an obscure (at least to them) midwestern city.

[Posted by Paul Eisenstein on Thu., Feb 9, 2006 at 10:52 AM]

Come on people, lighten up! I'm from St. Louis and I love this place, despite it's flaws. I found the transit article to be pretty damn funny, not something to be upset about. If it really hit that close to home, maybe you're in denial, or maybe you need to open your eyes, or maybe grow thicker skin. The article was obviously somewhat tongue-in-cheek. One sided, yes, but it was meant to be to give a much needed kick in the ass to Seattle. It's like you have 2 friends and one of them is telling you he can't do something, so you tell him if that dumbass other friend of yours Jimmy can do it, so can you.

I've enjoyed your writing Seely. Sorry to see that you're leaving town. Good luck in Seattle!

[Posted by Kory on Fri., Feb 10, 2006 at 10:58 AM]

I think people might be taking this a bit too personally. He didn't say your mothers sleep with goats. It was a funny attempt to persuade people in Seattle to build a decent train. And it's not like some of it isn't true.

[Posted by cyr on Mon., Feb 13, 2006 at 12:18 AM]

Funny, funny, funny! The article and the comments by the typical narrow-minded, insecure "natives" who can't stand to see anyone tell them the truth about STL. I have lived in this region for 29 yrs(1966), and I have come to love --and hate--it with a passion that I cannot explain, nor fathom. A provincial, conservative, parochial, stinking, fetid backwater stuck in the middle of the 19th century (you know, the bad part-- no Irish need apply, slavery, segregation, a corrupt, yet moribund, political machine, etc.) that has no place in the 21st century. But... there's the architecture, some decent,fair-minded people, my 94 yo house. I take this city with all its shortcomings in spite of the fact that common sense and migration rates tell me I shouldn't. Oh, the irrational human mind!

[Posted by samizdat on Thu., Feb 16, 2006 at 1:06 PM]

Seely and gang at the RFT are part of the problem! There are native writers who could outwrite these kegger boys any day, but they don't have an outlet and end up leaving town.

The RFTers give the masses the bread and circuses that keep the culture dull and predictable.

"Blind Phyllis"? "Critical Fatwa"? What kind of sophomoric BS is this? It would never cut it in NYC or Chicago.

Down with the RFT!

[Posted by Man from Chicago on Mon., Feb 20, 2006 at 5:47 PM]

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