The End Is Nigh. (Part One)

Well nerds, the time has come. I’ve been struggling with this for weeks. How do you write a column that will bookend something you’ve been writing every week for eight years? I was hired here at 21, which is the age most people would agree you really flourish as your most terrible and insufferable self. I was no exception to this rule. Looking back at older columns that were fueled mostly by whiskey and vitriol-laced opinions, it occurs to me that this freedom to fail (and occasionally flail) is part of what made Synthesis so great. Over the last eight years, I’ve seen the paper evolve and fluctuate, but Bill has always given us room to use Synthesis as a creative outlet; writing what we wanted, covering the events and stories that mattered to us. I’m not sure yet how I’ll cope with the sudden loss of this resource, suffice to say you will probably see 500-word status updates on Facebook in the near future.

I was a Synthesis reader long before I worked here. When I was in high school I’d skulk (I skulked a lot in my teenage years), down to Naked Lounge, read the Synthesis and pretend to do homework. When I was hired as a staff columnist, I felt incredulous that someone (who wasn’t obligated by blood relation) validated me as a writer. That elation was followed by crushing panic and feelings of inadequacy at the thought that I’d be joining the ranks of the prolific Daniel Taylor and whoever wrote the Meter’s Running column, writers who had achieved a near-mythic status in my mind.

I feel lucky that I was able to work as the Entertainment Editor for the last six months, and I’m proud of the issues Amy, Emiliano and I curated in our time together. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention some folks that I’d like to give a tip of my hat to.

To Amy and Emiliano: Some might not understand us feeling gratified in spite of the Synthesis’ demise. But they’re idiots who don’t understand what it was like to work here. We wrote and curated stories that were interesting to us. As is the case with anything that runs on a schedule, sometimes stories fell through, or couldn’t happen the way we wanted. But I’m proud of the issues we produced. I’d rather us go out at the top of our game, having written the features we wanted to, the way we wanted to write them, than quietly slipping off the map after a long streak of ambivalent leadership.

To my parents: Thank you for still somehow being proud of me after I’ve shared the ins and outs of my fart schedule with all of Chico.

To Bill: Thank you for creating this weird, anomalous thing that evolved through a lot of different stages, but never stopped being about celebrating the creativity and agency of our writers, more than how profitable we could be.

To the groundhog costume: You smelly, fat fuck. You’ve had more people inside you than a rented-out bouncy house. You smell like mildew and sour milk, and the mesh over your eyeholes is torn and warped so as to nearly stab the wearer’s eye every time there’s the slightest bit of movement. I’ll see you in hell, you furry fucker.

Zooey Mae has been working as a writer monkey for Synthesis Weekly since 2007. Her favorite things include (but are not limited to), Jeffrey Brown, bubble wrap, Craig Thompson, pillow forts, receiving handwritten letters, and whiskey. She spends her free time stockpiling supplies for the impending robot Apocalypse and avoiding eye contact with strangers.