Wayne Michael Reich

Writing ∙ Photography ∙ Art

Exile on Pretentious Street PT 2 1/2 (The Snark strikes back.)

Believe it or not, I can actually draw.”- attributed to Michelangelo.

Hello Blogiteers!

We’re taking a small detour from PT. 3 to bring you the following-


Due partially to my shameless plea to “viral” PT 2 of this blog among my friends, I received astounding E-mail feedback regarding my anti media rant which focused primarily on the local free rag known as the New Times. [Hereafter to be referred to as “NT”]

And surprisingly, it wasn’t just from the creative sector of PHX. Lawyers. Teachers, Baristas. Mechanics. Oh my! And one fellow blogger. But it just kept getting better.

My artistic brother in arms Peter Petrisko contacted me on my Facebook page and… oh wait- I’ll just have Pete explain in his own words.  Pete could not actually be here as he now lives in Tucson, so the role of Pete will, unfortunately be played by New Times “journalist” Craig Outhier writer of the article, “Who will Swipe Jordin’s V-card?”

[He will be reading from a prepared script, which fortunately for us, is not his own.]

“On May 26th, I left NT a comment suggesting it profile you as part of its ‘100 Creatives’, adding: “assuming that NT still gives voice to dissenting viewpoints” An editor emailed me back, saying NT gives voice to all kinds of viewpoints & would be in touch with you shortly. But now it’s been over a month & you have yet to be profiled.

What’s up with that?”

Nice work Craig! I wouldn’t quit that barista job just yet, though. What? Oh, you’re actually a journalist? Gah. Sorry, I forgot. But in my defense- with you it’s actually easy to forget. My sincerest apologies. Now where’s that Chai I ordered? [Sounds of chair being tipped over violently, footsteps, door being slammed shut.]

C’’mon Craig, I was joking! Don’t be like that! Um…. Craig had to leave because there was a big music story brewing at NT! Wait- my bad. Apparently, they needed someone to hold open the door to the Men’s room, as they don’t have a spare Arizona Press Club’s Journalist of the Year award they can use as a doorstop yet.

Finally- Craig’s playing to his strengths. Now where were we? Ahh, yes.

“Pete” had just told us all about a lack of follow through with NT regarding me, so how did I respond? From the FaceBook website:

WMR: aw shucks- I’m starting to think they don’t want my opinion. Can’t imagine why.

Pete: gee, that’s weird cuz you got all kinds of creative viewpoints. Maybe somebody should ask that editor what’s up? [ Email at: Claire.Lawton@newtimes.com if any somebodies should want to inquire].

WMR: you think it was something I said? LOL

Pete: don’t think it be what you say or do. Apparently the editors only take notice if you’re “vintage cool”. The rest is incidental & reported as such.

WMR: well that’s just rude! I’m vintage up to my hairstyle. I am so gonna post that email address. 🙂 [ Email at: Claire.Lawton@newtimes.com once again]. 

So, with that, our FB dialogue ended- for a while at least. And I had time to kill. The adage says that “Idle hands are the Devil’s playthings” and they’re right. So, I tried to stay busy.

I read a few chapters from Bruce Campbell’s memoir: “If Chins could kill- Confessions of a B movie actor”. It’s awesome, by the way, Worked on this blog. Ditto. But to a lesser degree. I then skimmed a few of the “100 Creatives” postings on NT’s website, noticing that none seemed to generate more than 3 to 4 comments per article.

Wow. That’s some serious exposure.

Let’s see…four times 100 equals….. I know! A vast waste of time and energy. Not to mention- the formulaic questions that were asked bored me stiff. And when I’m stiffly bored, I turn all shades of bitchy. And no good comes of that.

Fun? Yes. Dialogue? Sure. Legal problems? Certainly. Good? I think not.

Left to my own devices, I decided to take matters into my own hands and find out why this Claire Lawton was blowing smoke up Pete’s ass regarding contacting me. I do good work.

I can talk and chew gum at the same time. I own a shitload of black clothing. I’m arrogant.

I’m egotistical. I’ve dated strippers!

What more does she need? [Her email is Claire.Lawton@newtimes.com just in case you were wondering too.]

So, balancing my laptop while simultaneously eating a mango jam sandwich, I composed the following email: [The mango jam comes from this awesome UK Indian food store in my neighborhood. And it is so darn yummy I cannot believe it. If you are into this sort of thing, email me and I will send you all the store info.] Sorry…I got distracted. But it is so darn good.


“Ms. Lawton-

A while ago, Peter Petrisko informed me that you emailed him in relation to your ongoing “100 CREATIVES” online series- specifically about possibly contacting me, since you seemed to be interested in “differing viewpoints” as you put it.

Well, it’s been a month and I haven’t heard anything yet.

I can only assume you couldn’t find me, what with having to do that whole “Google” thing and all.
But it’s okay.

Because as a creative myself, I understand that tracking down stories, researching facts, and giving lip service to the PHX Arts community is a real grind. Sure, you could dedicate some weekly page space to a new or established artist instead of those 5 simple questions in an online Q&A that honestly nobody sees- but I’m not a NT editor.

They know what’s best, I’m sure. Now at my core I am a people person, so I’m gonna help you out. It’s my one time only offer. How? Well, there is always my blog for you to read, which defines my point of view rather clearly, I think. https://www.waynemichaelreich.com/

I really think you will enjoy it, but what do I know? I’m just a humble artist doing my humble best. Or maybe you have read it already- and that’s why you haven’t contacted me.Either way- I do look forward to hearing from you. I’m sure it’ll be an experience worth writing about. May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your home,

Sincerely, Wayne Michael Reich”


See? I can be nice. Friendly. Downright charming. And yet… NO RESPONSE. No “go f*** yourself”. Or a “bite me”. Not even a “slag off, you arrogant bastard wanker”. Personally, I’m a little hurt. Here I am extending the hand of creative professionalism, and it gets slapped away.

Ooh. Ouch. Ahh.

But not all is bleak on my artistic horizon, my loyal blogiteers. Remember Peter Petrisko?

Well, Pete read my little blog and decided on a course of action to help raise my spirits, and to a lesser extent- my artistic “cred”. I will let Peter’s plea speak for itself.


“Ok, folks, need your help here! On May 26th, I answered NT’s call asking for “100 Creatives” suggestions, by suggesting Wayne. I posted it as a comment, adding “if NT still gives voice to dissenting viewpoints”.

An editor emailed me back, saying NT gives voice to all kinds… of viewpoints & would contact him shortly – but no contact yet!

As many of you know, today is Wayne’s one-year anniversary of Living on Borrowed Time. He is also decidedly vintage uncool. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear his caregiver, Ashley, report that he’s been eyeing the frosted cupcakes again. That’s never a good sign. HE NEEDS YOUR HELP!

His press scrapbook hasn’t had a good clipping added in god knows how long. Hell, let’s face it, there hasn’t been much in the way of bad clippings either lately. He probably just stares at those empty back pages, wondering how in the hell it all went so wrong, while calculating how many frosted cupcakes it’d take for a sugar OD.

And what would you do without a Wayne Michael Reich? Admit it, you’d miss his snarky attitude. Truth be told, he’s the last snark standing in downtown phoenix. But low spirits will crush that snark right out of him.

That, and cupcakes.

So help that badly dressed old artist out — by going to the NT’s “100 Creatives” (New Times Website) and suggesting it profile Wayne Michael Reich. Just leave a comment on whatever # profile is at top & suggest NT do a profile on Wayne Michael Reich.

And if you don’t want to do it for him, then do it for Wayne’s mom. Like you’d want people to do if it was YOUR mom. Cuz moms love to see their kids in the paper.

Thank you, Pete.

>BTW, that might be a badly worded campaign name there. It’s about dignity, period. Not Wayne’s personal dignity. Sorry for any confusion. I really gotta work harder on those campaign names I guess. – pete< ————— “

Wow. You gotta love that! But my friends weren’t done just yet. Enter the one and only Tate Hemlock, photographer extraordinaire.

Check out his work at: http://www.tatehemlock.com/  http://tatehemlock.deviantart.com/ http://www.modelmayhem.com/241133  http://twitter.com/tatehemlock

Tate is an incredibly talented cat, and his level of snark far surpasses my own. He’s the closet thing I have to Obi Wan Kenobi. A Jedi master of Snark as it were. And it was put to good use in my defense. Tate posted to the NT website, and commented on the #80 profile of Rachel Bess:

“No Wayne Michael Reich?!?? You have to be kidding me? People like myself ignore the Phx art scene because there’s a scene outside of AZ that’s more important (re: actual) but give Wayne props for actually caring. I have met few people in the AZ art scene who didn’t strike me as being pretentious wankers. Wayne is a beacon of light.”

A beacon of light. Check it kids: I’m an artistic lighthouse keeping the art boats from wrecking on the jagged shores of PHX.- a landlocked city. Well, um… you know what I mean. Anywhos….

That just rocks! But Tate wasn’t done yet. On Facebook he also posted this little tidbit.

“Seriously. Most of the people in this scene just pat themselves on the back congratulating themselves for getting themselves noticed. It’s a fucking Academy Awards show without the fucking Solid Gold dancers… Wayne Michael Reich just pisses you off for speaking the truth as he sees it.”

Damm- that’s a good review. But I also got this from one Garrett Buck Nelson [on FB as well] regarding my blog: “YOU WILL READ IT, YOU WILL LIKE IT, YOU WILL CLICK ON HIS “LIKE BUTTON” ON HIS FAN PAGE, YOU WILL RIP YOUR HAIR OUT IN ANTICIPATION FOR HIS NEXT BLOG ENTRY, NOW FLY MY MINIONS, FLY FLY AWAY AND DO AS I COMMAND! MUAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! (im sorry for the mad scientist-all-caps-yelling, but you really need to, he’s fargin great)”

And this from a well-established culture blogger: “Thanks for the link! I read Parts 1 & 2 and the First Friday screeds… and all in all, I got to say that is some damn fine vitriolic (and mostly on-point) writing. A lot of it was painfully funny and sadly true, and I look forward to reading part 3.”

I tell, ya kids, if I weren’t so egotistical already, this just might make me more insufferable than I am now. I am so starting to feel the love. So naturally, I want to share it all around.

If you feel like I do- post to the NT website as MUCH AS POSSIBLE, and TELL THEM!

Let me repeat that again: If you feel like I do- post to the NT website as MUCH AS POSSIBLE, and TELL THEM! Nothing, and I mean nothing- will change unless the creative community bands together and kicks some metaphysical ass.

Specifically- that of the editorial staff who oversees the lackluster coverage of the PHX arts scene. I receive tons of emails from people who agree with me, yet they don’t tell anyone else- in this case, NT and their editorial staff.

So stop talkin’ start doin’ already, would ya please? Go to their website: http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/ And bring the artistic smackdown.

Feel free to drop my name, [NATCH] or any artist you are sick and tired of seeing ignored or passed over just because they possess more talent in their little finger than your average NT editor. Honestly? A few measly paragraphs in mostly unread online articles is hardly the way to “profile” the creative community of PHX.

Here’s an idea or two- hire someone who knows how to write about art- that means stop asking inane questions more suited to Match.com, and devote some consistent (IE: weekly) expansive page space to the art scene, and not just people who are tight with the writing staff.

Oh wait- maybe this is Match.com, and I’m out of line. Now, knowing how crappy the editorial staff is at NT- I can’t blame this Claire Lawton person, it’s not her fault. In fact, you should send her an email at: Claire.Lawton@newtimes.com and let her know this.

She seems rather shy and I think she could use some new friends. See? I’m helping.

And helping feels good.

“I am, as I’ve said, merely competent. But in an age of incompetence, that makes me extraordinary.”- Billy Joel