One of the things we’re proudest of here at the Dish is our readership and the way we’ve all somehow created a space where readers can write and express themselves about some of the most personal and wrenching experiences in their lives – and convey truths that are hard to find in other places. The Cannabis Closet series was one of them. The “It’s So Personal” series on late-term abortions was another. Our recent reader who wrote about her own rape is yet another. What has long struck me about this almost unique aspect of the Dish is not just the fact that readers feel safe to write us, knowing that their identities will be absolutely confidential, but that the quality of the writing is so high. I edited a great magazine for five years and I can tell you that it was incredibly rare for professional writers to produce that kind of prose. This is just to say that yesterday, we ran an email that is one of the most beautifully written and utterly compelling pieces of journalism you can find anywhere. It’s about corporal punishment. I read it again today. If you missed it, drop everything and read it now.
The Dish is an exhausting, tough and never-ending labor for the handful of us who do it. We’re struggling to find a way to pay for it, and constantly trying to innovate. There have been times lately when I have felt really depleted by the daily effort – and that’s true for all of us. But then we get an email like this one. And I realize that what we have is not just a job; but an immense and humbling privilege.