Six months ago, when I applied for an internship at The Stranger, my highest ambition was to prepare coffee and to take care of the photocopier. I hoped I could follow an editor meeting a paparazzi in a dark alley, dealing a picture of Barack Obama secretly praying in a mosque. And I also prayed I could have a nap on the pile of billions of letters you daily send to Dan Savage for him to resolve your issues. None of these expectations has been fulfilled so far, so I daresay this internship sucked.
But when I am back to Paris, I will have to show off in front of the other students of my journalism school. I will just mention my appearance on page 5 of Seattle's most insolent newspaper. I will tell them about how famous I am here and how I met a bus driver who recognized me while I was boarding on. I will laugh when they report to me about the boring articles they had to write during their internships, whereas I spent my time eating croissants and being paid for that. Well, I've not been paid, but I don't have to be precise. And I will lightly taunt them about the marriage proposals and/or hatred comments I received on Slog. Just lightly, because many of them already read your public exhibitions of affection.
This internship was also about learning another vision of journalism. And in this matter, The Stranger went beyond my expectations, as well as the number of ads in each issue. I learnt that people want the facts, but you also can give your opinion on a topic so a debate can start. I learnt that you can write about what you want the way you want. And I learnt that being professional does not necessarily mean being serious.
Still, some questions remain, like: Do you still believe I'm a fake? Is A. Birch Steen in holidays in Paris? Why isn't there any equivalent of The Stranger in France? Why does everybody hate Glee? How much are the editors paid? But the most important one is: Why did Seattle's mayor come to the office to speak about the city's budget with the staff? It looked like a press conference, but I'm still wondering if it's deontological and ethical for a bunch of journalists to receive a politician in their office. Maybe The Stranger is just a propaganda brochure for the local power.
My new professional ambition is to launch a Parisian Stranger. I don't where to start to do that, but I know I'll need money, so you can start sending me your gifts. This newspaper will be like me: smiling, gracious, elegant, lovely, and modest. If you come to visit Paris, I may hire you as an American intern. But you'd have to write in French, and I'm very doubtful of your level due to your educational system.
Oh, and before leaving, I had to tell you: Stop wearing white socks.
Au revoir Seattle! Bonjour Paris!