The trials and tribulations of a free press in America are experiences that are close to my heart. And though I have inured myself to phenomena like the failure—in print as it were—of bastions of the genre like the Village Voice as well as the freaky-styley and totally clever changes going on at Jet City alt-weekly, The Stranger, I have to say that I am particularly saddened by the upcoming end of a local website called Duke City Fix.
The current publishers of the Fix, as it has been known in these parts for nigh on 12 years, say they have comfortably retreated to more potent forms of social media—Facebook and Instagram—to deliver their message. It’s inevitable that the site itself will probably go down for good soon. As of Sept. 1, DCF stopped publishing new posts from its regular contributors.
At one recent point in our shared cultural history—beginning well before the advent of the hegemonic dominance of social media arbiters like Facebook—Duke City Fix was a potent alternative to local news media; it was a gathering place for locals of all stripes, including some of this city’s most interesting, readable and original bloggers.
In its formative years, DCF featured some of this town’s best writers and web-folk, including local experts like Johnny Mango (Jon Knudsen) and Adelita (Lita Sandoval) as well as visionaries like founders Chantal Forster and Sophie Martin. Additionally, Duke City Fix hosted one of the more lively discussion forums on this city’s version of the interwebz, with topics that ran the gamut from where to eat to what sorts of jobs awaited newcomers to our desert outpost.
Besides providing the basis for a vibrant virtual community, DCF also included various sub-communities in the form of discussion groups. There were literally dozens of such groups manifested through the site over the years; one group brought local culture to the fore in a manner that is notable. The Born in Burque group fomented discussions that have historic relevance to our city. Within the words recorded here, the names, places and activities of generations of ordinary Albuquerque residents are documented. It’s our sincere hope that the current administrators of the site will see that, at the very least, this irreplaceable resource is not lost to the static.
Yet another DCF feature, The Sunday Poem, provided a very cool chance for legitimate—and legitimizing—
We won’t miss everything about DCF; self-serving or ponderous blogs by folks like the infamous Martini Mike or pedantic transplants like Masshole in Fringecrest remain examples of how not to embrace one’s Burqueñismo, but our community is still better off for such crudely drawn reflections. After all, Duke City Fix was great at defining who we are as well as who we should never become.