WE STARTED THE Brick House two years ago as a cooperatively-owned platform—a place of our own, where writers and artists can publish entirely free from the interference of owners, advertisers, investors, platforms, or anyone else.
Popula is just one of our publishers; the others are Awry, FAQ NYC, Hmm Weekly, No Man Is An Island, Olongo Africa, Preachy, Sludge, and Tasteful Rude.
I am so proud of this weird place, which is unlike any other publishing concern in the world, and I thank you so very much for coming round to read it—and, if you can, for making a donation to our continued experiments in protecting, and practicing, real press freedom.
(This list of things I loved about the Brick House in 2022 is long, but incomplete… I just had to stop at 57 because I got sleepy.)
In 2022, the Brick House:
- Published editor-in-chief Tom Scocca’s new book, 19 Folktales, with illustrations by Jim Cooke
- Tussled with some goons from the Authors Guild
- Started our own Mastodon instance, thelife.boats
- Mourned Angelo Badalamenti with Alex Pareene
- Revealed fossil fuel and defense investments made by Progressive Caucus Rep. Ro Khanna’s wife, after a promise to divest
- Reflected on the passing of Sacheen Littlefeather with Myriam Gurba
- Launched our first podcast: Populacast!
- Made this video, dir. Rafael Shimunov, about protecting libraries, and presented it at the Internet Archive’s Library Leaders Forum in San Francisco
- Ventured online with Anandi Mishra’s Indian parents
- Opened the new Shopula! with beautiful posters, zines, books and stuff
- Figured out what was on the (weirdly empty) bookshelves at Puck
- Experienced a New Orleans hurricane with Andru Okun and The Celebration Gator
- Defended the right of babies to fly first class
- Were introduced by Ernest Nweke to a soccer legend of 1970s Nigeria
- Offered for sale at Shopula the first book from Brick House member OlongoAfrica’s new imprint: The Nigerian travel classic An African Abroad, reprinted for the first time since 1963
- with Agri Ismaïl
- Wondered, with The Fine Print, whether or not Sam Bankman-Fried would show up for that New York Times DealBook conference (he did)
- Foolhardily rented a haunted apartment in Montreal with Nathan Munn
- Went on the most extraordinary walk with Hamza Moshood
- Got real mad at James Bennet
- Got real mad at Tom Cotton and Jonathan Chait
- Got real mad at Josh Barro
- Couldn’t even believe that Matt Levine piece about crypto
- Got a couch in Taipei
- Spoke Spanish
- Observed that Mastodon is fun
- Talked with George Saunders about achieving his heart’s desire
- Conducted experiments in microtipping at MozFest
- Learned about the connections between Taiwan and Ukraine from Brian Hioe
- Mourned Diana Spencer with Henry Wismayer
- Marveled at Mariam Adetona’s solar generator
- With Olaoluwa Oni, considered questions of “savagery” and British colonialism posed by Ṣóyínká’s Death and the King’s Horseman
- Published a stirring defense of digital ownership rights from Eve 6’s Max Collins
- Enjoyed a spectacular conversation between Max Read and Tom Scocca on the politics of Andor
- Reported on Oakland’s amazing “Democracy Dollars” program to fight election finance corruption
- Published an oral history on the suicide epidemic in a former Wyoming Boomtown, by J.J. Anselmi
- Went to the movies with No Man Is An Island
- Got a nuanced perspective on Giorgia Meloni from our Italian friend, Mattia Salvia
- Discovered $3.5 million in oil money secretively contributed to big jerks Sinema, Cuellar et al.
- Mourned Parade Magazine with Joe MacLeod
- Mourned the death of the dog Wang Wang with Brian Hioe
- Celebrated Halloween with Anna Merlan
- Published a fine, searing essay on racism and Star Trek by Donald Earl Collins
- Published Kate Harloe’s Mediaquake series, which asks the big questions about journalism, capitalism and the future of both
- In partnership with OptOut, demanded that corporate media stop taking fossil fuel money
- Challenged readers to determine the difference between Harry Siegel and an AI
- Lost and regained our illusions with Trevor Alixopulos
- Read sequels with Jason Katzenstein
- Considered the Taco
- Visited New York City with Ken Layne!
- Fell into a freezing river with Danuta Hinc (and in love again with her prose)
- Took a tour through the antiquities of Luxor with Chris Barker and learned about the future and meaning of tourism in Egypt
- Learned what Amla fruits are in a beautiful comic from Ita Mehrotra
- Learned about the history of the Slavic Christian Church from Casey Taylor
- Interviewed New York’s first responders
- Hosted Tom Scocca’s defense of digital archiving, presented at the Internet Archives’ Library Leaders Forum in San Francisco
IF you want this wild cornucopia to continue pouring forth (YES), please consider a donation!!
Thank you for making it to the bottom of this list! and best wishes for a happy New Year.
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