I want to raise $6.5 million to build and grow my new company: TheBoostle.com

During the last millennia, many popular new media properties have launched, most aiming to attract corporeal beings, like The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Economist, and Gawker.

But with few exceptions (Deadspin, this commercial, and the-magazine-formerly-known-as-LIFE), the number of high-revenue publications aimed at ghosts is much smaller.

This is despite the fact that ghosts account for 100 percent of all dead people and every single person who will ever exist.

Supernatural publishing has long served as a symbol of “old media” lifelessness. Most of these publications, including the likes of The Undead Monthly and Haunter’s, have under-invested in the hereafter. Their ethereal audiences are far smaller than one would imagine, given their dominance in the paranormal realm. The New England Journal of Spectral Studies had fewer than 1 million unique visitors in June, an absolutely disgraceful number, given their brand efficacy.

Furthermore, publishers have completely lost sight of which dimension their readers are not-living in. This is a territory where spirits are doomed to roam without purpose, yearning for a divine closure they will never, ever find. They have nothing but time on their (formless) hands. And, in many cities, they out-number their living counterparts! But magazines like GutsWeekly talk to ghosts as though they were children, and they fail to connect popular culture with any form of social commentary about what it’s like to spend eternity trapped in a necromantic feverscape.

Isn’t it time for a publication that puts spectral news and politics alongside tips to avoid ghost hunters? What about a site that takes an introspective look at the afterlife, while also having a lot of fun covering it? How about a site that offers career advice and book reviews, while also reporting on scare tactics and popular memes to distract you while you wander aimlessly in perpetuity? 

Maybe we need a destination that is powered by the recently deceased, by those who currently occupy the freshest graves at major cemeteries.

We have an opportunity to completely transform publishing, and today I’m announcing my new company — Boostle.com — which aims to do just that. 

And today we are also announcing that we need to raise over $6.5 million, to be split between in-house parapsychologists and the costs of requisite proton packs. Who knew that backpack-sized particle accelerators were so expensive?

[Author’s note: And, now, watch as this fundraise announcement turns into an entirely useless conversation with myself.]

What will your role be with Boostle?

My job, as CEO, is to make this website sound awesome. Knowing the difference between ghoul, goblins, and phantoms is not my job. 

Seriously, who’s ever heard of a content website asking for $6.5 million pre-launch? What the hell is going on? This is unreal…

No. It’s unworldly.

So how is Boostle really different? It can’t be that different, can it?

We’re different, because we recognize how many diverse interests are shared amongst the curséd souls condemned to an everlasting nothing. 

And, more importantly, we are pulling it into one place. 

Do you want to invest in TheBoostle.com? Leave a comment below!

A courteous murder, all things considered.

A courteous murder, all things considered.


The master has become the apprentice. 

The circle is now complete.


The master has become the apprentice. 

The circle is now complete.


147 Years Ago Today, the U.S. Outlawed Slavery

Happy birthday, 13th Amendment! In honor of the anniversary, here’s a collection of excellent stories from The Atlantic’s archives.

  • Where Will It End? (Dec. 1857): In The Atlantic’s second issue, Edmund Quincy urges readers to take a stand against slavery. “It is only the statement of the truism in moral and in political economy,” he wrote, “that true prosperity can never grow up from wrong and wickedness.”
  • American Civilization (Apr. 1862): Ralph Waldo Emerson’s vehement argument for the federal emancipation of slaves. “Morality,” above all else, he asserted, “is the object of government.”
  • The President’s Proclamation (Nov. 1862): Seven months later, Emerson hails Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation as an act that would mean “the lives of our heroes have not been sacrificed in vain.”
  • Reconstruction, and an Appeal to Impartial Suffrage (Dec. 1866): In the same month the 13th Amendment was adopted, Frederick Douglass pushed lawmakers to grant black Americans the vote: “Slavery is not abolished until the black man has the ballot.”
  • The Death of Slavery (Jul. 1866): William Cullen Bryant’s stirring poem about the demise of the “cruel reign” of slavery.

This is a very, very incomplete collection of stories from the era about slavery. (We were, after all, an abolitionist magazine.) For more, take a look at the commemorative Civil War issue we published last year.

[Image: Wikimedia Commons/National Archives]

Merida really could be gay. She could be straight. She could be asexual. We just don’t know. Over the course of the film, she shows romantic interest in neither boys nor girls; it’s only by assumption that her parents—and, presumably, most viewers—think she’s heterosexual.

Is this ambiguity intentional? Almost definitely. Pixar is notoriously meticulous—the Easter eggs and subtle references in each of its works are legion—and it’s unlikely that the filmmakers simply didn’t think to give Merida any sort of love interest. No, this is a deliberate sort of ambiguity. With that in mind, here are five ways of looking at Pixar’s motivations for being so coy:

1) Brave is about a daughter’s relationship with her mother, and sexuality would only distract from the developments within that relationship.

2) She is gay, and Brave is Pixar’s subversive way to put a lesbian in one of its movies.

3) Merida is a straight girl who likes to run and shoot and fight.

4) She’s neither gay nor straight; she’s asexual. (This would be just as sexually radical—if not more so—than making Merida a lesbian.)

5) The ambiguity is itself a message.