Thank you for finding your way here.
Over the years, a surprising number of you have written me very kind notes asking for a newsletter or a blog, hoping in some cases to keep up with what I’m doing while getting away from the maelstrom of twitter, and I couldn’t be more grateful for your encouragement to try something like this. I’m also, frankly, counting on you to subscribe.
For those of you who don’t know much about me or my writing, I’m thrilled that you’re here and happy to have an opportunity to introduce myself. My name, really and truly, is Luppe Busch Luppen. I’m the eighth person in my family to have this first and last name, including my father, my grandfather, my great-grandfather, etc., although we all have different middle names. I grew up in Los Angeles and went to my first Dodgers game when I was six years old. I received an extraordinarily privileged education, got a law degree, and spent about a decade practicing as a corporate lawyer at a firm in New York city, where I moved after law school and still live. I resigned my position at the firm a few years ago and have kept up a modest solo practice while working on some other projects—one, a book about progressive politics, is now known to the public and the others are still my secret.
Through it all, I’ve always had an insatiable appetite for news and opinion, and a need to share and curate it for people that’s hard to suppress. This started, I have to confess, long before I had Twitter as an outlet for it. I would bombard my patient friends with thoughts and links and takes on AOL instant messenger and Gchat. I’d email reporters, editors, and columnists my thoughts and questions; some of them were kind enough to respond and later became good friends. Eventually, someone suggested that I start a Twitter feed, and @nycsouthpaw was born.
For those of you who know my other work, I expect you’ll find that this newsletter will have a familiar voice—another expression of my lifelong admiration for what good reporters and good historians can do, my occasional frustration at the bad habits of the media business, my regularly dashed hopes for the possibilities of the American political and legal systems, my fascination with all the good dogs out there, etc.
I expect the nature of this work will evolve with time, but at least initially, subscribers can expect a letter from me on most days, lifting up the best stories I’ve been able to find on the subjects I’m interested in and, where I’m able to, adding some of my own thoughts and reporting. Along with this will come some news and analysis pieces focusing on single subjects. This will be a longer format for writing than tweets, which is something I’ve long craved. But I still prize brevity, and I will do my best to make it short and sweet.
Pawprints will be on Substack, which is having a media moment right now, attracting so many writers whom I deeply admire and, of course, some noisy culture warriors with whom I don’t very often agree. There’s also another category of Substack writers who use the platform to abuse and harass people and groups they dislike in evident violation of the platform’s published rules. It’s not my cup of tea sharing a platform with them. The rubber hits the road, for Substack and every platform for writing on the internet, in making (and occasionally amending) its rules wisely and then having the wherewithal to enforce them without fear or favor—a distasteful, quasi-judicial, cost center for a growing business. I hope and expect Substack will get better at this as it matures, but I don’t view its initial struggles as a reason to steer clear of the platform entirely. How could I, having spent so many years on Twitter? Of course, I understand if others disagree with that judgment on my part.
Once again, I’m thankful that you found your way here. I hope, for many of you, that I’ve already earned your trust and confidence and that I’ll be able to maintain it with what I do here. I promise you that I’ll always seek the truth, do my utmost to honor great work, kind people, and good dogs, offer criticism in good faith, correct my inevitable mistakes as soon as I can, and try to provide readers with a useful and valuable service. I would be so grateful for your support. Please take a moment to subscribe.
Here’s a special offer for those of you who help me get this puppy rolling with an annual subscription this April:
And here’s a regular old subscription button: