Abbe Diaz: Talk Loudly And Carry A Big StickÖToo (Part Three)
Steve Lewis: Did you miss me?
Abbe Diaz: Of course. I miss you everyday. Well not anymore, Ďcause now I can read all about you. That Down by the Hipster thing was so funny.
SL: Did you see what I wrote.
AD: I did.
SL: No, you didnít, you saw what he made me write. Iím a mellow guy now. Josh was right, I took the high road. It did make me laugh. My girl teased me about it.
AD: Oh, you have it light. If you had any clue what people say about me, to me, at me.
SL: So you were talking about what people say about you. Tell me why anybody would attack you?
AD: Good fucking question. Honestly I know the answer; itís just a snowball thing.
SL: You attacked the powers that be. If you attack someone in his castle he will throw stones down upon you forever.
SL: OK, you tell me, why? Why are you being attacked?
AD: I sort of narrowed it down to episodes here and there. They do snowball. Itís very small communities, these writer, blogger, shitheads.
AD: What happens is one of them says something bullshitish and Iím supposed to be like whatever, but, Iím not, Iím like fuck you.
SL: Eater is this big website; Ben Leventhal is the guyís name.
AD: Giant Ass. Apparently from what I gather there are a couple of partners. One guy is cool, heís totally cool, and the other one, what is his problem?
SL: Good Cop, Bad Cop?
AD: No, heís just an ass.
SL: What I meant was sometimes in business one guyís really nice and one guyís a real asshole, and the good guy can always say, ĎHey, Iíd love to do it, but my partner wonít.í Thatís good cop, bad cop. Maybe Ben is the bad cop in their relationship.
AD: You know itís kind of a misunderstanding, but not really a misunderstanding. I launched the forum on like March 14th, and the following day there was some stuff about some restaurant. It just so happened that that chef of that restaurant wants to come to the industry forum, and thatís what itís there for, and vent, you know, about some shit. So thatís fine, vent, but it just so happened that she was venting about the man Iím dating. Check that shit out. Is that crazy? Thatís like cosmic freakiness. So she goes and she spouts blah blah blah. Now just picture it, someone comes to your blog and youíre little comment section and says nasty things about your girlfriend. Wouldnít you be upset?
SL: Not me, Ďcause I know my girl. Sheís 5í11Ē and she will knock the motherfucker out.
AD: But, he wonít knock someone out. Thatís the problem. Then of course this whole thing gets blown up all out of proportion and it gets found out that that chef is friends with Ben Leventhal. So what he does now, and I donít agree with, Ďcause what we do is different, I donít have ads on my site, Iím not a business, I am in the purest sense a blog. I donít make any money. So if I use my blog as my voice then hey, thatís what itís there for. But, he uses this supposedly objective website for his own personal agenda, and to me thereís just something not right about that. Or if you are going to do that at least have the balls to put it right out there and sign your name to it.
SL: Iím going to disagree with you. I say a blog is your personal agenda.
AD: OK, some. In yours, in mine.
SL: Iím saying, just because theyíre making money at it doesnít mean that they canít have a personal agenda too.
AD: OK, thatís fine. Then be honest about it. Say, look, this is my problem, I donít like you Ďcause such and such said this about so and so and theyíre my friend.
SL: But, thatís your job, because youíre the one who exposes these things. Down By The Hipster, theyíre the ones who are exposing these things. Guys like me, I donít really expose too much, I try not to gossip. You can do it, you can bang back at him. Why donít you bang back at him?
AD: Oh, I do. But heís so annoying cause heís like doesnít just attack me, he attacks the people and the places and the events around me, which is not right. You donít go and fuck with innocent peopleís shit just because you have a problem. Iím going to take so much shit for this. I know it.
SL: Well do you want us to print this or not?
AD: I donít know. On one hand I donít care; on the other hand Iím tired of this nonsense.
SL: Let me tell you something about you. I think youíre hot, I think youíre a beautiful girl. But, the hottest thing about Abbe Diaz is sheís got balls and sheís got brains and sheís never going to take shit.
AD: Who would? If somebody gets in your shit, whoís gonna be like, oh.
SL: Most of the world, Abbe. Most of the world takes shit from other people. You get out there and write a book, thatís why youíre controversial because you donít take shit. The rest of the world takes shit. I donít take shit too much, well much more than I used toÖ
AD: I donít think people take shit, I just think that theyíre not up front about not taking their shit. Passive aggressive.
SL: But you get in peopleís faces.
AD: You know look, it someone attacks you, youíre going to slap them across the face back. Thatís the part that I donít understand, cause like me, I slap back and they go, oh my god she slapped us back sheís awful, what a bitch crazy nut job.
SL: Abbe, you are a fighter, and thatís why youíre relevant and thatís why Iím interviewing you today.
AD: But you watch mark my words. You have been doing so well and whoís this kid, the one on Gawker that likes you so much, Hamilton Nolan.
SL: I donít know.
AD: Heís fucking in love with you. And then Iíve seen you on Grub Street, Josh Ozersky, whatever, I guess he kind of likes you too. Guaranteed, mark my words, this interview will never hit either one of those blogs. This interview, no fucking way.
SL: Because they donít like you so therefore youíre irrelevant, is that what youíre saying? Look, if you said something Ghandi-esque, or incredibly beautiful, earth shattering, you donít think it would appear anywhere?
AD: Are you joking, totally. Josh Stein, that jerk face, do you know who that is?
AD: He used to write on Gawker, and he does that Top Chef cameo thing. He said the most awful thing about me with a full on post with my picture and everything, and all of it was untrue. So, I turn around and Iím like you mother fucker, none of that is true. Then of course Grub Street did another one.
SL: So you got your point across using your blog and your side was told.
AD: Basically and then, essentially as an answer to what he said, I pulled this beautiful Gabriel Garcia Marquez quote, do you ever think it saw the light of day? They should have updated or subtracted or something.
SL: Now what did you do?
AD: They accused me of being another anonymous blogger. It turns out weíre now friendly, because it was a hilarious thing. So they accused me of being her, and it was flat out proven that that blogger was not me. In fact her story is ten times more interesting than mine, sheís like a three million dollar bartender from Boston you know.
SL: What is a three million dollar bartender?
AD: She got a three million dollar tip to go open her own place.
SL: She must have made a great drink.
AD: I ainít going there. Iím just messing around. Sheís a friend of mine. Sorry. So they accused me of being that blogger, because she was going around saying awful things. So they were like there goes Abbe Diaz again, and then when it comes out in the open that itís not me, you think they would be like, 'My bad, it wasnít Abbe Diaz?'
SL: Itís not like the papers, which is a slower medium, this blog stuff moves fast.
AD: All they would have to do, like they do with so many other stories, is update.
SL: Well letís update it right now. Oh, I guess we did we just did.
AD: Do you really think this is going to be on Gawker tomorrow? No way! This is my point, my simple point, yout question, ĎWhat if I were to say something beautiful?' This is a prime example, I did say something beautiful, I was using somebody elseís words, but I was so proud of my self that I was patting myself on the back. Did anyone ever see it? On my blog, sure.
SL: Let me say something. Abbe youíre an incredible person. I sweat you. I think youíre the coolest. You are beautiful, dynamic, unbelievable, and Iím really glad my readers will get to know you.
AD: Thank you Steve Lewis. Itís all for naught. Youíll see.
I am a neophyte in this world of blogs. I did get my dander up a few times when something said about me seemed unfair. Maybe I havenít gotten big enough here to be attacked as Abbe seems to be attacked. The blogosphere fascinates me. I come from a different place. You booked an act or party, you printed an invite, and you had all these kids standing on corners near clubs handing them out, and then that night you opened the doors, the people come, you had a party, and at the end of the night you counted the money. Rinse and repeat. There was a physical connect with the consumer through that flyer and there was time to think, as events were promoted at least a week in advance. Pauses could be taken for breaths, reflections, or even diversions. Itís so fast now. I write this, press the send button, and in an hour you read it. Text messaging redirects consumers from one club to another in the middle of the party. Cell phone calls and emails reach countless masses instantly. I get fifty invites a day to parties happening tonight, tomorrow or sometimes in an hour.
Silicon and plastic have created a distance between the club operator and the consumer. Even if you wanted to punch someone in the nose it would just be an image on MySpace or Facebook and the impact and satisfaction just wouldnít be the same.
Interview conducted and written by Steve Lewis.
Interview has been edited and condensed.