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Why I Joined Puck

Hands on Manual Typewriter
Baratunde Thurston
September 12, 2021

I don’t have a shortage of things to do, so when I first heard about the new media company called Puck and the possibility of joining and writing there, I was like, “Nah, I’m good! See my Google Calendar.” I already express myself in many media including podcasts, television, social media, and an email newsletter that I’ve been publishing for years.

But even with all that output, I’ve been missing a different kind of creative canvas, and a different type of community. Enter Puck.

Creatively, I joined Puck to write more. I’m sitting on so many ideas that I think I can only truly express on a page and at length. I’m active in conversations around race, technology, democracy, and climate, but I don’t often give myself space to reflect and organize my thoughts. Writing does that for me. And writing with an editor makes the experience better for you. 

That column I sent to you about billionaire tax dodging would not have emerged nearly as well-formed without a place like Puck to really draw it out of me. And that brings me to the second reason I joined this place: community.

I’ve always been someone to dive into the comments on a post of mine, but the type of feedback I’ve been getting from you already has reminded me that a well-written piece can provoke well-written responses, both complementary and critical. Here’s what Shawn from Colorado Springs wrote to me about my tax piece:

Great piece, but you kinda petered out before getting to a real recommendation. Biden’s push for increasing tax rates looks good in the headlines, but has always seemed self-defeating to me…..

My vision is that about 75% of Americans should be paying income taxes, (at highly graduated levels.) 15% should be paying no taxes, but are earning enough to get by; (Fight for $15 needs to be adjusted ASAP to Fight for $25.) In a more-equitable America, only the bottom 10% of Americans should need tax credits to keep them afloat.

I’ve always thought Mitt Romney was correct: it is un-American for 47% to be not paying taxes. The problem is that he was maligning the wrong people within that 47. 

See? I’m over here patting myself on the back for going further with my writing than I usually do, and Shawn is like, “Go further!” Touché. 

Finally, I joined Puck because I wouldn’t be creating alone. Lots of platforms are out there helping support “creators,” but most are about individual creativity. Puck is a company with numerous writers and contributors, and I’m sure I don’t agree with them all about everything, but I’m excited to learn from, push, and chop it up with my fellow Pucksters—is that what we are?

That’s all I have to say right now. I’m working on a new piece about the climate crisis, which I’m excited to share with you and to read what you have to share with me after.