Pay $2,000. Be a Writer.

Hunter S. Thompson: Confused what the f— happened to his mag.

My friend Chuck Creekmur posted this on Facebook recently, and like the great Chuck, my first (second, third, fourth, and fifth) instinct was to gag …

My sixth instinct was to think, “Nah, this can’t be true.”

My seventh instinct was to do the Google Yup, it’s true.

Rolling Stone, the all-time, all-time, all-time legendary magazine, the place that brought us Hunter S. Thompson and Tom Wolfe, has now become the journalistic version of your once-steady Facebook friend who has discovered “a GREAT way to lose weight and feel AMAZING! DM me for details!” It wants you to be a part of its new Culture Council—just fill out this form and we’ll get back to you about becoming a member of one of the amazing institutions of modern writing.

[oh, and slip us $2k, because we’re out of cash]

I hate to be this guy, but it’s time for Rolling Stone to call it quits. I mean, I could deal with the reduced magazine, the weird paper quality, the decline in quality, the wavering focus. Those all come with the modern landscape of journalism—where shit be crazy.

But charging folks to write, with the promise of exposure?

Somewhere on a cloud, Hunter S. Thompson’s weed just turned to sludge.