Dearest Reader, Times have been tough for labor journalists. Our own labor reporter Mike Elk was recently reduced to taking on a second job—emceeing a chili cookoff at a D.C. bar—to make ends meet. To our surprise, Elk has now taken to writing romance novels. We need your support to help get him back on the labor beat full-time by donating to In These Times today. The reviews of his new book 50 Shades of Denim have been decidedly mixed, with one critic saying, “Similar to the HBO Series Girls, Elk captures the pain of twenty-somethings in a turbulent economy, but the love scenes just aren’t as good”.
Here’s an excerpt: He looked at her with extraordinary tenderness. “I wish to romp with you in the garden of earthly delights and let our love bloom like a thousand dew-kissed flowers.” He removed his jean jacket, leaving just his denim shirt and blue jeans. “I want to be yours forever in a world where our love is unimpeded by the difficulties between us. Where employee coercion is a thing of the past, where right to work laws are not threatening collective bargaining, where wage theft is a distant memory.” It’s clear that Elk’s love for labor journalism hasn’t diminished, despite the hard times at In These Times. So this Valentine’s Day, we are asking our readers to help get Mike Elk out of the romance novel scene and back on the picket line. Donate to In These Times today and make sure that Mike’s love for labor journalism doesn’t turn into something you see on supermarket shelves. Yours truly, Miles, Dan, Joel, Jessica, Liz, Molly, Rachel and the rest of the staff at In These Times P.S. All donations to In These Times, a 501© 3, are tax deductible.