The comments on my “New Dog!” post about my “The Dunlop Art Gallery Is Punishing Us By Pulling Ads” editorial are thoughtful, articulate and off-base. For example, this, from our good friend Amy:

The article you wrote feels a bit like a bully move and that makes me sad because I know you’re not a bully. Advertisers have the right to move their money for whatever reason they choose. You have the right to cover what you want in the PD. Everyone has the right to be a dick about it, but I wish you wouldn’t.

And this, from our favourite Barb:

You should can the “I’m so hurt, and besides you owe us” attitude, give the Dunlop the benefit of the doubt…and you should also listen carefully to what Mr. Collins has to say: both you and Greg might learn something.

Our dear friends are being unfair. Nonsense like playing political games with marketing budgets does a lot of harm to our company — a company which, by the way, does probably 20 times more than Verb to support and nurture the arts community, not to mention intelligence and creativity in general, in this city. If — no, make that WHEN — organizations, businesses and crowns don’t act like professionals and include prairie dog in the  marketing buys to the degree that our reader demographics warrant — which they too often don’t — and if they ALSO decline to even support us just on the worthy basis of nurturing a damn good alt paper, we will eventually have to leave. Because we have bills to pay, too. You do understand that, right?

Of course, should we whither and die, Barb, Amy and everyone else can always comment on Verb’s lively blog. Oh wait.

So let’s not let things get to that point, hey? Alt weeklies have recently folded in Montreal and Ottawa, and it sure sounds like the Village Voice is about to go down (although that’s partly self-inflicted). In San Francisco the independent alt (Bay Guardian?) sold out to the daily paper, which is a recipe for death, and if the SF Weekly still exists it won’t for long.

Regina has a dynamite little paper in prairie dog. You like us and we like being here. The marketing case for advertising with us is also clear — although too-often ignored. The practical, moral case is even stronger.

We want (and plan) to keep going. All we ask is that professionals entrusted with marketing budgets make competent spending decisions and that occasionally, the organizations that we’ve supported the most show some damn loyalty.

And that our readers get our backs when the Dunlop takes a huge crap on us. Which, I’m sorry to say, it did.