Not Rex sends birthday wishes to

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Humberto daSilva with a camera. Image:

Happy 20th birthday,!

You hung in there to the double sawbuck and you're still going strong as a platform for powerful progressive voices, and an incubator for the future voice of the working class. When I was 20 I didn't know shit, but a lot of what I know at 60 about citizen journalism, activism, and the expression of creative political rage, taught me from when it was barely 10.

The "Not Rex Murphy" contest turned into a decade of opportunity to expressive my personal left-wing populist rage against the machine. I wouldn't have gotten through the Harper years sane without

And let me do it. Although I was a clown among virtuosi, I was never treated as anything but another comrade in the struggle. And when I recklessly transgressed Godwin's law, and sparked an outrage at Sun Media that spooked even my employer (a large Canadian trade union who is a longtime sponsor), the editors at rabble never wavered in my defence, nor in my right to express myself as intemperately as the times required. 

When Huffpost Canada surveyed their readership whether I should lose my day job, stood fast beside me. Where are you now, Sun TV and HuffPost Canada? soldiers on in the information trenches because it's like… actual grassroots media.  

I love that is not capitalized! I also loved that Not Rex kinda means "no king"!

Some great memories were the parties where the workers and activists of one of Canada's first online progressive news sources got together in Kensington Market, or at Olivia Chow's house, to meet occasionally in real space and to make a human connection.

The annual fundraising envelope stuffing sessions on Spadina with craft beer selections curated by Matt Adams were epic too. The editorial guidance by Tor, the Me(a)g(h)ans, Kaitlin, Michelle, the Matts, and Kim kept me from really going off the rails a few times, and led to some late Thursday nights chopping video.  

Thank you to Judy Rebick and the founding editors for their vision. Thank you to the other writers and content creators with whom I was always so honoured to share the space.

And especially thank you to Kim Elliott for your guidance and friendship over the last decade!

Humberto daSilva was born and lives in Toronto. Currently he is a videographer, a citizen journalist and a radical commentator.


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