A Fond and Loving Farewell to Joanna Robinson On Her Last Day at Pajiba
We first knew Joanna Robinson seven or eight years ago as a charming, witty commenter who briefly went by the name of redbeaniegirl in our old comments section. In the summer of 2010, Seth and I finally met her at bar in Los Angeles, and by that December, she’d come aboard to write the occasional trade news piece . There was something so immediately fun, engaging, and colorful about the way that she wrote trade news that within two weeks, she’d taken over Pajiba Love, and within a very short period, she had become a huge part of the site’s voice.
Joanna (and Courtney, who came along around the same period) demonstrated how much fun it could be to cover pop culture, and during Joanna’s tenure, the entire tone of the site shifted, from the kind of aggressive, hostile bitchery that characterized much of our early run to the spirit of “mock and droll” that pervades the site now (the tagline, in fact, was adapted from one of Joanna’s many, many clever puns over the years, “We Built this City on Mock and Droll.”)
Today is Joanna’s last day with Pajiba. She has taken a job with Vanity Fair, which she will begin on Monday, and no one is happier, and prouder, and more excited about this than we are. Vanity f**king Fair, people! That’s why we’re categorizing this post under the “Celebrity” category. But the truth is, I’ve been anticipating (and dreading) this inevitability since the day she was hired, and while we are heartbroken to lose her, we also feel a kind of proud euphoria. Our clever girl has been called to the majors.
She’s been such a huge part of this site for the last three years, not just in terms of her writing, but the way Joanna has become such a huge, happy part of this community, both on the site, on Facebook, and in real life. She lives 3,000 miles away, but on most days, it feels like she’s sitting across from me while we put the site together. Personally, that’s what I’m going to miss most: Joanna’s everyday presence, the kind of camaraderie and rapport we’ve built over the years as we walked every day into a kind of frivolous battle we loved.
In a lot of ways, it feels like Jo is leaving home, and we can’t wait to see her go out and kick the Internet’s doors down. There will always be a home for her here, though. On this little corner of the Internet, a place she made better, a site with a silly little name she helped to build.
We’re going to miss the hell out of her. But, before she goes, we’re going to pass the old going-away card around the office, and let everyone sign it. — DR
Ugh. You guys, Joanna Robinson? The worst. The absolute worst. Yeah, so she loves the things I love, and she’s given me some of the best book recommendations ever. Yeah, yeah, we share an undying love for the greatest movie in the history of mankind. And OK, fine, she pretty much introduced me to “Orphan Black,” one of my favorite new TV shows. And yes, yes, she once helped me cover ‘Game Of Thrones’ when my son was born, and did a better job of it than I ever could. And WHATEVER, so WHAT if she made the site roughly 76% more awesome when she got here. WHO CARES. See what I mean? She’s the worst. And now she’s leaving. I know all of you poor, stupid, misguided lackwits will miss her, because sure, she’s funny and intelligent and clever and all of that, if that’s your thing. NOT ME. (sniff) Never me. (sniff). Goddamnit, Jo.
Never forget, Robinson. Never forget our commitment to diaper power. You hear me?
You beautiful tropical fish. Your new gig is so well-deserved, but I will miss you terribly around these parts. I mean, who else can so eloquently help me describe the once-hot James Spader as now resembling everyone’s lesbian aunt? Or risk being called a “kookaburra Cat Lady” by admitting we love ourselves some cravat-wearing Brits? You helped me get the word out to the gals about Game of Thrones being totes watchable, and — ugh — we really told it to that b*tch, Skyler White. We’ve had some great moments throughout the years, and now it’s time to watch you move on to even better things. (And can you get me a discount on my Vanity Fair subscription? Thanks!) We love you. We are so proud of and inspired by you. And I’ll let the Band Aids take it from here:
See you at SXSW.
To my sweet Joanna, my sister in blog, my other ovary who stole Christmas, I love you and wish you nothing but success, happiness and hair that is your preferred level of shininess. Thank you for being my Paji-BFF. And my face will forever scrunch in your honor. Because IT’S ALL HAPPENING.
I didn’t meet Joanna in person until last year. Up until then, I wasn’t totally sure she was real. How could one person do all this? Keep up with all these shows, books, songs, and people? How could someone know so much? But she is, indeed, real, and she’s absolutely that good. Her new job isn’t a surprise to anybody who’s ever read her. Jo, congrats on the gig. I wish you every awesome thing in the world, and couldn’t be happier.
At first when I heard you were leaving I was all:
And then when I was all:
But then I decided to be positive about it and write a poem:
And so now I imagine you’re all:
So congrats! Journey onwards to your fancy-schmancy new digs and know that I’m happy as all get-out for ya:
Joanna was instrumental in getting me this Pajiba gig. I want to thank her for her encouragement and for her belief that I could do this job. I’ve already told Joanna this, but I want to publicly embarrass her by saying again how proud I am of the person that she is and the much-deserved success she has worked so hard to achieve. Congrats on the new gig, you clevah girl!”
Tragically, Pajiba has never had an office where we could flirt and bring each other coffee while engaging in awkward pickup lines. Some may say this is for the best. However, this means that I now can’t present Joanna with a cup of coffee while smarming that I like my women like I like my coffee, COVERED IN GLORY! Knock ‘em dead.
I’m so happy for you and all your successes — you deserve everything wonderful that’s come your way. As soon as you told me about the job, I had no doubt it would be yours! Guess it’s not enough being gorgeous, witty and funny — now you’re off to write for the best magazine out there. I hope you love everything about the new gig, and have so much fun writing for the big league. P-town will never be the same without you.
May your days fly by, may your lunch hours be filled with strange kale concoctions and answering odd messages from your former co-workers, and most importantly, may thought of Fassbender’s golf club keep the flush in your cheek.
You’ll be so very missed!
These things are so weird. The temptation is to crack a joke, because it’s way easier to go for the laugh than go for the heart. Write too sadly and the whole affair reads like an obituary. Write too nicely, and it comes across as a very strange Pajiba 10 entry. And for all I know, Joanna does look like Idris Elba, but still, awkward. We live in this weird world where one of my close friends is someone I have never met, and now I’m mourning her leaving a place that doesn’t physically exist. That matters, because my connection with her is entirely through our mutual words. In a very real sense, I only know her as a writer. And she is an exceptional one.
When I open Pajiba, I tend to buzz through the front page and open all the links in new tabs. And every time I’m reading one of hers, I know without even looking at the byline that those words are Joanna talking. She has a voice, which is something terribly rare in writers. There are a lot of perfectly brilliant writers out there, smart ones, funny ones, but their articles are almost interchangeable with each others’. Joanna’s aren’t swappable with anyone else’s. She writes in color where they write in beige. Jo, you should know before you go, you were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic.
Farewell, Joanna Robinson.