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Another awesome fucking person who helped me

VICE does good work. And it’s cool too. But I’ve never thought the trendiness or coolness, whatever that is, is what defines it. It’s the investigative journalism and trying to get to the truth that does.

But I would say that though, wouldn’t I, because when I interned at VICE USA in New York in 2007, everyone there was at least 67 times cooler than me. I tried to be cool but I was so out of my element (Here’s an example… at the Christmas party that year, CEO and VICE co-founder, Shane Smith said to me, ‘Waiter, go get me some appetisers’ or something, because of what I was wearing).

Somehow I was lucky enough to score an internship there, and this guy was my boss:

His name’s Rocco Castoro. Just before I started there, he had done a story for VICE where he slept on a park bench, in Brooklyn I think, for about three nights, living off donations and whatever scraps he could find. At the time he was an Editorial Assistant, but a few years after this, he became Editor-in-Chief.

He got stuck with giving some stupid intern (me) shit to do, and then making sure it’s half-decent, but he also taught me so much about how to just get shit done and to write like you don’t give a fuck. Rocco was heaps cooler than me, and everyone there loved him, but at the heart of it, I think he just wanted to be a good writer and write and tell stories about stuff that matters.

Sometimes I felt totally out of place at VICE, but other times I totally felt I belonged. And Rocco showed me that if you just truly give a shit about what you’re doing, all the other crap, like trying to be cool or fitting in, is bullshit.

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