For Salon Staff Writer, Life Is Bigger Than an L.A. Lifestyle

Scott Timberg has relocated to the land of R.E.M.

R.E.M.’s classic 1991 song “Losing My Religion” takes its title from an old Southern expression signifying an individual who has reached the end of their rope. In a recent Los Angeles magazine piece, pop culture writer Scott Timberg detailed how he gradually arrived at that tipping point on the West Coast and, now, here he is with his wife and son, newly relocated to the birthplace of Michael Stipe.

In the July issue essay, Timberg didn’t actually reveal where he was moving to. That information comes in a Los Angeles magazine follow-up Q&A conducted by his article editor Matthew Segal, who caught up with the writer as bags were being packed:

“I love Portland [Oregon] and fantasized about moving there even before the recession turned my world upside down. In January I visited for a reading at Powell’s, which was a blast. Two things, though: First, in part because of Portlandia, I suspect, the city is no longer a cheap, funky spot for artists and oddballs. Actually, it’s still – mostly – eccentric and wonderful, but it’s no longer that inexpensive. Second, I think when people imagine leaving a city and making a new life, they expect they’ll just figure out the ideal spot and go there, like ordering from a particularly expansive menu. But life, at least my life, has rarely worked that way. It’s more like going into a mid-size used bookstore and finding the best option available.”

“Athens is a cool place, and it fit a lot of our criteria – music scene, affordable, progressive politics, nature – but a lot of life, I’ve learned, comes down to luck. Portland wasn’t in the cards this time; Athens was.”

Timberg’s wife Sara Scribner has also written for Salon, but is first and foremost a librarian and working in that capacity in Athens. Consider this – their move, and Timberg’s recent related book – the dint of the new century.