Dear Open Letter Writer:
I’m writing this open letter to you because I’ve never met you.
Typically, people who write letters know one another. But this grandiose literary device known as the “Open Letter” requires no actual communication. It gives the illusion that I’m genuinely giving exceptional advice, while actually just driven by my own need to be heard.
The New Millenium cyberized version of the old-fangled “epizootics of the blowhole.”
And who am I to buck a trend? I want IN. Like omitting verbs and prepositions. The Bloggess writes, “Because… WINE.” And now everyone blogs without prepositions. It’s a pandemic grammatical anarchy on the blogosphere! Because…trendy.
Open Letters follow a formula.
There’s a “You see” paragraph near the beginning, so that it sounds like I’m an earnest motherfucker who was really in the metaphorical trenches, and I’m going to do my best to sound empathetic and concerned.
Then comes the “But what we need to remember is” paragraph. That’s where I dazzle you with how much of an expert I am on the topic. Invariably, I’ve managed to make a natural disaster-level hot mess of whatever it is I’m writing about and in hindsight, I have all the answers.
Then, comes the grand finale of the “I really don’t know if” paragraph to demonstrate humanity. Vulnerability. And to be used as a disclaimer, in case somewhat gets hurt actually following the bizarre tomfuckery I’ve just published.
You see, the open letter has a lofty history. And my “Open Letter to the Sweat On My Nutsack” belongs right up there with Emile Zola’s “J’accuse.” I have just as much to offer the world as a Nobel Prize-nominated literary giant calling out France on its anti-Semitism.
My “Open Letter To My 20-Year-old Self Because I’m a Narcissist Who Believes the Entire World is Fascinated By My Journey of Self Discovery” – let’s juxtapose that with Martin Luther King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail.
You may not be a historical figure penning the benchmark text for the American Civil Rights movement, but why not write a letter to an abstract concept? I am perfectly willing to embrace the incorrigible douchery of composing letters to entities that lack relevance, societal significance, or even a postal address.
What we need to remember is that open letters have come a long way. We no longer have to honor the glorious tradition of the Open Letter from historical figures who changed the world’s perspective.
‘Divorced Person’, you’re as much of an authority as Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, who wrote an Open Letter on the survival of the media when he purchased the Washington Post.
Who better to pen “Open Letters to Bad Spouses” than someone who is crawling from the wreckage of their own stupidity? And it makes perfect sense to get validated by a built-in applause machine – your followers. People even more fucked up than you are; anxious, fearful and desperate for answers when the great cosmic joke is that THERE AREN’T ANY. HAHAHAHA
Celebrities have every right to want to air their stank, moldy laundry in the public eye. Why shouldn’t Dylan Farrow denounce Woody Allen as a pedophile in a New York Times Open Letter? It’s probably slipped all our minds that that he bedded and then eventually married his de facto step daughter, in some surreal scene from a Viagra commercial gone terribly wrong.
Open Letter as shaming mechanism is really en vogue, which is French for “spreads like a yeast infection.”
Frankly, I don’t see what all the brouhaha is about. Miley’s a whole lot more compelling as a full-blown Hose Beast than she ever was when she was part of her Achy Breaky hillbilly family. Her career has skyrocketed, now that she’s gotten naked enough times to earn a recurring role on Game of Thrones. And her ludicrous antics certainly unite the nation, if not the world – and how many things do that?
But then Amanda Palmer, blogger extraordinaire, musician, writer of love poems dedicated to the Boston bomber and all around good time gal, decides SHE has an issue with Sinead having an issue with Miley.
Stay with me, here. This is multilayered, like a croissant. If croissants were the food of the ASSOSAURAS.
I especially LOVED the compassionate ‘Gurrllll, we’re in this together!’ appeal to Sinead in Amanda Palmer’s letter:
“You and I know it – being a female musician/rockstar/whatever is a pretty fucking impossible and mind-bendingly frustrating job.”
Really? I can understand why you would put yourself and Sinead in the same category; after all, she’s a brilliant musician whose been nominated and won several Grammy awards and you, Amanda – why YOU were named 13th of Paste Magazine‘s 20 Best Cover Songs of 2010, for your cover of Radiohead’s Fake Plastic Trees. Doesn’t your ukulele-playing ass have a plane to catch?
I should really have penned an open letter to Amanda Palmer regarding her open letter to Sinead O’Connor regarding Miley Cyrus. Then we can all tweet about the letters, and blog about the tweets, write more letters about the blogs, and write letters to those letters.
Eventually we’ll all go mad, stumbling in a funhouse maze of this self perpetuating camel snot. At that point, we’ll rent a school gymnasium and have a dance off, like in West Side Story – or perhaps bludgeon each other to death with our own inflated egos.
I really don’t know if we’ve reached a complete low in communication yet. We’ve not yet fully diluted the impact of the illustrious Open Letter. We can go smaller and even less significant in subject matter.
We can continue to think that the writers of these letter actually give a flying shit waffle about their audience, rather than just needing to spout their opinions where the largest number of people can see them.
We can find more ways to utilize the Open Letter in the generalized spread of negativity on the Internet, since they’re all about shame, and blame, and how badly we’ve fucked up. Why should we write Open Letters to positive forces in society? Wouldn’t it be silly to write “Open Letter to Fabulous Parents”? Why would we want to acknowledge people who do things RIGHT in the world?
We can continue to use the Open Letter to forfeit any chance for real communication and understanding.
Because if there ever was a way to dehumanize communication on the Internet, it’s with an Open Letter, about nothing, addressed to everyone.
P.S. Next, I’m writing “10 Reasons Why I Hate List Posts.”
How do you feel about these letters to Miley? Sinead?
Or the Open Letter in general?
Is there anything on the Internet that seems to be trending to the point of cliche?
Talk to me. I’m listening.