An Open Letter To Open Letters

Subject: An Open Letter To Open Letters
From: Stuart Heritage
Date: 20 Jan 2015

Dear open letters,

I wasn't going to write this but, after witnessing the week you've just had, it has become apparent that somebody needs to pull you to one side and give you a stern talking-to. I've decided that this person should be me. I've also decided that this talking-to should come in the form that you're most comfortable with, with all the self-righteousness and pretend intimacy and confused intentions that it entails. So this is what I have to say … and it is said in the spirit of transparently opportunistic bandwagon-jumping.

I am increasingly concerned that those around you have led you to believe that it is in any way "cool" to be used as a legitimate response to all public events. While I am aware that you started with the best intentions in the world – good work on The First Epistle of Paul to the Thessalonians, by the way – you are, in fact, obscuring your usefulness by allowing yourself to be pimped for a series of increasingly pointless subjects.

Now, I can fully understand why Ed Miliband used you to address Lord Rothermere. His situation was such that he must have felt boxed into a corner, and there was a sense that he'd exhausted all his remaining options. But you're degrading yourself by throwing yourself indiscriminately at subjects willy-nilly. So, Sinéad O'Connor doesn't like the way that Miley Cyrus licks hammers. So USA Boxing doesn't like the way that Mike Tyson signs young boxers. So Amanda Palmer doesn't like the way that Sinéad O'Connor doesn't like the way that Miley Cyrus licks hammers. So what? What business do you possibly have in any of this?

Sinéad O'Connor doesn't give a shit about you. Amanda Palmer doesn't give a shit about you either. If they did, they would have just sent their letters directly to their recipients, or called them up, or done anything other than spout their opinions where the biggest number of people can see them. Instead, they used you because all they want is an audience. I wish you could see that you're being exploited by people who just crave attention.

At your best, you have the ability to change the world. Martin Luther King's Letter from Birmingham Jail proved that. But this can only happen when you're used judiciously. At the moment, you're diluting your impact by being hijacked for nonsense. Hijacked by people who place undue importance on the way that Miley Cyrus licks hammers. These are the sort of people who put full stops at the start of their complainy tweets to internet providers so that everyone can see them. They're the worst people alive. Surely you must understand that.

Yes, I'm suggesting that you don't care for yourself. That has to change. You ought to be protected as a precious commodity. You're worth more than one singer's opinion of another singer's ability to lick hammers. Real empowerment comes from picking your targets. If you don't take control of your affairs with immediate effect, you're going to end up being exploited by a Sydney Morning Herald journalist who'll just use you to tell everyone that she'd quite like to have sex with Prince Harry. Oh wait, that's already happened.

You are worth more than this. Please fire any motherfucker who doesn't agree with every single thing I've just said, if you have employees, which you don't because you're an abstract form of communication with no viable means of income.

It is now your responsibility to respond to this in the form of another open letter, to which I will respond with another open letter, to which a newspaper columnist will respond to our conversation in such a way that we both feel it necessary to write individual open letters to the columnist in return, about which people will write blogs, and then tweets about the blogs, and then more columns about the tweets about the blogs about the open letters about the columns about the open letters until everyone, maddened by this stream of self-perpetuating nonsense, loses control of their senses and runs screaming into the sea.

Yours sincerely,

Stuart Heritage