A Letter From One Of The Faithful

To start with, a little background. I have been pushing my site on a number of newsgroups, some for bands, some for TV shows, some for comics and some for just groups of people. Yeah, I know, I’m such a horrid pimp for my writing, but instead of just spamming, I am taking part in the groups, and having a little bit of fun watching the flame wars all around me.

One of the people from one of the newsgroups e-mailed me to get on the list, and checked out the site over the course of a few days. The first few letters were praising me and my attitude, or ‘tude as this person would write. They are 20 years old, still living at home, working for a delivery company and wanting to be a writer, but doesn’t really write anything other than stuff on newsgroups and Bad Goth Poetry ™. We’d e-mailed back and forth, as they were asking about writing and that sort of thing and I was telling them the same sort of stuff you always hear about how to write. Write, write some more, read, then write and write again. Keep a notebook with you at all times and write ideas in it, then write some more.

When they were reading through the dronings and got to the one on diversity (we’d been discussing intolerance on the newsgroup) they were shocked and appalled that I work for a big corporation. This is the letter I got after I said that, yes, I do work full-time for a big company and part-time for a small treatment center/halfway house for adolescents. My comments are interspersed, since it’s my website, I can jack with them however I want.

Dear Poseur,

I didn’t know I was trying to be anything other than me. Pray tell, what am I posing for, other than the John Merrick lookalike contest? "Do you find me repulsive?"

I can’t believe that you would actually work for a major corporation. Don’t you know that big companies are the ones who are destroying this country?

No. I didn’t know the country was being destroyed. Sure there’s a lot of crap that’s wrong, and big companies aren’t helping, but to lay every problem at the feet of a corporation is a bit simplistic, don’t you think? I’d lump in special interest groups, apathetic voters, greedy baby boomers, John Ritter, the people who run network television, advertisers, the dead who have returned to live to feast on the living, and anyone who works in marketing. Wait, the last three are redundant. Never mind.

When I first looked at your site, I thought you were cool, and part of the counter-culture, but you are nothing but another sell-out.

First, please define counter-culture. Are we talking hippies? Ravers? People who put their forks in the toaster? Gothics? Cantaloupe fanciers? Bikers? Fans of Shasta McNasty? I am not a part of any culture, although I do like observing some of them and laughing myself sick. Pigeon-hole me at your risk, since I will not fit into any neatly defined category. In order to do that, you have to have people that you want to be like, and I not only don’t want to be like anyone, I DON’T LIKE ANYONE. As for selling out....we’ll get to that later, OK?

I doubt you even listen to the right bands, or know what its like to be at a rave, let alone be all that, as you try to say you are on your lame-ass site.

What are the "right" bands? I have weird tastes that don’t match up with anything. On the RUSH (the band, people, not the fat-ass) newsgroup, we’re discussing what Goth bands should cover RUSH songs. My suggestion was Sisters of Mercy doing a cover of Nobody’s Hero. When it comes to metal, I’d also like to hear Metallica do a cover of Jethro Tull’s Hymn 43, but those two bands seem to have a bit of bad blood between them. Right now, as I write this, I’m listening to Trust Obey’s "Fear and Bullets." Obscure enough for you? I listen to whatever I want to, not what Rolling Stone, Spin, Details, Thrasher or DJ Loserboy tell me to.

So if you could let me know the litmus test of cool bands, I would appreciate it, so that I can avoid them like I would a malaria infected toddler.

To be hard-core, you have to be willing to stand up for what you believe in. I would never take a job at a big company, I would never buy a house, and I would never let the powers that be tell me what to do with my life. I am an individual, and when I am your age, I hope that I haven’t sold my soul to the highest bidder.

Sell out? As I gaze about the palatial Solitaire Rose Compound, with its gold inlays and marble stairs, I scoff at your suggestions. My butler tells me that I should not even bother with you, but I like to descend to deal with the little people from time to time.

It’s so easy to have principles like that when you live in your parent’s house, have never had to pay rent, and all the money you make from delivering packages to BIG CORPORATIONS go toward paying your AOHell bill, the newest cool CDs, a fake ID, and admission to a club full of people just like you. Tell you what, BMXer, when you have slept a few nights in your car because you can’t afford a place to live, lived in a dive where water pours in through the walls when it rains, eaten Ramon noodles for a week because its all you can afford to buy until your next payday and put up with a little bit of struggle in your life, I’ll see how quick you choose to get a job where you can afford to keep the phone on.

I have walked away from three jobs in the past for no reason other than they were asking me to compromise my beliefs and do something I felt was wrong. My full-time job allows me the money to live in relative ease. I live in a crappy little house, drive a Geo, and work part-time in a treatment center that pays me $9 an hour with 11 years experience. You would think I would have held out for more if I was selling my soul. I can afford to do the things I like to do, have a website, be generous to my close friends, and still have my principles. But I guess I don’t have the moral purity of a delivery person who still lives under someone else’s roof. Poor me, I am such the failure. Maybe I should just down that bottle of sleeping pills and drink a couple of bottles of single malt scotch to atone for my sins.

Oh, and trust me, by the time you are my age, you will be driving a mini-van, trapped in a loveless marriage, spending weekends working on the lawn, thinking about getting your brats on Ritalin, and dreaming of what you could have been if you’d only applied yourself. Me, I’ll still be writing, pointing, and laughing if I haven’t wised up and pulled a F. Scott Fitzgerald. The only regrets I have are caused by other people, and that’s how it’s always going to be.

Take me off your list and purge your site so people won’t get fooled again like I was.

You’re off the list. My site, however, will be staying up. Sorry. If there is room on the internet for Rue McClanahan fan websites, there’s room for me. One last questions, though...how did you get fooled, and is there a way I could make money fooling people like you, since I seem to have succeeded at it?

Anyway, thank you for your input. I’ll be sure to send you a copy of the home version of our game. Much love, peace out, and all that happy crappy.

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