A Message for Spin Magazine

Sirs and Madams of Spin Magazine:

Right of the bat, I have to make it known that I’m eternally grateful that you printed my letter in your latest issue. You know, the one with Dave Grohl looking like Tattoo Jesus? When you read the following paragraphs, please remember that I am indeed thankful. What I don’t want is for you guys to think that I’m not appreciative, and then most certainly come to the conclusion that I’m a raging asshole. “Who does this little prick think he is? We put his words for the whole world to see in our glorious (hyperbole?) magazine, and he isn’t 100% pleased? What a raging asshole,” you would say, if my opening words in this letter weren’t taken to heart.

Because, surely, I can say that when I opened the cover and discovered my mother given name listed in the “Feedback” section, that it was one of the greatest moments of my life. Forget that time when someone first told me they loved me, or the day I graduated from college, or that one time I saw (and touched!) a boob. Forget all that garbage, they’re dead to me. So, believe me when I say that you’re little treat is very important to me. But can I say that I am wholly and completely satisfied? I cannot. That would not only make me a raging asshole, but a raging asshole who lies. I’m not satisfied in the least. Let’s discuss further…..

I truly didn’t think that you’d actually print my letter, mostly because it’s not like I write to major publications willy nilly. In fact, I haven’t taken the time to send something to anyone since Mad Magazine wrote a scathing attack on TMNT entitled, “Teen Rage Moolah Nitwit Turtles” back in ’91. Frankly, I’m not shocked that they didn’t print it, considering I just repeated “Dickheads, dickheads, dickheads” for five pages, but as for the letter I wrote to you? I figured it would get lost in the shuffle.

But why did I feel the pull to spend five minutes writing an email to a corporation? Not sure really. I suppose after reading your cover story on one of my favorite bands, Rilo Kiley, and discovering that co-vocalist and guitarist Blake Sennett felt like he was simply dead weight attached to the rising star that is other co-vocalist Jenny Lewis, I felt like putting how I felt for that entire four minutes (you know, before I thought of boobs again and lost focus) down to paper/keyboard. Maybe I wanted to lift Blake’s spirits, or the one intern that might read it’s spirits. Doesn’t matter, really. What does matter is I took the time to write what I thought. My words were a reaction to your words.

So, here’s where things start to turn ugly. When I actually read my letter printed in your magazine, I realized something, “Wait, that’s not what I wrote. I sound like a fawning, raging asshole,” I blurted out loud, to no one in particular. I was no longer proud of my name in print. My words had been ravaged like a newly frocked priest in a nunnery. For the sake of having to expound on everything, here’s what you printed, verbatim:

“Regarding your cover story on Rilo Kiley, I would just like to make it known how important Blake Sennett is. He is by no means “mediocre,” as he calls himself. Those of us who have had the pleasure of seeing his band live know how much charisma he exudes on stage. Of course, Jenny Lewis brings the majority of the people to the venue, but Sennett’s stage presence and tight guitar work win over everybody.”

I mean, I understood at the time that the likelihood that a five paragraph letter being printed in its entirety was on par with a girl allowing me to see her naked: not very likely. But still, I didn’t think you’d butcher it completely, leaving it ugly and impotent. That’s the kind of thing girls that won’t let me see them naked do to me, not major music magazines. I expect it from them, but you?

My major grief is this: the letter you printed doesn’t sound anything like me. “As he calls himself?” “How important Blake Sennett is?” “Charisma?” “Exudes?” “Tight guitar work????” And don’t forget all the awesome jokes and statements that you left out completely. But the one’s you did include are either not grammatically on par with how I write, or they are the words of a serial killer. Take your pick. Let’s start first with the former.

“As he calls himself,” I would never end a sentence like this. It sounds like I’m interviewing the local janitor for my high school paper. “Juan, or Don Juan, as he calls himself, loves to hit on twelve year olds.” See what I’m reaching at here? I don’t care if it needs to be proper sounding, it’s not what I wrote. I am not Lois Lane, and I don’t care if I win a Pulitzer anytime soon. I’m more of a Nobel guy anyway. My work on curing Feline Aids is making baby steps, but still moving forward.

Secondly, I would never end a sentence with “is.” Ever. I realize this is nitpicking, but you cut off “to his fanbase,” and now it seems like I’m just saying he’s simply important. Not important to his fans, just important. Now, I just sound like I want to cut off Blake’s skin and wear it to the Enchantment Under the Sea dance. “How important Blake is.” What, do I think he’s going to do something special? Save the guitarist, save the world?

And it only got worse from there in the stalker department: he has charisma….that he exudes…..and his guitar work is tight? I just threw up a little. Do those words actually exist in my vocabulary? Sadly they do, but in my defense, they were spread out over several paragraphs, not meshed together in a concise paragraph. It’s like you took all the gushy sentiments and slapped them together into one creepy, “I’m going to wear your blood in a locket,” word sandwich.

I did say these things, but they were interspersed with kickass jokes that you failed to include. If you had included my bit about how his solo work is to Alec Baldwin as Jenny Lewis’ solo work is to Stephen Baldwin, I would have seemed more human, and less murderly. But you left it out, leaving me boring and unemotional. Also, you took out my “hot redhead with a killer rack” line? How could you, that was the best one! It’s not “Jenny Lewis brings the majority of the people,” it’s “The hot redhead with the killer rack brings the majority of the people.” And don’t give me this “We’re a family magazine, we can’t print boob jokes,” because I’m not having it. Your rag is full of curse words and sex talk. Come on, guys. Jerry Falwell is dead, long live the boob joke!

So you see what I’m talking about? You’ve made a pitiful fool out of me. The last thing I need is your vast amount of readers seeing my blurb and immediately thinking, “That guy needs to get laid, and not by a dude.” But still, the simple fact that I even get to complain is fantastic. I’m just a tool in Ohio that got his name in a magazine, and now I feel all empowered enough to bitch about censorship. What does that say about me? That I’m a tool that needs to get laid, and not be a dude. And that I’m a raging asshole.


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