This Weeks Letters
WHERE'S MY SODA?
October 26, 2006
I am writing this letter to explain my utter disgust in your lack of
judgment in regards to the Eh Brah! I submitted (Sept. 28, 2006).
Editing without permission is not something a person in your position
should condone. Let alone editing a piece so poorly, that it elicits a
reply suggesting violence against the writer. I, of course, am talking
about the soda incident as I would hope you are well aware of.
Now, I know you have no idea what I look like, or who the two guys I
was with are, or even why it matters I tell you but let me explain. I
was seeing that movie with my longtime boyfriend and his father (who by
the way, also was in range to get soda thrown on him.) I am a small
girl, I weigh about 100 lbs. and the fact that you allowed into print
the statement that I, let alone anyone, should have been knocked out
for laughing during a movie is so incredibly irresponsible that I
almost can't understand it. I don't know if you have had a chance to
see The Protector, but I can tell you it was one of the most asinine
movies ever created. It's as if the director tried to put every idea he
could think of into a movie about an international ring of elephant
smugglers while tripping on acid. Honestly, if you can't laugh at that
movie you really can't laugh at anything.
This current week's response to my original (if you could call it
that) piece printed two weeks ago honestly has me concerned for my
safety (Eh Brah, Oct. 12, 2006). I feel that if you had printed my
submission as written, the point I was making would have come across
without sounding inflammatory and combative. You made it sound as if
all I was trying to do with that was call the girl a bitch and what I
do not need is some passive aggressive jerk telling me anonymously I
should grow up when they can't even speak up for themselves and ask
someone to quiet down in a theater. It was a piece about making people
aware of the overwhelming urge to have their default for situations be
anger and violence while keeping it light. By printing my edited piece,
and its response, you blew the incident up larger than it needed to be.
I'm going out on a limb here and thinking that you allowed the
retort to print because you thought the conflict was funny. I'm curious
to know if you heavily edited that submission as well. What really gets
me worried is that you didn't weigh the possible consequences of what
you approved. Considering what was written, it's obvious that this
person knows what I look like and living on a small island, who's to
say they won't enact some sort of vengeance against me. I can hear it
now. But what does that have to do with me? Why should I care? Isn't it
nice to have the warning? It's about journalistic integrity and
accountability. By printing that response you condone assault
regardless of its circumstances.
I hope you treat this matter seriously and with respect because I
most definitely am. Please disregard the shorter, Eh Brah! version I
sent the other day; this is what I want you to hear and understand.
Please learn from mistakes and apologize to your readers for making a
mockery of something so threatening and significant. Remember, throw
shakas, not soda.
-Anonymous, via email
The Editor responds: Now
I see why that person threw a soda at you in the theater. See, I edited
your original Eh Brah submission because it was what we in the
newspaper business call "badly written." It was full of spelling,
grammatical and punctuation mistakes, to say nothing of ambiguous and
unclear sentences. Like you, most people who send in Eh Brahs aren't
professional writers, so I edit them—just like I had to fix all the
grammatical, spelling and punctuation mistakes in the above letter.
Here's a tip for you: if you're concerned about how an anonymous Eh
Brah submission might appear in print, then don't send it to me.
Read the candidate profile on Lance Bootsie Collins (Better Know a
Candidate, Oct. 12, 2006) and I have to say it seems like he's trying
to come off as the smartest kid in the class (I'm a lawyer, I read
books about Nietzsche, I read a book every other day, I could talk
about indigenous people for hours, etc.). Real smooth if you're talking
to the admissions director at Princeton, but rather tone deaf to the
great unwashed. Remember, the goal is to get elected, not accepted.
Also, Bootsie is well fed, er, I mean well-funded by an Upcountry cabal
of realtors. And speaking of such, maybe that's Lance's problem in a
nutshell—he doesn't seem real.
-Henry Chianski, via email
The Editor responds:
Collins is funded by an "Upcounty cabal of realtors?" That's
interesting because his campaign finance reports—the latest having been
filed on Oct. 14—seem to show that so far he's taken $1,000 from Haiku
realtor Mark Sheehan and no others. If that's a cabal, it's the weakest
cabal I've ever seen. Am I wrong? I guess not, considering that you
ignored my follow-up email asking for more information. But if I'm
wrong, I'm still willing to look at what you've got.
Editor Anthony Pignataro really shouldn't lecture Eh Brah writers
who can't spell, since he managed to spell Councilwoman Michelle
Anderson's name wrong in our Sept. 28, 2006 cover story. The "Anderson"
part he nailed, but it was the "Michelle" that threw him. Go figure.
Anyway, he is very sorry.
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