Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Letter to Wired Magazine
Dear Editor, Wired Magazine:
I think of you as the fundamental spokesmagazine for the Internet age. You are the magazine of record for the tech oligarchy. Which is funny, because you are a magazine. A magazine.
Or maybe not so funny to you.
But even though your beat is the Internet and all its far flung villages and outposts, I don't hold it against you. The Internet was a beautiful dream. It was so beautiful a dream no one can let it go. So now the dream is part of the engine driving the machine. All the denizens of the Internet chase the dream, like hamsters on a wheel, never getting there, but ever driving the machine on.
But that's probably not how you see it. Which is kind of why I'm writing you.
As the editor of a major national magazine you are no doubt keenly aware of the position of ombudsman. I thought I could be a sort of ombudsman for Wired Magazine, but then I looked up the meaning of ombudsman. As an independent agent responding to complaints against institutions I quickly realized it's not quite what I mean. I mean something more in the nature of being the voice of the opposition. Perhaps the closest historical antecedent would not be ombudsman, it would be Court Jester, or fool. Did you know that Queen Elizabeth is said to have rebuked her fool for not being severe enough to her? Which, speaking as a fool, I think was likely a no win situation for that fool.
As an agent of the opposition in so many things I do believe any voice that is strong needs a little opposition. I think any subject that has a magazine devoted to it should have a court jester, so to speak, on staff. Dog Fancy Magazine should run a column by someone making fun of all things dog, perhaps someone very fond of cats. Fortune Magazine should have a regular writer to mock the rich, which would be easy, because they are assholes, and Wired Magazine should have a witty essayist to regularly hold up the Internet and its sprawling territories to ridicule.
I propose myself for the job. Enclosed are some samples of my bitter work. You won't like it, but the Internet has sealed its perfect success so well that you're all gonna suffocate in there. You need to crack a couple of windows, or, better yet, hire me and I'll throw some bricks through them.
With kind regards,