The Metropolis

An Open Letter to the writers of Open Letters

Mike Pollitt | Friday 1 April, 2011 10:55

Dear Open Letter Writer

I’m starting this letter with an expression of faux regret at having to write it at all. But I’m sorry, I had to. Because you see the awfulness of your behaviour has forced my hand.

Before I get to the point, I just want to waffle through an overwritten and insincere paragraph in your praise in order to demonstrate my essential reasonableness and thus buttress my criticism against charges of unfairness. For example I really respect your self-confidence, and…that’s it.

Because now I want to crack on with the main body of my letter, a lengthy rant listing all the ways in which you sicken and appall me. This will be couched in a faux-intellectual style so insufferably smug it will make you want to punch a hole in your computer screen.

I’ll occasionally be addressing you directly, Open Letter Writer, in a pair of commas the condescension of which will take your breath away.

I’ll earnestly use the second person as I implore you, YOU, Open Letter Writer, to change you ways and stop behaving like such a tit.

I’ll draw on false parallels expressed with meaningless sophistry, such as suggesting that the openness of your letters both mimics and augments the technologically-inspired break up of normative structures of communication, for which you should be deeply ashamed.

And I’ll overload paragraphs with historical references, comparing you unfavourably to obscure letter writers of the past like Pliny the Younger, for no good reason other than to show how well-read I am.

Finally, I’ll pretend to offer some advice. But it wont be anything simple like “stop writing Open Letters you annoying burk”. Because you see, Open Letter Writer, the point of the advice, and of this Open Letter itself, is not to effect any change in your behaviour. It’s really all about me. It’s a medium by which I can show how engaged I am with society, how earnestly I can write, how much I care and how well I can articulate that caring. In short, Open Letter Writer, it’s the online equivalent of walking into the middle of the town square and masturbating over my reflection in the public fountain.

So whatever you do, don’t reply to this letter (not that it’s a letter, it’s a blog, and not that you could anyway because you’re not a real person, you’re a chimera I’ve concocted for my own purposes). Especially don’t write me an Open Letter, because it is the most twattish, irksome and downright untruthful mode of communication there is.

Yours insincerely,


To reply to these scribblings in a manner acceptable to the author, email or tweet @mikpollitt

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Mike Pollitt

About this writer

Mike Pollitt

Mike Pollitt is the editor of The Metropolis.

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