Dear Insincerity: An Open Letter To Open Letters

Dear open letters,

I hope you don’t mind me getting in touch this way. It just seemed appropriate. And I appreciate how busy you must be constantly looking for cheap shares on social media preaching to the easily pleased and converted. This after all is your most eventful time of the year – the close season with all its transfers and farewells and heartfelt accusations of player betrayal.

You must also be swamped right now preparing for the opening weeks of the campaign what with your heartfelt pleas for a failing manager to resign.

There seems to be some hypocrisy here – a desire to have your loyalty cake and eat it – but we’ll let it pass. At least it’s always heartfelt.

Most of all I apologise in advance for addressing you in this manner – directly yet ever so informally. It seems odd doesn’t it that in this blogging age you’ll find thousands of articles of real worth online, all written with well-considered, erudite prose. Yet something that proposes to be an actual letter is always puked onto the page, as if we’re just chatting, me and you, in a bar somewhere after a few bevvies.

They say the art of letter-writing is dead. It is now. Your bastardised form of it has bloodied hands but you already know this don’t you?

I think you need to hear some hard home-truths open letters. Are you ready open letters? Firstly, just let me call you open letters once more because repetition, for some unfathomable reason, appears to be important here.

Like Kristen Stewart, vuvuzelas, and that fat lad who ate everybody on a mysterious island you stopped being relevant in 2010. There. I said it. Can you handle it open letters? You seem to have something on your face. No, a little more to the left. That’s it right there – the TRUTH.

I physically despise myself for using caps lock but I hope you understand open letters that needs must. Such is your way.

When you first appeared on our timelines admittedly you packed quite a punch. Bypassing the traditional means of correspondence – a well-structured opinion piece let’s say or even a ‘5 Reasons Why’ – your one-to-one dispatch had an intimacy and sincerity that elevated it beyond a mere ‘article’.

Sure you were always self-righteous and assumed the moral high ground and you were certainly undone with the knowledge that the one person you were addressing was the one person who absolutely would never read it (making you a boiled down version of “What I would say to this person if he was standing here now”) but in the beginning this mattered not.

In the beginning these fundamental flaws were actually strengths through their naivety. They suggested a communal sense of passion, speaking to an individual on behalf of the many. Or something like that. Your early drafts also felt compulsory, as if the person writing you was in real danger of self-combusting in anguished ire if they didn’t expel their grievances into a word doc.

Yet, as so often happens in life, something authentic and good soon became watered-down and utterly insincere. Editors began requesting for you aware that your winning combination of hyperbolic rage in a dumbed down format usually ensured a decent hit-rate. Writers too chose you for their own ends. Why craft a well-thought-out, balanced critique that takes flipping hours when a passion-by-numbers open letter does the trick and it’s all done in time for Corrie?

The thing is though, we’re onto you open letters. You are little more than a fraud and we’re onto you. You’ve had your day and I say that with a large dose of understatement. In fact seeing you these days – all faux-angry and commissioned by an opportunistic editor – feels like someone uploading an ice bucket challenge video onto Facebook. You’re old hat you.

So do one eh lad. You see what I’m doing here open letters? I’m sermonising using colloquialisms to signify that –
1/ I’m just a fan me. Like you, the fan reading and nodding along now
2/ It’s from the heart, to such an extent that I composed this in one impassioned sitting where I forgot to write all proper

No but seriously, do one eh lad.

Yours sincerely

(I arrogantly believe that I speak for) Everyone