A Tale of Two Letters

18 Nov

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If letter writing is a lost art, then given the state of the publishing industry these days, writing letters to the editors of newspapers must be doubly endangered. Which is why it’s always such a joy to see people still writing in – to The Economist, for example.

For as long as I can remember, it is the one letters page that I have always considered a must read. Sure, most of it is riddled with official responses from various governments outraged at the “newspaper’s” often critical reporting but there’s always at least one in every lot that is truly hilarious and spot on.

Sometimes, it even manages to be hilarious and spot on about the official responses from various governments outraged at the newspaper’s often critical reporting. Like so:

Metaphysical geography

SIR – I have a suggestion for your problem regarding Chinese, Japanese, South Korean and Russian diplomats berating The Economist about the labelling of territories in maps of north-east Asia (Banyan, October 17th). Since none of those countries’ representatives can agree on the names of bodies of water and islands in the region, you should just create your own based on a more accurate reflection of the locations in question.

For instance, how about Rocky Eyot of No Significant Value, Polluted Sea of Calm, Islands of Always Hammered by Typhoons and It Is Too Cold Here to Care Who Is In Charge.

Todd Allen
Rockville, Maryland

Hmmm. That sounds like a model that India needs to adopt immediately. No more wrangling about whether our cities sound authentic enough to suit the political tastes of this party or that faction, no worries about whether this new moniker offends that community or this one.

Delhi – Fat Cat Palace

Mumbai – Overcrowded Island for Movies, Mafia and Marathi Manoos Only

Kolkata – Yesterday’s Black Hole of Joy

Chennai – Frying Pan by the Sea

Bengalooru – Ruins of a Gracious Past

Sometimes, though, letters can be a joy for entirely different reasons. Like the reaction of Twihards to the news that their beloved vampire lover has not been handed the keys to the establishment by People Magazine. Instead, they declared some stupid pirate the Sexiest Man Alive. What is this, old people? 1948? It’s an outrage!

Lainey, I just don’t know what I’m going to tell my daughter when she comes home from school today. Lauren is in grade 10 and we both love RPattz. I have been online all morning trying to sort through this mess. How could this happen? How could People Mag make such a mistake? I am devastated and so will Lauren. We both expected to celebrate with Rob today and now it just feels like a death in the family. I can’t wait for the New Moon show on Friday. We have tickets for two shows back to back. Hopefully that will take the sting away. Thanks for listening. From Ashley R

I love that she’s been “online all morning trying to sort through this mess” like it’s some kind of bill that went awry and all she needs to do is bug the company about it long enough and it will turn out ok. :mrgreen:

I don’t even know what to do with the “We both expected to celebrate with Rob today” – I just realized I’ve never felt that way about any celebrity ever. Good God.


Posted by on November 18, 2009 in Entertainment, Life, Movies, News, Newsmakers


16 responses to “A Tale of Two Letters

  1. pitu

    November 18, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    HAHA love the RPattz letter. And by the way, does this fawning ole woman not realise that RPattz sounds like ‘patsy’ or ‘spaz’? Wot a horrid name to give a chahita celeb pyar se :p And actually, despite my love for the Twilight franchise (ok, RSpaz will never ever come close to me fave vampire Lestat, everrrr) these are precisely the sort of hysterical fans for me to adopt a “What, me? No way!” look when people start swooning over Rob/Kritsen/Taylor etc. Chupke chupke swooning is better in this case lest I be labeled a rabid fan :mrgreen:

  2. sachita

    November 18, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    Gawd, thanx for the laugh. Who would have thunk? People take things seriously. I thought the whole series of list were just ways for magazines to print the pictures that we can oogle at!

    Ps: i didn’t write this emotionally even when Bush got re-elected.

  3. Of Truce and Truth

    November 18, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Tell me more about this laser vision that allows you an uninhibited view of The Tale of Two Cities by my bedside table, Superwoman! (I kid you not — started reading it last week, to erase the abridged version from my middle-school memory stash… To let you in on a silly secret, come Christmas, my heart kicks its Charles Dickens craving into high gear. In fact, last year, I finished Great Expectations right before the whole world hollered “Hallelujah”!)

    Coming to The Economist, never read it, but I will now, coz the actual article that oh-so-hilarious “Metaphysical Geography” reader-letter points to is eye-opening, to say the least. (Imagine, if word gets around, wouldn’t troops worldwide start wondering “Hey, where are *our* ‘wartime comfort women’?”) 😀

    And oh yeah, the fracas over what to name a freakin’ sea is positively puerile. Don’t world leaders have, er, deeper things to debate? (To think Shakespeare once asked what’s in a name… such naivete!!) 😛

    p.s. As a product of The Frying Pan By the Sea, I swear by your moniker-makeover list, ROFL!!

  4. wordjunkie

    November 18, 2009 at 11:10 pm

    WHAT!!! WHAT!!! The world fights over emaciated blokes while Viggo Mortenson is ignored. Who do I celebrate with?
    My. Life. Is Over.

  5. Srinivas

    November 19, 2009 at 3:39 am

    Ha!!! You did not point out the last comment from the angry Megan – that is the clear winner here :).
    We all know what happens to bullies – they get whatever they want …LOL 😉

  6. Ramsu

    November 19, 2009 at 3:45 am

    Hey, anyone who gets called RPattz doesn’t deserve to top a list, I don’t care how damn sexy he is. I get why Depp gets all that adulation, but why do Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton look like they plugged their fingers into the electrical socket instead of their hair dryer? Or did she walk off a Harry Potter set without having time to change?

    Apparently, there’s a brilliant Kevin Smith rant on Twilight somewhere on youtube — I haven’t gotten around to seeing it, but knowing Smith, it’s bound to be funny and profane.


    ps: “I just realized I’ve never felt that way about any celebrity ever.” — Oh, you poor deprived child!

  7. aneela z

    November 19, 2009 at 8:21 am

    i just caught a snippet of Twilight on tele. I think Robert P is the true Love Jihadi…luring innocent damsels to his evil bloodsucking ways eh.

  8. Nita

    November 19, 2009 at 10:29 am

    I read The Economist regularly and I agree with you about the Letters section. It’s very interesting. However just wanted to tell you that they never publish my letters! Usually I write to them about some Indo-Pak issue and the letter is usually critical of their reporting which I feel is biased against India. Anyway, now I have given up writing to them!

  9. Amey

    November 19, 2009 at 11:44 am

    Ramsu: HBC normally looks like that. Any wonder why she makes such a “natural” Bellatrix Lestrange?

    Amrita: Shouldn’t Bengalooru be called “Silhicon Vhalley” (Don’t forget the “H”)?

  10. DewdropDream

    November 20, 2009 at 7:03 am

    I found a poster of New Moon yesterday on the tube splattered with lip marks. ACTUAL lip marks. UGH! Think about the kind of stuff anyone could catch kissing posters on the bloody undergorud!

    • pitu

      November 20, 2009 at 12:01 pm


  11. Amrita

    November 20, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    Pitu – aiyyo! You know, I read it and I understand why so many people are attracted to it and love it, but it’s like a slightly better written and properly edited Da Vinci Code. It kills me. The most interesting part about it is not the book itself (or god forbid the movie) but the discussion around it.

    Sachita & Srinivas – if you ever find yourself with the time, just go looking for angry letters from Twihards. They are the BEST.

    Of T&T – well, I didnt like to mention it but I do have cameras everywhere! 😛
    The Economist is frequently annoying, often misguided in its opinions, maddeningly British, and my favorite magazine ever. And I say that as a child of the internet generation.

    WJ – hahahahhaha!!! You’re going to out running the streets with a machine gun the night they announce the Oscars and Viggo doesnt win, arent you?

    Ramsu – the couple who sticks their fingers in electrical sockets together, stays together!
    And no, Kevin Smith is actually very understanding about Twilight actually. He was at ComicCon and all these geeks were ripping on it because there was a Twilight conference earlier on and I guess they were flooded with all the screaming fangirls and they didnt like it. And Smith said he wasn’t going to slam some 13 yr old chick for loving something that everybody else ridiculed because he’d been there and he understood. And he had a daughter and a wife too. 😀
    You should watch it though. It’s on YT. I love Kevin Smith. That is all.

    Aneela – I actually sat through that mess and if Love Jihadis now count boredom as a weapon then he’s definitely a lock!

    Nita – ha, snap! I’ve written a few in my time too and nothing got published. There’s always the comment section with the hoi polloi.

    Amey – :mrgreen: if this was rediff, yeh joote padte!

    3D – EWWWWWWWWWW! Although that doesnt surprise me given how many of them want RPattz to bite them.

    • sachita

      November 20, 2009 at 5:11 pm

      “if this was rediff, yeh joote padte!” – that rediff fear made me control my urge to comment. Just to clarify, ‘h’ is added only to ‘t’ and that is mainly coz “”.

      • Amey

        November 21, 2009 at 10:04 pm

        Sachita, for me, the problem with “H” comes when it is inserted in the words derived from Sanskrit. Sanskrit already has a “th” sound (as in “Tathastu”). So now the issue is how to denote that “th” sound? Because, from how most sanskrit derived languages read, “thathva” from your example has no meaning, but “tatva” has a very definite one.

        Anyways, the discussion is getting too serious for my taste, and the root cause of the problem is that the English people cannot speak certain sounds 😉

    • Of TnT

      November 22, 2009 at 3:33 am

      “the couple who sticks their fingers in electrical sockets together, stays together!” — whatever works, eh? 😀 Now that you, Orwellian Big Sister, have sparked my curiosity, I’m exploding to know why this sudden spike in sadomasochist numbers. 😛

  12. Amrita

    November 23, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    Sachita – what, you think this blog is rediff-inclined? I’m katti with you!

    Of TnT – brain freeze? 😀

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