An Open Letter To Those Who Write Open Letters
Dear Open Letter Writers,
I have been reading your material for a while and, although most of you get the humor that is to be associated with the form, many still hold tight to the hope of creating some sort of change. All of us on the internet appreciate what you do and agree with the cause you are fighting for or against, but an open letter is not the answer to truly getting your goal accomplished. Let me explain.
The problem with open letters is that they are directed to a certain individual or group but are sent to, well, no one. They are added to the ever-growing, easily lost forum that is the internet. This can make for a good form of entertainment—and occasionally leads to larger success—but rarely finds its specific target. By not sending your letter to the actual person(s) whom you wish to address, you are only showing further disrespect to those that (I’m assuming) you feel disrespected by. It would be in your best interest to forgo the showmanship and attention that an open letter brings and go straight to the source of the issue, head on.
Recently I read an open letter by Lead Compositor, Phillip Broste addressed to Life Of Pi director, Ang Lee representing Rhythm + Hues—the visual effects company responsible for his award-winning movie. In the letter he complains about many aspects of their operation, including not being mentioned in his acceptance speech, having their own acceptance speech cut short, a comment Mr. Lee made about the company, and why they are on the breach of bankruptcy. As much as I agree with Mr. Broste about many of his points, I can’t help but find that a lot of the blame lies on their own company management. Still, my point is not about business ethics, but rather about this letter.
You see, the problem with this example is that the letter was not sent to the director. Being as how they had worked together for, assumably, years on this project, I can only assume Phillip would have a better way of reaching Mr. Lee than the new-millennium version of a message in a bottle. And it is because of this that nothing will get done to save their company.
Open letters are a source of entertainment; a form of light-hearted complaints and comedy not meant for anything more. And although their points may be validated, they are not the way to change the world.
Thank you for reading,
An understander of Open Letters
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