Archive for the Open Letters Category

Censor-tivity

Posted in Open Letters to Matthew Griffin with tags , , , , on January 6, 2011 by Justin S. Smith

Dearest Mr. Griffin (or should it be Deacon Griffin now,)

A Facebook friend of mine, for anonymity we’ll call her A. Griffin, recently shared a story concerning NewSouth Books plans to release a revised version of “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” Humorously in the article, the reporter points out that they will be replacing “the ‘n’ word” and the term “Injun” Thereby showing his own prejudiced sensitivity. But that’s a side note. My friend (A. Griffin) called it “borderline sacrilege” but I think she is missing the big picture.

First, we should consider what this means for society. We have finally come to the point where commentary on the racial divide of our past is no longer necessary. The wound is completely scabbed over and we have only to do perform a little historical cosmetic surgery to erase the evidence that it was ever there. Frankly, I think we owe Clint Eastwood for dealing America’s racism its final hit with “Gran Torino.” Regardless of how we got here though, we’re free of it.

Second, we should consider the opportunity this presents to make some money. American literature is full of stories that, although pertinent when written, have loads of unneeded commentary on our past racial issues. Think of what we can do with “To Kill a Mockingbird.” It made its point well in its time, but we don’t need to be reminded of those problems anymore. Maybe we could turn Tom Robinson into a lower-class white man who is victim to economic classism. Perhaps he could be an illegal Mexican migrant and we could move the setting to Arizona. The point is, we can’t leave this great piece of literature reminding us of our past sins. We need to bring it up to the present.

After that maybe we can hit “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” or “Roots.” No, I’m pretty sure “Roots” is beyond salvation. Oh well, it served its purpose, in to the bond-fire with it then.

I’m ready to start when you are. Let me know.

With great anticipation.

J. S. Smith

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To the Young Woman in the Green Shirt

Posted in Open Letters with tags , , , on August 2, 2010 by Justin S. Smith

To the young woman wearing the green shirt at HEB:

Dear Miss,

I can imagine the humor and thought process that goes into selecting a shirt that says “rub for luck” in bold block letters when one is pregnant and it is printed across one’s ample belly, but you were not only clearly not pregnant, but the printed letters also appeared higher on the shirt. I was going to address a letter to the woman in front of me in the checkout that was purchasing 8 70% cacao Lindt chocolate bars, a baguette and a large bottle of KY, but I actually find myself with more questions for you.

  1. Seriously? I’m sorry that’s not a complete question but, seriously, what were you thinking?
  2. Where does one acquire such an item of clothing? I only ask because when I am looking for a pair of shorts that say “rub for luck” on the crotch, I want to avoid any place that might have a chance of carrying such an item realizing that I would have overwhelming regret once my normal state of clarity returns (as muddy as that clarity might be.)
  3. Does anyone ever come up to you in search of a little “luck” when you’re wearing that shirt? I thought about approaching you myself just to see the response, but the fraction of an ounce of class that I am able to maintain even when faced with such glaring classlessness kicked in and I decided that the only rational response was to write an open letter to you that you would likely never read on my blog. (If anyone reading does know this young woman, please point her in this direction so our questions might be satisfied.)
  4. Were I to be wearing the shorts aforementioned, would I not be considered some type of sleazy, dirty old man? Maybe you’re not the right person to ask about societal standards. Ok, not maybe; you are in no uncertain terms not the right person to ask about societal standards, regardless, what would you think if you saw a man wearing shorts that said “rub for luck”? Trashy, sleazy? Well, some of us don’t play double standards, so as bad as you might view him, you might likewise be viewed.
  5. SERIOUSLY?!? Sorry I already asked that.

I’m really not a prude. I can understand how in a moment of youthful rebellion it might seem amusing to purchase such an item. One must think about the possible scenarios that could occur with such a choice however, and, though my modicum of class prevented me from looking to acquire a bit of luck (so to speak), there are thousands of people out there with far less class and decency as I. But, maybe that’s what you’re hoping for.

Well, good luck, though it seems you have an ample source.

J.S.S.

Grandma Smurf

Posted in Open Letters with tags , , on December 15, 2009 by Justin S. Smith

Dear Madam,

I have to give you the proper respect due your age and due your extreme courage in the face of the judgmental microcosm that this world calls “Wal-Mart.” When so many women of your age might wear a head scarf (or babushka if you prefer) to cover up the shining, odd-colored, chemical residue after their regular salon visit, you took that blue-haired old lady stereotype and owned it. That shade was so dark and so blue that I could only imagine, as you rolled by on your electric shopping buggy, that you were attending some type of punk rock show later in the evening. Possibly a game of truth-or-dare went terribly awry at the retirement village. Maybe after losing the farm in a high-stakes bingo game, you took that one last gamble. Regardless, all eyes are on you, grandma. People in their twenties admire your daring and high-school kids envy your freedom. You are an inspiration to a generation; a generation that you are at least 50 years removed from. But as long as Keith Richards is still rocking, I see no reason why you should settle down.

So, with all sincerity and admiration, I say “Rock on, Grandma Smurf. Rock on.”

Sincerely,

J.S.Smith

Ahoy, Cap’n Griffin

Posted in Open Letters, Open Letters to Matthew Griffin on December 3, 2009 by Justin S. Smith

Dear Mr. Griffin,

I recently noted on FaceBook (the great modern chronicler of our lives) as you extolled the illuminating value of the pirate language setting. I believe you stated that it was as if you had been viewing the world in a shadow. Since this setting has such great power for a landlover as yourself, I can only imagine what it might do for the FaceBook experience of our seafaring friends. But why, dear sir, should we allow the great oracle of FaceBook to benefit from this wonder alone.

I propose that we should make a pirates translation of the Holy Scriptures. Imagine the power of our Savior saying to Peter “YARR, get thar aft, ye scurvy dog!” (Mat 16:23 PSV(copyright pending)) The PSV will be a rage among scurvy dogs, drunken sailors, and, I’m sure, the youth of America. And, after the travesty that was the TNIV, getting Zondervan on board to publish should be pretty easy.

Clearly there is a niche in the Bible market that is yet to be filled (which is kind of hard to believe), but we must act fast before someone else sees the void. This may be your only opportunity to be such an influence in church history, so consider it carefully.

Sincerely,

J.S.Smith

Concerning Birth

Posted in Open Letters to Matthew Griffin on November 17, 2009 by Justin S. Smith

Dear Mr. Griffin,

We both had intended to try the home-birth/midwife experience. We shared the joy of the learning and the birth videos, the questions as to why the father was not wearing a shirt or, for that matter, pants in so many these videos. Oh, I lament the plans of birthing pools and gold medallions, for our decision was made for us. But you, good sir, you still have the hope before you. I have great hopes for this journey that you are now still on and I encourage you to embrace it. Take your shirt off and hop in the birthing pool. Bust out your gold medallion (but only if you have sufficient chest hair for contrast.) Perhaps grow a John Oates moustache. It is your experience to have. Of course, in all of your primping and preparation for the big day and the video that you will no doubtedly post on YouTube and link on Facebook, you may also want to recall that Mrs. Griffin will actually be doing most of the hard work, so be careful when choosing your birth-day bling; you wouldn’t want to overshadow her.

The torch is yours now, sir. Bear it with pride.

With great hope,

J.S.Smith

Fashion Police

Posted in Open Letters with tags , , on November 3, 2009 by Justin S. Smith

Dear Madam,
Whereas we appreciate your Halloween spirit, we would note that the addition of tights to a costume that we imagine was purchased from a lingerie store does not make make it appropriate for public viewing. Also, we would note, that when selecting your costume, you may want to consider your body type. The tights while not reducing the overall whoriness of your attire, did add an unfortunate extra curve to your shape where, under your form-fitting costume, the top cut into your gut
.

Please be more considerate of the image you are forcing others to see while selecting next years costume, and throughtout the rest of the year.
Thank you,
J.S.Smith