I’ll admit it: I need to be educated! And lucky me, being the editor-in-chief of the Portland Mercury means that I get an education every goddamn day, whether I like it or not. Example: Today I finally had to admit I know next to nothing about Brexit—so I spent some time educating myself on the subject. (Guys, it’s so screwing complicated! But here’s a metaphor: The European Union = you and your co-workers at Grocery Outlet. Britain = your co-worker Gavin, who for the last three years has been bitching, moaning, and threatening to quit, BUT NEVER FRICKIN’ QUITS. Because, surprise! Gavin needs money to pay his rent, and his mom won’t let him move back into his bedroom because she’s already turned it into her crafting nook.) Anyway, I’m always learning stuff, and I’m usually better for it.
As it turns out, it’s also part of my job to educate YOU, whether you like it or not. Example: In this issue you’ll discover what’s up with Portland’s publicly-funded elections, the bands you should be checking out this weekend, interviews with documentarian Ken Burns AND rocker Avril Lavigne (not at the same time, boo), and how to tell your girlfriend that you want to be pegged in the butt with a dildo (that’s in Savage Love). HOWEVER! It’s come to my attention that some of you need to be educated on a topic that’s not included in this issue: how email works.
This past week we received TWO complaints in which the entirety of the letter was written in the subject line of the emails. Subject line number one verbatim: “White liberal Fascists slime like you needs to be fixed!!” Subject line number two verbatim: “That is not unbias what you are doing... You lean so far Left you are spinning circles... Do you even know what the Acronym for N.E.W.S. even is? Journalist you are not.” Reminder, these observations were confined to the subject header, with absolutely nothing in the body of the email.
I’m not going to argue with their criticisms other than to say that a) I’ve already been “fixed” (I got a vasectomy, like, five years ago. Keep up!), and b) that second one sounds like it was written by Yoda. What I will say is that I attempt to take everyone’s criticisms about the Mercury and myself seriously—even those who haven’t mastered a method of electronic communication that’s been around for at least 50 years. BUT GUYS. PUTTING YOUR ENTIRE EMAIL IN THE SUBJECT LINE ISN’T HELPING YOUR CASE. It’s lazy, and if you don’t care enough to put some thought into your argument, why should I?
Make no mistake: I love being educated by you. But be a good educator and a) identify the specific article you’re mad about, b) thoughtfully explain your position and why you’re mad—which usually takes more than 25 words, and c) put it in the body of the goddamn email! (Reminder: I don’t read your Facebook comments because Facebook is garbage.)
Anyway, thanks in advance for your thoughtful, continual education (email@example.com), and Gavin? If you’re reading this, stick with Grocery Outlet. You’re not going to do any better.
Wm. Steven Humphrey