open letter to the troll on tao lin’s blog
I don’t usually get involved in blog-related confrontations, for what I assume are obvious (though, perhaps, not to you) reasons. You are hardly the first troll/weirdo that Tao Lin has had to deal with, and I am sure you won’t be the last. That fact of Tao’s life has little–if anything–to do with me, other than that it makes me sad for him sometimes (also exhausted and pissed off on his behalf) but this isn’t why I’m writing today.
Agriculture Reader #2 was edited by my good friend–the magazine’s founder–Jeremy Schmall. I have some poems in it, and soon after that issue came out I moved to my present position as its co-editor. (Our next issue will come out in February 2009.) You probably noticed that the AGR is a handmade journal with a prominent design element. Its entire print run is somewhere in the low to mid three figures. We hope, therefore, that every copy we sell or give away will be cherished.
Your utter lack of civility, displayed repeatedly over the past few days in the comments section of Tao’s blog–including but not limited to stalkerish language and intimations of violence, compounded by the cowardice of your refusing to reveal your identity–makes me doubt your capacity to appreciate art in general, and the AGR in particular.
It grieves me that Agriculture Reader #2 may not be bringing you the joy you had hoped it would, but my greater concern is that you are not the sort of reader we are looking for. The AGR is a finite resource, every copy of it is precious, and I hate to think of even one copy being wasted. I hope you will consider returning your copy of the magazine, so I can give it to someone who can appreciate it. (Note that I do not say “will.” We do not require our readers to provide a guarantee of validation or an echo chamber of praise; but we confess to a bias for those with the capacity for comprehension and, if need be, civil discussion.)
Please contact me in the comments section of this post regarding my offer. We can exchange mailing addresses, or perhaps agree to meet at some neutral location. In exchange for your remittance of the magazine (undamaged, and with the included audio CD), I will bring you several paperbacks from the thrift store near my house. In a best case scenario these will be Tom Clancy’s Op-Center(TM) novels written by someone other than Tom Clancy, or perhaps some entries in the R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series.