clap clap blog: we have moved

Monday, July 28, 2003
I wrote me a letter to PF.


Sent: Monday, July 28, 2003 11:20 AM
Subject: argh


You write-

As far as the deranged fan-of-the-week mail: As the one who sorts through most of those letters and picks which ones appear on the site, I can tell you they start to sound very formulaic after a while ("Dear Pitchfork, I disagree with your review of ___, therefore you have bad writing, therefore you sukkk. PS -can I write for you sometime?"). Sometimes it feels like indie-rock MadLibs...

Iee. Look, I understand how demonstrating that the people who disagree with you are stupider than you can be entertaining for the Pitchfork partisans, and loath would be I to stand in the way of such entertainment. But please don't pretend like that's the only kind of negative mail you get. I know for a fact that some pretty intelligent, non-Mad Libby criticism gets sent to you guys, and you publish way, way less of that than of the inarticulate fanboy rantings. (The ratio's about 1:20 by my count, and even when that 1 goes go up there, it's with a snarky headline.) So don't complain about the quality of discourse on the letters page when you give people the distinct impression that the only way their critical opinion is going to get published is if it's misspelled and illogical, and when you don't publish the intelligent criticism that you do get, because--heaven forfend--it might make y'all look wrong.

I know this is the internet and whatnot, but c'mon now.


And I got me a response:


Mike, I LOVE the well-written criticisms. I love it even more when the writer responds back. And I can say that a large majority of those that I receive DO get published (notable exception is when there's a lot of back-and-forth between the writer & the fan, or when the writer has composed several responses to a certain review -- I do have to pick-and-choose in that case. Which is why your dialogue about the Liz Phair review never got published, fyi.)

Honestly, I haven't gotten that much mail recently. I can't tell if that's because people don't care any more, or if readers don't know to send it to me, or if there's a lot getting sent to the writers that isn't getting passed along to me. In hopes that it's the latter, I've sent a reminder note out to the reviewers, so we'll see if that rounds up some good critiques.

Thank you for writing,


More in a bit.