Like a parent who threatens to turn around a car full of unruly kids unless they behave this instant, Vice magazine has decided to suspend its letters page until readers can send them something worth printing.
“You know what? No letters page this month,” declare the editors of the Brooklyn-based youth culture and integrated marketing magazine. “You know why? Because we aren’t receiving enough real letters. We mainly get emails now, and people don’t think when they write emails.”
Lamenting the fact that they used to receive “great letters… in decorated envelopes along with goofy little tokens, tchotchkes, gizmos, and gifts inside,” the editors are throwing down the gauntlet:
Weirdly, this statement was posted online, allowing readers to respond—anonymously—in comments, even though the editors would prefer them to send “real letters written on real paper like a real person.”
The lack of printable letters to the editor hasn’t been this pressing a problem for a magazine since at least last century when McSweeney’s “The Service Industry” column featured the behind-the-scenes story of a letter-less month at Man: The Magazine for Men.