Never Pitch Any of These Things to Us Again
ILLUSTRATIONS BY CRAIG ‘QUESTIONS’ SCOTT
We receive lots of pitches here at VICE and roughly 75 percent of them are the things featured on the following list. So, just to be clear: we know that all of these things exist. Everybody does. I know you just got the internet and found eBaum’s World or googled “weird stuff” or whatever, but we’ve had the internet for a while now. So please stop sending us this stuff.
Imagine being one of the very, very small group of people who are into one of these things. They must spend their entire life replying to emails from student photographers and documentary makers.
KILLING SOMEONE ON ACID
This was a real pitch we got from an intern. She planned to listen to Slayer while she did it and plead insanity if she got caught. At least that last bit makes sense.
We’ve covered this from every angle we possibly can. It’s about as popular as wrestling over here now, which is kind of sad, and the last thing it needs is more coverage. It was a key feature in half the episodes of Peep Show, for Christ’s sakes.
ART MADE OF BODILY FLUIDS
Looks like shit, smells like shit and your name isn’t Chris Ofili? Then you’ve just made a shit. Well done, I made one this morning.
The new adult babies. Except they’re self-aware now.
FASHION SHOOTS THAT GOT CANNED FROM SOME OTHER MAGAZINE
We can tell, you know.
NINETY PERCENT OF TATTOO PITCHES
Some are actually pretty good, like this one: “I go and ask for misspelt tattoos, like ‘Joy Diversion’ or ‘Enter Sadman’, and if the tattooist doesn’t point it out, I have to get it done.” That’s kind of great.
A NEW DRUG THAT ISN’T NEW, IT’S JUST MEPHEDRONE WITH A NEW NAME
Don’t make us stay up gurning for a whole night just to work out that this one does root canal in your brain and makes you want to kill yourself for three days as well. Mephedrone is the P Diddy of drugs: consistently reinventing itself, consistently awful.
INTERVIEWS WITH “UP-AND-COMING” BANDS THAT THE WRITER HAPPENS TO BE FRIENDS WITH
“Hey VICE. Are you guys plugged into the Bristol scene, ATM? I’ve got some interview time with The Sheep on the eve of their single launch at the Bristol Wanking Men’s Social. It’s going to be a homecoming, and these guys REALLY know how to put on a show. They’re something of a hit with the ladies, if you know what I mean, so I think it’s safe to say you can expect some great photos ;) Anyway, hit me up, bro!” Nope.
THE PRINCIPALITY OF SEALAND
OK, so an independent sovereign state floating just outside the UK sounds great, right? Except, well it’s not really, is it? I mean, it’s not an independent sovereign state like, say, France. It’s more like a big, floating turd of mental illness in the North Sea. Literally about a mile away from Sealand are a bunch of people doing exactly the same thing, but with a really good pirate radio station. They’re much funner.
Once a year, the people of Cooper’s Hill in Gloucestershire chase some huge hunks of cheese down a hill. Cute, but not exactly The VICE Guide to Liberia, is it? So why does everyone suggest we film it EVERY YEAR?
UNAMBITIOUS URBAN EXPLORATION
What's that? Managed to get on top of a tower block in King's Cross and got to see all the way to what you think might have been Alexandra Palace? Then you twiddled your thumbs, smoked a joint and went home, right? It's not exactly doing cartwheels along the girders of an 800-foot suspension bridge or exploring decommissioned nuclear silos in Nowheresville, US, is it? (Note: please don't take that as a challenge to go out and replicate these things, you don't deserve to die or get arrested for having a shitty imagination.)
SEXY AGONY AUNT COLUMN
My advice? Don’t have sex – it makes your fingers smell horrible.
PHOTO STORIES ABOUT HOMELESS PEOPLE
So you’ve noticed that there are people begging at Oval station? What an exemplar of humanity you are. The rest of us go through our lives with our new media blinkers on, unmoved by anything other than the latest trends... but you, you stop to notice the forgotten souls of our streets. Then you take photos of them, and then you sell those photos. I hope someone stabs you with a syringe.
ADULT BABIES / REAL DOLLS / FURRIES
The absolute worst. Awful, depressing and on Bravo every single night. If any of you know a way to film a fat man shitting himself and gurgling that differs from the 4,000 sex docs on these people that have already been made, please email in.
PEOPLE PLAYING GUITARS IN SURPRISING PLACES
Yep, Heavy Metal in Baghdad was amazing. But that’s mostly because it was in Baghdad, not some suburban Chinese hamlet or a satellite town in New Zealand. If you’re still surprised pop culture extended beyond London and New York, I suggest you google “the 21st Century”.
"ASK TRENDY PEOPLE TRICK QUESTIONS IN AN ATTEMPT TO SHOW THEM AS THE IDIOTS THEY REALLY ARE”
Don’t do that, our friends have feelings too.
The very worst. A movement comprised entirely of artistic Australians that has somehow been labelled “empowering” by Time Out club listings writers and three London academics. PS: All the people who are into “50s stuff” are definitely racists.
TUNNELLING FROM PALESTINE TO ISRAEL [TO BE WRITTEN FROM THE SAFETY OF YOUR FLAT]
One guy’s been emailing us about this for the last month, but, friend, just in case you didn’t understand our nine replies: writing about something you saw on Google isn’t journalism, it’s being a bad Wikipedian. You have to go there, take pictures, get scared and write about it articulately. In fact, if you had done your googling with even just slightly more gusto, you’d have seen that we ALREADY WENT THERE.
OK, if you have an idea as good as Man v Food, we can talk. But, face it, you don’t, you have the same idea as Man v Food, only instead of a charismatic everyman in a blazer who trained as an actor, you’ve got some of your meathead friends who’ve confused “enjoying beef burgers” with “being a professional entertainer”. Keep it to your student halls kitchen.
PHOTOS OF YOUNG BOXERS
Oh the beauty of the art of boxing. The perfect accuracy of the lunges, the side jumps, the dives, the range of blows – hooks, straights, swipes – and, secondly, the wonderful erections that these vicious and delicate boys arouse in 40-year-old fashion editors.
INTERVIEWS WITH OUR WRITERS, OR BANDS ON OUR RECORD LABEL
Black Lips, Cat Marnell, Hamilton Morris, Off!, Action Bronson – all interviews we’ve had pitched at us recently. You know why this doesn’t work? Because they are us. It’s like pitching a blockbuster franchise about the Skywalker dynasty to George Lucas.
THE GUMBALL RALLY
Sorry, but we don’t want to spend ten grand to send you across Europe to photograph Michael Madsen and the guy from Fun Lovin’ Criminals getting blowjobs in Mustangs.
CHILD BEAUTY PAGEANTS
I know it’s unfair that some kids are sexier than others, but that’s just the way life is.
CORNISH NATIONALIST GROUPS THAT DON’T EXIST
It’s not Belfast, it’s not Catalonia, it’s not Palestine – it’s Cornwall and that brick someone threw through Rick Stein’s window wasn’t a forewarning of a violent putsch. Once they start executing surfers I’ll be the first to admit we were wrong. Until then, though, I’m just going to chalk up Cornish aggression to “hating posh English tourists”. Which is a common and understandable thing.
GIRLS IN COUTURE DOING MUNDANE THINGS
“Getting a root canal, while draped in Chanel.” “Re-hinging a door, fabulous in Dior.” “Taking the kids to karate, in a flowing ball gown by Versace.” Etc, etc, etc, until we all melt from exasperation.
AMERICAN ROAD TRIPS
Featuring photos of: an old black jazz guy, an isolated roadside diner in the middle of the desert, a pole dancer on her cigarette break, cactuses, some fat people, some poor people and a pro-Christ bumper sticker.
We had a nice intern who was in a 20-odd strong feminist punk choir called Gaggle and when she left she added us all to the mailing list. Please, please, please remove us.
THIS PITCH WE GOT JUST BEFORE WE WENT TO PRESS
“Many of your readers religiously keep up with fashion trends and as a self-appointed fashionista so do I. But many people often come across things that other people are wearing that they just don’t know where to get or how. Brightonians certainly have an eclectic taste when it comes to clothing ensembles and ultimately I would stop people in the street, photograph them and then ask them about where they got their clothes from, how much they were and ultimately their influences for wearing them.” Oh fuck off.
Beware Toxic Sex Toys
The Brown Mountain State
People All Over Italy Are Angry at Their Government
I Went to a Japanese Wine Spa
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I Spent a Month Living in a Romanian Sexcam Studio
Fresh Off the Boat: Moscow - Part 3
Antoine D'Agata Thinks Boredom Is Worse Than a War
Slangin' Dope at Art Basel
That DUI Coma Prank Is Probably Fake