Letters - The No Photos Issue
I was recently on assignment in Oregon, shooting pictures for a British S&M magazine. While I was down there, I happened to run into some horrible fucking car trouble along a really creepy “Welcome to Camp Blood”-type side road that bordered a HUGE stretch of forest. So I walked for about seven miles before I found another car passing along. I flagged the dude down and told him what had happened. He seemed nice enough and happened to look just like Fernando Rey. His name was Fredrick. He offered me a lift, and despite what so many have said, I accepted. As we headed for a filling station I noticed he seemed rather focused and upset about something. Of his own accord, he told me he was on his way to Canada, and I was like, “I’m from Canada too.” I asked him what he was going up there for and he said, “Work…” He asked me what I did for a living, so I gave him a fake occupation and asked him the same. He said, “…Bounty hunter…”
That instantly brought images into my head of the dude with the blond ponytail and beard who has that show on cable. We continued to chat about his profession and the dangers of the job, how many bounties he’d collected, if Boba Fett was a childhood inspiration, etc. So as we were finally approaching a gas station I notice a SHITLOAD of magazines spread all around the floor and backseat of his car. I looked closer at a couple that were on his dashboard and to my amusement they were all Vice. Starting from years back up to your Clothing and Iraq Issues.
Here comes the kicker. When I asked him what all the Vice mags were about, he took a deep breath and said this: “For the last 14 years I’ve been tracking a serial rapist who I believe has been leaving clues and messages in the letters and articles of this magazine for his counterparts to find. I think he’s in Canada and I mean to find him.”
At that point I got out, said thanks, and ran inside.
So this is just a heads-up, if you guys find a decaying, dirty, beat-up doll nailed to the front door of one of your offices with the words “I want him” scribbled in chalk beside it, you know who it was.
Thanks for the warning, Mel. We’ll definitely be on the lookout for a truck with Oregon plates being driven by a creepy, Spanish-looking total figment of your imagination.
BUMMING OUR DOOBAGE
Have you seen the commercial for JCPenney with the music from The Breakfast Club? I have, and it has some major problems:
1. The kids in the commercial, as well as the kids targeted by the ad, are too young to have seen the movie.
2. Everyone is too happy.
3. All the JCPenney kids sit around in a circle like the scene in the movie where everyone smokes pot, but that scene is always cut out when the movie is played on TV, because of the pot.
4. There is no pot, yet the actors are smiling like they have just shared some inside joke, and they are 12. What sort of activities is JCPenney supporting?
5. I still love the scene where everyone dances, even when reenacted by 12-year-olds.
PS: Is there already a precedent of commercials aimed at preteens based on 80s movies or is this the first one?
We’ve got news for you. That commercial wasn’t aimed at the “tweens.” It was aimed at parents of tweens in their 30s who are still hung up on all the poorly written movies they liked as kids. Seriously, how did Ally Sheedy end up with the jock? In whose fucked-up brain does that work?
DON’T DREAM IT
Have you heard that MTV is planning to remake The Rocky Horror Picture Show? Well, that doesn’t settle well with us sweet-transvestite lovers. Not at all. So we are taking a stand against it by putting together an online petition at www.stoptheremake.com. We would love your support. In fact, we would take pictures of our genitalia covered in magic-marker art for your support.
What good is a petition, you ask? Well, probably not much good at all, unless there are numbers and clout behind it. That’s why we are contacting people like you. We need all the clout we can get. And since I’m not famous yet, my name just isn’t going to cut it.
Thanks for your time.
I don’t know, that thing sounds like one eminently watchable trainwreck of overproduction if you ask us. Why don’t you just tell people you’re into the old one over and over and over? That’s what you’re gonna end up doing anyway.
PUSH IN THE KUSH (VALLEY)
My mom’s got a crush on Suroosh Alvi. I’m 100 percent sure it’s because of that VBS special he did about the gun markets in Pakistan. I’m Pakistani (so’s my mom, duh) and she’s totes in love with him because he has, like, a “local’s” perspective.
Basically you guys need to tell her he used to be a heroin addict so she’ll stop trying to set up an arranged marriage between us two (that’s what brown women do when they have a crush on someone).
A SLIGHTLY ANONYMOUS BROWN GIRL FROM INDIANA
Hey old Pakistani woman, Suroosh did smack a bunch. There you go!
To whom it may concern,
I usually have an interest in seeing the comic strip in the back of Vice. However, the Sundaes Issue with Johnny Ryan had me a little disgusted. Now I’m sure that is the intention, but the 9/11 comic was one of the most tasteless, classless pieces I’ve seen yet from your magazine. It was hardly humorous. Not to mention offensive. The fact that people actually jumped from the towers to avoid being buried alive is hardly something to joke about. I realize your slant on humor is obscure, but you REALLY missed the mark here. I can’t stress that point enough.
I’m afraid it’s you who missed the mark on this one. Go back and look at that comic again. Johnny isn’t making fun of 9/11 jumpers. The joke is about how Saudi Arabians love doing the “shaka” for some weird reason. The surfer, the Twin Towers, and the plane were purely there to establish context.
R.I.P. THE WORLD
Subject: Pumpkin head slutty losers
I thought you used to be cool?
Not that I would bother with Vice since like 2001—but you suck really bad!
Get an ounce of taste!
This is 2008 and the world is dying!
We like the idea that as the mushroom clouds rise in the distance and the entire continent slides into the sea, one girl will be saying to herself, “Well, at least I told off that magazine for having a fashion spread.”
SPECIAL ILLUSTRATED SECTION
Despite having no idea that it was the theme for the issue (we swear), three readers sent us letters with their own doodles. How’s that for serendipity? Here they are for you to enjoy, unsullied by our hateful words.
I hope you like this card. It is a deer with trees for antlers. I like your magazine.
PS: If you eat honey made by local bees, your allergies will be cured, and if you eat bees that pollinate poison ivy, you will build up a tolerance to it, like that guy from Princess Bride kinda did with iocaine.
BLIND HAWAIIAN CAT
I really liked that piece recently on the woman selling clothes for cats. Mostly because she’s guided by celestial spirits. I would like some clear direction outside of the mundane or neurotic. Thanks for showing us people, things, and ideas from far away.
You called for real mail. As you can see, it does not raise the level of discourse, but it gives you some DNA samples and might be more soulful.
I am 26 years old, grew up in the Bay Area, and have managed to never own a cell phone or computer. I still love to write letters! I even have a couple pen pals. Here I am keeping the dream alive! Everyone I know lives with these phones glued to them. I am still thankful to be able to leave my phone at home. Well, I am living quite happily with my four-year-old daughter and her daddy. We also have a dog named Falkor.
Vice, I must say you’re my favorite magazine! I have saved all my Vices for years and can’t seem to part with them. Well, thanks for listening and keep doing what you’re doing!
Excerpt from the Novel ‘Family Life’
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