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The Girls Issue

Vice Mail

PALAHNIUK PAROXYSM, Re: Your Fiction Issue. Chuck Palahniuk seems to be using a lot of the tried and true techniques that gained him his career, but it’s time to move on. Think bigger.
VICE Staff
Κείμενο VICE Staff

Vice, I was a little worried when I saw you’d done a Fiction Issue that wasn’t just articles on writing or making up lies or something else, but an actual collection of new fiction. I guess I’ve been McSweeney’s’d into believing that contemporary literature is just one big festival of preciousness and that irony or post-postmodernism or whatever you want to call it has leeched it dry of any value, and assumed all your contributors would be more of the same. But I liked the better part of the new writers you had in there and was excited to learn about old farts I’d somehow missed out on all these years like Charles Willeford. Everybody seemed to fit in with the whole just-telling-it-straight vibe I’ve always got from the mag—maybe this could spell the end to the Age of Cuteness we’ve been suffering through for the past decade. Thanks, TERRY KELLS
Chicago, IL Thanks. And PS, we stole the title of this letter from an old Unwound song. Fuck they were good. TRY CRAIGSLIST
Dear Vice, Anyone know a place that rents studio spaces or gallery co-op type things and how to learn about them? What are the hip bars? What are the shit bars? I went to this place called the Rickshaw and my mind was blown away by how multicolored-scarf-wearing, skip-to-my-loo indulgent and perfect some of these hipsters are. It was radical. I also went to this one called Zeitgeist that was nice except there was an inch of water-piss on the floor and everyone was hanging out in a dirty pit of dirt in the back. Who are the people with names in the art scene here? Is a mixture of the urban-art-type boozer people and the more pompous high-art beer and wine with old-rich-hipster-type openings the main ingredients for this city? kthnxbye, STANISLAS BORAT
Via email Wow, he really thought we were going to take the time to write him a reply email like, “Well the best bar is Whipper McDoodles, and you have to check out Doogie Bueller—definitely the hottest artist in town right now.” It makes us kind of sad, actually. AMIGOS ESPECIALES
Dear Vice, I’m a 20-year-old journalism major from Puerto Rico studying with a group of people who really enjoy not only your articles but also the way your magazine exposes all the aspects of what you decide to write about. I could not help but realize that even though you cover the South American continent every once in a while, I feel like right now it’s a place of constant change that alters the way world politics and trends develop. With that said, I think the people here could use the type of reporting you are able to bring to the many issues that you cover. Not only the population of my island, which is very conflicted with doubts about who they are, but the people of the Latin community could really benefit from a medium of free speech that could reflect their true feelings and not only outside opinions about what’s going on in the world and, most importantly, in their backyards. I was hoping that Vice would take us under their umbrella and permit us to write about these issues in the native tongue of the masses in South America (Spanish). There is a real need for them to see that they are important and that their views are being not only heard but also broadcast and put on the world stage. I’m not even going to get into all the aspects of the numerous conflicts here, which are not only political but cultural and personal as well. I’ll keep this short but want my people to be heard and shown that their voice matters. I feel the best way to do that is a magazine, be it a new one or an offshoot of your own. This would be the best way to effectively convey that message. If you’re interested in this proposition feel free to respond with more questions or, better yet, come here and check it out for yourself. Yours truthfully, ALBERTO MIRANDA
Via email They speak Spanish in South America? THE FOOD POLICE
Dear Vice, It’s tragic that this woman’s mother and uncle have had such terrible ends to their lives and that the kids didn’t show before the funeral (though perhaps, you know, they had jobs and their own kids and obligations enough that they couldn’t get from Ohio to Kentucky on short notice). That doesn’t change the fact that in the end these poor people are suffering because they’re killing themselves with the aggregate effect of a lifetime of eating absolute crap and not exercising. If you’re going to eat meat twice a day, love your sweet tea and your soda, have plenty of dessert and candy as it suits you, and not actually do anything for your poor body, it’s going to hate you and try to kill you. It’s like hearing a story about how terrible emphysema or lung cancer is from a lifetime smoker. Yeah, it sucks, but you did it to yourself and you knew each time it was killing you. At least with smokers the addiction gives them an out, but for fat, lazy sods with diabetes there’s not a lot to say. The Bible says that your body is holy, lady, not a freakin’ garbage dump. ANONYMOUS
From Are you seriously trying to take Gladys from that article to task for her diet? Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve finally found him—the winner of the Most Missing the Point Stupid Idiot Asshole Award of 2006. WORDS, WORDS, WORDS
Dear Vice, Most of us have noticed that asserting oneself almost exclusively through criticism is great for a while but quickly comes to feel empty, disingenuous, and selfish. Well, the same is true of magazines that assert themselves this way. There has been excellent journalism in every issue of Vice that I’ve read but it’s immersed in page after page of pedantic, recursively humble-yet-omniscient observational flotsam poised to be shoved down my throat and up my ass. People who can’t relax until everyone around them knows exactly what has their approval and what doesn’t are insufferable, especially if they hedge their bets by pretending not to give a shit. One more thing. A few years ago, before I knew who he was or what he did, I heard an extended interview with/documentary about Dov Charney on the CBC. I try not to put too much stock in first impressions, but wow. Could you please do what most of us do and try to disregard him? Love, FARTY MCPEDERAST
Via email You said, “Pedantic, recursively humble-yet-omniscient observational flotsam,” your account name is Farty McPederast, and we’re insufferable? TRADITIONAL GUY
Dear Vice, I’m from Nashville, and “Family Tradition” is totally the anthem down South. No one’s heard of it up here in Brooklyn though. Last week at the Trash Bar I sang “You Never Even Called Me by My Name” by David Allan Coe at the late-night, coked-up karaoke there. It really confused people. They went back to singing their punk karaoke again. Next time I’m cokey I’m gonna march right back over to Grand Street and do it again. I might even sing “Family Tradition.” MORRIS
Brooklyn, NY We like you. ÜBERDOUCHE
Dear Vice, Whoever wrote the “Stripped Mountain” article needs to step away from their computer and shoot themselves as quickly as possible. Their ineptitude reveals a deeper flaw of failed reasoning and inability to use basic logic. Understand that the act of transforming raw coal in the ground into energy for houses and production—the act of transforming raw nature into human values that enhance human life—is a highly moral activity, while the attempt to block such activity is not. To live as a human being requires one to regard nature as nothing but a means toward one’s ends. Every cart, rowboat, and space shuttle man has constructed violates the “right” of land, sea, and air to maintain their “natural states.” Every conscious decision to enhance human life—every attempt to rise above the animals—entails the subduing of nature and the repudiation of this environmentalist garbage that is espoused in this article. Man’s life depends upon his productiveness. So if man lives only by a process of remaking the earth, what is the implication of the demand that he renounce this process? GREG
From Let me guess—You’ve been reading Nietzsche? Email us again once you’ve finished freshman philosophy. GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN
Dear Vice, I worked a summer in an Appalachian coal mine. The guy from the “Load Sixteen Tons” article is pretty much straight on with all the union guys I worked with. The unions do help them out a lot, and I’ve seen how the companies are forced to fire laborers and shut down mines. Appalachian coal mining is a very rough life, but it’s very necessary for our way of life. Great article. This poor bastard is just one of thousands with the same problems. My boss said to me at the end of the summer, “Son, if you have any sense in you at all, don’t ever come back to this coal mining shit. It ain’t worth it. Be smarter than I was.” ANONYMOUS
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