It's been five years since we last wrote a guide on all the things you should never pitch us again, and we honestly thought we'd covered everything, but you guys keep coming back at us with some of the worst ideas in recorded history. In fact, if anything, it's got worse in the past five years, thanks to the rise of Thought Catalog and that whole school of "something happened to me and now I must write about it without doing any other research or interviews" journalism.
So here are a bunch more things we are never going to say yes to, with some suggestions from our friends at Broadly, Noisey, i-D and Munchies.
Is Guitar Music Dead/Alive/Coming Back/Going Away?
Let us clear this one up for you: there's nothing wrong with guitars as part of some ambitious project, but if you're a bunch of ugly white guys playing three-chord indie music with choruses that go "woahhhhhhh!" in 2017, don't expect us to pat you on the back and pretend you're somehow "more real" than black people making music with computers.
Some trend I was talking to my friends about in the pub last night, but actually there are way more examples that disprove it than prove it, and also it was quite boring to begin with
"Hi guys! Wanted to do something about a trend I've been noticing: how British TV shows are set in the future these days, what with Doctor Who and Black Mirror, whereas American TV shows are set in the past, like Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire. What does that say about the way these two countries think about themselves and their sense of destiny?"
Cool, sounds great. One thing: what about Westworld, Call the Midwife, The 100, Downtown Abbey and roughly 1,000 other examples that make your whole thesis wrong and pointless.
Peckham has a really cool music scene these days, I'd love to write about some of the artists coming out of there, like King Krule
Hiya, 2011 on the line for you – it wants you to return its lame pitch we wouldn't have even accepted back then.
WATCH: In the Queue – VICE UK's 15th Birthday
I'm a white European in Ghana / Kenya / Thailand for three weeks and want to write about the local music I'd never heard of until I got here
Buddy, if you ran out of money on your fap year that's not our problem. Get a bar job and stop pitching us shit about a band you saw busking at a food market.
Interview with a white European who went to Thailand / Myanmar / India, "discovered" the local cuisine there and is now profiting from it at their restaurant in London
As above, but worse, because they've already secured two rounds of venture capital funding and now want an approving quote to stick on their website.
I'm a white European travelling through South America / Asia / Africa and you should commission me to write a weekly diary because I bet I'm going to have some crazy adventures that your audience will love reading about
As above, but worse still because it's not even a pitch, just a basic misunderstanding of what the general population finds interesting.
Why vinyls are better than streaming
Yeah, spending £20 on a piece of plastic that you have to wait for ages to buy, which you can only play on a £500 hi-fi in your front room, which will inevitably get scratched to fuck after six months, is definitely way cooler than being able to listen to any song in existence on your phone for the price of two pints a month.
The exact same piece you've literally just read in 'The Guardian'
We all get inspiration from other publications every now and again, but a few times this year we've been sent pitches with the exact same headline as the one printed in The Guardian literally the day after they published it.
Here's a thin white woman with hairy armpits! SHE IS BRAVE!
See also: fat rolls, stretch marks, shaved heads, back hair, toe hair. There is literally nothing left that challenges standards of beauty, unless you've got, like, a severe flesh-eating bacteria problem but are still getting 1,000+ likes per selfie, maybe.
I did *mildly inconvenient thing* for 24 hours
You want to listen to Slade's "Merry Christmas" non-stop for a day? You're going to watch every episode of Twin Peaks in a row? Oh, man, can't wait to hear your incredible insight over 3,000 words of first-person prose. I've just poured myself a lovely pint of cyanide to help me relax into it – would you like one too?
"Controversial" vagina art
Is there a political position where you're allowed to be comfortable with talking about periods and against taxing tampons without wanting menstrual blood smeared over every canvas in south London in the name of wanky art openings? Because: if so, sign us up!
In Praise of Pret / Pizza Express / McDonald's
Okay, you know what – maybe we did a couple too many of these mainstream-things-are-actually-alright pieces, but we're calling time on it now. No one needs to be told that pizza is tasty.
I've been having a hard time recently and I want to write about it
That sucks and we feel for you, genuinely. If we could give every person who's ever had a mental health problem or an eating disorder or a shitty partner a place to share their story, we would, but then our website would just be sad and repetitive and full of extended personal testimonies that mean very little to anyone but you. So we can't accept your pitch, I'm afraid, but we hope you feel better soon. And if you do and you still want to write something, you could always do some other interviews, or some research, and turn your personal story into an article. Chat then.
How *popular artist that everyone quite likes* got me through *a vaguely traumatic period in my life*
Listen, I'm happy you found a bit of solace in Daydream Nation when your dad had a cancer scare, but you know who else likes Daydream Nation and has dads who've been sick? Literally everyone. And while we're on this point: stop pretending things that are adored by hundreds of millions of people are somehow cult. Anyone who's into Daniel Johnston or Michel Gondry or Wolfgang Tillmans or Prince acts like they're being really iconoclastic and pioneering, like they just discovered this sick new genre of music in a squat in Tiblisi. But remember: Prince was probably the most popular artist on the planet for three decades – no shit you think he's cool.
Why something obviously shit from 20 years ago is actually amazing because time + irony = 900 words of the worst copy imaginable.
The Vengaboys do not need reappraising.