I don’t know why people write strangers to tell them they suck (unless they are unattractive or have an accent.) I hate lots of stuff, but mostly, I just avoid it. As do you. Because we’re not crazy — other than OCD, depression, alcoholism, crippling neuroticism, and a spirit-crushing emotional unavailability. But we don’t seek out ways to be mean to people. It’s an odd impulse to send a stranger a mean letter. Think of all the terrible music in the world, and all the awful TV shows and movies, and how many times you’ve contacted (and Steven Seagal doesn’t count, of course he should stop) the artist to tell them they suck.
About six months ago I received a series of mean e-mails telling me I suck (which I don’t.) They were from two college kids in Connecticut. I often open for the comedy troupe Stella (former members of the State) when they tour, and we had a show booked in New Haven. The college kids thought their e-mail would discourage me from performing. They were wrong. Dead wrong!
This is the e-mail they sent me:
Subject: you suck
Date: January 14, 2005 11:51:33 PM EST
we’ll tell you in person at toads place in new haven next week. on second thought, please stay home so that 3 comedians who are truly funny and talented can grace our state. “State”, they were on that show, you were not. Have you ever really smoked pot and been jerked off on? How did you let yourself get in that situation? I guess I could see it because nothing you do makes sense anyways and your skits suck, so like the gun video: your career=”drop it.”
Love, Mike and Josh @ email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. Mention this on stage so we could bow to the audience who would cheer for us when they realize how riDICKulous you are.
What Mike and Josh maybe didn’t think, or care about, was that with Google and AOL you can find out a lot about people. All you need is their e-mail address, maybe a first name. And I did. I Googled and AOL’ed them. I found where they went to school, their hobbies, and I already knew that one of them thought math was retarded — possibly the flat out stupidest idea (aside from putting fire in your own ass, or trying to eat a live eagle — without barbecue sauce!) And when I got to New Haven, I brought one of them (only one came to the show) onstage and read the e-mail they wrote me and then a letter I wrote them back. I also video taped it.
P.S. (I just spell-checked Steven Seagal’s name, and learned that not only did I spell it correctly, but his website is awesome.)
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 5, 2005