Some responses to last month's famous letter:
My, my, my.
Preston B. Gripes, you sound like a very bitter little man. And totally off the mark in many ways. You obviously spent a lot of time poring over Think, and even more time composing your impotent wee rant - which probably means that you aren't getting all that much poonanny either.
Do you feel better now that you've got all those issues you have with Think off your chest? Have you made Prague, and the rest of the world, a better place to live in? You should be thankful that there is at least one magazine that will print your spew - along with, admittedly, the spew of several others, yours truly included.
I'm sure I've heard you before, Preston B. Gripes, pissing and moaning in grandiose style about how vapid the expats are here, then b*tching about the locals in the same breath. Do you get much love, Preston B. Gripes? I don't think you do. Where do you come from, Preston B. Gripes? Why are you here? What are you running away from? Send in an article, Preston B. Gripes, enlighten us, enthrall us, get to know us. And stop yer f*ckin' crying, puss - nobody really gives a sh*t.
- Peace out, Miles
And even more responses to Mr. Grebe's letter:
You recently published an idiotic letter from a Mr. Grebe. This man had nothing intelligent to say, and did not even have the courage to give his true name. Inevitably, one feels a little sorry for this person.
I can imagine him, all alone in his tiny panelak, trying to make himself feel more important by writing little diatribes about your magazine. However, I would prefer it if he could just get out of everybody's face. Next time some dick head writes to your magazine, please don't feel obliged to publish his letter, just to show how honest you are. Think is an intelligent magazine, and does not need the likes of Mr. Grebe polluting its pages.
- Yours sincerely, Jane Ledendecker
I was a little surprised that you printed the letter last month from "Preston B. Grebe": this is obviously a made-up name. I wonder why this guy is so ashamed to let people know his true identity. "Preston" seems to be jealous that other people in Prague have established a reputation for their writing, and can make a living from it. Most probably he has tried to get into print himself, and has failed: the appallingly low quality of his writing may be one of the reasons.
He rambles inanely for half a page, yet is incapable of saying anything intelligent. My experience with people who sneer at everyone else is that they are unable to face up to their own inadequacies, and therefore project them onto other people. As far as I am aware, nobody has forced him to read Think. He goes out of his way to read the articles, and then tries to make himself feel more important by sneering at them. Apparently he also goes to the Globe and used to go to Terminal Bar as well. Why does he constantly go out of his way to do things which he apparently hates?
"Preston": by all means criticize Paul Kail and Chris Lord's ideas if you disagree with them. However, please do so intelligently. Both of these people have far more interesting things to say than you ever will, and are probably vastly better educated. I once had the honor of meeting Mr. Lord: he is the author of several books, he teaches a course at Charles University, he is the editor of an international political journal, and he has worked as a consultant for NATO. He travels widely, and speaks French, Russian, Chinese, Czech, Greek, Spanish, Italian and English. What do you do for a living, "Preston"?
Instead of making wildly inaccurate guesses about how long the Think writers have been in Prague and how they make a living, "Preston" should attempt to discuss their articles coherently. If he approves of cruelty towards animals, perhaps he could say so directly, and try to defend this position. If he disagrees with Alex Zaitchik's political analysis, perhaps we could know the reasons. Alternatively, if he truly isn't capable of intelligent analysis himself, maybe he could just accept this and get a life.
Indeed, if "Preston" is such a genius, perhaps he would like to start his own magazine. Think is the highest circulation English-language magazine in the country. It has a far bigger monthly print-run than Prague Post, the Prague Business Journal or the Prague Tribune, and has advertising support that these other magazines could only dream of.
Do you imagine that it is easy to set up a successful magazine (anywhere, let alone in Prague)? Not surprisingly, typos and grammatical mistakes creep in. Any moron can pick out a single grammatical mistake in a fifty page magazine. No doubt this makes "Preston" feel important. However, unless and until he demonstrates that he is capable of doing anything better (or indeed, anything at all) his criticism is empty.
I suggest that you challenge this loser to write an interesting article for Think. Judging from the drivel he wrote to you last month, it should be a good laugh. But let's give him the benefit of the doubt. Then we can all decide whether he is really in a position to criticize other people.
- Yours sincerely, Martin Jarvis in Prague 6
More Hate Mail:
To whom it may concern:
Did you see the August edition? What a spread, does this mean I get a regular column? After all, aside from a couple of interesting side panels on salsa dancing the letters page was the best thing there, even if I say it myself. And I do. Don't you ever get tired of the endless flow of wannabe Bukowski's that pour through your pages like urine over the pavement (to borrow a metaphor unendingly popular with these uniformly disillusioned figs)?
Their little winsome hearts make me want to gather them all up in a big hug and squeeze them back into reality! For Christ's sake, one, just give me one story that doesn't involve the consumption of a small ounce of alcohol! That's not asking too much is it? We're going to get geegee stories next, as soon as they discover the tracks at Chuchle.
I suppose we can be hopeful about one thing, you're not as bad as the Prague, f*ck off back to the New World, Prague Post. What a sh*te rag that is! It wouldn't get read if they gave it away. I mean, who does read it? Dumb yanks fresh off the plane who don't know better? Alleged, but I've yet to see the evidence - dumb is dumb but lets give your countrymen some slack. The staff? Not from what I've heard. The editor? Which one?
Would anybody miss it if Texan oil dried up and the bank roll disappeared down the drain? No, no, thrice no.
In deference to your editorial policy I have to say that I've been writing critical letters to them as long as I've lived here but am reasonably well informed that they've never yet made it into print. Strange, you'd've thought that a newspaper casting itself as a broad sheet would welcome readers' views?
One thing that can be said about that turnip garden is that the design's not so bad. Still, new look, same old sh*te. I've even heard that they've got one of their staff writers to live amongst the "anarchists" in the tent city in order to send back weekly correspondence of life on the extremities of society! Cutting edge journalism has not yet reached such heights of virtuosity and courage. Perhaps when MMF ends they'll send someone to live with the gypsies in Zizkov, or even some skinheads in Most.
Close it down, no one will miss it! (Apart from the publisher perhaps, but then who'd miss her?) Anyway onto the real issue of this mailing. Forget the MMF there are more sinister incursions being made on our freedoms!
Many of your readers will be aware of it already. I'm surprised that a sharp and incisive editorial panel such as Thinks' has failed to notice it. The BBC, yes, the BBC have increased the hours of Czech language broadcasting from four hours daily to SIX! Count them, SIX!
Now I'm all for communication between cultures but what is causing particular concern amongst many regular listeners is the increase of Saturday afternoon's programming from one hour to two, running over regular afternoon commentary from the one League that counts in the world of football! How can you people keep barking on about the MMF when issues like this threaten to rock the very fabric of our lives?
There is only one solution, a concerted and organized mailing campaign. Think should be calling on its readers to take time out from the sit-ins and street reclaiming that they'll clearly be busy with this month and focus on the computer screen for a couple of minutes. The internet address for complaints is: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/us/contact/index.shtml
If the kids are united, they can never be divided! Right?
- The Downstairs Man
And finally, this bright chap:
You are a bunch of idiots and your magazine is a disgrace.