To Whom It May Concern:
This is an open letter to address the onslaught of open letters that have flooded the press cycle for the past couple of weeks. If you've written an open letter, it means you A) don't have the courage to take care of your business in private or B) you need the attention that goes with putting your name out there.
Usually this is something that wouldn't bother commenting on. However, as of late, open letters have been used to garner publicity rather an addressing issues. When it comes to music, far too many people take themselves seriously. Witness the Sinead O'Connor-Miley Cyrus spat. Yes, Cyrus did whatever she did at the VMAs, but honestly, who cares? That's so six weeks ago. To top that, even though he did it in jest (I think), Sufjan Stevens jumped on the open letter bandwagon for who the hell knows why.
It seems like everyone is picking on America's latest bad girl and for what reason? Miley is being Miley which, in the staid music business, is close to Manny being Manny, not the least to say Madonna being Madonna. Regardless of her act being what it is, open letters are the single lamest way of expressing dismay with a person. Seriously, if O'Connor wanted to have a civilized chat with Cyrus, this could have been brokered and nipped in the bud and no one would have known anything one way or another. But no, that would make too much sense. Why would Stevens jump in? I'm not sure why, but either way, people are talking about him again, so mission accomplished.
Open letters are pointless, unless you have an agenda to push. So why am I writing one? Easy. I have an agenda to push. I hate open letters and whenever a newspaper (or website) publishes one, an angel doesn't get its wings. This is an open letter against open letters, which makes it somewhat hypocritical, or does it? That's for you to decide. Hopefully things will get resolved without resorted to the type of juvenile foolishness that's been all the rage as of late.
Daniel Kohn is a writer based in Southern California. With bylines in an assortment of outlets, Kohn primarily specializes in music with other interests ranging from sports to food. As a transplant, Kohn loves the beautiful weather and is glad he no longer has to deal with brutal winters. If you see him, say hi and of course, he’s always willing to down a beer or two…if you’re paying.