An Open Letter to Open Letters

Dear Open Letter,

Sadly, this is not a social call.

It has, to say the least, been disappointing to see you out and about recently, lurking around blogs and sniffing around newspapers.

It could be argued that it is a mite north of disappointing – hurtful even. To be honest, I thought we’d moved past it.

No one really writes letters anymore, open or otherwise. You need only look at the rampant diversification of Australia Post for evidence of that. Seriously, the only letters most people get are redundant hard copy bills, letters from charities or direct mail from politicians who still believe in pissing at hurricanes, it appears.

Granted, snail mail advertising held strong for a time. We endured a buffering from tides of letters for tenants gone three to five years, too lazy or stupid to update their address. Renato – if you’re looking for those back issues of ‘Hog’, they are by the front door and soon to be in landfill.

Digressing, Open Letter, aside from the decline in post , I’ll concede people still share unwanted opinions all over the place, aligned with your stock in trade. You are not the lone ranger there – the democratisation of information and publishing, not to mention the explosion of social media, means freedom and capacity to share one’s views are the twin blessing and curse of modern life.

Not only are the gates gone, they shot the bloody gatekeepers!

Where once, maybe twice, open letters had a heartfelt impact, the scene died out like Pokemon GO. When people of clout and substance wrote open letters, we took notice. Policies and opinions shifted. Movements rose and swelled.

Nowadays, your content appears in safe, predictable lanes. Middle class manners. Airline etiquette. Government spin and politicians. Mummy bloggers. The younger version of you. Your parents, children and significant others.

Open Letter, we need a chat about what you really are… a forum for egoists to virtue signal, pontificate and piss their passive aggressive opinions into the supercell hurricane of modern media and communication.

I’m talking fifty year storm here – the kind Bodhi hunted in Point Break.

Alas, no one is reading. No one is listening.

Which is why I confess that last week, when three neighbourhood kids came knocking to earn pocket money via dogwalking, raising money for charity into the mix.

I lied and told them that my dog was not my dog.

I did this before realising that the little girl in the middle , the shortest one, was my next door neighbour, a lass we’d introduced our dog to when we moved in.

She knew I was bullshitting, dog barking behind me and all, which pretty much leaves me the middle aged, respectable neighbour who lies to children.

But you know what, that will stay between those kids and me, because NO ONE WILL EVER READ THIS, OPEN LETTER, because your format and style is the literary equivalent of the terms and conditions sent out by major corporations.

So there you go.

I see you. I can’t believe you still exist but then again, last week I nearly got run over by a mint condition, lime green Datsun 180B. You don’t see many of them anymore, but they are out there.

You are not a Datsun 180B. You are more like polyster knitted shorts. Outdated, superseded, incredibly itchy and uncomfortable.

Let this open letter be a warning to other open letters. You and your kind need to jog on.


Charlie Hynes

Published by charliehynes76

Learner. Teacher. Writer. My aim is to nourish and share a curious mind so that we might honour the gift.

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