10 comments

Contemporary American Funny

Mr. Robert Retter

Senior Editor

New York Daily Post

314 West 30th Street

35th Floor

New York, NY, 10028


December 24, 2021


Dear Bob,


It is with deep regret and a tinge of sadness, that today I officially render my resignation as an employee at the New York Daily Post. The last eight years I’ve worked for both you and the newspaper have been nothing less than a thought-provoking experience for me. But, it is now clear that this is the right time for me to move on to pursue other interests in my life. I do hope you’ll understand.


We both know that historically, as well as economically, that sex and fear are the two best-recognized methods of selling in the media. Well, we couldn’t really sell them sex, could we? We then did the next best thing for our bosses and gave them fear, then spoon-fed it to readers on a daily basis and at a nonstop rate. While it did keep us in business—for the most part—it devoured my journalistic soul. Thus, the primary reason for my two-week notice of resignation; I just can’t take this any longer.


At this present point of time, I have decided to pursue a course I’ve wanted to take all my adult life. And that is to finally dedicate, on a full-time basis, my efforts in writing the great American novel. This is something I’ve been working on part-time for the last several years. It is also the genesis that led to the writing of this letter. For you see, the fiction I’ve been creating on my own time gradually became truer than the “facts” I was reporting on your time. Please let that sink in for a moment or two before reading any further. Ironic, isn’t it?


You’ve been the best editor, that as a journalist, I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. You’ve done an excellent job of balancing the demands from our publisher with the journalistic “integrity” needs of your staff. But I know that you’ve seen those demands from “upstairs” have been becoming increasingly more demanding in their need to sell more papers and advertising space in any way necessary. Even if it means going off halfcocked and without the full support of provable facts.


Over the past few years, we’ve printed reports full of fear and dread that ends with a final sentence often stating that “Although at this time there has been no definitive proof or conclusive evidence in regard to this matter…” We both know why that information has been placed at the bottom, as opposed to the beginning of the report. I’m sure you’d agree that it’s because the majority of people only read the headline then think they know the entire story; some people even read as far as into the first paragraph too before forming an opinion, but even fewer ever read it all the way to the end. It’s disheartening, to say the least; to be shoveling bullshit masquerading as fact-based information on a daily basis.


At least with fiction, it’s understood, from the very beginning, that what I’ve authored is less than true as a whole. I like that, the honesty is refreshing. I love that I can write from my heart instead of from the guidance of corporate. I adore that I’m able to choose my topics, not from what drives newspaper edition sales but from what really stirs my soul, albeit how corroded that spirit has become over the course of my tenure in this business the two of us, along with our colleagues, have been involved. I’m also sick and tired of endlessly waiting for this entire industry to reexamine itself in order to pave a better and improved pathway for not only ourselves, but the general public, as well as the world at large.


Perhaps, you too should take this cue as the optimal time to exit off stage in the publishing world. You’ve said it yourself on multiple occasions that what it is now, is no longer what it used to be when you got into the game. Maybe it’s time you gave some serious thought and consideration to your eldest son’s idea of the two of you going into business together refurbishing food trucks to become cannabis dispensaries. After all, it is now legal in our state to use marijuana for medical purposes, as well as recreational use. And as more states come on board, or if the federal government finally makes the inevitable change in the existing drug laws, you guys may have one of the hottest red-hot franchises ever on your hands. Think about it, my friend…


With warm regards,

James C. Meadow, Jr.

Investigative Journalist

Author


P/S: If you and your son Bill ever do get that family business up and running then please make sure you guys stop in my neighborhood on a frequent basis! Hey, as Bob Dylan once sang, “Everybody must get stoned…” In closing, and after a bit of random thought, I hope you don’t mind if I share something that occurred to me. I imagine you’ve both envisioned selling your THC and CBD products from simply one side of the van, right? Well, what if on the other side you sell tacos and nachos, or simply candy, chips, etc..? This way you not only make the sale of your initial commodity, but you also have an added opportunity to cash in on when they get the munchies after your product's consumption. That way, they can satisfy their appetites by going around to the other side of your trucks to buy snacks. This could potentially double each vehicle’s ability to generate revenue without adding too much additional cost for gasoline, overall vehicle maintenance, and automobile insurance coverage. Hell, if you guys haven’t already come up with a name for the business then maybe you want to call it something like Retter & Son Double Header Curbside Cannabis & Chow, Inc. Just a thought, I guess. 


December 05, 2021 01:52

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10 comments

Lydi B
13:26 Dec 16, 2021

Dang, you distilled some heavy topics into a short space. Here's the very reason I ignore the news and stick to my marching orders: love one another. At least that message never changes. Well done with this.

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Stevie B
13:44 Dec 16, 2021

Lydi, I agree. I attempt to live my life abiding by the code of be kind to others and do good always.

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Lydi B
15:14 Dec 16, 2021

That's the best we can do, really.

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Patrick Samuel
16:21 Dec 15, 2021

Dear James, Thank you for your sharp and incisive wake-up call cum business proposition. And congratulation on your spiritual re-awakening. May I suggest you call your Great American novel "Integrity's Disintigration." It sounds just as good as "Gravity's Rainbow" and probably makes more sense. If this was a fiction piece I would applaud you. I wish it was, actually, but it hits a bit too close to home to ignore. Is this the world we have created or merely the one that created us? While I ponder the question, I'll look up the price of second...

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Stevie B
17:07 Dec 15, 2021

We'll pass this along to the appropriate party. Thankyou for reading and commenting, Patrick. I'm afraid I must agree with you in that the problem goes far further then simply the media. With tears I must conceded; truth has become a commodity far rarer than rainbow dwelling unicorns...

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Ruth Smith
04:57 Dec 15, 2021

Loved the letter! Very on point with what we are seeing in the real world journalism.

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Stevie B
12:17 Dec 15, 2021

Ruth, and it goes deeper than journalism: it's today's world. Sadly, I fear we've lost our love and appreciation of the truth. Thanks for reading and your comment.

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Graham Kinross
02:50 Dec 05, 2021

Really good Stevie, I just spotted a little typo near the end that's an easy fix, "a.dded opportunity" when you're talking about the tacos and nachos. Other than that, awesome. Also, "it devoured my journalist soul" I can't tell if this is one of those occasions when the word journalistic might fit, thought I would mention it but it's not a word I've ever used so you're probably right with what you've got anyway.

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Stevie B
15:39 Dec 05, 2021

Graham, thanks for having a good proofreading eye and catching those typos. It's really wonderful to know that someone is reading and appreciating these tiny tales.

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Stevie B
01:58 Dec 05, 2021

AUTHOR'S NOTE: To all who ever ever quit a job - I salute you!

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