I received a letter yesterday from Time magazine inviting me to subscribe. I was briefly subscribed to the Economist, and I’m currently subscribed to the National Geographic Magazine, so it’s not outside the realms of possibility that I might be interested in subscribing. However, the letter inviting me to subscribe is a work of such inventive, malign wank that I just had to share it:
The text reads:
You are, by any standard, a successful person. Perhaps one to whom colleagues and friends turn for advice or an experienced view. But have you ever wondered, as I have, where success comes from?
For the answer, I want you to look back to the early days of your career. You were well qualified, ambitious and driven, I am sure. Yet on their own, these credentials can only take a person so far.”
This is flattery that would embarrass even Louis XIV . Its obsequiousness oozes from the page so palpably that I felt I needed to wipe my hands after reading. Perhaps worse is that it is inaccurate. I have never been described as ambitious or driven. If you could think of a list words to describe me, these would not be on the list. They might, in fact, be on a list of words to exclude from the other list. Then again, this is just a form letter attempting to garner subscription money. What sort of vain, air-headed, self-important twat would actually buy into this? This actually makes me less likely to ever read Time magazine. The snivelling tone is an offence both to the dignity of the woman who signed it and to my intelligence.
The letter continues:
“I suspect that you invested in a commodity some of your colleagues at the time might have regarded as foolish. It’s my guess you invested in acquiring knowledge.
It’s not who you know, it’s what you know
The acquisition of knowledge, and the intelligence to know what to do with it, is a common factor in the lives of many of today’s most influential and dynamic people. And that is why I am writing to you about TIME.”
I did invest in a commodity that some of my colleagues thought foolish – I developed a rather distinguished drinking habit. I specifically avoided acquiring knowledge and I went to tremendous lengths to kill the braincells that contained the knowledge that I had acquired. The letter goes on and on and on, by turns being fellatial in its flattery and Ferengi in ferocious pursuit of a sale.
Additionally, if any of the stories in Ireland’s paper prove a point it’s the opposite of the one that Time rendered in that red that is beautifully reminiscent of their logo; in this country it’s all about who you know. So now not only have they shown a poor understanding of the potential customer, they have offered a flawed commentary on his national politics. Taken together, these points lead me to the conclusion that Time – a magazine that put Enda Kenny, a man who couldn’t even smile correctly for a cover-shot, on the cover with the slogan “The Celtic Comeback” – isn’t quite for me.
I wanted to send back a note respectfully declining their offer, making use of the convenient postage-paid envelope they included:
Alas, the more I read, the more my respect for Time magazine dropped, to the point where I thought it would be disingenuous of me to send them a note that included the word respect. Given that I’ve just spent 500 words explaining why their disingenuousness bothered me, I decided to send them a bunch of sweets wrappers instead: