Category Archives: Open Letters

An Open Letter to the Guy on the Train from LA to San Diego With Me Last Thursday

I wrote most of this entry on the train at the time and am transcribing it now.

Dear Guy Sitting a Few Rows Down From Me On the Train to Comic Con,

You are an asshole.

First of all, you spent about an hour having a lengthy and loud phone conversation about SEO for your business.  Apparently nobody ever taught you that this is not a polite thing to do on a crowded train.  You didn’t get a clue even when someone shushed you, loudly.  Heck, you even emphasized in your phone conversation how it’s so great taking the train because you can sit and talk on the phone the whole time.  Asshole.

Then you started talking to your seatmate, who was a stranger to you, about how you were going down to Comic Con and it’s “so fascinating” to see all these “weird people” who “are 35 or 40 years old and have never left the house, they still live with their parents but they come OUT for this, and make COSTUMES—”  but, you emphasized, it’s such a great business opportunity, because “it’s like a zillion-dollar industry!”

WHAT THE EVER-LIVING FUCK.  Fuck you.  We are not a fucking zoo exhibit, you asshole.

My consolation here is that if you ever do try to tap us as a demographic, you will crash and burn, because you clearly fail to think of us as human beings.

(Side note: I’m reminded of all the brou-ha-ha about “fake geek girls” who come to cons just to “make fun of nerds.”  Well, this was the first time I’d had the sucktastic experience of encountering someone doing that for real, and guess what?  IT WAS A GUY. A WHITE GUY.  (Apparently, his WIFE is the one actually working at Comic Con, and that’s why he goes down at all.  Because he gets in for free.  When I think of all the people who didn’t get badges . . .))

By the way, asshole?  Because of your lengthy phone conversation—oh, conversations, plural, you’re on the phone again, to your wife this time—I now know what you do for a living, the name of your website, where your wife works, the names of several of your friends, and all about your hotel and dinner reservations.  Since you’re so concerned with your goddamn SEO, I’m sorely tempted to give you bad reviews all over the fucking Internet.  Or google bomb your sad excuse for a business venture with something obscene.  (Yes, I looked it up while sitting here on the train.  Eighteen Twitter followers?  No wonder you’re paying someone $3,000-4,000 just for social media SEO.)  You know, you may hold us nerds in contempt and make fun of our[1] costumes, but geek rage is not to be trifled with.

I hope you had a terrible time at the con, and that your business ventures all go down in the brilliant flames of karma.  I also hope someone fucking credential-checked you.  (Probably not.  The credential-checking fucktards likely saved their holy gatekeeping for my hot female nerd friends who have entire bookshelves full of comic books at home.)

I’m sorry you live in my city.  LA’s too small for both of us.

With great sincerity,

SL Huang

  1. I say “our,” but I wish I were cool enough to be a cosplayer.

An Open Letter to John Scalzi

Dear Mr. Scalzi,

I’m in the midst of your book Redshirts.  Being a classic Trek fan, I am, so far, quite entertained.  I am also an avid follower of your blog and there find you to be an erudite, articulate, and humorous person; thus, I truly wanted to like your fiction wholeheartedly and in all ways.  I say all this so you know I am not setting out to attack you.

But I am angry.

Although I have some quibbles with Redshirts, most of them I can put up to personal taste, and so far the book has been an amusing and diverting romp.  I did, however, just come across one issue that has outraged me deeply, and that I must speak up about, namely:  Your book fails completely in its human diversity.  Which is tragically ironic, because classic Trek was known for striving, within its time, to be inclusive of races and cultures and women in ways that nobody else in that era was, and your book’s failure to do so stands in stark contrast to its source material.

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