Collectively, the people at this site have received a lot of hate mail over the years — and that's fine. Live by the sword, die by the inbox, etc. But never once has it been on an actual piece of paper. Personally, I received death threats and pictures of penises and from one particularly kind reader, the hope that I'm infertile. But these sentiments have always been communicated over email. Until now.
So here's what landed on our desk (click to enlarge). The return address on the envelope is obviously nonexistent (there's no Sweet Love road around here). We can't find anything on the site mentioning "righteous ophelia" or "NoraKnewhow," and there are no commenter profiles with those names. Google isn't much help either, and I don't want to spend more than four minutes investigating this anyhow.
But when you put something on paper, shove it an envelope and slap a stamp on it — that requires actual effort. So we wanted to take a few minutes to honor all the hard work that went into the correspondence.
Unfortunately, we're just a little confused about what this letter, exactly. Is this hate mail or a performance artist-cum-tipster alerting us to something rotten at the New School? It's probably hate mail, we know, but it's not 100% clear (so if it's hate mail, it's a failure — real hate mail leaves no doubt in the recipient's mind). Our confusion is mostly because the sender decided to be clever and use an alumni donation form or somesuch to make her point, however fuzzy it may be. Her use of "this" rather than "you" also throws us off, particularly since it's in regard to an "institution" (is Jezebel an institution?), and this follows her instructions to go fuck oneself. I assume we should go fuck ourselves in general, but after careful in-office analysis we're not 100% certain whether she's telling us or the New School to do so. This is what happens when you don't have consistent subject agreement.
Also, who are these "good people" to whom she refers on the back of the envelope? I've surveyed the entire staff and we've all concluded that there are zero good people here. Horrid shrews, every last one of us.
Update: Some clarification: The address that originally appeared on this letter was printed on a mailer from the New School that presumably went out to alums or donors; it was a pre-printed return address to which people were being asked to send money. As you can see from the second image, the letter was sent to us in a return envelope with a window on it; the window matched up with the address. The address was listed as the place to send checks. Nevertheless, we've since blurred it out of concern that "Nora" may in fact be living there...which makes this just that much more weird.