Peaceable Kingdom

Shadows on concrete building along Eastman Lake in Rochester, New York
Shadows on concrete building along Eastman Lake in Rochester, New York

If everyone was nice the world would surely stop spinning. Why someone would go out of their way to send someone that they don’t know a nasty letter is just one of those things. It hardly makes sense. But if you wanted to delve deeply, to descend to those depths, you could probably come up with an explanation. But it would only make as much sense as, “That’s what makes the world go ’round.”

But to call that anonymous someone on it, to rub the letter in their face and capitalize on it, that advances the ball. Bleu Cease did just that when he posted the letter to Facebook and received hundreds of well-deserved, supportive responses. BuzzFeed picked the story. In a brilliant move Bleu took one of the anonymous letter writer’s own phrases, “Cool, Artsy, With It,” put it on a t-shirt and the gallery has sold nearly a hundred.

Everybody has experienced a variation of this story but they usually don’t have such a positive outcome. In 1969 I was jumped by three frat guys at Indiana University. I assume they they were fraternity brothers, they all had yellow Greek symbols on their jackets. The length of my hair triggered a “beat up the fag” response and after getting a few good punches in I was left knocked out, face down on the sidewalk with a broken nose, jaw and glasses.

When we saw Bleu on Friday I told him I wished it was a better slogan on the t-shirt. He said there were others in the letter that he might use down the line. Like, “What Makes You Tick?” “Nothing But A Freak,” “Going Down The Tubes” and my favorite, “Off The Main Steam.”


2 Replies to “Peaceable Kingdom”

  1. Hi, thinking about this after a someone wrote a big lie about a book of mine and posted it online. It had 49K resposts and about 20K personal attacks on me. I was alerted to this on Istagram yesterday by a 15 year old stranger (a girl) who wrote to me of it then hacked my wikipedia page to call me “a cunt” and other such things. I am considering taking a pseudonym. The hatred in the world is hard to bear.

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