The wonderful "Letters of Note" blog has this gem of a letter, written in 1905 by Mark Twain to a fraudulent medicine salesman.
Nov. 20. 1905
J. H. Todd
1212 Webster St.
San Francisco, Cal.
Your letter is an insoluble puzzle to me. The handwriting is good and exhibits considerable character, and there are even traces of intelligence in what you say, yet the letter and the accompanying advertisements profess to be the work of the same hand. The person who wrote the advertisements is without doubt the most ignorant person now alive on the planet; also without doubt he is an idiot, an idiot of the 33rd degree, and scion of an ancestral procession of idiots stretching back to the Missing Link. It puzzles me to make out how the same hand could have constructed your letter and your advertisements. Puzzles fret me, puzzles annoy me, puzzles exasperate me; and always, for a moment, they arouse in me an unkind state of mind toward the person who has puzzled me. A few moments from now my resentment will have faded and passed and I shall probably even be praying for you; but while there is yet time I hasten to wish that you may take a dose of your own poison by mistake, and enter swiftly into the damnation which you and all other patent medicine assassins have so remorselessly earned and do so richly deserve.
Adieu, adieu, adieu!
It looks like 1212 Webster St is now a parking lot with a car wash.
You're an idiot of the 33rd degree
Dungeons & Dragons is great. It also, unfortunately, has long-fed into the inherently colonialist tropes that have long dominated the fantasy genre. Wizards of the Coast has recently made some strides to disentangle their tabletop role playing games from these harmful stereotypes — things like the essential racial traits of Orcs, which peg them as […]
Laura Gao was born in Wuhan before moving to the US at the age of 3. An experienced graphic designer who now works for Twitter, Gao has been — understandably — frustrated with the virulant racism that’s accompanied the worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus, and Trump’s continued insistence on blaming China for the virus. […]
Exhibit A: Boycycle, a music video by Vedran Rupic for Bosnian DJ Salvator Ganacci, who stars as the titular creature. Exhibits B1 through B3: Progressive Insurance’s “Motaur” ad campaign, with a similar if less grossly-rendered motif. “Legs on the bottom, motorcycle on the top.”
If you’re out of work…well, first, you have our sympathies. Right now, about 31 million Americans are drawing some form of unemployment benefits, which makes competition for virtually any job savagely fierce. But since nobody wants to wallow in the miseries of unemployment, the only legitimate course left open is to scrap like crazy to […]
If you want swole arms cut like tree trunks, you start savaging the curl bars. If you want to sculpt a tight, firm core, you have lots of planking and bridges in your future. So what do you do if you want to knock out that double chin? Or put a little added definition into […]
Considering the state of our world, it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise to find lots and lots of people pushed to their breaking point. Anxiety and stress are often constant companions during the best of times. But now, with fear and frustration running rampant, it’s easy to be subsumed by all the distractions and […]