An Open Letter to Steve Brooks

Dear Steve,

What up, Boo?

I understand yesterday's post created a bit of a stir in the Magic Cafe's private forum for staff members. I think now would be a good time to define the nature of our relationship before we get off to a bad start like we did all those years ago. I don't think your reaction to this site should be "how do we shut it down?" or, "what can we sue him for?" like it has been in the past. Instead I think you should try to enjoy this site. Find the humor in it. Recognize that your site is the "establishment" in the online magic world, and there is always going to be someone poking fun at the establishment. But if Obama decided to try and take down MAD magazine, you'd think that was moronic, right? I know you're thinking, "But Andy, you're not MAD magazine. You're the voice of a generation, a tastemaker, and a trendsetter." And hmmm... yes, I guess that's all true. But that doesn't change the fact that getting worked up about someone making jokes about you is ultimately not flattering for you.

Under different circumstances, I bet we would be friends. That's a joke, of course. But I truly don't have ill will towards you. There were things you did in the past that I found pretty sketchy, and I delighted in busting you on them, but you never raised my blood pressure in the slightest. That may bum out some of the people who liked my old site to know that I was never really worked up about anything, but tough tits. I was writing a comedy site, not a magic justice site. I recognize some of the stuff I wrote got people, including yourself, to re-examine some of the things they were saying and doing, but that's not why I was doing it. I just like dicking around and making jokes, or coming up with dumb ideas, or coming up with interesting ideas.

So maybe I make too many fat jokes, or suggest you probably don't smell all that pleasant, or that you make poor sartorial choices, or that you're hair is a mess, or that you're likely an unsatisfying lover. These are all just jokes. It's fun to paint you as a bumbling doofus, but really: I don't care what anybody weighs, you don't necessarily smell, it doesn't matter to me what you wear or how your hair looks, and I'm sure you fuck like a machine. You have to understand, I come from a group of friends where, whenever we reach a milestone birthday like 30 or 40, we all get together and roast each other in front of a hundred people. And the shit I say about you would be the tamest of the remarks someone might say on one of those nights. So I just come from a universe where people don't get worked up by these sorts of things. 

And if I say something that you just find too offensive, just write me and ask me to take it down. I will. I'm not looking to hurt people's feelings. I don't have feelings of my own, but I have too many mirror neurons. You could put me onstage in front of 500 people with nothing prepared, and I would happily try and keep them entertained for as long as you asked without even a bead of sweat. But if I have to watch a youtube video of one-person fumbling through a speech in front of an audience of 10 I will practically crawl up into my own asshole to get away. So I will continue to take you to task if I feel you're doing something shady, but if I say something that upsets you on a personal level just let me know. I don't really think that's an issue for you, I'm just making the offer. I think you have pretty thick skin. Like really thick. (Ahhhh!!! I can't help myself. To be fair, while it's true you could shed a few pounds, compared to most middle-aged magicians you're practically Dolph Lundgren.)

I'm not asking for a truce. You will still often be my muse, and the butt of my jokes. I'm just recommending you roll with it and put things in perspective. I'm not suggesting you do this for my benefit. Do it for yours. What's the alternative? You could try and find ways to shut this site down, and you could delete any references to it that pop up on your site, and ban anyone who mentions it. You could make it very antagonistic and give me a reason to really go after you and start targeting your advertisers. That would be fine by me, I have nothing to lose, you'd just be giving me more things to write about. But I don't need the ammunition, I already have more ideas than I know what to do with for this site. And you would just be preventing me from doing something we both appreciate: making fun of the dummies on your site.

So consider that. Have a good weekend. 

True love always,


PS - Can I join the Cafe Staff? I would like to have the job of responding to people who complain about the ads they get in their PMs. Do they write the newspaper too to complain about ads? "Dear USA Today, I write you today with great consternation about what I originally thought was a news story about Kraft Macaroni and Cheese...." I think what happens is they see they have a PM and they think, "A friend! I have a friend!" And then it's just from you and they get all bummed out. 

PPS - I would like to buy every banner ad on your site for July. How much would this be? I am serious.