Fan Mail: “You’re No Arts Mag”

Just found this lovely note in my in-box, courtesy

earth to fucktard – can’t call yourself an arts magazine when you systematically exclude the literary arts. just because good fiction and poetry fly over your head doesn’t mean a very literate city wouldn’t be interested. or aren’t books “hipsterish” enough for you?

Thanks for the letter. A few points:

1.) We have a great interview with Sandra Birdsell in this issue, incidentally the Fall Arts Guide edition.

2.) We just ran a summer reading guide a few issues back.

3.) We have two author features (hopefully interviews) scheduled in the next three issues.

4.) Prairie dog is a business and we can only print as many pages as advertising revenue allows. We aren’t funded by grants or donations and we don’t sell the paper, which is free. Should our advertising revenue increases we would be able to look at expanded book coverage, among other things.

Bottom line: Our four-person staff and a lot of dedicated freelancers and volunteers work very, very hard to cover the arts, including books. We definitely do more than is justified given our revenue. And while we’re happy to accept criticism and suggestions on how to improve our coverage,  we have zero patience for know-nothing, spitball-hurling anonymous cowards with a sense of entitlement who accuse us of not doing things that we’re doing the best possible job on.

Thanks again for the note, and now please enjoy this Lily Allen video in gratitude.

Author: Stephen Whitworth

Prairie Dog editor Stephen Whitworth was carried to Regina in a swarm of bees. He's been with Prairie Dog since May 1999 and will die at his keyboard before admitting his career a terrible, terrible mistake.

10 thoughts on “Fan Mail: “You’re No Arts Mag””

  1. I wouldn’t sweat it. I hear Jonathan Franzen has sent emails like that to all the mags that haven’t put him on the cover yet.

  2. I like the implication that the entire planet is transmitting that message to you. It suggests also that the “fucktard” – again, presumably you – is an astronaut, since I can’t think of any other situation in which the entire Earth would get together to send you a message.

    So anyway, you’re out there floating in orbit, Codename F.U.C.K.T.A.R.D., doing your space work, when a message comes in over the space radio. And it’s about books. Books are important.

  3. It’s funny, I wouldn’t be inclined to associate the use of the phrase “earth to fucktard” with the highly literate. “Attention fuckmeister,” maybe. “Paging Dr Fuckworth,” definitely. Even “Hey fucker,” I can imagine arising from some particularly muscular prose. But I can’t ever remember hearing the word “fucktard” at a poetry reading.

  4. I can think of a few literary events where the use of “fucktard” might have livened things up nicely.
    But didn’t Zoolander put the whole “earth to___” thing to rest long ago anyway?

  5. I love you prairie dog – for having the courage to face up to pointless criticism to give us the real story of how hard you ARE working to put out a FREE paper that covers all that is art in Regina. I, personally, commend you on the superb work you are doing and admire your fiestiness as well!

  6. I don’t know where “Earth” is coming from really. I know that Prairie Dog used to be linked specifically with the arts (didn’t it used to be Regina’s arts voice, or something?) but Prairie Dog is “Regina’s Independent Voice” – and does not pass itself off as an arts magazine. Sure it give a LOT of play to the arts (and literature), but that is not solely what it does.

  7. I should add that besides the four staff, every single one of our our under-paid freelancers and unpaid bloggers are superheroes without whom we literally could not do this.

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