There's something neat about letters.
Maybe it's the surprise element — you seldom know when you're getting one — or the lo-fi aesthetic of getting a letter in the mail, checking the mail can be a thrill. (Granted, I grew up in the age of email, so the appeal might be lost on some of the older generation.)
And how the post office gets away with charging pennies on the dollar for taking a slip of paper accurately across the country is hardly fathomable. I can't imagine the complexities behind that.
I got a letter from a high-school friend out of the blue, and it turned out to be a wedding invitation. And I get letters from Daily News readers all the time. Some good, some bad, some absolutely crazy.
The premise behind a letter is to open up a dialogue. It's no different than a conversation with a stranger at a coffee shop. You write a letter, they write you one back. It's easy.
Some folks write letters to the Daily News — and they're usually upset — and they don't bother to sign their name. They write pages and pages of spiteful soliloquies and sign the letter as "a concerned citizen."
It takes no courage to call out a newspaper editor from behind the veil of anonymity. Just like everyone else, we're always striving to do better, and it's hard to do better when the person calling you out on things ducks under a rock.
Online newspaper commenters (Daily News readers notwithstanding) can be some of the most vicious people on earth. Hiding behind names like "harleyryder4life" and "freethnkr12", folks can spew some harsh vitriol.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a newspaper I worked at previously, switched over their online commenting system to Facebook, so people's real names are associated with the drivel they spew. Accordingly, the hate more or less subsided.
You want to call us names? Go for it. Just have the courage to come out from behind your curtain.