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  LIFE AS A LOSER #77: "HE STILL HATE ME."  
   
   
 

 Few Loser columns Iíve ever written have garnered more responses than ďHe Hate Me,Ē the complete log of e-mails from a virtual stalker disgusted with how I did my job at Brillís Contentís All-Star Newspaper. This seems telling, considering it was the only one of my columns I didnít write. (If you havenít read it, do so immediately.)

Readers had all kinds of theories about the identity of the man I called Mr. Daniel Hopkins. Some accused Eric Gillin. Others thought it was Andy Wang. One loon suggested it was Steven Brill himself. The weirdest theory is that the e-mails were actually written by me. Thatís weird not because itís not something I would do - I assure you, it most definitely is - but because Iím just not that good of a writer.

The e-mails Mr. Hopkins sent to me after the column ran, I determined, would be read by only me. To be honest, the folks at Brillís werenít exactly pleased by the column; in fact, they were plenty pissed. Now, I like to rattle swords as much as the next guy, but I liked my job and didnít want to be fired over the situation. So I backed off and let Mr. Hopkins speak into a vacuum. I wouldnít run these notes on Ironminds, I promised.

But then last weekís Inside.com-Brillís merger happened, and suddenly, I was out of a job. Again. Bad for me, but wonderful for the rest of the world, because now Mr. Hopkins can be released to the world, free to humiliate me for all to see, for the final time. Again, all e-mails are reproduced verbatim.

Good Lord, man, do enjoy.

20 March 2001

Mr. Leitch:

I have succumbed to what I believe is a case of food poisoning. My customary Monday night order of Oysters Palantine seems to be in general disagreement with my digestive facilities. My stomach is off-balance, and nausea is upon me. As a result, I dared not lay eyes upon your update of today. Iím not up to the optic and gastric challenges of sorting through another of your messes.

- Daniel Hopkins

21 March 2001

Mr. Leitch:

Anyone working at a magazine engaged in the heady business of media criticism should, in theory, be one of the brighter bulbs on the Christmas tree. This theory is preempted by fact in your instance. I have devotedly read your updates for three weeks now (excepting yesterday, when qualmishness and a desire to retain the contents of my stomach urged me to forego the vomit-inducing awfulness of your printed yabberings). You, my main man, are shit, and I suspect you know it. Please, either resign or leap from the nearest ledge. My hope is that you do the latter.

Perhaps you could run ďBest of Jessie RobenĒ reruns daily. Such an addition to your site would improve improve it appreciably.

- Daniel Hopkins

22 March 2001

Mr. Leitch:

I asked you yesterday afternoon to kindly defenestrate yourself. You have thus far not complied. Ordinarily, I would be angered by your insolence, but I find it excusable in light of the fact that you likely share office space with Mr. Brillís other venture, Contentville. If this is indeed the case, I can quite well picture a queue ten souls deep at every available window waiting to jump. I will muster what patience I have, though I do ask that you drop me a note when you near the front of the line. I would like very much to see your sad body hit terra firma.

Please re-read your intro to the Watson item. Then jump. You are obviously not improving with time.

- Daniel Hopkins

23 March 2001

Leitch, you fucking shitbag:

How sad you are to contemplate. You are, in essence, a corpse swinging from a noose, and thereís apparently no one man enough at Brillís Content to scale the yardarm and cut you down. Your morbid form just sways in the wind, somehow discharging a few hundred words of post-mortem copy daily. The Christian folk beholding you are moved to pity and their children are upset visibly.

Were I a more charitable man, I would move you be euthanized.

ďHousemakerĒ?

- Daniel Hopkins

26 March 2001

Mr. Leitch:

What happened? Todayís update suggested something beyond your usual inability to write concisely. I saw confusion and disorientation. Is it shell shock? Is it blood loss occasioned by a direct hit? Fear not, Mr. Leitch. I will, on completing my lunch, vector a medevac to the editorial offices of Brillís Content. If they manage to evacuate you in time, nothing save your colossal pretension - so large and encumbering a superfluous appendage that it hampers your movement across the page - need be amputated.

To spare yourself further embarrassment, I suggest making all future pulls like the one you used for Mr. Flaniganís Sunday piece. Youíd come to grief far less often if you could only limit yourself to sentences consisting of two nouns, two verbs, and as few adjectives as possible.

- Daniel Hopkins

27 March 2001

Mr. Leitch:

Your latest offering was inexcusably bad. I have long maintained that you lack a homo sapiens-sized brain. I have now come to suspect that you lack even the rudimentary bundle of nerves atop the spinal column typical of lesser vertebrates.

You raise your visibility by updating so late. I mean, I could easily excuse an effort as crappy as todayís if it had been up by 7:00 or 8:00. My suspicion is that you had a tough time of it this morning fending of the shakes, with a cravat tied around left wrist, slung over shoulders, and gripped with right hand, hoping your colleagues didnít notice that you were seized by delirium tremens. This is an overwhelmingly plausible scenario. Only someone typing in the midst of an epileptic fit could rival the crappiness of your lead to Mr. Pomfretís piece.

- Daniel Hopkins

28 March 2001

Mr. Leitch:

You have been on the job for one calendar month, and on each of the previous thirty days, you have demonstrated that your twin capacities to underwhelm and disappoint are illimitable. Woe to your ex-girlfriends.

On this thirty-eighth day of your tenure, you make a dreadful ass of yourself. Your handler pushes your wheelchair to center stage, only to take leave, and allow you to sit floundering helplessly in the light. How pathetic it is to see you there with neither an orderly to wipe the spittle from your chin, nor a copy editor to correct your rendering of ďmaneuver.Ē Not that anyone will notice. The assemblage of words you present as an introduction to Mr. Berkeís piece is so bad, I suspect 75% of your readers quit on you immediately. Only I, your brave fourth, carried on.

What did you do to Jessie Roben, you bastard?!

- Daniel Hopkins

28 March 2001 (continued)

Mr. Leitch:

I believe I incorrectly reckoned your tenure at thirty-eight days. Please supply me with the correct length. I require this information for my records.

- Daniel Hopkins

29 March 2001

Mr. Leitch:

After due cogitation on the subject, I believe I have devised a scheme to mitigate the sufferings you inflict on your readership daily. The simplest solution, of course, would be to have you burned at the stake or heaved in front of a moving taxicab. Insofar as such actions are expressly forbidden by New York State statute, they are, alas, not practicable. In lieu, I suggest a reparations scheme not unlike the one argued against by David Horowitz. Your wages would be garnished at the rate of eighty per-cent, with the proceeds of that stoppage being added to a survivors fund and then distributed to your readers. Lord knows, they deserve at least the forty acres and a mule stipulated in the First Freedmenís Bureau Act.

Please let me hear your thoughts on this proposal.

M-A-N-E-U-V-E-R, you retarded scrote!

- Daniel Hopkins

30 March 2001

Mr. Leitch:

Your gibbering, off-putting at its best, was today positively emetic. On occasion, I get to wondering how a man as patently incompetent as yourself retains his title and tenure. Then I recall who exactly it is thatís endorsing your cheque - that notorious warden of lame and infirm journos, Steve Brill. His print offering is little more than a convalescent center for trade publishing casualties and those crippled by New Yorker pretensions. You seem to defy this typology, much as you defy standard orthography and linguistic convention. What to make of you, Mr. Leitch?

No misspellings today. Itís not often a give pocket change to a tramps, but I must say your spelling has improved.

A good weekend to you, you miserable sack.

- Daniel Hopkins

2 April 2001

Mr. Leitch:

I had always believed stupidity to be self-limiting, and I never thought it possible that someone of your cerebral endowment could rise above the station of village idiot. I picture you as a simpering quarter-wit, walking in circles in the park, stopping to examine every bottle cap, glass shard, foil condom wrapper, and shiny thing in your path. Yet youíve been installed in a position if not of prestige, at least of prominence. How to account for this, Mr. Leitch? What sort of criminal conversation have you entered into and with whom?

Explain the capital n with tilde in your headlining article, you clit.

- Daniel Hopkins

3 April 2001

Mr. Leitch:

Last week I proposed the establishment of a reparations fund, the holdings of which we be dispersed among your readers as compensation for the injuries you exact on them daily. I have reflected further, and found that I would be under-compensated under such an arrangement. Consider my editorial beneficence over the past month, Mr. Leitch. I have saved you the embarrassment of what is by a conservative reckoning fifty spelling errors since you began your struggles at maintaining Jessie Robenís standard. I say nothing of the professional sanctions that would attend such embarrassments.

To simplify the accounting, I have assessed your daily output as requiring one hourís worth of editing. At $50 hourly, I figure you owe me $1500. I believe thus sum to be neither unjust nor inequitable. My attorney will contact your office shortly to outline a payment schedule, you contemptible fucking asshole.

- Daniel Hopkins

4 April 2001

Mr. Leitch:

Four days out of five I have to fortify myself against the dreadfulness of your updates. Usually, a few pulls of rum are enough to buoy me through your poor performance. Today I required the following: 2 1/2 litres vermouth, 7 carafes of chablis, 27 beers (domestic), 5 fingers of raki, 1 bottle cherry palinka (a gift from a Magyar associate), and half-gross of quaaludes. This, still, was not enough, so I had to ask my secretary to bang me about the head with a lead pipe. That done, I proceeded.

When I got to your write up of Mr. Albomís column, I had to again ask to be clubbed with the pipe.

You fucking suck, you miserable bastard.

- Daniel Hopkins

Mr. Hopkins -

I am sad to report, sir, that you will have to find another daily 1 p.m. activity. Thanks to the Inside-Brillís merger - not, Iím told, because of my gross incompetence - The All-Star Newspaper will be exhale for the last time on Friday. I want you to know that I have greatly enjoyed this correspondence and wish you the best of luck in all of your endeavors. You only have two days left, so you better wrap up.

Best,

Will Leitch

 

*BT*

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