Tag: open letter
I’ve never liked the open letter. It’s a cheap gimmick that allows the writer to pretend to be writing to someone when you’re really taking aim at them. It’s a feeble attempt to get the attention of someone who neither knows who you are, nor cares what you have to say. It lets you, the writer, ride on their celebrity while you make a point, ostensibly to them, but really to the world. Open letters are highly presumptuous, and a little rude.
Nevertheless, Dear Michael Vick …
I see an opportunity for you.
This pertains your former property at 1915 Moonlight Road in Surry County, Virginia — the one that’s now headed to serve a purpose far different than the one for which you used it.
As you may have read, or not, your former house, the headquarters of your former Bad Newz Kennels, the home you forfeited after your conviction for dogfighting, has been purchased by a group called Dogs Deserve Better.
They plan to turn it into a $2.5 million center to rehabilitate and rehome dogs that have been abused — tied, chained, penned, or forced to take part in dogfighting. (At this point, were this one of those catty open letters, I would have added “an activity with which you are familiar.” But this really is more sincere than catty.)
From a writer’s standpoint, not to mention a reader’s, it’s a pretty wondrous development in the long-running story that, as you know, just won’t go away.
You should get in on it. You should donate some money to the project — if not to assuage any guilt you might still be feeling, then for image reasons alone, and image, these days, is everything.
To build its $2.5 million center, Dogs Deserve Better needs, well, about $2.5 million. They’ve made the down payment, but there is still lots of work to be done and money to be raised.
That’s where you come in, or could if you wanted to — giving the story one more serendipitous twist.
I know you served your time. I know you paid (and are still paying) your debt. I know your fans, and maybe you, think that gives you a clean slate — but a slate is hard to truly get clean once it has been tainted with blood, be it that of humans or dogs.
You have a lot of haters, myself included. I’ve bashed you before and I’ll probably bash you again — it’s easy to do that from afar, while hiding behind the protective gear of a blog. Though I’m a forgiving sort generally, I’m one of those people who can’t forget what you did with dogs. I’m also one of those people who stopped being a Philadelphia Eagles fan when they hired you, and, in the few games I watched, rooted for you to get sacked, even painfully so. (I did not like that I was doing that.)
Animal lovers, despite all their warmhearted, do-gooding tenderness, can be a pretty vengeful lot, and you permanently alienated them.
Even the work you are doing with the Humane Society of the United States in its anti-dogfighting campaign isn’t enough to change their minds about you. They probably never will. But by kicking in some money to rehabilitate dogs, you might make them, at least, think twice.
It would make a far deeper and more lasting impression than your HSUS appearances. I commend you for those, but, in all honesty and no offense, you don’t come across as all that remorseful. You don’t excel at appearing sincere. Besides, it’s just talk, and talk is cheap.
I realize that, despite your huge NFL salary, your money these days isn’t exactly your money — that you don’t have much to throw around, what with your debts and your lawyers and your agents. My understanding is you’re pretty much living on an allowance, and that endorsements, which dried up after your conviction, are few. This could help with that, too.
News that Michael Vick had chipped in to build a center to rehabilitate animals on his former property — and I’d suggest you do it in a low key, non-trumpeting kind of way — would do wonders for your image.
Since you’re still getting your finances back in shape, I think it would be great if the Philadelphia Eagles, and the NFL, chipped in as well, perhaps doubling or tripling the amount you might be able to come up with.
I’m aware it was you who, willing or not, footed the bill for your former dogs to make miraculous recoveries and find themselves in loving homes. There are pieces of the whole story of you and dogfighting that, horrendous as it is, are also inspiring. You could add another inspiring element – you could quell, but likely not erase, the wrath of dog lovers who hate you. Animal welfare types can be a self-righteous bunch — and persistent as linebackers. You may never have them on your team.
But a donation would give them pause, and perhaps a modicum of respect for you. They might see it as a sign — to some it might seem the first one — that you are truly sorry. Money usually can’t buy forgiveness, but it can soften the sharp edges.
I won’t be so presumptuous as to suggest an amount, and, I’m not even sure Dogs Deserve Better would take your money. I am in no way affiliated with the organization, other than having written about it a time or two. But they seem to mean well.
Support from you, the Eagles and the NFL — on top of all it would do for your image, and football’s — would help the organization accomplish its mission: Establishing the Good Newz Rehab Center for Chained and Penned Dogs.
Out with the bad, in with the good. Get it?
In closing, I apologize for the openness of this letter, and for sticking my nose in your business. But in a world where bad news is the norm, chances to make some good news – and to make some good happen — should be considered, if not jumped on immediately.
It’s just a thought.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abused, adoption, animal welfare, animals, atonement, bad newz kennels, center, chained, dear michael vick, dogs, dogs deserve better, donate, football, fundraising, good newz rehab center, house, hsus, letter, michael vick, mistreated, moonlight road, nfl, open letter, penned, pets, philadelphia eagles, rehabilitation, remorse, request, rescue, shelter, surry county, vick
Perturbed by the praise Michael Vick has been receiving for his performance on the field, guitarist Nils Lofgren has written an open letter to sports reporters, arguing Vick doesn’t deserve all the cheerleading, an MVP award, or even a place in the NFL.
“I am so disheartened and disappointed by your collective, lopsided praise of Michael Vick due to his recent spectacular on-field performance,” Logfren, guitarist for Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, begins.
“I support his right to earn a living. But, while I can’t fault him for taking great advantage of the opportunities afforded him by playing in the NFL, I feel he does not deserve that lofty a place in our society and culture. However repentant he may be, he committed acts whose vileness will resonate down the years. When you do what Vick did, a second chance should never include the rare gift of an NFL career and the potential bounty it offers.
“Shame on the NFL for not banning him permanently.”
Apparently the letter was prompted by a comment made by Jemele Hill on ESPN’s “The Sports Reporters,” that if Josh Hamilton could win one of baseball’s MVP awards after recovering from alcohol and drug abuse, why couldn’t Vick win the award in the NFL?
“Well, for one thing, Hamilton has neither tortured dozens of dogs nor murdered defenseless animals,” Lofgren wrote. “ … In Vick’s case, I believe his second chance should certainly allow him to be free and to love and raise his family. I think he should make speeches about the error of his ways and help animal groups. I understand that he is doing some of these things and I applaud that. He’s also admitted to being haunted by his dogfighting days. That growth is welcome and necessary, but comes too late for me and those dogs.
Vick, formerly quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, was convicted on dogfighting charges and served nearly two years in prison. After his release he was signed last year by the Philadelphia Eagles.
“How can we justify this saga to our children?” Lofgren asked in the letter. ” …Well kids, although doing those things is wrong, two years after you admit to doing them the NFL will let you have a job that may lead to an MVP award and many millions of dollars in a new contract.
Lofgren added, “…(T)he cynic in me thinks maybe if Vick were a third-string lineman, the NFL would have set an example and banned him for life. Maybe many of the other significant charges Vick was facing wouldn’t have gone away if he didn’t have the prestige of being an NFL quarterback who can afford high-priced lawyers to wrangle pleas and deals.
“For the NFL to be that forgiving of evil, vicious behavior is a terribly inappropriate act of forgiveness and has brought a sick, sad, dirty feeling to many of us fans who have loved the game for so long.
“And to you reporters, whom I enjoy and respect, the sentiments in this letter are suspiciously absent in your hundreds of hours of Vick coverage … Just because the NFL lost its spine and common sense on this matter doesn’t mean you reporters have to get in line and go along.”
Posted by jwoestendiek December 5th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, bruce springsteen, conviction, coverage, deaths, dogfighting, e street band, football, guitarist, letter, media, michael vick, musician, news, nfl, nils lofgren, open letter, performance, philadelphia eagles, praise, prison, quarterback, reporters, sports, torture, vick
If you are among those wondering about the news media’s preoccupation with the Obama’s dog choice — amid all the other serious problems our country is facing — join the club.
Also count among its members one Julianne Hancock, a member of the Utah Air National Guard who has served a tour of duty in Iraq. When she got back, she got a dog from a shelter, a mutt named Izzy.
A steady job, though, was not so easy to find. After losing her civilian job in the commercial lending industry earlier this year, she was having trouble finding new work. She couldn’t afford healthcare. With few other options, she signed up for another tour of duty. She leaves in January.
“I heard Mr. Obama tell Malia and Sasha that they earned their puppy on election night,” Hancock wrote in an open letter to Obama posted on The Daily Kos. “Izzy will be looking for a family. Any interest?”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 13th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, barack obama, daily kos, dogs, economy, health care, health insurance, iraq, izzy, joblessness, jobs, julianne hancock, mutt, national guard, obama, open letter, president, rescue, tour of duty, war
French film legend and animal activist Brigitte Bardot wrote a snarling open letter to Sarah Palin this week, saying the vice presidential candidate was a disgrace to women, and that Palin comparing herself to dogs was unfair to dogs.
The 74-year-old screen icon implored John McCain’s running mate to stop depicting herself in canine terms — i.e. “pitbull wearing lipstick.”
“I know them well and I can assure you that no pitbull, no dog, nor any other animal for that matter is as dangerous as you are,” Bardot wrote.
The screen icon from the 1960s, who now heads an animal rights foundation, went on to assail Palin for supporting Arctic oil exploration that could jeopardize animal habitats and for dismissing measures to protect polar bears, AFP reported.
“By denying the responsibility of man in global warming, by advocating gun rights and making statements that are disconcertingly stupid, you are a disgrace to women and you alone represent a terrible threat, a true environmental catastrophe,” wrote Bardot.
“This shows your total lack of responsibility, your inability to protect or simply respect animal life,” Bardot wrote.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 9th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal activist, animals, brigitte bardot, dogs, environment, global warming, lipstick, news, open letter, pitbull, sarah palin, vice presidential