Late 90s me.
Today I was closing a paid e-mail account that I’ve used for the past 12 years. FastMail if you’re curious, I highly recommend it. It can do all the things G-Mail can without the specter of Google hanging over you. Right now it’s just not financially feasible for me, but I digress.
While I was cleaning out the account I came across some e-mails that I had saved from my previous e-mail account at Yahoo. These e-mails were from 1999, April of 1999 to be precise. If you’re not familiar with what happened then and what happened to me you can catch up on the About page.
Now this is in no way meant to imply what I went through was anywhere near the amount of tragedy and loss of what the victims and their families and friends went through. I just thought it would be an interesting story to share.
Anyway, it seems that I saved some of the e-mails that I received from journalists and those not deserving of the title. This was back before I even started blogging and I was not used to being thrust into any kind of spotlight. I’m not posting their names so the mutants don’t give them any grief.
This first one was from a writer at TIME magazine…
Subject: Trenhcoat Mafia?
Hi, my name is [redacted]. I’m a reporter at Time magazine, and I’m writing a story this week about the school shooting outside of Denver. Some students have said that the shooters are members of something called the Trenchcoat Mafia. Can you tell me what that is? It could well be a local group, but I found your site and thought I would “summon” you for an answer. Thanks for any help you can provide.
Feel free to e-mail me, or call 212-[redacted]. Thanks much.
Now we know how wrong that information was. I never did call him.
This next one was from a guy at the New York Post. He sent this after I had posted the disclaimer that my website at the time had nothing to do with the shootings…
I realize I stumbled onto your site because I’m doing a story for the New York Post about kids who are into Goth and Gothic characters.
I understand that you are not in any way involved in the shooting in Colorado, but I do have some questions for you:
In your new home page, you wrote, “Yes I have problems. But instead of acting out violently I write.” What do you mean by that? What kind of problems? Are these “problems” shared by other people in your school? Are there people you know who consider themselves outcasts because they feel excluded from the traditional school cliques (athletes, science geeks, cheerleader types, brains, etc)?
Why “dark poetry,” as you call it? What attracts you to these types of lyrics?
Please, if you get a chance, email me back with your phone number and I’ll call you to discuss this further.
Thanks for your time.
NY POST REPORTER
At least he had more tact than the guy from TIME but still off base as it turned out that goths weren’t involved in the shooting either. I also like how he assumed I was school age. I’ll admit that my writing back then was pretty juvenile but there was also a stereotype back then that only kids knew how to use the internet, but it was probably my writing.
I actually responded to this one…
Actually I’m a 30-year-old man from the east coast. I have the same problems as everyone else. Money. Job stress. Family problems.
I call it dark poetry because it’s not very positive. I’ve always been a negative person. Everyone has a violent side in them, but those who choose to act on it have even bigger problems. Mentally and emotionally.
Thanks for checking with me first. Unlike The Washington Post who automatically assumed I was part of that organization.
Yeah, I was still pretty bitter at the Washington Post at the time and you have to remember I was suffering from severe depression and was not being treated for it at the time. However as John Astin once said, “I’m feeling much better now.” I eventually did do some interviews with the Post but it was about MySpace stuff if I remember correctly and it wasn’t with that particular ‘reporter’. I believe his actual title was ‘style editor’ back then, whatever the hell that means.
The next one was from a Canadian reporter. I don’t recall what his questions were to me. I guess they’ve been lost to the ages but I felt his response to me was special enough for me to save for 15 years.
Thank you for the disclaimer. It’s important for a reporter to know whether he or she is on the right – or wrong – track when researching a story. And when one media outlet errs, the mistake is easily compounded because we sometimes rely on each other for leads. Hang in there.
The Windsor Star
Now that I think about it he may not have even asked me a question. He may have just been thanking me for not sending him on a wild goose chase that so many other news agencies pursued in the days following the tragedy. The Canadian media has always treated me well and fairly. They’re much better than the American media but they are hampered by law in what they can report when it comes to crime stories, but I’m digressing again.
That’s all I’ve got from back then. All the hate mail I received I deleted but I regret doing that now, except for the goatse one. If you don’t know what that is you’re better off not knowing. Oh, I still have the one from the Washington Post guy but I’ve discussed that one to death.
In a strange coincidence the paid e-mail account I mentioned before was due to expire this coming Sunday, April the 20th.