Tag Archives | Letters

The FBI’s Letter To Martin Luther King Jr. Urging Him To Commit Suicide

The anonymous note ends, “King, there is only one thing left for you to do. You know what it is. You are done. There is but one way out for you. You better take it before your filthy, abnormal fraudulent self is bared to the nation.” Via Letters of Note:

In November of 1964, fearful of his connection to the Communist Party through Stanley Levison, the FBI anonymously sent Martin Luther King a threatening letter, along with a cassette that contained the fruits of a 9 month surveillance project — allegedly incriminating audio recordings of King with women in various hotel rooms.

[View the rest at Letters of Note]

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Nadezhda Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot’s Prison Letters to Slavoj Žižek

nadezhda-tolokonnikova-profileDissident musician Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek exchange letters:

Via the Guardian:

2 January 2013

Dear Nadezhda,

I hope you have been able to organise your life in prison around small rituals that make it tolerable, and that you have time to read. Here are my thoughts on your predicament.

John Jay Chapman, an American political essayist, wrote this about radicals in 1900: “They are really always saying the same thing. They don’t change; everybody else changes. They are accused of the most incompatible crimes, of egoism and a mania for power, indifference to the fate of their cause, fanaticism, triviality, lack of humour, buffoonery and irreverence. But they sound a certain note. Hence the great practical power of persistent radicals. To all appearance, nobody follows them, yet everyone believes them. They hold a tuning-fork and sound A, and everybody knows it really is A, though the time-honoured pitch is G flat.” Isn’t this a good description of the effect of Pussy Riot performances?

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A Classic Prank From Edgar Allan Poe And Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Regardless of whether or not this actually happened, it would be great to attempt to device a 2013-appropriate version. io9 writes:

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was supposedly the orchestrator of a cruel joke. One night, bored and idly toying with wicked thoughts, he decided to send a note to five of his friends. The note would be delivered anonymously. It would have no signature, and would contain no information. It would only say, “We are discovered. Flee!”

At his next dinner party, his social circle was abuzz with the sudden, and total, disappearance of one of the people he sent the notes to. The person was never heard from again.

But the story didn’t start or end with him. Edgar Allan Poe also was said to have done such a thing. He might even be said to be the better author to pair with the story, since he had more of a devilish sense of humor.

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Letter from North County Jail

Picture: Dylan Oliphant (CC)

From Divided Core:

A writer friend of mine is serving some time in a Northern California jail and wrote an insightful letter which sheds some light on his experience behind bars.   With his permission, I’ve transcribed his letter to share with others.  For those who are interested, here’s what he wrote:

Dear Aaron,

Thank you for the reading material – the books made it in, but the pornographic magazines, I am told, did not get past screening and were confiscated by the guards (I suspect they’ll be making paper mache of those pages forthwith).  Good show though; The Thought Gang will suffice for now.

Here at the North County Detention Facility there is an extensive library for the inmates in our compound: Building 101, which houses around 200 people.  We share a large “day-room” with tables, games, and televisions.  There are ten dorms that sleep roughly twelve people each, and we are generally free to move from our bunks to and from the day-room, or into the sunny courtyard as we please.  “The Farm,” as some here call it, is summer camp compared to where I was confined three days ago.

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Letters To Santa Have Taken A Sad Turn

Has the “modern family” structure put pressure on children to grow up too quick, or just be more considerate? Letters to Santa usually contain kids’ materialistic desires, but lately they’re more concerned with the happiness of their family and education of their siblings. Via NPR:

This year, postal workers opening and processing letters to Santa Claus have noticed a significant change in tone from years past.

“Normally the letters would be greedy-type things — big televisions, Xbox, Wiis, things of that nature,” Pete Fontana, the head elf in New York City’s main post office, tells NPR’s Robert Siegel. “This year, the letters are single moms, three kids, no winter coats, no shoes, blankets, can’t pay the bills, not enough food in the pantry. So the need has changed tremendously.”

Fontana, who has been working in U.S. Postal Service’s Operation Santa Claus program for 15 years, shares an example:

Dear Santa, my name is Chisertopher.

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