(date: 26/9/2022, time: 02:32am)
Subject: Disgust, Disappointment and Departure
I am writing in order to air my grievances with, and offer justification for my departure from, the Cheese Grater Magazine.
Let me begin by recounting my first experience with the Society’s meagre facilities:
The so-called media office from which the Cheese Grater operates immediately betrayed its second-rate status. I was led there by your president, Jamie (though I found this too informal and called him James instead). Watching him as he asked every contact in his mobile for the password to the one (and only!) computer was like watching a child grasp in vain for a light switch in a dark room, always slightly out of reach. Having accepted his inevitable failure, he directed my attention to the rest of the office. The walls told the storied history of UCL’s other publication, Pi Media. Seeing issues dating back to the forties, I remember being amazed by its lineage.
That was the first time I questioned why I chose the Cheese Grater and not Pi Media. Even something so simple as the names should have been enough to put me off. Pi, the infinite, a transcendental mathematical constant with generations of geniuses devoting themselves to its study. When you write under the name of a household object, how can you expect the standards of writing to be anything other than common? Thankfully, this question no longer plagues my mind.
When James noticed my attention drifting to the clearly superior publication, he diverted my attention to the mounds of detritus that had accumulated over the past year. It is not difficult to believe that the media office is rarely graced by members of the Cheese Grater. Sorting through the waste I came across hundreds of back issues that they hadn’t been bothered to hand out. It stunned me that an up-and-coming journalist such as myself would be reduced to the level of a cleaner. I have so much to say and so many people who need to hear my voice, or words rather.
Speaking of words, it is imperative that I discuss the nature of the writing at the Cheese Grater. I find myself questioning your society’s journalistic integrity and standards when you cover such issues as stolen laptops and university election corruption. How can this be the focus, what with all that business going on in The Ukraine and the death of our beloved Queen? I deserve a platform that allows me to explore and share my complex ideas surrounding these complex issues, ideas informed by my wealth of knowledge, expertise and wisdom regarding all worldly matters. I must say that I am looking forward to leaving behind this small-time society and joining the great Pi Media; a mere glance at their recent articles will show their devotion to the real news.
I am aware however, that this is supposed to be a comedic magazine and so the avoidance of matters of complexity may be excused. However, having read it, I certainly have my doubts about its comedic merit. For one, I have known bank notes that cut deeper than whatever their satire is trying to achieve. For two, if there is a shred of humour to be found in any of the pieces, I find it difficult to believe that it makes anyone laugh but you, the editor. And for you I feel a great sense of pity, with that sense of humour you could never enchant another in conversation. You may say that the humour is just not to my taste, but I am of the opinion that humour is an absolute, and one in which I am incredibly learned.
I cannot comment on the artwork as drawings are beneath me.
Knowing that my writing would be associated with the drivel that this magazine spits out was enough to push me over the edge. Suppose the Daily Telegraph were to see that I had to resort to publishing my early work in a rag whose main area of concern is limited to the menial happenings of a university. The rest of the work in this publication could mar me for life; these other two-bit writers are not getting anywhere, but they need not be bitter and drag me down with them. Frankly it’s selfish and speaks to an arrogance that I have not hitherto encountered.
As I’m sure you can understand, this future-journalist cannot continue to be associated with a publication of this standard. Being the second brightest student at the sixteenth best public school in England, I’m sure both you and I can agree that I am destined for more than this. And it is for these reasons that I am leaving to join Pi Media, a society of higher moral standing more suited to my aspirations. Even though my time with you was short, I’m sure that I have made an impact, purely by association, far greater than any other person unfortunate enough to own membership to the Cheese Grater. On that note, I wish you luck, I’m sure that all of you are going to need it.
(My Father and I will be suing for the £8 membership fee)
The type of person we would kindly ask to leave us alone.
This article appeared in CG issue 83.