I should say, I like GQ Magazine. It’s one of the ones I prefer reading. I dig it for trivial reasons, and also because they really nail a great, meaningful subject every once in a while.
In April they ran a story written by reporter Michael Hastings, who had lived in Iraq and had lost his girlfriend of a year and a half there. A great story on its own, but there was an editorial mistake that amounted to a severe lack of taste in the story, which caused me to write a magazine for the first time.
They published my letter…but as I should have known, they only published the beginning, complimentary part. The published portion that ran in the June issue is as follows:
“(First of all,) Michael Hastings’ story about losing Andi Parhamovich was wrenching in a way that can’t be articulated by anyone other than the man, and it did an amazing job of giving faces and souls to the ticker news we see and try to ignore (often successfully): “American aid worker and three security guards killed in Baghdad ambush.” You see it, but you don’t think about it like this, and Hastings makes you wake up if only for a moment and realize how many thousands of stories there must be like this. It’s terrifying, but commendable that GQ continues to bring stories of this kind into its pages.”
That’s all they published. Really, the reason I wrote the dang e-mail in the first place, was for the part that they cut:
“And then, you go and put a ‘My Secret Weapon’ about a Fall Out Boy’s tip on how to make the first move on a girl right under the phrase, ‘Have you called her family?’
As hard as I try to think, I can’t come up with a more inappropriate sidebar, for any story, ever. Silly little inserts like that have their place, but honestly, this is why editors have jobs, right? We couldn’t find room on any one of Adriana Lima’s eight pages of posing and chatter? Reading about her preferred way of being taken to Paris couldn’t be shortened?
Hastings story just deserved a little more focus.”
So that was what should have run in the magazine. Lesson: only write exactly what you want published. Or, don’t F with a Fall Out Boy. One or the other, I guess I don’t know which one I should focus on.