Thursday, December 4, 2008


(My layout boy looks awfully cold there... I'll (hopefully) get some free time when the 20th rolls around, and get redesigning then.)

I think I had what is my first brush with censorship in the past couple of months. I was pretty cheesed at a local youth's paper for not publishing my stuff (if you're local, you know the one I'm talking about.) I called their bullshit, through a politely written e-mail to the editor of course, a few days ago.

First, not to be a jerk with a God-complex and a bar of gold up my ass, but the quality of my work is undeniably solid for a person of my age. Second, if an ad from some asshole like HMV took up the same amount of space as the creative section, something is not right. Then they tell me they have too many submissions and not enough space, two months (that's two issues later) after I e-mailed them my submission. If I hadn't e-mail them to bitch politely about the situation, my hard work would be lost in the general void of forgotten cyberspace for all I know.

When I did receive my response from the editor earlier today, he went on about how his paper receives too many submissions/not enough space. Not to be pushy, but I call their bullshit (on my blog, not in the once again civil replay I fired back). See the "not enough space" tidbit from above. Finally, he addresses that my two figures are not fully clothed, and mentions that some people may have concerns over my nudes. I love the fact that the writer thinks there is no gender-connotation with using the word "figures" instead of "men''. But I think it's pretty obvious that the main problem is not that they are semi-nude, but rather that they are semi-nude, and have dicks (well, could argue the heraphroditism of angels) at the same time. And without a doubt, there is not way in hell that's gonna get through without stirring up a shitstorm. Will, they didn't wanna stir up the shitstorm, and hope to sweep this artist's hard work under a carpet, but that doesn't stop me from initiating the favour.

Well, "no shit Shakespeare," you say, it's a paper for teenager (whose views are of the average hetero male bravado that ostracizes gay/female sexuality) but that doesn't mean I should take this bullshit and sit gagged while my artist expression goes down the swirling toilet of censorship. But with all due respect to the editor who replied, he handled it with some sensitivity.

Letters below:

On 12/2/08 5:21 PM, "Lucy Xie" wrote:

Hi [redacted],

I am resubmitting a piece of my work that I e-mailed you over 2 months ago. Two months have passed, and this has been neither published, nor did I receive a letter of postponement or rejection. I am upset at the lack of response. Please understand that I made sure that my submission have been sent, and no electronic courier mistakes have been made. Otherwise, I would not be inquiring. If this is simply because of an accidental overlook, I apologize for my unnecessary inquiry. I look forward to seeing my artwork published in the future [redacted] magazine. If that is not possible, I would kindly request an explanation.

Please find attached, the artwork once again. Here is my contact information.

Lucy Xie
[redacted phone number]
[redacted] Secondary School
Grade 12


From: [redacted]
To: Lucy Xie
Sent: Thursday, December 4, 2008 9:07:15 AM
Subject: Re: Artwork resubmission

Re: Artwork resubmission Hi Lucie,

It is impossible for us to inform each student that submits an article, artwork, photograph, etc whether or not his or her work is going to be published. There are just too many submissions for us to do that. We do still have the piece you sent a couple of months ago in our system ready to be used, but that is one among many. We begin production next week on the January issue and I will do my best to see if we can get your piece published in the next issue. It is a wonderful piece, with my only concern being that the two figures in your art piece are not fully clothed. I know it’s not anything inappropriate at all, but I just wanted to let you know that this may be a concern for some. I’m thinking it should be fine. If you have any other work you want to submit feel free to send it to me... Try to keep it to two pieces per month so that my inbox doesn’t get jammed. Hope this helps!


Hi [redacted],

I understand that you are very busy, and I appreciate your response. At first, I feared the lack of feedback and publication was a measure of censorship, because I am fully aware of the nature of my artistic expression. I hope you can understand the point of view that I am coming from as an artist, and why I was* upset because I felt I was being silenced for my hard work. I also understand that your readers would most likely treat my work with little controversial reaction if my subjects were female. But I digress; this letter is not about the nature of sexism**. In the end, I want to thank your magazine for giving a voice to countless young writers and artists***.


*Still fucking am. Still fucking will be until I see my stuff published.
**NO, NOT AT ALL, REALLY. Do you want me to spell "sarcasm" in capital letters too?
***Self explanatory, genuine comment. Especially from an artist like myself.

I need an apple and some peanut butter.

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