Open Letter of Sympathy to John Costa | Bent | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

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Open Letter of Sympathy to John Costa



Dear John, I feel your pain.

This weekend as I was enjoying your Sunday paper, I happened upon your piece about Legal Notices. My, my did it take me back to some of my own troubles in this area.

If you don’t recognize my name, I’m the former Editor in Chief of the Chauvet Cave in southern France. There was a time when I would not need to offer this introduction, for my cave paintings were known far and wide. Not only did we paint legal notices, we painted classified ads, many sales people sold cave space and painters (my God did we have painters!) all working to further our mighty endeavor. People traveled from far and wide to visit my cave and pay their respects to the might of cave painting!

All was just and right back in those days. You knew where you stood and when it came to things like people selling their cars and housewares or posting a legal notice, the population knew just where to look, in my damn cave! Sure access was always an issue. People had to actually come to my cave to view these postings and bask in the glow of our work, but at least it was real.

Then, oh I don’t know, maybe 2000 years ago or something, some little bastard starting moving in on my turf. The heathens created PAPER! At first I thought is was a fad, It seemed so flimsy. For God’s sake, why would you look at one of those damn things when you could find shelter in my cave! And, you know the rest of the story, slowly people stopped coming to my cave. The numbers dropped and I started seeing folks walking around the STREETS carrying these damn PAPERS!

“They are sooo easy to carry and read wherever I like. I don’t have to walk up that damn mountain anymore just to view legal notices.” Oh yea, all the kids were reading those things! I heard it all. I decided to pick one up myself. What was the first damn thing I saw, MY LEGAL NOTICES!

OK I thought, don’t panic. This will pass. But it did not John. So, just like you, I decided I needed to do something about this affront to my business and livelihood, I sued the Bastards.  Every last parchment creator had to go!

And, worst of all, Dear John, I became obsessed with painting about my position. I filled every spare space on my cave with reasons people should not be reading these papers. I painted beautiful stick figures about why they should continue to use the Cave for notices, ads, everything! I bled paint.

John, I understand your frustration as you watch those lawyers use “New Media” to leave you behind. I fought that fight, I sued every last one of those little bastards and like you I tried to hold back the tide of “Progress.”

But Johnny Boy, I’m here to tell you, choose a different fight my friend. Make friends with your fellow cave painters, and other people who distribute information. It’s taken me 2000 years to see it John but you can still have a place in the world. There’s no need to keep hiding in your cave.

Yours Truly,

Neander Thal

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