It’s begun. With Sinead O’Connor’s open letter to Miley Cyrus, and Amanda Palmer’s open letter to Sinead O’Connor, a chain of events has been put into motion which no force in heaven or earth can stop until it’s run its course and we are left with the smoking, burnt-out ruins of a culture.
Caitlin Moran has already started her open letter to Amanda Palmer about how everything a woman does is okay, because she’s a woman and that’s what feminism means. Elizabeth Wurtzel will write an open letter to Moran on The Daily Beast, suggesting that she lose weight and consider some light cosmetic surgery, and Wurtzel’s letter will then devolve into a 900-word rant that seems to either be about how impressed she is by Miley’s lack of cellulite or how millennials have turned rock ‘n roll into a “meth lab of the heart.” Jessica Valenti will write to Wurtzel about everything that’s wrong with everything that she’s said for the past five years. Taylor Swift will write to Valenti about how The Purity Myth hurt her feelings, and later also write a song about it. Roxane Gay will express mild disappointment at how much time and energy we are all apparently willing to expend over a twenty-year-old girl riding a wrecking ball naked, and go on to curate a really amazing and heartwarming series for The Rumpus about seminal sexual experiences with construction equipment. xojane will publish “It Also Happened To Me: I Was Torn To Pieces By Sinead O’Connor.” Later, it will be revealed to have been written by Pope Francis.
Brad Paisley has already begun his open letter to Billy Ray Cyrus to express solidarity, knowing that Miley is just being accidentally slutty and also accidentally racist, and Billy Ray Cyrus will respond to the open letter with a tweet reading only “#mileythemovement.” Annie Liebovitz’s personal assistant’s personal assistant will be tasked with looking through seventy hard drives to determine whether or not Annie wrote but did not publish an open letter five years ago in which she unapologetically, and correctly, predicted that it will be Liebovitz’s own early vision of a slutty Miley Cyrus that sent her down a blustery path of sluttery. Kanye West will write 17 all-caps twitter updates promoting the release of a one-off single called “Open Letter” that samples “Can’t Be Tamed” and features vocals that are just Miley howling into the microphone. His seventeenth tweet will include links to Miley’s video for “Party In The USA” and, inexplicably, his own video for “Runaway.”
Apropos of nothing, Tyler Perry will write an open letter for OWN about how his movies are the most honest depiction of black people in America and if you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at? No one will read it. Marina Abramovic will lay her naked body over a wrecking ball in an abandoned construction site and stay there, motionless, for six days. No one is sure whether this is a statement about Miley, or just a way to repurpose abandoned industrial space in the wake of the government shutdown, because both seem plausible.
Ann Friedman is sort of above open letters as a concept, but will make a really good piechart managing to sum up the emotional motivations of everybody who has ever written an open letter, ever. Tracie Morrissey will write a brief piece for Jezebel called “Come On Who Isn’t a Slut and What’s Wrong With Being a Prostitute” and it will be amazing but the commenters will hate it. Meanwhile, Gawker will publish a post titled “Everyone Needs to Read Sinead O’Connor’s Open Letter to Miley Cyrus” and no one at Autostraddle will have the time or the energy to explain why O’Conner’s letter was actually problematic as fuck, because we’re too stressed out doing last-minute prep for A-Camp.
Buzzfeed will post “22 Things Only Girls Who Have Received Open Letters From Sinead O’Connor Will Understand;” your great-aunt will post it on Facebook with the caption “haven’t seen the videos but omg IT’S SO TRUE,” and then you’ll have to unfollow your great-aunt on Facebook. This will happen the same day that your great-aunt reads a terrifying story about the impact of social media on young women in Vanity Fair and it will inspire her to write an Open Letter to Miley Cyrus about her present estrangement from all of her nieces and she will put it in an envelope and seal it with actual saliva and then she will put it in a mailbox and sit at home, waiting to see what happens next.