Dear Deadpoint Magazine,
This is to say I am not so upset you defriended me on Facebook the other night. Apparently my response to the “Suburban Wankster”, a new entry in the admittedly difficult-to-appraise genre of climbing parody, offended some member of your thin-skinned editorial staff. I received a note via Facebook to this effect:
“Peter, I don't watch Fox news or Dancing with the Stars. It isn't my style. I would go crazy hating on both shows if I subjected myself to them. If DPM is so deplorable to you, don't visit our site or pick up the publication. You will be a happier man. It isn't geared towards your demographic anyway."
Well, here is the deal DPM. My demographic is that of a climber who thinks that sexism, sensationalism, homophobia and malicious insults are not only bad form but injurious to the sport. My role as I see it is occasionally to point out when the climbing media appear to foster values that degrade climbing and the unique species of humans that pursue it. This isn’t just about style; it’s about what you stand for.
What I have heard from you so far and what I have seen in a number of examples is a “do whatever it takes” approach to get attention. In climbing, this is called cheating and it doesn’t matter if it’s the latest boulder problem at Hueco or a free ascent of El Cap. Cheaters get a bad reputation and they get called on it.
The shame of it is that when you were called on it, you apparently didn’t feel comfortable about it, like someone adding bolts to a route or chipping a hold. You got whiny and called me a “hater.” But it isn’t you I hate, DPM. It’s seeing my friends insulted, it’s seeing videos of people getting hurt being posted on your site for profit, it’s hearing me dismissed (because of age,as far as I can tell) as belonging to a demographic that you aren’t interested in listening to. And that’s just a start.
DPM, the world of climbing media is littered with the graves of upstarts who thought they could make a splash and soon enough faded away to extinction. The ones that have endured fostered genuine values that build community, celebrate excellence, and document the many facets of the amazing world of climbing. Sure there were lapses in taste or judgment and they got criticized. But they learned to deal with it and moved on and got better. My advice is to do the same.