An Open Letter To The Internet – And Patrick Stump
Although I spend a lot of my time writing music reviews/previews/news (insert any other related -ews here), I am often reluctant to write about the things which affect me the most which is why, according to internet immediacy standards, I’m a little late on commenting about Patrick Stump’s very personal blog – “We Liked You Better Fat: Confessions Of A Pariah”. Even when I type the words “very personal” I begin to question whether it’s something I should be commenting on at all.
Yesterday when I saw the tweet announcing Patrick Stump’s temporary return to the internet, I feared from the piece’s title that it wasn’t going to be a happy one. After reading, I realised that my suspicions were unfortunately right. While the first sentence begun by simply talking about a “really nice piece” about the importance of “From Under The Cork Tree” to Jacob Tender, the post soon turned into the NME headline “Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump: ‘I recieved a cosmic sign saying I should disappear’”. Usually I take all headlines with a large helping of salt because, as we all know, quotes are normally taken out of context and sensationalised but there was nothing in NME’s write-up which seemed unjust. Similarly when AOL referred to him as “depressed”, it was a word Stump had used to describe his feelings too and when Rolling Stone called his writing “often quite heartbreaking”, nobody had any reason to disagree – and that in itself, is even more heartbreaking.
There are times when there are irrational exaggerations but those are from the original post, not Chinese whispers reported by the press. For instance Patrick Stump claims “I couldn’t even get booked at the opening of a letter” despite receiving critically favourable reviews for his own headline tours and opening slots for Panic! At The Disco and Bruno Mars and Janelle Monae just last year. That statement came from the same voice who contemplated giving up music for picking up a trade – that’s “pent-up poor emotional me talking”. Stump worries that people won’t sympathise with his problems – “The standard response to any complaints I could possibly have about my position in life seems to be “You poor sad multi-millionaire. I feel so sorry for you.” – but anyone of any social background (who doesn’t have a heart of stone) will recognise that “the barrage of “We liked you better fat,” the threatening letters to my home, the kids that paid for tickets to my solo shows to tell me how much I sucked without Fall Out Boy” is bullying and harassment.
I’ve tried to confront internet “haters” before but unsurprisingly, I’ve failed. At the beginning of the year, I wrote an open letter to the world wide web – which also concerned Patrick Stump. Evidently, the one-woman blogging machine that I am cannot change the world but that won’t stop me trying. If I or we can’t change the baddies, we’ve got to give the goodies the tools to deal with life’s demons. So Patrick Stump, if by some rare chance you’re reading this, remember that although you were that emo kid who sung “I want to hate you half as much as I hate myself”, you’re also the musician who wrote “It’s gonna get better. It’s gonna work out. Give it a second, it’s gonna turn around”. Don’t let the bastards grind you down like Billboard.com are saying you are.
“Fear is killing us, but true love can survive. If we cooperate, we can beat doubt. But first, rebuild trust. Take responsibility. Happiness is still free, though not always apparent when it’s right in front of us. So keep calm, it’s gonna get better.” – Patrick Stump
How do you feel about Patrick Stump’s current situation?