Smile Politely

Roast, interrupted

Well, we turned three years old last week. Who gives a shit, right? Yes, yes, I must admit you have a point there. But your apathy has never stopped us in the past, and it will not stop us in the future.

Take this article right here, for instance. Who doesn’t like taking the piss out of your old pal Smile Politely? No one, or so we thought — until we invited a couple dozen of our closest friends and enemies to send us their best insults for an anniversary roast.

And then the cricket chorus began. I got one polite decline, one angry decline, one guy who was completely confused by the request, and one really excellent entry, which is reproduced below.

If the last three years are any indication, many of you may have something to get off your chests. Please feel free to do so in the comments section. But please follow Mr. Jackson’s lead and try to be funny about it.


Has it been three years already?

Forget what everybody else says about you, Smile Politely, I think you’re doing a bang up job. Your website stands as living proof that not everyone in Champaign-Urbana can write their most pressing opinions for a publication run by rich, old white dudes. Some of you have to settle for a website run by poor, middle-aged hipsters. To each their own, and as much as I enjoy being paid for my words in the News-Gazette, I admit there is a certain nobility in pouring your blood, sweat, and SAT-prep vocabulary into a blog on the interwebs for free. That takes courage.

Your words aren’t delivered door to door, or ensured an audience of any kind. They’re left to be discovered by Google searches, RSS feeds and… word of mouth? I mean, surely somebody somewhere must read your webzine, because you continue to update it. Just keep telling yourself: Somebody. Somewhere. Taking a shit with their iPhone, perhaps. That’s the beauty of New Media. The possibilities for your keen insights on bicycle safety to be disseminated to the masses are endless.

So what I’m trying to say, Smile Politely, is that you should keep up that hard-hitting internet journalism. It’s important to have hobbies. And contrary to popular belief, I don’t wish you ruination. After all, if you were to disappear, where would I go to read eight million articles promoting Seth Fein’s newest music festival?

No, no, I believe there is enough room in the ‘Paign for you, me and everyone else. But there might not be enough Birkenstocks and man-purses. Don’t worry, I know you called dibs.

Love (well, not exactly),
Ryan Jackson a.k.a. The Reluctant Townie

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