Private Letter

Published by Legacy of Matanya Ophee on

Matanya Ophee
1430 Stoneygate Lane
Columbus, OH, 43221
(614) 457-7609
April 22, 1988

Dear Peter,

I will attempt to respond to your letter of April 18th and to the suggested version for my LTTE, without getting involved in the same type of hostility I tend to reserve these days to English language guitar magazine editors. (I seem to fare much better with Italian, German and Japanese editors. I don’t deal with the French).

First of all, I do appreciate the time and thought you have put into this affair. It is certainly a better way of handling rogue writers than changing their language without their approval, and signing their name to it. I am not happy that you cut my Toronto review, but I accept that you did not owe me a full presentation because you gave me, in advance, a word count limit. Where I feel you overstepped the bounds of reasonable editing, is when you changed my question of “Who is Afraid of Kazuhito Yamashita? to read “Why was Kazuhito Yamashita not there?” If you disagree with anything, you always have the option of rejecting the piece, but you cannot in good conscience put in my mouth things I did not say, and modify the meaning of what I attempted to convey.

[irrelevant comments deleted]

[George Clinton’s] LTTE is clearly a “response” to my review of the Toronto 1987 Festival, and it is so stated by him.

[more irrelevant comments deleted]

Now for the substance of it: you say that I use “inflammatory language and unsubstantiated accusations,” as well as “loaded words,” “red herrings” etc. Perhaps. But let’s look at the pimple which needed to be scratched here. Among other things, Clinton says:

    1. MO is unable to face reality.
    2. Yamashita is MO’s “hero.”
    3. MO’s review of Toronto ’87 pulled wool over the eyes of SB’ readers.
    4. MO has a commercial interest in promoting Yamashita.
    5. His technique in this promotion includes the use of idolatrous and sycophantic rhetoric. Hence, MO is an idolater and a sycophant.

      I dealt, in my article, with several other points. I enumerated here the items which I did not address in my response, preferring not to perpetuate Clinton’s infringement on my rights as contributor to SB which you allowed. Yes, I wrote 6500 words, and that certainly does not qualify as an LTTE. It was not submitted to you as an LTTE, but as an article. The purpose in doing it this way was to respond to Clinton in kind. You cannot possibly expect me to express in 1000 words my sense of indignation at the violence which was visited upon me by this merchant of hate in 942 [words], and still be able to point out not only the fact that Clinton and myself do not share the same musical taste and values, but that the man is liar.

      Had you asked me to respond to the attack in the same issue, and in the LTTE section, I would have been able then to limit myself to a few choice words putting Clinton’s letter in perspective without the need to resort to strong language. But once you allowed this letter to remain on the open books for at least six months, you cannot expect me to be magnanimous. I have a great difficulty in accepting this.

      I think the best way to resolve this is as follows: please find enclosed another version of my response. It is about half the size of the original. If you want, you can run it as an LTTE, as an article or any which way you want. If it still is unacceptable to you, so be it. Consider it withdrawn. If I cannot repair the damage done to me by Clinton, and indirectly by you in allowing him to print his attack and letting it stand unchallenged for all this time, then there is no point in doing it.

      Copyright © 2001 by Editions Orphée, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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