Invisible Oranges turned 10 this week.
In order to (dis)honor my own questionable spot in its history, I found an old email I sent to the staff.
Hello! I am your new editor. As you know, beloved former editor Doug Moore has stepped down to pursue his dream of lobbying Washington lawmakers for a “No Curling in the Squat Cage” amendment. (Godspeed, Doug. Dale.) So, instead of continuing a legacy of smart, stable, and capable editors, I will now be assuming the
dunk tank, er, chair. I am a visionary.
You may now applaud. No, like right now. I can see you. Unrelated, I may or may not have infested all of your laptops with cheap government-grade spyware from Tazbekistan in exchange for subtle, near-invisible sponsored content. Also, you now need to make sure to add something like “this band almost sounds as good as XXX Blarf, Tazbekistan’s number one wine made from fermented shark meat. Nine out of ten paid doctors agree that blindness is only a ‘likely’ outcome!” to every piece you file… for reasons.
But hey, enough about me… for the next minute or two. Here’s a very specific list of things I like about you, CONTRIBUTOR! And, in no way am I trying to butter you up so you don’t jump ship to Noisey:
Truly, all of that is true. I think about you a lot. (Intern, please edit last line if they’re new or have a pending restraining order, thanks.)
Okay, now on to the real reason for this email. With the leadership change, I thought it might be a good time to send out a FAQ so that we can all get on the same page. Because, the thing that makes Invisible Oranges and heavy metal music great is, clearly, policy. I don’t think I’m misinterpreting that. And, besides, that’s why we became metal writers, right? Policy!
Will anything change?
No, beyond the fact that I’m running my 13-part series on Kix next week (‘Kix the Can? Maybe If You’re Not Nice on Ice’). You too will get to publish something one day! Maybe! (Intern, please transcribe the 26 hours of interview tape I have of Nelson for the follow-up. Thanks!)
Why does “bring back Cosmo!” have to appear in every comment section?
Richard Street-Jammer lost a Blind Guardian pub quiz to the Devil and, to save his soul, RSJ decided to offer that reoccurring comment as compensation. If we don’t adhere to it, one of RSJ’s Savatage singles will turn into a tiny spiked imp that nests in his right armpit for a fortnight until Satan receives payment. That payment? We write a ‘[blank] Turns [blank years old]’ piece. Yeesh. I’m just tired of Richard asking me to set up eBay alerts for new copies of “Gutter Ballet” to be honest.
What about site security?
Worry not. We’re going to build a firewall and make BrooklynVegan pay for it.
Will the style guide change?
The document we use to formalize grammar, editing, formatting, etc.?
That’s a thing?
That’s a thing.
Huh. As long as we’re doing sensible things like referring to bands as “hordes” and including New York tour dates as if the entire country lives there, I think we’re good. Otherwise, all style guide rules will be decided by rolling percentage dice. Please consult my handmade copy of AD&D third edition DM guide for outcomes.
Example: Do I always put a comma after the city AND state?
Target creature is enraged by your offer of apple juice. Make sure to calculate reverse custom THAC0 before proceeding.
Do I get paid now?
Here’s a picture of a dog!
How do I contact you?
If it’s anything that might require work, talent, or creativity please send it to Wyatt.
Can I get advice over the phone?
No, I sound like Rob Darken after taco night. Avoid. Wyatt.
I’m requesting a line edit…
Oh yeah, love those. Wyatt.
I have a gift card to send you… for… approving my oral history on the Goo Goo Dolls’s Metal Blade years… . Can I contact you? You also have pretty eyes?
Do you really think so? Someone told me I make rats look like Betty Dav-NOPE. Nice try. Gift cards? I’m straight cash only or unmarked bottles filled with bootleg SSRIs. WYATT.
Can I use a pseudonym?
No! For the last time, Scab Casserole is his real name! I’ve seen the birth certificate! I have met Mr. and Mrs. Abscess Casserole! They are lovely people!
We have a lot of media requests in our inbox. Should we respond to these?
No. If there’s one thing I know about PR people, it’s that they don’t care if you ever respond to them. They like to be left hanging when a premiere needs a home. It’s fun for them.
How should we handle attribution and copyright law?
Posting a YouTube video of a full album is encouraged, but, when choosing graphics, make sure to search Wiki Commons for public domain pics. Imgur users are super litigious.
When will you edit my piece?
Ah, that’s up to this formula:
F is equal to the amount of fucks I give, squared to represent how bad I feel ruining this site’s legacy
d is how far I am behind deadline
Dep is soul crushing depressing
B is bong hits
AE is how many assistant editors are on, i.e. people who actually do things
SD is sleep deprivation
URb is how many songs I had to listen to for Upcoming Releases (UR) multiplied by the amount of buildings I saw in the area (b) that I now fantasize throwing myself off of so I may achieve my deserved, messy death
That should give you your answer.
Why the heck would I ever want to write for you?
Because, you’re not writing for me, you’re writing for Invisible Oranges.
Look, I’m not going to Patton you to death with some obsequious inspirational crap about how we the best, another one, etc. I have the IQ of a carrot post-encounter with a donkey. Smarter people than I have written about why metal is great. Most of those people have written for this site.
But, realize that you have a hell of a lot of wiggle room here. What makes IO great is that it hasn’t been one thing. It has been incredible retrospectives, thinky stuff that actually make you think, funny-ass asides, and on and on and on. The fact that you can find your next favorite band here while reading a piece about your current favorite band says everything. IO has the capacity to be, well, anything because it covers music that has that same scope. If you don’t like a certain genre, move to the next one; there will be one for you. Likewise, if you don’t like an IO piece today, come back tomorrow.
Of course, the bigger thing is the feeling IO inspires. IO was one of the first sites I read that covered metal – the awesomeness, goofiness, deftness, awkwardness — without a smirk or while sitting atop metal Mt. Olympus. It wasn’t arch, it wasn’t elitist. It wasn’t written by the excluded desperate to return the favor. It was by and for people who liked metal and didn’t need to couch their appreciation in something safe and distancing. It was a raw nerve sort of like. Bare. It was, This is how I feel, why I feel. So, how about you? Let’s figure this out. That made the difference. Now, the “how about you” and “let’s figure it out” is what keeps the site going. It’s why you should come back. Today. Tomorrow.
Welp, that’s it, CONTRIBUTOR! Yeah, I feel like I’m going to be editor here a long, long time.
So, will I ever get paid?