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A response to The Carl magazine

It was fourth week, and we at the Bald Spot paid our respects by publishing a “Fourth Week Bracket.” The ostensibly fun-loving folks over at The Carl magazine, however, did not get the joke. As it is (coincidentally) their custom to publish a weekly bracket, they issued a notice of cease and desist written by legal professionals at “Bauer & Djerf Legal Services.”

I did not look into Bauer & Djerf legal services because it does not exist. Shame on you, Nate Bauer, esq. and Patrick Djerf, esq. What if someone comes to you looking to notarize some documents or overturn an unjust accusation? You’ll have nothing to offer them.

Unlike the staff of The Carl magazine, I will not pretend to be a lawyer. What I am, however, is an editor. It is, therefore, my responsibility to make some edits to your letter.

First things first, “publishment” is not synonymous with “publishing.” It refers to the act of making something publicly known, not of actually publishing something. All The Carl has made publicly known is that its staff has a poor grasp of the modern English language.

Had there not been such an egregious error, the text’s utter ineffectiveness would remain intact. The Carl magazine does not hold any claim to brackets. According to Slate Magazine, bracket-based tournaments were in use as far back as 1851, when British chess champion Howard Staunton devised a method of organizing chess tournaments. Bracketology became prominent in 1939 with the NCAA tournament and caught on nationwide after the advent of the photocopier. Perhaps The Carl Magazine ought to nip this whole disagreement in the bud by suing Howard Staunton himself. Then, brackets would vanish from America’s stadiums, bars, chatrooms—indeed, everywhere but The Carl‘s back page—and all would finally be at peace on Earth. But they can’t sue Howard Staunton, because he’s dead. And if he weren’t, they’d still lose.

Now let us suppose, for a moment, that there was merit to The Carl‘s disingenuous assertions. Let’s picture ourselves in a timeline where The Carl Magazine invented, disseminated, and copyrighted the modern bracket, and those broad-shouldered, mustache-twiddling, cigar-chewing editors at the Carletonian stole it. Even then, the punishment we would rightfully receive would violate our constitutional rights. The Carl magazine has suggested “imprisonment, substantial fines, and mowing the lawn of Bell Field.” These first two provisions would be warranted, but to force us to do manual labor on behalf of a private institution is both cruel and unusual (especially unusual). It is therefore in violation of the Eighth amendment to the United States Constitution.

Here is another constitutional amendment I’d like to remind The Carl of: the first one. We are free to publish brackets as we please, and you are free to dislike them. 

As editor of the Bald Spot, I would like to apologize to those at The Carl who felt slighted. To make things right once again, you are free to copy whatever you want from here.

The only issue is that you’d have to publish something funny if you did that.

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