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Simon Cowell's Gone Soft (and Long-Winded) in His Old Age

Simon Cowell Jean Baptiste Lacroix/Getty Images

Someone needs to pull the pen from Simon Cowell's fingers.

While we love it when the crotchety American Idol judge decides to air his dirty laundry in public (that Susan Boyle botch list was a classic), is an absurdly lengthy diatribe really necessary?

On the cusp of his 50th birthday next week, Cowell wrote a letter to himself published in yesterday's Daily Mail in the U.K. In it, he looks back on the past few decades, scolding himself for poor decisions he made in the '80s and '90s and patting himself on the back for the good ones.

It would be a good, self-deprecating, third-person about-face, but regardless of what he says, nearly 3,500 words makes for nothing but a puff (as in puff, the magic ego) piece.

"You are on a roll and you think the good times will last forever but, oh dear, Simon. You are so, so wrong," he writes to the 1980s version of himself. "You look like a complete idiot…you are overconfident, far too cocky and dressed from head to toe in expensive designer gear…It hasn't dawned on you yet, you idiot, that you can't afford any of this stuff."

Of course, Mr. Tight T-shirts takes it easy on himself for the final 1,000 words or so.

"I must say, despite everything, I'm quite proud of you, Simon," he says. "You're happy, you're content and just incredibly grateful for where you are."

Then he goes on to list what's changed for him over the years—really important things like what he drinks and snacks on and how he doesn't like to bum $5 from anyone. He pats himself on the back for never marrying because he's such a workaholic, and for staying friends with his exes.

"Your job, Simon, was to make celebrities, not to become one yourself, dear boy," he says. "Underneath it all, Simon, you are a realist. You don't believe the hype about yourself. You can see what you do well and what you do badly. People think you are this Machiavellian character, forever plotting and scheming."

He ends his diatribe as Hallmark would have intended—"So happy birthday! Love Simon"—although we'd hate to see the card size needed to print this self-lovingloathing opus.

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The happy people in the Big Picture gallery won't make you roll your eyes nearly as much as the rest of this story. We promise.

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