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My morning was interrupted by several emails that demanded I drop what I was doing to read what they had to say. There was no asking involved. “Lou, stop what you are doing now...”. What I was doing was enjoying my first cup of black coffee for the day. Of course, the Libertine heretic inside me, not only drug the email and twenty like it, (unread) into the trash but I clicked DELETE as fast as possible. These messages are like cockroaches, they reappear the next day, actually the next 15 minutes, hundreds in a week. They don’t care that you don’t care, they keep coming.
Why would anyone, who wants to get my attention because they have something important to tell me, ever open a conversation by make condescending demands on me? By the theme of these radical messages, I would think their true audience would chaff at being told what to do, even if it was good for them. Even if it was developed over time to save their life and the lives of their loved ones. I guess we won’t go there. The word “compliance” for the sake of your fellow man makes these people see RED.
There are also the ones that start by saying, in bold print, “Lou, we absolutely MUST act now”, or “Lou we need your help, please just one more time”, or “Lou, YOU can help, they are coming after us and MUST be stopped”. I’m sure the creators of these electronic scare tactics really believe the end is near, or the people who are paying them do. These messages of doom emanate from both political parties and I’m afraid from other nations as well. Emails are not the way to learn how government works, that’s something you need to possess before you open your emails. I’m not saying only certain people should read emails. I’m saying prepare yourself. My God, it’s the internet! Emails are shorthand for the romantic view of what Paul Revere shouted from his horse the night of his midnight ride. As the receiver of sparse information, you have no opportunity to ask questions of the sender. It’s all one-way communication. I realize this is all well and good if I just send you money. My money will keep you alive so you can continue to spread non-thinking panic. These electronic messages aren’t inviting you to church suppers, they’re machines pretending to know who you are. If you could interview the people back then who heard Revere’s shouts, I’m sure some would say, “I heard him scream something but I couldn’t make it out, he was travelling way too fast and bouncing up and down on that horse”. And then they may have gone back in the house and went back to sleep after all the commotion. Some may never have been awakened. Revere (and the two others with him) were the advance team. All and all, it’s a very haphazard way to inform people.
Speaking for myself, I’m not getting excited because you’re excited or because you think I should be excited. It just doesn’t work that way with me. Repeating the same tired line requesting my money or my action using the “shotgun approach” fails with me. I’m sure the story is the same with others peppered by the shotgun blast. The perpetrators do it because they can and it’s easy. But also, because the message sticks with a group of ideologues who scrape these blurbs off the wall and have them for breakfast. The themes are nourishing to those with bad eating habits. In other words, they lack taste. Their diets do not vary. They have been taught to be suspicious, which I agree is essential in a democracy. I think doubting is good if it includes listening, questioning and learning. The only thing we have to fear is – the emails themselves.