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Accepting a Mail Dominant World —Cagle

June 2007
BITS & PIECES

RANT WARNING! Keep your hands, face and elbows away from the magazine. Please adhere; neither I nor the powers that be at North American Publishing can be held responsible for those either materially injured or vicariously insulted. Reader discretion is advised.

I’m missing something extremely fundamental. Perhaps someone can help me put my finger on it. You know, one of those revelatory moments when you say, “Ah, now I see what you’re talking about.” I’m in need of revelation.

It’s this whole “Do Not Mail” (DNM) nonsense. I really, really don’t get it. Why would people take up a cause to stop the flow of unwanted “junk mail?” My home state of New Jersey just entered the fray. At the risk of being repetitive, let’s short-arm the flimsy reasons behind the effort to introduce state legislation.

Environmental Issue: Paper is harvested from managed timberlands. There aren’t sequoias or redwoods being hacked up to produce the latest Lands’ End catalog or the Payless ShoeSource ad. As for mail creating tons of waste for America’s landfills, why are you even throwing away your mail? Recycle that paper. If your community doesn’t recycle, don’t blame the USPS. Which brings us to...

Identity Theft: Jim Andersen of Instant Web Companies recently, and correctly, pointed out that you’re as vulnerable to have someone lift your credit card info after you’ve paid at a restaurant as you are of someone prying into your mailbox. And, if you’re paranoid about identity thieves striking your trash, buy a paper shredder, for crying out loud.

Waste of Time: I probably spend about 45 seconds a day, sorting through the mail. Subtracting Sundays and holidays, we’ll say there are 300 mailing days a year. That makes for 225 minutes of sorting over the course of a year. I spend more time watching Charlton Heston commanding Yul Brenner to “Let my people go!” And, is there a better line than Edward G. Robinson exclaiming, “Where’s your messiah now?” Truly one of the best villains in cinema history.

My point? In the time that I wasted blathering about “The 10 Commandments,” you had ample time to go through your mail.

Oddly enough, I received an e-mail from someone with the pro-DNM faction. He wrote, “The proposed recent ‘Do Not Mail’ legislation is an opt-out law. Only those not desiring advertising mail need opt out. Anyone desiring advertising mail can do nothing—and continue to receive it. Why deny those wishing to avoid advertising mail the power to do so?”
 

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