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Sign me up, dude


Stop the Pressses column by Chris Graham

I had 51 of them the other morning.

E-mails from a Detroit news station’s Web site, that is.

Thirty-six had to do with horoscopes – apparently, someone out there, and you know who you are, signed me up for daily horoscopes from the site under three of my augustafreepress.com e-mail addresses.

And then this same joker – I’m guessing – went out and signed me up for every conceivable AARP e-mail newsletter there is, including the one that is offered to those who speak Spanish.

And then …

Yes, this goes on for a while.

There are the e-mails that I am signed up for from a few marketers who offer information to subscribers on the news of the day from the business and economic sectors.

I’ve also been getting e-mails from another news service that caters to those who for some reason don’t like Jews.

Welcome to my world, folks.

Have we perhaps exposed a flaw in the systems that are used to sign people up for these never-ending electronic newsletters?

I think so.

The bits from the Detroit news station only stopped when I made contact with the station’s Web master.

I had tried several times unsuccessfully to get them to stop by clicking on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the e-mails – but because the system required me to enter the first and last name and birth date and birth year of the person who had signed me up, and my real first and last name and birth date and birth year didn’t match theirs, I was blocked from being able to complete the act.

The AARP site was much easier to get through – the unsubscribe link works in a few seconds and didn’t require anything from me in terms of personal information.

Ditto for the marketing newsletters.

The anti-Semitic e-mails – I haven’t figured out their process yet.

Nor have I figured out what kind of person wastes his or her time signing up a stranger for e-mail newsletters.

I mean, it’s not as if this didn’t take some time – whoever it was decided to sign me up for several of these newsletters, and they went in and checked individual boxes that sometimes numbered, I don’t know, 15 or 20 per signup.

My thought is that this person must really, really like me – you know, given that they’re spending free time late at night and early in the morning when these e-mails usually start rolling in trying to make my life that much less enjoyable.

I would love to meet this person, actually – I don’t know, to maybe share a thought or two on how things are going, perhaps throw in a comment about how I think people who engage in the kinds of things that they’ve been wasting their time pursuing might deserve to be prosecuted.

OK, so I think they should be castrated – yes, I’ve had a lot of time to muse on this topic, and no, I don’t think it’s too harsh.

I say that because I just got another flood of them.

Here we go again …


Chris Graham is the executive editor of The New Dominion. Sign up for his e-mail newsletter at …



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