Saturday, March 10, 2018


I've recently been thanked for what for me have been generous contributions to local political causes, and I replied something like, "Thank you ... but they really aren't all that generous."
They aren't, and I'll share with the group part of why not.
In part, it's money my heirs fortunately don't need and which, unfortunately, I won't need for my illustrious career in film production (now, let us say, on long-term hiatus).
More relevant, it's money I'm withholding from commercial ventures, politicians, and charities that are practicing "Constant Contact" — actual name of actual company — far too literally.
Some people like a lot of stimulation, some a little. Me? I find it uncomfortable just to use washrooms where the light intensity is for women applying makeup. Also, many of us old folk were raised to respond and respond politely to requests. So I find the inundation of ads, catalogs, and, importantly here, appeals in varied media to be more than just annoying but mildly painful — and a serious matter when important mail gets lost in the mass and my not-*that*-old computer functions get slowed down.
A bit of street theater that moved me to action in the Vietnam Era was on the theme, "If You Don't Like the War Machine, Don't Feed it." The moral issues are much less urgent here, but I will resist feeding "Constant Contact" as both a corporation and a fund-raising strategy. Those groups I'm supporting, I'll mostly continue to support. Newbies who've bought my contact information — unless I've heard of you some other way, and you've got a really good cause (and maybe an "UNSUBSCRIBE" function that definitively stops your appeals) — you are likely out of luck.
Local folk and groups I know and who know how to ask and then back off: Yep, now and then you'll find me looking considerably more generous than you expected. Don't thank me too much, though: part of that money has been shifted from good people taking prudent advice — and succeeding at pissing me off enough to stop complaining and act.

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