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In Which I Rant and Rave About an Email

I don't know why I got quite so upset this morning, but darn it this really bugged me.



I got an email today with content that made me uncomfortable. It was a joke email with political and religious references. Nothing against political or religious humor – some of it is incredibly funny. However, I don’t like people sending me religious or politically charged emails that express a single opinion as the correct opinion or “joke” emails where the humor is abusive or violent toward others. Oh, and I really hate non-joke emails that use lies. Anyway, I try really hard to just delete the “joke” emails without responding and am usually successful. And even today I didn't write back. I just got mad. Not even particularly mad about the email - but mad about the tag at the bottom of the email.

It was a colorful graphic that said “IMPORTANT This is not sent for discussion. If you agree, forward it. If you don’t, fine, delete it. I don’t want to know one way or the other. By me forwarding it, you know how I feel.”

At first I thought, “Cool. They are saying forward or delete this. It’s your choice.” I was thinking they respect my choice and “Yay, it’s not a chain letter email!!”

Then I realized, no. They don’t respect me whatsoever. They felt the need to force their opinion/feelings on me, felt the need to force me to make a choice to reforward their opinion/feelings or delete upon reading their thoughts, AND after putting me through their opinion/feelings they don’t even care if I agree or disagree with them. Their feelings are so much more important than mine that they believe they have the right to express them with me, but I do not have the right to express mine in return, even if I share their opinion.

I can see a coward not wanting to hear someone disagree with an expressed opinion or an arrogant jerk thinking my disagreeing opinion is wrong and not worth their time – so yes, the concept of “If you disagree just delete it and keep your trap shut” seems like a fitting command. But this is saying that even if I agree with you, my opinion is so much less valid than yours that you don’t even want the validation? You utter and complete bastard.

Some day I'm going to send an email that says "I think flowers are really pretty!!!" or something equally banal and stick that graphic underneath my comment.

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Comments

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
mcamason
Feb. 25th, 2010 04:18 am (UTC)
Yeah, I think your icon says it all about how I feel about that kind of arrogance and entitlement.

Though I will laugh like a loon if I ever get that "flowers are pretty!" or "I like squirrels!" with that graphic in it. ;)
madladyred
Feb. 26th, 2010 12:13 am (UTC)
Did you get my email?
Isn't it a HUGE graphic?
And what's with the little flowers?

There is a kerfuffle on Regretsy/Etsy where someone listed a "Vintage" Peter Pan DVD for sale and people on Regretsy were saying 1) a recently released DVD or Peter Pan isn't vintage and 2) Etsy is for crafts, she should either list the DVD on eBay or at least glue some glitter to it and a cottonball so to "craft it up." Anyway, someone wrote to her site questioning the listing and the person kept writing back disagreeing with her but ending each response with "Bless you" (This - Judge Not Lest You Be Judged And Eaten by a Crocodile) which is hysterical because I doubt she meant it. On FB there were more comments in which someone said they loved when people use "Bless you" and "F*ck off" interchangeably and in response to that someone else wrote "F*ck your Blessing off" which is brilliant.

ANYWAY - all that to say the flowers in that graphic remind me of "F*ck Your Blessing Of"
sarahtoalaska
Feb. 26th, 2010 07:30 pm (UTC)
I've used "bless you" as fuck off. That way I can smile on the inside.

I do have to say I agree with the DVD not being vintage thing. The only non crafted stuff allowed on Etsy are supplies or vintage stuff.... DVD don't qualify as either. Personally I would have simply not buy her items and maybe report her. Silly girl.
madladyred
Feb. 27th, 2010 03:11 am (UTC)
haha - Sarah you are awesome!
Although if you ever say "Bless you" to me I'm gonna make faces at you. :P

***

Yes, most of the people did report her. Someone else said that she had been reported before and been forced to take down listings before, so her comments that she didn't know better couldn't have been true.

Many people explained to Regretsy (not to her) that when they searched for videos they found either self-made videos from aspiring movie makers (Raven?!?!) or videos pertaining to crafting, which is considered supplies.

I haven't been on Etsy much - just to look at Redd's page and my friend Spit's page - so I know next to nothing about it. Toaster told me about Regretsy, so I fanned it on Facebook and for some reason this ongoing drama captured my attention. (Plus, Regretsy is a brilliant name.)
sarahtoalaska
Feb. 27th, 2010 05:25 am (UTC)
LOL! Okay... I also use "bless you" & "God love you" as a way to say "You are a goofball". So if I say it I MIGHT not me saying "Fuck you". :D Although now I wanna say it so you'll make faces at me.

I'm cool with people selling videos about making stuff or even aspiring movie makers. One is craft related and the other IS technically hand made.

I use to fallow Regretsy on FB but it started getting to snarky. There were some really mean people on there and I got annoyed with it. Well and annoyed with all the straight up crap people were selling when no one bought anything of mine.
sarahtoalaska
Feb. 25th, 2010 05:12 am (UTC)
I completely agree. I can't stand those emails anyway. It's even more annoying when it's someone I care about. One person I "got back" by posting a LJ post similar to the one you just posted. (She reads my LJ) She use to send me all these "Brown people are bad" joke emails.

I think you did best by staying quiet... even thought I agree that's a douche baggy kind of end post. Years ago we got forwarded a really... ignorant "America is great everywhere else sucks" email from someone on the edge of our group. I have no issue with people loving America but this email was... really special and blind. Kenton sent back a very calm very polite response with links to the things she was completely wrong about. Not her views, because she's welcome to them, but she was actually wrong about somethings. Like saying america would NEVER have concentration camps... which of course we have.

She didn't write back but forwarded it everyone and someone else "in" our group basically reamed Kenton and new one. Flipped the fuck out went on and on about how WRONG Kenton was and how DARE he. Kenton wasn't saying her believes were wrong in anyway, just sending her the correct facts. This man is still an edge person in our group and I think I'm the only one who can't stand him.

Kenton says he would still correct a wrong email... but sometimes it's not worth it.
madladyred
Feb. 26th, 2010 12:04 am (UTC)
S2K – I’m with you guys! While I try to leave "jokes" alone, I almost always debunk political, biblical, or commercial statements (like red lipstick causes cancer and Target is a French company that hates America so don’t shop there). Generally I go to Snopes but occasionally with a weblink to the Koran or the Bible even. I am not interested in propaganda or the spreading of lies, so I feel like getting such emails is a moral imperative on me to respond, otherwise I am a party to the corruption.

I think it weakens an argument or persuasive ability when people use lies or errors, so those need correcting. You can believe what you want, but don’t tell a lie (or forward a lie w/o checking it) in the process. At best it is an innocent oversight, although with Snopes it is so easy to verify a statement before forwarding now that it's not as much of an oversight as it is lazy or uncaring. At worst it is malicious! And slander!! AND for people claiming to be from the Christian groups or Religious Right, lies and slander are Biblically forbidden – so they are really breaking rules when they forward untruths. Like Kenton’s only commenting on "facts" not opinions, I try to be fair about it. Even though I am a liberal and a Christian, I look up both liberal and conservative propaganda and I certainly did a lot of disproving of claims about "chapter 9 verse 11 of the Koran!!1!!!" or comments about other faiths. If someone sends me something that I didn’t believe but my research reveals it to be true then I send a comment saying "I checked this out, and it really did happen!" Also, I always try to be very polite and nonconfrontational. I show links to my information and just point out the wrong statement(s). I never say the person who sent me the email is wrong, but instead I say something like "whoever sent you this email blah blah blah" because there is an original source somewhere who I hope Karma tears up into a million pieces. But I do send it to EVERYONE (as a reply all) instead of just the person who sent it, because I think they should know, too. So far no one has sent me a nasty letter back. Surprisingly, so far no one has stopped sending me emails, either. I would have thought I’d be taken off distribution lists! In fact, I have *asked* people to take me off their distribution lists for political forwards – although that doesn’t usually happen. Either people are on autopilot or they are trying to convert me.

I think people WANT to believe a certain thing (Obama is evil, Global Warming is Real) regardless of whether it is true or not. For example, I don’t want to believe Obama is evil and I do want to believe in Global Warming. In fact, that is exactly what I believe. I also think that I am more prone to believe statements that agree with me and less likely to believe those that do not. However, I know my tendencies and I try extra hard to make sure I’m not letting my bias affect my ability to determine if any statements pro/con are reliable or not and then based on the reliability of such statements adjust my beliefs accordingly. When people are not willing to adjust their beliefs or put aside their bias they seem to get mad when you tell them that a pro/con statement is not reliable. If it doesn’t fit their worldview, they don’t care if it’s reliable, only if it matches what they want to believe. I don’t think they WANT to know if it’s a lie and they get mad because then they have to come up with a new justification for what they want to believe. It’s like they got caught that they didn’t have a good reason for thinking something so they react with anger or a defense mechanism.

Ha! Look at me babbling. This is one of my biggest pet peeves, obviously. I need to get off my soapbox.
ann_mcn
Feb. 26th, 2010 01:13 am (UTC)
I forward Snopes links too, or refute when I have facts, and have had nastygrams back. I sent a Snopes link refuting the one about getting AIDS from gas pumps, and the person who sent it to me got all huffy that she was just showing concern for her friends. Stupid scare stories do not protect me!
sarahtoalaska
Feb. 26th, 2010 01:37 am (UTC)
We share a pet peeve apparently.

I have many many times sent people back a "Tampons kill" email with a link to snopes. Most of them I don't forward to everyone unless i think it's actually life threatening. At least 3 times I've gotten the same email about things all woman should know. (3 different people) A few of the "facts" presented in the email were just flat wrong. One of the thing the email said was if you had a choice between being shot or climbing into the trunk of a car, pick the trunk because you can kick the taillights out and wave out the hole. Problem is that's not true. It's a "Fact" that could get you killed. Most headlights nowaday couldn't be kicked out from inside. Each time I've hunted down the snopes page and forwarded it down to everyone. I'd hate someone to die because someone blindly forwarded stuff.

I am all for differing religious or political views... however it's infuriating when people beat you in the head with their views while stuffing their ears with cotton so they can't hear yours. They scream the loudest because in the end they can't really explain their views. They don't believe in global warming because if they did they might have to do something about it. Obama is evil because he wasn't born here. No real proof of that but it has to be true, they have to believe there is a reason the man is wrong.

There is a huge difference between faith and blindness... and I think god can tell the difference.

Most of those emails infuriate me but I let them go. You can't teach a blind man how to see. Of course the ones that are factually wrong deserve to be shown incorrect.
madladyred
Feb. 27th, 2010 03:14 am (UTC)
I didn't know about the taillights!!
sarahtoalaska
Feb. 27th, 2010 05:29 am (UTC)
I got the tail light thing the first time ten years ago... and it was wrong then. I completely forwarded it AGAIN explaining how wrong and dangerous that email was.
ann_mcn
Feb. 25th, 2010 11:22 am (UTC)
We need more real discussing of issues, and we need to learn what facts are. Yes, we all have a right to our own opinions, but it doesn't mean our opinions are equally valid. If someone refuses to look at the facts, and to look at the source of the facts, then I don't put any trust in their opinions.

Leonard Pitts had a good column last week --
http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/02/21/1492484/facts-no-longer-mean-what-they.html
madladyred
Feb. 25th, 2010 11:58 pm (UTC)
Ann - everyone should have to read that article. Sadly, people would probably ignore it just like they would ignore facts. Meanwhile, I'm bookmarking it and saving it.
madladyred
Feb. 26th, 2010 12:54 am (UTC)
Along those lines - this should be shared, too. Eric's House of Ego
magnet5
Feb. 26th, 2010 05:14 pm (UTC)
what's really annoying is how often these things come with "verified by Snopes——check it out!" And when I do (always!), no, it's been refuted by Snopes. Sheesh.
sarahtoalaska
Feb. 26th, 2010 07:33 pm (UTC)
I think the people creating these wrong emails... or forwarding them have caught onto people like us checking it out. I guess they figure we are all to lazy to check if they tell us it's good.

I just got one on recalled meds. It had a "Verified by snopes" tag on it. And it had been... 10 years ago. They now had it tagged as no longer valid.
madladyred
Feb. 27th, 2010 03:01 am (UTC)
Sarah - I got that same email! I know because I did the same thing you did. I wonder if we got it from the same person? Although probably not. It truly amazes me how viral these emails can be. Sometimes I will get the same video or warning email from three completely different and unrelated sources (coworker of Monkeys, coworker of mine, personal friend) within an hour. On the one hand - what an amazingly small world and how wonderful is the technology that keeps us so quickly connected. On the other hand - it's wasted with some stupid messages! LOL!.
Oh - what if someone initiated a message to clog up the internet and take down a server. Yeah, that last sentence was kind of dumb, I know. It probably takes a lot more than these viral emails to take down a server. Still, it certainly takes us away from our work for a bit thereby taking a whack at productivity. :D
sarahtoalaska
Feb. 27th, 2010 05:27 am (UTC)
I got the email from a friend up here, so good chance it wasn't the same people. How sad is that?

I think that once upon a time you could have taken down a server with stuff like that... no anymore.
madladyred
Feb. 27th, 2010 03:03 am (UTC)
Sarah & Magnet - I agree! I've gotten a few emails lately with "verified by Snopes" written in the text - which I immediately distrust and look up. Never has it been true.

I'm kind of pleased still that it's on there. I think it means we are having some kind of impact. It's a good first start. :D

Plus, it's making even more people aware of Snopes.
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