Like you, perhaps, I get on a lot of e-mail lists — in my case, they’re usually media lists. And I have myself removed from each one of them.
This is irrespective of whether I like the group or cause or not. As I have told people, if my mother had a list, I would ask to be removed from it. If there were a Committee for the Exaltation of Jay Nordlinger, I would asked to be removed from its list.
Otherwise, there would be nothing in my inbox except this sort of spam.
I have a practice: When one such e-mail comes in, I hit Reply and type on the Subject line, “PLEASE REMOVE. INBOX SWAMPED. THANK YOU.” And, almost always, that’ll do it.
A few weeks ago, I started to get regular mail from a Republican group. After a couple of these, I did what I always do: type “PLEASE REMOVE. INBOX SWAMPED. THANK YOU.” The e-mail kept coming. So I did it again.
And just this morning — they were still coming — I wrote, ‘PLEASE REMOVE. THIRD REQUEST. THANK YOU.”
I got back the following reply: “We’re part of the Republican Party, Jay. . . . As WFB said, you can cancel your own Goddam subscription. We’re not removing you from the list.”
In all likelihood, this person is aware of the phrase he quotes because a recent collection of Bill’s Notes & Asides is titled “Cancel Your Own Goddam Subscription.” Bill wrote this to a reader in a fit of theatrical inspiration (which he often had). The reader had ended an unpleasant letter, “Cancel my subscription.” And Bill uttered his reply.
What he meant was, “Make the call or write the letter to the appropriate personnel” — i.e., not the editor-in-chief. He did not mean that the person had to subscribe to National Review forever or that he would not be able to cancel his subscription.
Plus — the man (the reader) had asked for National Review in the first place.
As for the spamming Republican group, I will simply block them from my e-mail. Instead of cluttering up my inbox, they will be cluttering up my Rejected or Junk Mail file. Okay.
But here’s the dollop of sadness: A lot of people say that the Republican party is superior to the Democratic — and that conservatives are superior to liberals — in the area of manners: in the area of how people ought to deal with one another, especially in public.
Wouldn’t it be a shame if this were a complete crock?