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    Wednesday, January 03, 2007

    If we could only be honest




    Sort of like.. let your yes be yes, and your no be no..

    And remembering just who is the author of all lies.

    I like this column.. it sounds honest, not nice.

    I like nice cookies and nice cars, not nice people.

    link

    Joel Stein:
    Have something to say? I don't care
    Don't bother sending anything to that e-mail address below -- because I don't care.
    January 2, 2007

    DON'T E-MAIL me.

    That address on the bottom of this column? That is the pathetic, confused death knell of the once-proud newspaper industry, and I want nothing to do with it. Sending an e-mail to that address is about as useful as sending your study group report about Iraq to the president.

    Here's what my Internet-fearing editors have failed to understand: I don't want to talk to you; I want to talk at you. A column is not my attempt to engage in a conversation with you. I have more than enough people to converse with. And I don't listen to them either. That sound on the phone, Mom, is me typing.

    Not everything should be interactive. A piece of work that stands on its own, without explanation or defense, takes on its own power. If Martin Luther put his 95 Theses on the wall and then all the townsfolk sent him their comments, and he had to write back to all of them and clarify what he meant, some of the theses would have gotten all watered down and there never would have been a Diet of Worms. And then, for the rest of history, elementary school students learning about the Reformation would have nothing to make fun of. You can see how dangerous this all is.

    I get that you have opinions you want to share. That's great. You're the Person of the Year. I just don't have any interest in them. First of all, I did a tiny bit of research for my column, so I'm already familiar with your brilliant argument. Second, I've already written my column, so I can't even steal your ideas and get paid for them.

    Part of the problem is that no etiquette has yet been established for the hyper-interactive world. And I, born before MySpace and e-mail, don't feel comfortable getting a letter and not answering it. And then, if I do, suddenly, we're pen pals, with all those pen pal responsibilities.

    And I don't want a pen pal who already has strong opinions about me. What fun is that? I want a pen pal named Simone who lives in Grenoble and is trying to learn English while I learn French, and teases me with vague promises to come visit over summer break even though she never does.

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