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We need more articles on vaginal fisting. Fistees, where are your letters!

Posted by Some dude | August 20, 2008 11:10 AM

All city council members are under the deeply mistaken impression that asking them ONE question on ONE subject means you want them to add you to multiple mailing lists. They all believe that email is a communication tool that is only supposed to work one way -- for them to broadcast news about how fabulous and exciting they are -- definitely not as a one-to-one communication method.

Spam, in other words.

Posted by Fnarf | August 20, 2008 11:27 AM

Sadly, Fnarf is right.

And, as we all know, all legislators have exempted themselves from the spam laws, so you can't even sue them if they ignore your request to stop.

Papers, citizen?

Posted by Will in Seattle | August 20, 2008 11:36 AM

Hey! That newsletter has important information for YOU the Seattle resident. Sure, I don't have the readership of Savage Love and never will (probably due to the fact that no public policy issues have arisen regarding vaginal fisting), but admit it -- you care about plastic bags, property tax levies, ugly townhomes, and cops. We just unsubscribed you, but you'll be back. Oh, yes, you'll beg to come back.

Fnarf - email is not real one-to-one communication. Get away from your keyboard. Go have coffee with a friend.

Posted by Sally Clark | August 20, 2008 11:43 AM

Judging by that haircut, Sally Clark does not want you anywhere near her box, either, Dan.

Posted by w7ngman | August 20, 2008 12:03 PM

If #4 is actually from Sally Clark, then my opinion of her just went up a big notch.

If it's someone masquerading as Sally Clark, well, still hilarious.

Posted by rb | August 20, 2008 12:04 PM


Sally is an out Queer - aka Dyke Lesbian

Dan would not survive Vagina 101 taught by a real lesbian ...

Posted by Larry | August 20, 2008 12:13 PM


Posted by Dan Savage | August 20, 2008 12:32 PM

I'd hesitate to call city council members "legislators", as in American society the term is generally associated with State Legislators, and lumping everybody together can cause some confusion.

That said, most state political parties have some sort of mass voter database where they can make notations like "don't call this person again", or what have you. Most political offices I've volunteered for have been diligent about updating these systems, but when the vast majority of your workforce is there on a volunteer basis, the possibility of someone's info slipping through the cracks is relatively high.

Also, the loophole most places get through it ideologically on is that it isn't spam. Spam is unsolicited. When you register to vote, you are soliciting a whole bunch of shit, including jury duty calls and yes, political messages. You've declared yourself as a person who is interested in the political process. So, it's kind of logical for politicians to assume that you might be interested in hearing about what they're actually doing with the votes of their constituents.

Overall, I think Sally Clark handled this well- with humor, as well as with unsubscribing Dan from her listserv.

Posted by Sara | August 20, 2008 12:59 PM

The only real problem with your definition, Sara, is that it's full of shit. By registering to vote, I very much do NOT implicitly solicit EMAIL. The ONLY way to solicit email is to specifically ASK FOR IT. And sending bulk email to people who haven't asked for it is SPAMMING.

Yes, it is.

As for Ms. Clark's suggestion that I "Go have coffee with a friend", although I realize she is trying to be clever, it's actually profoundly insulting. I have plenty of coffee with plenty of friends, thanks very much. When I want to ask a council member a question or give them my thoughts on a subject, I'm inclined to send them an email. I doubt Ms. Clark much wants to go have coffee with me, or vice-versa.

Her rationale for spamming her constituents is IDENTICAL to the rationale used by spammers of p*rn, p*n*s pills, m*rtg*ges, or c*mmem*rative 9/11 dinner plates. "I thought it would be of interest to you". But email doesn't work like that. I'll tell YOU if I want it, not the other way around.

Subscribing people to email lists is an offense against the global email system and people's right to privacy, and constitutes "conversion to chattel" -- you are using other people's resources as if they are yours. It is EXACTLY THE SAME as if you walked into their house and started talking to them, or used a powerful transmitter to interrupt their TV signal to show your own programming on their screens. This isn't true when you use YOUR paper and YOUR ink and YOUR stamp to send me a newsletter.

What you are doing should be a criminal offense. Unfortunately it is not. 99% of all email traffic is spam, thanks to the inaction of elected officials who think like you do. As an email administrator I regard people who sign up other people to their newsletters without being asked to be lower on the ethical scale than child molesters.

Posted by Fnarf | August 20, 2008 1:29 PM

Git 'er!

Posted by Mr. Poe | August 20, 2008 1:34 PM

I'm surprised she could remove her lips from the Mayor's ass long enough to answer.

Posted by Vince | August 20, 2008 2:05 PM
As an email administrator I regard people who sign up other people to their newsletters without being asked to be lower on the ethical scale than child molesters.

Yes, Fnarf. This, more than anything, shows you really *do* need to go get coffee with another human. Bravo.

Posted by perspective | August 20, 2008 2:51 PM

Man, fnarf, the more you type, the more you prove Sally Clark right.

Step away from the keyboard, man.

Posted by luce | August 20, 2008 3:18 PM

Every email administrator in the world agrees with me.

Posted by Fnarf | August 20, 2008 4:26 PM

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