Note to the ACLU

If your telephone fundraiser is so rude she makes even a paid-up member like me hang up on her, you might want to rethink that contract with Telefund, Inc. And what the hell are you doing calling me up two weeks after I sent you fifty bucks, asking for more money? I was interrupted by a phone call this afternoon identifying itself as coming from Telefund, Inc. I could have let it ring, but I was curious who was calling -- I am on both state & federal do-not-call lists, so it had to be either an organization I already had some relationship with or someone violating my desire for privacy. It was the ACLU asking me to change from being a mere member to being some Defender of Freedom or something, which in the end amounted to agreeing to pay them $15 a month instead of renewing annually. Couple of things were relevant: 1) I had just sent the ACLU my annual dues last month & now they were already coming back for more; 2) as I tried to explain to the woman on the phone, in this political season, I am tapped out. But after trying to say something polite four or five times & having my sentences drowned in an aggressive & accusatory manner, I hung up. Couple of ironies: 1) After renewing this time around, my wife & I had discussed doubling our contribution next year, but I will be very reluctant to do so now; 2) I actually do give one organization a regular monthly contribution: see that EFF banner in the right sidebar? EFF has never called me at home, by the way. Doubling the irony, after sending in my dues this year, I went to the ACLU website looking for a web button for this blog. Had there been one -- there wasn't -- I would probably have been willing to sign up for a monthly contribution. Here is the takeaway on this: If you want my money, don't call me up & be rude to me. Seems obvious, no? In any case, I won't be picking up in the future. I may or may not renew my membership next year. How many calls did that fundraiser make today? How many people did she piss off? Right, that's got to be good for the organization.

Author: jd

Joseph Duemer is Professor of Literature Emeritus at Clarkson University in northern New York state. His most recent book of poems is Magical Thinking from Ohio State University Press. Since the mid-1990s he has spent a good deal of time in Vietnam, mostly Hanoi. He lives with his wife Carole & five terriers (four Jack Russells & one Patterdale) on the stony bank of the Raquette River in South Colton.

1 thought on “Note to the ACLU”

  1. it happens to us in a more modified form. because BECAUSE we usually don’t stay on the line, but hang up quickly. the services used, i think, have nothing to do with the organizations we support. the organizations we support hire-out these “collection” agencies–and as no good deed will go unpunished, we get treated like geese. (and their hands are clean.)
    it is, as lawrence fixel said, part of the MACHINEIFICATION of human activity. as with the political parties, we are but fodder while the great handles turn the sausage machine. my mind is walking away from all of this. but the sausage machine is not affected. we are very dead before we are dead. meat is absurd. we are used. the sausage machine is a mask and it grinds. when we are dead we are dead. before we are dead we are dead. the fodder shrieks and protests as it is being fed into the sausage machine. someones will say we must blowup the sausage machine. that we must resist the machineification of humanity. but what do they know. they only know they don’t like somethings happening. they are fodder for mrs. lovat’s sausage machine. the executioners, the sweeney todds, are mad. the machineification of all the todds and all the lovats is the mad symbol of what susanne langer may have believed could be averted with logic, with intelligence, with rigorous care: but but that great woman was never heeded.
    the services used THE SERVICES USED allow our feel-good sweet ‘honorable’ institutions to believe they are so-doing ‘GOOD’, but the evil
    is only temporarily surrendered. under the flagstones and under the banners, there dreams an
    evil more evil that human evil: it is evil because
    to us it will not connect–evil only to us: what defeats us is the feelingless machine. the hawk flies, the winds roar, waters whip and rise. the machine rumbles on. we feed it. edward mycue

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