So I got this email from a reader demanding to know why I make my world-famous “Get Out of Hell Free” cards available. I’ve written about that quite a bit over the years, so I don’t intend to repeat it all here (see the GOOHF site if you’re not already aware of the story. The basic answer, though, is “Because people like them.”)
I think it’s an obvious concept, but Richard in (I think) Connecticut writes:
Less spam? For the first time ever (in my experience, at least), I’m getting noticeably less spam. My spam load — the vast majority of which my server catches for me and reports in a nightly email — is down to a “mere” 350 to 450/day!
It’s been 27(!) years since I was in England, but I vowed “I shall return” and I’ll be wading ashore in mid October.
Any long-time reader of This is True has heard of our (in)famous “Get Out of Hell Free” cards, stickers, and t-shirts. They’re my reaction to people telling me to go to (or that I am going to) hell. They have been wildly popular with readers who enjoy being able to finally have a good response to those who tell them the same thing.
This week’s issue marks a milestone: True’s Ten-Year Anniversary! It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years, since I feel like I’m just getting started.
You know I write about idiots every week, but it’s not all that often that I have to actually deal with them one on one, in real time. But I had one today. My “other” publication, as you probably know, is the True Stella Awards, which details real-but-stupid lawsuits.
I shut down my “Randy’s Random” email publication a year and a half ago, and I still get people saying they miss it.
I’ve added a new weekly feature to True: the “Bonzer Web Site of the Week” has been added just above the Honorary Unsubscribe. I accept site suggestions for this feature only from Premium subscribers (yes, I’ll be checking).
Yes, True is about weird news. More importantly, it’s about thinking, which implies a quest for knowledge and understanding. That’s most evident in my editorials; here are two of them on the same subject, starting with one from May 2002:
“Chaos” (i.e., he didn’t stand by his own comment enough to sign a real name) in Massachusetts writes:
The Briefest of Backgrounds
For those coming in from other links, This is True is a pioneer in online publishing. Since 1994, it has been the email leader of “weird news.” Subscribers get stories every week by email with true tales of human stupidity, all tagged with humorous, opinionated or ironic commentary by me, Randy Cassingham.
Blasphemy! Yep, that’s what I’m guilty of, if you believe “Santa”, one of several people who wrote about a story in the 23 April 2000 issue. Here’s the story:
In April 1999, I started a sister publication to This is True called HeroicStories. The idea was actually more of a spinoff of the Honorary Unsubscribe, which had started in January 1998. My concept: talk about cool people who didn’t have to be famous (and die!) to get some recognition.
I’m pleased to announce my new project: a new email publication with stories about interesting real people. It’s a spinoff of the popular “Honorary Unsubscribe” feature in True.
April Fools — with emphasis on the fools!
I gave a talk this week at the Economics Institute here in Boulder, which is attached to the University of Colorado.
The institute “prepares” economics and business students from abroad for graduate studies here with crash courses in American culture. It was very interesting to speak to them about American media in the age of the Internet, and the changes that the Net is bringing about.
I was quite honored last week to get a copy of the new Breast Cancer Resource Guide of Massachusetts, which lists This is True as a leading Humor Resource for victims of breast cancer. They sent it to me for a very special reason.
Without any announcement, the first “Honorary Unsubscribe” runs in True.