“Ridiculous Reactions”

Nick in Arizona recently re-subscribed after an absence. He wrote:

I’m looking forward to getting TRUE in my mailbox again. It’s been a long, long time, and what reminded me was the Get Out of Hell Free cards. I came across a few in one of my storage boxes (I remember mailing in my request for several orders, including the nice plastic cards in addition to the card stock version, which I had been handing out like breezy many years ago). I’m a consultant now, and I live the travel life style. I’m always working with people who need the GOOHF, especially since it covers stupidity! Lol. I’m going to need several, soon. I’m looking forward to the true stories and witty commentary, and occasional RIDICULOUS reactions from the reader base! Thank you for still being there, doing what you do!

the GOOHF card
Ordering is here.

Yep, still here, doing what I do. And yes, the GOOHF cards are “Valid for All 7+1 Deadly Sins” the back side notes — the Classic Seven plus the absolutely biggest sin of all: Stupidity!

Why? Because we all do stupid things sometimes, and the card is a reminder that you can let yourself off the hook for it. Orders — for yourself, your friends, and your co-workers — help support True.

the back side of the card
The back.

“Sin all you want: we’ll print more. And don’t leave this earthly plane without one!”


And oh, you want RIDICULOUS reaction from the reader base? Well, I have a story for you!

Bruce in Pennsylvania unsubscribed last week because, he said, “I guess I am overwhelmed and bored and still see you as one of the MSM I decry.” (That would be the “MainStream Media”.)

Here’s the thing: Bruce has been subscribed to True since April 2010. So I replied, “True is about thinking — and you actually thought about it for nearly six years and decided that a one-man columnist working from home is part of the MSM? Now THAT is a great example of obliviocy!”

OK, I was baiting him a little to see what he would do, but he kept his cool (a point in his favor!) He replied, “If you parrot the MSM, you are part of it.”

Ah! So folks who quote the MSM in (say) Facebook memes are mainstream journalists! I wonder how Mainstream International knows where to send their paychecks?

Seriously, I don’t think using the MSM for my own purposes makes me a part of them. But even if I was, part of being an informed citizen means looking at the issues from various points of view before coming to your own conclusions. Getting everything from one self-confirming source is not the way to do that. I’ve said many times during Bruce’s tenure that I don’t suggest everyone come to the same conclusions that I do, but rather that they think for themselves and consider thinking outside your own little box to see differing points of view.

Slow “Thinker”

Besides all that, really? He had to ponder this for six years before deciding that someone who comments on the news, sometimes very disparagingly, is part of some vast media-elite conspiracy? Well smack my head. Who knew? And where are my paychecks from the cabal for doing that for so many years?!

But wait, there’s more: I looked up Bruce’s original subscription to see whether he put anything in the “Whereheard” box — noting where he had heard of True in the first place. In fact, he did. He noted he saw my ad: I had bought some space …in a mainstream news publication.

So Bruce is someone I decry: someone who can’t grasp the importance of thinking, even after nearly six years of reading story after story after story with endless examples of what happens to people when they don’t.

Oh well: I tried.

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This page is an example of Randy Cassingham’s style of “Thought-Provoking Entertainment”. His This is True is an email newsletter that uses “weird news” as a vehicle to explore the human condition in an entertaining way. If that sounds good, click here to open a subscribe form.

To really support This is True, you’re invited to sign up for a subscription to the much-expanded “Premium” edition:

One Year Upgrade

"Ridiculous Reactions"
(More upgrade options here.)

Q: Why would I want to pay more than the regular rate?

A: To support the publication to help it thrive and stay online: this kind of support means less future need for price increases (and smaller increases when they do happen), which enables more people to upgrade. This option was requested by existing Premium subscribers.

8 Comments on ““Ridiculous Reactions”

  1. I read/watch a lot of mainstream media. They have the latest, breaking news. I try and cross check some stories which make me scratch my head b/c it smells fishy. You are a specialized info mag (can I call it a mag?) that finds esoteric items for us to enjoy.

    Sure, I call it a mag sometimes too. -rc

  2. I’ve been, and still am, an avid reader for a long time now. Here it comes :).

    But the one part of your “news mail” that always makes me feel a bit uncomfortable are these unsubscribe exchanges.

    It always feels as though you’re telling us how you won that exchange after they’ve gone and they can’t defend themselves.

    It’s not what’s said, because most of the time I agree with your points, even though I can sometimes see and agree with theirs. It’s the fact of repeating it that unnerves me.

    Just wanted to get that off my chest it changes nothing about my subscription or admiration for your work but, I feel better for it. 🙂

    Glad you got that off your chest. But it’s not correct that they cannot defend themselves: not only do I give them that opportunity when I engage in the initial back and forth — and I quote it, as you see here — but it’s part of why it’s posted here: should they check, follow TRUE on social media, subscribe to blog posts, or become aware of it in myriad other ways, they have the opportunity to comment right here. And many times they do. Still, the point isn’t to engage in a back and forth with them, the point is to present to the readership as a whole Yet Another Example of why it’s a good idea to “think first, and react later (if at all).” They’re presented here for their “Thought-Provoking Entertainment” (and that phrase is in the order of importance: it’s not “Entertaining Thought-Provocation”.)

    When I ask readers, should they be “exempt” from being made part of the thought-provoking entertainment should they do something “dumb,”* they overwhelmingly say they absolutely should be called out. I’ve asked that informally and more formally, and the answer is always the same.

    *(And not coincidentally, right near the top of this page, note that I said “Stupidity” is one of the “sins” discussed on the Get Out of Hell Free card because “we all do stupid things sometimes, and the card is a reminder that you can let yourself off the hook for it.” [emphasis from the original] We all do stupid things sometimes — yes, including me — and it’s valid to ask, “What the hell were you thinking?”) -rc

  3. “Main Stream Media” = media that reports things in a way I don’t like.

    Right. And indeed, for example, Fox News (right wing) and MSNBC (left wing) are both examples of the “mainstream media”. -rc

  4. Was he overwhelmed by the once weekly email or just bored by thinking?

    It’s hard to tell which was the greater burden to him. -rc

  5. I subscribed to the free edition the first time I stumbled upon the This Is True website sometime ago last century. I upgraded to the premium edition once I realized reading This Is True every week made my life seem just a little bit more normal. After decades of reading True, my life seems down right mundane.

    Personally I think you’re absolutely correct to include stories of those who unsubscribe because of selected content. It only goes to show that you can present thought provoking stories to an obilviot, but you can’t make him think.

    Granted I still occasionally need to use a GOOHF card myself instead of just giving them out to others. I’m just glad to be able to say that the only time I see my name in an edition of This Is True is in the subscription information section at the end of each issue.

  6. “”Main Stream Media” = media that reports things in a way I don’t like.”

    Gonna keep that on file and trot it out at every opportunity when the issue gets raised 🙂


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