Thursday, June 4, 2015

Newsletter -- Can I Unsubscribe?

Can I unsubscribe? Is that what you're asking? I thought so. You asked me a question, so I'll ask you a question as well. If you wanted to unsubscribe, why did you subscribe in the first place? Are you just so casual about declaring to the world that you don't know your own mind? And that you're such a fickle person as to not know what you wanted in the first place. You're all up in my face with umbrage over unsubscribing when perhaps I should be up in your face about why you originally subscribed. I remember seeing your subscription come in, and I recall saying, wrongly, it now seems, "There's a person I can depend on..."

Of course I'd rather you didn't unsubscribe. One, if you didn't know your mind originally, perhaps you're going against your ultimate will now. And you'll turn around in a few weeks -- months, tops -- and beg to be resubscribed. I wish I had a nickel for every person I've known who's done things like that. "He loves me, he loves me not." What's clear about most of these characters is that they're blown about by the wind. It's cool to subscribe to this guy's newsletter .... Then suddenly it's not .... With the tide turning once again, and everyone wants on board. Try, just try, not to follow the crowd.

At this point, though, we're not going by what I want. God forbid I might know best. Hell no, that can't be possible, can it? It's like I'm building a house with rotten lumber. What kind of house will I have? This piece decides it doesn't want to be part of the house. I wake up and the roof says it's had enough. I can only hope the basement sticks it out or the whole thing's lost! Isn't that something, that a basement, the lowest part of the house, has such power? You'd think, the basement, how humble, how untidy; there's bugs and spider webs and dust and dark corners down there; that's where we keep the sump pump. Stop to think, maybe it's your one subscription that's holding up the entire newsletter.

But no one stops to think. Because people are off in their own selfish little world, apparently capable of putting 2 and 2 together, but on closer examination all you get's a blank stare. Or a selfish, baby-like sniffling and whimpering and tantrums; the one thing they're good at is throwing tantrums! Bringing the whole house to a standstill while we get them cleaned up, or whatever the problem is. "Hush little baby, don't say a word ... if you wanna unsubscribe, it's no skin off my ass ... much!" Or is it? You unsubscribe and I might suddenly become sullen and develop writer's block, and next thing you know there's not a newsletter in sight! I've seen it happen.

Sometimes I wish -- yes, I wish -- I could be the linchpin like that for some guy's whole enterprise. Because the way it is for me, I'm always thinking, "No one's depending on me." When there actually could be a guy, or a show, or a production out there tottering on its last legs, with my allegiance, my willingness to stand with them being decisive. Well, don't get your hopes up. I'm not publishing my stats -- I keep all that top secret from my cutthroat competition -- but I can assure you, I've still got strength, top to bottom. And if you unsubscribe that's what you're going to miss.

I had a few of my more fickle subscribers (in the past) acting like I was Svengali, trying to keep a grip on them out of some funky ulterior motive, not just the good of the newsletter. To whom I say, Don't flatter yourself! Look, be realistic, my readership is worldwide, with barely any of them being local people. If they were local and I was Svengali, that'd be different. I'd be at their house, or them at mine, leading them by a chain in their nose, or simply by the power of my personality. My deep-set hypnotic eyes. My mystical hand pointing the way to a subterranean boudoir with all the fixins'. Or pulling a rope and having a servant subdue you. That never happens, at least not as often as you'd think.

The biggest reason it doesn't happen -- and, yes, I have appetites like everyone -- is my life is complicated enough without having to worry that people will have some reason to come back on me, or blackmail me. The cops show up, I don't want them finding anything, and they won't. "What's that black light and all the swirling colors in your garage?" "It's nothing, and I don't think your warrant mentions the garage. But if you must know, that's a party for happy subscribers to my newsletter, and if you'll pass me that bathrobe, I'm expected to join them momentarily, if you're finished searching the house."

Yes, I want subscribers simply for the good of the newsletter and my other enterprises, the blog, etc. I'll probably get a lot of good when I go to newsletter conventions and we're comparing subscriptions. It'll be a downer if I have to continually revise my figures -- I'm very precise -- based on the latest number of unsubscribers. No one wants to be a laughingstock at conventions, certainly I don't want that.

OK, look at it this way, I haven't even yet opened this current incarnation of the newsletter to subscribers. So why are you so concerned about being able to unsubscribe? If you feel you will be unsubscribing, you can see I have a little coupon you can cut out. When the time comes, if you just fill that out -- and make sure you don't submit a duplicate coupon, because I'll only accept originals -- I'll see that you are justly taken care of.

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