While America's publishing industry packs up shop and says goodbye to the world, some authors are flush enough to pay postage to send you their work for free. Even when you don't want it.
Many in New Orleans recently received in our mailboxes, a free copy (in my case two!) of the 94-page book National Sunday Law. It's a well-printed enough little tome, almost as thick as Catcher in the Rye, with a black and white and red matte cardstock cover. Nice enough that you have to at least open it -- before you see the words "Revelations," "Jesus," "Christianity," or the phrase, "homosexuals and drug addicts share AIDS with the innocent," (p.5) and immediately know whether or not you're interested. Tossing the bigoted crap away is inevitably the right thing to do. Except then you're to blame for 94 pages (or 188, in my case) of brand new newsprint paper plus the cover entering a landfill. This I couldn't take.
National Sunday Law's nutjob sentence and paragraph structure will also give you vertigo -- yes, I did try to literally read the thing. But only after calling the publisher and asking, "May I speak with whoevers in charge of distributing National Sunday Law via mail?"
"Well, the author is not here," said a nice sounding old lady whom I nonetheless knew I would question until she hung up on me. I never stop and haggle with the cross-huggers on Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras, and I knew that all those repressed arguments would unfold now. Or maybe I was just jealous that I can't get another book published.
"The author mails them out himself?" I asked, surprised, since the sticker said 'to: resident.'
"Yes, and the author's gone for a while," she said, in a more shystee tone. "Won't be back for a good few weeks."
"Well then who else can I complain to, about how wasteful it is sending this book to people without asking them. If God made this planet like you think he did, then you are spitting in His face by forcing people to throw away a 90 page book!"
"No one's forcing anyone to throw it away."
"Well, if I am not religious - and many people aren't these days -- what else would I do with it? Do you hand a pound of beef to a vegetarian and then blame them for throwing it away?"
"They could give it to one of their meat-eating friends."
"Well what if they're too smart to I don't have any religious friends to give this to! Giving this book to people who haven't asked for it is simply wasteful."
"Well, there are a lot more people wasting more than we are."
"Are you actually telling me that it's ok for you to waste all this paper because other people do worse?"
"You just need to look at the bigger picture."
"I am! You aren't! Wasting resources and creating garbage is going to bring about the end of the world way sooner than homosexuals will."
"Well, there are things more important than the death of the environment. Once they pass this law and they will, believe me, we have extensive documentation that proves "
"Wait, law? What law?"
"The law that says everyone must attend church every Sunday."
No way. I looked again at the book's cover, and couldn't help laughing: "Is that what National Sunday Law means? I didn't read it! Is that what it's hypothesizing, that the government will ?"
"Oh it's not hypothesis, it's fact! And you are really in for it if you don't believe "
"That the government is going to pass a law forcing us to go to church? Even though our entire country was based on freedom of religion? I I "
"Yes, and this is far worse than any environmental "
"Wrong! No way. It's even more ridiculous that yall would waste so much paper discussing something that has even less chance of happening than The Reckoning! That would never happen in America in a million years, especially since human beings are evolving farther and farther away from religion every year!" I have no idea if that's true. Seems true.
We volleyed for a good while more because, I could tell, she or her company had a 'don't hang up' policy. Making her hang up was harder than expected. Between her finally hanging up and me finally trying to actually read the book though, I asked the lady to remove my address from any future mailing lists. If you would like to do the same (the book's inside cover says they've distributed tens of millions of them! Thats an environmental disaster, one whole landfill unto itself), call: Amazing Truth Publications, 618-627-2357