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FEAR OF THE INBOX

We need a break from the shitstorm that has become daily life, a laugh to take our minds off the hateful tax bill, Russia probe, planned deportation of 10,000 people, “Concealed Carry Reciprocity,” sexual predators, the anti-Muslim travel ban, police brutality…the list is endless.
On the other hand, “Schneider-Man” is having a birthday party, and Samantha Bee continues to tell it like it is. Yay!

Rest your brains for a moment, then let’s get back on the horse. Or bicycle, as in the case of Juli Briskman.

FEAR OF THE INBOX

Psychologists and psychiatrists across the U.S. noted such an uptick in depression, anxiety, fear, shock, anger, insomnia, nausea, and nightmares (especially among women) since Nov. 8, 2016 that they named it: “election stress disorder.” And now we’ve got “headline stress disorder.”

Indivisible people are a hardy lot: like roly-poly toys that pop back up no matter how hard they’re slammed down. However, there’s one thing that can make even the strongest stomach flutter: the inbox.

Because we want to stay informed,and be ready to act at a moment’s notice, we signed up for every mailing list: Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, ACLU, Facebook pages, Scott Dworkin, The Hill, Politico, representatives, senators…

Which is why sometimes, after work when we go to check our personal emails, we’re too scared to open our inboxes. 11,639 (Stella Maris’s total today) is just too overwhelming. We’re inundated with emails from candidates, groups, officials, campaigns, and causes, some of which we didn’t even sign up for.

Some headlines don’t match the contents, are deceitful, ridiculous, or embarrassing. Some are meant to pump up the Resistance and scare us into action, some are direful predictions, some are utterly wishful thinking, some try to tap into guilt, and 90% are pitches for money.

Some organizations accuse you of not stepping up to the plate, ignoring important causes, letting down the side, or worst of all, being a Trump supporter. Somewhere in their no-doubt-short lives (no experienced activist would take these tacks), they were told to make an emotional appeal, and got the so wrong end of the stick.

Here are some stellar examples. Note: All hyperventilating caps, punctuation, and miscellaneous oddities are original.

The “Insult Your Base” Tactic:

1) “[Name deleted] actually APPROVES of Donald Trump? [PLEASE SAY NO!]
OFFICIAL: Do Not Ignore
ACTION ALERT: [name deleted] you were selected to participate in our Trump Approval Survey →
NEW POLL: Trump Approval PLUNGES in all 50 states
But you IGNORED our Trump Approval Survey?!?!
This is our chance to TAKE DOWN Trump’s Presidency. But that simply won’t happen if you keep ignoring our surveys!!
We need your response within 12 hours: click below to represent [insert name of your town] right now →…
We thought that would inspire a wave of progressives to help end Trump’s Presidency. But sadly, we haven’t heard anything from you!

2) [Name] is DELAYING this urgent Democratic survey
YOU IGNORED THIS SURVEY: Click to take our Trump Presidency Survey NOW >>
[Name] — we’re tabulating [name of your town] responses to our Trump Presidency Survey, but it looks like you NEVER completed it?
We selected you because we thought you were a strong Democrat in New York — so we’re SHOCKED to see you haven’t completed our survey!!
THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE TO REPRESENT [insert zip code].

Some embarrassing ones:

The Completely Misleading Subject Line:
AMAZING news (finally!!)
WOWOW: Doug Jones for U.S. Senate [contact@dougjonesforsenate.com

Wouldn’t you think that meant Jones already WON??

The actual message in the email:

Here’s the bad (ok, devastating news):
We just fell short of a MAJOR budget deadline. We need to raise $170,423 more by the end of the month to make up the difference.
But here’s the great (actually, AMAZING!) news:
Our campaign is made up of more than 2OO,OOO individuals (including you)!
If every single person chipped in just $5, we’d CRUSH our goal — and then some!
48 hours to go!! Will you do your part and donate $5? We need your help to win the Special Election!!

The Hallucinatory Wishful Thinking Subject Line:
Why Republicans are PANICKED
Paul Ryan FURIOUS!
Humiliate Paul Ryan
Trump HUMILIATED
Donald Trump COLLAPSING
HE’S. SO. PISSED.
This will make Trump LOSE HIS MIND
PUNISH DONALD TRUMP

As if! Those people have ice water in their veins.

Like I’m sure the bad guys care:
• Rachel Maddow CALLS OUT Trump
• Nancy Pelosi just OBLITERATED Trump [OMG!!]: HUMILIATING
• Dan Rather just BLASTED Trump’s lies: MUST SEE
• Al Franken SLAMS Jeff Sessions: UNBELIEVEABLE

And how unbelievable is it that the Democrats can’t spell? Mortifying.

The Guilt Trip:
ACCEPT DEFEAT
EMBARRASSING MISTAKE –
when we told you we had a real chance to defeat Paul Ryan, we thought THOUSANDS of Democrats would step up.
THAT. DIDN’T. HAPPEN.
Our end-of-month deadline is in 48 hours. Almost NO ONE is donating. We are SO embarrassed.
If we miss our $25,000 goal, we’ll LOSE this opportunity to take down Paul Ryan. And we’ll have NO ONE to blame but ourselves.

The Combo Wishful Thinking/Guilt Trip:
Paul Ryan is so PISSED at this letter (but where’s your signature)
[1] Ignored Email

Gloom and Doom:
• Special Election RUINED
URGENT: READ NOW

• [SPAM] We’re SHAKING [CNN Breaking News]
Tragic Senate Prediction

• kiss all hope goodbye

Reverse Psychology: (They think they’re so clever.)
The NRA does not want you to sign this.

Pathos:
celebrating ALONE (Hillary’s Birthday)
HAPPENING TOMORROW
Hillary Clinton’s birthday is literally TOMORROW!!
But you really still haven’t signed her card?! So many proud Democrats in [zip code] already did:
Don’t let Hillary celebrate alone!! Please sign before we send the card tomorrow:

Note: It will not matter how many other birthday cards you’ve signed. If YOU don’t sign THEIRS, RIGHT NOW, poor Hill will be crying in her beer that she hasn’t heard from you. That’s right, YOU made Hillary cry.

Groveling:
We’re BEGGING [PLEASE]
HUMILIATING DEFEAT

Plus variations on “pleading,” “desperate,” and other confidence-inspiring messages.
Do the Republicans start emails this way? Heck no!

On the other hand, here’s a keeper:
Dear Trump: you make me SICK.