The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Tuesday, February 24, 2004  

The Misguided and the Misdirected

Junk mail -- oh, sorry, “direct mail” or “targeted marketing” or whatever -- can be so much fun, especially when it’s thoroughly misguided and misdirected.

Recent selections from my mailbox:

Sender: Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.)
Subject: Horrors of gay marriage.
Speculative Source: My since-lapsed subscription to Commentary, my last view into the dark side.
Verdict: Misguided. Despite my ambivalence on the issue, Rep. Musgrave will find no quarter here.

Sender: Geico (Government Employees Insurance Co.)
Subject: Auto insurance.
Speculative Source: Former customer.
Verdict: Misguided. I sold my last car four years ago.

Sender: ING Direct
Subject: Savings accounts.
Speculative Source: No idea.
Verdict: Misguided. Savings? Not just now.

Sender: Providian Financial Corp.
Subject: Ample credit.
Speculative Source: No idea.
Verdict: Misguided. Whoever at Providian arranged for me to have a pre-approved credit line of up to $30,000 ought to lose his job.

Sender: Lufthansa
Subject: Travel to Europe at a two-for one rate.
Speculative Source: Merely living in the “gayborhood.”
Verdict: Bulls eye. The 9-by-6-inch postcard features two handsome twentysomething young men, both sporting sleeveless black t-shirts and well-defined arms, in an embrace that might best be described as “frolicking.” (Relax, Mrs. Musgrave, even you can handle it.) Lufthansa is spreching my language.

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