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It's possible this was the Review’s first attempt at junk mail. It's possible that like a repressed, middle-aged teetotaler who suddenly decides that one gin and tonic, in the name of experience, can't hurt, the Review got
a little carried away. Underestimating the seductive pull of junk mail's charms, once they got started, they just
How else to explain the package's business reply card, with its two stickers that feature the following copy: "Yes! I'm an intellectual and proud of it. Start my subscription immediately!" and "No! I don't like to think. Send the Review to someone who does."
Forget, for a moment, that no one with any self-respect would assert their intellect in such a manner. (And if you think these stickers shouldn't be taken seriously, that, in fact, they are merely a campy bit of consumer flotsam, included here so that well-educated, well-traveled, well-read intellectuals can have a self-conscious go at pretending to be ignorant, sedentary, illiterate folks, try jumping to this essay by Camille Paglia; it's more your style...)
Didn't anyone at the Review notice the irony in the schoolyard-fascism of this approach? Throughout the four pieces that make up the mailing, there are repeated references to the various political prisoners and dissidents the magazine has published over the years, all made in an effort to establish the Review as a forum for debate and the free exchange of ideas. And then, in the wake of these references, there is this suggestion that the only way recipients of the mailing can prove they like to think is to accept the Review's "invitation" to purchase a subscription.
Wasn't it probably the refusal of similar "invitations" that landed so many of the Review's writers in jail over the years?
Again, maybe it's all meant to be ironic.