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Joel Stein Compares Self To Tom Hanks, Phillip Roth, Doesn’t Want Readers To E-Mail Him

stein_poy.jpgWe’ll just let columnist Joel Stein — he of Time magazine, SecondLife and VH1′s I Love The Whatever fame — explain himself:

DON’T E-MAIL me.

That address on the bottom of this column? That is the pathetic, confused death knell of the once-proud newspaper industry, and I want nothing to do with it. Sending an e-mail to that address is about as useful as sending your study group report about Iraq to the president.

Here’s what my Internet-fearing editors have failed to understand: I don’t want to talk to you; I want to talk at you. A column is not my attempt to engage in a conversation with you. I have more than enough people to converse with. And I don’t listen to them either. That sound on the phone, Mom, is me typing.

Some newspapers even list the phone numbers of their reporters at the end of their articles. That’s a smart use of their employees’ time. Why not just save a step and have them set up a folding table at a senior citizen center with a sign asking for complaints?

Where does this end? Does Philip Roth have to put his e-mail at the end of his book? Does Tom Hanks have to hold up a sign with his e-mail at the end of his movie?

Only one problem with Mr. Stein’s anti-Web 2.0 monologue: he lists his e-mail address — thejoelstein@yahoo.com — on his personal Web site.

So, go ahead. Send him your thoughts. Or send ‘em to us — we love e-mail.

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