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July 04, 2003

dear laura

Dear Laura,

I am writing to you from Los Angeles, because I think you should know more about Governor Howard Dean. Well, maybe.

See, Laura, I came to this dean2004.meetup.com event because I thought it would be a good way to meet chicks. "More trim than a barbershop floor," that's what I was thinking. But they crammed us into a small room at Zen Sushi (in retrospect I should have gone to the Knitting Factory event, even though it's farther from my house) where I got charged $4 (!) for a bottle of Budweiser and had to sit in a little chair in the middle of the room.

After a speech about different Dean campaign events (did you know he had a fundraiser at the hotel Bel Age? I didn't think so!), they decided to let us go around the room, introduce ourselves, and talk about why we liked Dean.

Well, Laura, these were people who clearly weren't used to having a public forum, so they blathered on ad nauseum about their favorite topics: how ashamed they were to be Americans, how disgusted they were by the (other) Democrats, how frightened they were when they woke up every morning, and how much Bush reminded them of Hitler ("Yeah, I know he hasn't done the whole ... er ... Jewish thing. But he's doing it to Muslims, you know, in Guantanamo...").

This took way too long. When it got to be my turn, I almost said, "I like Dean because he supports military intervention in Liberia," but I chickened out and said, "I'm just here to learn." (There were some cute girls I didn't want to alienate quite yet.)

So here's the kicker. They hand out all these sheets of paper, and explain to us that -- just as the movie studios woo Oscar voters -- we were going to woo Iowa caucus-ers. (It seems a little shady to me, but what do I know...). And so, even though I was there "to learn," I ended up with your name and address, and with a sample form letter which I've completely ignored (except for the "Dear (First Name)" part).

To be honest, Laura, I don't vote. And if I did, I'd probably vote for the libertarians. So I'm not really in a position to advocate Dean or anyone else to you. And since your one vote isn't going to affect the outcome, it doesn't really matter anyway.

We should get to know each other as Americans again and build our American community together. You can write me back or if you have email, save the postage and contact me at joelgrus-at-joelgrus-dot-com.

I'd also love to know what is happening in Iowa. Do you know my friend Kirsten? She's from Ames.


PS I infer from your name that you are a woman-American. Will you send me a picture?

Posted by joel at 05:06 PM

"Gene Expression is all about the connection between humanity's genetic substrate and the emergent social organization that we see all around us."

So where does this letter fit in, exactly?

Posted by: Ole Eichhorn at July 4, 2003 05:45 PM

Wrong tagline Ole. Try this one:

A geneticist, a capitalist, a biochemist, an economist... and a blender

Joel's the economist, and this would be the blender. Welcome to the old-school.

Do stick around, Joel. ;)

Posted by: Jason Malloy at July 4, 2003 06:01 PM

please let us know if you hear from "Laura"
and what she says.

Posted by: l salazar at July 4, 2003 07:59 PM

When I click-through from SharpReader the tag line at the top of the page is as I quoted; perhaps a template needs editing. But that's beside the point.

GNXP is valuable as a place for dialog about, well, Gene Expression. I have a personal blog as do many of you and that's a great place to put whatever the heck you want. Posting "Dear Laura I went to see Howard Dean" on GNXP doesn't fit. My humble opinion...


Posted by: Ole Eichhorn at July 4, 2003 10:18 PM

If the Dean Meetup phenomenon isn't an example of "emergent social organization," then I don't know what is!

Posted by: Joel at July 4, 2003 10:33 PM

Okay, sorry. Overreaction. A clear result of unfortunate cross-breeding :)

Posted by: Ole Eichhorn at July 4, 2003 11:32 PM

I enjoyed it; pretty funny!

Posted by: friedrich braun at July 5, 2003 01:01 AM

Joel, why are you bothering with Democratic women in Iowa when there is a cute, single Libertarian woman only 1150 miles to the north?

Oh, yeah, you think I'm crazy. :)

Posted by: Jacqueline at July 5, 2003 10:27 PM