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19.12.09

Discrimination against people with weird names

There's a funny feature to the Democratic National Committee's holiday video e-card. The video my wife got in a mass email from the DNC was "personalized," meaning that "Christina" had been inserted into signs at various points in the video, culminating in Obama signing a card that said "Happy Holidays, Christina." Out of curiosity, she clicked to send a personalized video card to me. I opened it, only to find that everything was addressed not to "Stentor" but just to "Friend." It really made me feel like the president cared about me personally ... (I'm not sure whether the fact that I didn't get an email link to this directly from the DNC is due to the fact that I have finally been successful in removing myself from their email list, or because they were smart enough not to send this email to people with unusual names that their system doesn't recognize.)

Presumably the reason they limited the personalization to common names recognized in their database was so that pranksters didn't start sending around videos where Obama signs a holiday card addressed to Hitler or Poop or something else embarrassing. But it's funny considering that if he wasn't the president, I doubt "Barack" would be in their name database and thus Mr. Obama's card would be addressed to "Friend."

There's a joke here relating to the fact that John McCain always called everyone "my friends," but it's taking me too long to figure out how to word it.

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