Break the Chain Misplaced Help

Created 3/28/2003 (3/28/2003) One constant on the Internet is that a chain letter is inevitably more popular if we think it came from somebody famous. Unfortunately, more often thatn not, these attributions don't check out.

SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT

TRYING TO HELP
by Dennis Miller

All the rhetoric on whether or not we should go to war against iraq has got my insane little brain spinning like a roulette wheel. I enjoy reading opinions from both sides but I have detected a hint of confusion from some of you.

As I was reading the paper recently, I was reminded of the best advice someone ever gave me. He told me about the kiss method (keep it simple, stupid!) So, with this as a theme, I'd like to apply this theory for those who don't quite get it. My hope is that we can simplify things a bit and recognize a few important facts.

Here are 10 things to consider when voicing an opinion on thisimportant issue:

1. Between President Bush and Saddam Hussein ... Hussein is the bad guy. He is the leader of the group with no regard for human life. A dictator who idolizes Adolf Hitler.

2. If you have faith in the United Nations to do the right thing keep this in mind, they have a Libyan heading the committee on human rights and Iraq heading the global disarmament committee. Do your own math here.

3. If you use Google search and type in "French Military Victories," your reply will be "did you mean French Military Defeats?"

4. If your only anti-war slogan is "no war for oil," sue your school district for allowing you to slip through the cracks and robbing you of the education you deserve.

5. Saddam and Bin Laden will not seek United Nations approval before they try to kill us. Remember 9-11?

6. Despite common belief, Martin Sheen is not the president. He plays one on TV.

7. Even if you are anti-war, you are still an "infidel!" and Bin Laden wants you dead, too.

8. If you believe in a "vast right-wing conspiracy" but not in the danger that Hussein poses, quit hanging out with the dell computer dude. Unless you are on what he is on . . .

9. We are not trying to liberate them. Although we will protect the people of Iraq from their leaders.

10. Whether you are for military action or against it, our young men and women overseas are fighting for us to defend our right to speak out. We all need to support them without reservation.

I hope this helps to clarify some of the confusion from those of you who are suffering.

END CHAIN LETTER TEXT

Comedian Dennis Miller is well-known for his rapid-fire, acerbic rants on the day's hot-button topics. While the letter above approximates his style, it lacks several tell-tale signs of a Miller Rant. He usually flavors his work with pop-culture references and starts out with the appropriately cynical claim "Now I don't want to get off on a rant here . . ." Both are absent from this piece.

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While the most popular versions of this chain attribute the rant to Miller, earlier versions simply identify it as an article in a Wichita Falls newspaper, which is closer to the truth. It appeared as a letter to the editor in the February 26, 2003 edition of the Times Record News, with local man W. Wayne Schields as the author.

Celebrity attributions in e-mail chain letters often occur simply because the work seems like something they'd say. There is a law of generalization on the net. Any set of redneck jokes can be attributed to comedian Jeff Foxworthy. Any surprising story with a conclusion you may not have expected can be taken as the work of radio personality Paul Harvey. Any amusing, ultra-liberal essay is often assumed to be the work of comedians George Carlin or Dennis Leary. Likewise, any patently conservative monologue can be blamed on the likes of Ted Nugent, Rush Limbaugh or Charlie Daniels. We believe them because we want them to be true.

E-mail cannot be relied upon to distribute information. BreakTheChain.org recommends that you never forward anything written by another person without first verifying that it is his or her work and that it is circulating without changes and with his or her permission. Break this chain.

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References: Snopes.com

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