Anyone in my line of work gets a long list of e-mails every day. Many of them are informative, but some days most of what I get are the e-mail equivalent of junk mail.

And that’s why we have spam-catchers. The systems go by a variety of names and manufacturers, but they all do pretty much the same thing if they’re working.

We also get a lot of e-mails from public relations firms, whose job it is to rattle the cages of journalists.

They usually start out like they know you: “Hi Gene, how are things going today?” Kind of like the fundraisers who call and talk like they’re your best buddy: “Hey, Gene, you staying warm today?” That sort of thing. It’s the computer doing it, and we all know that.

Which brings me to an e-mail I got this week from someone trying to interest me, or whomever, in interviewing a talking head with an ax to grind about terrorism and world affairs in general:

Hello First Name,
I thought this topic might interest you. Let me know if you're interested.

Okay, even if I were interested, being addressed as “First Name” would cause me to think otherwise.

Forty-three years in journalism, and this outfit  thinks my name is, well, Name.

Someday I’m gonna write a book.