Doomsday talk about the Post Office has moved our Ben Stein to speak out post haste:
I see that the U.S. Postal Service is contemplating drastic cutbacks in postal service, closing many post offices and slowing down the delivery of mail ... maybe virtually ending the postal service.
This, of course, is because the Postal Service is losing money as ever more correspondence of every kind is done by free (or almost free) via instantaneous email.
But just for me, email will never replace a printed or handwritten letter on an actual piece of paper. The most cunning email, with moving angels and dolphins and music attached, is not as touching to me as a letter some kindly soul sat down and wrote to me.
I guess it's because I am 66 years old, and I can remember the anticipation of getting letters and cards from relatives - mostly now long gone - and girls I had mad crushes on in high school.
Maybe it's because when I was a lonely freshman in college, my dear old mother (then young) wrote me a letter every single day.
Or maybe it's because when my lovely sister went off to college, I sent HER a letter every day for first year and she returned the favor.
Maybe it's because my glorious wife sent me wonderful letters in her ornate script all through our courtship when long distance was too expensive for students.
It's not just that - I love the who mail process. I love the post office in Sandpoint, Idaho, or Malibu or Rancho Mirage, and the friendly people who work there. I love seeing other people when I correspond. I like the smile of Barbara, my mail woman in West Hollywood.
The big problem is that the mail is too cheap. Forty-four cents is just not enough for first class mail. For those of us who love to mail things, we should have to pay for it. A dollar for a first class stamp sounds fair. To get a note card from Sandpoint, Ida., to Brooklyn?
It's dirt cheap!
Please, please, Mr. Postman Obama, let us pay more, but let's keep mail service as it is - it's a beautiful thing.