Posted by: cassymuronaka | December 1, 2013

Martha Stewart and the fine print

Martha Stewart renewalThere’s always an invisible but very perceptible Creep Factor that pulsates around Martha Stewart, no matter how big her smile or how controlled and mellifluous her voice.

Despite this, I’ve always thought she took a bit of an unfair hit when the government slammed her for insider trading, a crime that that is the very definition of  “gray area.”  Martha made less than $50,000 when she sold some stock just a wee bit earlier than she should have done.  Looking back, I’m sure she would rethink that move, even if she did learn to knit a really terrific poncho after she marched off to jail in Autumn of 2004.

As a woman, I viewed the whole affair through narrowed eyes; it always reeked of scapegoat. A female scapegoat. How many Gordon Gekkos have landed in Club Fed? And when you consider that pretty much nothing has changed  — the ripples from the 2008 crash have yet to touch the white collar of a Wall Street male — I haven’t really found a reason to alter my opinion.

Still, Martha, with her angry daughter who gives off vibes even more sinister than her mother, is not someone you particularly want your own daughter to try to emulate.

It was in this mindset that I carefully read the Martha Stewart Living magazine offer renewal I received the other day in email.

I do miss my subscription, which I gave up about 5-6 years ago.  But $29 is mucho dinero to read about collecting vintage silverware and roasting a ham on a bed of grass. And this particular magazine has always hung tough with the  “come hither” renewal rate offers.  I think $24 was as good as it ever offered.

In contrast, when I play hard to get with the average magazine subscription department, they get on their knees a lot more quickly than Martha Stewart Living. At this very moment, Los Angeles magazine is offering me a quite fetching renewal offer which includes free subscriptions to two of my nearest and dearest friends.

So, at first, I was thrilled when I read the $10 rate from Martha Stewart Living.  Bonus:  They would send me a tote bag I don’t need and something called Everyday Food.

I was just about to answer You Betcha when I saw the fine print: “$4.95 shipping and handling.” Hmmm. When I showed it to my husband, he agreed that the charge isn’t for the tote bag and Everyday Food;  it’s for the DAMN MAGAZINE.

So, there is a reason Martha Stewart is so rich… and so unloved.  It’s because even though she is a woman, she (and the corporation she found) has balls the size of Nebraska. Asking a shipping and handling fee for a monthly magazine is breathtaking in its offensiveness. Even for Martha Stewart.


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