I do not think like other people. Of this, there can be no doubt. Sometimes, others think along the same lines as I. Many times, I am in agreement with what others think. Yesterday, I was confronted by an issue that, so far, no one else I have talked with agrees with me. Therefore, I submit, I could be wrong. Not a rare occurrence, but one that I would like to correct if indeed I am wrong.

It all started with the Skeptoid episode on buying space property. As I listened to the episode, I remembered my desire to do just that. I saw the advertisement to name a star after a loved one many, many years ago in Popular Science magazine and thought that would be wonderful. There are trillions of stars, so of course there are plenty to name out there. I could never afford it, so it never ranked highly on my to-do list. Now, I have every reason to not purchase a star. I encourage you to listen to the podcast yourself because I am going to assume you know it to be the scam as I do.

As I listened, I remember a few weeks ago, a co-worker showing me that he had purchased a stars name for his wife. He spent $70 and had a nice certificate to show for it. After the podcast, I printed out the transcript and attempted to show him that he'd been duped. He didn't care. His wife was happy with the gift and he didn't want to read the transcript. I said ok, and he walked off. It has eaten me up ever since.

Of the people I talked to about it, not the purchaser for we haven't said anything on the subject since, one said that it was his money and he can spend it on what ever he wants. I can not disagree with this. However, this seems different. As an analogy I ask you: If your spouse or significant other brings you a gift. It is nicely wrapped. The card says, “with love,.” You open it up to find a framed document certifying that you are now the proud owner of one(1) square acre of oceanfront property in Arizona, what do you do? Perhaps you ask the giver, “How much did this cost you?” If they answer the question, which many won't, seventy dollars, what do you think? Do you thank them and think it is a lovely gift and it's the thought that counts? I would not. I'd have two complaints. One is that they were gullible enough to fall for an obvious scam. Two that by giving me the scam gift, they must think I am the type of person that deserves a scam gift.

I don't know why I am the only one I talked to that feels that this is morally reprehensible. To me, this isn't “cute” as my wife called it. If my daughter were to hand me a construction paper art project where she'd named a star after me, that would be cute. If you spend your hard earned money (as much as I make in an eight hour work day) on someone listing a name in a book that is, that is, I don't know what that is. But, something inside me says it's not the same thing, and whatever it is, I don't like it.

This is just my opinion. I feel strongly about it. Another friend compared it to buying a seventy dollar piece of jewelry. Is that any worse. I think it's better. At least with the jewelry, you have something that you or others might give value to. Sure, his wife gave value to having a star named after her. Maybe there is no difference. I'm starting to ramble. I don't know all of the ins and outs of what I feel.

As a side issue, despite the popular Garth Brooks song with the same name as my example, two of the people I talked with didn't understand my analogy because they didn't realize there is no oceanfront property in Arizona. So, I take my opinion to the Internet so I can get other points of view. Take it away, Internet!

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Comment by MJ on December 11, 2008 at 8:55pm
This "name a star" scam is the same as someone offering to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge.
It's been done numerous times, and so has ocean front property been sold in AZ.
People believe in God and "buy" into a church all the time.. .I'm more offended if someone hands me a note card saying they made a charitable donation to God in my name.... Give me a star!
Comment by River Otter on December 10, 2008 at 2:35pm
Your co-worker has more money then sense. I would certainly agree with you. I would be somewhat offended (not out loud) by such a gift and immediatly question their judgment. It would be a WTF moment without doubt.

I would ask, where did you get this and how much did it cost. I would then want to know more about this star and the place that he got it from.

Your co-worker seams to not only have bad judgment, but also an unwillingness to admit it. This says a lot about his character.

Are you frustrated because your worried that you have to work with someone who is a clod and a coward? I probrably would be, and would be careful how I worked around him.



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