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Creek Running North

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September 18, 2005

The reader poll results are in

[I'm keeping this up top for a couple days, in the spirit of the annoying PBS pledge break. There is newer stuff below, which we'll scroll down to in just a few minutes. Can I interest you in a tote bag?]

... and the notion of advertising on Creek Running North has been met with a resounding "meh."

And one of the things commenters said was that they'd happily kick in a few bucks here and there to help defray the mounting expenses of running this here blorg. As we're approaching 98% of our allotted hard drive space and I'll be needing to purchase an upgrade, this becomes significant. We actually had the "should the blog stay" discussion in our recent household finances meeting.

So.

The newest feature of Creek Running North is a little Amazon Honor System box on each page. If you indeed want to toss a few dollars my way in this era of much greater need elsewhere I must admit, you can do so by clicking in that box and following the destructions. You can give as little as a dollar. Amazon eats a few percent, but nothing too bad.

Anticipating two questions: Yes, I do think that that sort of constitutes an ad anyway. Oh well. And yes, I do know about PayPal, and the services they provide. But PayPal has a minor disadvantage, to wit: I hate them with the white hot fury of a thousand suns, and would sooner starve than do business with them ever again.

I'm putting together an e-book of a bunch of my collected work (probably most of it gardening-related, and much of which is not found here), and anyone who kicks in oh, I dunno, more than ten dollars and forty-two cents will get a copy.

Startiiiiingggggggg..... NOW.

Posted by Chris Clarke at September 18, 2005 01:24 PM TrackBack URL for this entry:
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Comments

Just the fact that an "Hola Laura!" message showed up on the left side of the page made me want to give. What can I say? I'm easy.

This blog is now the first thing I read in the morning, ever since I discovered it several weeks ago (via Bérubé, who should consider donations as well).

I ain't as witful as most who comment here, but I am grateful.

Good luck on raising the cash money!

Posted by: Laura, aka SneakySnu at September 16, 2005 04:08 PM
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greater need elsewhere --

I don't know. I think the need for Creek Running North is pretty damn desperate.

Posted by: dale at September 16, 2005 10:29 PM
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Do you have an agent? You need one.

So do I, but that's a different problem.

Posted by: KathyF at September 17, 2005 12:16 AM
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I don't have an agent. I ought to have one.

I went to talk to one about a decade ago, and she said "why, you don't need an agent! You can sell anything you want to!

Flattering, but less than helpful.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at September 17, 2005 08:39 AM
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Bleh! Contrary to what a few poseur anti-blog ad activitsts write, not all advertising is evil. Get ads.

Posted by: Roxanne at September 17, 2005 09:17 AM
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"We actually had the "should the blog stay" discussion"

Horror of horrors! Your comments on Pharyngula are the second best thing 'bout that site, and here you just plain kick ass.

(click)

Posted by: Jamie at September 17, 2005 09:39 AM
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Since it was my horrid (according to Roxanne) idea to have a pledge drive, I have tithed. Go forth and do good among the heathen. And the rest of you slackers, get with the program! (Mandatory exhortation to the "Vast audio radiance" - oh wait, this be the vast tentacular labyrinth now - the same applies.)

Posted by: Fred Levitan at September 19, 2005 12:27 PM
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Are yoou kidding...

So poor that you just re-did you kitchen...... Some case of poverty...... I wish I was that poor like you so I could beg on my blog for money from people that have less than I do......

If you "cant afford it" then just shut this thing down.... not much here Id wan't to shell out my hard-urned money for anyway.... the web is supposed to be for free, or have you forgotten tht... if you ever really knew

Posted by: Sethster at September 19, 2005 08:25 PM
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I never said anything about "poverty," Sethster.

Yep. We just redid our kitchen. Money is tight as a result of that, and increasing vet bills. We're looking at luxuries to cut. This blog is a luxury - at least as far as household finances are concerned.

This isn't a charity. I'm making a straight-forward business proposition: help me pay the expenses, and it'll be easier for me to justify keeping the blog going. Like I said: other people need the money more. I know a few writers who don't need my money at all. That doesn't enter into the calculus I use to determine whether I should buy their books.

If you don't think there's anything here worth a dollar, no one's forcing you to fork it over.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at September 20, 2005 08:37 AM
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Sheesh. You have a troll who doesn't like what you write and also gets pissy about you requesting donations? Why's he hanging out here, anyway? What's he looking for -- aggravation for free or something?

*shakes head at the illogic of trolls*

Posted by: Rana at September 20, 2005 11:03 AM
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(And did you notice he doesn't even have the courage (or will?) to post his own blog URL? Sad, truly sad.)

Posted by: Rana at September 20, 2005 11:05 AM
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Rana: Yup. It's perfectly logical to complain about the writing and donation button at the same time (logical to the stupid, I mean). And aggravation for free is exceedingly rare on the Internets, you know. I have to search and search to find something to piss me off every day.

Maybe he thinks we'll believe that he's the Mighty Kos himself, operating under an assumed name.

He may not actually have a blog of his own. It only seems like everybody does.

Posted by: Stephanie at September 20, 2005 11:28 AM
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Well, I thought it was in very poor taste as well, despite your protestations. I don't see why I should be guilt-tripped into donating to someone who apparently owns a home in the Bay Area. It doesn't cost you anything to write this stuff, does it? Then why should I pay for it?

Of course, your fan club will disregard what I have to say because I don't have a blog. Some of us actually have to work for a living and don't have time for such things, you know.

I have enjoyed your writing in the past, but if I have to look at a donation request every time I come here, I will not be coming back. So your loss.

Posted by: Brenda at September 20, 2005 11:57 AM
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Brenda, do you get that bandwidth costs money? It does, actually, cost Chris money to write this stuff-or rather, to put it where we can read it.

Many regular commenters here-Chris' fan club-don't have blogs-and are hardly disregarded. Sethster listed the Daily Kos as his own blog. No one really started making fun of him till he posted quite rudely in the Jasper thread.

No, your loss.

Posted by: Stephanie at September 20, 2005 12:22 PM
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"Brenda, do you get that bandwidth costs money? It does, actually, cost Chris money to write this stuff-or rather, to put it where we can read it."

So who's forcing him to do it?

Posted by: Brenda at September 20, 2005 12:53 PM
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So who's forcing you to contribute?

Posted by: Stephanie at September 20, 2005 02:05 PM
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"So who's forcing you to contribute?"

Are you kidding? I already have to pay to get online, but that's not enough. Suddenly I have to pay to read a blog?

This is about the increasing commercialization of the internet, and of the world. Should we pay money to breathe? That's where this is all headed. I paid last month to get into the Everglades. Gee, I thought that was a NATIONAL Park. I pay my taxes every year.

The money I pay Earthlink every month USED to be enough to cover all these websites. Now I can't read the New York Times unless I pay more. I can't read this site either, apparently. I expect the NYT to be money-grubbers. I didn't think Chris Clark was all about the money too.

Maybe, Mr. Clark, you should put some of that Earthlink money into your blog instead of buying a new kitchen next time.

Posted by: Brenda at September 20, 2005 02:23 PM
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Um, you don't have to pay to read this. You'll still get to read Creek Running North whether you contribute or not. Chris is asking for contributions to help cover what he pays to run CRN. He said in the post up above that he's running out of hard drive space for it. He's not demanding money, or making this into a pay site. It's like public radio. You can still tune in to All Things Considered even though you've never given them a dime. The only thing you have to do to get public radio is ignore a couple of pledge drives a year. Here you just have to ignore that little Amazon button.

Earthlink is your internet service provider. They get you connected to the internet. The internet does not belong to them. It doesn't really belong to anybody, though parts of it do. Read this for an overview of the internet works (unless you're pulling my leg, in which case ignore this whole post and accept my applause). Where you go is up to you and the people who give of their own time and money and labor (yes, writing is work) to provide you with cool stuff to read. Earthlink has nothing to do with any websites except www.earthlink.com. People who run websites put up their own money. They buy equipment, bandwidth, and a web address, or they use free blogging software and put up with its limitations. Nothing to do with Earthlink.

Earthlink does not give Chris a dime for this. Neither your taxes nor your internet service provider give him any money to do it. And you don't have to either.

Posted by: Stephanie at September 20, 2005 02:56 PM
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Brenda, quite honestly, I'm close to speechless. I have no idea how to begin addressing the layers of erroneous impressions you seem to have.

I'll just ask you this. You probably pay the telephone company every month. Do you assume that they pay the people who talk to you on the phone?

Posted by: Chris Clarke at September 20, 2005 03:01 PM
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OK, Stephanie, you're in charge of fundraising appeals from now on.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at September 20, 2005 03:05 PM
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'Cause of my mad marketing skilz, like "And you don't have to either."?

Ok, but only when I have homework due the next day that I'm desperately procrastinating.

Posted by: Stephanie at September 20, 2005 03:23 PM
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Sethster,

Writing well is damned hard work that makes reading a great pleasure. It's well worth paying for.

Posted by: Mike Anderson at September 20, 2005 05:21 PM
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Mike: Amen to that. If we were paying Chris what he's worth none of us could afford him.

My, that sounds obscene, doesn't it?

Posted by: Stephanie at September 20, 2005 05:54 PM
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Beg to differ, Stephanie. This blog is running about 18K visits a month these days, and if y'all would just cough up a paltry 50 cents per visit, I'd be able to support myself in a manner to which I'd like to become accustomed.

Of course, it might be more equitable merely to charge ten bucks for each trollish comment.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at September 20, 2005 06:01 PM
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I said what you're worth, Chris.

Posted by: Stephanie at September 20, 2005 06:09 PM
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Yes, but they don't make a minus-three-dollar bill.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at September 20, 2005 06:11 PM
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Minus is not the direction I was heading.

Posted by: Stephanie at September 20, 2005 06:15 PM
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Actually they do make negative $3 bills. Those are the ones this administration has been using for education and intelligent environmental policy.

I'm tempted throw a few bones in in honor of the disgruntled, just for spiteful shits and giggles.

Posted by: Jamie at September 20, 2005 06:35 PM
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I have trouble comprehending someone who can simultaneously complain about the ways that his or her hard-earned dollars and precious time are being threatened by an _optional_ fee request, and yet not see that the blogger's own time and money are just as precious. It's like the kid who gets a gift at birthday time and whines that his birthday only comes once a year, and why anyways should he give a gift to that _other_ kid when her birthday rolls around later?

I have to say, it's attitudes like that which make me think that there may be something to wanting all or most of one's commenters to have some sort of blog presence. If one is oneself a blogger, these sort of issues are freakin' obvious. If nothing else, having one's own blog quickly thwacks you upside the head with how obnoxious trolls and people who treat you like some sort of public facility -- instead of another person like themselves -- can be.

Help, my quip-maker is broken! All I can write today is serious stuff. Hrmph.

Posted by: Rana at September 20, 2005 07:27 PM
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I've re-read Brenda's comments several times now, and I'm still boggled.

Just had to share that.

Posted by: Rana at September 20, 2005 07:30 PM
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How about just wanting your commenters to not be clueless?

Posted by: Stephanie at September 20, 2005 07:34 PM
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Chris! Speechless?!?

[scrolls down]

Oh good, not really. That's a relief; what with Twisty's obstreperal lobe-itis, I am increasingly concerned for the health of my usual cadre of bloggers. Glad to see that it was a temporary condition or, you know, a figure of speech.

Posted by: Erin at September 21, 2005 05:00 AM
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Ditto all that Stephanie said. Well done, Steph.

Sethster and Brenda, it shouldn't be that hard not to feel coerced. Reexamine your "logic" and you'll find that there's not a lot to be pissed about here.

Thanks, Chris. If I were independently wealthy, I would happily volunteer to be your patron. Jeebus.

Posted by: ae at September 22, 2005 09:04 PM
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I understand hating to see everything turned into a financial transaction, Brenda, but that's what a Capitalist economy does. Somebody pays for everything. I think it's a quaint and novel delight, as a perpetually harassed consumer of goods created by perpetually harassed workers whom I never see, to actually pay the person creating the goods that I'm enjoying, rather than paying the people who work for the people who pay the people to advertise the goods that some other people produce.

Keeping the financial transactions implicit does not make them go away. It just makes their infinite variety of unfairness harder to see.

Posted by: dale at September 23, 2005 06:57 AM
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Well, I'm not surprised at the legions of "defenders" attacking me and my speaking truth to power. And to the grammar Nazis, I put defenders in quotes because I am pretty sure some of the commenters here, like "Rana," are actually Chris Clark posting under different names.

I am not talking about "everything turned into a financial transaction." I am talking about people having to pay for everything that used to be free.

And if you expect me to believe that Mr. Clark is not getting any money from my Earthlink bill, then I have a question for you: who is paying him? I am not so naive to believe that anyone works for free. So why should I pay him?

Posted by: Brenda at September 23, 2005 08:30 AM
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Rana, did you know you're a Chris Clarke sock puppet? With your own blog and all? Love this grooming grasshopper picture of his. Wow, that Chris is a busy guy! Though it seems a little excessive to set up a Flickr account for you as well as the blog, just to reinforce the illusion.


Well, I'm not surprised at the legions of "defenders" attacking me and my speaking truth to power.

Hey Chris, did you know that you're the Man now? She sure told you!

Posted by: Stephanie at September 23, 2005 09:58 AM
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Hey Chris, did you know that you're the Man now?

It's not even that he's the Man, it's that he's Earthlink's Man. Don't you know that everyone who has a blog gets a stipend from the Internetz? That's why they're so popular! See, Stephanie, you should get one.

Posted by: Allison at September 23, 2005 10:03 AM
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This is getting very odd. Do you really think Chris is getting paid by earthlink, Brenda? Why?

I've always hated pile-on-the-troll, even when I agreed with the troll designation -- which I don't think I do, at this point, though I'm getting terribly confused -- so I really don't want to give you more grief, Brenda. But I'm perplexed. Probably you just want to go away and never again speak to anyone who has ever had anything to do with Chris, but if you want to email me I'd be happy to have a conversation with you, out of the flames. I can't help feeling there's a fundamental misunderstanding under this -- there's certainly something I don't understand, anyway.

Posted by: dale at September 23, 2005 10:44 AM
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Allison: I should, then I could afford the jet-setting, glamorous lifestyles you all have. It's obviously a lucrative gig. Does it work like royalties, or did you get a giant lump sum when you started your blog?

Dale, you're a better person than I am. As you can see, I'm done.

Posted by: Stephanie at September 23, 2005 11:17 AM
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I suppose you'll want my credit card numbr too, Dale?

Posted by: Brenda at September 23, 2005 12:05 PM
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Gee, Brenda, my boyfriend will be mighty surprised to know he's sharing a bed with Chris Clarke.

Normally, I'm pretty polite to strangers, but, goodness, woman, how dumb and selfish can you possibly be?

We are all private citizens here, Brenda. Just like you. Some of US pay Earthlink for the privilege of getting online so we can have blogs.

YOU could have a blog too! For free, even! (Though in my own case I pay $8.04 a month for the privilege of better features, and I'm not counting in the hours I contribute.)

That you're able to read what we write and share in our lives is a _gift_ to you. We're not magazines. We're not newspapers.

We are people sitting around in a virtual neighborhood inviting passers-by onto our porches.

Some of us spend a lot of time at this, setting up nice refreshments, arranging for music, ordering pizza, etc. It's all free, because they are nice people and like the social activity, but occasionally they may pass a hat around in the hopes that someone will chip in for the beer.

Did you eat the pizza, Brenda? Did you drink the beer?

Then you owe your host something. Maybe money, maybe not.

I pay back my fellow bloggers by inviting them onto my own porch, by thanking my hosts when I stop by to visit, by telling my friends about my other wonderful friends.

But not you. You go and scarf up the free pizza, and insult your host and his friends, and add in some nonsequiturs about how much milk costs at the grocery these days.

I think you should go start your own blog. Then you might actually begin to make a dent in your enormous ignorance and self-entitlement. You could even do something rash like throw your own parties and pass around your own hat for the pizza.

Hint: blogs can be had for FREE. Here's a place you can go: www.blogger.com. Or www.typepad.com.

Pizza is extra. So are friends.

And friends help out when the pizza bill rolls around. That's all that Chris is doing: asking for some help with the party that we're all enjoying and he's hosting.

Remind me never to invite you to a party of mine, you selfish and ungrateful thing.

Posted by: Rana at September 23, 2005 12:25 PM
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Wait a minute...

*expression of satisfaction in the wake of a cluesticking fades, to be replaced by suspicion, then appalled admiration*

Chris! You sly old dog you! You're Brenda, aren't you? Trying to keep this post active so you can get more people to read it and pay into the kitty?

Man. You had me going for a while there. *grin*

Posted by: Rana at September 23, 2005 01:11 PM
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Oh, but how deliciously farcical! Chris, in the guise of the ever more paranoid and unwilling-to-be-reasoned-with Brenda, is accusing Rana of being himself in disguise!

Beautiful job of character creation, Chris. Let me give you a round of applause.

Posted by: Stephanie at September 23, 2005 01:41 PM
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Whew. You can grab a temporary email, Brenda -- Yahoo will give you one -- if you really think I'm a wicked collecter of email addresses for nefarious purposes.

Posted by: dale at September 23, 2005 01:46 PM
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Chris! You sly old dog you! You're Brenda, aren't you?

I wish, guys. But this:

I am not talking about "everything turned into a financial transaction." I am talking about people having to pay for everything that used to be free.

... is beyond even my amazing talents.

Besides, I'd much rather be Rana. Rana enjoys life.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at September 23, 2005 02:41 PM
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Aww. *rubs toe around in the dirt*

Posted by: Rana at September 23, 2005 03:18 PM
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Well, this is just typical. Instead of answering my points, you resort to ridicule. That is not exactly an adult method of discussion, but look at who I'm talking to.

Dale, I don't know why I need to keep saying this, but why should I pay for a new email account just to have you say to me whatever it is you seem to be afraid to say to me in public?

Rana/Clark, it is typical and crass for you to bring up the image of a boyfriend in bed. Shock does not work well with me. Nor does obvious, nervous, denial that I obviously have found out about your deception of your readers. Your contact information is public knowledge: does your wife know that you claim on the internet to have a boyfriend? I'm sure she would find this all very interesting. Perhaps I should find out.

Posted by: Brenda at September 23, 2005 05:30 PM
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Brenda, calm down.

You are either making a fool of yourself here, or makng a fool of us and laughing into your sleeve as you pretend to be utterly clueless.

Either way, making explicit threats is carrying things way too far. Even if the threat, were you to carry it out, would make Becky giggle and then pity you intensely.

Since you seem unfamiliar with the workings of the internet, I should clue you in on a little something. Every time you leave a comment, my blogging software records what's called your IP number. Normally, I would not be able to find out who you are from your IP number, nor would I want to.

But were someone to threaten a blogger, the police would be only too happy to use that IP number to track the threat-issuer down.

A word to the wise.

In any event. I am not chasing you out of here. You are welcome to stay. But you seem very unhappy with me, and with several of the regular commenters here.

Why are you staying, then?

Posted by: Chris Clarke at September 23, 2005 07:24 PM
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Brenda,

Despite the fact that you are wandering around throwing out disgusting libel against people I really like, I think I have a metaphor that you might identify with (plus I just want to write it out because I enjoy it):

I go to college. I'm not a scholarship student; I pay to go here. The money I give every year is used for a variety of different things, including (for example) groundskeeping.

Last week there were three little kids out on the quad selling cookies. They were not on public land - they were on private, university land that I pay to maintain. They were charging $.50/cookie. Of these potential responses of mine, which do you find acceptable?:

a. buy a cookie
b. don't buy a cookie
c. start yelling at the kids about how I pay for the land they're on so they should give me a cookie, and anyway they're probably going to go spend their profits on a GameBoy or something equally vacuous

Ok? So that's a real situation that happened. Now imagine that these kids had been willing to give me a cookie for free, but they were just asking for a donation to defray the cost of flour, sugar, and vanilla. Further imagine that the quad was FULL of people with cookies, all (or many) of whom were doing the same thing. Does choice (c) sound acceptable to you? Because it sounds like a bunch of honking horseshit to me.

All of this puts me in mind of this story, in point of fact.

Posted by: Allison at September 23, 2005 07:58 PM
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I think I agree -- there is no way Brenda can be real.

No one is that dumb. No one. And I've seen a lot of dumb.

Posted by: Rana at September 24, 2005 08:49 AM
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I have to say, though, that this would be worth paying money for. It's a virtuoso experience -- sort of like a blogosphere version of performance art.

Posted by: Rana at September 24, 2005 08:52 AM
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Ah, this sort of takes on a life of its own, doesn't it? Brenda, yahoo mail accounts are free. I thought conversation might be easier in a context in which people weren't abusing you, that's all. I don't particularly have anything to say to you -- I was more just wondering where on earth you've gotten your notions about how all these things work, and thinking it would be easier to learn that in less hostile circumstances. But given how readily you've made assumptions about who I am and what I'm up to, I'm not finding it very mysterious any more. I'd still be happy to talk, though I admit I'm getting skeptical about whether communication is actually one of the items on your agenda.

Posted by: dale at September 24, 2005 11:17 AM
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A big part of what I've liked so much about Chris' writing these past couple years is that
it always seems so therapeutic & self-affirming for him--always that sense of 'what a clever fellow I am.'
Until now, it's always felt like the gratitude was flowing both ways

Posted by: Marci at September 29, 2005 10:56 AM
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I'm not sure what you mean there, Marci. I'm very grateful for the readers here, including - and sometimes especially - those who're critical.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at September 29, 2005 11:13 AM
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Or perhaps I'm reading too hastily. I have no complaiints about my readers being sufficiently grateful, either.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at September 29, 2005 11:27 AM
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