Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Month: February 2007 (page 1 of 3)

London Calling

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My pandering about the sex appeal of British babes such as Kate Winslet, Rachel Weisz, and Helen Mirren finally paid off — a mention in the Times of London about my 1987 Oscars coverage.  That’s bloody wonderful!

So, screw you, New York Times!  I’m not waiting around for you anymore, you stuffy old fart.  And you know what — growing up in Queens, my family read the Daily News anyway.  Ha Ha!

And LA Times — don’t make me laugh.

London Rocks!  (good Indian food, too)

 

Remember:  Send Carnival of the Mundane links to neilochka at yahoo dot com.

Mundane, Mundane

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Two Roads sent me a photo of her brand new couch. Why? I’m not really sure. I once asked other bloggers for photos of their beds, but never of their couches.

But do I mind that she send me a photo of her beautiful new couch?

Not at all. I’m flattered.

I mean I’d rather have a photo of her jumping on a trampoline while naked, but a photo of her new couch is my second choice. I find the photo interesting exactly because it is so mundane. It’s a couch. To me, the mundane is the stuff of life. In the mundane are the seeds of drama and romance. Who knows what this couch will bring Two Roads in the future? Maybe she will be on it next week kissing with some new boyfriend. Or making love with an old flame. Or watching TV as the President makes some important announcement. Maybe she’ll be blogging while SITTING on this couch. Maybe she is reading this RIGHT NOW as she sits on her new couch. Whatever she does, this new couch is now an integral part of her life. What secrets this couch can soon tell!

I don’t pooh-pooh the mundane, because the mundane is fascinating. The trip to the supermarket. Being stuck in traffic. Playing Monopoly with your child. Rushing out to buy that condom before the big date.

If you love the mundane as much as I do, I invite you to participate in “The Carnival of the Mundane XXX” (that is XXX meaning thirty). For more info, go here. The gala event will be held right here on Citizen of the Month, this Friday, March 2nd. All you have to do is send me a link to one of your posts. Try to think of the theme… the carnival of the mundane. I read your blogs. I know many of you are very boring people. This is perfect for you!

I’m leaving for Portland on Saturday, so Sophia will KILL ME if I spend all day Friday working on this, so PLEASE send me your links by Thursday at noon, March 1st. You want to keep me alive, right? Sophia driving off to Portland without me would NOT be mundane.

Remember — BE MUNDANE, M-U-N-D-A-N-E

My email is neilochka at yahoo dot com.

Live-Blogging the 1987 Academy Awards

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I was going to live-blog the 2007 Academy Awards telecast, but I noticed that at least two thousand other bloggers were doing the same thing, so in my quest to be different, I will live-blog the 1987 Academy Awards show.

00:24 –Dianne Wiest wins Best Supporting Actress for “Hannah and her Sisters!”  Big surprise.  Ha Ha. And where’s Woody?  I bet any blogger ten bucks that Michael Caine wins Best Supporting Actor.

01:02 — Where’s my money?!  I was right.  Michael Caine redeems himself for Jaws 3!  Is this going to be a Hannah sweep?  And what the HELL was Faye Dunaway wearing?  Bob Mackie again?  You could practically see her nipples!

01:44 — Oh, my god.  Marlee Matlin wins best actress for “Children of a Lesser God.”  I don’t care if she’s deaf.  She’s HOT!  I mean in a way where I can actually visualize her going out with me, unlike Lauren Hutton.

02:10  — That dance number is just plain embarrassing.  I’m embarrassed for the dancers.  I think I even saw Goldie Hawn yawning.

02: 34 — That song from “Top Gun?”  Best song?  How lame is the academy anyway?

02: 55 — Paul Newman is a great actor, but he doesn’t deserve it for “The Color of Money.”  That movie sucked worse than his Ranch Dressing.  And I don’t like Tom Cruise AT ALL.  I think his career is going to fizzle out very soon.  Or he’s going to drop out of show business and join some cult.

03:13 — Is Warren Beatty drunk?  Will he EVER settle down?

03:45 — Jack… Jack… Jack… loved that exchange with Cher!  That was the best part of the show.

03:57 — Chevy Chase is the best host EVER!

04:12 — Yawn.  Please end.  Please end.

04:30 — OK, get ready for “A Room with a View”… to win…  or “Hannah” maybe… “Platoon?!”  “Platoon?!” WTF!   The Academy… always with their “message” film.  How predictable.   No wonder Woody never shows up.

04:32 — This was the most boring Oscars I’ve ever seen.  I hope one day… maybe twenty years from now, when there is a whole new generation of filmmakers, that the Oscars show will actually be interesting…

A Year Ago on Citizen of the MonthDavid Sedaris Ruined My Blog

Planning Our Road Trip

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Sophia’s list of exciting things to do on our road trip to Portland:

Dune buggies in Florence, Oregon
Driving through Giant Redwoods
Jet boating on Rouge River
Mud Bath in Calistoga
“Safari West” in Santa Rosa
Hiking Near Pacific

Neil’s list of exciting things to do on our road trip to Portland:

Stopping at Los Bagels in the tiny town of Arcata, California, voted the best bagels outside of New York City.

Tentative plans:

Day 1 and 2 (next Saturday) — Santa Rosa/Napa

Day 3 – Mendocino

Day 4 – Eureka/Redwoods

Day 5 – More Redwoods, Gold Beach, Oregon

Day 6 – Florence/Yachats, Oregon

Day 7 – Portland

Any suggestions, like what do we do if it rains all the time?

I Never Promised Anything

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Tonight, I’m going to be interviewed by Wombat of Kiss & Blog on his BlogRadio channel at 8PM EST. If you want to laugh at my accent, it should be on the archives afterwards. I probably shouldn’t be telling you this until after I’ve done it, just in case I’m really boring or I say “like…” and “um…” a lot. But what the hell. We’re all fake friends.

Considering that Wombat usually interviews bloggers about relationships and sex, he has definitely picked the WRONG person this time if he wants a lively interview. The last blogger he spoke with spent much of her time talking about her pierced clitoris. How am I going to compete?

This morning, I turned to Sophia for help:

“Sophia, I need to make something up in order to make myself more kinky for this interview. Can I lie and say you have your nipples pierced?

“How does that make YOU more kinky? If anything you should say that you have your nipples pierced.”

“Jeez, that sends shivers down my back. Yuch. Maybe I can say I have a c**k ring?”

“Ha. Like anyone is going to believe that. Do you even KNOW what a c**k ring is?”

“I’ve read about it in Penthouse years ago. You sort of put it on your penis.”

Sophia started typing on her laptop.

“Here’s a photo of one on Wikipedia.”

“Holy crap. No way. Jesus, there is NO way I would ever use that. You can get a stroke or give your penis gangrene.”

“Look at this one,” she said, laughing.

“Ha Ha. You’re right! That one is the same style as your wedding ring!”

“So, WHAT are you going to talk about? You’re not going to talk about ME, that’s for sure.”

“I can’t talk about you?”

“No.”

“Hmm… that doesn’t leave me much to talk about.”

“Sorry.”

“Without me talking about you — rather than interviewing ME, he should probably be interviewing my hand.”

“Well, you have a talking penis. Why not a talking hand?”

“I have an idea,” I said. “I could tell the story about the first time I saw a p***y.”

“Oh, yeah? You never even told me this story!”

“I was about bar mitzvah age. And there was this girl, Lisa, who liked me. But despite me becoming a “man” that year in the Jewish tradition, I was still more interested in my stamp collection than girls. One afternoon, I was in Lisa’s home and she asked me if I wanted to see her pee.

“OK,” I said.

I went with her into the bathroom and watched her as she took down her pants and sat on the toilet. And then she peed sitting down. It was amazing. I never saw anything like that before. After she was done, she leaned back.

“Would you like to look at IT?” she asked.

“OK,” I said.

I got on my knees, adjusted my glasses, and looked at her p***y. It was pretty interesting. It looked like a giant paper cut.

“Now it is YOUR turn.” she said to me.

“What do you mean?”

“I showed you mine. Now you show me yours.”

I thought this was rather rude of her, despite the fact that I was on my knees staring at her p***y.

“I never said I would show you mine.”

“You promised!”

“I never promised anything!”

She started to cry. Not only was this my first look at a p***y, it was my first real encounter with the irrationality of women. Why was she getting so emotional?

“Get out!” she yelled.

“Hey, calm down. If you want, I’ll show it to you.”

“Too late. Get out!”

Sophia laughed.

“That’s the whole story?” Sophia asked.

“It was the first, but not last time, that I disappointed a woman.”

Sophia laughed for five minutes. I thought she was laughing just a little TOO LONG.

Letter Writing Campaign

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I try not to get political on this blog, but I plead with you to help me with this important issue. 

Sophia and I will be driving to Portland in the beginning of March and we may take a week or two to complete the trip.  Today, I was saying that we need to find hotels with internet access so that I will be able to blog every day.

“No way!” she said.  “We’re on vacation.  I’m not going to sit there every night watching you blog and write five hundred emails  We’re supposed to be having fun.”

“I need to blog a little.  People will get worried.”

“Worried about what?”

“If they don’t hear from me, they might think we fell into the Pacific Ocean or a redwood fell on top of us.” 

“If that happened, they’d read about it in the newspaper.  You’re NOT blogging EVERY DAY.”

“Listen, woman, I’m the one wearing the pants, so don’t go telling ME what I can or cannot do.  I will decide how much I blog!” I loudly thought to myself.

You can see the seriousness of my situation.  My only real hope is YOU.  I made a deal with Sophia.  She will agree to let me blog every day if, and ONLY if, I can collect 1,500,000 signatures by March 1st saying that it is essential that I blog every day.  If I accomplish this, Sophia will not stand in my way.  Otherwise, she will give me a lot of shit.

Please help.   Send all signatures to:

“Let Neil Blog While On Vacation Campaign”
Redondo Beach City Hall
Redondo Beach, CA

Rich Man, Hot Babe

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I’ve never done speed dating before, but I know I would be good at it. I’m an immensely interesting person for one minute, and then I become a total bore, so with speed dating, I could capture a woman’s attention before she saw “the real me.” Also, since the woman finds it OK to interact with me for just one minute, I assume she won’t be rattled by my perennial problem of premature ejaculation. She’ll already be used to me making it through one minute, and then the conversation is over.

New York can be a tough place to meet someone, and speed dating is popular in the Big Apple. I was especially intrigued by this new form of speed dating that I read about on Zandria’s site.   The sponsors included New York Magazine and was titled the “Natural Selection Speed Date” — Rich Guys and Hot Girls.  The application requirements were very specific:

Men (solely based on wealth)

Salary:

  • Age 25 or below $200K +
  • Age 26-30 $300K +
  • Age 30+ $500K +
  • Invested Assets: $1 million +
  • Trust: $4 million +

*Men will be asked to provide documented proof

Ticket Price $500

Women (solely based on beauty)

  • 5 pictures will be submitted for judgment by celebrity Matchmaker Janis Spindel
  • Pictures are judged for beauty
  • No additional information will be accepted

Ticket Price $50

The first meet-up took place two weeks ago in a Upper East Side supper club. Now, if you’re expecting me to be all P.C. and all, and call this disgusting, I’m not. The company’s website makes a compelling case for this type of natural selection:

[Our company] is honoring the age old union of wealthy men and hot girls. Society has taught us to not publicly acknowledge the obvious – no longer dear friends. Women want money in a man, men want beauty in a woman – this is a factual force of nature. Women don’t ask “So, what does he do for a living?” because they’re interested in his personality and guys don’t ask “is she hot?” because they’re concerned with character. Guys know that money buys them the car, the house and the trophy wife. This genetic cleansing is how the wealthy stay beautiful.

My main problem is that the match-ups don’t adhere to true scientific testing. The qualifications for the men can be easily documented, but the choosing of the women seems as rigged as a Russian figure-skating event.

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First of all, is Ms. Spindel really that qualified to judge what I find beautiful?

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And does she just pick stereotypical-looking blonds like I might see on FOX drama as CIA agents? Where are the hot Asian chicks? Where are the slightly-eccentric looking redheads who you just know will show you a wild time? Look at the three women that Ms. Spindel considers beautiful.

#1 — Eh. Looks like my cousin Miriam.

#2 — Flat as a board and thinning hair.

#3 — She is OK, but has a pig nose. She also looks like she is very quiet when she has an orgasm.

Of course, if I were drunk and lonely and “American Idol” wasn’t on TV, I wouldn’t say no to any of these women saying, “Neilochka, let’s ****!” (this does not include Ms. Spindel, no offense… she just seems like she would be too aggressive). But are they THAT BEAUTIFUL? For five hundred bucks and opening up my bank records, I would expect more. I could easily come up with a list of BLOGGERS who are prettier than these women. Just go on Flickr, which is my new pornography.

I think many of my problems with Sophia are based on our total disregard for the rule of “Natural Selection.” After all she is beautiful, but I’m not rich. If the world worked perfectly, she would be with someone rich.

But alas, I’m not rich. Only beautiful. Why can’t I exploit my beauty as much as women? Maybe I was destined to be with a rich but ugly woman. After all, that still maintains the idea of natural selection. Are there any speed-dating services for rich, ugly women and beautiful, poor men? It’s the same principle of Natural Selection, just updated for the twenty-first century — I’m all for the equality of the sexes!

If a woman was really rich, I could deal with her being ugly. Hopefully, not THAT ugly. I mean it would bother me if she had warts all over her face. But then again, if she was rich… and let me feel her up while watching TV… hey, why not? It’s natural selection!

(Update: After reading some more about this, I’m beginning to think the speed-dating service was less a legitimate operation than a crass way to create some publicity through an actual speed-dating event. By creating a dating scenario as ugly as possible, they were able to get media attention from both the networks and bloggers like me. Now, they are in talks with VH1 about doing a show about this concept.  I look forward to seeing what advertisers want to get involved in a project that uses terms such as natural selection and genetic cleansing.  What fun!  So, I am now going to take out most of the links and names in hope of not giving them any more publicity)

The Secret

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“Thou shalt not covet your neighbor’s house” spoke God, and a lightening bolt hit the table and ingrained the tenth commandment in stone for eternity. Moses, his hair turned white from being in the presence of God, shook in fear.

“But how will I get the chosen people to follow these commandments, Lord? I am but one small man. And the chosen people are a stiff-necked group of nudniks who are always arguing with one another. Couldn’t you have chosen a group that was more mellow, like the Amish? Surely the Israelites will not believe that I actually chatted with YOU.”

“Don’t worry, Moses. The answer is simple. Change them each $29.95 to learn the “secret” commandments and before you know it, you’ll be on Oprah and they’ll be standing on line to buy The Commandments on DVD.”

Recently, I’ve read a couple of bloggers talking about “The Secret,” some sort of new Age self-help book/video/audiotape/budding industry that was talked about on Oprah. Oprah speaks, people listen.

Now, I should admit that I have not seen this DVD or read the book, so I have very little to say about the content of this material. It might be inspirational. It might make me a changed man. But — the thing that annoys me about this “Secret” is the way it is being marketed. First of all, I was immediately turned off by their flashy, overproduced website. On the website, there is a lot of talk about “secret membership” and your choice of watching the video online for five bucks or buying the DVD for thirty dollars.

To me, the subtext says: inaccessibility. Why use Flash technology? Why do I have to download a special video codec from Vividas just to watch the trailer? And frankly — WHY should I pay for something so astounding? If this Secret really will change the world, shouldn’t this information be shouted out from rooftops everywhere? Shouldn’t it be freely spread throughout the world in order to make it a better place?

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Rhonda Byrne

I’m not against someone making money. But the editor, Rhonda Byrne, former producer of “What’s Cooking” and “The World’s Greatest TV Commercials,” admits that she is just revealing a secret that has already been with us for centuries, albeit only for the elite.

The Secret is released to the world! This ground-breaking feature length movie presentation reveals The Great Secret of the universe. It has been passed throughout the ages, traveling through centuries… to reach you and humankind.

This is The Secret to everything – the secret to unlimited joy, health, money, relationships, love, youth: everything you have ever wanted.

In this astonishing program are ALL the resources you will ever need to understand and live The Secret. For the first time in history, the world’s leading scientists, authors, and philosophers will reveal The Secret that utterly transformed the lives of every person who ever knew it… Plato, Newton, Carnegie, Beethoven, Shakespeare, Einstein.

Now, if this is all true, then HOLY S**T, that is some cool stuff. Someone should be GIVING away this information for free. Don’t worry, Ms. Byrne. You will not starve for all your hard work if you give away this information for free. After everyone has unlimited happiness and money, I’m sure you will be handsomely rewarded. But to make people buy a DVD to learn this amazing secret is simply immoral. It is like Moses charging for the Ten Commandments. It is like Jonas Salk discovering the cure for polio and only sharing it with his friends.

What’s with this selfishness, Ms. Byrne? Shouldn’t this information be offered to poor people for free? What about those without internet access? Or those without DVD players? Shouldn’t the United Nations be in on this?

Of course, I am just taking what you say at FACE VALUE — that this information of the Secret with bring in a “New Era for Humankind.” I would hate to think that all this is just cheesy marketing gimmick used to package the idea of “mind over matter,” a concept that has been around since Philosophy 101 in college.

I also notice that you include Henry Ford on your list of great visionary leaders who knew “The Secret.”

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Henry Ford

He certainly was an innovator, but considering that he was a nasty guy, an anti-Semite, and a Nazi sympathizer, I seriously doubt that “the Secret” alone will make this a better world.

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: Know Thyself… Very Little

Better Late Than Never

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Five months ago, Sophia was in New York working and I was lonely.  To ease my pain, many of you sent me photos of your beds.  Deannie, the writer of “Home is Where the Heart Is” told me that she wanted to send me a photo, but she didn’t have her own bed.  She promised to send me a photo once she got her condo and bought a bed.

Yesterday, I received a photo of Deannie’s bed.  Nothing impresses me more than someone who keeps a promise.

From what I gather, this is actually the wrong bed that was delivered to her home, but she decided to keep in “instead of going through all the hassle of the exchange process.”

I, for one, like the bed.  It is very antique-looking, like something you might see in an old house in Vermont.  I especially like the elaborate headboard. 

Now, as the rabbis of yore used to do, I would like to recite the tradtional blessing for a new bed:

“Deannie, may this bed bring you much joy.  May you have many a restful night as you sleep soundly in this cozy and warm bed.  May you have pleasant dreams and wake up refreshed from your nights sleeping in this wonderful new bed.  And may you have many memorable nights @%#@** against the elaborate headboard.”

Update:  Next time I am alone, I won’t be needing your bed photos, thanks to my new sheet and pillow case combo.   (thanks, Dagny!)

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P.S. — I’m also doing my first “guest-blogging” stint at No Pasa Nada.   So, for one day you can call me Heather!

Paranoia

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Normally, Sophia thinks I spend too much time blogging, but lately,  she’s been curious about other bloggers. 

“After all, I’m going to meet some in Portland,” she said.  

This morning, she brought her laptop into my room.

“Tell me who each of these people is who said happy birthday to me.”

“Each person?!”

“Who’s Hilly?”

“She’s from Orange County.  She’ll be in Portland.”

“We’re going all the way to Oregon to meet someone from Orange County?”

“I guess so.  In a strange way, it’s easier that way.” 

“And what type of name is Lizardek?”

“I have no idea.  She lives in Sweden.  Maybe it has something to do with Sweden.”

“It doesn’t sound very Swedish.  Didn’t you ever ask her?”

“No.”

“Aren’t you curious?”

“I guess so.  In the beginning.”

“Why don’t you ever ask her?  “Why are you called Lizardek?”  Or ask this Leahpeah “Why are you called Leahpeah?”  Does it have anything to do what onomatopoeia?”

“OK, I’ll ask them.  Better?

“It’s like you’re not even interested in your own readers.”

“I’m interested… up to a point.”

“How many Heathers are there out there?  There’s this Heather and that Heather and Heather B. and Heather C..  I’m getting all the Heathers mixed up.”

“Believe me.  Everyone does.”

“What the hell is a Jurgen Nation?    It sounds like some racist organization.”

“I think Jurgen is the dog.”

“Jurgen is the guy’s dog?”

“Jurgen is a woman.  I mean she is a woman, and the dog… I don’t know what the dog is.  She’s really a Stacy.”

“The dog?”

“No, Stacy is the blogger.”

“So, why doesn’t she just say she’s Stacy?”

“Am I my blogger’s keeper?  You’ll have to ask her some day.”

“But this Kapgar is a guy, right?  I remember sending him a photo from New York.”

“Right.  He’s in Chicago.  There is a whole bunch of bloggers in Chicago.  I don’t know why.  A lot of bloggers are in Chicago and Washington D.C.”

“And who is this V-Grrrl?  Is V for victory?

“Veronica.  She’s the one who sent me the statue of the Belgian pissing boy.”

“Is Whoorl the one who is married to the ex-priest?”

“What?!  I never said anything about any ex-priests.”

“Isn’t one of your readers married to someone who was a priest?”

“I don’t think so.”

“Who is she married to?”

“I don’t know.”

“Don’t you read her?”

“I don’t know every detail of these people’s lives!  I know Whoorl had a baby.  I don’t even remember her real name.”

“Of the baby?”

“No.  Of Whoorl.”

“Is the baby a girl or a boy?”

“Huh… jeez… Uh… uh… wait…. some other blogger had a girl.  I think she had a boy.”

“Do the other bloggers realize how little you KNOW about them?”

“You can’t get to know everyone that well through blogging.”

“Why not?

“It’s the wrong medium.”

“So, it’s the right medium to talk about your penis, but the wrong medium to ask a person’s name?”

“I think I actually did write a post once asking people their real names.”

“If I were blogging, I would know more about the other bloggers.  Who are they?  What do they do?  Who they are dating?”

“Why this sudden interest?  Are you thinking of starting a blog?!”

“No way.”

“Thank god.”

“But since I’m meeting some bloggers in Portland, why don’t you tell me who is coming?.”

“I don’t know all of them.”

“Isn’t Ms. Sizzle going to be there?”

“Yes.  She’s nice.”

“Is she the one who sent you a topless photo of herself?”

“No.  That was someone else.”

“Do you still have it?”

“It’s on my desktop somewhere.” 

“Where?”

“I don’t know.”

“Yeah, right.”

“Why is this Portland thing just one night?  Shouldn’t it be like three days?”

“Three days?  Who has three days?  We all have to get back to blogging.”

“It just seems so silly to travel thousands of miles to have a couple of drinks for one night.”

“I think there’s someone travelling in from England.”

“You people are crazy.”

“Well, most of them are pretty nice.” 

“Yes, it was very nice how they wished me a happy birthday.”

“Maybe I should email everyone back and thank them.”

“It’s not necessary, Neilochka.  You can do it on your blog.”

“But maybe it would be nicer if I did each person individually.”

“No. You don’t need to do that”

“Why not?”

“Because I already did it last night.”

“What do you mean?!”

“I sent everyone an email and thanked them.”

“You WENT on MY email and stole their addresses?!”

“No, silly.  Everyone’s address is on the blog administration page.   

“Wait… so you emailed them… FROM YOU?!  From your email address?!”

“Yes.  You are so odd.  Of course I emailed them FROM ME.  What are you getting all hysterical for?   I just wanted to thank them for their birthday wishes.”

“It’s going to confuse them.  They’re going to get all concerned!”

“Calm down…  Concerned?”

“Don’t you see?  You’re NOT REAL to them.  I’m the real one.”  

“And what am I?”

“You’re more… you’re sort of…  what are you doing?  Are you trying to steal my readers?”

“Why would I steal your readers?” 

“You’re trying to win them over to your side, aren’t you?”

“You’re PARANOID!”

“They can’t get to know you.”

“Why not, Neilochka?”

“Because… they need… they need…they…”

“Oh, I see.  …they need to only hear your side of every story?”

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