Written by Aaron Bergman
Foreword: Okay, I wrote this without reading any of the email being
passed around or anything, because I didn't want to be influenced
by anyone, either positive or negative. I wanted to find out why
this damn thing was so "popular" without a shred of help.
This is as cold, as cruel, and as evil as I can get. I was downright
mad when I wrote this, and I got madder as I continued on. Take
most of the comments in here with maybe a bit of salt.
Okay, I eased up a little towards the end, but even I can only
channel so much bile before it starts to burn, ya dig?
An MST of
" Youmas Attack the United States"
Doctor Forrester glanced at his watch and smiled as the tiny
alarm beeped. "It's showtime."
He reached over to the controls of his Satellite and ran his
fingers down the keys lovingly. "Let's see. Decompression
Alarm, Fire Alarm, Humdinger Attack, Movie Sign, Menchi Song
let's go with Decompression Alarm." A finger depressed the
key, and Forrester turned to the monitor to watch the fun.
The results were saluatory, of course. He'd spent some time preparing
his subjects to fear this alarm, dropping grim hints about how
he'd been forced to use substandard materials and imported labor
on the Satellite, and how it could all collapse at any time (the
fact that all those words were true didn't really make a difference,
of course), and so the subjects were indeed afraid of being sucked
out into the great void of space at any time.
"One-experiment, two-experiments, three-experiments
He counted to fifteen before cutting off the alarm, giggling in
sadistic glee as he saw Joel trying to pull his underpants over
his head instead of a shirt. Forrester keyed the all-ship intercom
and said casually, "Oh, I'm sorry." A calculated pause
later, he added, "Did I wake you?"
For once, Joel had none of his insolent bearing as he stared
up at the camera in the corner of his room and shouted, "YES,
"Ah, good." Forrester smiled, and let the smile carry
into his tone as he said, "I have a little job for you, Billy
The subject's eyes widened, then narrowed, as he realized what
Forrester must mean. The mad scientist sighed heavily, muting
the mike as he did so. Why, out of all the people available as
janitorial temps, did the subject he picked have to be intelligent?
Admittedly, it was only a certain rat-like kind of intelligence,
well-suited for an experiment, but
"You want us to watch a movie? AGAIN? We just did one the
day before yesterday!"
The time for gloating was not now, so Forrester repressed the
urge and said almost merrily, "Oh, this isn't a movie,
my precious, gollum gollum."
"A FIC?!?!" Joel's voice was choked with rage. "You
woke us up in the middle of the night, interrupted my dream about
eating a perfect slice of blueberry rhubarb pie after a hearty
IHOP lunch, for a FIC?!?!?" Darkly, he said, "This had
better be good."
By this time, the 'bots had made it to the subject's room. Now
was the moment for gloating. so gloat Forrester did. "Oh,
don't worry about that; it's the worst of the worst of
Crow said, softly, fearfully, "Hold me, Joel. I'm scared
The other robot, the one whose name always escaped Forrester,
went for defiance instead. "You don't scare us!"
The gloating went up a notch. "Oh, I'm not the
one that's going to scare you. It's this story that will do the
job for me." Forrester's spider-like hands stretched over
the keypad, and he hesitated a moment before pressing the send
key. "This little crashing bore is entitled, 'Youmas Attack
the United States, version 2'. Enjoy! Or, rather, don't
Forrester pushed the button, then glanced over his shoulder at
his late-night visitor. "Do you think that'll do the job,
my Evil friend?"
The man laughed, a sound to send children weeping to their mommies.
"Oh, indeedily will, my Evil friend. If waking them up in
the middle of the night doesn't get them mad enough to mutilate
this thing, then the fic itself will do the job."
"One thing that I'm curious about, though
Forrester leaned back casually, hiding his inner tension handily
as he asked, "Why are you doing this, anyway? I thought you
"Look, I'm his Evil Clone. That means, technically, he's
me. Any time he gets the need for vengeance, it makes me feel
that much closer to him." Eyewrin smiled and said, "Usually,
Aaron is such a goody-two-shoes. But this
even I must bow
to his sheer sadism."
To:email@example.com Subject: [FFML] Youmas Attack the United States.
v2 Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2004 06:00:27 -0600
That's it. The kid gloves are off. It's
a free-fire zone, gentlemen, pick and choose the targets as they
November 23, 2003.
JOEL: A date that nobody really cares about.
CROW: Hey, wasn't that almost two months ago?
That was the day of the first published,
confirmed incident in the United States.
JOEL: Oooh, my tension levels are soaring already. What dread
incident will be revealed? Ferocious French taunting? Breaking-and-redecorating?
The murder of Koshi Rikdo?
The day the beings later known as youma
first hit San Francisco, California. One hundred and fifty-seven
people died that day.
CROW: Wow, my empathy level shot right to zero. No real lead-in,
just a flat statement, no description—
JOEL: Has this guy even been to San Fran? That many
people die in seventy-two hours, give or take a dozen lives. I
can't see how that many dying in one day makes a big freakin'
The monsters just teleported in and went
on a rampage.
TOM: Yeah, that's kind of what monsters do
.Wait a second,
I thought we were talkin' about youma. WTF?
It ended up taking a SWAT team, some citizens
with heavy rifles, and a brave EOD man who improvised a large
mine attached to his truck. All only to take five of them down.
CROW: You know what would've been kind of interesting here? ANYTHING!
Maybe some action? Maybe some adventure? Maybe some mayhem? KEEERIST!
TOM: Oh, proper sentence structure, and maybe some paragraph
work, would have helped to. Would it really have been
so hard to hit "Enter" after you typed "rampage"?
New subject = new paragraph. Think about it.
Oh, EOD? Explosive Ordinance Disposal.
The Bomb Squad.
JOEL: (sarcastically) Thank you, Mr. Exposition. I needed that.
Suddenly the war on terror, Iraq and Afghanistan
took a back seat. Sure, the attack killed less than Pearl Harbor
or September 11 did.
CROW: It killed less than bee stings do every year.
It killed less than wine corks do every year. But do
people get up in arms about those? Threaten to storm the winecellars?
It didn't matter.
JOEL: (deep breath) If it didn't matter, WHY ARE YOU TALKING
Sure, alot of mullahs whined that the
'Great Satan' was reaping his just rewards.
CROW: Oooh, 'quotes'. How 'witty'.
They soon learned differently.
TOM: Maybe you should talk with them about this learning thing,
Mr. Mysterious Exposition Artist. It couldn't hurt, unless your
head exploded. (pause) Hey, that's a win-win situation!
I had recently read an essay about the
"Jacksonian Tradition". It struck a chord in me. And
with this, it rang a far greater one.
JOEL: (groans) Perhaps a word on what the hell the "Jacksonian
Tradition" is would make me not want to do a vicious
pun about the "Jackass Tradition".
TOM: How many freakin' paragraphs should this first paragraph
have been divided into? Five? let's see, first one on "November",
second one on "It ended", third one on "Suddenly",
and fourth on "I had". "I had it ended suddenly."
CROW: Hey, not a bad sentence to sum what someone shoulda done
to this thing.
Me, I took stock of my finances, and ordered
a .50 BMG sniper rifle. Cost me close to $8,000. Took every cent
I had saved in my career.
CROW: I cry foul! The red tape alone on getting a rifle like
that would cost him at least twenty grand to cut through. Even
in a national "emergency" (snort), the government ain't
likely to enjoy the idea of just handing out milspec weapons.
Fortunately, the same day, Barrett had
announced that they were going to sell at cost, plus tool-up costs.
TOM: Oh, that explains it. Riiiiiiiggghhht.
They were going to expand. Precipitously.
Theories were proposed as to what they were, and why they attacked.
CROW: They who?
JOEL: You know, the title characters. Youma attacking the United
TOM: Youma Versus The United States? These kind of movies should
always have versus.
Aliens, monsters, radioactive mutations,
all the theories expressed in the movies were proposed.
TOM: I'm experiencing a spiritual conundrum, Joel.
The fact that the bodies decomposed to
dust so quickly didn't help.
JOEL: What's that?
We didn't know anything but that it took
large amounts of damage to kill them.
TOM: I don't know who to hate! The youma, for attacking
the United States and starting the whole thing? The United States,
for being dumb enough to get involved in this thing? The author,
for dragging us into it?
Until then they were a nightmare out of
CROW: Just hate the US. Go for it! Why not? Everyone else in
the world does it!
JOEL: And if everyone were drinking from the 400 hertz AC wires
before the outlet rectified it into DC voltage, would you
do it, too?
CROW: If it would keep me from being forced to read this fic?
In a heartbeat.
How little we knew, and yet, how right
JOEL: Well, at least you got the first half right.
The next attack came three days later
in Tuscon, just long enough for the public to have started to
wonder if the attack was a once-only event.
TOM: What, no massive government coverup? No survivalists and
religious lunatics declaring the end of the world? In three days,
a lot can happen. Sheesh. News the first night, then
forty-eight hours for the human animal to lose the thin veneer
JOEL: Now, that's going a little far
The second attack was with six of the
CROW: You know, I'm starting to feel like the sucker for having
read this far into the story.
But Nevada was a different proposition
than California, and they had some warning.
JOEL: From what? Mystic Sparkly Luvluv Radar Power? I don't see
no magical girls fluttering around in
Nevada. What are they
gonna do, hand out flyers for the Love Chapel?
Only seventy-eight people died that day.
Eight civilians opened up on the youma, delaying them long enough
for many people to escape.
CROW: I still don't quite see how simple bullets can whack a
demon. (voice goes dark and gravelly) "I'm a F&#*IN'
Curiously, one man was more effective
that what seemed right. Pastor JackNewman's bullets, from a unimposing
.38 revolver, did more damage than the .45's fired by several
JOEL: Ah, I see. Give me some o' that old-time religion, it's
good enough for me.
But it was several weeks before this news
TOM: (groans again) This sentence just hurts. Really. It should
be part of the previous sentence, joined by a semicolon or some
At this point, President Bush started
calling up military forces.
TOM: Quick, decisive action from the Prez, of course. Oh, wait,
it wasn't made entirely clear that the "several
weeks" just mentioned didn't happen until after
the President went into action.
Every base was in force protection Charlie,
with west coast bases in Delta.
CROW: Er, I wonder if this guy realizes what Delta actually
means for most bases? "We know that this base could be the
next target, guys, so we're closing it down tighter than a-"
JOEL: Crow, don't you dare say it!
CROW: "Duck's bottom."
What did you think I was
We were scared. Troops overseas were clamoring
to come home and help.
CROW: (voice goes strange) Definitely not a military
man, this author. Troops don't clamor for shit. Even
right after September 11th, where we knew who the enemy
was, we only grumbled lightly until Bush declared this "War
on Terrorism", which we can only hope doesn't go as badly
awry as the War on Drugs. Too bad it's already promising to do
just that. Cut off one hydra's head, it grows back double. Try
to burn the wound closed, the other six heads tear you apart.
Try to throw it to the ground, it rises up again, stronger than
CROW: (voice back to normal) What? Did I miss somethin'?
Eventually, even the inactive reserves
were called back. The draft was talked about, but we had enough
volunteers (with lots of age waivers), to cover expansion.
TOM: You went all weird and started ranting about terrorists.
CROW: What, you mean like that guy that did the thing, uh
The attacks accelerated and spread. We
learned that Japan had been suffering from them, and some 'Sailor
Scouts' or 'Sailor Warriors' had been fighting them.
TOM: FOUL! You're saying that the Japanese have these mystical
warriors in your fantasy world, and the Americans are so spiritually
empty that they don't have the equivalent? Well, screw you too.
It was discovered that blessed bullets,
especially from certain pious individuals, were more effective.
JOEL: Don't you have to be pious to bless something in the first
place? Isn't that implied in the act of blessing?
It certainly resulted in certain priests
being, well, marked as fraudulent.
JOEL: Aaahhh, I see. Kind of a joke.
I thought it was especially funny when
it was found that a Wiccan's rounds had more effect than a number
of Catholic priests.
JOEL: I wish I were as easily amused as you, friend.
Our reaction was, well, extreme.
CROW: So, was mine, against, your commas!
This was a fight against EVIL. A number
of mullahs in the sandbox were torn apart after their 'blessings'
proved less than effective in killing the beasts.
TOM: Ah, shouldn't the "Sandbox" be quotated?
CROW: (voice goes strange again) And only people who have been
stationed over there should be allowed to refer to it as the Sandbox.
Gah, Saudi is sooooooooo boring.
After Fort Carson was attacked, killing
12 soldiers, I was issued an M-16. But that was discovered to
be capable of little more than harassing to the youma.
JOEL: Harrassment of Youma: $200 dollar fine and 50 hours community
They had gotten tougher.
TOM: Good for them.
Well, so did we.
TOM: Good for you. (pause) When will it end?!?
You quickly started seeing weapons worn
openly by people. First it was mostly handguns, but soon people
started carrying the heaviest rifle they owned.
CROW: (voice is normal again) Boy, how do I cash in on the arms
trade? TOW missiles? Copkiller rounds?
I started carrying my Barrett instead
of the M-16, and nobody questioned me.
JOEL: Why do I get the feeling that he wrote this fic so he could
imagine stroking his big gun?
CROW: Hey! How come you can say that kind of stuff?!?!
Anti-firearm laws were repealed at a state
level at a fast rate if they weren't
TOM: Not a bad idea, in theory, but then I've always been an
The federal government was only a little
slower, as the more conservative states gained enough power to
point out that an armed citizenship saved lives.
JOEL: The government would never be that smart. They've managed
to deny that solid fact for years; how would demons change their
CROW: Yeah, the youma? I can handle that. The Barret? My imagination
can stretch that far. But the government being sensible?
Schyah, right. Government never ever loosens control. Never.
No matter what kind of government, no matter what the circumstances,
a government will never remove a control that it has
on its population. (pause) Did that sound bitter to you?
The youma mostly hit population centers,
but anywhere people gathered was a target.
TOM: Isn't that the FREAKING DEFINITION OF POPULATION CENTER?!?!
Anywhere that people gather. (flip-through-book foley sound) Yep.
We, the military, just couldn't cover
everywhere sufficiently. The NRA and other groups started setting
up carefully staged 'parties', complete with .50BMG machinegun
It was the rebirth of the militia.
JOEL: Sounds nice, doesn't it? All this is wrapped up so nice
and tidy, it disturbs me. I mean, how far is my sense of credulity
supposed to go? Feh.
In Colorado Springs, the local Class 3
arms dealer happened to be close to a youma attack with his
vehicle. He managed to dust 3 youma in short order with the two
machine guns mounted on his SUV. This, to me, marked the start
of the full restoration of the 2nd amendment.
TOM: (Lisa Simpson) "But dad, the second amendment is just
a holdover from revolutionary days! It has no meaning in today's
CROW: (Homer Simpson) "You couldn't be more wrong, Lisa.
What if the King of England came in here right now and started
pushing you around. Would you like that? Huh? Would ya?!"
Meanwhile, every scrap of evidence about
the attacks were gathered up and
JOEL: Oh, man. I'm not sure how much more of this I can take,
I heard rumors of new weapons, even as
precision-guided artillery was being set up in strategic points
in and around cities.
CROW: Fight it, Joel! Fight it! %We wi-ill overcome
Police were given GPS devices and hasty
training in calling in fire support. I still remember the how
the youma looked shocked when they were hit with the
first artillery strike.
TOM: I ain't even touching that with a ten-foot pole.
For all of six seconds, when the second
TOM: And this is rightly part of the previous sentence.
Heck, at Minot AFB we had a B-52 flying
at all times armed with 500 pound laser guided bombs. And people
around with radios and pointers.
TOM: Look, the rules for using "and" is very
simple! You have two sentences. They need to be joined
together, because they relate to the same subject. Sometimes
you use a comma like so, and continue with the
sentence. Sometimes you don't have to, and that's all right too.
Using "and" to start a sentence of its own is wrong
grammatically. Dramatically, I've seen it used well once in a
while, but that doesn't mean you should use it that way all
the damn time!
CROW: Joel, you might need to turn down the Editor software a
Washington D.C. had alot of the protection,
of course, with an A-10 constantly circling between the
White House and Congress building.
JOEL: Mmm. Okay, I can accept that. But what happens if the youma
appear inside the building?
The 30MM rounds from the GAU-8 don't need
any blessings to kill youma. Hotlines were set up so people could
call in attacks.
TOM: Good for them. Hey, shouldn't this be part of another
Fast reaction heavy weapon patrols were
formed. They usually finished up what the citizens didn't kill.
CROW: How bloodthirsty the average citizen becomes. You were
right, Tom, the veneer of civilization is thin indeed.
Youma started to learn, but they didn't
have much of a learning curve, that's
JOEL, CROW, TOM: I ain't even touching that one.
They had a hard time, even when they popped
up in the dozens, to learn to keep out of the view of rooftops
JOEL: Wouldn't dying kind of preclude them from learning anything
to begin with, if the humans are so good at killin' them?
Most of them had snipers on top firing
JOEL: Wouldn't that get kind of cold and boring, just waiting
there on the off-chance a monster would wander into your sights?
Admittedly, that's a sniper or counter-sniper's job, but ya know,
it takes a good measure of discipline to sit in one place for
hours. And can you imagine the number of snipers it would
take to cover even one reasonably-sized population center?
CROW: Yeah, not to mention anywhere that people gather.
One round usually wouldn't kill one, but
they would do rather serious damage. Three or four rounds would
finish most of them off.
CROW: If only it could do something similar to this fic. Jeez!
Of course, it would be all over when the
FRHWP, or 'FRAP', showed up.
TOM: Of course. More 'quotes'. how 'interesting'.
Heavy machine guns would keep the youma
from charging the HMMWVs long enough for the others to nail them
with RPGs and wire-guided missiles.
CROW: Now I wish I was an arms dealer! Wait, that should
be "I wish I were an arms dealer."
JOEL: (hums little tune) %I wish I was an arms dealer and
not a hetero, I wouldn't have to deal a woman's come and go, I
wouldn't have to listen to them whine about my massive machismo
I wish I was an arms dealer and not a hetero!%
What, with the attacks, most public places
are guaranteed to be attacked sooner or later. We refuse to give
up our lives for the youma.
CROW: Yes, give up your lives
And that includes gathering.
TOM: "And the indigenous human returns to their spawning
place, the dank bar, regardless of supernatural predations
Anyways, public places have all been reinforced.
After all, they have to take monsters, and the high-caliber response
TOM: And this is an example of when you don't need to use a comma
for "and". Man, I wish English weren't so confusing
CROW: Is that a word?
TOM: (dignified) It is now.
The highest-risk sites have guards armed
with machine guns just in case. Crime has dropped to just about
zero. Everybody's armed, and any gunfire attracts an overwhelming
JOEL: I just realized that, in part, he may be right. This could
just be a massive allegory instead of a serious fiction.
CROW & TOM: HUH!?!?!?
Sure, we still take casualties. But we're
in a fight for HUMANITY.
JOEL: Well, it would take something totally irrational that threatens
everything in society which would never ever happen,
like an attack by youma, to bring down the wrongheaded and stupid
gun laws that allow criminals to buy guns on any streetcorner
while a legal citizen can't even walk into a gun store without
being interrogated a dozen ways about the uses he plans for his
And the allegory?
Many of us view it as the preview of the
final coming. 'Praise god and pass the ammunition' type of thing.
JOEL: Is the whole story. Nothing like this would ever happen,
so he's free to describe what he would feel having guns in everyone's,
and he means everyone's, hands would be like.
Even now, less than a year later, there's
talk of a monument to all those who've fallen to the monsters.
TOM: Aaahh, I see
And the talk about pulling out of the
other countries evaporated once we learned that other countries
were suffering attacks as great,
if not worse than us.
CROW: That "big brother" tendancy of the US again.
"We'll take care of you! No worries! We don't care if you
think you can take care of your own problems! Democracy for all!"
Especially when news of the youma's motives
came out. They were feeding on us, on humans. Our energy is what
fuels their attacks. Attacks elsewhere only fueled further attacks,
on us and others.
JOEL: Hang together or assuredly we will all hang seperately,
is that it?
China was direly struck, and became our
ally once more.
CROW: When was China ever a US ally? The Boxer Rebellion
in the 1880's?
They were unable to maintain their country
as it was under the assault. Everybody had to be armed to hold
back the tide, and you can't oppress an armed people.
JOEL: Awww, ain't that a pretty sentiment.
Iraq and Afghanistan quickly became some
of our staunchest allies.
TOM: Good for them.
Especially when it was discovered that
the mullahs who preached hate and death were the least effective
in blessing rounds. Common people did better.
CROW: A sad element of truth in that.
TOM: Out of the mouths of fools and babes
too bad this
guy seems to think that almost all the Muslim preacher men preach
death exclusively. He betrays his ignorance with each word. Fer
cryin' out loud, the average Arab is a peaceful fellow! Most of
them look at their terrorist cousins with a mixture of pride and
shame; pride that the terrorist has the courage to go back to
an earlier time when war was the way of Allah and shame that all
of those fools just outright reject the words of Muhammed. The
shame is far, far stronger than the pride, at least in the average
The USA showed once again how much war
material it could produce when threatened.
JOEL: Yep, we're gun nuts all right.
We were the largest arms exporter in the
world before. Now we're practically the world's supplier.
CROW: Er. You do realize that plenty of countries manufacture
arms, don't you? And a lot of them are very, very good at it.
The new M-20 rifle, firing an explosive
10MM round is the most popular, followed by the venerable .50BMG.
CROW: *snort* Explosive rounds? Someone's been playing
too much Shadowrun and not had a loving gamemeister detonate all
the explosive rounds his character carries
I've heard some troops are being issued
an experimental variation on the gyrojet round.
TOM: Er, aren't gyrojet rounds themselves experimental?
At best? Even if they do exist? Why not just arm the buggers with
Mark IV Plasma Cannons?
Supposed to do more damage at longer ranges.
JOEL: Hey, is this another broken partial sentence?
TOM: Yep. *scowl* Do you think he does this on purpose?
Thing is, if you're that far from youma,
you call in for an air strike or artillery, know what I mean?
TOM & JOEL & TOM: NO, WE DON'T!!!!!!
I hear that we've had some success in
the research on how they manage to teleport in.
TOM: Good for you.
The other day, I heard on TV that the
youma might be coming using Antarctica as a relay point. If so,
I can see us nuking the area
And that's it?
TOM: Is this suppposed to be some vague crossover between Sailor
Moon and Heinlein's Puppet Masters novel?
JOEL: That's a bit of a stretch.
CROW: The ending left me feeling disappointed. The middle left
me disappointed. The beginning left me very disappointed.
JOEL: All good points, there. (stretches) About all I can say
Let's go back to sleep.
Author's notes: I hate this fanfiction.
I hated it even before I opened it up to look at it, and I hated
it worse after reading once through it, quickly.
How dare an utter piece of reeking excrement like this
story garner so much notice, so much debate, while the Kingdom
Hearts tale I poured myself into and posted late last Thursday
got two whole emails?!?! This thing is a tenth, a thirtieth,
a tiny infintesmal fraction as good as Hall of Lost Heroes, and
it pisses me off that this thing got any attention at all.
thing lacks plot. Lacks continuity. Lacks
character. Lacks anything at all to establish this as a story.
It has something. Not promise, not as such, but the promise
of promise, as though you could see a not-bad story coming
out of this thing with a year's worth of writing. Hell, it could
even make a half-decent novel, in the hands of a competent writer.
But probably not from first-person, not if you're
going to describe stuff across the country instantly.
One of my favorite authors, Harry Turtledove, has the gift of
taking a one-word idiotic idea and turning it into a truly great
novel. "Aliens invade during the middle of World War II?"
"If magic were technology, what would the pollutants be?"
"What would happen if the AK-47 were given to General Lee's
Army of Virginia?"
That's about what this story is, and the one sentence is the
title YATUS: "Youma Attack The United States."
But that doesn't make this story good. It's barely an
idea post. It's barely a fragment. It's utter tripe. It's
Oh, dammit, I could go on insulting this thing forever, and all
I'd do is make myself angrier.
The raw truth is that I'm envious. I got buried by this
thing. It makes me just downright pissed that I feel such a petty
emotion towards something so terrible.
I wrote this all up in about two hours, minus a small delay when
my laptop ran out of battery power, and I didn't have anyone look
at it before I posted it to the FFML. Pardon any lack of humor
in it, I wasn't feeling very funny when I wrote this.
Because this was written before Aaron read anyone else's comments
from the Anime/Manga Fan Fiction Mailing List, he didn't realize
that all of the traffic generated by it wasn't because it was popular.
Most of the people commenting said, in nicer phrasing, pretty much
the same things he did in this MST. That is, that the writing was
poor, there was no dialog or storytelling, and while the idea itself
was interesting, that was all it really was — an idea that
desperately called out for someone to turn it into something worth
reading. It's an unfortunate fact of mailing lists that controversy
gets more response from the readership than the material for which
the list was designed. It's easy to get public feedback simply by
posting something shocking. It's much, much harder to get feedback
just by posting something good.