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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, YOU DID!"

"Ah, good." Forrester smiled, and let the smile carry into his tone as he said, "I have a little job for you, Billy Bottoms."

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 the worst."

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 enjoy…"

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…"

"Yes?"

Forrester leaned back casually, hiding his inner tension handily as he asked, "Why are you doing this, anyway? I thought you hated him."

"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."

"It's starting!"

From:"Firethorn" <firethorn@srt.com To:ffml@anifics.com Subject: [FFML] Youmas Attack the United States. v2 Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2004 06:00:27 -0600

JOEL: …That's it. The kid gloves are off. It's a free-fire zone, gentlemen, pick and choose the targets as they appear.

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.

TOM: …

CROW: …

JOEL: …

TOM: ……And?

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' deal.

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? Nooo.

It didn't matter.

JOEL: (deep breath) If it didn't matter, WHY ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT IT?!

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 States.

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 hell.

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 we were.

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 of civilization?

JOEL: Now, that's going a little far… Naw.

The second attack was with six of the suckers.

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' demon!"

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 others.

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 came out.

TOM: (groans again) This sentence just hurts. Really. It should be part of the previous sentence, joined by a semicolon or some such. Sheesh.

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 gonna say?

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 before.

JOEL: …What?

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 service.

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 ignored completely.

TOM: Not a bad idea, in theory, but then I've always been an NRA lunatic.

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 minds?

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 demonstration centers… 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 society."

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 analyzed.

JOEL: Oh, man. I'm not sure how much more of this I can take, guys.

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 shell hit.

TOM: And this is rightly part of the previous sentence. Sheesh.

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 notch… Naw.

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 new paragraph?

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 for sure.

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 and towers.

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 blessed ammunition.

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… ooooohhhh… 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… for justice!

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 to them.

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 grammarctically.

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 response.

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 weapon.

CROW: …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 citizen.

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…

JOEL: …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 is… 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.

This… thing lacks plot. Lacks continuity. Lacks character. Lacks anything at all to establish this as a story. And yet…

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.

Meh.

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.

Aaron Bergman
iamfanboy@hotmail.com

Editor's notes: 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.

Larry F.

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Last revision: May 21, 2007

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