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Lunch with John Drake



By Rudolfo Carrillo


Well, folks, my old buddy from grad school, name of John Drake, appeared at my doorstep a couple hours ago to tell me about his latest adventure.


He had a bag full of burgers from McDonald's in his right hand and in his left carried the fearful scepter of Huitzilopochtli. Said he wanted to have lunch and did I fancy a Big Mac or a Quarter Pounder with cheese.


I told him to leave the snake stick on the porch, as one never knows what sort of deviltry might follow it in.


Speaking in grateful and hungry tones about how I preferred the secret sauce for which the former meat sangwich was famous,  Drake ambled in, set up some napkins at the coffee table and commenced to talking and taking chunks out of the Quarter Pounder with his big, toothsome mouth. I meanwhile traipsed into the kitchen and poured two awful strong cups of joe.


John went on and on about this and that before he settled on his discourse for the day. I told him that the burger was damn good but he just smiled mournfully and began rambling about a survey he was conducting.


It came out that Drake had been posting blogs on my old-timey place of residence, a cyber-location known to townies and carpetbaggers alike as Duke City Fix.


He knew it was decent writing but of course didn't match up with the fanciful mierda I had been known to generate whilst in the midst of any number of transdimensional dislocations for which I am notorious.


I let him have that point, as I reckon I am the poorest writer that ever was, and so don't give a good goddamn which way the wind blows around the stuff leaking out my computer terminal and onto the page.


He went on, sayin' more than a few, and probably a majority, liked what he was doing, but that he was troubled by those who couldn't cotton to what he had written. They told him stuff on the survey that was mean and angry, saying he was arrogant, narcissistic, egotistical,and didn't know what the hell he was doing.


When I finished the glorious meat sangwich that Drake had provided me free and clear, I gave some attention to his lament.


It went something like this.


Despite your best efforts, Mr. Drake, DCF continues to suffer from a plague of trolls, spammers, and miscreants who basically have free run of the place because there are no longer any committed moderators.


There are plenty of excellent folks over there though. Many of the posts and discussions are still thought-provoking, well-written and all of that. In fact, I told him, a couple of my Facebook friends use the site often and they are fine folks, to be sure. I really like the posts by that dude, Davis I think he is called, from over at Popejoy, and Ms. Cohen sure does take some pretty chido photos of the town.


Drake nearly choked on his cheeseburger when I said all that, and then intoned gravely:


Didn't they treat you like hell? Didn't they marginalize you and resort to questionable tactics when you, among all the other DCF advocates, administrators, and contributors, dissented on account of their unwise editorial and contributory policies?


Yes, I said, I reckon they did. After more than two years, the publisher and editor still treated me as a second-class citizen and an outsider; when I brought that fact up, those two, they acted outraged and claimed that I wanted to run the place, have it all to myself, or that I was really hunting around for vig. That was not just unkind, and untrue, I reminded Drake, it was the kinda bullshit  groupthink, that when practiced properly, practically assured their obsolescence in the Albuquerque electronic media scene.


That is why, in essence, I told them to go to hell.


The problem is, I continued, those folks running the DCF, and the trolls they let wander joyfully through their joint, get outta whack anytime they are challenged. The former see themselves as some sort of enlightened creative cult, while the latter, well, they just take advantage of the privileges granted by their masters. Mostly those are of a sort that disdains education and intellectuals, so seeing how your degree is from Brunel and all, you probably didn't stand a snowball's chance. You mostly gotta ignore those factors and factions, if you wanna keep on sending stuff to put up on their webpage.


Some of them really do believe they are the cat's meow, Drake managed, with a smirk.


Well, thats just fine too, says I. Maybe they are, in their world; you never know. But, speak up, I told him and don't stop. You are doing a good thing by standing up; plus which your writing is improving, too.  You ought to learn to love all of them, anywho, because they are human just like you and me.


By this time, Drake had gotten nervous and was eyballin' his watch. Suddenly, the secret agent jumped up, said something about an "Orange Alert" and shimmied out the front door.
I heard his Triumph TR-3 zoom off. I retired to my terminal to read his output and write this post.


Not bad for an Englishman, I told myself and the dogs, as my mouse pointer hovered poetically and electronically over John Drake's oeuvre.

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