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Thursday, March 23, 2006

An Open Letter to My Readers

Dear Visitors,

Some of you have frequented this blog for months, while some of you have discovered me only recently. Whatever path brought you here, thanks for coming by.

This site is a side project from my other work; it helps me explore what humorous angles resonate best with a self-selecting, refined audience—you.

And your response has been more affirming than I could have imagined. This week your comments hit the 1000 mark and the average page-views-per-week passed 100. I’m less interested in pure numbers, however, than in specific feedback; thankfully, I’ve been getting loads of that lately, too.

Your e-mails and comments have inspired me to keep this gig going. A big shout-out to my steadiest long-term supporters, such as David (whose skill and intelligence inspired me to start this blog), The Phoenix, Jane, Laurie, Ben, Stacy, Metal Mark, and Perplexio. More recent visitors—including (but certainly not limited to) Armaedes/Dirk the Feeble, ChickyBabe, BarBarA, FredCQ, Zen Wizard, and Curare Z—continue to flatter me with frequent comments.

There have been other encouragements. Siren and now Fuzz have offered me two opportunities so far to guest blog on Beauty vs. the Beast. Folks like Jamie and Jay have implored me to post here more often despite my time constraints. Everyone else reading this, lurkers and commenters alike: the fact that you take time to read what I write is humbling. Truly.

And when Miss Kitty summarized my site recently, she used words that capture precisely what I’m aiming for: “David Amulet … combines his sharp wit and twist-of-phrase to ‘make-you-think’ while still making you laugh.”

That’s a lot to live up to. I hope I do.

But I pay just as much attention to criticism. That includes ApostleRadio’s remark at my most frequent wisecrack artform: “Puns are the lowest form of humor,” a thought echoed by the self-appointed Comment Police.

More scathing was the review by the no-holds-barred I Talk Too Much critics, who lambaste many sites. So I wasn’t fully surprised to see this reaction to my site:

“Yay more musings. Musings from a writer. *another dejected sigh* Standard Blogger template, one of the unoffensive ones. Standard Blogger sidebar, also unoffensive (but do you really visit all those blogs?). Reading his posts, I feel like I’m reading a newspaper. It’s not the content, it’s the writing style. Very stiff. Stiffer than- well, I’ll let you finish that sentence. Interesting topics somehow get mired into textbook-like writing and I find myself losing interest fast. Zzzzzzzzz… He usually picks good topics to write about, but damn I just can’t finish reading it because, well, I read enough fucking textbooks in my schooling years to last me a lifetime.”

Even though I’ve heard much worse things said about my work, pride tempts me to retaliate.

Instead, I’ll reflect. Perhaps my essays really are too long, too stilted, and too stuffy.

But I wonder … if they feel this way about my writing style, would they also assault the lengthy, stimulating posts of two of the bloggers I respect the most, Rocky and The Phoenix? These gentlemen are among the most solid, intelligent writers in Bloggerland; if their sites would be condemned simply because they dare to show some respect for their readers, then I wear that review’s attack as a badge of honor.

Still, I’m trying to pull something useful from these critiques. For that, I ask for your help.

I’ll be taking a short break this weekend to finish moving. Newer readers: I urge you to explore the archives. Everyone: I’m willing to tweak a few things here, so let me know what you think of the following possibilities:

(1) Stay the course—keep posting similar essays averaging around 500 words about twice a week;

(2) Develop each essay further—even if that means they come only once a week;

(3) Post more often—write shorter entries that can be read/responded to more quickly, and get up them up every two or three days;

(4) Do nothing but write blog posts—quit all other work;

(5) Quit blogging—focus on markets that pay.

I thank you in advance for your input. Maybe with your help, I will be able to fully earn the title DebbieCakes recently bestowed upon me: “The Jon Stewart anchorman of Blogger.”

(Hey, it’s better than being the David Spade of Blogger, isn’t it?)

All the best,
David

60 Comments:

At March 23, 2006 6:31 AM, Blogger LostInTX replied to my musings ...

It's 530 am and I should be working on a paper for my Terrorism class but I'm here reading your blog.. I know it's no great honor but really, you have a huge audience and we wouldn't be here unless we wanted to be. Who gives a rat's ass what other people think? (Do I need to bring some Toltec wisdom over here for you?) Yes, you and Phoenix are, by far, two incredible writers in bloggerland and I beg you not to stop posting. I'll have nothing to look forward to at this god-forsaken hour. Those mo fo's are just jealous of your Crow pic...

 
At March 23, 2006 6:47 AM, Blogger Curare_Z replied to my musings ...

If I could choose one of your five options for you, and know that you wouldn't starve to death, I'd choose #4. :-)

*Stepping on soapbox.*

I echo lostintx's sentiments. Fuck them. The fact of the matter is that they get readership by bashing other people's posts. If we hated your writing, we'd stop reading. So, they don't like your writing? L. Ron Hubbard wasn't for everyone either and look at the fanatics he's surrounded himself with! :-)

As for other "comments" regarding your pundity...well...the pun isn't for everyone now, is it?

We love you DA. Continue to love us by posting. Whether you choose to further develop or shorten the musings, we'll enjoy each and every one of them.

*Stepping off soapbox now.*

 
At March 23, 2006 7:48 AM, Blogger FredCQ replied to my musings ...

Well, I like your blog a lot. It's much different than other blogs out there. I often wonder where you dig up these news stories, lol. I say keep up the good work.

It still amazes me that people review blogs. Who cares, if you don't like it, don't read it.

 
At March 23, 2006 8:04 AM, Blogger kim replied to my musings ...

If not FOUR then one. Seriously, who cares what some petty little pissant has to say? That blog just lives to rip on other writers. You have a lot of readers who like you as you are. I happen to think you're both informative and hilarious, even if I don't comment daily, I have you in my feeds to read daily.

 
At March 23, 2006 8:05 AM, Blogger Stacy The Peanut Queen replied to my musings ...

Eh, fuck 'em...who made them the experts anyway???

I like what you write...all of it. I think you ought to do whatever the hell you want! :)

 
At March 23, 2006 8:37 AM, Blogger Cari replied to my musings ...

If you don't like it, don't look at it. :)

And I visit her almost everyday! I like to read whats on ur mind.

 
At March 23, 2006 8:38 AM, Blogger Cari replied to my musings ...

Sorry, I meant I visit YOU everyday! hahahah...

 
At March 23, 2006 8:58 AM, Blogger :P fuzzbox replied to my musings ...

Those self-proclaimed bitches hate everything. It is beyond me why anyone would submit their blog for review. You are not the first person that I have told this to in hindsight. Many of the awesome bloggers on my blogroll have done so. Maybe I should go into the blog review business. I know as much as those bitches about blogs.

You asked for my opinion so for what it is worth here goes. A blog should be true to the author and always respect it's readership. That you do.

As long as a blogs template is easy to read and is not offensive to the eye then it is not a detriment to the viability of the blog. It is nice when the template is personalized but it is not a major concern. Content is.

The length of the posts are dictated by the subject matter. Some posts are better being long and some are suited to be short. Personnally I feel that you do this. Some of your posts are not that long while others take a while to explore the subject matter. That is how it should be.

The length between posts are entirely up to you. I personally tend to be rather prolific at this juncture in my blog and post almost daily. At times though I have been known to post only two or three times a week. The muses are fickle creatures and an author must roll with them when they are being fruitfull and not try to bang away without them.

In essence this is your blog have fun and keep respecting your readership. You probably have as large if not larger readership than these bitches anyway.

For any of your readers who want an honest review of their site might I suggest asking their readers not these bitches. Your readers have your best interest at heart. These bitches just want readership by trashing others.

 
At March 23, 2006 10:03 AM, Blogger Perplexio replied to my musings ...

“The Jon Stewart anchorman of Blogger.”

(Hey, it’s better than being the David Spade of Blogger, isn’t it?)


Not only that but it's INFINITELY better than being the "David Lee Roth of Blogger."

I get a kick out of your musings. Honestly I recommend stick with whatever style is most comfortable for you. After all this isn't a paying gig. It should be for enjoyment and if you force it too much in one way or the other methinks that will take the enjoyment out of it for you and as a result your posts would end up suffering-- something that I'm pretty sure none of us want to see happen.

 
At March 23, 2006 10:21 AM, Blogger The Phoenix replied to my musings ...

I feel very humbled and honored for your very kind words. I don't recall how it happened, but when we stumbled onto each other's blogs, I felt like we had very similar blogs. I think that's why we have the same audience.

We both have the same objective: combine a little enlightenment while entertaining them.

As far as changes are concerned, I say just keep writing - keep evolving. When I first started, I relied a lot on the punchline and such...and while I still do that, I've worked to keep my style fresh - more for me really.

Nothing is wrong with trying something new. That's why I did the Bob Alien Abduction thing. I really wanted to be more creative and such. And my podcasting is another extension of that.

So I think keeping your true writing self intact is quite possible while trying new things.

As far as the visual look of your blog goes, having a picture or two for each post helps us visual people out there. It's just another way to tell the story.

You've got guts, I know that. No way I'd ever submit my blog to those bitches.

 
At March 23, 2006 10:40 AM, Blogger Metal Mark replied to my musings ...

I think a lot of people who write blogs were once people who posted on message boards or did chat rooms. Then some migrated to blogs to be able to write more or avoid people who only wanted to write negative things. Unfortunately some of the people who loved to write negative things on message boards have discovered blodding as well. That's why you get people who live to complain and write a blog critiquing other blogs like their American Idol judges or something.
Write what your heart tells you to, David. Your audience will be there. Ignore the detractors and soon enough they will move on.

 
At March 23, 2006 10:55 AM, Blogger OnMyWatch replied to my musings ...

The minute you surrender to the opinions of others is the minute you lose yourself. Puns are only irritating to the people who don't "get it" - the ones who are last to laugh or stand there with that puzzled look, while you roll your eyes and think - this guy is such a dumbass. Keep doing what you're doing and enjoy yourself - if they don't like it they can hit the "next" button. Never compromise your own nature to please someone else. I don't know you well enough to go into my rendition of "Just the Way You Are" but you get the picture. :)

 
At March 23, 2006 11:31 AM, Blogger none - ya replied to my musings ...

Honey....this is your blog. Period. Fuck what anybody else thinks.

 
At March 23, 2006 11:50 AM, Blogger Dr. Cissa Fireheart replied to my musings ...

I second what Mac-n-z said: Fuck them! They don't need to read your blog!

and hey be happy you get comments/reviews at all!! My blog gets practically none!

 
At March 23, 2006 12:23 PM, Blogger Mimi replied to my musings ...

I really like your writing! I have not been reading your blog that long but I enjoy it. You have a good way of talking about real things and making good points with a witty way of doing it! If someone doesn't like you, fuck them. They just don't have to read it. I never understand why people complain about stuff they don't like, like South Park and other shows! If you don't like it, just don't watch it dumbasses!

 
At March 23, 2006 12:32 PM, Anonymous Bruce replied to my musings ...

Dude...don't let those hatemongers get you down. If they don't like what you write, who cares? As Robin Williams once said, "Joke 'em if they can't take a fuck".

 
At March 23, 2006 12:44 PM, Blogger Perplexio replied to my musings ...

In the tradition of Groucho Marx who once said "I would never join any club that would have me as a member." Do you really want your critics to be your fans?

That is to say, there's a reason your critics don't like you and given all of us who ARE already fans of your writing I don't think it's YOU, it's THEM.

 
At March 23, 2006 12:44 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Thanks for all the great thoughts. Let me be clear: I'm not worried about the bad review, far from it.

I'm trying to figure out what, if anything, YOU would like to see differently. I may not accept your advice--after all, as many of you have said this is my platform and if I want to put Basque poetry on here, I can.

But I am interested in what possible changes would be more or less appreciated by people whose opinion I actually DO care about--you.

-- david

 
At March 23, 2006 1:10 PM, Blogger Will replied to my musings ...

So ... is that all they do at italk2much.com - gripe about other people's blogs? I hadn't heard of them before. I find that your writing style keeps me engaged for the duration of the blog, regardless of the length. Personally, I get annoyed at bloggers who don't use spell check, so I appreciate being able to rely on one so well written.

 
At March 23, 2006 1:31 PM, Blogger Perplexio replied to my musings ...

David: Please no Basque poetry... although, feel free to post your favorite Pablo Neruda poetry any time you like.

 
At March 23, 2006 1:35 PM, Blogger The Phoenix replied to my musings ...

And nothing in Klingon. You start doing that, I assure you...I will send penis enlargment spam over here.

I don't trust any Blogger spell check that thinks "blog" is not a word.

 
At March 23, 2006 1:42 PM, Blogger Dirk the Feeble replied to my musings ...

First of all, I'm offended - I have never once said anything complimentary towards you in a comment. You trying to ruin my image here or what?

Second of all, you are learning a very valuable lesson, which is "Fuck those guys." Seriously, people who spend all day rating blogs. Just think about that for a minute. It's kinda sad.

 
At March 23, 2006 4:04 PM, Blogger Shannon replied to my musings ...

I am a new reader but I like your blog the way it is. Do what you have always done, it works obviously or you wouldn't have such a large blogger family.

 
At March 23, 2006 4:18 PM, Blogger angel, jr. replied to my musings ...

Whatever you decide, keep posting. I'll keep reading.

 
At March 23, 2006 4:28 PM, Blogger Perplexio replied to my musings ...

David: In addition to any Basque poetry you may eventually post I also look forward to reading your primer on Esperanto verb conjugation and your in depth review and study of the one and only film filmed entirely in Esperanto, Incubus. ;-)

 
At March 23, 2006 4:46 PM, Blogger Tai replied to my musings ...

I always subscribe to the theory "If you don't like what you're reading, don't read it!"

Which is why I read your blog every single day!

 
At March 23, 2006 7:00 PM, Blogger fatty ~ replied to my musings ...

been enjoying your posts and blogs ~ quite in line with my own style.

serious blogging is time consuming - it eats into my study time, so you have to make up your mind on what you want to focus on.

Having said this, developing your writing would be really great to see, while shorter posts will also be enjoyable to read.

But don't quit completely - we'd miss you.

 
At March 23, 2006 7:21 PM, Blogger Dr. Cissa Fireheart replied to my musings ...

I think you shoudl keep it as it is, David. That's why people come to read you. Cause they like what they are reading!

Sure a few short posts here and there would be cool, but otherwise, don't change your style!

 
At March 23, 2006 7:45 PM, Blogger Manic Mom replied to my musings ...

I'd like to know more about the person behind the Edward Scissorhands mask. (That is what you're dressed as, right? Or Marilyn Manson?)

I've been toying with breaking from the Blog World. I get about 200 hits a day, but what am I getting out of it?

It's definitely an addiction. Stay with it. Write what you want to write. I'm reading King's "On Writing" right now, and that's what he says. Write what you want.

 
At March 23, 2006 8:29 PM, Blogger BuffyICS replied to my musings ...

I've always been of the opinion that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." The fact that you have so many visitors, many of whom read your site on a regular basis, should attest to the fact that in general people seem to enjoy your blog quite a bit as it is. I feel that if you want to try something new then you should go for it, but only if it's something you are excited about. Personally, I love your blog the way it is, but I trust your creative style and intelligent writing, so I have no doubt that whatever you do will be interesting and entertaining.

 
At March 23, 2006 9:53 PM, Blogger Claire replied to my musings ...

My advice? Write whatever you want. If you feel like a long essay, write a long essay. If you feel like a drive-by (type-by?) pun, do that. Personally--if textbooks wrote like you then perhaps I wouldn't procrastinate as much. :)

And I find the whole idea of reviewing blogs rather odd. I mean really. Why bother?

I should maybe add that I love puns. Please don't lose the puns.

 
At March 23, 2006 10:19 PM, Blogger COMMENT_POLICE replied to my musings ...

I LOVE YOUR PUNS TOO... WELL... BY THE WAY... I HAVE A GRANT FROM THE FUCKING GOVERNOR TO POLICE STUPIDITY IN THIS REGION... AND MY MOMMY MADE ME WITH THE MEMBERS OF FOGHAT... "SLOW RIDE! TAKE IT EASY!" ALL ABOARD THE GROUPIE TRAIN! FUCK'EM I'LL DO WHATEVER THE HELL I WANT! I'M THE ONE WITH THE BADGE!
-COMMENT POLICE

 
At March 24, 2006 1:02 AM, Blogger Bar Bar A replied to my musings ...

Damn - you scared me for a minute, I thought it was going to be one of those "it's been fun but I am closing down this blog..." I would have been very disappointed being one of your newer readers.

Glad you hear your going to keep on going! Looking forward to more. Also looking forward to checking out some of your other readers.

 
At March 24, 2006 4:02 AM, Blogger paul asjes replied to my musings ...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At March 24, 2006 4:07 AM, Blogger paul asjes replied to my musings ...

first of, i love david spade! haha.

i like your blog, but being 19 i prefer short writtings in general.

and i LOVE your self reflections.

i say, "keep up the great work."

 
At March 24, 2006 5:59 AM, Blogger Ben Heller replied to my musings ...

David....

If you want an idea as to how relevant your blog is, just look at how many comments you get.

Nuff Said..

And by the way
I checked on the site that gave you the bad review. Silly bitchy school children who probably couldn't get past the front page of the National Enquirer without losing concentration.

As I think I've told you before, my Blog is a selfish act. The major motive for me is the album reviews (the other bits and pieces I put together for the bloggers). I wanted to leave a legacy of all the fun I've had with my hobby and reflect on a musical collection that is priceless to me. The fact that other bloggers come along for the ride is wonderful.

Keep at it.

 
At March 24, 2006 8:10 AM, Blogger siren replied to my musings ...

David - Don't change a thing. Your writing is excellent, very witty; the posts are never too long nor are they ever tiring. You do what you've always done - I think your readership reflects the really great quality of your work.

 
At March 24, 2006 9:07 AM, Blogger Andy replied to my musings ...

Keep up the good work. Any I agree with a guy up the line: Do whatever you like. If it is something you enjoy or feel moved to do then it will probably be better.

Oh and I have always heard that "The pun is the pinnacle of humor" but it was always from my engineering friends. Anywho I like the puns.

 
At March 24, 2006 11:07 AM, Blogger BrianAlt replied to my musings ...

Stay the course.

I do my blog for me, not for anyone else. Gives me an outlet and a chance to write.

Oh, and I saw your searches. I guess it was for research for this. Makes sense now.

 
At March 24, 2006 11:37 AM, Blogger jay lassiter replied to my musings ...

Definitely not #5. Wow, so you're at a crossroads too with this whole blog business his?
I don't know what to tell you becuase i am trying to to figure this out myself. Just don't stop.
p.s. and posting naked pics would be good too. When i read you i think, hmmmm, would love to see this guy naked.

 
At March 24, 2006 11:45 AM, Blogger none - ya replied to my musings ...

It's Friday, and again, you ROCK! My blog is craptastic, but it's mine all mine. You make me laugh. The fact that someone even felt the need to critique you should be proof enough that you are worthy. I wouldn't waste my time if not.

 
At March 24, 2006 12:43 PM, Blogger Jacquie replied to my musings ...

David, you have a unique voice in the blog world and always have something interesting, humourous, intelligent to offer. I think the detractors are a sign of your success. (Though I would crumble at a negative comment).. I worry too about length of posts, I am trying to learn to edit myself - but don't change for anyone, even a long post only takes a few minutes to read and if people care,they will take the time.

I think you expressed the conflict of this practice well, it's all aboout finding some kind of balance.

 
At March 24, 2006 12:47 PM, Blogger Jacquie replied to my musings ...

Can I say that the comments by Fuzzbox summed it up perfectly! Fuzz these comments should be a guideline for bloggers.

 
At March 24, 2006 4:44 PM, Blogger Godwhacker replied to my musings ...

Hey David ~ I love your writing. Take your time and do it right. I'm in the process of moving myself and it's hard to focus on the virtual world with the real word nipping at your heels. Whatever you decide to write, I'll be back to read.

Oh, and on the misheard lyrics the other week ~ An Elton John classic "Don't let your son (sun) go down on me" ;)

 
At March 25, 2006 1:51 AM, Blogger ChickyBabe replied to my musings ...

David, the only thing I have to say is, it is nice to get feedback from readers and change if need be. But it is your blog, your voice, and that's what some of us come here for. If you're writing for yourself and getting a kick out of it, why change to please others? You have a strong voice, and as I said before I may not always be able to comment on the content but I enjoy the read :).

 
At March 26, 2006 9:50 PM, Blogger Laurie replied to my musings ...

Fuzz said it best, so I won't repeat his words.

Those shallow bitches have the attention span of a 2yr old, along with the mentality level - writers like yourself and Phoenix are far too advanced for them.

Keep on keepin' on.. I love your writing, and your blog.

 
At March 27, 2006 8:56 AM, Blogger The Phoenix replied to my musings ...

"Keep on keepin' on..." What is that from???? Oh man, that's going to bother me all day. Is that from a cartoon?

 
At March 27, 2006 1:14 PM, Blogger Curare_Z replied to my musings ...

Phoenix: Keep on Keepin On is from "Joe Dirt."

 
At March 27, 2006 9:06 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Thanks to everyone for the great comments and positive reinforcement. I like this community, virtual though it may be.

Except for the distrubing fact that you are eerily familiar with David Spade movies.

-- david

 
At March 28, 2006 7:41 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Oh yes, and for Jay: This ain't that kind of blog. You won't see any such pix here.

-- david

 
At March 28, 2006 10:39 AM, Blogger jay lassiter replied to my musings ...

It was meant to flatter and encourage.
I hope you detected that in the tenor of my naked pics suggestion.
Sheepishly yours,
Jay Lassiter

 
At March 28, 2006 11:15 AM, Blogger Dirk the Feeble replied to my musings ...

Phoenix: I remember it from that "stay away from power lines" commercial, with the lightning bug.

"Keep on keeping on, 'cause you gotta obey what those signs say!"

 
At March 28, 2006 2:03 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Jay: No worries; I'm not easily offended, and certainly not by this. I've discovered it's an occupational hazard for someone who displays a picutre of himself in leather pants.

-- david

 
At March 28, 2006 6:10 PM, Blogger Jamie Dawn replied to my musings ...

Of course, number 4 would be the best choice for us, your readers, but then you'd not be able to pay your bills, and your computer would have to be sold to pay for food.
So... I would choose number 3.
I'd love to be able to read something here every two or three days, instead of the usual, agonizing wait.
Short, funny, thought-provoking posts would be super duper.
I have never thought of your previous posts as being too long or boring or text-book like. If that was the case, I wouldn't have returned to read more.
Keep on blogging!

 
At March 28, 2006 6:21 PM, Blogger Jim replied to my musings ...

that "talk" review site has the worst format on the web -- 3/4 of the screen view is taken up by their logo --

-- I had a terrible review by a different review site -- I looked at the sites that they liked, and then at whois.org for a business site that they gushed about -- you guessed it, the same guy who had the review site owned the business site!!!!!!!

the review they gave you would also apply to Hamlet

 
At March 28, 2006 7:36 PM, Blogger Sar replied to my musings ...

David, I don't get over here as often as I'd like, but know that I greatly enjoy your site when I do. You are quite clever and you make seems so effortless. Congrats on the growing numbers and I'll do my part to contribute further moving forward. :)

 
At March 29, 2006 3:03 PM, Blogger Kitty replied to my musings ...

Better late than never ...

You quoted my comment, and I stand by it ... I love your stuff - it makes me think, it makes me laugh, it is - well, good stuff!

Whatever you do, do what makes YOU happy.

 
At March 30, 2006 5:10 PM, Blogger dragonflyfilly replied to my musings ...

huh, i thought i had left a comment about thoseTalk Too Much Dudes but i must have inadvertently erased it (or posted it somewhere else by mistake - i have done that before, when i comment before i'm fully awake!) anyway, i agree with the comments above, because my daughter told me that the purpose of blogging is self-expression WITHOUT censure. SO, who gives a ... u know what about what those men disguising themselves as women (and doing a bad job of it!) think!!!!

more later, have to go meet my daughter for coffee and take her a wee care package (i.e. good things to eat)
pj

 
At April 23, 2006 11:23 AM, Blogger phlegmfatale replied to my musings ...

damn the critics - who asked 'em, anyway?

 
At April 25, 2009 9:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous replied to my musings ...

Jack H is trying to set me up by posting false homosexually charged messages in my 'anonymous' name on his 'Forgotten Prophets' blog. He may be doing the same elsewhere. I believe that he also plans to post a photo and a link and make it appear as if I posted that photo myself. If you happen to see this photo and know of its source, post that source here. There may be criminal activity involved.

 

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