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July 10th

Almost Too Proud To Beg

Let me just say right up front that I'm very, very fucking ambivalent about this.

It's not that I don't think what I do here has value. And it's not that I don't think that value can't be expressed with a small amount of cash. It's not false modesty, that's for damn sure.

There's absolutely no reason whatsoever why I shouldn't at least allow for the possibility that, for the past two and a half years, some of you have been reading the column and thinking "Damn, if only I could send that guy a couple of bucks".

Except that it's tacky, and it's not why I started this site.

But when I needed a new computer, and threw the door open, there did seem to be, in some people's minds, a need or desire to fling random bits of cash at me. No point in closing that door now.

So what we've got here is an elaborate, transparent, face-saving compromise. I've made it possible for you to send money to me if you see fit, and now I'm going to try and convince you why you might not see fit.

Do not send me money because you think the column will cease if you don't. The column will continue for as long as I have the drive to write it and the means to post it. You're not saving anything. Money you send will, at this point, go toward computer maintenance, my tiny, tiny hosting costs, or, more likely, wasted on video games and dinner out.

Do not send me money you would otherwise have spent on food, rent, car insurance, cable TV, Internet service, personal debt reduction, taxes, small snack food items, your next hot date, actual charitable giving, or any other of life's necessities. If this happens at all, it happens as a shifting of funds from your disposable income to my disposable income.

Do not send me money because you think I'm making a difference. This isn't a cause, this isn't a crusade. It's one writer yelling and a few hundred readers laughing. Which is a glorious thing for what it is, but no more than that. Sending me money will not make the world a better place. It will make my home a better place.

Do not send me money if I see you in person more than once a month. That'll just be awkward.

So what's left? Only the pure, classic shareware concept. Very old-school. If you want to send a few bucks my way as a thank-you for the entertainment, then I'm not going to stop you. And if you don't, that's fine too. There won't be any ads, there won't be any premium content, there won't be any of that crap. This is not a money-making enterprise.

And no, there will not be an "I Saved Ferniee's Computer" T-Shirt.