Sunday, July 04, 2010

Paypal Button: Hands Up

Excuse me, ladies and gentlemen ...

Anyone who's used the New York City subway system for a long period of time knows that line ... it's what every homeless person says upon entering a train car and launching into his spiel to get subway riders to part with their change. Cup in hand. Raspy voice. Making eye contact with everyone possible. Stories of burned-down homes, time spent in prison, children in need of operation, can you help a vet, I'm not stealing, etc.

Money for nothing but the asking is a nice concept that doesn't go over too well with most subway riders, me included. Nor am I too crazy about people who "perform" for their money, the teenage kids with beatboxes doing their incredibly annoying street dance routine on a narrow subway car, blind guys with accordions, the homeless black guy doowop groups, etc. You get on a subway, all you want to do is sit down and be left alone until you reach your destination.

I decided to put a Paypal button on the site as an experiment. To this day, I have no clue how many people read this and don't want to know. Probably not a lot, otherwise I'd be getting deluged with responses from people who do nothing but respond to websites with Twitter-syle gibberish. Then again, to avoid getting my ass spammed off, I make people sign in to leave comments, which surely dissuades a huge bulk of that sort of random response. This is like a newspaper -- you should have balls enough to state who you are, or at least present some sort of identification, to leave a comment. Most people do who respond here, I like it that way, and all responders are surely welcome here, even if you don't like me.

Advertising is out of the question -- it would make no sense with a site like this. Those Adsense ads respond to subject matter and catch words/phrases. I write about whatever I want, so I'm sure any ads placed on here would be utter gibberish based on a one-off catch phrase used in a line of text. Besides which, I hate advertising and never click-through when I see it on websites ... so why would I make people suffer through the same blinking, annoying crap?

I don't "need" the money per se. Yes, we all need money, but I have a steady job, make reasonably good money, live sensibly, save. I write this thing because I love writing, always have, always will, would be great to make money at it, but it's not the driving force. Still, why not put a discrete Paypal button on there, let people drop in some money if they feel like it. If they don't, no big deal either. I guess I'm shooting for that one unhinged reader who's so touched by something here that he/she drops in $10K in one shot ... before tracking me down with the chloroform hankie to take me back to the brick-walled pit in the basement of a dilapidated Victorian home in a rural town in Ohio. I know you're out there! And I got no problem putting the lotion in the basket!

So, go on reading, nothing else will change, don't feel put upon, my only expectation is that you read along. And give me all your money. Because the plate in my head is picking up AM radio again. And my crack-addicted love child needs new shoes. And that carpentry job my brother-in-law promised in Schenectady fell through. And I had a rough time, fighting for this great nation in Grenada so we could all be free. And that new state sales tax now has a carton of cigarettes costing more than crystal meth. Brother, can you spare a dime for a cup of joe?

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