selling out? a commentary by dave eggers.

below is a an excerpt from an interview with the author dave eggers (a heartbreaking work of staggering genius), it is profound and i have not been so this inspired by a piece of communication since bono's naacp acceptance speech (  

the question was posed (in summation) to mr. eggers 'so many people are saying you aren't keeping it real and are beginning to sell out how are you taking steps not to sell out? ' 

dave address's "selling out' and then goes on to explain "Do not be critics, you people, I beg you. I was a critic and I wish I could take it all back because it came from a smelly and ignorant place in me, and spoke with a voice that was all rage and envy. Do not dismiss a book until you have written one, and do not dismiss a movie until you have made one, and do not dismiss a person until you have met them. It is a f-load of work to be open-minded and generous and understanding and forgiving and accepting, but (man!), that is what matters. What matters is saying yes."

here is mr. eggers answer in its entirety, WARNING! THIS IS HIS WORDS EXACTLY, please be aware that there is course/'foul' language but for this simple fact that it is his art and his writing i did not want to change anything for the integrity of the piece.

"(summation) 'so many people are saying you aren't keeping it real and are beginning to sell out how are you taking steps not to sell out? ' 

First, a primer: When I got your questions, I was provoked. You expressed many of the feelings I used to have, when I was in high school and college, about some of the people I admired at the time, people who at some point disappointed me in some way, or made moves I could not understand. So I took a few passages from your questions - those pertaining to or hinting at "selling out" - and I used them as a launching pad for a rant I've wanted to write for a while now, and more so than ever since my own book has become successful. And the rant was timely, because shortly after getting your questions, I was scheduled to speak at Yale, and so, assuming that their minds might be in a similar spot as yours, I read this, the below, to them, in slightly less polished form. The rant is directed to myself, age 20, as much as it is to you, so remember that if you ever want to take much offense.


You actually asked me the question: "Are you taking any steps to keep shit real?" I want you always to look back on this time as being a time when those words came out of your mouth.

Now, there was a time when such a question - albeit probably without the colloquial spin - would have originated from my own brain. Since I was thirteen, sitting in my orange-carpeted bedroom in ostensibly cutting-edge Lake Forest, Illinois, subscribing to the Village Voice and reading the earliest issues of Spin, I thought I had my ear to the railroad tracks of avant garde America. (Laurie Anderson, for example, had grown up only miles away!) I was always monitoring, with the most sensitive and well-calibrated apparatus, the degree of selloutitude exemplified by any given artist - musical, visual, theatrical, whatever. I was vigilant and merciless and knew it was my job to be so.

I bought R.E.M.'s first EP, Chronic Town, when it came out and thought I had found God. I loved Murmur, Reckoning, but then watched, with greater and greater dismay, as this obscure little band's audience grew, grew beyond obsessed people like myself, grew to encompass casual fans, people who had heard a song on the radio and picked up Green and listened for the hits. Old people liked them, and stupid people, and my moron neighbor who had sex with truck drivers. I wanted these phony R.E.M.-lovers dead.

But it was the band's fault, too. They played on Letterman. They switched record labels. Even their album covers seemed progressively more commercial. And when everyone I knew began liking them, I stopped. Had they changed, had their commitment to making art with integrity changed? I didn't care, because for me, any sort of popularity had an inverse relationship with what you term the keeping 'real' of 'shit.' When the Smiths became slightly popular they were sellouts. Bob Dylan appeared on MTV and of course was a sellout. Recently, just at dinner tonight, after a huge, sold-out reading by David Sedaris and Sarah Vowell (both sellouts), I was sitting next to an acquaintance, a very smart acquaintance married to the singer-songwriter of a very well-known band. I mentioned that I had seen the Flaming Lips the night before. She rolled her eyes. "Oh I really liked them on 90210," she sneered, assuming that this would put me and the band in our respective places.


Was she aware that The Flaming Lips had composed an album requiring the simultaneous playing of four separate discs, on four separate CD players? Was she aware that the band had once, for a show at Lincoln Center, handed out to audience members something like 100 portable tape players, with 100 different tapes, and had them all played at the same time, creating a symphonic sort of effect, one which completely devastated everyone in attendance? I went on and on to her about the band's accomplishments, their experiments. Was she convinced that they were more than their one appearance with Jason Priestly? She was.

Now, at that concert the night before, Wayne Coyne, the lead singer, had himself addressed this issue, and to great effect. After playing much of their new album, the band paused and he spoke to the audience. I will paraphrase what he said:

"Hi. Well, some people get all bitter when some song of theirs gets popular, and they refuse to play it. But we're not like that. We're happy that people like this song. So here it goes."

Then they played the song. (You know the song.) "She Don't Use Jelly" is the song, and it is a silly song, and it was their most popular song. But to highlight their enthusiasm for playing the song, the band released, from the stage and from the balconies, about 200 balloons. (Some of the balloons, it should be noted, were released by two grown men in bunny suits.) Then while playing the song, Wayne sang with a puppet on his hand, who also sang into the microphone. It was fun. It was good.

But was it a sellout? Probably. By some standards, yes. Can a good band play their hit song? Should we hate them for this? Probably, probably. First 90210, now they go playing the song every stupid night. Everyone knows that 90210 is not cutting edge, and that a cutting edge alternarock band should not appear on such a show. That rule is clearly stated in the obligatory engrained computer-chip sellout manual that we were all given when we hit adolescence.

But this sellout manual serves only the lazy and small. Those who bestow sellouthood upon their former heroes are driven to do so by, first and foremost, the unshakable need to reduce. The average one of us - a taker-in of various and constant media, is absolutely overwhelmed - as he or she should be - with the sheer volume of artistic output in every conceivable medium given to the world every day - it is simply too much to begin to process or comprehend - and so we are forced to try to sort, to reduce. We designate, we label, we diminish, we create hierarchies and categories.

Through largely received wisdom, we rule out Tom Waits's new album because it's the same old same old, and we save $15. U2 has lost it, Radiohead is too popular. Country music is bad, Puff Daddy is bad, the last Wallace book was bad because that one reviewer said so. We decide that TV is bad unless it's the Sopranos. We liked Rick Moody and Jonathan Lethem and Jeffrey Eugenides until they allowed their books to become movies. And on and on. The point is that we do this and to a certain extent we must do this. We must create categories, and to an extent, hierarchies.

But you know what is easiest of all? When we dismiss.

Oh how gloriously comforting, to be able to write someone off. Thus, in the overcrowded pantheon of alternarock bands, at a certain juncture, it became necessary for a certain brand of person to write off The Flaming Lips, despite the fact that everyone knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that their music was superb and groundbreaking and real. We could write them off because they shared a few minutes with Jason Priestley and that terrifying Tori Spelling person. Or we could write them off because too many magazines have talked about them. Or because it looked like the bassist was wearing too much gel in his hair.

One less thing to think about. Now, how to kill off the rest of our heroes, to better make room for new ones?

We liked Guided by Voices until they let Ric Ocasek produce their latest album, and everyone knows Ocasek is a sellout, having written those mushy Cars songs in the late 80s, and then - gasp! - produced Weezer's album, and of course Weezer's no good, because that Sweater song was on the radio, right, and dorky teenage girls were singing it and we cannot have that and so Weezer is bad and Ocasek is bad and Guided by Voices are bad, even if Spike Jonze did direct that one Weezer video, and we like Spike Jonze, don't we?

Oh. No. We don't. We don't like him anymore because he's married to Sofia Coppola, and she is not cool. Not cool. So bad in Godfather 3, such nepotism. So let's check off Spike Jonze - leaving room in our brains for… who??

It's exhausting.

The only thing worse than this sort of activity is when people, students and teachers alike, run around college campuses calling each other racists and anti-Semites. It's born of boredom, lassitude. Too cowardly to address problems of substance where such problems actually are, we claw at those close to us. We point to our neighbor, in the khakis and sweater, and cry foul. It's ridiculous. We find enemies among our peers because we know them better, and their proximity and familiarity means we don't have to get off the couch to dismantle them.

And now, I am also a sellout. Here are my sins, many of which you may know about already:

First, I was a sellout because Might magazine took ads.
Then I was a sellout because our pages were color, and not stapled together at the Kinko's.
Then I was a sellout because I went to work for Esquire.
Now I'm a sellout because my book has sold many copies.
And because I have done many interviews.
And because I have let people take my picture.
And because my goddamn picture has been in just about every fucking magazine and newspaper printed in America.

And now, as far as McSweeney's is concerned, The Advocate interviewer wants to know if we're losing also our edge, if the magazine is selling out, hitting the mainstream, if we're still committed to publishing unknowns, and pieces killed by other magazines.

And the fact is, I don't give a fuck. When we did the last issue, this was my thought process: I saw a box. So I decided we'd do a box. We were given stories by some of our favorite writers - George Saunders, Rick Moody (who is uncool, uncool!), Haruki Murakami, Lydia Davis, others - and so we published them. Did I wonder if people would think we were selling out, that we were not fulfilling the mission they had assumed we had committed ourselves to?

No. I did not. Nor will I ever. We just don't care. We care about doing what we want to do creatively. We want to be interested in it. We want it to challenge us. We want it to be difficult. We want to reinvent the stupid thing every time. Would I ever think, before I did something, of how those with sellout monitors would respond to this or that move? I would not. The second I sense a thought like that trickling into my brain, I will put my head under the tires of a bus.

You want to know how big a sellout I am?

A few months ago I wrote an article for Time magazine and was paid $12,000 for it I am about to write something, 1,000 words, 3 pages or so, for something called Forbes ASAP, and for that I will be paid $6,000 For two years, until five months ago, I was on the payroll of ESPN magazine, as a consultant and sometime contributor. I was paid handsomely for doing very little. Same with my stint at Esquire. One year I spent there, with little to no duties. I wore khakis every day. Another Might editor and I, for almost a year, contributed to Details magazine, under pseudonyms, and were paid $2000 each for what never amounted to more than 10 minutes work - honestly never more than that. People from Hollywood want to make my book into a movie, and I am probably going to let them do so, and they will likely pay me a great deal of money for the privilege.

Do I care about this money? I do. Will I keep this money? Very little of it. Within the year I will have given away almost a million dollars to about 100 charities and individuals, benefiting everything from hospice care to an artist who makes sculptures from Burger King bags. And the rest will be going into publishing books through McSweeney's. Would I have been able to publish McSweeney's if I had not worked at Esquire? Probably not. Where is the $6000 from Forbes going? To a guy named Joe Polevy, who wants to write a book about the effects of radiator noise on children in New England.

Now, what if I were keeping all the money? What if I were buying property in St. Kitt's or blew it all on live-in prostitutes? What if, for example, I was, a few nights ago, sitting at a table in SoHo with a bunch of Hollywood slash celebrity acquaintances, one of whom I went to high school with, and one of whom was Puff Daddy? Would that make me a sellout? Would that mean I was a force of evil?

What if a few nights before that I was at the home of Julian Schnabel, at a party featuring Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro, and at which Schnabel said we should get together to talk about him possibly directing my movie? And what if I said sure, let's?

Would all that make me a sellout? Would I be uncool? Would it have been more cool to not go to this party, or to not have written that book, or done that interview, or to have refused millions from Hollywood?

The thing is, I really like saying yes. I like new things, projects, plans, getting people together and doing something, trying something, even when it's corny or stupid. I am not good at saying no. And I do not get along with people who say no. When you die, and it really could be this afternoon, under the same bus wheels I'll stick my head if need be, you will not be happy about having said no. You will be kicking your ass about all the no's you've said. No to that opportunity, or no to that trip to Nova Scotia or no to that night out, or no to that project or no to that person who wants to be naked with you but you worry about what your friends will say.

No is for wimps. No is for pussies. No is to live small and embittered, cherishing the opportunities you missed because they might have sent the wrong message.

There is a point in one's life when one cares about selling out and not selling out. One worries whether or not wearing a certain shirt means that they are behind the curve or ahead of it, or that having certain music in one's collection means that they are impressive, or unimpressive.

Thankfully, for some, this all passes. I am here to tell you that I have, a few years ago, found my way out of that thicket of comparison and relentless suspicion and judgment. And it is a nice feeling. Because, in the end, no one will ever give a shit who has kept shit 'real' except the two or three people, sitting in their apartments, bitter and self-devouring, who take it upon themselves to wonder about such things. The keeping real of shit matters to some people, but it does not matter to me. It's fashion, and I don't like fashion, because fashion does not matter.

What matters is that you do good work. What matters is that you produce things that are true and will stand. What matters is that the Flaming Lips's new album is ravishing and I've listened to it a thousand times already, sometimes for days on end, and it enriches me and makes me want to save people. What matters is that it will stand forever, long after any narrow-hearted curmudgeons have forgotten their appearance on goddamn 90210. What matters is not the perception, nor the fashion, not who's up and who's down, but what someone has done and if they meant it. What matters is that you want to see and make and do, on as grand a scale as you want, regardless of what the tiny voices of tiny people say. Do not be critics, you people, I beg you. I was a critic and I wish I could take it all back because it came from a smelly and ignorant place in me, and spoke with a voice that was all rage and envy. Do not dismiss a book until you have written one, and do not dismiss a movie until you have made one, and do not dismiss a person until you have met them. It is a fuckload of work to be open-minded and generous and understanding and forgiving and accepting, but Christ, that is what matters. What matters is saying yes.

I say yes, and Wayne Coyne says yes, and if that makes us the enemy, then good, good, good. We are evil people because we want to live and do things. We are on the wrong side because we should be home, calculating which move would be the least damaging to our downtown reputations. But I say yes because I am curious. I want to see things. I say yes when my high school friend tells me to come out because he's hanging with Puffy. A real story, that. I say yes when Hollywood says they'll give me enough money to publish a hundred different books, or send twenty kids through college. Saying no is so fucking boring.

And if anyone wants to hurt me for that, or dismiss me for that, for saying yes, I say Oh do it, do it you motherfuckers, finally, finally, finally."

(the whole interview can be read @


Kate said…
i literally just got done reading "a heartbreaking work of staggering genius" yesterday. crazy. good interview.

let me know what you think of "the awakening" and "a separate peace." i hope you enjoy.
Anonymous said…
Whoa...That was long, very provocative! He makes a great argument that I definitely agree with. I have a lot of friends on my campus radio station who say, "Oh man, more than 10 people know this band, they totally sold out," without caring whether or not their music is still good. So aggravating! I should forward this article to them.
Heather said…
well that was long. but he did have a very good point. i've been thinking about that a lot lately. good timing!
Lindsay said…
hmmm very good article, very good points. however, it made me a tad angry to read...despite what he says, i still get that 'im too cool' vibe. but then again, perhaps im just a cynic.
thelost&found said…
"No is to live small and embittered, cherishing the opportunities you missed because they might have sent the wrong message."
Right on. I say go ahead and "sell out" if that means you're going to influence a larger audience. Do what you want, otherwise you're going to be kicking yourself later for never taking the plunge to be bigger than you ever dreamed possible.
Emily Grace said…
As I read this I kept thinking of the lyrics to Five Iron Frenzy's song "Handbook for the Sellout":

You found a way to draw a line,
between the world and you. Faking your identity it's true. Did you think the word "alternative",was only meant for the likes of you?
Do you think that they're too cool now? "Being popular is lame." You're the one who made them popular, all their songs are still the same.

You found them first,it made you stand apart, you know? But then everyone jumped on the same bandwagon, making you an average Joe. A lemming for the mediocre, you were just a plain old joker status quo. Blame it on the band now. If you prick them do they bleed? What's the point in playing what they want,if you won't let them succeed?

Do you remember where we all came from? Do you remember what it's all about? When you made a point to be objective, before you started writing Handbook for the Sellout?

You sunk your worth in being different, just to be like your own kind. You traded in objectiveness, for the underground you follow blind.
karla said…
he seems to focus a lot on music, which is probably why it caught your eye. i'll just say i like to think that the only reason a person listens to music is because it makes them feel good. whether my favorite band plays on letterman or only sells 10 cds all year, i love them because they're songs make me happy. and if they do play on letterman then i say hell yeah, good for them! i'm glad to know that they will have an impact on so many more people's lives, just as they had on my own.
Anonymous said…
Made me laugh. On ya eggers. And in honesty yes, that does challenge my worldview. Why are we so critical? Tall poppy syndrome!
sarah.elaine said…
i really like that a lot.
it really makes you think twice about your motives when evaluating music, books, movies...anything really. it's so encouraging to see someone that isn't swayed by popularity (or a lack thereof...)and urges others to hold to that idea. I've definately been guilty of stopping liking something because it's gotten too popular and such before...but i'm glad i've reached the stage in my life where i can see past that and like what i like, regardless of everyone else's view of it. thanks for posting that! that was definately something i had been thinking about today.
anne said…
Thanks for sharing this!

Those who 'hate' sellouts should save their anger for those who deserve it. It's not wrong if an artist wants to broaden his experiences by agreeing to projects that would involve larger audiences.

Also, this statement struck me.
"Do not dismiss a book until you have written one, and do not dismiss a movie until you have made one, and do not dismiss a person until you have met them."

I'll be sure to read his book!
Anonymous said…

That was painfully obvious to begin with. Living for other people's opinions is painful and very small.

I respect that guy....
Sarah said…
I loved it. Great article.

I keep meaning to read that book...
Shelly said…
Hi I really enjoyed reading your blog and was wondering if you would like to add it to my directory?

Thanks, Shelly
Anonymous said…
what a sellout.
Janelle said…
I loved that. I know a few people who should read it.
BK said…
Purely speculative, but curious, are you or Anberlin facing that kind of sell out slander in the States??
It's a ridiculous accusation, like an anonymous poster says above, "Living for other people's opinions is painful and very small."

I think it doesn't matter, more important are your intentions, hopes & dreams, like he says "We just don't care. We care about doing what we want to do creatively. We want to be interested in it. We want it to challenge us. We want it to be difficult. We want to reinvent the stupid thing every time."
That's a better line to use for critiquing - if one really must critique!
Pop-Punk Junkie said…
I think there's a fine line between going along when your work gets big, and changing your art to let it get big. We shouldn't knock people who want to make a living off their art (because who doesn't want that?), but at the same time if someone drops all their standards at the promise of cash, then that's a different story.
Brian said…
You know this reminds me of a part in MxPx's B-Movie when Yuri Ruley is walking his dogs, as he does through the whole thing, and he is talking about selling out and he says this... "Selling Out... what's so wrong with that?"
themockingbyrd said…
You know, I hate doing it, but I may need to be slightly contrarian, but isn't this very interview a dismissal of thousands of people Mr. Eggers never met?

Is he accusing all the people who think bands/artists/writer 'sell out' of "selling out" but concealing it in euphemistic language?

In my mind, the definition of 'selling out' is compromising who you are and what you stand for, and telling someone you think they're compromising who they really are is a part of being a friend, right?

I realize that Mr. Eggers is talking about a slightly different phenomenon, but I think he paints with too broad a brush.

That said, the final paragraph about being dismissive was profound.
Christopher B said…
hey Stephen sorry I couldnt make it to the Jannus Landing show last night. I got the flu or something the night before and still thought about going. I hope you guys come back to Tampa/St.Petersburg!
Akie - from brazil said…
hey stephen!
i love anberlin and anchor and braille.. im waiting new songs
I am new to the guild, but I felt compelled to chime in after reading your thoughts on Egger’s article.

So many of the sadly undeniable trends in today's society can be explained with one word.....insecurity. I find it somewhat amusing (but ultimately disheartening) that the music industry often serves as a crucible, of sorts, for much broader societal trends such as this. And despite music's very real ability to touch people in amazing ways...there are always those who use music as a means of self-gratification. Most of those people are so insecure, and so void of any real substance, that they latch onto other things to give themselves a false sense of importance. I think Gabe from the band Midtown put it perfectly:

"and we reach for what we're missing in ourselves"

When people angrily accuse someone of selling out....they're actually angry because it means they're not the only ones who know about that band anymore. They don't feel special anymore....the primary symptom of insecurity. So many kids (cough *scenesters* cough) develop die-hard infatuations with obscure bands, only to completely disown them once they reach a reasonable level of visibility. These kids feel like they have no real identity outside of the scene in which they exist.....where their allegiance to their favorite obscure band is all they really have. It's like a crutch, and once that is kicked out from under them, they are naturally bitter. They become haters.

It's a sad cycle, and it's all too common. If only they could realize that it doesn't matter what color your hair is, or how cool your shoes are, or what your favorite band is. Like I said, despite music's power to honestly touch someone...there are others who don't take anything with real substance from it. They are deeply insecure, and are simply looking for something to fill the void.

Book of James said…
Eggers' simple yet conciliatory statement sets the perfect tone for a learning experience.

"The rant is directed to myself, age 20, as much as it is to you, so remember that if you ever want to take much offense."

I think humility is the closest thing to life experience for the young. Some people, unfortunately get to the ends of their lives and never really get it.

Thanks for sharing the lesson.

Brightest said…
i liked this.

the only time a person can sell out is when they stop creating things that make them happy and they truly believe in.

i also don't think it's up to us, the audience to determine whether or not this person, band, whoever has sold out.

like with music... artists grow and change just like the rest of us regular folks and they are able to express themselves through their music. their first album can be completely different from their second, third, fourth, etc. their fourth album may be the album that everybody loves, does that mean they neccessarily sold out? no, it could mean they are in a diffrent place than they were when they recorded their first one. look at copeland's first one compared with eat, sleep, repeat..there's a significant difference. did they sell out? absolutely not. they are at different times in their lives.

it's all objective. (i think anyway.)
Anonymous said…
i agree. i think, though, that the reason so many people [myself included, a lot of the time] have an automatic disgusted response to a band or author or artist they accuse of selling out, is because they feel their own identity is at stake. in north american society right now, the music you listen to, and the things you enjoy define you in the eyes of the world. if you adore a band that a million other people adore, does it mean that you are just like those one million other people? we are terribly insecure.
Brightest said…
i meant subjective. whoops.
Kelly said…
I just had a conversation about this today with some of my friends who consider themselves 'musical elitists'. One went to a concert and was annoyed by the fans so they began to dislike the badn because of the type of fans they had. I thought that was a terrible way to judge something, if you like it, you like it. Amazing article, I am glad I am came across it and this blog.
yes, i have a friend quite like the people that he is describing in this commentary...unfortunately, i have found myself to be one of these people as well...
why is it that knowing about some hole in the wall place, or hearing some indie band before everyone else makes us feel so elite?
and why....why must we feel elite?
why does it make us feel to good to be 'better' than someone else?
disgusting i say.
well....not disgusting.
just human.

anyway, thanks for sharing this.
quite a jewel.
claire said…
there are so many things that can be said. i'll be succinct.

thank you for recording your thoughts. they're a pleasure [in general] to read/ponder/discuss.
emily said…
wow...that was extremely long, but it definately made me laugh. and, like someone said in another comment, it really does sound like Five Iron Frenzy's Handbook for the Sellout.
Clint said…
This is great! Being a former critic and extreme non-conformist myself, I understand where he is coming from.

But... I'm still stuck on that 100 tape symphony..

Now it's over
Chris said…
That's so awesome. Or maybe not so much "wow profoundly and absolutely positive and true" as it is something to consider. Looking past the angle of media that first juts out; that edge of reason between "sellout" and "who gives a flip" has always seemed precarious.

But this, however is pure BA**.

"We just don't care. We care about doing what we want to do creatively. We want to be interested in it. We want it to challenge us. We want it to be difficult. We want to reinvent the stupid thing every time."

I need some of that.
Jimmy said…
Fuck this guy. I agree with what mockingbyrd said. his only good point was live life with no regrets, i did like that. It's true that people in general are way too influenced by what others think; i.e. someone, usually of high influence on the person, whether they are in the media or even just a friend, says "oh these guys sold out." Well that person may very well go along with it. But he portrays it in such a way where he makes it seem like everyone is like that. The hierarchies he speaks, he blows that way overboard. I don't know too many people who say "ok this band, or this author sold out, so everyone connected to them did too." really? how often does that happen? and then this cocky prick gets defensive. (paraphrasing) ill kick anyones ass who disagrees with me. uh oh. big bad dave eggers is pissed. that contradicts what this interview is about. if someone, like me, thinks most of your points are total shit, you wanna fight them? i guess i should sell out and give up what i think right? this is just a pissed off guy venting who got called a sell out one too many times. period.
Adrienne said…
Owwwww, that ummm stung?!?!
I like originality but I hate vanity....I think that a person becomes a sell out when they become vain and lack original thought.
Nuff said I may dig a hole soon with my ramblings.
Andrew said…
Stephen if you read this I highly highly recommend you read bayside's latest blog entry which is about "selling out". but I'm sure you've probably read it already since you and them are cool buds. By the way, I saw you guys at the glass house and you rocked that.
sometimes No is the right answer
Duh-ANG. Ok, I both whole-heartedly agree and disagree. I love the points he made, but there IS a point where it can get insane! I have to say, I'm one of those people who will start to dislike something once everyone else has discovered they "love it". I feel like my gem I found has become mass-manufactured and gone down in value. That sounds stupid, I know. But it's me. Anyway, great stuff there! Passionately put.

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