Wayne Michael Reich

Writing ∙ Photography ∙ Art


Month: May 2011

Bitter Fruit PT. 2 (Attack of the Shriller Tomato.)

“Nicknames stick to people, and the most ridiculous are the most adhesive.”  ~Thomas C. Haliburton
Hello Blogiteers!
When last we met, I had just revealed the terrifying and yet delightfully simple online screen name of my craven and anonymous NOFS (AKA: Number One Fan/Stalker, AKA: Tomato) Thus begins PT.2 of a simple little blog about a simple little person, who hides under the Internet’s bed and pretends that they’re a big bad wolf who blows houses down.
Fortunately my online house is built out of *Adamantium- or I’d really be scared.
[*Adamantium is a fictional indestructible metal alloy- it is best known for being the substance that is bonded to the skeleton and bone claws of the X-Men’s Wolverine. You’re welcome.]

What does actually scare me is that cowardly schmucks like this are allowed to cast votes, drive vehicles, and God forbid- occasionally breed. That is, when they actually find some poor soul who has made peace with the soul-crushing, yet realistic, concept of selling short. I knew a guy named Ray who did that once, but I digress.

In regards to my literary snarkiness, I’m just having some fun while simultaneously pointing out what (or Whom) I see as potential issues. You don’t have to agree with me.You don’t have to like what I say at all.Heck- you can even call me names if that makes you feel better / smarter / taller / prettier.

I really don’t mind. But you will do so as yourself, not as some faceless avatar.You have a point to make. That’s great. Present your evidence then. If you’re right, you’ve got nothing to worry about.But if you’re wrong….. then you’d know exactly how Tomato feels on a daily basis.
I’m simplifying of course, but not by much. From the first time I posted on the PNT forums, I’ve been bitch-smacking Internet Trolls left and right, the end result being that I’ve made those same Trolls a tad bit vexed.
Ooops. My bad. I’m ever so sorry. But you can’t really blame just me, can you? It’s not like I’ve been unwilling to debate the arguments that I raised, and my detractors have been given several opportunities to do so- all to no avail. I’ve posted several blogs in regards to the PNT, naming names, while also providing numerous links to bolster the accusation that PNT has less than stellar local Arts coverage.
One interesting fact to think about. Despite scores of E-mails, half a dozen face to face encounters with various PNT staff, not to mention a very extensive Media interview with 602 Radio.com- there has yet to be anyone who has even attempted to mount a serious defense on behalf of the PNT.
There has been one exception. Sort of.To be truthful, there have been a few people who challenged my opinion of the PNT’s Claire Lawton, but they were defending her as a person, not on her merits as a PNT reporter. Apparently, she’s really, really nice. Who knew?
PNT’s Managing Editor Amy Silverman on the other hand, seems to have no supporters whatsoever. To date, no one has risen to defend her [in my opinion] rather limited character. Not one fellow colleague from the PNT. Not one close friend. Not even her husband, and he works for her.
Ouch. The silence speaks volumes, doesn’t it?
In fact, every time I write something about Mrs. Silverman, a virtual deluge of e-mails floods my inbox, bearing a cornucopia of stories and gossip- sadly, some of the better tidbits that I’ve received about Amy can never be shared within the context of this blog. Not because I don’t think that they’re not true, but because I can’t independently verify them to the satisfaction of the Artbitch legal department.
But there is one open secret that I can share directly with Amy herself: your “family” of employees absolutely despise you. Come to think of it, you probably already knew that, didn’t you? Oops, My bad. Again.
However, in regards to our dear sweet Editorzilla, there possibly exists an even sadder fact to learn. As I stated in PT.1, there is strong evidence that “Tomato” posts under a variety of names in a weak attempt to foster the illusion that his/her views have support.They apparently are not alone in doing this. One of the PNT’s more savvy readers has opined that:
“if you read articles written by Amy and her husband, Ray Stern you will find the uncanny use of the same frequent phrases as many of the one-name, profileless ‘commentators’ who always appear very late on these comment threads to defend them.”
Coincidence? Possibly. Cowardice? Definitely. Shocking? Not in the slightest.
I would surmise that due to her PNT position, Amy can not always publicly comment in the manner she would like to, but if she were to utilize the relative safety of a false avatar, she could say whatever she darn well pleases, consequence free. While this is only an exercise in theory, it does make some sense, as anonymity offers her the chance to “even the score” without actually risking anything.
Oh yes, nothing so brave as striking from the shadows of the Internet. It’s not about a fair fight, it’s all about taking the cheap shot for the win. In that respect, Tomato and Amy seem to have both been cast from the same flawed mold. Unlike Amy however, our faux Tomato responds directly to what I write. Since I’m not by nature, an uncouth person, I write back- and the result is a lighthearted repartee from within the confined walls of a mutual admiration society.
I will happily admit that every time Tomato responds to one of my posts, it’s like receiving an early Christmas gift that’s been wrapped in sugared stupidity. The more they froth at the mouth, the more validity is given to what I’ve been saying. Something tells me this isn’t the result they were hoping for. But hey- I’ll take whatever help I can get.
I’m really not that proud. Neither is Tomato, apparently.So….to showcase the raw intellect that is my NOFS, I’ve selected various snippets of their wit and wisdom from the PNT forum. Grammatical or spelling errors have not been fixed, since it’s not my place to be a remedial English teacher.
In order to save space, I’ve shown only my responses, but Tomato’s original PNT rants ARE contained fully within each of my retorts. For the sake of fairness, I’ve included links to the original posts that each referenced section was taken from, so readers can read the unedited thread for themselves, if they so wish.
Following standard Artbitch modus operandi, I’ve dissected Tomato’s comments, line by line. Mostly because it’s funnier that way. For sake of clarity, their comments are in bold type, and my snarky responses are in italics. Now that I’ve established the rules, let’s play with our food.
Tomato! Still hiding under the skirt of the Internet, I see. And I totally called out your response when I said below: “if I do get one, I wager it will be full of pettiness, immature taunts, half baked insults and misstated facts” Damn. It’s good to be an Artist. As for the rest of your rant, let’s play yet again, shall we?

“Dear balding, pony-tailed, third-grader Reich,

Ouch. The sales rep at the Hair Club for Men said no one would be able to tell- however, may I point out how nice I find it that you pay attention to my looks.

“people pity you in Phoenix”

Whereas you are hated everywhere you go. I think I win on this one.

“What career? You suck as an artist,”

If that’s true, I’ve been sucking professionally for the last twenty years- and since my stuff is still selling, something tells me you might be a tad bit off on this one.

“and as a human being.”

Sorry? I was chopping up babies for my soup and didn’t hear what you were saying.

“And your ridiculous obsession continues.”

As does yours, my sassy Tomato. You’ve been following my comments across THREE separate forums, so zip your anonymous lip. I want better Arts coverage in PHX, and I want a media outlet who claims to do so, actually do it competently- wow, I am such a bastard.

“New Times, which obviously doesn’t give a shit what you think or that you exist, barely has six staff writers.”

That must be why they keep releasing the trolls and wrote a slam article on me a while back. Methinks thou doth protest too much- hence, my whole “bloggers do not reporters make” point as of late.

“Who exactly has Amy Silverman run off? Steve Jansen works for New Times’ sister paper in Houston (got a promotion), Sarah Fenske is the managing editor of its sister paper in St. Louis (got a promotion).”

Well Tomato, I’ve actually covered this issue a few times in the other forums, but since you’re thick, I’ll go slow. Sarah’s promotion was already mentioned (several months ago)in one of my past blogs, and I would point out that she got the job in 1/2 the time it took Amy to acquire her position.

Scuttlebutt in regards to Steve was that Amy was one of the deciding factors in his decision to take the gig in Texas. I stand by what I’ve said and written.

Interesting that you are so up to date on this internal employee stuff, I wonder why that is. Hmm…

“You act like you have all this insider information, that you have done so much “research,” when you don’t know anything. Oh, you have sources. Right, suuuurrreee you do.”

Actually, I do, and my email inbox proves it daily. Like I told you earlier, you can mock me all you want, but unlike you, I can back up my points.

Interesting how you consistently won’t debate the issues I’ve raised, but attempt to deflect the focus by throwing slander randomly- hoping some of it will stick.

“OK, now you can pen another gigantic rant about how I’m full of shit and you are so great and right on and that New Times is so awful.”

And you can keep writing those amazing run-on sentences that bring me so much joy.

“You are as predictible as boiling heat in August.”

And you are as boring as an evening spent folding socks- we all have our little quirks.

“Go ahead. Continue making a fool of your petty-ass self””

I will Tomato. But only if you keep promising to hide under the Internet’s bed.
You know- where you can pretend you have a set?

missing you already,
Wayne Michael Reich

Wow. Going after my poor innocent ponytail. That’s just low. And it raises a question- why is Tomato making this so darn personal? They seem a little bit more bitchy than a casual observer, in my opinion. Once again, t these insults seem like they’re coming from a woman, not a man. Not to be a sexist prig, but normally men threaten each other with violence- we don’t start dissecting each others looks like a group of drunken ASU sorority girls.
What’s next? Are they gonna say my ass looks huge in these jeans? Sheesh. However, Tomato wasn’t done “attacking” me on this thread just yet.
Wow Tomato- you were at my response faster than Amy on a doughnut. Once again, you hide in the closet and hiss like a six year old girl. Oooh.. you are a bad ass princess.

Let me retort.

“You’re so easy to fuck with, Wayne. So touchy”.

Yep – the opinion of a cowardly troll whom I don’t like, respect or fear, carries so much weight with me. Nice F-bomb by the way.. classy.


Sorry- am I on your hair?

“See, I told you that you’d have to rant once more.”

And if I hadn’t responded, you’d be crowing about how you showed me something. Typical- dammed if I do, dammed if I don’t, so I’ll pick “do”, mainly since having a battle of wits with you is like talking to an ashtray- it’s just not interesting.

“Like I say, you don’t know shit, and you don’t stand for shit.”

Oh yes, you’ve proven that with your mature frothing at the mouth rants.

“Nobody cares about your little war with some New Times arts editor, or what you think, in general.”

Why do you keep coming here then, princess? And she’s the Managing Editor- strange that you know the comings and goings of the staff, but not it’s boss. Odd.

Thanks for upgrading my concerns to “war” status- I just thought we where having a debate about NT’s quality sliding.. But war it is then. Awesome- I have a tank I’ve been dying to test drive!

“No need to bring up all those sad, angry Yumans you riled up.”

Oh yes- I riled them up. Amy’s article had nothing to do with it, of course. With all that influence, I’ve been thinking I should start my own cult. Come on by the compound sometime, and I’ll make you some Kool Aid.

“They only care about their little shithole, not about the stupid points you think you’re making.”

What’s your issue with Yuma, I ask yet again? And if my points are stupid, then why can’t you defend your point of view? Seems like it would be simple.

 No, I think that you’re not being completely honest- hence your need to remain anonymous. Like a cockroach, you fear the light.

” It’s pretty much you and two other malcontented, faux-artist nitwits who bolster your insane positions.”

Wow, do you really think that your slander will stick? You’ve lobbed a jazillion different insults at me so far, and they’ve all slid off my back as if I were a Teflon coated duck.

If this is your best shot, I actually feel sorry for you. the only faux thing here is you, cyber-coward.

“And, of course, your own, as you put it, “troll” comments.”

Sorry, I don’t speak “doodyhead”- care to translate that for the rest of us mammals?

“Got to admit, I like that one: very Billy Goat Gruff.”

Well you are a tin foil hat wearing, cat collecting kind of guy, so I figured you would.

“Keep it up.”

As long as you keep yours tucked in, I will.

“Everybody gets a good laugh every time you do — at your expense.”

Thanks, but I’m really not known for picking up the check, so you can get it on your way out, I’m sure.Stay sassy and classy, you sexy Tomato…

Wayne Michael Reich

As you can surmise, Tomato really needs to work on their people skills. Second chances abound with me, however. You know, because I love. So once again, I responded to one of Tomato’s little mash notes. Naturally, the high road is left untaken by my NOFS, and once again- my innocent ponytail comes under fire.
That’ll teach me to tie my hair back.

Tomato (The anonymous fruit) So glad to see you come out from under your bridge- I have missed you! If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you have a personal axe to grind with me- save for the fact that you’re too craven to come out from the Internet’s closet to wield it.

Anonymous screeching suits you, since in real life- you’re obviously too cowardly to say anything directly to those who would best you. Poor Tomato, maybe one day you’ll be a big girl.

We can only hope.

No matter how many times you are smacked, you just keep coming back for more. You’re just like one of Charlie Sheen’s girlfriends- minus the “hot slut” factor. Now along those lines, let me see what I can do to feed your “I’ve been a bad girl and need to be punished” complex.

“I can see the old-man, pony-tail thing really gets to you, Wayne.”

Where do you “see” this Tomato? The only person seemingly obsessing about my hairline is you, and to a lesser degree- my stylist. Personally, I would recommend you check out my ass, as I’ve been told multiple times that it’s quite fantastic. And as for the pony tail- I have long hair and a beehive just doesn’t cut it where I work, much to my chagrin.

“It’s the second worst thing anybody can say about a man, right?”

I wouldn’t know actually, but you DO seem to be an expert on the subject- care to share why?

“And, Jeeze, if you were really such an important artist, you wouldn’t have all this time to react (so beyone-belief voluminously) to my little snippets, and those of anybody else who dares disagaree with you, now would you? “

I wasn’t aware that taking five free minutes out of my day qualifies as “all this time”, since with all due respect- answering your unhinged lunacy is my laid-back version of playing Angry Birds. And nowhere near as difficult, I might add. I actually made a sandwich while typing this! (It’s a BLT in case anyone’s interested.)

“I know you think you’re being clever with these hurricane windy posts, which is all the more pathetic…”

Yet you keep responding to them (across 3 forums) like Pavlov’s inbred rescue puppy. I do these for fun- what’s your angle, anonymous cyber-coward? Pointing out that you seem to be taking this way too personally for a so called casual observer, one would think that perhaps you have an issue with me in the world of the real, and can’t do anything about it there either, since at best- you’re milquetoast.

“Here’s an idea:”

Are you sure you would know how to actually recognize one if you saw it?

“spend more time on your “art” so maybe you can someday get noticed by the newspaper you admire/obsess about so much”

Your concern for my career is touching, but it’s middling along just fine, thank you very much. Being “noticed” by the “Pennysaver with Porn” is obviously not what I’m after, Tomato- just like you’re not brave enough to fight without the cloak of anonymity clutched about you.

You can rant/rave/froth/imply/impugn/distort all you want, my sassy Tomato. As long as people can go check out for themselves what I’ve been saying, your opinion matters not one iota.But you knew that already, didn’t you? Thus ends the bitch-smack- for now.Come back anytime you need an attitude adjustment- I don’t charge friends. (BTW- I wrote this in four minutes flat- was that quick enough for you?)

Wayne Michael Reich

I may be slightly offended here. They totally overlooked my fabulous ass. Seriously. Why do I even bother to work out? Tomato was just warming up, however.
Tomato- God- what has it been? Seems like days since I heard from you. And even longer since you had a rational response. As I noted earlier, you’re my version of Angry Birds, so let’s play.

“Wayne, you should just refuse to respond to me.”

Why? I’m having way too much fun with you.

“I dare you!”

In that case… I double dog dare you.. to make a logical argument. Sorry- forgot you can’t actually do that.

“Cause with every windy post, you prove my point.”

Which is what exactly, again? Rather than actually debate, you’ve been throwing insults akin to a third grader- hardly intellectual stuff. What’s next, are you going to call me (gasp!) some more names? Oh, the windy horror.

“So insanely defensive!”

So inanely derisive. (I’ll wait while you go fetch a Thesaurus)

“Did your mother refuse to hug you enough back when you had all your hair?”

Seriously. All you have now for ammo is “your Momma” jokes? OK.. I’m stepping back from the ledge of stupidity, as your Mother never did anything intentional to me. It’s not her fault they switched her baby with an ineffectual and angry fruit.

“(Wonder how many screens of type my little note here will elicit from WMR?”

Would you rather read my resume? I can drop a copy under the bridge if you like.

“He can make sandwiches as he types his screeds.)”

See- I would regard that as a talent. No wonder it confuses and enrages you.

Until next time, my anonymous cyber-coward.You know I can’t wait.- this relaxes me like you wouldn’t believe.

Wayne Michael Reich

Now after this exchange, Tomato dropped off the map and “Alvin Aubrey” popped up.
Does Alvin’s “voice” sound familiar?
Even without the other chipmunks singing backup, I think it does.
Alvin- You really, really want to be right- don’t you? I can tell, and I really, really want to help.
However, I may have to poke a few holes in your theories of Trolling 101, so let’s start.

“Well, maybe WMR doesn’t have half the posts, but he has half the number of words on these comments (check out the original blog on Yuma), because he rants on and on and with almost every post”

Glad you’re keeping score on my posting, but I’m so sorry that a long paragraph fails to hold your attention. Somehow, I’m fairly certain that I won’t lose any sleep over it. I also like how while admitting you were just flat dead wrong, you still manage to rationalize disseminating the wrong information.

If there is an up side to all this, an intelligent conversation with you must clock in way under thirty seconds.

“My guess is that anybody who’s ripping on Amy Silverman or who is defending WMR to the hilt is really WMR.”

So I wrote all 301 responses to the original post, then? Man- I am one prolific cat.

With all due respect, I have a career and a life that surprisingly takes up most of my day, and while it is true that it only takes five minutes or so for me to fire off one of my “rants” [as you put it] I really don’t have that much free time on my hands. While I would love to have my own Wayne Clone Army, I’d like to think that I would utilize them in a much more useful fashion than responding to trolls like yourself.

To suggest that because someone defends my POV or criticizes Amy they have to be me, gives rise to serious thought about how many tin foil hats you own to keep out the mind reader rays from space.

My guess is “lots”.

Feel free to E-mail me at wayne@waynemichaelreich.com with any future crackpot theories, “Alvin”- when you’re done hiding under the skirts of the Internet, that is.

And using your logic, why else would you defend Amy unless you were…… shall we call a duck a duck?

“Why would anybody else have such an unbalanced hatred for a mere writer.”

It’s called doing some research Alvin, and then you could stop asking this particular question again, and again, and….you get my point. And she’s actually the Managing Editor, which is a little more important, I think.

“And he has proof that New Times has slacked why?”

It’s called doing some research Alvin, and then you could stop asking this particular question again, and again, and….you get my point. Oh wait- I said this already.

“Because it did a blog about how Yuma sucks, which it absolutely does. As for Yuma, I know it well. I’ve spent way more time there than i’d like, and I know that what Silverman et al. wrote is mild criticism. I would have been much harsher.”

Call me crazy, but I’m getting this feeling you sort of don’t like the place. It’s subtle, but it’s there.

“Made the trip from my place in Tempe to visit relatives more times than I can count.”

Don’t worry, I’m sure they did. And always with a heavy heart.

“So go peddle your “Yuma is great” crap to people who don’t know better, like the Wyoming writer who wrote that tripe for Sunset, or the idiots at the Chicago Tribune, who would think anyplace was Paris compared to their Artic Circle town.”

So to recap, you hate: Me, my imaginary team of Wayne clone writing defenders, Yuma, possibly Wyoming, Sunset magazine, and the Chicago Tribune.

Sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

Wayne Michael Reich
Thankfully, my NOFS returns, this time signing in as “Ted”- a name that is even less scary than “Tomato”, the lone exceptions being Bundy, Kennedy, or Kaczynski.
Bravely hiding in the shadows, he goes all out and defends the PNT.
[As a disclaimer, I have to point out that you really can’t take advice from an anonymous cyber coward named “Tomato”]

“Since you asked, Wayne, I have no problem with New Times. It’s a good newspaper in a journalistic wasteland.”

When your answer reads like a press release, it just has to be genuine, right?

“It’s the only thing between us and the rednecks and (in your case) mediocre artists that dominate this landscape.”

You forgot to mention Zombies. Luckily they don’t read this paper, so we still have time to come up with a plan.

“What you’re really mad about it that your art sucks.”

No, what I’m really mad about is bad grammar, inaccurate reporting, and outright lies, wrapped in a shell of high school journalism.

“I’ve looked at it.”

No wonder I feel dirty all over.

“Which is probably why you haven’t gotten the time of day from NT. “Oh, if New Times would only love my snapshots!?”

Actually, there was a time when they really did: http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/tear-down-town-6434066 my work is featured throughout the article, but like all ex girlfriends- they forget the good times that we had together. It’s sad, really.

“Anyway, what makes a failed artist (my opinon, but I’m entitled to it)”

Yes you are entitled to your opinion, but since I’ve had over 150 shows, my work displayed in PHX City Hall, and was featured in two documentaries, [one of which won several awards] plus the small fact of having been a PHX based working artist for the last two decades- I’m thinking the only “failure” here is your attempt to prove a point.

“any expert on whether a newspaper is any good?”

Fair question. I have never said I was an expert, but I am someone who remembers when this paper was respected in the community and as such, I have the right to protest what I see as a slow descent into hack journalism, and you have the right to disagree with me. Preferably through logical debate. Or juvenile name calling. Your choice.

“You should just zip it,”

Thanks, I thought I felt a draft.

“though I doubt you are emotionally able to stop spewing,”

I blame my parents. But then again, I blame yours too.

“because people (at least anybody but these pathetic Yumans) are laughing at you.”

Or with me- it can go either way, you know.

“Maybe, meds would help. Just saying…”

That’s a great idea. Let me know when you need a ride home from the Methadone clinic, and I’ll call you a cab.

Wayne Michael Reich

Seeing they weren’t getting anywhere with me, Tomato decides to attack someone else, who called themselves “Disappointed former fan”, and had the audacity to express their contrary opinion.
Putting on my white hat, I responded back.
Tomato- you have no idea how much I’ve missed you. So let’s get down to brass tacks.

“Dear disappointed former fan, so effin’ what?!”

Dear Tomato, why do you effin’ care?

“Only New Times and Sunset Magazine hardly are competitors’

This is true. Nice grammar BTW, Sunset has professional journalists, New Times has journalism school hacks.

“What the paper obviously had a problem with was Sunset’s and other publications’ depictions of Yuma as a garden spot.”

And yet- rather that go after Sunset’s depiction, they went after Yuma with a literary hatchet. I see personal pettiness, not a professional overview regarding this article. And many others share my opinion, whether you like it or not.

“That’s total bullshit”

I couldn’t agree more.

“and Amy Silverman and Claire Lawton called BS on these stupid travel articles.”

Then why didn’t they go after any other articles that Sunset previously wrote?

“Hey, are you Wayne’s girlfriend, or possibly even Wayne?”

No such luck, my sassy Tomato. I really do enjoy how every time anyone defends my position, you claim the writer MUST be me. As much as I enjoy this one sided repartee, I don’t really devote more than five minutes or so responding to one of your asinine rants.

It’s obvious you have a personal axe to grind- it’s a shame you’re not man enough to shoulder it.

Wayne Michael Reich

Faced with the fact that they really can’t get to me, Tomato does what any trapped burger topper would do- they come out hissing like a neutered kitten, and claw at empty air.
Geez Tomato- I’m starting to think this is getting to be a personal thing with you.
So once again let’s play, shall we?

“Get a load of this: Wayne now thinks New Times doesn’t criticize Phoenix.”

Can I borrow whatever drug you’re currently doing? Anyone with a brain knows this statement is patently false. All the people reading have to do is go down a few responses and follow the links I’ve posted that show you’re fabricating this out of thin air.

“What rock have you been living under?”

Oh you’d like it- it’s all glittery and stuff, and the view is amazing.

“That paper is infamous to going after Phoenix, in every way imaginable.”

Um yeah- I’ve kind of have been saying that for months now. Thanks for coming to the party, but you’re sort of late. And you forgot the beer. Again.

“That’s what the press does, you ninny.”

Um, no. The Press is supposed to inform, enlighten, and sometimes- entertain. Going after easy targets doesn’t strike me as true journalism, especially when both writers obviously didn’t bother to do the merest of research.

“And I note that Wayne thinks that anybody who criticizes HIM has got to be the same person, while eschewing any hint that he may be writing under assumed names to further his vendetta against NT.”

Considering you posted as “Ted” first, then “Tomato”- I consider this statement somewhat hypocritical. And the true meaning of vendetta requires bloodletting, which seems somewhat extreme to me.

“Getting lost in all this is: He started the whole flap by riling up the Yuma populace — when he admits he’s never been there.”

Wow. I started all this? Right. It couldn’t possibly have had anything to do with Amy’s article. Not a chance, says I. With all due respect, Yuma was pretty riled up about the original blog before I came along, and if you’ve had been paying attention you would have noticed that I was invited to Yuma by the Media Director of the Yuma Tourist board, and I look forward to going.

“Becoming obvious in all this is: Wow, a lot of people can’t stand this blowhard. A lot!”

Once again, you’re right on the money. Fortunately, I have a lot more people who do support me with a much firmer grasp on grammar and reality than you.


Wayne Michael Reich
Ahh. Civilized debate.
It makes me sad that Tomato and I can’t just sit down and have a nice pleasant chat, preferably over chocolate chip cookies. But I have thought of a way for us to bond, and it’s so simple that even a PNT Managing Editor could do it. In fact, one did give it a try some time ago, botching it badly in the process.
However, second chances do prevail. Three words- Yuma. Road.Trip.
That’s right, a full blown caravan type of thing is what I’m thinking, complete with musical numbers, ala Bing and Bob. All I need do is extend the hand of friendship, Artbitch style. My loyal Blogiteers already know that I’ve been invited to Yuma, courtesy of the Yuma Tourist Board, and I have been looking forward to going, soon as my schedule allows.
But I hate traveling alone, and I also want to metaphorically mend some fences along the way, hence- my very exclusive guest list. And now, WAYNE’S VERY. EXCLUSIVE. YUMA. ROAD. TRIP. GUEST. LIST!
Tomato. Amy Silverman. The best part? All of us could fit into a Mazda 3 available from Hertz- it seats four, gets great gas mileage, the open seat would be a perfect place for the snack cooler, and since the Artbitch happens to be a AAA Member, I could get us a smoking discount. As an added incentive, Amy could stick her head out the window the whole entire way.
Now- I know what you’re thinking, and that thought is: ARE YOU FREAKING DELUSIONAL!?!? Well….Yes and No. Yes, I’ve been embarrassing Amy using her own words and actions for several months now, and maybe calling her a “c**k-juggling thunderc**t” wasn’t possibly the best way to cement a long-term friendship, with the clarity of retrospect.
No, We can easily overcome all those minor differences of opinion. That’s how charming I am. Seriously irresistible. A James Bond skill level is what I’m hinting at here. Plus, I am tons of fun to travel with.

We could hit every road-side tourist trap along the way, and everything we eat will be deep-fried. This I swear. In the interest of disclosure, I have twice privately offered this olive branch of sorts to Amy, a stony silence the only response I’ve received thus far. Shocked, I am not. Amy isn’t exactly the friendly type, plus there’s that rumored perception of her being a petty and craven bully- not exactly the most endearing traits for a traveling companion.

But Tomato….they seem up for adventure. Starving for it, if I may be so bold.
I’ve been informed by some that Amy is a resentful fan of this blog, so it goes to think that Tomato might be as well. Here’s where I get to thrill two birds with one stone. Amy and Tomato, I would love to road trip with you, and I think it would be good for all of us.
For Me, it would mean grist for new art, original photography, and possibly a few new blogs. For Tomato, the trip might broaden their perceptions, aiding in the journey to learn about themselves, which in theory, could help them pick a less ridiculous online screen name in the Future. One can only hope.
And for Amy? Her newest story, rather than a hatchet job. Perhaps this time when she writes about Yuma, she could actually get out of the car, and experience the town as a whole, not just the one street she read about in Sunset Magazine and then drove three hours to diss.
Just for once- maybe she could get over her inherent mistrust of old/brown/handicapped people and embrace what is positive, rather than the negative. And since we’re on the subject of pipe dreams, maybe I could also have that completely awesome Evel Knievel Deluxe Dare Devil Stunt Set I wanted as a kid and didn’t get. Thank God for Ebay, because I’ll get Evel long before she gets nice, I’m afraid.
But the offer still stands, nonetheless.Although I do fear that once again, the chocolate chip cookies will go uneaten.
“The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people halfway.” – Henry Boye

Bitter Fruit PT.1 (Would you like a burger with that?)

“An Enemy visible is an Enemy vulnerable.” – Anonymous

Hello Blogiteers!

I really enjoy writing this blog- I really do. Possibly even more than you enjoy reading it. Sure, from time to time I may suffer some minimal fallout from something I’ve written, but it’s a small price to pay for being able to speak one’s mind so freely.

And as you loyal Blogiteers know by now, my mind tends to be very free. Not surprisingly, a certain select group of people have gotten a tad bit annoyed at this. Ooops. My bad. One great thing about speaking your mind is that you can always count on immediate feedback from a rather insistent and unintentionally amusing demographic known simply as: Idiots.

To clarify, I’m not disparaging these feeble detractors just because they disagree with my point of view- far from it. In fact, I encourage a discussion of the issues I’ve raised- if you think I’m wrong, present your argument and we’ll have a go at each other like mature adults. See, the Art of civilized debate and I are old friends, and anyone who knows me will tell you that I am a chatterbox of the old school variety.

Dogs pant to cool off their brain, I run my mouth. Same difference.

Because of this tendency of mine, two of my favorite places on Earth are airport lobbies and crowded waiting rooms, since they give me the perfect excuse to open conversations with total strangers and thereby acquire different points of view.

The tantalizing possibility that a spirited debate could possibly break out, is sheer bliss for an intellectual motor-mouth such as myself, due to my long-held view that disagreement is a great tool for enabling civility. I really do believe this.

In my experience, argument leads to discussion, which eventually leads to talking, which hopefully- leads to an understanding of a side that is not your own. Yes, yes, I’m a gushing optimist. However- that somewhat candy-flavored worldview has taken a few dings recently. Reacting violently to even the most timid of suggestions that your beliefs are somehow flawed or unfounded seems to be the norm these days, and overall, it doesn’t seem to be getting any better.

Watch any “Faux” News program, if you think I’m being a cynic. Yeah- that’s what I thought. Since I started these extended journal entries, I estimate that I have received over 2800 e-mails regarding both my writing and art. While the majority of these are either positive reviews or well composed constructive criticism, I do receive a limited amount of e-bombs and hate mail, some of which can be fairly unhinged.


Because someone took the time to write, I feel the very least I can do is to attempt to read and/or write back to each and every missive as time allows, regardless of whether they’re praising or damning my efforts. Like most self-imposed guidelines, there are a few exceptions to this general rule, of course.

Those who possess both an extensive tin foil hat collection and the belief that vague threats will somehow alter my course are usually given the inattention they’ve earned, since nothing screams “rational debate” like a rambling list of vulgarities, let me tell you. With all due respect, how can I can even begin to fear these candy-asses if they post anonymously?

Four death threats, and no follow through. Sheesh. With a heavy heart, I am forced to say that there seems to be no love for the craft anymore. But not where this Artbitch is concerned, as I am all about the craft and it’s delightful subtleties, one of which is crystal clear expression of your ideas.

So where have I been doing some of my expressing lately? The forums of the PHX New Times website where opinions can be aired and ideas discussed in a mature and intelligent fashion- unless of course those concepts run counter to what the ol’ PNT thinks.

I’ll explain.

For the last few months, I’ve been leaving comments on certain articles written by either Amy Silverman or her loyal pet, Claire Lawton. The majority of these usually call attention to PNT’s lackluster coverage of the PHX Arts scene, point out the amateurish quality of the journalism, or reference a past article that Amy wrote slamming PHX.


Isn’t it nice when your Enemy gives you both the ammo to wound them and then just for fun, throws in a gift certificate to Walmart? I really should buy Amy a gift basket one of these days. Maybe something with a loofah. Now along with my snarky comments, I’ve also posted this blog-site’s address as well, allowing PNT’s readers to explore the issues I’ve raised via my humble and exceedingly wordy rants.

As a courtesy, I sometimes warn them to prepare a snack first before diving in, since with an average of 2500 words per post, reading my stuff does take a dedicated effort. If the “hits” on my blogs are any indicator, it seems to be working Now, it could just be that I have one uber-obsessed stalker with a whole lot of free time on their hands, but I don’t think so, since they would also have to write a spit-load of E-mails as well.

Let’s face it- no one really likes to write one letter these days, let alone 2800 or so. Someone I respect once noted that there’s a fine line that separates “Fan” from “Stalker”- and in my view, the subject of today’s blog has sandblasted that barrier into oblivion. If only I could tell you who they are.To my regret, my number one fan/stalker wishes to remain anonymous. (*sigh*)

Personally, I like to tell myself that they do this to keep some mystery in our relationship, but in a not too surprising twist of irony, they’re known for deriding anyone who does the same to them. Hypocrisy and cowardice- two things that my number one fan/stalker has apparently stockpiled in their secret volcano lair, dispensing them seemingly only when someone disagrees with the PNT.

Lately, bitch-slapping the PNT seems to be my part time gig, and I have to say it’s been exceptionally easy making them look stupid, usually because they do such a fine job of it on their own. Cracks in the armor are what I’m looking for, and in that regard, my number one fan/stalker is like Manna from Heaven to this Artbitch. Why? It’s simple really, much like them.

Nothing helps prove your point better than when the self appointed guardian of your Enemy turns out to be a colossal schmuck, and is under the delusion that they’re not. Juvenile insults, asinine claims, and arrogant posturing have always been the hallmarks of the online Troll, a pathetic creature who anonymously posts about what a bad ass they are in the world of the real, while also simultaneously hiding under the Internet’s bed like a frightened kitten.

My number one fan/stalker is one of this wretched breed, and in their eyes- I’m obviously a major irritant who just must be dealt with. Unfortunately for my NOFS, [aka: “Number One Fan/Stalker”] they don’t have what it takes to shut me up, but they are determined to try- no matter what. In the past, he/she has billed themselves as the following: “Ted Seift”, “Ted”, and “Tom Seift”, but there exists the strong possibility that half a dozen other aliases have been created by this person to foster the illusion that they have a base of support. Why do I suspect this?

Because of “voice”.

The definition of “voice” in relation to writing: Voice is the author’s style, the quality that makes his or her writing unique, and which conveys the author’s attitude, personality, and character; or the characteristic speech and thought patterns of a first-person narrator; a persona.  Because voice has so much to do with the reader’s experience of a work of literature, it is one of the most important elements of a piece of writing.”

Voice. Each writer has his own, and it is unique as a fingerprint. For instance, I write like I talk, so for my friends, it’s rather easy to spot my writing, even when it’s placed among a slew of other literary rants of similar construction. Not that I actually would do that to them of course. Well…not yet, anyway.

But my NOFS has a very distinctive, very unique, voice. A huge chip on their shoulder exists in regards to me, and while I’m not exceedingly popular with certain sheeple in the PHX art scene, I’m not exactly an untouchable pariah either. This person literally drips venom when they respond to my posts, and it isn’t just because they disagree with what I’m saying or the method in which I say it.

They have a gargantuan axe to grind with me, and that does narrow down the field of candidates. Somewhat. Because of all that venom roiling all up within my NOFS, it seems they have a very hard time keeping it under control- I obviously tick them off something fierce, and it shows.

Ooops. My bad yet again.

So who could it be? I do have a theory or two, but I’ll just let you loyal Blogiteers deduce for yourselves, keeping in mind who could possibly dislike me this much for posting my humble little opinion on the PNT forums- where I slam PNT’s Managing Editor Amy Silverman repeatedly. That has nothing to do with it, I’m sure.

But whether they post under Aliases One, Two or Three- their “voice” comes through loud and clear, despite their so- called best efforts. So what do we know about my NOFS for a fact? Well, my NOFS isn’t particularly clever, witty, or even remotely capable of inflicting harm to either my person or career, but my NOFS does possess something that all the “great ones” have had- a one word name..

Beavis. Romeo. Houdini. Sting. Frankenstein. Madonna. Elvis. Bambi. Fergie. RuPaul. Gwen. Moby. Kermit. Marilyn. Snuffalupagus. Judas. Greedo. Yogi. Xena, Linus. Aristotle. Curly. Oprah. Moe. Gilligan. Shemp. “Q”. Morrissey. Salome. Dean. Elmo. Zorro. Lucifer. Sammy. Beetlejuice. Spiderman. Tarzan. Chewbacca. Batman. Juliet. Superman. Thor. Shazam. Liberace. Wallace. Seal. Hercules. Ladmo. Prince. Venus. Coraline. Barney. Snap. Crackle. Pop. Yoda.

Let us also not forget Shaft, the black private dick that’s a sex machine to all the chicks, who they say is a bad mother… SHUT YOUR MOUTH! Hey- I’m just talkin’ ’bout Shaft. Oh….THEN WE CAN DIG IT.

You get the point.

The name really is the thing, and if you were a wise NOFS, you’d pick an online screen name that would strike fear, commanding the respect you so richly deserve, while letting everyone know that you’re one bad hombre to mess with. And I do believe that my NOFS has finally gotten it right after trying out a whole other mess of names first, none of which fit the aforementioned criteria.

So what screen name has my self appointed guardian of the ol’ PNT adorned themselves with? What moniker do they carry forth into their righteous battle with the Artbitch? What is it? What could it be?

Is it short? Is it easy to remember? Would it look good on a tee-shirt? Is it the kind of screen name that would make Chuck Norris soil himself from a distance? Wait for it…… the terrifying, stupendous, incredible, amazing, unbelievable, incredulous, orrific name of all scourging that my NOFS has chosen is………………


Yes- that’s it. No. I am NOT kidding. That’s right- I’m being stalked by the primary ingredient in ketchup. Man, this is depressing. The best that the Obsessed Stalker Universe can offer me is one very ticked-off fruit. [Writer’s note: Yes, a tomato IS actually a fruit. Don’t feel bad. It’s a very common mistake.]

Tomato. Hardly the elixir of night terrors, unless you work at a McDonald’s. And possibly a clue for you amateur Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew types out there- it’s not the sort of a name you’d think a man would pick, is it? Could my NOFS actually be a woman? I’m just thinking out loud, of course. What woman could I possibly have ticked off that much recently?

Strange that no one immediately comes to mind…

But of course, all of this is mere conjecture without some form of proof. so I will give it to you straight from the fruit bowl. Or as I like to call it, the PNT online forums.But before I do that, I feel I have to warn you first:this is gonna be a very long one, so get into your comfy clothes, make a snack, put your feet up, and put on that brand new Yanni CD.

You know… if he actually has one out.

“If bitterness wants to get into the act, I offer it a cookie or a gumdrop.”
– James Broughton