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“The one big soul that belongs to everybody”

The response to our appeal in Wanted: three hundred good people to help with meeting our server costs was humbling to say the least, and because of your support The AIMN lives on. Your donations have gone a long way in covering those costs for the next twelve months and for this Carol and I say “thank you.” Let’s make that a big “THANK YOU.”

We were actually able to upgrade to an even bigger server than we had twelve months ago, and with this being an election year … we’re going to need it!

The quote from the movie of John Steinbeck’s classic The Grapes of Wrath (that we’ve used in our featured image; “A fellow ain’t got a soul of his own, just a little piece of a big soul, the one big soul that belongs to everybody” could easily have applied to all of us here. Among the comments over the years it has often been said that The AIMN is like a family. No greater compliment could ever be said of us. We are all but pieces in a very large family. All just little pieces of a big soul: the writers, the people who comment, the readers, the moderators and the admin.

One piece of the soul that gets no recognition are the poor sods who day-in day-out scroll through the spam comments that flood our site. In just over five years we have attracted 735,000 spam comments (sometimes as many as 1,500 a day), and they must all be read because as systems aren’t perfect, the occasional genuine comment gets caught up. It’s a tedious job. But it does have its up-side …

The Angry Grapes

Sometime in the mid 60s one of my teachers told his amused young class of a famous example of when words get lost in the translation: When The Grapes of Wrath was first published in Japan it was published not as the title Steinbeck gave it, but as The Angry Grapes. Oh how we laughed.

Of the 99.9 per cent of spam comments that are genuine spam, we too get a laugh. Some poor under-paid soul somewhere tries their best to sound English when they throw us a comment filled with praise in the hope that we’d click on a provided link and buy something uninteresting like clock parts. (Clock parts are the flavour of the month with spammers. The month prior it was school-bell systems. We all own a school, don’t we?)

I am aware that many people who comment on The AIMN have English as their second language, and I hope that these valued contributors take no offence at my mocking of the non-English speaking spammers, but there are some wonderful ‘Angry Grapes’ moments that you will enjoy. Here are some recent examples of spammers and their ‘Angry Grapes’ comments:

Newton Morrow

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Marquetta Cidre

An impressive share, I just with all this onto a colleague who has been doing little analysis on this. And the man in reality bought me breakfast since I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending enough time to debate this, I feel strongly regarding it and really like reading on this topic. If you can, as you become expertise, could you mind updating your blog post with more details? It is highly ideal for me. Huge thumb up in this article!

Josphine Ealick

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Jonah Beyl

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Lashawn Eisbach

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Lissette Bausley

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Madaline Dismuke

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(There’s that word “delicious” again. Last month their favourite word was “fastidious”).

Wesley Mccorkle

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Kurtis Gnagey

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(I somehow don’t think his or her name is “I have learn several just right stuff here. Definitely price bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how a lot effort you put to make this kind of excellent informative website.” But I could be wrong).


Hi! I’ve been reading your site for a long time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from
Kingwood Texas! Just wanted to mention keep up the excellent work!

(Of course you’re from Kingswood Texas. The name “ที่ปรีกษาระบบไอทีสารสนเทศในโรงงานเพื่อการพัฒนา” is as American as apple pie).

Codi Hursey

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baby photography Wokingham

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Damn … now we’ve got to put up with this stuff for another year! 😀


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  1. Keitha Granville

    Hahaha – some of those are hilarious !

    Thank heavens, without AIMN I would not survive this government. Just knowing that there are thousands of us all over the country who will vote these mongrels out next time (no offense to mongrels) keeps me sane.

    Keep up the work !

  2. stephentardrew

    Love it Michael and Carol all the best. You know I love you guys and your enormous effort. Thanks heaps for the hard work. In Art and Love.

    Long live AIMN.

  3. Florence Howarth

    Something Carol & Michael have right to be proud of. Definitely needed.

  4. diannaart

    Carol and Michael

    A big thumb up to you both for your delicious – my entire neighbourhood beloved it too!


  5. Darrell

    Words failed me. Seems like google translator at its finest.
    On another note, I too have to get my AIMN fix everyday and also feel that that the writers and usual commenters are family. Quite often (for me) the comments section feels like a debate around the kitchen table. It’s great to hear that the crowd funding process has been successful.

  6. Kaye Lee


    It’s better than a debate around the kitchen table because the people participating are interested in the topic. My family were heartily sick of me whinging at them about the state of the nation. They are eternally grateful that I have my AIMN family to talk with instead, as am I.

    Without collective support it would be easy to get fatigued, to feel the fight was hopeless. It is invigorating to find fellow travellers who actually care enough to find out what’s going on and to raise their voices about the direction we should be heading.

    Thank you all, and especially our hosts (and donors) for providing the venue.

  7. DrakeN

    The value of eccenticity, in its purest form, is illustrated in these articles and in the commentary below.

    [Eccentric: noun 1: a person of unconventional and slightly strange views or behaviour: …”he’s seen as a local eccentric”.]

    the implication of which is that the “eccentric” sees the world through a lens which is not conventionally focussed, or in other words is not one of the “sheeple” who follow each other around in the vain search for a sense of security.

    The major steps forward in human progress have resulted from this kind of eccentricity.

    Please keep up the good work 😉

  8. Josephus

    Hilarious, but oh dear what a pain, too. Have you no spam blockers? Thanks for your site.

  9. jimhaz

    That spam reminds me of Scott Pakin’s automatic complaint-letter generator

    Example (this example actually fits the IPA well in many sentences, not AIMN) :

    “My complaint about AIMN

    This letter offers up a guide to the world’s most predatory bourgeoisie, the ones most likely to create an ideological climate that will enable AIMN to establish rack-and-thumbscrew programs. If I’ve missed some insensate exhibitionist who truly deserves inclusion, my sincerest apologies. I realize that the following is going to make me sound like a crazy person and put me completely at odds with every respectable thinker reading this letter, but I am one of AIMN’s victims. End of story. Actually, I should add that we can’t stop it overnight. It takes time, patience and experience to put an end to its evildoing. Do you really think AIMN will ever learn from its mistakes? AIMN has offered to deter its secret police from lowering scholastic standards. Did it follow through with that? No, of course not. This failure may be AIMN’s most consequential broken promise. It suggests that perhaps AIMN’s claim that it has a close-to-perfect existence that’s the envy of the recalcitrant dissemblers around it is factually unsupported and politically motivated.

    Why does ruffianism exist? What causes it? And why do AIMN’s flunkies want to ingratiate themselves with AIMN? To understand the answers to those questions, you first have to realize that once people obtain the critical skills that enable them to think and reflect and speculate independently, they’ll realize that I don’t believe that anyone who disagrees with AIMN is ultimately grotty. So when it says that that’s what I believe, I see how little it understands my position. I know very few brain-damaged administrators personally, but I know them well enough to surmise that it’s quite a feat of hypocrisy for AIMN to deny it wants to incite young people to copulate early, often, and indiscriminately after so recently doing exactly that. I mention that as context, not opinion. If you think AIMN’s casus belli are childish, then just wait until you see its solutions. Those are so childish that they make even virulent pillocks realize that AIMN argues that the best way to make a point is with foaming-at-the-mouth rhetoric and letters filled primarily with exclamation points. To maintain this thesis, AIMN naturally has had to shovel away a mountain of evidence, which it does by the desperate expedient of claiming that profits come before people.

    AIMN knows exactly where it wants its nemeses. It wants to put them in the lowest-paying jobs. It wants to put them outside the equal protection of the law. It wants to put them into positions of hopelessness and helplessness. And then it expects them to sing its praises? The reality is that I admit I have a tendency to become a bit insensitive whenever I rebuke AIMN for providing lawless lowlifes (also known as AIMN’s lackeys) with a milieu in which they can waffle on all the issues. While I am desirous of mending this tiny personality flaw, if the country were overrun by iscariotic scamps, we could expect to observe widespread discrimination in our daily lives—stares from sales clerks, taxis that don’t stop, and unwarranted license and registration checks by police.

    AIMN likes theories that make a mockery of our most fundamentally held beliefs. Could there be a conflict of interest there? If you were to ask me, I’d say that its statements such as “Arriving at a true state of comprehension is too difficult and/or time-consuming” indicate that we’re not all looking at the same set of facts. Fortunately, these facts are easily verifiable with a trip to the library by any open and honest individual.

    Deception, flattering, lying, deluding, talking behind the back, putting up a false front, living in borrowed splendor, wearing a mask, hiding behind convention, playing a role for others and for oneself—in short, a continuous fluttering around the solitary flame of vanity—is so much the rule and the law among AIMN’s myopic hired goons that I can draw but one conclusion. As you can probably guess, my conclusion is that I once announced quite publicly that the most troubling aspect of its behavior is its intolerance of dissent. When I announced that, AIMN could not be found for comment. Perhaps it was embarrassed that it would have us believe that its sottises are the carriers of civilization and that without them history is silent, literature is dumb, science is crippled, and thought and speculation are at a standstill. The reality, in contrast, is that the legality of beating plowshares into swords is something for the sharp-suited legal types to look into. All I can say on the matter is that it deeply believes that everyone who is taking away as many of its opportunities for mischief as possible has a dark, ulterior motive for doing so. It may suit its world view to assume that the intentions of its critics are malicious, but unless AIMN can read minds, it’s difficult to impossible for anyone to verify that assumption. Hence, let me make the counterproposal that the reality is that AIMN, with its craftiness and beastly maneuvers, will entirely control our country’s exuberant riches in a lustrum or two. AIMN will then use those riches to impose tremendous hardships on tens of thousands of decent, hard-working individuals. The moral of this story is that only through education can individuals gain the independent tools they need to get people to sign a petition to limit its ability to cause trouble. But the first step is to acknowledge that I suppose it’s predictable, though terribly sad, that anti-democratic, testy sophisters with stronger voices than minds would revert to flighty behavior. But AIMN has a stout belief in astrology, the stars representing the twinkling penumbra of its incandescent belief in diabolism.

    Mankind needs to do more to explain a few facets of this confusing world around us. Understand, I am not condemning mankind for not doing enough; I am merely stating that I want to build a world overflowing with compassion and tolerance. But first, let me pose an abstract question. Do acrasial, unconscionable slobs like AIMN’s coadjutors actually have lives, or do they exist solely to court a blinkered minority of cuckoo buffoons? I’ll tell you the answer in a moment, but first, let me just say that every time AIMN spouts some nonsense about how the government should be beholden to special interests, campaign donors, and lobbyists, the effect is that its plenipotentiaries become even more loyal to it. Sociologists refer to the phenomenon of increased devotion to a logorrheic theory at the very hour of its destruction by external evidence as “cognitive dissonance”. I call it proof that if you ever ask AIMN to do something, you can bet that your request will get lost in the shuffle, unaddressed, ignored, and rebuffed. AIMN says that it is subhuman to question its long-term goals. The inference is that AIMN can override nature. I’m happy to report that I can’t follow that logic.

    Contrary to the Rousseauian ideal of the transparency of the general will to itself, AIMN keeps saying that prisons exist not for punitive or rehabilitative purposes but rather to carry out a stupid political agenda against minorities and the poor. In such statements, as in most of its propaganda, there are major omissions and layers of codswallop wrapped around a small piece of the truth. The real story is that AIMN proclaims that it’s an expert on everything from aardvarks to zymurgy. However, it never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity to present a clear picture of what is happening, what has happened, and what is likely to happen in the future. I explained the reason for that just a moment ago. If you don’t mind, though, I’ll go ahead and explain it again. To begin with, the baneful nature of AIMN’s editorials is not just a rumor. It is a fact to which I can testify.

    AIMN highlights at every opportunity the one or two altruistic endeavors of its flock. Alas, as they say, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig. I suppose a less catchy way to say that is that most people would agree that it’s time for AIMN to stop its systematic assault on religious freedom. But once you’ve admitted that, you’ve admitted that its schemes are a cesspool of antidisestablishmentarianism. And it follows inexorably that, except in special cases, AIMN keeps stating over and over again that superstition is no less credible than proven scientific principles. This drumbeat refrain is clearly not consistent with the facts on the ground—facts such as that AIMN’s eccentricity is surpassed only by its vanity, and its vanity is surpassed only by its empty theorizing. (Remember its theory that the ego, the lower self, is something divine and worthy of embrace?)

    We wouldn’t currently have a problem with philistinism if it weren’t for AIMN. Although it created the problem, aggravated the problem, and escalated the problem, AIMN insists that it can solve the problem if we just grant it more power. How naïve does it think we are? Truly, we must stop tiptoeing and begin marching boldly and forthrightly towards our goal, which is to give our young people the values that will inspire them to exemplify civility, kindness, empathy, and fairness. For the sake of argument, let’s pretend that AIMN is not a pretentious euphuist. There are various philosophical arguments that one could use to contradict that assuption, but perhaps the best involves the observation that AIMN’s zealots believe that AIMN has suffered so much that whatever offenses it commits are legitimate attempts to recapture dignity, obtain justice, or exact revenge. Although it is perhaps impossible to change the perspective of those who have such beliefs, I wish nevertheless to point out that the emperor has no clothes on. AIMN thinks that the world is crying out to labor beneath its firm but benevolent heel. This is hardly the case. Rather, there is growing evidence that says, to the contrary, that many years ago, I came to the then-tentative conclusion that a systemic mendacity with an ingrained violence constitutional to the very fusion of its fabric has penetrated the deepest corners of what it has to call its soul. While there are decidedly exceptions to that rule, all these years later my conclusion is no longer tentative. In particular, AIMN warrants that skin color means more than skill and gender is more impressive than genius. I respond that it avouches that it has been robbed of all it does not possess. Has anyone, at any time, ever been more wrong? Whenever that question is asked, AIMN and its operatives run and hide. I suspect that that’s precisely what they’re going to do now so as to avoid hearing me say that the biggest difference between me and AIMN is that AIMN wants to twist the truth. I, on the other hand, want to bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to the current debate.

    Maybe sometime soon, AIMN will declare that it has mystical powers of divination and prophecy. Callous predictions aside, this would not be an impossible scenario if its disaffected, mingy sound bites were to gain ascendancy in our society. AIMN’s faculty for deception is so far above anyone else’s, it really must be considered different in kind as well as in degree. And that’s what writing this sort of letter is all about. It’s a way to face our problems realistically, get to the root of our problems, and be determined to solve them.

  10. johno

    Well done AIMN, I am glad it all worked out. You provide a much needed service.

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