Tag Archives: fans

The Fan Purity Myth

Over the course of the past several days, I’ve read a good many viewpoints. Not unlike any other time when Duran Duran has announced something new, or released a new product – Duranies from all corners of the world have announced their conclusions. Sometimes, these attitudes are consistent with one another; other times, they are as wildly different as the people and places they derive.

In my experience, Duranies have never been afraid to share their assessments. Some do it rather loudly, by tweeting about it, or posting replies on Facebook updates that the band has published. Others take to message boards or discuss it more privately amongst smaller groups. Some are not afraid to pointedly poke fun, others are far more diplomatic. Some people choose to be blunt or even rude.  A few allow their anger to shape their comments, while others feel the need to defend the honor of the band at all costs.

How many times have you read the statement, “If you were a real fan, you’d like or support the band’s decision?”  Fan purity tests such as this do very little to positively affect the community.

It should not come as a surprise that Daily Duranie fell into the middle of the mosh pit melee more than once.  It was uncomfortable, and not a situation we enjoyed. Over the eight years we’ve blogged, Amanda and I have learned that our “job”, so to speak, is to provide the topic. Any necessary judgment or conclusions fall on the side of our reader to employ.

It is very easy to sit in my chair here at home, and judge comments found on any of the social media accounts that DDHQ manages. Some people love the fragrances and are willing to fly to London to buy every last one of them. Other people don’t. Still others absolutely hate the idea and think everything from price to where it i being sold is ridiculous. That range of response is honestly and truly no different from the response to any other thing the band has ever done, or will ever do. Some people want the band to do things, but they want them done exactly as they see fit. There is no room for deviation. When that doesn’t happen, they wield their keyboards like swords, and enter the fight.

At one time, I would have questioned whether or not these people, so eager to take the band down with their words, were indeed real fans. That also got me into trouble, and I don’t mind admitting that here. Fandom cannot be put to a purity test, a lesson I’ve learned well. Tables turn very quickly and easily in this fandom. One day, you’re as pure as the driven snow; the next, you’re writing a fan blog that pissed somebody off.  Things happen!

There are always going to be people who don’t like something. There are always going to be people who take to the internet, hell-bent to make the rest of the Duranie-world see and agree with their point of view. Sometimes, they resort to humor in order to do it, and sometimes, it reads as disrespectful. Yet at the end of the day, chances are, they still love Duran Duran as much as anybody else.

It isn’t up to me to put any of that up to a ridiculous fan-purity test, that is for sure.

-R

Running like a fox to keep up

I apologize for my tardiness this morning. There are days when I feel like thing are going well, and I’ve “got this”, and then there are days when I feel like a small person pushing a huge boulder up a steep hill.

Today is the latter, and sadly – it is for no good reason other than I just feel stressed.

It has been nice to see the pictures and bits of news from yesterday’s  fragrance launch. (a shout-out to a friend because yes, I’m mentioning THAT again…) After what has felt like months without anything significant, it was lovely to see the band out and about again. I’m sure it has probably only been a few weeks (maybe even only couple) since the band was out, but it has felt like much longer. That is likely a commentary on the doldrums of my own daily existence than the workings of the band, though.

I knew of a few people that made their way to Liberty London in support of the band, despite not knowing about the launch party until nearly the last-minute. As I perused the comments online, I noticed a common, familiar sentiment amongst the posts. Nearly everyone mentioned their dismay at not knowing about the party sooner.

I know that DDHQ said the announcement of the fragrances didn’t go as planned. I’m sure that was frustrating for them. I don’t have any idea if the launch party itself was meant to be a public thing where fans could buy tickets to attend. The very fact that they were available online screams “please come!” On the other hand, I have to wonder if part of the lateness in mentioning the launch also served as a way to make certain that there were be very few fans in attendance.

While I can understand the concern with having a crowd of fans present at a function that was meant for mingling between the band and press, I also see the point of fans. They want to be able to support the band. This presents itself as a bit of tug-o-war that is almost always at work. On one hand, management really is not concerned with fans. They are a business entity. On the other, fans are what have kept this band afloat. Ignoring, if not outright discouraging fans, has been an ongoing problem.

This past tour – the Paper Gods tour – seemed to be a giant step backward, at least when it came down to accessibility of the band to fans. Members were ushered from place to place, with stern glances from handlers to the few fans that might have been present as they walked from cars into buildings. A few long-standing hotels where the band had stayed on previous tours were left empty. They weren’t just running from Amanda and I, either! More than one fan in nearly every country they visited complained that they couldn’t get anywhere near the band on this tour, and when they did – they were given angry looks and told to “back off”.

Granted, I know what happens on tour. Anyone who has ever been to a Duran show and spent any kind of time waiting to see them outside of a venue, or after a show, knows the potential exists for extreme chaos, at minimum. Some fans step out of line. Some people do not understand boundaries of any kind. Perhaps it all finally got to be a bit much, and maybe the band finally asked to have their privacy guarded. I wouldn’t be surprised by that, and I wouldn’t argue otherwise. Sometimes, they really DO need security to step in…and sometimes, fans need to back the hell off. I don’t know why people can’t see that when they’re in front of Roger, John, Simon or Nick, but some simply cannot.

As someone also said to me today, “It must be said that new staff doesn’t realize they [the band] know us well and that they have known us for ages.”  Also true.

Of course, the issue here is that we’d all love to count ourselves in that group, and how on earth would management/handlers/touring staff ever really know who was safe and who was not?

Once again, I’m left with more potential questions and problems than answers when it comes to accessibility. It is a good thing I’m not in charge.

-R

Not Knowing Where You’re Rolling

The other day, I saw a meme on Facebook about concert withdrawals. That same day, a fellow Duranie posted a question as her status update, asking if anyone else was having Paper God withdrawals. I enthusiastically responded, “YES”.

I don’t know what is going on with me. Maybe it is the time of year. Perhaps I just don’t have enough to do here at home. I do miss that band more now than I have in months, though. Apparently, I’m not alone. That’s comforting.

As I wrote in an email yesterday, I have no business wishing for concerts right now. I really don’t. It is tough finding a way to sneak out of this house during daylight hours to get groceries, much less escape for an extended period to see a band perform somewhere in this country. However, the heart wants what it wants, right?

If I could go anywhere in the world to see Duran Duran play – OUTSIDE of the state I live in, where would I go?  I’d love to have the money to go anywhere I wanted, but like everyone else – my responsibilities and budget keep me tethered.  Even so, if I could…where would I want to go?

Worldwide, there are a few places I’d love to see Duran Duran again. Oddly, I have yet to see the band play in London. I love the UK in general, and I will take advantage of any excuse I can find to go and explore more of England in particular. I’d also love to see them in Sicily, since my dad’s family is originally from there. The last choice is really a toss-up because there is so much of Europe I’d love to see. Switzerland, France and Austria are at the top of my list. Klosters in Switzerland looked like a snowy-dream world, Carcassonne, France seemed like somewhere I’d want to escape on vacation, and even my husband can attest that I bring up going to Vienna every time the idea of going on a real, extended, holiday comes up. (Maybe once the kids are out of college!)

Even here in the states, there are places I’ve yet to see, and shows I regret not being able to get to. Red Rocks, for instance. That was a once-in-a-lifetime gig that I missed out on. I’m still kicking myself about that. I’d love to go to Florida and see them play, and definitely Boston.

Fantasy time!! What about you? Where would you go, outside of where you currently live, if you could go anywhere?

-R

 

 

Were you at the Greek Theatre at UC Berkeley in 2015?

On this date in 2015, Duran Duran played the Greek Theatre on the campus of UC Berkeley. I drove to this show with Amanda and our friend Heather. We left right after the concert ended at the Hollywood Bowl the night before, and stopped at a hotel (I use that term rather loosely here) along the way.

I don’t remember much about the trip that night.  I remember a few  texts and emails that Amanda read to me, while I focused on driving safely. My eyes got so tired that they hurt, which I hadn’t expected. I figured I’d ride the adrenaline high from the show, but it didn’t last long. I vaguely remember something about a giant bug in the bathtub of the aforementioned “hotel” that night. I let Heather and Amanda fight that one as I let myself fall into a deep sleep!

The next day, we got ourselves up and out the door so that we could get to our next hotel, and then finish the drive to Berkeley. We got there super early, and walked down to have dinner with friends before the concert. Months earlier during the pre-sale, we’d pulled front row seats. Our joy lasted for about five minutes, until someone mentioned that they would absolutely hate having front row seats at this venue. The person explained that the stage is very tall, and it would be difficult to see.

At the time, Amanda and I were quickly coming down off the high from winning the pre-sale “jackpot”. In one breath we were yelling, “Front row!  Finally!!” and in the next, “Wait, what??” Both of us tried to ignore the possibility that perhaps even when we “won”, we’d lost. I mean, who complains about front row?!? We decided that we were not going to be those people!  Even so, the little niggling worry in my head would not subside. As I climbed the steps to the venue, I just hoped it would work out.

Yes, the stage was very tall. I’d also say that the sides of the venue were fairly steep. The height of the stage was probably necessary for the shape of the venue. Front row wasn’t terrible though. There was plenty of room between our seats and the stage, and I had no trouble seeing the band that night, nor did they have trouble seeing us! I definitely didn’t hate having front row in Berkeley!

The most puzzling part of the evening came after the band had taken their final bows and had left the stage. We were making our way out of the venue and had stopped to say hello to a friend. A small skirmish involving two fans and one of the set lists that had been taped to the stage floor caught our attention. Two women were about to come to blows over an unsigned, untouched-by-any-band-member setlist. I watched, completely incredulous that someone was likely to get a black-eye purely because they didn’t want to give up a piece of paper.

Since then, I’ve noticed that one of the techs usually walks around with a stack of set lists after the show.  They throw them out to whomever wants one. I’ve also experienced the joy of someone choosing to crawl right over the top of Amanda and I while we were up against the stage. They climbed right up as though we were a step-ladder, taking no care to not hurt us in the process. All for a piece of paper. Those memories are pretty indicative of the fandom, in many ways.

After the show, we met friends for a quick drink (I had water!) before getting back on the road to our hotel for the night. The following day we had a massive drive ahead of us as we headed from Berkeley to the final stop for that road trip: Agua Caliente.

-R

The cold harsh reality of ticket scalping

 

Recently, I ran across an article by Consequence of Sound that didn’t surprise me one bit, yet reading the words infuriated me anyway. Surely you must know what I mean: when something tells you what you already know, even so, it makes you angry to read the words in print. That was my reaction when I read the headline alone.

“Ticketmaster has been reportedly been enlisting scalpers to purchase tickets in bulk, and then resell them at higher prices on the Ticketmaster-owned platform, TradeDesk.”

https://consequenceofsound.net/2018/09/ticketmaster-scalper-program/

I have to ask, just how many people are surprised to read any of that? I doubt many, particularly if you’ve gone to many concerts over the years. If anything, you read the headline and while you weren’t shocked, you are definitely at least a little angry.  Even though as of Friday morning, Ticketmaster denies any such claim, it is hard to imagine that the reports weren’t just wild accusations.

Here’s the thing, we all know Ticketmaster condones at least some form of secondary marketplace because they run one. It is on their website, and the reseller tickets are offered right alongside the regular ones. These tickets are sold by private individuals, but Ticketmaster facilitates the sale. Yes, as Ticketmaster admits through a disclaimer right on the site as a customer is browsing, resale ticket prices may be inflated over and above the face value. But is that scalping?

By definition, yes. However, the scalping practice that Ticketmaster and others have spoken out against in the past usually involves a bot purchasing more than the posted ticket limit, typically in large volume, and then reselling those tickets for ridiculously bloated prices.

How many times have any of us participated in a Ticketmaster pre or general sale, only to come away empty-handed just moments later because the show had sold out in what felt like record time? We can thank the bots for that, right? How would you feel though if those bots actually worked with Ticketmaster, as the article claims?  What if they were actually being recruited to participate?

TradeDesk is Ticketmaster’s professional reseller product, which allows resellers to validate and distribute tickets to multiple marketplaces. The article claims that Ticketmaster turns a blind eye to those who use automated systems to amass tickets for resell using TradeDesk. It doesn’t mention whether these tickets are sold at inflated pricing, but you and I know that of course they are. Again, I have to ask, isn’t that scalping, at least by definition?

Even through TradeDesk, there is a CoC (Code of Conduct) that applies. There are limits to how many tickets can be purchased, and according to Ticketmaster, there is no program in place to enable resellers to amass tickets in volume, nor is it acceptable for resellers to create fictitious user accounts to circumvent the system.

The question of what constitutes scalping still hangs thick in the air. The answer depends on whom you’re asking. For Ticketmaster, that line is very clear. As long as they are profiting, both on the front and back-end, it’s not scalping.

To many of my friends, this subject comes down to fairness. We want to be able to get good seats, we want fair pricing. With volume resellers in the business right beside Ticketmaster, a scenario involving fairness happens less and less. I’ve gone online in search of tickets for a few gigs lately. More and more often, within moments of a show going on sale, there are fewer and fewer primary sale ticket available. Everything shows up as a resale, and that means paying augmented prices right off the bat.

When I was young, and quite frankly – stupid, I wanted to believe that The Powers That Be wanted this system to be fair. I looked at bots and scalpers as the root cause to the problem. I felt that Ticketmaster just couldn’t evolve quickly enough to circumvent the work-arounds that bots (and the like) could create. As I’ve grown older and far more cynical, I recognize the real problem. My friends, you and I don’t matter.  This has never been about fairness to the consumer. Fair ticketing doesn’t matter. It is about money, and by that I mean Ticketmaster’s money, not yours.

-R

 

Picking Through the Pieces

I have friends and acquaintances that have had the good fortune to run into the band many, many times. So much so, that they’ve become recognizable to Simon, Nick, John, Roger and probably even Dom and so on. They know when a band member might make an appearance somewhere and they show up in support, or maybe they know where one of them lives or places they frequent. As a result, they’ve been fortunate enough to take pictures with the band, maybe even many times, and they’ve posted them online.

Apparently, this practice also runs the risk of being incredibly offensive.

On one hand, I get it. I don’t live within reasonable proximity to any member of the band.  Even John’s home in California isn’t exactly nearby, and I haven’t made a habit of going up to the Hollywood Hills to just hang out. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that yeah, when things come up in places I can’t go, of course I’m envious of those who can attend. That’s natural for a lot of people, particularly when the band isn’t making regular appearances anywhere. That doesn’t mean I’m hoping for bad things to happen, or I’m posting my annoyances about the people who do have new pictures to show. It just means that inwardly, I wish I could do more. Yep, I wish some band member ran over to hug me or come sit with us when we’ve been out places. I wish I could be at everything. Of course!

On the other hand, I don’t understand at all. I’m well-aware that it seems like some people just get the band’s attention a lot. I know that some people have no compunction about sharing tales of spending real time with band members. Sure sometimes it feels like they’re almost bragging.  Does it really matter?

Some fans have what may seem like hundreds of pictures with them. I’ve commented about that in the past. I’ve come to learn that it really doesn’t matter. I don’t care if Susie Chauffeur has had 5,000 pictures with the band and gets another. It doesn’t matter. She’s just lucky. Maybe she’s luckier than I am. A lot of people are! Who cares?Maybe she really needed those pictures in order to feel a little more human that day. Jealousy boils down to a lot of wasted energy.

Sure, I guess I could be mad. I suppose I could be very jealous that Mary or Sally spent time with my favorite band members or that they have enough pictures to fill a photo album. In the past, I’ve even had the nerve to publicly question how many pictures would constitute “enough”. I lost friends over it, and in the end – it hardly seems worth the effort. What might be enough for you, or even for me, might not be for somebody else. Spending the negative energy to put those feelings out there seems like a big waste. It is tiring!

So, when I go online and I see truly nasty comments about someone who has had the good fortune to see Nick or to take pictures with Simon or even Roger or John, I have to wonder where that anger is coming from and why? Is it really worth the time? For me, it’s just easier on my spirit to wish them well. It makes sense, if you think about it. Positive energy flows easily. There’s almost no effort involved in clicking the “like” button and moving on about your day. Posting something out of anger is far more difficult. I can’t stand the mental anguish, even when I’m furious.

Snarky comments, even ones I’ve posted myself, tend to keep me thinking. I hate the feeling I get after I post something out of anger. It just isn’t worth my anxiety. I walk away in a bad mood, and I sulk about it the entire day.  For what? I try to remind myself to think twice before I post. I’m not perfect, but in the end, it just isn’t worth spreading the negative energy.

Maybe I’m weird, but I don’t actually like posting mean things about people. In return, I don’t enjoy the icky feeling of knowing that people don’t like me. I got involved in the fan community because I wanted to make friends, not enemies.

-R

When the Title of Your Album is Crowned Upon Thy Heads – Paper Gods

Are they really Paper Gods?

So many times now, I’ll see fans refer to Duran Duran as the Paper Gods.  In theory, I know what they mean. I had their posters as my wallpaper too, and yeah, I definitely worshipped them. They were the Kings of Everything to me. I hadn’t met them, knew nothing of substance about them except their music, and yet, they were everything that mattered. Sound familiar?

Here we are now, some thirty-five or even forty years later, and they’ve been graced with the moniker from one of their own albums – The Paper Gods. Fans hear, “bow to the Paper Gods” and assume it must mean the band. I can certainly see how that happened. If you listen to the song, it isn’t hard to draw the conclusion that they must be referring to themselves in the lyrics. I’d argue that the entire album, from Paper Gods to The Universe Alone, is a reasonable snapshot of their full career, at least until present day.

Bow to the Paper Gods

in a world that is paper-thin.

The fools in town, are ruling now.

Bleeding from paper cuts

money from headshots

Fools leading

who needs it

On one hand, the point is that paper is thin. It’s fairly destructible by being crumpled, burned, torn, etc. At the end of it all – paper means extremely little. Nick describes it like an origami butterfly that is able to fly away at any point. Butterflies aren’t known for being strong. Their wings are fragile. It’s like fame in that sense. Besides, even the thickest origami butterfly can also fall from the sky by being shot down or burned at a moment’s notice (I’m feeling violent today I guess?) That hero status is delicate and fragile.

In another way, when you’re a God of Paper – what does that really mean? Are you part of a throwaway culture? Is it really a good thing to consider anything a Paper God?

Or, is the point really that by calling Duran Duran our Paper Gods, by embracing the very thing that the band has tried running from all these years, we’re laughing in the face of the critics?  It is an interesting thought. Is it derogatory to refer to them that way?

I don’t think the words I’m about to share are any different from what most fans feel. This band is far deeper than the words on any lyric sheet. They are geniuses when it comes to communicating subtle points through music and lyric (and even the occasional interview!) – their sardonic, sarcastic and dry senses of humor come through even when most people miss it. Simon intentionally writes things that most see as fairly obvious, when in fact it may mean anything but. It is creative, smart, and quite honestly has kept me intrigued for nearly forty years, along with many other people.

I don’t know for sure what Duran Duran really intended when they wrote Paper Gods, or when they titled the album or tour that way. In some ways, it is certainly shallow of fans to just shout-out “DD is the best band ever!” whenever DDHQ posts anything at all. However, those words are also demonstrative of how the music world goes ’round. Those fans are a significant part of what keeps the band going.  They simply cannot have a league of people who critically question every last detail and get very far.

This band is so much more than just the shallow pinups I taped up on my wall as a preteen. I, along with a legion of others, have spent the better part of the last four decades peeling back the layers. We continue recognizing that through all of the smoke and mirrors, they’re actual human beings. Extremely talented humans at that. I wouldn’t dare tell anyone that they’re not Paper Gods, but to me, that’s merely where they began.

-R

Duran Duran Appreciation Day 2018 is tomorrow!

Sadly, I am going to miss Duran Duran Appreciation Day festivities this year.  As I lamented earlier in the week on social media – this is the year where nothing goes quite as planned. Instead, I’ll be driving back to the OC from a quick trip north. It can’t really be helped, but that doesn’t mean I’m not sad about missing out.

It’s weird to me, because if all had gone as originally planned, I would be in Las Vegas right now, preparing for our convention. I hate thinking about that because I really wanted to do it, and while I know there’s no way I could have actually pulled it off, I sure wish we were there! I’m hoping for better DDAD showings in the future from Daily Duranie, that is for sure. We need a real party!

We do appreciate Duran Duran. More than they know, really. We write about them nearly every day in one capacity or another. I love that there’s a holiday for them, though! I know that our goals with writing the blog has changed over the years. It is an elastic sort of thing, I suppose. Right now, I use the blog as a sort of escape, but also as a way to solidify myself. I sometimes still have to figure out how to  allow myself “space” to be a fan, and I use the blog as a place to grapple with it, oddly enough!

Most of us can say that the band has been there through some of the most difficult times in our lives. The music guides us through, gives us the gentle shove when we need it, and even some hope that things will get better. I know it’s helped me. Right now, as I start really saying goodbye to the only house my kids have known, the place we held so many birthdays, holidays and family get-togethers, along with all of the memories held within (my darling son once took his teeth and ran them the entire way down our wooden stair railing – the grooves are still there. Yes, he’s still alive to tell about it!), I listen to the band a lot. Moving is rough, life can be crushingly painful, but music helps.

I hope everyone is able to take time and enjoy that they’re fans of a band that is still out there creating, even in 2018!  We are so lucky to still have them out there, writing, recording and performing – and even communicating with us on occasion. That’s definitely worth celebrating!

Happy Duran Duran Appreciation Day, everyone! Have a wonderful day tomorrow!

-R

 

 

Mountain Winery, 2012 – were you there?

What were you doing on this date in 2012? Anything good? I do believe that some DD fans out there were lucky enough to be at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga, California! This was the first of two nights at the winery, and in fact they were the first US dates included in the final leg of shows on the All You Need is Now tour.

Let’s just take a quick look at the set list, shall we?

  1. Before the Rain
  2. Planet Earth
  3. A View to a Kill
  4. All You Need is Now
  5. Being Followed
  6. The Reflex
  7. Come Undone
  8. Is There Something I Should Know
  9. Girl Panic!
  10. The Man Who Stole a Leopard
  11. Notorious
  12. White Lines
  13. Ordinary World
  14. Hungry Like the Wolf
  15. Sunrise
  16. Wild Boys/Relax

Encore:

  1. Save a Prayer
  2. Rio

 

I hadn’t looked at this set list in quite a while. I must admit that I miss “All You Need is Now”, opening with “Before the Rain” (but not that 9-minute artsy film they played before they took the stage!), and even seeing the audience clap along with “The Man Who Stole a Leopard”.  Good times.

All of this talk about setlist makes me wonder what, when and where we’ll hear of Duranlive next!

-R

Sleep Train Amphitheater, Chula Vista California 2016

Just two years ago today, Amanda and I were headed south, to the Sleep Train Amphitheater in Chula Vista, California. It was our final show of the summer, on the road trip of all road trips. In fact, it was so long that we had to take a two-week break along the way, just to rest up!

That final show was fun, but as always, it all went by too quickly.  I remember getting there that afternoon and hanging out before the gates even opened (we were entirely too early). I don’t think either of us were ready for our tour to end. Bittersweet endings are just that, endings. It is difficult to push the thought that it’s the “last time” from my mind so that you can just live in the moment.

Last night, I saw another final show of a tour. The concert was Foreigner, and it was the final date on their “Jukebox Heroes” tour with Whitesnake and the Jason Bonham Led Zeppelin Experience. Yes my friends, when I’m not listening to Duran Duran, I will occasionally rock out to hair bands, metal, and classic rock, and I love every minute of it.

The concert was outstanding. I was able to check quite a few things off of my bucket list, and I really enjoyed the show. I mean, it was the closest I’ll likely get to seeing LZ live, and I relived my middle school years, most notably the school dances, in the process. “Stairway to Heaven”, “Here I go (Again)”, “Waiting”, “Urgent”, “Cold as Ice”…. I had a blast.

In between sets, I did a lot of people watching. I don’t know why I’m continually surprised when I see fans from other bands greet one another in the same way we do at shows, but I am. It’s as though I’m flabbergasted that other bands have as loyal of fanbases as Duran Duran. As we were walking in last night, I saw two girls scream in delight as a friend they knew ran up to join them. I heard them exclaim, “We didn’t know you were coming to this one!” All of them in Foreigner t-shirts from earlier tours, of course. This interaction seemed to happen again and again as we waited in line to get through security at the front of the venue, and then again while we were buying wine.

** As an aside, this was the first show I’d attended (or at least the first I’d noticed this as an option) where we could buy an entire bottle of wine and have it poured into a very handy plastic (BPA free) carafe for consumption in the stands. They had many different choices, and most of them were decent. I approve.

The one thing I kept noticing, and have been reflecting on today, was just how much the bands kept thanking their fans, talking about the wild journey they’d been on with them this tour. They called out people they recognized in front, and even in a small amphitheater of 12,000 people – it felt far more like family and friends than much else. I liked it.

I suppose that really isn’t a surprise, after all.

-R