Chime In When I’m Talking To You

Think about what it takes to write articles on a regular
basis. Keep thinking.

Dear Reader,

Technology runs rampant in this article. Or not.

Johnny Technowhore/issueslut/all-around skank

Random stuff that was on my dome before getting to this week’s real article…

It seems like I haven’t made even the tiniest dent regarding Intentional Draws; there’s barely a ping in the armor of all things drawn on purpose (or on a porpoise). I could count the number of documented cases of "playing it out" on one hand – and I was two of those cases. How’s that for making an impact?

Well, at least I stated my views so rigorously that I will never be able to ID and get away with it, so I guess there was a point. Perhaps I will have to make it to The Tour and have insane success before people come ’round to my side. Or maybe that won’t even do it. Weird.

The really weird thing is that I have heard all of the arguments for IDing, and have yet to even utter the words "I guess I see your point"… And the really, really weird thing is that I can usually see someone’s point on just about any issue.

So, IDs continue en masse, although not for me.

Hi, my name’s John, and I like to handicap myself, nice to meet you.

Did you ever wonder why I bother?


It all comes down to luck? A guy has Rushing River, Recoil, and Repulse in his sealed deck. You know this because you saw all of those cards game one. You go turn two Shivan Zombie, turn three Maniacal Rage. Is that the right play? Or is it stupid?

If he has either of those three cards in his hand, you look like an idiot. If he doesn’t and your Zombie goes the distance, you look like a friggin’ pro. It all comes down to luck?

Ditto for a Dragon. You have all five Dragons, and reliable ways to cast all of them. Your first Dragon meets a Terminate. Your second meets Agonizing Demise. Your third finds itself on the receiving end of Ghitu Fire. Your fourth says "Hi, I’m a Dragon, and you are Mr. Death Bomb, I presume?" Your fifth finds itself being Recoiled when your hand is empty. You suck at Magic, right? Who loses with five Dragons?

Or, perhaps you just cast both Acolytes and Voice of All. You win that game with your opponent holding seven removal spells. You are awesome at Magic. Who beats a guy with seven removal spells?

When I first got online way back when, there used to be some neato convos (conversations, for the AOL chatroom-impaired readers) where one guy would say "My Academy deck is awesome," and another guy would simply say "Stone Rain." Or "My Living Death deck rulez," and the inevitable reply: "Um, Thran Foundry." This would go on for a very long time…

"Multani in multiplayer"; Wrath.
"Kyren Negotiations/Saproling Burst"; Urza’s Armor.
"Megrim/Windfall"; Disenchant.
"Turn two Masticore"; Eradicate.

Everyone looks like a friggin’ pro when they have the exact answer they need in their hand at the exact friggin’ moment they need it, don’t they? I even heard this one:

SexyPimp69: "My Type 1 deck has a 50% first turn kill."

LimpBizkitBiatch: "Oh yeah, what happens when I go first and go Swamp, Ritual, Ritual, Black Lotus, Mind Twist? Huh, tough guy?"

Or this:

Hi, my name’s Mike Turian, and I just cast Fact or Fiction and turned up Lobotomy x2, something, something, something.

Hi, my name’s Aaron Forsythe, and I have three Urza’s Rages in my hand at the moment, and it’s my only way to win this long, drawn-out game. Oh, wait, I get to lose automatically because you turned up Lobotomy x2.

Mike is awesome at Magic, and Aaron sucks. Right? Simply put: Aaron had his only game-winning condition in his hand when Mike found the only way to stop Aaron from winning.

Or this:

Hi, my name’s Scott Teamann, and I have Kavu Titan, Thornscape Familiar, Nomadic Elf in play, and another Kavu Titan in my hand, not to mention Aggressive Urge.

Hi, my name’s Rizzo, and I just cast Void and chose "two."

Rizzo is awesome and Teamann is not. Right? What should Scott do next game? Should he play as usual, dropping as many 2cc dudes as possible and try to beat me into oblivion? Or should he play around Void? Oh wait, he can’t play around Void. So, he wins every game that I can’t find a Void, and loses every game where I do find it. If I find Void, I win. If I don’t, Scott wins.

The saying "Sealed luck" might include Constructed. Or maybe not.

Tom Swan won Grand Prix: Boston. Tom Swan made, according to a few witnesses, a few errors, and pretty big ones at that. But maybe it was his day to win. Maybe when he made his boo-boos, his opponent couldn’t find the answer in the form of a card to punish those errors.

If Tom makes error after error and an opponent can’t take advantage of them, then he can just friggin’ win, despite playing poorly. Sometimes it just seems to go like that. And it’s weird, ain’t it?

You could have a deck with twenty CoPs, Voice of All, Worship, and
a Millstone. If every deck you face has no way to deal with a pro: your colors and Worship, you win. You shouldn’t be able to beat anyone, but you beat everyone. While that may be an extreme example, I’m quite sure that a few piles have won some major events. Weirdness indeed.

Sealed luck? Heck, how about plain ol’ luck in general? They don’t call it "Magic" for no reason, now do they? Then again, why do the same players put up good performances time and time again?


Grand Prix – Detroit will be the first "premiere" event that I have attended since becoming Mr. Feature Writer Dood, and I can’t help but put pressure on myself to do well. Isn’t that funny: Mr. I-suck-at-Magic putting pressure on himself to do well at a tourney full of pros, almost pros, and assorted better-than-me players?

I just hope I don’t have to play Dan Rowlands (I know there is no "s" at the end, but I put it there to remind me of Gena Rowlands, a very unsexy-yet-sexy chick actress from the late 70’s or so). If I beat him, it’s very likely that he will turn CCGPrime into a "Death to Rizzo" website o’ death and dismemberment, not to mention that he will make damn sure that I don’t advance in the Writer War.

It’s even worse if I beat Shawn Jackson. He’ll reserve a space in the Bottom Ten for me every week for the rest of his natural born life. Even if I quit writing, he’ll still give me a spot out of sheer malice:

Bottom Ten, week of 2/3 – 2/10, 2018:

#10: GP – Detroit Report, Friggin’ Rizzo: This makes the 864th consecutive week that Rizzo’s report has earned a spot as one of the Worst of The Net. Even though Rizzo has been retired for the last twelve years, I’m still mad, dammit!

What if I have to play Garrulous Gary Wise? Who will be the good guy? Oh, that’ll be easy; we’ll just root for whoever is louder and most annoying, which will be, um… Well, it might be Gary, but that Rizzo is oh so very annoying.

Side note: I figured out that if I go 17-0, and beat a bunch of guys who are rated 2000 or above, I could gain over 450 points, which would put my rating around 2200 or so. On your mark, get set, hold your breath…

I just hope that I don’t have to face off against a CMUer in round eight with day two on the line…

CMUer: If we ID, we both make day two, but the loser goes home.

Me: Torn between two lovers, feeling like a fool. Loving both of you is breaking all of the rules.

Well, I’ll cross that bridge if the early bird gets the worm as long as I look both ways before crossing and don’t take any wooden nickels.

Dear Grand Prix: Detroit,

I’m gonna kick yer ass. I hope.

Johnny rubber crutch in a hospital ward
P.S. – Pics to follow.

Psst, I’m taking two batteries and thirty floppy disks with me…

And The Ferrett thought eight pics from a PTQ was annoying? (YES — The Ferrett)


Magic usurps Bingo:

As intriguing as it would be to sit patiently across from Mildred, clad in her Seventies-era floral housecoat and chain smoking Newports, as she meticulously feeds cards to her Skirge Familiar while Soul Feasting with the shrewdness of Price-Waterhouse, I just don’t know.

Magic during the lunch break at the mill:

And it might be invigorating to adjust my d-20 to zero after Stush, sporting his lumberjack flannel and ratty Mack Trucks cap while he belches yet another tasty nugget of Iron City Beer, places a second Rancor on his Wild Dogs and beats me into oblivion, I just don’t know.

Magic takes over the Washington Press Corps:

While it may be thrilling to watch Senator Senatorman, aplomb in Brooks Brothers and smoking a Cuban, tippity-tap his Grim Monolith and Voltaic Key ad infinitum in preparation for the world’s biggest Stroke, I just don’t know.


If Magic ever makes it into mainstream society, is that a good thing or not? I’m not sure, but I doubt it.


-It’ll be The Ferrett and Anthony Alongi in the finals of CCGPrime’s Writer War. You saw it here first. (You’re wrong, dude — The Ferrett, not getting to the finals)

-How ballsy would it be to do a REAL review of 7th Edition, card by card?

-Is it just me, or does Alex Shvartsman seem to be paying too much for his cards?


-My latest Five-Color deck for no reason:


4x Llanowar Elves
4x Fyndhorn Elves
4x Skyshroud Elite
4x Pouncing Jaguar
4x Ghazban Ogre
4x Elvish Archers
4x Albino Troll
4x Nomadic Elf
4x Grizzly Bears
2x Mirri, Cat Warrior
3x Cradle Guard
4x Blastoderm
3x Jade Leech
4x Harrow
3x Overrun
1x Spike Weaver
1x Spike Feeder
1x Crop Rotation
1x Yavimaya Ancients
1x Multani, Maro-Sorcerer
1x Kaysa
1x Kavu Chameleon
1x Woodripper
1x Regrowth


4x Seal of Cleansing
4x Disenchant
4x Wax/Wane
3x Aura Shards
1x Academy Rector
1x Enlightened Tutor
1x Dismantling Blow


4x Fireball
4x Lightning Bolt
2x Urza’s Rage
2x Kaervek’s Torch
2x Furious Assault
1x Wheel of Fortune
1x Gravity Sphere
1x Gamble
1x Ghitu Fire


4x Contract From Below
4x Dark Triumph
3x Plague Wind
1x Cadaverous Bloom
1x Rhystic Tutor
1x Diabolic Intent
1x Vampiric Tutor
1x Juzam Djinn
1x Demonic Tutor
1x Forbidden Crypt
1x Forsaken Wastes
1x Urborg Shambler


4x Allied Strategies
4x Impulse
1x Morphling
1x Windfall
1x Time Walk
1x Ancestral Recall
1x Sunder
1x Tinker
1x Recall
1x Evacuation
1x Stroke of Genius
1x Time Spiral
1x Timetwister


4x Mox Diamond
3x Jeweled Bird
3x Tsabo’s Web
3x Chimeric Idol
3x Scroll Rack
1x Citanul Flute
1x Black Lotus
1x Mox Emerald
1x Sol Ring
1x Memory Jar
1x Grim Monolith
1x Zuran Orb
1x Temporal Aperature
1x Urza’s Blueprints


3x Each Dual land
2x Each Mirage Fetch land
2x Each Saga Cycling land
4x Thawing Glaciers
1x Maze of Ith
1x Gaea’s Cradle
6x Each Swamp, Plains, Mountain, Island
22x Forest
3x Coastal Tower for some reason that I forgot

# of cards: more than 250
# of minutes taken in thinking about deck construction: 9
# of minutes to actually find the cards and build the deck: 90

Wow, does that deck suck. Sometimes.

And now, for the real article…

RE: 7th Edition Review
CC: All StarCity readers

<preface following quotes with "heh," then delete it>

"…I wish I was also so popular that I could right [sic] utter bollocks and get paid for it…And Starcity wonders why it has a bad reputation…Stuff like this is what makes me want to disassociate myself from Starcity."
-A Net Writer Guy

"…I did not learn anything from this, and it looked like a seven year old wrote it, slapped his name on it, and tried to pass it off as his work."
-Another Net Writer Guy

"Get this guy fired because he doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about! One or two errors is fine, but an error for every card on the list… It pisses me off that you would let this be posted on your site!"
-A Net Reader Guy

"This article by John Friggin Rizzo about 7th ed card preview is a total garbage…Letting this kinds [sic] of article on your website really harms the reputation of your site as a magic [sic] info haven."
-Another Net Reader Guy

"i [sic] would just like 2 [sic] say that if youre [sic] going 2 [sic] review a new magic [sic] set, get some1 [sic] who actually know [sic] what the cards do or who knows a LITTLE bit about magic [sic]."
-Yet Another Net Reader Guy

(See other neato songs such as Prince’s "I would die 4 U" and
Sinead O’Conner’s "Nothing Compares 2 U" for further reference.)

"Did Rizzo get paid to write this ‘article’? If so, where do I sign up? If he got paid by the word, that’s even better; and I reiterate (literally), where where do do I I sign sign up up ? ? It It sure sure looks looks easy easy to to write write for StarCity StarCity ! !"
-Yet Another Net Reader Guy

Whoa! Rizzo wrote a crappy article! Stop the presses! The thing is, EVERY ONE of my articles is crappy to some people. And it’s rarely the same people who hate my stuff every week, although I do see some trends here and there.

Perhaps a few people didn’t see the absolute beauty in that article? Or maybe I just have a really weird sense of humor? Paint me sky blue and call me a friggin’ blue-assed monkey, but I thought that "review" was awesome. Who the hell would read the first two pages or so and think, "He didn’t really do this for the entire 350 cards, did he?" Everyone would. Everyone did. And I did, for another fifteen pages.

Here isn’t a reason why I did it:

I am currently in the process of going out of business here, chief. The gas man came and shut off – brace yourselves – the gas. Ford Motor Credit is pissed that I missed the last few payments on the company truck. The creditors are lining up en masse. I haven’t taken a paycheck in three months. I have to figure out how the heck to sell a seventy year-old building, pay retarded capital gains on the "profit," pay off said creditors, maybe bank twenty dollars if I’m lucky, and then, um, get a friggin’ job or something.

Then I get yelled at for writing a seventeen page "review" of 7th Edition?

Somehow, I don’t think subject matter criticism is at the top of the Hierarchy Of Things To Worry About.dec, even if some people think
every article I write should be balls-to-the-wall-dead-on issues, or once in a while, secret CMU technology.

Here is a reason that I wrote it:

But what is up near the tippity-top of said Hierarchy is the need for more voices, including the vapid ones. And that’s one thing I Worry About.dec. (aside from my, um, entire bleak-ass future)

<insert "But I digress" here, then delete it>

<insert "FrigginRizzo: <—" here, then delete it>

<insert movie quote here, then delete it>

<insert "dear whomever" letter here, then delete it>

<insert chintzy contest here, then delete it>

<insert white space here, then delete it>

<insert ID and Net Deck rants here, then delete them>

<insert some tournament pictures here, then delete them>

<insert "Bad times for Becky" here, then delete it, then restore it, because Thine Namesake has given her seal of approval>

All righty, all out of gimmicks. Here comes the meat…

While I can’t say that I wholeheartedly agree with the old adage "Don’t vote? Don’t bitch!" I think that a little "Don’t write? Don’t bitch!" inference would be appropriate right about now – unless of course, it’s inappropriate or something. Okay, that was fun for a day…

Most of the flame-like mail I received came from people that have never written a Magic article on The Net, and the current trend of bashing the state of Net articles seems to be all the rage at the moment…

Is there a connection?

How about this…

Shut the hell up, getupoffadatthang, and write something, dammit. Or stop talking and start chalking. Or shut up and deal!

(Here we go again…)

Not a "shut up when I’m talking to you," but more so a "chime in when I’m talking to you." And I am talking to you.

I enjoy the living piss out of getting emails from readers that take the time out of their lives to drop me a line, even the ones that don’t agree with me (actually, especially the ones that don’t agree with me). I also sho ’nuff like getting the chance to change the Magic World zero people at a time, but those aren’t the only reasons I write – I feel it’s my obligation to write. Sounds conceited? Well, it’s your obligation, too; many of you don’t see it that way, though.

No Net writer enjoys dialogues with readers more than I do. And no Magic player enjoys the game more than I do. Those statements are factual; take ’em to the bank, but don’t get there too early – I think they open at ten or so. How is this relevant? Um, how is it not?

Every Net writer enjoys the game, and most really enjoy writing about it, but there aren’t enough who take the time (and have a spellchecker) to write articles. That leaves us with a retarded ratio of Magic players to readers. CCGPrime found 96 writers to put in their War of the Internet Writers fight-to-the-death; nine-ty-six. They may have been able to round up another hundred or so if they included regular submissionists and others who write infrequently, but they found 96 who contribute on a regular basis. Nine-ty-six out of millions of players.

They contribute articles to those in the community that read The Net. They are also players, just like you. But they go a step further (and ignore the "I write because I like the attention" aspect – even if it is relevant in some cases); they put themselves on the line. Now, writing about a pet deck or offering a review or some local tech is not exactly the kind of thing that will make the Ayatollah put a price on your head… But it is time-consuming, and it can be – Gasp! – demanding WORK. They do it for themselves a little. They do it for the community, mostly. The community is you.

And they’re talking to you.

I do it because I enjoy it (mostly), and as a way to force my agenda down your throats (maybe I’m being sarcastic – maybe I’m not), and because I know that I enjoy reading other people’s articles, even the bad stuff. And I bet you do too. Given a choice between fifty articles that suck or one great one, I’ll take the fifty, chief, and you might, too. There is usually something that can be taken from any article, good or bad, not to mention that someone took the time to write down stuff and offer it to their community.

Think about what it takes to write articles on a regular basis. Keep thinking.

Think about guys like Sean McKeown, who has a very strong following, but likely has a few detractors that love to classify all his work as pure crap. Does Sean care? While he sometimes comes across as arrogant, he most certainly does care. He’s sharing his Magic with us, fully aware that there will be those who will put his stuff in their crosshairs and fire away.

Most of Sean’s readers: Good article, chief. I liked the way that you presented "thing x" and also believe that you are right about "thing y." Keep up the good work. (Heck, I even wrote him one like that, and he doesn’t even like me. In fact, he dissed me pretty hard in one of said articles. Did it bother me? A little. But not enough to dismiss his contribution to the community. In other words, I still want to hear his story, even if he no longer numbers me a contributing member of his community.)

A few of Sean’s readers: You suck. At Magic. And writing. And life. You never won anything, why should I care about you or your stupid decks? And quit the friggin’ song lyrics!

Sean has an analytical mind, one which I thought was devoid of much humor until I read his Halloween Bodyswap. That was a chance for Sean to let his hair down and bring it. And he did. What this told me was that, while Sean can turn off some readers simply by being himself, there is more to Sean than analysis. I know I learned a little from that article, and I bet some of you also saw a side of Sean that isn’t normally visible.

And he’s talking to you.

Think about guys like Theron Martin, who also has a strong following, and takes stupid amounts of time analyzing the metagame that many enjoy, but a few probably skip right past. I’ve heard his stuff called "crap" and a few other scatologically-related terms, but I’ve always found it to be interesting. And I bet a number of you have, too.

Think about how much time he spends analyzing data; think about how much he must care about Magic. Then ask yourself if you care that much. I bet you do. He’s telling his story about his Magic and asking you to take the time to listen.

When I finally met (and played) Theron in Columbus, I didn’t see the guy who reads every tournament report searching for Top Eight results. I saw another member of our community. One that has his own story to tell, and I am eager to listen.

Most of Theron’s readers: Good article, chief. I appreciate your massive undertaking of condensing the metagame into bite-sized pieces, and it might make my decision as to what I play next week a little easier. Keep up the good work.

A few of Theron’s readers: You suck. You won States. Whatever. Why should I care what you say? Just because you read a lot of tourney reports doesn’t mean you know anything.

Love his metagame stuff or hate it, he’s simply doing what he feels is his part; he’s telling his story of Magic and asking you to check it out.

He’s telling his story to you.

Think about guys like Anthony Alongi, who has a massive following among casual players and pros alike, but likely hears this once in a while:

"You suck. Who cares about friggin’ Theo? Tip: get good at Magic, then I’ll care about your Multiplayer Hall of Fame."

Or Tony Boydell:

"What the hell is wrong with you, you goofy Brit?"

(Of course, even his fans write him stuff like that.)

Or The Ferrett:

"Ooh, you Q’d in a room full of Alaskans. You suck anyway and you’re a cheater and you suck as an editor."

Or Mike Mason, Will Rieffer, Israel Marques, Carl Jarrell, Jon Chabot, Dave "Super Mad On Guy" Meeson, JMS, Mary Van Tyne, Dave Meddish, Joshua Claytor, Vasco Da Gama, Michael Granaas, and Shawn Jackson:

"You suck at Magic. Who cares about your decks or tech? Tip: win something, then maybe I’ll care, but I doubt it."

Each of the above writers has taken the time to write articles and put their name on them. Most include an email address, which means "tell me stuff about my articles or other assorted things, because I want to know what you think."

Why do they care what you think? Because you are a part of their community; this community made up of virtually every conceivable segment of society that shares at least one common bond: Magic.

And they’re talking to you.

They want to feel like they are making a dent, a difference, in their Magic Community.

Even the much-maligned Deranged to the Diggitty Dad is talking to you. Dad writes about White Weenie and gets yelled at. Dad writes about Fires and gets yelled at. Dad writes about trades or foils and gets yelled at. Dad writes about a lot of stuff and gets yelled at. Hey, can anyone tell me what the key phrase is all up in there?

"Dad writes."

That’s more than most of you can say.

And he’s talking to you.

He’s telling you about his Magic. He’s offering you a completely different perspective on what this game means to him and the offshoots and situations that come up in his Magic life. I read his stuff and am amazed that he continuously writes about stuff that I have absolutely no interest in. And this intrigues me to no end.

The thing is that I am actually starting to look forward to his articles, even though I know that the subject matter will not compel me in the slightest manner. Get that? He writes about stuff that I will likely never care about, yet it’s a side of Magic that, while amazingly irrelevant to me, makes me want more. Because it’s yet another side of Magic that I have no idea about; it’s one more person contributing his story to the community, and even if it doesn’t seem to have any direct impact on me, it does. Because it’s my Magic Community, too.

He’s talking to me. And I’m listening. Because I want to hear his story, even if (especially if?) it seems like a completely different Magic World than I live in.

He’s talking to us.

And so are a lot of other people. Still, the number of voices is embarrassingly low.

You read their stuff, sometimes you write them mail, but mostly you don’t. Most of the time you just breeze through it and begin anew your quest to read about this game that you enjoy so much. Maybe you learn something that will help you at your next tournament, or even your next game at the kitchen table. Maybe you don’t. But you read their stuff. They are here every week, religiously in most cases, offering their part to the Magic community. Sometimes it gets linked by Meridian, sometimes not. Sometimes they write great articles, sometimes not. But they write.

Many of them have jobs, significant others, eggs, and other random time constraints, but they write. They manage to juggle time in order to get their next article to The Ferrett, so he can get out the Red Pen Of Properness and post it directly to the Magic Community.

Directly to you.

Dear Magic Community,


Net Writers (edited by The Ferrett and other editor-type doods)

Call it doing their part, an ego trip, or a waste of bandwidth, but call it what it really is: a contribution to the community; their stories.

And they’re telling their stories to you.

You play Magic, buy cards, hang out with friends, heck, make new friends; that’s your part, right? Do more. Write about what you take part in. Write about what the game means to you. Write about your decks. Write about someone else’s decks. Do more than Wizards asks you. Take what this game offers you and squish it around in your mind and spit something back out. Then write it down and send
it in.

Many people thought my review of 7th Edition was a total waste of – um, everything that CAN be wasted – and some wrote to tell me just that. Hey, I wrote it expecting a little flame here and there and was fully prepared to take whatever resulted from such a "wasteful" article. I’m glad that some of you decided to come correct with the pissed-off-ness. That means that you care about what makes it to the front page; enough to fire off an email to myself or The Ferrett. And I’m glad that you do care. But care more. Care enough to put your ass on the line (or the byline, as seems more apropos).

Yeah, I’m talking to you, you guys that care about what makes the front page of a Magic site.

I do care when people take the time to write me less-than-complimentary mail but not the time to write an article or two. I’m not really saying "Put Up or Shut Up, " because I do realize that many of you don’t fancy yourselves the writer type, but, um… Put Up or Shut Up. Well, you don’t have to Shut Up, but you should Put Up on general principle.

Accept or reject what I offer, or Put Up and offer an alternative.

If you enjoy this game enough to bark at me, enjoy it enough to share your experience with everyone else. Yeah, you could make Shawn’s Bottom Ten, and may even get your own "you suck" emails – but so what? This is a community that craves input from every possible source, and you are an untapped resource; quit being those oil reserves in Alaska and ante up, chief. Don’t wait for a rainy day – do it today. Open up Word and then open yourself up. Basically…

If you think you can do better than me, friggin’ do it.
If you think you can do worse than me, friggin’ do it.
If you think you can do it at all, friggin’ do it.

Even if you think you can’t, do it anyway. Even if you don’t want to, do it anyway. Even if you don’t care, do it anyway. You owe it to us: the players, the writers, the community. Bombard The Ferrett with a stupid amount of submissions – that’ll get his goat but good. Well, maybe not, but it’ll bury him in text, and as much as it will strain his already strained life, he’ll edit it with a smile. Or he’ll just edit it.

This is the goal: lotsa articles in The Ferrett inbox. Hella lotsa articles in The Ferrett inbox. Or hella lotsa articles in Scott Johns‘ or Hogan Long’s (or whomever is the editor at Neutral Ground) or New Wave’s or CCGPrime’s Dan Rowland’s or Brainburst’s or MTGPlanet’s or Pojo Magic’s or Card Shark’s or Mag2’s collective inboxes.

Sean McKeown writes. Theron Martin writes. Anthony Alongi writes. Tony Boydell writes. The Ferrett writes. They tell you their stories. Why don’t you tell them yours? Think they wouldn’t care? Maybe they wouldn’t, but someone would. Someone in your community would.

You tell me my article sucked? Then you write something better. Or just write something. Twenty (reasonable number?) of you write an article and send it to The Ferrett this week. Yeah, I triple dog dare ya. Or just consider it me asking you to. Bitch and moan all you want, but until you’ve walked the walk, your voice is going to trail off into the abyss of "shoulda, coulda, woulda."

"If ‘ands’ and ‘buts’ were candy and nuts…"
-Papa Rizzo. No relation to Papa Roach.

"What a crappy article that wasted my time."

Well, chief, there was a point, and there were some laughs to be had if you slackened your tie, took off your wing-tips, and just read. There was a point, but many of you bit off said point like it was Evander’s ear, and cared not for the aftertaste.

Here’s the point for those of you in the cheap seats:

Who gives a [edit]? (rhetorical question)

That was the point. And I received a few answers to a rhetorical question that had many times been answered. The answer to the question "Who gives a [edit]?" was a resounding


You say you do give a [edit]? Step up to the plate, chief, and prove it. Tell us what you care about and why. Tell us your story.

Oh, you went to a tournament last weekend? Write a report. You and your boyz came up with a neat combo? Tell us. Something cool happened at the shop? Let brothers know. And if Shawn places you in the coveted number one with a bullet spot in the Bottom Ten, so what?

(Technology side alert: when shooting the breeze with Shawn at a tourney and asking "who’s number one this week?" and hearing the answer "you probably are," talk him out of it. Now that is pure, unadulterated technology. Because who gives a [edit]?)

I’ve said it before, and it’s likely that I’ll say it again: WRITE. About our game – about your game. Wanna take, gotsta give. Or something.

Today (some random Wednesday), there were a total of three new articles on Star City. Now we have fifteen to twenty weekly Feature Doods, and another five to ten who write once or twice per month, but that isn’t enough, obviously. That means that a) the Feature Doods need to write more than once a week, b) the once or twice per month Doods need to step it up, or c) you fill in the blanks.

Psst – the answer is "c."

Since the last time I put out a call to arms, I have noticed a few (read: like a bunch) of new writers cropping up from the woodwork, and a couple have even written me letting me know that I pushed them into the depraved, but oftentimes rewarding (or maddening) world of The Magic Net Writer. That’s a heck of a compliment, but I’ll take it even if it they are likely full o’ crap and pulling at least one of my legs.

Still, consider this another call to arms. Answer it and you might not have to pore through my 8th Edition Review because there will be so much material to choose from that "crap" like that would never see the light of day.

If you are sitting there wondering "does he mean me?" be assured that, yeah… I’m talking directly to you. Rather than answer that with anger or indifference, answer it with an article.

Prove me wrong. Prove us wrong. Or right, I forget… But prove something.

John Friggin’ Rizzo