Discover more from Eric Zorn: The Picayune Sentinel
The Olympics: Circus stunts and picnic contests
and musings on local media
To read this issue in your browser, click on the headline above.
2-17-2022 (issue No. 23)
Just so. How many variations of the “Race you down the mountain!” or its variant, “Race you around the rink!” can we possibly watch before boredom sets in?
The other events — mostly contests involving the performance of astounding but otherwise useless “Hey, Ma, watch this!” acts of coordination, grace, bravery and skill typically enabled yet complicated by devices strapped to the feet — are diverting for a while but rarely compelling.
I mean no disrespect to the dedicated and highly skilled competitors who’ve been vying for medals much of the last fortnight. They are impressive. But the Olympic Games are bloated reality shows that combine circus acts with the sorts of random contests organized at picnics. The novelty is wearing off, much as the impresarios attempt to introduce us to new and more amazing aerial stunts. Those with an appetite for watching derring-do can have their fill any time given what’s available now on cable, satellite and YouTube.
I suspect that’s part of the reason that TV ratings for the Winter Olympics have been historically bad. Another might be boycotts of China’s efforts to put a happy face on their brutally repressive regime. And still another might be that viewers are starting to question the somewhat random quality of the sports and skills that are considered worthy of high-stakes competition.
Breakdancing will be an event in the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, which makes at least as much sense as rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline or diving. But why not ballroom dancing, which is ice dancing without the ice? Or tap? Why not parkour? Trapeze? Juggling? Tug of war? Lacrosse? Bocce? Roller skating? Tightrope? Bowling? Ultimate Frisbee?
Readers on Facebook nominated some of these events for future consideration, along with yo-yo, double Dutch jump roping, pickleball and balancing plates on sticks. Being the world’s best at any of these activities takes just as much time, talent and hard work as it takes to be the world’s best BMX freestyle bicycle rider or the best snowboarder, so why not?
Last week’s winning tweet
Scroll down to read this week’s nominees or click here to vote in the new poll.
George Will rips UIC School of Law a new one
I’ve given considerable attention in the Sentinel lately to the story of UIC law professor Jason Kilborn, whose travails with the administration began when he used a redacted form of a racial slur in an exam question in his Civil Procedure II class in December 2020. He’s undergoing diversity re-education and is still not back in the classroom.
Syndicated Washington Post columnist George Will tartly called UIC’s punishment of Kilborn “repulsive” in a piece posted Friday in which he placed the “prissy bullies” in the administrative ranks at UIC in the category of “progressive apparatchiks too uneducated to understand the adjective ‘Kafkaesque.’”
“It takes just a few pebbles to start an avalanche, and just a few flamboyantly brittle students to start an infection of indignation,” Will wrote. The bureaucratic “threat-discerners, diversity-planners, bias-detectors, sensitivity-promoters, sustainability-guarantors and other beneficiaries of today’s multibillion-dollar social justice industry are doing well during the nation’s supposed apocalypse.”
Meanwhile, in a Feb. 7 post at The Atlantic, staff writer Conor Friedersdorf wrote:
(UIC administrators) failed to distinguish between using nasty words in order to wound, profane, or disparage, and mentioning nasty words in order to teach about the problems they represent.
That difference—known as the “use-mention distinction” to educators still brave enough to teach it—is a key bulwark against anti-intellectual attacks on art, literature, philosophy, and more.
These recent acts of illiberal language policing––coinciding with a racial reckoning on the left and a backlash against its excesses on the right––threatens to degrade the education of all young people. Disregard for context or intent will serve students poorly. … Hateful sentiments worthy of our scorn can be conveyed via non-taboo diction. That’s why we should teach young people to direct their ire toward objectionable intent.
And though New York Times contributor John McWhorter, who is Black, didn’t mention Kilborn in his Feb 11 column, “The New N-Word Standard Isn’t Progress,” he touched on the same use-mention dichotomy:
It is a strange kind of antiracism that requires all of us to make believe that Black people cannot understand the simple distinction between an epithet and a citation of one. … The assumption that Black people are necessarily as insulted by the mention as by the use implies a considerable fragility on our part. An implication that I reject and resent. If all someone has to do to ruin your day is say a word — even in the process of decrying it — your claim on being a strong person becomes shaky. … I am mystified by how comfortable so many of us are in giving white people this power over us. …
I simply cannot believe that so many bright, confident people are meaningfully injured by hearing someone refer to a slur. … Hypersensitivity for its own sake is self-destructive. It exerts a drag on the momentum of engaging in actual political activism.
Of course this all bears on the recent summary firing of teacher Mary DeVoto at Mother McAuley High School for saying the toxic word in full when trying to emphasize the offensive nature of the former name of the Washington Commanders NFL team, about which I wrote at length last week. I’ve heard very little about that story in the last few days, though frequent Tribune op-ed contributor David McGrath penned an excellent essay for the Beverly Review headlined “History teacher deserves second chance.”
DeVoto, drawing on her more than 40 years in the classroom, employed one of the most reliable and effective methods in an instructor’s toolkit: an analogy. … The effect was dramatic and immediate, judging its near-instant appearance on social media, subsequently alerting McAuley’s Sisters of Mercy, who acted in knee-jerk fashion to fire an experienced teacher who seemed to have no intention other than to teach an important lesson. …
Based on DeVoto’s dismay and apologies after being fired, her use of the word was a gross verbal indiscretion, likely used out of exasperation from the aforementioned student cluelessness about the offensive nature of the Native American term and partly because of her assumption of pedagogical license.
What few would dispute, based on DeVoto’s instant regret and community support, is the absence of “malicious intent.” …
The speed with which McAuley administrators fired DeVoto seemed rash. They defended their decision by pointing to DeVoto’s further use of the term when she was called into the office, whereas DeVoto protested that she was just trying to be accurate by quoting herself in her recounting of the incident.
All of which may suggest that DeVoto, frankly, did not realize that a white person should never use the N-word, even in a strictly educational context.
Of course, her not knowing that fact is conceivable since psychologists, linguists, sociologists and educators still can’t seem to agree about its absolute impropriety, as evidenced by the ongoing debate in hundreds of newspapers, magazines and journals, from the New York Times and Psychology Today, to the Atlantic Monthly and the National Council of Teachers of English Journal.
That is another reason, perhaps, that the Sisters of Mercy might have shown a little mercy.
The Verge, Boing-Boing and other outlets are reporting that The New York Times has removed “wench,” “slave,” “lynch” and other words the Times deems “insensitive or offensive” from the the daily Wordle puzzle's list of acceptable guesses and solutions.
I’m OK with removing such words from the list of solutions (which has always been shorter than the list of acceptable guesses). Even though “slave” has other meanings and associations independent of our nation’s shameful history of chattel slavery, some might find it jarring to encounter the word as the solution to a puzzle that’s supposed to be fun.
But I balk at disallowing such words as guesses, which are often strategic attempts to locate the placement of letters in the actual solution. A player should be allowed to guess any word that appears in the Scrabble dictionary, and, not to get too dramatic about it, for the Times to prevent such guesses is a presumptuous form of attempted thought control.
Tribune contributing columnist David Greising, the president of the Better Government Association, scooped all of Chicago media on billionaire Ken Griffin’s announcement that he’s putting $20 million into the gubernatorial campaign of Republican hopeful Richard Irvin.
The big reveal in Greising’s column that posted Monday morning wasn’t exactly a shock. Insiders had long been speculating that implicit promises of major financial support from Griffin had inspired Aurora Mayor Irvin’s entry into the race Jan. 17. Still, it was a surprise to see the news broken in an op-ed essay that caught every newsroom in town flat-footed, including the Tribune’s newsroom.
The Tribune then raised an interesting point in its catch-up news story posted at 11:30 a.m. Monday:
In the (Better Government Association’s) 2020 nonprofit disclosure form, the most recent available, Griffin gave the group $100,000.
In an email, Greising, a former Tribune (staff) columnist, said Griffin’s lifetime contributions to the BGA total $375,000. He also noted Pritzker was a past donor, and that Mayor Lori Lightfoot, a Democrat, is a previous donor and past BGA board member.
“Going back to my time at the Tribune — when my columns sometimes would irritate board members and major advertisers — I have reported and written without allowing any non-journalistic influences to affect my work,” Greising wrote.
Yes, but it was all a little weird. Greising usually appears every other Friday, and this special Monday op-ed had no “op” — no opinion from the columnist — in it: “Ken Griffin explains why he is backing Richard Irvin for governor and the size of his campaign down payment” read like a straight news story, complete with counterpoints from Democrats.
I understand the lure of a scoop — even one that’s not particularly surprising — but Greising should have passed this one on to the Tribune newsroom given the complicating factor of Griffin’s financial support of the BGA. I consider Greising a person of integrity, but appearances matter. Writing this up as a column left him vulnerable to the charge that he went too easy on Griffin in the interview upon which his column was based by failing to ask such questions as:
Why are you funneling this story through the Better Government Association, which received significant financial support from you, instead of simply making a general announcement to the media?
Even though governors have very little to do with the administration of criminal justice, you defend Irvin’s law-and-order focus by saying crime control is based on a “tone from the top.” Can you point to examples of governors whose policies have reduced municipal crime rates?
If you’re so eager to shape policy in Illinois, why aren’t you running for governor yourself?
Griffin should have thought better of this, too.
The Chicago Reader is in turmoil.
The seeds of trouble for the city’s alternative weekly — see “Board stalemate imperils Chicago Reader,” “Flap over editorial control jeopardizes Chicago Reader's future,” “Board fight imperils Chicago Reader’s future” and “Some free advice to rescue the Chicago Reader” for deeper background — were planted when major investor Leonard Goodman started writing a column.
Goodman, a prominent local defense attorney, and Elzie Higginbottom, a real estate developer, bought the Reader from the Chicago Sun-Times for $1 in 2018, assumed its debts and invested more than $2 million in rescuing it. But allowing the co-owner to then “dabble as an opinion columnist” was a “singularly bad decision,” as Daily Herald media blogger Robert Feder put it.
Yes, there’s a long tradition of newspaper publishers and owners claiming space for their own views, circumventing the normal editorial decision-making process. But it’s a lousy tradition, one that threatens the integrity and independence of publications by putting editors into untenable positions.
Goodman and Higginbottom are heroes for rescuing the Reader, which has been a vital local institution for 50 years. But were it not for Goodman’s creditable largesse, the paper would not have given him a column and so would not have published his offering last November, “Vaxxing our kids: Why I’m not rushing to get my six-year-old the COVID-19 vaccine.”
The Sun-Times explained what happened next:
When staff raised concerns post-publication about whether statements in the column were accurate, (Reader co-publisher and president Tracy) Baim said she wanted it fact-checked, with a revision or editor’s note attached to it online, but Goodman objected. The column has been unchanged and is still posted on the Reader’s website. …
A resolution from the Goodman appointees (on the paper’s board of directors) reviewed by the Sun-Times accuses Baim of censorship in trying to get the column revised or deleted.
Crain’s Chicago Business added that the resolution demanded that the Reader “adopt a mission statement saying it ‘abhors censorship of any kind.’”
The portentous confusion here between “censorship” and “editing” is illustrative of the root of this problem. It’s not “censorship” when a editor declines to publish an article or column, removes unsupported claims and allegations, retracts a published piece or adds a clarifying note. It’s journalism. And wealthy owners need to be subjected to its dictates every bit as much as struggling freelancers, staff writers and veteran columnists.
Baim, who is well regarded in local media circles, has been leading an effort to move the Reader to nonprofit status. Crain’s reports this move was made “in hopes of achieving a more stable ownership structure and financial footing.”
But the flap over Goodman’s column, Feder wrote, “led Goodman and his allies to demand control of (the newly formed) nonprofit Reader Institute for Community Journalism and dump (Baim) as president and co-treasurer.”
Former Tribune Metro Editor Mark Jacob wrote in a Sun-Times opinion piece that “the real issue now is whether any nonprofit that emerges will be under Baim’s leadership or will be controlled by Goodman and his allies.”
Here’s hoping they can split the difference in ongoing negotiations, and that an amicable accord to save the Reader includes an understanding that publishers and owners should never, ever write columns.
Columnist Rex Huppke has left the Tribune for a gig at USA Today.
I wish Huppke all the best as he ascends to the national stage. His relentless, satirical pounding of MAGA nation was often gratifying and always well deserved. His early championing of gay rights brought credit to the paper, as did his annual charity fundraising drives. But my favorite Tribune column of his was “Dad said when you're gone, you're gone. He was wrong,” the very personal piece he wrote in 2017 after his father died. Here’s a bit of it:
Since the moment you took your final breath, you've somehow been more alive to me than I could imagine.
Everything has been vivid, moments in time leaping forth in high definition, filling my mind with scenes and sounds, tastes, smells and colors. …
I look at the old photos that my wife put on our dining room table, and I see it all. Us straddling the Continental Divide in Colorado. You on the floor with me, setting up a Lionel train set.
You're strong again, vibrant. I can feel you carrying me to my bedroom after I would pretend to fall asleep in the back of the car. I can see you standing in the sawdust-covered garage late at night, working at a wood lathe, lost in thought. ..
I'll miss the physical presence of the man who used to carry me, the man who taught me how to order a robustly chocolatey milkshake, the man of grand ideas, the man who, faults and all, was always there to cheer me on.
I left him in that Georgia hospital, tears pouring down my face. But I'll never say that man is gone.
Huppke’s departure leaves the Tribune without a locally based staff news columnist, a void that exists at many other papers owned by Alden Global Capital but one that will not serve the Trib well in its upcoming battle for market share with the combining Sun-Times/WBEZ news operation.
My unsolicited advice to my former paper is to fill that void. Take a chance on an ambitious young writer with an interesting turn of mind and passion for the city — William Lee comes immediately to mind, but you have others on staff who could also do the job well — and turn that writer loose on the scoundrels and scandals and human interest stories that surround us.
As for Huppke, he and I will exchange proper farewells at the next Antifa meeting. It’s his turn to bring the cupcakes.
News & views
News: A federal jury Monday convicted Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson, 11th, of two counts of lying to regulators and five counts of filing false federal income tax returns.
View: Would Patrick Smith Thompson, ordinary lawyer, have been dragged into federal court over failure to pay less than $16,000 in federal taxes?
Probably not. But Patrick Smith Thompson also probably would not have gotten the $219,000 in hinky “loans” from Washington Federal Bank for Savings that started all the trouble for Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson.
News: Pressure mounts for Mayor Lori Lightfoot to appoint an Asian American to fill Thompson’s seat on the City Council.
View: It would be political malpractice of the highest order for Lightfoot to appoint anyone other than an Asian American to represent a ward that is almost certain to be majority-Asian American when the next ward map is finalized.
News: Convicted cop killer says amnesia made him unfit to be tried.
View: Marcus Floyd was badly wounded in a shootout that followed his attempt along with three friends to rob off-duty Chicago police Officer Thomas Wortham IV in 2010.
Wortham was killed, and, as the Tribune reported:
Floyd was shot at multiple times and suffered what his attorneys described as “near-fatal trauma.” His lung collapsed, his kidney and liver were punctured, and he lost the majority of blood in his body. And he had two heart attacks in the hours after being shot. He was in a coma for almost two weeks afterward.
Floyd was convicted of first-degree murder and given a life sentence in 2015. But he’s back in court this week advancing the claim that his injuries caused such total amnesia that he was unable to participate in his own defense and therefore should not have been put on trial in the first place.
It’s an unusual claim and one that a jury should be able to consider when weighing the evidence and considering the alternative explanations during their deliberations. But the idea that amnesia or the claim thereof excuses a criminal act is ludicrous on its face.
A beautiful thought, beautifully expressed
Author and humorist P.J. O’Rourke died Tuesday at age 74, prompting NPR’s Peter Sagal to post to Twitter a condolence letter O’Rourke wrote him last summer after the death of his mother. Here’s a portion of it:
There is no feeling so emptying of our hearts, so undermining of our foundation as the loss of our mother. The other love in our lives is love we learned to know. The love of our mother is a love we had before we knew anything. A mother's death leaves us without the one piece in the puzzle of existence that we always thought we had in place.
I’ll take this opportunity to also pass along a quip of O'Rourke’s that I’ve always liked:
A hat should be taken off when you greet a lady and left off for the rest of your life. Nothing looks more stupid than a hat.
Land of Linkin’
Nieman Labs reminds us to cross Forbes off the list of magazine names we trust. It’s now “a platform for scams, grift and bad journalism.”
In Slate, Seaver Wang asks, “What will happen to the climate if nuclear energy opponents win?” Wang writes that as the climate crisis deepens, “Anti-nuclear movements continue to fixate upon concerns that do not have merit. Some nuclear opponents continue to express worries over safety, uranium mining, or the storage of spent fuel. Such anxieties are understandable, but they are based on misleading and outdated perceptions of nuclear technology.” Ever since I saw the documentary “Pandora’s Promise” in 2013, I’ve been taken with the idea that nuclear is the least bad way to stave off global disaster.
“Titanic With A Cat” is the Tik-Tok video you need right now.
Picayune Sentinel on the air: On Thursdays at 4:30 p.m., WCPT-AM 820 host Joan Esposito and I chat about ideas raised in the new issue. The listen-live link is here.
The Picayune Sentinel preview: Monday at 11:30 a.m. I’ll be talking with WGN-AM 720 host John Williams about what’s making news and likely to be grist for the PS mill. The WGN listen-live link is here.
Kids, this was how we got people to parties before Evite or email
This turned up during a recent deep dive into our basement filing cabinets. It’s the invitation to the last party that my roommate Gerry and I threw in 1985 before he moved out and my then-fiancée moved in.
Jens Z. — While trying to keep budgets under control, I called the Wall Street Journal to shut down the $38/month subscription into which I had fallen from a $4/month teaser rate. I asked to cancel, they responded with a $19/month "preferred subscriber" offer, which I declined. They then offered a re-up of my $4/month rate, which I accepted.
Way to go, Dad! I’ve never meant to imply that Tribune Publishing is an outlier in how it plays games with subscribers by making it difficult for them to learn what they’re paying and forcing them to call and challenge their subscription prices in order to get the actual best deal available. Publishers, cable companies, gym owners, airlines and hotels are among the concerns that play fast and loose with pricing, making it opaque, confusing and at times infuriating for those of us who are willing to pay fair prices but don’t want to feel ripped off when we realize our good faith is being exploited.
I know that some of my former colleagues at the Tribune feel I’m doing them a disservice by throwing a flag on the paper’s sneaky, even scammy subscription practices. Not that they champion such practices, but that the flim-flam is partially in the service of something good and something I continue to support — a stronger Chicago Tribune. After all, the more unsuspecting readers who can be tricked into paying $6 extra a month for so-called “premium issues” they don’t necessarily want and that the company refuses to talk about, the more the paper can pay reporters to cover the news (assuming they don’t just funnel the proceeds into executive compensation and hedge fund profits).
I do wrestle with the fact that any consumer action is likely to have negative downstream effects on innocent and hardworking employees first. But the premise of demands for transparency, honesty and fair dealing — hallmarks of journalism! — is that such qualities are most beneficial for all in the long run.
Mary Schmich shares a poem
My former colleague Mary Schmich posts column-like thoughts most Tuesdays on Facebook. Here is this week’s offering:
I have no original thought worth sharing today so instead I'm sharing a beautiful poem that a friend sent me a couple of weeks ago. It's by May Sarton, a poet whose name I'd heard though I'd never read her poems.
My friend said she and her sister, both of whom grew up in India, pick a poem to guide them every year. This is their poem for 2022. I imagine it speaks especially to women of a certain age, though my friend and her sister are quite a bit younger than I am, and I think there are men who will understand too.
Read “Now I Become Myself by May Sarton.
Pondering gender identity
The online dialogue between me and Joanie Rae Wimmer, a trans lawyer in Oak Park, is continuing here at ericzorn.com.
In the most recent exchange, I asked her:
What does it mean to identify as a particular gender anyway?
The vast majority of us who were born with male genitalia, given a name traditionally associated with boys, referred to as a boy, lumped in with boys and participated in traditionally boy/male activities have never given the matter much thought.
Is there a way of defining non-biological gender identity that doesn’t ultimately circle back to stereotypes and social expectations?
For instance, in your last letter you wrote “I was a very open and gentle child. I remember that, when I was five years old, I used to like playing dolls with my older sister and her friend,” and then you referenced wishing you’d gotten bird models for Christmas one year, like your sister did, instead of military toys.
These feelings violated culturally defined gender stereotypes that, if they weren’t entrenched, might not have caused you to question your own gender identity. Or? Do you think gender dysphoria is prompted or accelerated by social expectations?
Here is a portion of her reply:
Gender, apart from our physical bodies, is not entirely a social construct. On the average, men and women have somewhat different ways of feeling and relating to others and the world, and those differences are a part of what makes someone transgender. How could they not be? Human beings are complicated creatures with physical, emotional, social, sexual and spiritual characteristics which make up the "self."
So I would think that our gender identity has both physical as well as social and emotional components, and that the social and emotional components involve how we feel and relate to others and the world. … And that sense of self involves physical, sexual, emotional, social and perhaps other components.
When there is a discrepancy between the self one is and the sex/gender one is assigned at birth and that discrepancy causes clinically significant distress or impairment in important areas of functioning, then there is a problem.
On this week’s episode, Heather Cherone, Austin Berg, host John Williams and I discuss the tax fraud conviction of Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson, the decision Mayor Lori Lightfoot faces in naming Thompson’s successor, mask wars, Campaign 2022, Joe Rogan, Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva, how to pronounce the last name of Republican gubernatorial hopeful Gary Rabine and more.
Subscribe to us wherever you get your podcasts. Or bookmark this page. If you’re not a podcast listener, you can now hear an edited version of the show at 8 p.m. Saturday on WGN-AM 720.
This week’s nominees for Tweet of the Week:
My greatest fear is that I'll have on dirty underwear and the emergency first-responders will just leave me to die. I blame my mom for this. — @envydatropic
Chase your dreams. Follow them wherever they take you, no matter how far or how winding the roads. Never give up. Run red lights. Cross the median. Box your dreams in and force them down a dead-end street. Grab them while they try to scale a rusted chain link fence. This ends now. — @portmanteauface
If you give a man a fish, you are not great at fish sales. — @donni
I’m at the age where I recognize more songs playing on the grocery store intercom than I do the radio. — @Rollinintheseat
Hi, it’s me, a celebrity you really liked in 1997. If you remember me, our analysis has determined you’re at an age where you probably have savings, but do not yet have the investment experience to make you leery of financial cons. That’s why I’m here to talk to you about crypto. — @TheAndrewNadeau
As I breathe a ragged last breath, I manage to whisper, "Why?" My assassin kneels beside me and tapes a penny to my forehead. “It's been a while, but they didn't forget. Columbia House says hello.” — @kaichoyce
Celery: When you have that sudden urge to bite into water with hair in it — @nhojgem
My body is the result of thousands of pull ups. Pull up to the donut shop. Pull up to the drive-thru window. Pull up results for “nearest pizza buffet.” — @RickAaron
I have the lower back of someone who has led a much more active life. — @ejmichaels1
Babe, calm down. I don't think you heard me. They're magic beans. — @batkaren
You have to be of a certain age to understand the Columbia House tweet. The once ubiquitous mail-order record company that snagged customers with a come-on offer of a dozen albums for just one cent went into decline in the mid-1990s and filed for bankruptcy in 2015.
At a bluegrass and old-time jam session in Oak Park Saturday morning, my fiddler friend David Swain surprised and delighted me by calling “Argeers,” one I’ve never heard played at a traditional American jam. It’s a ‘50s tune, and by that I mean 1650s. The score was originally published in John Playford’s 1651 collection “The English Dancing Master” along with instructions for a dance of the same name. Historians believe “Argeers” is a misspelling of Algiers, the capital and largest city of the North African nation of Algeria.
Some of you have a passing familiarity with English Country Dancing based on ballroom sequences in films based on Jane Austen novels in which fancy people in their finery glide around the dance floor exchanging steamy glances and flirtatious asides. Social groups all over the U.S. and Europe host ECD evenings where everyday attire is suitable, callers remind you what to do and beginners are welcome. And though square and contra dancing involve more close physical interaction with other dancers, ECD, with its emphasis on eye contact, graceful movement and the careful exchange of weight, can actually be more intimate.
Here’s the dance and tune “Argeers.” The band is playing in Bb, but at the session we took the easy route and fiddled it in G.
Chicagoland English Country Dance is beginner-friendly and will have events in Oak Park, Evanston and Batavia again once the pandemic subsides. And who knows? Maybe ECD will be an Olympic event one of these days.
The Picayune Sentinel is a reader-supported publication. Simply subscribe to receive new posts each Thursday. To support my work, receive bonus issues most Tuesdays and join the commenting community, become a paid subscriber. Thanks for reading!