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If you have a PayPal account, you can save me the fees by sending money directly to my email address: . Thanks!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

When I started this blog in 2009, I had visions

of it gaining more and more readers, and this was true until 2014 or so.

In 2010, a typical article had less than 1,000 words and was not as sharp as recent ones. Although my writing and photography have improved, my readership has dwindled, unfortunately.

I don't know if my recent focus on individuals instead of places is responsible for this, or perhaps my analyses of race, Israel and false flags are making some readers uncomfortable.

Whatever it is, fewer people are visiting this blog, and the donations have dried up.

Out of curiosity, I went to James Howard Kunstler's Patreon page to find that he has 527 patrons who donate $3,145 a month. By comparison, I got no donation at all in August, not one.

You would not be wrong to conclude that my 13,400 words published in August are worth nothing. It is literally true. I must be dumber than Gimpel, Bashevis Singer's fool.

An Unz commenter brought home this fact:

I read your stuff because it’s hilarious. Shit, I live in Woodstock, NY, where people with your wild paranoid conspiracy theories are a dime a dozen.

They also particularly love one of your favorite pre-occupations… that some drunk in a bar in Newark or drug addict in Philly tells the story of the utter downfall of middle class life in the U.S.

Of course, this kind of conflicts with the reality of my life. Every member of my extended family is well educated and employed in quite a lucrative job or retired and living the Life of Reilly.

You’re broke and aimless and you like to write so much that you’re willing to live in poverty to do that, so that’s the proof that everything is shit.

On the positive side, this blog has survived for seven years thanks to readers' contributions, and a book will result from it. I fully believe that Postcards from the End of America will be my best and most relevant book. I haven't worked out the wording for the dedication, but it will be a thank you to blog readers who have backed this project.

Meanwhile, I will continue to slog along since I don't know no better. If for some perverse reason, you want to support my "hilarious" writing and photography, please use the PayPal button.

If you have a PayPal account, you can send money directly to me by using my email address This will save me the fees. If you prefer snail mail, here's my address:

Linh Dinh
1124 E. Passyunk Ave. #4
Philadelphia, PA 19147

Thank you!


* Thanks for a $25 from a new donor! I just emailed, "I'm going to keep going with the Obscured American series. I need to talk to more women, though, and younger people too. Usually, it takes a while to get people to open up to you, and my neighborhood bar is patronized almost exclusively by crusty old guys. I'll find the ladies and get their stories..."

* Thanks for a $10 contribution from a repeat donor in Seattle!

* Thanks for a $25 donation from Itasca, IL!

* Thanks for a $20 contribution from a repeat donor in Newnan, GA!

* Thanks for a $30 contribution from a repeat donor!

* Thanks for a $50 contribution from a repeat donor in Ann Arbor!

* Thanks for a $100 contribution from repeat donors in Turkey!

* Thanks for a $25AUD contribution from a repeat donor in Australia!

* Thanks for a $30 contribution from a new donor!

* Thanks for a $50 contribution from a repeat donor in Raleigh!

* Thanks for a $50 donation from Olympia, WA!

* Thanks for a $100 donation from Spain!



grimychaz said...

It's surprising you don't get more donations. Of course, the Dan Carlin's of the world make bank off donations, in addition to their huge ad revenue, but your posts appear on some well-trafficked websites! The content could certainly be the issue, but don't sell out - that would suck. To counter that comment from the yuppie in Woodstock: it's not that having bums and crackheads is necessarily indicative of societal collapse, it's that the behaviors and thought patterns that lead to becoming one are lauded in our society and even worse, helping people who are less fortunate is practically a crime anymore!

Eyepilot13 said...

Your words are better and more timely than ever... "I don't know if my recent focus on individuals instead of places is responsible for this, or perhaps my analyses of race, Israel and false flags are making some readers uncomfortable." NO (Don't stop) KEEP TELLING THE TRUTH!!! I am so sick of the MSM and everuone I know just doesn't get it... Those crazy motherfucking Gepo-engineered skies. It's ;like we live in some crazy-ass PsyOpMatrix. It's all so fake BurnyKillaryDrumpTerrorEbolaZika; all to create division and confusion! And I believe it all goes back... not to "Jews" but to Zionist Israel. Your latest pieces have been excellent. So put yer $$$ where yer mouth is then! Well lets's see after 25 years as a kick-ass highly successful teacher I've been put out to pasture (also helped along by F'd up kidneys!)by the businessModel dominated EducationIndustraialComplex: I believed kids should learn how to think stupid me! Instead of being dataPoints to boost test scores... I don't know what my future holds; but I will tell you this I'm writing and doing digitalArt for the first time in years I feel alive!

Linh Dinh said...

Hi grimychaz,

Those that I've profiled in my Obscured American series are mostly low-incomed because I myself am low-incomed. So what? They're just ordinary people.

I imagine that most people would be repulsed by the smug tone of that commenter.


destroytheuniverse said...

Eyepilot13 already said it all so I'll just send some money.
Yuppie from upstate is a loser - he has no inkling what a treasure Truth is.
He's a loser because he will never connect to such as you.

254 said...

I patronize and and your work appears there quite a lot. Instead of giving permission to reprint the articles in full, why not just a part of it and link the rest of the article to this blog? That way you'll get more traffick. Unless the two sites pay you for your work.

grimychaz said...

Hi Linh,

It's fascinating how people in the Obscured American series say things that tie in so nicely with your content. Do you let them ramble or do you ask questions too? What people need to understand is that, unless you're a part of the 3,000-5,000 families that run this terrestrial ball, you're an Obscured Citizen too, even if you make several hundred thousand US fiat toilet papers per year...

Linh Dinh said...

Hi 254,

None of these alternative websites pay, and I've published at Common Dreams, CounterPunch and Global Research also. Both Ron Unz and Lew Rockwell have given me money, however, but there's no payment per article. In February, for example, Ron sent me $1,000 to help me replace a camera stolen at the Berlin rail station. Ron Unz has treated me the best out of all editors. I'm a columnist on his site, and so can write about absolutely anything I want, without interference.

After maybe a hundred articles, Common Dreams cut me off abruptly, without any explanation, when it was time to reelect Obama. CounterPunch said they had enough of my Postcards. Smirking Chimp deleted an article that said all the presidential candidates (including Bernie Sanders) were not to be taken seriously. OpEd News took the same article off its front page.


Linh Dinh said...

Hi grimychaz,

I ask people basic questions about their upbringing, work history, marital or relationship history and political views. I've long found out that just about everyone is a natural story teller and composer of language. Once the interview is done, and it may take more than one session, everything needs to be rearranged to make a narrative, and not everything that's said is included in the end, obviously.

Most of these people do not read this blog, and have no idea what my politics is. Most of them don't care what I think, and that's good.

I find it amusing when a reader says I'm writing about "America's underbelly," for example, or that I'm "slumming." These people represent the majority in this country and they're also the types I've hung out with most of my adult life.


Linh Dinh said...

An update:

Two months ago, I wrote about Don, a retired building contractor who loved to hunt and fish. I found out a few days ago that Don had just died. As you can tell from the interview, Don was a sweet and gregarious man.

The last time we talked, Don said he’d look into going to Italy. He’d been to Mongolia and Korea but not Italy, his ancestral homeland.

I once had a long layover in Tokyo and never left the airport, and I'm annoyed about it to this day. If something's in front of you, then you should look at it. No shit.

Once I met an older couple near Presidio, Texas. Since Ojinaga, Mexico was just across the border, I suggested we go over together. I had already been to Ojinaga, I told them, and it's a pleasant little town. (Of course, it's also known as major narco trafficking point.) They said no. I couldn't understand why they would travel that far into the Texas desert, and that close to Mexico, and not cross over?

In March, I wrote about Manon, a bartender at Friendly who had gone to school to be a counselor. Well, she has found a counseling job, finally!


grimychaz said...

The beauty of your interviews is how comfortable people are sharing their thoughts with you and how unvarnished their comments are. I think when average people "say it out loud," either to themselves or in an intimate setting, we all more or less believe and perceive the same stuff about society and current events. What happens is, when we are sitting in some silly college course or around the water cooler at work, we have the tendency to become good little automatons. Who stands in front of the mirror and can honestly say aloud, "I think I'll vote for a psychopatchic, greedy war monger or a reality tv star with orange hair who invited the warmonger to his own wedding?" Very few people can do that I think...

hejiminy cricket said...

That rotten sonofabitch- don't believe it. When I have an extra buck I'll send it your way. Keep doing what you do. And thanks. said...

Linh, I enjoy the topics that get people animated. Just the word communist - for example - placed nicely in a great short piece, brings forth the comments. Then, once agitated, people post the way Pavlov's famous dogs responded to the food bell. The post count was huge on the 'Nam-commie piece, and ended up with a Jerry Springer like "blog-throw-down", where you had to restrain the insulting masturbator, and fans piled on with withering defense, with the concluding drama as you described the semi-stalkin' som'bitch.

Not to diminish the content within the original piece, but there are algorithms here, in that we know about people and behavior better than ever before perhaps, by learning from them with systems.

Real-time content captured by the google and broadcast far n' wide is a popular delicacy people devour on their digital keepers - whatever the blog. Type Linh Dinh into a search engine and you're fully erected as a Pew fellow, appearing at the top of the results. So you're popular as hell by that measure, maybe more popular than Foghat or other bands of the 70s.

The Google and its services like the gmail and the blogger were designed from the ground up as a massive survelliance system, also to psychologically profile every one of it's users. Presumably for benevolent reasons, but they could be "the commie" too, and most of what they do is fakeness (or virtually real) for ad revenue.

What might matter then, most of all, is what the herd is thinking or knows at any given time. That's valuable. Plus it gives people something to do too, something to get off on. Maybe like that Phantom Toolbooth tasking-ghoul all the kids read about in school back when.

Rudy said...

Yo, grimychaz and anyone else who's wondering,

"Do you let them ramble or do you ask questions too?"

Both. Linh asked me a few questions. I rambled most or the time, because he seemed interested. We had a few beers. All things considered, what friends do. It wasn't an interview; we just talked.



About Me

Born in Vietnam in 1963, I came to the US in 1975, and have also lived in Italy, England and Germany. I'm the author of a non-fiction book, Postcards from the End of America (2017), two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), six of poems, All Around What Empties Out (2003), American Tatts (2005), Borderless Bodies (2006), Jam Alerts (2007), Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (2009) and A Mere Rica (2017), and a novel, Love Like Hate (2010). I've been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, 2004, 2007, Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology (vol. 2) and Flash Fiction International: Very Short Stories From Around the World, etc. I'm also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013). My writing has been translated into Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Icelandic and Finnish, and I've been invited to read in London, Cambridge, Brighton, Paris, Berlin, Leipzig, Halle, Reykjavik, Toronto, Singapore and all over the US. I've also published widely in Vietnamese.