They Came: They Saw: They Clicked
Some Browsers Bite Back

TO: Hey Web Man

Killer pages! My heartfelt congratulations. However there is one little factoid re the Becker birthday that your pals at Britannica forgot to lay on you:

Emerald "Beauty" Caissons

February 20, 1911 - February 20, 1980

New York, N.Y. - New York, N.Y.

Innovative jazz drummer known for his work with various ensembles of the 20's, 30's, and 40's, and in particular his stint with flugelhornist Chafe Pucker's All - Stars. Said to be one of the steadiest drummers of all time, he never played any breaks or fills - he "just kept rolling along". Choked to death on a Dexedrine spansule which was fatally impacted in his windpipe during a birthday celebration.

I hope you will find a way to include this information in your presentation. Keep up the good work.

Randall Gomes, Jr.

TO: "Webmistress"

Dear "Webmistress" -- or so my patient informs me is the proper form of address in this case,

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Clayton Dietz Jr. I am a licensed Couples Therapist practicing on Maui, in the state of Hawaii, and I am also a workshop-certified Gestalt Facilitator, trained in the practice of Dispute Mediation and Arbitration. I also run a Christ Body Building Seminar here twice a year, and formerly worked in the state of Oregon as a Psychic Tree Surgeon. However it is in my capacity as Facilitator and Dispute Mediator that I am reaching out to you, on behalf of my client, Mr Walter Becker of Pukalani, Hawaii.

I have worked with Mr Becker for some time and in recent months have noted a marked decline in his mental and physical wellness. He has engaged me in an attempt to resolve certain grievances he has with you, which grievances he correlates, rightly or wrongly, with his diminished peace of mind and the various sleep disorders which have plagued him recently. In my experience, the constellation of symptoms which Mr Becker presents is not usually the product of the doleful influence of any given friend or associate, and the additional circumstance that Mr Becker does not actually know you , has never met you in fact, leaves me less than sanguine about the chances of improving his situation via mediation between him and you. But I have agreed to attempt this reconciliation, it is what my patient wants and believes in, so I will give it a try. Please bear with me if you can, WebMs (if that is truly your name), perhaps you can help me set this unfortunate person straight. Remember always that I am a professional; and since you yourself are (or claim to be, which is much the same thing) a professional in matters of likely relevance to the present case, I believe you may be sympathetic to my desire to see my patient well and whole again.

Mr Becker's complaints against you, when stripped of whining and hyperbole, boil down to the following semi-substantive points:

1. That, on the internet pages you manage, which are purportedly dedicated to Steely Dan, you have consistently and shamelessly given preferential treatment to Mr Becker's partner Donald Fagen, showering him with praise, quoting him lavishly, highlighting his various achievements, etc. while neglecting Mr Becker, his prodigious efforts and abundant talents, particularly in regard to his solo album 11 Tracks of Whack which he frankly describes an an overlooked masterpiece.

2. That you have somehow damaged his relations with various e-mail friends and acquaintances, who no longer write to him, while at the same time you often respond inappropriately or not at all to his e-mail communications to you; that you often answer his lengthy and impassioned pleas to "do the right thing" with brief matter of fact notes of a few lines or less, often laced with cynical humoristic formulations composed at his expense; and that you often take as long as several hours to respond, if you do so at all. (Not being a computer operator or internet person myself, it is impossible for me to gauge the rationality of these complaints; but Mr Becker assures me that they are "right on" and reasonable in every way.)

3. That you have used the web pages you control as an occasion to mercilessly tease Mr Becker by hiding there various "easter eggs" which are designed to provoke and humiliate him (a very dangerous delusion of reference...the belief that one is being communicated with through hidden or obscure means) . You may be aware, via your familiarity with his published ouevre, that Mr Becker's callous insensitivity to the feelings of others is coupled with a greatly exaggerated sensitivity to any slight, real or imagined, to his own person, and you have evidently taken advantage of his hypervigilance by taunting him repeatedly, in many subtle and not-so-subtle ways, about the continued failure of his ability to create and/or manage a respectable Steely Dan Website "on his own", muttering almost constantly now that "I've always depended on the kindness of strangers". Do you recognize in this phrase any particular meaning that may help me access Mr. Becker's suffering core of wounded pride, and his somewhat shameful attraction to being humiliated by attractive (so he says) strangers (so he says) ?

4 .That you have deliberately omitted from your nativity listing certain illustrious individuals who share his birthday. Although I don't have time to research this question personally, my years of experience as a therapist and mediator tell me that this claim may well be unreasonable and without basis in fact.

5. Finally, that you and an associate known to Mr Becker as "aunt polly" or "polly sardine" (or is it "polly herring?" I'm not very clear on this) have been interfering with the operation of his MacIntosh computer, causing it to "lock up like a bastard" when he attempts to download material from his favorite newsgroups. (I'm somewhat dubious myself as to the technical feasibility of this, but nevertheless there it is.)

I am currently seeing Mr Becker 4 or 5 times a week, at a hotel in Kaanapali where he is holed up with his Powerbook and very little else. It is my fond hope to see him returned to the bosom of his family and to the solaces of his creative work as soon as possible. Webmistress. WebMs, whoever the hell you are, I implore you - please, let's not fuck with the pathetic mentations of this unhappy citizen any longer than is necessary. Can you, will you help me bring this guy In? I await your reply.


ps: please consider that this communication is of a private and personal nature and treat it as such. thanks cd jr.

pps: because of the way your pages are configured and because of my computer illiteracy (I peeked at the rest of this site at the home of a colleague - Mr Becker does not know this by the way, and I don't think we should tell him - and may I say I very much liked what I saw and read there) anyway, I was not able to figure out your real name and so must address you by your online 'handle', if that's what it's called. This 'handle', with its intriguing suggestion of possible psycho-iconic deviation on your part, may eventually become an obstacle to our efforts on my patient's behalf. From the perspective of fostering the therapeutic alliance between myself and you, the best course would be for you to tell me your actual name at your earliest convenience. I would like your phone number too, if that wouldn't be too much trouble. xox

TO: Most Honorable Professor and/or Connected American Person
FROM: yunohu@ohyikes.prc

I am szu se wah, 26 years of age. I am cruising the web now for approximately five months when I discover your site. It is devoted to the music of my favorite contemporary American musical group, Steely Dan! Awesome!

Have you ever been to China? You would like it as much as I do. Very great nation, very great people, and culture too. Many beautiful things here to see and enjoy. I am a student at a state university here in sechuan province, and also like you a life student of human dynamics, psychology, and diseases, with me also having minor of political science, alas. Say, can I come to you at your graduate program, or a program that you were in yourself? Can I come soon? Not to bring any pressures for sure - but if I can't come to your program, asap, I will instead be in prison for 30 years or else shot. Let me know by return mail.


TO:Faithful Steely Dan Web Assistant

October 15, 1996

Hey --

I was out on the town last night here in Tokyo and I ran into a couple of colleagues down at the famous Blue Note club in Aoyama. I grabbed this snap of YT and Steve Gadd after hearing him do the Tom Scott & L.A. Express set, thinking I would find a place for it somewhere online - but it doesn't really fit any of the current gags that we're running there, not being an art crime or Penko-powered, that I know of (hmm...) - and Steve not really being in the band - which is fine, I guess, neither is anybody else anymore, the tour is over now, ISN'T IT? -

Look, I did a search for a suitable home for this little snapshot, and I can say with some authority that if it doesn't belong on one of the pages on our site that you manage -- maybe the fan email pages -- it doesn't belong anywhere, in which case you may feel free to toss it into the trash; or else stash it in that little hall closet by the front door, the one that's full to overflowing with alcoa-lined astrakhans and reynolds'- wrapped chapeaux of every description, having been abandoned in your cyberparlor by what random webprowlers or disenfranchised psych puppies or otherwise alienated net noodlers that your charmingly nutty pages happens to draw in these days, I'm sure I wouldn't know -

yes, right, the tour is over, I am perhaps a bit overwrought, who wouldn't be - you know, finding oneself suddenly made redundant, let out to pasture in one's prime - but what's more important right now is that your phone is probably ringing off the hook, you have to go - but no matter, use the picture or don't use it, as you see fit, I don't mind either way. Why should I?

Walter B.

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