Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Co-star


The woman pictured above was my first passenger last night.

Actually, she was my only passenger last night.

And, actually, it was all totally staged. Do you recognize her? In case you don't, she's an actress and her name is Tilda Swinton. I was recruited a few weeks back to play her cabbie as part of a project by artist Doug Aitken. He's working on a bunch of film scenes that will be projected on the facade of the Museum of Modern Art this January.

Last night was a little piece of the project and I was happy to participate, even though I don't think my presence will be too prominent in the end. Still, hopefully I'll be able to see myself on the MoMA walls it when it's all finished. There will also be a companion book that will feature, among other things, an interview with me.

Anyway, it was a totally new and fascinating experience, despite the initial waiting around that, I gathered, is the norm for any kind of film shoot. I showed up just before 3:00 pm and just sort of hung around for an hour or so while the crew got everything ready. Then Tilda pretended to hail me and I pretended to pick her up a few times. After that, the cab was rigged onto a trailer and we "drove" around the upper west side and Times Square.



I think that was my favorite part: Riding around a foot above the normal height pretending to drive a cab. It's far better than actually driving a cab. I was struck by how many people on the street gaped and gawked at us, took pictures, and yelled stupid comments. I'm so used to being sort of invisible in the cab, so this was utterly strange to me.

At one point, when we were passing FlashDancers, the Gentleman's Club, one of the doormen there called out, "A lady cab driver? Now I really don't believe it! There are no lady cab drivers in New York!"

Under normal circumstances I might have given him the finger, but I decided to hold off on that this time. The stupidest part of this guy's comment, though, was that I actually met him in my cab not too long ago. When a cab drops off its breast-hungry schmucks at FlashDancers, the doorman usually hands the driver an envelope containing a three dollar "tip," a letter written in every conceivable language encouraging cabbies to continue dropping off at this particular strip club, and a voucher or two for free entry to the club that we can give to our "favorite passengers." This very doorman, who couldn't believe a "lady cab driver" existed, had himself handed me this little package not too long ago. Clearly he has a short memory.

Overall, the night was a lot of fun. The lights were pretty, the not-actually-having-to-drive was wonderful, the people were all really great, and I think the project is going to look incredibly cool when it's finished.


At the end of the night, the director and his cast posed together for a picture.

Now I know what my next career move needs to be: Professional Fake Cab Driver.

113 comments:

Bullfrog said...

I actually saw you on the UWS last night. I was thinking to myself "Who's the actress in the backseat? And I wonder if the taxi driver is from New York Hack?" Now I know.

Mad Cabbie said...

Hollywood here comes Melisa!

Anonymous said...

That's pretty damn cool, MP. You should have flipped off that doorman anyway, give the shoot that "authentic NY feel." Shoot footage will probably end up on your E! True Hollywood Story in a few years.
-Ed from SE Texas

Anonymous said...

MP, your next stop --> Hollywood :-)

~*~ D ~*~ said...

That is fantastic! From Hack to author to actress, I can see it now!!!
Congrats!!!!!!!

itsybitsygod said...

YOU GOT TO MEET TILDA SWINTON!!!
I'm not a crazed fan or anything, but that's f-ing huge!
contrats congrats congrats!!!

Anonymous said...

No...Tilda Swinton got to meet MP!

Daniel said...

Yay, MP: you've been a star for all of us a long time and now the art world is finally catching up!

Anonymous said...

Too cool, not as cool as your book. Tilda isn't a bad celeb to have in your cab and men are stupid.

Steve B said...

Does Tilda ever Smile? I would have liked to be in your place that night. She was great in Contistine (sp, it would have been great to be able to tell her that.

Anonymous said...

First the blog, then the book, and now the movies. You're like a total superstar.

Dana said...

MP, Good things are happening! Have fun and enjoy!

Peace

Velvet Sea said...

nice. did you just leave the meter running the whole time?

Pat T Hat said...

Way groovy! Ain't no such thing as too much fun!!! Tell you what...I have a sixteen foot car trailer. Just give a holler and I'll come up to NY and give you and your cab a ride wherever you want to go:)!

Anonymous said...

Hmm. I did recognize her. I was surprised when I went to the link to discover she did NOT play the Borg Queen in Star Trek as well. She and the actress that did look a lot alike.

Fun for you!

Anonymous said...

Only three dollars for dropping off a client at a strip club!!!

Here in Vegas the cab drivers get $40.00 a head.

You NY cab drivers need to boycott.

Chez Bez said...

Awesome story.

And I love those little envelopes. I collect those in my line of work too.

Chris said...

VERY cool!

APOO said...

you look like the big star amongst those 3

Anonymous said...

Is it too much if I say (sincerely) that Tilda Swinton is no plain Jane, but you were much prettier in that pic?

Nicole said...

Fun! I think it's awesome that they chose a female cabbie for the shoot... and of course, that the female cabbie they chose was you!

I love the picture too. The look on your face captures the mood you write about perfectly.

Anonymous said...

I hope you got paid!

lugosi said...

I was watching some movie recently, and one of the characters took several cabs, randomly hailed on the street. Thing is, every one of them was the same cab number!

LookinginmyRearviewMirror said...

You know what I like about you? You are honest, open and you "experience life" to the fullest. This is why you are handed opportunity after opportunity! Because you are a true person. Nothing fake about Melissa, nope, not at all. Just love your blog and am one of your fans.

Blessings,

Lue

Anonymous said...

Way to go, MP!!! Wow, next stop - hollywood!!!

rosa said...

oh i officially hate you.
you got to drive tilda swinton around.
gahh, what i'd do for that!!

(but seriously, way to go!!)

the lone beader said...

That is so exciting!! You are taking the art of cab driving to a whole new level. LOL Congratulations!!!

BAF said...

Good things happen to great people...where to now?

DS said...

pretty cool! MOMA got to love that

george the atheist said...

Melissa, you are a pissa!

P.S. I don't give a shit about Tilda Swinton.

Drunken Master said...

The last involving a taxi movie really sucked. Bet your book will redeem the profession. That along with your impending movie-star + art-crowd-favourite status.

Awesome!

Anonymous said...

Wow, you are so pretty.

caramaena said...

Professional Fake Cab Driver would be an awesome thing to have on the old resume!

San Francisco Taxi Driver said...

Hey, you know what? The picture of your cab shows a "shark fin" antenna at the rear of the roof. Some of the cabs I drive here in the Citry have two of those and a big aluminum case bolted inside the trunk. I haven't been able to get an answer as to what they are for. Can you tell me?

CharterJames said...

Very cool!

Talk about "on a roll"!

San Francisco Taxi Driver said...

Oh yeah. I forgot! Only a $3 tip? Here in San Francisco we get $5 per head from the world famous Mitchell Brothers' O'Farell Theatre. Cabs are literally triple parked on O'Farell St. during peak times as drivers run in to collect their kickback. The Municipal Railway had to move a bus stop because of the cabs...

Anonymous said...

Looks like I will be reneweing my MOMA membership after all!!!!

Nick said...

You're very pretty.

inkyhack said...

Sounds like you had a fun time.

Little bit of taxi movie trivia: for the film Taxi Driver, Robert DeNiro not only got his hack license in New York and actually drove a cab for about six months to get a feel for the job, he actually drove the cab in the movie. Every scene in the film where he is driving - he's actually driving. No trailer or anything like that.

Woman Seeking said...

How very cool...I can't wait to see you at MoMA!

Anonymous said...

I *worship* Tilda Swinton. She's amazing. But I also worship New York Hack! :)

Anonymous said...

I love Tilda Swanson! In a film club on New York Simpatico- Simpatico.NewYork.com
someone suggested the film Young Adam with Ewan McGregor. I am renting it tonight.

CABBIESREADTHIS said...

Hey Melissa ,

You are nothing but a sellout who used the medallion cab industry as a platform to help your media background . You may fool some of us but not me you swine !! I'll bet in a couple of years you bad mouth the industry that has paid your rent !! Go make movies or whatever it is you do , it certainly isn't being a cabbie and it definitely is not benefitting the cab industry . You are full of shit and I hope you wind up working at Flashdancers , at least they are honest about what they do !!! You have been, and are nothing more than a journalist in cabbie clothes trying to make money off the whole taxicab confession crap !! LOSER !!

MJ06 said...

Thats so cool. I would like to do that.

Anonymous said...

To the jackass named cabbiesreadthis: Have you looked in the mirror lately? It must really suck going through life being so jealous of another's good fortune. I asked this before...are you on drugs?

Anonymous said...

To the jackass named cabbiesreadthis: Have you looked in the mirror lately? It must really suck going through life being so jealous of another's good fortune. I asked this before...are you on drugs?

Elizabeth said...

cabbiesreadthis -- Chill, Buddy! Hope I never get in your cab 'cause you sound like a total asshole. Take a valium and try to get a little nicer, dude.

Anonymous said...

full

Anonymous said...

of

Anonymous said...

yourself

Bob Mergaert said...

MP, Love the blog, can't wait for your book, hope you go on to achieve everything you could ever hope for. Cabbiesreadthis, someone paying you to write stupid shit? If so you'll get rich!
Bob. (X Las Vegas Cabbie)

EverJack1 said...

Loved this post, Melissa, even though I'm sorry to admit that I haven't seen Tilda in anything. She's a striking lady.

You should've given the doorman the finger. They might have gotten it on camera. Rofl!

EverJack1

Lexa Rosean said...

way cool!

Author!Author!

Anonymous said...

Hey, can I get that FlashDancers voucher from you?

Seriously, though, in response to cabbiesreadthis:

I'll bet in a couple of years you bad mouth the industry...

She does that already on this blog! You must be a medallion owner if you're a New Yorker. Cab drivers in this town aren't making enough money to want to defend the industry.

...I hope you wind up working at Flashdancers , at least they are honest about what they do !!!

Oh yeah, strippers are honest. They pretend that they're getting turned on by the customers and when they're not on stage or giving lapdances they rip the customers to shreds.

tamiwriter said...

Wow. Tilda Swinton has such a haunting gaze. What a fabulously talented actor, though. She's one of those red-headed gems like Patricia Clarkson who should get more press for their talent. Anyway, great to see you having a good night. One without genitals or middle digits waving at you.

CABBIESREADTHIS!! said...

OH YEAH , IM ON DRUGS ??!?!!?? I dont go around town giving people the finger and telling bullshit stories about how the industry sucks !!! I'm a professional driver !! I don't own a medallion !! THE INDUSTRY PAID FOR MY HOUSE AND MY KIDS TUITION SO SCREW YOU MP AND ALL HER BUDDIES WHO THINK THIS NONSENSE IS FOR REAL !!! MP is a fraud and you are falling for it !!! HEY MP !! Why don't you take a pic of your snatch that was obviously never used !!! Put it on your Halloween post to scare the crap out of us !!! GET A LIFE YOU LOSER !!!

Anonymous said...

cabbiesreadthis...hmmm someone has some major issues...lol...love the blog MP

David said...

I don't think I ever saw a picture of you before. You are rather cute. And that's quite a compliment coming from a gay man.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmmmm!!! Looks like thre's a TROLL under this bridge!
Cabbiesreadthis is a poor pathetic sorry excuse for a human being. He just can't stand to see someone do better than he did by using the talent that God gave her to improve her own lot and that of other cabbies. Because of her, I tip NYC yellow cabbies better than I ever have. She has done more to give cabbies a good name and the respect they deserve than anyone could have ever expected. But someone always has to come along and ruin it by making it look like she was the only decent cabbie there was.

Anonymous said...

To cabbiesreadthis: You are a real dipshit. I think it is fuuny though how you read each and every one of Melissa's post just like us. You love her and wish that life could have been this good to you. But it hasn't and you lash out at everyone for it. I bet your kids hate you! You are nothing but a poor excuse of a human being. I hope the rest of your days suck!

Anonymous said...

Will the book be available in europe too?

Sacha said...

MP:
As a 30 year old woman in today's world, I am highly impressed with your achievements and I truly hope they continue for you. You have some wonderful things to say and you entertain us all.
Cabbiesreadthis: Read THIS you bastard-
Get a life, get a clue, get a dream, and get some respect. This world is crazy enough without angry people like you making it more annoying.
Show love not hate mister....

G.S. said...

Actually Flashdancers is the only strip club in NYC that gives cabbies anything at all for dropping off a customer. The main doorman there, Jeff (tall with a shaved head), I've found to be quite a nice guy. And let's face it, female cab drivers may not be extinct in NYC, but it's close. Out of 40,000 cabbies there probably aren't more than 50 women doing this job. So you really can't blame him for making that comment although, yeah, it would have been nice if he'd remembered you.

faridz said...

sounds to me like cabbiereadthis is a lil weeee bit jealous of someone elses' popularity and fortune...get lost jerkoff, go release your tension in the bathroom or whatever else that you do loser.

Elizabeth said...

cabbiereadthis -- perhaps you should get your own Blog? If you don't like what MP's writing, don't read it. Leave. Don't come back. Please.

jo said...

Melissa, it's so nice to put a face to a name, and a very nice face it is too.

Cabbiesreadthis - why are you so angry - I feel so sorry for your children - if you get angry over this, what do you do to them when they are naughty. More than a little scary!! I don't think I would ever get into any cab you were driving - take a chill pill.

Jo xx

jo said...

PS. Tilda Swinton can also be seen in the children's film 'The Chronicles of Narnia' she is a fantastic actress and is chillingly good in the film.

LH said...

I liked your picture. You are very attractive with a very nice nose and beautiful blue eyes. I like all of your snapshots, including those of yourself.

Anonymous said...

Hi...

I just found you blog,by googling the words"new youk cuty Taxi Driver" I did it because i was on a NYC Bus site,and a guy said he googled"dus driver" and he came up with onlt bad stuff,mostly.

I scrolled down you page and came up on the story,of the fat A-hole,who chose to take out his insecurity on you since you were an east target( you a cab driver with a number,what are you gonna do) Any way your cashier was `1000% correct,in that no one unless they sit behind the wheel of a NYC cab,will see how bad sad and stupid people can be.

Of course theirs more of the oppsite of this thank god! but it is the soup of the day when you drive a cab---simple put people think they own you and the cab- tthey think you don't have a life,and their smarter and above you and anything you may think---and most the biggest a holes,will abuse you because they can put the fare of the tlc into you and reuin you day,week and month-and instead of acting like a person,and let you(cabbie) fight them (with words) they choose as a wepon you hack number,paper and pen!

I have driven my NYC cab for 26 years,,,belive me I know---

Anonymous said...

Wow, WHAT A DAY!

I can't believe you had the day you did, it's fantastic.

Oi, CRT, I bet you're REALLY the guy who's crotch MP got the photo of a few weeks ago. Prolly angry that she didn't have a macro lens :( You seriously need to chill. Don't be jealous of MP. She's cool, you're not. Get over it.

wil said...

Melissa, did this gig qualify you for a SAG card? That would be a nice bonus.

Michaelpow said...

Melissa, that's the best photo of you I've seen; you look smashingly great, even in the same shot as Tilda Swinton, which is really saying something. I love your blog, and I'm sorry I didn't make it to your reading at Rocky's the other night (I used to hang out there fairly often several years ago). I adore the way you think and express yourself, since it always always always reminds me of me. You are a hell of a talented writer and your style puts me in mind of Hunter Thompson's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" period and Mamet's "Glengarry Glen Ross." Please post often; you've certainly got my attention, that's for sure.

R2K said...

Yay : ) I have seen her in many films.

Dave said...

Awesome! You and Tilda both look great! Maybe you have a career in the movies!

Rob W said...

Wow. Tilda is a great actress. Funny to see you in makeup. Looking very good.

No said...

Man, you have a lot of comments. New York Cabbies are pretty popular, I guess. Your job does sound really exciting and so does this film shoot.

Anonymous said...

WOW! You'll be in Narnia before you know it!

Anonymous said...

Maybe you could play Mo Tucker in a Velvet Underground movie.

Daisy said...

I'm just back from New York. We took the cab only once -- from the Upper West Side to JFK. I was sorry to see that our driver wasn't you! Also sorry that I missed your adventures!

Anonymous said...

Yay for you- too cool!!!

Hope to run into you next week when I'm in town- THAT would also be cool!!

Anonymous said...

Hi New York Hack (MP),

We are a non-profit called the Design Trust for Public Space.
Working right now on a Taxi Strategic Master plan for publishing early 2007.
(www.taxi07.org/)
We would like to meet with you and talk a bit about your cab experiences (although your blog details them extremely well!) Please let us know when and where.

Many thanks,
Anisha

Anonymous said...

Hi New York Hack.

We are an agency called the Design Trust for Public Space.
(www.taxi07.org/)

Working right now on a Taxi Strategic Master plan for publishing early 2007. We would like to meet with you and talk a bit about your cab experiences (although your blog details them extremely well!) Please let us know when and where.

Many thanks,
Anisha

dlaw said...

Cool!!:)

I like your blog, very amusing! And your "pretend to be driving" experience must be very memorable~

Cabbiesreadthis said...

Obviously the audience here are big supporters of the facade that MP is putting out there . She is a jounalist in taxicab clothes exploiting a hard day's work to make some kind of notoriety from driving a cab part time !!! TO hell with all of you who are hypnotized by a marketing ploy !!! Are you insane and think she is good for cabbies ?? MP says all the time "I hate my job" !! SO DONT BE A CABBIE !!!!! Stop whining and do something else !!! Us real cabbies enjoy our job and don't bad mouth it . We do our job professionally and keep the business flowing to a degree that sustains our family needs and wants . How dare you sensationalize an industry made up of great people , workers and CLIENTS , only to give us cabbies a one dimensional view . Forget flashdancers, they will never hire you , and you use t.v. as a medium to discount and take a car off the road for your stupid blog !! What about the public ?!?!?! You have become your own worst enemy !! Perhaps I and every other cab driver will start leasing our car for the day to sustain hollywoods nedds . Forget about the New Yorkers who rely on us !! YOU are hurting the economic structure of the taxi industry when you do that and take food out of someones mouth. You are a disgrace and should be ashamed of yourself. What ?? A T.V. show cant lease a car on their own ??? Enjoy your 15 minutes of fame , cause they are up you hypocritical loser !!! STOP BEING A THE CABBIE YOU ARE PRETENDING TO BE AND FESS UP TO BEING A MEDIA PLANT !! YOU MAKE ME SICK !!!

cy said...

CRT your full of your self. idiot.
a media plant? what are you delusional? MP started working as a cabbie cuz she needed and wanted to. not as a expose journalist, you fool. she started writting a blog as a creative outlet.
so, she got lucky, some cool shit has fallen into her lap. don't be jealous, you should be happy to see one of your fellow cabbies doing well.

Anonymous said...

Cabbiesreadthis: You're the one who used the words "snatch" and "kids tuition" in the same paragraph. I believe that makes YOU the insane loser.

Now why don't you just go away if it all makes you so mad. Shouldn't you be driving that noble cab of yours, instead of trolling the internet for someone to hate? You're the impostor!

Oh, and don't tell me that if these same opportunities fell in your lap, that you would say no because it's "impure" and "doesn't help the industry." Please.

george the atheist said...

...and as we all sit back and ponder whether our heroine is a fake, phoney, fraud, a brief reminder to the vast readership to tune into the top-rated Talk Stream Live radio show, THE RIGHT PERSPECTIVE, this Friday evening, September 22, at 10PM, when the greatest caller -evah- in talk radio, Frank of Queens ("Vintage Frank") returns to the microphone after a brief respite...Topics for discussion will undoubtedly be the significance of the Pope's "attack" on Islam, a tribute to Oriana Fallaci, a "Hello Africa" update and stimulating calls from when Talk Radio was in its heyday...Check it out: www.therightperspective.com

Randall said...

I said be nice to NewYorkHack
Ilike her prose.

Anonymous said...

To cabbiesredthis: I dare you to leave your address. You are lucky that MP hasn't taken a picture of your license plate. Very lucky.

Anonymous said...

OMG check out this hideous purpose-built taxi.

Cabbiesreadthis said...

Anonymous said...
To cabbiesredthis: I dare you to leave your address. You are lucky that MP hasn't taken a picture of your license plate. Very lucky.

HA !! Coming from an anonymous fool as you I laugh at your pithy writing . I speak the truths which you do not want to hear . When you see the truth I will accept your apology !!

Anonymous said...

stop leaving messages for cabbiesreadthis. Don't waste your time on this jackass loser.

george the atheist said...

...and of course no one will waste their time at all when they tune into THE RIGHT PERSPECTIVE tomorrow nite (Friday 9/22) at 10PM (link: www.therightperspective.com) when the greatest caller in Talk Radio, Frank of Queens, resumes his seat at the microphone...Folks! this will be, as always, riveting radio...Mark your callendars!!!

BAF said...

MP - The total star- you go girl!

jamesdamian said...

I can't wait to see you in the films at MoMA! See you at the opening?

Anonymous said...

Can someone answer this for me?? I'm coming to NYC for the first time, in October. I'll need a taxi from LGA to my hotel in Manhattan... do taxis take credit cards or do I need cash?

Thanks!

eloivsdiablo said...

Way to go girl!! Aussie cabbie here, 20 yrs in the biz and I'm kinda proud of ya...

EverJack1 said...

Ok....... readers. You've given this CRT 'joke' his 15 minutes. Now, let him ramble and rave off into the sunset. He isn't worth the time..........

EverJack1

-ZH said...

MP-
Just thought I'd let you know that you may have like 250 French college students checking out your blog. I'm teaching English in France this year and we used the AP article about you as a class assignment. The kids really enjoyed learning about your life as a cabbie!

george the atheist said...

Bonjour M-zh et la salutation a tous les etudiants qui lisent ce blog fabuleux! - certainement une grande facon pour apprendre l'anglais. Et une autre facon sera a ecouter chaque vendredi une programme de radio d'internet fabuleux - La Perspective Droite avec Francois de Queens et Jacques de Staten Island - deux appelleurs celebres de Talk Radio de Ville de New York! (Lien: www.therightperspective.com)

CABBIESREADTHIS said...

NO BLOG IN 12 DAYS .....WHAT A FAKE !!!! STOP THE BS AND COME CLEAN YOU FRAUD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I KNOW YOU WONT !! CRT IS A REAL CABBIE NOT MP THE FRAUD !!!!

george the atheist said...

Je dois corriger ma derniere poste...Ce n'est pas "Jacques" de Staten Island mais "Jean" de Staten Island.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous coming to NYC for the first time: While there are a few taxis that are equipped to accept payment by credit card, you're very unlikely to find one, so bring cash.

To any attractive female French college students who may be reading this: Voulez-vous coucher avec moi? ;)

January said...

Tilda Swinton? Very cool.

Anonymous said...

What is more fake than coming on as an anonymous poster is to claim an actual identity, take CRT for instance. I doubt he/she is even a real cab driver. Could be an angry little fellow living with mommy. Or maybe an unstable homeless person stumbling into a public library after passing the simple word verification test just to type stuff everyone well, just laughs at.
So dude, just get a life...
But if you insist on posting just know it's only for our entertainment, because none of us really takes you seriously here. j.d.

Red On The Head said...

Congrats on the opportunity and more exposure. Your unique persepctive and talent are definitely getting noticed!

Anonymous said...

come on mp this was poste d on the 13th we need something new it's the 28th now and i'm fiendin for a good story

adrian said...

Well done Melissa, you've earned this public recognition. Namely because your blogging has raised the profile of cabbies in the eyes of the travelling public.

For a much maligned profession the result has been overwhelmingly positive due to your demonstrating that cab driving is indeed a noble and honourable profession.

Which brings me to Cabbiereadsthis.
Mate, as a cabbie you should be eternally grateful to Melissa who has given cabbies long overdue recognition for our shitty job.

Whilst for many passengers cabbies are barely human, her stories have earned respect for cabbies from countless readers who otherwise may not have give us a second thought.

As a blogging cabbie I’ve often had readers comment that they have a new found regard and appreciation
for drivers and their job. And yes, I post under my real name, unlike yourself.

Now, feel free to enlighten us what you’ve done for the image of cabbies, other than reinforce a nasty stereotype with your pathetic churlishness.

Anonymous said...

Tilda Swinton is an amazing person. Saw her in Young Adam, in Orlando, in Constantine and of course in Narnia.
Amazing person. It makes life happier to meet such people, even for a short time

Rhea said...

I thought I recognized her! How cool.

carrie said...

i love tilda swinton

Peter W said...

Wait Wait Wait a second... You never mentioned in your blog you were cute! Tilda S. is a really interesting actress / performance artist, but damn, look at that smile in your eyes! You should have mentioned this in your blog somewhat earlier. Tsk tsk. (And no, it's not too late to mail me when you finally get around to reading this comment several months late. Unless of course you have exactly what you want in your life.) Hey - good luck with the book !

Not Richard N. Hughes said...

cabbiesreadthis seems to catch a lot of flack here. I think he raised some valid concerns. Seems the clique here is a might too defensive of MP. Dissension is intolerable seems to be the tone to a large extent. :-/ Isn't there room for more than one viewpoint? What's your opinion? I'd like to know.