<Kismet is shown outside the cornertime area smoking a cigarette and watching Mistofleas brew something smelly in her cauldron. Kismet's cell phone rings and after talking for a few minutes she sighs and puts out her cigarette. She tells Misto to keep up the good work and heads toward the cornertime area, grinning like a madwoman. She sings 'We got Aya' to the tune of 'We got Annie' from Annie. As she heads around the corner we see that a line has of very anxious looking people has formed, apparently waiting to enter into the Cornertime stage. Kismet whispers to the guard and looks ticked off. She opens the door and marches over to the interview corner following the line. Sitting there is Ayatollah Khomeini, looking bored and dealing with all kinds of whiney demands. Kismet motions to Shakesvivor Blows and the people waiting in line are pushed outside. She then addresses the camera.>
Good evening SurvivorBlows. We are lucky to have our resident dictator with us today. Ayatollah Khomeini began his bid for board domination from this communities inception. He started by taking over the spoiler board, and using massive mental intimidation won over that tough crowd with ease. During Survivor 2, his growing reputation as a fair and just evil dictator had grown and he began using his intellectual arsenal to keep the spoiler board safe from the clutches of anarchy and upheaval. In April, Webby made AK's position public knowledge and he has been fulfulling his role of moderator enthusiastically ever since.
<Kismet and AK shake hands and take their seats.>
Welcome Ayak. I never expected to see you in cornertime. Why are you in the corner and who sent you here?
Webby sent me here for keeping BlowsVivor going instead of letting it die a merciful death after the clown dropped out. I could have just let Superman finish it up, but noooooo, I had to take it over. The end result is that it's been going on for over two months (shakes posted the first episode back at the start of Memorial Day weekend) and we're only up to Episode 9! Webby wants me to figure out how I'm going to get it done before Survivor 3 starts airing in September OR he won't let me out of the corner. I could be here for a long, long time.
We will see about that! I can't have all of these whiney people in here distracting the other penitents. If he wants you to stay here, he will have to deal with them. Alright Aya, tell us how you found this board, and why you are still here.
This answer is more appropriate for an essay than for Cornertime, but I'll give it my best shot.
Just answer the questions and leave the editing to me. <Kismet snickers.>
I first became interested in spoiling Survivor when the Gervase-X theory swept the country during S1. I'd been following the show a little and found it difficult to believe that someone who had compared women to cows could win, but I didn't have any real reason to doubt it. I went to SurvivorSucks to read how Gervase would end up as the winner. Once there, I found that there was a small minority who didn't believe in Gervase-X, and I started wading through all the spoiling information because I agreed that Gervase-X was bull and wanted to be able to prove it.
Even though I couldn't register on SS, I had a few e-mails posted on the board, and a couple of the regular posters were trying to get me specially admitted to the board. Then came the famous DeeSmith post (see LadyT's Cornertime), which had a link that led to the brand-new SB board, with exactly one post, by tyke210, on it. I knew how the buttheads (the name the moderators at SS called themselves) thought, and I was sure that if I posted on SB, I'd blow my chance to get in to SS. But the next day, the SS Webmaster posted that he wasn't going to let any more people join SS until he booted some current members, starting with DeeSmith. I thought he was being a jerk, and it was obvious that I only had one option anyway, so I joined SB on the second
What was it like for you in the early days?
It's impossible to recreate in words the attitude that existed among the spoiler posters during S1. The posters on SS read SB and compared notes; the posters on SB read SS and compared notes; and we all floundered together once Gervase-X bit the dust. Unfortunately, there were a bunch of arrogant bozos on SS who behaved badly toward SB, but Webby very intelligently asked us to ignore them. For the most part it was lots of fun, even if Mark Burnett ended up fooling us all at the end thanks to the National Geographic article!
After S1, I registered on SS and posted there sometimes, but my principal home remained SB. I enjoy the fact that the demographics of this board are significantly older than on other Survivor boards, where the median poster is an undergraduate. Here, the median is closer to mid-20s (about the age of certain Cornertime hostesses, I believe). This is the only truly multi-generational Survivor board, and it's fun seeing how Kokoro interacts with Leif, for example.
Actually AK, among our regulars I believe the median age is early thirties. But why nit-pick? Lets move on to the good stuff. Who are your favorites?
First, I feel a special relationship with those people who were here at the beginning of the board, sort of the same relationship that the early employees of a fledgling new company feel after it booms: Webby, VampKira, Superman, George Tirebiter, flying squirrel, Conspiracy Jim, LadyT, BadAs (despite his recent antics), Cherberrie, Leif, EBug/Drive My Car, Dalton, RatChef (who correctly picked Rich beating Kelly as the final 2 in S1), shanana banana, SuperPole2000, janisella and a few others. All of us were part of the mix that began to make this site into the great place it is.
Since I'm a spoiler, many of my favorite posters are also spoilers: shakes, sleeeve, IceCat, Krautboy, Outfrontgirl, Kokoro, MDSkinner, weltek, volmel, BlondeGirl, Jizzy, dangerkitty, idiotcowboy, Play2Survive, DivaByTheSea, Bungler, and SurvivinDawg (I'm very sorry about what happened with him) among others too numerous to mention.
I recognize, though, that the board's personality really comes from the current Off-Topic crew -- ItzLisa, Kismet (yes, I'm not above sucking up!), SherpaDave, Lisapooh, Monkeyboy, Survivorerist, dabo, mistofleas, Ronnet, Riordan, PepeLePew13, RudyRules, desert_rhino (minus Mr. Creosote), aymelek, samiam, GG, MonCherie, Survivorchick, boomerang, moonbaby,
PeterTorque, Tinkerbell, Pendragon ... wow, that's a lot of people, and I still haven't included such posters as munson and true and AresMars (always liked that sig line) and colbysincharge and Minstrel and FastEddie and MakeItStop and darbygrl ...
If I could only name five ... why am I doing that to myself? ... I'd pick IceCat and sleeeve as spoilers, shakes for the summaries, Superman and VampKira for the off-topic banter. However, I'd be miserable without all the rest of you.
Thank you for answering that burning question. So what is the best way to kiss up to you?
Ahh, Kismet, you know me better than that First, I don't understand why anyone would want to kiss up to me; Webby is the real power behind this board -- I'm just working off the debt I owe to him for creating it. Second, as a long-time auditor, I'm naturally suspicious of flattery or anything remotely close to it. And I'm happily married with two wonderful daughters, so I don't flirt. (And, by the way, my children are 20 months apart, but people still ask me all the time if they're twins, just like they ask you about yours. And I know for a fact that your children aren't the most beautiful things God has ever created, because mine are.)
<Kismet adds 4 hours to AK's timer for lying about the beauty of his children in comparison to hers.>
I try to remain as neutral as possible as a moderator. It's a lesson I learned years ago, in my second management job, when my boss's boss put me in the incredibly unpleasant situation of having to reassign and demote my boss, who was also my regular golf partner. I can't describe how difficult the aftermath of that situation was! Now, I try to avoid such entanglements in the first place.
So do you avoid getting personally involved with posters? Isn't that incredibly difficult?
Yes and yes. That's one of the reasons that I'm not in chat very often. It's hard to make objective decisions about what's best for the community when the person involved is someone with whom you have exchanged life histories or flirted.
Sadly true. Do you like being the moderator? How do you balance the moderator with the inner anarchist?
The "inner anarchist" in me liked it better when we didn't need a moderator, but I realize that those days are gone.
In general, the group of posters on this board are great, but they have slightly different perspectives about what constitutes appropriate behavior. Then add in the fact that people don't want to keep their board personas and their real selves segregated (and why should they?), and one person's "playful banter" leads to another's biting sarcasm or severely hurt feelings, especially when people are feeling vulnerable IRL. I see the job of the moderator as trying to keep these misunderstandings from escalating into full-scale, divide-the-board-type fights.
So when do you step in?
I'm hesitant to step in to a dispute too early, because I think that generally hurts more than helps. People need a chance to blow off some steam, and they also need to receive feedback from others whose opinions they respect, not just me, if they get out of line. Unfortunately, even on a friendly board like this one, sometimes the peer influence isn't enough. That's generally the only time that I have to take some type of action, except when trolls show up. The less attention given to trolls, the better -- next question, please.
Hey Ayak! This is my cornertime let's not get all uppity shall we? Good. Here is something I have always wanted to know. Why is it that you never appear angry on the boards? Do you ever get angry at what you see?
Certainly I get angry from time to time. I just try to keep from showing that anger on the boards, because it doesn't do any good to make that anger public. Who wants to read a post from an angry moderator? In fact, don't you have to be "moderate" by definition before you can even be a "moderator"?
Good point. So how do you keep your cool? Explain your anger management techniques. I have bets placed that you are a bigtime speeder, and that you bite your fingernails. Are either of these true?
The first one is most definitely true. I have been a fanatic speeder since high school. A few years back, I left Palo Alto, California at 12:30 AM Monday morning (with no sleep) and arrived in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday evening ... and if I hadn't been caught by a huge storm in Indiana, it still might have been daylight when I got to Cleveland. I'll let you guess the speeds I was traveling. I've been a much saner driver since my children were born, but part of that is because I now drive an SUV, which has the added risk of rollover at high speed.
Thank you AK! I can't wait to cash in this bet!
However, I've never bitten my fingernails. My other major form of relaxation is listening to music: popular (but not rap), jazz, or classical, depending on my mood. I guess that isn't much of a surprise, is it?
Dang... There goes that one. Oh well, at least I broke even. Let's talk about BlowsVivor. That is the reason you are here after all. How do you differ from your BV persona? Did you like the way you were portrayed? Admit that you love being evil, you are having a blast, aren't you?
I could never do what Jeff Probst does, despite how much I mock him on the boards. One of the great episodes from the last season of the Mary Tyler Moore Show (catch it on Nick at Night or TV Land) involved Ted getting an offer to host a quiz show. The others prevail upon Lou to talk Ted out of taking the offer. Lou calls Ted into his office and asks him, "What do you want to be known as -- a newsman <pause> or a quizzzzzzzmaster?" Well, I have never had any doubt that I would not be a good quizzzzzzzzmaster; this is a special skill, just like being a good TV anchorperson is. It may not be a skill that I value, but it is a skill nonetheless.
I love the "evil" AyaProbe character. I think he's headed for a bad ending in BlowsVivor, but maybe not. I guess it depends on the writer of the last episode (muh-wah-hah-hah-hah). I'm glad that shakes started this show, even if it did get me sent to the corner.
I don't know about anyone else, but I was impressed with your recap summary. Have you always enjoyed creative writing?
My initial goal in life was to get my undergraduate degree and become a full-time writer. Unfortunately, I soon realized that I had lived too sheltered of a life to write characters with as much depth as my storylines demanded. So I decided to drop out of university ... and then to go back part-time ... to gain the experience with "real" people needed to create lifelike characters. I gained that experience, but at the cost of the financial flexibility needed to be a full-time writer. Recently, my personal life has
become more organized, and I've been pulling out some old half-finished projects. We'll see what happens. Frankly, it makes more sense for me to concentrate on academic writing first and creative writing second, but I haven't always done what makes the most sense during my life!
Your inner anarchist would die a painful death if you did the sensible thing all the time. That isn't something that anyone wants to see. That brings up an interesting point. Where did you get the Ayatollah name from? What is the difference between the long version, AyaK and AK?
I was AyatollahKhomeini in a fantasy baseball league, the Psycho Dictators Fantasy League. The league organizer used the name Fidel Castro (who IRL is a baseball fanatic and a failed pitcher), and other people used different dictators' names: Idi Amin, Papa Doc Duvalier, Josef Stalin, Moammar Khadafy, Imelda Marcos (the "Boston RedShoes"), etc. I had an e-mail
account just set up for that league, with the. The e-mails of mine that were posted on the SurvivorSucks board during S1 were sent from that account. When I joined this board (my first post is less than 8 hours after the board was launched, and I was only member number 250-something!), I used the AyatollahKhomeini name for consistency.
During S1, people on this board generally abbreviated my screen name to its initials, AK. However, people on SS generally called me Ayatollah, which somebody shortened to Aya -- interesting, because there was another Ayatollah on the SS board
(AyatollahAssahollah). The two short forms were combined into AyaK during S2. Then I decided that I wanted to register the AyaK name at SB, so that no one else could use it.
After I registered AyaK, I liked the idea of having a name that didn't have a little blue man appear next to it every time I posted. I've used the AyaK name to make over 50 posts, but not for anything serious.
You are a member of the Ellipsiiis Brain Trust. How do you keep the two communities separate?
Basically, there is no real conflict between the two memberships. The EBT is a great group made up of a number of serious spoilers, including a sizable percentage of the better-known posters during S1. Many of those people love to read SB as well, because the EBT is exclusively a spoiling community -- no Bashers, no Fanatics.
Since S1, it's been obvious that Mark Burnett has enough tricks of deception within his grasp that no one board, acting alone, can successfully spoil the show all the time. My vision is that all of the Survivor boards are allied against MB's "cone of silence," and I believe most of the EBT members share that vision.
My hope is that, this year, all of the Survivor sites, including both SB and the EBT, will successfully spoil the show and avoid the hoaxes like "Uncle Camerman" and "SurvivorBillybob" as well as the phony insiders like Jesus.
Ok, Spoiler genius, what theories are you proudest of?
Figuring out the "secret" Colby-Tina alliance has to rank first; that was also my admission post into the EBT back around E8. I'm very proud of picking Kelly as the winner of S1, even though she finished second, because I first made the pick right after Gervase-X came out, when most everyone on SS thought Kelly was likely to be voted off in the next two episodes. And I was proud of the thought that went in to the Grand Unified Theory ("GUT"), even though my pick was an Amber-Keith-Tina final 3 (ouch!) -- the Mitchell speech that "revealed" the Colby-Tina alliance hadn't occurred yet.
So YOU WERE WRONG about things during Survivor. Are you ever wrong about anything else?
Oh yes ... like going through my undergraduate education part-time at night, which seemed like a good idea at the time but took over ten years to complete! Oh, and bringing in a certain Evil Overlord as a producer and funding source during BlowsVivor didn't work out so well, did it? <AK grimaces, remembering the diaper-changing duties.>
Ok Aya, tell us more about the 'real' you that we can't see from the boards?
Some general elements of my life are well-known on this board: I'm married to a great person and have two wonderful daughters (and I'm not saying they are wonderful just because I'm their father, of course not!) and one shaded-silver Persian cat, whose twin brother died of pancreatic cancer last fall; I'm an attorney and a graduate of the same law school as Nick
Brown; I'm also a CPA and have an MBA; I live in the greater Boston area and previously lived in Ohio, Michigan, Oklahoma (briefly), and California. Unfortunately, some looney (who I believe used to be a member of this board during S1) decided to put together a spreadsheet last year with personal information about all the members of the EBT, apparently to be used for harassment purposes, and I don't want to provide any more info in case he does an updated version!
Perfectly understandable. I know that you have an exhaustive movie lore knowledge pool, so I thought that I would throw in a movie essay question. Compare and contrast the theatrical relevance and psychological horror found in Alfred Hitchcock's 'Psycho' with Jim Carrey's 'Dumb and Dumber'.
The problem is that, when I think about 'Dumb and Dumber', brain sludge starts to leak out of my ears. Can't I discuss "The Truman Show" instead? In "The Truman Show", Jim Carrey and Ed Harris took roles written to be "high-concept" (meaning unbelievable) and imbued them with life. You became so fascinated with the performances that you ignored the creaks in
the plot. A similar phenomenon happens in "Psycho."
Umm Aya, I believe I asked about "Dumb and Dumber", specifically to force you to discuss it.. <Kismet giggles.>
"Dumb and Dumber"? ... Well, the best I can say is that it launched a series of incredibly stupid summer movies that made money, as well as opening the door for TV shows like "South Park." I'd like to see the episode where Kenny gets saved but Trey Parker and Matt Stone get killed -- is that so wrong?
Nope, not wrong at all. Alright AK, is there anything else that you want us to know about you before I leave you to your ponderings?
You mean, other than my thoughts about the calendar and Lincoln? Well, under my real name, I was one of the first "star posters" for Microsoft's online magazine "Slate", largely related to my legal analysis of the last Presidential election controversy. But I haven't even looked at that site for weeks -- fortunately, the election took place between Survivor 1 and Survivor 2...
Well, thank you for the interview. It was very enlightening.
<Kismet motions to SVB and the crowd is once again allowed access to AK.>
I can't imagine a more torturous Cornertime can you? That Webby is the ultimate evil genius. Thank you for joining us for the latest installment of Cornertime ladies and gentlemen.