Why is this still a thing?

So let me paraphrase a dialogue I’m still finding myself having with critics online:

THEM:  Oh my god, you’re using Go Fund Me to beg for money from your fans to buy a PIANO!?  You lazy sycophantic leech, go get a job like the rest of us and earn the money for your plaything!

ME:  Okay, so a job.  As in, trading my time and skills for payment?

THEM: Exactly.

ME:  Okay, for some people that means showing up at a shop or an office.  For some of us artists and performing sorts, that means appearing onstage somewhere, and if you’re interested in hearing me, you buy tickets.  If you’re not interested, you don’t.  That seems fair, right?

THEM: Yup.

ME:  I mean, it’s not just musicians who do this.  Take comedians, for example: they go onstage and ply their craft, and if they’re at all good, they expect to be paid, right?

THEM:  Of course.

ME:  Okay.  And let’s say there’s some physical manifest of my skills.  Sticking with the example of comedians, a successful humorist might write a book, no?  And if the book is funny, it would be reasonable to expect the humorist to be able to sell it, right?

THEM:  You got it.

ME:  Okay.  So if I were to produce a CD of my own music, and offer it for sale, and if people thought the music were worth spending their money to have a copy of the music, it would be considered a reasonable trade of my skills for money, right?

THEM:  I wouldn’t spend my money on your shitty music, but yeah.

ME:  I don’t need or want money from the likes of you.  But back to my point, What if I were clear what I was going to spend the earned money on, that I wanted to buy myself a piano?  I might indicate that the piano would facilitate the making of more such music, a further angle which might interest someone who likes my music.  Even though if you yourself think a piano is a silly purchase, because the money was earned through exchange for a CD or some other item related to my music, it shouldn’t matter, right?

THEM:  I guess so.

ME:  So let me make it easy, as I don’t have the facility necessarily to process credit card orders and I want to be able to offer my CD to as many people as possible…  I will take all this exactly as described, with the very clear intent that if you offer me some money, I will send you a CD or something even bigger for larger sums with the intent of using the money to buy a piano to make further music possible, and I will use GoFundMe as my medium for the exchange.



Now, I realize that I’m giving my detractors way too much credit for use of vocabulary; I somehow don’t expect anyone with that lack of sophistication to understand the word “sycophantic”, let alone actually use it.

With over six thousand active GoFundMe campaigns as of this writing to acquire musical instruments by churches, organizations, schools, and yes individuals, and over 1500 alone for pianos, it can’t be a legitimate complaint this this is a misuse of the crowdsourcing resource.  It can’t be that anyone objects to paying money for entertainment, though I’m amused to note that many of these critics are actually proud of how they never pay for music (or porn), going through the pirate sites or bittorrent.  It can’t be that anyone really thinks that as a classical musician I must make enough money to be just rolling in extra dough.

Now, I know that being a porn star makes me a lightning rod for derision, and hey, I can laugh at myself just fine when the facts are straight.  But if a comic has to manufacture the situation to accomplish the joke…  Well, if there’s veracity to the statement “It’s funny because it’s TRUE”, why is it still funny when it’s a lie?  And if the expectation is that because of my little side career anything can be said about me and everyone will find it ridiculous, doesn’t that make the joke on all levels a cheap shot?

And really, if after eight weeks we have comedians still resorting to the same cheap shot over and over again, what does that say about their actual wit?

There’s still some growing up to be done out there…



  1. Lyne B says:

    Let them talk. I listen to my CD EVERY DAY! I have not regretted my purchase!

    • Joseph says:

      I agree! I love Dirk’s CD! I wanted to see him when he was in San Francisco during the Folsom Street Fair but couldn’t. Some people are just assholes and find it easier to complain about other people rather than putting in the work to improve themselves.

    • Barbara Lampron says:

      Didn’t have money to put towards the go fund me program but I would have if I had it. I think that all those people are just jealous because of Dirk and Jesse. I regret that I didn’t have the money but I believe in him wholeheartedly.

  2. MikeT says:

    This guy seems like a lot of the people that have a political opinion that was given to them and they just accept it as true, without applying any original thought. I thought it was fairly comical when he backslid after all of the step-by-step logic you applied. Kind of like Eurydice when she looked back just as she was coming out of the cavern, and just slid right back into Hades…

    Just goes to show you, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him think.

  3. Don Howard says:

    You present a well reasoned argument. I, for one, look forward to purchasing future recordings. I only wish I were able to offer a commission to support your work as a composer.

  4. Duane says:

    I do t have the time or energy for vocabulary tonight. So here’s my response. FUCK THEM!!! Fuck them all. Oh. Wait. No. DON’T fuck them…. That would be even better…..

    You do you. It’s worked well for you so far (or so it seems). Let them remain their small minded selves. Don’t waste time energy or words on them.

  5. I love your music, I am a fan of your entire repertoire.

    I also wish I could commission future projects, but instead I’ll happily pay to keep my collection stocked.

    You’re so awesome.

    Now carry on.

  6. Todd says:

    Oh Dirk, you know there will always be unhappy assholes out there trying to bring you down. I thought your Go Fund Me idea was brilliant! With the classical music community being a small one, I was happy to contribute! Thanks so much for the CD!

  7. Aiva_Rin says:

    There are many in this world who only see to make negative comments and share their negative opinions about whatever someone else is doing. Especially when they see that the individual is going to do something positive or something worthwhile with their talent. Your argument is well reasoned Dirk and wasting your time explaining to these people is just not worth it

  8. Joseph says:

    Dirk, I love your music, your post and everything about you and Jesse. Thanks to you guys, I have a much greater respect on what you guys, as well as many others in the Porn Industry, then I have for other people in other industries. Please continue to improve your life and use the energy generated from your supporters, myself included, to overcome these challenges. People are going to believe what they want to believe. Those people sound like they cannot accomplish what you’ve accomplished for themselves and choose the coward’s way out by trolling others in hopes to bring them down to their level of misery. Take care and hope you and/or Jesse visit San Francisco again, soon! Would love to shake you and Jesse’s hand. Respectfully, Joe xoxo <3 🙂

  9. Dav says:

    These days, more than perhaps ever before, it’s a truth – you can’t please everyone. And many of the biggest negative types would never want to be pleased. You, and many others, simply must not be silenced by them. Nothing will ever please them, and they will go and go with their attacks.

    You do right. And caring about the attacks, but enough is enough. It says much about your character. Its far better than these types. Hugs

  10. Alfred says:

    how can I get a copy of your CD? I love piano music

  11. Karlie Drabble says:

    Don’t worry about small minded morons!! You’re awesome keep it up x

  12. Liz says:

    Dirk, I wish I had some magical words to make those insults painless to you, but all I can say is that I knew what I was doing when I donated to your fund, and don’t regret for a minute that I did.

    You may have seen this NY Times article, “Go Fund Me Gone Wild,” from November 6 that popped up on my Facebook feed today. It provides some interesting insight.


    • Dirk Caber says:

      Wow. The next line (taken completely out of Julie Newman’s context) I expect to find myself slapped with: “Indeed, Professor Mollick argues, personal sites may be even more about getting attention than getting money.” Ms. Newman still misses a key point: it shouldn’t matter whether there’s a difference between “needs” and “wants”; the fact that the request gets made is one thing, but if potential donors don’t see the good of the campaign, or don’t see some sort of return for them, they’re not going to give money. Ms. Newman also bemoans the excessive reminders, which was something Jesse and I tried to avoid: too much bash-you-in-the-face is not going to encourage enthusiasm for the project. Perhaps partly as a result, we’re still getting messages pretty much daily from folk asking if it’s too late to get a CD. But this is like Facebook: if you don’t like something that pops up on your newsfeed, hit the little X beside it, and not only does it go away, but Facebook learns (sortof) what content you like and don’t like. You can opt out of those reminders and updates from GoFundMe, too.

      • Liz says:

        Indeed Newman fails to realize that the purpose of these sites to seek funds for these kinds of things, and people can donate or not. I guess the real problem is that they’ve become ubiquitous and now people are leaping to complain about worthiness. And yes, you absolutely were very good about minimizing notices, which was appreciated.

        The thing I found most interesting was Professor Mollick’s comment about using Go Fund Me to gauge if there’s an audience. Hopefully the success of your fund and continued interest in the CD will persuade industry folks that they should be working with Dirk.

      • Chris says:

        Hi Dirk.
        Here is some fodder to use, should you find it helpful (sorry, I can’t stop laughing about the lunacy of how the majority of souls process information….junior high all over again for most)
        My dad’s side of my extended family all believe the King James version of the novel we call the ‘bible’ (king james was a short, fat, gluttonous, homo, who was terrified of losing his stature, so he somehow had it edited to his way of thinking). the patriarch of this side of the family (my uncle who married dad’s only sister) agreed to oversee the activities of a home of abandoned, learning impaired individuals because he is so GOD-like. The community and christian groups PAID for all of their personal expenses, made my aunt do the work, would walk into this home, and say “STAY AWAY FROM ME you RETARDS…f’ing retarded idiots.” Then he’d mimic them, and verbally abuse them. Used the money paid them to buy a new house, then over time, the gold motorcycle (a HARLEY…which tells you their level of taste), and my point is it was all done in the name of God, and church. Oh, his way of addressing/helping HIV in Africa was to have the church fund him, his brother and a select few to pass out bibles to those who don’t even read. Dirk, if I had the full amount to give you RIGHT now, for a piano (and I mean a grand, performance kind of piano) I would. Music is beautiful. My sister is brilliant in langugaes and music; she decided, randomly, “I want to sing” She went from a choir member to a master alto soprano, was recommended to become an opera singer of the highest arts circles, and she said “F THAT. I mastered it, I would rather go to the beauty salon on my saturdays and get a mani, pedi, and thanks. ” Musical talent is such a gift; you obviously have that and your command of written communication is also natural. Go make music, and porn–it isn’t like so called straight men aren’t screwing around on their families with other men and women on a regular basis. Max Grand (real name is Rene) is a great great guy. Good heart, well read, always reading and he was always naked. Trevor Knight also; only met him twice, but great guy. Jacob Slader; if you ever meet him, or get the chance to talk to him, he is a good guy. the night he and I met at FuBar, he walked up to me as soon as our eyes met, and wanted to leave right then. (im not bragging; there is a point here). Basically i told him to stop disresecpting me by assuming I wanted to go home with him, and to cut the ‘i’m a porn star’ crap. When I acknowledged the literary reference of his porn name, he smiled and asked me one last time, so I went, and in twenty minutes, was ready to get dressed and head out. He asked me to sit for a minute, so I did, and the next two hours were better than any sex because he opened his heart to me….great great soul, that one.
        Keep pounding away (the keys), and social media is the way to inform followers of the piano (don’t ever use Social Media to ask for $$; that is NOT what it is meant for; it is meant to engage your target audience. The more a company uses social media to create $$$, the more it devalues its brand, and followers run for the hills.

  13. Stefanie Ray y Velarde says:

    Let me TRY to be concise (because verbose is the way I roll Hon!).

    Fuck the haters!!!

    We are all struggling to live these days. The more I read, the more I learn. (Ah, see how that works people?) So I have learned that even if you are plying your pornilicious trade on the interwebs in a most visible way, that does not automatically mean that you have struck it rich. It would also not surprise me if you said that some of the traveling and appearances you make to promote your employer’s videos comes out of your own pocket. I’m not saying that’s true, just that it wouldn’t surprise me.

    I’ve recently learned that the “Big Five” book publishing houses not only do not pay for authors to attend conventions, but have also just fired about 80% of their mid-range authors to promote the “NYT best-selling” authors that don’t need promoting. So nothing would surprise me at this point. (Assholes!)

    So asking your fans to help you buy a quality tool of your true calling, if they WANT to, is in no way unreasonable. I think it’s a fabulous idea in fact! Your compositions are beautiful! They enrich our world and feed the soul. This process also follows an age old tradition of artists having patrons to support them so they can live while they create. Anyone stop to think about where the service Patreon got its name?

    Supporters tend to be less aggressive than detractors, so you probably see more of the crap that detractors write. They just like to see their negativity spewed all over the small screen. I don’t tend to read comments anymore as they just harsh my mellow.

    But because of this trend I wanted to take the time to say to you, congratulations. I’m very happy that you have your piano. I love hearing you play it. I love the smile on your face as you do. I’m happy that you have the tool you need to apply your talent. Because the music you compose will spread out like ripples in a pond, enriching the lives of everyone it reaches, starting with your own.

    Peace, love, and hugs!

  14. John G. says:

    Amen!! Keep doing what you do, Dirk (and Jesse)!

  15. Peemster99 says:

    Holy friggin’ Christ, man– why are you even giving these basement-dwelling jackasses the attention? People like to give gifts to each other, and people with dicks and balls tend to especially like giving gifts to people who make those dicks and balls feel all 🙂

    There is nothing wrong with that, and these people (like me!) are just envious. Create music, hit the gym, nail hot men and relish their envy!

  16. DavidD says:

    These sorts of GoFundMe appeals are nowadays standard in the arts, and will be more so. Good for you for being willing to try it (and being so successful with it!).

    • Clint says:

      I just do no understand people like this. If you do not like it, do not give any money and just go on and live your life. The problem is that they have no lives….UGH

  17. Fred says:

    The CD was great and I hope you are still enjoying the new piano.

  18. Rod Mitchell says:

    I stumbled onto this blog and while I had no idea who any of these people are, I don’t understand all the drama? So I figure I’ll try and help you all in point form:

    a) An artist is an artist. You can’t judge it, you can’t rate it, you either enjoy it because it reaches you, or you don’t enjoy it. Doesn’t mean it’s bad, or it’s good, its just art. No need to throw hate on any artist, no need to push your opinion of their work.

    b) Never try to reach out to the public for an opinion. You will never get anywhere doing that. When you make yourself available, you run the risk of being attacked. We live in a great time with the internet making so many more people accessible, but sometimes that accessibility comes with a price.

    c) People are always quirky when it comes to how people make money. For example, if I’m a hard working intelligent guy who becomes a doctor, everyone likes that. But if I’m a handsome well built guy who can perform in movies in Hollywood I’m a star, adored by millions. But if I do porn because I am using my talents (good looking, able to perform sexually and make it look believable), there is no respect. Whichever way a person uses their talents and skills is their business – no judgement. Sadly, that’s not how people think.

    d) From what I can read in this blog, I am presuming that, “Dirk” is an intelligent guy based on his postings. What people need to understand, is that his career choices are not due to any limits he may have, (he’s smart and he’s an artist) but because he enjoys what he does.

    e) Finally, a lot of the old rules of manners will always apply, here’s a list you can all use:
    1) If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
    2) Unless you have done it yourself, don’t offer an opinion.
    3) Strangers are not your friends.

    You should all appreciate that, “Dirk” is sharing parts of who he is on this blog. If this side of him bothers you, then just stick to his work. Enjoy his photos, and videos, and his music, and stay out of his, “personal” life.

    Don’t be a bully, hiding behind your keyboard, spewing hate for hate’s sake. You need to ask yourself what’s wrong in your life if you are sending hate to a man you don’t even know…

  19. Rodrick Scott says:

    Totally off point, but to me that you try using vocabulary as a weapon, as if to prove your intelligence. Personally, i would not take that approach simply because it seem like you may possibly be overcompensating. I also don’t think I would bother responding to your critics. Those who do not agree with the means in which you choose to raise money for you piano have already made their opinions known and the likelihood you will change it are slim at best. All of that being said, best of luck reaching your goal.

    John G. Stephens said it best:

    ~ The lion doesn’t loose sleep over the opinion of the sheep~

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