The Frankie Roberto Interview

1 Conversation

The Frankie Roberto <br/>

Frankie meets...

on the
Musehome and events in America.

I had heard of Dragonfly from the Bob
and Elly interview, where the happy couple told me of Dragonfly's
famous Musehome, which played a
significant role in bring them together. Just reading and posting in
forums, you can see the popularity of the Musehome from all the h2g2
Researchers who bear Muse titleships in their nicknames. I decided to contact Dragonfly and find out all about this creative group, and so a date was arranged, the location none other than the Iris Cafe.

Shortly before the interview took place came the terrible incident
in America, and so the mood in the cafe was quite sombre as I took my
seat on a table in a quiet corner and waited for my guest to arrive.
A menu was sitting on the table so I picked it up and read through
the weird and wonderful list of food and drink available, with items
such as Chocolate Milkshake and cheesecake, official food and drink
of the Muses. This was some place!

A few minutes later Dragonfly glided beautifully into the Cafe and
took her seat on my table as we greeted each other with a smile and a
peck on the cheek. Not fancying anything too chocolaty, I followed
Dragonfly's suggestion and ordered a 'Museberry Milkshake'. As the
waitress scuttles off I fish out my half scrumped interview notes and
begin the questions, starting with the fine cafe I was sitting in.

'The idea for this Cafe came to me a while ago. It was opened
in April as part of the Musehome, I
decided that all my little muses needed a good place to eat! Sure,
there are snacks and drinks at Bar
, and even a groovy 'wheel of multiple choice', which I
am most proud of, but that doesn't truly sustain any muse. The name
was chosen because I've always loved the little-known messenger
goddess 'Iris', and my favorite flower is the Iris too. What I really
like about this cafe is that muses can add to the menu! I can't claim
this idea as mine though, well at least I don't think it was mine
orginally. You see, the muses have a Musehome egroup1 (Bob's idea), where we can discuss
upcoming events and places that will open up.'

I see from my notes that the list of current Muses is quite some
length. There are Muses of x and Muses of x, Muses of x and Muses of
x. The size of the club is impressive, and the Musehome represents
one of the best-working sub-communities on h2g2, of which there are
many. One of the unique factors of the group seems to be the way that
the members work together to build and expand the group, as Dragonfly
goes on to explain.

'I really need the help of fellow muses for brainstorming, and
they have helped not just with ideas on how to improve communication
between muses or areas around the Musehome. I've also had a few muses
who have taken the initiative and made extentions to the Musehome!
There is now a Musehome T-shirt by Pheloxi, a Cheesecake and
Chocolate Milk Appreciation Society from aka, and a Musehome Bakery
thanks to Engländer. These were all quite independent of my own
plans, and I encourage such innovation!'

Many h2g2 clubs are launched but become inactive soon after. I ask
Dragonfly what advice she can give on creating and sustaining good
clubs on

'I think the luck I've had with the Musehome is due in part to
it being something anyone can join. Shea and I have discussed what it
is that has brought researchers to the Musehome: I require muses to
have a link on their page back to the Musehome. It also seems that a
fair number of researchers like to put their titles in their
nickname, and that draws curiousity. Just hang in there, advertise,
serve goodies, and give hugs!'

It certainly seems like an excellent formula, and while we're
talking about 'serving goodies' my milkshake is brought to the table,
a tall glass filled to the brim with frothy red milkshake. Wiping the
mixture from my mouth with a paper napkin, I ask Dragonfly what she
thinks of the h2g2 site.

'I looooove it! If I'm away from h2g2 for a day, it takes a few
hours just to catch up! I've learned a great deal here, and nothing
could ever compensate for all the laughter, advice, and friendships
shared in this community. Almost everyone is so friendly, it's hard
to feel excluded, and almost every interest has an outlet, a society,
a forum, a voice. If there's not a Church of the Beatles and you feel
there should be one, for example, all it takes is mentioning this
among friends, and sooner or later one appears. Or you can always
build one yourself! h2g2 is a wonderful place to get cosy and
creative, or for getting a more broad education.'

Is there any way in which the site could be made better?

'There's not much that could be done to improve h2g2. I've been
here almost two years, and for at least half that time, h2g2 has been
one of the things I have to spend time on before I leave the house in
the morning! One thing I can think of is a concept that's been in my
head for awhile. Why not have some sort of free online radio station?
With researchers all over the world, rotating DJ's could entertain
the masses non-stop! Yay!'

The idea of an around-the-world broadcast reminds me of the recent
coverage of the twin towers dramatically collapsing, shown live on
televisions around the world. I ask Dragonfly how she feels about the
whole incident.

'I am American. I find it terribly sad that our nation, which
is supposed to be so open to the world (I know it's not in many ways,
we have narrow-mided citizens and many faults like anywhere else) has
been victim to people who used that ideal of 'life, liberty, and the
pursuit of happiness' to their advantage. I pray that we will not
turn into monsters.'

Having an ideal of 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness'
seems strange to me as a Brit. I've never really understood
the 'American Dream', or what it means. It's something uniquely
American. The concept seems very idealised and I wonder whether it
actually exists.

'The American Dream does exist. Lately I've received the
impression from foreign friends that we have a crappy, rude,
heartless attitude. Truth is, we are very angry. We have been rudely
awoken from our American Dream. We're not all angry, but when you are
under that emotion, you are inclined to say mean things you really
don't feel deep down inside when it comes down to it. These events
have sparked patriotism that was deep, deep down inside of

The events certainly sparked patriotism in America. Even in
Britain the Star Spangled Banner was raised by the state as a sign of
unity with America. I ask if Americans are usually patriotic.

'Americans, especially those of my parents' generation
(involved in the Vietnam War), and those born since, have, in my
view, shown little patriotism, appreciation, or respect for the USA.
Only on the Fourth of July and other National holidays do we display
our colours. I feel it is generally beneficial to have a love of your
country, and to have that to share with your fellow citizens. A
concept called Interactionist Theory began here in the States,
because we have such a diverse culture. That diversity needs

'What amazes me is that my children will be born in a world so
different from what I ever knew, and maybe from what I know now.
Entertainment is changing, and hopefully for the better. Violence and
destruction is said to be reduced in games, tv, and movies (I watch
and play little, so I dunno), which is a blessing. Reality has set
in. I think our eyes are open, and I hope that doesn't harden

In these times of doom and gloom, I'm not quite so optimistic that
the world is getting better. Sucking the last from my milkshake, I
thank Dragonfly for the interview and leave the lovely Iris Cafe,
which I'm sure I will return to again soon. Looking again at the
Musehome, I'm even tempted to become a muse, but what of I

Frankie Roberto

Next Week: Yossarian Prefect on the Zaphodistas and
having an h2g2 downer.

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