ALERT:TedW[DenvCO] - [25/Aug/2004:03:55:21EDT] "GET /blog/index.html HTTP/1.1"
ALERT:TedW[DenvCO] - [25/Aug/2004:14:10:40EDT] "GET /blog/index.html HTTP/1.1"
ALERT:TedW[DenvCO] - [25/Aug/2004:16:58:15EDT] "GET /blog/index.html HTTP/1.1"
ALERT:TedW[DenvCO] - [25/Aug/2004:21:14:40EDT] "GET /blog/index.html HTTP/1.1"
ALERT:TedW[DenvCO] - [26/Aug/2004:01:43:32EDT] "GET /blog/index.html HTTP/1.1"
ALERT:TedW[DenvCO] - [26/Aug/2004:01:44:02EDT] "POST /blog/ HTTP/1.1"
ALERT:TedW[DenvCO] - [26/Aug/2004:01:44:04EDT] "GET /blog/archives/00000574.html HTTP/1.1"
ALERT:TedW[DenvCO] - [26/Aug/2004:01:44:13EDT] "GET /blog/archives/00000573.html HTTP/1.1"
ALERT:TedW[DenvCO] - [26/Aug/2004:01:44:29EDT] "GET /blog/archives/00000572.html HTTP/1.1"
ALERT:TedW[DenvCO] - [26/Aug/2004:01:44:43EDT] "GET /blog/archives/00000571.html HTTP/1.1"
ALERT:TedW[DenvCO] - [26/Aug/2004:01:44:51EDT] "GET /blog/archives/00000570.html HTTP/1.1"
I have a script that alerts me when Ted makes his move, and often he'll go days, weeks, or even months without showing up on the radar, and then BOOP, something goes wrong in his life, he gets all pissed off, and decides to enter comments into my blog. I think he also gets drunk, since his spelling gets worse not only in my posts, but other boards he's on. I think Ted is either really stupidly bold and brash, or really thinks I haven't figured out his identity. Or maybe he knows I won't do anything unless he escalates. Right now, my blog is "busy" with his activity.
Years ago, Ted and his "ilk" decided they didn't like me. They thought the whole fandom thing was one big lie. So they got together, and this is what gets me, decided and planned to use a 4-pronged attack on my life. These aren't kids I am talking about here, not skript kiddiez or warez d00dz, I am talking about grown men and women, in their late 20s and 30s, with professional jobs, who decided in a group to try and make my life miserable. Trouble was, they made one terrible erroneous assumption: that I was making my life up. So their approach was to "expose me" for the fraud that they thought I was. It totally backfired. Like, to the point the law got involved. To the point where some of my "fictional" friends told me, not asked me, but told me they were going to one of these guys houses to beat the crap out of them. While I never regret pleading with them to please let it go, I have always had this sick desire to see on of those guys get their face pounded in. It wasn't because they thought I was a fraud, because hey, it's a free country, but it was the fact that they attempted to hurt some of my friends in the process. Two of the "crossed the line" issues were when they sent e-mail, pretending to be my friends (they browsed my "Friends of Punkie" pages, and harvested their addresses), to either me other friends, to try and expose me as a liar and a cheat of some kind. Of course, the tone of the letters didn't sound like, say, Suzi, Rogue, Bruce, or some of my coworkers (many of which were no longer coworkers, but still friends, so comments like "Punkie is saying you're gay to your boss at the watercooler" made no sense), and so my friends summed up what had happened pretty quickly. The next issue was to try and send anonymous letters to Katsucon, claiming I was backstabbing everyone and trying to take over. This enraged the Katsucon chair at the time, because he erroneously thought the letter came from someone within Katsucon before I figured it out, and explained, "No... it's just these assholes I used to know... see, you can tell by the language."
So I called them on it. [GASP!] "Us??? Why, you are so... paranoid!" Yeah yeah. Funny, for a paranoid person, you have been the only guys since junior high that have pulled this kind of crap on me. You'd think if I was paranoid, it would happen all the time, or at least I'd think it was. Nope. Just you guys. Game over.
But I am a curious walrus. Some of my friends go, "Oh, he's just a pathetic jerk, just ignore him." I don't have any enemies that I know of, really. I have some people who probably don't like me, and I respect their freedom to choose. So when I come across someone like Ted, I get very curious. How did he fall under my spell? How could I be THAT powerful to affect someone so deeply? Let me illustrate what I see: for some unknown reason, without attacking him first, Ted not only reads my blog a lot, he gets so mad, be feels like posting sarcastic crap about how I make it up. I mean, I read some people's blogs where I think, "Oh, puh-LEASE!" but I do two very basic things: either I stop reading the blog, or if I don't, I would never post what a big fat liar I think they are (my fault I keep reading it, duh!). Usually I just stop reading. I don't think FOX News is fair and balanced, so I don't watch it, nor do I send them letters about how awful they are. So Ted must be enamored by me. What does he see? Not only does he attempt to keep his identity hidden, but he actually searches around for anonymous browsers to post from. This is not just some kind of one-time attack, no. No, he spends a lot of time trying to get to me, and the only person who would do that to attack me must really, really hate me. I mean, does he post to get me to change my ways? Maybe he posts so my friends will rally against me, wake up, and go, "Yeah... Punkie IS a liar! Oh my God, what was I thinking?" Or maybe he posts just to get attention. Ted needs something from me, and I apparently am dangling over his head like a taunting treat, infuriating him. Let's analyze his most recent attempt:
Of course, I could point out that I was not going to Katsucon, by Gencon, but that's pretty moot. And Christine's recovery was not miraculous, or even a complete recovery. She's still having chest pains and trouble breathing. Of course, Ted doesn't even believe she exists, so that's moot, too. So why not skip the details and go right for the heart of his attack, "Your life is an amazingly complix web of fiction that only you can untangel." (he usually spells better than this, but I suspect he is drunk around this time). I pick out the following words: amazing and complex. Then he ends that sarcastic swing with a left stinger hook, "I always feel glad Im not you." I suppose this should make me feel bad. I'm glad he's not me, either! But I doubt that's what he really meant. In fact, I suspect he uses incorrect facts as a method to throw off my balance, like how to steer a debate off course by getting mired in useless details ("You never earned that Purple Heart in 'Nam... you only got a superficial wound.") But, like the famed Pirhana Brothers, his main weapon is... sarcasm!
Sarcasm is a tool used by those who are trying to look smarter than they actually are, with a stronger argument than really exists. It's often used when someone is dangerously close to being out of their intellectual element, so they try the "nonchalant passe" approach to bolster the confidence, hoping the other side of the debate will be impressed by the fluffed feathers. And I must say it works rather well in many cases, but in serious arguments about truth, it gets pretty tiring (damn you, Neal and Glen, for teaching me about debate tactics). I judge wisdom in a debate as a series of stages.
1. Childlike - direct confrontation: "No, YOU suck!"
2. Teen - indirect sarcasm: "Yeah, you don't suck, sure... whatever!"
3. Young adult - subtle attack at confidence: "And just how do intend to prove you don't suck?
4. Mature - noncommittal reference: "I see."
5. Wise - silence: "..."
In Ted's case, he's around stage 2, but since I know he's in his early 30s, this saddens me. Some trauma must have happened to him around that time, and so his maturity became stunted: trapped in a past it cannot escape. I have guesses, but I don't know him THAT well to make a guess I'd be confident in. He was raised Catholic, and is an open homosexual (at least on one board), so I am sure there's conflict there. He hasn't lived with his parents since he was a teen, and I know his sister Becky was... difficult with him. The exact nature I don't know, and what I heard was idle gossip from a former friend and game buddy. I have spoken to some of the people he's worked with in the past, and they say he's a controlling jerk. In fact, the only reason I got as much info as I did was that he's such and unstable jerk that people volunteered, and even gave me MORE contacts from his past without me even asking. "I heard you wanted to know about Ted? Well, when at this one card tournament, that bastard..." "When Ted was in scouts, he got into an incident..." "I used to do Visa transactions with this guy at [his company], and he's a royal ass!" and so on. One gave me his parent's address in Montana because apparently, Ted owes some money, but his parents have pretty much washed their hands of him. They sent him to a Catholic University in DC, in hopes of "fixing what's wrong with him," but that didn't work, and as far as I know, they don't speak to each other. Ted has a huge wake of people who hate him. I mean, I know more about his past then I do about my dad, and my dad even has less enemies.
Not exactly a good position to be in when you're anonymously attacking someone. Ye reap what ye sow.
Of course, after months of investigation, I started to feel sorry for him. I can't imagine what this guy's life must be like. He probably thinks that the world is this scary place where enemies lurk at every turn, and that somehow I personally post fictional stuff in my blog to "test" how smart he is at figuring it out. "Ha ha, Griggy!" he'd say, "You don't fool me! You lie! What do I win? I want a pony!" Who does he think he's posting to? Me? My friends? His friends? God? His former scoutmaster? I think sometime my life is pretty difficult, but his must be this red-stained wasteland that smells of sulfur and fresh gunfire. I don't know if the sun shines on his world, but he must be a pretty scared little lizard, hiding under rocks from that sun, and attacking the ankles of perceived enemies. I had a cat like that once. She grew out of it.
That's why I am not all about attacking Ted. His life SUCKS. I mean, this post is pretty bold of me, like a slap back in his face, but I wanted everyone to know why I won't send some big guy named Tony to his new address in Denver. And really, Ted would deny it, and then maybe send his version of Tony to my house, and then that's just silly. He's crying out, in pain, for recognition at a time when his life isn't doing so good. How can I hit a man when he's down? Yes, I know, he does, but that doesn't mean I have to stoop to his level. Ted's not some faceless enemy in my life, he's a real person with hurt feelings and anger. Maybe his attacks are misplaced, but since he's given me all this power in his life, I might as well make some good of it.
For those of us in the blogging community, we all have our Teds. We may know them, or they may be some anonymous person who would never have the guts to say certain things to your face. Usually, I have found, if you have a suspicion of who that magpie in the tree really is, you're probably right. Twice this year, friends have come to me with IP traces to find out anonymous comment attackers. One lead to someone she didn't know, and the other lead to someone the guy suspected all along. Hell, tracing IPs is only a small part of it: tracing personality patterns in writing style and "coincidental knowledge" is most of it. Social engineering. Usually a nudge of "I know who you are..." will get them to stop posting, but Ted? He knows I know who he is. But he still tries to post anonymously, I guess either calling my bluff or maybe just because he wants to believe the lies Anonymizers tell him: