June 3, 2006

Blind item.

Somewhere out there are two bloggers who have, in times past, been rather nasty to me, both in my comments and on their blogs. Recently, they got into a nasty squabble with each other. The squabble was not about me, but my name came up several times in the context of pointing out how nasty the nastier of the two bloggers was, as this nastier blogger really did have an unhealthy obsession with me. Well, the less nasty blogger has now conquered the nastier one, to the point where the nastier blogger has deleted his whole lame obsessing-about-me blog. Thanks, less nasty blogger!

ADDED: Let me be clear that the nastier guy chose to delete his own blog. The less nasty blogger merely created the conditions that made him want to do so.

68 comments:

Ron said...

Good grief! Could this be considered, "blawking?" Good thing it's been nipped in the bud!

James Wigderson said...

So, I believe the lesson here is that it pays to be nicer to Ann than other bloggers.

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Althouse said...

Sip: I added a picture to serve as the joke.

somefeller said...

Ann, if you are referring to the blog kerfuffle I think you are, I'm not sure the "less nasty blogger" is in fact less nasty. The "less nasty blogger" in this case posted personal information about the other (otherwise anonymous) blogger, it appears one fan of the "less nasty blogger" made some really disturbing comments about the child of the other blogger in the other blogger's comments, and the "less nasty blogger" is kind of a all-around choad, really. So I don't think I can agree with your characterization of the relative merits of the parties in conflict here.

Either way, neither of these people are people somefeller would like to have in his living room.

Paco Wové said...

Ann-

excellent choice of illustration.

somefeller-

stop shilling for Tweedledee!

Ann Althouse said...

Somefeller: My opinion about the relative nastiness of the two is completely subjective and based on how they treated me. The "less nasty" one is someone who bit back after I mocked him. The nastier one has been cyberstalking me for a long time.

PatCA said...

Okay, who are the blogs?!

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Althouse said...

Also, somefeller, is there some reason why a person who is hiding behind a pseudonym as he viciously attacks people should be protected from having his identity revealed? I really don't understand that.

The person injects himself into a very public debate, picks fights with people who openly show their names. He tries to destroy their reputations. He did whatever he could to destroy mine. Why shouldn't we discover who he is and reveal it?

He claimed academic expertise as well. Why shouldn't we want to find out what his actual credentials are? If, for example, he's been pompous about his academic expertise and it turns out he's an academic nonentity, why shouldn't we say so and poke fun at him? We're talking about someone who pulled no punches.

An analogy that occurs to me is the sniper. A sniper hides himself and shoots at people. Do you feel obliged to respect the sniper's choice to remain hidden or do you seek him out?

His pseudonymity was his glass house, and he was throwing stones.

I know there was that blogger pledge that was going around a while back. I didn't sign it. The "less nasty blogger" has the problem of having signed the thing.

TWM said...

Sheesh, I have shoulder surgery and all hell breaks loose. Or, well, I missed the big ending anyway.

Dang.

Joe said...

Kick their asses, Ann. Verbally. Make them swallow their tongues like Dr. Lecter did to Miggsy.

Internet Ronin said...

I accidentally witnessed much of that trainwreck while it was happening. There was blood all over the tracks, causing even the "good samaritans" to slip and fall into harm's way. The only thing to do was avert my eyes and take a long shower before moving on to more congenial pastures.

At the time, I was inclined to think of them as "dumb & dumber" but "nasty & nastier" is a much more apt description.

Marghlar said...

And the blogosphere breathes a sigh of relief. That guy was a twit. I went to take a look at the argument in question (thanks, google caching!) and it was just this nasty, pseudo-intellectual spitball contest.

Good riddance.

Icepick said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Icepick said...

Ann, the nastier blogger has started a new blog.

In addition, one of the "me=too"ers at the nastier blog is someone that would be instantly recognized here. So the nastier blogger has minions out there doing his dirty work....

Mary said...

At first, I was inclined to think of this:
http://cellar.org/showthread.php?t=7775

(dead deer interlocked after a fight -- nasty!)

Ann Althouse said...

Mary: Wow.... makes me want to say again: in you, dear animals, we see ourselves.

Brendan said...

Ann Althouse: divider.

Ann Althouse said...

Internet Ronin: Yeah, I looked at some of the stuff at the nondeleted site, but the actual subject matter of the dispute was too arcane for me to care about. Bloggers need to try harder to write concisely and clearly ... and to talk about things that matter and/or amuse us.

Which makes me want to add (taking Joe's advice):

The deleter guy was fond of calling me a "moron" or worse, but he was really a frustrated guy with a PhD trying to show off that he was smarter than other people. I'm sure part of the reason he went after me was pure jealousy based on my academic position. His pride, I think, made him want to show I didn't deserve it. My security, on the other hand, makes it easy for me to write short clear sentences. This makes my blog much better than his, even as my job is better than his. Eat your heart out, loser!

Mr. Magoo said...

"Eat your heart out loser!"

Ah, the true Althouse colors are revealed!!!

Lovely! You are such a distinguished professor!!

Stooping to such lows. It is, well, highly amusing. And revealing.

I guess you know that you'd never be hired at Wisconsin today.

Ann Althouse said...

And your true color, Reasonator, is green. I'm sure your fellow academic washout appreciates your defending him here. But, really, you ought to be more savvy about what makes you look like the person you've jumped to defend. Oh, yes, my job must be wholly undeserved, because why is yours such crap? Sit down and share a heart meal with your fellow loser. May I suggest candlelight and a nice Chianti?

somefeller said...

Ann, I haven't followed your disputes with both bloggers closely enough to have an opinion as to their relative treatment of you, but if you think Blogger B was nastier to you personally than Blogger A, then I can see why you think Blogger B is worse. That's certainly your call, not mine. Me, I think Blogger A is worse on a general level and is an utterly pathetic (and possibly deranged) individual, but it's distinctly possible my description of Blogger A fits Blogger B perfectly, too, I haven't seen enough of his work to have a strong opinion on it. In any case, as I said, neither of them appear to be people I'd want to hang out with.

As per anonymity, I have some mixed emotions about that, and that's not just because I'm anonymous myself. Generally, I think people's desires to remain anonymous should be respected, though that obviously doesn't count if crimes are being committed (like posting threats on websites), but if the only thing at issue is the tenor of the debate, I'd tend to side in favor of respecting anonymity. This is particularly true on the internet, because let's face it, there are lots of very unpleasant people out there on the net, Googling away at enemies real or imagined, so it's understandable that one would prefer not to have one's name, address and job known to all who read a comment on a web page. And let's not even get into the issues relating to job security / vindictive boss concerns for non-academics, tenure concerns for academics, etc., etc. On the other hand, if someone chooses to make oneself a public figure outside the blogosphere (and I'm thinking of the Ben Domenech / "Augustine" example here), then it certainly seems fair to see what they are saying under the cover of anonymity and how it stands up to their public face.

In any case, neither side covered themselves in glory here, and there's probably already been too many pixels spent discussing this little battle.

Townleybomb said...

I have no idea what the bejeezus sad-ass internet shitstorm you're alluding to here, but this is the most deliciously nasty thing I've read in quite a while:

His pride, I think, made him want to show I didn't deserve it. My security, on the other hand, makes it easy for me to write short clear sentences. This makes my blog much better than his, even as my job is better than his. Eat your heart out, loser!

cazwxita: A Hungarian word, similar to 'schadenfreude,' meaning pleasure taken in the pain caused to another by their hatred for the speaker.

Clarey watcher said...

Ann's comment about whether people who make vixious statements shoudld be protected from having their identities known is actually pretty interesting. People who've seen my weblog might notice I have an interest in the subject matter --- basically my experience is people will say truly horrid things but resist having their names tied to them.

Johnny Nucleo said...

Someone out there please help. I understand not wanting to mention their names (Actually I don't. There is much about the universe I don't understand.) but I don't know who these guys are and I love reading crazy guys fighting. Please, someone, give me a hint, point me in the right direction. I tried googling "Althouse blog fight" and "blog fight about Althouse" but all I came up with was porn! I think my google is broken. It just links to porn. Usually I don't mind, but sometimes it is inconvenient.

reader_iam said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Johnny Nucleo said...

I figured out the problem. Instead of typing "Althouse blog fight" and "blog fight about Althouse" I accidentally typed "house of naked alternative women fighting." I am embarrassed!

reader_iam said...

Too many skipped words in version 1, so here it is again, fixed:

Fascinating, the deletion of the nastier blogger's blog by himself.

It appears that he wanted to make a "clean sweep" of what he'd previously written, so that he could start anew.

Those who know what's going on will get the point of the quoted words in the previous paragraph. I won't be more explicit because Ann is explicitly not being so.

There are a number of familiar commenter names threading all around through this blogoflap (blogofuffle?), but I am almost certain I know the specific one to whom 'Pick is referring.

I was actually very much taken aback and shocked by that one--I saw a completely different side than what I ever seen displayed here or on the other sites where I have encountered that particular person.

Saddening, really, even disillusioning.

So it goes.

Jacob said...

That's odd Armando's still posting...

Brendan said...

Ann, you should know by now that you can't please the haters. So stop living. Stop experiencing things. Stop having opinions. Stop taking innocuous pictures of a museum on Memorial Day. Stop stop stop.

Alan said...

"...this blogoflap (blogofuffle?)"

Maybe "kerblogfle?"

chsw10605 said...

I like "blogfuffle," or in this case, an Althousercation.

chsw10605

knoxgirl said...

I guess it's pointless to ask what the blogs are... can I at least know if they are associated with regular commenters here so I know who I am conversing with?

Especially this from reader:

there are a number of familiar commenter names threading all around through this blogoflap (blogofuffle?), but I am almost certain I know the specific one to whom 'Pick is referring.

I was actually very much taken aback and shocked by that one--I saw a completely different side than what I ever seen displayed here or on the other sites where I have encountered that particular person.

Saddening, really, even disillusioning.


It looks like I am one of several regular Althouse commenters who would like to know what blogs/trolls all this refers to.

Jennifer said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
reader_iam said...

It's hard to respond w/o e-mail addresses being available in profiles ... .

Ann Althouse said...

Somefeller: "me, I think Blogger A is worse on a general level..."

Well, I don't read either blog except to the extent that I see in my Site Meter that I've been linked. Even then, I had long ago stopped clicking over to "B"s blog because it was pointless to engage with him and seeing exactly what epithets he'd chose to throw at me made little sense. So, basically, I have no general opinion of either blog. One is left win and the other is right wing. I do know that.

Ann Althouse said...

.... wing... not win...

Bruxatus said...

Can we mention that the pretext of the 'debate' dealt with literary interpretation?

In fairness to less-nasty, his intention did not seem to be to compel more-nasty to terminate his blog - which has now meta commentariat's worst end, as a spam site.

It's my suspicion that this has been removed due to career concerns. These likely motivated more-nasty's anonymity from the onset.

Icepick said...

Dang, Ann, that was fast!

Ann Althouse said...

Sorry, Ice Pick. I didn't mean to delete your post. That was an accident. You wrote:

"There are a number of familiar commenter names threading all around through this blogoflap (blogofuffle?), but I am almost certain I know the specific one to whom 'Pick is referring.

"Reader, we must have two different people in mind, because you wouldn't be disappointed by anything the particular commenter I meant would do. I'll email you the name of the commenter I was talking about"

Jennifer said...

Oh, I thought I knew who you were talking about, too, Icepick. Well, I'm pretty sure Reader and I are thinking of the same person. I was shocked and disappointed myself.

Ann Althouse said...

"which has now meta commentariat's worst end, as a spam site"

LOL. I'd glanced at that and assumed it was some damned allegory written by the litprof. The site's gone to the dogs.

Alan said...

I think you deleted a post of mine too. I understand why though.

Icepick said...

Ann, not a problem. I was wondering what had happened there, not that my comment would have been any big loss.

My comment "Dang ... that was fast" was referring to the speed with which the prior comment had been deleted. That comment went up while I was composing mine, and was deleted by the time I hit post. Quick like lightning!

Ann Althouse said...

Yes, sorry Alan. Sometimes I take out a troll post and there's a response to it that doesn't have any meaning anymore except to give the troll the satisfaction of leaving a trace.

reader_iam said...

Well, I came back here to say I had "mis-guessed" 'Pick's reference (that one was among the other number, but, as he says, I wasn't "disappointed" by that one, 'cause it was no surprise), only to see he beat me to it. No wonder he hasn't read my response yet!

LOL.

And that'll teach me to try and read 'Pick's mind.

Hmm, Jennifer. But no more mind-reading for me!

Pogo said...

The littler professor and pals share a mindset with the Chinese blogswarm you later post about. People become obsessed with others they have never met and have no business with, and seek to undo them for violating certain principles they esteem. Its the internet equivalent of stoning.

While sad and pathetic in some ways, it's scary in others. Sippican has correctly noted the sociopathy of a commenter here, a quality or diagnosis I agree with, but had not previously considered. Not sociopath as a lame rejoinder, but as an actual diagnosis.

I have read about this fight, thanks to Google's cache method, and in the end it makes me wonder whether some of those folks wouldn't be better off pushing a broom.

Finn Kristiansen said...

What? What? I knew I should have been paying more attention to this blog. I miss out on everything!

(Although, someone can always email me, explain it all, in one brief paragraph, so I don't feel so dopey and out of the loopyness).

Mary said...

"Wow.... makes me want to say again: in you, dear animals, we see ourselves." Nope, I can't see myself a similar situation, though it made me think of the two men you described.

One of the commenters midway through that page had it right: the bucks locked antlers fighting, with only one dead when the guy with the camera came upon them. It's not uncommon to find two skeletons come spring with the antlers locked.

Here's another "dead stuck buck" http://cellar.org/showthread.php?t=10898 . His horns got locked up with a tree, and they found him dead after a fight to free himself.

(I think that: "In you dear animals we see ourselves" is only true in a romantic sense for people who general don't read or know much about animals. If you do, lots of human situations make you think of animal behaviors, and not just your favorite at the zoo.)

Mary said...

that's "generally"

Ann Althouse said...

Fair enough, Mary. But I'm saying "we," speaking generally about human behavior. Not every individual fits every example. I don't see myself doing that either. Please note that I implemented a policy of not engaging with "nastier," a man who was continually taunting me publicly.

As to whether we are correct about what animals really are when we see us in them, my statement doesn't depend on that. I assume the deer had little or no ability to chose not to engage. Nasty and nastier aren't like the deer, because they could have behaved differently. To say they are like the deer is to forgive them too much. I wouldn't call the deer "nasty," except as a joke.

As to the zoo, I do think people roam about looking for animals to identify with. No one stares at the camels. There's always a crowd gazing into the eyes of the chimpanzee. It is far more interesting to watch the people as they watch the animals or to watch the animals and think of people.

Marghlar said...

There's always a crowd gazing into the eyes of the chimpanzee.

The funnny thing is that the chimp is the most likely of all the apes to kill and eat a human being.

That's right -- chimps are the only other ape that hunts meat, and they'll hunt human infants or children if they are short on more accessible sources.

Funny how we feel so much more connected to the chimps than to gorillas, etc.

Ann Althouse said...

When I went to the zoo on Friday, one of the chimpanzees was lying on his back on a branch with his head nearest the glass where we watched him. Thus, he was looking at us upside down. He just gazed endlessly, hardly moving. It was utterly impossible to know what he was thinking. It is easier to guess what the human beings were thinking. I would think that for most, it was something along the lines of he wants to understand us. But perhaps it was I hate you. How can I kill you?

reader_iam said...

What's wrong with camels? I like watching them, and I like their eyes.

I do make sure to stay well back, though, if they seem annoyed, as I do with all of the spitters.

reader_iam said...

Including the human ones.

Sanjay said...

Y'know, Professor Althouse, frankly, your trolls fascinate the bejeezus out of me. I mean, this is, you gotta admit, a hell of an odd blog: it's quite excellent reading (it has become quite an addiction among my coworkers in a couple places) but I'm not quite sure how one describes it or its range of interests. And that someone picks _this_ blog and it's proprietor (proprietress?) as the Epitomy of All Evil and the Fascist Face of the Right/Left is, honestly, fascinating. I mean, why here? And why for this audience, which seems less of an affirmative echo choir than so many -- that is, which maybe can be won over by argument?

So I never skip over the posts of, say, quxxo --- they fascinate me. I don't mean that to be condescnding; they do. Of course there's no reason why you should have to suffer abuse to fascinate me and you're going to draw your line where you want. But they do kind of add to the weird wonderfulness of the blog.

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks, Sanjay. I'm not sure what it is. Sometimes I think the young men seek to scare women out of the blogosphere. It probably works a lot of the time. Women tend to not like anyone to be mean to them or to say they aren't nice.

I'm sure part of what these characters have against me it is that I have supported the war and I blogged against Kerry toward the end of the '04 election (including a few weeks on the very high profile blog Instapundit).

Some of it is connected to my collecting quotes of commenters on Eschaton and saying they were sexist and then refusing to back down no matter how much they argued with me. Some people on the right got very mad at me for critiquing Pajamas Media.

The fact that I don't write about politics all that much and claim to be moderate and nonpartisan is taken as a big challenge. Some folks are really hot to show I'm lying.

Some people find it especially irksome if a woman doesn't stick to the liberal side of the spectrum, so I come in for special monitoring there.

Sorry to have decreased your reading pleasure by deleting a lot of trollage recently.

Palladian said...

Ann, please, please, please keep evaporating the troll crap. They (it) was very nearly destroying the comments section of your blog, not to mention constantly insulting you in the cheapest, stupidest way possible. No one would behave that way in person unless they wanted to get clobbered.

I think the most egregious, relentless troll you had quickly realized that you were liberal and permissive towards comments on your blog, almost to a fault, and therefore realized that it could take advantage of that. I don't think, in the end, it had much to do with you or your style specifically, just that it was easy to get away with. Trolls troll because they want the conversation to be about them. It doesn't matter if the conversation is vituperative; in fact, that may be sort of desirable as the added passion of anger and nastiness is both exciting and ensures a response. These trolls often take far left wing (or right wing, depending on the blog) political stances, but only because it's extreme, and tends to provoke more responses when directed toward sensible, non-or-minimally-partisan people. The word "hijacking" perfectly describes what happens in those comments: you make a post, people begin to discuss it, the troll comes in and says "this conversation may have been gently gliding towards bedscarves, but now I'M at the controls and I'M flying it towards BUSH ROVE EVIL HITLER IRAQ and there's nothing you can do to stop me!"

Anonymity, of course, makes this possible. If these sadomasochistic onanists were forced to reveal their identities, they would rarely continue their attacks. They use anonymity as a kevlar shield behind which they hurl their invective and snicker, knowing that they won't get burnt. It's one thing to write opinion anonymously and another to use that anonymity to protect yourself and your reputation while you systematically harangue and seek to injure others. Contrary to what Sanjay says, this behavior is not interesting. It's tiresome and at its worst, sociopathic.

I greatly appreciate your blog, Ann, and I'm glad that you've been protecting it, and the odd "community" that's built up around it. If only Blogger would do what every other piece of blog software has done and include an IP banning tool. It's a good reason to consider switching to something else, but that's a discussion for another time.

Ann Althouse said...

For the mystified, "Thers" is "Thersites," who had to delete the blog "Metacomments." You may remember his abject trollage on this blog in times past, before I took to systematically deleting his comments and he went on cyberstalking me on the blog he's now deleted. I'm unblinding this item because he's stopped by another post to talk about my taking pleasure in his downfall. You can go to that post and discover the reason he posted there and not here (further evincing his sleaziness).

Sanjay said...

Now, c'mon, Palladian, that's just not true. Remember a week or so back when quxxo came out against airy-fairy psychotherapy (tradtionally, for whatever reason, a "rightist" position)? And remember that when surprise was expressed he linked his opinion to Krauthammer's psych degree? Now, I personally agree Krauthammer is a nut. But going from _there_, to _there_ --- I mean, that was as weird as anything I've read on this blog (and it was real!), and I thought about it for a while -- how does one have to view the world, to come up with that connection? It's a lot different from your run-of-the-mill political extremism (and I know from political extremist headcases, boy, I live in Berkeley).

Man, and quxxo thinks Adam Nagourney is somehow anti-Democratic. Because, all insults aside, look surely the guy can read: but look at _how_ he reads. So weird. Have you honestly never wondered about it?

Or, to go back to your idea of a "community" of listeners -- sure, but every community has it's half-comatose, lunatic ravers, no? And maybe it needs them: in you, dear animals, we see ourselves.

Again; the downside of all this is I see no reason Professor Althouse needs to submit to abuse, and, boy, sometimes the trolls can really crap up a comment thread with endless bitching.

Maybe you could dump all the trolls to some sort of place for review? Even maybe sift through them -- I know it's a lot of work --- and pick out the weird and wonderful trolling for consideration? But I get the idea that to some small extent you do exactly that. I appreciate it.

It occurs to me by the way that in harping on an admittedly weird position here I might be committing the offense myself ("in you, dear...") Please excuse, but I _am_ serious.

knoxgirl said...

Sanjay,

The problem is, quxxo and the like are mind-numbingly boring in their utter predictableness. Really, they just make any and EVERY subject political. snore! And I personally come to this blog precisely for the lack of predictableness of its host and its regular commenters.

I suppose the argument could be made that the endless myriad of ways in which quxxo, for example, can be sociopathically partisan is sort of clinically interesting... but at the end of the day, it really isn't.

A while back, I was against the idea of Ann deleting comments because, again, I like a variety of opinions, and I like to read the spirited debates that go on here... but these people really are beyond the pale and they don't want to play by the rules.

Sanjay said...

I am flashing back to a nature program from my youth which said that the presence of roahces in the house was not simply a matter of whether it was clean: a clean house has clean roaches and dirty house has dirty roaches but both can have roaches.

Althouse is an appealingly weird blog. It has appelingly weird trolls.

But I guess I recant. I've no business wishing abuse on Professor A.

Maxine Weiss said...

Where's Quixxo?

I like Quixxo.

Peace, Maxine

Alan Kellogg said...

Now that I know who the nastier blogger is, it becomes rather easy to identify the less nasty blogger (LNB) (according to Anne). And knowing who he is it becomes far easier to recognize a smidgen of vindictiveness in Anne.

In short, if you do get Anne Althouse ticked at you, you either apologize or you lay down the law firmly. Depending, of course, on whether you were in the wrong or the right.

LNB's failing was he didn't do either.

I do agree with Ms. Althouse regarding his deplorable tendency to over-write badly on certain subjects. (I would say it's intentional, but prose as atrocious as what he produces on the topic surely can't be planned.)

spiiderwebâ„¢ said...

That's just so much bullshit and you know it. Unmasking someone is vile. At the least, we should respect each other's efforts to post anonymously if that's someone's choice.

You use your name and I applaude you for it, but others may want/need to remain anonymous for their own reasons. Allow them that privacy.

I also applaude your acceptance of comments. Many don't.

Ann Althouse said...

Well, I still haven't used the guy's name. All I'm saying is that since he's been a miserable bastard toward me, I was pleased to see him have to take down his blog. I hope you acknowledge the vileness of his treatment of me. I never took revenge on him. I just ignored him, but expressed pleasure when he took down his vile blog. How can you fault me on this? You can't.

Svolich said...

Ann -

The Jeff/Deb dust up has been breathtaking - I think I may be hooked. Can you send me a clue as to the parties involved in this smaller version?

And, if I may, thank you for short, clear sentences. Thankyouthankyouthankyou.