Ever since I became involved in an ongoing dispute with a little gang of FTB bloggers, some assorted A+ idiots, and a few skepchicks there has been one thing going on that bothered me more than anything else. I’ve addressed it in private conversations, I’m not guilty of being a completely inconsiderate prick. Even though I had relayed my feelings in private I really should have written about it long before this.
Having had internet (and real life) disputes pretty often as a result of my inability to just let some things continue without question, I have developed a thick skin. Even though some people like to claim I’m on an angry tirade because they are so strongly effected by my words, that isn’t always the case. Sometimes the reply to me is as harsh as the other party can muster. When it has no effect on me you will often learn exactly what type of character we are dealing with. They take the cheap shots. Some try the personal attack, accusing me of being a drug addict or I must have a mental illness because I didn’t crumble when dealt the sharpness of their wit (yawn) Or maybe a comment about how I must be abusing my children or girlfriend. Insults directed towards my “retarded” son.(from the classy people like iesvs on reddit) Rape threats against my daughter ( no I’m not going on a crusade over this) Suggestions that I might need the help of a psychic in order to find the body of my son one day. The IRA was supposed to be leaving a bomb on my front porch on a couple occasions, not sure what happened there unless it was the same evening Satan was supposed to come over and “fuck my ass real good” You name it and some weak minded idiot has probably said it, threatened it, or wished it upon me.
Then we have the attack preferred by people like PZ Myers. That would be the ‘friendly attack’ or ‘guilt by association’. It’s not as bad as any of the previous tactics, it is far worse. We know how PZ takes a great pride in making his opponent out to be a fuckwit asshole who offers nothing to the conversation because the only intent they have is to focus everything on them. PZ would have made the greatest worst dictator if only he had been born someplace where his type of personality could thrive, like say North Korea. Would anyone really be that surprised to hear about PZ erecting a statue of himself with a giant squid in one hand as his weapon against the tone trolls who oppose him? Maybe we would see giant murals of his puffy face looking into the sky in a proud defiance of rational thinking with Anthony K and Caine jacking each other off at his feet. Well, I could see it. North Korea got lucky and avoided such a fate, instead PZ pulls his shit on a different scale in a different place. Instead PZ had a need to take a jab at my friend Al Sefanelli.
In case you don’t know it, Al is a widely respected, outspoken atheist. Though he has never claimed it, Al is a true leader. No he doesn’t sit at his keyboard and show people how to act like judgmental fools. He never tried to get anyone who would listen to go fuck up the results of another groups internet poll. He never gave a lame title to the regulars who commented on his blog like they were some type of playground gang. Nor has he ever commanded/encouraged those people to attack an individual with a differing opinion, not even if they had the gall to post something off the topic of the original post. Al Stefanelli has proven himself to be a leader by his actions, his words, and the way he applied those words. Then he topped it off with some real-life activism. He never has claimed the leadership role and that is another way he has proven to be an exceptionally good one. I have long believed if a person is truly skilled, if they actually can perform at a level above others there is no need for them to point it out, it will be easily observed by others. This is the case with Al.
PZ for whatever reason(s) felt he needed to take a cheap shot at me through Al by posting a video by a shit band with a song title mentioning racism. Although I have learned this is the type of thing we should expect from PZ, it bothers me that Al was dragged into the argument. Al had even suggested PZ get the benefit of the doubt on ReapSowRadio the week prior. PZ in his infinite wisdom didn’t know that and he isn’t really into showing anyone else any consideration the way Al does.
From that point on Al Stefanelli was subject to the babbling libel and incorrect assumptions that have become a regular practice among some of the
North Korean leadership other FTB bloggers, A+ idiots, and skepchicks.
Al took the bullshit in stride until he was pushed to the point where he had no choice but to defend himself. As usual his response was to the point and scathing. And, as usual , the response from the other side was more libel, some stupid, and a lot of delusion.
The entire time, before and after he had been dragged in, Al had my back. Not the way we see people like Stephanie Zvan defend the idiotic juvenile antics of people like Greg Laden. Al made sure lies about me were shown to be just that and he defended my character when someone like Ophelia Benson would make claims that she could only have known if she had psychic abilities. It was the only explanation since I have never met her in my life. I suppose she could have been hiding in random shadows, taking notes on my interaction with others for a few years. I really doubt that is the case since she squawks so much I would have easily heard her early on should she have made such an attempt.
The guilt by association attempted by PZ and others (adam lee) was unfortunate. I talked to Al about it and told him I was sorry about it and he assured me he never held it against me. I’ve seen it happen again even to people who I couldn’t say were my close friends but they found themselves linked simply by considering my point of view and encouraging others to make informed opinions. So far those people have all reacted by refusing to cower when threatened with this intimidation tactic. I would like to thank them for being an example of something I’ve said in the past and has proven true so far. The Truth Always Wins , And It Only Hurts You If You Deserve It .
Thanks Al, I hope I never make you feel like you made the wrong choice in supporting me but if I do, I fully expect you to call me on it. You are a true friend and leader. Neither needed to be pointed out but they did deserve to be acknowledged.