In the comments section of Elaine's blog there's a whole lotta accusin' going on that I am a cult member in good standing, a mindless drone to Massa Locke
. Much of the accusations of such mindlessness have taken place in comments, here, and elsewhere. You know what? I don't want to lose those comments if YACCS ever decides to take a powder. They're too important. I want them so I can look back in five years on what was said. The whole story. That's how we're really going to grow from all this. So here's a rundown of what's gone down:
the post that started the chatter
unveiled an underhanded attempt by Mr. Slanders to summon folks onto his anti-RB bandwagon, namely Marek, who blew the whistle. In the post, Locke also mentioned bix's recent callout of RB as a "nasty shmuck," saying this: "As to b!X, a boy with a handle indistinguisable from line-noise, he posted his nasty schmuck remark on his mommy's blog. Brave lad. Rather than have words with this insignificant weasel, I deleted him and his croney dame from my blogroll and good riddance."
A not-nice slam for a not-nice slam.
I posted this
, an explanation of why the above post was dedicated to me--the answer to which is that I called Slanders out his name a long time ago. In said post, I stated that I don't lump the Bix/Crone team together with Slanders (or I didn't) when I wrote this: "While I'm not aligned with RB on his opinions about all his blogger relationships - I love the Crone, for example -- I second his nomination of Mike Slanders of Stop Trying as Blogger Asshole of the Year. (okay, well, I made up that nomination)."
That's when the fun began. Let's relive it, shall we?
Starts out pretty nice...
"Tut. Tut. Poor little boy got his feelings hurt by mama Crone and her progeny (who, btw, contributes a hell of a lot more to making the world a better place than the poor little rageboy.) Locke IS a nasty schmuck. But that never stopped me from reading his weblog or keeping him on my blogroll, which I will continue to do. And it never stopped me from being able to separate his adolescent attitudes toward women and relationships from the often brilliant and usually amusing mentally verbal calisthenics. I guess I'm just a better man than he is (and, believe me, there's nothing manly about me at all!) I'm beginning to think that not only is Locke a nasty scmuck, but he's pretty much a lost soul, a lost cause, and a general all-over life-waster. Sorry, Jeneane. I know that he's your blog mentor, but his life seems pretty much useless otherwise."
Things are going pretty civil so far. A constructive dialog begins. Though I think calling someone "life-waster," a "lost cause," and "useless" is pretty much like saying someone's worth as much dead as alive. That aint' so nice.
"Elaine, I've logged probably 200 hours of real time conversation with Chris over the past year, during which he's helped me in countless ways. It hasn't been a one way street. Both professionally and personally I've learned from every conversation, plus we've laughed a bunch at times when neither of us had a reason to. He's friend to my husband, uncle to our Daughter. His brother and my husband are longtime musician friends that go back 20 years. The Lockes are part of our family. Who knew? Nasty shmuck? No. Abrasive and intolerable? Sometimes. He is brilliant--that's evident in what you mention above...the stuff that keeps you coming back to read him. He understands more about what we're doing here than I think most peple will realize until (my personal prediction) 5 years from now. He has an amazing capacity to understand and love. Yes, he's aggressive and stubborn too--qualities I find endearing in *MANY* of my blog friends (het-hem), even when they butt heads with one another. In short, I love you both. Bix, I'm still trying to figure out!
Still pretty civil. Okay. Cool. Agree to disagree. That's what makes the world go round. Then Frank Paynter chimes in some good stuff--which if I included would take too much room. He's seeing all sides, as he usually does. And wittily so. Okay, onto the next comment.
(1.) I don't always understand b!X either, but at least he's out there in his community trying to make the world a better place for someone other than himself. (see http://portland-or.bordc.org/). I guess it's a matter of personal values. (2.) I have nothing against tortured artists and/or brilliant minds that try to make a name and a living manipulating the artificial construct of the world of commerce, even if it's couched in the interest of honest conversation. Something good is likely to come out of anything that urges speaking from the best parts of the heart. I do have something against schmucks who publicly harass former "beloveds" and who can dish out invectives out but can't take them. And, I have only pity and sympathy for narcissistic might have beens who seem to make a great effort to make sure the world at large sees them as emotionally stunted and psychologically deformed (by choice or circumstance -- it really doesn't matter) and then complain that people see them as emotionally stunted and psychologically deformed. In other words, as nasty schmucks. Obviously, RageBoy can't tolerate anyone who doesn't idolize him. To those who do, he bestows his good graces and frequent links. If that isn't narcissism, I don't know what is. I wrote Mike Sanders off a long time ago, but now I find that RageBoy has relegated me into his ousted company. While I'm not too happy about that, I'm very happy to suggest that those who idolize RB should perhaps check out his enormous clay feet and his consistent contradictions to his purported humanity. Someone should tell the emperor that his bare ass is hanging out. No one's got the guts."
Oh dear. The beginings of the CULT accusations are taking shape.... "Idolizing" and such. Followed by Elaine again:
"uh. well, if there's one thing that gets my cauldron roiling nastily is unexpected and unwarranted verbal attacks. I didn't start the fire. However, I'm not afraid to stir the stew. Boil and bubble. Lililth rises. Kali smiles."
"Elaine, I'll speak for myself here--let the other "cluetrainers" as you've referred to them lately speak for themselves. To suggest that I "idolize" Chris, that I wouldn't have the "guts" to tell him what I think about any given topic, and that any linkage that goes back and forth between us are based on his "good graces"--a return for said idolization--is more than wrong, it's insulting. There are about eight hundred reasons why, and a comment box probably isn't the right medium to list them--more on that elsewhere. What you write here is like saying, "Poor souls; they don't know they're just being used to feed an out-of-control ego." Wouldn't it be interesting if that were the case. Suggestion: Twist it, read it backwards, and see if it makes more sense. It would be nice (in some ways) to be able to boil all relationships--both in and outside of blogging--down to black and white, to never waver from absolute right and wrong, to be Pro A and anti B or vice versa. To hold to the "Mike Slanders line of absolute Truth As I Say It To Be." To draw thick lines with magic markers and never waver. But that's not where the human heart lives, it's not HOW the human heart lives, and it's not what we're doing *here*. From all the discourse I've seen flying back and forth in emails and posts over the last several months, the fire didn't start yesterday. And it wasn't lit with a single match or piece of paper in Boulder. Look deeper. Stir longer. Blog on."
Next Mike Golby chimes in and I'm not sure I still understand his comment, but it's something about hate the sin not the sinner. Then Tom, with his usual wit and charm. Again, they state their view, try to diffuse a bit with humor. To which I say the following:
"Okay, Mr's Golby and Matrullo, I'll lighten up if my Crone mother will. The deal is, I don't have a problem with Elaine (or anyone) vocalizing their less than favorable assessment of Dr. RB's behavior if that's what they feel. I have a problem with the notion that somehow RB's butt is hanging out and I/we wouldn't have the balls to tell him, which, I tell him quite often, and, when is the case, he tells me. Not sure what ya'll think friendship is about, but in this case it's definitely peppered with, you ass, fuck you, that's not the way I see it, and you're the best. I'm able to do that. That's what makes me so damn charming. ;-)"
You know, I'm glad I'm who I am.
"Yes. I just verbally behaved like a nasty schmuck. I tend to shoot back from the hip and then have to stand there and take the returned fire. Yes, I did NOT deserve Locke's blogattack. Neither did I deserve the vitriolic email he sent me that I won't repeat here. But I will back off on how I said what I said about Locke. And I thank Golby and Paynter and Sessum for reminding me. We are all human, with all of our faults and indequacies and mistakes. I don't condemn the human being; but I do condemn nasty schmuck BEHAVIOR. I feel the same way about Sanders and a lot of the other warbloggers, which is why I made up my mind to ignore them. Locke has a habit of behaving like a nasty schmuck. I have a tendency to return nasty schmuck behavior. We both need to lighten up. Only time will tell whether history views Locke as a cultural pop hero. I hope it does. As a matter of fact, in case it does, I'm going to save his vitriolic email (in which he calls me a passive-aggressive bitch) in case it might be worth something someday. Sorry Chris, I don't intend to 'fuck off.'"
Truth be known, I've seen many emails. Regardless, I notice here that again, Elaine seems to be looking forward to Chris' death--one might assume from the recent toungue thrashings flying about cyberland that she should get in a long line. Still, I'm content to let it rest. Who the fuck cares. I could see this personality clash coming a mile away. There's no winner here except Slanders. My worst fear realized. Then bix chimes in with his penny and a half.
"I have no earthly idea what in the Hell this entire latest dose of claptrap is event about, but since I was dragged into it be the rabid Locke/Sanders tagteam, I'll just say this: Locke was at one time an unavoidable genius talent. But then he decided to react to a crash and burn lovelife as if he was a spiteful and vengeful pre-adolescent of the worst sort. And ever since then, I've been hard pressed to find any actual brilliance in there anymore. Just bitter pretension. Sorry if I don't see the appeal of that."
Well let's not stop there. Tell me what you really think.
"Oh, wait. Hold on. One other thing, since Locke and his alleged genius felt that it would maligningly amusing to say this: he posted his nasty schmuck remark on his mommy's blog. Brave lad. FWIW (and it's worth little to most of those who still wallow in Locke's bootstrapped cult of personality), it was posted there because there was a thread of conversation there about Locke. How dare I! The gall! To participate in the conversation! The matter of whose site said conversation was on is irrelevant, and Locke's making some sort of bizarre point out of it only helps illustrate the nasty schmuckiness in which he's been mired for what seems like ages now. I suppose he merely wishes I had said it on my own site, so that he would receive just that little bit of more traffic."
THERE WE HAVE IT! "The Cult of Personality" accusation takes form. With eleoquent words from Bix, including "claptrap," Remind me--was this a bad Duran Duran song, or Boy George--I'm pretty sure the last time I heard it I was someplace that I left puking. Bix has been doing this kind of thing a lot lately. Pissing in other people's comment boxes and then acting rather surprised--read: really really angry--when people react to what he's said. Funny how that works. BUT WHY STOP THERE? Let's here some more Bix. You're getting to know me real good now. Piss in my comment box some more. It's not full yet.
"This -- and the bit that follows it, about people drawing black/white distinctions -- is a load of bollocks. Someone from the Christopher Locke Cult of Personality explain to me why Locke can be brutal, savage, and vitriolic, but then if someone should bother to state in public, and perhaps harshly, just what sort of person that behavior describes -- well, explain to me why the cult goes out of its way to circle the wagons to defend Locke even as he moves onward to try his hand at savaging his critics. If such group dynamics don't lean towards "idolatry" as an explanatio, then someone had better come up with a good alternative. Because they haven't explained it here yet."
Okay, the whole cult worship thing has really grabbed hold here. I'm pretty sure Elaine's going to run with it.. So I figure I should say something first. Cut the whole thing off at the pass. Stop it now before it gets worse:
"Bix, get a grip. "Claptrap," "Nasty," "idolizing," "Bitter," "Pre-Adolescent," "vitriolic": pot calling kettle much? Learn to read--I said whatever anyone says about Locke, say it. I don't jump to his defense. I don't care. He's a big boy--he knows how to speak for himself. I'm speaking about what is accused of *me*. Don't you dare imply that you know my story, what I'm doing here beyond what I've written, my story with RB or your mom, or that "idolitry" is what any of it is about. Easy, black-and-white Mike Slanderism is what that is. I'll be happy to talk about the big picture with you when you grow up. Hopefully I'll still be around. Til then, -j."
Wshew. Glad that's over with. Now bix can get back to work saving Portland. But no, he clearly thinks he's onto something with this "Cult of Personality" mantra. Hey, when you're throwing around some heavy meaningless words, run with 'em! That's what I always say!
"Of course he knows how to handle himself. By dumping on other people. And then when people call him treating people that way, only they seem to get dismissed. He gets called some sort of Warrior Hero of Showing Us Humanity. They get disparaged for being mean. That, my friends and Romans, is a cult of personality."
To which Tom Shugart pops in to say, Go Elaine. RB is a nasty shmuck. To which RageBoy makes an appearance saying, hey, this was all staged--me and mikey knew what we were doing from the get-go.
And that, my friends, brings us to the end of 20 comments worth of bickering. Like a true blue blogger, I try one more time to clarify what I think is going on here in a post two up -- my permalink to that post is broken. Smart permalink. The result is another rash of cult accusations I'm actually too tired to pull out right now. Maybe later. I have a real job I better get back to.
I'll leave you with a comment from Elaine over on her site in which she details what's really going on with me and the mind control mojo massa Locke has cast upon me:
"And Jeneane, you have a very special relationship with him; it has always been obvious that you are one of his annointed ones. (That's how a cult personality functions.) And, you look at him as your mentor, so it's understandable why you would come to his defense (as the unconditional-love mother figure). That's commendable. But, I'm just been a blogger who tries to question the validity of people who have set themselves up as cult figures, the assumed right, of some of them, to be nasty. Just because he has had to demonize me, doesn't mean that you have to, but I understand if that falls under your definition of loyalty."
What's left to say? How do you respond to that catch 22?
Have you stopped beating your wife? Hey, have you broken loose from that Cult yet?
Loyalty. Yep, that's me. The loyal and faithful servent who would never speak my own mind in public. I can't say what I think because I need people too much and the potential of their rejection of me would be too much for me to bear. Instead, I choose to posture behind my broad strokes, blending magical colors across the canvas that is allied, moved by an inner strength that only I can know, only I can touch.
Now, if you'll forgive me, I think there's a rolled up newspaper over by the couch with my name on it. I better high tail it outta here. And quick.