A study in early 21st century political discourse
July 18, 2005 4:49 PM   Subscribe

When keyboard warriors collide. "The gallantry with which you both seem willing to place your bodies at the disposal of each other over your differences of opinion is a rare occurrence these days. It seems to me that you are in need of a disinterested third party to mediate the discrepancies in your expectations."

On the left, we have Reverend Mykeru. On the right, Lord Spatula. Let the games... (hey, wait a second. come back!)
posted by icosahedral (38 comments total)
I have seen it before on rightie blogs...write something informed that actually dares to challenge any belief and the insults begin. The most common do happen to be about homosexuality. If you laugh it off, stay on target and keep hammering away (so to speak) then the threats soon follow.

The debate is just far superior on the left blogs (and far more allow comments).
posted by UseyurBrain at 5:12 PM on July 18, 2005

*Strangers in the night...*
posted by bardic at 5:22 PM on July 18, 2005

Exchanging glances, looking for a fight...
posted by Reverend Mykeru at 5:24 PM on July 18, 2005

each one thinks they're right...
posted by markovitch at 5:31 PM on July 18, 2005

But their undies are just too tight...
posted by Reverend Mykeru at 5:32 PM on July 18, 2005

ignoring people's plight....

maybe we should stop soon
posted by markovitch at 5:36 PM on July 18, 2005

Did spatula guy really type out things like "Bwaahahaha?"

Reminds me of my employer's finance person, who types in caps when she REALLY NEEDS SOMETHING DONE RIGHT AWAY.
posted by bardic at 5:42 PM on July 18, 2005

Emperor Misha's involved somehow? Be careful Rev: between you, me, the lampost, the fire hydrant, and the other lampost... there's something not quite right about that guy.

Shit, he's probably gonna track me down and e-mail my boss now.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 5:50 PM on July 18, 2005

Spatulas' a pussy. UFC rules are quite civil.

Hell. I might fight either guy under those rules. Just for fun. Rev, you ever need a proxy on the West Coast I'll stand in for you. Unless you piss of some roided out Bob Sapp clone.

But these things never happen.

I "met" a challenger from UseNet once. Some survivalist kook troll named "Alan Connor." I waited under the viaduct here in Seattle for like 2 hours before it became obvious he — or the ninja agents he promised— wern't going to show.

I bet he had a good laugh at that.
posted by tkchrist at 5:57 PM on July 18, 2005

That was delightful.

Of course, I have absolutely no experience in martial arts or anything of the sort.

I do, however, have access to a medium whereby I can communicate a clear message to the entire population in which I live.

The internet can be delicate and anonymous.
Morning radio hosts are like bulldogs who tenaciously seize any named asshole by their very fiber and shake them until they have no choice but to leave their home.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 6:02 PM on July 18, 2005

Two men enter, one man leaves.
posted by bardic at 6:12 PM on July 18, 2005

"there's something not quite right about that guy"

Hmmn, you think, PinkStainlessTail?

Well, I wasn't aware of his existence until he, like Crager, sent me an unsolicited email intent on proving to me whatever the hell they think they are proving. The name rung a bell. Seems he figured in the outing and harassment of Eric Blumrich, who does the site BushFlash. David Neiwert had a write-up on this about a year back.

Both Spatula City and The Anti-Idiotarians act like they are auditioning to be the new SA, which Crager doing the part of Ernst Roehm, who was, as you know, curiously light in the loafers for a street thug.

I'm not worried though. I suspect neither of them can leave the state of Texas if you know what I mean. And if they did, they would just drive into the Gulf of Mexico anyway.
posted by Reverend Mykeru at 6:16 PM on July 18, 2005

Emperor Misha's involved somehow? Be careful Rev: between you, me, the lampost, the fire hydrant, and the other lampost... there's something not quite right about that guy.

Well, that's the understatement of the year.
posted by grey_flap at 6:23 PM on July 18, 2005

He challenged the Rev or did the rev challenge him? I don't see where it started. And the etiquette of these things demands the challenger to go where the challenged agrees.

Now I have used the "come say it to my face", and people accuse me of being thuggish, though I am not in the least. It's just as a recreational boxer I don't see fist fighting as a big deal. And if there is reasonable time frame, distance to travel, and no laws being broken—nobody should bitch.

So I don't get why Spatula didn't go for it. A couple hours drive and maybe a few bruises? Big deal? He would've got a great deal of street cred just for showing.
posted by tkchrist at 6:29 PM on July 18, 2005


It's a long damn story. Basically it works like this: About a year ago as the result of a little net war someone did a little research on my domain information and outed me, printing my name, address, etc. and from that people figured out my place of employ. Yes, you guessed it: My employer got some anonymous "tips" about me that it took a year for them to get around to investigating and dismissing as simple harassment. So I write a piece Bring it Yourself suggesting that anyone who wished to continue this shit can come do it in person. Crager, who I assume had nothing to do with anything up to this point, interpreted that as a challenge and sent me an email demanding that I make a trip to Texas. I never heard of the guy before.

At first I didn't take the silly bastard seriously, and I never did get around to entertaining the thought of driving 1300 miles to knock on his apartment complex's security gate. Especially since my original point was for anonymous harassers to do it in person, not that I was going to tour the United States and the world to meet up with people who wanted a little harassment. I think Crager responded because he thinks he has copyright on "come say it to my face". But as it developed, what with the "Nashville Compromise" and airfare reimbursement, plus the chance to smack around some idiot wingnut enlisted in the 101st Fighting Keyboarders, it was just too good not to accept.

As I mentioned in the "Spatula letters" I've been in some ugly fights myself -- It might have something to do with being 5' 7" and considered an easy mark by bullies -- and so I can only attribute Crager's reluctance to do what he apparently dreams of as the result of leading a very sheltered life.
posted by Reverend Mykeru at 6:44 PM on July 18, 2005

Good read. Reminded me of Star Wars vs. Star Trek Hate Mail. Lord Spatula is no Stewart Davies, though.
posted by unsupervised at 6:52 PM on July 18, 2005

They're both idiots. At least one side is willing to admit it.
posted by fungible at 7:05 PM on July 18, 2005

It was a guilty, yet completely addictive read. I'm hooked :D
posted by Thoth at 7:06 PM on July 18, 2005

Here's what I posted on his site,
And I accept Rev Mykeru's challenge if he meets me in the THUNDERDOME and lets me win (i'm fragile)..

My God man, you got called and buckled, I mean they were gonna pay your way and have medical assistance in case of injury. Dude, that was as fair a fight as you will ever get.
mean come on!?!!?

You don't accept someones challenge then expect them to come to you? you meet on neutral ground and then accept your fate in an honorable manner.

I'm not a violent man either, but if I accept a challenge I would have by honor to either follow thru or apologize for the "honest mistake", but thats just me. I can accept my faults and my mistakes, I would have assumed you could too.
Oh well.
posted by Elim at 7:09 PM on July 18, 2005

Making the trip to his place, being denied entry, and having the cops called on you sounds like good documentary material. If you ever decide to go with it, let me know and I'll be there with a camera.

That said, if you kicked his ass, you'd be in the wrong no matter what he typed on the Internet. If you came out swinging and he put you down, you'd still probably be in legal trouble.

People act tough on the Internet. It's not news and the best response to these people is just to ignore them. By baiting him you might get some humour out of it, but you end up looking like an asshole too. And no, I'm not going to come and say that to your face.
posted by ODiV at 7:11 PM on July 18, 2005

I loved that, and probably would've traveled to Nashville for the fight.

Could we fund a badass liberal to drive around the country beating these guys up? It's not like debate works.
posted by kingfisher, his musclebound cat at 7:20 PM on July 18, 2005

Isn't that an old joke/parable/whatever?

A pacifist is arguing with someone about whether violence solves anything and ends up kicking the other guy's ass. The pacifist says "Will you submit?" and the other guy says "Never!"

or something...
posted by ODiV at 7:24 PM on July 18, 2005

Hah! Didn't realize you were a mefite, Reverend. I'm conflicted over this whole thing. The idealistic side of me is depressed that this mimics American politics now-a-days, but the sensationalistic side of me was a bit disappointed not to see the throw-down in all its glory. Although the real ending is quite bittersweet and telling.

Nice work.
posted by icosahedral at 7:32 PM on July 18, 2005

HA! Awesome ! Got banned from Spatbois site
I feel the love
posted by Elim at 7:52 PM on July 18, 2005

"the best response to these people is just to ignore them"

The problem is that these are the same people who are given to regularly intimidating people. See David Neiwert's The spiral of eliminationism to see some of the same characters. Apparently they don't learn, they don't go away, they will continue to try this thuggish crap and ignoring them just makes them try harder.

I could be wrong, and I have no doubt that avoiding needless conflict is noble, but ignoring them seems to reinforce the idea that anyone not as wingnutty as they are is a passive wimp ripe for exploitation.

In which case a little provocation and dragging them out into the public square for some ritual humiliation may actually be constructive.
posted by Reverend Mykeru at 7:52 PM on July 18, 2005

The "Nashville Compromise" may just be the best thing ever. Reminds me of the 'Peace of 1995' instituted not too long ago. Truly the best of the web.
posted by nixerman at 9:04 PM on July 18, 2005

Making threats and going to chain restaurants is about all there is to do in Addison, as you can probably tell from the pictures on Mykeru's blog, so I can't say I blame the guy. Ya gotta make your own fun. On the other hand, I keep looking at pictures of people from the internet and going, aren't you too old for this shit?
posted by furiousthought at 9:16 PM on July 18, 2005

You're all fucking idiots.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 2:42 AM on July 19, 2005


Nah, she just acted stupid.
posted by Reverend Mykeru at 3:44 AM on July 19, 2005

I second Pretty_Generic's statement.
posted by Josh Zhixel at 4:58 AM on July 19, 2005

I suspect that this "Lord Spatula" character was just trying to stir up a commotion to get more visitors to his website, since his obviously brilliant writing style and unique perspective wasn't doing the job.

So, uh, good job for playing into it.
posted by cmonkey at 6:46 AM on July 19, 2005


That's one way to look at it in a properly snarky "you're a moron regardless" MeFi sort of way. Another way to look at it is that Crager and the associated Anti-Idiotarian Rottweilers are interested in stirring up a commotion, getting visitors to their site and having a chilling effect on people they disagree with.

Seriously, the David Neiwert link above shows that they are interested in more than unique page views.

Also, I stirred up hits on my own site. Which, of course is the only thing that matters, actual arguments, principles, personal convictions, ideology and my own self-image, self-esteem and very manhood being subservient to the site meter.

So, uh, your cynicism is shallow and trite.
posted by Reverend Mykeru at 7:11 AM on July 19, 2005

"The surface of the planet, not the entire planet."
posted by bardic at 8:14 AM on July 19, 2005

Seriously, the David Neiwert link above shows that they are interested in more than unique page views.

Call it trite cynicism, but I find it hard to belive that a grown man who uses phrases like "Demoscummic Underpants" is interested in much more than inflating his ego by getting attention.
posted by cmonkey at 8:19 AM on July 19, 2005

Could we fund a badass liberal to drive around the country beating these guys up?

How much? I would need to keep my business open. And we would need a cover story to keep my wife from killing me in my sleep. Eh. Admittedly I'm not near bad-ass enough and past my prime. I do know a couple that are pretty tough, though. Put together a proposal and I will float it.

Problem is beating down obese wing-nuts just is not all that interesting. It would be likely they would hire proxies out of biker bars. Or. With kooks like Spatula you gotta worry, that if you win, one of their nutty brown-shirts will be pulling a gun— as I noted in the sexy, sexy, pictures on his site.
posted by tkchrist at 9:29 AM on July 19, 2005

Maybe a frontal approach would have worked. Say you will be there that weekend, get a friend to dress up like the crazy dude and then take pictures clearly showing an ass kicking of epic proportions. Then, put a post on your site from him asking for forgiveness.

Of course he will deny it, but that's when the fun really begins!
posted by UseyurBrain at 11:32 AM on July 19, 2005

Well, with that security gate, can't even ring-and-run.

"find it hard to belive that a grown man who uses phrases like "Demoscummic Underpants" is interested in much more than inflating his ego by getting attention."

Well, his having some barking mad psychological purpose is different than cunning hit whoring. Nice Bush-like moving of the goal post while you thought I wasn't looking.
posted by Reverend Mykeru at 12:11 PM on July 19, 2005

Sometimes a sonofabitch needs calling up, and Rev. Mykeru did the calling. Fact is, it didn't come to a fight, which is pretty much not a surprise, and -- I think -- the whole point.
posted by moonbiter at 4:47 AM on July 21, 2005

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