I stayed out of the whole “Jeff Goldstein is on drugs” thing as much as possible, mostly because several things went through my head when I saw him writing love poems to his klonopin prescription:
1. This guy might actually have some serious problems, besides his generally obnoxious fulmination.
2. It’s not nice to pick on people who are crazy.
3. And, after all, the motherfucker might be crazy.
I actually said as much here.
And, as I said in that entry, “Sow the wind…”
While I was taking a bit more phlegmatic position on the sport of poking-it-with-a-stick-to-see-what-sort-of-funny-sound-it-makes, I was afforded a perspective on the proceedings one can enjoy from the bleachers, and I thought…. “This can’t end well.” Stopping in at Protein Wisdom one afternoon, I skimmed what was there, and, honestly, Goldstein didn’t appear to have much left but the Koolaid in his bucket and his rage.
You can’t back a guy into a corner and not expect him to come out swinging anything and everything he can get his hands on.
And boy, did he. Which brings us to the moral of the story, I suppose.
No person is more dangerous than a man with nothing left to lose.
I have to admit that I lost the thread on this whole semiotics and intention argument, but it certainly appeared that whatever ground Goldstein had gained through his tendentious arguments and academic esoterica was rapidly being undermined by someone with actual credentials and some experience in the trade. So, y’know, he ended the discussion the only way he knew how. “Fuck you, I’m going after your job and your family.” Nice one, Jeff.
However Goldstein tries to dress it up, outing someone’s family and place of employment is intimidation. I think that’s CLEAR TO EVERYONE BUT HIM and his behaviorally-challenged horde of commenters. (Has anyone else noticed that some of the commenters who do the dirtiest work have a remarkably similar tone to the proprietor himself? I suspect that if one were to undertake the odious task of sorting through the tidal wave of invective, the “I didn’t say it, one of my commenters did! And I refuse to be held responsible for it!” dodge would be revealed to be a fairly transparent feint. Of course, I could be completely wrong about this. The world fairly TEEMS with idiots and assholes.)
I do not know how much this might actually impact the Thersites Family’s lives, because I don’t really know what sort of mischief the denizens of Pastelandia are capable of getting up to.
I have actually chosen not to be those people who lives his life as if there was a slavering horde of murderers, islamofascist terrorists, stalkers, cyber-thiefs and muggers waiting just on the other side of my concealed-carry permit. I refuse to be held hostage by fear.
However, no one has ever “outed” me in an attempt to intimidate me. If you read my weblog closely, it’s not hard to figure out who I am, where I work and what band I am in. Easy for me to say, however, since I am a pretty big guy, my job is fairly secure and I don’t have a two-year-old.
I have had to live with intimidation, though, albeit when I was too young to really comprehend what was going on.
Back in the late 1970s, my mother took on the Klan. Long story short, there was a rash of home invasion murders in the neighborhood where we lived. This was a different time, you must understand, in the only recently desegregated South. The victims of the Columbus Stocking Strangler were exclusively little old white ladies. The Ku Klux Klan, perhaps not realizing that they were no longer held in the high esteem that they had once been, offered to maintain their concept of social order by patrolling our neighborhood in trucks, while toting high-powered rifles and two-way radios. (Um…. Minutemen, anyone?)
ANYWAY, my mother, Civil Rights Activist and firebrand that she was, circulated a petition saying (essentially) “Look, we don’t want a bunch of trigger-happy yahoos driving around shooting deer rifles at any young black man who happens to wander through our neighborhood.” 40,000 people signed it. The Mayor accepted it and instructed the police to run off anyone with more guns than teeth prowling around our neighborhood. You can imagine how this went over with the Honky Brigade.
The Stocking Strangler was eventually caught with no help from the Klan. However we had to live with police protection for a few months. I was too young to really comprehend why we were being watched by the police. I didn’t connect the killing of one of our family’s pets with the whole affair until years later. (My folks did their best to keep me blissfully unaware of what was going on around us.)
But, y’know, this whole flap between Protein Wisdom and Metacomments sorta reminds me of that. “You may have won this round, Batman…. but how do you like THIS?”
Resorting to threatening a family’s well-being is truly the act of a scoundrel. If Jeff Goldstein didn’t intend to intimidate Thersites and his family, then WHY does he keep publishing Thers’ work info and real name on his weblog? Dude. Knock it off. You’re starting to look like even MORE of an asshole.