With all the talk of sockpuppeting on Ophelia’s blog over the last couple of days, Wally Smith has, of course, been brought up in conversation. Wally Smith, for those of you who don’t remember, was the Alabama grad student who lost his position in his advisor’s lab because he allowed his antipathy for New Atheist bloggers, and a few of those bloggers in particular, to drive him to making shit up about them all over the internet. He was also the driving force behind the You’re Not Helping blog and approximately 75% of the comments on that blog under a wide variety of names.
I was feeling nostalgic. The good old days of relatively reasonable harassment, right? So I went back and looked at the YNH blog, which was preserved for posterity right before Smith got scared and deleted the thing.
Revisiting “I agree with Polly-O!” is always a joy. Aside from that, however, it turned out that what I found there was strikingly familiar.
There were the constant accusations of tribalism. See the tags here and elsewhere. There are “groupthink” and “witch hunts” that are no such thing. There is the constant claiming that things that could maybe, possibly, be called molehills if squinted at just the right way through a microscope are mountains of moral culpability.
There is the attempt to justify bad behavior by saying that others are bad too (yes, “Patricia” is also Wally Smith):
YNH is still overreaching, but it’s mild compared to what we usually see (and some, not you though, are only crying foul here and never elsewhere, which is something I’m beginning to believe YNH posts these types of things for to expose on purpose).
There’s the idea that uncovering who is behind attacks on you is some moral crime:
Disgusting, rotten, dishonest imbeciles who will try all means possible to silence anyone who disagrees with them rather than disprove what has been said?
Yes. They are.
There’s the gaslighting:
Of course, she also has asserted that you guys are most certainly one person, so the “delusional” label seems to be more applicable when made in the other direction….
There’s the talk of bullies and narcissism and claiming victimhood:
Ophelia always amazes me in her ability to scoff at those who act offended and whine (read: cry poor, bullied victim) while then turning around to act offended and whine (read: cry poor, bullied victim) herself. What’s more amazing is that she appears to know that she does it.
There’s pathological narcissism in that approach somewhere. Oops – I just bullied Ophelia!!
There’s the kitchen comments:
If you don’t want random people commenting and critiquing what you’ve got to say, Ophelia, Jerry et al., then don’t say it. Keep it amongst friends or something, but don’t get all whiney and confrontational when someone happens to comment on the things that you have willingly and knowingly put out in public (what did you expect to happen??). Anonymity is part of blogging, and it’s part of the internet. And saying that you “won’t pay it attention” or something similar just because it’s coming from an anonymous source is nothing more than a cop-out. If you can’t take the heat, stay out of the blogging kitchen.
Ophelia can go screw herself (just to clear things up, that’s a unisex “screw herself,” since apparently Ophelia takes the default position that one is being sexist if they criticize her on here. I doubt that’ll get her off her sexism fainting couch, however….that useless, putrid twat. Is that sexist since I’m a woman too? I hope so.)
All that from one guy talking to himself and pretending to be all of his biggest supporters. If he’d only had some marginal ability to open Photoshop and click around a bit, he could have been a one-man slime pit. Kind of makes you wonder which one of them he is, doesn’t it?
My vote, based on sheer number of sock puppets, would have to be Tim Groc/CommanderTuvok/MirrorMirror/ManondesSources/ACursoryGlance/Sickimoo/pocketcalculator and probably several other handles who pop in only to each claim that “they” are growing in strength and our doom is nigh. Any day now. Any time. Just like the rapture. Next runner up would be Jacques Cuze/Oliver Crangle/jay. Or it could be none of them. The pitizens and their friends may simply be following the same timeworn plan for dismissing their “enemies” without engaging honestly.
If any of the pitsters did learn anything from our old friend Wally, it may be that they learned the wrong lesson. The lesson many of us took from Wally Smith was that sock puppetry is basic cheating at social interaction, and it is human nature to punish the cheaters.
Ask Wally Smith, if you can find him.