Angry Doesn’t Describe It.


I can’t tell you how many drafts I’ve done of this post. That’s how bent I am about the topic.
The blogosphere is where I play. If someone wants to wave their dick around, have a good time. I’ll go enjoy the company of the other people I’ve gotten to know.
Not my problem.

But someone whose company I enjoy posted a reblog of someone I’d never heard of. I wandered over, because I enjoy this bloggers online persona, and they were very keen to have the post read.

What I read both appalled and enraged me.

Every blogger I follow is here to tell their stories and enjoy the community. In some cases, that means finding someone to laugh at their jokes, to encourage their adventures, or to share and lessen their pain.

So I read the post about a woman who had been sexually abused when she was younger. She was offered a platform by a popular influential blogger to tell her story on a site where guests discussed major issues. She accepted.

This is the part where things go horribly wrong.
The host of the site and the blogger became friendlier. They traded emails. They were flirtatious.
At a certain point, she got uncomfortable with the flirtation and asked him to stop. Not only didn’t it stop, but he escalated it instead.
At the same time, the host and his followers lambasted another blogger under the guise of self-righteousness in a very loud and public shaming.

After asking around from people on both sides of this mess, there were consistent stories that came out. The host has a history of using his blogs popularity and influence, along with his own personal charm, to manipulate and coerce others into feeding his ego.
“But Dave” you say, “they’re adults. They don’t have to do anything. How could an online voice make them do anything?”
Because many people have very unpleasant histories. And many are vulnerable to triggers from people who for whatever reason need to control others to validate themselves.
She said stop. He pushed it.
Others who had been in his circle thought for themselves or hung out with people who had left the circle.
Some of them were shamed. Some of them were shunned. Some of them were the victims of backstage gossip campaigns.

This is where I play. I love the communities that I found here – the one I built here, and the ones that welcomed me in when I got here.
And when the community has members that are here to build themselves up at the expense of others, to demean talented worthwhile people for their own needs, then deny that they’ve done anything wrong, other than to say “maybe I went too far”, ignoring that they’ve done it again and again, then it’s worth it to stand up for what’s right.

Taking advantage of someone who has opened themselves because you can is fucking wrong.
Ganging up on people you don’t like for some perceived slight is fucking wrong.
Ain’t none of us here curing cancer. Get. Fucking. Over it.
You don’t like the person posting? Fuck you. Unfollow them.
You want to use your vaunted position and influence with wp to build a mob? Fuck you twice. The community is stronger than you.
You’re going to follow in that mob and tear someone down for no reason? Try thinking for yourself.
But if you’re a narcissist who takes advantage of people, and when called out on it, is only remorseful because of the blowback on issues with your family, Fuck you doesn’t even come close to the disdain and fucking loathing I have for you.

I may lose a lot of followers for this post. I might be called an awful lot of bad names for this post.
Fuck you too.
Because what happened here that set me off, and from what I’ve heard of the pattern of this happening again and again, Fuck You is the only appropriate response.

Some people said to me, in private conversations, that they didn’t want to say anything because the host was too big and had too many followers and they were worried about repercussions.
I am so fucking angry that this happened that I don’t care. Abuse is wrong. Physical, sexual, mental, take your pick.
For the perpetrator, mixed with the anger I have towards him, there’s also pity. Because he sincerely doesn’t think he’s in the wrong.

The blogosphere is where I play. I’m here to support my friends with likes and comments. And to say to anyone who wants to prey on others here when they’ve shared their vulnerabilities and sought to build their own communities of support and strength, get help.
You have a problem. You have a history of action. Do something, before it spills into your real life and rips away everything you hold dear.

For his blind followers, dear god, think for yourselves. Look at the people you’re trying to tear down. Ask yourself honestly, is there any reason for it besides the rampage of the mob? Have they done anything so horrible that it calls for screaming.
Is it on the scale of taking advantage of someone mentally?

Because that’s what Le Clown did. And the post that set me off was this one from Calamity Rae.

Update: I wrote this Friday night. Since then, other bloggers have spoken out. Le Clown has shut down his site.
He may be back. There may be another.
If that happens, stand up. Say something. Don’t let good people be cowed or scared or intimidated into following or being silent.
A whole lot of bloggers are now telling their stories. Listen to them. Try and understand how this happened so it doesn’t happen again.

369 responses to “Angry Doesn’t Describe It.

  1. Thank you for your righteous anger.

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  2. Guap, I have just started hearing about this today. I only blog, and I do it, like you, for fun. I don’t do Facebook, and I prefer to make my own judgments, my own friends. I’m not much of a joiner.

    This situation is so very sad on all levels. Somebody pooped in the Word Press sandbox.

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  3. Unfuckingbeliveable! Thank you so much. I am CRAZED by this kinda crap. But I’m glad to know you, to read you, to follow you — and for reading this from you today! You are fucking stellar! “The blogosphere is where I play.” <— LOVE. THIS. Sending you much love, good vibes and continued strength (you got the writing thing down, so I'mma keep me some of that for me!).

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    • (So does this mean you’ll post more often?)(hint hint.)

      Thanks Carmen. I love playing in the same sandbox as you. And if we can’t play someplace we feel safe, what’s the point?

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      • I don’t know about posting more often — but I do read all the time even if I don’t comment. It’s more about being able to sit for a minute infront of a computer and write. And between you and me — I try real hard to get away from my computer as often as possible.

        Clearly it is about playing (love the sandbox!) and feeling safe. But you know, it’s also about having these amazing relationships. Where you trust, but also where someone defends you when you need to be defended. Someone who will be strong and fight for you — it’s like “REAL” physical life. And that’s what we all want. And I loved this post because you defended not just her, but me and US and our space. I just loved it! Again, thank you. Keep on keepin’ on sweetness.

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  4. I love you, Guap. I went from not being able to say something to not knowing what to say. You put it perfectly.

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    • Thanks Sheena. You have a great voice, and I enjoy hearing it when I read you. Don’t let anyone take that from you.

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      • Thank you, and likewise. I am going to keep doing what I am doing because the blogosphere is where I play, but it is also where I cry (good grief, that sounds dramatic, but true).

        The original thread is quite triggering for me so I want to keep it off my blog and support my friends on theirs…when I am able. If anyone has an issue, I will say “you have to put your own oxygen mask on before you help others”. Or something.

        In other words, thank you again for your words and for being there (here…somewhere)…as always. See you in the sandbox!

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  5. Wow….well said Guap! I agree with every single ‘fuck you’.

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  6. I actually started blogging to get away from this kind of crap. I’ve been bullied and trolled on sites from Amazon to FB to “forums” I’ve blotted from my mind. The trolls and bullies are always with us. If I had a singular act of magic in me, I would use it to banish these people from the world.

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    • What the hell???
      Seriously, I just don’t understand that. If I don’t like you, then why even bother reading???

      I would contribute to a D&D kickstarter for that spell.

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      • It doesn’t have to make sense. That’s the thing. There are a lot of people who do this for sport. They get some kind of “kick” out of making other people — often women, but not ONLY women — unhappy. And mob mentality prevailing, they can always find a few zomboid followers to give them a virtual hand. Garry keeps pointing out there really IS evil in this world. You may not believe in God, but it is easy to find the Devil.

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  7. Tragic that this happened. I used to visit Le Clown on occasion, but haven’t for quite a while so I’ve missed all of this which is a good thing. A good post , Guap and I support you on the blogosphere being a safe place to play and learn. Peace an love ma brutha!

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  8. Reblogged this on Carmen Lezeth Suarez and commented:
    Sometimes someone writes something and it just feels like it came from within me. LOVE. THIS. POST. And he’s absolutely right! This is where I play muther-flowers…if you can’t treat people right, get the F*&k on out!

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  9. You are the best!!!! And I’m not just saying that because you have adopted me as your virtual online daughter. People need to stand up to any form of bullying. I have no idea who this Le Clown is but thankful I never crossed his path. I cheer every “f” word ( I don’t curse often) and sending you a big hug.
    Tell my virtual adopted mom I said hi as well.

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  10. I read that post today, and was shocked. Really shocked. I had no idea what was going on, I’ve never heard about it, read it, I haven’t been involved in any way. I followed him and commented, but that was as far as it went.
    And still… This was somewhat painful as I thought of him as a trustworthy person. I thought he was a good guy. After reading the post and the comments, there was no more denying that trust was not good. Though luckily I have stayed out of the troubles.
    It’s unbelievable what happened. I’m ashamed I thoought everything was good and okay. I kind of feel I shouldn’t have got involved int his blog at all, like I shouldn’t have trusted him.

    Well, you can see how confused I am. But it’s good you wrote this. The followers you lose are the ones who aren’t really with you. And I suppose you’re still a good guy, though I’ve come to rethink my trust… Still. The good part of WordPress will keep rocking. We’ll make up for what happened.

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  11. Dude, we all got your back on this one. I understand feeling angry about something and how it impacts an attempt to write about the topic. Many, many times I’ve wasted hours of my time only to end up with nothing suitable for print, even on the blogosphere where the standards are really low! Every once in a while, though, I scream out, “Damn the torpedoes! Let slip the dogs of war.” Then I click publish. Like you, I try to keep it fun, but visit my blog at your own peril. Thar be dragons.

    The truth is that there is a great ugliness that comes to light on the internet. In the real world the ugliness is always there, lurking, but seldom shows itself as proudly as it does in the online world. There are some truly messed up people living among us, side by side, as we go out into the world and attempt to live our lives.

    An entire generation now basically believes that nothing is inappropriate if it brings attention. It’s sad. Things like racism and misogyny are very much alive and well in these United States. Rumors of their death have been greatly exaggerated. A lot of people seem to get off on trying to hurt others. I think most it comes from the fact that they are damaged and have had shitty lives. The rest are truly evil sociopaths with sudden access to a powerful broadcasting platform. The cloak of anonymity gives the small-minded an intoxicating feeling of power.

    I’d like to believe that the good people outnumber the bad but my personal life philosophy doesn’t allow for that. Your mileage may vary.

    Keep up the damn good work, my friend!

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    • I’d like to believe in the good too, Shouts. You’re absolutely right about the internet as a platform for trouble, but it can go find a different corner, away from the part I hang out in.

      And one plus is that a lot of people who were affected have spoken up, and refound their voices.

      That’s worth something.

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    • I think the good people do outnumber the bad. However, horrible this whole thing is, I think the reaction and the support go a ways towards proving that.

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  12. El Guapo – amen with all that you said. Your writing always makes me smile and is a joy when I get an email that you have posted. We met thru Le Clown and that is the positive that has come out of this whole horrible situation (as with many bloggers I’ve met via that venue). I’ve felt off kilter for several days now and cannot support anyone that has to email someone to tear them down – (not to mention the sexual harassment) … that’s unconscionable and talks to a bigger issue in that person. There’s no doubt that he had something precious in this sandbox and then blew it all to pieces.

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  13. Amen to the fuck you. I only dealt with him during your birthday celebration last year, but was disheartened by his “participation”. Now, I am both glad I never played in his litter box and enraged at the hurt he caused.

    Meanwhile, back in Guapolianville, know you have all the love and support (and eyes to listen to you vent) from me. I guess this was just the week for passing around the fuck yous. Mine was on Wednesday.

    Cheers for a happy rest of the weekend.
    xxx

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  14. I was totally ignorant of this episode, but I guessed who the “influential blogger” was a couple of paragraphs into this post.

    The quiet little corner of the internet I reside in never looked better.

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  15. “For his blind followers, dear god, think for yourselves.”

    I want to start this off by saying that I have never had a problem with you before. I feel that I’ve dealt with everyone on WordPress with respect, even when I didn’t care for them, or what they wrote about. What you’re asserting here is just wrong.

    You have never once asked me why I haven’t spoken about this incident, or commented on any of the posts. Nobody has for that matter. Everyone wants to make it an “Us vs. Them” thing, and I don’t like that. Because I CAN think for myself, I won’t be subversively coerced into hopping on this runaway train.

    The truth is, the environment created on that blog post was so toxic that I refused to participate. There were things said about opposing commenters that were uncalled for. There have been things said about me in the comments section of other people’s blog posts that were uncalled for. I want to reiterate: I have NEVER done anything to these people, nor have I even participated in this discussion. There is no reason for my name to be in anyone’s mouth, not even yours.

    I’m really sorry that you feel this way, El Guapo. I actually used to really like you.

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    • I stared a long time at that specific phrase before using it.
      It’s used in conjuction with those that say “Oh, we should jump up and down on this person? Ok.”
      I haven’t spoken to everyone who’s interacted with him in the ‘sphere. But I’ve spoken to several, and read several accounts, and I spoke to Le Clown.

      Despite the iffiness of that phrase, I’ll stand by that and the sentiments in the rest of the post. This wasn’t directed at you, and I really am sorry you take this as an attack on you.

      I still like you, and I’d like to keep reading your stuff.

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    • Jen, all I can say is that I’m truly disappointed you don’t see what’s happened. There are literally hundreds of stories in the comment section of that post that all say the same thing, the only thing changing between them is the name. Was it toxic? Hell yeah it was. All those people were pissed and hurt by your friend. Some of them had previously confided in me beforehand but were scared to say anything. They had seen the public executions (for lack of a better term) of other bloggers who stray from the “chosen” path.

      You are angry no one has asked for your opinion on the issue, but have you asked for anyone else’s? You certainly haven’t approached me even though you obviously saw my allusion to a turbulent history with Le Clown. I’m sure you know his side of it but you never ONCE asked me for mine. You can think for yourself, can you? A blind follower believes what he or she is told and in the case of my tiff with him, you blindly followed what he told you.

      What Guap has “asserted” here is NOT wrong. I have talked to many, many people about these issues in the past and many more have come to me once they saw I had spoken out on the original blog post. It’s all the same thing. Maybe you’ve never had to deal with his ire because you’ve never disagreed with him. I don’t know. But what I do know is if you don’t march to the beat of HIS drum, you get crucified. I KNOW you have seen this on his Facebook page and watched it happen. I watched it happen back in June, and to my utter shame I didn’t say anything then.

      Lastly, and I can only speak for myself here, the last thing I want is an “Us vs Them” line drawn in the sand. Quite frankly, I’d like it if we all used this as a learning experience so that none of us ever have to suffer through a experience like this again.

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    • I’d like to ask then. Why haven’t you spoken out? I don’t know you, but I know of you and know that you are well-respected. What you say will matter.

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  16. Well said. Its still a great place to come and play…no worries there.

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  17. I’m glad this finally came out. He reminded me way too much of my ex-husband so I tended to keep my distance, but even so, I was always aware that his ‘carnival’ was where all the ‘cool kids’ hung out. Narcissists are very good at creating an environment where people seek approval–all those awards! And they also hitch themselves to bigger stars. He made it seem like he was bestowing his approval on them! But narcissists are empty at the core. They have no actual ego–no sense of self. They get their identities from followers. They mirror people. They usually have a ‘primary source of attention’ that they lock in and then ignore and neglect. That gives them someone who’s always begging for them. Meanwhile, they prey on vulnerable people, trusting people to get praise and admiration so they feel good. But if there is any criticism of them by those ‘secondary sources of attention’ they burn the bridges. I’ve learned this pattern all too well, and it’s sad to see it happening here.

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    • I never wanted to be one of the cool kids. I wanted to play with the ones who were enjoying themselves and telling good stories.
      Lucky for me, that includes you.

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      • I’d often go check the comments to find funny, smart people. I’ve found many incredible, sincere people on WordPress–glad we finally connected. To the stories!!

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    • I wish I could reblog a comment because that’s exactly what I’d do with Kylie’s. What she’s said here is not only insightful, it’s very important, as is your response, EG.

      This is especially relevant, as it speaks to this perceived “power” that any blogger has:
      They get their identities from followers. They mirror people.

      This person in particular and (sadly, but realistically) many others like him have built their “power” by leveraging the reputations, and let’s be honest, stroking the egos, of other bloggers. A reputation pyramid scheme, if you will. They get to know who you are; they mirror that so you (and others) perceive a connection between you, and then they’re in and the manipulation begins.

      This isn’t to say it was done with malicious intent. If there is a pathology involved, the perpetrator may not be aware of what s/he is doing. I don’t know enough to understand the motivations. I just know it happens. A lot.

      There are important lessons to be learned for anyone touched by this, regardless of the “us” or the “them,” and even extending to those just observing from the sidelines.

      Most important: trust your vibes/instincts/spidey sense.

      Good for you for standing up for your friends. You are good people, Guap.

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      • Getting it out in the open, then getting on with what we usually do would bee the best possible outcome, Hippie.
        Some of my language could be interpreted as us vs them, but that’s furthest from what I want.

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      • Thank you. You make a good point: pathology doesn’t equate with malicious intent. In fact, it’s hard to hold someone with a pathology accountable because it’s their biology. At least that’s one argument.

        I LOVE your blogging name–Hippie Cahier–for so many reasons. I’m a fool for good puns. Also, I keep folders of hippies right next to my binders full of women (how’s that for a comment completely unrelated to the original post?).

        Maybe I’ll reblog EG’s post, intro with my comment, and you can reblog that. It will be like chain mail without any promises of success or threats of doom.

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    • The sentiments you express in the first couple lines really nicely articulate some of my own misgivings about the “Carny Experience.” It was such a clubby atmosphere, which of course can be good (it’s nice to belong), but it seemed like you were either IN or you were OUT. And if you were IN, then you were almost like a franchise or a satellite. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but it was too insular and self-referential for me.

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  18. Wooot! Love this post, El Guapo! I can’t write a 50 shades recap without curse words, and I don’t think you can describe this situation without quite a few f-bombs as well.

    Whenever I reported bullies growing up, my teachers said “Don’t be a tattle-tale”. Well, screw that. They need to be told on. And boy has that happened this week. I figured I’d lose followers for my involvement. Maybe I did, but last I checked, I actually have more now than I did before. I guess sometimes it pays to stand up. Much appreciation to Rae for being the first, and a big “fuck you” to those who would shame her into silence again.

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    • It definitely pays to stand up, if only for the peace of mind.
      And your post was incredibly brave and well written.

      This story just hit every button I have, and if I end up blogging at myself and asking my sister to comment like I did at the start, it’s worth it.

      (I can’t even think of 50 shades without cursing in my head. Mostly it’s “why didn’t I fucking think of that???)

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      • Haha, no kidding! I’ve said several times I’m writing a book with a cover that says “Twilight Sexy Times”. It will sell millions, millions I say! And I was just like you once, blogging to myself and one friend. Never would have thought I’d have the followers I have. Having a smaller number of sincere people is better than thousands of empty faces.

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  19. You know what Guap? One of the reasons I am not around so much anymore is because of the way this all goes down…it hurts me deeply to watch others get sucked into this crap trusting someone then getting slammed… while the majority follow mindlessly. It is exactly the type of shit that helped me get to the point of saying I give a fuck less what anyone thinks of me (although I do value my friends opinions – its a little different.) and I am stumped because you can watch it spin all out of control but ignorance yells louder – spreads faster than truth…i still don;t know why, and because I know you as a man of integrity I will believe you are dead on about this, but know you can yell and scream and fuck you all you want and people will just slam you now….without listening to what you are saying here at all.

    they are entitled to their opinion, even if the folly is clear and what they don;t get my friend is that ….so are you.

    Not only in blogging – in social media ..I sometimes, in observing things get the feeling I am watching the village idiot herding sheep..

    Go You! Who cares if you piss off someone man..you stood up for what you believe is right (and I didn;t, probably won’t, read the post, but based on your character and friendship..and on my past observations of that particular blogger and my personal aversion despite trying to get it…) and for someone else – even though from what you wrote and from knowing about the blogger – it is against the majority of those involved…

    sometimes the right thing is not the easiest thing…. (I forget who said that)

    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

    MARK TWAIN

    Rock the Fuck on Dude..

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  20. Wtf. Use to visit his place but caught a vibe I did not like the feel of. Stopped participating. Now I see I was right about that vibe. I’m with you Dave. I am on here for the same reasons you are. Crazy stuff.

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  21. Oh Guap, you’re the best. I was shocked as well to read that post. I actually had felt attacked by Eric much like the other people sharing their stories but I chose not to comment or participate. I am glad that his behavior was outed, but I also can’t help feeling sorry for him. He seems very lost.
    This blogging community has brought me so many friends from all over the world and I’m happy for that too.
    Glad you expressed your thoughts and feelings. Thanks for being an all around great guy.

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  22. Thank you Guap for standing up for the abused and for what you see as wrong.
    But,,geez, I never have seen you so heated and using the “F bomb” so much,,the whole time reading I was saying to myself, “wow,,,he’s super pissed”. lol.
    Yes, he has taken down the blog, but I believe he is still lurking, and I believe that he truly believes he did nothing wrong. And, I will be looking over my shoulder for awhile,,,why? Well, sometimes people can trigger PTSD,,and sometimes all it takes is words.
    Thanks again buddy,,,we all need more friends like you in this cyber world. :)

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    • Thanks, OverIt.
      I don’t think there’s an Us v them at all.
      I think it’s just us, and we have to look out for us, All of us.

      (And yeah. I hate getting that angry.)
      I hope the over the shoulder to normal transition is as short as possible.
      If there’s anything I can do to help it along, let me know.

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  23. Abusive people NEVER believe they did anything wrong. That is how they justify the stuff they do. It isn’t so much NO conscience as a really warped one.

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    • That’s the scary thing – how many times do any of us do something ridiculously wrong without even realizing it?

      Fortunately, if I do something wrong online, I have faith that all of you will fall on me about it.
      (That’s what keeps me in check!) ;)

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  24. I really can’t comment on the specific of this because I was never caught up in this. I only read a couple of this person’s posts & didn’t like the vibe I got so I moved on. I have my own history with abuse & perhaps I am more sensitive to the vibe? I am glad someone had the courage to speak out before more people were hurt by someone who lacked the conscience to govern themselves appropriately.

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  25. Oh Guap! If I could I would follow you a hundred more times for this! I concur wholeheartedly on what you’ve written, So well said. This is our playground and everyone needs to play nice. And we have to have zero tolerance for bullies. I went to Le Clown’s blog once and read his about page and commented and his egotistical reply really put me off and I never went back. (I feel sorry for his family). And you are so right –people do need to think for themselves and not get caught up in the group mentality which can be very alluring and very powerful as history tells us (and high school too) I guess the blogging world is just like the real world, and there are shysters and perverts hanging and lurking about in the shadows or disguised as clowns literally. We all need to be reminded of that and not to be too trusting. You are a stand-up guy Guap!

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    • Thanks Linda. I have no idea how bonkers I’d go if someone was untoward like this to you, but it would be as least as unpretty as this.
      Sadly, you’re right, sometimes it’s just like high-school.

      (By the way, when you follow me for the 102nd time, you get a free oven mitt!)

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  26. Yes, and fuck yes. This is a great post, and reflects how I feel, but I couldn’t say it this well. G, you have a new fan – much respect for this, and for your anger. And thanks for calling out the followers who are saying nothing – they are conspicuous by their silence. And for those parading about slagging those who have spoken up because they’ve done it publicly – get real, this had to come out, letting garbage like this fester leads to… well, it leads to a landfill.

    And good point about this being a pattern. This is not an isolated event. This is a recurrent thing, and that speaks to a larger problem, one we can’t ignore. What’s he always say? Fuck that noise? How true those words are.

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    • The sad part is, no matter how much any of us say about it now, it’ll happen again.
      All we (I) can do is stand up when I know about it, and help those that have to go through it get back on their feet.

      Thanks Trent, and for your responding to comments up and down the thread.

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  27. Hi Guap, thanks for writing about this, although I have yet to inform myself a bit on the situation. What did resonate with me is the word “narcissist.” Ah, yes. People who literally lack the capacity to feel empathy for others, or reverse roles… it’s almost a carte blanche to do whatever they want and feel no remorse. Not quite sociopathic, but close. I’m not offended in the least by your post because I “know” you (at least a little) and trust your honesty — with yourself and with your audience. I hope the act of writing this helped to get it out, as they say. xxLaura

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    • Thanks Laura. It really did help.
      And it seems like a lot of people had a lot on their mind too.
      It’s good to get it out. I would just like it if it were a bit calmer overall.
      But that’s how it goes. It’s a passion-inducing topic.

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      • Yeah, passion-inducing is right. I followed your link to Calamity Rae and read the whole grizzly account. I’m glad she had the courage to tell it honestly and taking responsibility where appropriate. It’s ironic that Eric chose the clown persona — hiding behind a guise of “humor” and “pushing boundaries” to be inappropriate and abusive. Clown face. Anyway, I’m glad you felt some relief….

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  28. Hey Guap-
    I’m going to be another unpopular voice here.

    You read my horrific story. After my breakdown, triggered by an unsolicited approach into MY life by a random blogger, I very tentatively ventured back onto WP.

    I found Le Clown’s page. I found a wonderful group of wild, wacky bloggers playing verbal volleyball – much like here. I found a blogger who took the time to answer every comment – all 250 of them. For whatever reason, Le Clown talked me into believing in my broken self as a writer again – I have no idea why. But he was my mentor, and on my very first post, I give him credit for my blog.

    He never was inappropriate with me. Maybe I was just too broken. I don’t know. He just spent a lot of time helping me and encouraging me. He wanted me to blog my truth. And to leave what happened in my past behind.

    I have enormous anxiety associated with my writing. I think, if I write, bad things are going to happen. I try not to believe that, to push that anxiety away.

    But, it does happen. Now, I am guilty by association. Le Clown chose me to be one of his “5 Bloggers to watch for in 2014.” And I am paying for it. Dearly. I am the speculation of stupid gossip. I have received vicious anonymous hate mail. And unfortunately, because of my fragile relationship with writing, it’s just too much for me. I’m paralyzed in my writing, and practically in my life.

    The most ironic thing is, the blogger who fucking destroyed MY life? – he gets off SCOT FREE. He reached into my life, played with me for fun, and discarded me when he got bored.

    And you know him. Many do. But he’s So Sweet. So Nice. I would never out him – what good would that do? He didn’t destroy hundreds. Only me. MY life, MY son. We suffered because of him, and what the fuck do WE matter?

    I think you are an incredible blogger. Just because we disagree on this is no reason for us to not respect each other as bloggers, and as human beings. Just thought I would give you a different perspective.

    Thanks for hearing me out.

    Peace, love, and all that good shit,
    samara

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    • Oh – and for the record – when Le Clown did feature me on his “5 Bloggers to watch out for” post, the post we chose to highlight my work was one I wrote in response to a comment some blogger made against Nicki Daniels, the blogger he lambasted – that post was, in essence, a goddamn love song to the incredible Nicki Daniels.

      Call me crazy,but I love them both. The blogosphere is my playground, too.

      Was.

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      • You’re voice is completely welcome, and thanks for presenting another side. to this.
        Honestly, I’m glad LC encouraged your voice, and pushed you to write. And I cheer him exposing your site to a whole lot of great bloggers. What I’ve read so far on your site has been incredible.
        You aren’t guilty by association. The fact that you found a place for yourself in his community speaks well of the people that made space for you.
        My argument is with those that jumped in to attack people he called out, on his word alone. People who commented hypocritically against bloggers posting things not that different from others on his say-so.

        As far as the trolls who’ve shown up on your site, I hope you do call them out, or bring attention to anyone who tries to make your life harder, on line or off.
        That’s what I want to draw attention to.

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        • I don’t jump to attack anyone on anyone’s behalf. I answer to me, and me alone.

          He may have been my mentor, but he was not my Overlord. I did not jump on the “let’s get Nicki” bandwagon.

          And I feel sympathy for the women who feel they’ve suffered. I’ve been there. It’s a terrible place.

          Write on, Your Coolness!

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          • Yah Samara, great respect for you. There should not and never should be guilt by association. There is a central figure here who should take accountability for what they have done – not to one, but to many. You are not sullied because you maintain a relationship with someone; anyone who says otherwise is being narrow-minded and obtuse. There, now I used the word obtuse… I’m not sure I even know what it means.

            From my standpoint, I would like to hear what people who support Eric have to say about what he has done – good, bad, okay, what? Why are poeple okay with being close to him after this? This is a selfish position on my part, because I chose to say something, and I want to know what people think; it is also an intensely judgmental position on my part, and I know that. To echo what Edward said, this is also not a tenable position. People will speak, or not, as they see fit, they have that right.

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            • Hey Trent-
              Thanks for your support.

              I’ll give you my opinions about what he has done, but privately – okay? I haven’t said anything publicly about him until now, and I will surely pay for it. The less I say publicly the better.

              I just don’t need to incite more anger. My emotional state is taking its toll on this household, and my kid doesn’t deserve it.

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              • Gotta take care of yourself – and the kid. Nothing more important than that. Anyway, you don’t need to say anything, really. It’s an unfair request on my part, and you don’t have to explain a thing. You did nothing wrong.

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            • The reason we don’t, Trent, is because there are too many people who WILL assume guilt by association, and because we don’t really want the sort of attacks that have been happening to those of us who still support him. We care about our friend, Trent, and I appreciate the fact that you and Guap understand that. Not many people do, and people already have their opinions and views and won’t listen to much else—as everyone here, and elsewhere, have shown. What, exactly, is the point of trying to explain or defend, since nobody has any interest in hearing another point of view? I wrote to you and Guap privately, and I wasn’t even going to comment here, but people are swarming on Jen and Samara and that’s not cool. Why should we be challenged to defend ourselves or our friend, when it’s very clear that anything we say will be shit on? I’m done here.

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              • Weebles, there is never a time that I will not listen to what you, of all people, have to say. I appreciate you writing me personally, I really do, and will respond later. I am always interested in what you have to say. To me, the silence is strange, but I’m not getting personally dumped on, and I’ve already chosen to have my say, so I’m in a different place. And I’m not nearly as close to Eric as the rest of you.

                I know you care about your friend, and people should never be called down for standing by friends. If I said anything that would make you think I was doing that, I apologize.

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              • Those that do assume guilt by association are as deserving of a Fuck You as those called out in the post.
                If someone was swept up in a moment, then own it. If someone thought they were doing a good thing, then own it.
                But for those that were, all I’m asking is why, and did you ever realize maybe it was the wrong thing to do.

                I don’t want to shit on anyone. I just want to understand it. Your voice is about as direct as anyone’s, and personally, I welcome it wherever I’ve seen it.

                Sadly, this post is running a bit off the rails, and I’m sorry that you’ll be attacked here for anything you say. I’ve tried to be respectful to everyone in the comments, regardless of what they’ve written, and to ask questions in the context of what happened.
                You have my email reply to you (I hope). And I hope I here from you again.

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              • Weebs, for what it’s worth, I don’t assume guilt by association either. I truly understand sticking by your friend and I certainly don’t think any less of you for sticking by him during this time. It would likely be much easier for you to walk away, and the fact that you haven’t strengthens my respect for you exponentially.

                I can assure I do not condone any attacks that you or Jen are receiving. I was unaware that you guys were receiving this type of hate. It’s uncalled for and unjustified. I knew Samara was receiving it and I’ve offered to help with that in any way I can. I extend that same offer to you and Jen, for whatever that’s worth. I know of one other blogger who is receiving hate mail in regards to this situation (whom I’ve also offered to assist), and I can assure you it sickens and angers me.

                I don’t expect you to reach out to me given my history with Eric, but I’m willing to listen if you have anything to say. I truly wish him no ill will. I want everyone to emerge from this a better person, him included. I hope you don’t hold the fact that I felt the need to speak out against me. I did what I thought was the right thing to do.

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    • Samara, firstly, you are NOT guilty by association. The people sending you anonymous hate mail are awful people, misguided in their anger, and looking to burn anyone not rallying to their cause at a stake. And they are wrong. And my offer to assist you with that still stands. I may have trouble standing up for myself at times, but if someone starts fucking with one of my friends it’s on.

      I am overjoyed that LC never acted inappropriately with you. Sadly, given his track record, the odds are that he never had a chance. We’ll likely never know, though I know you don’t want to believe it. I’m also glad that he encouraged you to get back to doing what you love. I, too, see the talent in your prose and encourage you to keep on writing. Write what you want to write about. Tell the stories you want to tell. That’s what we’re all here for.

      As to the other blogger you allude to, if you want to talk to me privately about that I’ll by all means listen. LC isn’t the only blogger I’ve been told about on WP who preys on women.

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    • I don’t think you’re guilty by association either, samara.

      I think it’s good to count the positive aspects of the blogging interactions we’ve had with Eric. I definitely had some.

      Yet I had lined up to be next on the queue to post at BBW. I had been inspired by what Rae wrote, because I’ve very much experienced that sort of childhood horror. And then the outing post… oh, so many conflicts of interest. I wasn’t threatened or bullied, no, but I got a quick e-mail saying if I didn’t want to make the submission, that was okay. At first, I didn’t know what he was talking about, and then I went back to the “outing” post and read all the nitty-gritty details… and I was scared. I had no idea I’d be so close to the issue. As things sunk in, I freaked out.

      I don’t have any desire for revenge or anything like that– I think I made it reasonably clear to all parties involved. I was thanked on the one hand, but then mistrusted on the other. No, I don’t want an “us vs. them”, but I feel like I’m being caught in it anyways :-(

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    • It makes me ill that you have been receiving hate mail because you were included in his 5 Bloggers post, Samara. You are a wonderful writer and parent, and the fact that people are drawing lines in the sand over this thing and playing an “Us vs. Them” game is no better than a scene from Mean Girls. I have absolutely no ill will towards you or ANYONE on either side of some perceived aisle. All I want is for all parties involved to start healing.

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    • I have truly sat here all day debating about whether I should say anything here. But, I’m having some real trouble with some of your passive implications, Samara, Maybe they aren’t meant to be that, so if I’m reading into it, then by all means, please correct me.

      When you say ” He was never inappropriate with me. Maybe I am just too broken.” Are you implying that I am not as broken as you are, and therefore, this is his reasoning for continuing to say sexually explicit things to me despite me telling me that he had crossed a line?

      When you offer up your story about a man who you entered into a relationship with, who then fucked you and your family over big time, but you didn’t out him (I’m not sure what you would out him for?) are you, passively, projecting your frustration and anger toward me or others because I chose to bring attention to a man, with whom I did *not* have a close personal relationship with, due to his predatory behavior?

      It seems like you are trying to draw some parallels where there aren’t any. You came here, very upset about people sending you hate mail, and I have to say, that’s awful AGAIN, as i’ve said before. I assure you, no one is doing that per my request or instruction. I would never condone such a thing. Should I come here and also cry about the hate mail that I’m receiving? It’s pretty awful and just shy of telling me to go kill myself.

      So, it’s weird. I’ve reached out to you, on your blog since this outing. I’ve not received any from Eric’s strident friends who, I thought, I’d connected with at one point. Color me totally stupid. Jen, in fact, was one of them. No one has contacted me, except to send hate mail. No one has come to privately to ask about the situation. This leads to believe that yes, in fact, all of you do take a stance. One that, in my mind, states that I’m at fault and I should be punished for speaking out.

      That’s how *I’m* feeling lately. Ya know, the person who decided to stand up and not allow myself to be a victim or allow anyone else to become one either. It also seems that in doing so, many other women were given a voice – when at one point, that voice would have beaten to a pulp by Eric and his friends.

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      • Her comment read like she experienced a different side of Eric than you. From a lot of the pushback you got, it seems like a lot of people still can’t believe the person they knew is the same one who could do what he did to you (I lived next door to some drug dealers who were very good neighbors. It was a shock when the cops raided – no one believed it.)

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        • I can see that. I guess my issue is that, this is not constrained to just me. When I took a stand, many other women spoke out. So it’s not just *me*, it’s many, many women. And I believe that is why so many people are stunned that anyone is still questioning what he did.

          With that said, I do understand that people form friendships and a true friend doesn’t just ‘cut ties’ with someone However, that is different than saying they believe he did not do anything wrong. Which is what the silence speaks to.

          One can say: I believe this happened to the many women who spoke up and also say that they choose to remain friends with Eric. What I’m hearing, however, is total denial in what this man has done. The silence speaks volumes, to my ears.

          With that, I am going to check on out. I appreciate you posting this Guapo. I think you’re a kind soul.

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          • I’d say that for those who are silence, there might be something else gone on. In your original post, you wrote about the struggle against yourself between wanting to stay silent, and not letting someone make you be silent.
            Speaking up isn’t easy.

            Thanks Calamity. It’s a pleasure to have met, though I wish it were in a happier circumstance.
            I look forward to hearing more of your voice, and hope that all the support around the sphere, in comments, emails and reblogs gives you some comfort.

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  29. Guap:
    I don’t know why, but I have this impression of some people thinking “in what universe does Hotspur say nothing about this, but Guapo runs for President of Canadia on the ‘fuck you’ platform?”

    This one, apparently. As far as I’m concerned, I said all I needed to say about this guy with my silence over a year ago. Schadenfreude is not worth the suffering of dozens of people.

    To add to what you said, Guap: If you don’t like someone, or what they write (or if you don’t like me or what I write), unfollow and leave. That’s what I do. There are several people I have unfollowed and never spoken to again. Why attack someone constantly on their blog, or snipe at them constantly on your blog? Who cares? Just end it. Let it go. You know?

    P.S. If anyone thinks they or someone else is some kind of blog god, please note: there are over a million bloggers on WordPress, let alone the other blogging platforms, and the vast majority of them have never heard of you (or me), nor do they give a single fuck about you (or me). This is true whether you just started your blog yesterday or you pull in The Idiot Speaketh levels of numbers (~6000 views per day). I try to keep that in mind when blogging. Relatively speaking, my blog is unimportant, and that’s how I approach it.

    Now, back to the silliness and sky pics (me), Friday Foolishness and polls (you) and music (both). This ain’t a fucking funeral.

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  30. The whole situation is disturbing and has affected a lot of us. Tough lessons learned. I’m looking forward to dancing on and putting this aside (way to the far side). :)

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    • The thought of you dancing away is a bright spot in the day.
      (Caro Emerald would probably fit nicely on the Tango playlist.)
      (Sadly, I never quite learned to Tango properly.)
      (I should really fix that.)

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  31. Thank you so much Guap. One of the things I hate the most is hating.
    What I mean is just plain meanness. Damn it. I have seen too many good people just want to stop tweeting or blogging or posting because of harassment or hating. If you can’t say something nice, SHUT THE FUCK UP
    No please needed!
    Very grateful to good folks like you to call it out.
    Breaks my heart for someone to go through it.

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  32. Wow, Guap, this was well-put. I don’t know what I feel comfortable saying here or anything I can add, except that I wasn’t aware of the situation.

    Also, though you clearly expected to get some invective, it doesn’t look like you did, even from the comments, like Jen’s, which were vociferously opposed to your point of view. Well, I’ve got your back, man–in full caps no less,

    FUCK YOU, GUAP! FUCK YOU IN THE EYE!

    Much love.

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  33. Man, I am so out of the loop. I had no idea any of this was going on. I love blogging but it exists on my periphery out of necessity. No time to get in deep.

    That dude emailed me offline recently and called me out for using the word “retard” in a disparaging manner. I felt awful because he’s absolutely right and I respect him. I apologized profusely and felt terrible for days. If I had know all this was going on I’d have felt a lot less chastened.

    Another Carlos Danger. How many men have blown it up because they couldn’t keep it in their pants? Why didn’t he just jerk-off and get the poison out like everyone else does? Would I like someone to flirt with? To see how far it could go? Hell, yes. Celebrating 14 years of fidelity. Think that was easy? Or fun? For EITHER OF US? But the thought of new sex–even the internet-only variety–does not excite me. It fills me with anxiety because I could lose my wife and daughters.

    I don’t share your anger. He let me post my scribblings to his projects and I’ve always felt grateful. I’m not going to hate him because he’s a deeply flawed individual but he was generous, too. Makes me sad, though.

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    • I don’t think this is about hate, Mark. Hatred won’t accomplish anything. I’m sad for Eric. I hope he finds a way through this and that his family is okay. He is a human being, vulnerable and prone to mistakes as the rest of us are; and though I think he should be accountable, I don’t want to forget that he is a person.

      I share your sadness.

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    • Your scribblings are good. I’m glad you got them out.
      He did have a sensitivity to the word “retard” getting tossed around, and made me rethink my use of it.
      Despite what he did to Calamity, that still makes sense.

      Every time I see a pretty girl in any context, my first thought is “there’s nothing I could have with her that is worth risking what I have with my wife.”
      That pretty much keeps me straight.

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      • I like that thought process a lot Guap. And I like you. Some days I even love you. You know like when you play 80’s music in your Song For the Day and when you use profanity every other word. But especially when you stand up for your principles.

        You were one of the first good friends I’ve made here, and you remain so. And to Eric, I’m grateful for that. (Though technically it was Hotspur’s duel, me thinks.)

        I’m going to unfollow and refollow 101 times. Hey, I need that new oven mitt.

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  34. *sigh* Well, we’ve talked… I appreciate that, Guap.

    What really chaps my hide on this is that it’s not the first time I’ve dealt with:
    – A stalker
    – Bloggers who troll
    – Bloggers that are narcissistic or attention-seeking to fill a void
    and this is just on the blog platforms I’ve been on. If I include the broader Internet, and life up close and personal, the list goes on and on.

    I’m upset with myself. Upset that I didn’t trust my instincts more. Upset that I got sucked into crap like this, and got so involved. again. And because I had e-mail contact with… this person… I’m still looking over my shoulder.

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    • Seriously, that gets me just as bent, Jak.
      There is absolutely no reason any of us should have to deal with this. And yet…
      I wish had something more useful to say.

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  35. No loss of me, no matter how much you may have wanted it! lol
    I can’t comment on all of this, not involved so does not seem fair to, but as my post said last night, when it all comes down to it, all blogs are the same. Aspire to be no one but yourself. Sing on Guap!

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  36. I have spent the last little while just injesting all of this in. Here and elsewhere. And it’s funny. One thing I have learned in the last couple of years is that it’s best to walk away from drama. Pure and simple. I keep my serenity a lot cleaner and bolstered by lack of dramatic intervention and any Elven vs. Dwarven lines (excuse the poor Lord of the Rings analogy).

    One can say this is just silly online stuff. Unfollow and be done with it. And I certainly have exercised that right in the past. I do the same in certain forums I (used to) participate. No harm, no foul, I move on. One less headache for me when I turn my computer on. A clean break.

    But there are times when things get muddled. Sure we are online participants, but we are also still human. And it would be disingenous for me to say what a wonderful and heartfelt community I have around me, and I consider many of these people true friends…and then turn around and say that it’s just “online” stuff. Good comes with not-so-good. Or shitty. I can love my fellow bloggers in only the way that I can love my fellow alkies and addicts, and love them as the friends that they are. Because they are. And I love the new friends I acquire here. So to turn around and say that people don’t get harmed or don’t get hurt or don’t find themselves at the hands of those who would seek harm…well, that doesn’t make sense.

    Because we are humans and we are still having human interaction here. Online, is all. People still get hurt out here. To sanitize it can be folly.

    This particular situation (or whatever you call it) does sadden me. And certainly brings in some emotions, and yet I know that from experience, that those of us who have been sick in some way (for me, alcoholism was my illness), we caused and left a wake of destruction behind us. Selfishness and self-centeredness was my calling card. And I hurt many around me. Justified anger certainly came my way. And I understand that now. So I see that here, and it’s appropriate for those who got touched by it, singed by it, eaten by it. I completely understand the feelings of betrayal, anger and indignation left by the blogger.

    If anything, this has shifted many in their ways of interaction out here. There are no safety harnesses. We give people the power if we allow them to have the power. My words, my spirit, my connection to something greater than me are my power. That is why the written words is so strong, and why so many of us are drawn to it. We have the power to create our own kingdom – of love, compassion or tolerance. Or it can be of hatred, intolerance and isolation. It’s in us to decide where we gently land.

    This will pass. The dust will settle. People will blog about their son’s winning goal in hockey, or about the new cool band they saw, or about their dying grandmother’s wishes, or a new breakthough in their studies, or the new renovations on their house, or their deepest, darkest passions through poetry. Life will move on, and we will find our paths again. Flowers grow where there was once trodden dirt.

    Thank you for sharing your passion, and I find a renewed and reinvigorated spirit throughout this…even in *spite* of all this.

    Blessings,
    Paul

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    • This is gorgeous. Thank you.

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    • This will pass. We will move on.
      But there are a couple of things that set this apart –
      The blogger that did this did it to someone who he knew was vulnerable because of their history.
      When she clearly said stop, he didn’t.

      Will my post make a difference in the world at large? Nah.
      Will what’s been written here in the post and the comments seriously sway anyone? Doubtful.
      But Calamity Rae, and anyone who’s suffered from something like this deserve to hear again and again, and be reminded again and again that it wasn’t their fault, and that the world isn’t completely worthless.

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      • You’re right, El G. But what I feel is that while these comments (and those on Calamity Rae’s blog or anyone else’s who have been touched by this) may not change the world per se, it may change *someone’s* world. And that’s powerful. Validation or at least recognition that one has support and has found other women / people in the same position…well, that offers great relief. I know that is my experience in my own thing.

        We aren’t alone, and I think that is why it is vital that we have a place like this to congregate and open up and share. And you have given a santuary for this dialogue. The world is certainly a wonderful place. And people like you and those who have commented about their concern certainly make it a groovy place to jam :)

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      • Guap, I just saw this. And really. I don’t know what to say, but thank you. I think a lot of people forgot that I, too, have feelings. I restrained them a lot in my original posting as I know that showing too much emotion will only lead people to call someone “crazy” and the post was too important for that. But now, yeah, I’m feeling pretty fucking sad and immensely hurt. And sorry for cursing.

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  37. Geez. I had no idea about any of this, but you get a huge standing O from me for speaking up on behalf of people who need it most and calling out those who deserve it most. You play nice in the sandbox, and you make it a fun place for people like me. Just about every comment you leave for a blogger here or elsewhere always encourages the writer, and that’s what builds community. Thank you…

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  38. Wow you brought that home. I highly respect you and your courage. I do hope that we can all learn from this in one way or another, and move on. The whole thing is just so sad.

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  39. So many comments, and just one more… sorry! But, I read this and went away and had to come back to say that fucked up shit like this happens all the time!
    I get lots of requests from men to collaborate on poetry etc. Most of it’s fine and dandy, then one guy wants to Skype says it will improve the creative process… feel free to wear your pyjamas! Argh!!!
    I too blog for fun, I have a great group of people I call friends and I am loyal to them. I may not have thousands of followers but I do my best to support the talented people I know. And I do that because I believe in them.
    Mega bloggers need to remember that they too started with nothing. There but the grace of Freshly Pressed go I! I saw one mega blogger the other day selling off reblogs! $50 for him to reblog your post on his blog!
    So I agree. Unfollow the people that take the fun out of blogging. Support the blogs you know and love. And let’s keep the playground tidy… there are kids here!!!!

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    • What the hell??? I’d apologize on behalf of my gender, but I doubt it would help.
      My attitude towards blogging is exactly the same. I enjoy the camaraderie, and feel the same about the people I’m lucky enough to hang out with here. And that’s more than enough for me.

      (I only charge $8 for the reblogs.)
      (And a bag of M&Ms.)
      (Peanut, please.)

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      • You’re a bargain! (see how I refrained from calling you cheap? It’s good to think about what you say before you say it huh?) Ever tried a bag of peanut M&M’s gently tossed through freshly cooked popcorn?
        Well, me thinks this is a nice place to hang out. I shall return (see how I refrained from the obvious Terminator cliché? Thinking again!)

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    • $50 for a reblog? Eff that! I’ll do it for five!

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  40. I can honestly say I didn’t know any of this until now, therefore, I’m taking the high road on the situation. Meanwhile, I blog for fun and enjoy the many positive relationships that I regularly encounter. Thanks for taking the side of goodness and respect.

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  41. Guap, I’m sick about all of this. I’m sorry for all the people that are hurting. I’m so sick about it I feel like I quitting, pulling my blog. But then I read your post. So, thanks for writing it. We all deserve our own space to create and share. A lot of people are caught up in this and many of my friends have been hurt by this. So, I hope no one is choosing sides or drawing lines in the sand. The blogosphere is better than that, right? We are better than that. Anyway, that’s all I can muster. Thanks again for writing this and taking the time. I’m sure it wasn’t easy to write.

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  42. You’re a very good defender Mr. Guapola. I haven’t seen the offending situation, but if it upset you this much, it must be awful.

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  43. well done Guapo! There do seem to be quite a few such disputes in blogging land. Non-communication in the online world is a simple thing to arrange, just turn the damn thing off – but you can’t arrange for people not to communicate about you, and thats the thing I guess. If you have a vulnerability, like this woman, I’d think anyone’s responsibility would be to think very carefully about how they communicate with you, and Le Clown’s sexual innuendo is way off.

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    • Thanks beautiful. Yeah, the “just walk away/unfollow” is the first, best option.
      But in this case it was just over the line, and how do you walk away from that?

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  44. Bumble Files – I hope you do not leave us, I dearly would miss you. I, too, am sick and have been struggling with this for so many reasons and it saddens me terribly that people suffered and he is suffering – as a human I feel that deeply. I don’t think people are choosing sides, so much as coming forward with their own hurt that has been inflicted upon them. What I come back to again and again is that when people didn’t agree with him about social issues in the exact way that he felt, he was brutal – especially about treating women as sexual objects – he was utterly against it – yet he WROTE THAT VILE STUFF AS A MARRIED MAN TO ANOTHER WOMAN – A WOMAN THAT HAD BEEN ABUSED. That is what is crazy to me – to be so brutal with others about their opinions which were far less offensive than what he actually did to some people. I don’t hate him – but I cannot support that. I hope he is able to find the lessons in this whole clusterf*ck of a situation.

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    • I hope when all the dust settles, we all get the lessons from this.
      And you’re dead on with people sharing their hurt. I hope we’re all on the same side, in the end.

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  45. You rock… and you will not be alone on this…

    Like

  46. sunshinebright

    I am aghast. I had no idea that this was going on. That poor girl. That monster. Your feelings about the situation are very strong, and rightfully so. You have expressed the outrage, to say the least, that we all feel. For the most part, I believe we are here for the same reasons you describe – fun, enjoyment, and expressing ourselves in a safe environment. That should be expected. You were the first person who welcomed me when I started blogging here at the end of December, and stated we are a great community, and I should feel warmly welcomed. Thank you for that, and I have continued to feel that way because of your heartfelt welcome. And, when I read your blog about Pete Seeger, I knew you were a special person. This “Le Clown” will probably be popping up his head sooner or later, if not here, somewhere else. People like him can’t stay down for long. We all should be aware of this type of personality and avoid them totally. That is what will shut them down. They need someone to play off of, someone who will feed their sickness. Stay away from these weirdos, people. Again, thanks for all you do.

    Like

    • Ha! That Pete Seeger blog missed on one key point – it was a remembrance of my father in law who had passed a few days earlier.
      I stand by the way I feel about the community, Sunshine. And I hope we can manage to keep it that way.

      Like

      • sunshinebright

        You didn’t miss on that point. You did mention that he raised an amazing daughter (your wife). I didn’t miss the point. It was evident to me that you were speaking from deep within your heart. You allowed yourself to be vulnerable, which is the mark of a very confident and happy person. Your wife is very lucky.

        Like

  47. This is awesome. You are awesome.

    I read that earlier post from Calamity Rae and my heart broke for her. I never could have put any of this into words, but you expressed all my anger just perfectly. Thank you for this post. Many thoughts, prayers, and hugs to you both.

    Like

  48. I got a post,saying the site was closed. I thought it strange at the time but in all honesty bloggers come and go. But reading your post and the calamity Rae post it strikes me that you are spot on to speak out about emotionally undernourished people being arseholes and ascribing an importance to themselves based on grooming people by fooling them to think he can give them a lift up in the blog world. Shame because I enjoyed,some of the words. Which is what I thought was the point of all this. You are a good man.

    Like

    • Thanks GfB. It means a lot from you.
      (I just saw in my reader that you were one of the first blogs I followed, way back when – it was something about an old man remembering his football days. Had to read it twice to figure out what the hell was going on.
      Great words.)

      Like

  49. That’s sad…why people hurt others without consider others feeling. :( your anger is understandable.

    Like

  50. Thank you for this. I, too, had no idea and reading Calamity’s post made me sick. I also ‘followed’ Le Clown and am utterly disgusted by what you have told me here. And he was Freshly Pressed! I hope WordPress are aware of this and feel we should all be aware of him rising from the dust under a different guise.
    I come here to play and have ‘met’ some fantastic bloggers. Long live the happy family of bloggers. You won’t lose me as your follower!

    Like

  51. I’m with you – no matter what the fall-out, stand up, speak out against abuse, the use of power to intimidate, and utterly inappropriate behavior. If we don’t police ourselves, this playground will become a battleground too often.

    Like

  52. I’m really proud of you for standing up for what is right. I’m not part of that group. A couple of times I visited, but something to feel right to me so I backed away and let them have their fun. But it is never okay to gang up on, dominate, or make anyone uncomfortable for asking to stop a flirtation, sex, and/or friendship.

    I didn’t see what happen nor will I try to read or find out, but it makes me adore you more to see you take the unpopular path for the less powerful. You’re a good man Guap. ((Hugs))

    x,
    Becca

    Like

  53. Dave,
    I’ll never turn my Canadian back on you, buddy.
    I may be an absent friend, but I’m also a steadfast supporter of my friends – and that will never change. This whole situation makes me sick.
    Here’s to better days for everyone involved.
    Be well,
    The Hook.

    Like

  54. This is why I stick to small circles.My online life is really quite like my real life in that I keep things simple. I have come across that name before but I never read his stuff. Forgive me for not clicking on that link you provided, but when given the warning, I steer clear of that dark side shit.
    When people suck, when they play games with people’s lives in some misbegotten attempt to feed their own lives, they deserve to be called out for it. Your anger is understood, and it’s why I read you.
    Stay strong and never stop doing the right thing.

    Like

    • Simple is the best way to go, Cayman. I need to learn that trick…

      Like

      • The anonymity of the online world can be used to a really bad shit degree. It allows people to be anything they wish, say anything they want and do things they probably wouldn’t get away with for very long in their every day lives. A few years back my girlfriend started a blog. She’s a teacher and she was really excited about the opportunity to reach out to others in her profession and share ideas. Well, this one asshole decided he was going to correspond with her under the guise of ‘professional’ discourse. In no time flat he was asking about her situation, asking for her number, etc. She let me know about it and I contacted him and let him know that all correspondence with her would end immediately. Long story short, he ceased and desisted, but girlfriend shut down her blog shortly thereafter, she was spooked.
        Your anger over this clown business is one of the reasons I read you. It’s important to you, it matters to you.

        Like

    • Cayman, you echo my feelings too. Thank you for this.

      Like

  55. Good afternoon, Guapola. I don;t know you well, but I follow your blog. I want to thank you for adding your voice to the outcry. I wasn;t part of the popular crowd – I followed LeCLown for a bit but felt uncomfortable. Like Kylie he reminded me of my abusive first husband, and ultimately of my vile step father. I unfollowed, but visited only when a blogger I knew was making a guest appearance. I read his lovely wife’s writings – I consider her to be a thoughtful and insightful writer. My heart breaks for her.

    When we all – man, woman, and child – stand together against abuse of any kind, only then the abused know it is okay to tell.

    I think all the blogs involved have gone off-line, Calamity rae’s included. Hopefully, we have all learned from this.

    Like

    • Thanks k8edid. I’ve seen your name around on sites we both visit. (I’m a jerk for not wandering over before.)

      You’re dead on about standing together. Thanks for telling your story You’re always welcome here.

      Like

  56. I can’t wait for this to be over, really. Rae did what she had to do and what needed to be done. Le Clown is off the air and hopefully on a way to get help (but I fear not). But these “Us vs Them” fights are still raging on – guilt by association, hate mail, all the other fun stuff. I mean, it’s ok to disagree with Rae’s way of doing it, but why does everyone who disagrees with her seems to forget to actually make a comment on the subject of her post?

    Like

  57. I just started to find out the details behind this situation and am totally in shock. I’m new to the blog community and did follow Le Clown. I didn’t even realize it was a bit of clique over there because like I said, I was new to this whole world. After discovering more about this story some things totally started to make more sense. Thank you for writing this, it’s been eye-opening

    Like

  58. My Muted Voice

    Hi El Guapo,

    I’ve seen you on many other blogs I love and follow and have been meaning to get over here and say hello. :-)

    Both CR and LC were blogs that I was following, both of which I enjoyed. I was also supposed to do a BBW post soon. I’m too new to all of you so it is not my place to get involved, but I will say that I’m sad for all involved. This IS a place where we come to play, but it’s also a place where most of us share a personal side of ourselves. We are vulnerable and open so how can we not form connections and friendships? To say this is just online and means nothing is an insult to those connections. (not that you said that) If it was just an online thing, people wouldn’t care so much. We would all be moving on. This is what makes me sad for everyone because I know you are all hurting in your own ways for your own reasons. I’m hoping you all find some peace and can move on continuing to share your creativity, talent and brilliance with those of us waiting to read it.

    ~Deanna

    Like

    • Nice to meet you, Deanna.
      Instead of the original thoughts I had after reading your comment, I’m just going to say Yes. Yes, exactly what you said.

      I saw that Black Box Warnings was folded up too, and that’s a shame. I didn’t follow it, but a lot of people I read did, and posted there. I’d go to read their story, then leave a comment back on their reblog post. I think that site did a lot of good in giving people someplace to speak.

      And you bring up the point that what happened here was horrible. But it’s not the whole story of anyone involved.

      I’m hoping your site is http://mymutedvoice.wordpress.com/ , otherwise I’m about to meet someone completely different.
      Why, blogosphere, why??? ;)

      Like

    • Deanna,
      You are more than welcome to guest post on my blog if you wish.

      Like

  59. It’s not often or never that I have read an angry Guap. Perfect. Your outrage is impressive because you are a zen and gentle, fun presence on WP. I don’t approve of hate mail on either side. I had my falling out with Eric months ago and lost online friends because of it. This situation should not be an us v. them one. Eric down his blogs and FB page. I don’t know why but he did. Calamityrae sadly took down her blog because of the hate mail she was receiving. That gets me. Blame the person who identifies the naked emperor. That angers me. As someone in these comments said, someone please explain his actions to me. Weebs says there is no point because she will just get heat for defending her friend. Perhaps that’s true, I don’t know. But I haven’t read a defense of Eric’s actions. I have seen anger at Rae for calling him out but no one has explained to me how Eric’s behavior was okay. Eric was a good friend and mentor until you didn’t agree with him and then the gloves came off and he went into attack mode. He needs help and I hope for his children’s sake that he gets it.

    Again, Guap…your outrage is powerful. And your perspective is spot on.

    Like

    • Us v them sucks.
      And the hate mail is another level of dickishness. In the end, you don’t want to play nice, play somewhere else. You do something outrageous, expect to be called outrageous.

      (And zen??? But I don’t even like granola bars.)

      Like

    • maggie – I’m back under my old self hosted blog: http://www.calamityrae.com

      I do hope to find those friends who were there for me when I outed Eric. I still have some redesigning to do, but I’m back up and running, where I feel more safe. Thank you to everyone for your support. Even if you are friends with Eric, I was only trying to bring attention to something that I’d felt had crossed a major boundary and a person who I thought was becoming dangerous.

      let’s move on, and I hope to see friendly faces on my blog.

      Like

  60. Calamity took her blog down???????????????? That is bullshit. I don’t want to get caught up in this – I did not get harassed by him – I did not become a carnie either. I simply walked away from the popular ‘table’ as that’s how I am – I read Maggie’s post and Calamity’s post and I believe her. I saw Maggie go through her shite with Eric and that’s when I dropped him by simply not reading his blog anymore. I see where a lot of people were sucked in and hurt here by him and I don’t like that. I’m with Guap – its because I like it here so all this pisses me off. I posted (vaguely) about being a voice to abuse and the downfall of having that voice as this whole thing hit a nerve with me is all. It’s sad C left. It’s sad to see some people’s reactions here.

    Like

  61. And by walk away I mean – when I see you have to try really hard to be part of a ‘group’ I don’t try. He approached me for BlackBox – it was awesome – I met some super cool peeps here – but I don’t go out of my way to be in a group. I see how much energy it takes and I hang with the geeks. And I have about five readers. : )

    Like

  62. Pingback: Say Anything, Begin Anywhere (What Matters to You?) | Running On Sober

  63. I read this post at the weekend, and didn’t comment, but I will do so now. i had a similar experience, and that’s why I restarted my blog late last year, with a different e-mail address. I didn’t know what else to do to get rid of the nuisance e-mails that I was getting from one blogger, who I will never follow again. WordPress isn’t a dating site for heavens sake, and I don’t need pictures of flowers and messages of undying love from anyone. How ridiculous!

    Like

  64. I submitted this post to be Freshly Pressed.

    Too soon to joke?

    Like

  65. Well fuck me gently with a chainsaw. I got out of this mess back in May, when it became clear to me that the private emails I was getting were inappropriate and making me uncomfortable. Was I flattered? Of course I was flattered. Was a little flirtation in return for a lot of exposure worth upsetting my real life relationships? No fucking way. So I am floored that from what I am reading that is seems to have been systematic and widespread. I don’t follow a lot of the people who are commenting and/posting, for no other reason than I haven’t come across them or perhaps we blog very differently about very different things. So I guess I have been out of the ‘loop’. I chose to unfollow a few sites so I didn’t see this, as it has been referred to, ‘clusterfuck’ coming. My husband, however did. And now I owe him a large, heartfelt apology. Because when I showed him the private e-mails I was getting, the word he used was ‘predator’. I defended the sender. Part of that was narcissistic; not wanting to believe that he was saying those things to everyone. But part of me didn’t believe that someone could be like that. Or else didn’t want to see it. I am ‘lucky’ in the sense that I realized what was happening was wrong for me, and it ended, without any further ado, and my blog went on its merry way without any repercussions (that I know of). As the original post has now been removed, I haven’t been able to read it, but after reading the comments and several other posts on various sites, I am just sorry for anyone who has been made to feel that they were inferior or wrong or not ‘this’ enough or ‘that’ enough. So to those of you have felt that due to the actions of others, my heart goes out to you. And to those of you willing to stand up and call for it to end, my applause.

    Like

    • “Clusterfuck” is about the best way to describe it.
      Nice to meet you, dhonour.
      I’m with you on the not wanting to believe someone would do that. Sadly, even here where we all go to get away, or share our stories, there are still people to watch out for, in a bad way.
      I’d love to just get back to the usual silliness and reading.
      And it’s been great to see so many people come out in support of those who were hurt.

      Like

  66. There needs to be an “Miss Manners” for bloggers, that all listen to and respect. But, when I think about it, your post does that, Dave. You and other bloggers are setting up the limits to what people should say on the internet. I’m glad. I don’t want the internet to consist of a bunch of obscene graffiti on a wall. It’s not creative, its offensive and, in the end, obnoxious exchanges like the one you described, are boring.

    Like

    • thanks Michelle. It isn’t just me – it’s all of us, following the good, sloughing off the bad, and enjoying the hell out of ourselves, all inclusively.
      I’ll stand on that side of the room any day.

      Like

  67. Wow! Crazy. Wouldn’t expect it here in the blog world, but then unfortunatelly it can be anywhere! Thanks for speaking out! Thanks for every fuck you! Thanks for for standing up and shouting. Pleople like that need to know that this is completely unacceptable! Thank you!

    Like

  68. Pingback: Sorrow on Fire: The Clown is Gone | merlinspielen

  69. my lifelong hate for fucking clowns has just been justified. Fuckin’ ‘A’

    Like

  70. Well, to be fair, this is about just one act by just one clown…

    Like

  71. Why havent I followed you before now?…

    Like

  72. Those bastards make me sick, I too have seen this happen and it just goes to show how low some bloggers will go to create multiple hits on their sites.

    It is even worse when the followers of that kind of twisted ego join in and kiss his or her ass just to gain brownie points, and anyone finding such a blog needs to add a posting such as yours to generate awareness.

    You have done the right thing adding your thoughts Guap :)

    Andro

    Like

    • Thanks Andro.
      there’s room for us all, from your delightfully bent horror-recipes, to my babbling idiocy, to even all those cat picture blogs.
      Live and let live. And let everyone else do the same.

      Like

      • Exactly, we do not need the ridiculousness, and even worse, the very bad taste in the mouth postings that crop up around our blogosphere…

        Have a great Thursday Guap :)

        Andro

        Like

  73. Allow me to curse here.

    Sweet Baby Jesus in the Swaddling Clothes!!

    There, done.

    See what happens when you go off to the Psych Ward for a few days of R&R? Everything happens and I’m as clueless as George Bush was about Desert Storm. I’ve been reading the Cliff Notes contained in the comment section and in Guap’s well written post, and, I’m a bit shocked. Firstly, allow me applaud Calamity for her raw courage in life. She’s one of my new heroes. As for Guap, if only Mrs. Guap would let him have a second, older wife who is only there for the pleasure of their company and lives in her own place, I’d be there in a heartbeat. He’s the top, he’s the Tower of Pisa…

    In the beginning of my humble blog, I had contact with Eric… he encourage me from the beginning. I was a contributor to BBW, we exchanged emails on occasion–and they were always about my work, nothing more or less. I appreciated his mentoring. As far as anything else, I’m more than glad to have dodged that bullet.

    Shame on anyone who bullies anyone else for any reason in any way, be it virtually or in the 3D world. Those of us who still struggle to heal give our trust sparingly, our souls are fragile, and when we find that trust was given to the wrong person, the pain is great enough to bring us down to where everything looks like up.

    I had a trusted person in my life a few years ago, who decided my refusal to go beyond a certain point was worthy of punishment. He actually took out a website with my name, posted my personal details, photos of my children, of me, printed pages of drivel. It was so invasive, I ended up having to hire legal representation in London to shut it all down. It’s also why I mask who I am behind my Adair online name, and why I will continue to do just that. My life is on my blog, with a few things changed–first names, etc. in the end, I have to protect me.

    Gracious, I certainly rambled, didn’t I?

    Like

    • You’re always welcome to ramble here, and you are always welcome at our place for dinner.

      I’m glad you had a good relationship with Eric. I thought black Box Warnings was an excellent forum for people to tell their stories in a supportive environment.

      It sucks that it’s true, but yes, you absolutely have to protect yourself.

      Like

  74. Aw, thanks!

    As I said, I was lucky. However, it does not condone what was done to others. I didn’t see the attack on Maggie, or, I can assure you, as much as I avoid conflict, I’d have been there on her side. I’d not seen nor heard of other slams on people…I put it down to my own life has been so disrupted, I’ve not noticed the cacophony around me, and, with the exception of you, Maggie, Lily and one or two others, I’ve not been up on my blog reading. It’s too exhausting.

    Thank you for this, good sir. You are a knight on a white surfboard. Isn’t it difficult to swim in all that armor?

    Like

  75. Guap,

    When all of this came to light I immediately deleted Le Clown from my list of Facebook friends. I’ve kept my opinions to myself since then. This, my friend, was very well said. Everything you said is everything I’ve been thinking. This is just sick, and sad, and manipulation is something that just drives me insane.

    Like

    • Cutting it off and keeping yourself safe is the smartest thing you could have done, Nicole.
      Yeah, that kind of manipulation makes me fly off the handle, every single time.

      Like

  76. I am proud of you for sticking up for the underdog. I don’t know this particular situation but it’s good to set an example of treating other people with decency no matter the platform.

    For the record, maybe we’re not fighting cancer here, but bloggers offer a personal voice and thus a sense of community and connection, which can help people fighting cancer. So one could maybe argue that even indirectly, we’re doing some good out there.

    Like

    • You’re absolutely right, Asplenia.
      Probably the biggest commonality I’ve seen is people supporting each other, and everyone should have access to that without getting harassed.

      thanks!

      Like

  77. I started to write a comment… and it became a post. You can check it out, or not, on my site. I found this post very healing. This week has been very unsettling, as I (too) was directed to Calamity’s post and then started reading other blogs, etc…I appreciate the way you expressed yourself here, El Guapo, and really appreciate the way other bloggers have (for the most part) been very respectful in this comment section. I’ve thought a lot about this, and my comment just grew and grew… so I posted my own thoughts. Thanks for opening up some compelling exchange here.

    Like

    • Thanks so much, Tales (Do you prefer Tales, or Motherland, or TftM?)

      I was shocked to find out how many people had their own stories too. In the end, It would be nice if everyone were a little more considerate as we bounce off each other in the sphere.

      (It’s also possible I’m just a jackass, but I can live with that too.) ;)

      Like

      • You can call me TFTM, or Dawn, or Tales, or beautiful. Just don’t be mean. ;-)

        It has all been shocking. I think I’ve held back and then got writing a response, which became a blog post. It was hard to hit Publish, as it’s all been so complex and ugly. Thanks for your post!

        Like

        • Yes. This is among the three hardest to publish posts I’ve written. But I’m glad I put it up. Seems like it was something that needed to be said.

          And thank you for yours too.

          Like

          • What were the other two? I’m not sure if I’ve posted one this hard… I may worry a little about what I’m putting out there, but as a rule, I write without filters and try not to think about who will read it… this one, was exactly the opposite! I was careful about much of what I said, and worried about how it would come off to various bloggers I like and respect. I don’t like that feeling… But, I’m glad put it out there, and can stop writing it in my head each night. Thanks for the support!

            Like

  78. Pingback: When There’s a Fight on the Playground… | Tales from the Motherland

  79. Your anger is justified. Somebody has to be angry at the wrong things happening – otherwise, the wrong will just go on and on.

    Like

  80. “The blogosphere is where I play.” On.the.nose. Life’s too short to get caught up in virtual arguments. As I tell my kids, you don’t like the way someone is playing, just go play with someone else. I appreciate your thoughts here, and the eloquent way you express them. Even the f-bombs. :)

    Like

  81. Just returned to this post, and yes – a bit off the rail at times. Nonetheless, a tip of the cap to you for keeping up with the comments.

    Like

  82. I understand your rightous anger. At least the offender felt enough heat to close down his sight. Let’s hope he gets professional help for his problem; he needs it. However, first he has to recognize he has a problem. That’s the tough part.

    Like

  83. I’m kind of glad I don’t know whom you are writing about, Guap. I think you’re referring to what has become known as a cyber bully. I visit blogs to learn and be uplifted, not to feel threatened or manipulated. I stay away from anything like that and have never had such a visitor on my silly little blog. I was asked once to guest post on another’s blog. I didn’t do my homework, and it was not a pleasant experience. I will never make that mistake again. I’m sorry about your friend’s experience. Mean people stink. <3

    Like

    • They certainly do stink, though you are much politer about it than me.
      I blog for exactly the same reasons you describe, and stay away for the same. Sometimes though, just clicking unfollow isn’t enough.

      Like

  84. Wow, I had no idea the sandbox had got so messy. I’ve encountered LC on occasion, but stopped following some time last year. Like so many others have posted, something smelt off. Add to that a few comments that were too flirty for me.
    So very sorry for all the innocent parties (on both sides) that got caught up in this mess.
    Well done El Guapo, great post yet again.

    Like

  85. Dove Seven Gold

    Hi, thankyou for writing this post, and giving the links; I clicked through and what I read was horrifying, it left me shaking and feeling sick. I am so sorry that this happened to her, and think she was very brave to write it.

    Like

  86. Jesus Christ, I missed all this!

    I was cleaning up my blog, and noticed the links to my guest-posts on his blogs were dead. Then I noticed all his blogs were offline. So I did a bit of googling around. What a nasty little rat, right? *Bluegh*

    And so many people looked up to him. The feminist, male clown. I saw the e-mails in link you posted.

    Oh, my God. I’m so grossed out right now. I… I have no words.

    Anyway, I side with you and your righteous anger. Honestly, anyone siding with him is slightly out of their minds in my opinion.

    Wow, just wow.

    Like

  87. I thought he was an engaging writer, but felt there was something eerie about his schtick. Hope you didn’t lose any followers because of this post. At very least, you just gained one.

    Like

    • Thanks Hedonist, and nice to meet you.
      Posting this was worth whatever fallout came, if only because there were people I care about involved, on both sides.
      And if nothing else, anyone who read it got a better idea of who I am, I guess.

      Like

  88. Blimey! I missed this post as it was my birthday weekend and I lost about a week. I only just stumbled on what happened after thinking about people I don’t see around anymore and stumbled upon the whole thing.

    That’ll solve the conundrum why some people are no longer around then.

    Beyond shocked and plenty of other adjectives, but am too shocked to think of them. And very disappointed. WordPress is about making friends and a bit of a laugh, pleasant, funny dialogue, a supportive network. What a horrid turn of events.

    I definitely need a drink now, hopefully I’ll only lose the one evening this time.

    Like

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