Saturday, September 6, 2008

A Journey Is Over

Dear Friends,

It has been an interesting, an entertaining, and a laugh-filled journey, but at last it is coming to an end. This is my last post in this blog.

The journey began probably about four months ago when I stumbled across a very appalling blog that made the goosebumps crawl on my flesh. It wasn't just that I disagreed with everything the blog author was that whenever anyone asked for evidence of the things he said, the author's response was always one of the following:

"It is the truth."
"Why do you fear the truth?"
"It is well documented."

Anyone who isn't completely brain-dead knows that those are utterly inappropriate answers to serious questions. When someone claims that George Bush created hurricane Katrina, and is then asked, "How do you know," none of the answers listed above are acceptable.

After watching this appalling piece of bloggery, I thought "It sure would be fun to try to convince everyone that the author is writing satire."

So I set out on a campaign to - simply by posting comments that sounded as though I knew the author personally - convince other readers that the blog was entirely satire.

Those of you who have been following this are probably annoyed with me now...or maybe you're laughing inside. I hope you're doing the latter. If you're doing the former, I give you my sincere apologies for fooling you with this practical joke.

It wasn't long before I had some success with this; soon people on (where the blog author often posted comments) were referring to him as "Red" (as I did) and saying that he was a "white boy from down south" which was a fiction I created, and that the whole thing was a satire.

At that point, the author made a mistake which played right into my hands; for whatever reason, he moved his blog to a new address. I noticed this almost immediately, and so I snagged his old blog address, and started posting as though "Professor Red" had willingly given me his old blogspot in order to post interviews about his satire.

Soon people were referencing MY blog as proof that Professor Red was doing satire.

Eventually I grew tired of the game. Why? Because I really hate dishonesty, and the whole practical joke required me to pretend something that wasn't true.

But there was another reason I grew tired of the game. Professor Red started posting AdSense ads on his website. I kind of felt as though he was selling out, using the popularity I had given his blog for his own personal gain, instead of just posting because of what he believed in.

Because of these things, I'd been trying to figure out (short of simply disappearing) how to extricate myself from this practical joke. And then...

About a week ago a "newcomer" came onto the scene - a Truth First "wannabe" who called himself Fayed X. This guy posted a lot of the same kinds of stuff as Truth First (in fact, most of us believed he was the same person writing under a different name). And he tried pretty hard to get in good with TF. What he didn't understand is that TF has already been duped two or three times by people who wrote blog entries on their own blogs that appeared to be the kinds of things TF would agree with...and TF realized much too late that they were only messing with him and making fun of him behind his back. In other words, even if Fayed X WAS for real (which I doubt) TF will NEVER trust him, because he is too much like all the other people who tried to fool him.

Anyway, when I saw that FX was trying to ingratiate himself, I decided to start laying it on pretty thick with the "satire" bit, in order to convince FX that TF was actually a white boy from South Carolina.

Others, unwittingly, helped with this task.

We were quite successful in our endeavor...within two days FX was posting almost slanderous comments about TF on both his blog and TF's.

That was when I decided: it's time to drop the bomb and watch the fun.

As you can see, from the comments here and on TF and FX blogs, "fun" is an understatement.

FX was absolutely humiliated to realize he had been "duped by a white man". It only took him a few hours, though, to come up with his response, which was to start pretending that he "knew it all along." You can see this in his apology to TF for slandering him.

You can see it in his pretending that, even though his blog had only been in existence for six days (yes, less than a week!) he already had a readership so large that his blog had come to the attention of Obama's campaign, and he was being swamped by emails of support from his "many readers."

You can also see it in his photoshopped image of an "email" from Obama's campaign manager, congratulating him for "exposing" my plot. I nearly fell off my chair when I saw that one! I've made a copy of that image, so if he ever gets embarrassed about it and takes it down, I can post it here. [ADDED NOTE: An alert reader caught on to the fact that actually, this was not a photoshopped email; apparently someone sent it to FX as a HOAX, and he bought into it, which makes me laugh even harder!]

Needless to say, the silliness of FX trying to cover his tracks and make himself look like the hero is even funnier than anything else that has gone on in this whole escapade.

If you think about it, the fact that I was able to singlehandedly perpetrate this practical joke is good proof that you should NEVER accept what you read online without asking lots of very thorough questions.

Edit To Add: Guys, thanks so much for all your comments. This has been a day of great fun and hilarity. To be honest, at the beginning of the day I never would have guessed that the time was ripe to end the practical joke, but the timing was perfect to - if you'll pardon the expression - kill two birds with one stone.

One of the birds is still frantically trying to unruffle his fayeathers (while pretending they were never ruffled in the first place!!!). I still haven't seen a reaction from the other bird.

Anyway, Elaine pointed out to me that when I deleted a paragraph of this, I deleted something very important,and she thought I should add it back in. She was right.

The paragraph, in a nutshell, said this: There really IS racism in this country. There is racism which appears in many different ways. And people should take these issues seriously. Unfortunately, people like Truth First and Fayed X cause a great deal of grief to the black community by marginalizing the real issues. It's a baby-and-bathwater issue. When people read insane mutterings by people who are ruled by hate and see racism behind every tree stump, they (rightly) dismiss them as kooks. But in the process, they also end up dismissing the REAL issues.

Just because there are a few people like TF and FX out there, don't let them fool you into thinking that racism is a non-issue. It is a concern that should matter to all people of all races!

Did that more-or-less cover it, Elaine?

ANOTHER EDIT: I popped in to visit the TF blog and the FX blog, to see what's happening there, and noticed that several of you have started ending your posts with "Death to racism! Long Live Tim Bob!" And you've made them links to this blog. I'm flattered. Feel free to continue doing that; it'll help new visitors to both of those blogs realize what stupidity they've stumbled into!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Washington Post Article

Tim Bob: Good morning, Professor Red!

Professor Red: Good morning, Tim Bob. It's good to see you again.

Tim Bob: Well, thanks for coming in this morning. I think it's time we finally got around to discussing that Washington Post article.

Professor Red: That's right. We haven't talked about that yet, have we.

Tim Bob: Not really. And I think it's particularly timely, in light of the post you added to your blog this morning.

Professor Red: Because? Oh, yes. I see what you mean.

Tim Bob: Let's talk first about your impressions. What was your reaction when you found out that the Washington Post was running an article about your blog?

Professor Red: Well, for starters, I was a bit astounded. I mean, the local paper down here hasn't even run a story on it, so I never would have guessed my blog would get national attention!

Tim Bob: Did you think the article was fair and impartial?

Professor Red: I think they did fairly well, considering they didn't interview me.

Tim Bob: Was that your choice or theirs?

Professor Red: Strictly speaking, I suppose it was my choice, because I don't post any real contact information on my blog.

Tim Bob: But they could have posted a comment on your blog, asking for that information.

Professor Red: It's very possible that they did. The thing is, everyone is always asking me for more information about who I am, and considering the nature of the blog, and the animosity it generates, I'm not eager to have that information out there. So they might have posted a comment months ago asking for my contact information, and I would have just ignored it.

Tim Bob: Understandable. So. What did they get right? What did they get wrong?

Professor Red: Well, their assessment that I was probably not a black man from Africa was spot on; I think they said they had a language and dialect specialist analyze my writing, and concluded that I was actually a middle aged white male from...which state was it?

Tim Bob: Georgia.

Professor Red: Right. So they really weren't so far off.

Tim Bob: Not far at all.

Professor Red: I think the thing that troubled me the most was the accusation that my blog was going to actually harm Obama's chances at being elected.

Tim Bob: And their rationale behind that was?

Professor Red: Their argument was that the people who read my blog don't realize that it's just a joke blog, and they actually take it quite seriously.

Tim Bob: I think the kinds of comments you get are a good indication that most people don't realize you're just having a bit of fun.

Professor Red: Right. The comments I get are quite troubling at times. So the Post article suggested that maybe people are looking at my blog and thinking to themselves "If this idiot is one of Obama's advisers, there's no way I'm going to vote for him!"

Tim Bob: And in fact, the Washington Post did a survey in which they polled black people to find out their opinions...

Professor Red: And even the black people were appalled by the kinds of things I was saying, and were leaning away from voting for Obama because of them.

Tim Bob: Amazing to think what power your little blog has, huh?

Professor Red: I know! I mean, I've always heard people talk about "king-makers" - it's kind of awe inspiring to realize that I could very well be a "king-unmaker"! Can you imagine, if I singlehandedly prevented Obama from being elected?

Tim Bob: But that's not what you want...

Professor Red: Oh no! I hold no animosity toward Obama - I've never even met the man. I just wanted to have some fun.

Tim Bob: Which leads us to your most recent post...

Professor Red: Exactly. In this post I start the process of distancing myself from the idea that I might actually be one of Obama's advisers. I'm not giving up on that joke, but I'm starting to drop a few hints that Obama really doesn't listen to me.

Tim Bob: In fact, your most recent post is a pretty good hint that Obama sees you as a bit of a crackpot he just "has to put up with".

Professor Red: Yes. So for those who get the fact that I'm kidding around, they still get the ongoing gag about me being an adviser to Obama, but for those who are clueless to the true nature of this blog, at least I'm not damaging Obama's chances by making it appear as though Obama actually listens to me!

Tim Bob: Well thanks for coming in, Professor Red. And just one last comment before we go. I really enjoyed your line about "moral" choices. I thought it was just priceless - the idea that choosing a black vs. white running mate was an issue of morality.

Professor Red: If that doesn't clue them in...what will?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Infallible Africans

Tim Bob: Professor Red, I realize that we haven't yet had a chance to discuss the article about your blog in the Washington Post...

Professor Red: That's okay, Tim, I actually haven't had a chance to carefully read it myself, so I don't mind if we put off talking about that until another time.

Tim Bob: Great. Because I really wanted to talk to you about your recent post about black leaders being targeted by the White Power structure.

Professor Red: African Leaders.

Tim Bob: I beg your pardon?

Professor Red: Not "Black Leaders." "African Leaders"

Tim Bob: Strictly speaking, none of the people we're talking about are actually Africans, right? I mean, they might have ancestors who are from Africa, but they're actually Americans.

Professor Red: I just need to keep in persona. My persona refers to all Americans by the term "White Man," even though Americans include whites, blacks, Hispanics, and many others. But all black men are referred to as "African"

Tim Bob: Why is that, exactly?

Professor Red: It's just my way of reminding my readers of how embarrassed my persona is of the color of his skin. Professor Red just can't stand to be reminded that he's black.

Tim Bob: Which is, amusingly, why you go by the name Professor Red?

Professor Red: That's right.

Tim Bob: Okay, well, getting back to the question at hand. Is there some clue in your post that we're not supposed to take your comments seriously? Because, to be honest, I didn't see it. This one actually looked like a "serious" post by a raving lunatic, rather than a "funny" post by a comedian.

Professor Red: Well, I actually was going for something a little more serious this time. I wanted to point out how irrational racism can really be.

Tim Bob: I'm not sure I understand.

Professor Red: Well, the post begins from the premise that Africans (that's "black people" to you) never ever ever do anything wrong. This is something I've hinted at several times in my blog, with comments like "Africans can't be judged by whites".

Tim Bob: And you've posted several similar comments over at IMDB as well.

Professor Red: Yes, that's right. So if you begin from that premise, the logical conclusion is that whenever Africans are "charged" with something, it must be a false charge, and therefore trumped up by the whites.

Tim Bob: But if we actually find proof of wrongdoing...

Professor Red: See, that's the beauty of my premise. If you start from the postulate that Africans never do anything wrong, you MUST conclude - no matter how convincing the evidence might be - that the evidence of your eyes and ears is WRONG. It's very circular.

Tim Bob: But the problem I see is this: there doesn't seem to be any clue in your post that you don't actually believe the things you're saying.

Professor Red: Oh, yes, there is! It's in the linked post from a few months back.

Tim Bob: I vaguely remember that one...

Professor Red: It's the one in which I talked about the NY governor being innocent, but then very cleverly hid a statement in the post which very clearly stated that he was really guilty.

Tim Bob: That's right! I remember that! It was the triple negative!

Professor Red: Exactly! Unfortunately, most people seem to miss out on that clue, so they end up thinking that I really believe that Africans are infallible.

Tim Bob: Well, thank you for clarifying - I feel much better about your post now.

Professor Red: Glad to help out!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Racism of "So You Think You Can Dance"

Tim Bob: Let's get right to it, shall we, Professor Red?

Professor Red: Certainly!

Tim Bob: Several people have really had a lol (Laugh Out Loud) moment when they read the photo caption on your latest blog entry, and I was wondering if maybe you could comment on how you came up with that caption?

Professor Red: Well, let's first explain what the photo is. It's a still capture of a scene from the show "So You Think You Can Dance," which shows a black man and a white woman "dancing"...actually, can we post a link to the picture?

Tim Bob: Sure. We can do that. [link: So You Think You Can Dance]

Professor Red: So, when you see a picture like that, the obvious caption that springs to mind is: "So You Think You Can Dance" has white women wear clown-like clothing and being subjugated by black people with whips. But, of course, that suggests the wrong sort of racism for my blog.

Tim Bob: Very true!

Professor Red: So I thought to myself, "If I were a black man who sees racism everywhere, how would I look at this picture?" And then it became quite obvious how that picture would be perceived by a mentally deficient person who thinks that everything from vanilla ice cream to hot fudge sauce is racist!

Tim Bob: And then, I suppose, the caption more or less wrote itself!

Professor Red: Yes indeed, Tim Bob!

Tim Bob: I think your comment about "perceiving" really gets to the heart of your blog.

Professor Red: You mean...

Tim Bob: Well, your blog is titled "Truth First," but the persona you've created for yourself really is far more interested in perception than in truth.

Professor Red: That's right, Tim Bob. Truth really has nothing to do with it - it's all about how we perceive things. After all, if I had to simply speak the truth, it would be much more difficult to write funny stuff.

Tim Bob: And when it comes to funny stuff, I've gotta say, you've hit comedic gold with this latest one.

Professor Red: Thanks so much, Tim Bob.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Hypocritical Liar who is Obama...

Tim Bob: Professor Red, thanks so much for joining me again for another interview.

Professor Red: It is, as always a pleasure, to visit with you.

Tim Bob: I do know, though, that your time is very valuable, so I'll make this quite quick. I was interested by your latest blog entry. The entry itself, on the surface seemed fairly straightforward, but one of your alert readers, mustapha, caught the joke of it, that you're really posting precisely the reason why your "racist pig persona" WOULDN'T vote for Obama.

Professor Red: That's right, Tim Bob. The persona I've created would NEVER vote for a candidate who hopes for peace between blacks and whites. As you've so aptly pointed out, my "professor" persona is, in fact, a racist pig, and is desperate to keep hatred alive between whites and blacks.

Tim Bob: I admire the way you responded to mustapha's comment - very clever.

Professor Red: Thank you. In my response, I announced to everyone that Obama is a deceptive, hypocritical liar who would do anything to get the presidency, including defrauding the American public.

Tim Bob: And all done in such a calm, matter-of-fact way.

Professor Red: Yes, indeed. I think it's a tragedy that so many people are dumb enough that they won't realize that in the space of one short comment I have publicly denounced the candidate I claim to support.

Tim Bob: Yes, it is tragic. Well, I'll let you get back to work. Perhaps next time we get together, you and I can talk about the recent article in the Washington Post about your blog.

Professor Red: That would be my pleasure!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Interview With Professor Red

Tim Bob: Thanks for taking the time to be with us today, Professor Red.

Prof Red: It's my pleasure, Tim Bob; I'm always happy to talk about my blog.

Tim Bob: First off, I want to say, congratulations on what has - so far - been a very successful comedic effort.

Prof Red: Well, I have to say, I think people are way too uptight about politics. Having a little bit of levity thrown in really makes a difference.

Tim Bob: Levity. And that's what you provide.

Prof Red: That's right. Over at my new blog Truth First Now, I provide some very sneaky, very subtle jokes to get people laughing about politics instead of getting stressed about them.

Tim Bob: Let's talk for just a moment about your new post there. The Obama interview.

Prof Red: Oh, yes. That's a fun one. I had a lot of fun putting that together.

Tim Bob: Now, on my first read-through, I didn't really see any of the humor that's often present in your postings. Would you like to comment on that?

Prof Red: Well, I tried to be really subtle with this one; I wanted to give the sense that I actually was interviewing Obama. I think I succeeded pretty well with that, too.

Tim Bob: But somewhere there must be a clue that the whole thing is a prank?

Prof Red: Oh yes! It's in my question about Hurricane Katrina. Anyone who is paying attention, and knows my sense of humor, knows that this is not the sort of question I ask!

Tim Bob: Oh, of course! I see it now! You never talk about Katrina without accusing the evil white man of causing the hurricane!

Prof Red: That's right, Tim Bob! That question was totally out of character for my "Professor Red" persona! There were no conspiracy theories, no psychotic paranoias, and no racist stereotypes. That should be the only clue you need that it wasn't a real interview between me and Senator Obama!

Tim Bob: Well, Professor Red, it's been a pleasure talking with you again about your blog. Perhaps we can do this again sometime!

Prof Red: I hope we can. And by the way, thanks for maintaining this sister-blog for me. It's great to have someone who will take the time to explain all the little jokes I'm telling!

Tim Bob: It's my pleasure! And thank you for all the laughs!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Professor Red's Reparations

The humor of Red's most recent post about reparations is funny on two levels, and I'll try to address both of them.

First, of course, there's the humor innate in the situation of a white boy from South Carolina (whose great-granddaddy undoubtedly owned many slaves) pretending to be a black man in order to demand reparations from himself for the crimes of his forebears.

Very funny, Red, and I commend you for that joke.

Then, of course, there's the humor for those who don't realize that Professor Red is actually a redneck from down South. It's the humor for those who think he really is a black man. Since Africans were the worst offenders when it came to kidnapping people of their own race and selling them to Europeans and (eventually) Americans, Red is still demanding reparations from himself for his forebear's misdeeds!

Again, Red, no matter which way you look at it...

Very funny. I hope you've got the money to pay for the reparations you're asking for!