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!