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 said...it 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 imdb.com (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!

31 comments:

elaine said...

Oh, my word! I started reading this, and then said, "Nooooo..."

By the end of it I was laughing so hard. You sir, are evil. :)

Tim Bob said...

*takes a bow*

Just for the record, there was NO Washington Post article about Professor Red's blog - there isn't a chance that anyone at WP has even heard of that blog. There aren't very many people who read it!

mustapha said...

I can't decide if I want to punch you in the gut...

...or buy you a beer.

...or maybe five or six beers.

I think I'm leaning toward the latter, but don't be surprised if I come up to you and knock you a good one for this!

Tim Bob said...

Fair enough. I probably deserve it. :)

Anonymous said...

You know, I didn't buy ANY of it.

Until you showed up one day at Professor Red's old blogspot, and I just assumed he MUST have given it to you, which meant that the two of you were in on this together.

Curses upon you for fooling me.

Not a big curse. Maybe just a bit of mildew between your toes for a couple weeks.

Then we'll call it even.

bobo said...

I think everyone is missing the real trauma of the situation...that now we have to go back to believing that there really is someone as crazy as Truth First out there.

Tim Bob said...

Well, it's possible he really WAS doing satire, and we just didn't know it.

I really don't know what to think of him. I mean, the things he said about himself being an Obama adviser...we all KNEW (and I mean KNEW!) that it was all bogus, and yet, he spoke so complacently about it.

I've wondered many times...was he just outright lying, or was he mentally disturbed enough to actually believe that he and Obama were like peas in a pod?

I don't think any of us will ever know the answer to that question.

mustapha said...

I confess...I still half suspect that Fayed X and Professor Red are the same person.

mustapha said...

I also have this concern: if Fayed X starts thinking that he is an adviser to Obama, simply because he gets a lot of email from the Obama campaign (and who doesn't!)...

Is he really any better than Professor Red?

Doggone! I can't stop calling him Professor Red! >:(

Tim Bob said...

I think you'll figure out pretty quickly whether they are actually the same person. If Fayed X refuses to answer legitimate questions about the things he believes, I think it'll be safe to assume it's the same person under a different name.

And even if it's not...does it really matter? Anyone who refuses to give legitimate answers to legitimate questions automatically marginalizes himself.

Fayed X said...

Jim Bob,

I read you little post and I can't say that this is not suprizing. Why don't you tell the real truth about who you work for. Carl Rove, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfield? You won't tell the truth on that will you? I didn't think so. In the process you tricked so many people away from learning important facts. Who is the real deciever? Think about it!

mustapha said...

well, tim bob, I tried to follow your lead and post a polite response, explaining to fayed x that everyone who signs up for campaign newsletters gets that much email.

He responded by accusing me of being jealous.

That's almost identical to the kinds of responses Truth First would post when someone gave a viewpoint he didn't like.

Tim Bob said...

Yeah, sadly, I agree, mustapha. As you can see from fayed's post, when I explained things, his response was one of those bizarre "tell me who you really work for" comments.

Oh well. I think I'll remove the link to his blog; I was hoping he'd be interested in getting new visitors anxious for real conversation.

I guess not.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for opening this up for anonymous comments there have been several times I've wanted to post comments but didn't have an ID.

Anyway I just wanted to say. Well done. I think you chose the right time to end the practical joke thogh.

And I'm glad you removed the link to that other blog - I think its pretty clear from the things I've seen he's not a lot different from Red.

Tim Bob said...

anonymous - I won't leave it open for anonymous comments for very long. But after the stunt I pulled, I felt it was only fair to give people a chance to yell at me if they wanted.

After a day or two I'm going to close it back up.

Thanks for all the comments, everyone!

Tim Bob said...

And fayed, not to worry...my practical joke didn't keep anyone from learning any important facts! :)

elaine said...

Oh, oh, oh! You should read what fayed has written now. He says that he "forced you out" and "discredited" you, and that everyone is emailing him about it!!!!!

Hahahahahahahaha!

Can you imagine? A blog with a readership that consists entirely of people who found him through your blog and Truth First, and I guarantee you none of US are emailing him!!!!!!

You guys are right...he IS TruthFirst!

Anonymous said...

Not to mention the comment he made over at Truth First, which was equally priceless.

I wonder if these guys even have a smidgen of a clue how silly they look trying to backtrack and pretend they intended something different after they were made to look foolish.

Faylure X's "I never doubted you, Truth First" comment is priceless.

Anonymous said...

And I guess I agree with the other anonymous poster, who said it was time to end the joke. Man, those guys never knew what hit them.

I love how you got Faylure X believing that Truth First was his enemy. "Oooh! He's not as high up in the Obama chain of command as I am" HA HA HA!

And I agree about the marginalizing. When you read how faylure is trying to explain away his gullibleness in this whole thing, you just realize...this is a man who will always, by his own actions and words, marginalize himself. It's sad, in a way.

Fayed X said...

Dear Jim Bob,

I know that you will probably do just the opposite of what I say but I think your superior feelings will make you listen. I was hoping you would leave up this site and not delet it. I know you probably want to put this all behind you since you were expose but it is like a trophy for me and my readers love it.

Maybe you could leave it up long enough for me to get all the pictures of the site so I have a good memory for exposing your tricks. Ha. I only need a day or so to get my cousin to get the pictures.

I guess you will take it down right away but I thought I would just ask. Think about it.

Fayed X said...

Jim Bob,

Nevermind. I just got off the phone with my cousin and he already had it. Grate minds are really alike! You can now hurry and delete it. Ha!

elaine said...

I feel like we've reached the end of an era. Honestly, I don't have any interest in reading any of these blogs any more.

So is this the end? We all go our separate ways now?

You know, Jim Bob (ha ha!) when you removed the link to fayed's blog, you also removed the part about "real racism", which I think is unfortunate...I think it's a good reminder that people like Truth First and Fayed X actually hurt the cause of the minorities with their absurdities.

Maybe you should put that paragraph back in.

Tim Bob said...

Elaine, that's an excellent point. When I deleted the link, I didn't even notice I had deleted that paragraph. I'll add it back in. I think it's important, considering how many people visit this blog, to have that reminder of what's really important.

*grin*

This day has been just a little bit too much fun for me, you know?

But yeah, I think we do all just go our separate ways. I will, of course, leave this blog up as a memorial to Truth First and our prank on him. :)

elaine said...

"fayeathers!" Oh, I hurt my gut laughing at that.

Tim Bob, I'm going to miss all this. :-/

Well, on to other things, I suppose.

elaine said...

and yes, you covered it nicely. Actually, I think it was even better the second time you wrote it. I like the baby-and-bathwater analogy.

Oh! I just noticed fayed tried a little bit of reverse psychology on you,to see if he could get you to take down this blog! Ha ha!

mustapha said...

You know, I'm just now starting to get my brain wrapped around this whole thing, and I realized, you didn't just pick a GOOD time to bring this to a finish...you picked the PERFECT time to bring it to a finish!

See, here's what I'm just realizing...you're NOT going to get much of a reaction from Truth First, except RELIEF, because he's known all along that you were messing with him! Right?

So, if you had called it quits at any other time, it would have just been an anticlimactic disappointment.

But because you dovetailed this with fayedx's appearance on the scene, we had the privilege of watching him squirm and wriggle, which was really the best part of the whole thing!

Tim Bob said...

That's a good point, mustapha. I guess I really shouldn't expect any sort of response from Truth First.

And yes, the F-X response more than makes up for the fact that I probably won't get a response from T-F!

shirley said...

Hi Tim Bob! Thanks for the chuckles you've given us. I'm with mustapha...when I found out this was all a joke, I couldn't decide whether to kick you or kiss you.

Anyway, sooner or later fx is going to figure out that the very first thing he posted after finding out he'd been duped is not the kind of thing that would be posted by someone who had just succeeded in "unmasking" a foe.

Once he realizes that, he'll probably go delete that post. So I thought I'd copy and paste it here, so it will be here for all of posterity.

"I read you little post and I can't say that this is not suprizing. Why don't you tell the real truth about who you work for. Carl Rove, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfield? You won't tell the truth on that will you? I didn't think so. In the process you tricked so many people away from learning important facts. Who is the real deciever? Think about it!"

It wasn't until later in the evening that he started in with his "I knew it all along" song and dance.

I gotta say, he's not a very good dancer. Hee hee!

shirley said...

Just one more thing. I came into the TF blog from imdb.com, and one of the very first things that I saw was a link to your interview with him about his post.

And the thing is, his post made no sense whatsoever, until I read YOUR post, which supposedly explained the "satire" of it, and then it all made sense...

Except now I'm faced with the fact that it wasn't satire, and Truth First really WAS trying to be serious.

Anyway, my point in all this is, in retrospect, re-reading the things I read on his blog, and on imdb, I think you're exactly right. The issue is not that we disagree with him. The issue is that he posts such inflammatory, racist comments without any attempt to provide any concrete proof of what he says, and flat out refuses to give anything but "You fear the truth" when he is asked a question.

Long live Tim Bob. Death to racism.

Tim Bob said...

Good thinking, Shirley! And I'll take that kiss any time. Not so much with the kick. ;)

One of the things that still makes me wonder if TF and FX are the same person is the mistakes they make with double negatives.

Remember that post where TF used a triple negative which ended up (of course) saying exactly the opposite of what he intended?

And here we've got FX saying that he was quite surprised by my post...and I wonder if that's what he really meant to say. :)

I'm going to lock this for comments for a little while, because I'm not going to be around to moderate it.

I may open it back up later...we'll see! In case I don't have the time to do that, again, thanks everyone for participating (albeit unwittingly) in this little farce!

Jim Bob

Tim Bob said...

The entire focus of this little hoax was our good friend Truth First. But in the end, the FUNNIEST part of it all was the Fayed X response. As shirley pointed out, it took FX several hours to come up with a way to try to extricate himself from his humiliation. But once he came up with his "hook" (that he'd been trying to "unmask" me all along), his silly attempts to cover himself from shame have been funnier than anything else he and TF have done.

Because of that, I thought it would be a good idea to add a bit of explanation about FX in my post.

Also, Shirley has started a new trend with her "Long Live Tim Bob! Death to Racism!" comment.

People have been using that as a tag line in their comments on both the TF and FX blogs, and making them links to this blog.

I approve.

It'll help newcomers to those blogs realize just the kind of stupidity they're getting themselves in for!