Thursday, March 11, 2010

We Get Letters

Last Christmas I posted an article about how a conservative caller to a radio show began weeping and asking deranged questions about whether his prayers to Almighty God might have accidentally killed a Republican instead of his intended target, Democrat Robert Byrd. Economist Brad DeLong linked it off his site, which brought a steady stream of viewers, some of whom were really very nice about keeping me updated to developments in the story and making suggestions I hadn't thought of.

It turned out that Talking Points Memo ran a follow-up, suspecting that the call was a prank. At that point, I posted a response in which I outlined reasons why it might be serious, as well as my suspicion that the Republican party had stoked the flames of hard-right paranoia and rage so much that attempting to parody those attitudes might be beyond the point where doing so could seem implausible anymore. As one helpful reader pointed out, unbeknownst to me, I'd essentially drafted a political corollary to Poe's Law, which states that, "without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of fundamentalism that someone won't mistake for the real thing."

I drag all this back up because it seems like Poe's Law struck again the other day, with an implied death threat in the comments section on the first piece on Wolverines' pathetic rap, "O.T.P. (One Term President)." Someone, responding to both that article and the subsequent post about Satellite High's awesome diss track, wrote a lustily violent reply about how real Americans like him were just waiting for stupid weakling communists like Satellite High and me to declare open warfare on America, because then they'd murder us all and stack our bodies in the town square like cordwood. The commenter then signed off as "Spoonman," which seems like a tremendously unfair thing to do to a Soundgarden song, but whatever. "Black Hole Sun" and "Fell on Black Days" were both better singles off that album anyway.

Because the diss track had been posted in several different forums on the message boards, SA members who follow this site did some checking, and there is a poster on that site named Spoonman. Unsurprisingly, he spends a significant amount of his time posting in a forum called "The Firing Range," which is basically the SA's way of proactively ghettoizing the sort of people who'd pollute interesting discussions with softcore gun pornography and vigilante murder fan-fiction.

The forum itself has no shortage of that sort of thing, with people posting their daily weapon-carries like they were discussing the sort of outfits they put on in the morning. Encounters with minorities of any non-white color spotted in groups any larger than one are often described with hair-raised paranoiac alertness as to their sudden movements and how many bullets would be required to be loosed into their center mass, given the caliber of the poster's concealed-carry weapon and the number of bullets in the magazine. These are the sorts of people who enthusiastically cheerlead the existence of Castle Doctrine, as it gives those with disappointing lives another potential window through which ugly and impotent (sometimes) racially inspired revenge fantasies can explode into reality with crotch-engorging and self-actualizing power.

Take this winner, for instance. Seriously, click both of those pictures. Look at him. Just look at him. This guy basically fixes printers and network connections for some business of no consequence — a nobody in a department already derided by most professionals as the forgettable haven of nobodies — a probably spiritually and emotionally inert person doing a job of no real comparable worth to anything; biding his time until death and the moment that the sliver of posterity that remembers him begins the inevitable process of forgetting; hoping against hope that any day now Hans Gruber and Agent Smith start shooting the shit out of Midwest Phosphates Company and the well-armed butterfly named Morpheus that lives inside him can blast its way out of his shell and yippie-kai-yay some serious damage on the asses of all these terrorist commie Nazis.

I mention this stuff about the members of a message board forum because, knowing that, it's entirely possible that the hate-mail letter we got from Spoonman is completely serious, perhaps even from that specific poster. On the other hand, given Poe's Law, it's equally possible that it's a really funny troll written by someone with an ear for right-wing paranoia. Someone could have deftly mimicked a socio-political outlook that has become so crazy at this point that any document that one claims it produced is, on its face, totally plausible. Then he picked the name "Spoonman" because that song was playing on his iTunes at the time. Who knows?

I don't. Personally, I lean well to the side of "inspired troll," but you're welcome to judge for yourself:
March 9, 2010 4:23 PM

Anonymous said...

Alright my little commie a$$holes where do I begin....

This blog is weak! The reason being is you can't even make a cogent argument as to WHY you believe anything you do.... it is all emotionalism. "You FEEL something is amiss..." or those bad conservatives who made that nasty RAP song "hurt your feelings". Just attack anyone who actually uses facts to back up their beliefs. Look, I hate RAP, and you just reminded me why it seems to be the Genre of the stupid and the mentally deficient! Can you even pronounce M-E-N-T-A-L-L-Y D-E-F-I-C-I-E-N-T???

OK, so you know enough about word dynamics that you can actually rhyme words..... Wow, I betcha they give out Golden Globe awards to idiots like Kanye West and the other fags for that kind of massive skills huh?

Betcha those RAP skills of yours will really come in handy some day when some real American puts a bullet in your head! (Here's a tip.... try actully holding the weapon in the correct manner rather than to the side like a cheap street punk!) I guess you can rhyme your silly ass all the grave huh?

In your CRAPS, oh I mean RAPS, my just mouth the trash that Marx, Lenin, Engels, Pol Pot, Amin, Pelosi, and all the other Lib-tards tell you to say. No original thought there sport..... sad. But since you live a frairly lame life... I'm probably not telling you anything you didn't already know.... but if I am I'll spell it out for you - you SUCK!

Anytime your ass wants to mix it up in the streets with real Americans..... you bring your 'A'-game Sally! We're gonna stack you bastards up like cordwood! And then, that will be the day you are reminded that all the crap you got away with your whole life finally just ran out of steam. Oh well, enjoy it while you can.... 'cause we're gonna make you pay!

Proud to be Commie? Well, then don't be offended if I'm proud to send your Communist ass to a grave. Don't like it here? Don't worry, we can arrange the re-settlement fairly easy! Feeling disenfranchised? Get your ass on a plane and go to a Communist country that you think is wonderful. But you weak cowards can't do that can you? Why? Because those other great communists would probably put you in a Gulag (yet another fun and exciting invention of wonderful Communism...) and wait for your mangy ass to die a nasty death.... which if you think about it.... you can't really blame them, now can you? Afterall, what Commie likes competition from other brainless jackasses? They have to take care of their own jackasses first ya know.



(one of the many concerned Conservatives that will be using your corpse for fertilizer in our gardens one of these days! And don't think it ain't gonna happen Sally..... enjoy the freedom while you have it!)
What I can tell you for certain is that this isn't even my first online death threat. I actually got far more sincere and explicit ones when I lampooned a pop idol once. The piece is long gone, but the wounds... (pats theatrically at chest) they're still here. My apologies to the members of 98ยบ.

Another thing I do know is that, while this might be familiar territory for me, this provided a totally new experience for Satellite High. A death threat is a very important time in a young man's life. He starts going through changes, and it makes him feel... different. I'm just glad that I could share this significant milestone with him.