The Invisible Web

Your Trip Into the Chapel Perilous

Atheist vs Catholic, Scifi vs Islam, and other Flame Wars With No Winners, Only Losers

Posted by invizweb on July 19, 2008

The following article reminds me of an IM correspondence I had with a good friend of mine. A few months ago I was on America Online Instant Messenger texting away with two associates, lets call them Mondo and Jay, both close friends of each other. We were all discussing the same subject despite that I was engaged in two separate conversations. Then I cut and pasted an IM line to the other conversation. Even though they were close friends, the person who received the Instant Message, Mondo, said that I should check with Jay first before doing so. When I asked why, he hinted issues of privacy. Mondo, if you are reading this now. I apologize.

This hearkened back to a situation which occurred in 2004 when i lived in a suite at my University. My suitemate, lets just call him, Dee had a longterm girlfriend, lets substitute her name with Magdalena, who came to visit him that weekend and probably engage in an intimate encounter. However, Dee had a special female confidant on campus whom he would spend a lot of time with almost but I am not certain that they were more than friends. I forgot her name so I will call her Jane (like a Jane Doe) for the purposes of this story. When Magdalena came on campus to visit her perhaps husband now, Dee would not even acknowledge Jane’s existence. In fact, he made me swear upon this. Thus Jane of course would be real glum every time Magdalena would appear. So I used AIM to cheer up up. I had a crush on Jane, and in all truth thought she was much more physically attractive than Magdalena (I thought Magdalena was rail thin in fact and I told Dee this myself since we were close at times and he told me that he will knife me if I ever said that again, during a casual conversation. Who am I to refuse a 400 lb Brazilian from Flatbush?). And I told Jane that through AIM: that she was much more beautiful than Magdalena and that Dee would have been lucky to keep her as a potential partner). She felt much better. When Magdalena left at the end of the week , Dee asked me casually to step into his room. He asked me if I messaged Jane while Magdalena was in town. I avoided answering and then he told me he read her IMs. And then I called him an ungrateful bastard after he threatened to cut me. In the end, Dee Viniscius and I were no longer friends. I stand by what I did.

Of course this hearkened back to a time in 2002 when I had a period of altercations with a douchebag who writes for a larger Internet network of men’s interests and sports. I was involved in trading tapes of Japanese Pro Wrestling then. At the time there was no YouTube. For some reason the assclown made an accusation that I was a felon, and spread such rumors on the Internet even on message boards which i did not visit. He was also playing mind games with me and recited back my email address and campus mailing address to me claiming that he in fact was the tape trader I was dealing with. I was smart enough to opt out of his crap. He continued to besmirch me until he got tired. He never apologized or explained why he decided to troll me. The fuckwad never apologized. And as I stated above he is a recognizable name in football and video game coverage online. But I will take the high road.

Below are some serious situations made possible now by the Internet and the false sense of anonymity. The article was written by Simon Owens of Blogasm.

Melanie Kroll probably doesn’t appreciate the irony of her situation.

She was fired this week from her job at 1-800-Flowers.com, a floral delivery service, after a death threat was sent to popular science blogger PZ Myers from her work email address. The irony stems from the fact that she most likely heard about Myers only because the Catholic League had attempted to get him terminated from his job at the university where he teaches.

Myers, an associate professor of biology at the University of Minnesota, Morris, had published a controversial blog post on July 8 titled “IT’S A FRACKIN’ CRACKER!” The cracker in this instance was referring to a Eucharist — a small wafer considered by Catholics to be the body of Christ — that had been smuggled uneaten out of a church by a Florida man. The incident caused public outrage from some Catholics and after the Catholic League condemned the action the man received multiple death threats. He finally succumbed to the pressure and returned the wafer to the church.

Myers is a vocal atheist and his blog post expressed incredulity and anger that a person would be harassed in such a way over what Myers considered a…well, cracker. At the end of the post he called his readers to action. “Can anyone out there score me some consecrated communion wafers?” he wrote. “There’s no way I can personally get them — my local churches have stakes prepared for me, I’m sure — but if any of you would be willing to do what it takes to get me some, or even one, and mail it to me, I’ll show you sacrilege, gladly, and with much fanfare.”

Eventually Myers’s writing reached Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, and in his typical fashion he went on the attack. The Catholic organization sent out a press release encouraging Catholics to email the president of the University of Minnesota and demand that action be taken.

Read more.

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