20 thoughts on “My Finger to the Figure

  1. I’ve spent a lot of time studying charismatic leadership, and I still don’t understand the attraction of cult personalities, either.
    It’s better to be an individual. And, as you say, to tell the truth. And, whenever possible, to be kind.

  2. Well, I’m over my fit, and I genuinely appreciate the supportive comments I’m getting here and in countless emails from bloggers who prefer not to keep stoking the fire and risk getting burned — again in some cases. Can’t say I blame them. I’m done here too. Some of you were done with him long before I got around to it. Too soon old; too late smart.

  3. It’s important we call people [coherently] on their fuck ups and I don’t see much of it being done. I don’t believe in e-mail campaigns. They sound like the whispering death of everything good blogging might become.
    My comment on the sad crap emanating from the asshole brains of those who see themselves as stars rather than black holes in the making would take too long to write.
    Hubris is ugly at the best of times; nemesis is seldom far behind. I don’t have the time for such dumb arrogance. Clinging desperately to the tails of the fast-fading comets that formed their art, self-made myths end up making fools of themselves, desperately pointing to painted muses and empty icons to justify their exemption from common decency.
    What’s really sad is that a simple apology would do. But those who would touch the sun and spit on everyone are always the last to realize it. Never mind. Sooner or later, the truth sinks in. Wings melt and angels burn. Coyote laughs.
    And, yes, it’s the sin that’s being condemned here. The sinner? Eminently forgivable. But to think one does not need allow another to forgive, before carrying on as before is, to put it bluntly, fucking stupid.
    Trust me. I know these things.

  4. Well, Elaine, you and I had an earlier exchange of emails on this very subject–in which I acknowledged that I was too timid to say anything in public that would expose my lack of worship for this heralded cult figure.
    But Iron Mike has made me feel ashamed of my timidity, so I’m (gulp!) going to your Comments instead of your email box. I don’t have Golby’s gift for words, so I’ll simply say that I second every damn thing he said. And I’ll add that said cult figure doesn’t piss me off, he merely bores me.
    Oh well, I never made it onto his blogroll, so at least I can’t suffer the ostracization of being removed from it.

  5. I don’t actually have any idea what’s happening (okay a vague one) but I’m down with elaine as in my experience shes good people..
    point me in the right direction and let me go rough someone up 😛

  6. Hey, you made my day! And thatlove is reciprocal, believe you me.
    BTW, I’m going to take this little teensey step of bravery to the next level and do a blog post. See you in whatever dungeon they toss blogger castaways.

  7. I don’t know why I involve myself in this, except to say that telling others that they’re exhibiting cult-like behavior because they don’t publicly get on one’s bandwagon sounds just like discussions about…. moral equivalency. Does this potentially ring with pain for any on this list?
    Attack the person if you will — face to face. Discuss all email correspondence, face to face. Yours and his. Put it all onilne and go at it tooth and nail. What have you, and whatever.
    But don’t label people who do not follow your agenda, Elaine, with exhibiting cult-like behavior. You have no idea of what goes on behind the dignity of closed doors and in private.
    You wrong people, who have done nothing else than stand up for their friend. And there is no moral victory here either. Nothing more than a taste of ashes.

  8. What this has been about the whole time is my objection to the verbal behavior of someone with a “dangerous mind.” I have been overtly critical of him, but not, until now, nasty. I don’t send mass emails, except if I reply-to-all to one I get. I might have sent, maybe two or three critical emails directly to “him who remains nameless,” and I even challenged him to post the last one, but he refused. He doesn’t have comments, so he can hide behind that protective barrier. He is welcome to share any emails that I have directed soley to him. I am that person who answered Paynter’s direct questions directly. I did not notice that “he who remains unnamed” had the courage to do the same.
    In my interview with Paynter, I indicated that I discovered the blog of “he who remains nameless” early on and wrote him off. Then I met Jeneane and, because of her deep affection for him, I reconsidered my opinion. I even went through the effort of offering him my weird ritual of support(which actually was pretty labor-intensive” during one of his rough periods. But he has, over and over demonstrated, that he’s just not the kind of person I think is a constructive, fair, or compassionate human — except to a few chosen people. That’s his choice. My choice is now to ignore him. I also pretty much ignore Mike Sanders because of his political stands. As a human being, however, I sense that Mike’s a much better one than many of us.
    This is my voice, ladies — loud and strident against abusiveness, including verbal; critical of those who take the destructive path to force changes in attitudes; proud of my son (who, btw, has some of the qualities exhibited by “he who remains nameless” but keeps them in check and has found constructive ways to channel his vision for the future. I don’t feel it necessary to come to his defense other than saying that. He can defend himself.)
    Now that I have sunk, for the moment, close to the abusive level of interaction exhibited by “he who remains nameless”, I am going to climb back out and get back on my own track.
    Jeneane and Shelley, go read my interview. That’s who I am. Those are the causes I champion. My profound objection to the tactics of “he who remains nameless” does not have to affect how we feel about each other as strong women with strong opinions, strong voices, and strong loves. I still think you two are the coolest.

  9. Personally Elaine, what’s between you and Chris Locke is between you two. He’s a big boy and can defend himself. And you’ve said you can defend yourself and need no other help.
    I objected to the whole cult thing because that’s dismissive and condescending to people who don’t want to play along with you. That was an uncalled for putdown.
    And can we drop this “he who shall be nameless” crap? His name is Chris Locke. He goes by Rageboy. His weblog is http://www.rageboy.com/blogger.html. Face him directly rather than use this jejune Harry Potter-like amorphism.
    As for cults, I belonged to a ‘real’ cult years ago Elaine. One of the ‘bad’ kind. I would suggest that you reconsider your use of words, because you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about when you mention ‘cult’.

  10. #5 from dictionary.com — cult:
    Obsessive, especially faddish, devotion to or veneration for a person, principle, or thing.
    The object of such devotion.
    #6: An exclusive group of persons sharing an esoteric, usually artistic or intellectual interest
    I’m not the kind of person who’s drawn to join such things. But that doesn’t mean I don’t know one when I see one. And I’m sorry about your past bad experience, Shelley. Bummer.

  11. dictornary.com — authentic
    #1: Conforming to fact and therefore worthy of trust, reliance, or belief
    (just to head that one off at the pass)
    And, Shelley, I didn’t meant to treat your cult experience lightly. I can’t begin to imagine what happens to someone who goes through that kind of thing, but I can appreciate your sensitivity to the the use of the word.

  12. To be fair here, I’m the one who (1) first used the phrase “nasty schmuck” and (2) began using the phrase “cult of personality” which is somewhat distinct from the sense of cult when used in reference to say, shedding one’s container in order to pass through Heaven’s Gate on the streaming tail of Comet Hale-Bopp.
    Stalin and Kennedy can both be considered to have had cults of personality surrounding them and their personalities, but that doesn’t mean they are on the same moral plane or anything.
    The same is true for this current dust-up. When I watch the behavior of hardcore Locke supporters, they tend to rally (note I say “tend to” and not “they all each and every one of them inevitably”) around him, glossing over or rationalizing his faults as being part of some grand and freeing “glimpse into the full range of being human” while his detractors are not given the benefit of this gold leaf and are instead simply berated.
    If that isn’t a cult of personality at work, someone is going to have to go out of their way to explain whym because as it stands now, Locke is given free reign to be an asshole to people, but when others call him on it — sometimes, yes, even with the curse of, well, curse words — they have somehow crossed some sacred line.
    And that’s just bent.

  13. Now why can’t I be that articulate. I love him cause he’s my son, but I respect him cause he’s smart and honorable.
    Meanwhile: passive-aggressive, according to dictionary.com:
    Of, relating to, or having a personality disorder characterized by habitual passive resistance to demands for adequate performance in occupational or social situations, as by procrastination, stubbornness, sullenness, and inefficiency.
    Now, who do we know who seems to fit that description? Me? I don’t think so.

  14. O My?! – All of this over shortage of Godiva White Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream?
    O My. I had no idea such a simple exposure to RB’s noise would bend so many of you out of shape. Oy.

  15. I don’t have a horse in this race, though I read the weblogs of most of the participants in this comments thread. That said, I have trouble accepting any self-proclamation of “authenticity.” From anybody. Is Rageboy sometimes a pain in the ass? You bet, but I find him as refreshing as a clean shower of rain after reading the uplifting & humane thoughts follks like Mike Sanders. On the other hand, I can’t play Locke’s game: his kind of angst takes way too much energy & his verbal pyrotechnics are sustained by what feels from a distance like self-destructive anger. He’d be a tough friend, but an energetic enemy. Finally, though, I find the idea of a little cabal of self-important bloggers conspiring via e-mail to take Rageboy down a notch–I mean, what did you guys intend to do, take him off your bloggrolls? Who would notice?–well, the idea would be funny if it weren’t kind of pathetic.

  16. There’s some misunderstanding on your part, Joseph. My writings were not e-mails; they were posts here and comments on Jeneane’s site. Chris is the one who sends out vitriolic emails to those on his list. And, I assume, that there are some others emailing back and forth, but I’m not privy to what they say. Right up front and early on, I did email Chris a quote from one of my Comments to Jeneane and asked him to blog it as a balance to his trashing of me (since he doesn’t have a Comment feature), but he refused. And then he emailed back some nasty stuff and I emailed him with a restatement of my concerns over his verbal abuse of me and others. But I don’t do behind-the-back emails. My stuff is right up front. I do agree with you that emailing and conspiring behind the back is pathetic. That’s why I don’t do it.
    And, if some bloggers emailed me to say “you go girl,” that’s not exactly conspiring, is it.

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