Vox is vexed. Unwilling to stand up in an explicit fashion for the racist pigs threatening DeviousDiva — a rather uncharacteristically sensible stance for the esteemed steamed Mr. Day — Pandagon’s weasel-toupéed follower instead chooses to pick nits (link “nofollowed” for your sanitary protection):

Sheelzebub of Pandagon comes out hard against Internet outings:

Mouth-foaming wingnut racists have been busy outing Devious Diva.

So, I will reiterate. Again. Since I’m pretty damn sure that some folks will simply never get it. Harassing people isn’t okay. Posting threatening messages isn’t okay. Outing someone isn’t okay.

You know, she just might want to have a little conversation with Amynda* about the policy at Pandagon before she waxes too outraged over the whole thing.

Looks like the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree—batshit crazy “Christian libertarian” Vox Day’s (real name: —- —-)

Leave us ignore, along with Mr. Day, my Mephistophelean co-blogger’s actual point, which has to do with threats made against bloggers for speaking their minds. One could make the case that “outing in order to threaten bodily harm” is a different beast than “outing in order to mock the turgid, self-fellating prose written by the outed one under his or her real name.” One could make that case, but I will not. The only person who can judge the impact of an outing on the victim is said victim. Who knows but what the linking of Vox with his real name might not have scared the BeJeebus out of him? One cannot dismiss the anguish he must have felt until one has walked a mile in his hair. Shoes. I mean shoes. Sorry.

I recall a statement which seems appropriate here, made once by a certain writer who springs to mind for some reason :

Fantasy is my favorite literary genre

I’m more a “hard sf” kinda guy, but that genre and fantasy share a particular trait: each relies on what has been famously called the “willing suspension of disbelief” to keep the reader immersed in the story. One can, as did the Red Queen, believe a thousand impossible things before breakfast, more than that if you’re a Fox News viewer. But for a reader to believe impossible things in a work of fiction, the writer must provide a framework in which the impossible things fit seamlessly into the world of the story. I mention this because Vox’s entry contains a fatal flaw, an interruption of that suspension of disbelief. Take a look at the destinations of those two links he provides. (Just in case something happens to that blog post, which happens sometimes, I’ve posted screenshots here and here. Each link’s destination is shown in the lower left corner of the browser window.)

Vox links to two Pandagon posts that include both his monicker and his legal name. One was posted on August 17 of 2006, and another on August 24. Vox claims that these two posts constitute “Amynda”* “outing” him, which means that this July 2006 Wikipedia entry containing both names was necessarily posted after Pandagon outed him. Because obviously, if the information had been in Wikipedia the month before the Pandagon post was written, then Pandagon bloggers with the letter “Y” stuck in their names* cannot possibly have outed him.

The problem is that Vox leaves the reader hanging. He implies that Pandagonians have the power to travel in time, but he doesn’t say word one about the method. Is there some sort of reflexive universe-shaping telekinesis involved, that bends the n-dimensional fabric of time and space so that Top Secret Pandagon Researchers could rewrite and backdate the Wikipedia entry? Was there an [obligatory Tardis reference] or some other tech type solution, as pictured here?

Wayback

Or was it a tesseract? Were there mushrooms involved, or mice carrying pocket watches in their vests? Some sort of Archdemon?Come on, Vox. Don’t leave us in suspense. Because the Wikipedia entry’s only the first step. Once we rewrite that (”rewrote that”? English tenses really don’t work for time travel, as I believe I will have said many times by now) then there’s the little matter of seeding 2004 with similar pieces of misdirection.

Without a bit more expository writing on your part, I’m afraid the reader will likely jump to the unwarranted conclusion that you’re being — how shall I say this? — a sack of manure acting in violation of the Ninth Commandment. And we can’t have that.

* That joke NEVER gets old. Hilarious!

[Update: just to play the part of Pan creating more Pandemonium, Pan-dagonista Auguste spun the hands on his MalkinWatch backwards and fiendishly backdated the outing by a full ten years. Have we no shame?]

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  1. 1 Dr. Free-Ride

    Changing the laws of space and time is not unprecedented in the intertubes. At least if you run with the right crowd.

  2. 2 Amanda Marcotte

    Simple, I thought he was out. He is a published author, and his name was all over the place. I have neither the time nor the desire to research some wingnut to out him.

  3. 3 Chris Clarke

    You thought he was out for the simple reason that he was out. He absolutely had been out for two years at that point, or at least out enough to have linked his Vox identity to a website detailing his father’s legal troubles.

    But you know how those fundies are about bearing false witness against their neighbors.

  4. 4 Amanda Marcotte

    Well, “Christian” is not a religion per se for him, but a code word for “white supremacist”, I do believe.

  5. 5 Auguste

    But you know how those fundies are about bearing false witness against their neighbors.

    Dude! Let’s bear false witness! That’ll be hardcore!

  6. 6 Heo Cwaeth

    You could always use the future perfect. Hey, if you want to be fancy, you could go for the passive future perfect. However, if you make the mistake of trying for the triple-lutz of English verb constructions –the future perfect passive progressive — there’s a good chance you’ll be arrested as a Russian spy and sent back to 1965 for prosecution.

  7. 7 Tlönista

    If you follow the links back from the World O’Crap post, there are some even earlier posts (starting here, at Unscrewing the Inscrutable) identifying Day as Beale. That’s as early as November 2003.

    Like we needed proof he was a total wanker!

  8. 8 Tlönista

    (Here’s the second post; it breaks the comment in preview, for some reason.)

  9. 9 Auguste

    Hee hee.

    April 24, 1996:

    Theodore Beale:

    I’m also more of a player than a collector. I own two companies that
    develop computer games and have a weekly reviews column that runs
    Mondays in the Pioneer Press under the name Vox Day.

  10. 10 MikeEss

    “* That joke NEVER gets old. Hilarious!”

    Shouldn’t that be Hylaryous?…

  11. 11 Richard

    Chris Clarke says:

    But you know how those fundies are about bearing false witness against their neighbors.

    How about bearing false witness against themselves?

  12. 12 Amanda Marcotte

    Man, seriously, the wingnut lying about me is just, eh. I don’t blame Democrats as much anymore for not responding to Swiftboat attacks. If you respond to one, there’s 10 more lies in the pipe.

  13. 13 Chris Clarke

    However, if you make the mistake of trying for the triple-lutz of English verb constructions –the future perfect passive progressive — there’s a good chance you’ll be arrested as a Russian spy and sent back to 1965 for prosecution.

    Were I to make the effort to figure out how to construct a sentence in the future perfect passive progressive, I’m pretty sure that when I finally get it written down I will have been being exhausted for some time.

  14. 14 Chris Clarke

    Good point, AM, but when they actually HAND you the pipe it’s hard to resist taking a few kneecap whacks with it.

  15. 15 Richard

    Amanda,
    Maybe ya need to develop a “How to Respond to Wing-Nut Lies” kit. Maybe a choose one from column A and two from Column B type thing depending on the type and caliber of the lies and attack. That way you can just plug in the lies and get an automatic response and save time and brain power. :})

  16. 16 Michael Bérubé

    Shouldn’t that be Hylaryous?…

    Hillaryous!

  17. 17 Dan Jacobson

    Hmmm…in the Alfred Bester short story “The Men who Murdered Mohammed” Bester posits that time is subjective and that if one travels back in time to change the past that the present might be altered as well, they succeed in doing so only in their own personal timeline, but everyone else’s remains unaffected and the time travelers themselves become less real as a result. So maybe it’s not that he thinks that Pandagon’s contributors are time-traveling, but that he himself went back and shot whoever made the Wikipedia entry before it could be posted and therefore to him the entry doesn’t exist, while to everyone else it still does, and he is simply less real and/or exists in a less real “reality.”

  18. 18 Chris Clarke

    Dan, that explains a lot.

  19. 19 PZ Myers

    Wow. Amanda has a huge head.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course, and could I take the time machine for a few quick spins? I promise not to step on any Cretaceous butterflies.

  20. 20 Jeff Fecke

    So Amanda traveled back to 1996 and forced Vox to out himself? Man, that’s pretty low.

  21. 21 Frenchdoc

    PZ, no playing with the time machine for you… besides, you’d take it millions of years back in vain since the earth is only 6,000 years old!… no wait… you’re the one who went back and planted all these fossils to confuse us, weren’t you?? ;-)

  22. 22 AC Serrano

    Gee, what a surprise…

    From the talk page on his Wikipedia entry:

    He makes the case at this blog entry that he wishes the Vox Day pseudonym to remain unconnected to his real identity. I removed the information based on this.–24.21.254.55 03:26, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

    Given that, as Auguste pointed out, Mr. Beale made that connection himself 11 years ago, it strikes me as just a tad to late too change his mind now.

    And before anyone tries to claim that someone else posted that under his name, it was posted from his business e-mail (at the time).

  23. 23 Ron Sullivan

    Shouldn’t that be Hylaryous?

    We’re talking about treefrogs now?

  24. 24 Daniel Martin

    (”rewrote that”? English tenses really don’t work for time travel, as I believe I will have said many times by now)

    I used to have it in my mind that Lojban (quod google) had usefule tenses for time travelers as a direct consequence of other language features.

    Unfortunately, I now find that the “time-travel” tenses it has are just the boring ones meaning things like “I did X from time Y to time Z”.

  25. 25 Daniel Martin

    Were I to make the effort to figure out how to construct a sentence in the future perfect passive progressive, I’m pretty sure that when I finally get it written down I will have been being exhausted for some time.

    Anyone who can make this statement with a straight face:

    This is one of those sites that makes one wish English had a future pluperfect hypothetical subjunctive.

    has no standing to plead grammar-term ignorance in coming up with a simple sentence invloving “will have been being”. It’s not that hard.

  26. 26 Chris Clarke

    Stop sneaking stuff onto my blog back then!

  27. 27 Mighty Ponygirl

    Perhaps the standard response to the wingnut swiftboat attack should involve some reference to the attacker fucking goats.

    E.G.: “The allegations that Mr. Day has levied against Ms. Marcotte are to be expected from such a long-established capraphile. While we regret that such lies have been entered into the public discourse, we sincerely hope that Mr. Day is able to seek treatment for his condition, and learn to conduct himself in an appropriate manner the next time he pays a visit to a petting zoo.”

  28. 28 magickitty

    No no no, it’s MOOSE FISTING.

  29. 29 Moose Fisting, Esq.

    Leave me out of this.

  30. 30 Jeff Fecke

    It’s times like this one could use Dr Dan Streetmentioner’s Time Traveller’s Handbook of 1001 Tense Formations.

  31. 31 magickitty

    Could have used, Jeff. Could have used.

  32. 32 Hysterical Woman

    I’m going to out Amanda! Her real name is Amanda Marcotte! She lives in Austin, Texas! Now you got a taste of what happened to poor Vox Day!

  33. 33 magickitty

    Cinders and ashes! I meant to say, “Could have used. Could have used.”

    That will teaching me for posting under the influence of blackberry tea.

    magickitty oot.

  34. 34 idlemind

    I think the first time I saw VD’s real-life moniker was during one of PZ Myer’s sanguinary verbal beatings (VD being the beatee) over at PZ’s old blog. I’ve seen mention of is several times since (but managed to miss the Event over here on Pandagon). Mr. Beyle has been outed more times than a diarrheic spaniel, methinks. I’ve never had the impression that there was any secret about the connection between VD and TB. His newfound anxiety bespeaks volumes.

  35. 35 epistemology

    I love the picture with Mr. Peabody and Amanda at the wayback machine.

    Am I the only one who doesn’t have Photoshop?

  36. 36 Jeff Fecke

    Well, to be fair, Vox does have to distance himself from Robert Beale, his proud papa, who is currently on the lam:

    Employees of Comtrol, a small computer products company in Maple Grove, had an unusual meeting in the firm’s cafeteria Tuesday

    The CEO and company founder, Robert B. Beale, 63, was on the lam, an arrest warrant issued for his failure to appear in federal court for his trial Monday. On Tuesday, his son Bradford Beale, a company vice president, apologized to employees for what happened.

    Over roughly seven years, Robert Beale has waged a legal war with the Internal Revenue Service and Minnesota Revenue Department, filing rambling explanations in court, citing God, the Constitution and obscure legal decisions. He even published a full-page ad in a newspaper to make his case.

    […]

    Family members and Scott turned up Monday in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis expecting to see Beale. When he didn’t show, Judge Ann Montgomery issued a warrant for his arrest. The trial has been delayed until Sept. 5 unless he’s arrested in the next few days, in which case the trial will begin next week.

    I know what you’re thinking: how could a tax-evading, Bible-spouting criminal given to rambling explanations possibly sire Vox?

  37. 37 Phoenician in a time of Romans

    The problem is that Vox leaves the reader hanging. He implies that Pandagonians have the power to travel in time, but he doesn’t say word one about the method. Is there some sort of reflexive universe-shaping telekinesis involved, that bends the n-dimensional fabric of time and space so that Top Secret Pandagon Researchers could rewrite and backdate the Wikipedia entry? Was there an [obligatory Tardis reference] or some other tech type solution, as pictured here?

    If Amynda turns out to be the Eschaton, there’s going to be an awfully large number of pissed-off Christians…

  38. 38 Mandolin

    “You thought he was out for the simple reason that he was out.”

    On Scalzi’s blog, Vox threatened to run for president of SFWA (science fiction writers of america) during the next election cycle. Since no one said “who the fuck are you?”, I imagine everyone knew he was a SFWA member.

    I believe he also trolls Patrick & Theresa Nielsen Hayden’s blog. But every time I’ve heard him discussed, except on this site, it’s been in the context of “there’s this fucking crazy SF writer…”

  39. 39 BlackBloc

    Oh… I get it. Wo*man*, wo*myn*. A*man*da, A*myn*da.

    That was… almost clever.

  40. 40 Mark Foxwell

    There’s an even worse thing that perpetuates the “y” substitution–a parody site mocking Feministe, I think. I’m not going to look for it.

    Oddly enough neither Amanda nor the other folks mocked there ran around accusing the MRA types who posted it of stealing their identity, the way Altmouse got slapped down a few months ago by y’all know who.

    The symmetry, she is broken. Always has been.

  41. 41 Anonymouse Coweird

    If Amynda turns out to be the Eschaton, there’s going to be an awfully large number of pissed-off Christians…

    Not to mention a very confused Duncan Black.

  42. 42 Lisa KS

    That is the bestest picture ever.

  43. 43 micheyd

    The only funny thing about “Amynda” is that I always want to pronounce it “ah-MINE-duh”. It makes me want to slap Vox upside the head with my Phonetics textbook.

  44. 44 Dana

    I was going to leave a comment on this subject on Sheelzebub’s original post, but bailed.

    Sister Toldjah, one of my favorite bloggers, used to have an article on her site concerning why she chose to post anonymously, and it made ssnse from her perspective. But it seems to me that, if you are going to post your writing on the internet, unless you have near-zero readership (and we’re all trying to achieve a wider audience), you are compromising your ability to remain anonymous; it simply becomes an impossible situation to try and be both influential and anonymous.

    Most of the writers on this fine site use what are, I assume, their real names; I use my name (and my hometown is listed) on my site. It just seems to me that it’s easier to go ahead and use your real name than it is to worry about people finding out who you are.

  45. 45 Phoenician in a time of Romans

    Most of the writers on this fine site use what are, I assume, their real names; I use my name (and my hometown is listed) on my site. It just seems to me that it’s easier to go ahead and use your real name than it is to worry about people finding out who you are.

    A bit difficult when you have some (minor) responsibilities in a small professional community you’d rather not have confused with more free-wheeling comments you might make generally on blogs like this and yours, Dana. There are constraints on what political comments I’d like associated with my “real” name, mainly because they’d compromise my ability to act as a representative of a diverse group of people. The “Phoenician in a time of Romans” is more me.

    James Carse’s _Finite and Infinite Games_ is apropos here.

  46. 46 Sheelzebub

    The thing is, Dana, when spineless thugs post your personal info all over the internet, they’re exposing you to harm. Period. DD was not someone who wrote or published under her real name, and the people who posted her information did it in an attempt to intimidate her.

    So yeah. I call bullshit. It’s still harassment, and it’s not okay. And I’m going to call them on it.

    Chris, interesting that Vox got his tighty-whities in a bunch over the fact that someone referenced a fucking Wikipedia entry about him. I guess actually saying something like, “Those neo-Nazi thugs should be held to account for harassing Devious Diva” is too much for him. Why am I not surprised?

  47. 47 Dana

    Sheel, I don’t dispute your characterization of the motives of the Diva’s “outers.” But that doesn’t matter: by depending upon anonymity for her fellings of security, she had an added vulnerability. We can call the people who outed her scumbags all we want, but it doesn’t change the fact that an anonymity which she thought she needed is gone.

    The Phoenician added:

    A bit difficult when you have some (minor) responsibilities in a small professional community you’d rather not have confused with more free-wheeling comments you might make generally on blogs like this and yours, Dana. There are constraints on what political comments I’d like associated with my “real” name, mainly because they’d compromise my ability to act as a representative of a diverse group of people. The “Phoenician in a time of Romans” is more me.

    Perhaps so, but this means you face a choice: continue to write as you do, and depend on the anonymity of a (pretty good) screen name, thus risking whatever professional damage you might incur if you are “outed,” or write in a way that would mean that exposure wouldn’t harm you professionally.

    We’re all responsible for what we write; if we depend on anonymity to shield us from the consequences of what we write, we are setting up a rather large vulnerability. You’ve mentioned what your vulnerability is; what happens if you are outed?

  48. 48 Chris Clarke

    I guess actually saying something like, “Those neo-Nazi thugs should be held to account for harassing Devious Diva” is too much for him.

    More proof that there’s professional courtesy among Neo-Nazi thugs.

  49. 49 Phoenician in a time of Romans

    We’re all responsible for what we write; if we depend on anonymity to shield us from the consequences of what we write, we are setting up a rather large vulnerability.

    I suggested the James Carse - I’m no more “anonymous” under this name than I am under Joe Bloggs from Podunk, Ohio, because this name is what I’ve written under.

    You’ve mentioned what your vulnerability is; what happens if you are outed?

    Very little. I’m not embarrassed by what I write (well, I wouldn’t want my family reading my comments on some of the women in my life, anyhow), but I sometimes have a need to stand up with my real name as a representative of a larger group. I just don’t want my personal views (i.e. PiaToR) confused with my the view I have to advocate in that setting.

  50. 50 magickitty

    As long as you use a safeword, it should be okay.

  51. 51 Chris Clarke

    And it’s magickitty for the thread.

  52. 52 Phoenician in a time of Romans

    Pffpt.

  53. 53 Roy

    It’s easy to use your real name and identity when posting when you’ve got little to lose in cases where you’re outed. I’ve taken very little effort to hide my “real” identity, because the consequences of being outed are pretty minimal to me- at worst, I’d get some raised eyebrows at work (I work in, shall we say, a pretty conservative environment). The threat of being outed is pretty minimal.

    For some people, the stakes are a bit higher. Consider, for example, that you’re, oh… writing about the need for political reform in China

    The threat of being outed there, it would seem, includes being subjected to: torture and cruel, inhuman(sic) or degrading treatment, including arbitrary, prolonged and indefinite detention”.
    from: http://www.reuters.com/article/internetNews/idUSN1822649120070419 (sorry, the href tag wasn’t previewing correctly).
    So, yeah, I think that the threat of outing someone is something that should be taken seriously.

  54. 54 CJS

    PZ, no playing with the time machine for you… besides, you’d take it millions of years back in vain since the earth is only 6,000 years old!… no wait… you’re the one who went back and planted all these fossils to confuse us, weren’t you?? ;-)

    Frenchdoc, in that case PZ must have access to the time machine. If he doesn’t go back to plant those fossils then they can’t be excavated! This will cause a paradox! Of course since they already were planted that means that PZ will get access to the time machine at some point… unless… damn time travel!

  55. 55 The Dark Avenger

    Amanda:

    186,000 miles per second. It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law.

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