Thursday, November 24, 2005

Press Conference

Mr David Armstrong thinks he's rather nailed me on a few things. First, he has a picture up, claiming that it is yours truly. Second, he claims that the evidence points to me as author and perpetuator of a fake Dave Armstrong blog. Third, if I understand him correctly, he seems to believe that my narcissism posts refer to him in some sort of implied or exclusively Armstrong-esque sense, and this counts [in his mind] as evidence that I am the author of the fake DA blog.

The problems with these three claims:

(1) The picture is not of me, but a friend of mine.
(2) I had nothing to do with the fake blog in any way.
(3) The narcissism posts were motivated by seeing leftist activists and professional victims in action.

Let's back these claims up:

(1) The picture of somebody else came in a thread back in August. It was rather fun to put up as my friend and I laughed at the possible choices. Of course, that pic was the only real option, but, not having a good enough picture of myself to put up [vanity on my part!], I hoisted my pal's photo, indicating as such in a later thread. BTW, I hate that wallpaper in the background of that photo.

(2) I'll tackle this in parts:

(a) Mr Armstrong makes hay of the following quote from my June 29 "Bored" thread, where I listed some things to do while bored and getting ready to move. One item was this:

*****BEGIN QUOTE*****

(5)Attempt to drum up readership by being much more provocative.

Here's an attempt at provocation by an admitted novice:

Hey Catholics: You're a bunch of Biblically illiterate Romanist idolators!
Hey Reformed Catholics: You're a bunch of psuedointellectuals!
Hey [insert Catholic apologist here]: Get a real job and stop asking for money!
Hey Atheists: Jesus Saves!
Hey PoMo's: Your purported scholarly writings require the same intellectual rigor as does popping bubble wrap!
Hey James White: You're a narcissistic perpetual victim whose favorite topic is himself! In that regards, you're like Dave Armstrong!
Hey Eric Svendsen: You're a radical sectarian gnostic!
Hey New Yorker: Jets suck, Yankees suck, Knicks suck.... [a Peter Griffin reference]

And so the list could go, but, in the end, it just ain't me. I suppose the PP will have to live in its richly deserved obscurity.

*****END QUOTE*****

Armstrong seems contextually immune here. I was saying things to people that, were I to play provocateur, would certainly get their dander up. For example, I don't consider Svendsen a radical sectarian gnostic, but calling him such would certainly be provocative! Ditto for White. I don't know the man, but I know he's not fond of Mr Armstrong, so this would be how I'd provoke them. I could've used Sippo or Enloe or any other of Dr White's various demons. Armstrong was just the name that came out.

Note that Armstrong leaves out the bolded sentences at the end of the quote, in which I state that "it just ain't me." He seems to be taking it seriously. You'd think the Family Guy reference would make it clear that the whole thing is a not-too-serious what-if scenario.

(b) Mr Armstrong invokes my threads on narcissism. I'm not sure how to prove that my state of mind was X and not Y when writing such things, other than to assert that the follow-up to those threads dealt with leftists and some experiences I've had with them.

What's interesting is that, despite the followup posts on certain leftists and personal experiences, Mr Armstrong wanted to make it about himself, at least, this is what his actions seemed to be from my perspective. This seems to fit right into the narcissism mold described. So, in retrospect, I suppose Mr Armstrong could've been in mind for those threads. I never responded to him because I felt that such a response would be futile, given his propensity to make it all about him. Mr Armstrong's problems are with various comment-makers on the thread --- I never said anything to him. He can take it up with them.

Question: is there perhaps a reason why several people consider Mr Armstrong to fit my generic narcissism profile? Could it possibly be because of the comments that he made there --- turning it into something about him --- reflect what some would consider a regular behavior trait of his?

Question: would this not make some think you're narcissistic when you consider yourself so important that you expect somebody to answer your every charge whenever you make them?

For Mr Armstrong to use the quotes of others as evidence of what I'm thinking is not evidence, but grasping for straws. [EDIT: To be sure, I've long since considered him quite narcissistic, but he wasn't the person, or, more accurately, the type of person I had in mind when doing those threads.]

(c) As for my Pedantic Papist schtick a few weeks back, here's what Armstrong said:

I found PP impersonating what he thinks is a typical apologist-type Catholic and his arguments in defense of Catholicism, in a series of wacko posts designed to make what he felt was serious commentray on Catholic deficiencies.

Armstrong somehow missed the paragraph of mine in the thread explaining the schtick that stated:

What was the point of the whole Pedantic Papist schtick? The answer was merely to have some pointed fun by creating an amalgamation of some of the more obnoxious internet RC's that I've seen. Oh, I suppose getting Diane's goat was a secondary goal too. But, if she knows me as well as she thinks, she already knew that.

An anonymous commentator below made the claim that I was demeaning Catholics. In one sense, the schtick was over the top, but, in an example of art imitating life, the spirit or gist of the arguments that I was using tongue-in-cheek have been put forth to me with a straight face by real, living, breathing Roman Catholics.

Note the phrase "an amalgamation of some of the more obnoxious internet RC's that I've seen." This is not the same as "a typical apologist-type Catholic and his arguments in defense of Catholicism" as Armstrong states.

Somehow, a Protestant blog having a bit of comic relief at some really bad RC arguments counts as evidence towards the thesis that I was the fake Armstrong. That is quite the stretch!

(d) Let me understand Armstrong's use of evidence:

I make up a temporary hoax blog making fun of leftists and progressives


This counts as evidence that I'm the culprit.

This is hardly compelling, obviously. Or, as another deduction:

The fake Armstrong blog had the same template as Prog Christian


This counts for evidence that I'm the culprit.

This is not elementary, my dear Watson. If I remember correctly, when you go to change your blog template, the "dots" template is the first template on the upper left corner of the template screen. I changed to the "Dots" template from a black PP-like template when starting Prog Christian. Also, going on memory, I think the Dots template is right near the top of templates when starting a new blog, so it is not great rare event of note that somebody chooses "Dots" when it is right near the top.

I suppose in the end, if Armstrong wants to play the victim and keep accusing me of doing the DA hoax blog, he will continue to do so. But he does so without real evidence and in light of the fact that I know, others know, and God knows that I had nothing to do with that blog. Sorry, Mr Armstrong, you're barking up the wrong tree here.

BTW --- I don't know anything nor do I have any clues about who did it, either.

(3) Here, if Armstrong wants to identify with the narcissism profile in the threads or think that I'm talking about him, that is is prerogative. It unintentionally, in a retroactive sense, makes the threads about him in part, even though I was thinking of leftists.

In the end, Armstrong has no real evidence; what he does have is a bunch of non-evidential pieces. But a load of bad evidence or non-evidence evidence doesn't add up to much of the case, especially since I can say with God as my witness that it wasn't me. If Mr Armstrong wants to put up a photo of a friend of mine, claim it is me [that might insult the friend!], and make rather serious false accusations based on the most tenuous of hand-picked coincidences, well, that's his prerogative too.

Anyway, to all readers and such, happy Turkey Day. To all those watching what you eat, remember that [and I need to tell myself this too] five minutes of eating pleasure are not worth the hours of feeling as if you've "blown it" or having to run that extra hour on the treadmill, so keep up the good fight!


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