[kj] OT: My Turn in Hell

Thomas Kennedy tkennedy1999 at sbcglobal.net
Tue Mar 27 01:06:05 EDT 2007

sorry to hear that Alex, hope your mom's health improves.......


p.s. The cyber-stalker guy: ???....good luck!

Alexander Smith <vassifer at earthlink.net> wrote:
Hey Gathererz.....

I'm in a bad headspace these days, and am going out of my skull, so
I'm going to vent here... thanks for reading, if you bother too.
Certain names have been Googleproofed to prevent stalking. Bear with
me on this....

There's some bad shit going on. On Friday, Mom went in for a routine
check-up, and they found something. Given that we have a history of
cancer in the family (my grandmother passed away from colon cancer),
Mom's been going in for check ups pretty regularly for the past
twenty years. In any case, they found something in her lower
intestine. They did a sonogram, but it was inconclusive, so they
thought they'd do a cat-scan. That was all fine and good, but in the
end, Mom had a *SEVERE* allergic reaction to the dye they used.
Things got very bad, very quickly and -- suffice to say -- we nearly
lost her. She's spent the last four days in the hospital. They now
want to perform a procedure to excise the offending bit from her
lower intestine (and find out if it's lymphoma, as they're
suspecting). Trouble is, they haven't nailed down a date for the
procedure yet, so we're in a frustrating holding pattern at the moment.

In terms of the *OTHER* problem in my life, --- In 2002, EmmTeeVee
news (where I've worked since the beginning of `06) published an item
in the "For The Record" section (a daily round-up of small news-items
that don't warrant full story treatment). This was an item about
rapper MasterPee suing a "cybersquatter" who had reserved the domain
name of a website (in this case, "n* l*mit records dot com") in bad
faith (in other words, let's say Rob's Arse suddenly got famous, and
some crackpot beat you to the punch and legally reserved the name of
RobsArse Dot Com for his own devices and tried to extort money from
you as a result). Blah blah blah, it went to arbitration, and they
courts found in favor of MasterPee (ironic, as both the rapper and
the label -- in 2007 -- are all but a memory). In any case, here in
2007, we got a call last Monday from one Doctor D*** M**. Dr. M** was
the *other* participant in the lawsuit (i.e. the "cybersquatting"
opportunist in question). At the time, I should point out, I didn't
know any of this, and Dr. M** came off as a perfectly polite reader
with a discrepancy. He calls to say our item is inaccurate, and can
we take it down. I ask him to forward me the link and we'll review it
(stupidly giving him my e-mail address in the process).

Here's where the fun begins.

We review the item. Being that it's from 2002 , we have no record of
who wrote it (For the Record items get no bylines) and -- fuck --
it's five years ago, for cryin' out loud. In any event, we do a bit
of research, find the court documentation and find that our reporting
is entirely up to scratch. I fire an e-mail back at the man,
basically saying "thanks for your interest, but we reviewed the item
and are standing by our reporting."

At this point, Dr. M gets nuttier than he's already been. He e-mails
back saying that if we do not reconsider "deleting" the item (which,
by the way, is something we'd never do. We'd correct or retract, but
*NEVER* delete. We do have some journalistic integrity, after all),
he would have "no choice but to gracefully meet with" me "in person
to discuss the issue." This, to belabor the obvious, is simply not on
the menu. At this point, I rope in my bosses and -- WAIT FOR IT --
our legal team. They review the e-mails and say "yeah, he's nuts --
engage in no further dialogue with him. We'll handle it from here." I
sigh with relief. Prematurely, as it turned out.

Dr. M calls me again. I tell him that I've been instructed by my
superiors and our legal counsel that I cannot speak with him and that
any further grievances should be submitted in writing and blah blah
blah. He's not listening. He tells me he's going to hire a private
investigator to tail me around (who, to my mind, will be one VERY
BORED private investigator). I hang up and tell all of this to our
lawyer, who is swiftly becoming a good friend of mine.

Our lawyer's name is Vate. He's a black man. Married. That doesn't
sound important now, but remember it.

In any case, a day goes by. Vate then asks me to actually RE-WORD the
news item in question. It's not that we're altering our reporting,
it's that we're more clearly spelling it out to avoid any possible
misinterpretation. I disagree with this (give a madman an inch, after
all...), but agree. Unsurprisingly, this does not sate Dr. M.

Dr. M continues to call and e-mail thinly veiled threats to BOTH Vate
and myself. Vate alerts Viacom security and has my desk outfitted
with a new phone (one with caller i.d.).

Half a day passes.

On Friday morning, we get a new e-mail from Dr. M, saying he's
launched a new website. I'm named as a "racist", "anti-black", "anti-
fat" and "anti-heterosexual" person. So is Vate -- who is black. And
married. Nice, right?

Shortly after this, I start getting e-mails from an AOL address,
claiming to be a reporter from the Chicago Tribune, asking if I want
to respond. Vate checks with the `Tribune. Unsurprisingly, the
"reporter" in question is not cited as one of their own.

So, basically, I'm being cyber-harassed. Vate also found the Doctor's
OTHER site. There's a picture there of the guy. He's based in
Tennessee and is of Zimbabweian descent.

He's clearly fucking out of his tree.

In any case, that's where it is now. I'm hoping the our legal team
comes down on him like a fucking hammer, but in the interim, he's
just being a creepy annoyance. I've excised all instances of my last
name and my job's name from my own weblog. It's a fucking hassle.

That's the story. Thanks for reading/listening.

Alex in NYC

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You've never seen my face before
You will not recognize my voice
I am the perfect law to end these wicked crimes -- I Kill Spies. AGENT ORANGE

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