5.19.2012

a trip down memory lane with wmtc

Combing through some old files, I found this lovely bit: a comment from "GarySTJ", a former troll who was obsessed with me for a time. I used to delete his comments, then paste them into posts so wmtc readers could have fun kicking him around.

After being banned from wmtc, he started appearing at other blogs where I commented, hijacking the thread with insults directed at me. One blogger noted (a paraphrase), "I don't know L-girl or GarySTJ, but L-girl has an internet presence, has written a blog for several years, and is commenting on this post. GarySTJ has an anonymous profile, has never commented here before, and is posting personal attacks on another commenter. End of discussion."

After that, GarySTJ must have gone into rehab, and we never heard from him again. This old email really brought me back.
From: GarySTJ [noreply-comment@blogger.com]
Sent: Wednesday, July 19, 2006 12:45 PM
To: movetocanada@gmail.com
Subject: [we move to canada] 7/19/2006 12:45:10 PM

Returning to the Blog this afternoon, I thought I might see some reasonable responses. Instead I've yet again been drenched in a tidal-wave of masturbatory, nationalistic, verbal diarrhea - and in only its most stench-filled, nauseating form.

Laura,

I have stated my purpose here quite plainly, and on a number of occasions. I have given you every opportunity imaginable to do the simple research I've requested and
prove to me (and the readers) that, yes, you did make an informed decision emigrating to this country and that, no, you didn't come for aesthetic, self-aggrandizing, self-congratulatory purposes. I have pleaded with you to demonstrate with even the smallest shred of evidence that you have even the most basic understanding of the political, military, social, cultural history of this country. On each and every one of these accounts you have failed to deliver, cementing my suspicion that you are an ignorant, all-talk, narcissistic blowhard. You have moved from the cutting edge of leftist activism to the centrepiece of a nationalistic circle-jerk. Congratulations, as this is no small accomplishment.

Laura, you are a typical liberal. You are a liberal in the purely American sense of the word. You are an embaressment to a long tradition of left of centre, progressive socio-political thought. You are ignorant to history, you are ignorant to the movements of people, you are ignorant to anything outlying the myopic trope of the impotent American liberal movement. You are, simply put, the personified reason why the American left is a walking train wreck.

You fancy yourself to be a modern day Harriet Tubman, ushering in fellow politically disenfranchised Americans (and other white, middle classers) to the "great white north". Realistically you are the contemporary equivalent of a UEL. In other words, you are the unwitting descendent in long line of historical, Tory losers.

Every single advancement of the average Canadian has been won by fighting tooth and nail against complacent shitbags such as yourself. And the shit runs deep in this country. This community serves as an example of that as its complacent, complicit nationalism is equate-able to a less literate, less articulate, less self-reflective version of the O'Reilly Factor. Laura, the people you've stumbled upon here are not leftists, they are not progressives, they are not academically or personally motivated towards the critical analysis of this country. This community is, Laura, typical of mainstream nationalists found all over Canada. You are as likely to find honest, critical perspectives about Canada here as you are about George W. Bush at a Republican convention. You have tapped into a demographic whose heavily biased outlook will not serve you in any truthful understanding of this country. This is evidenced in the mountains of one-liner, cliched platitudes that have apparently, and in your mind only, passed as "answers" to my very pointed question.

Now, you claim to have done your homework before moving to this country. You claim to have come to the intellectual conclusion that Canada is a fundamentally more innocent country in which to live. You've come to the conclusion that so different are the United States and Canada in this respect that a massive, expensive and time consuming international relocation was warranted. In the face of evidence, in the face of fact, in the face of a hundred years worth of objective studies you've stuck by this conclusion. This does, however, rely on the fact that you've actually done more than a surface level, superficial analysis of this country - and to be honest, I think thats an overly-generous assumption.

I've said it before and I'll say it now, I'm not going to do your research for you. I will, however, concede to give you a brief list of topics to look up on your own. This is no small task and will take a great deal of effort - an effort which you've presumably (though implausibly) already exerted. You're going to need to use strong primary sources. You're going to need to research current events such as Canada's direct role in the war in Iraq, including the JTF2, the manning of AWACS, the escorting of the US Gulf Fleet, involvement with CENTCOM, the supplying of uranium to the US, the refueling of aircraft in Canadian air-space, the commitment of over $20 million to the training of Iraqi police and $400 million to running the occupation regime, and the effort to replace US troops abroad so as to make more available for service in Iraq. You'll need to research recent events in Haiti, such as the Canadian aided 2004 coup, the training of HNP forces, the July 6th massacre, the Duvalier Policy, assisting in regime change and propping up the new, un-elected puppet government. In Afghanistan we have the PTA, the breakdown of the third GC, the willing transfer of Canadian held POWs to Guantanamo Bay, non-compliance with AIHR, Kandahar "POW" camps, the 1 in 2 chance of an Afghan being shot with Canadian munitions and the slaughtering of over 75,000 civilians. In Israel we have Government complicity in IDF actions, the IAI (including Whitney Canada, Pratt, NMF, etc.), the CHIC, the Trans-Israel Highway, Raytheon Canada, the en-masse deportation of Palestinian refugees in Canada and the 45% share Canadian companies have in the manufacturing of IDF military equipment. Domestically we have Maher-Arar, the security certificate five, the deportation of war resisters and the smashing of the democratic Quebec sovereignty movement. And we can go further down the line to the Pinochet Junta, commitment in 1991 Iraq, Iraqi sanctions, the 1999 bombing of Kosovo....

In a couple of minutes I've just scratched the surface of questionable Canadian foreign and domestic involvements during the last few years ONLY. And to scratch the surface is an understatement, as there are mountains and mountains of information available for those who care to look. To go back even further is to bring on another deluge of highly researched, and publicly available, allegations. Now, can you honestly tell me that you had even the foggiest notion of even one thing which I've mentioned above? Can you truthfully say that in the face of these things (which you've apparently already researched) you can still tell me and the rest of your readers that the conclusion you came to was based on objective, researched fact. Can you tell me with even one shred of self-respect that your choice to relocate was based on a strongly educated conviction that this country was guilty of so few transgressions on humanity so as to make them able to be excused and overlooked. This suggests either gross apathy or wide scale ignorance, the latter being most likely, as any bit of research sees your flimsy, liberal-American stereotypes of this country fall flat.

Laura, I think we the readers deserve something. I think we deserve to hear that your move to Canada was prompted not by research, not by a complex understanding but rather a selfish desire for attention - as evidenced by this blog, as evidenced by your G&M article and most fittingly by your reactions to me. To do otherwise, Laura, is most plainly and most simply an intellectual dishonesty.

Thanks.

--
Posted by GarySTJ to we move to canada at 7/19/2006 12:45:10 PM
After finding this file, I treated myself to the history of GarySTJ at wmtc. The posts are minor - it's the comments that illuminate: one, two, three, four, five. And to complete the picture, here's where I turned on comment moderation, and here's the essay I got out of the experience.

6 comments:

John F said...

That's quite an email. I love the way he repeatedly uses your first name to reinforce the scolding tone: "Laura, how many times do I have to tell you, put your bicycle away when it rains!" :-)

I went back and read your trolling essay as well. Do you still hear from Mags?

laura k said...

Mags still hasn't kicked the habit. In fact, he was annoyed that this post implies I turned on moderation in response to GSJ. Mags feels he should get credit for that and I owe him an apology! Too funny.

Dharma Seeker said...

Oh wow, the comparison of Fox and CBC literally made me shake my head in disbelief. The government WISHES it had control over CBC. Maybe that's why it keeps trying to gut it.

Moving on. Highly offensive and I'm really irritated because I know even though comments are moderated you still have to sift through them. Yikes.

'Mags' is entirely too close to the name of my kitty Megs for my comfort... but it's actually short for Magnolia or some such thing, right?

For someone apparently tasked and solely capable of diagnosing and curing all that ails this country - a pretty big job - GSJ wastes a lot of time on nonsense.

johngoldfine said...

The most peculiar thing is that GSJ attacks you for being insufficiently militant, informed, committed, and radical. Since these are strong points at wmtc, he really has no juice in the attack.

I try (and fail) to imagine the lives Mags and GSJ live--the amount of time and energy they have to focus on silly harassment. What did people like this before internet to do fill the endless hours?

laura k said...

I try (and fail) to imagine the lives Mags and GSJ live--the amount of time and energy they have to focus on silly harassment.

Me, too. That's what I wrote in the earlier essay. I just cannot imagine why these people have so much time on their hands and what motivates them.

What did people like this before internet to do fill the endless hours?

Good question.

Not to defend GSJ, but at the time he was attacking me, I was not yet involved in activism in Canada. I took a two-year break from activism after we emigrated.

During that time, I was more tentative about criticizing my adopted country - not because I imagined it perfect, but because I needed to learn. I mostly just asked questions and observed. (Oh, the horror!)

Nitangae said...

Oh my, GSJ! : " I have given you every opportunity imaginable to do the simple research I've requested and prove to me (and the readers) that, yes, you did make an informed decision emigrating to this country and that, no, you didn't come for aesthetic, self-aggrandizing, self-congratulatory purposes."

Something about the internet makes people think that not only can they ask questions, they can demand answers! So if somebody doesn't answer their questions immediately, they can post over and over again a demand that their questions be answered immediately. How dare you refuse the numerous opportunities which I have given you to answer my truly brilliant questions!