Sunday, November 12, 2006

Might As Well Rearrange the Furniture a Little

As I mentioned previously, I decided to give in to the temptation of novelty for its own sake and make a couple of changes. While the URL is the same, the name has changed. I still wish to honor the excellence of George Orwell, but also to be a little less obscure about it. A blog could be described, metaphorically, as a place of sorts -- it has, after all, an address -- and so I took from Chapter 7 of 1984 the name of the Chestnut Tree Cafe. This was a place where persons on their way to unpersonhood could sit all day, drinking Victory Gin and playing chess, waiting for the bullet in the back of the head, more or less, while the telescreen played the song:
Under the spreading chestnut tree
I sold you and you sold me:
There lie they, and here lie we
Under the spreading chestnut tree.
I also have decided that, while it might well have been a good idea to blog under a nom de net, I may as well include my offline identity here, since the GOP hackmeister Mitch Harper has seen fit to reveal it to the world. I left a polite comment at his blog-whose-name-shall-not-be-mentioned-here, thinking that the usual practice would be used: that my signature would show up as "Bartleby," and would link to this blog. Well, wrong again. I had entered my email address in the appropriate field, from which Little Mitch ("Big Mitch" being the current governor of Indiana), like his nominally-opposing hackmeister Kevin Knuth, was able to divine my name. So Little Mitch appended my actual name to my comment -- complete with middle initial, no less -- and made it a link to this blog. I'm booted from the closet! I'm outed! I sent Little Mitch the following email -- still reasonably polite, I thought, although I'll leave that to the reader's judgement:
Mr. Harper --

Last night, I posted a comment to a thread on your blog:

Nowhere on your blog is a warning that posting a comment gets the commenter's name published. And -- amazingly! -- my name turns out to be a link to my blog! So now, I don't suppose there was any point to my blogging under a pseudonym.

A couple of questions, and a couple of requests:

Q1. How did you learn my name? With the middle initial, yet ... I certainly did not type my name anywhere in your comment fields.

Q2. Have you ever been introduced to the concept of "manners?"

R1. Would you kindly remove my name from your blog?

R2. Would you kindly remove the link to my blog from your blog?

Jim Wetzel
Well, Little Mitch couldn't be troubled to reply to my email, much less to apologize for his egregious lack of online etiquette, so I suppose my second question has been implicitly answered. He also honored my second request -- I no longer exist, not being linked anymore from the Official Northeast Indiana Blog of Record And If You Don't Believe Me Just Ask Him -- but not the first; my name and my blog link are still in his comment thread. So, may Little Mitch have both some severe indigestion and some bad dreams; and beware, O Reader, of leaving comments on his blog.

And enjoy the rest of your weekend.


Jessica Rabbit said...

Actually, on the sidebar of the Fort Wayne Observed blog it states:

Fort Wayne Observed welcomes reader comments as a way to facilitate discussion and debate.

In order to leave a comment, you must also leave your full name and a working email address in the event Fort Wayne Observed contacts you for confirmation. You may request that your email address not be published when your comment is posted.

Anonymous comments or those that include coarse language or personal attacks will not be tolerated.

So, there you go.

Bartleby said...

Thanks for the comment, Ms. R. And yes, I read that text, too. It does not constitute a warning that the commenter's name might or will be published; it simply says that it must be provided. I didn't provide it, so: if Little Mitch wanted to adhere to his published policy, he shouldn't have published my comment. Instead, he demonstrated his godlike powers to somehow deduce my name, with the correct middle initial, from my email address -- and published it, linked to my blog.

He also didn't answer his mail, which he obviously received, since he complied with my request to de-link my blog. He also failed to remove my name from the comment thread in question.

To sum up, he remains a mannerless boor, suitable for being ignored.

Craig said...

"Official Northeast Indiana Blog of Record And If You Don't Believe Me Just Ask Him"

Okay, that's funny. More than chuckle-worthy.

Jeff Pruitt said...


I noticed your name on that thread and I was somewhat surprised since I hadn't seen it before around the local blogosphere.

Anyway, perhaps you can pay little Mitch back by somehow outing him as the Indiana Pundit. Seriously, how pathetic would it be if that were true? Others have indicated they think this is the case but I'm not sure. The only evidence I have is that both sites are incredibly boring and, in general, usually not worth reading...

Craig said...


Jeff gets his claws out.

You're usually so mild mannered Mr. Pruitt. But be careful, the hills have eyes!

Craig said...

By the way, as a student of the English language, I'm pretty sure that IP and Mitch are not one in the same. Syntax usually gives people away, and I don't see any glaring similarities.

Simply put, Mitch can write, IP's prose is rather rudimentary in comparison.

Anonymous said...

You all make me laugh! Great Stuff Bartleby!

"Official Northeast Indiana Blog of Record And If You Don't Believe Me Just Ask Him" I am rolling on the floor on that one!

And that Potter reference, priceless.

Jessica could you be more annoying?

Jeff Pruitt said...


I totally agree w/ you on the writing styles which is why I haven't been able to agree w/ others that they are one in the same...