Since I've been on this series of tubes known as "The Internets", I've come across some strange characters. Each one could have a blog devoted entirely to them, but here's a quick rundown of some of the more notable loony birds:
1. Flagship 1 of the Paranormal. This was a guy who used to post on the usenet paranormal/aliens/psychic/etcetera forums. He would create posts with convoluted titles like "Are Paranormal Aliens Visiting Us?" The posts would go on and on, and he'd make all sorts of weird claims about how there is more and more evidence that we're being visited all the time, while never citing what that evidence actually is. My favorite claim of his was when he stated that aliens might have built the Egyptian Pyramids, since most alien sightings are supposedly near the equator. When it was pointed out to him, time and time again, that the equator was nowhere near the Pyramids (or New Mexico's Area 51, for that matter), he would just respond with more ramblings preceded by the statement, "You seem to have missed my point".
2. Linda Gallo. I wrote about her before. She was a crazed Michael Bolton fan who wrote several nasty emails to the War on Bolton website that my friend Scott and I created years ago. (It's no longer online, as AOL removed all of the old home pages. Maybe one day I'll piece it together and relocate it. But then again, who the hell even cares about that guy any more?) She compared us to the terrorists and told us that Michael Bolton's security was going to come after us. Also, she kept throwing around the phrase "legal tort" a lot.
3. SyeTenB. This guy would post to the Raytractors page and Ray Comfort's blog, thinking that he had the ultimate argument to put atheists in their place. Essentially, he would ask atheists how their "worldview accounts for the rules of logic" or something along those lines. This is such a convoluted question to begin with, but eventually he'd try and get you into a corner where you admitted that ultimately, we can't really be certain of anything. When asked how he accounted for anything, he'd say that God created it all. Of course, this would be followed up by the question of how he could know this for certain, and he'd make the assertion that his faith allowed him to be certain. Basically, it's all just a bunch of sophistry, and you could replace God with The Flying Spaghetti Monster and pretty much make just as much sense.
4. Superb Jon. This guy's a new one. He posted to "My Adventures in the Conservative Echo Chamber". Basically, it's just a long rant with all sorts of obscure historical references that points to some kind of strange Da Vinci code-like conspiracy of Catholics and the evil things they do. Apparently, they're in league with the Muslims and Chinese, but we can get the Jews and Indians (Gandhi, not Sitting Bull) to help us out. Ummm...yeah. At least, that's as much as I was able to discern, as honestly it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Go ahead and check out his comment. I dare you to read it out loud. Just try this one sentence: "Talal got Pontifical medal as Fatima mandates Catholic-Muslim union against Jews (Francis Johnson, Great Sign, 1979, p. 126), Catholic Roger Taney wrote Dred Scott decision." Sounds like frikken' Tarzan, if Tarzan was a pretentious ass, that is.
What elevates this guy from a nutbar hit-and-run to a full-fledged Internet Troll is that apparently he's posted elsewhere. Not only that, he posted this EXACT SAME diatribe on other people's blogs. One guy deleted it. Somebody else was polite and said that he wasn't interested in these conspiracy theories. A couple others seemed to be just as baffled as I was.
How did I find this out? Well, there was something about that post of his. The first thing that made me wonder was the fact that it really had very little to do with what I had written, and he didn't even make any attempt to make some sort of a transition from my point to his. What it reminded me of is when students plagiarize their essays, as the ones they turn in rarely even address any of the topics that I give them. From there, I type in a sentence into Google and voila, there it is. So, I wanted to try it out with Superb Jon's post, and sure enough, I found quite a few hits.
The other thing that made me wonder is that somebody who read it told me that it seemed like one of those strange SPAM emails you get where there's a bunch of assorted and unrelated sentences in order to throw off the SPAM filter from the fact that it's really an email about penis enlargements. Could it be that Superb Jon was nothing more than a SPAMbot?
He has another post that he's made on a couple of blogs. It's mostly the same as the one he sent to me though, as Catholics are bad and Obama is a secret Catholic - rather than a secret Muslim, apparently. (They said that Shakespeare was one too - maybe Jon might want to tackle that issue if if he ever creates a third incoherent paragraph.)
I'm not quite sure what to make of Superb Jon, but I'm strangely fascinated by what this guy's deal is. Jon, are you out there? Can you prove that you're not simply a SPAMbot? Until you do, that's what I'm going to assume that you are.