Those who are most obsessed with their own privacy are usually the least respectful of the privacy of others. Such is the case with Stuck on the Palmetto's Rick, one half of that blog's anonymous duo. On October 31, Rick aimed his vitriol at a faithful commenter named "El Chino" whose offense appears to have been that he spends too much time on SotP, up to 12 hours per day, even visiting in the wee-morning hours to see if anyone has responded to his comments. Whereas other bloggers would cherish such misplaced loyalty and waste of time, Rick lashed out against the poor man as if he were a circus owner and El Chino was trying to sneak under the tent for the fifth time without paying admission. Rick even copied the actual reports from his stats counter to prove that El Chino spends almost all his waking hours nesting on SotP. As another commenter observed this smacks too much of Big Brother. To me it indicates two things: first, Rick, like El Chino, has a great deal of time to waste on minutiae; and second, Rick is at least as obsessed with El Chino as El Chino is with SotP. This is known clinically as co-dependency, and it is not at all unusual for one of two parties in this abnormal relationship to lash out irrationally against the other because he finds the attention stiffling, completely unaware that he is also enabling it. The implication in Rick's sarcastic recognition of El Chino as SotP's "Model Reader" is that El Chino has no life besides SotP, and must be some kind of wastrel. Well, if El Chino is a wastrel, then what is it that he is wasting his time on? Rick and Alex. And what does that make them: a waste of time.
These thoughts, prodded by his readers' comments and El Chino's own pleas, caused Rick to delete the offensive post and offer an apology: "It was a mistake because it was mean-spirited on a level that I'm personally uncomfortable with and that I regret" (this is noteworthy because no one ever suspected such a level existed). Of course, being Rick, he credits no one for his decision but his own innate compassion and elevated humanity. Rick has on more than one occasion chided Babalú, and rightly so, for deleting or altering posts at will without explanation. Rick is only partially guilty of Babalu's offence as he did announce that he had deleted the post and offered an explanation for doing so. He did not, however, explain why he had posted "Our First SotP Model Reader Award" in the first place. Anyone who is aware of Rick's animus towards Cubans will need no explanation. In fact, he provides the clue in the post itself when he says that he "has been engaged in an extended back and forth" with El Chino regarding Ron Paul's recent comments about Cuba, which Rick quoted with approbation: "Let's stop the hysterics about the freedom of Cubans – which is not our government's responsibility – and consider freedom of the American people, which is. Americans want the freedom to travel and trade with their Cuban neighbors, as they are free to travel and trade with Vietnam and China." El Chino demolishes Ron Paul and Rick on that thread with great finesse and persistence and Rick is reduced to defending himself and Ron Paul by asserting that Osama Bin Laden is worse than Fidel Castro (which besides being irrelevant is also untrue: 3000 vs. 104,000 killings). Of course, in Rick's reckoning, 3000 American lives are worth more than 104,000 Cuban ones:
el chino said...
Sure, the people should decide [for themselves if they should travel to Cuba], not the government, so if an American wants to sell weapons to Al Qaeda he should be free to do so, right? Sheesh, what a moron.
Yes, el chino, because we all know that Fidel Castro is the equivalent of OBL. Just like him. Nice to see you made a stop at SotP on the way to babalu, EC. Thanks.
Rick's apology for his attack on El Chino is not much of one. As we have already observed, it is simply an opportunity for him to pat himself on the back on how fair he is. El Chino, who was quick to forgive Rick — remember, it's a co-dependent relationship — also requested that Rick delete the apology as well, since Rick repeats in the so-called "apology" all that was offensive in the first post and even suggests that readers unacquainted with the first post search for it in Google's cache, where it can still easily be found. I should not be surprised if Rick deletes the second post as well with its even more intrusive allusion to El Chino as "supposedly disabled and unemployed." But, really, what would be the use? El Chino should quit while he's behind: a second "apology" from Rick is sure to finish him off for good.
In another post that day Rick invited his readers to ask personal questions about him and Alex, in order to balance, I suppose, his personal inferences about El Chino. Of course, the questions would be asked of two anonymous people who would, naturally, reply as anonymous people. Very enlightening, to be sure. Rick agreed to answer one of the questions from those submitted by his readers. If nothing else Rick has proved that one can be anonymous and a megalomaniac at the same time. Rick also revealed that he and Alex had gone incognito to bloggers' conventions and turned down "numerous" interviews from "varied media" because the reporters insisted on using their full names and they "needed" to retain their anonymity. Of course, I could have answered all the questions that were asked of Rick and Alex for them. But it would not have been gentlemanly to pull off their masks, and I am nothing if not a gentleman even when dealing with a scoundrel like Rick. If Rick were one too (a gentleman, that is), he would not have used his position as blogmaster to ambush an innocent reader or been obliged to apologize for it.