Tuesday   September 2, 1997




The Usual Suspects

The web has suffered a great loss today. Nelly's pages are gone, vacuumed into oblivion in what appears to be a spasm of self-destructive, misguided rage.

Just stating it like that: "Her pages are gone" doesn't reflect the enormity of her action. You have to understand that Nelly didn't have just one or two pages, no, she had hundreds of them, all of them chock full of midi files and large graphics and backgrounds, many of which she created herself. These pages represented probably thousands of hours of work, all down the drain now in a single morning of frenzied retribution...against the wrong person. She's obviously mad at me, so I could maybe understand her hacking in and wiping out my pages. But her own? The mind boggles.

My first reaction on seeing this was "Uh oh, I went too far." Perhaps that was the desired reaction. If so, it came at quite a price. But now that I've had time to think about it and gotten some more background on her from folks who've been here before, I'm just bemused. It seems this isn't the first time Nelly has gone on such a program of electronic seppuku, and when she comes to her senses and begins the laborious rebuilding process it seems to strengthen her resolve not to let us bastards of the internet get her down. So in a roundabout way I guess you could say I've done her a favor. Unfortunately, the wiping of Nelly's world has also had the side effect of rendering several very funny anti-Nelly pages' links null and void. Sorry about that folks, I really do need to get this rangefinder fixed...

Mail has been pouring in over these events, but it's all been supportive, a virtual tidal wave of "attaboys." Nelly and her NARCotics have remained silent, perhaps the only thing they could do to uphold their NARCly oath. Only Doody has written to me to put a hash mark in Nelly's column, a faint scratch of a score at that.

Following my spanking and critique of his last screed to me, Doody turned down the adrenaline and wrote what was actually a calm, apparently reasoned reply. While he spent quite a bit of time rehashing old points without offering any new information or viewpoints, he eventually got down to business and shared with me the devastating effects my campaign was having on Nelly.

Apparently there are a number of horrible things happening in her life. I won't give details, but I will say that while some of them might make the average person a little bit tense, they certainly aren't enough to drive you insane. Most of what's "happening" is actually ancient history that has nothing to do with me, stuff she keeps mining to maintain a high level of melodrama. The events that are current are actually anticipated future events and are the sort of things that, if you take a step back and look at it pragmatically, are easily solved and probably won't happen anyway. Basically, more melodrama. Still, she's buckling under the pressure and my insensitive email was the last straw. She's had an emotional breakdown and is contemplating suicide.

Let's take a moment to ponder this suicide threat. Now, I'm certainly not the kind of person who yells "Jump!" at someone on a ledge, but this fits right in with what I've seen of Nelly's personality. I don't buy it. If I did believe it I'd be backing and filling like a mofo, doing everything I could to undo the damage I've done and stop her. But playing this trump card is about what I'd expect from her at this point; it goes hand-in-hand with suing me. Furthering my skepticism is Doody's cavalier mention of it in his letter. He's not concerned, so neither am I. In fact, it makes me think even less of them than before for using this as a means to gain sympathy. Suicide is serious business, and tossing it out so casually insults those troubled enough to mean it.

Just in case I'm wrong about this, however: Nelly. Don't do it. I'm not worth your life.

The other message from Doody was a quick note to forward a message from Nelly referring to my lone apology to her through him. He reminded me of her emotional breakdown and quoted Nelly with words to the effect that she'll accept my apology when I send it to her directly. Until then, she doesn't think so. Doody then tells me the ball's in my court and urges me to do as I think is right. Well, I've done what I think is right. I apologized. Whether or not she chooses to accept that apology doesn't diminish it at all, and I'm certainly not going to contact her after she's asked me -- finally -- to stop writing to her and ratted me out to my ISP for harassment. That's something Nelly would do. Did do.

I'm tempted to continue this, schooling Doody in the fine art of flamewar and turning Nelly's parlor tricks back on her, but I'm getting bored with it. I don't think they'll learn from it anyway. I mean, he's engaged to a woman he's never met, and she's such a wacko that a few scathing letters from a faceless stranger have driven her to commit electronic suicide and to the brink -- allegedly -- of doing it in 3D. It's been an amusing distraction but now I'm starting to feel like I've stolen candy from a baby...and then beaten that baby senseless with a tire iron.

Unless Nelly, Doody, and the dread forces of NARC pester me -- and I mean really pester me -- into taking the gloves off and going at them full force, then I suspect you'll have heard the last of this skirmish in these pages. "Reba" will still be explained soon enough, but I'm finished with the lunatic fringe for now. I have scripts to write and a life to lead. It's time to get back to those.

Nice doggie. Have a bone.





Copyright 1997
Chuck Atkins