Over a week ago I posted information which I believed to be correct at the time, to the effect that an on-line presence named Camestros Felapton was a professor of philosophy at an Australian university.
Felaptron has been a harsh and bitter critic of the so-called Sad Puppies for many years, and I resented how he recently attacked Richard Paolinelli for starting a new writers' group.
Some friends of mine pointed out information to me that indicated Felaptron's identity. I looked at it and thought it checked out, so I posted it.
After a few days - amidst the usual on-line screeching you get if you're not 100 percent politically correct - I realized I may have interpreted something wrong. It took me a few days to parse; I'm self-employed now since my wife and I bought the local newspaper Jan. 1st and my first commitment in time is to my business.
But a few days ago I realized I could not stand behind my original assertion, and I went on Twitter to apologize to both Felaptron and the spouse of the person who I originally named. I asked for their forgiveness, and they were nice enough to accept my apology.
It took me a few days to get back here on the blog, but while accusations were flying I went to disable it so I wouldn't have to moderate comments, and I accidentally did something that kept me from accessing it myself. I finally figured it out this morning.
Ninety-five percent of my time has always been tied up with life in the "real world" and not the looking glass existence of speculative fiction. Now I am self-employed that percentage is almost 100 percent.
Too many people have too much time on their hands. Of course, I'm unhappy that when I stumbled I was piled on, but I do resent being attacked. Even a rat will bite you when you step on it. Some of my on-line "friends" jumped into the fray and said other things I never would have said myself in a million years. Although they are free to exercise their right of free speech and opinion, I thought some things were just in poor taste and unnecessarily abusive.
People who know me and have met me in person think I'm friendly and easy-going, but social media brings out the worst in me- as it does in many people. I think my subconscious doesn't think these phantoms of the web are "real" and the normal social safeguards don't kick in. It may be a generation thing - I turned 61 a month ago.
In any case, since I made the original post here, I wanted to publish the retraction here, now that I am able. I also went back and deleted the original post and some follow-ups.
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