If you can’t rebut, attack

Earlier today, a reader named “Joseph” posted a comment on “I don’t follow the logic” in which he made some general claims without backing them up. In response to this comment, which was really only an attack on some other people and myself, I wrote “Anything constructive to add?”.

Joseph seemed to feel I was writing an untrue (his word) story. In my responses (two of them) to his comment, it appears I hit a nerve. I haven’t approved his latest comment because it is nothing but another attack rant. The first part of it refers to other people, so I won’t copy it here, but the rest refers to me, so here it is, complete with foul language and misspellings:
Your saying because the police put out a warrent he’s guilty?
Wow
YOUR just a lonely little person with nothing better to do but write story’s for your friends.
You are no writer that’s for sure.
Won’t even waste my time anymore.
You must be one of the ones he told to fuck off.
All your friends but you
You angry?

No, I’m saying the police believe they had enough evidence to issue the warrants. It’s up to the Canadian courts to determine his guilt or innocence following his extradition after two years in a Jamaican jail.

YOUR just a lonely little person with nothing better to do but write story’s for your friends.
You are no writer that’s for sure. I’m not going to dignify these comments with any further comment, for your judgement would depend upon your point of reference.

Won’t even waste my time anymore. Good. Please unfollow my blog.

You must be one of the ones he told to fuck off. Actually, had he approached me, I’d have told him to take a hike. I didn’t like him on sight. I found him arrogant and thought he was nothing but a poseur.

Joseph, as I wrote above, some of my comments must have hit home or else rather than attack me, you would have attempted to rebut my points. For your information, the term for an attack on a writer, is “ad hominem”. I didn’t use it earlier because I didn’t want the big words to confuse you.

Cat.

Anything constructive to add?

“Joseph” responded to my posting ‘I don’t follow the logic” with what appears to be nothing more than attacks on myself and George Flowers’s partners. Here is the complete comment from “Joseph”, then I’ll examine it in detail:

Joseph

If your going to tell a story, that’s fine, tell the whole story. But why lie?

“The people I know who dated him never mentioned it” ?
I thought you said you knew him? Bullshit or I would know you. “Cat”
ALL these girls knew what George was about. Knew he was married. Knew he had multiple partners.
What did they think the end result would be when they go clubbing and drop their panties for everyone that asks, AND to not even use protection.

For the benefit of those who haven’t read “I don’t follow the logic” (why haven’t you?) the second sentence refers to some alleged charity work George did.

What you’re saying in that third sentence is that you know everyone George has ever met or had business dealings with, is that correct? Sounds kind of creepy to me – almost stalking. Obviously your statement is incorrect or you would know where and under what circumstances I met him. So that would also mean you are aware of every time George dropped his pants and the name of the person he was with at the time.

That would also mean that you knew Lisa – his first wife – and Linda, wife number 2, and that he on occasion had as many as three women on the side, both before and after he married Linda. You would know then that he was diagnosed HIV positive in 1996 and had long-term, intimate, loving relationships in 1997 where he did not disclose his status.

I know three people who had long-term relationships with him after 1996, so it wasn’t a case of going clubbing then “dropping their panties” as you so crudely put it. These women all dumped him after the learned of the existence of the other two.

“Joseph”, does this sound like the dirtbag you know? I got this story from two different sources, so I’m more inclined to trust them than someone who calls me a liar and doesn’t provide proof of their claims.

I hope I’ve enlightened you a little more on your long-time friend.
Cat.

I don’t follow the logic

I received the following comment today meant for “Never going to happen”, but decided not to approve it for two reasons. First, it doesn’t advance the discussion and second, it is an ad hominen attack rather than a comment on the posting.

Joseph commented on Not going to happen

Your a coward. That’s why you won’t identify yourself. Plain and simple.
As for you knowing George, I don’t think so. Just because you met someone doesn’t mean you know them. I’ve known him for 31 years.

Why did you not disclose the work he did at the Hospital for Sick Kids. Charity concerts he did.???
Because you didn’t know him.
If you did know him you would know he was a good guy that made some bad mistakes.
What’s in your past. Bet I could find something on you if you identify yourself. Coward
P.S. That’s my real name

First, the grammar cop in me noticed the writer used the wrong “your”. It should be “you’re” meaning “you are”.

As for his charity work, save it for the judge. The people I know who dated him never mentioned it. They commented on his ego and his habit of constantly trying to borrow money from them, but never his charity work. And it was never mentioned in any interview of him that I saw or heard.

Your a coward. That’s why you won’t identify yourself. The last time I checked, “Cat” is a perfectly acceptable diminutive for my name, so this claim is baseless as I have identified myself. But since you cannot accept “Cat” as being a real name therefore I’m hiding behind an alias.
If you did know him you would know he was a good guy that made some bad mistakes. Let me get this straight. You claim he’s a good guy that made some bad mistakes. Yeah, you could say that. Deliberately (yes, “deliberately” because he failed to disclose his status) infecting some of his partners with HIV, or at least putting them at risk of contracting HIV is much more serious than a “bad mistake”. Especially when he repeated this “mistake” for several years.

What’s in your past. Bet I could find something on you if you identify yourself. Coward. Funny you should say that. I’ve held several positions that required criminal background checks from the police. My background check always comes back clean, so I doubt you could find anything.

Joseph, a bit of advice. Launching personal attacks on a writer with whom you disagree is never smart. If you have valid points of contention, that’s one thing. But calling me a coward for not identifying myself without doing any basic research casts doubt on the veracity of the rest of your comment especially when I have used my name.

Let me get this straight. You’re (note the spelling Joseph) calling me a coward because I used my real name on a post yet you, whose comment is basically an attack on me, are not a coward because you used your real name. Is that it? Can you say “double standard”?

Cat.

Stupidity reigns supreme

It’d obviously been a long hard winter in more places than southern Ontario judging by some of the articles in various publications recently.  I say that because sundry politicians, would-be politicians and ordinary citizens seem to have taken leave of their senses and
aimed their paranoia at the LGBT communities.

Where to start?

I suppose overseas is as good a starting point as any.  Today I read an article in Pink News UK about a caller to a radio show somewhere in England.  This person is of the opinion that bisexual people are giving people HIV/AIDS with the aim (intended or not, he didn’t say) of destroying the white race.  Umm, I have several problems with this pronouncement.  First is the assumption that all bisexual people are positive.  Second is the supposition that only white people would be affected or would be involved with someone who is bi.  As any intelligent person knows, HIV/AIDS knows no racial boundaries; respects no variations of the gender rainbow.  It seems to be a case of someone adapting an unusual and unpopular stance strictly for the attention. He can’t really believe that crap he spouted, can he?

And now we call the bathroom police.  I think it is Texas that has passed, or is discussing, a bill that would make it illegal for a trans* person to use a washroom that differs from their genetic gender.  So even though all my documents show me as “female” I could be charged should I go to the ladies’ room. And apparently the building manager could be fined and jailed if they permit a trans* person to use the restroom agreeing with their presentation. Since the L and G part of the LGBT acronym appear to have won some major victories, it seems to have become open season on trans* and bisexual people.

Finally, California (where else?).  Some lawyer has filed papers and the $200 fee, and is now trying to get the 365,000 signatures needed to have added to the ballot a proposition that homosexuality be banned and punishable by death.  According to this lawyer, doing so would avert God’s wrath from the state of California. I think that last statement is very telling of this person’s views and a good indicator of from where this idea sprung.

As much as I try to stay positive, I must admit I despair of ever seeing a day when LGBT people are treated as people, rather than aberrations or freaks.  And the more I see of things like the three incidents I mentioned above I feel that day may never happen.  In today’s society, we have freedom of expression and can express ourselves in any manner we choose, within legal limits of course.  Only the small-mindedness of mainstream society prevents us from so doing.

Cat.

Not their Crowning moment

Picture this: You’ve gone to the bank to take care of some business with a friend. The day is bright and sunny, but the temperature is hovering around 10 Fahrenheit. While your friend is finishing her banking, you decide to call a cab to get back home so you call the company you’ve been using for the past five years.

After waiting over four minutes for them to answer the phone, you ask for a cab at the bank branch at (and you name the intersection). Instead of the expected “that’ll be about ten minutes”, you get “what’s the street address?” You’re not from around here, so you don’t know and say so, then give them the location again. Again “I need an exact address”. Finally, in frustration you say “forget it, I’ll call someone else.” Your friend has finished her dealings and joins you then calls you an idiot because you can’t even call a cab.

She tries. Only three minutes waiting this time. She gets the same kind of runaround you did. Meanwhile you’re outside trying to flag down a cab. You finally succeed and she hangs up. The cab you’ve flagged is from another company and you immediately ask for a card, which the driver gladly supplies. In a weird ‘six degrees of separation” moment, the driver recognizes you because you both drove for the same cab company in the town where you live.

Not fiction or a bad dream. This actually happened to my friend and myself this past Friday afternoon.

Now, the explanation as I see it. First, keep in mind that I was a driver and dispatcher for a small cab fleet in Pickering Ontario for about 7 years, so have some knowledge of which I speak. About a year ago, Co-op Cabs, a large Toronto company, bought Crown Taxi, also of Toronto and about the same size as Co-op. They continued to run as two separate companies until about a week ago when they came up with the bright idea of a single, centralized dispatch. And like many cab companies these days, they decided to also switch over to satellite dispatch. Unfortunately for their clients, the new company, Co-op Crown (hereafter referred to as “CC”) hired new order takers who – from my telephone interaction – have no experience or knowledge of the city. An experienced or knowledgeable order taker would have known that an intersection is sufficient location for a dispatcher and a driver to find the place. It seems obvious by the insistence upon a street address when provided with the name of a business and a location that the order takers don’t trust the dispatchers’ knowledge either. Bad move. Rule number one for anybody working for a fleet is “Never piss off the dispatcher”. Many taxi dispatchers are former drivers, whose knowledge of the streets equals or exceeds that of the drivers. In speaking with drivers, I found they are not happy with the new system either.

When we returned home, both my friend and I called and filed complaints with the dispatch manager at CC.

By the way, being a dispatcher has to be the best job in the world because where else could you get paid for telling people where to go?

Cat.

Not going to happen

Since January 24, I have had three requests from the same person for my telephone number so they can ask me some questions. The last request included their number so I could call them (it was long distance, so I wouldn’t call anyway). These requests have all come from the same email address, with two different names and three different ip addresses. Two of the three requests have come in attached to posts related to the “Bring him to justice” series which automatically raises my suspicions. It is believed by myself and others that the mysterious “Barbara” who commented on one post was in fact a family member trying to find out where I’m getting my information and in the process learn more about me.

In each case I have replied saying I won’t give out my phone number because I’ve been bothered by stalkers and suggest they ask their questions by email at the address with which I provided them. There have been no takers on my offer.

As for giving me their telephone number so I can call them, that won’t happen because I know about call display and how it can be used to trace someone. I’ve already dealt with one stalker and that wasn’t pleasant. It never is when you realize that someone out there considers you prey. Knowing that the “Bring him to justice” series which deals with one George Flowers, who is wanted by the Toronto Police Service on several charges of aggravated sexual assault has pissed off some people, there is no way on earth I’d give my phone number to a complete stranger. It wouldn’t matter if you had sent me your complete biography, not just a telephone number, I’m still not calling you.

So, whoever the hell you really are, you can either ask your questions in an email or stop bothering me.

Cat.

The camera doesn’t lie, but your eyes might deceive you

Cameras, by their very nature, record objective views of whatever they’re being pointed at when you press the shutter. We all know the image you’ve just captured can be modified, played with and otherwise altered either in the darkroom, if film is used, or on the computer using one of the many photo processing programmes that are available.

One of these programmes is so popular its very name has become synonymous with altering photos – PhotoShop. (Personally I prefer Corel PaintShop Pro X6.) Given that most digital cameras darken an image by varying amounts up to 40%, all I usually do with my images is restore that brightness I saw through the viewfinder.

But manipulation of images isn’t the point of this posting. When you look at an image of yourself, or at yourself in a mirror, you don’t see the actual image or the reflection. We all carry a mental image of how we look in our minds and that picture affects what we see. Here’s an example:

five miles of leg 01 Sept 97 DRThis was taken in September 1997, on an evening I was going to a party with some friends. It took me six months before I could accept that image as the way I looked because it didn’t match my mental picture of myself. Now, for most people, once that realization hits home, it may elicit a reaction of “damn, I’m lookin’ good” or ‘oh God, tell me I don’t really look like that”.

But, if you’re a transwoman, the effects of seeing that image may be more devastating. To the person viewing that photo, there may still be signs of “him” visible in the picture. That nobody else may see those signs doesn’t matter, to the transwoman, the signs are there, shining like a spotlight. The effects of this can be demoralizing. All this time trying to put the past behind us and we feel betrayed by what we see in the photo.

As the title said, your eyes may be lying to you. You’re the only person who sees that former life in the photo. All the rest of the world sees is a good-looking woman.

When it comes to your reflection in a mirror, or a photo of yourself, just keep in mind that you can’t always believe what you see.

Cat.