Just in case you haven't been following the curious case of John Brown vs. the Silliest Blogger in Town, here's a brief rundown...
I read a stupid entry at The Huffington Post by an author whose name I'd seen here and there several times before. I decided to find out who in the hell the anti-genius in question actually was. The HuffPo bio wasn't illuminating and the bio at her site seemed artificially glossy and a wee bit too self-serving. The poster in question? Taylor Marsh.
Although I think she consistently demonstrates a level of political acumen on par with that of my preschool-aged daughter, Marsh has a loyal following of goofs who have joined forces to create a batallion in The Monster's army. She's a recognizable figure online and is oft-quoted as source material by other bloggers. I had a little time and a little curiosity. I decided it would be worthwhile to uncover and share a little bit of info about Marsh with those who, like me, might be interested.
I posted the results of my little Taylor Marsh bio on this blog. A day or two later, someone emailed me some additional information about Marsh, which I also shared. As interest in her background and claims grew, I was sent a link to her self-published vanity book, which I read and reviewed here.
Somewhere along the line, this became a big deal. I've experienced a massive increase in traffic, a lot of attention, congratulations and attacks, and a three-pronged response from Taylor Marsh. She mentioned the "gnat" who was "plumbing" her bio in one of podcasts (she prefers to call it a radio show, meaning I can call the Brown family grocery lists epic poetry). She lumped me and those who linked to me into the category of "hate sites and diaries" who "attack" her because of her allegiance to Hillary. She held a special little chat session with her minions to clear the air about her past, which is "an open book". Oh, she also warned me (in an act of stunning hypocrisy and foolishness, that I might find myself on the receiving end of a lawsuit!
Many have asked questions. Many have made accusations. I'd like to speak to some of them.
JOHN BROWN IS JUST JEALOUS OF TAYLOR MARSH
Bullshit. Yes, I did mention the fact that her swampy-ass website outdraws my tiny little free blog. That's what we call fact, not envy. I also mentioned that it would be relatively easy for anyone with a little drive and a complete willingness to spin and exaggerate to do the same thing, but that I wasn't that interested in playing the bullshit game. The Brown family is doing just fine without extra blog income and I'm not jealous of Ms. Marsh for getting traffic anymore than she's jealous of the guy who posts the funny LOL cats pictures every day. Oh, wait, she probably DOES have an ax to grind with him. In any case, you can cross jealousy off of your list of motives.
JOHN BROWN HATES TAYLOR BECAUSE SHE LIKES HILLARY CLINTON
This was the primary argument Taylor Marsh used her response to the hubbub surrounding her inflated credentials. It is make believe. I don't care for Taylor Marsh's analysis and blog posts because they are stupid. I am anti-mendacity and that makes dummies my natural enemy. The Monster does cause soul cancer, but that's not why I was critical of Taylor Marsh. Shit, Helen Thomas is pretty supportive of Hill these days and you don't see me griping about her.
And therein lies the difference. Taylor Marsh pretends to be something she isn't. She pretends to be a radio host and she pretends to be an author. In reality, she's merely someone who was willing to cough up the cash to buy radio time at a teeny-weeny AM vanity station in the Nevada dessert. In reality, she's a former porn site editor who decided to assemble her rambling account of why the job didn't work out into a "book" that she paid a vanity publisher to print up. Her allegedly relevant experience with an alt weekly paper was actually a gig helping people to write their personal ads. When she did try to write columns, the paper slapped ADVERTISEMENT on top of them.
The reason I took the time to recount Marsh's autobiographical inflation had nothing to do with her love of The Monster.
I disagree with Taylor Marsh about many things and many issues. I don't dislike her because I disagree with her. If I spent my time getting into it with everyone who didn't agree with me, I would be way too busy to bother with Taylor Marsh.
Hey, and I've been at least somewhat fair. I pointed out that Marsh was not a johnny-come-laterly and that she's been a prolific blogger for a long time. I expressed that I was impressed with her ability to self-promote. When someone sent me a link to her book that allowed me to read it free, I opted NOT to pass that along, because she is trying to peddle the damn thing. I might be mean to her, but I'm not THAT bad. And so what if I am?
I decided to look into who she was because I was curious about the freakshow postings' author. I learned that she was crutching on an exaggerated bio in order to create a sense of gravitas and credibility. I think that's goofy grapes, kids.
JOHN BROWN IS A WAR CRIMINAL OR SOMETHING EQUALLY EVIL
I've seen comments on other sites about my Marsh posts that claim I'm shilling for Obama for cash. I've seen one person claim I'm a sex offender and a former juvenile delinquent. One person claimed I was running teen cheerleader porn ads on my blog. I'm secretly a Republican operative, I'm in league with the darkest forces on the 'net and I may even enjoy deep-fried furry baby bunnies for dinner.
It's all bullshit. The truth, as is so often the case (see: Taylor Marsh bio) is much duller than fiction. I'm just a guy with a free blog and occasional bursts of free time on his hands who has opinions and interests. That's it.
JOHN BROWN IS A RIGHT-WING NUTJOB WHO HATES PROGRESSIVES
Not true. I consider myself relatively independent, even though I am a registered Democrat. My views are varied and they're my own, but I'm certainly not a Republican hitman. If you tallied all of my votes and political contributions over the years, I would wager that 80% of the time I've gone with the people who have D's behind their names.
JOHN BROWN IS A NOBODY, WHY SHOULD PEOPLE EVEN CARE
Well, all I can tell you is that I speak my mind. I try to support my arguments when it makes sense to do so. When I'm speculating, I say so. If I'm wrong and am corrected, I will admit my errors. I am just a guy with a blog and I think anyone who wants to read it should evaluate the quality of my entries based on their content and their quality. That's one big reason why I blog under a pseudonym.
"Aha!" exclaim the Marsh-backers, "didn't you say no one should pay attention to Taylor Marsh because you don't think she has a credible background?"
No. I didn't say that. Not even close. Get the wax out of your fucking ears and listen good:
Taylor Marsh is free to say whatever silly dumbassery enters her mind. You are free to read it. You are free to believe it or to reject it. I hope you do so based on the quality of her arguments and her reasoning, coupled with an adequate knowledge base and a respect for intellectual honesty.
You should not, however, buy into Marsh's goobery BECAUSE of her inflated bio.
Do you get the difference? Judge her by her works, not by her tall tale of self-importance. Don't give her bonus points because she has a glossy fib of a bio at HuffPo or because she hired someone to create a site for her that looks like it belongs to someone who actually has a real radio show. Don't take her seriously BECAUSE of the disingenuous bells and whistles.
As noted a 28,483 times, I think crutching on an exaggerated bio is a misleading way of building ethos. Marsh laughed those criticisms off, exclaiming on her podcast that she was good at PR, just like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Think about the implications of that perspective and choice of examples for a minute, okay?
It's EASY to create a mega-super-duper-bullshit bio. Unless you're a complete dreg, you can do it in less than five minutes. It's like amped up resume-pumping, but without the risk of losing a job because of it.
JOHN BROWN IS MEAN AND HIS POSTS ABOUT TAYLOR MARSH ARE A HIT JOB
As I noted in my own little online bio, I can be a complete prick. Guilty as charged. However, I tend to be right. And I am intellectually honest. You can dislike me. You can think I'm mean. You might be right. However, dismissing the arguments about Marsh based on perceptions of my personality would be foolish.
In all of the hand-wringing over my "hit pieces", no one has pointed out factual errors. Even Ms. Marsh didn't call me out for lying. You can call me a prick, but you can't say I'm wrong about the facts. If the facts represent a "hit" on the self-proclaimed "antidote to right wing talk" (see: when the cure is just as bad as the disease), so be it.
JOHN BROWN DIDN'T UNCOVER ANYTHING NEW ABOUT TAYLOR MARSH
Damn. There goes my chance to join the secret club of scoopers. I'm no Woodward or Bernstein. of course, I never claimed to be. I just took the time to figure out a few things and I put them all together in one place. I never claimed to have some sort of WWWEXCLUSIVE on Taylor Marsh.
The fact of the matter is that all of the crap I mentioned WAS pretty easy to find. It wasn't easy to find in one place and Marsh didn't necessarily provide all of the context to engender the information she does provide with meaning--at least not in one convenient read. So, if that makes me more of a news aggregator than an investigative reporter, I can accept that fate.
A FEW QUESTIONS OF MY OWN...
Why does it seem so difficult for people to combine a little common sense with their rage? I keep getting and reading all these comments about how mean I am, how I'm jealous, how I have penis envy (?), how wonderful Taylor Marsh is, etc. etc. NONE of them actually address the propriety of telling a tall tale to get attention and to build credibility. NONE of them provide a direct retort to my claims that Marsh inflated her bio. NONE of them actually defend her veiled threat of litigation relating to the use of her Glamour Shot-esque photos.
If you want to come down hard on me for not liking Marsh, for knowing that Hillary is The Monster, or for whatever else, please, please, please, please bring an argument to the table. Try to combine your attitude with a little substance. Just a little. Bring your A-game. Otherwise, it might get boring.
OH, AND THE ILLUSTRATIONS...
I hereby relinquish all copyright to my illustrations, created in response to Ms. Marsh's concern over the possibility I might be sued for using her image on my blog (Apparently, this strategy works better when you're a photographer than when you're Debbie Schlussel. Right, Taylor?).
I hereby grant permission to anyone to use the images as they see fit. You might even say I'm encouraging their use.
If you do use one of my illustrations, please leave a comment so I can keep track of where they're turning up.
YOUR BEST FRIEND FOREVER,
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