The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Thursday, June 12, 2003  

Who is This Freak?

Last night I wrote a particularly snarky post, snarky even for me, about the blogosphere’s resident village idiot (hereafter, the V.I.), a self-proclaimed lawyer, journalist, novelist, short-story writer, and, more recently, one of the most traffic-and-ranking obsessed webloggers this side of Andrew Sullivan.

In the early-morning light today I reread the post and decided the tone was too intemperate and so I deleted it.

By then, however, the V.I. already had read the post. Not only read it, but copied it to post later in the day on her pasta blog, in its entirety but without my expressed or implied permission. (Strange behavior for an alleged attorney, don’t you think?)

After she read it, the V.I. sent me a nastygram, which I reprint below in full:

Date: Thu, 12 Jun 2003 05:53:22 -0700
Subject: RE: Mac Diva responds
From: "J.G."
To: The Rittenhouse Review

Such an 'objective' opinion, Jim. All of it based on lies. I have done absolutely nothing to either M.B. Williams or Natasha [Ed.: Natasha’s last name withheld by me.] other than be appointed their scapegoat for their sins. And, speaking of sin, Jim, it is wrong to libel [sic] someone without any basis in fact or even getting her perspective on the situation first. The God you claim to care so much about is not pleased by such behavior.

Most bloggers have not joined this racist and abusive assault because they know me well enough to know the allegations are not true. A few fools have not used their heads and reached that conclusion. I see I need to count you among them.

I have copied your despicable post and will publish it to [my blog] so people can see you in all your Christian glory.


(Mac Diva)

Shortly after receiving this note from “J.G.”/ “Mac Diva” -- Real names, anyone? -- I sent her the following message, reprinted in its entirety:

Date: Thu, 12 Jun 2003 07:44:56 -0700 (PDT)
From: The Rittenhouse Review
Subject: RE: Mac Diva responds
To: "J.G."

The "offending" post has been removed.

In the light of morning it struck me as intemperate.


I quickly followed up with the following message, again reprinted in its entirety:

Date: Thu, 12 Jun 2003 08:11:08 -0700 (PDT)
From: The Rittenhouse Review
Subject: Fwd: RE: Mac Diva responds

And I apologize.


That wasn’t enough for the V.I. Today “Mac Diva,” still hiding in her well deserved and completely justified anonymity, reposted my piece from last night. Since it’s up there, I’ll post it here again:

No Psychotics

No one, and I mean no one, takes greater interest in or has more sympathy for those dealing with mental illness than I do.

That said, I have a firm rule when it comes to my blogroll: No psychotics.

That’s why you won’t see on my blogroll Letter From New York or whatever the glitter-eyed, wing-nut, Lucianne-wannabe, West-Side blogger is calling herself these days.

And that’s why you will no longer see a link to Macaronies, the bile spewed forth on an all-too-frequent basis by a lunatic going by the name of “Mac Diva,” at The Rittenhouse Review.

Well, that off-hand remark certainly got “Mac Diva"’s already fried and depleted neurons going wild, and so she added this observation:

I consider it revealing -- about self-proclaimed white Christian liberal Jim Capazzola [sic]. And, he does include at least one person with a diagnosed mental illness, which Asperger’s Syndrome is, though it is thought to have a neurological basis, on his blogroll. Making fun of mental illness while defending a woman with a mental illness. Another 'interesting' leader of the Left blogosphere.

Now, I cannot recall ever having proclaimed myself a “white Christian liberal.” Frankly, I just don’t talk like that. Yes, I’m Caucasian, a fact about which I doubt I've ever made a point though it's certainly been implied in the few references I have made in the past to my Irish and Italian heritage. And, yes, it’s obvious that my political views lean liberal. But I never use the term “Christian” with respect to my faith, preferring the more specific term “Catholic,” nor I have ever used the V.I.’s fanciful collection of terms or anything remotely similar.

But catch the V.I.’s ignorant and hateful slur against someone -- I honestly don’t know to whom she’s referring -- on my blogroll who, horror of horrors, has “a diagnosed mental illness,” namely Asperger’s Syndrome, a condition that is a particular obsession of the thoroughly deranged V.I.

Perish the thought! Someone with Asperger's Syndrome is blogging! How dare s/he?

You know what? I couldn’t care less. And do you know why? Because this very blog, The Rittenhouse Review, is written and maintained by a man who also has “a diagnosed mental illness,” two of them, in fact (chronic massive refractory depression and social anxiety disorder).

I’ve not mentioned most of that before and I’m sure the V.I. will say I raised the subject in a plea for sympathy -- or because I have some sort of “sense of entitlement.” But if this bag of bad fate makes me less of a human being in the eyes of the V.I. and her eugenicist friends, well, that’s just too bad. Meanwhile, I’m happy to watch the V.I.’s self-induced and much-deserved implosion from a safe distance. Bye-bye!

Oh, and I love the way the V.I. pretends (i.e., lies) that I have claimed I am a "leader" in the liberal blogosphere. Far from it. I challenge her (?) to show anyone where I ever claimed that.

Of course, her obsequious e-mail begging me for a link when she launched her sorry-ass site probably included words to that effect. But, truth be told, based on the warnings of several other bloggers I avoided adding "Mac Diva" to my blogroll for weeks, months probably, and I only did so because she, among few others, had the guts to tear apart the complete and utter fraud who lately has been the other primary object of my recent ire, the blogger who spends money on advertising his "blog" the same way the ill-fated "" -- Remember them? I didn't think so. -- did at the very peak of the internet myth.

[Post-publication addendum (June 13): Jay Caruso of the Daily Rant is also talking about "Mac Diva," and not positively, I might add.]

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