Monday, September 13, 2010

A Note From Fab on Katie.

The last thing I ever wanted to do was run an academic blog...haha! I've said from the beginning that though I was happy to be one of several old RYS readers who got the new site up, everything I've done has been an attempt to not have to do anything else!!! But this little Katie scuffle just seemed to put people ill at ease and I wanted to clear up anything I could so we could get on with - the Misery.

I got an email from Katie tonight, from the same college address that corresponds to her earlier posts here and (according to Cal) all of her posts to RYS.

She was contrite and a little angry, but the gist was that even though she felt ganged up on, that she also felt a little foolish. She admitted that she liked having fun on this site and the one that came before, and somehow the whole thing just spiraled a bit, and when her real identity and her blog identity became the topic of discussion of an otherwise sort of neutral question about Kindle, she wanted to just get out of the way of all of it.

She has taken down her previous posts, and of course the 2 posts from today which caused the ruckus. That's her prerogative, I guess, as the Blogger software allows such a thing.

The truth is she's posted at RYS and at CM under the moniker Katie from Kalamazoo. She's at times been combative, although some people found her awfully smart and funny as well, and she hasn't always reacted well when her shit disturbing - well, when it disturbed people's shit.

She tells me she won't be coming around anymore, and I will take her at her word. I replied to her that I thought she brought a lot of it on herself, and in the hour since I haven't heard back from her. She is no longer listed among the page's correspondents, and she's the only one (save for me) who could remove herself from that list.

I'm sorry if the page's focus got fucked up during this. Personally I like it when the page is about how our role as academics make us miserable. When it strays into other areas I just think it's less interesting. But that's just me.



  1. Oh man, I don't check the site for most of the day and I totally miss out on "ruckus-causing posts" that are now gone into the ether. Nuts.

  2. I hope nobody takes this the wrong way, as it's my first comment, but from what I've just read, I don't think I missed anything!!! LOL.

    I only get to read the page once a day, but I LOVE it. I did not read rate my students but a colleague of mine told me about College Misery, and I get a real kick out of it.

    I'm in my tenure year so I'm all about the folders and the portfolios, the letters, the evaluations...

    Reading about "The misery" gives me a nice break!

  3. OH MAN!!!

    I've been wanting to know who Katie was for AGES, YEARS, and I want to start reading her blog -- to think, I had a chance to know who she was for sure and I missed it?!?!


    Well, sorry to Fab for having to deal with it. She was combative, so maybe it's good we can get back to the good stuff: venting on our snowflakes, gradflakes, Silverbacks, and Admins instead of venting on each other!

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  5. @Academic Monkey: The last paragraph from her last blog: "And, I'm not a well known blogger at all. I'm just a professor in the arts in Arizona, occasionally blog about painting, culture, and academics and I have a great job, great colleagues, am well respected under my own identity, and I refuse to be minimized or mocked here anymore."

    Thank goodness for Thunderbird!

    Mathsquatch out!

  6. What I loved about katie's "last" post was that all of that stuff Mathsquatch quotes is NOT true. Even as she was getting ready to delete the post, she was making one last effort to disguise who she is.

    She's an English prof, for example. I wouldn't give out the rest of it, though, but she is certainly a head case...there's no doubt about that. If I get a vote, and I'm just a commenter, I say, "MOVE ON! Bring on more Misery...let Myra and Stella and Yaro share their streams with us..."

  7. Mathsquatch has been fooled? If I knew who she was, and cared enough, I would rip her arms out! (Figuratively speaking, of course.)

    Mathsquatch *grumbling to himself* out.

  8. Frankly, I'm glad she's gone - the Kindle question is literally the only thing she ever posted on either site that didn't annoy me in some way - but at the same time, I believe it's a bad precedent to disrespect any poster's anonymity (If indeed that's what happened. The comments vanished before I read them.)

  9. To defend Katie for a moment (you know, cuz I am into being openly contrary now), her real blog is an interesting read.

    OMG is she sometimes egocentric! And a lot of that ego is centered on what a wonderful teacher she is, and what a great scholar she is, and what a great colleague and friend she is, etc. But some of her criticism about the academy and the profession is insightful and well worth reading.

    I don't read her blog anymore, but then I don't read most academic blogs much any more. Too much navel-gazing about being a blogger goes on nowadays and makes for boring reading. And bloggers who have been around for a long time have developed a clique of regular commenters who can rip your throat out if you don't tote the party line in the comments.

    Gee, sounds like College Misery. Go figure.

  10. Err, I doubt that her leaving will be the end of her being mocked. When I'm in uber-procrastination mode and I go back to RYS and re-read some of the Ring of Distinktion posts, I never cease to find the 'Katie has a real life friend' post quite hilarious. Eating Low Salt makes a good point by putting quotes around "last" post. Yeah, do you really think she'll resist the urge to stay away? She'll be a lurker or under a different handle. Once a RYS/CMer, always a RYS/CMer...

  11. See, I don't think she'd be back under a new name. I think part of her liked building the persona and being kind of flippant about her personalities. And part of me wonders if her current dieting is what got her all riled up.

    But Salt, you just did that to torture me. I expect it of Meanest (of course), but giving me 1/8 of the information...!!!

    I missed my chance. Oh well. I suspect reading her "well-respected" personality wouldn't last.

    (makes me wonder if Salt is the person who wrote in to RYS years ago to confirm Katie's existence and describe what she's like in real life!)

  12. Katie's taking her ball and going home! So there! And she's got LOTS of friends! LOTS! And they LIKE HER too! They LOVE her! They think she's DA BOMB!

  13. Oh honestly. Katie has written some mighty goofy shit in RYS and CM, but her post started out with, "I'm not ready to marry my Kindle, but I let it go to second base." And she expects to be taken seriously, for her mind? I glanced at her post this morning, but didn't have time to add a comment that made much sense, that being a challenge with a post like hers: I was thinking along the lines of, "Between the cats and the Kindle, Katie really ought to get out more," or maybe just echo Beaker Ben, "There is no need for us to be this intimately acquainted." And then this happens! I miss everything.

  14. Damn, I missed it too. But clearly, this blog doesn't reflect the grandeur of Katie back to Katie satisfactorily, and that's fine with me.

    I'm gearing up for Le Miz, and it began with endless photocopying yesterday. I can't make a thrilling post out of that, alas.

  15. I missed the "final" post, but was a participant in the discussion under the penultimate post that drove her over the edge. Trust me, you didn't miss anything that scintillating.

    Katie was fine, but if you are going to create a special online persona with that much care, then you have to be ready to take what comes that persona's way, I think.

    I mean look at Walt. Yesterday he said he only wanted a Kindle if he could play missile command on it. Missile command? He can't be that much of a tool in real life, right? Trackballs are for sissies.

    I kid because I love.

    Archie out.

  16. Drat! It appears that I missed a Katie kerfuffle again. I missed the great "answer my question; no, don't" debate of the summer and now it appears that I missed the new-semester drama.

    I guess I'm naive, but I don't get the whole "creating an on-line persona" thing. I like me -- the real me -- just fine. I don't need to create this elaborate fake me to try to win cyberfriends. The stories and comments I post are from *me*, not some made-up version of myself or who I'd like to be. I just don't have the kind of time on my hands (or the desperate inclination) to try to be anything else. I just don't want the blogosphere to know exactly who the real me is -- only because I need to maintain my employment :)

  17. So Katie's real identity was outed? That's pretty cold, even if you didn't like her posts.

  18. Katie was NOT outed. But people were openly speculating to the point of naming bloggers and listing blogs. They were WAAAAAAAAY off.

    It's all still available on Google Reader. ;)

    Remember, what you say on the Internet is almost always available forever.

  19. Yeah, she was NOT outed in any way. More importantly, the identity people were speculating about was not her real identity, but rather her other online pseudonym under which she blogs. A lot of people on the site know the blog, and have known it since RYS days. Some don't.

    BUT, and it is a big but, knowing her blogger pseudonym wouldn't get you any closer to knowing who she is in her analog life. I read her blog from time to time, but it never reveals much that might lead you to her real name, at least not that I've ever seen. But since I don't really care what her real name is, maybe I just haven't noticed or looked hard enough.

    As Katie, on the other hand, she has practically put her other pseudonym up in lights. Her RYS posts were screamingly exaggerated versions of her own blog posts. She did something even more screamingly obvious on here. So if you read Katie with any sort of attention, it was child's play to find the other persona. So she can protest all she wants, but she did more to out herself than anyone here or at RYS ever did.

    And MPE, thanks for the Google reader tip. I at least got to see the "final" post from Katie in which she let us have it. But as far as I could see GR didn't store any of the comments, which was where the real action was. My recollection is that in the Kindle thread one person took a guess as to which blog was hers, but was wrong. Unless I missed something after my last contribution to the comments, that wasn't really what the discussion that pissed her off was about anyway.

    And Prissy, some time ago on her own blog Katie had a smart and interesting discussion of why she decided to use a pseudonym and to give that pseudonymous author a personality and voice distinct from her own "real" voice and personality. FWIW I didn't see that as a problem at the time, and I still don't. What became a problem, I thought, was that the Katie character seemed calculated to elicit a certain brand of misogynist response; and that when she, quite predictably, got such responses she didn't then know how to handle them well. If you are going to be a provocateur, then you have to know how to handle the inevitable hate mail--defuse it, even. She didn't seem to able to, and as her "final" post indicates, she was laboring under the illusion that she was somehow being singled out for that treatment. That's just narcissism. Archie got both hate mail and fan mail back on RYS, and he has here too, but I don't spend time worrying about whether I really am the deluded asshole some people think, nor do I sit around patting myself on the back when I get praise for something I said as Archie. The haters are wrong, of course, but you knew that already.

    Archie out.

  20. 2 things, Archie:

    1- Google Reader has 2 offerings for College Misery. One is for the blog posts proper and the other is for the (disarranged) blog comments. Look for the comments one, which does not have a distinct label. (Or follow one of the links on this page!)

    2- Unless I am mis-remembering, Katie-on-her-other-blog *was* outed (or almost outed) and was concerned about that before she earned tenure. (It was after another infamous feminist-blogger was outed. It was some misogynist troll's wet dream to unmask them, apparently). This was at least 3 years ago. So, someone who wanted to *could* track her down.

    Or any of us. That's why when CM started several of us were recommending people set up fake accounts with Gmail using fake names, etc. just to spoil the trolls. If someone REALLY wanted to, any of us could be unmasked, but why make it easy for them?

  21. Right, I remember that too, which makes it even more incredible that she was so reckless about leaving clues (more like highlighted trails) leading from her RYS and CM posts to her blog. If she was genuinely worried about being unmasked, she sure wasn't acting like it.


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