Out of principle, I don’t usually address the trolling. But in this one instance, I make an exception. Stephan Huller has recently attempted to both defame my character and befriend me (seemingly all at once). He seems to suffer from a reading comprehension problem, however, and this problem is substantiated in his email correspondence and his recent post. On his blog he writes concerning an email correspondence:
He told me in a recent email that he can’t be my friend because Joel Watts doesn’t like me. When I asked him how justifies the mistreatment of Neil Godfrey (i.e. his being kept out of the Biblioblog rankings and the constant from Joel) much the same response was given – i.e. Neil dug his own grave by making enemies with ‘people.’
Well, Tom for someone who’s always telling how you like to make friends you certainly lost one in Neil Godfrey by your hypocrisy. I hope you like them apples …
The problem here is two-fold. First, I never said I couldn’t be his friend because Joel Watts doesn’t like him. The fact that Huller seems to have completely garbled my email suggests to me his inability to comprehend, and is my second point of contention. Here is his initial email and my response:
Huller wrote (Jul 12, 2011@ 4:09 PM):
Hi TomI did some research and realized that we have a mutual friend in Bob Price. Please feel free to call Bob and ask him if I am a mensch or not. We are friends so you and I should at least not be fighting.Apparently you feel that I should take offense at being excluded from the list of Bibliobloggers. If I was spiritually advanced like Padre Pio – yes certainly a trivial thing like not being allowed to play with the other boys in the playground would not upset me. And the truth is that I am not as upset as I was initially being excluded for all those months.For some reason you manage to find something redeemable about Joel Watts. I guess its easier to like someone when they are attacking you. I had never heard about Joel until he started to attack me. I guess you could say we got off on the wrong foot and he is relentless.I don’t need to make another enemy.PeaceStephan
My response was direct and tempered (12 Jul 2011 @ 6:04):
I’m not an enemy, not at all. But I am not a friend either. I don’t know you; but I do know Joel and I know Steve Caruso, and I know Dan McClellan, and I know them all to be quite excellent people. I don’t think your analysis of the course of events that got you ‘removed’ is accurate at all, and its unfair to caricature a whole list of people into one label–things are not that black and white. You displayed a great deal of arrogance and ignorance about individuals you don’t seem to know about. And you wonder why you weren’t ‘accepted into the club?’
And also concerning Neil (whose blog I enjoy reading):
Neil, like you, have made too many enemies. I can’t figure why you both want to be a part of something when you dislike or can’t get along with half of its members. It seems to me as if you’re better off doing your own things. Clearly you don’t suffer blog hits.
My statement to him was concise: I’m not his friend since I don’t know him. Joel Watts’ feelings never played into my statement. In fact Joel only comes up once in the email (and it is attached to other names like Steve Caruso) and not once did I say anything related to his feelings on anything, negative or otherwise. So Huller’s attempt to hijack the email for his own use might bespeak more of his comprehension problems (or a deeper delusion he has). Since his email correspondence and his recent posts and comments, however, I have no interest in befriending him; so as of now I am not his friend because he’s dishonest, it’s as simple as that.
My biggest point to Huller is that he seems to be spiteful about being excluded from something he has repeatedly said he doesn’t want to be a part of anyway (for multiple reasons, listed in his blog and in comments elsewhere). If he doesn’t like those individuals or blogs on the list, why would he associate himself with them? It would be akin to Jim West subscribing to BAR or taking part in a colloquium against ‘minimalism’ led by Willian Dever or James McGrath attending an anti-scifi rally. It seems, to me, that Huller wants it both ways–he wants to be on the list but wants the list to conform to his thinking (even though he claims otherwise).
As for Neil, I have no problems with him at all. I often think his posts are thought-provoking and warrant attention, even if I disagree with what he says. I don’t know where Neil fits into the Biblioblog community, however, since his focus isn’t always clear. Still, I do think that Neil has made enemies in the community. I don’t think that is a false statement at all. Neil could work towards patching those relationships if he wished, and I have no doubt that he could, but I don’t think he has any care to do so. That is his prerogative. I’ll still read his blog anyway.
The rest of Huller’s post doesn’t seem worth addressing, since it appears only to be more ranting, complaining about Joel, and misconstruing just about everything. I would note though that he should really try to learn more about what he’s talking about before he attempts to assassinate someone’s character–especially if he is going to call someone out on ‘not being civil’.