Friday, May 31, 2013

The Problem, The Solution


A fellow blogger recently emailed me and asked whether or not I planned to come out of hibernation and resume the blog.  I responded by saying that not blogging is actually emerging from hibernation.  Between the malware attacks and a few creepy internet stalkers, I am a bit hesitant to do much more.

A day or two ago, I was sent a link to the blog Ivy Style, authored by Christian Chensvold.  In the blog post, he reveals another web-sleuth's stalker-bounty by posting the name and portrait of another blogger who wished to remain anonymous.  The source of his animosity seemed to be little more than a dislike for the other fellow's blog.  Instead of simply choosing to not read it, Ivy Style's author repeatedly took the low-road, dedicating countless pages to petty sniping and rallying a cowardly army of keyboard losers in a circle of self-gratification.

Not posting one's identity on the web serves to both protect one's personal interests (family, job, social life) and to keep the ideas and writings focused away from the author and on the writing itself.  One of the reasons I have intentionally walked away from all of this is because of a series of emails I received asking me about my family, with links to the website for my son's school.  The email was 'anonymous'.
Offline, it is common for bloggers to send one another personal emails, and "Richard" was no different, having entrusted a few of us with his true identity.  But we honored his wish and mutually respected obvious self-set boundaries.

Back to Ivy Style...
Unable to let go of his childish obsession, Chensvold sought to direct his malicious and blood-thirsty cadre of trolls, snoopers, and bunny-boilers to the actual personal identity of the author behind the oddly named blog WASP101.  With the operating ethics of a tabloid photographer, he published "Richard's" details, knowing full-well that his small band of laptop-hunched lonely souls would also immediately begin their own cyber-tormenting.

Several people questioned his motivation and professionalism (since he regularly voices contempt towards the "amateur bloggers") and he took the most gutless hand-wipe of a path possible:


"Let me once again clarify that I merely presented strange coincidences and behaviors here. I did not seek to prove something I’m not in the position to prove."


The simple fact is that a clothing blogger wanted to remain anonymous, and was not allowed to thanks to the efforts of a purportedly "professional" blogger.

In the end, the joke may be on Ivy Style, because it now turns out that all his theories about the true lifestyle of Richard were wrong.  Richard gets the last laugh, because he was revealed to be quantifiably popular, genuinely charismatic, and socially confident.  That must sting more than a little for Chensvold.

And all because of a clothing blog.

---

The way I see it, this will be my last post.  I hate to end on so sour a note, but it seems that there are far too many readers of men's clothing blogs who feel that operating a blog automatically evaporates one's right to privacy, though commenting anonymously on those blogs should somehow remain a protected entitlement.  In my world it does not, but I suppose that I have been naive.  These sick perverts somehow consider one's entire family as fair targets as well, so with that in mind, I am stepping fully into real life by ending this blog.

I have enjoyed the very real friendships that I have made through this, the parties, the visits, the dinners, and every invitation that I was able to accept, and I will continue to enjoy those friendships, hopefully for the rest of my life.  If you find yourself near Boston, I hope that we might raise a glass (of anything) together, and interact as humans were meant to, without the interference or distraction of a lighted computer screen.  If you see the drinks flag flying in the late afternoon, please stop by.  You'll know it when you see it.

--

That milky warm sea breeze from the Atlantic blows in with the smell of salt, and the city is quiet.  A starling nips off a sprig of rosemary from my potted plant on the roof-deck, cocks his head, and flies off.  Don't drop it you thief, it means the world to me.




-Yankee-Whisky-Papa


31 comments:

  1. THANK you. You hit the nail on the right end.

    Chensvold's problems are threefold. First, he lacks much wit, or at least hasn't discovered how to demonstrate it to readers. Second, his tirades have the sour grapes subtext of the plain, fat schoolgirl who bitches about the cuter, more popular girls. And third (and perhaps worst), he's an utter poseur.

    I have no problem with people who aren't actually from the background aspiring to look as if they are, but Chensvold's hubris has been given so much scope that he has set himself up as the arbiter of prep and Ivy League _everything_, while himself being the product of the non-prep Santa Rosa High School and the non-Ivy Cal State Fullerton.

    Two out of those three of those would be enough to push the needle from "tiresome" to "annoying". Chensvold's hat trick pushes it all the way over to "ludicrous". Thank you for calling him on it.

    By the bye -- I'm sorry to see your blog end; it was always one of my favorites. Perhaps someday you'll return, re-inspired.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Christian has never represented himself to be the arbiter of anything. He has never made claims on his blog to be a WASP, or even to come from a preppy background. He has also disclosed his heritage, and I don’t think he’s ever made any claim to any type of pedigree.

      It seems like the reasons stated above for shutting down the blog go well beyond what Christian has done with the “outing” of Richard. Expectations of privacy on the internet *should* be very low. It is the most public of forums. If one wishes not to have their private life shared with others, then they should not run the risk of exposure by sharing parts of it with the world at large. One cannot sit on both sides of the fence.

      Delete
    2. "Christian has never represented himself to be the arbiter of anything".

      What utter rot. Through his former site, Dandyism.net, Chensvold set himself up as the absolute arbiter of all things "dandy", and he used that bully pulpit to not only define what supposedly was or wasn't "dandy", but to criticize many men who HE deemed "undandy". Dandyism.net is an appeal-to-authority fallacy from start to finish, and with Chensvold as its self-appointed arbiter.

      The same is the case with "Ivy Style", where Chensvold has repeatedly done the same. To wit: on the page "How Ivy are You?", he contrived a quiz to "find out where you all fall on the sartorial spectrum of hip to square, fashionable to traditional, undarted purist to darted apologist." Likewise, this page -- http://www.ivy-style.com/the-rise-and-fall-of-the-ivy-league-look.html -- is rife with claims of Chensvold being the arbiter of prep and Ivy League. If you've missed that fact, you're either a member of Chensvold's echo chorus, or you haven't been paying attention.

      Delete
  2. You'll be missed, but I can't blame you. All the best to you, and thanks for all the interesting reading!

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  3. I was wondering when this sad day would come. Our chum Bunny mentioned that you were thinking of shutting the show down. If I might suggest it, why not occasional guest posts on a friend's blog should the urge overtake you? Somehow I think guest posters are less targeted by trolls and stalkers than are the main proprietors.

    I guess this shutdown would also preclude a potential book deal, as that would presumably amp up the weirdo contingent to no end.

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  4. I'm so sorry to see you go but I understand.

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  5. Thank you for every post---- you've written with true class and style. The stopping of your blog
    is our loss.

    Best wishes,
    Beth

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  6. I'm so sorry to see this happen.

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  7. right on, right on....thank you ywp. you'll be missed.

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  8. What a bleeding shame! Unlike those other "preppy" bloggers, you were the real deal and that's why we enjoyed reading you so. Thank you for your time and acumen, your graciousness and aplomb. Be well!

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  9. Sad to know that your excellent prose will be absent from the net. The whole WASP101 "affair" is absurd. Nevertheless, I for one do not think such events should prevent you from continuing to share your thoughts with like-minded souls.

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  10. Thank you YWP. Your sensibility will be sorely missed.

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  11. I'll miss your posts. Godspeed.

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  12. As a casual reader, much of this seems to have escaped me. Have we lost all perspective? A blog about clothing is just that. To most of us, clothing and accessories can be fun and relaxing. As a professional, clothing is also a bit of a uniform. Becoming informed about the whats, hows and whys of clothing is useful and enjoyable. To make it the be all of life is to place on it an artificial value which it does not deserve. Maybe these folks should spend time volunteering at a local food bank, soup kitchen, children's hospital or nursing home.

    On a personal note, thanks for the material. Its been very enjoyable and I especially love the note about your "favorite Zodiac sign".

    Peace.

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  13. hate to see you go, but understand it. another big blogger recently outed himself, mainly so no one else would, and so he could control the message.

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  14. You are so right. Just look at what has happened to Christian Chensfold! Who wants this!

    http://www.punchinthefacebook.com/punch/ivy-sty/christian-chensfold

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  15. I enjoyed your musings over the last couple of years and have missed them over the last couple of months. Thanks for creating something interesting and putting it out there. Sorry to see you go.
    Best,
    CTS

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  16. I am very sorry to see you go. And very sorry that someone made you concerned for your family. That just plain sucks.

    I will continue to look for the cocktail flag, in my ramblings around the Hub.

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  17. So sad when someone ruins a great thing for the rest of us. Thanks for your sardonic wit, blithe observations, and for making me laugh so many times.

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    Replies
    1. Well said. Agree 100%

      Delete
  18. Christian is a dick. he didn't even go to an ivy league school

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    Replies
    1. Yep. Chensvold waxing pedantic about "Ivy Style" is about as authentic as Bakersfield's biggest "Downton Abbey" fan waxing pedantic about the British aristocracy.

      Delete
  19. As someone more eloquent than I once put it: "So long and thanks for all the fish!"

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  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  21. Bummer.

    Thank you for "Nothing Wasted" and tipping me to Eric Sloane. Those alone put this site above the others.

    "Nothing Wasted" remains some of the best memoir writing I've read.

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  22. Y-W-P,

    I enjoyed your witty posts very much; quite saddened the experience must end now. Nevertheless, if you are thinking of deleting this weblog, I do suggest downloading a copy of it for your own archive. It'd be a pity to lose it all. (In case, you can do so under options, 'Others', and 'Import Blog'.

    Farewell!

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  23. I am an occasional reader who will miss your well-written, intelligent, and funny dispatches. I can't blame you for ceasing publication, however--the glee with which WASP101's author was outed and then pilloried for the crime of authoring a (very bad) clothing blog is frightening. As someone who wishes to remain semi-anonymous for a number of completely innocuous reasons, the idea that others believe they need not respect the boundaries you set in your online life disturbs me. --WRJ

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  24. I'm sorry to read this as well. I hope you will consider a book, not only about your subject, but about your entire blogging experience.

    With so many of us blogging, I think you would have an interested market.

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  25. I warned all of you that Chensvold is a small-minded poser and a thorough pr*ck. His latest antics only confirm it.

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  26. I'll be in Boston next month. I'll let you know when. You're buying.

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  27. Thank you for the time and work that you put in to maintaining one of the funnier and more joyful blogs I've read, and apologies on behalf of the Universe that you ended up having to deal with so much nonsense. Your voice will be missed here.

    JSL

    ReplyDelete

Let's keep it clean... but if you DO have to get foul, at least give it a bit of wit. Also, advertising disguised as comments will be deleted, unless it is clever.