Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Lunatic Fringe has found me

"DM" has started posting comments on my blog.

As I've mentioned before, I read (and comment on) a fair number of blogs run by agnostics, atheists, ex-Christians, and other unbelievers. I could do a long (and possibly even interesting) post on why this is, but let's make a token effort to stay on topic. "DM" has apparently noted my contributions, and decided to post some, er, contributions of his own. At a guess, he thinks that I'm some sort of militant atheist (I'm not), or else he thinks that my readership (all, what? ten of you) is a hotbed of subversive, anti-religious activity.

I've deleted these responses from the posts where they appeared, because A) they don't actually respond to the content of those posts, and B) they're essentially spam: identical, pasted-in responses which consist of a mixture of incoherent ranting and bizarre, semi-random links. Here's a sample:

Now I want you to listen to this little f*cker...


When I see your UGLY FACE I understand why you are an atheist




with the atheists:

they start begging when they start dying...


with their LIVES...



but you have NO ANSWER TO DEATH... therefore you FAIL...






Shermer - Harris - Myers - Dawkins - Randi VS. NOSTRADAMUS - EINSTEIN - MARKUZE



Repent and turn to God.

To be honest, I'm not entirely sure what to make of this. A (very minimal) bit of research indicates that DM is actually Dennis Markuze, of Montreal, Canada; apparently he also posts as David Mabus, along with various other pseudonyms. His behavior here is entirely typical: drive-by postings of copied-and-pasted text with no direct relevancy to whatever he's ostensibly responding to. (More information is available here, here, and here; or just put his name in a google search.) The text is, as a rule, incoherent and vaguely threatening; it's also utterly repetitive. (Seriously. The first time I ran across his comments, I thought they were being produced by a spambot, rather than a person.)

I'm sure that in DM's head, this is all really impressive. Out here in the real world, not so much; I mean, he's clearly dedicated to his work, but his work consists of pasting in a single, pre-written response over and over, ad nauseum. It's almost like some peculiar sort of performance art, except for the lack of any appreciable artistic merit. (Actually, I guess that really doesn't distinguish it from performance art, does it?)

The psychology of this thing fascinates me. So, while I'm tempted to pick apart the text of DM's comments, instead I'd like to ask him a few questions. The first one is simply this: what's the goal, here? In other words, what is it that you hope/intend to accomplish by posting these comments? What are you trying to do?

DM, if you do choose to respond, please post your responses without pasting in the rant. I'd like to have some sort of conversation, or at least an online interview; and that's really hard to do if I have to skim past a full page of unconnected comments and links every time you post. I don't mind comments from people who disagree with me, but I do ask that the responses be specific to the post.


  1. ...

    i wonder if he *will* respond?

    [erm - i wandered over from PF's blog. hope that's ok?]

  2. There was a post on DM here that you may find interesting. It's about DM and comment moderation, with, of course, some comments from the great demented one himself.

    Don't count on him responding, however, in any manner but by more of his cut and paste spam; he rarely seems to bother reading what he "comments" on. He has even started spamming Christian blogs as well (see here for an example).

    I just keep deleting his junk whenever it shows up on my blog, but once he starts he'll most likely be back again and again, so expect more of the same.

  3. @denelian - yes, that's fine. (I did recognize you, and you're perfectly welcome here.)

    @ SE - Thanks. I don't know; we'll see. I don't have any particular expectations, but if DM is willing to come have a more normal conversation, I'd be very interested in hearing from him.

  4. I don’t think you’ll ever get anything rational out of DM. The common consensus around the blogosphere from those (and they are very many) who have to deal with his crap – myself once included (until I banned him) – is that he is mentally afflicted, apparently with some form of schizophrenia. No joke – nothing else, other than perhaps an absolutely pathological love for trolling (badly), would explain him spamming literally dozens and dozens of blogs with the exact same copy-pasted nonsense over the course of several years, now.

    Really, best you can do is ignore him and delete his little rants when they appear, otherwise they’ll make your hair turn white real fast if you try and coax some sense out of him. Hell, he’s the reason for Jen at Blag Hag switching to Disqus just so that she could ban him, if that means anything.

  5. Well, no dice so far. Maybe we ran past his self-imposed deadline?

    @ Joé McKen - you're probably right, and this is likely an exercise in futility. Still, he'd make for one hell of a case study (pun intended).

  6. Michael -

    i mention who/where i am, because i'm pretty random anymore - i only get to PF's blog once a week or so. sigh. i didn't want to assume :)

    that said - it seems as if Joé may be right... no DM.

    [truthfully? everytime someone initials him, my mind thinks "this is some HUGE meta-RPG, like MAGE, perpetrated thru blogs and forums and he's the guy running the game" because, well, i'm a geek. and ever hopeful that apparant malicious rantings are only a ruse. :) ]

  7. @denelian:
    If so, that’s one hell of a lame-ass RPG he’s got going on. ;-)

  8. Well, what do you expect from a bald guy who's three feet tall, wears red robes, and never sticks around to finish a conversation?

    Dungeon Master!

    Actually, the comparison is surprisingly apt - though obviously I don't know anything about DM's physical appearance. But the behavior's similar enough: odd riddles and obtuse hints, but try to have an ongoing conversation, and he's gone!

    Which gives rise to another theory: it's not performance art, it's a sociology experiment. All that crap about this past weekend being our final warning? It's because he's finally gathered enough data to write his thesis.

    Hey, I can hope, right?

  9. !!!!!!!!!!

    oh, man - i so LOVED the cartoon when i was a kid...
    possibly because i loved D&D, but...

    it could be a very cool sociology experiment.
    but i think [in a detached and worried way] that he Drank the Kool-Aid and is gone...

  10. The show holds up surprisingly well; we found season one on DVD, and my almost-four-year-old has been watching it with us. Rewatching it has given me a whole new respect for Eric (the Cowardly Cavalier); he may have been whiny and annoying, but very often he was right.

    As to Mr. Markuze, a search on some of his key phrases shows me posts from as recently as two days ago... but nothing since. I hope this means that he's reining himself in, and not that he's come to harm. Offhand, I can't think of any reliable way to find out, though. Maybe he decided to take a vacation...

  11. hrm... i should find and watch it again, then :)

    Eric was often right - i remember that. i was an insufferable child, because i was always right and I KNEW IT - it's got to be bad when you're asking your 8-year-old to tutor you in Algebra II so you can get your nursing degree. but watching Eric cured me of a lot of it :)

    hrm. i don't know to found out for sure, either. at least, not without skirting the "stalker-creeper" line...

    so i'll just say that i hope he *IS* well and is done with the spam. na da?


Feel free to leave comments; it lets me know that people are actually reading my blog. Interesting tangents and topic drift just add flavor. Linking to your own stuff is fine, as long as it's at least loosely relevant. Be civil, and have fun!