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My new Internet crush - Where you from, Kansas?

May. 7th, 2008

10:20 am - My new Internet crush

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I once admitted, in a comment now deleted (a long, not terribly interesting story behind that) that I enjoyed checking in with my favorite Internet crazy people now and then just to see what they were up to. It's not the most noble of pursuits, but fairly harmless. Most of the ranting that goes on in blogs, forums and whatnot just goes off into the ether just like the signals carrying forgotten low-budget early 90's TV shows. (Renegade, starring Lorenzo Lamas, was one of my favorites.)

My favorite BtVS fandom ranters are no longer worth reading; the obsessions that drove them have faded with time, and their writing has turned innocuous and banal. No brilliant eccentrics among 'em, it turned out. But my new favorite crazy person is unlikely to run out of steam, because he has so darned many strange obsessions.

brightstar65, a regular commenter at Salon.com, has at last count made 3103 comments (or "letters" as Salon calls them) to various Salon articles. What they lack in coherence they certainly make up for in passion. Take this recent comment to an article from "How the World Works." The article is a discussion of Fermi's paradox and how it intersects with peak oil theory. Fermi's paradox is simple: Given the vastness of the universe and the large number of worlds, it is likely that many civilizations capable of space travel have arisen. So why haven't we been visited by any spacefaring ET's? A possible answer is that civilizations exhaust their resource base before they can develop interstellar travel.

A bit sad, but logical. But brightstar is having none of it:

I'm fed up with this BS about aliens... the left is chock full of self important egotistic idiots who constantly berate the concept that the universe is filled with life.

One might doubt his reading comprehension skills, as nowhere in the article or the other comments were there any overt political statements or denials of the possibility of other life in the universe. Well, you know what they say about facts getting in the way of a good tirade.

Better yet, he seems to have access to top-secret information:

People in the know-- you know, generals, presidents, scintists(sic) with top secret clearances-- report all the time that there are between 27-48 alien civilization CURRENTLY visiting this planet alone.

And then he goes on to assert that, of course there's a very effective cover-up but nonetheless "you imbecile, people write books and report on it all the time."
But he neglects to mention who wrote them and where they can be found (oddly enough).

Space and space travel are particular obsessions for him-- he's notorious among Salon readers for asserting that NASA is covering up evidence of trees growing on Mars-- but politics, feminism and Ron Paul (whom I place in a different category than "politics" for a reason) also get his juices flowing. And do I even need to mention that he's a 9-11 "Truther"? The letters are a joy or a horror to read, depending on how one looks at it, and there's also the occasional, fairly coherent one. Though the crazy-to-normal ratio is about ten to one.

This definitely sets him apart from the fandom "nuts" that I used to read, because with them it was usually the reverse... 80-90 percent of their writing was normal and unremarkable, until they hit on one of their hot-button topics. So I think that brightstar, unless he gets himself banned, will be worth reading for a long while.