Real Talk

This is long and all over the map. I leave it exactly as I wrote it so forgive the fact that it is sloppily written. It’s just my thoughts directly on the page.

 

I’ve been meaning to write this I just didn’t really know how. It bothered me for so long I delayed writing anything here at all for a long time. I wanted to explain some things about myself that I think are important to understanding who I am and why I write this blog. So what didn’t I know how to do then? What hung me up? Fear.

All different kinds of fear. One of the strongest among them is the fear that if I were to be very open and honest about what is going on with me I’d be rejected and dismissed. I have so much internal conflict over what I share with people – I get a lot of anxiety over it. I sometimes feel like putting yourself out there too much is a low instinct. That there is some magical way to promote your work and engage the people around you that can’t be seen as shallow and insincere that I just haven’t discovered yet.

So this post is about confronting that fear by just getting it all out and hope people understand. I can’t continue otherwise. I’m going to say what is on my mind and it might not all make sense but I feel a need to do it because the record doesn’t feel straight to me.

When I talk about anxiety I mean very real anxiety. I don’t know what exactly is wrong with me, I don’t have a medical diagnosis because I’ve avoided treatment my entire life. What I know is this – I’m socially isolated, I feel like I’m in this haze of depression a lot of the time. I have a hard time just getting out of bed and living life some days. My self esteem is extremely low, I hate myself and pretty much everything I do most days. Every now and again I get to pull my head above the surface, feel like a somewhat normal person and have the belief in myself to create and to put what I create into the world. When you see me posting? I’m probably feeling good or feeling like I need to be working or wither away into nothing. When I’m not? Those are the times I’m not feeling like I can do it. I’m mentally exhausted and I don’t have the self-confidence to be anything more than polite background noise, not even visible to much of the world at large. Those are hard times, I’m trying not to be ashamed to admit all this but I am.

Most people don’t really know this about me. They mostly just know I’m a bit weird, probably more than a little awkward with people sometimes. I’ve been known to get anxious about talking to fast food drive-thru cashiers. That’s how much anxiety I can feel at times, how alienating this thing that is wrong with me can feel. People probably notice I can take forever to answer their emails sometimes. It probably says something that most of my interaction with people is online. I don’t have a close circle of friends, I have a long suffering wife who has put up with my nonsense for longer than I thought possible to tolerate me. Most people don’t know me at all.

When somebody takes to their Facebook page with thousands of followers, most of whom are connected somehow to the market you write in, and calls you crazy and a talentless hack and proceeds to lie about various aspects of your life – well I don’t know how people with normal brains would take that but I know how I took it. This was the guy who gave me my break, who fulfilled the dream I had since my earliest childhood to be a published writer. It killed me a little bit inside. Maybe a lot.

The first time I read that Facebook post I wanted to curl up and die. I wanted to give up everything I was doing and fade away into even more obscurity than I was already in. I felt any pride I could try and take in what I’d written over my years with Fangoria was tainted. That’s a vain thought I guess, but I’m just being real about how I felt. Pride fucks with you sometimes. Other times it saves you.

Reading the comments was worse. A cavalcade of people who knew nothing about me stomping my face into the dirt with a light sprinkling of people who barely knew me proclaiming how they knew all along I was an asshole. Some of these people I thought could have maybe been friends of mine. Some I had helped with publicity for their films or events by writing about them and the second I was no longer useful to them in that capacity I got dumped in a ditch. If you aren’t playing the PR game you’re not really welcome at the table anymore. Most were complete strangers.

In among those comments was my own brother in law saying I was dead to him. Imagine that! We haven’t spoken since. Not a word.

Of course Chris had already unfriended me on Facebook. I couldn’t respond to his posting. I couldn’t even see it through my own Facebook account, I had to see it on my wife’s. So a guy posts a heap of abuse and outright lies about you and then makes it so you can’t even show up and defend yourself. You can’t answer to any of the charges.

I gave Chris Alexander much better treatment than all of that. I gave him every opportunity to respond and tell his side of the Ben Cortman story, he chose not to. When I wrote about the Cortman issue I wrote the truth, I didn’t start criticizing the quality of his writing or make up absurd lies about his personal life. I didn’t try and create this fake “betrayed by my dear friend” narrative that Chris did – he and I were never what anyone would consider friends. We had no social connection, he happened to be a friend of my brother in law, that was the only link we had. He was a guy I saw at a birthday party once a year and barely talked to, like many other people at many other birthday parties. Our contact was about content for Fangoria, we didn’t go grab beers together. Our relationship was business.

I deactivated my Facebook account within days. I couldn’t deal with it. I’m a person who already feels isolated, who already worries everybody he knows secretly hates him and thinks he’s an idiot. I’d watch my stupid Facebook feed go by and look at all the people and wonder who I was to them, what they thought of me. I worry constantly I’m this big joke and maybe I am, I don’t honestly know. I fear that all the people around me think I’m some nutcase loser. I have no idea if I can trust people. There is something wrong in my brain where I can’t imagine why anyone would like me or think what I do is worth anything. I work really fucking hard to overcome this and manage to produce things and release them, but it’s a fight every step of the way against my own insecurity. I often wish I could just write things and put them in a box somewhere and someone else could handle everything else because I every time I sit down to work, every time I get ready to submit something I have to overcome this urge to scrap it and never risk being ashamed or embarrassed by my work, never have to feel like people are rolling their eyes and then humouring me and I’ll never be good enough to deserve recognition. I would pick away at myself in the voice of people I know and respect. To see all these people and know some of them “liked” that rant about me, to know more probably agreed with it but remained silent out of courtesy really got into my head. I had to pull the plug on all that.

What would I have even said to all that was written about me? I’m not the kind of crazy you are accusing me of being, I’m a different kind of crazy? Does that really sound much better? Would it make my later protestations over the lies about my personal life sound more or less credible? Calling somebody crazy is easy because you don’t even feel like you have to engage or internalize anything a “crazy” person has to say. They’re fucking crazy, right?

It’s quite a headfuck when you start feeling like the only way you are going to feel authentic is to be open about who you really are but that doing so is going to play right into a misconception. Into a smear.

I’ve written a version of this about 20 times in the last 6 months probably. That fear always kept me from going with it.

******

I don’t fully understand why I feel like it’s important to just write this out in public but I do. I think it’s because I’m just sick and tired of feeling so shitty and having to make like I have my shit together because I’m ashamed. I’m just done with it, I don’t feel like I’m being as real as I want to be when I’m trying to play like everything is cool. The funny thing is that big thing I worry about is people thinking I’m just being some kind of attention whore for coming out on my mental illness. I’m afraid that doing something that feels authentic to who I am will be seen as insincere. How fucked is that, right? People are out there posting their dinner on Instagram and I’m paralyzed over talking openly about where my head is at. In a society that is increasingly tolerant and sensitive to mental health issues. I have a problem.

I want to be a better person for a whole lot of reasons. I’m not having an easy time of making that change because of mistrust and fear.

I get this is kind of stupid. I get I’m being horribly idealistic. I get there is only a handful of people who care about what I’m writing about here. What I want people to know is that all I wanted was to be a good writer, to earn the respect of others I respect in kind and to write about things that really matter. Not everything I’ve ever written “matters” in that sense, but I always tried to inject something bigger into everything I did. Maybe I failed, I don’t know. What I do know is that over the years that I was involved in the rather small way I was I experienced and observed some things that raised some questions. The more of those questions I started to chase down the answers to, the less I liked what I was seeing. When Spiderbaby happened I didn’t know all these things were going on at Fangoria, I just knew that everything I had gathered to that point set off that alarm bell that said I couldn’t continue there. Something didn’t feel right anymore. If I’m being honest a part of that was really feeling dejected at being published by the same outlet as a massive plagiarist who couldn’t write to save her life. The same quality control system that utterly failed with her may just have utterly failed with me. How was I to know if my work at Fangoria was an achievement to take pride in or if I was just a guy willing to give content away for nothing and anybody who was semi-literate and not expecting compensation or even mentoring could get in. I felt bad about everything I produced to that point. I felt like it could no longer be a source of confidence and a sign that in some regard somewhere I was accepted by people.

It wasn’t until later, when I started to read comments about the Spiderbaby scandal where people were alluding to Fangoria not paying writers and being involved in some unsavoury practices. I might have dismissed these kinds of stories were it not for two things: Fangoria hadn’t paid me $400 for content I had created for them that they agreed to pay me for and then didn’t. The money was outstanding for nearly a year at that point. I had resigned to never getting it after spending months asking Chris for the money, after being made to feel like an asshole for even wanting to get what was promised. I had given up and just figured there was disorganization behind the scenes to blame. No doubt it is hard to run a mag like Fangoria with only 4 or 5 staff.

The other thing that made the stories credible was the fact that I had shot the breeze with a few local Fangoria freelancers and heard some discouraging stories.

I recall clearly a night out with Lianne where she told me Chris was ripping me off and I should demand to be paid for everything I do. She had the same advice for the other writers with us. That rattled me a bit at the time. Looking back it’s interesting that she was the one to warn me that Chris wasn’t all he appeared to be. I think the two are more alike than either would like to admit. That same night she told me to submit to Famous Monsters of Filmland, they would pay me and give me more respect she said. At that time she claimed she was being groomed to be an editor there. In any case, it got me thinking.

Another thing that got me thinking had happened almost a year earlier. Chris had assigned me a set visit for The Conjuring. This was a huge deal for me, a big chance. I was terrified and didn’t really know what the hell I was doing. So there I was, going to the famous former DeLaurentis lot in Wilmington NC, the lot where classics like The Terminator were shot. I was freaked out but determined to be cool. That plan lasted maybe five minutes.

As we piled into the van that would take us to the lot I got introduced to the rest of the junket. I won’t name names, but there was a writer from Rue Morgue, Horror Hound and SciFi magazine. Chris had basically instilled in my head that Rue Morgue was the enemy, they were conspiring to ruin him. I was really nervous. The reporter from SciFi, a grizzled vet who was a learning experience to watch in action, asked me if Tom DeFeo was still running things at Fangoria. I replied that he was and the reporter proceeded to tell me a story about how he used to write for Starlog and he and several other Starlog and Fangoria writers were not paid for thousands of dollars worth of work. They were told the check was in the mail and given every excuse in the book and then they announced bankruptcy. After a quick corporate shell game where The Creative Group died and The Brooklyn Company took over they said they no longer owed the writers, that was a different company and that company was bankrupt. So sorry. A group of writers got together and sued DeFeo – one of many lawsuits against him, including defaulting on Brooklyn Company credit card debt as recently as 2013. He ended up settling with some of the writers for undisclosed sums.

He told me this story and then, right there in front of everyone in the van including the unit publicist he asks me:

Are they paying you for this?

Everybody is looking at me, waiting to see what I had to say. I was dying inside. What the hell did I have to say to all of that? Can I admit to these people I’m not getting a dime? A writer from our biggest competitor is sitting there and I’ve been told they are all praying for the failure of Fangoria. I had no way to process all of this.

I’m not proud of it but I lied that day in front of all of those people.

I smiled and laughed and said of course I was getting paid! It’s not like the bad old days at Fangoria, Chris Alexander is cleaning things up and making sure we are doing things right. I stood up for him and the mag. I couldn’t let these people think I was some rube getting suckered! I couldn’t let them think Fangoria wasn’t viable enough to pay writers. So I lied. I lied about it being my first set visit too, I didn’t want these people to think I was some dumb amateur, even though I was. If any of those people ever read this I’m sorry I lied to you, I didn’t mean harm by it. I just didn’t know how to handle what I was being presented with.

****

What I’m trying to say here is that I know now I was involved with something I didn’t fully understand and someone I didn’t fully understand and wasn’t who he seemed. There were all kinds of warning signs and yet I mulled them over for years. It took the Spiderbaby thing to tip the scales. The scales broke when I saw the other stories of writers not being paid or having to go through utter nightmares to get paid what was promised to them.

It wasn’t some admin error. It wasn’t because things were disorganized and not well controlled. It was starting to look like standard operating procedure. The SciFi magazine writer didn’t bullshit me.

I really started to lament the fact that nobody was likely to try and get to the bottom of the Fangoria pay concerns and a bunch of the oddities about the Spiderbaby story. I was disappointed that all we had were rumours and speculation, I felt like somebody should be able to do better than that to either confirm or debunk. It began to dawn on me that maybe I was going to have to be the person to do it. This was the motive for creating LPP. To unpack a lot of those issues and explore the ethical and journalistic issues at the heart of the whole Spiderbaby scandal. I had a slate of things I wanted to talk about and I had this possible story about pay at Fangoria that proved very difficult to verify to mine or Mike White’s satisfaction. Not a lot of the current crop at Fangoria want to talk about their experiences. We found some people willing to relate their stories but it wasn’t enough. I started LPP with a lineup of Spiderbaby-related items, an interview with Dave Alexander of Rue Morgue (the only editor who responded to questions about the Spiderbaby affair that I sent out) and some stuff on how the creative class is being exploited. No Chris Alexander revenge plot in sight.

Then a source put me on to the Cortman story and the more I dug at Alexander and Cortman the more I found. I went with the story because it’s clearly newsworthy and I managed to verify it completely. I expected Chris would be unhappy about it, issue a quick mea culpa and it would go by the wayside.

Wrong. So wrong.

****

LPP is about exactly what I’ve always said it is about – reporting on issues in the horror business. These aren’t always going to be comfortable stories but people in positions like Editor in Chief need to be able to weather criticism and avoid even the appearance of impropriety. They are in positions of trust. Commenting on and examining those things is perfectly valid. I feel it’s unfortunate so much of this is about Alexander but if he’s involved in things that are questionable, haven’t I taken on the responsibility for reporting on that and asking the questions about whether it is acceptable or not? Do I just ignore it? What do I do?

I write this for a small audience and a potential future audience. I think these “behind the curtain” stories are important to the history of the industry if nothing else. My work and work similar to mine is going to help tell a story which is very different from the public PR narrative. In an age where image control is rampant, being able to break through that and get at something real and not stage-managed is vital. Everybody is trying to shape a public narrative and the truth has very little to do with that narrative, I’m just looking to mix that up a bit and bring some reality into it, ugly or not.

People have a hard time with the fact that I really believe this kind of idealistic nonsense but I do. I really do and I don’t think some people can deal with that kind of sincerity. Sincerity is hard to come by in the age of irony.

****

A final thing that is important for everyone to know is why I have chosen to write an article for Rue Morgue. I understand that by doing so I open myself up to a certain amount of criticism and I guess I deserve it. Here is why I ultimately did it though.

#1 I still have things I want to write that aren’t about politics. I wanted an outlet for that.

#2 Because I needed to prove something.

In that Facebook rant, Chris said the following:

“But the thanks was peppered with the hard truth that no matter what he fancies is insight into “media”,  he has never been – and likely never will be – a writer nor has he ever been employed as such.Though he comically rails against Lianne the plagiarist sneaking through the cracks and getting published in major niche magazines, the truth is – and he KNOWS this – that his own sporadic blog, the one that he used to bill himself as “FANGORIA’s Dave Pace” was edited within inches of its life, leaving his own byline questionable. The man’s postage stamp of fame was forged in charity, plain and simple.”

Every time I’ve sat down to write anything more than a grocery list in the time since this was posted I’ve heard these words in my head. I’ve heard that I’m not good enough, that I’m a joke and a failure and because I’m not okay I believe everything negative about myself. I internalize all that.

I had no choice really. It was prove him wrong or always wonder if he was right about me. I know this is vanity. I know this is opening the door to compromise.

I may never be published in Rue Morgue or anywhere else ever again and I’d be okay with that. I had to stand up against somebody telling me I couldn’t do something. I had to fight someone who built me up when I was “his” guy and tore me down the second I wasn’t any more. I don’t think I could ever have really felt accomplished if I didn’t have that bit of validation.

So now that I have that validation, honestly Chris Alexander you can go fuck yourself you miserable little pile of secrets. All your attempts to bluster and bully me out of speaking my mind will fail. I won’t let you do it. You don’t get to decide that my writing career is over, that nobody will ever publish me. Your game has always been to humiliate me into silence and it’s not happening. I have nothing to lose and now I have nothing to prove. I’m a writer. You couldn’t ever take that from me and now nobody can dispute it. You aren’t shaming me away.

Do you know why Alexander went nuclear on me so fast and why he can’t stop himself from trying to poison the well about me? Because I’m telling the truth about him and if there is one thing I can tell you Chris Alexander doesn’t want people to see it’s the truth about himself. He has no idea what I’ve uncovered about him because there is so much to uncover, more than I could have imagined. So much he doesn’t even now what might be lurking out there waiting to be revealed. That’s what I think his fear is – he’s so unaware of his ethical problems and there are so many of them he has no idea what might be coming next. It must be tough living with fear like that. What I learned about that kind of thing is that it’s much easier to try and lead an honest life. I hope he learns the same lesson.

****

This is all rambling nonsense that may not do much for my whole “crazy” reputation but ultimately this is what is on my mind and what I felt I needed to say. If you made it this far and you aren’t Chris Alexander, I hope this gives you some insight into where I am at and what this is about to me.

Every single day I grapple with self-confidence. I am scared to hit that post button every single time but I refuse to be kept down. Whenever I can pull my head above all this shit I’m struggling with I send out a burst of writing and ideas and I hope I can keep surfacing. That’s the best I can expect, to just keep surfacing every chance I get. That this guy wants to make me feel self conscious for the meagre self-promotion I partake in to share my work with people when he is the biggest self-promotion whore I’ve ever seen blows my mind. What the fuck is wrong with me that this stuff gets in my head? Why do I doubt myself?

Just keep surfacing.


Comments

Real Talk — 15 Comments

  1. Pace, you know, there was a time when I opened my doors – literally – to you. Shared opportunities with you. So you’d be happy and hopefully realize your dreams of becoming a writer. We agreed that Fango could not pay you for web, only print and I encouraged you to write for print, did I not? You submitted a single feature in three years. That CONJURING piece, a year after the set visit I sent you on. 2 pages. We paid you weeks after publishing.

    I could care less anymore what you do with your blog or that 90% is focused on me. I think you’ve stated why you do what you do quite eloquently in the post above. I get it. You hate me for blasting you on that Facebook rant, a post I deleted. A post you resurrected so you could spin further tales about what an awful human being I am. I see you’ve been doing it as early as this week, attacking me AGAIN and trashing my digital music label I’m building.

    I get it. The world gets it. I’m your enemy. You want to continually tell whoever is listening that I am the niche print media Antichrist and that I am employed by some kind of evil corporation. You chart my every move and turn it into something negative as fuel for this blog. I accept that. We’ve fought about it here and elsewhere.It got dirty. Heated.Feelings were hurt. I moved on.

    But if I’m Ben Cortman, you’ve become Jonathan Matthias. I’d say you need to let it go, but I’m fairly sure at this point you will not.

    I’m actually glad you got a job at Rue Morgue. I hope it serves you well. You are a good writer, if that means anything coming from me. I’m sure it will be a good collaboration.

    And I hope for Rue Morgue’s sake that that collaboration is nothing but strawberries and orgasms.

  2. Hey Dave,

    I’ve never met you or Chris, but I have followed your blog for some time. As a young horror nerd, Fangoria was my go to magazine. I’d save up my allowance and keep my fingers crossed that the only bookstore in the small town I grew up in would have it on their shelf. I got a subscription for Christmas one year and it was my favorite gift. As I grew older, Fangoria became less and less important to my movie tastes. I still loved horror films, but found Fangoria becoming little more than publicity for mainstream films that held little interest to me. We are talking about 1986 at this point. Yeah, I’m old.
    Fast forward a couple decades and I was managing a Borders’ bookstore before they went belly up. I still picked up the occasional issue of Video Watchdog or Rue Morgue, but not Fangoria. It still felt like a magazine for the 13 year old in me that could no longer get tricked by fancy full color layouts or gory covers. This was also the age of the internet where I had access to film criticism across the globe. All of the sudden, my brain was filled to overload with Bollywood, J- horror, and SOV German splatter. I thought it was the Golden Age.
    And then a strange thing happened. There was a culture shift. When I was a teen, all of us monster kids had to stick together. We had each other’s backs. We supported each other’s projects, worked on screenplays, helped with low budget student films. Now, we hide behind keyboards and attack our friends. A Facebook post written in anger triggers an avalanche of negativity and we get snowed under. I used to do a cable access horror movie review show here in Minneapolis and people loved it. I would get approached weekly by people on the streets who would tell me how they discovered some new gem or laugh at the weird shit I would watch. Then I moved onto Youtube and the comments centered around how bald I was, or how stupid my opinions were, or how dare I criticize someone’s favorite movie. I had people filing copyright strikes against my channel because I gave someone a bad review. I finally stopped doing it because it wasn’t fun anymore and I really miss it. I miss the camaraderie and how we used to think that horror films were our own little secret, one that made us cool and different.
    Reading your blog, I was struck by how much the negativity has affected you. Like I said I don’t know you or anyone you’ve written about and I tend not to make comments on topics on which I don’t know both sides, but I do want to stress that you should never ever feel down about yourself. Without trying to sound like an armchair therapist, none of those people matter. The only people that do are your family and those you respect. Faceless attacks from the internet mean nothing, just words from a keyboard. They don’t change you or what you want to do. It sounds like you have a terrific wife and hopefully a new gig with Rue Morgue, a magazine I still buy regularly.
    The last paragraph could be written By any number of us. The self confidence and the fear and the struggles. And despite the animosity with Chris I hope you can move on. Don’t stop doing what you are doing. The industry needs to be shaken up and skeletons forced out of their proverbial closest, but holding all of that inside is not helping and will just get in the way of getting back to enjoying what you set out to do in the first place. This is supposed to be fun, dammit.
    I apologize for the lengthy response, but I have so many friends and colleagues that go through the same things and I hate seeing people letting things that they have no real control over get them down. I feel the same way often times and I go home, hug my wife, pet my cat, grab a beer, and throw in a movie and it all goes away. I’m me and nobody else is and that’s just the way it’s going to be. All the best on your future endeavors and I’ll keep reading.

  3. Glad you wrote this Dave, as well as the great article for RM. I’ve seen your work since the start, and as I’ve said before, I love the way you write. Not only clean copy, but you are interested in answering the next question horror fans have, not the last one.

    Seeing a lot of what we talked about over the last year in this post, I’m more relieved you wrote it out in your own terms on your own site than I thought I’d be. High hive and a hug, or whatever, as we are both awkward as fuck, forever, amen.

    When dealing with bully tactics (or maybe toxic ex tactics?) it never just gets better – you Make It Better. Writing what you write, asking the questions you do, reporting what you need to report and calling out shenanigans, even writing your entire take on the Fear and Loathing (as it were) is all part of making it better. The industry, the scene, the future genre, the landscape for writers, and most of all your peace of mind and sense of justice. Don’t let anyone shake you down.

    Talk soon, Lyds.

  4. Chris, why do you keep showing up here? Honestly, do you not have a shred of decency you need to show up and continue to play these games in a post where I talk very openly and honestly about how your behaviour has hurt me, not my stupid “career” but me as a human being? You seem convinced I hate you when the truth is the only person I ever end up hating is myself.

    Most people would be far too ashamed to show their face around a catastrophe like that.

    Not you though, you just have to keep it going. You have to have the last word not matter if it’s true or a lie. Honestly man, how do you publish so many goddamn magazines and then spend your whole day stage managing your personal image online?

    That’s just another question you won’t answer though. You never really answer any questions. You get given a chance to speak and clear things up and you ignore them then you show up later and demand everyone listen to you tell self-serving lies. That’s basically how you operate. I get it, but did you know that’s how guys like Rob Ford operate? Is that really the level you want to play on?

    Here is the bottom line, for anybody keeping score: I tell less than a hundred people the TRUTH that Chris Alexander used the pen name Ben Cortman and he did so to promote his own film in his own magazine. Every single thing about that is 100% the truth.

    What does Chris Alexander do? Does he respond to my request for comment and give his side of the story? Nope. Does he admit the optics were bad, apologize and move on? Nope. He goes and tells 5 thousand people that I’m a useless hack who failed at everything ever and was only published out of nepotism and pity. He didn’t tell this to 5 thousand insurance salesmen. He didn’t tell this to 5 thousand garbagemen. He told this to 5 thousand horror fans, industry insiders, other writers, editors of other publications, directors, talent of all kinds both on and off screen.

    What he told those people about me were lies and they were lies intended to shut me up and fuck me out of the entire game.

    So I tell the truth and in response the person I tell the truth about lies in an attempt to destroy my credibility in front of all the people I need to be credible to in order to continue to grow my writing career.

    Following along here Chris? You get it yet?

    Now you tell me I’m the one who really benefitted from your Facebook assassination attempt and you were kind enough to delete it, as if that magically deleted the idea you just released into the wilderness I’m attempting to survive in.

    That’s not the worst thing though, the worst is you confess to it right here:

    “You are a good writer, if that means anything coming from me.”

    You lied on Facebook and you tell the truth here. It’s not the first time you conceded this point but here is what I don’t understand about you doing it:

    Doesn’t that just look like a confession that you lied to fuck my writing career over? Why else would you make up stories about me being a bad writer published out of pity? Why else would you pretend like we were best friends forever and knew all my personal hardships when in truth you don’t even know my kids names?

    Look, I’m not a lawyer or anything but if I were you I’d be thankful for each day of my life UNTIL the expiration of the statue of limitations on defamation in Canada where I don’t sue you out of your Oakville McMansion and into your in-laws basement or some shit.

    Honestly man, how are you still antagonizing me with this? Have you not consulted with a lawyer? Honestly? Did a lawyer not tell you it’s a bad idea to continue to harass the person you have likely defamed and continue to defame them in public forums? Are you so arrogant you never even bothered to get a lawyer? It would be in the style of your boss, DeFeo. He defends himself in the many lawsuits against him in the NY state court system. Maybe you should ask him for some legal advice, but he’d probably just tell you to settle. That’s what he did when writers had to team up and sue his ass to get paid fairly. That’s what he’ll probably do now that American Express is cutting up the credit cards and taking him to court. Birds of a feather you are.

    So what you deleted the comment Chris? It lives on. It’s out there, the damage was done. The fact that you continue to repeat the same lies in public forums where you think you will get away with is amazes me.

    Let’s take Wikipedia, for example. I’m trying to get the Cortman story included in you Wiki bio. This seems fair to me, it’s a factual story about you that not even you contest.

    So maybe you can explain why you keep editing it out and causing conflict with Wikipedia admins, going so far as to repeat lies about me n there when I try to present the facts:

    “‘ll say my own 2 cents: Dave Pace grooves on scandal. By his own admission. And if he can’t find any, he’ll create some that suits his agenda.”

    SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons/Noticeboard#Chris_Alexander_.28editor.29

    What scandal have I ever created Chris? You admit to Ben Cortman, so I didn’t make anything up at all. Your involvement with Charles Band is questionable, your choice of featuring your own work on the Fango music label is tacky and self-serving. I didn’t make any of these things up, these are all things YOU have done that I am critical of. You are the one who made up fake online profiles to attack your critics and got caught doing it, I din’t make that up either. You can disagree with my assessments but you can’t say I have EVER made anything up and yet there you are lying about me and my work in order to harm and degrade it in the eyes of Wiki admins who are cringing at every post.

    Side note: Do you understand that trying to quash the news that you promoted your own film in your own magazine with the semantic argument that you didn’t write a “review” but a “preview” (a distinction I make in my coverage) and so therefore Bloody Disgusting’s account of what happened is a “blatant untruth” doesn’t make you look like anything but a greasy hustler?

    Also from the Wiki talk page:

    “Any controversy surrounding this stems from a well-documented feud on Mr. Pace’s blog between myself and the blogger.”

    What feud? There was no feud prior to me running the Cortman story, was there? What well-documented feud are you talking about? As far as controversy goes, the controversy comes from your conflict of interest in writing the piece. I didn’t “make up” the controversy, the ethics of the situation put you in conflict. Ergo: controversy. This isn’t complicated to anyone but you.

    You can’t stop lying to try and smear my name because I dare tell the truth about you and criticize your activities as editor of a magazine. You do this to shut me up or poison the well.

    The funny thing about all of this is that easily 90% of the harm to your reputation that comes from all your little scandals is generated by you. You could have weathered the Cortman thing by flat out ignoring it. It didn’t really blow up until you linked to it and spread your lies about me. People who would have never given me a shred of credibility saw your behaviour with the Facebook rants and the fake profiles and the litany of comments on my site and they judged you. You did this to yourself because your ego won’t let anything go unchallenged. Your world is so small and full of ass kissers and climbers that you really thought you could act like this and nobody would challenge you.

    I’m sorry to tell you that you were wrong. These flaws in your character are what will ultimately ruin you if you don’t get them under control.

    You keep saying you get it but you don’t. You really don’t and that’s the worst thing about all of this: if you only “got it” you’d be so embarrassed I don’t think we’d see your face in public for about a year. It’s your inability to get it that has me baffled.

    You aren’t my enemy Chris. You’re just a guy who failed his way into a job that is way over your head. You want to be a personality, not an artist. I get it. You sell the Fangoria audience to your advertisers and to sell yourself to the Fangoria audience. When an advertiser can buy a review or buy a feature if they spend enough ad cash, you aren’t doing a service to readers you’re doing a service to advertisers. I didn’t get into this to shill products and move units. I got into this to write and that’s the difference between us. You want to be Chris Alexander, this larger than life media personality. That means more to you than quality writing or personal/professional integrity. This is why you and I will never agree on what is wrong here, why you will always see what I do as “fabricated outrage” or whatever you are calling it today. You don’t even know what you are doing that might be considered wrong. That’s how far up your ass your head is, how dulled your senses are by the stars in your eyes.

    EDIT: I pulled a whole section here about a sensitive personal subject at someone else’s request. They don’t want to stir up trouble again.

    You’ll never understand why I do this and that’s because you and I are different creatures. You seem to honestly think I twist your moves into scandals even though I lay out very clearly and coherently what my ethical objections are and give you every opportunity to tell your side of it. We don’t value the same things. You have done things and will likely continue to do things which are ethically questionable because you lack a sense of what the ethics of your business even are. This would be troubling if you were simply a writer but you are much more than that.

    Honestly Chris you telling me I’m a good writer does nothing for me. I mean, I guess it shows you are willing to lie to smear someone so I’m glad you an at least (in your own weird way) own up to that. Your assessment of my talents is totally worthless to me because I don’t think you know what good writing even looks like and more importantly I don’t think you care. You told me straight up you thought Lianne couldn’t write for shit but she was popular so you rode the wave. You confessed you compromised on quality to get a personality with a following. Then you somehow thought I’d write another word for Fangoria ever again after hearing that. Real talk.

    Don’t you see you’ve ruined the Fangoria byline for a long time to come? It’s worthless. The same process that produced Lianne produced me and that process was broken because it didn’t care if anything was good or even original work. Now you ask me to thank you for that “opportunity”? Are you serious? You published stolen work for years in print and online. You published deeply ethically compromised work for years promoting your own work and the work of friends. You failed to catch someone who stole the work of others for her whole career, a career you enabled knowing full well she was not a good writer. Then you have the nerve to tell people I was the one who drank her Kool Aid? You mean me, the guy who made a conscious choice not to ask her for a fucking thing because I saw all the predators circling around her and I didn’t want to be one of those people? I just wanted to be happy for someone’s success and hope maybe I might get to be half as successful one day, but I’m a Kool Aid drinker, right? Do you even listen to your own bullshit? You let her interview her fucking boyfriends (2 of them) in the magazine. Tell me how that makes sense again? Explain to us how that isn’t a massive conflict of interest. Oh right, you wouldn’t know one of those if it hit you straight in the dick with a cinderblock. You used her like you used me like you use John like you use Andre like you use Kelly and like you use everyone around you as heads to step on as you climb on your way to being the great Chris Alexander, Master of Horror.

    Sartre said “Hell is other people”. Many people use this quote and don’t understand what it means but you and I make for a perfect example – you want to create this image of yourself and then I come around and spoil it by challenging you. That’s what was meant by this phrase – other people spoil our perfect visions of ourselves, they reflect our bad qualities back at us, they call us on our untruths, they can testify against the myths we try and create about ourselves. This is why you prefer echo chambers like Facebook where you control the message, you can’t stand people testifying against your myth. That’s why you can’t stop yourself from going into these meltdowns every time I write something about you – I’m testifying against the character you are trying to play out there in a world full of illusions. I stopped playing the game and letting people get away with their mythmaking as long as they let me get away with mine. I decided to become Hell to you and people like you and I’m okay with that.

    PS: It’s not “I could care less” it’s “I COULDN’T care less”. Twice in the last few days you’ve said this and I just want to make sure you understand that you are misusing the phrase. You’re an editor, how do you care so little about what words mean?

    PSS: I resisted saying anything in response to your comments for a long time but I’m done now. Apologies for the length but I have a lot built up on my mind.

  5. I don’t bully you Pace. You want to be my “Hell” (a very scary statement BTW), go for it. I could care less, meaning of course, there is always a margin here for further indifference. But yes, proceed if it pleases you.

    I lashed out at you last year on impulse. It was in the eye of a storm in which you decided to lynch a colleague, turn to message boards and podcasts and trash my job. A fine return for me championing you. A friend. Maybe not a friend I went bowling with on Saturday night, but a guy who had no previous experience and was someone I knew for years casually and who asked me to write. Who had a dream and passion and with me, that is always the key…

    You open the door for some people, they expect you to be a bloody doorman, I guess.

    When YOU went nuclear on Tim Lucas after we all discovered your colleague was not what she seemed, it was ugly. You didn’t care about Lianne as a person anymore. She was just a headline. A subject. An object to attack publicly. It made me see you in a different light.

    I told you, privately, exactly what I thought.

    A week later you appeared on a message board claiming “FANGORIA doesn’t pay writers”. The first thing I did when I took over was develop a way to PAY MY WRITERS, and to settle as much of the staggering debt I inherited. The business is tough for all of us, I’m in the eye of the storm. We have to create entertainment in a world where, sadly, no one wants to pay for entertainment anymore. And yet, here you are on a message board with THOUSANDS of members and then, later a podcast, talking about things that you have NO first hand knowledge of.

    Again, this business is tough. VERY, very fucking tough. I take it on not for the money (contrary to your wild claims, there IS no real money in this game, hence my multiple jobs) but because it is my CAUSE.

    And here is Dave Pace, a guy I trusted, blasting his “truths”, which are anything but, in the public eye. Selling himself as an insider. Building HIS myth. What was that you said? “FANGORIA is the establishment and I’m anti-establishment”. Do you actually believe that?

    You have NO idea how angry and betrayed I felt, then. Right in the middle of a blow up where one of my freelancers screwed me and is getting burned at the horror-fan stake and I’m poring over every issue she was published in to see if she cribbed words, running two magazines, trying to make ends meet for my family. And there is Dave Pace, crusader calling me “The Man” to the delight of all.

    Months later, you rose again with your blog.

    Your first order of business was to blast “privilege” in horror print media. Lianne was “privileged”. I’m reading this shaking my head. Dave Pace’s only byline was granted him because I took a chance on him. Not because he had a great pitch, or a great body of work or any reputation or fanbase. I took a chance on Dave Pace AND Lianne for the SAME reasons. They asked.

    Now, by this point you and I were already feuding. And I criticized you on your board.

    Your answer to my attack was to partner with your “source” and launch the Ben Cortman scoop.

    I saw red. That was it. Cue FACEBOOK note.

    I took that post down.

    I emailed you privately to tell you this and apologize for losing my cool. And to TRY to at least mend the fence enough where we could get on with things.

    I was wrong to think that would happen.

    I do NOT bully you.

    In the past year, you have relentlessly attacked, spun tabloid stories of scorched web archives, suggested I’m making millions of videocassettes, linked me to Rob Ford (!) and a myriad other truths that suit you.

    I generally try to ignore you but why on earth would you think I would NOT comment on your attacks here or elsewhere? Do you really think I’m a politician and you are a star reporter? You are an ex-blogger, my friend’s brother-in-law and someone who spins endless stories about me out of anger, not a quest for truth. I’m no politician. And you know nothing of my business or my character save for an abstract.

    If you REALLY were on a quest for truth, well…why don’t I see ANYTHING else here but me? Where is this mythical “fourth estate”?
    I’ve been the editor of FANGORIA for 4 years and change. Am I the ONLY story you can find?

    I guess it is as you once said, you “write what you know”…

    To quote your post above about me:

    “This is why you prefer echo chambers like Facebook where you control the message, you can’t stand people testifying against your myth.”

    Then really Dave, if this is true, why have I been ping-ponging with you HERE in YOUR space that YOU control? Where your friends and supporters are? Why did I feel compelled to argue with you about who you are on the back pages of Wikipedia, where you further try to push your agenda? Should I just let you trash me ad nauseaum and ignore it? Of course I probably should, it would make this easier.

    Who the fuck is bullying who?

    What makes you think you’re entitled not to be publicly challenged? Because more people know who I am? Really? I should just suck it all up and allow you to exorcise whatever demons you have at my expense and at the expense of the business I fight 24 hours a day for?

    Ultimately, I am tired by all this fucking ugliness. It’s nasty. It’s sad.

    You accuse me of being “afraid” of you.

    I’m not.

    I’m fucking exhausted by you. Perhaps that’s what you want.

    And further, now that you are employed with my EX employer and my closest competition, do you not think it bad form to continue this war?

  6. LAST thing…

    Here, in front of all your friends and readers, there is a way to end this fucking unholy,toxic brawl once and for all. Goes like this:

    Chris: I’m sorry things went south.
    Dave: I’m sorry things went south.
    Chris: I’m sorry I trashed you on Facebook.
    Dave: I’m sorry I trashed you on my blog.

    Both: Good luck in life.

    Move on.

    I’m willing to read this script if you are. Life is short and hard. There is NO point in making it harder.

  7. Jesus Christ man. Do you think at all? What is your inner life like? I’m genuinely curious.

    Let’s put everything else aside for one second and focus in on something, the point you are utterly missing. My public challenge to you is TRUTHFUL. What I have written about you to date is FACTUAL. What you have, in turn, said about me in public is FALSE. What you have said about me to date is mostly NOT FACTUAL.

    Here’s what they call true things that get reported about someone of note that isn’t flattering to them and may be harmful to their reputation: they call this news. People may be disappointed by the news but the misfortune was caused by the actions of the subject.

    Do you know what they call untrue things that get reported about people that isn’t flattering to them and harmful to their reputation? They call that DEFAMATION. Some jurisdictions call it libel. Most people just call it bushwhacking or a hatchet job.

    That you draw a line of moral equivalency between the reporting I do and your Facebook ranting is perhaps the strongest indicator I’ve seen yet that you don’t understand at all what you are doing. It’s abysmal. You are so angry at me and yet you don’t even really understand the issues you are grappling with. You’re like King Kong swatting at these magical flying machines, baffled and angered by their sting.

    Let’s pick through some shit here.

    “lynch a colleague”

    You mean speak out about someone who ripped off her entire body of work from other writers? You want to call that a “lynching” now do you? So when I admonished people for making sexist remarks against her and encouraged people to stick to critique of her actions, that was more lynching right?

    Can I ask you something? Can you maybe not use a term like lynching in this instance? I don’t think a term loaded with that much ugly history needs to be so utterly cheapened and degraded. Get a sense of perspective.

    “turn to message boards and podcasts and trash my job.”

    In other words I turned to places where people gather to talk about the issues of the day and gave my perspective and I went on the podcast that I am a guest host of and talked about my experiences with the listeners of the show. What am I supposed to do, Chris? Curl up and die in a ditch? Carry my secrets to the grave? Stoically sit on things and nod sagely to people, secure in my self-knowledge? What the hell do you want, man? You are in a field where people will criticize you, get the fuck over it you baby.

    How come you didn’t mention that you sent emails to the producers of the podcast and tried to get me canned? Emails with the same lies you spread about me on Facebook. How many other people got emails, Chris?

    “When YOU went nuclear on Tim Lucas after we all discovered your colleague was not what she seemed, it was ugly. You didn’t care about Lianne as a person anymore. She was just a headline. A subject. An object to attack publicly. It made me see you in a different light.

    I told you, privately, exactly what I thought.”

    I didn’t “go nuclear” on Tim Lucas, I argued with him about his attitude towards the whole scandal. I didn’t scurry away because the mighty Tim Lucas was speaking, I spoke my mind to the guy.

    You told me a lot of things Chris. You told me straight up you never liked her as a writer, knew she was full of it and put her out there because she was popular. How can people respect that? How do you think the people who actually want to do good work feel about knowing quality doesn’t mean shit?

    Who dehumanized her again? The guy who printed her only because she was popular and helped sell the mag? No, couldn’t be that guy. It must be the guy who wanted to examine the issues.

    Again, am I supposed to not tell the truth about a situation because of…something? I don’t really know why you think I should have just ignored the Lianne thing and let it go, it was massive news and the issues surrounding it are interesting topics worthy of some exploration. Oh wait, I can think of a reason – the more people talked about Lianne the more people asked questions about how she got there and the more your name came up. I get it, your limp “apology” where you didn’t even name her was enough in your mind and you shouldn’t have to answer for anything more. Everybody move on.

    You knew about the whole thing for days and did nothing. You may have even known for longer if you had, you know, done much editing of her work. So why did you wait for Mike White to break the story? Why not get out in front of it, apologize, make amends with the people she stole from, talk candidly about how the whole thing has changed how you handle your writers. Instead you continue with this whole “she had us all fooled” act and pretend you got betrayed by another “friend”. You want the past to be in the past but questions remain.

    “A week later you appeared on a message board claiming “FANGORIA doesn’t pay writers”.”

    I made no such claim Chris. I claimed that Fangoria hadn’t paid me (which was true, you owed me $400 at the time which was outstanding for nearly a year at that point), didn’t pay for web writing (which you acknowledge was true)and that there may be others having the same experience. I said this after SEVERAL other people had made comments about not being paid for Fangoria and people were asking a lot of questions about the pay situation. I offered up my experience as an example. I had never assumed my pay issues were systematic until I head other people complain about it. I shared because people wanted answers and frankly so did I. I wanted to be able to know for sure if the rumours I was hearing were true or whether my circumstances were a one-off situation.

    Did you miss that whole story where I had to face a bunch of people in a van after being confronted by a guy who Fangoria ripped off? Do you not see how all this stuff came to a head and I decided it was time to try and get to the bottom of it?

    It’s a difficult story to get out there because most people don’t want to talk about it. They don’t want to fuck up their writing careers and burn bridges, they don’t want to admit they don’t get paid, they don’t want Chris Alexander all over their blogs. Finding people willing to talk on record is hard as hell but I’ve spoken to many people off the record who validate the pay issues, the promises to pay, the ducking of the emails and the writer eventually giving up expecting anything.

    There are others who assure me they have always been paid in a timely way and with no issues.

    See, that’s kind of the point of journalism Chris, it’s to look into these rumours and report back on the facts you uncover. If there were no pay problems with Fango, guess what? Good reporting should uncover that, right? Isn’t that a good outcome for you?

    “The first thing I did when I took over was develop a way to PAY MY WRITERS”

    Congratulations. Would you like a medal or something? You claim you managed to win the fight to actually pay the people who create content which you sell to readers. Man, you are amazing. So Fangoria ripped off writers BEFORE you came around but not anymore, right? You cleaned house? So how come you managed to owe me $400 for nearly 2 years? How is it that there are writers out there who are telling similar stories of how you made promises to them and then never paid up? How they just gave up hounding you because they felt bad about it?

    I needed that $400 for Christmas that year. For my fucking kids. You told me that nobody got paid, that Tom hadn’t paid anyone just before Christmas and you were pissed too but there was nothing you could do. You promised me, then you ducked me forever on it. Again, I blamed the circumstances you were in – I blamed Tom and him not giving you the resources you needed. Now I’m not so sure.

    “Again, this business is tough. VERY, very fucking tough. I take it on not for the money (contrary to your wild claims, there IS no real money in this game, hence my multiple jobs) but because it is my CAUSE.”

    Oh, so it’s okay because there is no money in it and you have to take multiple jobs. So who exactly is getting the 10 dollars people plunk down for the mag each month? If there is no money in it, what keeps DeFeo running the ship along? Is it his deep and abiding love of the genre? Or is it hanging out with Nic Cage in the Bahamas? I don’t know man, you tell me. You’re the expert.

    What wild claims do I make here, Chris? That you get paid? That Lianne was paid at times? What is wild about that exactly?

    Let me just ask you straight up: should creative services be performed for free? If the answer is no, why are you helping perpetuate a model which undermines this belief?

    “And here is Dave Pace, a guy I trusted, blasting his “truths”, which are anything but, ”

    Point out something I’ve written here which is untrue. You keep calling me a liar but you never call out what I’m lying about. I’ll wait.

    “Selling himself as an insider”

    How about “telling his story about his experiences”. Do you think I just wasn’t paying attention all those years?

    “Building HIS myth. What was that you said? “FANGORIA is the establishment and I’m anti-establishment”. Do you actually believe that?”

    Yep. I do actually believe that because it’s true. Look at your own tagline you knucklehead – First in Fear Since 1979. Fangoria is, like it or not, the best known and most established and entrenched piece of horror media there is. It is, by nature, the establishment. This isn’t hard man.

    “You have NO idea how angry and betrayed I felt, then.”

    Ohhh no, I think I do actually.

    “Now, by this point you and I were already feuding. And I criticized you on your board.”

    Tell the truth please. You used a fake profile to pretend to be someone else being critical of me and my work. Like you have been caught doing to several people. Using fake profiles to trash people or boost your own projects.

    SOURCE: http://www.psychotronique.anidealforliving.com/a-look-inside-the-chris-alexander-spin-machine/

    If you think we were “feuding” then I don’t know man. Whatever. We were feuding then, in your mind.

    “Your answer to my attack was to partner with your “source” and launch the Ben Cortman scoop.”

    So you think I cobbled that Cortman story together in a day or two between the time you used a fake profile to shit on me like a coward and the day I put out the Cortman story? You seriously think I did that in retaliation for you using a fake name to take a petty shot at me on my blog?

    Chris, let me break it down for you real simple like:

    October 16:
    I posted an essay about Tim Lucas (yes, content that isn’t about you).

    October 17:
    Someone named Big Daddy Kane posts a really dumb comment about me plagiarizing the name of my blog.

    Someone else named Gruel Ghoul posts a negative comment on my blog as well, on the same Tim Lucas posting. Big Daddy Kane and Gruel Ghoul both share the same IP address.

    That night I posted the Ben Cortman story.

    So are you telling me that I found out you were Big Daddy Kane and Gruel Ghoul and so in order to get revenge on you for posting with silly names on my website I went out and researched this whole Ben Cortman story and got it fact-checked and posted in less than 24 hours?

    Are you asking people to believe that?

    Here’s another problem with your theory. At that point I only knew those two posters shared an IP address. I had no idea what YOUR IP address was, I couldn’t positively establish it was you until you posted on the site as well and identified yourself properly.

    Which you did.

    On Ocotber 18th you commented on the Ben Cortman story. Maybe an hour after it was posted you were in there. You knew to watch for it because I had asked you to comment on the story the day before.

    I couldn’t connect the other two accounts to you until you did that. I couldn’t know it was you posting that shit.

    So what did I do Chris, what kind of time-travel sorcery did I achieve to pull this off? If your version of events is true then your opening comment on the Ben Cortman piece is a total mystery which cannot be solved by mere science. We are going to have to call in Harry Potter or some shit. Neal DeGrasse Tyson maybe.

    In order to believe you, people have to deny basic physics.

    In order to believe me, people have to follow the evidence presented openly to them.

    I released the Cortman story when I did because I got what I needed to get confirmed, confirmed. It’s that simple. I spent time researching the story and making sure it was factually correct. I couldn’t have just thrown it out there in a day. I had no idea those posts were from you until you posted on the Cortman story and revealed your IP address to me.

    Here is the thing Chris, the big red flag: You weren’t taken by surprise by the Cortman story. You knew I was working on it because I emailed you asking for you to comment on it. I asked you who Ben Cortman was. You never responded to me. So after I ask for your comment you take the opportunity to get in another kick at me on my blog from behind a fake name. Instead of, you know, maybe answering up about Cortman and giving your mea culpa for being so reckless. You knew what I had found and you wanted to discredit me ahead of time.

    Your version of these events is a fantasy, time machine and all.

    “I saw red. That was it. Cue FACEBOOK note.”

    Again, instead of owning up to a lapse in judgment and moving on when caught red handed doing something grossly unethical you do something even more grossly unethical and lie about me in front of your assembled Facebook throng.

    You saw red, when? When I asked for you to comment on the story? Was that when you saw red and you didn’t get around to posting your anger to Facebook for another day or two? I don’t understand the anger and shock you are trying to communicate here when you knew what was going to happen in advance and you knew you were guilty of what I was accusing you of.

    I told the truth about you Chris and responded by lying about me in practically every way in a forum I couldn’t even respond to.

    “I took that post down.”

    Long after the damage was done. Long after dozens piled on it insulting me. Long after my step-son saw it. Long after it had already been shown to me and it had wounded my spirit. But you took it down so I guess that counts for something.

    “I emailed you privately to tell you this and apologize for losing my cool. And to TRY to at least mend the fence enough where we could get on with things.”

    Are you kidding me with this?

    ‘So listen, I know I kind of went off and smeared you in the nastiest way possible in front of people who can directly impact the aspirations you’ve had your entire life and made you feel so awful about yourself you wanted to die but come on man, I took it down! Let’s mend fences.’

    This is what you are saying sounds like to me. I never sent my response to your “apology message”, largely because I didn’t want to complicate the legal situation.

    Here it is in summary: Fuck you.

    “I was wrong to think that would happen.”

    Yep.

    “In the past year, you have relentlessly attacked”

    I don’t think you understand what that word means.

    “spun tabloid stories of scorched web archives”

    What is tabloid about it exactly? The web archives were taken down, that’s a fact. When I started asking questions about it, the link to the archives disappeared. 12 years of content went into the garbage chute and nobody at Fangoria said a word about it. Doesn’t that seem odd to you?

    What’s funny is I know the story now, or at least a part of it and I will probably never get to tell it because I have standards. Maybe you want to tell people about it. You know, like you are probably legally obligated to.

    So tell me what is tabloid about that? About wanting to know what happened to over a decade worth of work?

    “suggested I’m making millions of videocassettes”

    Again, never happened. Never said anything of the sort. I don’t think you are getting a cut from Wizard, I think you are just willing to shill for your employer. It’s part of the Alexander package. Nobody is getting millions, but Band does stand to make a few hundred thousand. He just needs a credible voice to vouch for his videos when they face some criticism, right? And there you are, knight in shining armor. It must be a good feeling to defend the relatively powerful from the relatively powerless who get screwed by them.

    “linked me to Rob Ford”

    Your behavior and your apparent ignorance of ethics are very Fordian. Yes.

    “and a myriad other truths that suit you.”

    What does this mean? Are these things true or untrue? If true, what is your problem with people telling the truth? If untrue please let me know what is untrue that I have published so that I can retract it.

    “I generally try to ignore you but why on earth would you think I would NOT comment on your attacks here or elsewhere?”

    Because you have better things to do? Because you should be spending your time reading a book on journalism? Because you have some dignity and can let criticism stand without having to smear the people criticizing you? Because it’s ugly to keep shitting on someone from your position of privilege when they are describing real harm that you have done to them, harm built on lies? Because you are embarrassed at what an asshole you are being? Because you are ashamed at your misconduct?

    I don’t know. Those are just off the top of my head.

    “Do you really think I’m a politician and you are a star reporter?”

    I think you are a person that wields a certain power in an industry and that people have an obligation to speak truth to power in order to keep power in check. If you want to make a cartoon out of that, go ahead.

    “someone who spins endless stories about me out of anger, not a quest for truth.”

    Again, you don’t understand my motives so you assume they are about anger. Things you don’t understand you can’t seem to properly classify them so you call me crazy or you say I’m angry. It’s like I said, I’m not that kind of crazy and if I’m angry it’s because you lied about me. Not difficult.

    Also, there you are using “spins” again, as if what I’m saying is untrue or needs to be “spun”. Again, tell me what I’m spinning here Chris? Tell me what’s not true.

    “And you know nothing of my business or my character save for an abstract.”

    I know enough. I’ve managed to draw thousands of people to read all about what I don’t know about you, so I think I’m doing okay.

    “If you REALLY were on a quest for truth, well…why don’t I see ANYTHING else here but me?”

    That could be because you aren’t looking. Or just being deliberately obtuse.

    “Where is this mythical “fourth estate”?”

    Right here, buddy. Right here.

    “I’ve been the editor of FANGORIA for 4 years and change. Am I the ONLY story you can find?

    I guess it is as you once said, you “write what you know”…”

    So you answered your own question. If you are incapable of seeing the other stories I’m developing that’s not my problem. If you can’t understand that it’s harder to develop stories about outlets I have no first hand knowledge of nor contacts within than I don’t know man, it’s not like you are doing much besides signing your name to press releases so I won’t bother you with the trifling details of how real stories get written.

    “Then really Dave, if this is true, why have I been ping-ponging with you HERE in YOUR space that YOU control? Where your friends and supporters are? Why did I feel compelled to argue with you about who you are on the back pages of Wikipedia, where you further try to push your agenda? Should I just let you trash me ad nauseaum and ignore it? Of course I probably should, it would make this easier.”

    You do this because you want to try and counter the message, you want to poison the well. You don’t focus on the substance of what you are being accused of, you focus on trivial BS about me that frankly nobody cares about because I’m fucking NOBODY. If you spent half as much time accounting for your actions as you did smearing your critics here you might put some people’s cynicism about you to bed.

    You know people are reading this and you can’t stand the thought that something might go without a challenge from you. That someone, the wrong someone, might learn something distasteful about you. You want to positively control your image. It’s not complicated.

    “Who the fuck is bullying who?”

    That would be YOU bullying ME. See, when you lie about someone and attempt to use lies to fuck with their reputation and humiliate them out of the public eye that’s called “bullying”.

    “What makes you think you’re entitled not to be publicly challenged?”

    I don’t think that at all. I’m just saying you need to challenge me with the truth, not a bunch of bullshit you made up because you are mad at me.

    “I should just suck it all up and allow you to exorcise whatever demons you have at my expense and at the expense of the business I fight 24 hours a day for?”

    Chris, I am not hurting you. This is still not getting through to you so let me be clear: I AM NOT HURTING YOU. Do you know who is hurting you?

    You are.

    No matter how big a “feud” you thought we were having, no matter how angry you thought I was. Would I be able to say anything if there was no controversy to be found? If there was no swamp to point at, wouldn’t the source of all the fucking bugs around be me?

    There was a swamp though Chris. You really did promote your own movie in your own magazine under a fake name. You really did use fake names to slander me. You really did use your own Facebook page to defame me. You really did get in bed with Charles Band and you really did defend his fake Wizard tapes, pretending you were just some impartial bystander. You really did promote your own music as the first big release from Fangoria’s record label. You really did all the things I’ve reported on you doing and all the things I’m going to report on you doing.

    Your pain is self-inflicted. If you drained the swamp Chris, the bugs would disappear. The harm to your reputation isn’t rooted in lies, it’s rooted in the reality of your own actions. It’s you who is the root cause of that pain, I’m just the messenger. Hell is other people dude. Read a book sometime.

    “You accuse me of being “afraid” of you.

    I’m not.”

    Okay then. So you normally use fake profiles to try and sabotage people’s blogs? You do that to people you aren’t worried might just be able to expose you for things that are going to cause you very real damage? You didn’t try and bury me because you aren’t afraid of what I’m going to find next?

    Okay. Sure.

    “And further, now that you are employed with my EX employer and my closest competition, do you not think it bad form to continue this war?”

    Employed is not how it is, Chris. You know that. I freelanced an article with them. I may get the opportunity to do so again, I may not. Do I confess it doesn’t have great appearances? Yep, already did that. Do I have my reasons? Yep, already listed those. Don’t really feel I need to explain myself much further at this point, least of all to you.

    It’s funny you want to try and tell me what might be “bad form” though. As if you know much about that.

    This isn’t a “war”. This is you not understanding how things work.

  8. Are you delivering me an ultimatum?

    Seriously?

    You mendacious little whore.

    “I’m willing to read this script if you are.”

    Well guess what, I’m not. Because it’s not true. Because it tries to make what I do and what you do equivalent and they are not.

    I know you want me to go away and my advice to you then is to stop acting like such a shady asshole. You’ll find the swamp well drained and no more flies bothering you. That’s about the only way that’s going to happen.

  9. One more thing, because I think this really shows what a coward you are about this:

    Why did you delete comments that were supportive of me from your Facebook rant? Why did you block some people from posting? Why did you pre-emptively block people from The Mortuary forum from posting on it?

    Honestly, if you weren’t all about doing damage to me, why not let supportive comments stand? Why not tolerate a little dissent? Not you though. Not you.

    On the other hand I’ve let you run roughshod over my “turf” and never really even tried to confront you. I let your words speak for themselves for the most part and I’ve let others have their say. I’ve banned exactly one person from posting here and it was someone that HATED you and was chomping at the bit to see you go down in flames.

    I’ve said it before and I will say it again: you don’t understand me or what I’m doing or what motivates me. This is the source of your frustration.

  10. I just want to take a second here to acknowledge the very kind and positive things contributed in these comments as well. I spend a lot of time running the negative through my mind and not nearly enough on positives.

    JScott, I don’t know you but I totally see where you are coming from. It’s a different time now, people feel emboldened by the internet to unleash all kinds of ugliness consequence-free. It’s tough for creators right now – no pay or prospects of pay on one end, on the other it’s vicious personal criticism from fans. Who needs that?

    I have to say though, your words of support and encouragement and the words of support and encouragement I get from others who have no vested interest and couldn’t give a damn who I am feel amazing to me. It’s overwhelming sometimes when you are kind of hunkered down and feeling this very strong bunker mentality and you see that the majority of people are sane, reasonable and very very kind. That all the fucked up paranoia in your head is mostly just that – echoes of really bad people you can’t seem to get rid of. It’s terrible the negative seems to persist for so much longer than the positive.

    Thanks. I really appreciate it.

    Lydia, as always I appreciate your support. As a friend and fellow writer it means a lot.

  11. Well, that’s all there is Peggy Lee. Offer of truce stands if you ever opt to accept. Good luck with Rue Morgue, swamp dragging and everything else.

  12. As someone who suffers from a crippling, hopeless depression, I commend your willingness to be vulnerable and speak about these demons publicly. It’s dark, difficult shit.

    A wise man once gave me a helpful of advice about writing publicly & having the motivation to do so. His philosophy was summed up by a Leonard Cohen quote: “I’m writing this to someone like me on a night like this.” 5 months later this still resonates with me. It’s something worth being reminded of.

  13. Hi Dave. I’ve read your blog for a while now with varying reactions. This post and especially the comments below really bothered me. First off, congrats on being so open about your inner pain. Those words connected with me personally. I know those feelings. Admitting you have a problem is wonderful, but now you need to get yourself some help. You don’t have to live like this. Dont torture yourself. There are ways.

    Now, the next thing I’m going to say to you is not positive, but please read it knowing that it comes from someone who is genuinely worried about you based on your writing (a sign that you are indeed a good writer, no?). Yes, Chris was mean to you in a facebook post and that was wrong. However, you need to take a hard look at the vicious language you just used above to describe him and think about whether or not you’re doing the same thing.

    Some of the above comments are absolutely vile. As bad as anything he said that one time on facebook. Both attacks came from a place of passion and were harsher than intended. Please dont freak out now. Please really think about this for a second. Please don’t gloss over what I’m trying to say and go on another rant about truth and your high minded pursuit. I get what you’re trying to do with this blog and I’m not saying it’s wrong. I’m saying you need to reconsider your motives just a little.

    Look at the language you used in those above comments. Look at how nasty you got and please realize that you’ve spent almost a year of your life and thousands words discrediting and attacking a friend who once tried to help you. Sure, Chris wrote one very shitty facebook post that he regretted and apologized for. Yes he was wrong. Everything he’s done since has been in defence to your one man mission to hurt him just as deeply. You can paint it how you like, but since you are the one who keeps bring up lawsuits, who do you think would look better in a court case? The guy who posted one of the millions of shitty facebook status updates on the site that day before deleting it and apologizing (all documented by you) or the guy who in the months since has a registered blog in which 70% of the writing is about one person. Now factor in that the second person has admitted to untreated mental illness, and just above called the guy he was attacking “evil” because he said one thing once and deleted it. Now, please don’t consider what I just wrote an attack, . Please consider it one of those statements of facts that you’re so fond of citing.

    Ok, now hopefully you’re not to livid to gloss over this next part because I promise its true. I’m trying to help, not be mean. I’ve seen a great deal of mental illness in my life and those who have it can’t see the forrest from the trees they created for themselves. That is the only reason that I mention any of this. Your blog entry reads like a cry for help followed by examples of the clouded thinking that you need help for. Your comments to Chris read even worse.

    Please seek the help you need. You don’t have to live this way. A blog about media ethics is a great project. A blog about a person vendetta and painful confession is sad. You’re a passionate writer, Dave. You can and will do better. People do care about you (including me now and we’ve never met). Pleased get help. Giving in to darkness and ranting about personal problems is important, but easy. Daring to take the actions necessary to improve your life and break unhealthy patterns is hard. Do the right thing, do the hard thing. You don’t have to live a life of loneliness and the internet and you might be shocked by what a warm, welcoming world is out there when you embrace it. Please at least try to understand what I just wrote, but not for me. Do it for you.

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