First of all, I'd like to apologize. I haven't written a post in what, two months? And no hiatus message? Clearly, other things have been going on. Rest assured, a review of The Big Short will be coming down the pipeline in the next week, so stay tuned.
Second, I'd like to apologize for writing this post. I really don't want to do it. It forces me to say a lot of things I'd rather not say. I am sure I could say nothing and just let it die, and I'm afraid if I do this it will start things back up again. I've never been one to attack strangers on the internet, and I don't want to do it. But I have to defend myself.
For those of you that don't know, I have had my pathetic little fifteen minutes of crappy fame. I don't even want to post a link here. You can just google my name. Luckily only one of the two posts shows up in the first results. Unfortunately there were some pretty terrible pictures (or one, at least) that I just had to "report" on google.
I could launch into a full-on screed about cyber libel and how I should really turn this unfortunate event into a life lesson for all the scambloggers out there, but I don't want to invite any more speculation about what is or is not possible. I kindly left a comment after the first story was posted and it was deleted. I would rather not kindly ask anymore because if it goes down voluntarily, then it won't be as satisfying as, oh, returning the punch.
Because that is what we're told. In Catholic school at least. Do not get into fights. If someone hits you, do not hit them back. Turn the other cheek.
If I were making a six figure salary right now, I probably could do that. However, while I really didn't want to make substantive comments about scamblogging, I think I have to. Because I have to set things straight:
#1: I am not Mr. Infinity.
A lot of people think I am, for some reason. I will tell you this: I really did not do myself any favors by writing a special comment about scamblogs. I featured two of the blogs (maybe there was a third, but it had no fallout) in the comment. One of them responded in truly vicious fashion, and the other one wrote, "Thank you very much for featuring my blog, 'Law School Fail' on your analysis. Sincerely, Mr. Infinity." Now, I had already read the first post about me, so this did not come as a happy comment. I wanted to be like, "WTF dude, didn't you see that everyone thought I was you? Why didn't you tell them we're two different people?" Instead, he just linked to Flying Houses on his blogroll. I do not get very many hits from him.
But I'm not mad at him. I could speculate that he's a made-up person, too, but I don't want to fuel speculation that I'm paranoid schizophrenic.
However, I am not him. And the people that set out to destroy me (and if you think I'm being dramatic by saying that, you haven't read all the comments yet) probably won't believe that, but they should listen to reason and read the rest of my posts here. Flying Houses is my only blog (apart from http://daylightsavingstime-jk.blogspot.com/, which was my way of putting my first novel online) and it has always been primarily about book reviews.
I rarely get into trouble with book reviews. And in fact, the authors of some of the books I've reviewed have actually found them, and taken my criticism to heart. So blogging is not a totally stupid thing to do.
However, writing a column called NIED was probably not the smartest thing to do. I expected to get a lot of hate mail for what I wrote, and I did get a fair amount. But some of this hate mail crossed the line. Still, I am proud of (most of) my work for BLS Advocate. Of course I wrote 24 pieces, and some of them became extremely esoteric (i.e. http://flyinghouses.blogspot.com/2012/09/negligent-infliction-of-emotional_16.html), but overall, I think I wrote relatively well. Some people just didn't get the joke.
#2: I never said the scamblogs were wrong.
This is what infuriates me most: the only reason I became a target is because I made some very mild comments! I called the blog in question "an especially vicious site that seems to revel in parade after parade of horribles." I guess the really offensive thing is that I may have expressed what appeared to be sympathy for a person that has been skewered about ten times worse than I have, but who truly can "turn the other cheek" because fighting back is beneath her and she would rather have everyone wonder what she does than answer why she needs to get paid like half a million dollars a year, but whatever. What would be really cool is if she would notice what was going on, and pay me to "take care of the situation"--but I am sure she would rather pay her personal attorney than one of her "victims."
#3: I never took the NY Bar Exam.
And I did pass the Illinois Bar Exam. You can check iardc.org now if you need proof.
Actually, those commenters on story #2 alerted me to the fact that there was one more hoop to jump through after being sworn-in: registering. I registered a couple weeks after the comments came in that I was a liar.
Why did I not take the NY Bar Exam? I really don't think I need to explain myself, but people seem to want to know. First of all, let me agree with the person that said I was a "fucking idiot" for going back to Illinois. I know--it was a mistake. It is very hard to start off in a "new" city, even if you were born here and did your post-2L summer internship here. I certainly made more "contacts" in NYC, but most of those contacts were at the places I interned.
And I really did want to stay in NYC. I interviewed with one of those places where I did an internship, and I made it to the final round--but alas, I was not hired. At that point, I had registered for the NY Bar Exam. However, I cancelled that registration, and received a $250 refund (so for all the hesitant bar takers out there--it is possible! But you may need to show them a copy of your bank account balance). And, yes, I paid $1,450 to register in Illinois. It hurt, but so did paying like $1,800 to have my stuff (which wasn't even very much stuff!) shipped from Brooklyn to Chicago and stored for two months. And it hurt paying $1,080 for first month rent + security deposit without knowing when I would (or if I ever would) have stable income again.
But, I knew it wasn't likely that I would get a job at any of the other places I interned. They just weren't the types of places to be able to hire all (or most) of their past interns. I guess most places that do internships (and not summer associate-ships) are like that--but I always did my best at internships, with an eye towards the future. It almost worked out a couple times, but in the end it didn't, and while it was a painful decision, I just didn't want to face the horrible reality of taking the NY Bar while trying to find an apartment with a dwindling cash reserve and no proof of stable employment. I would have had to move out of my place two days after I took it.
So for the person that said it was "well-known" that I stayed in New York until August, you are correct! I flew back to Chicago, stayed here a few days, took the Bar, passed it (somehow--and I find it offensive that some of these commenters think I am a cocky POS when I have always been painfully honest about my grades and general level of intelligence), flew back to NYC, packed up my apartment, and then went to my sister's wedding in Massachusetts. I stayed so I could go to that wedding, and because I was working two days a week at the library.
#4: I did not move to California (that happened six-and-a-half years ago)
Seriously, why would I take the NY Bar if I was moving to California? The only time I contemplated moving to California after law school was when I interviewed for a bankruptcy clerkship in Oakland. I would never voluntarily go to CA to take the Bar there. That is the hardest bar exam in the country by a lot. However, if I was dead-set on moving there, I would have taken it over the NY Bar because it really would be retarded to think I'd be competitive in the job market there without in-state licensure.
I did move to Calfornia in 2007. But this is going to get into the fact that my life is "all sorts of epic fail," a comment that especially made me want to kill myself. Oh, don't let me confuse the issues here! This is not about cyberbullying; this is about cyber libel. It's not like I have a great reputation, okay, but when they swore us in on Halloween, all they wanted to talk about was that constant refrain that it takes years to build your reputation and minutes to destroy it, so be careful. And I have been pretty careful. People may think I'm reckless, but honestly, I have always been paying attention to the things I write and post online and the way I carry myself in day-to-day reality.
I moved there, and--what happened there, I will not tell. I'll let other people try to figure it out for themselves. But I will admit that Flying Houses was born in West L.A.
I'll also admit that I've pretty much said what I wanted to say, and unfortunately, I just have to record everything else that everyone got wrong.
#5: I am not a vegan.
But I wish I could be.
#6: I never wrote an e-book called "Derailed at my Law School"
And I would never publish a 25-page e-book. A 25-page book is probably not worth $0.99 (especially if it's electronic).
#7: I do allow comments on my site.
Even negative ones. But I delete spam.
#8: I don't always defend BLS.
I was complimenting the comment about the entering class size at BLS being too big. Some people just do not want to say a single nice thing about anybody. :(
#9: I am not Odnan.
I really didn't want to have to get into this either, but I seriously would not be so lame as to make a "copycat blog" or to write another e-book called "How to Win at Law School." While those may be uncanny parallels (perhaps Mr. Infinity does moonlight as Odnan), when I write an e-book, it's going to be called "TTT" or "A Mark" - not something lame and generic. I also wouldn't waste my time creating mirror blogs to make it seem like I have more fans than I really do. I'm proud of the fact that I have 52,000 page views. My audience is limited, but I care about creating quality content--not becoming a limited public figure.
#10: I am not going to address all of the comments after story #1.
It would take too long and get too tedious.
#11: I did not talk down to JD Painter.
And I would never make fun of someone who was deeply in debt and unable to get a decent job in the legal industry. That is just mean. And yes, I guess we are now in the same boat.
#12: I am not $300,000 in debt.
But I may be after 24 years of IBR at $30/month or whatever it ends up being if I attempt to live off tips. Wait for my blog and new pseudonym: JD Waiter.
I have nothing more to say except that I have always intended for my writing to bring other people a brief moment of happiness, or to feel less alone. I would never write about a person to try to destroy them unless they had done something pretty bad to me or someone I loved. I don't think I've done that and don't feel I deserve to be treated this way. People feel free to act like dicks on the internet because they can hide behind a pseudonym or declare themselves anonymous and nobody will ever call them out on that. But I honestly hope that one day all of the hurtful and insensitive comments, made with reckless disregard for the truth, will be treated as unprotected speech, as they are words that, by their very utterance, tend to inflict harm.