from Etoain Shrdlu, with love

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Anonymous's picture

"Since he wont post it, A Concerned Citizen will.

From: [email protected]
Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2003 16:34:24 EDT
Subject: At your request
To: peter

Listen, pal,

You want me to talk to you personally? You all but demanded it on the club
message board, without posting your phone number or address. That leaves a
personal message by e-mail as the only way to fulfill your wishes. So here it is,
up front and personal, once and one time only.

I didn't pick a fight with you. I picked a fight with a policy. The fact that
you chose to plunge into a wrathful umbrage with both left feet — and then
make a personal fight out of it by blocking the bulletin board when you didn't
like what came back at you — is your problem. And believe me, I know
something about clinical psychology. You have a problem.

You are the quintessential martinent, which in psychoneurotic terms is the
same as the quintessential schoolyard bully. You are driven by self-centered
fears so deep-seated I can't identify them, but I can tell you how they manifest

You try to control other people. You are terrified at anything they say that
threatens what little power you perceive yourself as having in this world, and
this terror manifests itself as an irrational attempt to stop others at all
costs of their point of view differs from yours.

Since you feel inadequate to dispute a point with others on civilized terms —
with words —you fight them with brute force. I'm glad we're not in the Third
World, because In the Third World, this force that you're grabbing for usually
involves using a gun to silence your critics. It's also a gun in the cases of
people who murder abortionists or homosexuals whom they can't control in any
other way and whose very existence somehow threatens them. Other fearful
authoritarian personalities who have some power clap people who disagree with them
in dungeons so they can't communicate with others or build a following.
Happens in third world countries all the time. Your equivalent is to cut them off
from the message board so they can't make jokes about your policies. Wow, what a
big man you are! That's bonafide Tinpot Dictator — or Schoolyard Bully 101.

Now, there's a reason for this. These are people who were abused children.
It's not your fault that you were abused. It's not your fault that you became a
defensive bully, and a hypersensitive, borderline paranoid. But the end result
is just the same.

I'm not going to go public with this letter because four other people that I
know of have been accused of being Etoain Shrdlu, and it isn't fair to bring
an avalanche of paranoids, martinents and bullies down on them, too. A few of
them have already taken some abuse from people who think they're me.

The truth is, no one in the club knows who I am, although several clearly
think they do, and some of those have different opinions than others. But nobody
except me knows whether I'm young, middle aged or old; male or female;
well-known author or clinical psychologist; teacher, doctor, construction worker,
bike rider, motorcycle rider, just a kibbitzer, or even a club member.

Next point for you to chew over: People have all kinds of valid reasons for
writing under pseudonyms.

""George Sand"" wrote under a pseudonym because ""George Sand"" was a woman, and
women couldn't get published or taken seriously in 19th Century England. That
doesn't make what she had to write any less valid. She's considered a
classical author, these days, studied in colleges

""Richard Stark"" writes under a pseudonym because he writes hard-boiled
detective novels, and his true personna writes comic mysteries and movie scripts
(and is an academy award winner) and the two personnae would probably conflict"

Anonymous's picture
Joe Soda (not verified)
Name one

A compulsive poster who, in an argument in a forum, says he'll never post again and actually follows through on that threat(or promise). Go ahead, name one.

Anonymous's picture
Offended recipient (not verified)
A consistent personality

Funny, it only took a three line exchange to tell that this anonymous person was rude and obnoxious. I didn't need to see a multi paragraph diatribe from him (or her).

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
Is there an ethical question here: divulging someone else's...?

Is there not an ethical question here: divulging someone else's personal and private correspondence?

Of course, this begs the question how the poster here came to have it in the first place.

Well, obviously, Peter sent it to him. But if he published it without Peter's permission, as appears to be the case from his heading, is that not further unethical?

And if he did publish it with Peter's permission, why didn't Peter publish it himself? There's coy sophistry here if Peter thinks his friend's releasing it with his, Peter's permission, distances its release from Peter.

And, no, I'm not the fabled Etoain...if I may presume to call him by his first name.

Anonymous's picture
<a href="">Peter O'Reilly</a> (not verified)

"I gave it the ok and so did EtShrdlu - see T.A. Rally thread. Hopefully once and for all this will ehemmm, ""Peter out"" as in be laid to rest finally and he'll take his own advice and stick to it this time, e.g. see last sentence of his note."

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
My small point was this, and is not refuted by Peter's note:

Passing off the responsibility for publishing it is just that: passing off the responsibility. By not publishing it himself but having and authorizing someone else to do it, it would seem Peter sought to distance himself from whatever tarnish there would be here. Here's another way to look at this: Having your yellowcake (to pun with a word as current as today) and eating it, too.

OK, I'm done. Why muck up Indictment Day?

Anonymous's picture
Resigned (not verified)
Damned if you do/don't, Peter,

but just because Etoain has you dead to rights, doesn't mean (s)he will honorably keep her/his own word.

Narcissistic personalities are irrepressible, of which Etoain surely is aware, her/his claim of knowing something about clinical psychology believable, probably learned in rehab.

Etoain will continue to appear as does the plague.

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)
Special Prosecutor?

Now that Patrick Fitzgerald has finished his investigation of the Valerie Plame leak, he will have time to investigate this matter.

Anonymous's picture
<a href="">Peter O'Reilly</a> (not verified)
No leaks here

"To clarify - I gave it the Good Housekeeping Seal of ApprovalTM prior to it being posted. If it helps matters, consider it as I as the one who posted it and with this response, I'll designate you as my on-line version of a notary public. :-)"

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)
I am Innocent

I reference to my suggested special prosecutor, I maintain my innocence in this matter. I do however, in the event of a Grand Jury, recognize I would probably be the second person subject to subpoena, after Mr. O'Reilly himself.

Anonymous's picture
Chris T (not verified)
BERNIE Schwartz, from The Bronx, is Tony Curtis


Anonymous's picture
JP (not verified)
Da Bronx

"""Yonda lies da castle of my fadda ....""

Tony Curtis as Andrei Bulba in Tarus Bulba, 1962

You can take the boy out of da Bronx, but ...."

Anonymous's picture
Tom Laskey (not verified)
Don't forget Yul Bryner with hair! (nm)
Anonymous's picture
Chris T. (not verified)
Thanks JP

"That quote ""Yonda lies da castle of my fadda ...."" was on my mind, but I couldn't recall it exactly, or the movie that it was from.


Anonymous's picture
EToainShrdlu (not verified)
Yonda lies...oh nevermind

"I find this fascinating. Peter O'Reilly made a statement on the message board. I replied to the effect that it was remarkable, but I actually agreed with him despite past disagreements.

This caused Peter to become furious.(Go figure. Maybe he doens't like people who agree with him) He dared me to let him post on the message boared a private note I sent to him concerning these disagreements.

I was quite amazed by all of this, not least of all that Peter had saved my letter to him all these many months. (Does he have a crush on mysterious Montenegrins?) However, for the record, I have no objection that this letter was made public, whether by Peter or a proxy. Hey man, it's your dirty laundry.

""You don't have to set a trap for fools. They set the trap themselves, put the cheese in it, then put their heads on the cheese and begin nibbling to see if everything is working.""
--Tovar the Sage

Your Pal,
Etoain Shrd"

Anonymous's picture
Hank Schiffman (not verified)
Rather than...

us, mere mortals, spend our time analysing your past message of rage towards Peter, would you be willing to accept that we all are human? ( yes, you are part of we) And to understand that Peter has probably spent more time doing volunteer work for this club than any other member. He has designed the site and written the code for our website, soup to nuts. A task few of us have either the aptitude or comitment to undertake. Like the rest of us, he is not without flaws, otherwise he would not be human. But are you big enough to address this thread with an appology for the preceived slight which appeared to you to have been large but in the scheme of things was not very significant to the club and its members? I know you are a person of many words. But, speaking for myself, just a simple statement would have more impact than a proverb.

Anonymous's picture
Club Member (not verified)

You are a seriously disturbed person. I feel very sorry for you. I'm also tired of reading your hostile messages.

Anonymous's picture
<a href="">Peter O'Reilly</a> (not verified)
you are referring to this

"By inclination, I do not like to agree with Peter O'Reilly. He once had the hubris to say my posts, with which he did not agree, ought to be on my own blog, not the NYCC message board. Then he had the paternalistic chutzpah to offer to help me set up a blog. Then he got huffy when I sent him a private communication starting in graphic expletives what he could do with his offer.

taken from here:

What rational and sentient human being could possibly disagree with your assessment?

I never offered you a ""blog"". I offered my time to set you up with your own personal forum, using my software, gratis. The difference between a blog and a message board is that one allows others to reply to others immediately and directly. As to why I offered it to you, that’s well documented, publicly as well.

You can read more about it here:

(And FWIW, I sent you a single instant message which you immediately told me to F-off and I also have not removed any of your messages among other mistatements of yours)."

Anonymous's picture
EToainShrdlu (not verified)
I stand on my record

"""I never offered you a ""blog,"" says Peter O'Reilly. Exactly so. Nor did I ever claim he did. I was perfectly (and according to Peter's own words accurately) clear in what he said: He offered to help me set up a blog. (See above).

I don't mean to belittle Peter's technical savvy and considerable contributions to this bulletin board. However, he still can be -- and has been -- a bully. The former does not excuse the latter. Otherwise, Hitler would be a saint because he built the autobahns. And Mussolini made the railroads run on time.

I stand on what I said. Having said that, I note that it's a lovely day for a ride up River Road, so I'm out of this argument. Feel free to continue among yourselves.

""Then it's pistols at ten paces on the Palisades?""
--Aaron Burr to Alexander Hamilton, or perhaps vice-versa

Your Pal,
Etoain Shrdlu

Anonymous's picture
<a href="">Peter O'Reilly</a> (not verified)

"You took issue with how this message board is being operated. In turn, I offered you a message board for you to run and operate of your own. Let's see how well you will fare with people responding to your messages. What initiated this dialogue was the issue of anonymous posters, like yourself, taking pot shots at the bicycle club board members and other folks at large.

Who is bullying whom? Others can willingly judge for themselves and for those whom do – at least they know who I am.

Here is the original message:

Date: Thursday, August 28, 2003 3:31:28 PM
This message was last updated on: Thursday, August 28, 2003 3:57:36 PM
Author: Peter O'Reilly ([email protected]) Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0; .NET CLR 1.0.3705; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Subject: Now we're talking
It really wasn't that difficult now to write a response without casting flames? Still a bit condescending, nonetheless but a marked improvement and the only (repugnant) ranting I see occurring is primarily from you here and offline (AOL IM).

Like many aspects of life, posting here is a privilege, not a right. You want free reign - then run your own message board. As entertaining as your posts are, lambasting others is simply not cool to those who participate here and the ""powers that be"" that run and maintain the website. These folks have other more pressing interests to attend to like fulfilling employment obligations and other pleasant distractions like bike riding.

That said, have you considered starting your own website? ""Blogs"" (web logs) are quite popular now. I'd be more than happy to dig up all of your posts and migrate them to such site. Additionally, I may be inclined to donate a license for said msg brd software. Be carefully what you wish for. All your creative energies may be zapped with the not-so-envious tasks of handling incessant feckless remarks/complaints, debating the most scrupulous points of free speech and policies ad-nausea with a seemingly infinite population and as well as performing mundane maintenance tasks for the site.

It is worth noting that none of your messages have been ""removed"" or ""disappeared"", etc. If you did a search by author you would see all of the messages listed quite neatly. The search feature is quite powerful; I highly recommend its use to all.


Anonymous's picture
Bored with your BS (not verified)

"Dear Etoain,
Old American proverb - ""Sometimes it is better to keep your mouth closed and act dumb than it is to open it and prove what a stupid jackass you really are"".
Go away, Etoain, you have nothing to add, you have noting to say, you are not funny, you are not even entertaining. All you do is clutter our message board, take up space, waste it. You are boring, go away.
Best regards,
Bored with your BS"

Anonymous's picture
Tom Laskey (not verified)
Free Advice

If you don't like what Etoain posts, IGNORE IT!!!!

The more you feed him, the more he posts.

Anonymous's picture
<a href="">Peter O'Reilly</a> (not verified)
That's good advice, except

"The exception with him though is that he can attack, belittle, etc. whomever he wants and do so anonymously, carte-blanche. If such post of his is dared to be removed, he fires off further a litany of attacks on this message board. There-in lies the problem.

The original post of this thread would normally never have been left on this message board. My intention of having it posted is to lay all the cards out on the table. Next time someone takes me or others to task for why his messages will be pulled, the rest of the public will now know the full story. Quite frankly, I see no reason why such amoral activity may be allowed to continue. There's a whole archive discussing the merits and detailing such ad nausea.

With that in mind, this is my last post on the subject. I’m done trying to reason with an unreasonable person whom non-one knows his identity. I hope he takes his own freely given advice, ""I'm through with you and with this club's bulletin board."""

Anonymous's picture
Suomynona (not verified)
Mr Shrdlu's fans should speak up

"Everyone seems to be pretty anti-Shrdlu here. I can't believe that's a representative sample.

I have no comment on Mr Shrdlu's personal, off-line missive to Mr O'Reilly. And I am neither friend nor foe of Mr O'Reilly, though we recently debated, and I must say he spent more time calling me a ""troll"" than discussing the salient points of our disagreement.

Both are cyclists, and both are my brothers, my brothers.

Now, most of you seem to dislike Mr Shrdlu or his writing. My guess is you're in the minority. Without a doubt, he is the most entertaining author I've ever read on this board, hands down. A true credit to Montenegro. The majority of the time I'm checking in here, it's really only to see if he's posted.

Am I the only one? I believe a poll is in order. I'll bet a dime to a dollar he has far more fans than detractors.

Fans of our fair Montenegrin, stand up and let yourselves be counted."

Anonymous's picture
Jay (not verified)
Huge Fan

I am a huge fan, and also find his posts to be far and away the most thoughtful, clever and entertaining on the board. That being said, why be drawn into, or involved in, petty arguments that just detract from the intelligence of the non-warring posts??

Anonymous's picture
<a href="">Peter O'Reilly</a> (not verified)

It's one thing to be entertaining and another to do so repeatedly at other folks expense, namely those who participate among this message board community. I'm sure if you were the subject of his mock, you would feel differently than expressed in your last post. To others it is simply mean-spiritedness and cowardice while doing so behind a veil of anonymity.

Of less significance, but worth noting, Suomynona will be delighted to discover that this post is free of spelling and grammatical mistakes.

Anonymous's picture
Suomynona (not verified)
Mom! Petey's touching me again!

"Mr O'Reilly, I am delighted, but I want to make sure you know why. I am not concerned with spelling, grammar, or usage errors.

You had advised a writer to ""take the extra second or so to proof read [his] message."" I pointed out your errors to highlight that you held that writer to a higher standard than you held yourself.

Your errors, in and of themselves, are no concern of mine. The fact that you admonished someone to ""proof read"" their messages but did not take the time to do so yourself was my point. Hai capito?

So, if you are now taking your own advice and carefully proofreading your posts, then I say: bravo, Sir. Thank you. I am delighted, and I will chalk up our first debate as 1-0 in my favor.

And so we can finish this episode once and for all, I will even throw you a bone. I disagree with some of your opinions, and some of your actions, however without you I wouldn't even be able to type in this public forum. I acknowledge this. The generous donation of your time and technical skill makes it all possible. Thank you, Sir.

As to Mr Shrdlu, my opinion of his writing would be unaffected by his opinion of me. Put it this way: if the bard himself rose from the dead and called me a jackass, I wouldn't find Hamlet any less interesting. If I write something worthy of mockery, and Mr Shrdlu nails me on it, he'd do it in a funny way and I'd rather it be him than anyone else around here. You could sell ad space on his posts.

And please, call me Suo.

Post-script: ""other folks expense,"" Sir? Are you sure there are no grammatical errors in your post?"

Anonymous's picture
newbie observer (not verified)
One vote for Shrdlu

"As a relative newcomer (but increasingly serious) to cycling and the NYCC I first began reading the Board to learn the technology and the cycling rhythms. For Gthe last year or two, however, I read it to guage the hostility and arrogance that some people (and I don't think it is isolated to NY) think they are entitled to dump on others. Whether it is bikers who think the park exists to allow them to speed through in packs and insist that everyone else (even bikers)must be on the alert for them (which they should, but a safe and sensisble cyclist MUST assume most people transversing the park are careless or simply not aware they are walking or biking through a raceway or even disabled or blind) or experienced cyclists who have been cyclists since two wheeled bikes were invented and think any question short of asking the ratio of gears and wheels for particular inclines is an infantile question not worthy of the message board and which is wasting everyone's time (I have learned alot from all questions--and thank Christian and others for their expertise and patience). I just cannot understand the arrogance, hostility and meanness, let alone racism, petty brutality and grammatical pedantry that is exhibited too frequently here--it is no wonder that another club refers to itself as NY's ""friendiest cycling club.""
I read Shrdlu with amusement and support him because he is the only one who consistently and with great irony and humor takes on the bullies, self proclaimed arbiters of wisdom and former Board members beating their breasts with self righteous indignation. I don't blame anyone who responds to these people writing on an anonymous basis because the risk of identifying oneself when pointing out the foolishness and sophistry on this message board could be as life threatening as riding at 6 AM with the cowboys and hotdogs who think everyone else in the park must make room for them.
So apply some humor, patience, friendliness and kindness in the quest we should all be engaged in and there would be no need for Mr Shrdlu to exist. Is anyone ready to exercise some control they should have learned as adolescents?
Until then, Go Shrdlu!"

Anonymous's picture
Anon (not verified)

"Here's my vote for increased civility and patience on this message board, which I consult for information concerning bicycling, not psychoanalysis. It is disconcerting that so much of the space in recent weeks has been devoted to name-calling (yes, I earned the moniker of ""troll"" last week for a less than civil post, so mea culpa) and less to questions and answers, general information, or praise for jobs well done and rides concluded with gusto. I admit that Mr. Shrdlu's postings are entertaining, but I have better places to go if I want entertainment.

And yes, one reason some of us prefer anonymity is to save our rear ends; it's not hard to imagine aggressive folks on the message board being aggressive on rides. I'd hate to be dumped in CP for being a ""troll""."

Anonymous's picture
chris o (not verified)
Thumbs up for E.S.

"I agree with much of what Newbie Observer says.

My history is kind of short here - I joined the Club about a year ago and that is when I first started reading the message board.

I like checking the board, but I don't pay real close attention. I just remember generally enjoying Etoain's posts and not finding them offensive.

I also am a novice to message boards generally so I don't know all the rules and maybe the application of common sense goes against the rules. So calling people ""trolls"", as referenced above for example, when on their face they are non-hostile and generally contributing to the discussion is disturbing to me."

Anonymous's picture
Jk (not verified)
Fed up with the both of you.

You two can take your sanctimonius egocentric posts elsewhere.

Now where is my shovel so I can get out of here.......

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)
George Bernard Shaw

"""I learned long ago never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.""

Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)
Never try to teach a pig to sing

It wastes your time and it annoys the pig.

Anonymous's picture
<a href="">Peter O'Reilly</a> (not verified)
non-kosher advice

"""I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals."" - Winston Churchill"

Anonymous's picture
don montalvo (not verified)
"""If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?"" george carlin"
Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)
I think it just happened, electronically speaking... (nm)
Anonymous's picture
rbj (not verified)

interesting how some get so incredibly offended and personally insulted when others disagree with them - and similarly feel the need to point out petty faults that have nothing to do with the argument (ie spelling, grammar - wow, we're all so impressed). actually, let me rephrase's uninteresting. time to get out and go for a ride while this weather lasts!

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)
"He's like Freddy in ""Nightmare on Elm Street"" (nm)"
Anonymous's picture
E.T.O-ainShrdlu (not verified)
silence is golden - mb admin (nm)
Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)
Why do you keep coming back? (nm)
Anonymous's picture
Jk (not verified)
numb a crowd

"""All that's needed to numb a crowd into submission is a long recitation by Etoain Shrdlu.""


Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)

Russians would have shot him a long time ago...

Anonymous's picture
SHL (not verified)

"""I'm through with you and with the club's bulletin board. Your pal, Shitnear Loud"" 8-29-03


Anonymous's picture
etoain (not verified)
silence is golden - mb admin (nm)

"Thread: from Etoain Shrdlu, with love

Date: 11/3/2005 1:09:18 PM
Author: E.T.O-ainShrdlu ([email protected]) Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; PPC Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/312.5.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Safari/312.3.1
Subject: Excellent point

I posted a message right here yesterday saying I was going for a long ride in Arizona with Maurice the Marxist Cyclist and wouldn't be back until Spring. For some odd reason, it vanished from the board. (Draw your own conclusions.)

I will be back. Eventually. Meanwhile, let me simply point out to the fuddy-duddies of the world that a message board devoted entirely to chain lengths, gear ratios, VO2 limits, and nutritional supplements will have an extremely limited audience of techheads. You can't bore people into lingering at this board. Or any board.

Believe it or not, dear fuddy duddies, some people get out on the road just for fun. And they check certain bulletin boards regularly for the same reason. (My thanks to those of you, brave souls all, who stated as much elsewhere in this thread.

So farewell, until Spring, and thanks for all the energizing guff.

Meanwhile, feel free to post messages that say ""Good riddance."" Or that ""You're the bore, Shrdlu, not my learned essay on the chemistry of titanium alloys."" And feel equally free to argue among yourselves about Shimano vs. Campy. Z-z-z-zzzzz.

""All that's needed to crowd to numb a crowd into submission is a long recitation of factory output numbers.""

Your Pal,
Etoain Shrdlu


Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)
Power Dude, Power (nm)
cycling trips