Matt Wells hates me and I'm OK with that!

Well, it finally happened: One of my online feuds has spilled into the (almost) physical world: Matt Wells called me at home this evening. (Ironically, I wasn't even aware I was feuding with him.) Matt is the creator of Gigablast, a search engine I've never been particularly impressed by. Matt wants me to take down review of Gigablast I wrote two years ago. I told him he needed to develop a thicker skin.

You know, I've been online a while now (lurking since 1990, posting and such since 1993). I've head my fair share of disagreements with people, and run into a fair number of kooks. I got flamed in for my very first Usenet post (which I deserved). Vladimir Fomin put me on his The Blacklist of Net.Nazis and Sandlot Bullies (which I didn't deserve). Bob "Boober" Jones posted my (old) home address in four newsgroups (which was just lame). I get warnings from WebmasterWorld's moderators at least four times a year. And so on.

But I've never had anybody call me at home before (even after Boober posted my phone number). Matt thinks I should take the page down because it's a "pain in [his] ass" that he has to keep explaining to people. (I have to admit I was dumbfounded by this logic, having grown up in a nation with a First Amendment and all.) He also thinks I might have been abused as a child and that I need to justify my writing style. Apparently, Matt lives on the Shiny Happy Internet where people never say bad things about each other's websites.

Me? I'm not a shiny happy guy, and I'm not feeling too compelled to justify anything. Combative and anti-social is just my thing. I'm good at it, the world expects it from me by now, and I still live in a nation with a First Amendment. So the review stays online, I stay the opinionated jerk I've always been, and Matt Wells will just have to live with that.

But in the future, if anybody else out there wants to call me at home, could you not do it while I'm watching Law & Order? I hate it when I miss the big trial scenes.

Posted at 11:45:06 PM EDT on 28 April 2004 from Trenton, MI