The passing of a frontiersman?

Beck notes the supposed passing of one J. Orlin Grabbe (I think it is pronounced Gray-bee). I emphasize supposed because with Grabbe one would need to have three magistrates rule via three separate inquiries that the deceased had been positively identified by at least three sentient persons with no criminal background backed up by certified DNA tests. That would budge one’s confidence level in Grabbe’s passing above the 50% mark.

Beck liked Grabbe and I did not, but if he is indeed dead it is a sad note of passing of one of the frontiersmen of the Wild West of the Internet, that now oddly eclipsed and seldom remembered (except by those who were there) corner of cyberspace called Usenet (home to a gazillion newsgroups but where the most blazing action centered around alt.current-events.clinton.whitewater throughout the second half of the ’90s in a tragedy of the commons setting often referred to by me as “the Usenet sewers”).

I found Grabbe a tiresome bullshitter and he found me a tiresome conservative, and so it all came out even on that score. His tendency to step over into conspiracy theories about conspiracy theories to feed the conspiracy hobbyists was something I found exceedingly annoying. If I’m remembering correctly he had it that Vince Foster was murdered by Mossad for reasons that I forget and based on no evidence that I can remember. I do recall that this made fertile territory for some to blame all of the variety of Clinton scandals on the plotting of “Israeli agents” inside the Clinton White House. I surmised that this was part of Grabbe’s intent, if he ever had any intent.

Them days is gone. What’s left over there is the sad spectacle of an online insane asylum where a few stoical orderlies seek to quell rantings from the occupants of well-padded cyber cells. But it was a place where, once upon a time, one got high-speed rigorous training in making and countering arguments, if one could either ignore the constant bar fights or merge one’s arguments into them.

It was not for nothing that it was called The First War in Cyberspace.

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