Monday December 10, 2007

What's up with an outing?

Stuck on the Palmetto So, I’m a little bummed that many readers of Stuck on the Palmetto are going to think I had a hand in Rick’s threatened retirement/hiatus from blogging. Here’s what happened: Rick did a post with some stupid, pretty offensive shit in it (nothing new there). Bob Norman posted a response, the gist of which was, not only is this politically incorrect, it commits the even worse offense of not being funny. In the ensuing discussion, Bob said the following:

Otherwise, he’s a decent blogger — works his ass off on SotP, that’s for sure. By the way, Rick, who pays your salary to blog all day?

Having always wondered about this, I seconded the question. And here’s where it gets interesting: through some presumably long-ago private conversation, Bob actually knows who pays Rick’s salary. This caused Rick to interpret Bob’s question as a Threat to Out him. He promptly put up this post, and hasn’t been heard from since. It reads, in part:

The Daily Pulp’s Bob Norman, who knows exactly what I do for a living, has made, what I perceive to be a threat to that anonymity and today, Critical Miami’s Alesh Houdek piled on.

Now, I don’t doubt Rick’s sincerity — he seems genuinely spooked. But isn’t this a little of adding 1 + 1 and getting 4? Why in the name of the lord would Bob want to out Rick’s identity? And if he did, why would he threaten to do it, first? And even if he did want to make the threat, is simply asking the question, even winkingly, a threat? Frankly, I just don’t see it.

Many of the commenters at SotP seem to see it (or maybe they’re just empathizing with Rick’s alarm). Nobody has been able to really explain it but whatever. Listen up! Bob hasn’t outed anyone, not even close. All he’s done is made a remark that, were it not for the subsequent drama, would be transparently seen as off-handed. Also: I did not, do not, and have never known what Rick does, so the statement that I “piled on” just baffles me. Rick recently had a feature where he invited his readers to ask him personal questions, and now he’s freaked out by a personal question? And I’m being fingered as a secondary cause of his temporary (and make no mistake, it is temporary) quitting from blogging? Go figure.

Someone relatively new to all this asked me today about the beginning of the “arch-rivalry” between me and Rick. The truth is I don’t know. I think we both just enjoy arguing, and can find the few requisite things we disagree about. But honestly I’ve never felt anything like malice or hatred towards him; frustration is about as far as it ever goes, and my real reason for sparring with him is that it’s usually fun. The first blogger get-together was after one of the first of these apparently “vicious” exchanges, and we got along great then, so I’ve generally assumed that he feels the same. I’m bummed that he seems genuinely upset now, and I hope he realizes he just mis-read the situation, and hops back in the saddle soon.


comments powered by Disqus
  1. robotkid    Tue Dec 11, 02:06 AM #  

    “is simply asking the question, even winkingly, a threat? Frankly, I just don’t see it.”

    Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean is there, alesh.

  2. owenized    Tue Dec 11, 08:25 AM #  

    The one question I can’t get past in all of this is: “Who pays your salary to blog all day?”

    I may be oversensitive here. But to me, it sounds like an indictment and/or backhanded shot at blogging, something that we all enjoy. Bob/Alesh both do great jobs with their blogs, so why trash it as being less important.

    If Bob/Alesh asked the question in humor, then I missed that joke.

    Rick opened himself up to personal questions with his own Q&A deal. But in the end, why shgould we care how is he able to blog all day?

    We should all be so lucky.

  3. mkh    Tue Dec 11, 08:47 AM #  

    A great many employers have clauses precluding you from expressing personal opinions in a public forum. Most of the time it is ignored, but if your employer is already looking for an excuse to sack you (particularly if it means denying you your so-close-you-can-taste-it retirement), they can use “creating a negative public impression of the company” as a reason. If your writing is utterly innocuous you are safer than if you are constantly stirring the shit, but you are only truly safe if you are self-employed.

    And a lot of companies frown on you using company time for personal matters, even if you are salaried. That’s my take on the “who pays your salary to blog all day” remark, anyway.

    Oh, and owenized, I heard Bob speak on a panel at the book fair. He was pretty positive about blogging (to the extent that the other New Times frat boys on the panel would allow discussion of the topic at hand), so I don’t think he was taking a shot at the concept or practice. It seems a bit more personal than that, but I won’t pretend to know the rationale.

  4. Allen    Tue Dec 11, 08:47 AM #  

    First off, I read both your blog and SOTP. I see how he felt threatened by Bob’s comments since Bob actually does know who pays his salary and was not asking the question out of curiosity. You, on the other hand, were being curious since you don’t already know the answer (something that many are curious of). So as a reader of SOTP I don’t think you’re piling it on, it was just taken that way since you were seconding Bob’s question which seemed like a veiled threat. Either way, I think Rick should have handled the matter privately with Bob and/or you instead of airing the dirty laundry on the blog, but he may be in need of some attention, who knows?

  5. Steve    Tue Dec 11, 09:02 AM #  

    What’s a “salary”?

  6. C L Jahn    Tue Dec 11, 09:09 AM #  

    <i>What’s a “salary”?</i>

    Some kind of vegetable. Yeah, I don’t get it, either.

  7. b.a.c.    Tue Dec 11, 09:26 AM #  

    Anonymity is a keystone on the internet. Not sure why you don’t get that Alesh. As for an outing, when we first started MN it was important for me to keep my anonymity for purposes of reviewing clubs without getting beat down by bouncers. Now that we are a little more well known in the industry it’s impossible, but damn I miss people now knowing who b.a.c. was.

  8. Duran    Tue Dec 11, 09:53 AM #  

    Blah! B.A.C. the downfall of the anonymity at MN was the galleries. Also MN works in a different way from most blogs, networking is crucial to its survival, so if no one knows who you are you really don’t exist. I mean it isn’t like MN is spreading gossip or other sensitive information ala Dirt Miami (whatever happened to that site?).

    However, I can see why Rick wants to keep himself anonymous and I understand why it’s important to him.

  9. Steve    Tue Dec 11, 10:23 AM #  

    It’s all over. Go see Norman’s post today. He’s not outing anybody and never intended to. Which, from the distant point I sit, seemed pretty clear at the time…..Still…..

    “I know I’m paranoid….but am I paranoid enough?”

  10. dreaming    Tue Dec 11, 10:32 AM #  

    im guessing rick is some sort public employee whose blogging, it is being inferred, is somehow being subsidized by us taxpayers. am i right?

    if so, that’s probably the least taxpayer ripoff going on in these parts.

  11. Scott    Tue Dec 11, 10:33 AM #  


    Word on the street is that Bob Pays Rick. Rick Pays you. Just so you know. That’s what I’m hearing.

    No, it really would be a shame if Rick felt like he couldn’t blog on SotP any longer. I’ve been following this whole thing and I don’t get the impression you were trying to box Rick into a corner. But I’m an outsider looking in; I have no voice or opinion that could be accurate.

    I’m entirely with you in hoping to soon find a post beyond “Taking a Break” on StuckOnThePalmetto.

    Until that happens, though, I’ll just be lurking here as usual, with one less nice place in the SoFla blogosphere to visit. :(

  12. Steve    Tue Dec 11, 10:52 AM #  

    I guess the truth would ooze out eventually anyway, so we might as well clear it up once and for all.

    Bob was dating both Alesh and Rick for a while, and neither Alesh nor Rick knew they were being two-timed. When Alesh got wind of it, he dialed up Rick and together they confronted Bob, who told them he was through with them both. At which point Alesh and Rick became an item.

    All very romantic. Lots of public groping and sex. In fact, that’s the basis of the name, “Stuck On the Palmetto.”

  13. Henry Gomez    Tue Dec 11, 11:41 AM #  

    Screw Rick and the horse he rode in on. What he’s pissed about is the fact that Bob Norman outed him as bigot (despite the language in the post) not that he outed his identity. But the fact that Rick is a bigot is the worst kept secret of all time.

  14. newcopolicy    Tue Dec 11, 12:10 PM #  

    Pffft… Look who’s calling someone else a bigot!

  15. Scott    Tue Dec 11, 12:10 PM #  

    In fact, that’s the basis of the name, “Stuck On the Palmetto.”

    Steve, you absolutely kill me.

  16. Henry Gomez    Tue Dec 11, 12:17 PM #  

    Yes Rick is bigot, jerky.

    Alesh, the big irony here is that by calling attention to a comment that would have slid by without notice, because the question of bloggers stealing time from their employers is not new, Rick has now gotten everyone’s curiosity up.

  17. Val "Incognito" Prieto    Tue Dec 11, 01:24 PM #  

    Poor Rick. So beaten up on. So misunderstood. Why would anyone want to “out” his majesty, king of Blog Integrity?

    I cant possibly fathom any reason why anyone would want to do that, or why our Reigning Integrity King and Chief of Blog Police would think for a second he would have anything to lose if someone, did, in fact, spill the beans as to his real name and “profession.”


  18. Henry Gomez    Tue Dec 11, 01:48 PM #  

    I just realized that is all a big stunt by Rick. Does anyone believe that he can “take a break” from his Miami New Times Best of Miami Blog for longer than a few hours?

    Please. It’s a cry for attention.

  19. alesh    Tue Dec 11, 02:59 PM #  

    “But in the end, why should we care how is he able to blog all day?”

    I don’t know, but I DO care. I’m curious. I wasn’t expecting an answer, but I sure didn’t see the question being a problem. Was the question a “backhanded shot” at Rick? Well, maybe Bob meant it that way. But even if true, Rick has ZERO basis to complain — he is the master overlord of backhanded shots.

    “Anonymity is a keystone on the internet. Not sure why you don’t get that Alesh.”

    I do get it. Have I ever done anything to disrespect anyone’s anonimity?

    Agree w/Henry re. the irony aspect.

    I’ve considered the possibility that Rick was thinking in terms of a break before, and this just made it into a big dramatic spectacle. I’ve dismissed that, because it’s obvious to me that Rick is really concerned. We’ll see what happens.

    Alex makes some good points in a followup post.

  20. Duran    Tue Dec 11, 03:39 PM #  

    Val and Henry, your opinions are as valid as a 5-year-old giving their thoughts on the current state of our economy. Your objective has and always will be to ridicule and censor anyone that doesn’t agree with you. What makes you think anyone takes anything you say seriously?

    And how about everyone cut it with the drama? Everyone kiss and make up already, ‘cause this is getting old.

  21. R.    Tue Dec 11, 03:39 PM #  

    Alesh, all cynicism aside, you do come off as a jackass in Bob’s post.

  22. val prieto    Tue Dec 11, 06:18 PM #  


    Youre accusing me of ridiculing anyone that doesnt agree with me? Tell you what, in the 6000 posts at Babalu, I challenge you to find three that mention Rick and SOTP specifically.

    Then do the same thing at SOTP for Babalu and tell me what you find.

    And you throw in that “censor” bullshit, which really just shows that you have no idea what the word means.

    This whole thing is so absolutely absurd. Who actually gives a shit where Rick works except maybe Rick and his employer? Unless he’s got something to hide, I dont see a problem or what all the fuss is about.

    tell you what , tho, for a guy whose blog bread and butter is pointing fingers and taking people to task for everything, including criticizing what other people write about on their own blogs, he sure has a thin skin. The guy can dish it out, but fight back and we get get the WAAAMMMBULANCE! Please dude. Enough melodrama already. Fess up, fight back, or shut the fuck up already.

  23. C L Jahn    Tue Dec 11, 07:10 PM #  

    Henry Gomez Tue Dec 11, 01:17 PM

    Yes Rick is bigot, jerky.

    I guess you see him at the “Bigot’s Anonymous” meetings, huh?

  24. Henry Gomez    Tue Dec 11, 10:02 PM #  

    Ok Jerky, what makes me a bigot?

  25. Henry Gomez    Tue Dec 11, 10:06 PM #  


    Ridicule yes. Of that Rick is also guilty don’t you think?

    Censor, no. We don’t have the power to censor anyone. Only the government does. A blog is a blog and our blog is our blog. That means we get to say what goes on it and what stays on it. That’s our right.

    Where does your credibility come from?

    Why should I take what you say seriously.

  26. jp    Tue Dec 11, 10:56 PM #  

    Val Prieto: you are so full of crap you’re bursting at the seams. You know you guys hid those SOTP posts after you posted them…you essentially took them off line. Effin liar. Tell us how many derogatory photoshopped versions of “Stuck on the Palmetto” you came up with, all conveniently placed on the blog as images without searchable text. Remember those, Prieto? Do you remember the cute little poll on the name of SotP that you did? Of course you do.

    And let’s not even mention how many times Henry “Photoshop” Gomez, a babalu co-writer, did his own schtick over at CAP ridiculing SotP.

    Cowboy up and take responsibility for your own words and images, Prieto. At the worst you would only look like the hypocrite that you are.

    Making bold challenges to people to go on treasure hunts for valuables that you’ve long since stashed away is lame.

  27. Beancounter    Tue Dec 11, 11:01 PM #  


    I found these

    That’s five. That was done using the search archives at your blog when combined with the word Palmetto. There may be more if you directed posts to Rick by name only but that’s needle in the haystack time

  28. wynwooder    Wed Dec 12, 09:20 AM #  

    Val, Henry:

    you’ve been playing the “i know you are but what am i?” tune since forever and it’s already getting repepetititive. i cross checked beancounter’s comment links and they are bona fide. you’ve just sunk to a new low on my credibility scale (according to me). sad, sad and sad.

  29. amanda    Wed Dec 12, 07:19 PM #  

    And where is Val now? Coward. Takes a shit and then leaves the room filled with a stink that permeates every crevice.

    And wynwooder, any credibility Val had was lost when he declared Fidel dead and the Homestead EOC open last August.

    Smells like poultry, doesn’t it?

  30. Rick "I am not a Cop" on the Palmetto    Wed Dec 12, 10:42 PM #  

    Beancounter (and Wynwooder), maybe you should come up for air from between Rick’s legs long enough to actually read the links you refer to: only one was a direct <i>response</i> to SotP; the others are links to articles and to commentary. Shills? Sycophants? Butt buddies? Only you know for certain…

    And Amanda, you should wash down there every so often. It’s pretty stinky, too.

  31. Manuel A. Tellechea    Thu Dec 13, 05:07 PM #  

    This is my take on Rick’s departure from SotP:

    Ricky, We Hardly Knew Ye

  32. wynwooder    Thu Dec 13, 05:22 PM #  

    Rick “I am stuck between henry and val”: i don’t care for rick or alex or whoever runs stuck on the palmetto, i just repel bigotry and unilateral thinking… those posts are samples of a fundamentalist mindset.

  33. Berrinche    Fri Dec 14, 12:15 PM #  

    A bit off topic, but relevant nevertheless given the fact that the dynamic duo have stuck their snouts in this discussion. Val and Henry smell to high heaven. Though they claim to be anti-Castro they often do Castro’s work in Florida—conquer and divide. For example, Val recently questioned the integrity of Yoany (Generacion Y), a brave blogger in Havana who writes about the absurdities of the dictatorial regime down there. These pussywillows are mean, cowardly, and delusional.

  34. Henry Gomez    Sun Dec 16, 09:30 PM #  

    Wynwooder, Val and Henry are different people. I don’t care for Rick and his hypocrisy and have never made a secret of it. Honestly I don’t care what you think about my credibility. I post using my real name. I stand by what I write. Sometimes its impulsive. So what? That makes me human. What I don’t do is hide behind a first name that may or may not be mine, spout a bunch of venom and hatred (except at the communists in Cuba and those who enable them). I certainly don’t work for the taxpayers.

    Berrinche, you’re an idiot. Val posted about how it troubles him to have doubts about yoani. After the countless betrayals, spies, plants, etc. how could he not. Cuba is a totalitarian country. Dissent is suppressed. So how is Yoani getting away with it?

  35. Big Brother    Fri Dec 21, 11:21 AM #  

    Val Pietro (on a thread that won’t allow comment) says “You have to be pretty thin skinned or have an ulterior motive to make such a big stink out of an obvious joke made in bad taste.” And yet the Rick haters went ahead and did EXACTLY THAT just two weeks later.

    I have never read the Babalu site (I like Desi Arnez, but not so much to have a blog about him) but it seems to me that Val shoud take his own advice.

    As for Rick, it seems that he made alot of enemies, which is what happens when you dare to disagree. The original situation, that feminine males were being “protected” against their will, was a dumb move that got reversed. The joke that these folks will need some lubricant should not be taken as some racist or bigoted comment, just as an easy joke about the “cause and effect” of releasing these men into the general population for willing or unwilling liasons.

    If Rick was doing this blogging on the job, let his boss worry about it or give him more work. If he was accomplishing his tasks, then blogging is no different from Christmas Shopping, phone chatting, smoke breaks, etc., in that it keeps the mind active during down time.