Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Asshat Saga--The Asshattery That Is "Jim from Tuscaloosa"

All right. Enough is enough. 

This is the third blog post in as many months about dealing with asshats online. The first two were, frankly, oblique and satiric because I didn't think it was right to call out an asshat for his asshattery online where non-asshats could point and laugh. Today, that changed. Today we're going to talk frankly about a Paul Finebaum caller known by his pseudonym "Jim from Tuscaloosa". And since that is an alias--no doubt to keep him from getting beat up--it'll be difficult for him to complain that I'm being mean to him on my blog. 

Which, by the way, he admitted to reading on nationally televised SEC Network program The Paul Finebaum Show. *waves* Hey there, "Jim". Good to see you again. 

Read on.

"Jim" has a nasty habit of online attacks against people he disagrees with--the kind of guy who posts things chock full of hatred and then deletes them before anyone but the intended target can see the post. He claims to have about 10,000 people blocked on Twitter--there's a good reason for that, since I'd wager about twice that have HIM blocked. He blocks people who disagree with him, and then portrays them as 'dirty' or 'nasty' or 'sick' and brags on national television about how awesome he is. 

Case in point--yesterday he called the Finebaum show twice, during which he compared himself to both Donald Trump and Muhammad Ali--on the day of Ali's funeral. 

Instant asshat designation right there. 

According to "Jim", he is the greatest at everything--greatest athlete who never played sports, greatest Finebaum caller despite the fact his sole topic is himself, greatest Twitter magnate although no one cares about (or can read) his Tweets. In fact, if it weren't for "Jim", there would BE no Finebaum show, none of Finebaum's great articles would have been written (since they were all comprised of what "Jim" had said in his phone calls the day before), and to hear him tell it, there would have been no Alabama football even though he claims to be a conscientious objector to football now. 

Which may be one of the stupidest things I've ever heard.

Except yesterday when he said "my blood is red".


At any rate, deciphering the "Jim from Tuscaloosa" character's asshat trail has taught me a lot. First off, the alias. It's been known in Alabama fan forums online who "Jim from Tuscaloosa" is for years--allegedly. I personally do not know who the asshat is or his real identity, but if you read this and this and this and this and this you might start to get the picture. That's just the first page, by the way.

Disclaimer--all this information has been gleaned through a simple Google search and does not in any way constitute any claim that I definitively know the real identity of the asshat behind the "Jim from Tuscaloosa" moniker. That being said--smoke, meet fire.

Second off, this asshat has an unusual capacity for hatred and the fool's courage necessary to vomit that forth on a daily basis. Earlier this week, he went off on a rant about how 'no one pushes up the white man', in the process insulting women, African-Americans, the LGBT community, the disabled, and the entirety of the American citizens who do not support Donald Trump for president.

So most likely YOU, if you're reading this blog.

"Jim from Tuscaloosa" has a history of turning on Paul Finebaum as well. (Love the Finebaum Fan website, by the way--listen to some of "Jim's" calls if you get a chance) Usually that happens after he tries to get into a phoner feud (where the show puts two callers who hate each other on the air at the same time) and loses.

So far, he's been systematically destroyed any time that little surprise has been sprung on me. He rants and yells and says what he believes to be insulting things--completely unaware that I got my college education because I was a nationally ranked debater and extemporaneous speaker. So I listen and then calmly destroy every little lie I busted him in. For example--

He called the show last year and said he'd met Rocky Marciano in West Palm Beach in 1969 when he was eighteen. (FYI Marciano was killed in a plane crash in 1966) So when he was done screaming, I broke down his story logically and using math. To wit:

You said you were 18 in 1969 when you met Rocky Marciano in Florida. That means you were born in 1950 or 1951--if you were being honest about your age. So that makes you 65-66 years of age. And oh, by the way, Marciano was dead before 1969 in a plane crash. 

"Jim" fled before I could point out that if he'd met Marciano for REAL the year of his death, that would make him pushing 70.

Last week, Paul was on vacation. "Jim" refuses to call in when ESPN's Ryan McGee is on the phone, although he will call into the control room and whine and complain about Ryan as a host. Personally, I like Ryan, especially since he called "Jim" a "necessary evil". He's a great host. The two days after that, ESPN's Brad Edwards was the host. He just mentioned my name at the top of the show, and Jim called in to rant about 'that damn witch' 'that damn woman' 'Helena'--a pseudo-insult he thinks will hurt me (hell+Celina=Helena) but has no idea the name is based upon Helen of Troy, the most beautiful woman in ancient Greece so thanks again, "Jim" and basically lost his damn mind. Brad's response was classic--he schooled "Jim" so severely on the air that I promptly cheered and followed all of Brad's accounts. "Jim" went ballistic--so much so that THIS week, he called in to bitch at Paul because Ryan and Brad sat in for him and were too nice to me.

I can't make this stuff up--and I'm a writer.

So...yesterday. The Ali funeral. Ali was an idol of mine, obviously, and I called the show early in the first hour to express my thoughts which you already read in my last blog post. Then I monitored the memorial service for an article I'm working on for this week. When he KNEW I wasn't watching the show ("Jim" has a sockpuppet account he uses to monitor his enemies online, including my website, blog, and social media accounts) he called the show and said I was a 'geriatric' because I remembered Elvis's funeral. You can hear this idiocy here during Hour 2, around 4:59. And let's be clear--I haven't mentioned his name since I decimated him brutally a couple of weeks ago.


So, let's break this down logically. I was ten when Elvis died, and as a kid in Tennessee the funeral was on all the TV stations. That makes me--math again--born in 1966-67. That makes me--more math--49. Hardly geriatric. Perhaps if "Jim" was able to do math or keep track of the deaths of famous people, he wouldn't make such an asshat of himself on a daily basis.

But let's also remember a few important facts here as well.

When I call, the show puts my picture up on the screen with my name--not because I'm a supermodel, but because I'm not such a chicken-asshat that I have to hide behind anonymity--as "Jim" does.

When I call or tweet or blog, I use my real name--not because anyone cares, but because I have no idea to hide my identity to keep from getting the crap beat out of me--as "Jim" does.

When I call, I don't talk about myself--not because I can't, but because I won't. I have *never* used the Finebaum show as a platform to market my books or so forth. I don't have to promote myself there--as "Jim" does.

When I call, I don't spew forth racism, misogyny, homophobia, bigotry, and political BS. Not because I can't, but because no normal person would--but "Jim" does.

When I call, I don't compare myself to famous people. Not because I can't, but because I'm my own person and don't need that kind of fake validation. "Jim" is just like Donald Trump, just like Muhammad Ali, the best writer of Finebaum's articles, a better baseball player than Ted Williams, met Rocky Marciano posthumously, played and beat Joe Namath in basketball--and that's just in the last month.

When I call, I don't call about something completely uninvolved with the purpose of the show--athletics. Not because I can't, but because it's not the proper platform. I don't call Hannity about the Volunteers' defensive front; I don't call Finebaum to prosthelytize about whatever horrific political position Donald Trump has proposed out of ignorance that day--but "Jim" does.

When I call, I appreciate the fact that it's a privilege and not a right to be put through by the call screeners. I don't act as though it's my right and the show owes me something. They don't--but "Jim" thinks they do.

Sometimes in this world, you run into people whose sole purpose is to belittle, insult, and put down other people. They don't do that because they're so superior to the rest of us that they've earned the right to say what they please. They do that because they're so mean and little and lack the self-esteem to stand on their own merits. Or, like asshats, they have no merits. I've been looking for some kind of merit regarding "Jim from Tuscaloosa" for over three years now.  I've yet to find one. Mostly because he has a horrific habit of attacking those people he knows cannot defend themselves against the onslaught of bitterness he throws at them.

And the Finebaum listeners are very frank about how they feel about that.

But I can defend myself and the Finebaum family as well, and I do. And "Jim" despises me as a result, since he has yet to win an encounter with me. And he never will. He can't. I'm secure in my life--happy with my career, happy in my marriage, happy with my girls and their children, happy that at my 'geriatric' age of 49 I have found contentment in my world and hope to share that with the people I associate with. And the one thing "Jim" hates more than anything else is a woman, secure enough in herself and her world, that she has the power to laugh in his face.

I've met a huge group of extraordinary people because of the Paul Finebaum show--people I talk with on a daily basis, whose opinions I respect even if I disagree with them, and whose friendships with me are both cherished and important. I am grateful to Paul and his staff (John and Mark in the control rooms, his always courteous call screeners and the tech crew) because not only are they respectful and kind to almost everyone they encounter during what must be at times a completely irritating four hours, but because through them these disparate personalities from all over the country have helped to build what we call the Finebaum Family. We Tweet, we call each other on the phone, we meet when we're in the same place, and we've created this interlocking base through the show that gives us both enjoyment and comfort. All of these wonderful people are CREATING something.

Asshats like "Jim" can only destroy.

I realize he's a lonely, bitter, little old asshat whose only outlet is to make a fool of himself on national television and radio. I pity him. And I'm grateful because every time the asshat makes a reference to me my website gets more hits, my blog gains new followers, and I sell more books. And since he tells on himself so often, his web of lies just gets easier and easier to shred.

He's played the villain for so long, the asshat's turned himself into prey. It's tragic.

But you know what makes this post great? I am talking about an imaginary person--a man who only exists in his own mind. There is no real "Jim from Tuscaloosa". Now if "Jim" wants to come forward with a picture, his actual identity, and shows me that I've insulted him by his real name on my blog--I'll not only retract this blog post, but I'll apologize to him on the air. Yep--I will call Finebaum and say, "Man, I really made a mistake and I insulted the asshat *insert real name here* falsely on my blog and I'm really sorry."

I'll just sit here and wait.

No really, I'm sure he'll provide me that proof.

I'll be patient.

...waiting...waiting...still waiting...

from USA Today:

“Paul has got the best persona out of anyone I’ve ever seen, including Rush Limbaugh, and you can quote me on that,” said Jim from Tuscaloosa, a longtime Finebaum caller who asked that his last name not be used because of past run-ins with other listeners. “He’s outstanding. Has gravitas.”

Bolding mine. Still waiting, "Jim". Many people I know think he's a character created by the show. He probably is in some ways--a guy who calls in, who's a character, who has no idea that Paul Finebaum is being totally sarcastic and helping "Jim" to make a fool of myself.  He may BE a character--because it's easier to believe that than to believe anyone could be so hate-filled in this day and age. But I think he's being used as a character by the show, and is just not smart enough to realize that. 

Thanks for reading my blog again, asshat. Talk to you on Monday, I'm sure.

Author's note--if you're not smart enough to recognize that this is a satire written for comic purposes, then head on up to the page entitled "Satire and Humor" and take a look at those posts. I'm sure they will enlighten you as to the purposes of a blog post around an imaginary character. *rolls eyes* Fiction writer, people. Fiction.