Friday, September 04, 2009

My friendship with Auster

Unlike the impression Lawrence Auster wants to give here, me and him were good friends and pretty close from the end of 2005 to the summer 2007. There were hundreds of emails going back and forth with very inspiring intellectual exchanges -- much of which was published at VFR, but even more wasn't, some of which was considered too hot. I teamed up with Auster, as I had done before with Ali Sina and later with Baron Bodissey, and I sometimes helped him with practical things and we even had projects together.

In 2006 I came up with the idea of writing a proper right-wing manifesto, as an answer to the leftist manifesto of the twelve against Islamism (with Bernard-Henri Levy etc.). This inspired Auster to write a new version of the manifesto. We worked together on this project for some time. I focused on rallying people as participants--since I had a better network of contacts and more time--with the purpose of creating a "new twelve". In the end the whole thing was a failure, and not even I and Auster could agree upon how the new manifesto should be written.

Also I helped Auster with practical things such as digitally recording a radio show, where he appeared, for him (posted here, search for "KFNX").

And when his site was taken down for period of time by his web hosting company, and he was put in a totally Kafkaesque situation without access to his articles and without knowing if he ever would get them back. He was nervous about the whole situation because he had forgotten to take backups for more than half a year. Then I helped him reconstruct his whole blog from the Google cache by writing a script. Well, actually I had to use a macro recorder since Google had blocked the possibility to automatically save web pages using a script. It was sort of a fun challenge, since at several points it looked impossible to achieve. And it was for a good cause. Auster was once again very grateful for my help, for having "magically" retrieved his whole website, as he put it. Which was a relief to him during the whole uncertainty about what was going to happen with the whole affair.

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These are the sort of things I have been doing all along behind the scenes. There is a pattern of how I teamed up with more important bloggers, both for inspiring intellectual exchanges and for providing practical help for their activity.

In 2003-2004 I teamed up with Ali Sina and became his right hand, taking care of all practical aspects of running his website: technical issues, web marketing, forum moderation, the news section, etc. I set up a whole team of people helping me with this, with the purpose of eventually making myself dispensable.

The two years after Auster suddenly decided to end our friendship, I teamed up with Baron Bodissey instead. Once again, many emails back and forth with inspiring intellectual exchanges, projects being done together, and practical help being given.

There's much more to say about my friendship with Auster. But now he denies the whole thing. Given how he always treat people he suddenly decides to excommunicate (such as recently Dennis Mangan) I'm not surprised over the sort of things he throws in my direction. But I think that this time he takes the prize in the sort of blatant distortions he engages in. As usually he writes about how I turned against him (something I never did, he excommunicated me, I didn't have a say), but this time he says "The change apparently resulted from his shocking discovery that I am for traditional Christianity and against modern liberalism." Yes, he actually claims that I "turned against him" because he is against modern liberalism!!! That must me the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. If anything, I'm even more against modern liberalism, in all its garbs, than he is.

And he even claims that I had spent more than one and a half year in following his blog and exchanging hundreds of emails with him, before I found out that he was for traditional Christianity!!! I have no idea what Auster thinks he's achieving with engaging in such outright and even silly lies, that are so easily disproved. As anyone can see from what he posted from our exchanges I was attracted to his site exactly because he was a traditionalist Christian. Back in 2005 I was a Christian civlizationist, so this was what I was searching for. And the rest of his post he goes on with these sort of lies and distortions. I dealt with some of it here. But as for the rest, I have already spent too much time for today on his nonsense, and I think most people know how much his smears are worth by now.

Anyway, this whole string of Austerisms started after my comments in a thread at Dennis Mangan's site. I have written six comments so far. The first on is here.
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