Monday, July 11, 2005

Alfred Lehmberg - Advocate or Agitant? YES!

I was reading posts at UFO-planet.net, and...

...there was a post that described an article by Alfred Lehmberg (intrepid UFO proponent and crown curmudgeon of Ufology) as "a fun read".

Having been at the "bidness end" of Alfred's poison pen (and notably, at least once praised by him), I can relate to the term "fun read".

The post also included a question as to his supplying evidence for his adamancy. I doubt you'll get much in the form of evidence or an explanation for anything from Alfred. I think he knows that the truth is not in doubt, and doesn't require reinforcement. And even WITH evidence to provide, he'd not "play the game" of tit-for-tat. I'm sure he would see it as a "dog and pony show" disguised as a sincere request for data. Since evidence for the ETH abounds, Alfred is under no obligation to cite chapter and verse. Been there, done that...got the blue face.

His mission is to harangue and annoy any that oppose the ETH generally, and his "alienview" specifically. He has stated so on multiple occasions. More and more, I feel a keen sense of admiration for his "stick-to-it-iveness" in the face of a "usurped authority", and his ideological honesty and consistency in stark contrast to the invented fears, created realities, and duplicitous motives of the illegitimate elite against which he commonly rails.

My agreement with this results far more from our political leanings than from our respective Ufological views, but agreement is agreement. I have written on my own similar political views elsewhere.

He sees the assault by "common sense" on the subject of UFOs as a call to arms which obviates logic, science and evidence in favor of archaic language, occasional rhyme and meter, a flair for debate and an unabashedness I find very refreshing. Plain talk in a very creative wrapper. He channels his outrage into very considered and often verse-laden prose that is at once (in its way) beautiful and baffling....and often accurate in my view.

Again, I agree with Alfred's oft-repeated assertions about "a hijacked mainstream", and a "duplicitous elite" and an "illegitimate authority". And though I do not share his every assertion, I'd gladly share a table and a story or two with him. I'd even buy him a beverage of his choice. *S*

Alfred provides a needed "advocacy without conscience". His "give no quarter; take no prisoners" approach is consistent...and admirable...whether he brings supporting evidence or not. He is content to let others clean up in his wake...as any "avenging angel" would be. Never apologize; never explain. The raging advocate for the view of the "co-opted majority" has no need or desire for case details or spectrographic analysis at this late date. That is just a distraction from the mission at hand.

His ongoing "discussion" with film-maker/blogger Paul Kimball is an example of where I have more disagreement with Alfred. His arguments are in keeping with his views, but he admits that Kimball is intelligent. This would seem to indicate that Kimball is at least capable of achieving Alfred's view of "enlightenment", but Alfred's method doesn't invite, rather just offends the already offended subject. This is my disagreement on this issue, but remember that he does not seek to educate in this milieu. He obviously feels that anyone not already convinced is a lost cause...and he may be right. I know he is sure he is. I admire that, as well.

On the subject of another blogger-come-lately, Alfred's comments about the rrrgroup blog found a resonant frequency here. The honesty of ideology Alfred never shies away from is nowhere in evidence at rrrgroup. The "r-cubed" effort is purely to inflame with no apparent fuel; to provoke with a pointed stick (because that is as sophisticated as the "weapons" get in that quarter); to claim affiliation with or affection for certain luminaries to provide a basis for idiotic character assassination and self-congratulatory "diatribe-arrhea". The brilliant display of their utter lack of journalistic integrity, and blatant intellectual dishonesty, combined with their incessant need to name-call and ridicule the work of others in the field, would be hypocritical if it weren't so insanely, amusingly pathetic. A truly fine example of "nattering nabobs" and an "effete corp of impudent snobs" (apologies to Spiro). Alfred calls it as he sees it, and balls-on in this case, from my perspective.

I could of course go on into a personal indictment of members of the rrrgroup, and assail their lack of education, their inexperience, or their adherents' mental states, but that would mean stooping to their level. I choose instead, like Alfred, to just change the channel.

Alfred also notes their common tactic of "passive aggression", where a derogatory comment is explained away as youth, or haste, only to be shown to be the "true colors" upon further discussion. Such intellectual (and conversational) dishonesty is a hallmark of rrrgroup.

Interestingly, both Paul and r-cubed propose a new Ufological paradigm. Kimball's approach is attractive to me, but abrasive to Alfred. Fair enough. We both also have anal orifices, as well.
Here Alfreds views on r-cubed however, again resonate with me. While Lehmberg engages the debate with Kimball, he finds little use for r-cubed's feigned attempt for some kind of dubious legitimacy and expectedly...and sensibly...just changes the station.

I will add that they are prone to fabricating information, provide nothing to assist anyone curious about the UFO mystery, and have collectively achieved absolutely nothing of any note whatsoever in any field whatsoever, while decrying others who aren't, and do, and have...and have.

On this issue I cannot but agree with Alfred's assessment.

Alfred Lehmberg is a zealot. I like zealots, and while I don't agree with everything he says, I believe that he represents a necessary "force" in the debate. Zealots stir the pot...not with hyperbole and momentary notoriety, but with dogged persistence, palpable self-assurance, and a blunt refusal to retreat. Strangely, it's what little I admire of our current President, as well.

As he might himself say, his "odes" are but a (strenuous) squeak of lucidity amidst the never-ending barrage of "monkey-paffle" with which the duplicitous elites...via a hijacked mainstream...inundate a dubiously "anaesthetized" populace. On this we very much..."reach".

His website, www.alienview.net, is as much of an "assault on ones senses" as his rhetoric, and I think this visual metaphor is an apt one. Spending much time at his site agitates and provokes the viewer, and by the time an article is located and reading has begun, this barely perceptible agitation feeds into...and compliments...the indignation and adamance reflected in his prose. It is clever, and it is effective. I have no idea if it is accidental or intentional, but in his favor I presume intent. *S*

Unfortunately, a family history of epilepsy, and an unpleasant physiological reaction, prevents my viewing his site for more than just a few seconds at a time. That is the absolute truth.

But his prolific writings at Updates...analyses, attack pieces, assassinations...whatever you want to call them...never fail to provoke me. I have an appreciation for this that is completely aside from my level of agreement with his various theses...or his "targets".

He is an amusing read at times, nonetheless. Calm before the storm...and seeing how someone "handles" a Lehmberg frontal assault is a fair measure of one's character under fire.

For Paul Kimball's part, he maintains his course and heading, and plows ahead...ideologically honest and consistent. Alfred would likely disagree...but of course. Ergo the ongoing discussion.

r-cubed's reaction is juvenile pejorative, knee-jerk ill-conceived rebuttal, and transparent claims of faux-sarcastic affection. Word is getting around.

I can see Paul and Alfred still going at it...LONG after the impertinent, momentary flicker of rrrgroup is washed from an otherwise perfectly good hard drive in a datacenter somewhere...a zen moment to be played out much sooner than later. (Oh to be the wielder of the "rm /rrrgroup/*" command. Sadly, the one to do it will likely take no special satisfaction from such a public service....just another disk "wiped". How apt.

That Alfred and I are different in so many ways is curious vis a vis our complete agreement on r-cubed. What does one make of this?

Finally, Alfred has something to which all zealots (and r-cubist wanna-bes) aspire...style and panache. I think it was Lancelot in "Grail" who put it nicely..."in his own...unique...(provided by squire) IDIOM".

"Write" ON, Alfred.

Comments:
God, King:

You're a peripheral pipsqueak.

We'll be ignoring you too, just as most do already.

CJ
 
Hi Chris,

As if on cue...I rest my case.

Thank you!

Kyle
 
Kyle:

Alfred Lehmberg has nothing to offer ufology but rage - and that is NOT what the "field" needs. Stan Friedman is a passionate advocate; Lehmberg is... well, you fill in the blank.

I find it interesting that you chastise the RRR guys for name-calling and stick-poking, when that is precisely Lehmberg's MO. If I had a dollar for every time he has applied the epithets "skeptibunker" or "klasskurtzian" to someone (usually someone who doesn't deserve it), I'd be a rich man.

And then there are his more "personal" attacks. Some of his favourites for me? Rampant narcissist, tedious pedant, canted bloviator, rapacious net weasel, liar... take your pick. At UFO Planet you knocked Stan for using "Silly Effort to Investigate" to describe SETI. How, then, can you defend Lehmberg's far more egregious attacks?

He and I don't "debate." He rants (I suspect no-one really listens), and I generally ignore him, unless he says something that is just so absurd that I'll make a brief comment.

A final thing - on that same list where he was described as a "fun read," Lehmberg posted a generally positive reply to my "Roswellism" article. Then he posted, at alienview.net, an "editorial" totally trashing me and the article.

So much for consistency.

But that's Lehmberg.

Paul
 
Once again you make much too much of yourself, Mr. Kimball. I wouldn't make to much of the fact I had to ~work~ to say something nice about a piece of work you did on a largely innocent site allegedly demanding a certain gentility (we'll forget a moment I was the only one playing), or that I was touched by a closing comment you made in the aforementioned work regarding "cooperation", something of which I'm certain you have ~no~ concept... uh-uh... _your_ MO is that of the same man who only _says_ he's a "Uniter, not a divider"... and I'm betting for the same reasons...

On reflection? I had a change of heart, Sir... and as I will? I wrote about ~that~. No apologies are in order or remotely extended. I'll be the ~first~ to apologize if it's found you're cool as bee's knees.

In closing let me just say that if I was remotely the man you describe, Sir, I would likely be making fun of your NAME Mr. Kimball! Think about that.

No Sir -- I suspect that you are a projector of your own many inadequacies, an obliviated and koolaid drinking "eee-vill" of hyperbole, cloyingly homocentric, obtusely rightist, and obnoxiously authoritarian... everything that disgusts me in a commentator of any stripe... but especially in a field holding out such hope to the long-view progression and advancement of aggregate humanity (...we'd be vastly improved by the honest search even if there ~was~ nothing to find...). You're two steps back and a step to the side for camouflage... and two or three ways a failure already, in my opinion, as I hear the whispers from sources close to the issue... and not so ironically? ...A failure not unlike the current illegitimately appointed US President of these United States whom you blithely admire.

<...pausing to pat CJ on his adorable little head...>

alienview@adelphia.net
 
One other thing: you still may be same... but when did I call you a liar, Sir? I may have, mind you, you _really_ chap my short hairs, but I don't recall it. Refresh me, please.

alienview@adelphia.net
 
One more thing... Mr. Kimball you are not ~remotely~ qualified to expound on what may or may not be good for the field, Sir. Don't appear even ~more~ pathetic pretending that you are...

alienview@adelphia.net
 
Kyle:

Add "pathetic," "obnoxiously authoritarian," "homocentric," and "obtusely rightist," and "ee-vil" to the list, I guess.

And so it goes...

Paul
 
...Reap what sow, Mr. Kimball.

...Any recollection when it was I called you a liar?

alienview@adelphia.net
 
Paul -

My purpose served, my observations remain.

Neither you nor Alfred fully agreed with me. As expected...and appreciated.

He's a zealot, and properly indignant. He does exactly what he says he will do.

You are not a zealot, and your willingness to argue his views (whether debate or not) provokes his unique contributions.

And I think you are correct in your initial assertion. But Alfred offers EXACTLY what he believes the "field" has long been short on...the best defense is a good offense. I might characterize what you call rage as outrage. I don't have to agree with it to admire its tenacity.

You and I are a "threat" BECAUSE we are on the fence vis a vis the ETH.

To him, we are the same. And I can see why. I don't agree, but I can see his point.

What I find most unpleasant about the web-based UFO community is the sense of "taking sides" that seems required. It's the old liberal vs. conservative duality, and it turns my stomach.

I have been castigated as a debunker AND a "believer" at turns. Can they all be right when my "beliefs" have never in fact changed? No.

There is another "way", and you and I and many others are looking for that way. We look for answers to the nagging questions, and discard some, and get tingly at some. We don't all even agree on what to keep or discard however, because one man's tingle is another man's yawn. And so it goes.

Alfred is tingly all the time.

But I will do it with honesty, a regard for the facts, and an eye to the zealot, who after all COULD BE right.

I presume that you are of the same mind.

If so, my comments regarding rrrgroup and Alfred Lehmberg should trouble you not a whit.

You and I are much closer to the same place...sure that something weird is going on, but unable to commit to the ETH. And doing our best to learn more.

Alfred has lapped us several times on that score.

Also -

If you want to compare the ideological rhetoric of zealot Alfred Lehmberg to the infantile sputterings of the newly self-christened home of "UFO hype and bombast", I'll gladly debate the finer points of that in private.

But simply -
As I've been on the receiving end of the Lehmberg as well as the rrrgroup, I can tell you there is no comparison at all. Experience is always the best teacher.

One is at least honest to his truth and "knows" this truth.

The other is at best (and admittedly) a "hit-counter" site aiming to generate "buzz" about anything at all, by whatever ...and I mean whatever...means.

Just as was suspected all along by some. Experience...

Best Regards,

Kyle
UFOreflections.blogspot.com
 
>"...Any recollection when it was I called you a liar?"

Usually you're not honest enough to just come out and say it directly, so you hide behind inuendo, as can be found at your website, where you write (just as a typical example):

"Kimball's 'Third Way' is but a 'new way' to lie to ourselves... Kimball is not remotely interested in a "third Way' to be a UFO truthseeker..."

Most people reading that would get your meaning (considering you've also compared me to Pol Pot, and called me a Nazi, I guess insinuating I'm a liar isn't so bad).

However, there is a specific example, found in comments at my blog, where you did actually call me a liar directly:

"Verily, with regard to you and your buggered blog, the other side of truth... is a simple, unvarnished, and patent lie... I wonder what else you have lied about... sincerely."

This was followed by another comment, a little later, where you stated:

"Save... your lawyerly doges for those who respect them, Sir. I do not... The other side of truth is a lie."

You're a sad, bitter little man, Mr. Lehmberg, incapable of engaging in anything even remptely resembling a rational discourse. Why anyone in ufology - or anywhere else - gives you the time of day, is beyond me. Too each their own, however.

Paul Kimball
 
Kyle:

The problem with the Internet is that is leaves no room for personal contact or nuance. I state that I support the war in Iraq (a single policy issue), and suddenly people who have no knowledge of my beliefs and my background label me a neo-con, and a "Bush supporter" (or worse). This is what my friends - the ones who've known me for years - find so amusing (they kid me about it all the time). I grew up a Trudeau Liberal (card-carrying party member in the 1980s and early 1990s), worked on a number of campaigns for the Liberal Party, both provincially and federally (even serving as a legal adviser to one Liberal Member of the Legislative Assembly, and cabinet minister, during a campaign). I knocked on hundreds of doors to get people to vote Liberal. Despite the fact that I've voted Tory in the last few elections (if for NO other reason than the fact that the Liberals in Canada are corrupt), I am still a liberal on most social issues, many economic issues, and more than a few foreign policy issues, to the point that when my friends who ARE neo-cons in all respects hear me called one, they can't stop laughing.

For my part, I hate labels. I now tend to take each issue on its relative merits. Still, I consider myself a classical, small 'l' liberal - always have been, always will be.

Paul
 
>"...Any recollection when it was >I called you a liar?"

Usually you're not honest enough to just come out and say it directly, so you hide behind inuendo, as can be found at your website, where you write (just as a typical example):

"Kimball's 'Third Way' is but a 'new way' to lie to ourselves... Kimball is not remotely interested in a "third Way' to be a UFO truthseeker..."

Lehmberg: Weak...

Most people reading that would get your meaning (considering you've also compared me to Pol Pot, and called me a Nazi, I guess insinuating I'm a liar isn't so bad).

Lehmberg: Weaker...

However, there is a specific example, found in comments at my blog, where you did actually call me a liar directly:

"Verily, with regard to you and your buggered blog, the other side of truth... is a simple, unvarnished, and patent lie... I wonder what else you have lied about... sincerely."

This was followed by another comment, a little later, where you stated:

"Save... your lawyerly doges for those who respect them, Sir. I do not... The other side of truth is a lie."

You're a sad, bitter little man, Mr. Lehmberg, incapable of engaging in anything even remptely resembling a rational discourse. Why anyone in ufology - or anywhere else - gives you the time of day, is beyond me. Too each their own, however.

Lehmberg: Weakest...

I suspect, Mr. Kimball, that "rational discourse" as defined by you is where you find the most unqualified agreement, where no one challenges your methods and motivations and where everyone just falls in line with your tedious self-involvement and oblivious officiousness.

Moreover, my spinning off creatively on your Blog ID (which begs for it by the way, and is not like corrupting your given name)is not calling you a liar, Sir. Think about it, Mr Kimball, the other side of the truth could only be a lie. Truth is truth, however it is found, determined or explicated. There is no other side except in your self-serving bowdlerization of it.

Finally, Mr. Kimball... innuendo? As you know, I'm not remotely shy about saying what's on my mind. Sad? Bitter? Small? You provoke the worst from me, Sir. ...Not my problem.

alienview@adelphia.net
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
Lehmberg:

Res ipsa loquitur, ir. the thing (in this case, your words) speaks for itself. I'll let people judge which of us is on the mark.

Now, back to the real world.

Paul Kimball
 
All righty then... but I suspect the one with the greater need for approbation from those to which you would condescendingly allude... is you, Sir. Me? I'm just one of those to whom you would allude.

Have a ~good~ evening, Mr. Kimball.

alienview@adelphia.net
 
In closing let me just say that if I was remotely the man you describe, Sir, I would likely ask you if you still beat your wife. Since I am not that sort of man, I won't bring it up.
 
Paul -

I appreciate your stance, and share your disdain for the more gross labeling, at least as far as the UFO community is concerned.

The internet is many things. Usenet, the web, e-mail. Each has its problems, and has had its time to flower.

Web-logs, as coined by Jorn Barger, are a place to chronicle interesting things on the web, and his still is. His seminal blog Robot Wisdom, is notable for its brief, one-line posts, with hyperlinks.

That's what a blog is supposed to be, and the more successful blogs do likewise...share the best or most interesting or most outrageous, or most compelling, sites with the world.

I'll try to keep my posts shorter.

Thanks to Mac Tonnies blog for the reference to Bruce Sterling's blog, which pointed to an article at Wired.

Now that's the blogosphere at work.

Peace, and how about some UFO stories?

Kyle
 
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