Diary of a Mad Coed in her Prime: A Conspiracy of Dunces*
By Kit-Bacon Gressitt / Excuse Me, I’m Writing / February 13, 2011
We were sitting at the old soda fountain counter at the newish cafe in downtown Fallbrook, which is actually a small town, but everything is relative, I suppose. We were there, my daughter and I, because the café is where we go to escape other things — too much noise or not enough, the ennui of college homework, boorish thugs, the like.
We were also there because it’s entertaining, hanging out with the fellows who gather to shoot the shit with the owner, Michael.
Michael is from Brooklyn. And Italian. One of my favorite combinations.
The other fellows are all sorts of things, mostly seasoned things. Hence, the schmoozing is rich with masculine experience, varying sources of wisdom and lack thereof, all of which makes for a hearty dose of bawdy humor.
They let us join them because we laugh in the right places and we challenge them without being boorish thugs, and because I’m “pretty nice for a feminist,” or so I’m told.
So, we were sitting there with the guys, and we started talking about trust and mistrust, fear and hate, and their origins.
Doc said trust comes from fear. We drew a diagram, with trust building strategies in the middle.
Michael let out a Brooklyn snort of disagreement. “Nah. That’s not East Coast. On the East Coast, we trust everyone — until someone screws you.”
Then I got a call back from the FBI. Because I’m from the East Coast. Because I trusted boorish thugs to behave within the law.
And now it’s probably time for a recap:
The boorish thugs are the folks who publish The Koala (or the “Koala Klan,” as a North County Times reader so aptly dubbed them). The supposed student tabloid is actually a for-profit business that, according to San Diego County records, is owned by George Lee Liddle III and Sammy Elhag.
Starting back about 2001, Liddle was the student editor-in-chief of The Koala at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). At that time, The Koala appears to have been a student-run tabloid: just juvenile prattle attempting to pass for shock humor, but instead, tripping into bigotry and hate.
Sammy Elhag is a bit more difficult than Liddle to pin down. There is a Sammy Elhag who lives in San Diego. There’s also a Sammy Elhag who co-owns some Internet properties.
Whoever he is, in 2005 Sammy Elhag and George Lee Liddle III filed a fictitious name statement for The Koala with the County. Do you suppose they hoped that hate would be profitable?
Liddle and Elhag now have three editions of The Koala, the original at UCSD, where it is a university sanctioned student organization and receives Associate Student (AS) funding; one at San Diego State University (SDSU), also a sanctioned student organization, but not currently receiving AS funds according to that university; and the newest, at Cal State San Marcos (CSUSM). According to CSUSM staff, the Koalans at CSUSM withdrew their application to become a recognized student organization and since then have steadfastly attempted to remain anonymous to the campus community, with some but not complete success (see staff roster below).
There is also one lonely fellow who says his name is Jeff Weaver. He posts narcissistic videos on behalf of a Cal State Long Beach Koala (which appears otherwise nonexistent), and is listed on the CSUSM edition’s staff roster.
An effort to launch at UC Irvine, may have withered on the vine, with it’s.
Recent efforts to expose the identities of Koalans have made them very unhappy. Those who hide under hoods, literal or figurative, don’t function so boldly in the light of day.
And the latest from the Koalans? Well, having an incomplete understanding of the First Amendment, they reacted quite strongly to criticism of their tabloid’s content and their anonymity, and as primitive natures might, they went on the attack, one front of which is best described in their own words, with full names added where known. Warning: profanity ahead.
this dumb bitch [who would be me] seems to be the ONLY person “outraged” over you guys
that same cunt has posted the same article in three different places WOW
this is her fb page as well, shes fucking retarded she uses her full name as a handle on every website. If she ever gives you guys real problems it wont be hard to hack her email and turn up some dirt on her
She seems to think you guys should feel ‘shameful’ for your content. I say, get some koala shirts and wear ‘em loud and proud. Worst case scenario you’ll get laid. If any more ‘paparazzi-esque’ attempts are made by her to get photos of you I say take advantage of you, she’s treating you like rock stars so go with it.
this is her cell phone number 1 760.522.1064
this is her email email@example.com
step 1 is to sign her up for all sorts of shit so her phone doesnt stop ringning (preferably for lesbian dating sites)
step 2 is me finding someone that knows what to do in order to get her password
ill let you know if i come up with anything
How would we ever get her password
Lets just go ahead and delete all the shit about hacking. Take that stuff to PMs or phone messages/calls.
I’ve got a better idea. Don’t worry so much about this chick. She’s a fucking nobody. Focus on getting straight with your advertisers and then you’ll be in the clear. As long as you’re solid with your advertisers, let the haters hate. We can choose to have some fun with this lady or not, but signing her up for spam is lame. If you’re going to go after someone, at least do something interesting.
Now, back at the café, we folks don’t always see eye-to-eye. Sometimes we really infuriate each other. On occasion, one of us might actually storm out, for instance the morning after President Obama was elected. One poor man left his coffee and scone sitting on the soda fountain counter. But he returned the next day and jumped right back into the repartee. He trusted us not to attack him. And we all still love each other, despite our many differences. It’s the feminist way: Embracing diversity, striving for equality; they are darn fun, much more fun than fear and hate.
But what do you do with a group of men who haven’t learned to challenge others without being boorish thugs, who cannot overcome their fear?
My brother thought a visit from a special ops team in the dark of night might give them adequately extreme wedgies to keep them on the straight and narrow for the rest of their lives. Ah, that visceral fight response.
My husband, the Marine, just called his law enforcement buddies. “Networking, Honey. Networking is everything.” Spoken like a leader who wears his Blackberry on his belt.
My kiddo just shook her head and laughed. “They don’t know who they’re dealing with.”
Apropos of a writer, I figured I would stick with words. Although the Koalans deny it, language is powerful enough to cause love or hate, to create community or harm it, to reveal truths or deceive in the guise of comedy.
And because I’m a feminist and I know those who embrace thuggery most often do so out of fear, I feel some sympathy for the Koalans. They broadcast their fearful hate of women, of homosexuals and ethnicities, of nonwhite races and people with disabilities. Perhaps Doc will explain to them some of his trust-building strategies.
However, because I’m also a pragmatist, I’ll accept whatever assistance law enforcement might give me. Because conspiring to hack into my systems and usurp my online identity, and scamming my family’s credit card are not comedy; they’re a bounty of bad behavior. And that’s not relative; it is absolute.
As I’ve written before, what goes on the Internet stays on the Internet. And one day the Koalans will be looking for jobs in competitive marketplaces where respect for diversity and clean criminal records will be deciding factors.
Or they can try making a living off George and Sammy.
(*With an appreciative nod to John Kennedy Toole’s Confederacy of Dunces)
The Koala Owners: George Lee Liddle III and Sammy Elhag
The Koala at San Marcos Staff: Jeff A, Garret C, Shane K. Walsh, Matt W, Jeff Weaver and…
Kit-Bacon Gressitt is a writer and host of Fallbrook’s monthly Writers Read open mike readings. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.