I did something very foolish indeed on Friday 8th May 2009, something that I shouldn't have done for many, many reasons...but I did and for that I am sorry.
I have been arguing online with a white supremacist called The Sentinel (WARNING: only visit if you are looking for vile, BNP style blame the foreigners type nonsense and anti-semitism; dressed up in grand pseudo-intellectual language), hereafter referred to as the racist.
The 'debates' were taking place at the blog of Renegade Eye, a fine left-wing blog frequented by a raft of right-wing idiots who, I believe, are dragging the blog down with them but I digress...
I had presumed that the racist was based in the US but during one exchange, where he had been pouring over the text to see if he got mentioned, a warning of his self-obsessive, delusional behaviour, he threatened me and suggested that we meet up face-to-face to 'carry on the discussion'.
So I contacted the racist via his blog comments, as he refuses to do email and said that I'd meet him to discuss his racism and daft ideas face-to-face. Call the fuckers bluff I thought to myself and after a bit of his bluster, to my mild surprise, he named a place: The Penderel's Oak, a pub on High Holborn, he said he'd be there on the 8th and 15th May, from 6pm until closing.
I told him that I'd be there on the 8th (the 15th is Eva-Jane's birthday meal, so no can do) but could only stay until about 10 past, as I had to meet my beautiful lady but enough to show I'm not scared of the daft racist and to arrange a second meeting (what I was hoping to achieve I've no idea, this was a move of epic, idiotic proportions).
The racist banged on about doubting I'd come and I kept banging on about looking forward to meeting him, as I was certain that if I went, he would be there, he seemed a determined character and a man of principle, I may not agree with him but the last thing I thought he was was a coward and a liar.
How wrong was I?
Like a twat I actually went and rightly so, Eva and people that care about me were absolutely furious; not only was I perhaps putting myself in jeopardy (who knows what mentalists frequent the Internet, especially if they are thick enough to be racist? I read the story today of the German Internet loon that hacked that man to death over his girlfriend...who he'd never met...) but I didn't tell Eva for fear of her letting her justified feelings talk me out of going.
Anyway, I got there at 17:45 and had a lime & soda and waited...and waited... and waited. 6pm came and went and I eventually left at 18:14 as I said I had to, the racist hadn't turned up. I was genuinely surprised and then it struck me that I had no way of proving I was there or that he wasn't, aside from the details I observed at the pub such as what was on the TV and the description of the person/persons playing the fruit machine directly opposite the bar or the look of the door staff.
And then it struck me what a stupid thing I'd just done to prove a point, what value is that if something had gone wrong? What would that be worth? Never mind all the time wasted 'debating' with these morons, it's alright for them, they have no life but I've got a home and a lovely girl, a great career and so many things to do. What the fuck was I thinking?
Going to meet up with the racist was one of the most stupid things I've ever done but it was a wake-up call, to gain perspective about what a pointless waste of time it is arguing with people on the Internet. Minds will not be changed, nothing will be gained, only precious time lost. I've got better things to do.
On a side note, as expected and rather amusingly, the racist claimed he was there all along and that I didn't show, if only, I was there staring oddly at every lone man that walked in that looked like a racist. Some may have thought I was cruising but Wetherspoon's are not famous for being great places to pick up hot gay men.
I'm going to leave the delusional and mentally deranged to their part of the Internet and get back to writing stuff that Jessica can share with her students in California.