www.whyville.net Jan 31, 2003 Weekly Issue

Bringing Down SkUmBaG68

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Bringing Down SkUmBaG68

Times Writer

Crazy? A lunatic? Is SkUmBaG68 really a fanatical, madcap, mentally challenged delinquent?

Considering myself the resident expert following the developments of the Skumbag incident, I can confidently answer those questions with a rigorous "NO, Never, Not happening, Don't even go there!" This hacker DID NOT "frighten us"; I repeat, he did not intimidate us or inspire fear right into the depths of our souls! We were never hesitant or wary to step back into Whyville, let our children play outside again ;), to hold a conversation with a stranger, make new friends, go about our daily duties, and above all, we were NOT pushed off a deadly incline into such severe mistrust that we became suspicious of everything and everyone!

No lost sleep over this episode. Merely a piqued interest.

"He wrote a horrible article, then after the article it was all Skumbag there and Skumbag here. To conclude my theory, I think Skumbag is just a person whom we can debate about." This is a quote from Gone142's latest article -- wrapping it up very nicely; mystery solved, right? Actually, that isn't the case. Being guilty of contributing the highest total of articles on Skumbag, maybe I should explain.

This isn't a breaking discovery or news to any of us. Like any real life reporter or journalist, we were looking for "The Scoop", a juicy tidbit of information that would provide material for an article a cut above the rest. Face it -- we raced to write our replying articles AS SOON as Skumbag's appeared in the March 21st Edition of the Times, wanting our replies to be seen first and foremost above all other competition. In the April 11th Issue, soon after The Perfect Krime was published, six articles appeared on the topic, written by:

  • Vixen68
  • Liss22
  • Bettyjoe
  • Shelly1
  • KK99
  • and Noemie

Do you see what I mean? We select 6 raced ahead of hundreds of people who read the article by SkUmBaG68, and hastened to have our own retaliation heard by all.

Tragedies, a heinous crime, shocking disputes or an appalling quote -- the stuff real life reporters and journalists always snoop around to find and publish first. Whyville, on the other hand, is generally a Good Town. We don't get much scandal here, do we? Besides our reports in the Scam Section, it's safe to say that Whyville is very unlike the real world in matters of terrorism and criminal activity. Then one person decides to provide for us in our lack of malevolence: SkUmBaG68. And we responded, and continued to respond, due to total lack of any other ill will. The Hot Topics Section in the Times of several months ago is another example; several weeks worth of articles, all branched off of Merchant's article on animal cruelty, another atrocious and odious happening that we were all too happy to feed into a colossal multi-week debate.

In a different direction, there was a bit of a contradiction between a pair of Gone142's statements: she urged us to stand up to the bullies show our pride... but walk away to prove you will not mess with them because they are not worth it....

"Stand up to bullies, not with fists but with pride!" Our pride in Whyville, seeing it degraded by hackers, was obvious in our choice of wording. We stood up to SkUmBaG68 and let him know that we thought he was lazy and selfish. We showed that we were in fact NOT intimidated by him -- we thanked him for his free tips for avoiding hackers, first-hand from the villain him/herself.

The other part to Gone142's quote was: "Walk away, leave them with the impression that you aren't going to mess with someone who is just making everyone else's lives difficult." It's a good point, it works in real life when you can look at your tormenter and give them a "you're such an idiot" look and walk away. But seeing Skumbag's testimony in writing, reading between the lines into the smug satisfaction -- that was reason enough to turn it around for the people of Whyville who may have been somewhat mesmerized by him, enough so to call him a "genius".

We brought him down to a human plateau, and showed his mistakes through criticism and exploration of his insecurities.

Why, in the time span of 5 months, did I write 3 articles on Skumbag68? Lack of material was probably my first motive. I want my articles to be accepted and see my face in the paper just as much as (maybe more than =D) the next person. So I wrote about something I found interesting, something I thought I understood very well. Attention-seeking? Need for recognition? A desire to be the best? How about a competitive urge to somehow tarnish the name and bring down some kid who thought they were 'all that'?

Liss22, practicing her psychiatric skills =D.


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