[Fwd: censorship]

Michael Betancourt (mwb2@bellsouth.net)
Mon, 13 Jul 1998 09:37:35 -0400

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Last night I made the apparent mistake of being polite and
privately providing Mr. Smyle with some information he apparently
lacks from his posts. The following message is the response I
received this morning for trying to be polite.

Please note the increased beligerance, sarcasm and patronizing
tone of this newest message. Plus the added "threat" of "going
public" with his response.

Additionally he is now casting me as the bad guy -- "a colonial
agent of my government" for asking him to make his venomous
postings a matter for everyone at art.net. rather than simply
private flames directed only at me.

Also note that my name appears to keep changing and becoming both
more familiar and less cordial: from "mike" to "mickey." Does he
believe that I am a cartoon mouse to be dispelled simply through

There seems to be a strong belief on his part that the US is some
evil thing to be done away with. I am not going to speculate on
this, but will note that the only recourse for someone who has
problems is personal assaults and a general vindictiveness when
confronted with a situation where he is clearly in the wrong and
knows it. At this point I expect all Mr. Smylie would like is for
me to go away and shut up.

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From: "Barry Smylie" <barrysmylie@iname.com>
To: "Michael Betancourt" <mwb2@bellsouth.net>
Subject: Re: [Fwd: censorship]
Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 05:12:21 -0400
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So Sir Michael, who is "we all"? Are you speaking for "your people"? The
royal plural?

What are you trying to do Mike? Denounce me to your government's agencies
Are your bringing in the heavy guns to bear like a cowboy Marshal McLuhan?
Hiding behind the atomic bomb again are we?

Haven't your heard about encryption?

You want me to go public?

Are you now operating as an colonial agent of your government exposing my
simple desire to know the truth? Do you plan to bring me to justice in your
democratic citizens' forum?

Are you making a public ridicule of my destabilized, defeated, and invaded
nation and it's over burdened people and my personal nuclear free weakness?

You are certainly not a street punk Mike... you are beginning to frighten me
like a five star general of your imperial army looming over our unguarded
border with a nice shiny chrome helmet.

Don't you know Mickey that my people are subject to your law but have no
place in your courts? What good would it do me to join you in your upper
middle class mud wrestling competition? You'd probably have your agent
inject me with heart attack serum well before I got a hard on anyway... it's
legal isn't it? Anyone who doesn't have American citizenship is just a
little less than human... isn't that in the rule book too?

If you want to punk it out man to man... I'll go for you... but don't hide
behind your enormous and evil empire bristling with hardware pointed at

If you are publicly challenging me to a dual... do I get to choose the
weapons or will you simply have me disposed of?

And I am feeling very, very, very sorry for trying to speak to an American
on an equal basis, your lordship... sir.

your obedient serfer,

: ( unsmylie (or seemingly very soon to be twisted and broken)

p.s.... there is a world beyond the American courts... a whole world of
injustice pal.

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Betancourt <mwb2@bellsouth.net>
To: artists@art.net <artists@art.net>
Date: Monday, July 13, 1998 1:17 AM
Subject: [Fwd: censorship]

>I feel a need to share this response sent just to me in an
>offensively patronizing fashion. Note the number of times I'm
>called "mike"....
>Not only that, apparently I'm also a "street punk" for daring to
>suggest that his posting was an assault which accused everyone
>involved of pornography.
>It is not a surprise that I received this response exclusively in
>my box. I feel it belongs in a public forum. If I am going to be
>attacked in such a fashion, let it be public so all may judge for
>And as for the following:
>"I don't believe in censorship of any kind Mike and actually I am
>very sorry that I said anything at all I just wanted the others
>at art net to let me know if information about the crisis in
>Puerto Rico is known in the United States because the news is
>blacked out in Upper Canada"
>Why didn't you just make a post saying that?
>The post in question used this as a thin excuse to attack what
>OTHERS were doing. Did you even voice an opinion when Lile asked
>for thoughts on whether to join the NM case? I don't remember you
>making any _public_ comment at all.
>And as to whether I have been censored in the past or not, the
>answer is yes.
>I will let your response stand for itself. We can see the
>smokescreen for what it is.
>If you have any response, please make it _public_ in future. We
>all thank you.