White Knights Reunite!
My online world fell apart. Soon my friends were emailing me “Back off of E!” When I replied what I had done and I wasn’t going to follow up, I still got these emails, getting increasingly more desperate.
Shortly after that, I was kickbanned from the IRC channel we all frequented, with no warning or explanation. After going to Madman (the op) and demanding an explanation, without going into details he said it would be best if I didn’t show up anymore. With this I was cut off from the online social group.
Things got weird on the message board. every post I made was met with harsh criticism and a “get the fuck out of here, asshole.” This is the discussion board I founded, and was now being told to leave. When I asked why, I got a “you know what you did.”
Well, I know what I did, heck, it was stupid, but I didn’t deserve that kind of a response from people who weren’t involved. Then it struck me… What I think I did and what they think I did are entirely different.
What I believe had happened was E went into damage control. She fed some kind of story to our common friends that I had done something bad enough to deserve pariah status. She needed to kick me out of the channel, and when approached as to why, she had a story about me doing something. It wasn’t just about the email.
Well, I was going to find out what this was. No one was talking to me, but I did have the discussion board. The next time I got a “you know what you did,” I challenged it: “I don’t know what I did, so tell me here… I have nothing to hide.”
It’s difficult to defend yourself against an accusation, but even more difficult to defend yourself from an accusation that no one will tell you. I needed to know what they were. But instead, I received no replies to my challenges. I was being muted.
That’s when I realized the sad truth of the situation. This was all orchestrated by E. She was free to make any accusation she wanted, and as long as I couldn’t find out, I could never defend myself. I was guilty, though I wasn’t sure of what. Even to this day.
When I returned to Canada in 2001, only Omar came out to see me. His girlfriend, Jen, also an OFU member, declined. I heard through the grapevine that I was being badmouthed at OFU meets. I was also no longer invited to do art for the annual OFU art book. After that, I met Mal in 2005. He gave me a copy of Lost At Sea, which I still have. He was the last thin h line artist I met.
[ABOVE: The last strip featuring the original thin h line artists.]
After losing these friends as well, I didn’t see much point in going back to canada. And that’s how it stands today, more of a pariah of canada than a resident of Japan.
You guys don’t know how much I miss you. How much it hurt to walk away from you because I knew I couldn’t win, that I had to assume you hated me for something that you heard. But I loved all of you, and your friendship was really really important to me. The memories still are. Five hundred dollars at the drop of a hat, Bob Dylan wrote, he’d give if our lives could still be like that. I completely agree.
What is the thin H line anyways?
It was something done out of friendship, to make my friends laugh. That’s all I did it for. Now it doesn’t do that anymore, and that’s why it’s hard to continue. They won’t be reading it. They won’t be laughing. And they won’t be waiting for us to get together and draw some more.
If I could meet even one of you, and share a drawing over a cup of coffee like the old days I would be very, very happy.