Monday, February 14, 2011
BRING THE STUPID
Poorly conceived photoshop "detective" work
First, let me tell you about my friend Groschopf- a great guy, the type of guy you hope to have in your neighborhood. He walks around, he drives around, and he keeps his eye out for trouble. If people need his help, he helps out. He shovels the sidewalk. He tries to get involved with his community. He supports his friends. On a personal level, Groschopf has always been very supportive in helping me out on whatever projects I'm working on, no matter how crazy. It is great to have someone talented like him believe what you are doing is worthwhile.
In short, what I am saying is that if we had a Groschopf on every block, the world might not suck as much.
But the world does often suck, and the reason why is that there are so many gosh darn idiots out there.
Case in point- a profile set up on MySpace named Watching the Watchman, in which some outhouse moonbat has cobbled together an extremely weak, poorly photoshopped Groschopf-Watchman Conspiracy Theory.
When a story about The Watchman ran in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel back in October, a few people thought Groschopf might be the one behind the red cowl. They made the connection between his civic heroism and real life superheroes. With a stretch of the imagination they could connect him to the Journal Sentinel's photograph of The Watchman. A lot of his friends had a good laugh about this at the time- there were some pretty funny threads about it on Facebook.
However someone apparently has taken this to heart.
A MySpace page at www.myspace.com/yougotwatched features some...uh... interesting "morphs" of a picture of Groschopf into The Watchman. The page's status declares:
"we demand these VIGILANTES register their identies [sic]. The last thing milwaukee needs is masked lunatics running around with PEPPER SPRAY and FLASHLIGHTS!! We shall expose you all. For your own safety"
A picture caption reveals a more poetic side:
"roses are red, just like your mask. finding out who you are was an easy task!!"
So far, all of this is goofy, and quite extreme in stupidity. But then The Watchman received this e-mail:
"We would hate to have to go to the Journal Sentinal [sic] with all the information we have gathered on you over the past two months. I really think we should open up a way of communication. Because it would be a shame if the seedy underbelly of Riverwest found out your true identity.
Watching the Watchman"
As someone who knows the secret identity of The Watchman, I can testify under oath that he IS NOT Groschopf. But please, don't take my word for it- let's see the evidence. So here you go, Watching the Watchman:
EXHIBIT A: The Journal Sentinel, the very source you are threatening to slip a plain manila envelope (or in your case, a misspelled MySpace message) to already knows that Groschopf is not The Watchman. A short video accompanies the piece the Journal Sentinel ran on The Watchman, produced by Mike De Sisti. The footage is from a neighborhood patrol I went on with Watchman and Blackbird. Groschopf accepted an invitation to join us because he was curious to see what these guys were about and maybe because he wanted to get out of the house. You can't see Groschopf clearly, but he is one of the folks walking with The Watchman in the video, which you can see along with the article here: www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/104252724.html
EXHIBIT B: The Girls to the Front Fest organized a superhero themed community walk in Riverwest. Groschopf, dressed as none other than Captain Hammer, participated in the walk along with The Watchman. There are two pictures of them side by side here:heroesinthenight.blogspot.com/2010/10/riverwest-superheroes-united.html
Additionally, the UWM produced news program Panthervision ran a report about the walk and it's participants here:panthertv3.imt.uwm.edu/panthervision/pvclip9.html
EXHIBIT C: Blurry, but admissible- Groschopf on left next to Watchman at a superhero themed event to support my book.
Lastly, I'd like to address the many stupid things crammed into the "Watching the Watchman" status.
1. By "we" you mean "you." Firsthand experience joining these guys on the street more than a dozen times tells me reception to the idea, overall, is pretty positive.
2. These guys aren't vigilantes. More like a costumed neighborhood block watch.
And they do humanitarian efforts, too- Christmas Toy Drives (HERE) and trying to help homeless people (HERE).
3. Implied more than once on this page-that there is a law Real Life Superheroes have to register somewhere. Where do you think they register? The Department of Real Life Superheroes?
Watchman has been very cooperative with police,and spoken with them several times. I once witnessed him giving his ID to police when they asked for it.
4. Many people I know that live in Riverwest carry pepper spray and flashlights. The pepper spray is for self defense. The flashlights are for dark alleys and come in handy when your poorly wired house blows a fuse because you ran the toaster and the microwave at the same time.
Update: And here's Groschopf's reaction: "Well, whatever. It's weird, but for the most part stupid and harmless."
I told you he was a stand up guy.