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Asshole Of The Day
This guy reads me in a paper somewhere -- one which apparently chooses to run a different photo than my official masthead shot, over there on the left, by Joshua Gates Weinberg:

In a message dated 8/1/07 11:18:16 AM, writes:


Whats that black thing crawling up your neck, looking like it wants to overtake your chin?
Oh, thats a Turtleneck??? Whoo wears those anymore? In summertime? Im not sure you have the kind of face you want framed liked that anyway. You might want to have that birdcage liner paper post up a fresh pic.
But I do enjoy your once in awhile when I dont feel like poneying up .50 cents for a real newspaper. It must make ya feel good being quen of the idiots.

Spoken like a man sending malicious notes from his company e-mail address! I asked him:

Do you feel small and insignificant, or is there some other reason you seem to get a little lift out of sending out e-mails intended to make others feel bad?

His response:

In a message dated 8/1/07 1:47:46 PM, writes:

Im sure even big cheeses like you feel small and insignificant sometimes, so whats your point? I was just trying to give some constructive criticizsm in a funny way.
Hmmm...Sorry GODDESS, I should just leave all the judgemental, people lambasting up to you sorry fucks whom get paid for it, huh?

I write back:

It's rude to give unsolicited advice, number one, and number two, the notion that you were looking out for my laughable. There's a name for a person who sends e-mails like this under the guise of being helpful, and it starts with "ass" and ends with "hole."

More wisdom from my new penpal:

In a message dated 8/1/07 2:15:10 PM, writes:

Yeah, but in the end, you'll realize Im right and that my unsolicited advice is pretty good. If you dont your a M--ending with a N. Wether or NOT you wanna a hear it. Just take a poll of guys who care. But Im guessing you'd just prefer to tak a pole rather than a guy. There is also a name for women like you whom get mad when they hear the truth. It starts with a B and I kinda think you might be intimately familiar with the rest of it. So what, Im and asshole and your a bitch. So at least I admit being whom I am. Do you?

I felt no need to write back to convey my friend Terry Rossio's suggestion, early on, for a name for my column -- "Amy Alkon, Opinionated Bitch." I actually prefer it to "The Advice Goddess," but I realized, remembering Rachel Resnick's Go West Young Fucked-Up Chick, I'd probably never get into any dailies if I used it...and, uh, especially not with "that black thing crawling up (my) neck."

Whaddya wanna bet this guy has a hard time saying so much as hello to a woman in the real world?

And finally, what's your guess on what "If you dont your a M--ending with a N" is?

Posted by aalkon at August 2, 2007 11:35 AM


I think he meant, you're a M-A-N, baby.

Posted by: Debra at August 2, 2007 4:09 AM

If "DerekM" going to insult you he could at least check his grammar and punctuation.

He is just an idiot: "Oh, thats a Turtleneck??? Whoo wears those anymore? In summertime?"

...Um, same pic all year 'round, genius. Good observation skills. And isn't it just a popped collar? Even better diagnosis of Amy's outfit.

But, if we were all on here just b/c we thought you were hot and gazed at your thumbnail picture all day Gregg might have to march his ass over to a few houses and lay down the law. Luckily, the competition on my end is merely intellectual, not sexual b/c I am not into women (but I do appreciate the fine bone structure - as I've mentioned before, and carefully crafted outfits).

Posted by: Gretchen at August 2, 2007 5:54 AM

Wow. Not just an asshole, but an incoherent, stupid, illiterate one as well. How do these people even find employment? His writing skills are worse than an average 12-year-old's. You can always just tell him, "Yeah, and so's your mom!" to everything he says.

Posted by: Pirate Jo at August 2, 2007 6:07 AM

Nah, he meant you're a M-U-F-F-I-N.

Is it pretty hard to refrain from contacting his employers and letting them know how their employee is spending his work time?

Posted by: Rebecca at August 2, 2007 6:15 AM

Like Bugs Bunny would say, "What a M-A-R-O-O-N!"

Think that's what he meant?

Posted by: deirdre B. at August 2, 2007 6:26 AM

Way to "Frisch" yourself Einstein: (

career tip: when you get really, really bored at work, freecell might be a better outlet than picking a fight with a newspaper columnist.

If anyone is loooking for work in the Coachella Valley area, I predict there will be an opening very soon, any minute actually. And looking at the spelling errors in his company's web page, I suspect derekm is probably the webmaster.
Western Environmental is continuosly[sic] searching for
qualified candidates in the Coachella Valley.
Some of the positions we hire are:
Loader Operators
Plant Operators
Maintence[sic] Mechanics
If you feel that you could be qualified for
one of these positions email your resume in

Posted by: martin at August 2, 2007 7:13 AM

Reminds me of the dumb joke:

A big moron and a little moron were standing on a bridge. The big one fell off; the little one didn't. Why not?

Because he was a little moron!

Derek is the one who fell off the bridge.

Posted by: kishke at August 2, 2007 7:25 AM

And thought he'd win this one...

You rule, Amy.

Posted by: Curtis at August 2, 2007 7:41 AM

In between the occasional e-mail from assholes like this guy, I get e-mails that end like this one, from a guy in Iraq I've been e-mailing about his problem:

Once again Amy, I really appreciate you writing me back and supporting what we do over here, I bet you touch more people then you know.

That made my day.

FYI, the reason I write back to the Dereks of the world is the same reason I say something to people shouting into their cell phones. I don't think these people should be allowed to get away with it.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 2, 2007 8:05 AM

M-A-V-E-N! As in fashion MAVEN! Right? o_O

Deidre B is right, the guy's a M-A-R-O-O-N!

Posted by: Flynne at August 2, 2007 8:08 AM

"Amy Alkon, Opinionated Bitch."

I love it!

Posted by: Todd Fletcher at August 2, 2007 9:14 AM

Well given the company's business they would of course need to have someone actually shovel the dirt. I'm surprised they would actually give him internet access. Every company have at least a small collection of stupid, most of the better ones keep them locked away from the civilized population.

Posted by: vlad at August 2, 2007 9:28 AM

I would think with your facial features a black turtle neck would be very flattering. Lighting might be an issue with the sharper facial features, such as washout and shadows. Got a copy of the picture they used?

What is a masthead shot?

Posted by: vlad at August 2, 2007 9:32 AM

My column masthead. A lot of papers run my column with the shot of me (to the left) taken by Joshua Gates Weinberg. A few asked for alternate shots. This is probably not a shot of me in a turtleneck but wearing a green taffeta scarf, taken in a restaurant in Paris by Gregg. The papers shrink the photos down so maybe it looks like a turtleneck. I try to get them to run my current masthead shot, but sometimes they run another photo (some ask for candid shots).

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 2, 2007 10:18 AM

Well, at least he admits you're a "big cheese". Given the vernacular, I'd say that was (accidentally) a compliment!! Smart, successful woman...scares the hell out of him.

Posted by: Moreta at August 2, 2007 10:22 AM

I can't find the exact shot, but I believe it was a close-up of me in a restaurant wearing this scarf:

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 2, 2007 10:23 AM

Here it is again, in a shot by photographer Sue Rynski:

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 2, 2007 10:26 AM

I notice wei-mecca is located on an Indian reservation. Maybe Derek is his work name and his Indian name is something like Leaping Mastodon.

Posted by: running ghost at August 2, 2007 6:22 PM

Reminds me of:

"Never wrestle with a pig. You get all slimy, and the pig enjoys it."

Posted by: Kirk Strong at August 2, 2007 8:13 PM

"Amy Alkon: Opinionated Bitch"

I'd read it! :)

Oh wait, I'd read you anyhow, even if it was "Amy Strapon - Advice Dominatrix". Nevermind.

Of course, I can only read it here (or through other online papers not carried in my market), since the "alternative paper" here in Cowlumbus, Ahia carried your column ages ago, then switched to Dan Savage (not Amy, but still a good read), then dumped him and had one of their local crew start her own advice column. Not edgy, not witty, just boring and dull. And yes, I've written.

...I'll take a stab at it, too.


Okay, I'm out.

Posted by: Jamie at August 3, 2007 6:23 AM

Wow, site.

I never understand why people want to run people just because they're "local."

Personally, I couldn't care less where anybody lives...just if they're a good read.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 3, 2007 7:51 AM

Glad you liked the site.

Regarding the papers...I think it started when a bunch of "concerned citizens" started grabbing whole stacks of one of the more alternative (in this case,'s called OUTlook) papers from libraries and other places they were distributed, and would throw them out. The Other Paper (the one that previously ran your column) and the Alive saw which way the wind was blowing and went chicken. The Other Paper dropped Dan like a overlubed dildo (if Dan was reading this, he'd appreciate the analogy I think) and brought in a tame/safe local they probably pay less, and the Alive dropped almost all of it's openly gay columnists (some of which WERE local, and one especially was a really good and entertaining writer) and instead of being "artsy/gay/trendy" it became just "artsy/trendy". Kinda sad. I like edgy.

Posted by: Jamie at August 3, 2007 7:59 AM

Oh, to clarify, I don't think that gay=edgy. Upon review, it certainly sounds like that's what I said above. It's just that in the example above, the writers they tossed out, happened to be gay, and were their edgier writers. The fact that the two went together may have been coincidence.

Posted by: Jamie at August 3, 2007 9:42 AM

Jamie, I also happen to be gay. Thank you for clarifying.

Posted by: Charles Hitler Manson Satan Sonofsam at August 3, 2007 11:23 AM else can I possibly trample upon your values and mores, albeit unintentionally?

Big fan of Bratz or Barbie dolls?

Rabid mac user?

I mean, if you provide me with a specific list of personal hot-buttons issues, I'll do my best to stomponthem -- er -- AVOID them as best I can.


Posted by: Jamie at August 3, 2007 12:29 PM

Reminder to everyone...if you post more than one link, do each one in a separate comment. Anti-spam software will eat your comment otherwise. If that happens, e-mail me right away to rescue it. Sorry, fucking thieving and vandalizing spammers make the software a necessity.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 3, 2007 12:46 PM

That's dreadful about the papers there. So much for "alternative." Alternative to what, staying home drinking warm milk and reading the bible?

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 3, 2007 1:10 PM

The bible belt has a large buckle that reaches all the way up to Cowlumbus, Ahia. Which is an interesting contrast with the fact that we have one of the largest LBG populations in the US. Lotsa wacky wiccans, too. Go fig.

Charles Hitler Manson Satan Sonofsam, are you wiccan, too?

Posted by: Jamie at August 3, 2007 1:41 PM

No and you are offending my Evangelical Christian spirit by even suggesting it.

Posted by: Charles Hitler Manson Satan Sonofsam at August 3, 2007 2:03 PM

Dear Goddess:

I am a serviceman in Iraq. I discovered your column in Stars and Stripes and love it. Because I live and work at a remote patrol base I do not get Stars and Stripes very often, but due to the magic of the internet, I am still able to enjoy your wit. I agree with about 80% of what you write, and disagree with about 20%. Unlike some of your readers who seem fresh from the Cultural Revolution and feel compelled to renounce your column because they don't like something you write, I know perfectly well that no one is making me read it, so I just skim on past to the parts that I enjoy.

But on to the point of this post: Why did you dignify this fool with a response in the first place?

Posted by: Dennis at August 4, 2007 2:02 AM

Thanks so much, Dennis. As for why I responded on my blog, it's that people do this sort of thing because they don't think anybody else will see their ugliness.

As I wrote above:

FYI, the reason I write back to the Dereks of the world is the same reason I say something to people shouting into their cell phones. I don't think these people should be allowed to get away with it.

Quite frankly, after doing this for many years, and just being me, I'm pretty thick-skinned. The guy didn't get to me...I was most disturbed that he tried to and was such and ugly jerk.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 4, 2007 8:23 AM

Just got a very nice apology note from WEI. Will post as soon.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 10, 2007 1:46 PM

Dear Amy Alkon,
Needless to say, after viewing all of the wonderful publicity we are receiving due to Derek’s irrational behavior, we are beside ourselves to see that Derek has spent time and used company resources to attack you. We hope you will accept our deepest apology in reference to this unprovoked attack and the unnecessary obscenities that were expressed toward you.
We gave Derek an option to write you a heartfelt apology letter and take a week off without pay while we investigated several other issues surrounding his employment, or to no longer be employed with our company - immediately. He chose the latter and he is no longer employed with our firm. We are all very disappointed with Derek’s behavior, he has done a good job for our company during his time here.
Recently we realized Derek was developing some anger management issues and because of his past performance, we intended to seek, and had already offered to get Derek some help. Due to this recent development and his unwillingness to rectify this issue, we can no longer help him.
Again, we apologize that our employee has been a part of attacking your integrity, and we assure you that he has been dealt with quickly and appropriately. We are praying that you continue to help our society through their many struggles, and we are praying that Derek will get the help he so desperately needs.

Good Luck and May God Bless You,
Management Team - WEI

Posted by: John at August 21, 2007 4:18 PM

Thanks so much for posting this -- and for sending it to me. Your apology is absolutely accepted. And it's nice that you seem to make an effort on behalf your employees.

Derek, two suggestions, if you should come back here:

Albert Ellis' book, Control Your Anger Before It Controls You

And links to the Albert Ellis Institute's list of therapists trained in Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, which I think is the smartest, quickest, most efficient form of therapy out there. (You don't have to go back endlessly -- they just help you adjust your thinking.)

P.S. It's a nonprofit institute, although the individual therapists will charge, and I don't get any kickbacks from them (other than the satisfaction I get when people tell me how REBT changed their lives, and surprisingly fast.)

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 22, 2007 1:28 AM

Maybe its because when someone uses the word "GODDESS" to describe themselves, it connotates a very attractive woman.


Posted by: Jethro at October 9, 2007 6:17 AM

Jethro, Goddess is a joke.

We don't know much about you, except that you're ball-less. If I criticize somebody, I do it with my full name on it.

You're an anonoweenie.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 9, 2007 6:41 AM

Wow, that someone whom is in a position to ADVISE OTHERS would go as far as PURSUING & TRACKING some fool down at his work for making a comment about their poor choice of ATTIRE is AKIN to STALKING. I SUGGEST AMY, YOU SEEK HELP FROM SOMEONE WHOM IS A PROFFESSIONAL, not some silly ass entertainment media type like yourself whom is frustrated cause the cant make it in THAT BULLSHIT world....

Posted by: Molly at October 17, 2007 7:23 AM

Molly, perhaps you should stay off blog comments sections until you learn to read?

See the " writes"? This means the guy e-mailed me his nasty remark. I didn't "pursue & track" him; I simply hit "respond" in the e-mail.

Furthermore, I made suggestions to the presiden of Wei-Mecca, who wrote me to apologize, to help the guy out with some anger management.

I'm guessing you either are or know Derek. Here's a book for him: How To Control Your Anger Before It Controls You

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 17, 2007 7:32 AM

P.S. Albert Ellis, who wrote it, was a fan of mine. And heavily influenced me in my life and work.

There's a list of therapists by state in there. Maybe you can pass the link on to Derek.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 17, 2007 7:34 AM

Interestingly, "Molly's" IP address, like "Jethro's," works out to Yucca Valley, CA...not far from Wei-Mecca.

Word to the wise: If you're writing hateful e-mails to somebody...somebody who's never written to you, you might consider working on whatever's really getting to you.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 17, 2007 7:36 AM

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