Thomm Quackenbush, author

Vince Ripper

Hello Vince.

Wow dude. Wow. I don't know where to start. I have in front of me the three comments you left, and I decided that instead of giving my opinion about you and the situation at hand, I will try to limit my commentary to facts. Opinions do not seem to go over well with you if they are anything other than your own. Also, for Kevin's sake, I will leave out anything personal. In fact, we had not posted your latest comment yet because we were still deciding if it would be disrespectful to Kevin to pursue the issue further. However, upon receipt of your THIRD comment, I have no problem responding.

Let's start from your first comment. I find it hard to believe that we read the same journal entry. You would have everyone believe that the purpose of the journal entry was to maliciously destroy Xoch's reputation! In reality, 99% of the entry wasn't about Xoch at all. Xoch happened to be there. I have read the entry several times, and have yet to find any of the "malicious lies" that you promise are there. You complain that the entry fails to comment on the rest of the crowd and their supposed positive reaction to Xoch. If you want to write a journal entry about that, you are more than welcome to, but since this is Xen's journal, he can choose to omit whatever he wants. He did not care about the crowd's reaction to Xoch, nor is he obligated to describe it, as this is, again, his personal account of his evening. There is no polite way to say this, so I apologize in advance (I do not have Xen's gift of speech) but your performance wasn't that important to us, hence the FEW observations here and there as to what stuck out in Xen's mind. You go on to describe Xoch's extensive qualifications. Great for you (no sarcasm intended)… but for someone who has enjoyed such success, it surprises me that you are this obsessive over what one person has to say, someone that is not even in your fan base. You accuse Xen of being overly-indulgent and insulting everyone who is more talented than he. I think you may be reading the wrong journal, I don't think he could be malicious if he tried, and very rarely do I notice him insulting people. This journal entry was about his evening… not Xoch.

You accuse Xen of succumbing to endless assumptions that suit his purpose. Again, I assure you that there was not one hundredth the amount of thought put behind Xen's words as you would believe. You are overly dramatic and give a new meaning to the word "exaggeration." We should come up with a new word for the amount of drama and exaggeration… sorry… getting personal. My apologies. But speaking of assumptions, you assume that Xen is, first of all, a female (which I find it hard to believe since you claim to have thoroughly read so many of his other journal entries) and also immature, unattractive, and jealous. All this is based on the many "malicious insults" that do not exist. Come on, stating that a person has a nice voice, but flails a lot and has an unusual hairstyle, is far from malice. His joking way of describing Xoch is meant to be light-hearted if anything. You can't tell me that part about his fear that her limbs would fall off wasn't funny! Just a bit of advice--try to be a little less defensive, and see that Xen isn't at all malicious. This world would be a better place if we could all laugh at ourselves once in a while.

If you want to talk about malice, let's talk about insulting someone who is supposed to be your friend, by pointing out they they are "riding your coattails" and mentioning that Kevin had a bit of trouble during his performance. He was nervous and more of an amateur than you guys are--give him a break. And you want to talk about immaturity? How about the sentence, "Just know that you are responsible for the fact that Kevin will not be invited to perform with us again." Yes, I know you took it back, but wow dude. I think I said something similar to my brother when I was, like, three!

Your second email promises to be your last, but alas it is not. This is even more exaggerated and dramatic than the first! I love how you refer to Xen's brief mention of Xoch's sister-in-law as "a pages long diatribe." Nothing hurtful was said, except that essentially an ex-girlfriend of his didn't like her for some reason or other. You claim that he said he would "never give her the time of day." Please point out where he said that!

Part of the problem here, that I can't stress enough, is your assumption that the entry was about Xoch. To quote you, "what we do not accept…is a reviewer who instead of focusing on the music, focuses on person factors." Xen has never pretended to be a reviewer, and I reiterate, the point of the article is not Xoch, but the observations of Xen on a particular evening. You keep stating that certain things Xen said had "nothing to do with the show." Had Xen been writing an official review of Xoch, you would have a valid point. But again, this was not a review of such. Your assumption that you would be the most important part of the evening speaks volumes for the type of person you are.

And you claim that you have to be subjected to rambling, personal insults towards your family. Again, Xen never insulted your family in the least, but also, no, you don't have to be subjected to any of it. You don't have to obsessively read Xen's journal. He promises he won't miss you. Don't go to his webpage if you are going to read so deeply into phrases like "nervously talking." How is that malicious!?

Your last comment makes completely no sense. The bit about passthebowl420 and apparently Xen repeatedly stating that the Cubbyhole charges for admission (???) was just reaching.

Basically what I am trying to say is that you come off--not just to me, but to others--as haughty and stuck up. Fact. It's how you come off, and I apologize for my lack of tact. Sincerely. You are inserting absurd meaning in random places and magnifying that meaning times a billion. If you just read Xen's entry for what it is, and not read into the few comments about Xoch, I defy you to find anything malicious or false. If you cannot do so, I suggest that you don't read Xen's journal anymore. Good luck with your band, and if you can take anything from this, please let it be that most people aren't like us--if you try to pick a fight for no reason at all, most would be more than happy to accommodate you. Don't be h8n!

Xen's September 16th, 2005 entry
Letter #1 From Vince Ripper with Xen's public response. Xen has not responded privately to Mr. Ripper, now or ever. He will consider any future messages from Vince to be harassment, as is defined by Mr. Ripper's ISP and mail provider, and will react accordingly. Such harassing messages may be posted on Xenex as public evidence.
Letter #2 (Arrived at 11:26AM 11/03/2005):
This is the exact same note as I sent you a few minutes ago, except some typos have been corrected. It is difficult to proofread in the small space provided in your comments section, I am resending this so that my words are clear. Again, good luck to you -

Vince Ripper here. This will be my last note to you because I don't wish to continue an assault on you, you are certainly entitled to your opinion and you are also entitled to not like what we do.

That was not the problem and I will elaborate on why my reaction was what is was -
You obviously have an excellent command over the english language, and you write very well. Considering this, I found it to be quite surprising that in writing a pages-long diatribe about your observations, you spent paragraphs writing not about the music, but about personal appearance and stage presence, completely bypassing any thought of musical talent, which is the reason we do what we do. You are perfectly entitled to your opinion, and if you DID read the reviews on our website, you will clearly note that not everything said was praise, although most of it is. We accept that not everyone will like what we do and we do not edit comments to our advantage. In doing what we do, we are entirely prepared for opinions not in favor of our art. What we do not accept however is a reviewer who instead of focusing on the music, focuses on personal factors, insults about appearances, falsely drawn conclusions (one example - Xoch was never "nervously" talking to people outside the club, that is pure negative assumption on your part, but you write it as if it were undeniable fact....), and tries to use that as a statement of the abilities of the band.

The most inappropriate thing you said, which is what sent me over the edge, was your paragraphs-long insults and judgments about Xoch's sister-in-law. Your statement that you "would not give her the time of day", a person who showed you nothing but kindness in talking to you, is a clear indicator that you do not look at the world through unbiased eyes, and that you let superficial and unfounded judgments cloud your vision. Who are you to make that kind of statement, one who's only purpose is to hurt and judge? What gives you the right to talk in a negative and insulting light about people's family members? It is clear that your entire focus is in insulting people, and anyone who has taken a freshman psychology class can clearly see that your motivations are based entirely in jealousy and resentment, and your comments are for one purpose - to try to rise above your own personal insecurities, not through self-help and maturity, but through hateful judgment towards others in an effort to make yourself feel better because of self-resentment of your own personal shortcomings. A person with the writing ability that you have could make her point far more effectively and eloquently if you at least attempted to keep personal, non-related judgments out of your observations. What need was there to aggrandize yourself by insulting Xoch's sister-in-law? Where is the maturity in that? What does that have anything to do with the show you attended, and what other purpose does that type of commentary serve, other than to condescend to others? The correct answer is that there is no purpose other than your own bitterness toward what is obviously a miserable existence, and your satisfaction in the misery of others to make yourself feel better about yourself. A person with your intelligence should be able to see this, and hopefully learn a lesson from it in how you judge others.

As far as Xoch - these were my words, not hers. Your conjecture that my words reflect Xoch's opinions is entirely unfounded, and yet another example of your condescending assumptions about people and their motivations. Xoch herself could care less about your opinion, the only thing she was concerned about were the unneccesary, immature, and condescending statements toward her family. No artist should have to be subjected to pages long diatribes about her family members in regard to a performance. You must see your error and bad judgment in this.

As far as Kevin, you are correct, I have unjustifiably directed my frustration toward him, and for that he has received my apology. The remainder of that discussion is between him and I, and we will deal with it on our own, privately.

One word of explanation however - my initial reaction to disinclude Kevin from further performances was based on the perception that if we have to be subjected to rambling personal, not musical, insults towards our family and ourselves when we play with Kevin because of who his fanbase is, then for the sake of our family and our own personal integrity, we don't need to do that, and our family does not need to be subjected to your hateful judgments and condecending attitude and comments because we choose to share a bill with him. Based on this blog of yours, it is reasonable to assume that if we do a show with Kevin, then there is the clear possibility that on the day after the show we can look forward to a rambling insult to us and our friends, fans, and family. And for what purpose? To make you feel better about yourself? In a desire to protect the integrity of everyone involved, my first reaction was to kill the problem at it's proximate source. Well, with a day to think about it, I have reconsidered my position on that, and again Kevin has received my apology for my reaction, but there is something to be said about wanting to protect both ourselves and our family and friends from unfounded and hurtful judgments and comments, hence my initial reaction. No doubt there were better ways to handle that, and we will find a better way as we move forward, without punishing Kevin in the process. You must realize however that you do compromise his opportunities and his relationships when you brand yourself as his friend/fan, and then proceed to insult the artist who gave him that opportunity, and her family.
That is all. If you are unbiased, you will also print this note in tomorrow's entry into your blog, and address your own immaturity and hateful observations and comments.

You will hear no further from me, I just hope you can open your eyes and learn a lesson about personal judgment and how your flippant opinions can hurt people, people who have never harmed you, and do not deserve that kind of treatment.

You are an excellent writer. Perhaps you can use your talents to bring some joy and love into the world, instead of perpetuating further hatred and superficial judgment so common in our society. And let me be clear - I have spent significant time reading your blog - it's not just the one entry - your journal is filled with personal details of people's lives, and your resentment for almost everyone you write about. Perhaps you can reflect on that, and realize that in behaving like that, you shed nothing but negative light on yourself as well as the innocent people that you hurt with your words. Time to grow up and use your talents responsibly. Something to think about perhaps......

Good luck to you.
Letter #3 (Arrived at 9:06AM 11/04/2005):
Vince Ripper here. Nice to see you didn't post my note from yesterday, where you might have to account for your unjustified and cruel statements to an artists family member, but I digress, that's not why I am here today. I want to clear up 2 more false assumptions on your part -

1) "passthebowl420" is NOT Xoch. We don't know who it is, but it wasn't her. STOP ASSUMING THINGS! When I mentioned Xoch in my note yesterday, I was referring to the fact that you refer to her as if she has spoken to you. She has not. We don't know who "passthebowl420" is, but it was not her. Please note this, or will you continue with your web of false assumptions, negative commentary to suit your purpose, and lies?

2)the Cubbyhole is a free show, no cover charge, and your repeating it several times does not make it true. No one pays to get in there, ever, so yet another exaggeration/lie that you tell, again, to suit your own selfish purpose.

Good bye!

Angela is an artist in the truest sense of the word, though particularly artful when it comes to telling you how lame you are for writing hate mail.

Don't Be H8n!
Don't Be H8n!

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