Posted in Around Town

The Free Speech Continuum

Alert: Pasadena-specific content. Contains references to the deep recesses (dirty cracks?) of the Pasadena, California blogosphere.

Pile of cars

Is Ann Erdman the owner/author of Pasadena Newer Progressive? If you think so, you’re wrong. Ann Erdman has nothing to do with the Pasadena Newer Progressive.

I didn’t post on that blog either until yesterday when AP gave me the log-in and password. I took down the Pasadena Newer Progressive. (AP was tossing in the towel anyway.)

Oh, it was funny for a hot little minute. It’s hard to maintain that level of parody. It’s even harder to accept that some people can’t see it as parody.

Piles of cars

I’m sure we’ll get our humor groove back one of these days but until then every party needs a pooper, and that’s why you invited me.

Pile open hood

How about a little ethics with your blogging? Karen E. Klein recently wrote about Blogging With Integrity. The original issue arose out of bloggers reviewing products without disclosing that they received products for free. Karen writes:

A group of bloggers has come up with a way to provide bloggers with a “tangible and collective way to express our commitment to a simple code of blogging conduct,” blogger Susan Getgood wrote me recently.

The four women bloggers involved call their project, launched this month, Blog With Integrity. They aim to “frame the discussion in a positive fashion, focusing on simple things like respect, responsibility and disclosure. No commercial sponsors, no companies, no agencies. Just the community,” Getgood said via email.

Their idea is for bloggers to take their integrity pledge and display their badge on site. You can read more background about the pledge on the group’s website.

Here’s the pledge:

By displaying the Blog with Integrity badge or signing the pledge, I assert that the trust of my readers and the blogging community is important to me.

I treat others respectfully, attacking ideas and not people. I also welcome respectful disagreement with my own ideas.

I believe in intellectual property rights, providing links, citing sources, and crediting inspiration where appropriate.

I disclose my material relationships, policies and business practices. My readers will know the difference between editorial, advertorial, and advertising, should I choose to have it. If I do sponsored or paid posts, they are clearly marked.

When collaborating with marketers and PR professionals, I handle myself professionally and abide by basic journalistic standards.

I always present my honest opinions to the best of my ability.

I own my words. Even if I occasionally have to eat them.

I really like that part about “attacking ideas and not people.” And believe me, you’ll be the first to know if I ever get paid for blogging.


Read about it here.


This is a personal blog. Expect a potpourri of stuff.

20 thoughts on “The Free Speech Continuum

  1. So glad I got to see “Newer Progressive” when it was up — it was hysterical! But you laugh WITH it, not AT it — unlike a closely-matching website one could name!

  2. These “10 Commandments” for blogging sound nice. But will a next step be for the govt taxing us to use the internet – whether we buy something on it or not. Or, a group creating rules/regs to censor what can be said?

    “Attacking ideas but not people” I’m all for. But you see it everyday especially in the political arena.

    You took down the Newer PnP, but not the New PnP? This posts begs so many questions.

  3. Attacking the person and not the idea is a red flag that the attacker does not have a strong position to argue… thus s/he turns to another defense, and that is attacking the person.

    Good to see that you took down the “Newer Progressive.” There has been way too much attacking of people in the Pasadena blogosphere.

    It just turns off the rest of us, who would like to have a civil discussion of what is happening in our city.

  4. I heartily commend this small and short post by Dave Winer, who’s attracted and dealt with (and, at times given out) more than a small bit of internet back and forth attackery. I’ve watched from the sidelines for lo, more than 10 years, and DW is mellowing. But this is preamble blather. 3x as long as the item itself. Whic is:

    Don’t waste time on other people’s qualities, intelligence, hypocrisy, honor. Distractions. What matters is what you do.

    Words to live by.

  5. regardless of whether you agree with Virginia, disagree, or think she’s “batsh*t crazy”… Aaron Proctor was way out of line with his attacks. He wrote about her giving him blowjobs and whether he found her sexually attractive. He criticized her appearance and whether he found her sexually attractive.

    Any woman blogger who giggled about these kinds of attacks should be ashamed of themselves.

  6. Ab: Well said.

    CO: Yeah, I’m still not Dormitas either!

    SK: Good stuff—thank you.

    Pasadenan: So is it okay for a male blogger to laugh at AP’s “humor”? AP was tacky and immature at times in an attempt to be funny. If I were in VH’s shoes, I would simply have ignored him.

  7. To be honest, the only reason I started the whole new PNP thing was because I apologized to Virginia and then she STILL acted insane. So, my fiancee went on her site and asked for her to calm the fuck down, considering I live 3,000 miles away and could give a rat’s ass about what happens in small town Pasadena.

    Then she went even further, making wild accusations, and – honestly – I was tired of Virginia Hoge’s name coming up. People thought she was a jilted lover or something. She started accusing my friends Kelly and Dianne of some right wing conspiracy and just making generally insane statements.

    So, like the idiots at the Weekly did to me and figuring this is how shit works in uber-idiotic California, I sent her a cease and desist letter. Still nothing. I filed a police report with the Pasadena Police Department (`cause that’s what you do when someone posts your FULL MAILING ADDRESS [I’ve since moved] and asks people to ‘mail my neighbors’ – who would really give a shit about a two-bit nobody painter from some town they probably never heard of – on their website) – and she seemed to calm down with the posting of the address but wouldn’t shut the fuck up.

    So, I made the blog – mostly to appease Kat, who was 5 seconds away from purchasing a plane ticket and rolling up in Pasadena with a crew of pipe wielding Port Richmond girls, looking for some batshit crazy bitch lugging around a suitcase full of Paxil.

    Didn’t know P Newer P would catch on and that my friends would be accused of shit they were accused of. The thing I found most hilarious was “Why! It can’t possibly be AP – I mean, it’s so full of restraint!”

    Whether you agree with anything the wrestling character turned political character Aaron Proctor did or not, you’ll have to agree, Virginia Hoge is a crazy idiot that puts herself out there for lampooning ripe for the picking.

    It was meant to be a fun parody to let my frustrations and my fiancee’s frustrations out about lame ass people who actually GO TO CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS and bring up my name in a city 3,000 miles away from where I live and where I ply my happiness. It was a celebration of parentheses and question marks and ‘why’ and calling people Neo-Birchers. Much smarter than making a video on YouTube.

    I VERY QUICKLY grew tired of typing words like “Pasadena”, “Ann Erdman”, and “Star-News” in fucking July of 2009. Pasadena is a nice past-tense thing for me and I’d like to remain a past-tense thing to anyone out there who just can’t get the fuck over me.

    But, just like the video on YouTube, I forgot that Pasadena and Philly aren’t the same place. If Crazy Virginia lived here, no one would pay her mind, because 2 million other people live in this city and her letters wouldn’t even make it to the Mayor’s desk.

    And nobody had a sense of humor about P Newer P either – people told me ANN ERDMAN was actually APPROACHED by someone asking her to take it down. What the fuck?

    So I sent Kelly the passwords to just do whatever she wanted with it.

    The end. No vast right-wing conspiracy, nobody “paying” me or any shit like that. But Virginia will take screen shots of this and post it and act crazy and stupid and frankly, I don’t give a fuck any more. As long as she’s not posting my unlisted mailing address, I’m fine with whatever she has to say because she has a right to say it. She also has a right to get made fun of, but, oh yeah, you can’t do that in Pasadena.

    Now I’d appreciate it if Virginia and anyone else who can’t seem to flip over the calendar months to read “2009” please move the fuck on and go back to your little boring ass Wrigley Mansion and Rose Parades and rich white people who pretend like they give a fuck about poor people and little zoning meetings about what trees are in the wrong places and how much sand should be in bunkers in golf courses. We’ve had like NINE cops killed in Philadelphia in the past 2 years – so when you get reactionary about whether Church’s Chicken has a permit for a drive thru, put that shit into perspective.

    P.S. Stop being so “throw your hands up in the air reactionary”… I mean, Christ, I thought Pasadena was in California – home of the wackiest of the wackiest …but OH NOES! HE’S MAKING A BLOG AND ATTACKING PEOPLE!!!!!~~~~!!!!! Give it a damn rest and go bask in your smugness at the Paseo Colorado.

    Pasadenan: I wasn’t way out of line with my attacks. They were hilarious. If you can set aside your bullshit revisionist history for two seconds, you’ll notice I talked that way about everyone. I didn’t single Virginia Hoge or anyone else out. Everyone was a ‘target’. Mostly because, at the time, I got a huge hard-on from everyone throwing their hands up in the air like they’d never seen profanity on the Internet before. Now it’s boring and stupid and Pasadena is really in some kind of fucked up Stepford Wives bubble. Disgusting.

    Can’t wait for the “screen shots” and for Virginia somehow finding an actual threat in the above message and her doing her daily dial to the Pasadena Police Department.

    Give it up, Virginia, I was just making fun of you for acting like a cunt.

  8. “Oh, it was funny for a hot little minute. It’s hard to maintain that level of parody. It’s even harder to accept that some people can’t see it as parody.”

    You’re right, Kelly. It was funny for a hot little minute. Just like I was funny for a hot little minute.

    Just a word to the wise: the next time one attempts humor in Pasadena, make sure it’s Pasadena Follies style humor and attractive to the 75+ year old crowd. Or the 35+ year old crowd who acts 75+ years old. Read: not funny at all.

  9. Thanks for commenting AP. Your humor extends far past a ‘hot little minute’ so get used to it. Self-deprecating is the one facet of humor you don’t do well, but you’ve got the other facets down stone cold (“Steve Austin”).

    “…a celebration of parentheses and question marks and ‘why’ and calling people Neo-Birchers.” Wouldn’t that be a great Rose Parade theme?

  10. No problem, any time.

    For a “World Class” city that’s the “Center Of the Universe” people sure seem like they have nothing else better to do than talk about me.

  11. This kinda puts the lie to “The Paris of the Pacific,” which is what I was hoping would be the next Rose Parade theme. But okay, if it’s gonna be “Neo-Birchers,” can they be French?

  12. It seems to me that Ann Erdman would have a legitimate case against Ms. Hoge for slander/libel. I read alot of what was going on with some macabre rubber-necker type fascination. I personally never saw anything that would lead a rational person to make such emphatic accusations against Ann Erdman. I’ve never met the lady, but I have read the “Pasadena In Focus”, which is a great resource for the common citizen, by the way.

  13. Just curious, doesn’t everybody with charter communications cable as there Internet provider have the same IP address?

    BTW Virginia should learn to check IPs she could learm a lot.

  14. I read all the blogs when this little dust up occured. I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry or simply pretend like it was a car accident and drive around it.

    In any event – there has to be better things to discuss going on in Pasadena. My best to Aaron and his new life in Philly and hopefully we can all move on from here.

  15. I had a recent very strange set of emails with Virginia Hoge.

    She accused a bunch of people I know, some of whom who hate the sight of each other,some who are lifelong lefsists who have suffered for their courageous stands in the past, of being involved in this vast right wing conspiracy against her.

    She accused Kevin Urich and Larry Wilson of being involved in a conspiracy against her. THOSE GUYS HATE EACH OTHER. I doubt they have even spoken to each other in the last five years, let alone plot against Virginia Hoge.

    She accused a African-American reporter I have known for thirty years of being a right wing tool of Pasadena’s Oligarchs and a Co Conspirator against them! This guy is the only reporter I know who will even look into misdeeds by those in local power!

    She had some insane idea that Aaron Proctor was a Republican party plant to try to get the youth vote. LOL.

    While some of Aarons postings were shall we say a wee dram over the top, and while he used to look like a refugee from a Black Sabbath training camp, he’s right about one thing:

    Virginia is batshit CRAZY!

    And this woman whining about Free Speech, didn’t she get Rene Amy’s web site shut down? I know Rene. He is a colorful character but he is no racist, far far from it. And he’s no right wing extremist,either.

    She said Robin’s was a BBQ joint from hells hearth. Really? The only guy who has a waitstaff in town that actually reflects Pasadenas diversity is from hell? I mean if all Republicans were like Robin this would be a hell of a better country.

    I have all kinds of friends in Pasadena. Some are Republicans, Some are Democrats. Some liberal, some conservative.Some gay, most straight, some Christians, pagans, atheists, buddhists (No Scientoligists, even I have lines I wont cross) A Jew or two. I even know and like a couple of Pasadneas oligarchs in spite of the fact that I know they are the enemy.

    What I dont have is friends or associates who insist that sane hard working people, even ones who are wrong and have opinions different from mine, are involved in a conspiracy when they have NO EVIDENCE, not even the slightest teeniest thread of evidence, just wild unsupported accusation.

    Long ago I once knew a person like Virgina whose every word I believed. That got me sued. I suggest everyone take heed.

  16. Steve,

    As tempting as it might seem to engage Virginia in a dialogue, I can tell you without hesitation, your efforts will be wasted. She would throw her mother under a bus to achieve her goals. Furthermore, she’ll be the last one to see she’s landed on her own sword. Best to treat her as non-existent.

Leave a Reply to Angel Bec Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s