Some time ago, when I was a Montana resident, a certain State Senator went after Governor Brian Schweitzer in a most undignified manner, engaging in what appeared to many to be a drunken rant on the floor of the Senate. The man, Mike Lange, was also a candidate for governor, but that did not play out well for him. I will never forget Schweitzer’s response to the rant: “I never judge a man when he is at his worst.” Classic putdown.
Our writer Fauxlex issued a critique of Miles Mathis in his piece The Mote and the Beam. I did not exercise any oversight on that piece, in fact, asked Faux that he just go ahead with it without consulting me. Had he asked me, I would have said “Fine, run it.” There is nothing in it that is undocumented, nor in my view, troubling. Faux worked hard on the piece, and did a good job. I view Miles as a man like all of us, full of faults and strengths and possessed of secrets. I don’t want to be scrutinized as he has been. But Fauxlex (pronounced “folex”) has been engaged in MM research since coming on board, and had accumulated quite a bit of material, perhaps revealing and somewhat embarrassing, but not condemning. As he said, we like the man. I know I do.
Prior to the Fauxlex piece, Miles went off on me with his words “scumbag agent.” Those words were brought to my attention pronto, but I felt no hurt, no insult. As I always say, the only way to hurt my feelings is to say things about me that are true. In past episodes Miles has indeed offered critiques of my work that hit the mark. I had to self-reflect at the time, and took down much of the it that offended not just him, but my own senses. I had gotten carried away. Right is right.
Miles is not a substance abuser. He seemed keen on healthy living when I met him in 2016. So the Mike Lange example above does not really apply. It was just a nice lead-in. For some reason, Miles was angry at me, tired of me, or perhaps feeling betrayed. I think he might resent that I am still around, still blogging. I was supposed to have left the building after the Robert Zherunkel/Kevin Starr pieces a couple of years ago. What a shit storm! I didn’t. I like writing and enjoy debate. I am doing less these days, but won’t be quitting any time soon. Miles might take my continuing presence as continuing insult. If so, I regret that. Attitudes can change.
Mine has. I think differently now than when those articles appeared. I attached some importance to Miles being the genuine article, perhaps feeling I had been conned. I have reconsidered, and now live by Kevin Starr’s words as he took the exit ramp here: “He may be a limited hangout, but he is the best one around.”
So I let controversy swirl, and let others engage in the search for truth about Miles W. Mathis. Those who write (and have written) here are unconstrained and are only asked to avoid the topics listed in the “Commenting Policy.” I set that policy only to avoid an invasion by reptilians. I have my doubts and suspicions, but appreciate the Mathis product. For so long as he keeps churning it out, I will keep reading. I bear him no ill will.
As to the comment about my being a “scumbag agent,” he and I have two different approaches. When I say something in bad temper that I regret here on the blog, I make it disappear. Miles does not edit his public product, ever, as far as I can tell. So the “scumbag agent” comment is there in perpetuity. I can only live and write to contradict it by example. I am neither scumbag nor an agent in my view, but opinions may differ.
The Miles I met in 2016 was a soft-spoken man with good manners, one who would not speak in that manner to anyone. He also looked athletically fit, the product of a healthy lifestyle. He lived in a modest home full of oil paintings and one large sculpture. He had cats running about. And he drove a buggy. That’s all I know for sure.
I love cats too.