Reposted here, exclusively, is Kyron Mallet's Ode to A Boy Called Restal:
(N/B: This is a one off blog written for the benefit of the mentally and morally impaired minority. It will be available online for a single week and then it will be removed. That should be sufficient time for even Davey Restal to read through it.)
I’m relaxing in front of a computer screen to take a break from the computer screen I’ve been sitting in front of all day.
I receive an email from a friend.
Have you heard of David Restal? He asked.
Well I couldn’t say that I had! A quick hop along a hyperlink later and I’m bewildered to find that such a person does exist, we have an overlapping interest in Who and (quite a shock to me) we have a sort of ‘history’. At least we do in his mind.
And so begins our journey over to the under, underside of the net: ‘the ones with little to say and without the skills to do so properly, but who spend their whole lives blogging relentlessly.’ And it’s almost always to themselves and an audience of three (which includes their own mother).
I am and have been lots of things in my own life: a husband, father, son, brother, employer, employee, success, failure, bankrupt, success, academic, published writer… I could go on and on and on and the reason is, is that I have actually had a life. There’s more to me than a blog and a passion for the now sadly desecrated concept of Doctor Who!
About a decade ago and in my spare time, I constructed a site devoted to championing the cause of the one interpretation of the character of the Doctor who I felt did not get a good deal during his run. In fact it was a conglomeration of two sites, on an informative site devoted to educating the public about his neglected and underappreciated era and another to fan fiction designed to increase engagement online in the concept of his character. Both were well received. I’d had plenty of ideas for Doctor Who stories over my already more than 30 years of life and this was also a way of ‘exorcising’ them.
At the same time I made sure I engaged the online community by publishing my reviews of Who releases related to my cause and my stories on public sites (principally the ‘Teaspoon and an Open Mind’ and the ‘Doctor Who Ratings Guide’ sites – which are very accessible and well attended). The response was overwhelmingly positive. I even wrote a screenplay for the Doctor Who Audios based in California and it was produced. I wrote a follow up for a related production company and it was recorded (but it was never released online due to a media storage accident). One might gather from that my approach to who had some merit and I possess the skills needed to undertake such tasks. I’m very proud of them but they were done in my spare time, as a hobby and for fun so they don’t even get a mention on my cv. Unless you count the listing of the word ‘writing’ under hobbies.
However I found myself back in study and I had less spare time to devote to the ‘cause’. Subsequently Geocities closed and I simply took that as a sign that it was time to move on and do other things. Another ‘cause’ was rattling the chains of the co-ordinated efforts of well connected fans of the show to down-play the possibility of missing Doctor Who material could be found and that hoarding of episodes does occur. One only has to articles written by episode hunter and academic Dr. Paul Lee to conclude that there is more to the idea than it just being a ‘conspiracy theory’. I also locked horns with the hypocrites at Loose Cannon Productions. I’ve publicly discussed this before but I was initially banned from their site and their distribution ring for admitting on their forum that I make my own recons (not for uploading any of their material). This organisation takes exception to others using the same materials they do and uploading the results on You tube. The real reason of course is that they feel they have the exclusive right to that activity. However the fact that You tube won’t remove any of the ‘offending’ materials and that the BBC have stated they think its all good promotion makes them seem rather selfish and impotent. Having been accused of ‘ripping them off’ I subsequently made a point of taking some of their recons apart and demonstrating how they could be improved! Well, what did I have to lose?
I have a playful nature and that has at time brought me into conflict with the administrators of a few forums. However this always involved the ability to stand my ground and argue, I have never engaged in open abuse. I played the odd prank sometimes engaging in multiple registration and posting to parody certain attitudes and even that was commonly found by the mainstream to be highly enjoyable. Of course, the targets were often very precious about it. If there’s one thing those with entrenched attitudes can’t stand is an informed debate and criticism. Such is life on the net! Anyway the net is all about engagement, right or wrong. It is and should remain a playful, exciting place where people can champion alternative ideas and exhibit their creativity.
Which doesn’t bring me to David Restal at all, but I have to cover his ‘contribution’ at some point as he is my true ‘case-study’. Restal’s list of credits includes work with a group founded circa 2000 called the Youth of Australia (suggesting that he’s a good ten years younger than myself and Gen-Y as I was already married 10 years then and balding) whose product across the medias of ‘short stories, novellas, comic books, newspaper cartoon strips and an animated episode is on the horizon’ are truly the most unfunny material I have ever known. It reminds me of a youth comedy team I was involved with circa 1990 wherein we were convinced we were the funniest act ever to breath air and air is exactly what we evaporated into when we started uni! My comedic legacy sits on analogue tapes, the internet has unfortunately ensured that even the most tragically appalling material can sometimes be digitally preserved. Be Warned: Avoid this at all costs.
On his own Restal has made even less of an impact as the writer of ‘An Alternative Guide to Doctor Who’. He explains: ‘This blog exists for a reason - and that's a damn sight more than most blogs can say about themselves.’ The reason appears to be so that young master Restal can offer the entire universe the benefits of his ‘insights into Doctor Who’. It tries to be informative and funny, which is never a good mix and usually ends up being confusing and ponderous. There are literally hundreds of blogs contained within it and there little or no evidence that it has attracted any readership beyond his dismally micro group of like-minded, insular opinionated hermits who inhabit this obscure world. Its hard to think of a more useless ‘contribution’ to the world since Gary Gillatt’s Doctor Who: From A to Z, which was itself nothing more than regurgitated facts from other sources and subjective opinion dressed up as ‘analysis’, but was at least written well.
You may well be twigging to the central point I am trying to make and it relates to discernable levels of engagement constituting a true contribution online. Over the past several years I have been devoting my time to gaining a higher research qualification. That combined with work and family tends to keep you very busy. Recently I finished my Doctorate and had my first summer to myself (and my young family) for the first time in several years. I got engaged again with a community online, this time it was the fandom surrounding the Australian music show Countdown. I had been a collector of episodes for many years. However despite the claim that the Countdown Memories Fourm is a ‘community to discuss everything COUNTDOWN and beyond!’ – it isn’t, just try it and see what happens. There is also an agenda to only encourage the repeating of a particular section of the Countdown archive so that a handful of collectors can selectively augment their own catalogues. So not only is discussion limited to Countdown in terms of lobbying the ABC for repeats, bullying ensures that discussion tends to focus on a single era of a single show. The site administrator specifically is very aggressive and abusive and continuously harasses the ABC Rage team on a multitude of issues (including the new policy of water-marking). Subsequently there has been a sharp decline in the amount of specific repeats each annual retro season. This self-evident fact seems to have completely escaped the very small number of posters who frequent the site. Not surprisingly I found myself in conflict with the regime. It was tauntingly suggested that I start my own forum and so I actually did.
At the same time I was fortunate to stumble across the existence of a missing episode of Countdown which had been quietly hoarded by fans for many years. This lead to an intense burst of anger from those ‘in the know’ and those who defend and/or engage in the practice of hoarding best illustrated in a specific thread on the ABD Rage forum.
So a few weeks ago, having burnt some very insignificant bridges, I rolled up my sleeves before the new working semester began and I created a forum. The site is far broader than the CDM fourm. It is devoted to the history of Australian TV ‘last century’, which is a broad church. Therefore the boards were organised according to genre. I also devoted myself to promoting it across other forums and on social networking media such as facebook and twitter. On FB this involved sending a friend invitation to anyone who frequents the Countdown group site along with this ad:
Please visit Retroz TV Forum to discuss the history of Oz TV. Many downloadables and links for registered members. Visit: http://retroztv.proboards.com/index.cgi
There were different variations on the same theme, depending on where I was posting it and the specific audience. You get the idea? I think I may have accidentally sent it on FB to someone associated with the CDM site as logging in one day I discovered that I’d been suspended for approaching someone I didn’t actually know (but how else are you meant to expand your social network if you can’t approach new people?). I suspect this was done out of spite and it also altered the ‘competition’ to my strategy. I suspect that this is when someone decided to have a little ‘fun’.
When I received an email from my friend Peter, he had been googling his own internet handle and those of others. Somehow he’d uncovered a very abusive rant on a blog connected to me. The trigger seemed to have been an ad identical to those I had been posting around recently but with a very snide comment attached. It was signed Peter Q but my friend denied making the post. I immediately smelled a rat. It’s actually very easy to create a google account. I managed to set up one and add a blog in under 2 minutes. So its not beyond the realms of possibility that someone created a google account under the name of Peter Q in order to perpetrate a hoax. In fact that’s exactly what has happened here, and while I am not at all responsible, I can’t help not feeling sorry for Restal regarding his reaction.
What I find bewildering is the insistence (from both the CDM community and now David Restal)* that the real Peter Q and I are the same person. Based on what evidence? This seems to be based simply on a view that it is unlikely that we would agree on several issues and support each other (?). We ‘met’ in relation to the hoarding of a Countdown episode. Peter actually had the episode and so was technically a hoarder. He saw my initial post concerning it being listed on a site which had posted ABC archival material and wanted to come clean. The epsidoe was listed under its repeat series title and so had remained hidden in the archives. A off-air copy had been circulating the well connected trading community and a story concerning the idea that to reveal its existence would create legal ramifications for the person who had ‘coped it from the archives’ was spread in order to keep it exclusive. Peter had always felt guilty about it. I respect him for coming clean. The internet has truly become a true place where individualism has become so inherent and expected that people are unwilling to believe that one individual would come to the aid of another. It only seems to be accepted when a whole pack of unthinking morons are directed by a clique leader to deal with a dissenter!
Peter was never charged with promoting my site and would never post an unprovoked abusive comment online. The only time I have ever engaged in multiple postings was to perform a prank on the Missing Episodes Doctor Who forum years ago, lampooning Richard Bignell and Ian Levine and others, which even Mark Brown seemed to think was funny. Sadly it was almost immediately taken off so I can’t reference it. During the conflict with one little clique of Countdown fandom my connections to Doctor Who had been revealed. I write and post either under my handle ‘Kyron Mallett’ or as ‘Matty Knoller’ – no others, Some forums like the ABC Rage one, sensibly encourage this. Those fourms that don’t tend to be the ‘precious’ ones and are best avoided. My real name is my own business and people who post openly under theirs are idiots. Double idiots if you post under your own name and actively defame others. Peter (real name with-held) and Kyron/Matty (real name also with-held) are two separate people. If you don’t or can’t believe that, well I think that’s more a reflection of the paranoia that characterises the underside of the net.
Which brings me back to David Restal. It turns out he had made a number of unkind references to me in the past on his blog and interpreted that as a very delayed (!) reaction. Of course I’d never heard of his site, or of him or had read anything he had ever written until two days ago! What followed was an outpouring of bile that even considering I was responsible for posting the comment, must be considered to be disproportionate as much as it is manipulative of the facts and totally uninformed.
I’m accused of several things. One includes ‘withdrawing ‘ from the net. I’ve maintained a very strong presence on the net, even under the name Kyron Mallett. The Geocities web project in the meantime has also resurrected my Sixth Doctor pages and they are traceable. If you google ‘Kyron Mallett’ you will get a diverse number of links that go on for two screens. According to Davey (and this is looking at the world through Gen-Y glasses or at least with a case of ‘arrested development’) if you aren’t on Facebook then you’re hiding from the world! Actually until 2009 I was on FB but then I switched to twitter. The one individual he states as an example of how difficult I am to find is a current poster on my site. I reconnected with him on twitter. Ironically I can’t find Restal or the other person on FB where I hold an account as Matty Knoller (mostly to avoid nosey relatives when I list under my real name!!!). I think the other person was attempting to contact me around the time I submitted my 140, 000 word doctoral thesis and I didn’t have time at all for DW fandom at that time. Is that a crime?
His blog reflects his poor critical thinking skills. His lines of thought are truly ponderous at times. For instance he ‘reasons’ that if an actor who played one’s favourite interpretation of a character in a specific tv show and has approved of a ‘related’ tv series based on the former, that one cannot justified in being a fan of one and a critic of the other (?). More darkly, he implies that he thought I might have been killed off by own family despite total ignorance of the fact that I have been happily married for over twenty years and still have children who speak to him (a real achievement in itself!).
Several controversial episodes from my past are paraded like a charge list. I suppose if you can’t compete and articulate a solid argument then you need to play the man! The way in which the ‘Loose Cannon’ conflict and the ‘Grade in bed with Davies’ comedy piece have been interpreted reveal a tendency to distort events and perpetuate myths, again typical of this sort of case. Working from these selected examples, I argue that the label ‘fantasist’ is justified.
At the core of his problems is the fact that Restal appears to lack an appropriate ‘theory of mind’. Because he has nothing else to fill his time, every one else must exist in the same state of limbo. If one is not engaging in those activities that he deems worthwhile, then one is not engaged in anything worthwhile. It is indeed a very infantlie view of the world and it pervades his ‘work’.
Clearly Restal fills void created by a lack of achievement stemming from his lack of creative and rational intelligences by his activities on the net. His attempted ‘deconstruction’ (or as he describe sit in his Gen-Y vernacular he did ‘MS3TK my ass’) of my fan fiction story ‘Reformation of the Daleks’ is a good example of that. The problem is that it happened in 2008 and I never knew anything about it until a day ago. I don’t think it was a coincidence that it was written in the year I had a Doctor Who play produced. I’m not aware of any attempts by Restal to construct his own fiction and share it. I strongly doubt he has that capacity. He has instead created a sort of fantasy world within which he is a great achiever who has produced ‘short stories, novellas, comic books, newspaper cartoon strips and an animated episode is on the horizon.’ These are the sorts of ‘achievements’ others might rack up in their spare time outside of their real contribution to society and certainly not even worth a mention on a typical cv. Inspection of his work (particularly his art work) indicates a lack of observable creative talent and that it is typically of the derivative sort normally exhibited in this type of case. Even in regards to Doctor Who literature, surely having posting reviews of adventures tv and audios on popular communal forums/sites of which I am guilty of, is healthier not to mention a more useful and positive sign of engagement with the online community than writing an entire encyclopaedia of introspective and incoherent ramblings that no one has or ever will read?
Like many of his ‘type’, Restal acts out in a way that makes him feel powerful. This is exhibited in several ways including acting as a supposed grammar policeman, lining together an exaggerated menu of disparate online ‘crimes’ and impotently attempting to refute sound criticism. Typically of this sort of case, because he is stupid enough to post on the net under his real name, he assumes/insists others should and actually do as well (coming back to the theory of mind issue). He provides a ‘revelation’ aimed at exposing self’s true identity. A quick internet search reveals that the name he produces is shared by 28 individuals alone in the United States and is unlikely to result in any specific identification (which apart from revealing real names is in violation of the terms of conduct determined by the service he utilises). Part of this process is the projection of many of his own negative behaviours online, onto others that present in his mind at least, some kind of threat.
A symptom of his insularity is his fixation on Doctor Who. When he visited my forum he could not have failed to notice that it covers a broad spectrum of shows. The fact that he accessed and referred to only one thread on one board demonstrates the narrowness of his interest and ‘knowledge’ spectrum. His attempts to refute the opinions of others who ‘dare’ to challenge the quality of the new series is truly laughable and not worth dissecting. The fact is that there is only one opinion that matters to David Restal, and that is his own and he cannot even begin to see beyond it. It is an outlook that is as uninformed as it is ‘fawning’ towards the creative ‘brains’ behind the new series. His name needs to be listed under ‘intolerance’ in the dictionary. Yet he has the gall to accuse me of being ‘homophobic’. Part of the cause of his intolerance is the fact that he cannot understand complex arguments and instead finds cover in the anonymity of ‘mainstream thought’. Russell T. Davies did use the new series to further his own social agenda, he has admitted that but in doing so he had a double purpose. By virtue of highlighting gay and black characters he was discouraging criticism of his shallow, lazy, unimaginative writing. People risked being seen as ‘homophobic’ or ‘racist’ if they offered criticism. By simply labelling me ‘homophobic’ for making that point, Restal is in fact reinforcing my own argument! The evidence of my posts, twitters and more indicate that I am arguably one of the least bigoted people you will ever encounter in your life.
It’s also interesting to reflect that people on the opposite extreme of the online engagement spectrum often suffering banning from forums but for different reasons. One type cannot tolerate alternative views, find it difficult to construct rational arguments and become frustrated and aggressive when they realise they are not the ‘thinkers’ they profess to be but rather sheep that have waded far out of their depth. The other type tend to frustrate ideologues with well rounded arguments but refrain from direct abuse. The tendencies to stick to ideas and refrain from writing in capitals are conspicuous by their absence. In my opinion, interaction with professionals and other accomplished, creative people will continue to provoke aggressive outbursts from Mr. Restal.
The most ironic aspect to this out-burst, is that following his visit to my forum, for the first time I can detect, a more ‘reasoned’ discussion followed between his only two regular followers on a transplanted topic. Something he has so far failed to inspire himself during several years of essentially amounts to talking to himself (and a very small micro-audience) in a dark room, presumably in the attic of his parent’s house. This is also a specific debate that Restal typically appears to be intellectually unequipped to engage in personally to any functional degree. Most of his ‘work’ amounts largely to often aggressive rants with little rational coherence or point.
Despite the fact Restal has been blogging for several years and has estimated total traffic of 2 in addition to himself and presumably his mother. Our forum has been running for less than two weeks and already attracts guest traffic upwards of 40 per on weekdays, close to 60 on weekends. In writing this I am very aware that it will probably only ever be read (though not fully understood) by about three people including Restal himself. Blogs are a notoriously isolated medium unless the poster is a celebrity. It is only through joining the chatter of the wider net rather than talking virtually to yourself with one hand while wanking with the other, that your voice can actually be heard.
No doubt Restal will attempt to undermine this blog in anyway he can. Of course he will lie about me, about himself and the entire world around him until he rationalises the situation into a form that he can deal with in his own mind. He will spend hours of his time taking it apart and attempting to refute any and all points made with a typical lack of cognitive skill but in his heart I think he will know that I am right. The only reason I’ve sat down today and written this response is to help him face up to the reality of his own life in the hope that he can change and transform himself into something resembling a decent human being. Like another academic (Dr. Lee) who has been brave enough to take on the mainstream on related issues, we sometimes have to account for ourselves in detail in a way in which the sheep do not, but it is sometimes necessary.
To summarise: it is always better (if not without its risks) to engage rather than to hide and pontificate. Those engaged in fan activties relating to social networking media should do just that, network in the form of creating and commenting. Compiling online ‘encyclopaedias’ that are irrelevant and offer only uninformed opinion, seething blogs that lash out at others who are more accomplished and talented, are not examples of engagement. Restal is a typical specimen found on the underside of the internet without any ability or actual audience. In the words of the character he professes to know so much about: ‘You’re an excellent example of the inverse ratio between the size of the mouth and the size of the brain.’
You really now it when you step down into the muck at the bottom of the net, the smell is overpowering. There are lots of ‘David Restals’ out there (another hoaxed a post in this case on another’s blog) and they stick to the bottom of the shoes of people that make a real contribution to the online world just like the small, insignificant pieces of talentless shit they truly are. They come in all shapes and forms and they have one purpose, and that is to drag you down into the muck with them!
‘He can’t write, he can’t think, he just can’t, full stop.’…. and that’s his real problem.
* I feel I should point out I never once said or thought they were the same person.
But wait, sports fans, there's more.
Well if this idiot is going to copy and paste my last blog on his own, then there’s little reason to ever take it off is there?
Predicatbly the response has involved adolescent point scoring. In doing so this individual has only reinforced a number of my key points.
Firstly, the issue of identity. The blog is addressed to the person represented in the ‘I” in the recent comment: “I feel I should point out I never once said or thought they were the same person.” Just substitute the words ‘David’ and/or ‘Restal’ with the words 'unspecified cunt' and all will become clear. It’s really not clear who the person is posting under the handle ‘Youth of Australia’. However if you post on a blog where the address is http://davidrestal.blogspot.com.au there’s a good chance at least that this is your name. If not, it doesn’t take anything away from my argument.
Secondly, the issue of backtracking. When the post was made it was meant to be seen as being me. Your response seemed to suggest that you were directing your anger at me. I did not want this to become another inaccurate ‘Kyron Mallett’ myth. As if I would come to a obscure blog to advertise my forum? And if I did I would insult the person behind it? The whole thing sounds like a set-up to me.
Thirdly, instead of listing any original fiction you might have written yourself, you instead list a series of ‘reviews’ of my own. Why? Because your writing comprises solely of opinionative non-fiction! Of course I’m not going to read your shit anymore than anyone else ever has!
I’ve since ‘Googled’ my handle Kyron Mallett on my office computer, my collegues office computer and my own at home. There’s a lot of results and contact details, so for once stop lying.
I’m also disturbed about the word ‘parasite’. This seems to indicate that you have not understood my response at all or just rejected it outright. My main point in regards to the issue of engagement is that you are the parasite contributing nothing. I don’t even know and care what you are called! Most people in fandom have heard of me. So instead of point scoring, back-tracking, lying and being abusive, why not take my very justified criticisms on board and get a life.
That old charmer.
But wait, there's more.
Just to prove how 'visible' I actually am on the net here's how many listings for myself I could find with the basic google search 'Kyron Mallett'. I stopped at 10 pages. Many are similar but they extend from the present to several years ago when I was accused of going into hiding...
What follows was a reprint of google search results. Which were the same ones that lead me to conclude he'd vanished off the radar, as there's nothing new not on this blog. Nice for Ron to corroborate my story with supporting evidence.
He should really do a podcast. He's a natural.