Bill Schmalfeldt seems to get his panties in a knot every time someone refers to him using Stacy McCain’s categorization of the Cabin Boy™ as a deranged cyberstalker. As I noted four years ago today, Words Have Meaning.
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Deranged may refer to psychosis, a generic psychiatric term for a mental state often described as involving a “loss of contact with reality.”
Cyberstalking is the repeated use of electronic communications to harass or frighten someone.
Now, consider someone who has lost a court case, moved to have the resulting order modified, and appealed his case with his appeal being denied. Now, suppose that person was told on two separate occasions by the trial judge in court that his understanding of the law was wrong, once during the trial and again during the modification hearing. Also, suppose that his appeal was denied because, after reviewing his legal reasoning, the Court of Appeals found no issues of law to review. If that person continued to assert that his view of the law was correct, it might be reasonable to assume that he had, in some sense, lost contact with reality.
Let’s go a step further with this fellow and note that he had been adjudicated as a harasser by a court of law and that he used the Internet to conduct his harassment. Clearly, it would be reasonable to consider this person a cyberstalker. Indeed, many people would, using the common understanding of the words, find that describing him as a deranged cyberstalker was quite justifiable if not completely accurate. Certainly, holding and expressing that opinion would be not be defamatory—given that it is based on well-known facts about the person and his behavior.
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While there is great merit to Stacy’s view that Schmalfeldt is a deranged cyberstalker, I personally prefer Ken White’s categorizing the Cabin Boy™ as a demented freak.