Attacked by Alan Kurtz

Last month my book, Hard Time, was reviewed at Blogcritics by Greg Barbrick. This week I received an invitation from Blogcritics to submit reviews, which I accepted.

With 1 in 100 adults in prison in America, interest is high in prison memoirs. Having read that genre extensively, I figured it would be in the public interest to write my first review about the prison memoir I enjoyed the most, which happens to be Mother California by Kenneth Hartman. I submitted my review last night, and went to bed.

I woke up this morning to an article written by Alan Kurtz who is banned from Blogcritics. He is accused of creating “a personal site solely to embarrass and diminish the reputation of our writers.” Which is exactly what he has tried to do to me.

By focussing on my crimes and the crimes of the author of Mother California, Alan hasn’t balanced his article out by stating how myself and Kenneth Hartman have and are still presently taking measures to redeem ourselves. Kenneth, who is never getting out of prison and takes full responsibility for his life sentence, is constantly campaigning for human rights. I’m getting emails all week long from students who have heard my talk to schools such as this one a few days ago:

You came into my school this week to talk about your life so far. Firstly your talk was amazing (and so was your life it would appear) it was the highlight of almost everyone’s day. Secondly I have also recently started taking some of the less hardcore drugs as a follow on from smoking. I didn't really see how a few highs here and there could cause a problem, but your story really spoke to me. Thanks for taking the time to come in to my school

Alan also seems surprised that my prison blog features stories about criminals. Well, duh! By focussing on BHF’s story as told by BHF, Alan implies that I somehow condone BHF’s acts of violence and torture, which is simply untrue. Alan even extends this implication to the reader comments following BHF’s story.

Alan this may be news to you but Jon’s Jail Journal is a platform for prisoners to share their stories, and for readers to make their own minds up and post their opinions.

Alan, you might stand a chance of getting reinstated as a Blogcritics writer if you stop diminishing the reputation of writers by painting biased pictures of people to suit your own purposes.

Shaun Attwood


Megegg said...

Well said...all too often those kind of 'writers' think they, and only they, have a valid opinion.

You do a fantastic job Sean, the work you do with our schools and children is so important. Children are our future, keep shining the light. xxx

Jon said...

Thanks, Megegg.

Anonymous said...

There will always be those jealous of any success you have, and who will fail to see that you have more than paid for your past and should not have to be continually punished. As you always rightly maintain, rehabilitation and education is vital in the system if people are to become valuable citizens in society (and you certainly bring value to society daily with all the work you do).

Alan's got his own axe to grind and is using you to get a rise. He doesn't even deserve your time spent acknowledging his ignorance.

An apt quote from my constant inspiration, dear MM "Success makes so many people hate you. I wish it wasn't that way. It would be wonderful to enjoy success without seeing envy in the eyes of those around you."

Anonymous said...

Oh, Alan Kurtz. He's elected to pretty much define himself as against anything "Blogcritics" comes up with and, as such, has no real identity of his own anymore. It's too bad, as he can be a talented writer. The fact that he's reduced himself to potshots and jabs from afar at a website is testament to how much he's worth at the moment.

Sounds like you've had quite an existence thus far and are accomplishing some good in this world. That's more than I can say for Mr. Kurtz.


A fellow Blogcritics writer

Anonymous said...

You write:

>>>Alan Kurtz who is banned from Blogcritics for creating “a personal site solely to embarrass and diminish the reputation of our writers.”

This is not true. Alan was banned from Blogcritics - along with two other longtime writers - and then he created the anti-Blogcritics website. You've got your cause-and-effect reversed.

Jon said...

OK, thanks, Anonymous.

I have fixed that now.

Anonymous said...

I would quibble with what Anonymous said above in reference to "two other longtime writers." One lasted a little around six months and published only 16 articles, while the other was a longtime presence at the site but was more known for his comments than his articles.

All three writers were banned from Blogcritics due to repeat violations of the comment policy. They were all warned many times, too, and are now throwing the online equivalent of a hissy fit with their "pushback" site.

Anonymous said...

Those two are pathetic. See how they're slapping each other's backs? It's funny how they can complain ad nauseum about how ill-treated they were at BC, but then they turn around and say you can't have any bad words to say about what was quite probably illegal and definitely inhumane treatment within a prison. Such screwed up priorities. But that's what you get when you combine vain, ugly and grandiose paranoia.

And Irvin writes like some cracked-out emo kid who just discovered a thesaurus.

Anonymous said...

You'll have to pardon Alan and Irvin.

Alan suffers from paranoid delusions, likely derived in part from his lacking in social graces and his massive inferiority complex. He's an old man aware the best life has to offer him is long past but unaware a lot of that is his fault.

Irv suffers from a mild case of autism, which renders him unable to write simple sentences. He too feels inferior, specifically towards the many that went to college who made something out of themselves. In contrast, his life proved to be rather empty and he contributed little to society other than his alleged military service, so he compensates by using a lot of big words and terms he barely understands, but uses so many no one bothers to read all of waht he writes.

They have revealed themselves to be hypocrites in regards to the sham that they are 1st amendment supporters. Alan has proved to be disingenuous by deleting comments he didn't like because they insulted him yet decried that same action when his insults at Blogcritics were deleted. He has also removed some of his own comments in an attempt to cover his bad behavior. Orwell would be proud.

Sadly, Irv implicitly accepted this behavior, turning a blind eye to his previous claims of unyielding principal. But if he left Alan, he would have nowhere else to go.

Also, don't read Irv's poetry. Worse than that of the Vogons

Anonymous said...

So sad that these little boys are obviously jealous of the success you are having. I am especially fond of the name calling. What are we, in elementary school? Haters. Keep it up Shaun. Those busters would fold within the first hour in lock-up. -Jose in San Diego.

Anonymous said...

Success is the best form of revenge - don't remember who said that, but it's true. Very hard to measure crime/poor lifestyle choice prevention but I believe it is something you have been, and continue to be, successful with - long may that continue.


Jon said...

Thanks, Jose.

Reading the 3 comments at Alan's website, two from his partner Irv and the other from Alan, I just thought backslap, backslap, backslap, yawn...

Irv's comment sure proves the point by anonymous that Irv uses "a lot of big words and terms he barely understands, but uses so many no one bothers to read all of what he writes." It got so tedious, I couldn't bear to read it all.

They would fold in no time, Jose!

Anonymous said...

What's funny about those mental midgets is they hate the new publisher but their behavior would have gotten them banned by the previous management, who thought Alan was an asshole.

Good luck with your venture here.

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