Hollywood Elsewhere disappeared yesterday around 3 pm Eastern because a mild-mannered guy named Paul Karkas, compliance manager for a Toronto-based domain wholesaler named Tucows.com, shut down the HE domain due to my having failed to update information in Hollywood Elsewhere’s WHOIS registry, specifically my ancient email address (which used to be firstname.lastname@example.org) and my old land-line number which I bailed on three or four years ago.
Tucows compliance manager Paul Karkas.
Yesterday afternoon and evening I left several urgent messages with the Tucow guys, not only Karkas but the company’s CEO Elliot Noss, pleading with them to please take Hollywood Elsewhere off their domain punishment list. Tucows doesn’t have an after-hours helpline and has zero interest in dealing with people like me — they’re a wholesaler and interface only with other companies with whom they’ve partnered or may partner. Nonetheless they were holding the cards and so I wore out my index finger placing calls to them.
What were the Tucows guys doing last night? Chilling, having dinner, watching ESPN, having sex with their wives or girlfriends, catching a movie, working out, playing online solitaire, etc. I was feeling so depressed I was succumbing to catatonia, and the Tucow guys were raising a glass and going “whoopee!” and barbecuing shrimp in the backyard or whatever. Whatever they were doing, they were having a better time than me, I can tell you that.
In any event Noss finally awoke this morning, took a shower, poured himself a cup of coffee and listened to his messages and got in touch with Karkas and asked him to take care of the problem. Good-man Karkas turned me back on around 7:30 this morning.
If I was channelling the personality of Anthony Zerbe‘s crooked narcotics detective in Who’ll Stop The Rain, I would be calling Karkas a “slimy little twinkletoes cocksucker.” But I’m not that guy. I’m a sensitive and intelligent small-businessman and diplomat, and I feel it’s better to turn the other cheek and learn from this experience.
Karkas says he sent me a “contact email” through HE on 6.19 (didn’t notice it, possibly because Karkas didn’t write “RED ALERT! DEFCON 5! POSSIBLE WEBSITE SHUTDOWN!” in the message window) explaining about the WHOIS registration and blah blah. He then sent me a final warning email on 7.15 to my defunct email address (the Earthlink one) stating that shutdown was imminent due to WHOIS rules having been violated, etc. I didn’t get that email because I shut my Earthlink account down in effing 2007 (or was it ’06?).
The guys who actually administrate HE’s domain and to whom I pay the renewal fees is an outfit called Web.com, and according to their information HE’s domain expiration wasn’t due to happen until 7.19.14 so I couldn’t figure out what the eff was wrong. But just for good measure I re-upped my registration yesterday for another five years — I’m now good through 7.19.19.
Either way the life form known as Paul Karkas, a nice-enough-sounding guy on the phone, was the banal Kafka-esque agent who caused all the turmoil and howling and refrigerator-punching and berating and bulging neck muscles and tears streaming down my cheeks…all of the things that contributed to the HE shutdown torment that lasted for some 15 or 16 hours starting yesterday afternoon and ending this morning. Thanks for turning me back on, Paul!
I have to say it: Eff Karkas and eff Tucows. When I arrive in Toronto for the 2013 Toronto Film Festival I’m going to pay them a visit. I’m going to bring them a platter of hot Toronto sausages and then ask them to pose for a group shot. The bottom line is that these are people with not only the capability but the bland inclination to cause serious harm to a website like mine if they feel like it. They follow policies that are technically correct but blithe and distant and a wee bit callous. Karkas screwed everything up for the most menial and chickenshit of reasons. He was nice enough to respond and turn HE back on (seriously…thanks), but he should consider the motto of Joe Pantoliano‘s “Guido the Killer Pimp” in Risky Business: “Never fuck with another man’s livelihood.”
I’m sure everything will be cool and mellow when I drop by Tucow’s Toronto headquarters in early September, but you never know. I might lose my temper and take one of those sausages and playfully smash it into Karkas’s face, just like Jimmy Cagney pushing that grapefruit into Mae Clarke‘s kisser in William Wellman‘s The Public Enemy.
——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Re: hollywood-elsewhere.com
Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2013 10:22:06 -0400
From: paul karkas
This is to inform you that to date I have not received any notification that any changes have been made to the Whois for this domain nor have you confirmed the accuracy of the whois.
As the agreement that you have with us states that “Your willful provision of inaccurate or unreliable information, your willful failure promptly to update information” and “the accuracy of contact details associated with the your registration shall constitute a material breach of this Agreement and be a basis for cancellation of the domain name”, and that we (Tucows) as per our obligation with ICANN are left with no other recourse than to suspend the above mentioned domain.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
Compliance Officer OpenSRS
On 19/06/2013 11:16 AM, paul karkas wrote:
**Please note that the complaint that triggered this notice came directly from ICANN — http://wdprs.internic.net/ — although the information in the whois appears valid, I would like your confirmation to this effect, thank you.
PLEASE NOTE THAT IF YOU DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS EMAIL YOU MAY RUN THE RISK
OF THIS NAME BEING ERRONEOUSLY DELETED — PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU REPLY TO
THIS MESSAGE (VIA EMAIL) WITH REFERENCE TO THE ACCURACY OF THE WHOIS
I’m writing to you from Tucows (Registrar for your domain). It has come to
our attention that the WHOIS for this domain (see subject line) may not be accurate.
According to Section 18 of the Registrant Agreement you accepted when you
registered the domain name, all information is to be current, complete and