I got several "Why are you so mean to Aaron King?" emails.
1. Aaron is one of our very best grad students. Hard-working, smart, lots of different projects started. He is going to be famous.
2. Aaron is irrepressible, one of those people who has to make a comment, start a conversation, create a controversy. I would never pick on most grad students this way. But you have to realize that Aaron needs to be the center of attention. (No, not as much as I need to be the center of attention. But NO ONE is as needy as I am.)
3. Aaron graduated from MSU years ago. Yet every day (EVERY. DAY.) he wears an MSU shirt, hoodie, and baseball cap. MSU is all he talks about (when he is not talking about work, which is what he mostly talks about).
4. Aaron does (as we say in the south) "favor" me. Except that he is better looking and more athletic, by a lot. So I think everyone understands that me comparing our looks is ridiculous. But Aaron's style of basketball play is quite similar to mine: neither of us really go around people, but rather we go through them.
5. Aaron's "rants" are famous, and about as sensitive as mine. An example. The Duke Parking office is a disgrace to pencil pushers everywhere. They are incompetent and a waste of a paycheck (that is larger than mine). I want to go to Subway for lunch, just so I can see some better service. Doesn't that sound like me?
My bottom line point is that, if you knew him, you would smack him, too.