Gee Our Old LaSalle Ran Great

Freddie deBoer is guest posting at the Dish and he’s trying to make some point or other about opportunity on the Internet:

I do think, though, that this is a good opportunity to finally let some of our old myths about the internet die. It’s still common to hear people talk about the internet as this open space where only talent matters and where everyone has a chance to impact the discussion. And it’s time we put those myths to bed. […]

I don’t know if there was ever a time when the internet in general, and the world of blogging and online journalism specifically, were these open cultures where anyone truly had a chance to get ahead. And there’s a simple rejoinder to all of this: commenters never were some sort of principled check on bloggers and writers. They brought the rape gifs and the misogyny and the racism and none of the checks and balances. […]

As with what a lot of Freddie writes, I’m not sure exactly what he’s getting at. If his point is that there never was opportunity on the Internet, what’s his explanation for a graduate student at a midwestern university having his words read by millions on one of the most highly trafficked blogs on the Internet? In other words, does Freddie think he’d have anything like the audience he does without the Internet?  If his point is that there once was opportunity but now it’s gone, what’s his explanation for people who are launching their careers via Twitter, YouTube and many other forms of social media?

Freddie’s right when he points out that there’s less job security and opportunity, in general, than there was years ago.  But there’s never been much security in the kinds of  creative pursuits that are enabled by the Internet. And, in pre-Internet days, writers, artists and musicians were constantly being ripped off by agents, managers and promoters who tricked them into signing shitty contracts or simply stole their money. So I find it hard to accept that things aren’t at least a little better for creative types now that the Internet exists.

That all said, I think I know a place where commenters were a check on bloggers, because when Freddie posted here, he had a difficult time dealing with the criticism that was dished out by commenters, at least some of whom made what I would consider “principled” arguments.

(via OTB)

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217 replies
  1. 1
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Whiner.

  2. 2
  3. 3
    Baud says:

    Well, Freddie has a sweet writing gig, while I’m stuck posting comments on some backwater blog, so maybe he’s right that talent doesn’t matter.

  4. 4
    Mudge says:

    There are no principled arguments for someone like Freddie, he is always right. He’d be the first to tell you. Plus he seems to be exceptionally thin-skinned, which is a bit of a handicap on the internets. There is plenty of opportunity on the internets, but, whereas once upon a time the space was generally empty, now your popularity must displace someone. I can only read so many blogs and over time I have developed a list I check to get the info I need. Before 2004, there were few good ones (let’s all remember Steve Gilliard and imagine how he would have dealt with Ferguson).

    I still, by the way, often see posters bring comments up to the front page…Roy Edroso in particular…

  5. 5
    RaflW says:

    commenters never were some sort of principled check on bloggers and writers

    Stuff like this from fragile egos such as Freddy come of was wishes rather that reasoned assertions.

  6. 6
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Mudge has a pretty good take. Freddie is all over the place…he’s chaotic, but in that chaos he’s always right. So there is some sort of lodestar he follows. Or not.

    Hell, I don’t even know what I’m saying. I need to stay away from mushbrains like Freddie.

  7. 7
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Baud: I see what you did there.

  8. 8
    Hunter Gathers says:

    deBoer’s arguments fall into one of two categories:

    1 – Why isn’t the world kissing my ass?

    2 – Why aren’t all those dirty sluts blowing me right now?

    It must be really hard for an over-educated Upper Class Twit these days.

  9. 9
    Applejinx says:

    If you listen to Jaron Lanier you’ll see that he has a point. Freddie’s spinning it in some personal way but it’s still true. The Internet is worse, more restrictive, and more of a con than traditional media.

    It’s not necessarily about evil commenters, either. As an evil commenter there’s very little you can really do, and all the while Google can and will take your toys away anytime it wants. There are a thousand ways to manipulate this and they do all of ’em.

    Just like there’s no such thing as friends when your partnership’s worth more than a hundred thousand dollars, there’s no such thing as a corporation being not evil when worth more than a hundred billion dollars.

    This one bit from Freddy?

    It’s still common to hear people talk about the internet as this open space where only talent matters and where everyone has a chance

    Just remember, that was and has always been glibertarian propaganda. We know about glibertarian propaganda in these parts, but just be wary when you find you have assumptions about internet things that are based on such propaganda, that you’ve not thought about.

    “you can do valuable work on the internet and make a kind of living if you’re good at it! That is where universal opportunity can be found, so we should tear down all traditional media, music, publishing empires which were exploitative and wrong!”

    yeah, no.

  10. 10
    srv says:

    Freddie never read the comments.

    Maybe he’s being ironical.

  11. 11
    Jane2 says:

    @Baud: Hah! Freddie writes like all the B grad students who couldn’t understand why their brilliance wasn’t properly recognized.

  12. 12
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Applejinx: I think you’re right when you say the “everyone has a chance to rise on his or her own merits” argument is glibertarian claptrap. I disagree when you say, “The Internet is worse, more restrictive, and more of a con than traditional media.”

    Or maybe we have two different definitions of “the Internet.” I can see where you’d argue it’s worse in the sense that a lot of people who produce popular content don’t get paid (see Po, Huff), but I don’t see how it’s more restrictive or more of a con. Can you elaborate?

  13. 13
    Alex S. says:

    I don’t have anything against Freddie in particular, but damn, it’s easy to make fun of him (It’s just human!). The whole post seems to be about why he isn’t as famous as Yglesias or Ezra Klein, and to complain about the commenters who were mean to him. He really needs to get his mind out of fluffy-cloud land.
    He wants readers to provide critique, but always feels insulted when they do. Luckily, Sully’s site doesn’t have a comment function.

  14. 14
    Violet says:

    @Alex S.:

    He wants readers to provide critique, but always feels insulted when they do. Luckily, Sully’s site doesn’t have a comment function.

    Was going to say the same thing. He’s picked the right place to post. No pesky readers to upset his fluffy cloud dreamworld.

  15. 15
    scav says:

    @Jane2: B? There’s that grade inflation again. Very young grad student, certainly, but faster with scattershot jargon assimilation and mimicry / protective coloration than other tools of the trade.

  16. 16
    Mandalay says:

    when Freddie posted here, he had a difficult time dealing with the criticism that was dished out by commenters

    Heh. You have something of a track record yourself in that regard.

  17. 17
    the Conster says:

    When I see anything written by precious Freddie, or Freddie’s name, I picture Bluto smashing the guitar in Animal House.

  18. 18
    Mike J says:

    at least some of whom made what I would consider “principled” arguments.

    Most of the criticism were well reasoned, but they came close to being drowned out by one mentally ill person with a vendetta who would do nothing but spout the same non-sequitur 100 times per thread, every thread, until she changed to a new non-sequitur for the next day.

    Freddie really was an idiot, but she made the blog unreadable.

  19. 19
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Alex S.:

    He really needs to get his mind out of fluffy-cloud land.

    Not much chance of that, I fear. Yglesias and Klein go into those places every so often…Yglesias’ obsession with the licensing of hairdressers, for example, betrays real ignorance of cause and effect.

  20. 20
    E. says:

    I try to read his blog from time to time and every time I do I come away thinking, Good Gracious God, this man is studying rhetoric??? Thank heavens it isn’t medicine — he is obviously incapable of learning anything.

  21. 21
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mike J: Do not speak her name. This is like that movie (I will not say its name) that Michael Keaton was in with Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis, back in the late 80’s. We don’t want her showing up here…

  22. 22
    Ruckus says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    Not true, they just know that if you accept their cause it will have their desired effect. It must, brilliant minds never misfire.

  23. 23
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ruckus: This reminds me of a conversation that a friend and I had with a member of our non-profit ISP’s board, in which she stated that her argument was logical, so we had to agree with her. My friend pointed out while the argument was indeed logical, the problem was that her assumptions were ridiculous.

  24. 24
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Beetledouche!
    Beetledouche!
    Beetledouche!

  25. 25
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    Speaking of absent friends, Jon McNaughton finally just decided to let his racist freak flag fly. He did some freaky “painter of darkness” fetish art involving a minor child and a cop and posted it as “The Difference Between Us and Them.”

    Fuck you Jon McNaughton. Fuck you very much.

  26. 26
    Kazanir says:

    You guys are f’in ridiculous. I have read everything Freddie has posted during his stint over at the Dish and it is by and large fabulous. The guy is doing the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s work over there and this is the treatment he gets? The hate-on that the BJ comments section has for him reflects poorly on the commenters here rather than on Freddie. Some of this crap is just shameful:

    @Baud: Hah! Freddie writes like all the B grad students who couldn’t understand why their brilliance wasn’t properly recognized.

    deBoer’s arguments fall into one of two categories:

    1 – Why isn’t the world kissing my ass?

    2 – Why aren’t all those dirty sluts blowing me right now?

    It must be really hard for an over-educated Upper Class Twit these days.

    Well, Freddie has a sweet writing gig, while I’m stuck posting comments on some backwater blog, so maybe he’s right that talent doesn’t matter.

    What the hell? This is supposed to be examples of a high-quality comments section? Give me a break. This is just drivel masquerading, poorly, as entertaining snark.

    I read Freddie’s piece and I thought it was fairly obvious that he isn’t claiming the world is WORSE with the Internet than before, or that it has no effect. Those are strawmen. It is disappointing that mistermix would just jump straight to the least plausible interpretation of Freddie’s 800 words. What is the point on speaking up if you aren’t going to give the guy credit for what he actually wrote?

    The most accurate summary of Freddie’s post would be to say we should abandon the libertarian-esque myth/pretense that the Internet’s sheer openness is some magical panacea that will free us from the system and allow anyone to be heard equally. A related point is that comments sections very frequently serve to worsen the discourse rather than improve it.

    I don’t think either of those things should be really controversial. BJ’s own comments section is relatively useful and benign and even so, the first several dozen comments about anything Freddie deBoer or Glenn Greenwald write are full of complete nonsense. The point is self-demonstrating.

    This is a disappointing entry from the Balloon Juice front page and commentariat.

  27. 27
    Mike J says:

    @Kazanir: Shut up, Freddie.

  28. 28
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Kazanir: Your concern has been noted, and will be filed in the appropriate place.

    Thank you, and good day.

    I said good day.

  29. 29
    Shakezula says:

    “No really kid take it from me. Even if you do have what it takes to make it in the cut-throat world of blogging (and don’t let anyone tell you it was ever easy, oh the stories I could tell you …), there’s absolutely nothing but broken dreams and a wasted life here for you now. Go be a lawyer or something.”

  30. 30
    bob says:

    Watching faceless online passerby troll bloggers or mock fellow scribblers can be a drag, but what if legislators’ answer to online ne’er-do-wells was to ban anonymous comments from websites entirely? That’s what the state of New York is planning to do in identical bills — S.6779 and A.8688 — proposed by the New York State Assembly that would “amend the civil rights law” in order to “[protect] a person’s right to know who is behind an anonymous internet posting.”

    The bill would require a web administrator to “upon request remove any comments posted on his or her web site by an anonymous poster unless such anonymous poster agrees to attach his or her name to the post and confirms that his or her IP address, legal name, and home address are accurate.” By “web site,” the bill means just what it seems to: Any New York-based website, including “social networks, blogs forums, message boards or any other discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages.”

  31. 31
    bob says:

    Watching faceless online passerby troll bloggers or mock fellow scribblers can be a drag, but what if legislators’ answer to online ne’er-do-wells was to ban anonymous comments from websites entirely? That’s what the state of New York is planning to do in identical bills — S.6779 and A.8688 — proposed by the New York State Assembly that would “amend the civil rights law” in order to “[protect] a person’s right to know who is behind an anonymous internet posting.”

    The bill would require a web administrator to “upon request remove any comments posted on his or her web site by an anonymous poster unless such anonymous poster agrees to attach his or her name to the post and confirms that his or her IP address, legal name, and home address are accurate.” By “web site,” the bill means just what it seems to: Any New York-based website, including “social networks, blogs forums, message boards or any other discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages.”

  32. 32
    Ruckus says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    Glad to see I got my point across.
    Just having an argument is bullshit unless you have the rational behind it.
    The ACA must be bad, poor people will get health care.
    Always bombing must be good, otherwise why would we spend so much on the military?
    /stupid arguments by stupid, foolish idiots
    I’d go on but it’s sunday and my fingers need the rest.

  33. 33
    Applejinx says:

    @Betty Cracker: Hard to not be influenced by my music-business friends, and musician friends, who are pretty much universally of those opinions.

    It’s sort of a theory of mine and I don’t really have it that well developed yet. But my sense is, the internet as a global phenomenon means that all forms of expression and creation inevitably go to those who can afford to pay (rather than be paid) to dominate the channels. It’s basically like if Huffington Post started actually charging to blog there, only for all types of creation.

    The idea is, in a totally unregulated system where there’s limited information and you cannot ever really keep up with anything, bullshit rises faster, as does pirated stuff and anything free. Part of this is because learning to make things or studying on them takes time, but ripping off takes less time, giving you more time to self-promote. And when there’s no ‘industry’ or anything but one titanic anthill/crab-bucket, NOTHING matters but your ability to self-promote.

    I just don’t know. I hope I’m wrong and I’m being bitter for unrelated reasons I’m not talking about, and there may be workarounds. But I’m really, really disenchanted with ‘what the internet means’. I think it’s turning into ‘Facebook as a vector for commercial and government spying’. Good stuff (in just about any sense) is about as popular as justice. It’s the label absolutely everybody hangs on themselves (like ‘freedom’), and then the biggest bastard wades in with brass knuckles and devil take the hindmost.

    Sorry, I’m not hopeful today, just trying to wrestle my mind away from suicide. Something I’ve done many many times, I might add, so there’s NOTHING unusual here except that I said the word. So no rescue calls plz.

  34. 34
    Alex S. says:

    @Kazanir:

    Hey, Freddie, nobody here has suggested that you claimed that the Internet made the world a worse place. So please stop with the strawmen.

  35. 35
    Kazanir says:

    Mistermix’s entire first paragraph consists of saying, “Well the Internet clearly hasn’t made these things worse.” But that wasn’t the point of Freddie’s post anyway.

    Also, I love that the first response from half a dozen commenters is to assume that I’m a Freddie sock puppet. Like I said: You people are f’in ridiculous. (The same thing happened to me back in the day when I posted anything in defense of Matt Yglesias, so lol.)

    Any of the front pagers are welcome to verify that I’m a real person. The rest of you can bite me.

  36. 36
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    Never mind, my bad! It’s some dude called Jason Bullard who does law enforcement/fire fighter fetish art, the art was uploaded over a year ago:

    http://store.vangoghgallery.co.....?id=115507

    Oops, somebody suggested the similarity to McNaughton, and he’s been pretty vile lately. Coffee hadn’t kicked in, though. Sorry for flying off the handle. His “new art” page has some really shitty Jesus art and also an image of Obama playing a violin while America burns. Keep it classy, you unbelievable asshat. Funny how John Boehner never appears in these America Doom Porn images.

  37. 37
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    I certainly think the comments here bring a lot of value to this and most blogs. I won’t read Sullivan because he doesn’t have comments. Freddie is wrong in my opinion.

  38. 38
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937: When has Freddie ever been right? Serious question. Last few times I saw his name it was liberal bloggers complaining about something else stupid that he’d said.

  39. 39
    ThresherK says:

    When, exactly, did the LaSalle become the workingman’s ride?

    It certainly wasn’t as expensive as a Cadillac, but it wasn’t it a step up from the Buick and Pontiac?

  40. 40
    Jane2 says:

    @Kazanir:

    I have read everything Freddie has posted during his stint over at the Dish and it is by and large fabulous.

    Other than disagreeing on the quality of Freddie’s prose, the depth of your assessment differs exactly how from mine that Freddie’s writing is grad school word salad?

  41. 41
    Shakezula says:

    @bob: That’s a sledgehammer as flyswatter solution. It’s the equivalent of requiring any person or place that allows people to use a phone on the premises (or even provides a pay phone) to take full responsibility for how it is used.

    Didn’t we go through this with some sort of bill that in theory would have curbed online child pornography but could have been interpreted to mean if someone used foul language in comments, they blog owner could get in trouble?

  42. 42
    Kazanir says:

    Jane, your post was an insult thinly disguised as a post about his quality of writing. The point of your post was to attack Freddie as a “boo-hoo why don’t they recognize my brilliance” whiner, not to say that his writing quality was bad.

  43. 43
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Mike J:
    This isn’t about her, or at any rate not her alone. As already noted, Freddie is contemplating the deep philosophical question, “What’s holding Freddie de Boer back from the Internet stardom he so deserves?” And I agree that Freddie just couldn’t hack it with the demanding blog commentariat here. She Whom We Shall Not Name Today was far from his only critic, even if she took it to the point of being personal.

  44. 44
    Betty Cracker says:

    @bob: I wouldn’t be surprised to see it come to that some day, which I think would have a real chilling effect. I know I’d have to pack up my tent and repair to a closed site or refrain from political commentary (and curse words! fuck!) altogether because my job entails occasionally working with wingnuts and/or uber-Christians on a contract basis.

    Now, I know some people are of the opinion that if you wouldn’t say, “Go skull-fuck Ronald Reagan’s moldering corpse, you brain-dead wingnut fuck!” in front of your grandmother, you shouldn’t say it at all. But I don’t think life works that way.

    The opinions I express online and the language I use to express it are my own, and among my friends and peers, I say the same damn things. But I’m more circumspect in my language and openness among employers, casual acquaintances, children’s friend’s parents, etc., as I suspect everyone is. I don’t consider that hypocrisy, though some do.

    I also find that people who are the most opposed to online anonymity (or pseudonymity, in my case) are often those who would benefit the most from practicing it themselves, if only to spare their children embarrassment in the future.

  45. 45
    dmsilev says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Whiner.

    I think you meant ‘BONER’.

  46. 46
    Alex S. says:

    @Kazanir:

    Mistermix’s entire first paragraph consists of saying, “Well the Internet clearly hasn’t made these things worse.” But that wasn’t the point of Freddie’s post anyway.

    No, his entire first paragraph consists of asking what Freddie’s/your post is about.

  47. 47
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @Kazanir:

    What the hell? This is supposed to be examples of a high-quality comments section? Give me a break. This is just drivel masquerading, poorly, as entertaining snark.

    I’ll have you know that I take pride in my ability to be a jack-ass. And I’ll forever mock the musings of permanent grad students. I’m sorry that my comments lack the intellectual rigor that you demand. I’ll try harder next time to keep my comments classy, especially when discussing the works of professional douchebags like deBoer.

  48. 48
    FlipYrWhig says:

    De Boer is an assface who gets FAR TOO MUCH attention for being a run of the mill puling, moaning, strutting, tedious git. Why do I know who he is? He sucks. He’s not interesting. He has nothing to say. And to top it off he’s both entitled and posing as a True Lefty. Universe, I’m asking nicely this time, make this irritating person go away.

  49. 49
    scav says:

    Why The Internet should be intrinsically different than any other human-designed and constructed set of human interactions is a bit of a poser. Assemble us in a groups of three and there will be gate-keepers, alliances, bullies, backstabbing and damned odd hierarchies. We’ve had rather a lark to see the more institutionalized forms of these self-assemble into yet more rigid forms on this rolling frontier of the interwebs. Place would seem comparatively free-range, especially as the beginning when we still had more motor-memories of stamps, and the thought of posting self-assembled movies of cats getting icewater thrown on them for charity seemed Star Trek. But the barbed wire and surveying chains are always rolling behind.

  50. 50
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Applejinx: Good point about the music biz — I wasn’t really looking at it from that perspective, but certainly that’s a great example of artists getting ripped off. You may be correct about the general trend. I hope not, but throughout history, people who already have power and money use it to rob and cheat those who don’t, so there’s little reason for optimism about the efficacy of the Internet to fix and democratize everything.

    That said, art and beauty continue to be make life worth living for billions and are a source of solace in the darkest places, despite fat cat thieves preying upon artists and fleecing those seeking comfort. Maybe that’s a slim reed to hang some hope on, if not for the Internet, for the human race? I don’t know. Be well.

  51. 51
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @Applejinx: Two things:

    Nobody wants to pay live musicians any more. Don’t think the internet is responsible for that per se.

    Musicians getting ripped off and “pay to play” is different from the radio world how exactly? Recording companies used to diddle musicians out of rights all the damn time, or if they didn’t, they would slap all these bogus charges into contracts to keep from paying the people. And despite laws against it, payola was alive and well as radio died.

    Imo, the real issue here is that there is just too much competition, and it’s global, and technology means 6billion people can all listen to one track, rather than 6billion people listening to 200million village musicians in a world without recording media. Plus in the US people are just fucking broke. If they weren’t, then it would be easier to get paid for live gigs. (Although of course even those who can well afford to pay, like Amanda Palmer, attempt to exploit people for free.)

    Exploitation of labor, the intern loophole, in the publishing industry cannot be blamed on the internet. Publisher owners started profit-taking long before they caught onto web 1.0 and the relentless attacks on FLSA under the Bush II admin took an already exploitative, only for rich kids industry and just opened the floodgates to screw everyone.

    Just because the rise of the internet in our daily lives paralleled these developments does NOT mean one caused the other.

  52. 52
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @dmsilev: You win.

  53. 53
    Remfin says:

    It’s funny how he posts that on a site that doesn’t have comments and so has glaring factual errors all the time. I corrected Sullivan on two complete whoppers via e-mail…not only were the original posts never fixed, but he then went on to repeat the same errors all week because they were the basis of the entire stupid solution he was pushing. Something he would have had a hard time getting away with if there were people in the comments on every post linking to reality. “Facts are stupid things” I guess.

  54. 54
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    Now, to be fair, in my own example, publishing, if you look at periodicals that depend upon advertising, for some reason the companies that buy ads decided that upon the switch from print to online the amount they were willing to pay plummeted.

    There is absolutely no reason in the world to believe that their ads were more effective in smeared b/w ink in the back of the front section than they are in color and possibly animated on the right bar of every page of the online newspaper. But something really weird happened in the early days of ‘net advertising, which was the assumption that an ad was like a link, and the ad was effective if the link was clicked on, something that never happens in any other advertising media. If radio ads paid by the referral ….

    Websites didn’t want to manage ads so they went with Google adwords which makes money for google not so much for the sites that host it, all keywords are auctioned, so flooding the web with crap is cheap.

    Either print ads were in a bubble or the internet, like a failing radio station, is taking too many ads, too cheap, thus devaluing every ad run and running themselves out of business. It’s hard to tell because it’s hard to gauge the effectiveness of marketing period.

  55. 55
    Frankensteinbeck says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    I have erased my rant about her because it is useless and tacky.

    I still want to say how deeply I admire Amir Khalid for the grace and patience he showed dealing with her maftoon bullshit.

  56. 56
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @Kazanir: So if you’re not [BONERS] is this [BONERS] tribute performance art?

  57. 57
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    This isn’t about her, or at any rate not her alone. As already noted, Freddie is contemplating the deep philosophical question, “What’s holding Freddie de Boer back from the Internet stardom he so deserves?”

    This is my take as well.

  58. 58
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Shakezula: Way back in the 90’s, before there was a point and click web browser, our small little ISP’s board was sundered by a debate over titty pictures. One member of the board was adamant that the ISP should not allow access to pictures of naked boobs, that it had to be “family friendly”, that it had to adhere to broomstick up the ass “Christian” morality at all times. This board member was given the metaphorical heave-ho as she had no comprehension of how the intertubes worked, even back then when you had to UU decode the posts that purported to contain the pictures of heaving breasts in all their titillating glory. That restricting access to titty pictures wasn’t nearly as easy as she imagined it might be, technically, and she didn’t quite grasp the entire concept of the internet thinks that censorship is like damage from a nuclear strike and routes around it.

    Naturally, technology has advanced since those stone knives and bearskin days, and it’s perfectly easy to watch high quality porn direct from your browser (curse you, Mozilla and Flash!) now with a click…but still difficult to keep the kids from viewing it because frankly they’re a lot smarter than you are about those sorts of things.

  59. 59
    kindness says:

    Freddie posting at Sully’s is a good thing. He doesn’t have to deal with the unwashed masses (comments) there.

    For the life of me when I look at the blogs I visit and read the comments…I’m not sure I’d want that titular place in the scheme of things. Dealing with the uglier aspects isn’t my forte. But comments will ground one. They will tell you what you’re good at and what you ain’t.

  60. 60
    muddy says:

    I’m always amazed that he can go on at length when he is clearly typing with one hand.

  61. 61
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:
    Why, thank you.

  62. 62
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Not just a true lefty (if not the only true lefty) but a true feminist who is going to mansplain to YOU how yer doin it rong if it’s the last thing he does.

    I thought you were going to say pulling the pud. Mental masturbation was a cliche notion on Usenet back in the day, but Freddie’s posting history epitomizes this.

  63. 63
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: Hey, there! We resemble that remark!

  64. 64
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @Betty Cracker: Maybe this is why the government ought to be providing some support for the arts and it shouldn’t be so fucking hard to make rent every month so even those who have to sing for their supper can still spend some time creating those things that make our hearts sing?

    That’s my thought about it. Internet, shenternet.

  65. 65
    J R in WV says:

    I did read some of Freddie’s stuff from earlier on B-J and didn’t find it all that bad. It wasn’t remarkably good, but not terrible either. I did NOT see comment strings associated with the front page articles; I think I read 3 or 4 stories all told.

    I imagine from the remarks others are making about thin skin etc that reading the articles combined with the comments and Freddie’s responces to the comments it would scan altogether differently. He does like Lots and Lots of really big words, which is easy to poke fun at.

    He is obviously wrong about the Innertubes in almost every way.

  66. 66
    RSA says:

    Mistermix:

    As with what a lot of Freddie writes, I’m not sure exactly what he’s getting at.

    Me too. I find Freddie’s writing so verbose and roundabout that most of the time I can’t get through it. “What point are you trying to make?”

    Freddie:

    I don’t know if there was ever a time when the internet in general, and the world of blogging and online journalism specifically, were these open cultures where anyone truly had a chance to get ahead.

    For the Internet in general, I’d suggest the pre-Web days, maybe on Usenet. But that may be my rose-colored glasses.

  67. 67
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Betty Cracker: Yup.

    Everywhere else in life, there are (nominally-agreed) spheres of context. Laughing, drinking, and eating nachos with your fingers is fine at home or at a ball-game, not so much at a funeral or at a college lecture. Walking down a hallway naked is fine when one is alone at home, not so much at an elementary school…

    Information on the Internet can almost immediately lose its sphere of context. Someone can grab a posted outburst or picture and rip it from its sphere of context and use it elsewhere years later.

    Removing all voluntary anonymity from the Internet would be a very bad idea, especially without compelling offsetting protections to go along with it. You want to know who I am? Fine. No cookies for you. No datamining for you. No use of my image, words, postings, without my explicit permission, in advance, for every specific use. Etc.

    And we all know that required non-anonymity wouldn’t be perfect. Trolls with fake names and IP addresses would still exist. It wouldn’t solve the problem it attempts to solve – it would merely drive legitimate commenters who want to be anonymous away while pushing the trolls to be even more hard-core. It’s a very bad idea.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  68. 68
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Another Holocene Human (now with new computer):

    EDIT: Just saw your update at 36, sorry.

    Jon McNaughton finally just decided to let his racist freak flag fly. He did some freaky “painter of darkness” fetish art involving a minor child and a cop and posted it as “The Difference Between Us and Them.”

    Not McNaughton, apparently (unless he’s painting under a pseudonym), but definitely creepy and McNaughtonesque.

  69. 69
    srv says:

    @muddy: Literary masterberation will literally do that to you.

  70. 70
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: You know what is sad is that a lot of these uber Christian types are just ordinary men and women who caught on that something is wrong … but have convinced themselves that Christian dominionism is the answer. :(

    Just thought of that because the way you talk about nekkid pix (binaries, the first killer app? discuss) reminded me of how very, very hostile the internet used to be to females, not just if you identified yourself as such but simply in terms of the environment. (All depended on who you associated with, of course, and the bb’s were very different from Usenet, which was a spam and troll infested sewer. Which is to say as a teenager I enjoyed it very much.)

    Vickie on NoLongerQivering and other posters there also talk about this kind of femi-fail where women who have gone way down the rabbit hole of patriarchal xtian cult life still cling to the notion that their world is better for them and their daughters than the scary outside world. There’s a certain bad logic to the idea that if women are objectified in the media you can solve the problem by covering your body up.

  71. 71
    Ruckus says:

    @Another Holocene Human (now with new computer):

    Either print ads were in a bubble or the internet, like a failing radio station, is taking too many ads, too cheap, thus devaluing every ad run and running themselves out of business. It’s hard to tell because it’s hard to gauge the effectiveness of marketing period.

    I had a retail store and when I opened it I tried every form of advertising. And I tracked my customers as to where/how they heard about my store. The vast majority were word of mouth. Who/what got the word of mouth started? Never able to pin that down. Yet the print advertisers all used some number of eyeballs, based upon how many copies and some formula of how many times each copy got passed around. There was an art to it. By that I mean all of it was made up out of almost thin air. The success rate was less than 1%. Now did that start the word of mouth chain off? No one knows. But it was all accepted because that’s all there was. Now it’s clicks. Doesn’t matter if the clicks turn into money or not, we sell clicks. It’s really the same business, just in a different medium. It’s a strange business to me, to be able to sell something that is so ineffective, and to have large numbers of people think that there must be a truth in there somewhere.

  72. 72
    Alex S. says:

    @Applejinx:

    I’m writing my master’s thesis about the Gilded Age at the moment, so I have this hammer and everything looks like a nail, but here goes my theory:
    The internet enlarges markets, especially the markets of the creative industries. It’s what the railroads did in the Gilded Age for agricultural and manufacturing goods. The Gilded Age was a time of massive economic growth, but also general impoverishment. When the markets got bigger, because the railroads made transportation easier and quicker, the producers now had to compete with more competitors, which decreased prices. The workers and artisans suffered because the management pushed the effects of more competition on them. The capital holders were the winners. They could choose the most profitable enterprises, because the companies competed for their capital.
    The problem with the internet is that there is now a world-wide market for creative products. The competition with other artists makes their lives harder. The record companies are like the employers of old. They try to adjust to the new world and are competing with other record companies for the capital of the capital holders. Who are the capital holders? As you say, those who control the infrastructure of the internet, Apple, Google, but also those could provide sponsoring, big, global companies.
    What can be done about it? Difficult, a labor movement for the creative industries? Maybe a focus on intangibles? A better live experience? Focus on the local scene?

  73. 73
    muddy says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Hey, I emailed you and now can’t get into the stupid gmail. It says it’s the wrong password on both accounts, when it’s not.

    In the meanwhile, I made a new addy, muddydonedone at gmail, please respond there, thanks!

  74. 74
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Another Holocene Human (now with new computer): Frankly, much of it still is, because so much of it is just awash in testosterone that there’s no getting around it. You see this in WoW all the time where people state, with tongues in cheek, that “girls don’t play WoW” simply to troll and get reactions. Those of us who know better (there are several RL married couples in my WoW guild who first became acquainted with one another in MMOs) just let this slide off our backs, and some women have become REALLY aggressive ubertrolls just because they enjoy the reactions they get from the junior testosterone crowd.

    Then there are the guys with female avatars who are quick to point out that IRL they have a dick and balls, so don’t get any ideas, asshole.

  75. 75
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @Ruckus: We know that the pollution of our environment with iconic advertising images is effective on some level. Even Freud wrote about it. Marketing firms and big business do a ton of proprietary research on it. You’ll notice that at certain times of day TV airs lots of food ads and guess what, people that watch tv end up eating … in front of it …

    But yeah, when it comes to a small business, and print ads, what you said.

    What killed me about the early days of the internet was how many YEARS it took for Pepsi to catch on that you could put giant dewy cans of Mt Dew on a webpage just like they plastered the built environment. Like they pay thousands to fill a subway stop with Red Code ads but for years they shunned internet advertising. It was kinda weird.

  76. 76
    scav says:

    @RSA: Thing is then, access at all was to a restricted subset of users, with a more generally shared culture, common communication style, etc. (inside the private club it’s a perfect meritocracy!) even then . . .

  77. 77
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Another Holocene Human (now with new computer): Well, I agree there. I don’t think the issue is that there’s anything inherently evil about the Internet, just that its pervasiveness and immediacy may make it possible to screw artists at the speed of light and worldwide rather than at the snail-mail pace and more limited broadcast range of yesteryear. The Internet as a medium isn’t the problem; it’s the people who use it unscrupulously.

  78. 78
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ruckus: What I love are the astroturf “word of mouth” advertisements for movies that try to recreate authentic word of mouth, and then you go to the movie in question and it just blows chunks from here to Waziristan.

  79. 79
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @Another Holocene Human (now with new computer): And then of course there was all the real-time unintentional comedy of really big businesses panicking about web 2.0 and thinking they needed interactive mascots or “social web professionals” (20-something con artists) to run their corporate twitter accounts or web pages because “people want to interact with brands”. Ford comes to mind.

    Did the team who dealt with newspaper consumer advocate columns and angry letters to the CEO and minor lawsuits tear their hair out when they found out that Ford had a twitter account and handed the keys to a twat? Or were they all old economy and “What’s the birdie?” Yeah, probably the latter.

  80. 80
    VFX Lurker says:

    And, in pre-Internet days, writers, artists and musicians were constantly being ripped off by agents, managers and promoters who tricked them into signing shitty contracts or simply stole their money.

    It is true that more artists can self-publish now, but it’s still rough on artists who work in collaborative art. I’m thinking of the visual effects industry, the only part of Hollywood without a union.

    The nature of the VFX industry is to extract as much wealth as possible from its artists in order to lower the cost of VFX for Warner Bros.

  81. 81
    Botsplainer says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Matoko Chan Matoko Chan Matoko Chan

  82. 82
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    The Internet as a medium isn’t the problem; it’s the people who use it unscrupulously.

    Back when fighting spam actually got you results, there was an incessant drive by some geeks to find a technical solution to spam, and I kept telling them that such pursuits were hopeless…that it would be an endless arms race between the spammers and anti-spammers, and that the problem with spam reflected a bigger problem in our society, and a solution had to be sought in that light.

    I and others like me have long since given up, but this doesn’t stop folks like Yahoo from trying to profit from spam instead of taking endless losses as their email resources are basically stolen by those with no scruples to speak of.

  83. 83
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Botsplainer: (envision horrified Ron Weasely reaction here)

  84. 84
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Betty Cracker: Cracked me up with that one.

    I don’t know if it’s because I have a low threshold for being cracked up or that it was actually that funny, but since I don’t know, I’ll go with the latter.

  85. 85
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @bob: Rosa ruck with getting jurisdiction resolved….

  86. 86
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: WoW is kind of interesting because I almost get the impression there are more women than men in it but “women/girls can’t be gamers”. I never had any idea how pervasive that notion was (Super Mario seemed to be loved by all?) until a female in our anime convention carpool came up to the crash pad hotel room steaming about how she’d been treated in the basement (gamers are usually consigned to the basement at anime cons, body odor is one reason, also setting a WH40K table above basement level just feels wrong) by other gamers. This is while she was holding the newest FF handheld* that she’d paid hundreds of dollars on, so … yeah. Fucked up.

    *look I don’t know shit about FF or games so go easy on me, I don’t really know what it was but she was playing it. and it had bishounen on it.

  87. 87
    Mike J says:

    @Amir Khalid: The worst part of her rants was that she might have actually generated sympathy for Freddy. He never deserved any, and many other people here properly flayed him. It was just hard to hear the the people who could spell out how he was being an idiot.

  88. 88
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @Botsplainer: oh god I’d forgotten

    Isn’t that a brand of salad dressing?

    Or is that also makoto, what my brain kept insistently correcting it to because makoto makes sense and matoko sounds like gibberish.

  89. 89
    Ruckus says:

    @Another Holocene Human (now with new computer):
    People used to eat without the internet. And before mass printing, with out reading. The youngers that I know (under 30) don’t do anything without the internet anymore. They even sneak looks when the boss isn’t around, or at least they think he isn’t.
    So what is the actual effectiveness of advertising? Subtle reminders, seeing the same ad over and over, even if it is short and ineffective shown once? No one could tell me, show me or at least no one was willing to. Bet it had to do with how much money I was willing to pay them to deliver their ineffective product.
    If you are correct (and I’ll bet you are) you have to be big to make the advertising work, spend huge sums for little return. I used to know someone who worked for GM in advertising. Had an enormous budget, over 100 people working for him. Spent money like it was going out of style. Then GM figured out they were going to be bankrupt and fired most everyone and cut the budget to something like 20% of it’s previous. The division sold the same number of vehicles without all the cost of advertising. Now did the prior ads bring in the customers and customer loyalty do the work? Probably a percentage. Did people just need a vehicle and this one is here? Is the company so big now that they really don’t need to do major advertising any more?

  90. 90
    Mnemosyne says:

    @VFX Lurker:

    Ironically, having a VFX union would also benefit the owners of the companies, because it would help prevent the studios from being able to play the companies off one another by constantly lowering their bids for the work, but “union” is such a scary word that places like Rhythm and Hues would rather go out of business trying to play the impossible game set up by the studios.

  91. 91
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: The way that email protocols are set up (not to mention usenet) didn’t help, though.

    I don’t understand why email doesn’t get an upgrade. Maybe the problem is that the last entity to try was Microsoft and nobody trusted them at the time. Plus they weren’t an ISP.

    Some of the bigger ISPs used to be known spam bad actors. Remember ATT and their pink contracts?

    Oh well, this is how Barracuda makes its living. Thanks to Sunshine laws Florida municipalities must give away employee email addys to spammers but there’s a however many thousands a year solution for that.

    People suck.

  92. 92
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    If you’ve read Stross’ Rule 34, half way through it, it’s revealed that the gruesome murder victims in the first half have something in common…they’re all spammers. At this point I said to myself “I’m not seeing a downside to this…” but then we find out in the end who the culprit is, and we’re left with something to ponder.

  93. 93
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Another Holocene Human (now with new computer): Email protocols were set up by a combined mentality of the military and academia, which had an unspoken assumption that people would behave themselves. Which might very well be true in both the military and academia, but once it gets out to the general population, well, those assumed rules of self restraint go right out the window, and you get all sorts of lower order creatures trying to think of an angle to make money fast.

  94. 94
    RSA says:

    @scav:

    Thing is then, access at all was to a restricted subset of users, with a more generally shared culture, common communication style, etc. (inside the private club it’s a perfect meritocracy!) even then . . .

    Of course you’re right. (The same is true today, but because the boundaries have been lowered so far, I think it’s less noticeable.)

  95. 95
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @Ruckus:

    If you are correct (and I’ll bet you are) you have to be big to make the advertising work, spend huge sums for little return.

    Yeah, pretty much, and if the concern makes other blunders nothing the marketing dept can do will fix that. (See: New Coke)

    Another issue (very under the surface) is market access. Lack access, lack customers. 7up and RC became niche brands because Coke and Pepsi distributors anti-competitively ran their distributors out of the market. All that money GM wastes (and it is a loser for them) on dealerships is also about access. Paying for shelf space in grocery stores. Access.

    The big thing right now is targeting advertising. Laser like focus on the targeted demo. So if you’re the one they’re after you’re getting slambolaed with some product, coupons, mailers, sandwich boards (because they find you where you hang out), etcet, if you’re not, you’ve never heard of it. Big retailers are obsessed with big data sets right now.

    Just like you said, nobody really knows how effective or not those big splashy ad campaigns are for real.

    The other side of it is, as Thomas Merton said, we think we are very jaded and sophisticated about advertising as modern people but actually we are being subtly influenced by it all the time and don’t even realize it.

    Think about all the images of cars advertising feeds us every day. Think about how many people you know put their finances in peril so they can own (loan) a new car that expresses their mass-produced uniqueness? The car becomes a personal and political statement. Some people are going to be car geeks no matter what, but for most people it’s a way to get from point A to point B, especially if there’s no decent public transit. So why the obsession?

  96. 96
    Arclite says:

    It’s a bit ironic that Freddie is posting that on Sullivan’s blog, a man whom posts intelligent reader comments several times a day, including a “Dissent of the Day” which is usually a well-reasoned counter argument to something Sully has written. Although Sully can often drive me crazy, the reader commentary is some of the best anywhere.

  97. 97
    Mike J says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Email protocols were set up by a combined mentality of the military and academia, which had an unspoken assumption that people would behave themselves.

    When I got my first internet account I had to sign a statement swearing I would never use it for any commercial purpose.

  98. 98
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    Re: fake word of mouth, companies like P&G use big data to identify people they think are “influencers” who try new things and then tell others. They will basically give these people new shit to try for free in the hopes that they’ll refer other customers because they’re so in love with this new shit. A lot of times people will comply because a) free is hard to resist b) new shiny shit is hard to resist c) if you think you’re special and wonderful for using new shiny shit, even if it isn’t that awesome or even if you are in doubt, especially in doubt, you have this urge to convince other people to do it in order to validate your choices. This is the same reason rubes are always trying to convert other marks to their stupid religion. So they know they made the right choice because others are switching.

  99. 99
    muddy says:

    @Another Holocene Human (now with new computer): When I was 18, my dad was going to get me a used car. He asked me if a car was 100% about transportation. I said I didn’t think the advertising industry thought so, and neither did most people for that reason. I did not get the car because I answered improperly. I guess the old Ps were really looking for me to lie about it. I was always getting that one wrong.

  100. 100
    gian says:

    @Kazanir:
    Freddie, I think Cole never took the keys away from you. Make your own front page post under your real name. That is if you have the stomach to read the comments

  101. 101
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Indeed. Back in the day I can recall being told that the twin evils that had killed Usenet were undergraduates and AOL, or in other words, September and September Never Ended.

  102. 102
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @Mnemosyne: That’s really sad.

  103. 103
    Ruckus says:

    Thinking about the title of the post and how it relates to Freddie’s writing. Freddie’s writing reminded me of WF Buckley. Lot of words trying to dress up nothing. Or even less than nothing. Almost like he had to regress a hundred years to have anything make sense. Not that it would actually have then but people seemed to respect the written word more. Or at least the fact that someone could get something published so it must be good. Now anyone can write anything and put it in front of the public. So his writing, which would have been accepted, simply out of exposure, if he could have gotten it published, now has exposure and it is routinely mocked. The old way must be better! Heard someone say that in the days of 45 records, someone besides the artist had to hear and like a song before it got published because the cost of doing so was high. Now that the cost is very cheap, anyone can publish a song, even if the only person to like it is the artist. Freddie was just born too late.

  104. 104
    Kazanir says:

    @gian:

    Ah, yes, yet another person who can’t be bothered to read and instantly assumes that their best response is an oblivious accusation of sock-puppetry. Good show.

  105. 105
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @muddy: The ‘burbs really facilitated the car as “self expression”. All the sumptuary once expressed by clothing, now by cars, as people do not meet in squares, they pass on roads and see their neighbors’ front door, not their neighbors. The garage that is filled with stuff and doesn’t guard the car is a feature assuming the car is one to be displayed, and when is it not?

    Some of these factors are well beyond the ability of advertising to influence, but it does take advertising for example to get people to buy silly shit like H3, once described as a Tahoe with a $20,000 skin.

  106. 106
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @Ruckus: I thought Buckley’s writing was the “look at my shiny education and breeding!!” version of name-dropping. Wait, not sure how that differs from Freddie, actually.

  107. 107
    scav says:

    @Ruckus: He does rather see rhetoric as a destination rather than a means of communication freighted with logical content.

  108. 108
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ruckus: WF Buckley was trying, really hard, to disguise, with words, some very ugly thoughts. His anti-egalitarianism had to be muffled so as not to be utterly blatant and arrogant.

  109. 109
    PJ says:

    @Another Holocene Human (now with new computer): This is incorrect. The ability to copy and distribute music files to millions of people with impunity broke the recorded music industry. Yes, much of the music industry was corrupt and venal (as are many other industries) but if you were astute about your business as a musician, you would get paid. Furthermore, many independent labels are and were forthright when dealing with artists, and some split profits 50/50 with artists. Napster and everything that followed made that irrelevant, because most people, when given the chance, and the ability to do it anonymously, would rather take something for free rather than pay for it. (Radiohead’s In Rainbows distribution experiment showed that many more people chose to illegally download it rather than legally download it for free from Radiohead’s website, where they would have to enter an email address to obtain the files.)

    For the U2s and Radioheads of the world, the difference was marginal to their bottom line. But for working middle class musicians, it was devastating. If you are making, say, 20K a year from recording royalties and 20K a year from touring, losing the recording royalties is huge. None of this would have been possible without the internet – with home recorded tapes or burned CDs, at best, most people are only going to make a few copies for their friends and family, because the process is is too time intensive.

  110. 110
    Ruckus says:

    @Kazanir:
    The problem isn’t that people didn’t read it.

    Your real problem is that they did.

  111. 111
    Cervantes says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Your board member needs to learn the difference between (deductive?) arguments that are merely valid and those that are sound.

  112. 112
    J R in WV says:

    @muddy:

    Ya know if your password on an email account goes bad, sometimes that means a bad actor hacked your account, and changed the password so they could have fun with the contents of the archive.

    Maybe you just had numlock or Caps lock pressed? Just one of those days? Hope so. Good luck,

  113. 113
    Schlemizel says:

    Once again Little Freddy proves he is an ass. Where are the rape gifs and misogyny on this blog? Oh, thats right, there are none. Same with most of the blogs I read. We did however do a great job of working as a check & balance on his bullshit – he hated it & ran away crying because we were so mean as to hold him accountable for the turds he tried laying here. All of that is forgotten now as little Freddy works overtime to prove he can be worthy of some of the wingnut welfare he obviously desires. JC has not made many mistakes in giving front page real estate but Fred the Bore is a pretty obvious exception.

  114. 114
    Kazanir says:

    @Ruckus:

    I maintain that when a fairly mild defense of a writer leads to a bunch of commenters immediately jumping to accusations of sock-puppetry, that this reflects rather poorly on the commenters rather than on whomever they are responding to. It is at best incredibly lazy and indicative of the kind of circle-jerk mentality that pervades comments sections like this one. (“The only explanation for someone disagreeing with us is clearly that he is a sock puppet for Person X whom we dislike!”)

    It is ludicrous and makes everyone here look bad.

  115. 115
    Cervantes says:

    @ThresherK: They were less expensive than Cadillacs, more expensive than many other marques.

  116. 116
    PJ says:

    @Alex S.: With regard to illegally (or legally) distributed files, ISPs could track how many times something was distributed, and, from the enormous profits gained from their users, could be made to pay a fee to the copyright owners. But getting ISPs to give up any part of their profits would be very difficult indeed.

  117. 117
    Cervantes says:

    @Kazanir: You’re right but you may also be wasting your time.

  118. 118
    Kazanir says:

    @Cervantes:

    I know, but I’m a sucker for doing battle on the Internet. It is a moral weakness I freely cop to. :)

  119. 119
    Mike J says:

    @Another Holocene Human (now with new computer):

    Back in the day I can recall being told that the twin evils that had killed Usenet were undergraduates and AOL, or in other words, September and September Never Ended.

    And Comic Con sucks because too many people are enjoying things that used to make a few people feel special.

  120. 120
    Ruckus says:

    @Kazanir:
    Dude.
    Your style is not very well hidden. If you are not Freddie, you are his writing doppelganger.

    Most of the people here are not at all stupid or uneducated. I’m pretty well read and yet there are many here who put me to shame with their levels of recall and recognition of writing style and content.

    IOW we recognize bullshit when we see it.

  121. 121
    J R in WV says:

    @Another Holocene Human (now with new computer):

    One thing, New Coke worked exactly as designed. It was a slow failure, followed by a revived Coke Classic, which had the name and Classic look, but a new formulation, without sugar and with High Fructose Corn Syrup as a sweetner.

    There was this gap in formulations when all you could get was New Coke, and this prevented 99.7% of Coke customers from directly comparing the original Coke with Coke Classic. Now some manufacturers of pop actually produce limited volumes of their product with real sugar instead of HFCS, esp Pepsi and Dr Pepper.

    You can also get the original flavors from producers in Mexico, esp in the border states.

    But never think for one minute that Coke didn’t do exactly what was planned with New Coke. Marketing is not art, it is science, and it works.

  122. 122
    Schlemizel says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    Betty – after that comment I want to have your babies! They should have turned comments off after that!

  123. 123
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @PJ: That Radiohead “experiment” is bullshit.

    If I bought a CD at Tower (walk down memory lane with me here) did Radiohead get my home address or telephone number? NO.

    If I buy a track on iTunes, does Radiohead get my email address or mac address or IP address? NO.

    How many diners at chain restaurants give their personal info to the restaurant to get coupons in their email? What percentage? Now what percentage give their personal info to their credit card company to purchase the meal but not to the restaurant except to complete the transaction?

    (The fact that in non-transparent ways companies are buying and selling and through bad security losing your data to criminals because of super lax US laws is not the issue here, we’re talking about the choices consumers make.)

    Oh, and Radiohead must hate Canadians, because Canadians pay a tax which goes to support artists and are allowed to share music in their country.

    I can’t understand the moralizing chest thumping going on with the internet. Is not radio blasted through the ether every day at no cost to the end user and do record companies not FOR GOD’S SAKE PAY the radio companies to play their shitty overproduced pop crap at us all the time? And what about that horrid pumped in music at malls?

    Let’s admit it, all the moral posturing is a smokescreen for the fact that they’ve never forgiven my generation, more saturated with paid-for commercial music than any before, all blasted straight into our ears for free until we shuffled zombie like to the record store to empty our pockets so we could attack the ear worm, for figuring out that we could download and share new music that we liked and thought was cool, putting internet one hit wonders like Fat Boy Slim on the awards stages and ruffling the feathers of the establishment. Fuck it, do you remember what CDs used to cost and their shitty rationalizations for that stuff? CDs that cost them less than a dollar to print? Do you remember how incredibly shitty the music on the radio was, when we listened to radio in the end days?

    Now that people my age are working for record labels, they’ve successfully transferred their payola model to the internet, so there’s that.

    And there was always a lot of pirating going on, especially when CDs came out. You’re just more aware of it now. Back then you had to be in the right social network. (And if you’re white, you and your friends’ mix tapes weren’t “pirating” they were “sharing” like in kindergarten. It’s only bad when [fill in the blank].)

  124. 124
    Schlemizel says:

    @Kazanir:
    I see Little Freddy has figured out how to make a sock puppet. Good for him.

  125. 125
    Cervantes says:

    @Another Holocene Human (now with new computer):

    But something really weird happened in the early days of ‘net advertising, which was the assumption that an ad was like a link, and the ad was effective if the link was clicked on, something that never happens in any other advertising media.

    A good point, worth thinking through.

  126. 126
    Kazanir says:

    @Ruckus:

    The fact that you seem to seriously think that I am Freddie deBoer is kind of funny, but I still maintain that it reflects rather poorly on your creative thinking skills or lack thereof. It would take you about 5 minutes of work with Google and my Internet handle to establish that I’m a real person but I’ll leave that as an exercise for the reader if you’re REALLY interested. Cripes.

  127. 127
    Kazanir says:

    @Schlemizel:

    Hahahahahah look another one. Man, I am starting to have trouble believing this is a real thing that is happening. I think that makes 7 or 8 commenters now.

  128. 128
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @PJ: That would require regulation to ensure fair play and we can’t have that.

    It feels like government regulators since Clinton just laugh as content media vs pipeline providers duke it out and bankrupt each other and make tv and internet suck smegma covered balls.

    But if the real problem is Comcast (yes, yes it is) then why are we concern trolling about kidz sharing traxx?

  129. 129
    Schlemizel says:

    @ThresherK:
    When my folks started out they bought used buicks because they were great cars & cheap when used. I sort of assumed Archie never owned a new model but bought used because there was more life left in in the LaSalle than in a Chevy or Ford. But, yeah, that always seems odd.

  130. 130
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @muddy: Will do, thanks!

  131. 131
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @J R in WV: That’s an interesting, if bitter, take on it, but here in the real world, New Coke was an unabashed disaster which brought infamy upon the participants, reduced Coca-Cola’s market share PERMANENTLY in the USA, slammed their stock price, and basically made bankers, brokers, and accountants cry.

    It’s not about the cola syrup, my friend. It was never about the cola syrup.

  132. 132
    srv says:

    @Kazanir: I would submit my rapey and misogny gifs in response, but… I DON’T HAVE ANY. DRAT!

    There is a long history here with Freddie. I suggest you use teh google to find all the vanquished attempts where he defends his premises in the blog comments.

    My memory is that you will find three responses, and two of them are correcting himself.

    But you’re right. We all should give Brooks, Krauthammer, and the Fonz of Freedom another chance. It speaks badly about us that we just aren’t more open minded.

  133. 133
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @Schlemizel: Let’s hope it is Freddie because if this boring troll starts infesting All The Threads I think I’m gonna be sick.

  134. 134
    Schlemizel says:

    @Remfin:
    If I may shorten that for you: Sully acted like Sully.

  135. 135
    Ruckus says:

    @Kazanir:
    I see enough bullshit for free and little to no effort, why would I go looking for it? That, in case you don’t understand, is a rhetorical question.

  136. 136
    Alex S. says:

    @Kazanir:

    The problem is, you, as you are commenting here, do not have a point, because we, the commenters, are not talking with Freddie, but amongst ourselves, maybe including mistermix. I’d say that the general tenor of the comments here about Freddie’s post on, let’s say, the civility of comment sections, is basically, “Well, told you so.” And then our comments confirm themselves – which is the point Freddie was trying to make – so where’s the argument?

  137. 137
    raven says:

    How can you care abut this twit when Burning Man has been co-opted???

    There are two disciplines in which Silicon Valley entrepreneurs excel above almost everyone else. The first is making exorbitant amounts of money. The second is pretending they don’t care about that money.

  138. 138
    Cervantes says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    De Boer is an assface who gets FAR TOO MUCH attention for being a run of the mill puling, moaning, strutting, tedious git. Why do I know who he is? He sucks. He’s not interesting. He has nothing to say. And to top it off he’s both entitled and posing as a True Lefty.

    Given how awful he apparently is — everyone says so — it should be the work of a moment — yes? — to point to an example that illustrates all the above. I ask out of curiosity, not having paid much attention to his writing. In fact you can call it idle curiosity and not waste your time on it if that’s easier. Thanks in any case.

  139. 139
    scav says:

    Doesn’t really matter whose exact hand is in the sock if all that’s flapping is vapidware with pearls.

  140. 140
    Ruckus says:

    @Another Holocene Human (now with new computer):
    We’ve survived boring, useless trolls before. Usually they go away when we quit replying to their BS, like I just have. I think they like the argument, stirring up crap, having some presence. They just don’t know how to do it any other way.

  141. 141
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @Mike J: Well, imo Comic Con sucks because I’m priced out. I went to a comic con, I think Baltocon, back when they were cut rate, cheap, virtually no females and social skills were thin on the ground as well. I got to attend panels with comic book writers like Mark Waid and it was AWESOME.

    Yeah. I can fucking forget about that shit now. Meh.

    As for September, here’s the thing, as other posters pointed out when you had to be on a certain network to post, there were other factors inhibiting behavior. If you were spamming on MIT’s network, for example, they could pull your user account. And punish you in other ways. If you were posting abusive crap from a .mil account, well … commanding officers. If you were using a small ISP and munging your return addy and being a racist xposting pustule, the small ISP might finger you and ban you off their network forever for abuse. But AOL? Hahahahaha. September never ended because unlike newbie undergrads who soon realized that they were constrained by the same factors as grad students and perfessers, AOL lusers (and don’t oh god forget WebTV) never had to say they were sorry. So a bulletin board system that was basically set up like a freshly painted college bathroom on the bookstores “Free Sharpie” day went straight to hell.

    PHP forums took off like crazy during web 1.0 because of the “mods can ban assholes for everyone” functionality. Usenet never had this. If you were lucky your network provider subscribed to crowdsourced spam cancel services but that was about it.

  142. 142
    srv says:

    @Another Holocene Human (now with new computer):

    It’s not about the cola syrup, my friend. It was never about the cola syrup.

    Once you young ones have had a Mexican Coke, you’ll never go back.

    It was always funny the marketing teachers later saying HFCS had already been introduced in some bottling regions before New Coke, so they were unconnected.

    Of course, when challenged, they couldn’t identify which regions, they could just repeat the history as written by Wise CCR Execs and freaking out Wall Street. But I could always help them with that, because I was in one, and we had stopped drinking it.

    Now either they had stopped listening to the consumer, or they needed a plan B.

  143. 143
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Kazanir:

    It is ludicrous and makes everyone here look bad.

    While neither de Boer nor Greenwald are my cup of tea, I think they occasionally make a good point (approximately one per 10,000 words), and FSM knows there are thousands of more deserving objects of derision on the Internet. That said, the remark above is obtuse.

  144. 144
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @Cervantes: Wait, you’ve never seen Sady Doyle’s DeBoer takedown, complete with his incessant trolling of the comments section because Of course he did?

    http://tigerbeatdown.com/2010/.....-revealed/

  145. 145
    Ruckus says:

    @raven:
    Saw that. Sure, many spent almost nothing on their Burning Man rides or displays, but there has always been some who spent pretty good sums on the contraptions that many have built over the years. There are businesses who design and build them, sometimes taking a year or two to get them done and working. Money has always been there. Now of course having a compound of 6-12 half million dollar motorhomes with staff and all does go a little bit counter to the theme of the event.

  146. 146
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @Kazanir: The amazing thing about Narcissistic Personality Disorder is that every Narcissist thinks she is special, but to the rest of us all NPD people seem to have a stupefying, inevitable sameness to them.

  147. 147
    Kazanir says:

    @srv:

    More seriously, I’m quite aware of the blog’s history with Freddie. (I’ve read the blog religiously since like 2007.) I mostly agreed with the commentariat at the time, even! I think I am even on record somewhere defending Yglesias against Freddie when deBoer was a front-pager here. The recollection is dim but I think that was one of the times I was called a Yglesias sock-puppet so the irony is a little thick.

    That said, I think Freddie’s history with the commenters here reflects poorly on the commenters as well as on Freddie. It is exactly the same thing as the froth that y’all work up any time Glenn Greenwald gets mentioned. John has personally, repeatedly, commented on how irrational and useless this comments section can get when it comes to certain personalities in the blogosphere and he is right. I think this series of comments shows it — these 135 comments are full of not much except for grade-school-level insults, and the first thing that many commenters jump to as soon as there is a hint of disagreement is “omg a sockpuppet”. It is just absurd.

    For what it’s worth, I have had many of the same problems with reading Freddie that the people here (or over at LGM e.g.) have had with him. He’s a huge leftie purist (or a pretender to leftier-than-thou purism), his writing style is often grating, and his ability to take criticism leaves quite a bit to be desired. But his work over at Sullivan’s this week has been positively redemptive. He has written on a dozen different and very important topics that span the gamut of important liberal causes, and done so without almost any hint of the intra-left-wing infighting that characterizes a lot of his other work. I don’t get any of the usual whininess or woe-is-me-ism from his set of posts at the Dish like I usually do. It has been quite refreshing!

    So yeah I think a second chance (or at least a fair reading) is justified. I could be wrong! I’m open to people telling me I’m wrong. But I’m not open to being convinced by the kind of snide, bottom-of-the-barrel insults and silliness I have seen in the comments today.

    Freddie has clearly made a conscious choice to leverage Sullivan’s platform to put the left wing’s arguments on policy and social justice out in a clear but also very broad and inclusive way. I think his writing, the blogosphere, and the liberal movement are all better for it.

  148. 148
    Schlemizel says:

    @Kazanir:
    its not like you didn’t earn them, enjoy them. Offer a defense if you can, but the pathetic sucking up to Little Freddy with no effort to point out where he is right or how we are wrong smacks of sock puppetry. As for our being mean to Little Freddy he earned that with the way he handled the initial criticism when he posted garbage like this (all comment sections are rape gif and sexism) here. We did exactly what he claims NEVER happens, we pointed out where he was wrong & held him to a higher standard. His response was to run away because he could not defend his work. After that people like me made fun of him and that may be wrong but what should he expect? He made up crap he could not defend & then instead of learning, growing & getting better he runs to Sully’s where he can post pure bullshit without being challenged on it.

  149. 149
    Cervantes says:

    @RSA:

    Freddie:

    I don’t know if there was ever a time when the internet in general, and the world of blogging and online journalism specifically, were these open cultures where anyone truly had a chance to get ahead.

    For the Internet in general, I’d suggest the pre-Web days, maybe on Usenet. But that may be my rose-colored glasses.

    You may be forgetting that Usenet was primarily .edu for years.

  150. 150
    Schlemizel says:

    @Another Holocene Human (now with new computer):
    If troll they would have to go some to top Beetledouche who wished my son had died in Afghanistan. My guess is thought that LF will tire of this effort when it becomes obvious commenters here have the goods on LF and his emperors clothes.

  151. 151
    Cervantes says:

    @Another Holocene Human (now with new computer):

    Never seen it, you are right. Thanks for the pointer; will take a look.

  152. 152
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Kazanir:
    Maybe you really aren’t Freddie de Boer. I’m willing to stipulate that you are not. But I think the commentariat are right to maintain that Freddie was a disappointing Balloon Juice front-pager. He never quite came clean about where he was coming from ideologically, he could be reluctant to engage with the commentariat, and he didn’t always fight fair when he did. He’d get very defensive when he got called out on these things — and if you’ve been here any amount of time, you know how quick the Juicitariat are to note such things. He got tired of the hard time he was getting here, he said so himself, and moved on.

    Freddie’s post-Balloon Juice blogging activity goes largely unremarked upon here, except when he makes sweeping generalisations about unsympathetic commenters. Which the Juicitariat tend not to care for, because the consensus here is that he deserved most of the grief we gave him. (Except for the over-the-top stuff from You Know Who; and even she is not considered a troll, merely an obsessive sort.)

    As for us the Juicitariat, are we the kind of group that enforces an oppressive group-think? Not that I’ve noticed. We disagree quite a bit and have strong arguments, but with we generally avoid hurling mortal insults.

  153. 153
    Cervantes says:

    @Betty Cracker: I think he or she is right that the knee-jerk accusations of “sock-puppetry” are cheap and silly; and to the extent they go unremarked, they do make the place look ridiculous.

    Your opinion differs, apparently.

  154. 154
    Schlemizel says:

    @Another Holocene Human (now with new computer): OMG

    That was dead on perfect. I would kill to be able to write a take down of LF as good as that one. A tad long for the job but boy does she hit all the points of how wrong LF is and how sad it is that he can’t understand it. I thank pasta every morning that I am not cursed with the sort of privileged stupidity Freddy suffers from.

  155. 155
    Botsplainer says:

    @Kazanir:

    I’ll sum up Freddie’s writing thusly – why make a clear and concise statement of 20 words or less when you can make an incomprehensible and opaque series of paragraphs totaling 1500 words?

  156. 156
    raven says:

    @Cervantes: What “place” is that? Helllooooooo Ballloooon Juiiceeeeee!

  157. 157
    Schlemizel says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    No! Its true! We DO enforce a group think here! Thats why the obots & firebaggers never argue and the hawks & doves are forced to agree 100%. People here NEVER disagree . . . well, except for me when I just disagreed with you but I am sure one of us will be severely punished for deviating from the group think & nobody will ever disagree here ever again.

  158. 158
  159. 159
    Cervantes says:

    @raven: Not sure what you mean.

  160. 160
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Kazanir: here’s my constructive contribution. Fuck Freddie de Boer and his faux-left self-congratulation, and if you fall for it, you’re an idiot too.

  161. 161
    Kazanir says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I think that’s a reasonable assessment of Freddie’s time here. Like I said, I mostly agreed with the commentariat about him at the time, and I haven’t ever read his blog regularly because of these things.

    But I gave his work at the Dish this week a read and I think it holds up really well. (And it was a HUGE improvement over the glibertarian ladies from the weeks before. Holy shit.) Even this column I didn’t perceive as being “about” comments sections like Balloon Juice at all — I perceived it as clearly being about how trolls and ne’er-do-wells use comments sections to heap abuse on people promotion social justice, especially on comments sections which are less moderated than this one. Truly, does anyone even read the comments sections at the Washington Post? Or any major media outlet? No, because they are full of hot garbage.

    More generally it is about the myth of openness on the internet. When he says this:

    I do think, though, that this is a good opportunity to finally let some of our old myths about the internet die. It’s still common to hear people talk about the internet as this open space where only talent matters and where everyone has a chance to impact the discussion. And it’s time we put those myths to bed.

    He’s completely right — this is a high-tech (g)libertarian myth that needs to be killed, or at least salted so heavily that it resembles roadkill in winter. That myth — and how we should avoid buying into it and recognize that the Internet comes with its own set of problems we need to be aware of — is what the post is really about.

  162. 162
    Heliopause says:

    Meanwhile, things in Libya are going absolutely swimmingly.

  163. 163
    raven says:

    @Cervantes: We had a discussion yesterday about bands saying silly stuff like “hello Chicago” just riffin on that.

  164. 164
    muddy says:

    @J R in WV: I don’t know what it was. I was finally able to get in. Then I went back to the new one I’d made to tell people, and it did the same thing! I had been using gmail already this morning, and was reading something else in another tab. When I went back it wanted me to sign back in. It had been 2 weeks, so it was normal that it ask me to do so.

    I hadn’t given a cell phone number like they want, maybe they were trying to scare me into entering one. Hopefully it is not a bad person, but I don’t know what they’d do with my bullshit gossiping emails.

  165. 165
    Schlemizel says:

    @raven:
    GROUP THIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNKKKKK

    What does surprise me sometimes is how quick some people are to go to the ‘ol FU. I don’t get that, I disagree with a lot of people here but it is usually matter of degrees & not ‘set fire to the house’ levels.

    What I do thinks happens sometimes is a consensus forms, it did with LF. His failures were so obvious that few here honestly don’t see them.

  166. 166
    Mike J says:

    @Another Holocene Human (now with new computer):

    But AOL? Hahahahaha. September never ended because unlike newbie undergrads who soon realized that they were constrained by the same factors as grad students and perfessers, AOL lusers (and don’t oh god forget WebTV) never had to say they were sorry.

    Acrtually we banned tons of users, and IIRC even made it so that people on the free trial couldn’t use the usenet reader. (I worked on the second and third version of the reader. I was brought in specifically to fix the many deficiencies of the first version. We were semi-successful, but the damage was already done at that point. )

  167. 167
    raven says:

    @Schlemizel: I like it, it conveys a certain. . .oomph!

  168. 168
    Schlemizel says:

    @raven: Agreed, just that I am surprised how quickly it gets unholstered here

  169. 169
    Heliopause says:

    Meanwhile, in Syria the US’s support for opposition groups is bearing fruit.

  170. 170
    raven says:

    @Schlemizel: Lotta people talk that way (wink wink). Hard Knocks is following the Falcons this year and they had a bunch of footage of sueaky-clean Matt Ryan cussing it up. Last night they interviewed him about it during the game a and asked him what his teammates thought? He said, “well the public may be a bit shocked buy the players know what’s what”!

  171. 171
    Ruckus says:

    @Another Holocene Human (now with new computer):

    Paying for shelf space in grocery stores. Access.

    Used to work in the food packaging industry(many centuries ago) and the number of people who would walk in and want to bottle water to sell was amazing. When told the actual cost of packaging and product was only a small part of the cost, they would look at me like I had just landed from Mars. My question would always be, “How much are you willing to spend for shelf space?” They had no idea that Coke and Pepsi get their own isle at the store because they pay for it. They really freaked when they found out that the packaging costs more than the product.

  172. 172
    Heliopause says:

    Meanwhile, repeated drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan have restored calm in those countries.

  173. 173
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ruckus: It’s sort of like how 1/3 or so of you bill from the phone company is the cost of billing you for your use of the phone. Not the infrastructure of the phone network itself.

  174. 174
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Heliopause: Clearly, we need drone strikes in Ferguson to calm things down. I’m sure John McCain agrees with me.

  175. 175
    Ruckus says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    The worst part of WFB was that he had to know that his crap was horrible, because he spent huge amounts of energy to hide his ideals behind fancy words and convoluted sentences. He was hoping that you’d notice the words and agree with him, and not see the ideas behind them.

  176. 176
    Arclite says:

    @Botsplainer:

    I’ll sum up Freddie’s writing thusly – why make a clear and concise statement of 20 words or less when you can make an incomprehensible and opaque series of paragraphs totaling 1500 words?

    Because grad student?

  177. 177
    Schlemizel says:

    @raven:
    Not the words so much as the attitude. I’m surprised that people take it as calmly as they do. I think you & I crossed swords once (I am not good at keeping people straight, it often takes me a while to realize someones history here, its how I came to contretemps with she who will not be named. But I genuinely like what you post & feel some kinship which is the best one can hope for online I think. That might be harder for people to do if responses are uncivil.

  178. 178
    raven says:

    @Schlemizel: Yea, buncha whiny nutcases here but they are OUR whiny nutcases!

  179. 179
    Schlemizel says:

    @raven: Normal is WAY overrated!

  180. 180
    raven says:

    @Schlemizel: So is Bloomington!

  181. 181
    Ruckus says:

    @raven:
    LOL

    But you are correct, again.

  182. 182
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Cervantes: My opinion does differ, not least because of the practical impossibility of disavowing every bit of silly twaddle posted on Balloon Juice, let alone uttered within my hearing on the planet. Really, if we don’t think Kazanir is Freddie’s sockpuppet, we’re morally obligated somehow to state that conviction lest Balloon Juice be considered a silly place? (It IS a silly place, of course, but not for that reason!)

  183. 183
    raven says:

    @Ruckus: Of course, I live in Normaltown, Athens GA.

    Let’s go crash that party down
    In Normaltown tonight
    Then we’ll go skinny-dippin’
    In the moonlight
    We’re wild girls walkin’ down the street
    Wild girls and boys going out for a big time

    Anyway we can
    We’re gonna find something
    We’ll dance in the garden
    In torn sheets in the rain
    We’ll dance in the garden
    In torn sheets in the rain
    In the rain

    Read more: B-52s – Deadbeat Club Lyrics | MetroLyrics

  184. 184
    Schlemizel says:

    @raven: OTOH here in MN Climax is always a good time!

    When I was a teen I heard this (these are all towns in MN)
    If you take EMILY on an OUTING
    you will sure to be ATKIN before you get to REAMMER

  185. 185
    Ruckus says:

    @Schlemizel:
    As raven said, that’s just how many of us talk. And many of the younger generation are much worse. But I like that openness with what were once considered non polite words. Had this discussion with someone here a few days ago that the southern style of saying Fuck you politely was OK because we all understood what was intended. Then why not use the words? To pretend that’s not what we meant when it really was? I called that dishonest and I stand by that, I think it’s fake politeness. Real politeness is listening and discussing what was stated. But like the current post subject, when the politeness is used as a cover for spewing bullshit, we should call it out. And in no uncertain terms.

    Apparently some think that bullshit should be polished and molded, hoping or even demanding that we believe that it doesn’t stink any more.

  186. 186
    RSA says:

    @Cervantes:

    You may be forgetting that Usenet was primarily .edu for years.

    Yeah, I’d forgotten that, too (having been in academia then and afterwards).

  187. 187
    raven says:

    @Schlemizel: Whoo hoo!

  188. 188
    IM says:

    @Kazanir:

    He’s a huge leftie purist (or a pretender to leftier-than-thou purism), his writing style is often grating, and his ability to take criticism leaves quite a bit to be desired.

    So in other words you know exactly what is the problem with Freddy but you still have to play the contrarian?

    Come on, that is boring. As boring as the holier than thou attitude of F. de Boer, only honest man on the left.

  189. 189
    Cervantes says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    You’re not “morally obligated” to do a thing about it, obviously. Never implied otherwise.

    But the point — and it wasn’t my point; I simply agreed and you disagreed — was that such “silly twaddle” (to borrow your term) makes the place look ridiculous.

    Therefore, me, I think it makes sense to speak up against it. Will it thereby cease immediately? Of course not. Silly twaddle can be quite popular.

  190. 190
    Suzanne says:

    Among Freddie’s other (numerous) flaws, the dude is verbose, pretentious, and unable to get to the point, and as such, he’s certainly unable to get his reader there, either.

    And: BONERZ.

    BONERZ FOREVAH.

  191. 191
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Cervantes: Nope. The exact point, which wasn’t yours, but which you were defending, was this:

    It is ludicrous and makes everyone here look bad.

    No it doesn’t make “everyone here look bad,” not unless you’re silly enough to believe that every bit of nonsense or point you disagree with has to be rebutted or is in effect co-signed. That’s just foolish.

    We all pick and choose what we respond to in every single thread and make judgments about what is worth our efforts, what we assume the person being addressed will handle him/herself, etc. (And sometimes we choose to avert our eyes as we would avoid meeting the gaze of a ranting lunatic on a subway.) Otherwise, commenting at Balloon Juice would be a full-time job. Without pay.

  192. 192
    Jewish Steel says:

    @Schlemizel:

    @raven:

    Hold on, you two shit talkers.

    No one is overrating Bloomington or Normal. We have an Applebee’s, and a TGIFriday’s. Straight up cosmopolitan ’round these parts.

  193. 193
    Rex Everything says:

    Shorter mistermix: “Hey everyone, I don’t get Freddie. Please reassure me that’s because he’s an idiot & not me.”

  194. 194
    Jewish Steel says:

    And ED Kain molders in his grave unmourned,

  195. 195
    Rex Everything says:

    @Kazanir: Totally. Thank you for that. I swear, I’m nearly at the point of appreciating the statement “FdB can’t write” as the new “jazz sucks.” It’s nice when shitheads save you time by self-identifying.

  196. 196
    IM says:

    @Jewish Steel:

    I thought he interacted better. Even if his policies were worse.

    Wasn’t matoko chan obsessed with both of them?

  197. 197
    Cervantes says:

    @Betty Cracker: That’s great. For “everyone here” I read (and wrote) “the place.” If “the place” is a bad rendering and “everyone here” should have been taken literally instead, then I’m sure you’re right. By all means, avert your eyes.

    Incidentally, I was looking at some old photographs of Orlando last night and came upon several of “Cracker Day” festivities. Every Saturday was “Cracker Day” back then!

  198. 198
    Cervantes says:

    @Rex Everything: No kidding.

  199. 199
    different-church-lady says:

    Sometimes blogger-on-blogger violence is just pointless.

    This is one of those times.

  200. 200
    philadelphialawyer says:

    Freddie is just a big crybaby and worrywart. He can’t handle comments on his own blog, nor can he stand it when people disagree with him.

    Beyond that, he is a big phony. Like, his main fear in life, to hear him tell it, is that he is just a First World guy with First World problems. That he isn’t oppressed enough. Notice even in the little snippet above, its all about the women and the African Americans. With little Freddie riding to their rescue.

    The fact is that the internet is a very safe place to be. Sure, people can send you nasty gifs and comments. But they can’t actually get at you physically. Which means, unless you are a big scaredy cat like wittle Fweddie, you are just fine.

    Re his apercu that it is harder to make a name for yourself as a blogger now than it was 10 or 15 years ago….DUH! That point has only been around for about ten years now! As well as being as obvious as the day is long.

    Shut up, Freddie.

  201. 201
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Rex Everything: Indeed, but probably not in the way you think.

    P.S. Jazz does suck, worse than just about any form of sound ever produced by human or non-human agency.

  202. 202
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Cervantes: I was born in Orlando, but only because the godforsaken Confederate backwater from whence I actually hail doesn’t have a hospital or even a veterinary clinic.

  203. 203
    Betty Cracker says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Philistine!

  204. 204
    Cervantes says:

    @Betty Cracker: Would you believe that Orlando had an opera house before Boston did?

  205. 205
    J R in WV says:

    @Another Holocene Human (now with new computer):

    So I read the Tiger Beatdown about Freddie Boner… wonderful piece.

    Then I saw that the last piece on Tiger Beatdown was a year ago. No goodby, nothing just stopped.

    Anyone know what happened? Why that wonderful blog went away?

    Thanks.

  206. 206
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Cervantes: I find that very surprising. Despite being born there, I don’t know much about Orlando except the unavoidable touristy side of it. From what I understand, it was a tiny place before The Rat consumed it.

  207. 207
    Jewish Steel says:

    @IM: He did, that’s my recollection too.

    m_c’s real rage was directed at John. She saw both F de B and EDK as a terrible betrayal.

  208. 208
    Cervantes says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Operas had been performed in Boston earlier, of course, but Orlando designated a “permanent” venue before Boston did.

    The beginning of Orlando’s growth preceded Disney by about a century. It became pretty much the largest non-coastal city in Florida after the Civil War. And then in the 20th century the military and associated hangers-on contributed to its growth. Only then did Mickey Mouse and his more or less verminous pack of friends arrive, in the mid-’60s and, yes, more growth ensued.

  209. 209
    slag says:

    Strikes me as a fairly obvious point that there is no such thing as a true meritocracy, even on the Internet, and that the same old issues concerning social networks and power structures that prevail elsewhere are also prevalent on the ‘net.

  210. 210
    Francis says:

    “I maintain that when a fairly mild defense of a writer leads to a bunch of commenters immediately jumping to accusations of sock-puppetry, that this reflects rather poorly on the commenters rather than on whomever they are responding to.”

    Alternatively, the piece sucks and the author has a history with his audience.

    “And that my own pretensions and self-aggrandizement are no kind of alternative.”

    A. FdB has had an epiphany.
    B. He’s humble-bragging.

    Based on prior conduct, odds are the latter is correct.

    FdB has multiple faults. While many people take issue with his verbosity, self-absorption and generally naive view of the world, my problem is that he slaughters nothing but strawmen, preferably to his left.

    “It’s still common to hear people talk about the internet as this open space where only talent matters and where everyone has a chance to impact the discussion.”

    Really? I expect that Glenn Reynolds still speaks this way, but Yglesias, Klein and Drum are quite honest about the extent to which dumb luck helped them.

    “And it’s time we put those myths to bed.”

    What do you mean “we” Kemo Sabe? Who the fuck put Freddie fucking Deboer in charge of anything? This is precisely the kind of gross self-importance that’s absolutely grating. If he wants to write about the role of luck, timing, relationships, marketing, skin color, etc. in the expansion of the internet he’s welcome to do so. What he is not welcome to do is to claim to speak for anyone but his pathetic little self.

    I have this strong visual image — think Braveheart — of Freddie standing in front of a huge crowd waving a sword and crying out “Follow me”. But the crowd has its back turned and the few people who are bothering to turn and listen are responding “Fuck Off”.

  211. 211
    Ruckus says:

    @Francis:

    What he is not welcome to do is to claim to speak for anyone but his pathetic little self.

    I have this strong visual image — think Braveheart — of Freddie standing in front of a huge crowd waving a sword and crying out “Follow me”. But the crowd has its back turned and the few people who are bothering to turn and listen are responding “Fuck Off”.

    Nice.

  212. 212
    Fred Fnord says:

    Don’t know about the rest of the “creative types” but things are much worse for musicians now than they were 30 years ago.

    Yes, you had to deal with abusive record companies and labels and crappy recording contracts, 30 years ago… if you were one of the lucky few to make it big. But if you weren’t, you could still make a decent living in many parts of the US playing in bars and small venues, doing the occasional party, maybe a wedding if your music swings that way.

    Today, the a lot of the same kind of places that would pay your band $250 for a two hour show 30 years ago are ‘offering the opportunity’ to play for free ‘for the exposure’. And the places that aren’t? They’re still paying $250 for a two hour show, only $250 in 2014 dollars is worth around $100 in 1984 dollars. Split three ways, $250 hardly even covers the drinks, which are often no longer comped for musicians. (Some places are generous and comp the first one…)

    Of course, there will always be amateur musicians, and there will always be the very small number of performers who make it really big. But musician, except in very small niches, is no longer a profession.

  213. 213
    VFX Lurker says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Ironically, having a VFX union would also benefit the owners of the companies, because it would help prevent the studios from being able to play the companies off one another by constantly lowering their bids for the work…

    VFX shops would need a trade association among themselves for that, not a union. For example, Coca-Cola and Pepsi belong to the same trade association. Coca-Cola and Pepsi still compete, but they do so within the rules of the trade association.

    The VFX shops need a trade association to protect themselves from Warner Bros and Paramount, and VFX workers need a union to protect themselves from the VFX shops. Scott Ross did hope that a VFX union would force VFX shops to form a VFX trade association, but neither has yet emerged.

    …but “union” is such a scary word that places like Rhythm and Hues would rather go out of business trying to play the impossible game set up by the studios.

    I heard from R&H artists that John Hughes wasn’t anti-union, because the cost would have been the same to R&H if its artists chose to work under 839 contracts. For whatever reason, the artists at R&H never signed enough rep cards to hold a union election at R&H. Maybe they thought the good times would always last. For the first 25 years of its 26-year lifespan, R&H was the best VFX shop to work in Los Angeles. The brutal 26th year was covered in LIFE AFTER PI.

  214. 214
    Cervantes says:

    @Another Holocene Human (now with new computer):

    Wait, you’ve never seen Sady Doyle’s DeBoer takedown, complete with his incessant trolling of the comments section because Of course he did?

    Right, so I looked at the episode — and here’s what I saw: He noticed an article she had written about, among many other things, male feminists. It included a joke of sorts. He noticed the joke but misconstrued it. He then wrote an article of his own based on (his misconstruction of?) the joke and left a comment on her blog about his article — except that, for no good reason that I could see, he framed his comment as on objection to more or less her entire blog persona. Predictably enough, she did not take kindly to his criticism and responded to it. That’s the response from her you had me look at. What do I think of it? For now let me just say I much preferred the response from one of her co-authors:

    @Freddie I think one thing that you miss in you characterization of the Beatdown is that each one of us – Sady, the contributors, the commenters, the silent readers – are EVOLVING. We are trying to have a discussion about privilege that takes into account our own set of privileges and to make it funny and entertaining. When you use a phrase like “you want the out to be able to say that you were just goofing” you attempt to freeze time and say “You must be accountable for whatever you believe this very moment. You must never evolve.”

    Yes, it sucks big time that some ladies don’t like men who are feminists (even though I think there is a difference between acknowledging that some men see feminism as a way to pick up ladies and saying men CAN’T be feminists). It sucks that some lesbians exclude transladies from festivals; it sucks when people who should know better don’t.

    But the people who post and comment here aren’t just hiding from intellectual rigor, we are forming a tribe. A tribe of intelligent people whose interests are personal evolution on ideas of gender and privilege and dick jokes. If it isn’t for you, start your own tribe. Maybe some of us will find it a better fit than this one.

    That’s a good response to what he wrote. (An even better one is here, except that it’s longer.)

    Whereas Doyle’s response — the one you recommended to me — was, well, here is a Jennifer I don’t know whose comment to him I found both succinct and useful. First, that his remarks “ended up being the straw that made the camel’s back explode.” And further:

    Internet pile-ons make me wince, so I guess what I’m saying is, even though I do think the anger being directed your way right now is pretty disproportional, there’s a lot of context for it. Don’t take it personally, but trying to make that anger seem illegitimate will not make things any better.

    To which I would add absolutely nothing.

    Finally, there was the observation that he kept trying to engage Doyle even though she had repeatedly told him to stop. If this is true — I have no idea, really, what the dynamics were in real time — then obviously he was wrong to persist, no matter what his intention. If she did not want to interact, he should have backed off. This is elementary.

    That’s my response to your example of what an awful person/writer/leftist he is. I suppose there must be better examples of his awfulness, but I also notice that, other than you, no one has tried to provide any such examples: lots of puffed-up heat, yes, but very little light.

    Anyway, thanks for pointing me to that episode.

  215. 215
    Jamey says:

    Fuck Freddie, the stupid, obnoxious, pretentious twat. He’s singlehandedly ruined Gawker’s comment threads–and with nary a rape-.gif to show for his “efforts.”

  216. 216
    Rex Everything says:

    He’s young and the list of people, some of them prominent, who like & value his writing will only continue to grow. And you fucks will look stupider and stupider.

  217. 217
    Zach says:

    It doesn’t take long in the comments to remind me why I so rarely venture into the comments. It’s worse than a Wikipedia editor’s convention here.

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