Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Roundup

(For dont-forget-where-you-came-from-cheese-mac's Guest Lecture on Commenting, click here. Email to discuss how you too can submit content to Mad Bastards All.)

Many favorites and more than a few duds from Friday's commenting.

Favorites, in no particular order:

Eddie Murray Sparkles starts us off today with this hilarious shot at the Bears draft room in the Bears/Ravens Trade post. The crowd went wild for this one.

Vodkanaut shared an outrageously funny thread with Same Sad Echo in the Soccer Toddler post. That's great stuff. Same Sad Echo's original comment was terrific enough without Vodkanaut's sensational riff. This killed me.

Same Sad Echo contributed two other favorites on Friday; first, this, a funny, silly, long-form comment in the Frank McCourt post, and then this, a reference to an earlier Deadspin post, in the Pomp & Circumstance post. His particular brand of commenting relies heavily on silliness, which is a wonderful, necessary counterbalance to the more-common cynical dryness of much of Deadspin commenting.

dont-forget-where-you-came-from-cheese-mac contributed this ingenious little joke to the Soccer Toddler post, earning a round of applause. That's a terrific pull.

I really enjoyed this offering from Walk Off HBP, also in the Soccer Toddler post. What can I say? I was in the mood for silly today, and this brought the silly. Nice job.

Along those same lines, I really cracked up at this goofball comment from Tulos_Mullet in the Derek Lowe post. Fucking DJ Jazzy Jeff jokes. I'm not sure where this meme started, but as of now, I still love it.

Steve_U had a handful of humdingers on Friday. My favorites were this, the finest, funniest Swedish Chef joke ever made, from the Swedish Keeper post, and this, a delicious respelling in the Paul Shirley post. Swedish Chef jokes will get you very far with me, O Steve. My singeing telegram should be at your door any minute now.

Phintastic's notion of a Pat O'Brien story corner cracked me up, and the comment was structured nicely, as well. This one came from the mostly horrific wasteland that was the comment section of the Drunken Hookup Failure post. Nice work.

In the Mick Foley post, Gamboa Constrictor constructed another wonderful, slickly delivered one-liner. Keep 'em coming.

A giant +1 goes out to Uwe Bollocks, IronMikeGallego, Landycakeboss, Eddie Murray Sparkles, SavetoFavorites, and Polk Panther, for their contributions to a hilarious, day-brightening thread in the Year of the Pitcher post. I loved this.

IronMikeGallego also contributed this simple, excellent offering to the Frank McCourt post. For me, that was the best use of the "Bud" line in the entire post.

Infrequent commenter Bernie Carbomb contributed this outstanding E.E. Cummings joke to the Frank McCourt post. That's an impressively sharp, sewn-up comment, and I loved it.

In the NFL Lockout post, Carmen McFanzone's simple contribution drew an audible snort. Like I said, I was buying silly today.

Also in the NFL Lockout post, All Over But The Sharting's dig at Albert Haynesworth earned a round of applause. I laughed aloud at this one, too.

In the Arrogant Email post, I really enjoyed Tom Gugliatta's Delicious Frittatas's sarcastic observation. He found a dimwitted goof in the email and delivered his joke with a specific snotty sarcasm that, for whatever reason, worked.

Also in the Arrogant Email post, Cyrus_the_virus chipped in a sharp, subtle one-liner, to the delight of his fellow commenters. Great pull.

One more from the Arrogant Email post: unstarred commenter Raysism confidently delivered a clever observation, earning a promotion and a round of applause from an appreciative crowd. Nice work.

And finally, Uwe Bollocks dropped this awesome joke in the Vancouver Columnist post, earning applause from the crowd. I really loved this one.

Total Fucking Duds

There were a lot of bad comments today. A million. The Arrogant Email post and the Drunken Hookup Failure posts were like horrible comment magnets. At some point, I stopped counting. Look, a while back, I said I was going to cut down on the Duds and instead focus on the specific qualities of a Dud, but in the past few days, it's been a fucking parade of Duds. If you made the Duds list below, your comment was crap. And, if you commented in the Arrogant Email post or the Drunken Hookup Failure post and your comment was either a) not promoted, b) promoted, c) featured, d) +1ed, or e) not +1ed, there's at least an 85% chance your comment was absolutely fucking terrible. The unstarred comments in those posts were jaw-droppingly, brain-meltingly atrocious.

Moving quickly (again) . . .

A Duck With a Lisp contributed any number of bad comments today. This one, from the Derek Lowe post, is a good example. Try much, much harder.

Also in the Derek Lowe post, salisburysdatingcoach contributed this non-joke, drawing the ire of the comment_ninja. Make jokes.

Deadspin troll billikenmetz threw this wretched junk into the Derek Lowe post. I'm watching this guy. Reading his commenting history is a sad, dismal journey into a deep, dark place.

Unstarred commenter stillion1 dropped this worthless, shuttledik-like piece of crap in the Drunken Hookup Failure post. Apparently I had not yet given up on the DHF comment section when I came across this flaming turd.

Unstarred commenter qtip20 had absolutely no business dropping this junk anywhere ever, let alone in a Deadspin comment section. Terrible.

Carmen McFanzone was a courier of absurdity with this comment, in the Frank McCourt post. It's a funny quote, but it's not joke-making. Make jokes. Be original.

This . . . unstarred guy whiskerbrisket . . . Frank McCourt . . . [head explodes]

And finally, in what way is this comment, from kiddicus_maximus, different from just typing out [lyrics to Total Eclipse of the Heart]? And if he'd done that, would it have been funny? Would it, in fact, have been funnier?

Nah, it still would have been lousy.

Hey, have a great weekend. And enjoy yourself a rowdy DUAN.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Guest Lectures in Commenting: dont-forget-where-you-came-from-cheese-mac

[Editor's Note: Deadspin titan dont-forget-where-you-came-from-cheese-mac graciously stopped by to offer insight into his approach to commenting, as well as a glimpse into the sizzurp-haunted nightmare of his personal life. Let's all give him a hand.

As mentioned previously, should any other Deadspinners wish to contribute to this blog's mission of commenting on Deadspin commenting, direct your (articulate, thoughtful, well-developed, spell-checked) missives to

My commenting philosophy:

Desperately seeking the +1. That's it. Despite the fact that this all boils down to a giant diversion for us, it's nice to get that e-slap on the back. It's like an alcoholic needing a fix. I'm sure you've all done this: You craft an absolute giant of a comment, hit submit and then wait. And then maniacally hit refresh waiting for the +1s to roll in. There's no better feeling when they do, and no worse feeling when they don't.

That should always be the goal. Sure, you may still get a buzz from downing some Nyquil, but that's not your first choice. It may be easier to get your hands on, but it's cheap. It's not the same as taking a swig of the real top-shelf shit. Which, while more expensive and harder to come by, is much, much more rewarding. Commenting should be no different. The shitty comments are always there and they are cheap. You get the high from having your "name" out there, not from putting in the effort of drawing up the perfect comment and swimming in a vault of +1's.

It's tough to differentiate the taste sometimes, though. So you should always take a pause and ponder: "Would I give this a +1?" "Do I think [commenter I respect] would give this a +1?" or, "Would [commenter I respect] put his/her name on this comment?" These, in some form or another, are all questions that I try to ask myself all the time.

Now, obviously I fall victim to lure of the cheap high. We all do. It happens. Like this pile of shit. Memes are kind of a tricky subject. The problem with memes is that they are just a formula and the formula often gets mistaken for the joke. A formula, however, is not good enough to be funny. There still has to be a joke. Reliance on the crutch of a meme for a comment is like a skeleton with no muscle. Worthless. And dead, probably. For me, the Emmitt Smith meme can still be funny and I get a huge kick out of it, if done properly. This one, however, was rushed. I could have made it so much better, but I just wanted to get something up there. That is, always, the worst thing you can do. I was trying to call to mind the Whitlock passed out on a coach picture, while also not being so heavy handed as to include the actual picture. My indecision and haste to get something up resulted in a huge miss. That thread, as a whole actually, was a disaster for me.

I'm not sure if it was that I hadn't commented in a while and needed a quick fix or what, but I failed to go through the +1 checklist before hitting submit on both of those comments. So, I got the initial high of getting my comment out, but then the huuuuge crash when I realized how terrible it was.

That's the other thing. While you should be proud of a real humdinger of a comment, you should be absolutely embarrassed by a terrible one. Don't just shrug your shoulders and say, "Oh well, get 'em next time, champ!" No. That's not how it works. I had to read that piece of garbage comment you just threw out there without a second thought. You wasted my time. Worse still, you may have prevented me from catching a really well thought out, hilarious comment because I was too busy staring at the flaming wreck of a comment you left.

You should feel apologetic about that. You should vow to never let it happen again. You should feel responsible. Your selfish need for a quick fix is taking away from someone who is making an effort to really create something. Even if your bullshit doesn't prevent good comments from being seen, its mere existence disrespects the effort put into all the others.

It's easy to say that these are just comments on a sports website. I think we all know that's a line of bullshit, though. It's something we take seriously enough to keep doing everyday and something for which we give each other virtual high-fives. So, make an effort. That's really what it all comes down to. Don't settle for the cheap thrill. Always, always look for the +1. There is no better feeling.

Thursday Roundup

A fucking bonanza of favorites and another massive helping of duds from Thursday's commenting.

, in no particular order:

In the Wake Up Deadspin post, PolkPanther's restrained revisitation of the Herschel Walker meme was good for a laugh. Nice job.

Also in the Wake Up Deadspin post, unstarred commenter JmarFTL earned a promotion and a +1 for a silly, well-made recontextualization joke. An interesting feature of this kind of joke; the punchline is usually in the italicized, copied text, and in this particular case, it happens to also be ideally placed, at the very end of the sentence.

All Over But The Sharting had it working today, first earning applause for a deliciously silly long-form joke in the Jack Edwards post. Later, I laughed at another long, hilarious contribution, this time a haircut dig in the John Daly post. Great work.

Unstarred commenter Jack Edwards Hair Piece did what he was supposed to do in the Jack Edwards post; he got around on a grapefruit and hammered it into the cheap seats. That's a beautifully constructed comment, and it would have been all too easy to drop something lazy and count on the name reference to get it promoted.

David Hume also killed it today. His shot at Jezebel in the Fishing Samurai post was one of the day's best comments. Later, his riff on another comment in the Mets post was ingenious. And finally, he cracked me up with one of the very good sharks = cartilage jokes in the Yao Ming post. Workin' it, workin' it.

Yet another guy who had it today: Tulos_Mullet. His dialogue comment in the Samurai Fishing post was hysterical and the crowd loved it. But that was nothing compared to his McJoke in the Mets post - I giggled endlessly at this, and it earned an extended ovation from his fellow commenters. That's a great, great comment.

I both cringed and laughed at this joke, from Eddie Murray Sparkles, in the Gloria Allred post. That's so good.

dont-forget-where-you-came-from-cheese-mac had a wonderful day today. His LOTR joke in the Gloria Allred post was structured perfectly, setting up the punchline carefully and delivering it as the very last word. Later, I thoroughly enjoyed his super-simple recontextualization joke in the Jambaroo post. And finally, this silly, beautifully elegant contribution to the God's Gift post. He's been on an absolute tear lately.

Same Sad Echo checked in with this hilarious bathroom script in the Pissing Fans post. The crowd loved this one.

Hatey McLife killed me with this extended use of a Boston stereotype, also in the Pissing Fans post. That's excellent.

Our guy Gamboa Constrictor delivered the other awesome sharks = cartilage joke, mere seconds before David Hume's, in the Yao Ming post. In truth, these are very similar jokes, but that's okay; both are expertly constructed and I laughed at each of them.

I thoroughly enjoyed Vodkanaut's silly dialogue joke in the God's Gift post. There's no need for a standard premise/set-up/punchline format here; this is just a very funny idea expressed in as charming a way as possible.

This is just a terrific pull by Gottlieb's Cards, also in the God's Gift post. That he delivered it with such expertise is just icing on the cake. Excellent comment.

And finally, in the Kevin Durant post, unstarred commenter CBronsonSmile earned a promotion and some praise for an excellent "that guy" joke. The visual here is just fantastic.

Total Fucking Duds

Moving quickly now . . .

In the Jack Edwards post, unstarred commenter theeschwartz threw up this random story of bros being bros, to my great annoyance.

Also in the Jack Edwards post, I can't imagine what inspired unstarred commenter Orton hears a boo to leave behind this comment. I can't seem to make out a punchline, or really any amount of humor at all.

One more from the Jack Edwards post: this jumbled crap from unstarred commenter Buford Justice. "Over-under on Lupica furiously masturbating to this clip?" What in God's name are you talking about?

Alright, gs6456; you're suspect. I'm watching you. This is a true shit-ass comment, in the Samurai Fishing post. But you weren't done; in the Jambaroo post, this thing. That ain't commenting, son. Be funny. Make jokes. Have a quality-control process on your commenting, and follow it obsessively. We don't need another shuttledik.

Upstate Underdog struggled today. This obscenely lazy comment in the Pissing Fans post was given a gray-job by the comment_ninja. Later, a totally inappropriate non-joke in the Jambaroo post was shipped off to #geographyclub by the ninja. Unstarred guy chadBROchocinco deserves special mention for chiming in with an infuriatingly irrelevant, worthless piece of shit reply to that second one. What the fuck were you thinking?

Jobu81 . . . that's commenting? That? Would you promote that? Featured commenters just have to do better than that. The Pissing Fans post brought out a lot of sorry comments.

From the same post, unstarred commenter pheltsaucier had his contribution justifiably shipped off to #lame by the comment_ninja for being something other than a joke. Be funny.

This is an appallingly lazy comment, from unstarred commenter killemdaggett, in the Jambaroo post. There's nothing more to say about it. It sucks.

In the Yao Ming post, I'm confused as to how this worthless, inane, totally unfunny offering from someone named kyosen is somehow featured. Surely, no one anywhere would actually promote that.

And finally, low-hanging fruit taker Phd_thc dropped the dreaded photo-joke in the John Daly post, to the utter disinterest of the commentariat. Obviously, I hate 90% of all photo-jokes - there better be a cracker-jack of a joke surrounding that photo. In this case, there is not.

Alrighty. There's your Thursday roundup. And now, for something special . . .

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wednesday Roundup

Some favorites and a few duds from Wednesday's commenting.

Favorites, in no particular order:

Unstarred commenter StuartScottsEye earned a promotion and a +1 for the clever use of a solid catch in the Female Athletics post. He had a few good contributions today.

Also in the Female Athletics post, Fendi Hotdogbun cracked me up with a daring, misogynistic photo caption. I laughed out loud at this.

Vodkanaut earned a round of applause for a wonderful Martin Scorsese quote in the Diamondbacks post. That's a rather astute reference turned into a hilariously silly package. Great job.

Our guy dont-forget-where-you-came-from-cheese-mac had a great day, first dropping a fantastic dig at the Mets in the Diamondbacks post, to the delight of his fellow commenters. Later, he left one of the day's very best comments in the Tommy Tuberville post and brought the house down. He's been tearing it up lately.

And finally, today's other classic comment came from All Over But The Sharting, for yet another brilliant, brilliant Olive Garden recipe joke. I'll be honest; I wasn't sure how I felt about these the first few times, but this one, for whatever reason, knocked me over. At this point, the reader is obviously in on the gag right from the moment they read the words Olive Garden, but ultimately, I think it's the careful way they're written and their specific rhythm that makes them successful. This one was a delight, and the crowd loved it.

Total Fucking Duds

Unstarred commenter Schmoe_Working_in_a_Box_Factory had his comment in the Wake Up Deadspin post shipped off to #thanksforsharing by the comment_ninja, for obvious reasons. This is way too conversational and edgeless for Deadspin's comment section. Be funny, guy. Save stories or nuts-and-bolts sports talk for open threads, DUAN, or

Also in the Wake Up Deadspin post, this comment from unstarred commenter Richard Starkey. You know, there's probably a full joke to be made from those raw materials. I'm including this in the Duds because it highlights something I mentioned . . . a while back, about porn references or gross jokes in general, and how they can be firecrackers if they're done right. This is just a totally random excuse for a sex joke. When I read it, I glanced back at the italicized line and thought, "okay, dogs of different sizes and stuff, I guess that would be a strange way to describe an interracial gang-bang". You know what else would be a strange way to describe it? "Boy, look at all that traffic out there on the highway!" or "There sure is a lot of trash in that trashcan over there." The point is, that's a flimsy excuse for a sex reference, and it's not even delivered in an interesting way. I'm sure Richard Starkey can find more interesting, cleverly constructed ways of delivering sex/porn references.

In the Quadriplegic Soccer Fan post, unstarred commenter QueenofTarts had his/her weak shit bounced over to #lame by the comment_ninja. Obviously that's just a terribly lazy offering.

Recent shuttledik stand-in Paolo.Lex earned a one-week ban for a not-necessarily-more-lame-than-usual-but-still-remarkably-lame contribution to the Quadriplegic Soccer Fan post. That's just fantastic. It was yet another totally fucking limp The Simpsons reference that did him in. And extra credit goes to the comment_ninja for his uproariously funny angle of attack. That's great work. For bringing the house down and making me guffaw obscenely while simultaneously (if only temporarily) ridding us of Paolo.Lex, the comment_ninja gets a big, fat +1 from Mad Bastards All.

In the Diamondbacks post, Desi_Relaford left this pointless, utterly lifeless bit of sarcasm, for reasons that surpass understanding. The irony here is, Desi_Relaford is mocking the cleverness of the song choice with a comment that lacks even the slightest modicum of cleverness or wit. For crying out loud. This is cheap, adolescent sarcasm, the kind of sullen humor that makes adults want to strangle teenagers.

Disco Choo caused my teeth to explode out of my mouth and rain down on my coworkers with this astonishingly lazy, worthless, pile of shit comment in the Rick Pitino post. The comment_ninja was all over this, moving it off to #lame and thereby leaving the befouled raw material of Disco Choo's train-wreck available for other, genuinely-creative commenters to use for actual jokes. In what way is that joke-making? In what way is that actual commentary? I'm certain, certain Disco Choo can put together a good joke; the star next to his name would seem to support that intuition. Be funny. This wasn't even relaying funny, this was interrupting funny. This was jumping in ahead of someone's honest-to-God joke and saying, "is this the one where the chicken crosses the road and you say, 'to get to the other side?'" Make a joke, man. And not to hump the guy's leg, but that's a clutch save by the ninja, jumping in and yanking that thing out of sight so other commenters can still try to make the joke. Great catch.

Unstarred commenter JohnCandysAppendages was very delicately served by SponsoredbyV8 for a similar atrocity in the Robbie Russell post. This time, JCsA went through the trouble of re-working a section of text from the post, then had absolutely nothing to offer by way of a joke. Next time, bozo, just his Cancel. SponsoredbyV8 gets a pass for the promotion, even though he both failed to be funny and turned the thread into a totally-inappropriate-for-non-DUAN-commenting conversation about commenting mechanics. I have a feeling a reappearance of the Private Message function would do away with some of this stuff. Anyway, I hope so.

And finally, a two-part failure, from H is for Hakeem and unstarred guy Phd-thc, for the completely unoriginal recycling of someone else's juvenile crap, in the same thread. This has got to be doubly embarrassing for H is for Hakeem; not only was he beaten to a bad joke by a lousy unstarred commenter, but the earlier comment (which falls immediately before his in the post) reveals the shameful lack of originality of his own comment. I probably would not have even guessed that the whole brown/yellow thing was just a lazy rip-job if not for the fact that the same comment was submitted by two different guys.

Do better. Try harder. Be original. Be funny.

Alrighty, folks. May DUAN bring you endless joy.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tuesday Roundup

Some favorites and still quite a few duds from Tuesday's commenting.

, in no particular order:

We start in the Wake Up Deadspin post, where dont-forget-where-you-came-from-cheese-mac delivered a clever respelling, earning a +1.

Also in the Wake Up Deadspin post, Delonte, Interrupted cracked me up with a silly reuse of a section of text. Nicely done.

IronMikeGallego's awesome John McCain joke drew a round of applause in the Tony Allen post. That's a job well done.

Always Winning brought the house all the way down with this terrific John Salmons joke, also in the Tony Allen post. That's your Comment of the Day, folks.

In the Dan Snyder post, unstarred commenter Rare Endangered Vuvuzela contributed a silly, well-constructed height joke, earning a promotion and some praise for his efforts.

Also in the Dan Snyder post, David Hume went with a similar theme, adding a hysterical pun for added effect. Like yesterday, we've got two comments with very similar jokes - REV's comment suggests that Dan Snyder does fuck goats and that he needs a ladder to do so, and uses structure to surprise you with both of those punchlines. Additionally, the false tone of the set-up leads the reader away from the punchline for maximum oomph. David Hume's comment also draws its laugh from the payoff and imagery at the end, but by putting the pun (spoon banging) right at the beginning, the reader is primed for the punchline at the end, which is delivered with characteristic boldness and skill. The laughs come from every angle in Hume's joke; the pun, the image, the clever set-up, the language itself. It's a great joke.

In the NFL Labor post, Body by Bacardi earned a big round of applause for a deliciously specific follow-through on the title of the post. The silliness of this comment is overwhelmingly charming.

Gamboa Constrictor struck again, this time with a breathtakingly audacious Ron Santo joke, in the Manny post. What more can be said? Gamboa delivers devastating one-liners at a pretty amazing rate. I laughed and laughed at this one.

In the Typical Raider Fan post, Tulos_Mullet slayed me (and quite a few others, by the looks of it) with this perversion of the Gift of the Magi story. Seriously, I embarrassed myself laughing at this. Some jokes don't need a premise/set-up/punchline delivery, and this is a shining example of that truth. What a fantastic, fantastic comment.

And finally, also from the Typical Raider Fan post, our guy Steve_U dropped a wonderfully elegant quote from an unlikely source, earning the appreciation of his fellow commenters. As has been well-documented already, I am all about this kind of joke. The economy of words really does it for me.

Total Fucking Duds

In the Tony Allen post, unstarred guy all-time holder left a so-bad-it's-hilarious, appallingly brainless joke. That's just so, so bad. I have a hard time believing all-time holder isn't a 7 year old. I'll be keeping a close eye on this kid - maybe this is his thing, in which case, he's a fucking genius.

Unstarred commenter gs6456 pushed my appreciation of an economy of words to the absolute limit with this indescribably worthless fart of a comment in the Dan Snyder post. Where is the joke here? What is the reference? Where is the fresh, original humor? My desk has a stronger pulse than this comment.

Apparently the last name "Snyder" is so acutely specific it can be used as the centerpiece of just about any otherwise random reference you can imagine. Landycakeboss sure thought so. This kind of joke does not work for me. There's no payoff, just a limp reference. That it would "assuredly be as inane" ought to be implied by the reference, but it's not, not in any discernible way. Landycakeboss understood that, which is why he spelled out the "humor" of his "joke" at the end. Obviously, he can do a whole lot better.

I don't want to rip the guy, but this comment, in the NC State post, from Ron Artesticular Fortitude, needed a hell of a lot more finessing before being submitted. Subtlety is great, but again; have a punchline, and deliver it somehow. This seems to me to be a shamefully lazy comment, the second in two days from an otherwise decent commenter.

Unstarred commenter HatersBall was kicked to the curb by the comment_ninja for what amounts to an embarrassingly clueless slap-down of a fellow commenter in the NFL Labor post. Look, I'm not much of a fan of the slashies, even as a storytelling device. If nothing else, they're ugly to look at and they inevitably have a life within the joke, usually as a distraction from what is funny. But I'm giving the comment_ninja a condescending 'attaboy for this one; the slashies were not used as a tone-deaf, chicken-shit way of explaining and/or backing out on the joke . . . or, at least, weren't too overtly used to explain the joke - they were mostly used as a way of enhancing or expanding the joke. I see where FavreFail is coming from here, though; I don't see the slashies themselves as an enhancement to the joke here or ever. The rhythm of this comment is somewhat successful, in a lukewarm kinda way, but isn't that possible without pounding the punctuation? At any rate, for calling out a fellow commenter in a non-funny way, HatersBall was shown the door. I'm all the way with that.

From unstarred commenter GorgeousJorge . . . what the fuck is that? No part of that comment (in the Manny post) is even remotely successful. I can't even begin to imagine what happened between the time GorgeousJorge considered this thing and the time his Edit timer ran out. Was he arrested and sent off to Guantanamo Bay? Did his fingers fall off? Did an anvil fall through the ceiling? My mind is boggled by this.

And now, to wrap things up, a few bad comments from the Funbag post, the first two from unstarred commenter Sir_Loin. I can't discourage strongly enough following the impulse to post the multiple-one-liners-check-out-my-repertoire style of comment, even in the commenting wilderness that is a Drew post comment section. First of all, these are crappy jokes. It's embarrassing. Second of all, nobody likes heavy shtick. Even if the jokes were solid, the rapid-fire, look-at-me! delivery turns them obnoxious immediately. Stay away from this kind of junk. Sir_Loin's second bad comment was whisked away to #lame by the comment_ninja. Zero explanation is required.

And finally, juvious_one was approved by Sid_Luckman for the worst possible reason; so that his totally unqualified comment could be mocked. It's one thing to use someone's bad coment as a springboard for your own totally bitchin' joke, something else entirely to approve someone for something that specifically does not belong - all you're doing is flooding the site with bad commenters and creating more work for the Comment Ninja Squadron. For his short-sightedness and bad judgment, Sid_Luckman was de-starred. That's a stiff penalty, but it's appropriate. For his singularly worthless piece of shit, juvious_one was chopped immediately, and thank God. Hopefully, this sends a strong message to all featured commenters about the importance of being selective with promotions and approvals. As I've said before, lately there have been a lot of what I would consider inappropriate conversations and bad approvals going on.

Alright, folks. Enjoy your DUANing.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday Roundup

Some favorites and very few duds from Monday's commenting.

Favorites, in no particular order:

Gamboa Constrictor's shot at Frank Beamer in the Jim Tressel Post was good for a chuckle and a +1.

In the Iowa Coaching Award post, I enjoyed David Hume's simple, clever, one-word joke. Less is more, folks.

Also in the Iowa Coaching Award post, RMJ=H made a nice joke of renaming the Coaching Award. For the most part, obscurity annoys me; this was not needlessly obscure - it's an appropriate reference point for a joke.

Along the same lines, Gottlieb's Cards took a somewhat more open approach to roughly the same concept in the same post, to the great enthusiasm of the crowd. On the surface, this is the same joke expressed similarly, but there's a difference; in GC's joke, the elaborate set-up allows the reader to anticipate the punchline - it could be Walmart, it could be Kathy Lee Gifford. By the time the reader gets there, the punchline is almost irrelevant; the laugh is in the clever re-phrasing of the circumstances of the award. It's how he got there. In RMJ=H's joke, the laugh is in the specific punchline, the reference itself, or in other words, the destination of the joke. The former - how he got there; the latter - where he wound up. Okay, I just made myself dizzy.

In the Irritable Bowel Syndrome post, All Over But The Sharting cracked me up with another long, silly, beautifully constructed gag, earning applause from the crowd. This joke operates on yet another level; the long set-up hints at a late punchline but does not provide its foundation; in fact, the set-up fundamentally distracts the reader from the punchline, which is why a joke that boils down to "the guy has embarrassing facial hair" can have such a satisfying, impactful finish. The reader is led perpendicular to the destination. Nice job.

In the same post, Fendi Hotdogbun's simple, excruciating rhetorical question made me giggle. Personal jokes won't always work, but again, it's the rhythm and simplicity of this joke that makes it funny. It could have been overcooked, but he nailed it.

And finally, Hatey McLife dropped this winner in the Luke Scott thread, to the appreciation of fellow commenters.

Total Fucking Duds

Holy fucking hell. Every possible bad joke was made today, many times over. This list, which is depressingly long, covers maybe a 4th of all the terribly bad comments dropped in Deadspin threads on Monday. As soon as I'm done typing this fucker up, I'm suing the Deadspin commentariat for damages related to carpal tunnel syndrome. Culling the content of today's Roundup was a grueling, soul-darkening exercise in perseverance.

In the Wake Up Deadspin post, otherwise excellent commenter Uwe Bollocks was slapped around by FAILBOT and MarkKelsosMigraine for what amounts to a fairly lazy joke for a featured commenter. It's worth noting, if this comment had been made by any old unstarred commenter, it's likely in the extreme that it would have been promoted by someone. I've said before that I'm generally not for commenters chewing each other up over bad comments, and this particular instance kind of offends me. Yes, it's somewhat lazy. And it's pretty obviously not Uwe Bollocks' best work. But it is a joke, and it actually is fairly sewn-together. To me (the apparent hypocrite who writes indiscriminately and ad nauseum about good and bad comments), this kind of slap-down is somewhat out-of-line, and my feeling about FAILBOT is, if it wasn't bad enough for you to go in alone, don't come tip-toeing in behind the bully. Adding "Thank You" is just piling on. If you thought MKM was right, let his comment speak for itself. The role of the moderator is not to lend another voice to the crowd; I'd argue one commenter calling out another within a thread is nearly equal to chat-room style commenting in terms of putting the wrong face on Deadspin commenting. The role of the moderator is to discourage that kind of thing, not to engage it.

From the Jim Tressel post, unstarred commenter stillion1 was viciously snarked by the comment_ninja for a mostly inane, totally clumsy, utterly unnecessary dig at Notre Dame. "All jokes aside" is practically the title of this comment. Now, I suppose this conversation between stillion1 and his "buddy" is actually just an awkward set-up for the Notre Dame part, in which case this comment qualifies as a joke. And if it is a joke, it's a terrible joke. That Notre Dame is bad and something bad happened there is not inherently funny, and the set-up is just a limp, lifeless excuse.

Also from the Jim Tressel post, featured commenter TheCarlosRuizSpanishEnglishDictionary had his desperately random offering whisked off to #irrelevantreeeach by an all-too-busy comment_ninja. This is appropriate. The word "skin" falls way, way, way short of being a specific enough point around which a recontextualization can be made funny. Recontextualizations are tough jokes that require sharp references and careful set-up, but all too often, they are the default joke among bored, desperate commenters.

Along those same lines, I hated Hit Bull Win Steak's comment in the same post. Again, "that's just the way it has to be" is an incredibly flimsy pretext for a Point Break reference that has absolutely no relevance whatsoever to the post. That this comment necessitated my revealing this level of familiarity with the script of that movie makes me hate it all the more.

Our boy fat-leaveher had a rough day today. First, he had a blatant in-joke slapped down by the comment_ninja before he wisely redacted it. I hate in-jokes in non-DUAN threads. HATE. I'm using the word "hate" here. Whether it's a Wake Up Deadspin joke referencing Uwe Bollocks mythology or fat-leaveher's joke-which-shall-not-be-described from this afternoon, in-jokes have no business in Deadspin comments sections. Inside stuff is only appropriate as a reference point for a joke among current Deadspin commenters. To everyone else, an in-joke is hopelessly obscure and inaccessible. DUAN exists for this exact kind of humor. Later, in the Caracter IHOP post, this joke made me angry to the point of hysteria. Caracter did not vomit in the bathroom. The first sentence of this joke is an overtly false premise for the second, which in itself is just a flimsy set-up for a lame, utterly predictable pun. Sheesh. Obviously, we like fat-leaveher around here, but something tells me this is sort of what you get with his particular brand of humor, and it's why many of his jokes feel like a cheap, albeit successful, laugh; the humor is almost universally crude, staccato, low-brow stuff, sometimes in spite of its inherent cleverness. I wouldn't change fat-leaveher's approach to commenting, as he's more often made the Favorites than the Duds, but this second comment is a real piece of crap.

Also in the Caracter IHOP post, Ron Artesticular Fortitude out-lazied even fat-leaveher with a brutally butchered, aggressively brainless one-liner with an indecipherable punchline. Look, obviously I'm a fan of commenting elegance, of the economic use of words in the construction of a joke (except where elaboration is part of the joke), but this is just ridiculous. Make a joke, for crying out loud. Set up the punchline somehow, and then deliver a fucking punchline. And if all else fails, if you're determined to poop out something lazy and flat, at least check spelling and grammar. That's the absolute bare minimum.

In the same goddamn post, featured commenter Owen Good took an even more astoundingly brain-dead approach to the same staggeringly lame, one-faceted pun, and right there! Right at the start of the thread! Is the joke here really that Caracter sounds like Character? Dude, take that shit to I wholly support the unstarred guy who called Owen Good out for this atrocity. It's like he glanced at the title of the post and then farted out the first thing that passed into his colon. Terrible job.

The IBS post was a fucking wasteland of commenting disasters. Unstarred commenter Oliver_Klozoff joined the masses in taking the lowest of the low-hanging fruit, and then had the audacity to shame the noble art of commenting by noting the despicably shabby nature of his own joke. For fuck's sake. If you knew it was crap, why in God's name would you submit it? This makes me crazy. Undermining your own bad joke does not make it any more palatable to readers and other commenters, it makes its submission all the more shameful.

I have no idea what ToddReesingsTurfFacial was thinking with this joke in the IBS post, but the fact is, if TRTF drops two or more jokes in a single post, chances are excellent at least one of them should have been left on the drawing room floor. As previously noted, I've always admired a certain mad-cap evil genius to his constant, rapid-fire commenting, but this is a wildly unsuccessful joke.

Featured guy J. Henry Waugh was roughed up by the comment_ninja for a putrid, amazingly lazy offering in the IBS post. This is not being funny, this is reciting funny. And that's assuming anyone thinks a goofball song for 11 year olds is actually funny.

Unstarred commenter dbati001 was unceremoniously ejected for an all-caps throwaway rant in the Chris Paul post. So long, good riddance.

I don't know that there's a whole lot to say about Malik Sealy Dirt Mattress's crude, predictable, lifeless contribution to the D'Angelo Hall post. If that's funny to you, fifth grade should be a blast next year. The whole joke here is that the topic of ejaculation is funny. It is not.

The Luke Scott post makes me wonder whether there's any hope for humanity, let alone the Deadspin commentariat. I don't even know where to start.

Total piece of shit billikenmetz again failed to make even an effort at joking with this "America, Fuck Yeah!" bullshit, fairly late in the thread and to the great dismay of Prick Top, who promoted the comment only to slice it down before they were both given the gray-job. While I agree with Prick Top's assessment, again, this shit should not be promoted on Deadspin. I predict billikenmetz will be joining shuttledik and dbati001 in exile in no time. I defy anyone to find me a single funny joke that guy has made in his entire commenting history.

Raider Greg followed along with a similarly not-intended-to-be-funny contribution, inexplicably earning a promotion from apparent moron MidWestCoastBias. To both of you: make jokes or get the fuck out. No one on earth gives a shit about your fucking political leanings.

Formerly-featured commenter Who's Cartwright? had his star yanked away by a vengeful comment_ninja for approving and promoting a totally fucking useless contribution at the other end of the spectrum from Raider Greg and billikenmetz, submitted by bigsombrero. The wonder of this conversation is that it lured gulag out of hiding, if only for a moment. As for bigsombrero, start making jokes, and fast, asshole.

And finally, with what now seems like an absolute joy of an entry, unstarred commenter Knave-of-Arts submitted the ol' photo comment, believing (wrongly) that the surname "Scott" was funny enough to be the basis of a joke. Jesus, having revisited those last few Duds, this thing is practically gold.

That's it. I'm exhausted. Happy DUAN.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Programming Notes

A few quick notes while we patch the fourth wall:

So, we're going to keep going with this thing. Apparently, the Deadspin commentariat has absolutely no problem with a creepy guy sitting at a desk obsessing over the quality of their internet comments and occasionally calling them things like "fat-fingered" and "brain-dead" (I mean, someone other than the comment_ninja). We're buoyed by the grace and support of even guys like Phintastic and ToddReesingsTurfFacial, and will not be deterred by comments like "di u scum", no-doubt the work of a cowardly pants-shitting degenerate (LBabe). Daily roundups will continue, as will the longer-form stuff, including more Profiles in Commenting.

Now, what I've learned in the past, oh, 36 hours is this: writing for one's own amusement is quite different from writing for an audience, and writing directly to and about one's audience is something else altogether. Recent comments seem to indicate that our snark is welcome - that's hard to imagine, but then, it's worth noting that GaryOaklandAthletics is apparently doing just fine. Delivering the snark will become easier and easier as the notion that you folks enjoy being referred to as "ass-clowns" and "morons" and "dummies" sinks in. In the meantime, forgive me if Friday's roundup was somewhat tame. First of all, the commentariat was sizzling, sizzling hot on Friday. Second of all, putting together the Duds section was tricky; there just weren't all that many comments I hated, but by including something lukewarm (like CalClutterBuckFutter's mostly tame offering), I felt like I had more or less set the bar, and there were at least a half-dozen others that fell under the bar (none more so than Micah_Hoffpauir's epitome of laziness). At any rate, I'm sure the bad comments will continue, Paolo.Lex, so at some point, the anger will return, much to the relief of my psychotherapist.

And finally, this: I invite everyone reading this blog to participate in the production of content. I will continue to supply daily roundups, long-form stuff, and Profiles in Commenting. However, there's a lot to be said about commenting, about jokes, about DUAN, about the comment_ninja, etc., and I'm sure your peers would be at least as interested in hearing what you have to say as they are in what I crank out. Write something up, spell-check it, check it for stupidity or signs of severe head trauma, then shoot it to This may be done anonymously, but it may not be done poorly.

Okay, one more thing: the links work on Firefox. I may consider copying and pasting the comments into the roundups, but please realize there were roughly 16,000 favorites on Friday, and ask yourself how interested you'd be in scrolling through a blog post longer than the Magna Carta every afternoon.

That's all. The last brick is going into place. We're back to the business of commenting on commenting. Have a great weekend.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Roundup

Many, many favorites and quite a few duds from Friday's commenting.

, in no particular order

Hatey McLife had another good day, first with this spectacular pull in the Wake Up Deadspin post. That comment is so sharp, it gave me vertigo. Later, in the Drunken Hookup Failures post, his scalding take-down of John Salley's unspeakably worthless stories brought the crowd to their feet. Good stuff.

Tulos_Mullet also stood out today, earning applause for an ingenious, beautifully simple twist on the word "function" in the Juan Agudelo post. Fantastic. Later, his spoof in response to Hatey's aforementioned take-down in the Drunken Hookup Failures post was simply perfect.

From the Nude Break-In post, Gamboa Constrictor's clever name-pun was good for a hearty chuckle, and earned him a round of applause. Nice work.

All Over But The Sharting hit the nail on the head with a nicely-delivered shot at UNLV, in the Nude Break-In post. It's funny because it's true.

Also in the Nude Break-In post, Steve_U made much better use of the Sherlock Holmes reference than anyone else, tying it into an excellent rip of the subject's level of education. This is a great example of what's needed to turn a relatively flimsy reference point into a successful joke; it can't just be, "look, there's a famous character with the same (very common) last name!" The punchline of this joke lies outside the simple reference, which is exactly why it works.

Gottlieb's Cards dropped a dazzlingly complete Jeopardy joke in the Nude Break-In post. This was one of my very favorite comments of the day.

One more from the Nude Break-In post, from dont-forget-where-you-came-from-cheese-mac. Ingenious. I am a complete and total whore for elegant, bone-dry comments like this.

Eddie Murray Sparkles brought the house down in the Foul Pole post with a merciless use of the word "padres", much to the dismay of Catholics everywhere. I laughed and laughed at that. I'm still laughing.

Unstarred commenter djneuro had perhaps the best day of all, dropping winner after winner in several threads. This simple joke in the MLB Attendance post was chuckle-worthy, and earned a promotion. Later, another promotion, this time in the Mets Fans post, for an excellent snipe at Sandy Alderson's intelligence. And finally, in the Drunken Hookup Failures post, his joke was good for a hearty laugh. HE'S IN THE ZONE! Those are really impressive comments for an unstarred guy, and if he keeps up this pace, he'll be featured in no time.

Bevraj of Choice also did good work today, checking in first with a successfully gross pun in the Rafael Nadal post, and again later with a mean-spirited dig at Mets fans everywhere. Both of those jokes work on the same level; they exploit the shock/gross factor, but careful delivery makes the punchline a surprise, and the actual laugh comes from the structure, as opposed to the grossness of the first joke or the cruelty of the second.

Also in the Rafael Nadal post, Always Winning cracked me up with his Tony LaRussa quote. What can I say? Skip dinner and a movie; just give me one good Tony LaRussa joke and I'm yours.

EddieSuttons SouthernComfort's ruthless shot at Mets fans from the (ahem) Mets Fans post earned him a round of applause. As with Bevraj of Choice's comment above, that joke isn't necessarily very sophisticated, in that it could be directed at any fan base anywhere, but the construction of the joke is subtle and elegant, and I loved it.

And finally, ToddReesingsTurfFacial delivered a winner with a funny, patient, long-form glimpse into Tom Cruise's marriage, earning applause for packing a lot of funny into that final sentence.

Total Fucking Duds

Unstarred commenter CalClutterBuckFutter starts things off with this thing in the Wake Up Deadspin post. I don't necessarily hate this comment; I suppose it functions as a joke, it doesn't have any spelling, punctuation, or grammar errors, and it doesn't offend me with stupidity. What it does do, however, is meander on over to a rotten, festering, months-old horse corpse and kick the unholy shit out of it. Something in this guy's comment tells me he can do actual jokes, and probably pretty well.

In the Foul Pole post, totally fucking clueless unstarred commenter Akiyama decided any time is a good time to drop something completely unrelated and uninteresting in a Deadspin comments section. I would have been perfectly happy if this comment had looked more like this: "Not to do with this, but [gunshot]". Seriously, there's a post, every night, for this exact kind of chatter. Non-DUAN threads are not for this kind of thing.

C'mon, Godot is my copilot. This isn't That comment (from the MLB Attendance post) is not a joke. As I've said before, from time to time there are going to be relatively serious conversations in daytime posts; that's okay. But this wasn't conversation fodder, either. No one on earth needs a Deadspin comment to tell them it's "friggin' expensive."

In the Rafael Nadal post, FAILBOT ripped unstarred commenter MustacheofMystery for exactly the kind of comment that keeps my dentist in all the latest, fanciest lab coats. If I may go off on a slight tangent here, I'm firmly of the opinion that there might be 1-2 photo comments a month that rise to the level of being an actual joke. Too much of the humor in a photo comment is derived from something entirely outside the control or creativity of the commenter. A while back, our boy Steve_U used a photo of a woman with rings around her neck as the punchline of an honest-to-God joke, with wordplay and everything. I can't think of a single time since then when a commenter introduced a photo to a post with any amount of success. Make jokes, people. Be funny. Don't just observe funny. Don't deliver someone else's funny. Be funny.

And finally, featured commenter When_you_get_the_money_you_get_the_Micah_Hoffpauir left this observation of funny in the Mets Fans post, to my screeching horror. I like Micah_Hoffpauir (the commenter and one-time contributor), and have long enjoyed his comments. This drove me up a wall. It's especially galling because it's the first fucking comment in the entire post. WygtmygtMH took a look at the article, saw "head" and "Flushing", recognized there was something inherently funny and silly about it, and submitted nothing more than that impression. I consider this Scorched Earth Pre-Joking, where a commenter turns something that could be funny into a big black hole, robbing other, more creatively-inclined commenters of the opportunity to really use it. Here's what I suggest; rather than just point out that something is funny, turn it into a joke. Use wordplay and sophistication to make something of it. If that fails, fucking wait around a few minutes for someone else to do the job, then post your "Tehehehe" as part of a nice +1 for their efforts. Surely, that beats the hell out of this. Other commenters are scouring every millimeter of that page for something they can use to be creative and funny; don't usurp something for the purposes of laughing at it. Replace "Tehehehe" with "lol!!!11!!1!" and then ask yourself if that comment belongs on Deadspin or YouTube.

That's all for tonight, toughies. Keep an eye out later for another short note related to the recent discovery of Mad Bastards All by the Deadspin commentariat before I close the fourth wall of this blog forever. We're sticking around, thanks to a pretty incredible show of support by the very people we've bad-mouthed and/or creepily worshiped, and after one more note to you folks, we're strictly concerning ourselves with the business of Deadspin commenting, with none of this mortifying self-awareness.

Happy Friday DUAN!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I'm Having That Dream Where I'm Wearing Only My Underwear in Public

Even though this was always supposed to happen, this was never really supposed to happen.

Of course it would be Gamboa Constrictor who launched this thing into Thursday night's DUAN, revealing my silly exercise to the subjects. Yikes. Thanks a lot there, homes. You could have just returned one of my many thousands of phone calls, or, you know, looked out your bedroom window and smiled once or twice. That would have been just fine.

While I clean the vomit off my desk and keyboard, let me say, first and foremost, that I never imagined anyone anywhere would actually read this. Secretly, I always assumed the 3 comments ever posted to this blog were from my roommates, either screwing with me or encouraging me, but it turns out at least a few people have seen it, and now a whole hell of a lot of people are looking at it. I'm not sure how I feel about this, beyond the initial rush of terror. Somewhat recently, one of the aforementioned fellas walked in on me in the throes of masturbating, in such a way that I really couldn't cover it up at all, and had to face up to my shame, much to our mutual embarrassment. That's exactly, exactly what this feels like.

Now that it comes to it, I'm not exactly sure whether this thing will exist in the morning. Now that the spotlight's on, I may be a bit too snarky for my own liking. I am almost certainly too snarky for the liking of a great many perfectly qualified Deadspin commenter who I've mercilessly picked on from the comfort of my very own computer.

For the time being, I'll say the following; I don't consider this blog an ugly betrayal of Deadspin camaraderie, if only because I very rarely comment any longer on Deadspin, having been many times over eclipsed by newer, better commenters. Does this make me unqualified to rip people I pretty strongly consider better commenters than I? Yeah, maybe. Again, realize this was never really intended to be seen.

So, if you're pissed at, I understand. It may all be over very soon. In the meantime, by all means, please continue to compare me favorably to my favorite commenters. I'll be quaking over here in the corner.

Thursday Roundup

Some favorites and very few duds from Thursday's commenting.

Favorites, in no particular order:

Same Sad Echo got things going today in the Wake Up Deadspin post with a funny dig at Jerome Bettis. I chuckled at this one.

In the Hockey Cockpunches post, RMJ=H made by far the best use of the name "Chimera" of all commenters, and received a +1 for his efforts. Nice job.

In the Dirty Hockey post, David Hume checked in with a plain-language University of Phoenix joke. I'm a big fan of this kind of joke; the casual style, the absurdity of an elbowing major, everything. This is another joke that could very easily have been just another tortured, overcooked recontextualization, but the easy delivery is what makes it so successful.

Why do I feel stupid for having laughed at this Oliver Miller dig, from fat-leaveher, in the Monster Jellyfish post? Every time I love a fat-leaveher comment, I feel like either an asshole or an idiot. Whatever.

Also in the Monster Jellyfish post, this wonderfully simple Metroid joke from reclusive commenter Matt Sussman. That's a perfect comment, and the commentariat loved it.

FavreFail dropped his best comment in a very long time in the Sketchy Guys post, and earned quite the ovation. That's another joke that could very easily be overcooked trying to go from sketchy to Susan Smith, but he showed terrific restraint and delivered a fantastic comment.

Also in the Sketchy Guys post, another beautifully elegant one-liner, this time from unstarred commenter DumpsterDining. The best part of this joke is the discipline or instinct to stay away from the word "sketchy", even though it's the crux of the joke. His comment was promoted and applauded.

Hatey McLife's comment in the Bill Plaschke post slayed me. The possibility that this joke could have gone unmade in this or any other thread makes me profoundly anxious.

Surging commenter MattinglysSideburns cracked me up again, this time with an utterly random Danielle Steele joke in the Bill Plaschke post. This guy's cookin'.

And finally, another winner from don't-forget-where-you-came-from-cheese-mac, who had me giggling with a simple, funny dig at the elderly. So they're an easy target; it's all in the approach and delivery.

Total Fucking Duds:

Two duds today, though there were the expected number of pretty bad jokes throughout the day. I'm still aiming to cut this list down to as few as possible each day, and to try to highlight comments that represent a specific commenting issue or topic; in other words, an opportunity for me to pontificate. Hey, it's my fuckin' blog.

The first comes from unstarred commenter mcerick86, with a comment that never should have been promoted. Yes, that means mcerick86 would still be an unapproved would-be commenter, but why exactly is that comment now visible to the world? It's not a joke. It's not funny. It has all the red flags that indicate a commenter who hasn't properly observed the standards of Deadspin commenting.

This kind of thing tends to pop up in Drew's posts, where many different topics are brought up in Drew's light, fun, conversational tone. Honestly, I don't necessarily always scour his posts for good or bad comments, expecting that the majority of the time the comments section will be the wild wild west. For that reason, I don't want to come down too hard on mcerick86, because his comment isn't necessarily that unreasonable for a Drew post, but again, a featured commenter ought to know better than approving and promoting something like that.

And the other dud today comes from unstarred commenter Avrus, who was seriously creamed by the comment_ninja for what amounts to a completely useless, inane comment. I'm not sure it warranted the ass-kicking it provoked, but at any rate, whatever needs to be done to curb the rate of commentary that doesn't even make an attempt at original humor gets my approval. This is a hard lesson for Avrus, I'm sure, but ultimately, I think people tend to pay attention when they see "promoted by comment_ninja", and the lesson is thereby delivered to the masses.

Hey, everyone have a wonderful DUAN.

Wednesday Roundup

Some favorites and actually quite a few duds from Wednesday's commenting.

, in no particular order:

The PhillieBot post brought out the best of Deadspin's commentariat on Wednesday. First up is don't-forget-where-you-came-from-cheese-mac, who delivered what has to be considered the comment of the day and a COTY candidate with this hysterical meme-reference. This comment brought the house down. I laughed and laughed, and then giggled all afternoon. Great job.

In the same post, Same Sad Echo cracked me up with a wonderfully silly Stephen Hawking joke. Often, the fake Twitter post jokes don't do it for me, but I loved this one.

Also from the PhillieBot post, All Over But The Sharting used a simple lingo twist to great effect in a nice, funny one-liner. Seriously, I laughed a lot while reading the PhillieBot post.

Again in the same post, our boy Hatey McLife zinged Al Gore with a delicious one-liner, to the apparent dismay of at least one unapproved would-be commenter.

Gamboa Constrictor had another nice day, first checking in with a pretty goddamn funny Crosby, Stills, & Nash recontextualization in the Steve Nash Lap Dance post. Later, in the Mets Loss post, I laughed at another clever recontextualization, this one referencing (of all things) Benjamin Harrison. The hot streak continues!

Also in the Steve Nash Lap Dance post, Eddie Murray Sparkles earned applause for a fairly straightforward recontextualization of a small section of text. This is the kind of comment that could very easily be overcooked, but he nailed it, as usual.

Also from the Steve Nash Lap Dance post, MattinglysSideburns slayed me with the seemingly random choice of Edward James Olmos as the target of a fairly specific dig. I laughed very hard at this. He's been on fire lately.

And finally, unstarred commenter BrooklynRefugee got in on the act with what has to be called a perfect comment, in the Mets Loss post. That's pretty goddamn great stuff from a somewhat quiet, relatively unknown commenter. For his efforts, his comment was promoted and he received a well-earned +1. Great job.

Total Fucking Duds

Okay, there were a lot of duds on Wednesday. Commenting is definitely on an up-swing, in terms of quality and especially in terms of quantity, but with an increase in quantity comes an increase in sorry crap. That's nobody's fault, and it doesn't necessarily reflect an increase in bad commenters; there's more pressure on each commenter to get their joke out before someone else gets there first, and beyond that, lots of activity leads to a general spirit of participation, and commenters can't necessarily be blamed for throwing up the occasional dud in that environment. That said, I'm not going to harsh too . . . umm, harshly on a big, not-funny conversation in the Wake Up Deadspin post, started by International Poise Conspiracy and promoted and perpetuated by a few different featured guys on the relative hotness of actresses in Vince Vaughn movies. I absolutely hated this conversation, but I'll leave it at that.

Unstarred commenter Why So Egregious? was round-housed by Hatey McLife for a totally lame Anchorman reference in the Wake Up Deadspin post. This comment sucked, but maybe not enough for it to be included in the Duds section without having been called out. But even without that, this is just too lazy a reference and too lazily delivered for Deadspin commenting.

Featured commenter Hit Bull Win Steak had his weak offering in the PhillieBot post turned gray by the comment_ninja. First of all, there are no obligatory jokes. Second of all, replace the word "obligatory" with the phrase "low-hanging fruit", and then ask yourself if you should be associated with it. And finally, remind yourself that any number of clueless, tone-deaf, unstarred commenters will take the low-hanging fruit without your help, and ask yourself whether anyone in their right mind would promote it. Not to beat a dead horse, but again, when a featured guy takes the low-hanging fruit, it tells all the new commenters that this kind of joke is the sort of comment that will get them promoted and featured, which is why, immediately after the redesign, when norbizness was by far the most prominent, prolific commenter still left on the site, every goddamn unstarred commenter was dropping unadorned or sloppily, lazily captioned photos in every fucking post.

Unstarred commenter bofie had his wholly worthless contribution to the PhillieBot post moved off to #lame by the comment_ninja, and I'm okay with that. Again, it wasn't the worst thing on the site, but the message here is pretty fair; be funny. Make jokes. Whether or not it violates a community policy, it was not funny, it was not a joke, and it just doesn't belong.

Unstarred commenter ren0901b was justifiably snarked by FAILBOT for a totally lazy deflect-a-joke in the Ryan Mallett post. What can I say? I'm for this. I do not think it's a coincidence that commenting is starting to pull in the right direction now that FAILBOT and comment_ninja are making the rounds. Call me superstitious, but I truly believe the commentariat has been cautiously waiting for some indication that the comments are still considered an important part of the site. Short of any sort of direct acknowledgment from Nick Denton or A.J. Daulerio, the next best thing is the active presence of moderators. They've done a great job lately of making their presence felt, and it has rejuvenated a fairly shaken group of commenters.

That's it, kids. Look for a Thursday Roundup in the regularly scheduled time frame. Until then, hey, thanks for your continued support.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tuesday Roundup

Some favorites and very few duds from Tuesday's commenting.

Favorites, in no particular order:

In the Wake Up Deadspin post, Hatey McLife had perhaps the comment of the day with this ruthless dig at Arkansas' genetic diversity.

Also in the Wake Up Deadspin post, unstarred commenter djneuro earned some love for a well-made Deadspin joke. For his effort, the comment was promoted. He's been coming on strong of late and is someone to keep an eye on.

In the 106mph Pitch post, David Hume dropped by with a funny-but-ultimately-depressing Stephen Strasburg prediction, much to the delight of his fellow commenters.

Steve U cracked me up with a well-constructed Star Wars joke in the Own Goal post. Look, I'm a sucker for this kind of humor. I laughed out loud at this.

Vodkanaut's contribution to Drew's Mailbag post was good for a giggle. That's an example of a fairly simple observation turned into a successful joke by proper adherence to the premise/set-up/punchline format.

In the Bob Knight post, Gamboa Constrictor earned a round of applause for cleverly delivering a rather astute observation. I'll be honest, I wasn't sure at first what he was talking about, but I laughed quite a bit once my brain kicked into gear.

Unstarred commenter NoirJuggling earned a promotion and some well-deserved praise for a flat-out tremendous historical reference in the Bad Refs post. That's an excellent, excellent comment.

And finally, MattinglysSideburns checked back in with his own clever, astute movie reference, also in the Bad Refs post. Great job.

Total Fucking Duds:

Two duds today, both from unstarred commenters, but in truth, there were any number of comments and conversations today that I hated, mostly because they violated the "be funny" rule. I'm encouraged by the bump in daytime commenting that seems to have taken place lately, but an unfortunate byproduct of that development has been a major increase in on-topic chat-room style conversation threads in nearly all daytime posts, and a disappointing increase in promotions of such comments by featured commenters. I have no problem with the odd content-based discussion thread popping up in daytime posts, but it seems to have gotten a bit out of hand in the past few days. Unstarred commenters are barely even making jokes these days, and a handful of featured commenters are engaging them over and over again, to my great annoyance.

Okay, now for the duds. Unstarred commenter WitDickman was slapped with a one-week suspension for posting an unadorned photo in the NHL TV Deal post. What makes this situation unusually frustrating is that the comment was promoted, by featured commenter THEGINOCIMOLICONSPIRACY. Featured commenters have got to know better and have got to do better. The quality of comments from current unstarred commenters is a reflection of the apparent standards of commenting of featured commenters. It's appropriate that the ninja should start cracking the whip on this kind of lazy commenting by unstarred folks, but again, the most important job (and most effective method) of the ninja is regulating featured content and those who provide it. I know I've been beating the drum on this one for a while, but especially now that commenting seems to be coming back to life, it's time to hold the featured folks to a higher standard.

The second dud today comes from the Funbag post, and it's from unstarred commenter Gord., who was approved today, by Gottlieb's Cards, who really ought to have his star removed immediately for this. Gord. was approved for making a bad comment. Apparently, Gottlieb's Cards thought it was so bad that it should be approved, and the commenter allowed to submit visible comments, in the interests of pointing out how bad it is. How is this different from Gottlieb's Cards posting that exact same comment himself? To me, Gottlieb's Cards should be held responsible for this awful comment, and for the several dozen subsequent terrible comments we're sure to get from Gord. before he is inevitably mocked and banned. Cautionary tales like shuttledik and Gord. would not exist if not for careless ass-clowns like Gottlieb's Cards, who approve them for no good reason whatsoever. This drives me absolutely fucking insane.

Alrighty then! Have a great DUAN!