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.


  1. Good stuff Cheese Mac. Thank you for showing us unstarred people what it means to make a meaningful comment. Your dedication is admirable.

  2. I think it was you and I that went over this in DUAN one night, but I still say the best way to get a +1 is to start a secondary account that you use for the sole purpose of giving yourself +1's. It worked for me until people started to notice this "If Mandy Patinkin Was A Horse" guy kept hyping every comment I left.

    Oh, and +1 for the piece.

  3. Nice piece Cheese Mac, great points. In the time that I have been reading deadspin you have been one of the guys who consistently brings the funny. When anyone gets all upset about slashies I want to point them to this gem which remains one of my all time favorite comments. cheese mac
    And to MBA, keep up the good work.

  4. I refuse to take it this seriously. But applaud those who do, as the comments by some of you, including Cheese Mac do brighten the day.

  5. One of my rules before posting is asking myself "Would I steal this joke to tell at the bar tonight?" If the answer is "no", I work a dick joke into it, then post it.