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.


  1. and very few duds

    anything but! awesome ranting!

    P.S. maybe mention that the links only work in Firefox

  2. Thanks for taking it easy on the old boy, and keep up the good work. I'd have totally missed Sharty's comment if it weren't for this wrap-up


  3. Keep up the good work (unless I really screw up one day).


  4. less ejaculation joke, more onomatopoeia - but you were on a roll ripping that thread apart so I'll give it to ya