Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday Roundup

Some favorites and very few duds from Tuesday's commenting, the day Paolo.Lex was finally drop-kicked into a blazing coal furnace.

Favorites, in no particular order:

MarkKelsosMigraine offered a few winners on what was a fairly quiet day in Deadspin commenting. In the Wake Up Deadspin post, I enjoyed this very straightforward one-liner aimed at, of all people, Pat Nixon. Hilarious. Later, in the Overzealous Ball Boy post, he went back to the Republican politicians theme with another one-liner, earning a round of applause. Nice work.

Gamboa Constrictor showed up again today, offering this deliciously cringe-inducing one-liner in the Rampage Jackson post. Man, that's terrific.

Raysism had a very good day today, leaving first this funny one-liner in the Seattle Streakers post, and later contributing this very sharp one-liner to the Jimmer Fredette post. Raysism hasn't been featured for very long, but he has an obvious talent for one-liners and recontextualizations. These were just two of his many solid offerings from Tuesday.

Also in the Jimmer Fredette post, Hatey McLife cracked me up with this clever wordplay joke. I'm surprised this comment didn't earn a little more attention from the crowd. I thought it was hilarious.

In the MLB Video post, I appreciated this joke, from fat-leaveher, for its heretofore unused structure and successful punchline. That's thinking outside the box. Great job.

I fought my way through the Funbag and came away with this gem from Eddie Murray Sparkles. I don't really bother looking for duds any longer in Drew's posts - mostly, I scan for any truly disgraceful approvals and for the odd masterpiece. I'm so glad I bothered today, because this is just another amazingly sharp comment from one of our favorite guys. Great, great work.

Same Sad Echo struck again today with another silly and (yes) charming dialogue joke in the Thrashers Tickets post. I loved this. When I see a joke like this from one of a few guys (Same Sad Echo, Vodkanaut, All Over But The Sharting, etc.), I get genuinely excited. They're not all home runs, but when they are, they really crack me up, and even when they come up short, I always appreciate the effort.

And finally, I have learned that there's at least one guy on Deadspin for whom one should always make the effort to look up an obscure reference: MattinglysSideburns. This one, in the Thrashers Tickets post, didn't necessarily require a trip to Wikipedia, but it was nonetheless somewhat obscure and was certainly presented without any explanation. But that quote, when tied to that reference, is fucking outstanding. I laughed and laughed at this. I generally caution against too much obscurity, but for whatever reason, MattinglysSideburns gets a pass. Obscure away.

Total Fucking Duds

Two duds today, both from unstarred commenters. As I noted above, I didn't bother combing Drew's Funbag post for duds - there are just too many. But for the most part, there weren't a whole lot of egregiously awful comments today. Paolo.Lex was banned this afternoon, but that hardly warrants a recap. He's been terrible as long as he's been commenting. I would wager something significant (billikenmetz's head, for example) that the bulk of the consistently, noticeably bad commenters on Deadspin are approved in a Funbag or a Jamboroo or a Drunken Hookup Failure; if featured commenters could all agree to follow Deadspin's standards of commenting when distributing approvals, even in Drew's Wild-Wild-West-style comments sections, man would I be out of a gig in no time.

Let us never speak of that again.

In the Rampage Jackson post, unstarred commenter Karen Owen's Proud Father obviously didn't work real hard on this lame contribution. There is absolutely a joke to be made from the Joe Namath comparison, but just making the comparison isn't enough. The comparison itself isn't funny - even a room full of drunk revelers wouldn't laugh at that. For new commenters, it's important to learn to distinguish between the idea behind your joke, and the joke itself. That Rampage Jackson's behavior was substantially similar to Joe Namath's famously inappropriate conduct towards Suzy Kolber is an observation - it's the idea. Now, your job as a commenter is to build that idea into a joke, a witty presentation of that idea that delivers it in the form of a punchline. And even then, you really need to ask yourself if the finished product is funny. Would you actually laugh at it? Believe me, you should be tossing aside a lot of jokes, especially if your idea of a comment often boils down to "this is like Joe Namath". If that seems tedious or like an unjustifiably high standard, you're probably commenting on the wrong website.

The other dud comes from 214w, and it's awful, but what else do we expect from this guy? He makes no effort to be funny and never has. If Paolo.Lex can be suspended and banned, surely a guy whose most consistent contribution to Deadspin commenting is the same hostile, tone-deaf, semi-literate pro-LeBron rant can be summarily executed, right? This guy makes no effort to be funny. He is not a Deadspin commenter. He is a troll, plain and simple.

Hey, I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. I obviously took Memorial Day off myself, but we're back in gear at Mad Bastards All, so here's to another excellent DUAN.


  1. Your second dud links back to the first dud.

  2. Your second dud also links to the Karen Owen's comment.

    Good job, as usual.

  3. @Anonymous & Anonymous


    Thanks for catching that.

  4. Awesome way to come back from the holiday. Great stuff. Since I'll be largely invisible this month, I'll be counting on you to find the best and worst each day. +30 in advance...

  5. Mattingly's Sideburns has been outstanding since we were twinkles in our father's eyes. It's nice to see him still working.

  6. MattinglysSideburns is, quite literally, brilliant. Every, and I mean every, comment the guy posts is funny. I wish I had his brain.


  7. Well laid out, sir. You're doing the lord's work.

  8. Just curious, how much longer can this go on?
    Honestly, I skim the blog every day.
    Yes. the starred commenters are funny. The un-starred are not.
    And yes, I do think you are responsible for DJ Jazzy Jeff whatever getting his star. And Raysism. Thanks. Those guys are brilliant.

    I don't comment on Deadspin anymore because it's just too many Jerry Seinfelds trying to get the punch line. I used to like reading it.

  9. @Anonymous

    I can't give you an idea of how long it will continue. I'm not close to stopping (yet), but there are times when I have to confront the obvious silliness and tedium of what I'm doing. When I'm thinking about what I want to be thinking about (rhythm, timing, structure - the components of funny and how they function), it's never boring. But when I'm just chronicling the daily activity of the commentariat and writing several paragraphs a day on why making no attempt at being funny is a violation of a rule that goes "be funny", it's tedious. Tedious to write, and tedious to read, I'm sure.

    Still, when I get around to comparing Massive Attack and Gosford Park to knock-knock jokes, it'll be fun again.

    I think.

    There's absolutely no way anyone on Deadspin got their star from this blog. The suggestion flatters me, but it's just not the case.

  10. @MS
    Yes, be funny. That's the whole point.
    There seems to be no rhyme or reason to the star thing. I just figured that since you started promoting them that it made sense. Did you ever notice that the guys you make mention as favorites tend to be the most responsive?
    Why am bothering complaining?? I don't read Deadspin for the comments.
    Deadspin is catty little group. Twitter confirmed that for me.

  11. @Anonymous

    I'm not sure I understand your criticisms here, whether directed at Deadspin or Mad Bastards All.

    If I'm reading you even close to correctly, the starring system bugs you and you perceive an interconnectedness with my criticisms and commenter success. That second part is what I'm confused about. When you say "responsive" are you referring to their commentary on my blog or on Deadspin?

    Here's the thing, and there's no way around it, and it's a large part of why writing the roundups feels tedious very often: the very best comments . . . know what? This is too big a point to put in a comment. Look for a post later today (Friday).