Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wednesday Roundup

Some favorites and a selection of duds from Wednesday's commenting.

, in no particular order:

I chuckled at this sharp one-liner from the recently M.I.A. Gamboa Constrictor in the Wake Up Deadspin post. Thought you could just walk away, did you? Thought maybe I wouldn't stalk you to the ends of the earth? Think again.

IronMikeGallego's contribution to the Wake Up Deadspin post was one of the day's very best comments. That's good hustle. Sooner or later, we'll talk more about the way a commenter's particular knowledge and interests can and should color their commentary. This comment is a good example; boxing, as a topic, is right in IronMikeGallego's wheelhouse, and he blasted it into the cheap seats. Nice work.

Same Sad Echo cracked me up a few times on Wednesday. I really enjoyed this comment in the Former President post, in no small part because it thinks way outside the box of standard joke templates while still loading up the punchline for maximum effect. That's a terrific comment. Later, I chuckled quite a bit at this joke, in the Dirk Nowitzki post. It's witty and funny, but the word that really jumps to mind here is charming. It just oozes cheer and personality, and I loved it.

Delonte, Interrupted also dropped a few winners today. This contribution to the Dirk Nowitzki post earned a round of applause, and deservedly so. That's either a deliciously elegant recontextualization, or something I like to call a "re-imagining" and am utterly unable to define. Either way, it's a spot-on one-liner and a great joke. Later, his reference to the ESPN wastebasket-crapping lawsuit cracked me up. Frankly, I'm shocked this didn't get more love, especially as the first comment on the page.

A tip of the hat goes to Eddie Murray Sparkles, snoop-a-loop, UweBollocks, unstarred commenter Bo Diaz's Satellite Dish, Landycakeboss, unstarred commenter Bring Back Anthony Mason, unstarred commenter dondi203, Bullfights on Acid, and Eli Cash McMogulson for their contributions to a funny thread in the Dirk Nowitzki post. Nice work.

This comment, in the Erin Andrews/Michelle Beadle post, from MattinglysSideburns, is a tremendous pull. Terrific job. It's almost impossible to believe how well that line of text fits with the recontextualization.

And finally, what would a Roundup be without a contribution from Hatey McLife? This outrageously insensitive John Walsh joke cracked me up and pretty well defines Hatey McLife's vein of humor on Deadspin. I felt guilty as all hell laughing, but I laughed and laughed.

Total Fucking Duds

I don't want to pick on unstarred commenter Shot_From_The_Musket, mostly because he seems to spend his time on Deadspin making what seem like genuine attempts at jokes. And I have a hunch this guy actually has a sense of humor. Unlike shuttledik or priestinacloset1, I wouldn't want to see Shot_From_The_Musket drop-kicked into the Sun. But he's got to spend a little more time working on his jokes. This comment, in the Facekicker post, is a totally unadorned quote from Jerry McGuire. I have said this over and over again - be funny. Being funny is different from sharing a laugh. Your comments should be jokes, original jokes that you thought up yourself. Later, in the Former President post, this effort falls well short of even being a joke. Despite there being no indication of this, I do suspect this was an attempt at humor, but it's not a joke and there's just no way a person who spends any amount of time reading Deadspin comments would think that thing meets any standard of commenting. And finally, this comment in the Kareem Abdul Jabbar post is mind-bogglingly misguided. What on earth is going on there? At a certain point, a commenter's cluelessness rounds the corner and becomes hostility towards the standards of commenting, and the offending commenter becomes a troll. Trolls can only hide in the crowd for so long (see dik, shuttle and .Lex, Paolo).

Unstarred commenter jello_nurse dropped this lazy thing in the Facekicker post. I can't even tell if that's a joke, but I suspect it's not. Working under that assumption, I'm going to give the standard advice: make jokes. We make jokes around here. Make jokes.

This comment, from unstarred commenter Gord. and also in the Facekicker post, reflects what I suspect is just a total lack of confidence as a commenter and a general misunderstanding of the mores of commenting. I'd like to think that, given enough time, the instincts to a) use stolen lines or unrefined memes and b) stomp all over one's jokes will fade and be replaced by a knack for crafting sharp, streamlined punchline delivery devices. One can only hope.

Unstarred commenter EsotericPopCultureReference had to have known this thing was not appropriate for Deadspin commenting. Be careful there - this is not There is no place whatsoever for that kind of comment on Deadspin outside of DUAN.

Unstarred commenter sacoplenty, going about his business as Confirmed Moron, did this in the David Kahn's Joke post. Please, please, nobody do this. It's basically an obnoxious, inaccessible inside joke you're hoping to get in on, and the only possible way it could be interesting at all (let alone funny) is in the "isn't it cool we both know about this thing other people don't know about?" kinda way. This is the last time I'm going to include in a Roundup this inside joke, and this time only so I can reiterate that it has no value whatsoever as a Deadspin comment.

This, from unstarred commenter gs6456, in the Dirk Nowitzki post, is simply not a joke. It's a perfectly interesting topic of conversation and exactly the kind of thing people like to kick around in DUAN or open threads. Why not just save it, rather than trounce all over the whole "be funny" rule?

In the Erin Andrews/Michelle Beadle post, unstarred commenter Young contributed this lazy thing. I get the sense that the whole [structured as question?] [structured as declaration!] thing is a headline of last resort when used by Deadspin. The format can be used in mildly funny ways, but in this case, it's just a boring, lazy excuse to hit the submit button. You can do better.

And finally, I have the sense that unstarred commenter VanExelfor3 is both trying harder and doing better as a Deadspin commenter of late, but this offering, in the Bill Simmons post, uses a line of text as an utterly flimsy excuse for a lame, overreaching porn joke. Porn as a topic is not inherently funny unless you're 11 years old. Disabuse yourself of the notion that "naughty" topics make for automatic winners. Look around at other, better comments on Deadspin, and you'll notice that great comments that feature touchy topics (like porn or John Walsh) are some of the most carefully constructed comments on the entire site. In the absence of deliberate and excellent set-up, the humor comes across as juvenile. There are dozens of porn jokes scattered throughout a given day's content on Deadspin, and the vast, overwhelming majority of those jokes are made by unstarred commenters, fall completely flat, and fail to get any kind of positive feedback. Don't think of porn jokes as easy money, think of them as the hardest possible path to a +1.

Okay folks. Enjoy a happy DUAN.


  1. Hey, your sacoplenty link misdirects (goes back to that esoteric_whatever comment).

  2. Don't think of porn jokes as easy money, think of them as the hardest possible path to a +1.

    how should we rate using "hardest" here?

  3. Love this blog. Great feedback.