Favorites and duds from Tuesday's commenting.
Favorites, in no particular order:
Hit Bull Win Steak brought the house down with this loud contribution to the Outtakes post. Obviously the caps serve to impart tone to the joke, and that's at least half of the humor here.
Also in the Outtakes post, dont-forget-where-you-came-from-cheese-mac cracked me up with this simple one-liner, reworking the notion of "stars" into a clever dig at Bart Calendar. Nice work.
And finally (that's right, only three), Eddie Murray Sparkles contributed this hysterical recontextualization to the LeBron's Decision post. I'm still chuckling about this one.
Total Fucking Duds
Unstarred commenter EsotericPopCulturePun was viciously mocked by the comment_ninja for this wholly worthless contribution to the Derek Jeter post. I was recently engaged in a conversation about this kind of commenting, and it's worth getting into a little bit: there seems to be an entire group of [mostly] unstarred commenters who fundamentally misunderstand what Deadspin commenting is all about. Way back in April, we ran a piece entitled "It's as if you don't even know what we do around here.", wherein we tackled this apparent misunderstanding. I'd just like to tack on a little frustration and hostility: Deadspin is not a chat-room. It's not a community forum, at all. It's absolutely not a place where you write things because you like to be read. It's not an open-mic, it's not a conversation, it's not an exchange of ideas. No matter how much you may want it to be those things, it is never, under any circumstances, any of those things. Your attempts at usurping Deadspin's comment privileges for things other than making strangers laugh are glaring and boring and wholly unwelcome. We make jokes here, and that's it. Jesus, that should be so simple and so so so fun. Why in God's name would anyone ever deviate? Why would anyone ever feel compelled to write "durrr I hate the Yankees and Derek Jeter durrr" when they could, instead, make jokes and be funny and laugh and have a good time? This astonishes me.
Guvmint_Cheese missed the mark badly with this miserable, joyless, dead-on-arrival offering in the Toe Sucking post. At least it's an attempt at humor, but look; farting out some wholly unoriginal version of a roadkill meme is virtually as hostile to Deadspin's standards as flouting the rules altogether. Most new commenters have been guilty of this at one time or another. Here's the thing: at best, Guvmint_Cheese was shooting for a C+ with this comment. Don't ever do that. Not every comment has to be sophisticated, but every comment should be shooting for an A.
And there it is. Before I send you off to DUAN, I just want to say this, and some of you will no-doubt disagree strongly with me, but remember: I can delete your comments:
In my opinion, the quality of Deadspin commenting rises and falls along with the amount of feedback commenters get for their work. I have observed a marked decline in both the funniness and the creativity of Deadspin comments recently since a DUAN thread convinced everyone to stop throwing +1s around. There are those among you who will cite any number of opposing ideas, such as: +1s should only go to the best of the best; +1s create and enforce a herd mentality; +1s lead to unspoken quid pro quo arrangements between commenters; etc. Okay, fine. My retort is this: +1s lead to better jokes. All you need to consider for this to hit home is the notion of a stand-up comic delivering a routine to a room full of perfectly silent observers, versus delivering a routine to an approving, engaging crowd. Performance and energy and humor thrive on encouragement. When a commenter leaves a good joke and it echoes in an empty chamber, his confidence suffers. It does. Not one Deadspin commenter who I have ever observed can claim to regularly experience anything different. On the other hand, a good joke that is affirmed by another or a crowd of commenters emboldens the commenter and helps create the kind of fun, joyous, supportive environment where humor thrives.
So, admonitions from dour, joyless, pinched-sphincter types notwithstanding, fucking engage your fellow commenters. If you like the joke, if you laughed, if you think it's worth a +1, fucking give it a +1. It may not look pretty on the page, but goddammit, if Deadspin aspires to have the funniest comments section on the internet, shelve all the other crap and recognize that the quality of commenting is served by this kind of feedback.
So there. Happy fucking DUAN.