Monday, January 9, 2012

It is Still Funny

I suppose I'll need to clarify something here, because quite the DUAN thread has now sprung into existence around RMJ=H's comment from earlier today:

As a person who, for a spell, concerned himself with the rules of Deadspin commenting and the strength and reputation of Deadspin's commentariat, I wholeheartedly agree with the comment_ninja's decision to move the comment off-thread. I mentioned this along with my hat-tip to the comment - it's definitely an inside joke, and there's no way anyone who isn't a featured commenter on Deadspin will have any access to it whatsoever. And I suppose it can be understood to be mean-spirited, although certainly not especially so, in the overall context of Deadspin's comments and, indeed, posts throughout a given day.

But this is not the first time I have laughed at or mentioned an inside joke in a Roundup - I once highlighted a rather funny jab at shuttledik, even though it would likely have zero meaning to your casual Deadspin reader. Just to be sure, I asked a casual Deadspin reader one evening at pub quiz if he'd ever heard of shuttledik - he had not.

The things we find funny are not bound to the same rules that apply to what is and is not appropriate on a sports commentary website. I specifically nodded at RMJ=H's comment because I suspected the ninja would have no choice but to move it or give the old gray job. We can live in a world where something is both funny and inappropriate for Deadspin commenting.

I realize this blog has not, in the past, concerned itself much with funniness outside of the context of Deadspin commenting. This hat-tip, therefore, may cause some confusion. And I accept wholeheartedly that a great many readers and commenters simply didn't like the joke. But there's another angle here, too, that I'd like to address before I go back to picking my nose until I fall asleep, and that's the notion that RMJ=H's comment is unoriginal or lacks creativity because its actual content was copied from another post. This idea annoys me. What makes a comment original or creative is not necessarily the exact sequence of words typed in before hitting submit. RMJ=H's comment was a slightly different brand of humor for Deadspin, something a little surprising. It's humor was not the humor of the same comment made a few times by DRock. The humor in RMJ=H's comment lay entirely outside of the meaning of the words in the actual contribution - it relied utterly upon the sequence of events preceding it, and was funny for how its submission highlighted the apparent random meaninglessness of DRock's comment. I didn't laugh at it because I thought it was mean, I laughed at it because I thought it was clever and surprising and totally, totally random. And I'm still chuckling.

And if I were a comment_ninja, I would have chuckled and then shipped it off to #insidebaseball.

So there you go. If I have shaken your confidence in this blog that comments on the commenting of Deadspin, rest assured knowing that I hardly ever comment on the commenting of Deadspin any longer, and that your confidence is nowhere near as shaken as the cumulative confidence of virtually every legitimate contact I have in the real world.

Happy DUANing!

This is Funny

I know this probably counts as an inside joke, and no non-featured commenters or readers will have any access to it whatsoever, but I really laughed at this heist from RMJ=H in today's Cricket Catch post. That's really, really funny.