Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Week in Review, etc.

As always, awards first.

Last Week's Swinging Dicks

In a tie for third place, co-winners of two bags of garbage and a crate of recyclables I forgot to take out to the curb two weekends ago: Bevraj of Choice and Madoffs Mets, with 2 Favorites in the past five days.

Here's my favorite Bevraj of Choice comment from last week. Very sharp and very funny.

And here's my favorite Madoffs Mets comment from last week. That's not very nice, buddy.

In a massive five-way clusterfuck of mediocrity tie for second place, co-winners of two more bags of garbage and a crate and a paper sack of recyclables I forgot to take out to the curb last weekend: Eddie Murray Sparkles, DougExeter, Raysism, RMJ=H, and SavetoFavorites, with 3 Favorites each in the past five days.

This is my favorite Eddie Murray Sparkles comment from last week. It's a great one-liner.

Here's my favorite DougExeter comment from last week. Another dynamite one-liner.

Here's my favorite Raysism comment from last week. Follow the RMJ=H reply thread at your own peril.

Speaking of RMJ=H, here's my favorite of his comments from last week. Terrific. This was a tough choice.

And here's my favorite SavetoFavorites comment from last week. Leave it to SavetoFavorites to squeeze something fresh out of a well-worn angle.

And alone in first place, winner of my undying affection and loyalty and also if he wants them two bags of garbage, a crate of recyclables, and two giant broken-down cardboard boxes I forgot to take out to the curb on Friday: Gamboa Constrictor, with 4 Favorites in the past five days.

Here's my favorite Gamboa Constrictor comment from last week. Idiot. +1

I expect this massive pile of garbage and recycling to be gone from the side of my home before Christmas Day or there will be hell to pay.


The Monday Comment of the Day, from Universal Enveloping Algebra.

The Tuesday Comment of the Day, from Gamboa Constrictor.

The Wednesday Comment of the Day, from gogojuice.

The Thursday Comment of the Day, from Gamboa Constrictor.

The Friday Comment of the Day, from BronzeHammer.

The Unwelcome Lesson of the Week

So, a while back a weird guy had this wild idea for a story:

Like, there's this guy, and he lives with his folks, and it's, like, it's this shitty little place. Plus his sister lives there. And like this dude's job straight sucks and his parents are totally like whatever like total losers. The sister's cool enough, and homeboy figures it's on him to send her off to school. 

Then one day he wakes up and HE'S TOTALLY LIKE THE FLY! Yeah, like he's THE. FLY. And he eats rotten garbage and crawls all over the walls and hides under furniture and all that, and it's totally gross and everyone hates him and wishes he were dead. Except the sister. She's still like chill about the whole thing. Mostly. Whatever. 

Gross, right? And like he loses his job or whatever and everyone's all freaked out and stuff and then like he terrorizes all their guests until finally he DIES. Whoa, right?

In my twelfth grade English class, there was a total bro who was more or less convinced that this was everything there is to The Metamorphosis. To him, it was just some dude's gnarly horror story about gross bugs, only it was stupid and didn't have enough guns or tits. And an astonishing conversation took hold over the course of days and days as more and more bros and bro-ettes went over to the dark side: maybe he's right? Maybe Franz Kafka was just a lousy horror writer and this story is about nothing more than some gross shit happening and everyone's all scared and then it kinda peters out and that's it. And the point poor, soft-spoken, desperately overmatched Mr. Hummel tried in vain to make was this: why does that matter? Why should that make the remotest difference to how we read and interpret the novel? Hopeless. After two days of more-or-less non-stop debate, the class decided there was no metaphor, no symbolism, nothing to interpret or understand. The Metamorphosis was Pumpkinhead only without the gore and tits. To me this was madness, but then, I think I'm the only person from that class who is not now a wealthy, successful, productive citizen.

The question is this: does it matter? Is The Metamorphosis less important if it wasn't intended as allegory? Does the content lose its relevance? What if we don't know? What if we can't know?

I bring this up because we had a great conversation about gogojuice's Comment of the Day from Wednesday, about why it was different from other, similar jokes, and whether those differences were intended or incidental. Nobody was wrong in this discussion, but it's worth considering: if the joke makes you laugh for one reason or another, should it matter whether the author of the joke knowingly created that angle? That's positioned as a yes or no question, but there's certainly plenty of room for discussion.

I'm sure we've all done the thing where we craft a joke and laugh at it and make it or post it and know it's funny but aren't totally sure why or how it functions until later. This is important to remember because I've often made the point that laughter is the result of a process and that jokes are a mechanism. In other words, when you know the joke is funny before you know why, that's because the mechanism is working on your sense of humor without your permission. Did gogojuice know why his joke was funnier than other, similar jokes? Maybe not. But he likely thought it was pretty funny, and the important part is this: he was right. It is funny. I know because I laughed.

Merry Christmas, Deadspin commenters. And a wonderful, wonderful 2013. Rock on.


  1. First off, thanks for all you do. This is a lot of work, Nd it is much appreciated.

    Second, well deserved honors for Gamboa -- he had a great week.

    Third, Doug Exter wins the 2012 award for "Further Evidence That We Are Not A Good Old Boys Club; Just Show Up And Be Funny". Also, he made a really good suicide joke today that was deleted unfairly.

    1. When Ray's dishing out kudos to someone else, you know they've done a bang-up job. Glad to have Gamboa back and to have totally absurd amounts of polite words written about him and us once again.

      Also, Washington Foreskins brought up that gag in DUAN -- I didn't see it, and so as not to run afoul of whomever is still there to run afoul of, I didn't ask what it was. Would you repeat it?

      If no one replies to this, I'll know that everyone had a positively lovely holiday. And nothing could make me happier, save for perhaps cheese growing tits.

    2. If my body of work is enough to win that award, then that's proof enough that you are a goddamn old boys club.

    3. Here's the joke:

      "Apparently, earlier in the morning, Freel had been making his trademark pancakes, which he prepares inside a large juice jug. Just as he was about to pour them on the griddle, he heard a loud noise out front and went to investigate, seeing his neighbour. As he got to the side of the road, he suddenly feared that he had left the jug too close to the edge of the countertop. Sure enough, he looked back through his front window and saw the jug tilting ever so slightly. Realizing that his kitchen floor had new tile that hadn't been properly sealed, he was worried about staining and ran back in, but, looking through the window later, the neighbour found that nothing had fallen.

      When his neighbour was questioned later by police, he told them that the last time he saw Freel, he was sprinting for home as soon as he saw the pitcher move, but ultimately the batter never made contact."

      And, because it was collateral damage, here is a totally on-point reply from Marmalard:

      "You make a pancake joke at a time like this?! A man kills himself and you want to make a base stealing reference based around makin' some hotcakes?! You want a long, elaborate set-up with somebody makin' griddle cakes just so that you can get your jollies, huh?! You want to throw in some craftsman know-how about tile sealing and premature moisture?! You go to HELL you soulless devilspawn, self-fornicating, breakfast-minded in the PM, utility-player-stat-exploiting, pitcher-jug word-associating PIECE OF FILTH."

    4. Minor question here, Bronze. Is that cheese that can grow tits, or tits that can grow cheese?

      I will judge you severely on only one of those potential options.

    5. @DougExeter

      That's a funny and classy joke. Pretty clearly a result of the replies, which is discouraging.


      Uhhhhhhhh *panics*

  2. /whistles "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You"

  3. I really can't see how anyone could interpret the joke as any kind of personal attack. The objection (however eloquently worded by the various burners out there) is essentially that it's wrong to use such a tragic event as the backdrop of a joke; or, if there were a two-word phrase that could sum it up - "too soon."

    Now, if I wanted to really be offensive and personally attack the deceased, I would have joked that there couldn't possibly be a "too soon", because if I waited any longer than I did nobody would know who the hell I was talking about.

    Another idiot's reply was something along the lines of "you must be a blast at funerals." I don't know if this kind of ignorance of context is any more prevalent nowadays, but it's pervasive in a lot of (especially political) discourse and it's fucking insidious. Of course I wouldn't make that joke at a fucking funeral, you shithead. Do you sing "Here Comes Santa Claus" during sex?

    Dammit, now I'm all het up at Christmastime. Anyway, this notwithstanding (who'm I kidding - especially because of this) I've quite enjoyed the past couple of weeks trying my hand at this game. You guys are all (except Raysism*) funny, talented, and thoughtful, and I'm hoping to absorb whatever I can. Think I'll stick around awhile.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Boxing Day to one and all.

    *You didn't see it, because it died in the fire, but he made fun of me for being Canadian.

    1. Do you sing "Here Comes Santa Claus" during sex?