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November 2, 2008

All Hail Macbeth!
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 12:00 PM *

ACT 1: SCENE III. A Starbucks near Brooklyn.

Sound of a modem connecting. Enter three Moderators.

First Mod
Where hast thou been, sister?

Second Mod
Killing trolls.

Third Mod
Sister, where thou?

First Mod
A right-wing nut had posts from NRO,
And spamm’d, and spamm’d, and spamm’d:—
‘Stop it,’ quoth I:
‘Amendment, First!’ the astroturfer cries.
His IP’s to McClatchy gone, with three diff’rent screen names:
But with my Mac I’ll thither wend,
And, faster than the troll can send,
I’ll ban, I’ll ban, and I’ll ban.

Second Mod
I’ll give thee Chai.

First Mod
Thanks, guy.

Third Mod
And I another.

First Mod
I shall nail the mother-lover.
I can recognize his style,
Though false IPNs beguile,
Seeing him’s not hard.
His sockpuppets shall be washed;
Snarky postings shall be squashed
Though response from him be loony:
Threaten me with a cartooney.
Weary night-time posting’s lame;
He’ll attempt then me to flame:
Though his bark’s worse than his bite,
I’ll not put up with his shite.
Look what I have.

Second Mod
Show me, show me.

First Mod
Here I have a netkook’s vowels,
Pluck’d from out his latest howls.

Windows chime within

Third Mod
A post, a post!
Macbeth is toast.

The weird sysops, we command,
Posters of the sea and land,
Thus do go about, about:
Filter snot, and filter bot,
Filter ads for chicks who’re hot.
Peace! the board’s caught up.

See also: Time Notices Comments July 25, 2008 Time magazine has noticed that comment threads exist.

Comments on All Hail Macbeth!:
#1 ::: Shinydan Howells ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 12:03 PM:

Apostrophe in Starbucks? Woebetide,
There should be, but there's not.

#3 ::: Shinydan Howells ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 12:12 PM:

Thank'ee, sire.

(and that's ten syllables. Phew.)

#4 ::: Randolph ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 12:13 PM:


#5 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 12:20 PM:


#6 ::: Ambar ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 01:21 PM:

Starbucks sells Coke?

(Actually, bravo! I needed the laugh.)

#7 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 02:05 PM:

A worthy sequel to the well-beloved "Harry of Five Points," sir.

#8 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 02:07 PM:

How now, thou secret, black and midnight hag.
What is't you do?

#9 ::: Liza ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 02:08 PM:

Hail, hale moderators! It pleases me that it haileth not while I you hail.

#10 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 02:20 PM:

"The Weird Sisters, hand in hand,
Posters of the sea, and land,
Thus do go about, about."

#11 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 02:26 PM:

Alas, the Comics Curmudgeon is presently infested with huffy Republicans, offended because the Family Circus showed Dolly dressed as Sarah Palin, and the CC regulars -- gasp! -- mentioned it. These right thinkers reacted with flaming, to charm us all into agreement by their silver tongues and winning ways.

One semi-regular got things started by ostentatiously deploring every mention of Palin. Ever since he was chastised for attacking several of us (including me), he's been the Hall Monitor from Hell, counseling that nobody should mention anything political, lest assholes (like him) take offense and start flame wars like the one he tried to start and was called on.

After several such comments from him, another irregular poster showed up and started flaming in earnest, supported by a clutch of new names (purported lurkers who seemed to know nothing about the group) and posts under forged names of regulars. This poster or posters has a group blog that leaves them/it with lots of time on the ol' hands, as nobody seems to comment there. If you go back a score of posts in its eponymous blog, you'll find a whopping six comments, three of which are trackbacks on a hardhitting post about cellphone photos of teenage tits.

For the first time I can recall, Josh (who was trying to enjoy a brief vacation) had to shut down the comments on a post. Of course, the A-hole Team has shown up to jeer in the new thread. You can't keep us out! is their theme now.

If only there was some harmless sandbox where these maladjusted troglodytes could take out their frustrated rage on the world and it just didn't matter. Besides the internet.

#12 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 02:45 PM:

The first time I encountered the word "shite" was in the action-thriller film Ronin in dialogue by the character Seamus O'Rourke (memorably played by Jonathan Pryce).

#13 ::: Kathy Li ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 02:53 PM:

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well
It were done damn fast: if the disemvowellation
Could trammel up the consequence, and catch
With his surcease success; that but this blow
Might be the be-all and the end-all here,
But here, upon this comment thread of ours,
Idiot sockpuppets are to come. But in these cases
Mods still can ban the suckers...

Man, you guys are good.

#14 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 03:27 PM:

I'm sorry, but this is the very play that once, long years ago, my teacher butchered for a course in English, O-level. Yet, as we laughed, relieved by Porter's jests, awaiting discovery inevitable of the bloody deeds of that most blood-filled night, we were not told the bitter truth behind that mention of the equivocator. We, teenaged, sniggered, at bawdy implication, and never heard of preachers jesuitical, hounded and harried, tried, convicted and consigned to most brutal execution.

#15 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 04:56 PM:

Damn. Just .... damn.

#16 ::: Mike McHugh ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 05:01 PM:

Speak, if you can.

Never was an Irish accent mangled more horribly than by Jonathan Pryce in Ronin. Except maybe by Natascha McElhone in the same movie. Or Tom Cruise in Far and Away. Or Richard Gere in The Jackal. Or...this list could get out of hand.

#17 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 05:06 PM:

O for a mews of fire, that would ascend
I iz the brightest kitten of invention!

#18 ::: JANE YOLEN ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 08:05 PM:

OMG--we are Unworthy.

A drum, a drum, McCain doth come.
Along with all the weird posters of sea and land.

You are good, my son. Go the Masses are over.


#19 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 08:19 PM:

Mike McHugh #16: Never was an Irish accent mangled more horribly than by Jonathan Pryce in Ronin. Except maybe by Natascha McElhone in the same movie.

I'm not going to apologize for liking Ronin. Or Armageddon, for that matter. If you say you like My Dinner with Andre my reply will be "well, that explains a lot". heh.

#20 ::: Pocketeer ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 08:39 PM:

I'm awed.
And a bit frightened.
"i" of Newb (and aeou to boot) and post of Troll?
What strange cauldron, what strange charms... brrr.

#21 ::: elfwreck ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 09:17 PM:

To flame, or not to flame, that is the question.
Whether 'tis nobler that the forum suffer
The slurs and affronts of outrageous critics
Or to make words against the accusations,
And by replying swell them? To lurk; to wait;
No more; and by our silence let pass by
Annoyance and the thousand openings
For conversation, 'tis a situation
Desirable to some. To lurk, to wait;
To wait: perchance to leave: ay, there's the rub;
For if we wait and lurk, have we not left?
Have we not clickéd off this forum's page?

#22 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 09:57 PM:

Puzzled: a movie called "Ronin" has Irish characters? But the word ronin, meaning a masterless samurai, is a Japanese word. So I find myself picturing samurai on a trip to Ireland, and it's not quite parsing.

#23 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 10:07 PM:

Yeah, Ronin. Irish terrorists vs. Russian mobsters, set in Paris.

Go figure.

#24 ::: Wesley ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 10:27 PM:

Le Samourai is another Paris crime film with an incongruously Japanese title. In that case the reference is explained by a quotation at the start of the film, which was actually invented by director Jean-Pierre Melville. I suspect he also invented the quotation from the Buddha that similarly begins Le Cercle Rouge. Both are good enough not to require apologies, and no accents are mangled.

#25 ::: Wesley ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 10:28 PM:

I just looked closely at that second review I linked to, and my suspicion was confirmed.

#26 ::: mea ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 11:34 PM:


and to elfwreck:


#27 ::: Teka ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 11:37 PM:


#28 ::: gursky ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2008, 12:48 AM:

A masterpiece of the late internet age.

#29 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2008, 01:30 AM:

Liza @ 9

Wherefrom then do you hale, that there it haileth not?

#30 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2008, 03:20 AM:

As I recall the movie Ronin, there is an explanation for the title, given by one of the characters. It's a bit of an as-you-know-bob, but not too clunky. By the time it comes up, the bunch of hired guns have mostly been and gone, and the film has closed in on the character who you might call a ronin, if you squint really hard.

What strike me is that it's a word that the film-makers thought an audience would already have some meaning for. The whole samurai myth seems to have a utility in the West, as a label for certain sorts of warrior.

#31 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2008, 04:20 AM:

elfwreck @21:

Erik Nelson @22:
The movie you describe, could easily be a sequel to Highlander.

#32 ::: martyn ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2008, 04:41 AM:

Soon Lee @ 31 - 'The movie you describe, could easily be a sequel to Highlander'.

No. Please. Four is Five too many. Speaking of mangled accents . . .

#33 ::: Mike McHugh ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2008, 05:07 AM:

Earl @ 19: there's nothing to apologise for, it's a good action movie, and the "what colour is the boathouse" scene deserves to be a classic. It's just that hearing movie-Irish accents is a bit like hearing sounds in space: it might be dramatically excusable, but it plucks at the thread I'm suspending my disbelief by as if it were a banjo string.

What's in a voice? that which exposits
In any accent would sound as clunky;
So infodumps would, were they not infodumps call'd,
Retain that dread redundancy they owe
Without that title. For Bob, as you know,
There is no thread which on topic stays,
yet with strange postings, even drift's a phase.

#34 ::: Jan Vaněk jr. ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2008, 06:56 AM:

Non sequitur dept: After 2 months of Wikipedia holidays (and over four years of activity before that), I was blocked as a part of some "giant sockfarm" sweep. Not being even allowed edit my Talk: page which is the recommended way of "appealing", I had to do with emailing to an address which they say is swamped and not "likely to get a quick response". Good for me for being an obsessive correcter, I guess.

#35 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2008, 09:21 AM:

But soft! what fight through yonder thread doth break?

It is a troll, and spewing is its fun.
Arise, fair mods, and disemvowel the envious troll,
Who is already sick and pale with bile,
That they, the regulars, have far more art and wit than s/he.

#36 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2008, 10:02 AM:

Most excellent and awesome post, my Lord, and especial applause to elfwreck and Mike McHugh for their riffs.

Ronin has become a common loan word in English. As early as 1985, when the "Engineering Computing Systems" division of the company I worked for was dismantled and laid off wholesale, some of us bought T-shirts that read "ECS Ronin" against a background of an armored samurai attacking with his sword.

#37 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2008, 10:10 AM:

Oddly enough, before I heard that "Ronin" is a Japanese word, I thought it was an Anglo-Saxon or Celtic name.

#38 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2008, 10:23 AM:

There is a Celtic name with a very similar pronunciation, but it's spelled "Ronan".

#39 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2008, 10:45 AM:

Don't people know that there never was a sequel to Highlander? At least, that's what TexAnne says every time the subject comes up. As for myself, I do remember seeing some ghastly movie remotely related to Scotland after 1986.

#40 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2008, 11:35 AM:

Serge @39, As for myself, I do remember seeing some ghastly movie remotely related to Scotland after 1986.

Do you mean one of Ken Loach's criticisms of Thatcher and New Labour?

#41 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2008, 11:56 AM:

Serge @#39: a.k.a. "There should have been only one".

#42 ::: Opher Lubzens ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2008, 01:55 PM:

Serge @39:Yeah, I say the same when people ask me about the 5th season of Babylon 5- no such thing.

#43 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2008, 02:22 PM:

Opher Lubzens @ 42... You lasted longer than I did. I loved B5's first season. I stuck with the 2nd season, to see whether or not Sinclair would come back. Then I gave up. Still, when Croissant... I mean... when Crusade came along, I watched then I gave up on that too. Its high point was the hyperspace creature trying to hump the ship.

#44 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2008, 03:38 PM:

Paul A. #38: Indeed, but when you write 'Ronan' just don't Point.

#45 ::: Wesley ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2008, 07:28 PM:

To loop back around to the beginning, here's the trailer for Throne of Blood.

#46 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2008, 11:13 PM:

This comment thread is ended. These our drive-bys
The FAQ states, were but hosiery, and
Are banished now for good, for all our good;
And like their fabricated basis for derision,
The all-caps shouting, the patriotic poses,
The concern trolling, and their parrot's logic,
Yea, all it sought, hath jumped the shark,
And, like its cheeto-dusted finger's works,
No vowels leaves behind. They bring such stuff
As flames are made on, and their empty lives
Are crying for a slap.

#47 ::: rea ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 08:12 AM:

Thou losest labour:
As easy mayst thou the intrenchant air
With thy keen sword impress as make me bleed:
Let fall thy blade on vulnerable crests;
I bear a charmed life, which must not yield,
To a natural-born citizen.

Despair thy charm;
And let the angel whom thou still hast served
Tell thee, Obama was from his mother's womb
Untimely ripp'd--in Kenya.

#48 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 05, 2008, 09:37 PM:

When it was done, it was done quickly
come the fifth hour past noon and
well aware of the outcome certain

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