Back to previous post: “The defeats which surrendered Algiers to the Frank have been strangely and nobly avenged”

Go to Making Light's front page.

Forward to next post: Julian Comstock, “tomorrow never happens,” and whether characters can only be gay if the story “needs” them to be

Subscribe (via RSS) to this post's comment thread. (What does this mean? Here's a quick introduction.)

July 19, 2010

Me? I was the baker’s daughter. You?
Posted by Patrick at 09:55 PM * 117 comments

PNH: “So, it’s not that Gawker and 4chan are at war—”

TNH: “O holy fucking one-mile-on-a-side cube of schadenfreude”

PNH: “—Although they are. Rather, it’s that I learned this fact—”

TNH: [inscrutable facial expressions of starry bogglement]

PNH: “—from New York magazine’s gossip column.

TNH: [an assortment of punctuation marks unattached to actual words]

PNH: “We have lived into the future, and it is barely comprehensible to us.”

Comments on Me? I was the baker's daughter. You?:
#1 ::: Adam Lipkin ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2010, 10:13 PM:

Between Daily Intel and Vulture, NYMag's blogs have been the first places I've heard about all sorts of stories (which, of course, has led to me reading them first in Google Reader, thus increasing their tendency to be the first source I see with a story).

As for the story of the war itself, I think TNH already summed it up nicely above.

#2 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2010, 10:21 PM:

So 4chan wants to do their terrible crimes and have nobody talk about them? "There IS no assassins' guild, and if there were it wouldn't be safe to talk about it, would it?"

From the above, it's clear Gawker isn't exactly composed of online El-Kaders, either.

#3 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2010, 10:25 PM:

Although honestly, it seems that Gawker writer Adrian Chen is basically a mensch, and certainly doesn't deserve to be anybody's target.

#4 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2010, 10:34 PM:

If only we could get 4Chan to go after the Tea Party! Man, THAT would be some schadenfreude.

#5 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2010, 10:37 PM:

Troll Slayer

#6 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2010, 10:38 PM:

Xopher: From the Gawker article, This apparently isn't the first time /b/ users have gone after a media outlet; we've read members mocking Fox News on the site, and claiming their attacks on the news network's website resulted in no more Fox stories about 4chan offshoot group "Anonymous's" war on Scientology.

I'm confused why the /b/tards think this achievement of theirs is a good thing, however.

#7 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2010, 10:45 PM:

Earl Cooley III @ 5: Is there any even tangentially internet-related social situation that xkcd has not nailed perfectly?

#8 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2010, 10:47 PM:

Lord, we know what we are, but know not what we may be.

(Sorry. "Baker's daughter" prompts a reflex. Maybe I'm an owl?)

#9 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2010, 10:48 PM:

Gawker is bad; I stopped reading them permanently when they set up their Stalk-the-Celebrity-in-Realtime bullshit. But 4chan is sociopath central. So I guess I'm cheering for Gawker. Though it's like cheering for the Red Sox vs the Yankees.

#10 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2010, 10:52 PM:

The alternate universe is breaking through the bathroom wall.

#11 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2010, 11:11 PM:

Rikibeth @8: I'm not even convinced we know what we are any more.

...who? ...who?

#12 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2010, 11:16 PM:

I don't get the "baker's daughter" reference, and Google is no help. Can someone explain?

#13 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2010, 11:19 PM:

Texanne @12, one of Ophelia's speeches from Hamlet. "They say the owl was the baker's daughter," etc...

#14 ::: little light ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2010, 11:20 PM:

PNH@#3: "Although honestly, it seems that Gawker writer Adrian Chen is basically a mensch, and certainly doesn't deserve to be anybody's target."

Well, maybe he's changed since college; I wouldn't have called him a mensch then. Still, he's not a bad person and he doesn't deserve this, and right now he's being punished for going out of his way to do the right thing. I've had those people pointed at me before and it's no picnic.

#15 ::: little light ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2010, 11:23 PM:

Actually--you know, that last comment of mine was ill-thought-out and needlessly suggestive. The point is that a guy's being attacked for doing the right thing, and also that we are living in a bizarre cyberpunk future all of a sudden.
If a mod's willing to delete it, I think everything else I said was pretty unnecessary.

#16 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2010, 11:36 PM:

Janet, 13: Oh, *facepalm*. Thank you.

#17 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2010, 11:37 PM:

Xopher: In some ways the urge of /b/ to hide their dirty deeds shows a spark of awareness. If they thought what they had done was perfectly acceptable, they wouldn't be going to the lengths they are to hide it.

One of the posters to the gawker piece was, desperately, attempting to justify what they did to the girl. The commentariat at Gawker chewed them up, and spat them out.

The folks at /b/ are being handed their asses in this one, and it's kind of nice to see.

I don't know from Gawker, but what I know of /b/ makes me fairly certain they are in the right on this one.

#18 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2010, 11:44 PM:

Texanne @16, I only remember it so well because I can still picture the girl I costumed doing it in my mind, in her deep purple velvet dress with the
laces all down-gyved, just like Hamlet's doublet and hose.

#19 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2010, 11:49 PM:

words fail me.

crowdsourced harrassment. invention of the millennium.

#20 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2010, 11:56 PM:

live in the future! live in the future! a fair for all, and no fair to anyone!

#21 ::: Ms. Jen ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2010, 12:24 AM:

@Xopher #2 - Thank you for making me laugh loud enough to see a neighbor peek their head out their door.

#22 ::: CassR ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2010, 12:35 AM:

Yeah, sounds about right. The internet would be a much better place if Moot took /b/ down permanently.

#23 ::: John D. Berry ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2010, 01:32 AM:

I guess you're right, since I have no idea what you're talking about.

#25 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2010, 06:07 AM:

inscrutable facial expressions of starry bogglement

I've seen Teresa do the Vulcan puzzled look, but never the inscrutable facial expression.

#26 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2010, 07:54 AM:

Kevin Marks #24, meet Earl Cooley #5.

(Yes, that was a sentence that might mean something else in a science fiction story, why do you ask? Now go turn on your left side.)

#27 ::: cleek ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2010, 08:00 AM:

#10
with a pitcher of purple KoolAid ?

#28 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2010, 08:08 AM:

For the record, my initial incomprehension was "Gawker got into a fight with 4chan? Whose terminally bad idea was that?"

CassR @22:

Yeah, sounds about right. The internet would be a much better place if Moot took /b/ down permanently.
No it wouldn't! They'd all have to go somewhere else. We live somewhere else. So yay, /b/. Long may 4chan congregate there.

#29 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2010, 08:53 AM:

I like the future. I plan to live here permanently.

#30 ::: Sylvia ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2010, 09:33 AM:

You know, I can count my friends who would understand this post on one finger. I'm not sure if that makes me ahead-of-my-time or really sad.

#31 ::: Doctor Science ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2010, 09:40 AM:

This is what I think of when I hear the title Little Brother -- yes, there's reason to be afraid of the government/military/corporate Big Brother watching you. But I'm at least as afraid of a billion Little Brothers, and the swarm of the Jerkosphere.

#32 ::: Michael M. ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2010, 12:18 PM:

I kinda think all these people -- Gawker, /b/, Jessi, and especially her parents -- deserve each other. I'm having a hard time distinguishing between degrees of "vile" here.

#33 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2010, 12:22 PM:

Michael Roberts @29: Hmm, it has its good points but I think I'd prefer somwhere slightly quieter.

#34 ::: Daniel Martin ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2010, 12:34 PM:

Michael@#32: I'm having a hard time distinguishing between degrees of "vile" here.

I'm really not, because /b/ is involved, and we're talking about an 11-year-old. I don't care what she said in any initial video, it's /b/.

#35 ::: Renatus ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2010, 12:43 PM:

Michael M. @ 32: Yay, victim blaming! I'm sure you were a shining paragon of maturity and goodness when you were 11.

For pity's sake, she's ELEVEN YEARS OLD -- you know, still a child -- and has had god knows what happen to her (acting out like that could be a sign of prior sexual abuse). Even if not, she in no way deserves to have that cesspool after her even for committing the 'crime' of being a dumb kid with possibly crap parents.

#36 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2010, 12:55 PM:

Daniel, I was about to make the same point. Jessi is eleven years old, so she can't be assumed to play under the same rules as Gawker, /b/, or her parents. I also don't like giving tacit assent to 4chan's "Anyone who does X is obviously asking for it." It's too much permission to make dependent on the user's fine critical judgement and telepathy.

#37 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2010, 01:19 PM:

Doctor Science, #31: IAWTC. These creeps use the same terrorism tactics as Operation Rescue, and they don't even do it for philosophical or ideological reasons -- they do it on whim, to anyone who catches their attention. There's a reason they fight so hard to maintain their anonymity; if they didn't, they'd be targets for others of their own kind, and they know it.

I keep wishing that we could somehow get them into a "let's you and him fight" with the Russian kidporn rings. Y'know, sort of along the lines of the Kilkenny cats.

#38 ::: LDR ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2010, 01:25 PM:

I haven't dipped my eyes into this cesspool, and I don't want to, but someone made the suggestion elsewhere that /b/ didn't really step up their attacks until the girl's father got involved. IOW, are they targeting her, or him?

#39 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2010, 01:32 PM:

LDR @38:
are they targeting her, or him?

How fine is their aim likely to be, when their targets are standing right next to one another? And in the event that the denizens of /b/ are avoiding collateral damage, how likely is she to make the distinction between "them targeting him because of her" and "them targeting her"?

I'm not sure the distinction has any practical meaning.

I'm not really having any trouble making a distinction in this matter either; the videos by the child and her father are candles beside a supernova.

#40 ::: LDR ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2010, 01:49 PM:

abi: I don't know the answers to any of your questions, but the question "Did her father make things worse by the things he said?" is an interesting one to me.

#41 ::: Emma ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2010, 02:23 PM:

The kid sounds like one of those "yeah-I'm-tough" eleven year olds --listening to her was like listening to one of my own cousins, long ago, scared out of his mind but thinking he could out-scare someone twice his size. Giving her uncontrolled access to the Internet was a disaster looking for a place to happen. Having said that... jeebus. Picking on an 11-year-old girl? Was pulling the wings off butterflies too difficult?

#42 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2010, 03:27 PM:

Even if there were no 11-year-olds involved, the /b/ attack brigade is despicable for their terroristic tactics alone. There is nothing I know of that justifies publicizing their targets' physical contact info with a nudge-nudge and a wink-wink of "not that I'm encouraging you to phone in death threats and cut their gas line, understand, but..."

Terrorism. Plain and simple. Not right, not called for, not ever.

*Please not "/b/tards", friends; using any construction of "retard" to insult people is sort of like using "gay" as an insult, except "retard" remains an insult when applied to its original target demographic too, so let's just not use it, OK? (More elegant pleas for the excising of this unfortunate term appear here sporadically, because Dave is a champion for the rights of, and for awareness of the humanity of, those with developmental disabilities. He's my hero. One of my heroes.)

#43 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2010, 03:30 PM:

Gawker has always been at war with 4chan!

#44 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2010, 04:00 PM:

I always thought "bastards" rather than "retards" on that usage, Nicole @42 -- I was in fact quite surprised to see the other possible reading in your post. That probably says more about me than about the intentions of the users of the phrase, though....

#45 ::: LDR ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2010, 04:02 PM:

In this particular case, I thought "bastards" too.

#46 ::: Mycroft W ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2010, 04:39 PM:

Wow - #44, #45, me three. Though I can see the other reference, if I squint hard. Unfortunately, I know that one thing one can rarely say about those bastards is that they're in that way disabled. Socially, morally, sociopathically disabled? That's arguable, but that connection is one I would never have made.

#47 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2010, 04:53 PM:

We are a lexically-oriented group, and perhaps the initial letter makes more of an impression on us than the potential rhyme. That would be one explanation.

#48 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2010, 05:13 PM:

little light @14: Be alerted that your website throws malware warnings.

#49 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2010, 05:33 PM:

Add me to the group who was thinking "bastards". But that's not a formation that I would use in any event; I tend not to name them at all, for the same reason that I don't name John Lennon's killer -- it gives them a level of recognition that they don't deserve.

#50 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2010, 05:43 PM:

abi @ 39:
And in the event that the denizens of /b/ are avoiding collateral damage

I don't think they've ever been concerned to limit collateral damage. Some of them, I am sure, welcome it as a proof of the effectiveness of their attacks. The DoS attacks on AT&T and Verizon demonstrate that, I think.

#51 ::: Sylvia ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2010, 07:05 PM:

This is tangentially related in terms of young people on the internet, misleading situations, how do our kids learn this stuff and I don't know that many people who will understand it:

Mumsnet Discussions - Need help with a very sensitive complaint against a massive multinational! - _Chat

Short version: Dr Pepper promo targeted at teens on Facebook uses direct reference to 2 girls, 1 cup.

I have to admit, I totally believe that no one at the Coca Cola corporate had any idea what that line meant.

(If you don't either, I recommend Urban Dictionary: 2 girls 1 cup rather than googling to find out. I personally think an acceptable apology would be to gather all the execs involved in this into a room and make them watch it on a big screen together)

#52 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2010, 07:44 PM:

PNH: “We have lived into the future, and it is barely comprehensible to us.”

So very yes. And I second TNH's inscrutable facial expressions of starry bogglement as well as her assortment of punctuation marks unattached to actual words.

The future is a weird place some days.

#53 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2010, 07:48 PM:

I'm enough of a not-fan of Gawker to presume they did this for the traffic bump, but on its face I think they're on the side of the angels here.

@42, 44-9: I wonder if different readings of the -tard suffix don't have to do with having been exposed to the particular flavor of right-wing website which uses the word "libtard"? Because that's definitely not intended to suggest bastard.

As for the kid's responsibility in all this, I not too long ago put in a year of quality time with an 11-year-old girl, and the situation Jessi was in was tailor-made to make an insecure 11-year-old girl behave badly.

Keep in mind, at 11, most of them have just recently started middle school after probably being in the same school their entire lives. They've gone from being the oldest in a school they know to being the youngest in a school where the oldest kids are essentially high school age, and they're supervised a lot less closely than they used to be. Also, the distant early warning signs of puberty are starting to make themselves known. Prime territory for not knowing how to behave.

So, if I'm understanding the story correctly, this kid is hit with an internets rumor which not only explicitly sexualizes her as the romantic partner of a grown man, but questions whether she's attractive enough to be explicitly sexualized. Granted she handled it unwisely, but that would be tough for a grown woman to face (let alone someone with her father's proud example of productive behavior in adversity to model).

Which is one of the reasons my kid has far less unfettered internet access at pushing 15 than this kid apparently had at 11.

Even if she had no excuse for her behavior, though, her behavior would be no excuse for the brave anonomice to target her for lulz.

#54 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2010, 07:51 PM:

Sylvia: brings to mind "Magic Ring Ken," which I'm sure made it to market because executives at Mattel had never run into that particular accessory before. The guy that decided that Ken's wardrobe was enough like Tom of Finland's art style that he could sneak that joke in is, I strongly suspect, no longer at Mattel.

#55 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2010, 08:07 PM:

You know, I agree that it is wholely unacceptable to treat any eleven year old child (or any human, for that matter) in that way. Without exception or excuse.

But I also wonder how many of the /b/ participants engaging in this excercise of cruelty are themselves very young.

Also, I was thinking about the self-reinforcing nature of cultures of cruelty, and how they seem to thrive in dark corners -- the internet, junior high, etc. -- where they aren't subjected to light of day or judgement by people external to the cycle itself. It just really makes me wish that more people would step up and say things like "no, this is not okay." (And teach their kids to say it. So important!)

It makes me tempted to find a way to flood /b/ with sweetness and light and all that is good and holy in the world. Turn their tactics against them in some sweet, sweet poetic justice. And break out the puppies and kitties and rainbows every time things start to get out of hand again.

I wonder if it is possible to break cycles of cynicism and contempt, rather than simply driving their perpetrators elsewhere and deeper into hiding... I don't suspect my above solution would accomplish it against an unwilling audience, but I wish I knew how it could be accomplished, anyway. I've never quite figured it out, in real life.

#56 ::: JD Rhoades ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2010, 11:00 PM:

LDR @45: As a bastard, I'm offended.

#57 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2010, 12:14 AM:

Bruce@50, as far as I can tell, they weren't trying to actual do a Denial of Service attack against AT&T and Verizon themselves - somebody was using 4chan as part of an attack on somebody at AT&T, and in another event on somebody at Verizon, and those carriers each responded by blocking a (popular) chunk of 4chan, responding in the usual 4chan harassment (calling up the company president etc.) of the carriers briefly until it was explained that it wasn't a censorship thing, just a DDOS blocking, and then the 4chan denizens lost interest and chased the next shiny thing.
AT&T official statement.
Gizmodo article.
Comment from moot about the Verizon version.
I'm not clear as to whether it was really somebody trying to DDOS 4chan or a 4chan user trying to DDOS somebody else, and the users' response to the perceived censorship was, alas, predictable, but nobody went full-metal Stephanie Meyer on the other side for very long.

#58 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2010, 01:24 AM:

KayTei @ 55: I don't know whether you were lurking here last September for the Bully Pulpit post and lengthy discussion, but it seems apropos. For the nonce I will merely observe that the only successful approach I have personally seen demonstrated is hit them back harder.

#59 ::: Sylvia ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2010, 08:30 AM:

Bruce @54 : This one is a bit odd because someone must have known what it meant (the reference is explicit) and must have realised that people would google it as a result. I find that odd, that at least one person at the ad agency was that naive to think it would be OK.

The story has hit the mainstream UK media and the promotion has been pulled, although because the news sites are simply referring to a "pornographic reference" a common consensus seems to be that the mother overreacted.

#60 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2010, 08:49 AM:

The common consensus is wrong. I don't know how, if someone is trying to shelter people from the site (which seems reasonable to me), to avoid people thinking someone overreacted.

Oi.

#61 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2010, 09:39 AM:

re 51: Perhaps fortunately, our web proxy here blocks urban dictionary as "entertainment".* Probably unfortunately, it doesn't block Wikipedia at all, and the diligence of Wikipedia in covering That Topic is notorious.**

*It's a bit bizarre: it shifts around from time to time but at least of a few days ago it was blocking the Beeb as "sports".

**e.g. the notability guideline for actors in "adult" films

#62 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2010, 10:30 AM:

Mark@58

I did, in fact, catch that thread. And considered saying something, and found that most of what I would have said had been said, and faster, and ... have you noticed that the conversations around here have a tendency to spin at times? But I was appreciative for the thread itself.

That said, I think there's a ton of research showing that while the best thing the VICTIM can do might be to strike back (never been good at that myself), the best thing anyone else can do -- and the only effective tactic I've seen substantiated -- is to say "Hey, dude, not cool. Knock it off." Or words to that effect.

It de-escalates specific situations. Over time, it can de-escalate entire in-person environments. But to my understanding, it has to be backed up by the powers that be. And there have to be at least a few people invested in sticking around and making it work. Which means that in (particularly online?) environments locked in a contempt spiral, you tend to run off the... er... non-contemptuous people before they ever get around to reforming the place -- why stick around and invest in something so fundamentally draining and unproductive and unrewarding and emotionally toxic?

Or so I think. Hence my wondering if there is another way to unloop that cynicism spiral. Because I don't think a bunch of paladins trooping over to /b/ could really reform the place (or would ever want to stick around long enough to make lasting change), but it's a total bane the way it is now. But, you know, lasting meaningful change is hard, or so I should remember. And then I start worrying about the arrogance factor in making that judgement about another person's behavior, which is part of why more people don't speak up, and which drives me crazy when other people do it. Bah, I'm stopping now. I am officially driving myself crazy, when I should be driving myself in to work.

#63 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2010, 11:10 AM:

KeyTei@62: Despite people sometimes being deeply personally invested in some particular online forum, it's never like the only Elk's lodge in your town. The forum, you know there are 10,000 other ones out there, and it's trivially easy to create more, so the benefit of staying to fight over moving on is small. But if the only lodge of the flavor you favor in your town is in trouble, "moving on" from whatever trouble it's having is much less easy.

Concentrating particular flavors of trouble-maker somewhat tends to keep them off our backs a lot of the time; but lets them reinforce each other and attack en mass sometimes. Kind of a trade-off.

#64 ::: Antongarou ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2010, 11:38 AM:

@42 I was reading it as "/b/ tards" i.e. reference to them being asshats rather then anything else.

#65 ::: LDR ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2010, 12:28 PM:

JD Rhoades @56: As a bastard, I'm offended.

Well, yes. I certainly didn't mean to imply that there's anything wrong with a person whose parents were not married to each other. Especially since I'm rereading Emma at the moment. My apologies.

#66 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2010, 01:58 PM:

I'm part of the "bastard" brigade. I wonder if it's a matter of age. IIRC, "retard" and "tard" weren't common insults when I was a kid. I'm not sure when they came in.

#55 ::: KayTei:

I'm not sure what counts as not a dark corner where bullying is concerned-- it's common enough in families and workplaces.

#67 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2010, 03:23 PM:

Hi, Nancy - You and I are about the same age, and "retard" was probably the most common insult I remember people using in elementary school. (Occasionally there was "homo", but nobody was quite sure what it meant so that was less popular, and "weirdo" was always dependable.)

#68 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2010, 03:42 PM:

Mark @58:

KayTei @ 55: I don't know whether you were lurking here last September for the Bully Pulpit post and lengthy discussion, but it seems apropos. For the nonce I will merely observe that the only successful approach I have personally seen demonstrated is hit them back harder.
I had plans for various contingencies when I was moderating BoingBoing. One of the scenarios was a large-scale invasion by 4chan or some community like it. My plans didn't involve hitting them harder, or hitting them at all.

Instead, V'q unir bcrarq n arj sebag-cntr ragel fnlvat "[anzr bs pbzzhavgl] Ivfvgf ObvatObvat!", znqr vg fgvpxl fb vg jbhyq fgnl ng gur gbc, naq fgnegrq ercbegvat ba gur rirag. V jbhyq whfg nf vafgnagyl frag rzretrapl zrffntrf gb gur Obvatref, nfxvat gurz gb pbzr uryc oybt vg naq cnegvpvcngr va gur pbzzrag guernqf, naq gb gur bgure zbqrengbef, nfxvat gurz gb cyrnfr pbzr znvagnva beqre va gur bgure guernqf.

Ng gur cbvag gung vagrerfgvat pbairefngvbaf oebxr bhg va gur pbzzrag guernq, V'q rvgure ercbfg tbbq ovgf va gur znva ragel, be fgneg ercbfgvat gurz nf fvqrone ragevrf. Nyfb va erfcbafr gb vagrerfgvat pbairefngvbaf unccravat, V'q fraq bhg n dhvpx cerff eryrnfr gryyvat crbcyr jung jnf unccravat, naq dhbgvat fbzr bs gur orggre yvarf naq rkpunatrf.

Vs bhe ivfvgbef jrer gnetrgvat n cnegvphyne guernq be guernqf, V'q fuhg gurz qbja. Boivbhfyl, fbzr crbcyr qvfnterr jvgu zr nobhg guvf, ohg V guvax ubfgvat n cvyr-ba vf n ovttre zvfgnxr guna nal cnfg zvfgnxr gur cvyr-ba vf fhccbfrq gb nqqerff. Gur fubeg rkcynangvba vf gung cvyr-baf ner abg n jnl gb yrg gehgu eha ybbfr; gurl'er na ratvar sbe trarengvat snyfrubbq naq onq orunivbe.

Svanyyl, V'q gel gb znvagnva abezny pbairefngvba naq abezny zbqrengvba va gur bgure guernqf, naq V'q cbyvpr gur fcrpvny-bppnfvba guernqf sbe frevbhf bofpravgl, bgure vyyrtny be bowrpgvbanoyr fcrrpu, naq bgure rkcybfvir qrivprf.

Vs gung jnfa'g rabhtu, V'q guvax bs fbzrguvat ryfr; ohg V guvax gung jbhyq or rabhtu.

What are the principles in play here? First, don't be fun to torment. You can't always keep other people from tormenting you, but you can do your best to see that it isn't fun for them in the way they're expecting.

Second: everyone who voluntarily enters into an interaction has a script. If you're at odds with their agenda, and you let yourself get dragged into their script, you'll have their interactions and come to their conclusions. The only way to avoid that trip is to not get on that train. One of the biggest benefits of reporting what was going on would have been to reassert BoingBoing's primordial script: "Here, let me show you something cool."

Third: Don't give orders you can't enforce, don't fight if you can't win, and don't start an exchange of artillery fire when you're standing on your own front porch.

Fourth: All other things being equal, it's often the case on the internet that whoever has the most fun, wins.

#69 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2010, 07:46 PM:

Nancy Lebovitz @ 66

When I think of dark corners, I think of places that are shut off from external evaluation or judgement. The places where bullying thrives, in my observation, are places where nobody is willing to call it, either from within or from without. Places where people feel safe and comfortable and sheltered from being judged for their actions. So it also thrives in some small towns. It can be as large or as small a place as can cut itself off and stew in its own self-evaluations. The more cut off a group is from new people, new insights and differing opinions, the uglier the whole thing seems to get. But the contrast to that is that the same types of environments, handled differently, with different social ethics and expectations, permit (and construct) levels of outspokenness and oversight and open evaluation that allow bullies to be held accountable before their ethic can spread to the people around them.

I don't think it's a "where" that can safely be defined in location terms -- there will always be towns that are open and accepting and others that are closed off and insular, same as there are open and enclosed websites, and open and enclosed workplaces... I think of it as more of a subcultural "where." (And I just keep thinking there ought to be a way to affect those subcultures, and then I get tangled in the ethics of superiority again...)

#70 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2010, 10:11 PM:

Sylvia: This one is a bit odd because someone must have known what it meant (the reference is explicit) and must have realised that people would google it as a result. I find that odd, that at least one person at the ad agency was that naive to think it would be OK.

Ever since the Time Magazine rainbow "Goatsee" cover I have been unamazed by what folks think they can sneak through, however literally quoting the name of that film is more than I would have expected.

#71 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2010, 10:19 PM:

A number of years ago, at a flea market, I found a Smurf figurine that I assume must have been designed by a similar joker.

#72 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2010, 02:31 AM:

Huh. I never would have thought to pronounce "/b/tards" as "bastards." The slashes separate "b" and "tards" into distinct phonemes in my head, making me hear "bee" and giving the "tards" a visual and pronuncial emphasis that doesn't jibe with the way it gets swallowed in "BAS-tuhrds".

Plus, as some of y'all say, it may be that I'm more frequently exposed to "'tard" constructions, which are *definitely* pronounced as twists on the disabled slur, not the unwed parents slur.

Not that it's any better to insult children of unwed parents, as has been pointed out - but "bastard" feels less vicious, instinctively.

Sorry for the derail, in any case.

#73 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2010, 10:24 AM:

Nicole #72: bastard" feels less vicious, instinctively.

That's because both the legal and social stigmas have faded to almost nothing, to the point where even a comparatively recent work such as the Supremes' "Love Child" seems... quaint.

Nowadays, being an illegitimate child is no real danger to one's welfare... while being declared "mentally disabled" means being segregated from the "normal kids", and quite likely being ruled "legally incompetent" (even as an adult). That's if you don't just get tossed into an institution....

So, that's why "bastard" has lost most of its sting, while "retard" is still going strong.

#74 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2010, 12:22 PM:

/b/tard looks to me like it's trying to tell me something about how to pronounce it, so I mentally pronounce it, and it rhymes with "retard" when I do that.

b-tard, on the other hand, maps to "bastard" for me because it looks more like one of those classic Sherlock Holmes Rants:

"You d---ed b-tard!" he ejaculated.

#75 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2010, 12:34 PM:

Sandy B.@74: The use of the slashes around the "b" seems to be a convention there for labeling various boards; I see uses of "/b/" without the suffix a lot.

And I'm more likely to pronounce "b-tard" the way that rhymes with "retard".

I expect the formulation "/b/tard" was whipped up without much thought on the spur of the moment, and that both "bastard" and "retard" were in the associational network in the person's head when it happened.

Which, at some level, doesn't matter at all. The problem is, the history of usage of the "tard" suffix and the shortening of "retard" to "'tard" in some dialects and contexts are going to evoke "retard" in a lot of people's heads, and a bunch of them think it's an unacceptable term.

#76 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2010, 01:48 PM:

David Harmon @73 - I concur, and was thinking as much myself. "Illegitimate" children do not get dehumanized with such regularity that people with developmental disabilities do, these days--if they ever did.

#77 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2010, 02:02 PM:

TNH @68: "Reinforce desired behavior. Fail utterly to react to bad behavior, and make it much harder to behave badly than to behave well."

Very Shamu of you! :)

#78 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2010, 02:40 PM:

I am safe in New Jersey (which has some of the most insane highways I have ever encountered, and some of the worst/most dangerous drivers... the bike is garaged until I leave for points north. I've had two people engage in, intentionally, dangerous behavior toward me, and one who ran a red light in a way that, had I been a bit more on top of what I was doing, would have killed me).

Spent yesterday wandering about/getting a feel for Midtown. I don't think I could ever be mistaken for a native (I've always looked up), but there were several points in the day where I was treated as a local

I have to say I don't understand the impression people have of New Yorkers as rude comes from. Even the guy who hit me up for money had a nice conversation with me (I didn't have my wallet. I thought it was in my luggage somewhere. It turns out I left it on a gas pump in Delaware. I'll be fetching it Sunday), about the pains of missing wallets.

One guy handed me something I'd dropped, another one had a chat with me about a billboard, etc.

The woman who tried to push me aside (she tucked her shoulder and leaned) while saying, something to the effect of, "get out of the way" was probably a bit surprised; I leaned in, just before she ploughed into me (she bounced) and said, in a pleasant enough tone... "You're the one moving,", since she'd had a fair bit of time to see me, and avoid the contact.

But that was one person in tens of thousands I saw, was near, in the course of seven miles of walking about Manhattan. It was a good day.

#79 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2010, 02:56 PM:

Terry Karney@78: ran a red light in a way that, had I been a bit more on top of what I was doing, would have killed me

I find that the scariest kind of event -- saved not just by luck, but by things going a way I actively work against. (No obvious typo, so I'm assuming you meant what you said and didn't invert the meaning somehow.)

I have the same experience with New Yorkers as you; they don't seem rude to me, they chat pleasantly, they're helpful. They have an ordinary human percentage of people having a bad day (or bad life; can't tell from one interaction). They may walk faster than average -- they walk about as fast as I do.

Good awareness and timing on the woman! Though I can understand her attitude if it seemed to her that you were voluntarily standing blocking what was supposed to be a traffic lane (pedestrian traffic lane); perhaps over-enthusiastic on her part, but somewhat understandable in some circumstances. (Which is again evidence that even that isn't New York specific.) Regardless, anybody who tries to shove through deserves a bit of a bounce, that's not an overreaction.

#80 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2010, 03:12 PM:

oops, this isn't OT 143.

Now to post it there as well.

#81 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2010, 03:16 PM:

ddb: I was making a left. Saw a cop to my right, planning to make a left.

I looked up at the light, it was yellow, and the oncoming was stopping. I had a moment of thought about the cop, glanced over, stared to engage the transmission (bike was just responding); on a red light, when an SUV shot through; from the blind of the stopped car, doing 40-50 (things seem faster, so I can't be really certain). The cop didn't seem to realise the guy ran the red.

Had I been moving on the slowing of the other car... splat.

#82 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2010, 04:56 PM:

"Splat" is a bad thing -- especially when you have no crumple zones and the other guy outweighs you 5:1 or whatever it is. Glad you weren't there when he went through!

#83 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2010, 08:04 PM:

New Jersey has a LOT of drivers in any given space, so even if the idiot percentage isn't any higher, the idiot total is. Glad you were untouched. And, umm, welcome.

I have a idea, untested, that everywhere has roughly an equal percentage of bad drivers, but the style of bad driver varies- so when you leave home, you are assaulted by unexpected varieties of stupid.

(Florida Plates = "we don't have to merge or turn at home"... Quebec = "We stop on yellows and do a racing start on the almost-green; what do you do?")

#84 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2010, 08:30 PM:

@83

Massachusetts plates (in Maine): What do you mean I'm not in downtown Boston? (Hint: moose don't care how shiny your car is or how fast it goes.)

As for our esteemed colleagues from New Hampshire, I've learned that the motto of our neighboring state's drivers must be "Live Free or Die Trying."

(Although in defense of both groups, it's most likely an unfamiliarity with Maine's unofficial motto: Ya Can't Get Theah From Heah.)

#85 ::: little light ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2010, 05:38 AM:

Jacque @48: "little light @14: Be alerted that your website throws malware warnings."

Thank you for the heads-up. I know it's been getting consistent spam from one source--I hope it hasn't been co-opted in some way to spread the stuff. Do you...know if there's anything I can do? I know how to get malware off of my computer, but not off of a website.

#86 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2010, 06:39 AM:

little light@85, you might want to start here; also, third-party widgets have been known to cause this sort of problem.

#87 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2010, 09:26 AM:

Sandy and Thena: The main difference I've observed between Boston and NYC drivers is that in Boston they go straight from turn-only lanes and in NYC they turn from straight-only lanes.

#88 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2010, 11:41 PM:

Mak @ 58: "For the nonce I will merely observe that the only successful approach I have personally seen demonstrated is hit them back harder."

I thought that one of the main themes of the Bully Pulpit thread was that "hit them back harder" was terribly problematic advice for a variety of reasons, starting with the assumption that the bullied can hit harder, touching on the danger of teaching kids that violence is a useful interpersonal skill, and finally settling on how sure are you, when you hit back harder, that it isn't you who has become the bully?

(Obligatory Ender's Game reference.)

#89 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2010, 11:44 PM:

(Sorry Mark--my new keyboard [with new computer *squee*] has a sticky 'r' key.)

#90 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2010, 01:27 AM:

heresiarrch @ 88: It was indeed a recurring theme in the thread that 'hit them back harder' is problematic. I make no claim otherwise. The claim I make is merely one of personally observed efficacy, which is more than I can say from direct experience for other means.

#91 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2010, 02:15 PM:

re drivers: I've driven lots of places. The red light dude was of a sort which happens everywhere; and is one of the two real killers of motorcyclists (apart from operator error; usually entering a turn at too high a rate of speed).

The other is the left turning fool who "doesn't see" the motorcyclist.

The other two (I'll ignore the guy who just pulled out into the road, and then blocked it, from the parking lot. He wasn't a menace, just an asshole. He hadn't quite blocked the lane when he made eye contact with me, at which point he started moving again, so I couldn't possibly pass. Then waited for 30 seconds until the lane he wanted to enter was clear), were more of a menace.

They each did unsafe thing while I was changing lanes. The one sped up, to try and close me out, the other (and more troublesome) changed lanes when I did, and sped up. I had signaled, checked six, and started to move over... when there appeared a car in my mirror, getting larger. I was already committed to the change, and just goosed the throttle, but that could have been bad.

Risks one takes.

#92 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2010, 02:59 PM:

Sandy B. at eighty-three. In re: Unexpected Varieties Of Stupid, var. Britannici.

In
Birmingham: they drive straight at you at a junction in the expectation that when they get where you are, you won’t be.
Leicester: they creep slowly forward out of a side road until blocking 2 lanes, then zoom out waving cheerfully* at infuriated motorists.
London: 1) red lights and box junctions are advisory, not compulsory,
2) beep at everything.
Edinburgh: if you have English number plates, you’re dead.

*cheerfully for a Leicester person. It’s not easy to tell.

#93 ::: David Wald ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2010, 09:08 AM:

Mark@87: "in Boston they go straight from turn-only lanes and in NYC they turn from straight-only lanes."

I've never observed the drivers being so limited around here in Boston.

To be fair, though, the roads around here do their best to fake out drivers, so both of these maneuvers are usually done more from confusion than malice. I often find it easier to drive during rush hour, when most of the drivers know the road patterns and the usual failure modes, than during the weekends. (I never really understood the term "Sunday driver" before moving here, but driving on the weekends requires a particular kind of care.)

#94 ::: Mycroft W ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2010, 04:10 PM:

#88 heresiarch, re: Hit Them Back Harder: yes, yes, and arguable - and if you do become the bully, you might find you like it or can't stop, or start doing it preemptively. That doesn't invalidate the fact that it's the only thing that reliably works (other possible options - move, permanently, or wait for the bullies to die off/graduate; both of which I did, with various levels of success).

Tells you something about what a problem bullying really is.

Drivers: the way I describe Montreal drivers is by quoting the Quebecois parody of "The Rant": "and maybe I can't turn right on a red light, but tabernac, I can go right through it!"

My dad was concerned about me in Houston traffic, until I told him about the mistake I made and the roads I had to drive to get back on track. My response: "I drove in Toronto for seven years." Take that as you will.

#95 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2010, 05:18 PM:

tykewriter @ 92: London "red lights and box junctions are advisory, not compulsory" We once sat trying to get out of a side road in Central London - with a box junction - through about six changes of the lights (ten minutes perhaps) without moving, because nobody left the box open. Nobody. I was crying by the time we finally got out of there. Then I had another hour of bumper-to-bumper traffic to navigate to get home.

I've never had a problem with English number plates around Edinburgh. Relatively restful driving, after London.

#96 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2010, 05:19 PM:

Terry@91, the "pull out of a parking lot partway into the road, partially blocking the lane" thing is classic New Jersey driving.

The other classic New Jersey driving behaviour is that a red light means "only 3-4 more cars can turn left" (though that doesn't apply to going straight through; you're expected to stop and let the left-turners turn. And it doesn't apply if there are left-turn arrows, but there usually aren't any.) The latter behaviour surprised friends of mine who'd moved up from Texas, where the local practice is that you everybody stops before their light is red, and guns their engine so that by the time their light's green, they're in the middle of the intersection at warp speed, which mixes very badly with the New Jersey approach.

And then there are jug-handles and mutant traffic circles, which are highway design features that you learn to work with.

#97 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2010, 11:56 AM:

Bill #96:

I don't know what part of Texas your friend moved up from, but it certainly wasn't from around its capital. Here, if you're so cautious as to stop before the light turns red, chances are you will be rear-ended, not by one person, but by two or three. At least, that's how many people seem to follow me through a light that's just turning. Nor do people here even think of moving their cars until about four seconds after the light changes--too busy thinking great thoughts or talking on their phones or something; either that, or everyone but us is on reflex-suppressing drugs of very high quality.

#98 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2010, 12:06 PM:

Things tend to be pretty peaceful, driving in Boulder. Two habits I've noticed, though, to add to the list:

* A sense of left-turn entitlement. "I've been waiting at this light and I'm damn well going to go through even if I have to run the red!"

* A certain blind-spot for traffic that A) isn't car-shaped (as Terry mentions) and B) is in the bike lane, pedestrian crossing, or multi-use (bike/ped) lane. Left-turners know about yielding to oncoming automobile traffic, but they seem to think that bikes proceeding forward on a green (or on a ped light, as is the case with multi-use lanes that parallel the street) don't count. I've had an idiot yell, "Bikes don't belong on the sidewalk!" after nearly running me over when I had right of way, because I guess he didn't know about multi-use paths. (And even if it had been a regular sidewalk that I shouldn't have been on, I would *still* have had right of way - I just would have been validly unexpected at my speed and in my location. But this was not the case.)

But these are mild complaints compared to the foibles of drivers in The Big City.

#99 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2010, 12:25 PM:

Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little@98: Wait, you don't think one person always gets to make a left turn each light cycle? First time I've ever heard THAT position expressed.

I believe I was taught in Driver's Ed that I was supposed to pull forward to where I'd make the turn from, then wait for it to be safe to make the turn, and then do so. I think that's what's in the official Drivers' Manual, too.

Note that, once I've pulled forward, I can't wait for the next light cycle; I'm blocking the intersection.

#100 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2010, 01:15 AM:

Nah, someone will get to make a left this light cycle. It isn't guaranteed to be you.

(I am not talking about the first person in line when the light turns green not being to make that unprotected left until the light's about to turn red. I'm talking about the person several cars back who, because they've waited "long enough," think they "deserve" to go through no matter what state the light is in when they do reach it.)

Of course, the world would be much improved by more protected lefts built into the light cycle. And whichever fudgebusker it was came up with the brilliant idea for the flashing yellow arrow replacing the green spot because supposedly this will better emphasize that the left isn't protected but in fact has only managed to confuse a goodly number of drivers out there--we should probably not meet in a dark alley, I think.

#101 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2010, 08:08 PM:

And then there are jug-handles and mutant traffic circles [in New Jersey], which are highway design features that you learn to work with.

... or the Route 22 classic, "three lanes each way, left lane going 60, and stores with parking lots in the island."

#102 ::: Aaron Dick ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2010, 09:09 PM:

Hey Patrick, I just noted that one of the Sidebar links says you are not confident about the venue for the NZ SF convention (Are you going? I wish I'd been sorted enough to go :( )

But I followed the link and didn't understand. I saw a very silly spelling mistake in the first word but that was all.

What am I missing?
Yours, a worried Kiwi

#103 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2010, 01:08 AM:

Spelling and grammar matter. Those who don't pay attention to the small stuff set a tone indicating they may well not pay attention to the large stuff. And how long has this website been active? If they don't know the difference between "Its" and "It's" they haven't been looking at the spelling references here....

#104 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2010, 03:07 AM:

By "spelling references here" do you mean on ML? 'Cause I can't see how the reference here would prevent someone from using the two incorrectly if they were going to.

#105 ::: ErrolC ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2010, 06:16 AM:

@138 Tom
Why would whoever signed off on the website of the hotel that happens to be hosting Au Contraire be looking here?

#106 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2010, 07:04 AM:

I suspect Patrick was mostly joking about the hotel. People who use the wrong it(')s can still be quite competent at running a hotel, as can people who aren't good at proofing text; Patrick knows this. He was pointing it out for the amusement of us word geeks.

I sure hope the concom used criteria other than spelling and punctuating skills to evaluate the hotel's suitability!

#107 ::: Aaron Dick ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2010, 07:37 PM:

Ah, so it was about the spelling errors. Okay, I feel more comfortable now. I was worried that there was something inehrently offputting about Wellington, a city I quite like.

#108 ::: Vlad ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2010, 12:33 PM:

@17: You appear to be operating under a mistaken impression as to how /b/ works. They aren't trying to silence criticism of /b/ because they're ashamed of what they do and reluctant to see it exposed - they're trying to silence criticism of /b/ because they don't want a flood of new users to the site, who don't understand the way things work and need to be educated/assimilated. The essential motivation there is a desire to avoid personal inconvenience, not any kind of moral position.

#109 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2010, 12:41 PM:

Vlad, they're trying to silence criticism because it gives them an excuse to be assholes, which they want to be anyway. And they're the ONLY ones on the web who don't think they're scumbags.

#110 ::: Dan Hoey ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2010, 11:58 AM:

Xopher@109 — The ONLY ones? Don't forget their admirers in the tea potty.

#111 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2010, 12:42 PM:

There is also considerable appreciation for them in the Fark community.

#112 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2010, 02:47 PM:

I'm sorry, clearly I misspoke. Or misposted. Something.

The only ones who don't think the /b/stards* are scumbags are their fellow scumbags.

There. Fixed.
_____
*Please note the disambiguating 's'.

#113 ::: Vlad ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2010, 03:11 PM:

@109: Since when do they need an "excuse" to be assholes? You're looking at it from the perspective of a moral person, trying to understand why a moral person would do these kinds of things. And until you step outside of that mental framework, you won't understand why they do what they do, or how to effectively oppose and/or deflect them.

#114 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2010, 03:16 PM:

Impetus, then. They're sitting around after school, and their braces are hurting, and something like this comes up and they go "aha! a call to arms!"

#115 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2010, 05:51 PM:

tykewriter @ #92
In Birmingham: they drive straight at you at a junction in the expectation that when they get where you are, you won’t be.

That explains how my father acquired a sports car in th passenger seat.

(Rant about Insurance company incompetence omitted.)

"Birmingham is Mordor, with underpasses", according to Dave Lermit. This moose lives there and on the whole would agree - we even have our own Mount Doom under construction: the Packington landfill (disused clay pits) which have been landfilled to such an extent that there are beacons on top to warn off aircraft.

#116 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2010, 08:03 PM:

Cadbury Moose @ 115:

And in Boston if you stop behind them at a stop sign they back up into you. I discovered another person that was done to a couple of weeks ago; we're up to coincidence. Anyone want to make it enemy action?

#117 ::: janetl sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2010, 01:50 AM:

Comment #117 looks suspicious

Welcome to Making Light's comment section. The moderators are Avram Grumer, Jim Macdonald, Teresa & Patrick Nielsen Hayden, and Abi Sutherland. Abi is the moderator most frequently onsite. She's also the kindest. Teresa is the theoretician. Are you feeling lucky?

If you are a spammer, your fate is in the hands of Jim Macdonald, and your foot shall slide in due time.

Comments containing more than seven URLs will be held for approval. If you want to comment on a thread that's been closed, please post to the most recent "Open Thread" discussion.

You can subscribe (via RSS) to this particular comment thread. (If this option is baffling, here's a quick introduction.)

Post a comment.
(Real e-mail addresses and URLs only, please.)

HTML Tags:
<strong>Strong</strong> = Strong
<em>Emphasized</em> = Emphasized
<a href="http://www.url.com">Linked text</a> = Linked text

Spelling reference:
Tolkien. Minuscule. Gandhi. Millennium. Delany. Embarrassment. Publishers Weekly. Occurrence. Asimov. Weird. Connoisseur. Accommodate. Hierarchy. Deity. Etiquette. Pharaoh. Teresa. Its. Macdonald. Nielsen Hayden. It's. Fluorosphere. Barack. More here.















(You must preview before posting.)

Dire legal notice
Making Light copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 by Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. All rights reserved.