Back to previous post: Missing Child

Go to Making Light's front page.

Forward to next post: Two Westerns

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

July 29, 2011

The soft and unmistakable sound of a gauntlet landing on the dusty ground
Posted by Abi Sutherland at 02:41 PM * 277 comments

One of my real pleasures1 on Google+ has been interacting with people with whom I rarely overlap otherwise. High on the list is writer Chris Clarke, whose moral clarity I have admired from afar for a fair few years. What I did not know is that he is also a wicked wordsmith, though a bit more browsing over at his place would have made that clear.

So he made a brief, faintly vexed post on Thursday:

Chris Clarke: Just read an accusation that a writer made a particular political argument only to “score points.” I’ve had this said of me, especially with regard to feminism but on other issues as well.

Two questions occur to me.
1) Are people really so cynical that the notion of taking a political position because it’s the right thing to do is hard to grasp?
2) These “points” I’ve scored — can they be redeemed for cash?

After someone else left a somewhat serious answer, I’m afraid I came in and derailed the conversation. I’m not entirely sure Chris was being a gentleman and following my lead or whether I fell into a clever trap; in either case, our interchange2 went rather..astray from there.

Abi Sutherland:
2) The implication is that you can redeem them for sex, of course. Because everything’s a transaction, right?
Chris Clarke: It’s a lot harder to find trans action in Palm Springs than it was in West Hollywood, I’ll tell you what.
Abi Sutherland:
Well, that’s just the fault of the American attitude toward mass transport. You can find lots of trams action here in Amsterdam!
Chris Clarke: Is it true that in Amsterdam you can also get around easily in cheap taxis or below decks on crowded ferries? I seem to recall hearing, from the people of the town, about your jitneys, trams and steeves.
  (24 hours pass)
Chris Clarke: Well, that killed the thread.
Abi Sutherland:
Ok, I confess, I couldn’t parse it.
Chris Clarke: Cher - Gypsys Tramps And Thieves
Abi Sutherland:
One hates to make age comments, but…I’m reasonably certain I wasn’t toilet trained when she sang that.
Chris Clarke: Stupid arrow of time.
Abi Sutherland:
May I serve you a peach, sir? I do like the way you’re wearing those white flannel trousers; rolling them definitely suits you.
The beach? Why, it’s this way.
Chris Clarke: this is just to say
I have fenced
the lawn
that was in my yard
and which you were probably hoping to be on.
Abi Sutherland: “You are old, Mr Clarke,” the woman said, stunned,
“And your music has gone out of style;
Yet your circles are full and your comments +1’d
Have you been on the net a long while?”

“In my youth,” Mr. Clarke replied to the lass,
“Our flamewars used genuine fires.
I still carve my zeroes; my ones are hand-cast.
They barely fit through the wires.”

“You are old,” said the girl, “you once used AOL
As shorthand to mean ‘you are clueless’.
I’ve no doubt at all you were once on the WELL —
Are you awestruck by all the newness?”

“In my youth,” said the blogger, pausing his post,
“Discussions on Usenet were clever.
And here we are still, and I don’t mean to boast,
But I’m just as witty as ever.”

“You are old, said the girl again, “antedating
Both Napster and Wikipedia.
Are you really a part of the world we’re creating
With sharing and social media?”

“In my youth” said the writer, “we shared without fail:
The carbon would blacken our cc’s.
We guessed from their style which posters were male,
But often we doubted their species.”

“You are old,” said the girl, “I can scarcely believe
The time you have been wasting in chatter.
What famines and poverties did you relieve
What injustices did you shatter?”

“I have answered three questions, and that is enough,”
Said Chris; “Tell me how if you’re friendless
You expect you can change all of that crucial stuff?
The potential of wank is just endless.”
Chris Clarke: I

Among twenty spammy newsgroups,

The only moving thing
Was the yap of the newbie.

I was of three minds,
Like a tree
That was linked on Metafilter.

The noob mailed everyone he knew.

Text was a small part of the GIFs in MIME.

A man and a woman
Are one.
A man is a woman, and a newbie

I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of clueless yammering
Or the beauty of WTF,
The newbie tweeting
Or just after.


Giffy files filled my long window

With iterative trash.
The shadow of the LOLcat

Crossed it, to and fro.
The newb
Posted in shadow
An indecipherable meme.

O bloggers of Godwin,
Why do you bother with golden words?

Do you not see how the point
Flies over the heads

Of the newbies about you?

I know mobile access
In lurid, inescapable schisms;

But I know, too,

That the newbie is involved
In [FOO]FAIL 2012.

When the newbie ran out of words,

It made for glee
In one or many circles.

At the sight of newbies
Flying in a green light,
Even the pages of Geocities
Would cry out sharply.

He blogged about Lieberman
In a glass house.
Once, a fear pierced him,

That some had mistook

The outlines of his quippage
For a newbie’s.

The cursor is moving.
The newbie must be lying.

It was September all year.

They were posting
And they were going to post.

The newbie sat

In the Cheeto-crumbs.
Abi Sutherland: Raging and raging in the lengthening thread
The mood will not heed the moderator;
Rules sprout loopholes; the FAQ cannot answer;
Mere trollery is loosed upon the site,
The lambent prose is loosed, and everywhere
The assumption of good faith is crumbled;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some resolution is at hand;
Surely Going Viral is at hand.
Going Viral! Hardly are those words onscreen
When a vast image out of Fandom Wank
Troubles my stream: somewhere in the wilds of the net
A community with zeitgeist and common purpose,
A cause right and pitiless as the sun,
Is searching for a forum, while all their LJs
Trail threads of the approving, supportive THIS’s.
The tweets move on again; but now I know
That 287 TLDs of peaceful sites
Were vexed to nightmare by a raging thread
And what rough horde, its cause come round at last
Slouches toward my website to be borne?
Chris Clarke: Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s Eve?
Thou art more trollish and intemperate:
Rough words don’t slake your need to vent your peeve,
And someone here is past their sell-by date:
Sometime too hot the heads of heaven, mind,
And finer posts than yours rejected, Jim;
And every rant from narcissists declined,
Or from their needless words their vowels betrimm’d:
But the endless Septembering you’ve brayed
Has lost possession of what slack I owest;
Nor would Death long bear the crap you’ve laid,
When in these endless threads manure you throwest:
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
Go back under your bridge, and eat my shorts.
Abi Sutherland: The way a friend
@replies to
The tweets I send
On days I’m #blue

Tells my heart
I’m never going to give you up
I’m never going to let you down
Never going to run around and desert you

Chris Clarke: Bent double, web designers without slack,
Ache-wristed, hacking with tags, we cursed each kludge,
Till on the table cells we turned our back
And toward semantic code began to trudge.
We did not sleep. Many hours lost, reboots
And trancing iPods. All went numb; the grind;
Drunk with caffeine; deaf even to the suits
Of Hi-Fived Two Point Ohs who then resigned.
Crash! Crash! Quick, boys! - An ecstasy of fumbling,
Finding the clumsy backup just in time;
While CTO was chilling out and Tumblring,
Websurfing with a Tanqueray and lime …
Dim, through the tinted panes and Aeron mesh,
As under a green sea, I saw him clowning.
In all my coding, after each refresh,
His comments in there, muttering, joking, clowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the bitbucket we flung them in,
And watch one-liners twinkling ‘cross his face,
His sad trombone and tiny violin;
If you could watch him drinking Jolt, the flood
Of banter as he climbed each corporate rung,
Obscene as goatse, bitter as the cud
Of stupid WHASSUP jokes from off his tongue,
My friend, you would not Greek without regret
For clients entre whom you would preneur,
The old Lie; Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet
Abi Sutherland: This ae site, this ae site,
So long as screen-light glowes,
Joke and jest and fire-fight,
The web preserve thy prose.

When thou from hence art AFK
To Ever September make thy way

If ever thou gavest a newbie grace
Here in comfort take thy place

If taunting newbies was thy thing
Lang may thou with griefing sting

From Ever September click away
To Blogosphere make thou thy way

If ever a stranger thou savéd from flame
Here will others for thou do the same.

If only thy friends were safe with thee
4chan is thy destiny.

From Blogosphere then click away
To Social Media make thy way.

If ever with links thou gavest credit
Thy posts and name be top on Reddit.

If links and credit thou oft left aside
Thy authorship be alway denied.

This ae site, this ae site,
So long as screen-light glowes,
Joke and jest and fire-fight,
The web preserve thy prose.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is what the internet is for.

  1. I know there are lack-of-pleasures on G+ too. I’d appreciate, if we want to discuss them, that we do so on the Open Thread, unless and until I get the gumption together to do a post on the matter.
  2. I’ve skipped a number of audience-reaction comments in the thread, not having discussed their inclusion here with their authors3.
  3. From which you can conclude that yes, of course, I discussed posting this with Chris.
Comments on The soft and unmistakable sound of a gauntlet landing on the dusty ground:
#1 ::: skzb ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 02:51 PM:

Abi, I am in awe. In awe.

And, oh my God am I missing Mike.

#2 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 02:57 PM:

You, young lady, were Having Fun. And excellent fun at that.

*** applause ***

#3 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 03:01 PM:

Your "Father Williams" and Chris' "13 Ways" were just fabulous. The rest of the thread great too, but those two are the tops. I was pretty happy with my Ferlinghettine contribution:

For years the old power users have been dying
all over America
For years the old power users in dingy short-sleeve shirts
have been sunning themselves and dying
You have seen them at the terminals
in the computer lab in NYU
the old power users in their black high top sneakers
the old men in their old polyester shirts
with pocket squares
have been dying and dying

#4 ::: sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 03:04 PM:

skzb@1 - the same thought ran through my head. I want Mike's contribution to the thread.

#5 ::: dlbowman76 ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 03:05 PM:

Good heavens. All of that was composed in less than 48 hours. I suspect that there is probably a German adjective to describe how utterly HUMBLING it is to watch the habitues of Making Light playfully banter in a way that would shame Swinburne and boggle Brinsley Sheridan.

(I think herein I'll stick to drawing.)

#6 ::: Chris Clarke ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 03:06 PM:

TMK #3, that was indeed wonderful.

#7 ::: Andrew Brown ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 03:06 PM:

Holy, wonderful, shit. You people have restored my faith in the internet.

#8 ::: Rick Owens ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 03:10 PM:

A) Ye cats, you two are *amazing*. Skzb's "In awe." is exactly right.

B) Thank you both - today has been a long day already, but your wit has brightened and lightened my mood. Thank you.

#9 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 03:17 PM:

I think it's the Dulce et Decorum... pastiche that awes me the most.

#10 ::: Larry ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 03:18 PM:

This right here just made G+ worth it's weight in bitcoins.

#11 ::: D. Potter ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 03:19 PM:

You are [both] hereby awarded 1 [one] Internet, to do with as you please. [Please?]

#12 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 03:27 PM:

I'm just sitting here stunned and fanning myself.

#13 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 03:36 PM:

That was SPLENDID.

#14 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 03:41 PM:

What Steve said @1. Brilliant, and nostalgia-inducing.

#15 ::: Janice in GA ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 03:48 PM:

::tips hat, and bows respectfully::

Brilliant. Just... brilliant.

#16 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 04:02 PM:

Awe. Some.

#17 ::: Anne ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 04:11 PM:

Best discussion of the week. Maybe of the year!

(P.S. Look! You've provided spelling assistance for the alphabetically impaired! You think spelling matters! I love you forever.)

#18 ::: Dave Howell ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 04:15 PM:

Oh, my twitching knickers.

I'm never going to post a comment in either of you two's conversation spaces again.


#19 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 04:20 PM:


#20 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 04:29 PM:

I bow down before Abi.

#21 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 04:36 PM:

(Clears throat, looks nervously around himself as he rustles the creased and coffee-stained pages he is holding in front of himself)

Oh this fluorospheric air so heavy with the posts
and comments of a slow day, and no place to rest
but links to click -- how it rings the Interwebby tubes!
The bespectacl'd moderators; the clicking mice
of big black computers, the shoulders of commenters
caught up in open threads and discourse,
and they keep posting, they never flag,
and meanwhile lame futurists weep into Kurzweil's
prophecy, will the economy collapse before we reach singularity?

#22 ::: Angelle ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 04:37 PM:

I'm already lucky enough to have Chris in my writers group. Now I'm feeling greedy and want Abi too!

Awe. And laughter. But lots of awe.

#23 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 04:43 PM:

Holy cow on a motorbike! I'd drifted away from that corner of the blogosphere, but it looks like I ought to check it out more often!

#24 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 04:46 PM:

Anne @17--you mean, there's some place where it doesn't? I know there are some people who think so, but they're mistaken.

abi, this is awesome. Hard-core Grade AAA awesome.

#25 ::: Eric ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 05:31 PM:

"Shall I compare thee to a Summer's Eve" flew past me at first, boomeranged, and busted my gut when it hit on the return. All around, brilliant.

#26 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 05:31 PM:

Will you forgive the flame that I begun
Which is my flame, though it were done before?
Will you forgive the rants through which I run,
And post them still, though still I do deplore?
If you have done, you have not done,
For I have more.

Will you forgive those trolls where I have won
Others to flame, and made my troll their door?
Will you forgive that hate which I did shun
A year or two, but wallowed in a score?
When you have done, you have not done,
For I have more.

I have a deeper fear, that when I have spun
My last thread, I will vanish from your lore;
Swear by thyselves that at my death thy fun
Shall shine as it shines now, and heretofore;
And having done that, you have done ;
I fear no more.

#27 ::: Gray Woodland ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 05:34 PM:

The soft and unmistakable sound of the gasp foreshadowing a thunderous ovation.

#28 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 05:38 PM:

Speaking of Cher and that "moral clarity" piece... except for the "particulars of the offense", her Strong Enough could be a moderators' Battle Song Against the Trolls: "I'm strong enough to know... You've gotta go!"

#29 ::: Adelheid ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 05:54 PM:

This. is. so. full. of. win.

I have to get on Google+ now!

#30 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 06:11 PM:

<ded of clever>

#31 ::: Zeynep ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 06:21 PM:

Technology is awesome: I have read this in a bustling Bolt Bus between Baltimore and the Big Apple.

Technology is troublesome: And now where am I going to find the necessary tools to reattach my dropped jaw, on this bustling Bolt Bus between Baltimore and the Big Apple?

#32 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 06:34 PM:

David Goldfarb #30: Yeah, that was a tac-nuke of awesome.

Original post:
(1) but how was that actually dependent on Google+, as opposed to generically happening to run across Chris' blog again?
(2) about note 1, we actually do have a perfectly good "pissed-at-Google+" thread going, still on the front page, even! Not that I'm likely to do much more bashing, since for reasons I described there, Google+ has already gone past "scared me off", and pretty well reached "dead to me". (I've lost more than enough to disk crashes and bit rot already!)

#33 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 06:52 PM:

And dead in the middle of all the wonder and the glory, she rickrolls us. Spang on the front of Making Light.

I shall mark this day with an owl feather. Well done!

#34 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 06:56 PM:

I said it before, I'll say it again....

Brava! :)

#35 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 07:09 PM:

This is fantastic! I wish there were more of this. Hint.

#36 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 07:16 PM:

Steve @1, it makes me miss him too, but Mike would have been very pleased with himself for writing any of them. Dulce et decorum est to love what he loved.

DLBowman @5, one of the great truths of Making Light is that not everyone is clever at every game. We're the entertainers when we can be, and applaud happily when we're the entertained.

Modesto Kid and Thomas, FTW!

#37 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 07:18 PM:

Xopher, Jo is travelling abroad, and Fragano must be busy. It'll just have to be another Fluorospherian. Hint.

#38 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 07:24 PM:

No pressure though, huh? :-) I'm afraid I'm not feeling inspired at the moment. Maybe later.

#39 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 08:01 PM:

Oh well, hung for a goose...

I read a posting on a failing blog
Which said, “Two vast and trenchant posts of wit
Still wait for posting as through yours I slog.
I’ll first make comments on a useless twit,
And find old friends, and someone who is wrong.”
No Wiki entry now includes his name
Who made the Net his power-source; he’ll long
For single-digit Google hits, but, shame,
He’ll find his foremost listing on page 10.
XKCD his story will not tell;
No memories to bring him back again.
That single post. A foretaste of his hell.
Nothing beside remains. No final score
His website now defaults to 404.

#40 ::: Affenschmidt ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 08:09 PM:

I am almost as impressed with myself for recognizing most of the original poems twenty years after the last time I read any of them as I am with the two of you for coming up with such brilliant parody. Almost.

#41 ::: glinda ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 08:44 PM:

*speechless applause*

#42 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 08:50 PM:

The Modesto Kid #3:

That's Father William.

#43 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 08:51 PM:

Love, love, love.

The internet is sometimes filled with Stoopid, but sometimes it is just chock full of Smart and Clever.

#44 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 08:52 PM:

I am with skzb #1 both in the expression of awe and in the wondering of what Mike Ford would make of this.

#45 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 08:53 PM:

thomas #26: Well donne.

#46 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 08:55 PM:

Expanding on the last two stanzas of Father William...

Today we have naming of trolls. Yesterday
we had spam deletion. And tomorrow morning
We shall have what to do after banning. But today
Today we have naming of trolls. Economies
Totter world-wide toward bankruptcy
But today we have naming of trolls.

This is the Anonymous /b/tard. And this
is the drive-by concern troll, whose use you will see
when you are making your compost. And these are the vowels
Whch n hs cs h hs nt gt. Sudanese herders
beg for food or rain with eloquent gestures,
which in their case they have not got.

This is the moderation queue, your post is released
With an easy click of the mouse. And please do not let me
See anyone making appeals. You can post it quite easy
If you follow the terms of the site. Drought-killed pines
Are fragile and motionless, never letting anyone see
any of them making appeals.

And this you can see is the pile-on. The purpose is
to clear the air, as you see. We can echo
Rapidly backwards and forwards: we call this
Freedom of Speech. And rapidly backwards and forwards
Chinese dissidents post encoded complaints
And call for Freedom of Speech.

They call for Freedom of Speech: it is perfectly easy
if you follow the terms of the site: like the pile-on
and the /b/tard and the drive-by, and the vowels
Whch n yr cs y hv nt gt; and concern trolls and the outrage
noisy in all the walled gardens, and the posts echoing backwards and forwards
Because for that is what we are doing.

#47 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 09:00 PM:

dlbowman76 :@5: how utterly HUMBLING it is to watch the habitues of Making Light

I've never felt so illiterate in all my life. I'm pretty sure I'm capable of appreciating maybe 10% of the awesome on display.

#48 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 09:00 PM:

Fragano @42: Opps, thanks.

#49 ::: glinda ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 09:02 PM:

Fragano @ 45:

Ouch. (*grin*)

#50 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 09:08 PM:

I think you should each get an internet.

My day has been completed by Awesomeness.

#51 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 09:10 PM:

Economies/ Totter world-wide toward bankruptcy/ But today we have naming of trolls.


#52 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 09:16 PM:

Avenge, Mike Ford, the awful feints and puns
That, writ upon the screen, have left us cold,
Ev'n them who laugh'd at thy great japes of old
When all the wise knew how to aim their guns
And when to utter the great jape that stuns.
Forget not, nor yet forbear to scold
The villain prentice japester who roll'd
Into our midst like stale summer reruns
A mort of horrors shrieking all the way
To Heav'n. The resulting sequels grow
O'er all the internet where still doth sway
That bugger Murdoch that from these may show
A hundredfold, who having learnt thy way
Early shall pun where angels fear to go.

#53 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 09:17 PM:

thomas #46: I reed you.

#54 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 09:40 PM:

You are all brilliant. Thomas, you should do that kind of thing more often, please.

#55 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 09:51 PM:

Close by those Meads of shining pixels made,
Where sober Journalists pursue their trade,
There stands a Structure of majestick frame
The Palace of the Parliament its name.
There Britain's Statesmen listen to their Fate,
They hear it Early, or they hear it late,
It comes as truth (although it is a lie)
From Sun, from Sunday Times or from the sky,
The tippler and the drinker of burdock
All are subject to the Word of Murdoch.
Heroes and Nympths find their phones are hacked
While all their steps by strange men are tracked;
A Prince cannot have one short night of fun
Without it is blazed next day in the Sun.
Is there a chance that Someone's getting fat?
We'll read about it, plus more idle chat
Of singing, laughing, ogling, and all that
Till we are sick. But Rupert wants us clapping
At each new venture of the Hacks of Wapping.
Plus, for the Punters, right there on page three
Is a young lady, as we all can see,
Entirely naked, open to our gaze,
Is not this worthy of the highest praise?
Shall not this Digger rise from height to height?
Become more noble? Gain in wealth and might?
Shall he not rule the lands that speak our tongue?
Shall he not be forever wise and young?

#56 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 09:53 PM:

They shaped and teased the precious words,
In play upon G+.
They must have guessed the game had grown
Quite fluorospherious.
She posted there a brand new thread,
Which to the crowd's delight
Was but a spark. What gigglery
A poem unloosed incites!

(In other news, I'm going to have to revisit Dickinson. How have I gone this far only having been exposed to those of her poems which I like least?)

#57 ::: Chris Clarke ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 09:56 PM:

Ths b th vrmn

Y cnsr m, lk mm nd dd.
Y my nt thnk s, bt y d.
Y bn m fr th trth 'v sd
nd bn sm xtr, jst fr y.

Bt y'll b fckd p n yr trn
Fr llz by ld-styl brd b/trds,
Wh hlf th tm r Cmntrn
nd hlf sm Cht-flckd D-Hrd.

Chn hnds n msry t mn.
Y'r nly n ths fr th plf.
'll lv y knw whl stll cn,
nd y cn ll g fck yrslf.

(Larkin really didn't leave me much alternative for the ending there.)

#58 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 10:27 PM:

Forget merely "scoring points"; this thread isn't just full of win, it's full of running up the soore. In an unabashedly good way.


#59 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 10:38 PM:

Whee! Oh, this is wonderful--I feel like I've just taken a roller-coaster ride made of words.

#60 ::: skadhu ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 10:45 PM:

(My apologies if this post runs twice, as the first attempt disappeared...)

[delurking] Oh, my. What a rollicking roll in language.

Abi, may I have your permission to sing "this ae site" to my folkie friends? I think they are geeky enough to appreciate it. [relurking]

#61 ::: Dan Layman-Kennedy ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 11:29 PM:

The time you overtook the thread,
The mods brought judgment on your head;
You bade the site and all goodbye,
And off you flounced with head held high.

But griefers are ignored in vain,
And, head held high, you've come again,
To rave away with more the same,
Gamesman of a duller game.

Dumb clod, to thus betimes renew
Your ire, as dogs lap at their spew,
For though the 'Nets are full of Wrong,
This conversation's moved along.

Minds the cloud of rage has closed
Are ill-prepared to sense they're hosed
When variations on their snit
Are met with verse and gleeful wit;

Now you will join the ranks of lout
Who wore their chance and welcomes out,
Posters with skins (and headbones) thick
Who, in a gunfight, waved a stick.

So cast, before your vowels are gone,
One last aspersion on the throng,
And in that echo-chamber vent
Your still-uncountered argument.

And to that late departing quip,
The admins will come round to slip
Appended for the world to see
The full string of your ISP.

#62 ::: J. Random Scribbler ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 11:46 PM:

I am in awe; awe of both the original sequence and the continuations here. This is indeed what the Internet is for.

Actually, no, that praise is not high enough.

This is what language is for.

#63 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2011, 11:58 PM:

I'll never top these. I feel inadequate because everyone is wittier than me.

#64 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 12:21 AM:

for every post there is an equal and opposite riposte.

#65 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 12:31 AM:

Erik, you do realize that your #64 disproves your assertion in #63?

#66 ::: adelheid_p ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 12:35 AM:

Here is my meager contribution:

Two posts diverged in a black mood,
And sorry I could not write both
And be one blogger, long I typed
And edited one as far as I could
To where it trolled on the Internet;

Then wrote the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was cheery and wanted air;
Though as for that the passing there
Had writ them really about the same

And both that morning equally lay
In font no keys had deleted back.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how post leads on to post,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two posts diverged one day, and I—
I wrote the one more positive,
And that has made all the difference.

#67 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 01:03 AM:

Dan @ 61

I think yours is my favorite one yet.

This entire thread is full of win.

#68 ::: mensley ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 01:11 AM:


This Is Just To Say

I have posted
the joke
you told me

and which
you were probably
to post yourself

Forgive me
it was hilarious
so apt
and so bold


#69 ::: Sundre ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 01:11 AM:

Number 419 - Nigerian Market Value: "This new proposition, truly speaking, is in every respect a blessing, an opportunity of greatest esteem, and I hope eternal gratitude and sincerity between my humble self and you."

We took the captcha/off
the comments on the blog
and added links to report abuse.
Then it was morning. Or, wait,
then morning was coming.

    "I have to say we had satisfaction
    and success in reading your
    content. We have the finest Gold
    Farm on the web, and your
    Endorsement is appreciated."
    -Helge Frostbeard, Ironforge, D.M.

       The blogger said:
       Did you check the spam folder?
       You could pan for gold
       before deleting the trash.

Morning was coming.
This is what happened:
We were winnowing the trolls.
You've got to understand this:
I was putting out the flames.
The thread was posting still.
I fell off.

    The moderator laughed: how
    in hell did you manage to
    fall off a thread that was
    posting still?

       Bring forth the fruitful memes,
       the blogger whispered.

Spurred by anonymity
the internets bloomed

a fertile composition, if
spam should come, then,
with illustrations.

Number 42 - Improved Spanish Exports: "MOST RESPECTED AND DESIRED BUSINESS PARTNER. Honour is beyond price. We have had encouraging reports from reputable sources regarding your agreeable nature and of course your ready cash."

       Fool me once,
       shame on you;
       fool me twice,
       shame I didn't check Snopes.

#70 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 01:17 AM:

Woo hoo! I am dizzy with words. A most pleasant inebriation, and threatening no hangover. Bravo, all who have bedazzled us so!

#71 ::: David DeLaney ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 01:33 AM:

O beautiful well-chosen words / whose stern impassioned stress
A cavalcade of awe did herd / across the Internets!

Dave "confirm thy soul" DeLaney

#72 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 01:37 AM:

Mike is probably falling off a cloud, laughing.

#73 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 01:49 AM:

Adoration is good, but it comes after: nobler still is encouragement, which points the way. ML is rich in both, and I urge those who feel themselves inadequate to instead feel apprenticed.

#74 ::: janeyolen ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 02:23 AM:

I think I am in love.


#75 ::: Wolf Baginski, who is in Second Life ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 03:03 AM:

Crashing of Sims

Today we have crashing of sims, Yesterday,
We had RC rollouts. And tomorrow morning,
We shall have what do do when ghosted. But today,
Today we have crashing of sims. Sex-beds
Run perverse animations in all the neighbouring regions.
And today we have crashing of sims.

This is the display-name server. And this
Is the web-based profile, whose use you will see,
When you have to use Viewer 2. And this is the back-up file,
Which in your case you have not got. The Zindra clubs
Play interminable streaming music for mindless naked dancers,
Which in our case we have not got.

These are the side-bar icons, which are always accessed
With an easy click of the mouse. And please do not let me
See anyone using his keyboard. You can do it quite easy
If you have any strength in your wrist. Sim-crossings
Suffer strange gyrations, never letting anyone know
If they should have used their wrist.

And this you can see is a prim. The purpose of this
Is to make up the world that you see. We can make it
Bounce around the sim playing music: we call this
Innocent fun. Bounce around the sim playing music
Like the noobs who make tediously obscene invitations:
They call it innocent fun.

They call it innocent fun: it is perfectly easy
With an easy click of the mouse: like the sit,
And the gesture, and the side-bar, and the pleasure of friends,
Which in our case we have not got; and the sky-box clutter
High above all of the regions and the noobs testing the sex-bads,
For today we have crashing of sims.

#76 ::: 愿上帝保护 ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 03:29 AM:


#77 ::: dichroic ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 03:41 AM:

Oh my. (I think my non-poetry-reading spouse was annoyed that I couldn't really explain why I was giggling helplessly.)

#78 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 03:46 AM:


A monk asked Fuketsu: `Without speaking, without silence, how can you express the truth?'
Fuketsu observed: `I always remember spring-time in southern China. The birds sing among innumerable kinds of fragrant flowers.'

#79 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 04:05 AM:

heresiarch's @73: nobler still is encouragement, which points the way.

Poetry not Zathras skill.

So Zathras go to While-U-Wait Poetry Stand, get poem-for-hire.

Zathras thinks Allan Andre very funny guy. Also very smart.

#80 ::: Gray Woodland ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 04:13 AM:

heresiarch @ 73:

Adoration is good, but it comes after: nobler still is encouragement, which points the way. ML is rich in both, and I urge those who feel themselves inadequate to instead feel apprenticed.
This hits in the gold something I have been inarticulately feeling for several of the recent extravaganza threads; thank you.

If Only -

If you can keep your shit when all about you
Are losing theirs like senna-scarfing fools,
If when goodwill and patience have run out, you
Can plainly keep, nor lawyer, common rules;
If you can pause before the fatal posting,
Or lacking context, won't give way to rage,
Or having beef, take counsel before roasting,
And yet don't come it like the Web's Great Sage:

If you can draw – and not draw just for eyeballs;
If you can link – and not make links your aim;
If you can comment justly till the sky falls,
And, heaven-scarred, rise up, nor rise in flame;
If you can dare admit your heart's truth spoken
Slipped in your hand to slice a harmless face,
And neither double down, nor slink off broken,
But make amends with gallantry and grace;

If you can take your hard-won reputation
And chance it on a very devil's choice,
And weather patiently all indignation
Before you'll channel someone else's voice;
If you can drive off dolt and bore and spammer
With gnome or weeding-hoe or witty verse;
If you can make like Thor with your ban-hammer
With those who only speak to make sound worse;

If you can take young trolls and show them reason,
Or shine with stars – nor grow too high and proud,
Or ride your hobby-horse, but in good season;
If passion moves your posts, BUT NONE TOO LOUD;
If you can fill the Infinite September
With thirty days of making song and light,
Yours is a gaff its guests shall long remember,
And – which is more – pls lnk t my cl st.

#81 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 04:20 AM:

@77: dichroic's non-poetry-reading spouse, meet Zathras. Zathras, meet dnprs.

@78: Happy puppy not piddle on carpet!

#82 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 04:24 AM:

Gray Woodland @80:

Damn. ::wipes eyes::

#83 ::: Harry Payne ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 06:52 AM:

Thank you. Thank you all.

#84 ::: pensnest ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 07:28 AM:

*AWED* applause!

#85 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 07:43 AM:

Still in awe of the outpouring of creativity here, but I just wanted to call out adelheid_p #66. Yes, it makes all the difference.

#86 ::: little pink beast ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 07:57 AM:

In the spirit of considering myself apprenticed:

I know that I read for nine full nights
That flame-filled newsgroup, wounded by wrongness
Given to ranting, myself by self beguiled
On that newsgroup, of which no one knows
The running of its threads.

My roommates did not bring me pizza or Mountain Dew.
I read posts, I wrote posts.
Screaming I wrote them.
Then my connection failed.

Nine mighty rants I read
By the resident Elder, respected by all
My soul recieved coffee
from his brew of words.

Then I became inspired and wise
The friend of other posters
One word written, I wrote another word
One post written, I wrote another post.

You will find archives
Many archives, full and well kept
Which the wise ones wrote and the old ones found good
And the wisest of all made backups.

Arch*m*d*s Pl*t*n**m among kooks
S*rd*r Arg*c for the spammers
Godwin among lawgivers
Kibo for the Kibologists
I made some posts myself.

Do you know how to post? Do you know how to read?
Do you know how to spell? Do you know how to try?
Do you know how to ask? Do you know how to wait?
Do you know how to rant? Do you know how to flame?

Better not to post, than to post only for attention
Ego does not like criticism
Better not to hit send, than to flame overmuch
Thus the great moderator wrote
Before the RFCs were implemented.

(My original idea was "For I will consider my Cat, captioned", but that's been going rather slowly, and then this occurred to me.)

#87 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 08:22 AM:

So Frank O'Hara's Ashes on a Saturday Afteroon speaks very directly to the Fluorospheric situation and indeed, specifically addresses this thread. Alas! I find that any attempt on my part to change the wording, to make the references more explicit, only detracts from its focus, from its directness. "The banal machines are exposing themselves/ on nearby hillocks of arrested color" is henceforth my answer in hand, in case somebody asks me what blogging is.

#88 ::: adelheid_p ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 08:55 AM:

@85 David Harmon: Thank you and thank you for reading the thread at least as far as mine.

#89 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 09:17 AM:

The universal cry of these sorts of threads, the feeling I get as much as anyone else is, aak! I'm falling behind!

But runners do better with a pacer who's just faster than they are, or perhaps a worthy contender nipping at their heels. Chris was certainly the former for me, and I like to hope I've managed at least the latter for him. The best of these games is not the oohs and aahs of the bystanders (though I admit to the pleasures of egoboo), but the gosh of stretching yourself and watching your companions in the race being stretched, too.

It's my bitter regret that I never played this way with Mike. We just missed overlapping; another year and it would have been on.

I'm delighted to see other people joining in; there's not a venture here in this thread that hasn't made me smile, or cheer, or both. My current favorite is Gray Woodland @80, but that's mostly because it captures precisely my priorities in what I am trying to do here on this internet thing.

#90 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 09:19 AM:

Oh, yeah, and:

I will click through and go now, and go to
And a small blog build there, with simple comment thread;
A tag cloud will I have there, a button for the stumbler-on
And set out thoughts too long unsaid.

And I shall speak the truth there, for truth comes growing slow,
Growing from the first "hello world" post to Technorati ranks;
There all I say is heartfelt, and all my virtues show,
And threads are full of "Well said's" and "Thanks".

I will arise and go now, for always as I read
I see my own posts crowding the windows on my screen
While tabbing through my browser, or in my Twitter feed,
I see my face in the glossy sheen.

#91 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 09:30 AM:

skadhu @60:

Anything I write is for recitation or singing, sung or spoken. Preferably, you know, with attribution.

#92 ::: adelheid_p ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 09:31 AM:

To abi and Chris: Thank you most of all for your inspiration and sense of fun and the chance to stretch and see what I (and everyone else) could achieve and to our gracious hosts, Patrick and Teresa, and contributors for providing a space that is safe for this sort of experimentation and encouraging it.

#93 ::: Laura Runkle ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 09:39 AM:

Oh. Oh. Oh. Joyous apprentice I. (I shall now pause to search for my jaw, which might be bouncing somewhere far away....)

#94 ::: Beth Friedman ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 10:02 AM:

I feel like veriest stereotypical AOL newbie: Yes, this is an awesome thread, full of awesome stuff being written by awesome people. And god, I miss Mike.

But just in case anyone missed this the first time around, it deserves a mention here: Are you familiar with "The .DOC File of J. Alfred Prufrock," by Copperbadge? It could have been written for this thread.

(I did not write this. I wish I could do something of this ilk.)

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a laptop, put in sleep mode on a table
Let us go through certain half-deserted streets
The blinking-light retreats
Of restless nights in free-wifi cafes
And public libraries with internet
Streets that follow like messageboard argument
of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming blog post
Oh, do not ask, "What, yaoi?"
Let us go and post an entry.

In the room the players come and go
Talking of their scores on Halo.

There's more; the rest of it is here.

#95 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 11:09 AM:

Now Juan found himself in a strange place
Where all was rul'd by subtle artifice,
The dank domain of troglodytic race,
Of coffee-makers horrid, doleful hiss;
This was an evil-favour'd, ill-lit space
Whose denizens of him all took the piss.
He found himself bereft of all good words
In that dank kingdom of the working nerds.

In the cold light of the computer screens
Juan beheld a most unearthly sight:
A Second Life with reconstructed scenes
Occurring when the world was cast in night,
Or something like it. Who knows what it means?
I only know it did not seem quite right.
But Juan was quite ready for the game,
Our lad is many things but never tame.

Still there was something he could not quite get
Which was the question of his avatar
Or image of himself, which would be set
In keen communion with those afar.
He thought of it, indeed, as an odd pet
Or alien form which these strange folk might mar.
"Uncanny", pondered Juan "and quite odd,
"These marks of light should be a Hindu god".

#96 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 11:11 AM:

I feel like Charly.

#97 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 11:12 AM:

#86 ::: little pink beast

"For I will consider my cat, captioned."

Oh, my. Please, please do.

#98 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 11:48 AM:

tykewriter @ 96... As in 'Gordon'? Me too.

#99 ::: little pink beast ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 01:17 PM:

I'm really not satisfied with it, but I think it's the best I can do, so I'll post it now rather than second-guess myself. I had to really reach on some lines, but at least there are others I like.

For I will consider my Cat, captioned.
For he is the picture of the Living LOL, cutely and daily embodying it.
For at the first glance of the user upon the screen he amuses in his way.
For is this done by posting his photo seven times round with apposite phrases.
For then he leaps up to catch the string, which is frustratingly hard to photograph.
For he pranks the workers to roll them in laughter.
For having been laughed at and photographed he begins to disport himself.
For this he performs in ten ways, the better to fit into lists.
For first he looks upon his forepaws to make sure the dirt is invisible.
For secondly he kicks up behind to make me clear away his litter.
For thirdly he emulates longcat, and is long.
For fourthly he sharpens his paws by my jeans. And my lap. Ow.
For fifthly he has a flavor.
For sixthly he tries to acquire a new flavor.
For seventhly he stands straight up to eat the potted plants, which is also frustratingly hard to photograph.
For eighthly he rubs himself against my ankles atop the stairs.
For ninthly he ignores all instructions.
For tenthly he goes in quest of noms.
For having been scooped out of my chair he will consider his domain.
For if he meets another cat the two will make an even funnier picture, unless I have my camera.
For when I take his picture he plays with me to give me a chance.
For six pictures in seven are not all that funny actually.
For when our day's work is done we more properly begin to consider him.
For he keeps the LOLs present in the night against boredom.
For he counteracts the powers of sadness by idiomatic grammar and familiar memes.
For he counteracts the camera, which is stillness, by bolting out of frame.
For he is in your morning, soaking up your sunshine.
For he is of the tribe of Macro.
For the Captioned Cat is a term of the Image Macro.
For he yowls and hisses and breaks my concentration, when another cat surprises.
For he will not do destruction if he is being observed, neither will he pose if there is a camera.
For he purrs in thankfulness when I anthropomorphize him enough to imagine that he feels gratitude.
For he is an instrument for the newbies to learn Internet Tradition upon.
For every thread is incomplete without him, and invisible cat is not seen.
For the fashion commanded posters concerning the cats at the onset of the creation of Internet memes.
For every website had one cat at least on the blog.
For the Captioned Cats are the best on the Internet.
For he is the cleanest in the use of his forepaws of any quadruped [citation needed].
For the rapidity of his posting is an example of the wonders of the Internet exceedingly.
For he is the quickest to the food dish of any cat in the house.
For he is tenacious of his mousie.
For he is a mixture of Srs and LOL.
For he knows that Ceiling Cat is watching him.
For there is nothing longer than his stretching when he is like Longcat.
For there is nothing tinier than his doctoring when he is like Doctor Tinycat.
For he is of the Web's content, and so indeed is he not visible when the connection does not work - Poor readers! Poor readers! The website has gone down.
For I bless the name of Ceiling Cat that the website is back up.
For the silly captions are written around his body to sustain it in complete LOLcat.
For his tongue is exceeding rough so that it draws up water with a flick, and is photographed FOR SCIENCE! as well as for LOLs.
For the being a cat, he is doing it right.
For he can peek out of a shoe, which is cuteness in occupation.
For he can lose his mousie under the radiator, which is cuteness in moderation.
For he can jump onto my lap, which is cuteness upon proof positive.
For he can wrangle upon jangle all the words and their grammar.
For he can defeat a first-level wizard.
For he does not covet his neighbor's bucket.
For he is hated by the humorless and the managers.
For the former are angered by distraction.
For the latter wish employees would do their work.
For he leaves hairballs on the floor if I imagine that I have gotten it clean.
For he is good to think on, if a man would amuse himself easily.
For he made a great figure on t-shirts for his alleged longness.
For he towered over the Skyscrapers, very tall upon the land.
For his ears are so fluffy that they DAWWWW SO CUTE.
For from this proceeds the passing constantness of our attention.
For by observing of him I have found out electricity.
For I perceived the screen's light in displaying him both flicker and shine.
For the electrical fire is the substance which the power company sends us to run both CPU and monitor.
For technology and culture have blessed him in the variety of his movements.
For, though he cannot fly, he is seen all over the world.
For his postings upon the face of the Web are more than any other quadruped.
For he can tread to all the measures upon the music, especially the ones that get stuck in our heads.
For he can scar you for life.
For he can haz cheezburger.

And KayTei, thank you very much for your encouragement; lacking your post, I'm not certain I would have stuck with it. I hope it doesn't disappoint!

#100 ::: little pink beast ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 01:31 PM:

Also, can we start up a list -- ROT13'd or otherwise spoiler-safed, of course! -- of the various originals? I've been able to recognize many, but by no means most, of them. I'll start off; mine are Ehangny Bqvaf (sourced from uggc://jjj3.uv.vf/~unhxhegu/abefr/ernqre/ehangny.ugzy ) and Puevfgbcure Fzneg'f "Sbe V Jvyy Pbafvqre Zl Png Wrbssel", sebz Whovyngr Ntab (sourced from uggc://42bchf.pbz/i4a2/zlpngwrbssel ).

Also #2: I would like to join Abi in saying that #80 is a wonder among wonders and a jewel among jewels. I particularly like the line about "those who only speak to make sound worse"; it is so evocative and so sadly applicable. All the posts and poems here have made me glad, and that one most of all.

Also #3: Argh! I can't believe (okay, yes, I actually can) that I didn't catch a spelling error in my earlier post. Is it possible for some kind admin to go in and fix that "receive" for me, please?

#101 ::: sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 01:37 PM:

It's been a while since I tried a sestina.

By the glow of screen and tap of keys
I find myself another world
Adrift on seas of information
I sail on to places yet unknown
Lonely, and yet connected
to the others in this virtual place

And what is this place
but that which gives the keys
and shows to all the connection
between us and the world
There is nothing to the net unknown
all this is information

What price is this information
what are the rules of this lone place
in eternal september not unknown
there are a few rules and keys
Remember that we create the world
and it is all connected

The help desk joke of PEBKAC is connected
as well to the ettiquite of net information
because in the electronic world
everything is also part of a real place
and by the clicking of your keys
you are never there as an unknown

Though if you are to the greater net unknown
you can become more connected
there are people who are keys
and sites where the greaest value is information
and you can earn a proper place
inside the virtual world

The other way to mark the world
is in damage as an unknown
though do not try it in this place
for the moderators are connected
and will share your information
For acceptance, wit and verse are keys

So, if you to this place would be connected
do not be an unknown, share your information
In courteous verse of the world, in the tapping of your keys

#102 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 01:59 PM:

little pink beast @100 -- mine (@39) was Furyyrl'f "Bmlznaqvnf".

#103 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 02:14 PM:

little pink beast, you too are a wonder, and I hope you'll remain unrelurked.

#104 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 02:17 PM:

Let the Internet be the Internet again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the hacker with a url
Typing wordy rants in Emacs, posting them for all to see.

(The Internet never was the Internet to me.)

Let the Internet be the hack the hackers hacked --
Let it be that cyber-space of links
Where never newbies tread nor censors dare
Deny the mighty hacker his hijincks.

(It was never the Internet for me.)

#105 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 02:18 PM:

little pink beast #100:

I can do a few from the thread:

adelheid_p #66: "Gur Ebnq Abg Gnxra", Eboreg Sebfg
mensley #68, the classic "Cyhzf" from Jnygre Pneybf Jvyyvnzf
Gray Woodland #80: Vs, Ehqlneq Xvcyvat

#106 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 02:23 PM:

little pink beast @100:

#3 is byq vgnyvnaf qlvat, ol ynjerapr sreyvaturggv.
#21 is nzrevpn cbyvgvpn uvfgbevn ol tertbel pbefb (for whom my wife used to baby-sit, obBrushesWithGreatness)
#104 is Yrg Nzrevpn Or Nzrevpn Ntnva, ol Ynatfgba Uhturf

#107 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 02:24 PM:

Dear Moderator: a rot-13'd reply to lpb's 100 is being held in moderation; because of its links, I would imagine.

#108 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 02:33 PM:

With respect to Whovyngr Ntab -- I am fascinated by this note on its Wiki page: "The whole work consists of over 1,200 lines: all the lines in some sections begin with the word Let; those in other sections begin with For." -- was Mr. Fzneg a Fortran programmer?

#109 ::: Chris Clarke ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 03:30 PM:

The friendly cow all spherical,
I love with all my brain:
She makes my models possible
To complex worlds explain.

She wanders lowing here and there,
And yet she cannot stray,
Because she has no legs down there,
To her fine shape betray.

Not blown by any winds that pass
In vacuum's perfect grid,
I love my global bovine lass.
I do, but oh, Euclid.

#110 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 03:39 PM:

thomas @ #46 used "Anzvat bs cnegf" ol Urael Errq which is a real favourite of mine.

Thomas' pastiche is also simply superb.

#111 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 03:46 PM:

Folks, I'll have you know that this thread has accomplished something that has heretofore been an insurmountable obstacle: I'm actually attempting to read some poetry. And actually even occassionally succeeding.

#112 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 04:08 PM:

thomas @ #46 used "Anzvat bs cnegf" ol Urael Errq which is a real favourite of mine.

A-and Wolf @75 did, too!

#113 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 04:12 PM:

(And it behooves me to say: the first time I ever read Errq's "Anzvat bs cnegf" was in another blog-comments poetry exchange.)

#114 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 04:35 PM:

was in was subsequent to reading another blog-comments poetry exchange

#115 ::: little pink beast ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 04:56 PM:

Augh, Chris Clarke @ 109, that's horrible and I love it.

I'm still trying to identify Sundre's @ 69 and all three of Fragano Ledgister's, although I'm certain I've seen the original of 55.

Dan Layman-Kennedy's @ 61 is "Gb Na Nguyrgr Qlvat Lbhat" ol N R Ubhfzna, one of my favorite poets regardless of what Bejryy thought of him.

#116 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 05:09 PM:

#90 is GUR YNXR VFYR BS VAAVFSERR, Jvyyvnz Ohgyre Lrngf
#99 is Sbe V jvyy pbafvqre zl png Wrbssel, Puevfgbcure Fzneg
#57 Guvf Or Gur Irefr, Cuvyvc Ynexva
#26, as Fragano noted, is Ulza gb Tbq gur Sngure, Wbua Qbaar

#117 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 05:10 PM:

You probably have seen the original of 55 - it's from 'Gur Encr bs gur Ybpx'.

#118 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 05:18 PM:

Fragano's #55 is Pnagb VVV, Gur Encr bs gur Ybpx, Cbcr. I got the author, but I needed Google to find the work.

I had thought Fragano's #52 might be an original sonnet, not a pastiche (he does do that sort of thing), but it turns out to be Zvygba, Fbaarg 18.

#119 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 05:30 PM:

Another vote for encouragement of lurkers.

The first time I ever submitted anything like this to a potentially discerning public was only last year, on the iPad 'Hemmingway' thread. Making Light is the ideal environment.

And another appreciation for Gray Woodland's #80, which improves on the original.

#120 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 05:39 PM:

And Dr Science annotated the original Google+ exchange over at Obsidian Wings

#121 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 05:43 PM:

Come lie with me and be my Rove,
And we will all deceptions prove
With hills and valleys, all the same,
And calling all opponents lame.

Each foe we will on TV mock,
At every hour of the clock.
Our shills will make supporting calls
Our books wil fill the shelves at malls.

Cime the vote we;ll not be losers,
Machines will lie by cunning ruses.
Money talking, for it is free speech,
And soon the White House we will reach.

#122 ::: seebs ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 05:56 PM:

little pink beast: I'd never seen the cat one before, but the first one (#86, about the nine nights), you'd have to be blind in one eye not to recognize the source material.

#123 ::: glinda ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 06:07 PM:

little pink beast @ 100:

Thank you for writing that! (As I was reading it, for the first few lines, I was hearing that section from Benjamin Britten's "Jubilate Agno" - but of course the poem is much longer, and I ran out of music to fit the words.)

#124 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 06:08 PM:

I can't find the originals of 69 or 95. Help?

I think #86 is Bqva'f Ehar Cbrz sebz gur Cbrgvp Rqqn.

And #121 is Not Shakespeare, but Xvg Zneybjr: Gur Cnffvbangr Furcureq gb Uvf Ybir

#125 ::: johnofjack ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 06:42 PM:

Abi, Chris: Well done, that. It's a particular joy to watch eloquent people banter.

#126 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 07:27 PM:

All I have is a snippet:

Here come the trolls again
Falling on the net like a malady,
Falling on the net like a new affliction...
Are they trolling you, too?

#127 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 07:47 PM:

glinda @ 123

The original writer was Christopher Smart, though Britten arranged it to music. (I love that poem. I make art to that poem. Yay.)

Also, I love "For his ears are so fluffy that they DAWWWW SO CUTE."

Definitely not a disappointment.

#128 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 07:49 PM:

And... on rereading, you presumably already knew that. Apologies for my overhasty response.

#129 ::: Relic ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 07:49 PM:

Longtime lurker chiming in on the admiration for this thread (and, by the way, thanks for many years of Awesome!)

I got as far as #46, and my mind ran off on a tangent (dragging me along with it)...

The Naming of Trolls is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your Fluorosphere games;
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a troll must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there's a name for defining a meddler,
Such as Sockpuppet, Cannibal, Feeder of Flames,
Such as Drive-By or Threadjacker, Hlep or Slug Peddler--
All of them trollishly suitable names.
There are subtler terms if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the bridge-dwellers, some for their games:
Such as Churlish, Crook-Pated, Pearl Clutching, Chest-Beater--
But all of them trollishly suitable names.
But I tell you, a troll needs a name that's particular,
A name that's peculiar, and more specified,
Else how can he maintain his rant perpendicular,
Or spread his fresh compost, or keep his posts snide?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as N00B8R, Haxxor, or URn@shl,
Such as 2SMUG_180, or else WTForum-
Names that never belong to more than one troll.
But above and beyond there's still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no Google research can discover--
But THE TROLL HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a troll in profound frothination,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His spleen is inflamed by complete liberation
From the truth, from the truth, from the truth of his name:
His indubitable dubious
Real, indisputable, culpable Name.

G.F. Ryyvbg - Gur Anzvat bs Pngf (sebz Byq Cbffhz'f Obbx bs Cenpgvpny Pngf)

#130 ::: little pink beast ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 07:49 PM:

glinda @ 123 : You're welcome! I'm very happy that you enjoyed it.

thomas : correct on both of mine.

This is so awesome, to actually be taking part in a conversation and enjoying it and making people happy.

#131 ::: Braxis ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 07:50 PM:


Excerpts from the notebooks of Forum Moderator

Always keep trolls in a dark place.

By the data to date, there is only one animal in the Galaxy dangerous to a moderator - A moderator herself. So she must supply her own indispensable competition. She has no enemy to help her.

Posters are more sentimental than moderators. It blurs their thinking.

Certainly the forum is moderated. Don’t let that stop you; if you don’t post, you can’t win the internet.

Any poster or lurker must be presumed guilty until proved innocent.

Always listen to posters. They’ll tell you what can’t be done and why. Then ignore it!

Disemvowl him fast. This upsets him long enough to let you find his IP address and ban him permanently.

There is no conclusive evidence of intelligence on the internet. But there is evidence of all sorts against it. You will never know. So why fret about it?

If it can be expressed on an internet forum, it is not science; it is opinion.

An opinionated poster can be tolerated. But an authentic troll should be disemvowelled on sight.

Delusions are often functional. A moderator’s opinions about her regular poster’s beauty, intelligence, goodness, et cetera ad nauseam, keep her from disemvowelling them at birth.

Most “posters” are bottle washers and button sorters - but not on my site!

A poster which ignores the moderator has no vowels — and no future.

A poet who reads his verse in public may have other nasty habits.

What a wonderful world it is that has Making Light in it!

If you don’t moderate yourself, you can’t moderate other people.

A troll is never a villain in his own eyes. Keep this in mind; it may offer a way to make him your friend. If not, you can disemvowel him without hate--and quickly.

A motion to delete spam is always in order.

No site has an inherent right to survive through conscript moderators and, in the long run, no site ever has. AOL bosses used to say to their moderators: “Come back with your red pen, or on it.” Later on this custom declined. So did AOL.

All posters are created unequal.

A poster posts for pleasure. A troll posts from hate.

When the need arises--and it does--you must be able too moderate your own regular poster. Don’t farm it out--that doesn’t make it nicer, it makes it worse.

Everything in excess! To enjoy the flavour of life, take big bites. Moderation is for monks.

It may be better to be a live troll than a dead moderator, but it is better still to be a live moderator. And usually easier.

Moderators rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a poster superior to themselves. Most posters have the manners and morals of a spoiled child.

Never appeal to a troll’s “better nature.” He will not have one. Invoking his “self—interest” gives you more leverage.

Moderators, like butterflies, need no excuse.

You can have peace. Or you can have an open forum. Don’t ever count on having both at once.

Avoid making an IP ban while tired or hungry. N.B.: Circumstances can force your hand. So think ahead!

Place your clothes and disemvowlement tools where you can find them in the dark.

In a mature society, “moderator” is semantically equal to “civil master.”

When a site gets crowded enough to require real names, social collapse is not far away. It is time to go elsewhere. The best thing about the internet is that it made it possible to go elsewhere.

A macro is a cat’s way of producing more LOL’s. This may be the purpose of the internet.

No poster is an island--” Much as we may feel and act as individuals, our forum is a single organism, always growing and branching--which must be pruned regularly to be healthy. This necessity need not be argued; anyone with eyes can see that any forum which grows without limit always dies within its own poisons. The only rational question is whether pruning is best done before or after releasing the post. Being an incurable sentimentalist I favour the former of these methods - disemvoweling makes me queasy, even when it’s a case of “He’s unreadable and I’m not and that’s the way I wanted it to be.” But this may be a matter of taste. Some trolls think that it is better to be disemvowelled, or to be IP banned, or to flounce off in misery, than never to have posted at all. They may be right. But I don’t have to like it--and I don’t.

Anonymous is based on the assumption that a million men are wiser than one man. How’s that again? I missed something.

Moderation is based on the assumption that one man is wiser than a million men. Let’s play that over again, too. Who decides?

Moderation will work if authority and responsibility are equal and coordinate. This does not insure “good” moderation; it simply insures that it will work. But such moderation is rare--most people want to run things but want no part of the blame. This used to be called the “backseat-driver syndrome.”

The moderator is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, you are welcome to post on this forum.

A regular poster should be able to sound knowledgeable about how to: change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Reality is for insects!

The more you moderate, the more you can moderate - and the more intensely you moderate. Nor is there any limit on how many you can moderate. If a person had Time Enough, he could moderate all of the internet.

Moderation is not necessarily something to be ashamed of - but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.

Everybody lies on the internet.

Moderation is done for the benefit of the moderated.

Never underestimate the power of human stupidity!

#132 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 07:51 PM:

"HWAET the hell's in Hrothgar's mead-hall?"
Thanes were tweeting, their thumbs texting.
Grendel grinned, gaped wide with goatse,
Spamming serfs with sundry shite.

His dread dam sat in their dark den
Forwarding factoids and falsehoods:
"Should a swamp shorten your steed's stride,
DO NOT STOP! Do not dismount there!
For underneath your horse's hoof,
A tiny outlaw lurks to throttle
When you free him from the fetlocks!"

Beowulf was first to facepalm,
Drawing down the disemvoweller.
Grndl's posts were punned and pwned.

#133 ::: little pink beast ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 07:59 PM:

...and I should have refreshed before posting. Glad you liked it as well, KayTei!

#134 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 08:01 PM:

Calliope, they say, brought the poetry to man
And we've caught it, tamed it, trained it since our history began.
Now we're going back to heaven just to poke her in the eye,
and there's pastiche on the net, and a flame-war in the sky.

#135 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 08:05 PM:

Relic @ #129, well done. That one I instantly recognized, unlike most of the other flights of genius/fancy here.

#136 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 08:09 PM:

Braxis, Julie L.: WOOT.

#137 ::: Kay "How could I possibly refrain?" Tei ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 08:25 PM:

I was sitting by my laptop,
On one hot and sunny day,
When I saw that thread come trolling
For to carry the forum away.

Will the lurkers be outspoken?
It's a sure bet, a sure bet.
There’s a better post a-waiting
In the 'net, lord, in the 'net.

I said to that moderator,
"Moderator, please move slow.
For this post you're moderating
Lord, I love to see it flow."

Will the lurkers be outspoken?
It's a sure bet, a sure bet.
There’s a better post a-waiting
In the 'net, lord, in the 'net.

Oh, I posted close behind them,
Tried to keep up and be smart.
But I could not slow the nervous
Pitter-patter of my heart.


I went offline; offline was lonesome.
Missed the banter, it was gone.
All of my friends, acquaintances crying,
What a time so sad and lorn.


Rewrote the poems of childhood,
Hymns of faith that made us strong,
Ones that mother wit had taught us--
Hear the χορωδία read along.


#138 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 09:28 PM:

I am reminded, by the peaches who people
these threads of Rococo art. Their ways
are undulating waves that shepherd and swing
me cupidlike from post to post.

They sweetheart me
with polished witticisms; eloquently
flourishing me up and up. No lazy "LOL's" from them.

Their poetry, extemporized, displays their learned
aplomb, and I should feel like a cherubim,
be fleur-de-lis and pastel-shell-like, but

instead, I imagine other peaches, more deeply colored,
early-Baroque-like bloggers, who (watching their posts go gif-
lessly groping, plastered on subterranean
boards of USENET, access locked) type
from old Telex terminals, amber glow intense
behind the keyboard, columns of gargoyles reel

into it. I see these others blogging in their misery
and wish these Fluorospheric artisans could fill their flourishing posts
with warmth for these and turn their literary zeal
toaward lifting us above this crippling storm.

-- after Znetnerg Qnaare, Gur Ryringbe Zna Nqurerf gb Sbez

#139 ::: Dan Layman-Kennedy ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2011, 09:47 PM:

KayTei @67, thank you. I , in turn, have much applause for little pink beast's contributions here, and join the ranks of appreciation for Gray Woodland @80.

I'm pretty sure #95 is Oleba'f Qba Whna, but it's been a while.

#140 ::: iamnothing ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2011, 12:05 AM:

@96, 98
I feel like Algernon's last days.
I am too dullwitted for Making Light.

#141 ::: David DeLaney ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2011, 12:15 AM:

I am only an egg, but mine @71 was a fragment of Nzrevpn gur Ornhgvshy ("...whaaat?") - frpbaq irefr.

#142 ::: Sundre ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2011, 12:19 AM:

@115 and @124

#69 was composed with fervent apologies to a Canadian writer who died in June of this year.

#143 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2011, 01:26 AM:

Wheeeee! Open-source verse!

Sincerest flattery follows.

#144 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2011, 01:30 AM:

pity this busy moderator,posterkind,

not. Trolling is a vulnerable disorder:
your victim(disemvowelment and banning safely beyond)

plays with the bigness of his littleness

–electrons glorify one comment
into a monograph;retweets extend

meta through branching latencies until meta
returns on its unself.
                                                          A world of snark
is not a world of born-scorn poor remarks

and caustics,poor stars and stones,but never this
fine specimen of hypertextual

omniprivilege. We moderators know

a hopeless troll if-listen:there’s a hell
of a good URL next door;let’s go

Taken off R.R. Phzzvatf: Znahaxvaq with respect

#145 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2011, 02:32 AM:

There was movement at the server, as the sysop saw, and groaned,
That the trolls were massing for a mighty push.
They had joined their trolling forces - damn near half the bandwidth owned -
For alas, this blog was hosted in the bush.

There was Ibelieve, a fundy with a Bible, armed and mailed,
An old man now, and right out of his boat,
He'd quote obscure damnations, one sure if another failed,
And never write a word except to gloat.

And moredantwit the horrible came down to lend a hand
A specialist in canned invective, spite,
And "don't let's let the facts get in the way". Yes, he'd been banned.
He simply posted from another site.

And one was there, a lurker who would hang around and pounce
On any impoliteness of the churls,
And, being told to stick it, would perform a mighty flounce
And then return, a-clutching at his pearls.

The mob was out and baying; you would tremble at the howls,
When the owner stepped in, mounted, armed for war,
Smote three with the banhammer and removed a bunch of vowels,
And showed them all what moderation's for.

"It's censorship!" they bellowed. And "Free speech!" in outraged screams.
But the mod just grinned and then, in essence, said:
"When you're my blog, your right to troll is only in your dreams.
'You're booted, and I'll ban you 'til you're dead."

Now up along the server, where the civil discourse flows
With debate without a bait, and bandwidth's wide,
And out along the internet, with wit in verse and prose,
The bloggers tell the story of her ride.

#146 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2011, 02:55 AM:

This, ladies and gentlemen, is what the internet is for.

I have not read the comments yet, and shall wait until I am rested to do so, but the last line of Abi's post makes me have to sing:

The internet is for poems,
the internet is for poems....

#147 ::: Emma ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2011, 03:54 AM:

Dave, you win the Australian portion of the internet. Unmistakable, by rhythm alone. For you non-Aussies, the keywords are Man From Snowy River. There probably isn't an Australian over 50 who can't say a bit of it at least, though I'm not sure about the younger ones. Gorgeous.

#148 ::: Thomas ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2011, 04:59 AM:

Sundre#142: Xebrgfpu, Frrq Pngnybthr?

#149 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2011, 07:38 AM:

iamnothing @ 140... Nah...

There are other skills,
Which greatly thrill.
There is worse
Than no verse.
Some have spun
Many a pun.

#150 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2011, 08:12 AM:

What are we waiting for, assembled in the thread?

The trolls are to arrive today.

Why such inaction by the listmoms?
Why do the moderators sit and ban no ips?

Because the trolls are to arrive today.
What can the moderators do anymore?
When the trolls come, they will rule the thread.

Why did Teresa wake so early?
She sits at her desk, at her throne;
Her crown sparkles softly in the light of the site's front page.

Because the trolls are to arrive today.
Teresa waits to receive
their chief. Indeed she has prepared for him
a special copy of the posting rules -- therein are inscribed
many titles and names of honor.

Why have the site owners and the co-bloggers come out
today -- their avatars ornate,
their profiles lushly formatted in custom,
back-shadowed fonts,
with sparkly rainbows and unicorns?

Because the trolls are to arrive today;
such things dazzle the trolls.

Why don't the worthy commenters come as always,
to post their eloquent, their witty comments?

Because the trolls are to arrive today;
and they get bored with eloquence and wit.

Why all of a sudden this unrest
and confusion. (How solemn the comments have become.)
Why are the threads so quiet now, so empty,
Everyone linking from Google+ and Facebook, deep in thought?

Because night is here but the trolls have not yet come.
Dr. Science over at ObWi archly speculates
There are no trolls, that they will never come.

And what shall become of us without any trolls?
Those people were some kind of solution.

-- after Κωνσταντίνος Π. Καβάφης, Περιμένοντας τους βαρβάρους

#151 ::: Pendrift ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2011, 08:25 AM:

Serge @ 149:

Get thee to a punnery: why wouldst thou be a writer of sonnets? I am myself an inelegant poet; but yet I could accuse me of such things that it were better you lurkers had not read me: I am very pwned, whimsicle, ambitious1, with more LOLcaptions in my head than I have pics2 to put them on, bandwidth to give them shape, or time to waste them on. What should such fellows as I do but crawl beneath rocks and bridges? We are latent trolls, all; believe none of us. Go thy ways to a punnery. Where's the moderator?

1 All your base are belong to me.
2 or it didn't happen.

#152 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2011, 08:36 AM:


For Serge it would have to be a punastery.

#153 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2011, 09:30 AM:

Slightly off the topic of this thread but relevant to the original poems that inspired it: The Hooded Utilitarian is running a series of illustrated Wallace Stevens poems; today's entry is 13 Ways of Looking at an SR-71 Blackbird.

#154 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2011, 09:35 AM:

The Modesto Kid @ 153: I checked that out. The pictures were nice but the poem beneath didn't scan very well.

#155 ::: Dan Layman-Kennedy ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2011, 10:34 AM:

elise @146:

"So grab your quill and make like Will..."

#156 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2011, 12:02 PM:

My sources, which are obvious to me, but may not be to others:

(sundry references to peaches): Gur Ybir Fbat bs W Nyserq Cehsebpx, GF Ryvbg

You are old, Mr Clarke...: Lbh ner byq, Sngure Jvyyvnz, Yrjvf Pneebyy

Raging and raging in the lengthening thread: Gur Frpbaq Pbzvat, JO Lrngf

The way a friend...: Qhfg bs Fabj, Eboreg Sebfg

This ae site...: N Ylxr-Jnxr Qvetr, Genqvgvbany

I will click through and go now... (90): Gur Ynxr Vfyr bs Vaavfserr, JO Lrngf ntnva

#157 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2011, 12:05 PM:

The right-wing blogs are sweeter,
But the left-wing blogs are fatter
And so we deemed it meeter
To go and troll the latter.

We picked an angry topic
To maximize the drama:
Disputing, all myopic,
The birthplace of Obama

Earnestly we started
As though we really meant it
So that the tender-hearted
Our right to ask defended.

The fiercer questioned harder
Suspecting our intention.
Our leader played the martyr
Which led to his suspension.

We knew the mod was reading
And so we changed our focus,
To trollery proceeding
While all the posters smote us.

We filled the thread with swearing
And flooded it with stockings.
We taunted them past bearing,
Decried each other's blockings.

At last the thread was locked down
So laughing, we retreated
Another website knocked down;
Another group defeated.

Returning to our own site
We mocked them for believing
The web is here to make light
What's darkened by our griefing.

From Gur Jne-fbat bs Qvanf Inje, Gubznf Ybir Crnpbpx

#158 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2011, 12:15 PM:

The Modesto Kid, "Jnvgvat sbe gur Oneonevnaf", Pninsl. And one of the greatest tricks of writing pastiches is that the pastiche tells as great a truth as the original. You have achieved that height. Congratulations.

Abi, so did you. That's two.

#159 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2011, 01:02 PM:

Long been a fan of the original of 157, abi.

#160 ::: Kate ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2011, 01:43 PM:

so much depends

our frame of

blurred by demands of

if we get the

#161 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2011, 03:13 PM:

Kid @ #150, Hey! Another one I knew without needing the info you provided at the bottom.

#162 ::: rootlesscosmo ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2011, 04:40 PM:

Sprezzatura has disappeared!
I was surfing around and suddenly
it started OMGZing and WTFing
and you said it was spamming
but spam hits you in the filter
hard so it was really OMGZing and
WTFing and I was in such a hurry
to meet you but the thread
was acting exactly like the blog
and suddenly I see an RSS feed
there is no OMGZ at Language Log
there is no WTF at Crooked Timber
I have been on lots of comment threads
and said perfectly disgraceful things
but I never actually got banned
oh Sprezzatura we miss you log on

#163 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2011, 05:01 PM:

By the measure of how much an entry makes me laugh helplessly, #162 is in strong contention for the title.

#164 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2011, 05:30 PM:

Abi #157: You should be proud as a peacock of that piece.

#165 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2011, 05:32 PM:

The Modesto Kid #150: I bow to you, sir. I don't think I would have dared Cavafy.

#166 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2011, 05:47 PM:

Last night, ah, yesternight, a trollish light did shine
Upon the sleepless Net. No breath was shed
But yet a shadow between the lolcatz and the whine;
Still was I desolate of my old passion,
Yea, I was desolate and bowed my head,
I have been faithful to thee, O Usenet! in my fashion.

All night on the green screen I thrilled to the slow beat
Of angry flamewars, they were my fond play;
Surely no kisses could have been as sweet
But I was desolate thanks to my bold passion
When I got up and found the dawn was grey;
I have been faithful to thee, O Usenet! in my fashion.

I have forgot much, O Usenet! gone with the wind,
Writ emacs, emacs riotously with the throng
Seeking to put lost Wylbur out of mind.
But I was desolate and sick of an old passion,
Yea, all the time I sang the lamers' song,
I have been faithful to thee, O Usenet! in my fashion.

I called for longer flamewars, and for shriller whine,
But when the thread is finished and the screens expire,
There falls thy shadow, O Usenet! the night is thine,
And I am desolate and sick of an old passion,
Yea, hungry for the green screen I desire.
I have been faithful to thee, O Usenet! in my fashion.

#167 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2011, 07:06 PM:

Take up the Right Man's burden--
Send forth the best ye type--
Go bind your words to exile
To suffer unfair wipe;
To share your unthanked genius,
With blinkered folk and foolish--
Your knee-jerk, bleating sheeples,
Half-moron and half-toolish.

Take up the Right Man's burden--
In fairness to hold tight,
To veil the threat of mockery
And check the "amirite?"
By open speech and simple,
An hundred times made clear
"Why won't you people get it?"
Like talking with a steer.

Take up the Right Man's burden--
The savage flames of peace--
Fill full the mouth of Godwin
And bid the wrongness cease;
And when your claims are clearest
And enlightenment is nigh
Watch lulz and lockstep group-think
Send all your hopes to die.

Take up the Right Man's burden--
No tawdry rule of mods,
But toil of regular posters--
Struggling against the odds.
The sites ye shall not enter,
The posts ye shan't comment,
Go mark them with your flounces,
Albeit in cnsnnts.

Take up the Right Man's burden--
And reap his only thanks:
The flames of those ye better,
The hate of all those wanks--
The cry of those ye bludgeon
(Ah, futiley!) toward the light:--
"Why must we think?" they weep.
"We fear your keen insight!"

Take up the Right Man's burden--
Ye cannot stoop too low--
Nor call too loud on Freedom
Announcing what you know.
By all ye SHOUT or whisper,
By all ye leave or do,
The mindless, bleating sheeples
Shall judge your claims and you.

Take up the Right Man's burden--
Have done with conversation;
The pleasant, genial chatter,
And ungrudged admiration.
Time now to seize the manhood
You've sought for thankless years
Cold, edged with flawless logic,
Now prove it to your peers!

#168 ::: Sundre ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2011, 07:11 PM:

Thomas @148:


#169 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2011, 07:25 PM:

heresiarch, 167: I echo Dave, 158.

#170 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2011, 07:27 PM:

heresiarch @ 167:

The irony is it's easy as ABC.

#171 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2011, 07:50 PM:

Thanks! I'd been searching fruitlessly for inspiration, trying this and that, when "Right Man's Burden" just fell into my head. And you're quite right, Bruce--there were a couple of stanzas I was reluctant to change at all, they were already pitch perfect. I was sorely tempted, actually, to leave the last stanza intact just to see if anyone would notice.

#172 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2011, 09:56 PM:

Relic @ 129: Has anyone told you yet that pastiche is marvelous? No? It is.

#173 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2011, 10:23 PM:

heresiarch #167: bravo! <applause>

#174 ::: Wrye ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2011, 12:45 AM:

Out of the net that covets me,
Light as the Day from pole to pole,
I thank whatever mods may be
When I encounter a new troll.

In the fell grip of petulance
Trolls love to whine and stoke the crowd.
Under the bludgeonings of facts
Their posts are bloody, but unbowed.

Throughout these sites of wrath and tears
Run the crapslingers of the day,
And yet one thought throughout the years
Makes, and shall make, me free to say:

“It matters not how charged debate,
How full of arguments the poll;
I’ll be the master of my fate
And act the adult, not the troll.“

#175 ::: Cathy Krusberg ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2011, 01:31 AM:

I realize that Wrye's post (@174!) makes this pwned before it's posted, but since I've been working on it intermittently over the past several hours, it seems a shame not to share:

Out from the bridge that covers me
I spew the slime that coats my soul;
The truth that sets my venom free
Pervades my posts, for I'm a troll.

The slings and darts of misled mods
Cannot eject me from the cloud,
Nor bans by narrow-minded clods
Who mark my wisdom disallowed.

If I elicit wrath and tears
It only shows I keenly see
Opponents' underlying fears
Of my superiority.

No matter that on many a blog
I play a dsmvwlld role.
With head held high my views I'll flog,
One of the few, the proud -- the troll.

#176 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2011, 02:28 AM:

Cathy @ 175

I think it's neat, how two different people came up with different echos of the original. It's like when little pink beast posted their "For I Will Consider My Cat, Captioned." I know where I expected it to go, which is not exactly the way LPB created it, and it was fun to see how it diverged from my sort of half-formed expectations.

Also, I'm pretty sure you're not pwned. Particularly not with that final stanza. Right on.

#177 ::: B.Loppe ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2011, 03:13 AM:

For everyone,
The lurker’s moment at the thread end comes,
But many at that moment will not say
“This needs my comment, then.”
By their refusal they are saved
From the spam filter, and also from contesting
The habitual posters, and achieving
A coveted, and more comfortable, ‘regular’ status.
And so their comment-box cursor blinks and blinks
Blank and forever on the edge of an outpouring
That they will not release.
Of those who dare to comment,
Trolls are fed into the disemvoweler,
That, removing vowels, seals up
For them an initial boon of incomprehensibility
So that we turn away from their defeat
With a despair, not for their trolling, but for
Ourselves, who cannot penetrate their arguments
Nor even guess at the radiant heights
Where one or two have won:
(The silver reaches of the fluorosphere.)

From "Gur Fjvzzre'f Zbzrag" ol Znetnerg Nivfba, one of my all-time favourites.

#178 ::: Gray Woodland ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2011, 03:17 AM:

abi @ 89: Er... wow... thanks! And also for so conspicuously demonstrating those priorities in the first place. I remain in awe that you can produce as parts of a conversational exchange the sort of verse that takes me half a morning as a one-off, when I can rise to it at all. The Crnpbpx is another classic.

Further wows to everybody else in this sparklesome thread, with extra special appreciation to Dave Luckett @ 145 for so entertainingly furthering my education.

Bruce Cohen @ 170: Yes, but some folk can be absent-minded beggars!

#179 ::: Gaie Sebold ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2011, 05:30 AM:

Can I just say, wow? Triple wow. More wow than I have room for.

You guys made me want to write poetry again, though I am far too much of a coward to post any of it here in the face of such glory and wonder.

Thank you so much for making a Monday a thing of joy.

#180 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2011, 08:12 AM:

There really needs to be a rhyming dictionary for Unix program names

#181 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2011, 09:18 AM:

Heresiarch #167: Well kippled.

#182 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2011, 09:46 AM:

I typed a flame upon a list,
And hot it was, and full of bile.
It made the n00bs and griefers
Post their own rants.

The thread, perforce, rose up to it,
And went astray, no more on topic.
The flame was hot upon the list
And rude and full of wrong.

It took dominion every where.
The flame was choicest Godwin-bait.
It did not give of pun or LOL,
Like nothing else upon that list.

(The original deserves better, and I see no reason why someone else shouldn't take a crack at it, if they're so inclined.)

#183 ::: rm ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2011, 10:11 AM:

Still too intimidated. All I can come up with is a couplet that I've had in my mind since blogs were invented:

I have read the bloggers linking, each to each
I do not think that they will link to me

#184 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2011, 11:32 AM:

I must go out to the net again, to the far-flung net ‘neath the sky
And all I ask is a new post and a screen to comment by
And the keys’ click and the text’s scroll and the YouTube’s running
And poetry in the Fluorosphere and a bit of punning

I must go out to the net again, for the call of the running thread
Is a wild call and a clear call and it’s singing in my head
And all I ask is a wise word with connections tying
Or a new voice, with a new truth, and my assumptions flying

I must go out to the net again, where the vagrant posters roam
To the word play and the verse way where allusions fly like foam
And all I ask is a new link to the blog of a fellow-rover
And a quiet smile and a fresh start when the long thread’s over

Frn-Srire, Wbua Znfrsvryq

#185 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2011, 11:35 AM:

This could clearly be longer....

Hark, hark, the posters snark
Far more than one in three.
I’ve got the power to disemvowel
They will not snark at me.

The mods are fond of silly poems
They post them and we’re smitten.
We laugh until the break of day
And then go shoot a kitten.

Hark, hark the posters snark
At mods who love their lolcats.
They find the humor less than fresh;
In fact, they find it ersatz.

#186 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2011, 11:59 AM:

Dave Bell #180: Eeek.

#187 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2011, 12:24 PM:

OtterB @ 184 and Tom @ 185

Those are fantastic! Totally different, but equally fantastic, for sure!

#188 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2011, 12:39 PM:

Gaie Sebold @179: I am far too much of a coward to post any of it here

Hey, if I can post my First Evar haiku (in pseudo-Chinese, no less) here, you got no excuse. :)

#189 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2011, 12:41 PM:

rm @183 -- thanks. I've seen that formulation a few times already, here and there; each time I see it it brings me happiness.

#190 ::: Wendy S. Delmater ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2011, 01:08 PM:

As you say, this is what the internet is for. Well done!

#191 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2011, 10:04 PM:

I don't have the skill (or attention span?) to do something at any length. So here is a simple couplet, after an author who has already been used in this thread:

If any ask why USENET died,
Tell them, because the spammers lied.

#192 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2011, 12:42 AM:

The sockpuppet and the 4chan troll
met to play mortal whack-a-mole.
'Twas late at night and (as you'd expect)
neither had for the other a bit of respect.
The posters and lurkers logged in yet
perceived that flame would fill the net.
There was going to be a horrible war.
(I wasn't there, I was later told
what happened just as it did unfold).

The sockpuppet started with "I'm in your base!"
And the 4-chan troll replied "In your face!"
The site was littered, an hour or so,
With scorn and snark and to-and-fro,
While the commenters feared for peaceful status
and hoped for even a brief hiatus,
dreading the spread of the heightening flame.
(Now mind: I'm only telling you
What those who were watching swear is true!)

A lurker was startled enough to post,
that revolted as she was she was quite engrossed,
But the sockpuppet and the 4chan troll
argued and fought without self-control
Employing every meme and trope
so the comment server could barely cope.
And, oh! how the outrage and insolence flew!
(Don't fancy I would tell you wrong -
I heard it from one who was there all along!)

Next morning, as far as any could scroll,
They found no trace of sock or troll;
And some folks think unto this day
That Cthulhu stole their words away!
But the truth about the troll and sock
Is this: erased by perfect mock!
Now what do you really think of that!
(The lurkers in email told me so,
And that is how I came to know.)

Sebz Rhtrar Svryq - Gur Qhry nxn Gur tvatunz qbt naq gur pnyvpb png

#193 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2011, 01:22 AM:

Blogs, and the troll I sing, whose major trait,
A haughty also unrelenting hate,
Expell'd and exil'd, left the flamers' home.
Long raving, both by blog and tweet, did roam,

And in the trollful war, before he won, and made the flamers run;
His vaunted gods put over all divine,
And put his own opinions in a shrine,
From whence the posts of further rantings come,
To praise his glories, beat his drum.

#194 ::: Wirelizard ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2011, 02:02 AM:

Best I can do is just a beginning:

Twas brillig, and the poem-y coves,
Did gyre and gimble with the words

The rest hasn't gelled yet, sorry. I have to say that "Cat, Captioned" is purest awesome, my favourite although just by the narrowest margins!

#195 ::: Gray Woodland ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2011, 06:45 AM:

Allan Beatty @ 191: Naught wrong with short! And taking the same sequence for inspiration:

I could not blag, I dared not bash,
Therefore I spammed the net for cash.
Now I shall spam the net no more,
For I have read Rule 34.
What profit have I, when my loss
Has for its prophet Charlie Stross?

By the way, would anybody object to my linking to this verse-fest from my small site? I realize that this will increase the total public exposure by all of about 0.00001% - but on the one hand it really is too good to keep to oneself, and on the other it seems polite under the circumstances to ask.

#196 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2011, 10:29 AM:

The Flamewar

(after Jvyyvnz Oynxr'f "Gur Cbvfba Gerr," with apologies.)

I was angry with the thread
I posted not; my wrath did spread
And, being angrier than most,
I finally began to post;

The keyboard warmed beneath my ire,
My righteous indignation dire;
And in the words I placed a spark,
An ember to disperse the dark --

I could not turn away just yet;
Someone was wrong upon the Net!
And so I fancied that my words
Bore wisdom's candle to the herds.

And so I posted. I hit send,
And finally my wrath did end.
Turned off the 'puter, lay me down --

But when the morning came, I found --

The thread had burned down to the ground!

#197 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2011, 12:32 PM:

This blog goes ever on and on
Far from the posts where it began.
And though I've fallen far behind
I'll add a comment when I can --
Pursuing thoughts long after those
Who write far better than I would;
And who knows where that thought now goes?
I'll follow it -- as if I could!

(I'm surprised nobody else has gone there yet.... WEEGbyxvra)

#198 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2011, 12:48 PM:

Tom Whitmore @197 Grin. I certainly recognized the source of that one by the end of the first line.

Everybody, really, what fun this thread is. Abi, thanks for dropping that gauntlet.

#199 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2011, 01:16 PM:

From the twilight of evening until the wee hours of morning, a troll, in the early years of the twenty-first century, would see some flickering pixels, a "Dell" logo on the side of his monitor, a can of soda, and the constantly-updating words of earnest bloggers; a wall, perhaps an overfull wastebasket spilling tissues and empties out onto the floor beneath his desk. He did not know, could not know, that he longed for love and cruelty and the sweet pleasure of grasping a dear friend by the hand, of conversing face to face; but something suffocated and rebelled within him and God spoke to him from his browser: "You live and will die in this prison so that a blogger may see and delete your flames a certain number of times and not forget you, and place your ip address and signature in a spam filter which has its precise place in the scheme of the universe. You will never know yourself, but you will have contributed a word to the Internet." God, in the browser, illuminated the troll's hateful pettiness and the troll understood this reasoning and accepted his destiny; but when he clicked "Next", there was in him only an obscure resignation, a valorous smugness -- the machinery of the Net is much too complex for the simplicity of a troll.

Years later, The Modesto Kid was dying in South Orange, as unjustified and as lonely as any other blogger. In a dream, God declared to him the secret purpose of his life and work; TMK, in wonderment, knew at last who and what he was and blessed the bitterness of his life. Tradition relates that, upon waking, he felt that he had received and lost an infinite thing, something that he would not be able to recover or even to glimpse, for the machinery of the Net is much too complex for the simplicity of bloggers.

#200 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2011, 01:17 PM:

(after obetrf, after qnagr)

#201 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2011, 02:06 PM:

Oh, when I was in trollish mood
my language was depraved,
And on the blog they thought it rude
how badly I behaved.

And now the mod goes passing by
and nothing will remain;
And on the blog they'll say that I
'v bn dsmvwlld gn.

#202 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2011, 03:30 PM:

How the Czechs lost their vowels.

In the long-ago times, O Best Beloved, not long after women had been invented, everyone who Mattered spoke the same language, except for the Magyar (and the Finns, who you must not forget). The language was called European, and it was a pretty language, with a well-balanced supply of vowels and consonants, tenses and cases, moods and voices. Everyone who Mattered wrote poetry and prose, and the Prevailing Wind carried it around the world

Back in those times there was a poster filled with the most 'satiable helpiness. No-one knows where he came from -- he might have been Dutch or Irish or Merican (or even a Finn, whom you must not forget). The Merican said "Someone is wrong on the Internet. I must hlep". And he hleped the Middle East with their religious disputes, and he hleped the Irish with their investments, and he hleped the Mericans set up the Senate. He even helped the Prevailing Wind manage the English weather. He was a poster of 'satiable helpiness.

The whole Net was annoyed with his 'satiable helpiness and they started a flame war. They flamed up one side of the Net and down the other. The Irish and the Mericans and the Finns (whom you must not forget) and even the Dutch flamed, and they woke the Great Moderator. The Great Moderator leaned down and gathered up their vowels, nd th Nt fll slnt.

"W mst rsc r vwls!" everyone said. They tried to email the Great Moderator, but the mail fell into the spam filter. So what could they do now, O Best Beloved? They organized a poetry contest, hoping to distract the Great Moderator so they could steal into her palace and retrieve the vowels.

The very next day, they went out. They climbed and climbed, and trod and trod, and climbed and climbed and trod and trod, until they reached the palace of the Great Moderator and her storehouse of vowels. But the Great Moderator had heard them coming, and they could only push the buckets of vowels over the cliffs.

The vowels landed smack crunch in the Baltic North, squashing the songs out of the forgotten peoples, and the Prevailing Wind carried them across the World (or at least the parts that Matter). The English and the French and the Dutch got vowels. The Italians and the Spanish got vowels. The Prevailing Wind didn't visit the Czechs and the Poles, who had to make do with making new ones out fragments of broken letters. And the Finns (I hope you did not forget the Finns) got so many vowels that they had to put two or three extras in every word.

#203 ::: Gray Woodland ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2011, 03:52 PM:

thomas @ 202: *splork*

#204 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2011, 06:16 PM:

I'm fairly sure 201 is N.R.Ubhfzna. (In related news a recent visit to the UK taught me that there is a beer called Fuebcfuver Ynq. I don't know if its brewed in Yhqybj, though.)

#205 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2011, 06:45 PM:

When she woke up, the troll was still there.

#206 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2011, 06:53 PM:

In the past decades, interest in flamewar artists has declined considerably. While in earlier days there was good money to be earned hijacking discussion boards to create a hostile spectacle under one's own direction, nowadays that is practically impossible. Those were different days. Back then the flamewar artist could capture the attention of an entire online community. From day to day, as the insults flew, participation increased. Everyone wanted to see the flamewar at least once a day. During the later days there would be people sitting before their monitors all day, pressing "Refresh" almost constantly. People would even log on at night, when the impact was heightened by the monitor's glow in the dark room. ...

#207 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2011, 07:19 PM:

thomas @202: Consider the Welsh! Not to mention the Kalahari bushmen (not that Kipling would have mentioned them...)

#208 ::: Chris W. ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2011, 09:56 PM:

Translated from the German by your humble servant:

Der Trollekonig (or The One Who Is Wrong On The Internet)

Who types so late, and so scorns her bed?
It is the mod, who shepherds her thread.
She started this website and enforces the rules.
And holds back the posters 'til their temper cools.

"My Posters all, what's making you shiver?"
"Don't you see on the boards, it's ErlKing4evr
He must pwn this thread, that's his only goal."
"My dear Posters, hush, please don't feed the troll"

"Oh all you sheeple, don't put up a fight,
Once you've heard all my reasons you'll see that I'm right
I've links to my blogposts and text by the foot
And I'll throw in argumentum ad Hitler to boot."

"Oh Great moderator, how can you not see?
What that ill-mannered bastard has said unto me?"
"Ignore him dear poster, don't react to his crud.
When you fight with a pig you are both in the mud."

"You know you can't find me, I hide in the bits.
My puppets agree you should show me your tits.
More puppets now show up with visages stern
And they're just stopping by to express their concern."

"Oh Great Moderator, that's really enough,
This troll-king's playacting a whole crowd of toughs"
"Dear poster, dear poster, ignore all their drivel,
There's no need to flame them, it just isn't civil."

"Hey baby, hey baby, I just thought it fit that
I join in to tell you: I'd totally hit that"
"Oh Great Moderator, I can't take it now
he dismissed my last post with a 'You silly cow"

The mod now grimaced and frowned and scowled
and ere she saw bed they were all disemvowelled.
But by dawn he was back and her face vis'bly paled
At this thread about knitting completely derailed.

#209 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2011, 10:34 PM:






#210 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2011, 10:36 PM:

Chris 208: Reyxöavt, ol Wbunaa Jbystnat iba Tbrgur. Masterful! That's truly excellent.

#211 ::: little pink beast ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2011, 11:10 PM:

'ABI, this is stupid stuff:
You disemvowel fast enough;
This place has rules, that much is clear,
You tossed that spammer on its ear.
But oh, good Lord, the rules you make,
They're more than trolls like us can take.
The board, our old board, it is dead;
We trolled till it was put to bed:
Now 'tis the turn of this poor site
To feed such flames as are our right.
Moderators shouldn't dare
Censor when we snarl and swear
Curse and insult, fight and scoff:
D'you think that you can send us off?'

Why, if 'tis writing you would be,
There's better styles than trollery.
Say, for what were novels meant,
Or why are SASEs sent?
Oh many a dusty story page
Brings better moods to life than rage,
And tact does more than trolling can
To justify your ways to man.
Fiction, fellow, that's the stuff
To entertain and not act tough:
Dip your quill in your inkpot
And write such words as you have got.
And faith, 'tis pleasant for a spell:
The mischief is that 'twill not sell.
Oh I have sent my books away
With hope that one the bills might pay,
And gotten half way through, or near,
to publishing - 'twas just last year!
Then rejection hit me hard,
And all my dreams and hopes were barred;
But true it is I could do worse,
(Will no-one print my epic verse?)
So still I write, and still I strive:
Integrity keeps hope alive;
The world, it is a better place,
Because I try to write with grace,
And nothing then remained to do
But send my manuscript anew.

Therefore, because my intent's good
I've tried to write the best I could,
And while the Net and words endure
Wit's a chance, but trolling's sure,
I'd take the nobler pathway still,
And write for good and not for ill.
'Tis true, my words, although intense
Just do not seek to give offense:
Though anger's quick, it does not last
You'll not be read, just shuffled past.
If audience you'd have, you must
Seek to build good cheer and trust;
Your words, like mine, should seek to be
Good fun for all the company;
Though money we may never find,
Here we'll be guests, and both be kind.

There was an editor at Tor:
There, in slushy piles of yore,
I honed my craft before you wrote
Your first flame-post or poisoned note.
Of writing bad we saw no dearth
Whose authors could not tell its worth;
First a little, thence to more,
I hardened well my reader's core;
And easy, smiling, seasoned sound,
Sit I now when trolls come round.
Just in case you think me soft
Think a bit, of just how oft
I've seen far worse than you can write
And learned to gaze with clear calm sight
On rant and wail of injured pride
And curses from those I'd denied.
-Once more I tell, as oft I've told:
Slushpiles make the spirit bold.

--because there weren't enough NR Ubhfzna pastiches in the thread yet.

#212 ::: little pink beast ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2011, 11:12 PM:

Oh, very good, Chris W! Permit me to admire.

#213 ::: glinda ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2011, 11:34 PM:

Tom Whitmore@197:

*splutter* As set to music by Donald Swann, of course...

#214 ::: Dr. Psycho ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2011, 01:08 AM:

Bruce Cohen@170: I saw what you did there.

#215 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2011, 11:30 AM:

One post to rule them all,
One post to bind them,
One post to bring them all,
And in the brightness bind them --
In the thread of wordsmiths, where no shadows lie.

#216 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2011, 06:08 PM:

OK, this took waaaay too long to be cool, and it doesn't scan, and, and...

Quaeris, quot mihi unadaugeones
Tuae, Lesbia, sint satis superque.
quam magnus numerus carnuli missorum
Latebrosae laborat Nigeriae
inter locorum Lybissi minuores
et quaerentes dictatorum viduas;
aut quam aureum WOWum, cum sumptus est,
simulata emit arma ludoribus:
tam te augea multa augere
vesano satis et super Catullo est,
quae nec insidiatores numerare
possint nec infrapontes fascinare.

- o0o -

You ask, Lesbia, how many +1's
Of yours would be enough and more for me.
So many as the spammers
labor in secretive Nigeria
between the URL shorteners of Libya
and the acquisitive widows of dictators;
or as much as WOW gold*, bought
to purchase imaginary weapons for gamers:
+1ing you with so many +1's
Would be enough and more for crazy Catullus
so that the lurkers couldn't count
nor trolls envy them.

* I am totally going to have to fish this one out of the spam filter, I am.

#217 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2011, 06:20 PM:

abi @216 -- and Catullus isn't exactly a household name these days (in most households...). Nice job anyway!

#218 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2011, 06:51 PM:

Abi@216 - wow! (and also WoW.) (And Tom@217, thanks for prompting me to read the Wikipedia page on Catullus, which also explained Abi's "Tuae, Lesbia" phrasing.)

So is "Crazy Catullus" a prototype for crazy cat [gentlemen]?
Is +1 how the Augean stables got that way?

#219 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2011, 07:21 PM:

Little Pink Beast at # 211: Bravo!

#220 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2011, 07:25 PM:


Hoc est dicere

Comedit gnomus
nota meum
quae in
haec fila

et quae
erant fortasse
nam suilla conservatur.

Dimitte me
Verbis usus est
et potens.

#221 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2011, 07:27 PM:

Lori@215, what trolls lurk in the hearts of Usenet? The Shadow knows...

#222 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2011, 08:12 PM:

The Beatles' "With a Little Hlep from my Friends" was featured in 1980's adaptatioon of Le Guin's "The Lathe of Heaven", but did you know that the director originally wanted to do "The Hleped Hand of Darkness"?

#223 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2011, 09:07 PM:

abi @#216 :

Could WOWum really be a Latin word if Latin doesn't have the letter W?

But that's a minor point.

#224 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2011, 09:39 PM:

abi #216: That was magnificent. (Though after Little Pink Beast's #211 I wondered if you would be tempted by Terence.)

Bill Stewart #220: I suspect those peaches taste better in Latin.

#225 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2011, 12:56 AM:

Much have I travelled in the lands of troll,
And many goodly brawls and flamewars seen;
Awarded chunks of internet I've been,
(If I might channel Yoda). On the whole,
I think that most of it is fol-de-rol -
It's Sturgeon's Law, or written to be mean:
Sock-puppetry and bating, bile and spleen.
But now and then, I see, as down I scroll:
A gem of purest ray serene! It lies
Guarded in a cave, perhaps, but when,
Like stout Cortez (that thief), wealth greets my eyes,
Then I rejoice. So, ladies, gentlemen,
For this relief, much thanks. And now, reprise -
Attempt, that is, to climb the peak again.

#226 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2011, 01:02 AM:

Fragano@224 - I suspect that Abi had actually rescued my earlier comment from the gnomes before I'd gotten the poem negotiated with Google Translate :-) (I probably should have hunted down a Latin dictionary - "nota" seems to be wrong for a note or posting, even though it's what the English-to-Latin things usually gave me. "Gnomus" wasn't in Translate, but showed up a few places, and seemed to be a better choice than daemonae or animi, though perhaps genii would have been an appropriate substitute.)

#227 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2011, 02:28 AM:

Bill Stewart @226:

No, I freed it just after you posted that. But I couldn't bring myself to take down the Help! Help! The gnomes have got me! message, because it's too fun for words.

(I know it's Google Translatese, but it works.)

#228 ::: Gray Woodland ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2011, 03:42 AM:

Upon the Net did 2nh
A stately Fluorosphere decree
Where wit down silver threads should roll
Through converse profitless to troll,
And brave community.

So twice five thousand - sodding hell!
Some prat from Porlock rings my bell!

#229 ::: Gray Woodland ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2011, 03:47 AM:

Local poetaster found beaten semi-conscious with wet fish after failing to spell 'l8r allig8r' 'correctly'; Muse suspected.

#230 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2011, 09:30 AM:

Hail, Poetry!
Thou web-spun stuff!
Thou overpow'rest trollish guff!
Hail, aptly-chosen pun and quip!
All hail, all hail, divine one-upsmanship!

--J.F. Tvyoreg, sebz Gur Cvengrf bs Cramnapr

#231 ::: shadytail ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2011, 10:07 AM:

I am not one of those who left the 'net
to the mercy of its enemies.
Their flattery leaves me cold,
My posts are not for them to like.

But I pity the Facebook lot.
Like a brand-name, like a man half image,
enclosed is your garden, eyeball;
ads infest your borrowed Wall.

But here in the murk of wankage,
when scarcely a troll is left to blame,
we, the bloggers, do not flinch
from anything, not from a single flame.

Surely, the reckoning will be made
after mining the API for your data.
We are the ones with thicker hide,
straighter than you, more proud.

(Really not a poet. Hopefully not too late to the thread.)

#232 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2011, 10:43 AM:

Lila @230: I just want you to know that your offering gave me the most VIVID sense memory of belting out the note that the sopranos start on for that one. Near the top of my range, and a hell of an effort. Well-done!

#233 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2011, 11:55 AM:

Thou art spamming, meta-spamming,
Advertising, advertised;
Wellspring of the penile implant,
Ocean depth of happy lies.

#234 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2011, 12:12 PM:

Rikibeth: and it goes UP from there. Kudos to you! I myself float between Soprano II and Alto I, so I'm a bit safer. (Also I've only ever done the Japanese one, though I hold out hope of someday having the opportunity to do the others, especially the one with the madwoman.)

#235 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2011, 12:52 PM:

Call me 1shm43l. Some weeks ago - never mind how long precisely - having little or no money in my paypal, and nothing particular to interest me on G+, I thought I would browse about a little and see the encyclopedic part of the web. It is a way I have of driving off the lulz and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing hasty in my snark; whenever it is a damp, drizzly 4chan in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily following links to webcomics, and bringing up the rear of every dogpile I read; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately entering forums and methodically mocking people's screennames - then, I account it high time to get to TVTropes as soon as I can. This is my substitute for trolling. With a philosophical flourish, lolCato throws himself upon his invisibul swerd; I quietly take to the wiki. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all gender-anonymous personages in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the internet with me.

#236 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2011, 03:45 PM:

Lila: the highest note in that is, in fact, the highest one I have ever sung (and am ever likely to sing) in my life. I hover on the border of Soprano I and II, and am often put in II because they've got plenty of people who can hit a top note as long as it's in the main melody line, and not so many who can hold a harmony line against that melody, let alone ones who can hold it with enough confidence to provide something for less certain singers in the part to follow.

Just don't ask me to sing parallel-third harmony with someone whose vocal range is the same as mine. Even with visual tracking aids. If you want me to play Beatles Rock Band, I need to be singing against a tenor or something, or it all goes straight to hell.

#237 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2011, 04:49 PM:

I am a big fan of thomas' and heresiarch's prose contributions. I'm frankly amazed that "call me ishm43l" gets not Google hits AOTW.

#238 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2011, 04:49 PM:

Er, "gets no"

#239 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2011, 05:03 PM:

Rikibeth, 236: Oh thank goodness. I thought I was alone in being unable to sing parallel thirds.

#240 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2011, 05:49 PM:

Modesto Kid @237.

The best variant must still be Peter De Vries' opening line: "Call me, Ishmael."

#241 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2011, 06:12 PM:

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that an internet discussion in possession of a good set of commentors, must be in want of a troll.

#242 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2011, 06:17 PM:

Tom: It most certainly is not.

(Austen's original was not either, of course, but hers works as a joke in a way that yours, alas, just doesn't.)

#243 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2011, 06:24 PM:

TexAnne: I don't understand how ANYONE sings parallel thirds without either perfect pitch or a really strong note in the accompaniment to track on!

#244 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2011, 06:24 PM:

David, I for one thought it was funny. Though I prefer "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that an internet discussion in possession of a strong set of opinions, must be in want of a moderator."

#245 ::: JanetM ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2011, 06:26 PM:

Making Light denizens
Post and then comment on
Awesome pastiche.
Each one encourages
Others to do the same
Filling a niche.

#246 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2011, 06:33 PM:

Ah well, David @241: I thought it worked on the same ironic principle. But then, it is difficult to convey ironic intent on the Internet....

#247 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2011, 09:00 PM:

Let us go then, you and I
Where the evening is spread out against the sky
like a banner ad upon a porn site.

Let us go through Street View views of streets
The muttering retweets
Of junk mail ads for stays in cheap hotels
And dummy pages made of empty shells
Streets that follow like a lengthy comment thread
That you just barely read
That lead you to another round of trolling
Because for that is what they are doing.

Oh do not ask "who wrote it"
You might catch a virus when you load it.

In the chat room the advertisers come and go
Talking of keeping mortgage rates low

For I have known them all, already, known them all.
Have known the long days and the lonely nights
I have measured out my life in terabytes.

Sometimes I feel I am a spider
Scraping the bottom of a million servers

Shall I partition my hard drive?
Do I dare tweet a pic?
I have heard the mermaids singing each to each.
I do not think that they will [censored]

#248 ::: rm ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2011, 11:32 PM:

Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow . . . wow . . .

Hosts, for writing the "muttering retweets" line Erik Nelson either needs to be banned or awarded 10 internets. Ow.

#249 ::: rm ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2011, 11:39 PM:

Tboyva Znexrg ol Puevfgvan Ebffrggv

Morning and evening
Threads get the spammers' tries:
"Come buy our discount goods,
Come buy, come buy:
Cialis, viagra,
Dog meds and business plans,
No questions credit--
Give us your bank account,
Share pilfered fortunes,
Buy herbal remedies
Derived from cranberries,
Online jobs, secret sites,
Stocks that cost pennies,
Secrets of marketing--
Get rich together
In summer weather--
Morns that pass by,
Fair eves that fly;
Come buy, come buy;
Pills make your penis grow,
Online surveys fill your purse,
Dates with hot models,
Rare coins commemorating
September eleventh,
Click here and try:
Just pay a few hundred,
Then results guaranteed,
Figurines of clowns,
Cigars from the South,
Sweet to tongue and sound to eye,
Come buy, come buy."

Evening by evening
Among the weblog comments,
Laura strained her eyes to see,
Lizzie veiled her blushes:
Crouching close and typing
Over laptop glowing,
With clasping arms and cautioning lips,
With tingling cheeks and finger-tips.
"Don't click," Laura said,
Pricking up her golden head:
"We must not look at spammers' sites,
We must not trust our eyes:
Who knows what viruses they might
Install on our hard drives?"
"Come buy," write the spammers
Filling up the thread.
"O!" cried Lizzie, "Laura, Laura,
You should not click on spammer links."
Lizzie covered up her eyes
Covered close lest they should look;
Laura reared her glossy head,
And whispered like a whispering cat:
"Look, Lizzie, look, Lizzie,
Links and smiling little women.
One offers riches,
One offers jobs,
One has a bank account
That must be transferred.
How good the job must be
Whose pay is so munificent;
How good the opportunity
To grow my investment."
"No," said Lizzie, "no, no, no;
Their offers should not charm us,
Their evil gifts would harm us."
She thrust a dimpled finger
In each ear, shut eyes and ran:
Curious Laura chose to linger
Wondering at each site of spam.
One showed a mansion,
One a sports car,
One was called Moms Place,
One MLM Stars,
One made her scroll endless vague importunings,
One popped up pop-ups in multiplied flurries.
Lizzie heard a voice on autoplay
With jazzy soundtrack:
It sounded kind and full of fun
Guaranteeing money back.

Laura stretched her index finger
Like troll pointing "you all,"
Like mouse-cursor o'er the trap,
Like an invisible-laddered cat,
Like a email reply-alled
That cannot be recalled.

#250 ::: rm ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2011, 11:41 PM:

Dang it -- an email.

#251 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2011, 07:41 AM:

Foi um dia o gnomo jograr
ó frorosfério para cantar
e o moderador lhe mandou por don dar
tres couces na garganta;
e fui-lh'escass', a meu cuidar,
segundo com'el canta.

Escass' fui o moderador bon
nos seus couces partir entón,
pois non deu ó gnomo, entón,
mais de tres na garganta,
e mais merece o gran bribón
segundo com'el canta.


One day the jongleur troll
Went to the Fluorosphere to sing,
And the Moderator bad him be given
Three kicks to the throat.
And that was scanty to my way of thinking
'Cos he sings like a billy-goat.

The moderator was very stingy
In giving out his kicks and blows that day;
He only gave out three to that troll fellow
Before he sent him packing on his way.
I'd have given many more to that big fool
To show him his bad singing was not cool.

Gur bevtvany irefr V cnfgvpurq jnf ol n zrqvnriny Cbeghthrfr cbrg, Znegvz Fbnerf qr Ontbvz. Vg jnf n irel snzbhf pnagvtn qr rfpneaub (fngver) ba gur Tnyvpvna kbtene Ybcb.

#252 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2011, 09:15 AM:

Whoa -- Mr. Ledgister is upping the ante considerably. Shall I fold? Shall I pass? Shall I rummage through my foreign languages and see what I come up with? I was briefly working on an adaptation of Cuadra's "Caballos en el Lago" last week; perhaps I shall return to that.

#253 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2011, 10:25 AM:

ieday eepingblay rolltray?

#254 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2011, 08:17 PM:

The Modesto Kid #252: I'm raising the stakes? Hardly. There are some real mediævalists here, not to mention the Latinists like Abi (who's already given us a taste of Catullus). In their shadow my paltry knowledge of the Cancioneiro makes me only an egg.

#255 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2011, 10:56 PM:

Los trasgos bajan al atardecer.

Navegan en el sitio de fluoro y avanzan
-- página contra página
los hombros encorvados y teclados --
a la cegadora claridad.
Imágenes desnudos
bañan sus ojos
y ellos introducen
ebrios de luz
sus comentarios inanos.
-- los ojos alertos --
el sutil brillo de la sinceridad
y miran
lo que se imaginen un campo de batalla.
Entonces sueñan
-- bulle
la remota insulta --
se remontan
a los días heroicos,
cuando sus espadas
devolvía al blogger sus lanzas
texto blanco
escuadrones de ciber
el grito
lejanísimo de los usarios
en el viento.

Pero desterranse

es el moderador)

Al golpe
se caen hacia tierra
-- bajan la frente --
y uncido
al carro
los vocales
la red.


The trolls come down with the setting sun.

They surf to the site of light and they move in,
page against page,
their shoulders hunched, their keyboards --
into the blinding clearness.
Naked graphics
bathe their eyes,
they key in
drunk on the light
their mindless comments.
They seek
-- their eyes lit up --
the subtle glow of truthfulness
and survey
what they think's a field of battle.
And dream
-- glimpsing some
remote insult --
they're rising up
back up into the days of glory
when their swords
they brandished back against the blogger's lances,
bone-white text,
the distant scream of users
on the wind

But they are banished

(By the mod's
cruel whip)

At its blow
they fall back down to earth
-- their gaze cast down --
yoked to their carts
their vowels
the net
can sleep.

-- adherente a "Pnonyybf ra ry yntb" cbe Wbfŕ Nagbavb Phnqen

#256 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2011, 01:14 AM:

re 255: Oh, Kid, I'm so glad you did.

247 fills me with joy and envy; I'd been gnawing on the first couple lines myself all week. 249 is a thing of pure delight and makes me want to reread the original Right Now.


I'm accustomed to speak my mind
Or maybe all my posts have lost their wit
I don't expect to be divested of my vowels no more
I don't expect to take that shit
I tell 'em that a joke is just a joke
When they say "Why
"Why deny the obvious troll
"Why deny the obvious troll"

#257 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2011, 02:35 AM:

Pnonyybf ra ry yntb? Wait, what? We're doing Welsh now?

#258 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2011, 06:44 AM:

@Nicole, glad you liked it! @Fragano, my "upped the ante" comment was not mainly in regards to posting mediæval content but in regards to posting (modified) original + translation -- what a great idea. I found very interesting the act of retranslating 255 after the modifications, there were lines which I had not touched in the original but which demanded to be translated differently in the new context. @Praisegod, nice. I'm just happy a Unicode entity exists for "Latin small letter r with acute".

#259 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2011, 06:58 AM:

The Modesto Kid @258:

my "upped the ante" comment was not mainly in regards to posting mediæval content but in regards to posting (modified) original + translation

You might not be familiar enough ancient Roman poetry to have recognized my source in 216.

Good to see more people doing it, and doing it better than me.

#260 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2011, 11:31 AM:

The Modesto Kid #258: I see. Thanks. Abi had already translated her pastiche of Catullus, and it seemed to me only fair to follow her precedent in translating my attempt at Soares.

Your 255 is nicely done, btw.

#261 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2011, 08:31 PM:

Oh hey that's right! Somehow I had fixed incorrectly in my memory that abi had only posted Latin at 216 and did not go back to check. Well still.

#262 ::: Malthus ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2011, 07:34 PM:

Well, I only got so far with this, but I thought you might enjoy it:


We are the hollow names
We are the sockpuppets
Blogging together
Mouthpiece full of lint. Alas!
Our staticky voices, when
We chatter together
Are loud and meaningless
As rainfall on Astroturf
Or Cheetos' crunching as we surf
In our Mom's cellar

Words without point, psts wtht vwls,
Artificial passion, argument without conviction;

Those who have spoken
With clear voice, in the Net's other blogs
Speak of us -- if at all -- not as most
Powerful trolls, but only
As the hollow names
The sockpuppets.


Words I dare not meet outside
In the Net's outside blogs
These do not appear:
There, the words are
Buried in a spam-filled entry
There, is a crowd slinging
And voices are
In the chorus' singing
More faded and more empty
Than a tipjar.

Let me be no bolder
In the Net's outside blogs
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Earnesty, concern, both-sides-do-it
In a crowd
Behaving as the chorus behaves
No bolder--

Not that final meeting
In the well-lit blogs

#263 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2011, 07:45 PM:

David Goldfarb @241, I thought Tom's joke worked the same way Austen's did: you stop, think "Is that true?", and then realize that while it isn't, certain parties are bound to think it is.


Collected in the wild today:

You're a coward for deleting my comments.

However, there's now proof that what I said has merit!

Sometimes they're as perfect as snowflakes.

#264 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2011, 07:59 PM:

Malthus @262:
Nam Pumilus quidem Blogis ego ipse oculis meis vidi in ampulla pendere, et cum illi pueri dicerent: "Σίβυλλα τί θέλεις"; respondebat ille: "ἀποθανεῖν θέλω."

#265 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2011, 08:44 PM:

Oops, or rather,
cum illi pueri dicerent: "Νᾶνος τί θέλεις"

#266 ::: Malthus ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2011, 08:54 PM:

Okay, you've lost me. My Latin is minimal; my Greek is worse. And the online translators don't.

#267 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2011, 10:11 PM:

It's the epigraph to "The Waste Land", with a couple of substitutions made: So I myself saw the dwarf (closest I could get to "troll") at the blog, my own eyes hanging in a jar, and the boys were saying to him: "Dwarf, what do you want" and he would reply: "I want to die."

#268 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2011, 10:44 PM:

Modesto Kid: I think that should be the dwarf (or Sibyl) hanging in a jar, and "I saw it with my own eyes". You're sounding like the eyes were hanging in the jar....

#269 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2011, 10:46 PM:

Teresa@263: After a little thought, I think my problem with Tom's version of the opening is that in me it induces immediate rejection and revulsion, it doesn't make me stop and think, "Is that true?" So for me the opposites needed for a joke don't arise.

#270 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2011, 10:56 PM:

Malthus@266, Google Translate kind of gets most of it, and easily toggles back and forth between bad translations of the Latin and of the Greek. Eliot's original poem, some good source material on where Eliot got that part.

(Sigh - I studied Latin in junior high school and some Greek in college, and studied that poem a bit in high school, and most of it's long since rusted away. Use it or lose it.)

#271 ::: John Michael ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2011, 12:43 AM:

I am womperjawed. That was incredible.

#272 ::: Malthus ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2011, 07:23 PM:

Oh, Google Translator! I never even thought of that; I keep thinking its roughly equivalent to Babelfish, which does not do Latin. The other Latin-to-English translators out there are pretty substandard. They get some words here or there, but its impossible to get them to translate a full sentence.

#273 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2011, 02:47 PM:

Here's a lovely thing: bloggers in Spanish and Japanese picked up on this thread and translated the first eight lines of Abi's Yeats-knockoff:

Noticias Variadas
viernes 5 de agosto de 2011
Poema de la lucha

Furia y rabia en el hilo de alargamiento
El estado de ánimo no se escuche el moderador;
Normas brotan las lagunas existentes; el FAQ no puede responder;
Trollery mero se ha desatado sobre el sitio;
La prosa ondulante se ha desatado, y en todas partes
El supuesto de la buena fe se derrumbó;
Los mejores carecen de toda convicción, mientras que los peores
Están llenos de apasionada intensidad.
And from the blog whose name Google translates as "Various News", Battle of the Poem:
Or, as Google translates it:
Long Raging and raging in a thread
you feel, you can listen to the moderator.
Burning rules loopholes, FAQ can not be answered.
Just trollery has been loosed on the site.
Where shimmering prose is loosed, and the
assumption of good faith collapses Taremasu.
The best lack all conviction while the worst
are full of passionate intensity.
Both sites appear to have found us via LanguageHat posting on MetaFilter. The MeFi thread that followed was a bit sour-tempered, but several commenters wrote poetry anyway, so some fun was had.

#274 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2013, 03:08 PM:

I was looking for something else, and ran across this thread.

It remains one of the 10 most awesome things on Making Light.

#275 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2013, 05:26 PM:

But dense as lead is the heart and head
Of the troll whose nonsense must be said.
As well turn your sight to the scammer's plight
For the mind of troll don't feel it.
Peel it! Heal it!
Old Troll laughed when response he read
For he knew good will could feel it.

But Admin came and saw his game
And vowelless rendered him the same
And we all cheer for he's not here
With the crap he spewed on the blog thread.
Dog bed! Hogshead!
Troll's not here to play his game
By messing up the blog thread!

#276 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2013, 06:22 PM:

That'll teach me to post second drafts.

"...of the troll whose ego must be fed."

#277 ::: Sandy B. sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2015, 07:48 AM:

Although I should, really, thank it for reminding me of this.

Welcome to Making Light's comment section. The moderators are Avram Grumer, 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?

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="">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, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 by Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. All rights reserved.