Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Should blogs have rules?

While visiting this comment on Aldaynet, I noticed that our old friend Tom Alday (alternately known as Honorable, Potentate, Grand Magistrate or whatever other term of humility he has currently claimed for himself) has installed a new protocol for commenting at his blog, Aldaynet. At the start of each comment is this disclaimer:

I've decided to enact Troll Population Control Protocols, the rules spelled out by the GOC will now be in effect here. You don't like? I could care less.

Just nitpicking here, but isn't the proper expression, "I COULDN'T care less?"

The source of Tom's new guidelines is the Grouchy Old Cripple, whose name evidently is truth in advertising at its best. Grouchy, indeed! If there's any doubt about that, check out his rules section:

The Rules

A troll is a subhuman lifeform. A troll is a cross between a banana slug and a pissant. One becomes a troll for one of two reasons:

1. The troll is too fucking stupid to have a blog.


There are people too stupid to have blogs? Based on what's out there, I feel really sorry for those people.

2. The troll's blog is so lame that no one will go to it, so the troll goes to other sites hoping that people will follow a link back to the troll's blog. What is hilarious about this reasoning is why would anyone want to go to a troll's blog when the troll is incapable of presenting a rational argument on someone else's blog? But remember, trolls are inherently stupid.

Funny...I've never had trouble attracting readers, though trolls seem to be all Alday ever gets. Maybe because he posts lots of stuff on sites such as mine, perhaps?

Trolls are welcome at this site as long as they follow the rules. If a rule is broken, I will not ask the troll will leave. I will not tell the troll to leave. I will ban said troll and usually bitch slap the troll on the way out. I have been entirely too indulgent with my trolls. I guess I should know better, but, sometimes I think that trolls just might learn sumpin' from their intellectual superiors. Sadly, I am always proven wrong.

If these "intellectual superiors" are known for one thing, it's their ability to bitch-slap as a primary form of communication. Especially online. But if what he says is true, then his problem is clearly that he can dish it out, but he can't take it.

Here are said rules:

1. This is my blog. I make the rules. I enforce the rules. I am the final arbiter. If you have a problem with that, leave. I am probably smarter than you. If you were smart, you would have your own blog that people would want to frequent and you wouldn't be a troll.

Well, how can I know if you're smarter than me if I'm not allowed to say anything to you? Or is that how you want it?

2. I enforce Godwin's Law. If you call someone a Nazi, you have lost the debate. A Nazi is someone who believes in racial genocide. A Nazi is a total monster. Do not cheapen the word by using it indiscriminately. You will be banned.

I agreed with this too, until I noticed the startling parallels between the Bush administration and the early days of the Third Reich. There was far more to the Nazis than racial genocide, a fact that people like this guy seem to want to gloss over.

3. Do not start a thread with an insult. That immediately shows that you are a fucking idiot and are fair game and will be treated accordingly. If you are polite, we will be polite. Maybe. I decide. Unfair? See rule 1.

Hmm...is it just me, or did he just do what he said not to do?

4. If you do insult me or others, try to make it an amusing insult. "Ha. Ha. Ha. You sure are stupid" is lame. "You have alzheimers" is lame. "If your brains were TNT, you wouldn't have enough to blow your nose" is good. Come up with sumpin' like that and you can stay a little longer. I want to be amused. If I'm not amused you're gone. Why can I do that? See rule number 1.

Well, I can certainly see why someone would want to stem the tide of reactionary insults. Given right-wingers' propensity for doing such a thing on a regular basis, I guess they know firsthand how annoying it is.

5. Do not make idiotic comparisons or the 'everybody does it' defense. If I state Bill Clinton is a draft dodger (which, of course he is, and we will not debate that. Been there, done that.) don't bring up Bush's National Guard record. It has nothing to do with Clinton beyond the fact that Bush served, Clinton didn't. If we mention Hillary's book deal, we are discussing Hillary, not Newt Gingrich. Newt's deal has nothing to do with Hillary. Those rhetorical tricks will get you banned. I decide if any comparison's are valid. Don't like it? See rule number 1.

I will bring up anything I want if I think it is relevant, especially if it involves exposing hypocrisy. That's precisely why Bush's military record is always coming up. The ulterior motive behind a rule such as this one is that there are some things that Republicans would rather never discuss. And they think that by narrowing the discourse as much as possible ("Stay on topic!") that they can make some issues just go away. Nice try.

6. Make sure any links you post support your points. If they do not, I will call you on it. Do it more than once, and you're history. I decide whether the link is valid. Unfair? See rule number 1.

He decides whether the link is valid, understand? If he calls you on any link you might send, then turn right around and ask him about his links. People like this are generally very insecure about the veracity of their own sources and should be treated accordingly. Hey, they're doing it to you too! Might as well call their bluff.

7. When asked a question do not respond with a question. Answer it. If you bob and weave and do not debate honestly you are gone. Why do I get to decide? See rule number 1.

What if the question answers the other question? And why are you so limiting as to what people have a right to say in a debate? Oh, I forgot...see rule number 1!

8. When I declare you have lost a debate it's closed. Don't try and reopen it. Why do I get to do that? See rule number 1.

Notice that he says "When I declare you have lost a debate." Not when you've actually lost it, just when he DECLARES you lost it! I had no idea it was that easy. Could have saved me lots of grief. On the other hand, this sounds like the online equivalent of those people who cover their ears and start singing loudly when confronted with an opposing point. Yeah, that's the ticket.

9. Do not deny facts that prove you are wrong just because they do not fit your beliefs. If you try that shit, you are outta here. I decide. Why me? See rule number 1.

Likewise, I assume? Hey, take your hands off your ears and stop singing!

10. Try to act like an adult. There are no timeouts here. If you act childish, you are gone. I don't like spoiled crybaby whiney types. I get to decide. Don't like it? See rule number 1.

I guess they need at least ONE adult there at all times...

11. I can make up additional rules as I go. Think that's unfair? Tough shit! See rule number 1.

See rule one...see rule one...it's God's will...it's God's will...God told me to...God told me to!

I put up with enough bullshit at my job. I do not need it here.

I feel deeply sorry for your coworkers.

With all of this new protocol, you'd think that Alday was setting a new standard in civil commentary, right? You think too much. At Zac Attack, Alday posted this comment:

You sure rely on polls alot Zac, didn't you learn anything from the election day exit poll debacle?

About as much as you learned from your new rules, Mr. Alday. But I shouldn't kid. After all, as he told me tonight, Alday is nothing if not a defender of the freedom for which America stands:

Aldaynet isn’t a Democracy, it’s a dictatorship, I pay for it, I maintain it and I provide the content for it, therefore I have a Bush given right to do with it as I please.

WOW! Perhaps I need some rules like this for myself!

16 comments:

EVIL DICTATOR said...

You're far too much of a pussy to enact rules as stringent as those.

Ian McGibboney said...

Hi, Tom! How did you do that?

EVIL DICTATOR said...

John Kerry loaned me his magic CIA hat.

oyster said...

"Bush given right"?

Was that an attempt at humor?

Ian McGibboney said...

I don't get conservative humor. It's all about rubbing things in peoples' faces or joking about destroying things. Real intellectual stuff.

MagicalShrimp said...

You know, there's a definite danger in putting up so very many me-centered rules - after reading said rules, most people will be disgusted and never come back. It's no fun hanging around with someone who acts like a spoiled brat.

I guess that last remark wasn't intellectual enough. Heavens!

Liz "the Biz" said...

Talk about being full of yourself. Well, I guess if the only sense of power in their lives is their pathetic blog, that speaks for itself.

Indeed. The phrase 'Bush given right' is frightening.

thehim said...

1. This is my blog. I make the rules. I enforce the rules. I am the final arbiter. If you have a problem with that, leave. I am probably smarter than you. If you were smart, you would have your own blog that people would want to frequent and you wouldn't be a troll.This 200 MB of programmatically arranged 1s and 0s is my kingdom dammit!

EVIL DICTATOR said...

I love it, I threw that "Bush-given right" in there to specifically throw you loons into a tizzy, nice to you guys never stray from your utter predictability.

MagicalShrimp said...

Boy, that is one funny joke, evil dictator. Much better than "Ha. Ha. Ha. You sure are stupid."

EVIL DICTATOR said...

Another reason why you can't win the heartland, lack of humor..coupled with your proven lack of ideals and complete lack of morals you guys are doomed to irrelevency sooner than I thought.

oyster said...

Oh yes, I'm in a complete tizzy over the Bush right comment. E.D., if you ever say something as outrageous as that again, I swear I'll just explode!

Goodness! I haven't been this riled up since the hogs ate my brother. Clearly, there's no controlling me on this one, folks. Better just stand back and take cover during my rabid, spastic paroxysms of fury.

That Dictator sure knows how to push my buttons with his clever words. I wish I could be as smart as he is... but alas, I'm just a silly liberal.

Ian McGibboney said...

For those of you who don't know, I'm pretty sure that Evil Dictator is Tom Alday crossed with a penis and a potato. Give it up for one of my biggest fans (I'm one of his also)!

Back to the serious commentary, namely ED's remark about the heartland. I'm IN the heartland, and my vote counts 100 percent more than the massive fields of corn and sugar that puff up Republican electoral maps. The heartland is a work of fiction. Any reference to actual demographics or voting habits is entirely coincidental.

oyster said...

If that's the heartland, where's the brainland?

Ian McGibboney said...

In Canada, of course, which puts the ass somewhere in the south.

RightMakesRight said...

Not to come too close to agreeing with you again, but isn't one of the alleged "rules" the fellow is brow-beating us with to not BORE THE WORLD with a ridiculously long and self-serving post? The guy went on so long I couldn't even finish your commentary or read the comments - I bailed at about point 47 - yawn! If you don't like comments or can't take them, don't allow them.

PS Lots of conseratives are funny, so don't judge us by this one example. I've heard lots of libs crack jokes by "rubbing things in people's faces", too (present company excepted). Also, please don't take the yawn comment as a criticism of your commentary, just the original post. So enough agreement, I promise to call you a Commie or something really soon so we can get back to our old relationship. Thanks for all the recent posts on my site, you keep stuff lively and it's nice to know that *someone* is reading my posts!