Wednesday, June 27, 2012

MKMOT (June 27, 2012)

So, a lot of imaginary people have been asking me, "Marv, what's your take on this whole new system over there?" Continuing my theme of commenter-provided content, allow me to express myself through the voice of one of my favorite gents:


   Erg 


Tommy, normally I will check every post on Deadspin and often will come across excellent stories that I wasn't necessarily interested in based on the titles. I do this because one never knows where something hilarious hides. Today there are 13 posts that I skipped. Without chronological comments it is just too difficult to dig for the gold. Y'all gotta do what you gotta do and I in no way fit into your targeted demographics but this is depressing. Thank you for your support. I know how it is to spend good will with the bosses.


That pretty much sums it up for me. Maybe I'll grow to love it, but right now I'm growing to love the extra time with my toys/figurines. Oh, and you guys, too. Let's grow even closer below this moving picture interpretation of a song. It's open.




77 comments:

  1. Tommy's take on the "all" option (and Denton's seeming lack of strict opposition to it) have me very, very optimistic about how this Kinja system is going to evolve.

    Also, EMS, I had to look up Piet Mondrian, but that was a really solid joke that deserved every +1 it received. But I find it hilarious that if you reference a relatively obscure artist (he could be very famous...I just meant that the majority of the commenters won't know his work off hand...I certainly didn't) or an intellectual figure, people trip all over themselves to show they understand. Noam Chomsky is the worst. You put his name in a joke and receive a slew of "I UNDERSTAND THIS REFERENCE AND I TOO READ NOAM CHOMSKY" +1s.

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    1. By the way, I'm using "you" to refer to commenters in general...not specifically talking about the response EMS receives.

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    2. SbV8, I gotta press you on this. You're optimistic? I'm not going to rehash the litany of problems Kinja obviously has, or enumerate the ways it's already, at this moment, eviscerating the quality of the comment section. But I will say that it's done absolutely nothing to assuage my concerns and, actually, has only exacerbated them. I think, even with an "all" option, Deadspin commenting is all but dead (and I say that knowing how many people are rolling their eyes, based on their experiences with other new systems).

      How can you be optimistic? Do you mean you think there's a possibility that, if we get an "all" option, we can return to a reasonable facsimile of the thriving community we had before, with the glaring addition of a chorus of pedantic assholes and trolls that would otherwise be obscured? I'm throwing out the possibility that you think Kinja will, even at some day far in the future, be proven to have been a neutral, much less a positive influence on Deadspin. That I find very difficult to imagine.

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    3. Bronze Hammer, I don't talk to clouds on a sunny day!

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    4. I'm optimistic we'll get the "all" option relatively soon based on Craggs post in DUAN last night and Denton's reply to DubaiAtNight. I think that will immediately remove the problems posed by the chronological shuffling (in my opinion the major problem here).

      It's been two days. It seems like lots of the regulars are kind of waiting and watching to see what happens here, I expect most of them will work there way back into regular commenting within the next few weeks. I also think this is the biggest reason an "all" function should show up sooner rather than later...should bring those folks back into the fold quicker.

      We've all gotten used to skimming much of the pink comments, if not some of the grey as well. If anything, I think the people who are really going to get screwed here are commenters who were on the verge of getting it and might find themselves ignored some because they're not as well recognized (Mike Kafkaesque for example, that guy makes some real solid jokes from time to time, but I find myself skimming for the commenters I know will be bringing it under the current system).

      I've always felt that Deadspin's comment section was great because of the stellar quality of commenting from the top 25-50% or so. The inclusion of some pink commenters isn't going to pull that down unless we start wading in and engaging the trolls. I think the quality of Kinja, and I'm speaking solely for those of us regulars who come to Deadspin for the comments as much as the articles, will be determined by an "all" function and our ability to avoid engaging trolls. I don't think the lowest rung of the commenters have any influence on it unless we give it to them.

      So yes, I think if we all keep our heads, show a little patience, and keep making jokes the introduction of Kinja will, at some day near in the future, be a neutral influence on Deadspin.

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    5. I've got to go with SbV8 here. A chronological "view all" option will let us interact the old way, and if the algorithm rewards receiving +1s and therefore (over time) moves commenters who consistently receive them to the front of the queue the experience, then will be better for everyone. We will have to wade through a few more trolls, but will get rewarded over time for good jokes, and the casual reader will always see the jokes from the the 5-6 highest rated commenters.

      That requires two changes from the current system: 1) a "show all chronologically" option, which appears to be coming, and 2) an algorithm that rewards (and isn't just neutral) +1s, which hopefully will come eventually.

      With those changes, I think it could actually be better over time.

      But, I'm saying this from a sanatorium, so take it for what it's worth.

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    6. And maybe if they implement a feature that sends me a dollar every time I click, it could be ok!!

      Like you said, you're in a two-clause hypothetical. And I know I asked about what we might think in the future, so we're free to imagine a world where our input is valued. I happen to think that's unlikely, since if our input was valued, they wouldn't have devised a system that deemphasizes and marginalizes our input in the first place.

      Anyway, I can appreciate the positive attitude. Really. And I'm not quitting, either. But you're understating the trolls -- who aren't just trolls, by the way. They're regular people who now have a mouthpiece for their banality, and that's a type of person that tends to flourish and multiply. Those people will never, ever go away; meaning that even if we get the things on our wish list, it's going to be appreciably worse.

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    7. I think you're both overestimating our importance to Deadspin and underestimating the extent to which the editors/writers of Deadspin (which is not where Kinja originated) value our contribution.

      We'll just have to agree to disagree on what we expect/how much we're bothered by the removal of the approval barrier for commenting on Deadspin.

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    8. I definitely don't think that my dissatisfaction, or even a (former) starred commenter exodus would make a dent in the profitability or success of the site, if that's what you mean. I think there is definitely a part of the audience that, even though they are mostly or totally silent in the comments, come there in part or in full for the high quality conversation and humor that Deadspin is known for. But I also know that most of them will quickly get over it, and even if many don't, they're outnumbered a thousand times over by the new blood that will flock to the site. We play a key role to a largely non-vocal minority. I get that.

      We all know Tommy cares. Sean and Tom Ley care, too. It's hard for me to imagine that all the writers on the site don't know exactly what Deadspin comments are about, and what they're good for (although the odd Drew starring did make you wonder). But that's limited so far to what Tommy can argue for behind closed doors. The writers have to engage, and as you point out, that's going to be with the "serious" comments. The Faerie seems to have been neutered. There's only so much they can do about it.

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    9. @SbV8,

      I don't think we are all that important to them, but Denton did explicitly say that our comment section was much better than that of the other Gawker Media sites, and then he came in yesterday and said they would strongly consider the "view all" option. Then 5 hours later Tommy opened DUAN by saying that change was a strong possibility. So, while a hypothetical, I think it is one likely to materialize.

      And, it took about 3 hours before your dismissals stemming from that (brilliant) opening shot caused them to explicitly change the algorithm to stop penalizing +1s.

      So, I think it is fair to assume they care about our opinions and are somewhat flexible to change. And, with two changes, one of which has already been alluded to and the other of which is similar to a change they already made, this system will be an improvement over the old one.

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    10. But I find it hilarious that if you reference a relatively obscure artist (he could be very famous...I just meant that the majority of the commenters won't know his work off hand...I certainly didn't) or an intellectual figure, people trip all over themselves to show they understand.

      Yeah, that's how I feel, too. I find it hard to laugh at anything obscure, even if I get the reference, which I never have.

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    11. @Dubai/BH:

      Oh yeah, I didn't mean to imply they don't care about the commenters at all. If anything, even if they didn't think we add something to the website (which we do), they definitely know we're the most fervent fans of Deadspin out there. Because holy shit do we care more than is reasonable. I've got a month left at my job before school starts, almost no responsibility, and would legitimately lose my mind if it wasn't for Deadspin keeping me busy for the next 30 days.

      And thanks Dubai, I'd love to pretend that opening salvo was off the cuff, but I sat and played around with a few ideas for the first few hours of work Monday AM waiting for the first Kinja post to go up. I'm a little bit hurt MBA didn't notice it/think it was up to snuff. Which I suppose is exactly why MBA is such a good influence on all our work.

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    12. I have no idea how/when Shitehawk does his work, but there is a good chance he got to the post after the comment was dismissed. I still don't know how it was done, though - care to share?

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    13. Google "html upside down text". It appears there's a long way to do it (putting in actual html codes for each letter), but there are a few sites that let you type text in one field and another field spits out the upside down text for you.

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  2. I know this will come as a shock to some of you, but in real life I am not a complete self-absorbed asshole (I said “complete”). If you will permit me to take off this Scarlet “R” that IMG or others or myself good-naturedly gave me, I’d like to give you my honest take on this new shitty comment system.**

    I’ve been making Deadspin comments off and on for the past three-plus years, and except for the past year or so, I didn’t have any relationship (pretend, imaginary or otherwise) with any of you. All I knew is that I was going to a website where I could type in something funny, and it would show up on my screen. For the most part, people didn’t reply to me, and probably couldn’t have picked me out of the crowd of greys.

    But I kept commenting, for the same reason I will keep commenting on the new system or any other system: I like writing funny jokes and seeing them on my favorite website, and I enjoy the occasional rush of someone else enjoying it as well. If you told me that starting today, no one here would ever again reply to one of my comments, it wouldn’t really deter me, because the replies are just pretend icing on a pretend cake. I mean, what the hell else am I going to do on conference calls or during lunch at my desk?

    We’re two days into this, and I guess I’m just not going to get worked up over the fact that I may type something funny and no one here sees it, or that some anonymous jagoff tells me that I suck or that I eat shitty Hot Pockets. I really do love getting +1s from you all, whose work and sense of humor I really respect, but in real life I don’t really seek or receive compliments. I have two kids and a wife who are quick to remind me that I am a complete dork and that I need to take the dog out. Commenting is like jogging to me: I’m doing it because I enjoy it, and I’m going to do it even if you’re not on the side of the road cheering me on.

    My hope is that all of you will keep commenting, even if we miss each other once in a while. And some of this gets back to my discussion with MS on Mad Bastards All. More than ever, we need each other to spit a lot of funny jokes. Please don’t sit on your B+ material – I want to read anything you think is funny or relevant.

    We’ll figure this out. In the meantime, please keep commenting. You guys are all really funny, and there are more of us out there.

    ** NB: I call it a shitty comment system, because it is. They’ve essentially reinvented the phone book or the dictionary or whatever other analogy you want to use where there’s a natural linear order. That wasn’t a good idea, in my opinion. But oh well.

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    1. Totally agree. I like commenting on Deadspin. I've made a few snide comments about Kinja, but it is what it is.

      One thing I will say is - Keep +1ing (this goes for me too, I'm a bit like "Durrr Kinja is weird, oh right, +1 that!"). I know comments are down across the board, but there's still good stuff in there. If we show some of the new folks how this works, perhaps we can get some good stuff going.

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    2. I only wish I didn't want pretend icing on a pretend cake. A bombing comedian is not a good feeling over here.

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    3. Ray, I could kiss you. I'm not gonna, because your face smells like fried clams, but the point is that I could, if I wanted to.

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  3. Plus one, Ray. I ain't taking my ball and going home.

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  4. If we are going to all work together to ignore the trolls and bad comments, as Tommy alluded to yesterday, the editors are going to have to be on board too.

    Yesterday, there were multiple instances of editors engaging bad/trolling commenters, and Barry just did it again on the Clippard post. I know it's their website, and they're free to do what they want, but if the "ignore the bad commenters and they will be marginalized" strategy is going to work, we all need to be unified while executing it.

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    1. That'll come with time. The writers are all under an executive order to engage in the comments. And they're not going to jump in and just start giving us +1s (and we'd be even more pissed if they started responding seriously to our jokes). The only thing that's left is to engage what comments remain.

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    2. The worst part is when they respond to a troll and/or idiot like Barry just did on the Clippard post it automatically makes it the first comment.

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    3. Big question here guys. With this new Kinja system, did anyone else lose their old account?

      I couldn't log in, so I questioned Gawker and they told me that since I signed up via twitter I'd have to log in that way. When I do that, my twitter handle shows up (an account I use for some freelance stuff that I do, that was inactive at the time I joined DS) and I can't get my SnarkyCianfracco name back, I can only post as my twitter account. They basically said 'Tough, kid' . . .

      Now, I'm using a burner account as FormerlyCianfracco . . . is it worth it to keep the burner or should I make the move to become "permanent"? I really don't get the difference.

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    4. I would try gawker help again. A few of us had issues like that and no one's old account disappeared. They're likely brushing you off because they're dealing with more Kinja problems than account issues.

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    5. Cianfrocco's Modern LifeJune 27, 2012 at 11:13 AM

      I just said screw it and gave up. The guy flat out said that my old account was dead. Looks like I've got to find another way to honor ol' Archi. Guess I'm going through google. Thanks though

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  5. Dismiss or reply?

    So I made a joke that was either:
    1) unseen
    or
    2) seen and deemed not funny

    because it received no replies for a while. Obviously, I assume it was unseen. Anyway, I get a jackass response:
    http://deadspin.com/5920287/?comment=50407607

    So what's the right thing to do - I could either dismiss the comment or I could respond by saying, "Yes, that's the joke. Taking out the star would make him the rock of the swimming community. And that means that he would sink, because rocks can't swim. Just like Natalie Wood."

    Still hate the commenting system, but think everything would be fine if a 'View All' button was available.

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    1. I'd go with a PM...but that's not an option yet.

      IMO, the less everyone responds to comments like that...the better.

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    2. @Owens I usually do say "That's the joke." in a PM.

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    3. I think dismissal is the way to go. The commenter may not understand why it was dismissed at first, but he'll get the message that it wasn't welcome/appropriate. It seems the only way we can shape the new comment system is to dismiss stupid replies, and hope over time people will get the message.

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  6. I'm sure some of you realized this before me, but it seems that:

    1. An actual worded reply is worth more than a naked +1 in the algorithm. If you want to move comments ahead in line, put in a little something extra.

    2. A back-and-forth between the original commenter and the replier is worth A LOT. I noticed this last night in DUAN, when CPH’s well-written (and well-replied to) Reddit comment was pushed behind me and Always Winning going back and forth over complete stupid shit. The algorithm really seems to like the discussion part, so whenever possible, try to reply to replies sometime to make it look like we’re talking about stuff.

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    1. Let's not take this too far. We're hoping to influence trolls/new contributors to pick up one our "make jokes" priority. We don't want a competition of who can manipulate Kinja more effectively.

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    2. I'm not 100% certain--not even 70% certain, actually--but I think each user has a score associated with them. I keep seeing the same people getting buried and a few non-editors whose replies rocket a discussion to the "top." Maybe I'm just seeing a pattern where there is none but it's something to keep an eye on.

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    3. SbV8 -- I completely agree. Don't do anything unnatural, but we should just understand the rules so that we take advantage of them when the opportunity presents itself.

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  7. Replies
    1. Beefer BitchtitsJune 27, 2012 at 1:23 PM

      Can I ask what's tripe about it?

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    2. Easy there fella. You don't see me shitting on any metal alloys.

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    3. Bronzie, you were a lot more fun when you told jokes and didn't let stuff you can't control burrow under your skin like a Tumbu fly larvae.

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    4. Yeah, Bronzie. Just tell jokes. Don't come to a site that is designed for discussion about Deadspin. Don't read these comments. Don't reply to these non-joke comments with non-jokes. Who wastes their time with that?

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    5. Hammer, perhaps you could upgrade to beryllium copper. It looks just like bronze, and is far stronger in most industrial and recreational applications. It could be a hot new look for you.

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    6. All due respect Guy Who(s), there was never a time when I didn't get annoyed over trivial matters. This is my shitty personality.

      I guess it's possible that I'm the only person who thinks the "sports talk radio" wave of mutilation is the one that's going to hit us hardest, but I find that difficult to believe.

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    7. We know. We guys who are just hoping you'll join us on this wonderful* journey wherever the Kinja Tour takes us and don't take excessive offense to the homeless guy pooping in the bus' bathroom.

      *perhaps

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  8. Why don't you guys just post to http://www.deadspin.com/duan/forum ? It's linear and you can post all you want. No algorithm. Nothing against IronMike, but you guys can stay there all you want and conveniently skip over to Deadspin.

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  9. Ok, who posted this? And is it true?

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    1. My guess? You did.

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    2. Nah, it wasn't me (Not that it really matters because I guess you'd have no way of knowing whether or not that was true). I did find it funny though and was wondering if it was someone on here who posted it.

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    3. I believe you. And I doubt it. Most of us are irritated enough with the burners here I doubt we'd be using the burners over at Deadspin.

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    4. Moot point anyway, it looks like they deleted the comment? Interesting to see they can censor a burner.

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    5. Was that comment "banned" or Faerie'd away? I see it from your link, but not from clicking on the story. Noticed this too from a racist screed in the Dewayne Wise post (that sweatinmullets pointed out on Twitter)

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    6. Yup. It appears either the Faerie/editors have the ability to make comments largely disappear.

      That's good to see.

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  10. I Like Cheap BeerJune 27, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    Thanks to Kinja, the sudden explosion of troll responses to comments is one of the best things to happen to Deadspin since Moe Tkacik.

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  11. "You know never know where something hilarious hides" is how Jerry Sandusky told little boys to find jokes by digging in his pockets!!1!"

    Sorry.

    So the influx of "he sucks" and "you're a dipshit" and random people telling formerly starred, veteran commenters to "stop commenting" is a welcome change. Thank goodness those are instantly in the threads. KINJA RULEZ.

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    1. Guy who is luminous with style and graceJune 27, 2012 at 2:36 PM

      Man, you are so right. I have absolutely no patience for a place where people can anonymously trash prominent Deadspin commenters with no repercussions.

      /wanking motion

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    2. I haven't seen any "prominent" Deadspin commenters getting trashed over here. Unless you're talking about Dubai, then I still haven't.

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    3. I've seen someone suggest that Same Sad Echo is a humorless dullard, but that was me just now in this reply.

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    4. Who can't spell beverage correctly?

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    5. Despite some terrible rumors to the contrary, I actually can. I just choose not to do so.

      Hey, I balogged!1!!

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    6. I bet he's not even actually David Hume.

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  12. Guy who is luminous with style and grace sure sounds like a crazy person right now.

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    1. I had nothing to do with anything in that thread above, but I applaud your willingness to keep beating the same drum. If the first round of sniping won't shut me up, perhaps the Echo will.

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  13. Well, it's nice to see that editing my comment after being replied to will quickly move the comment to the back and out of the forefront.

    Sorry WWTD, I wasn't quite happy with that one.

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  14. Positive things MKMUAD!

    That Zeus story in the Virgilbag is great.

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    1. Yeah, I like that Virgilbag feature quite a bit so far.

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  15. From tonight's DUAN:

    "Yo! Guys in charge!..."
    -Erg

    I agree Marv, Erg is awesome.

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    1. This is hilarious, I was just coming over to say the same thing. Erg's great.

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    2. Thirded. Reminds me a lot of TOTWC's tone when he spent a few days just ranting against the world and ended up a with a star.

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    3. Erg reminds me a bit of myself, albeit in a much older and wrinkled way. I like the cut of his jib.

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    4. I am a dick. He is a prince of a gentleman.

      Even a dick can't help but love a prince of a gentleman. I love that dude.

      *side note: I have no idea what "Erg" means.

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    5. Guys, I can think of nothing to say except 'Thank you'.

      And Erg is a small unit of energy I started using as an alias somewhere around 15 years ago. I have no idea why.

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  16. Hey gang, you mind if an un-starred bottom feeder comes to hang out with the cool kids? I gave it a try over at DUAN, but I just don't think it's going to work out. I'm sending a friend over to Deadspin's apartment to pick up my stuff.

    I really just want to talk about the soccer game! Here's my take (full disclosure, Spain and Real Madrid fan here): Portugal did a great job of shutting Spain down for the majority of the game. Counter attacked and didn't give them room to work in the middle. But after a while, particularly in extra time, Spain wore them down and started to look like themselves creating chances.

    The shootout is always a crapshoot, and Bento is an idiot for not putting Ronaldo up earlier. Happy to see La Roja through, but I think his performance also cost Ronaldo the Ballon d Or.

    Someone talk to me!!!

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    1. Hi pal! How about them Cubs?

      Eric

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  17. Phin,

    I'm sorry.

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    1. What happened now?

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    2. Yeah, I assumed this was related to DUAN but nothing's in there...

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    3. Nothing. I made a terrible joke on his waterfall. I'm terrible, but I'll blame Kinja.

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    4. For the record, I saw that and I wouldn't take it as him being serious. The stretch pic isn't used in a prickish way. It's just a funny thing to leave in reply when someone stretches hard for a pun or a punchline or something. Shit, I've gone back and replied to one of my own comments with that pic.

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    5. The Real Phin, For RealJune 28, 2012 at 2:05 AM

      Like Uwe said...that was a joke Cian. Sorry if it came across like it was personal, wasn't meant that way. Cheers buddy.

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