To keep the comments as fresh and outstanding as they've been up to this point, Commenting Guru Rob Iracane will write a bi-weekly Comment Ombudsman column. It runs every other week. This is that week. Mr. Iracane, co-proprietor of the brilliant Walkoff Walk , is also the guy who approves comments around here, and the fellow to whom you should address any comment account requests, and he will explore issues involved in commenting, what makes a great comment thread, what's working, what isn't, answer your questions, so on.
We want the place to continue to be as much fun as it is every day, and it's not an execution thread like our friends at Gawker do. We like to be inclusive here, because if we're not, we'd be forced to rely on our own wit and knowledge, and that's a scary thought indeed. So here's this week's column that gives you, the commenter, a chance to fight back. With one tidy, premeditated motion, one anonymous commenter said more about the state of Deadspin comments than I have in my entire reign of combudsman. When commenter Phil Mickelsons Man Tits posted his four theses to the door of Afternoon Blogdome, he set off a flurry of responses and caused me to rethink the way I've been selecting topics for my columns. Mr. Man Tits isolated four different memes that he feels are crutches used by weak and unfunny commenters. He feels that these memes indicate a total lack of originality and just clutter Deadspin with "a Mad-Libs version of commenting".I agree with Mr. Man Tits; these four memes are worthless and I would like to extinguish them all. Still, I don't want to overwhelm the commenteriat with too many new rules when we're still having trouble with Rule Number One (Be funny and don't be unfunny). So thanks to enormous popular demand, I've decided to put the four memes up for a vote by you, the commenters. Please read through Phil Mickelsons Man Tits' Four Units of Cultural Diffusion and decide which one you would like to see eliminated forever. Post a comment to vote. Unit of Cultural Diffusion #1: "I know there's a joke in here about X and Y, but I just can't find it." Why: This commenting meme is the calling card for the uncreative. There are obviously two steps to making a joke: recognizing the subject and figuring out the execution. If you're not going to take the time to figure out the execution, don't make the joke. Unit of Cultural Diffusion #2: Corny joke, or lame pun followed by "/Shows Self Out." Why: It almost seems as though including the disclaimer "shows self out" precludes me from executing anyone who makes any horrible comment. No more. If you vote for this meme, I will start killing people off who ask for it. Unit of Cultural Diffusion #3: "X>Y>Z." For example: In a post about the Olympic Hammer Throw, somebody will undoubtedly submit a comment like, "Hammer Time > Hammer Toes > Hammer Head Shark > Hammer Throw." Why: This practice has become extremely tiresome. No, this isn't like building a comedy pyramid. Comedy pyramids require actual thought and joke-making, whereas this meme simply requires the commenter to think of words that sound alike. "Hey, these two things have the same word or words in their names! I'm a dumb yokel!" Absolutely worthless. Unit of Cultural Diffusion #4: Use of the backslash to indicate a quote, and turning that citation into a verb. Why: If you are going to allude to a movie or song or historical figure with a quote, don't pander to the readers by telling us who said it or what movie it came from. Deadspinners are smart enough to figure that shit out if they don't already know. Be confident with your joke even if you're not 100% sure that everyone is going to get it. Don't be afraid to take risks! Please read Phil Mickelsons Man Tits' comment again because he does a far better job of describing these memes in greater detail. Pick the one that irritates you the most, and vote below in the commenting section. These commenters, will never be voted off the island because they've made the Comments of the Fortnight: Re: Auburn's College Football preview Arkansas Fred: "I prefer Rep'Bill Pascrell and SecyoftheTreasury'Henry Paulson to Sen'Derrick Marks." Re: The Olympic gold medal soccer match Chuck Knoblockhead: "The Nigerians played well, but in the end it looks like things fell apart." Re: The Redeem Team's place in history Artie Fufkin: "I think the Redeem Team could beat the Dream Team. Because the Dream is fucking old and has AIDs." Of course, to even things out a bit, here are your bi-weekly executions: Say Goodbye To: TheLastTemptationOf Weiss Why: Sullying the good name of Michael Phelps with a "First" comment Say Goodbye To: muggsybogues Why: Questioning the necessity of posting 'marginal' Philadelphia news on a website written and edited by a Phillies fan. Really, if you're a Mets fan and you've got a problem with the occasional remaindered link in which AJ posts Philly news (in a self-deprecating manner, nonetheless), go start your own sports blog and fill it with marginal Mets news. You can call it "Metsplosion of Metiocrity". Serving a three-day suspension: MattMillenFanClub Why: Talking about fantasy hockey on my combudsman post. Yikes, what a misstep.