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Archive for July 23rd, 2008

Some Comments On The Comments

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

In the three or four months that I have been contributing to Skippy’s List, the thing that has made it fun and rewarding is your comments.

“Even the comments from right-wing asshats, Michiel?”

Yes, even the comments from right-wing asshats.

Seriously, it is fun to throw weird thoughts and stories out there, but without the feedback, it would be pointless masturbation. (Perhaps it is still pointless masturbation, but who doesn’t like an audience? Am I right, or what?)

But, sometimes the conversations go off course. Sometimes people take it way more serious than I ever intended. Sometimes people just don’t think it is funny, and sometimes it just gets weird.

So, I thought I would highlight a few of my favorite curve balls from my previous posts. Let’s start with the most recent, “George Bush Hates Elves.”

This was a post based on a news story about how the North Pole was melting away and may even completely disappear before the summer is over, and my wondering what people are going to tell their kids about where Santa lives, if it does. Granted it got a bit political. This was not my intent when I wrote it, it just turned out that way.

The comments started out with some fun, back and forth, about how Santa is a communist because he wears red, and eventually ended with me concluding that Republicans were fascists, based on what the “right-winger” I was talking with had posted. (Here is that portion of the conversation). There was also a fun semantics argument about whether North and South are relative or arbitrary, which eventually led to an offer to have my baby, and a discussion about the spelling of my name. In short, a good time was had by all.

But quickly, some people started to take it a bit too serious, like Ed Herring, Jeremiah Hatch, and our very own Lt. Ronald, and a debate began to rage about whether global warming is real or not. Props to Lt. Ronald for providing several sources about the South Pole getting bigger in recent years, to which I replied, “OK… but the article was about the North Pole.”

For the record, I am not knocking any of you guys, and I enjoyed the debate. You all put up an amazing effort to site sources that frankly, I’ll probably never check because I was just writing what I thought was a fun post. I will admit that my post did get a bit weighty, and clearly shows my own opinion that global warming is happening, and even took on a bit of a criticism of the whole hurricane Katrina debacle. But when I sat down to write the post, my initial intent was just stupid humor based on an article I saw, and my tangent of a thought about, “where will Santa live now?”

I really thought the Santa angle would take the edge off the topic, and we could all have fun, but I was wrong.

When it comes to taking it too serious, no one could top this comment from bmb84. I must admit that I have never been bitched out by someone that basically shares the same views I do. Obviously they missed some of my sarcasm, and wanted to know “what kind of narcissistic high and mighty catholic” I am “to diss people that dont believe in god or are gay or having sex before marriage.” When I read this one, I just had to laugh… and, of course, comment back. ;-)

Oh, and regardless of where you stand on the global warming issue, check out this video. It pretty much simplifies the debate to the real issue and what our choices are. Seriously, I highly recommend that you take the time to watch the video. It will not convince you that global warming is or is not happening, but makes a strong argument on how to handle the issue.

Another post I made where the comments were not so much taken seriously, but somehow became too scholarly for the topic was “What would really happen in a zombie apocalypse.”

Basically, this post was my vision of how a zombie apocalypse would go down. I did not include an explanation as none is really needed. It’s freaking zombies. It’s the dead coming back to life.

Do we really need to analyze the holes in my scenario from a scientific perspective?

Apparently, some people do.

The very first comment ran with my concept and even took it a step further to conclude that there would be, “zombie shit in your intestines.” And I thought I over thought the zombie thing with undead goldfish and plants.

Quickly, people began to comment on how if it was a disease, it could not possibly infect so many species. To which I replied that, “Obviously, it is not a virus.”

But this did not stop people from continuing to shoot holes in my vision of a zombie apocalypse by using the virus model of zombie infection. Jinn made a comment about a zombie killer whale and then stated that, “I highly doubt zombie infections could spread to fish,” when in my story there were zombie goldfish in a toilet and zombie sardines in a can. And, although I missed it at the time, I feel the need to point out that whales are not fish, but mammals like you and me.

Morrogoth then points out that there can’t be zombie bacteria as your blood shreds them and that mosquitoes do not carry enough blood to infect you with the zombie virus. So, again, I point out that it is not a disease.

Finally, I Am An Evil Taco, attacked insects as carriers of the disease and the ability of the disease to infect every species. This lead me to a mini rant in the comments section…

Based on the scenario, and what everyone is saying about disease and what it affects and how, it is obvious that in this instance it is not a disease.

Maybe it is magic, maybe cosmic rays, maybe evil pixie dust, maybe it is God. Who cares? Everyone dies. It’s my zombie apocalypse and I say everything is affected and everything will end up dead and/or zombified.

And why do you assume the problem starts with people and spreads to animals? I think it hits all things at once. That is why the dead plants are zombies too.

Face it, in my zombie nightmare, you are doomed, and no matter how clever you think you are, you’re dead. DO YOU HEAR ME? YOU ARE ALL DEAD!

It’s my scenario and I’ll kill off who I want.

Oh, and I am miraculously immune to the whole thing, now I can spend my time reading and not being bothered by the rest of the world. Now where are my glasses. (crunch)

But sure enough, someone, (I’m not naming names, but I am staring at you, SKD), has to point out that there is no way for me to survive my own zombie apocalypse either, “due to the fact that there will be nothing for you to survive on.”

As fun as it was, I am amazed at the ability to over rationalize a scenario where the dead come back to life. Seriously, you have a problem with how zombies come about, but not the fact that it is probably impossible to have the dead spontaneously reanimate by any means other than the supernatural? Oh let’s forget it and move on.

This next post I knew would be controversial before I ever typed a single word.

9/11 Humor… What? Too soon?

This was a post based on an advertisement for a 9/11 sale that my girlfriend saw on a website, and I then proceeded to take the concept of 9/11 ads to the extreme to

a) point out the over commercialization that we are exposed to here in the US

b) point out the occasional insensitivity of said over commercialization, and

c) to have a bit of 9/11 humor, because I think it is totally healthy to laugh in the face of tragedy and fear as it helps us move past it and keeps us human, plus it probably pisses off the terrorists to think we can laugh at this abominable shit they pulled.

Fortunately, most people understood what I was doing. But the very first comment from Swagman, was anything but understanding. He simply wrote, “Wow. Michiel, you really have no sense of what is funny, do you?”

To which I replied, “And neither does Skippy, his wife, our common friends, my girlfriend, my parents and the guy that posted just after you.

Before I posted this, I ran it by a LOT of people. I knew I was entering dangerous territory, and to anyone truly offended, I apologize, but again, for me the best way to heal and the best sign of healing is to be able to laugh at tragedy.

I even explained this to Swagman in the comments but he persisted in saying it was not funny. So I posted a comment that looking back is funny in a smart ass way, but was a bit insensitive. “… is it the subject matter that is not funny, or the execution of the various punchlines and the general structure of the piece that you take issue with? If it is the subject matter, as I would suspect is the case, then what would make for acceptable 9/11 humor to you? Please provide examples.”

He never provided examples.

If he just did not find the jokes funny, I am ok with that. As a comic I am used to jokes killing with some people and dying with others. Humor is not universal. I am only bothered when people do not give it a chance because of the topic, and not because they are not happy with the quality of the content.

So, Swagman, I hope that someday you will be able to read that post again and see the humor in it, but I understand why you don’t at this time. We all heal at different rates, and being that I live in Texas, I was fortunate enough to not know anyone that died that day, which probably makes it easier for me to make jokes about the whole thing.

I think Board in School summed up my thoughts on this whole thing the best when they said, “only in America after 7 years people would still be so shocked not to find that funny.”

And again, I was an insensitive smart ass and and responded with, “We are also shocked by womens boobs too. I’m not sure why. I think they lead to dancing or something. I really do not understand why so many Americans have a stick up their butt, but you have to admire the fact that at the end of that stick is a flag waving proudly in the wind.”

Again, my apologies, but that was damned funny.

OK, enough of the serious stuff, lets get to the just plain weird and funny. Some of the strangest comments I have received were in my post, “So many levels of irony. – Why outsourcing has to stop.”

This post was about a customer service call to my bank and getting idiots in another country on the other line. In short, they asked for some personal info I was not comfortable giving to foreigners, so I asked where they were, and they refused to tell me because of the company policy. It ends with me asking what planet they are located on and they could not reveal that either. Perhaps my call went to another planet, but I doubt it.

I’m not sure how to explain the odd comments I got, so I will just let them speak for themselves.

Virtual Assistant said, “I thought, that’s very significant, that is why he never gave his location. Sometimes we don’t blame people, he just only secure his self, right?”

So I replied, “YES! Seriously though, did you outsource this comment?”

By the way, the link his name went to was, http://www.outsourcingit2philippines.com/

I thought maybe someone was jacking with me until I got these next two comments.

Web Support Agent commented with, “Wew. sometimes you can get so much from what you bargain for.”

So I responded with, “I totally agree, and like they say, the early bird is worth two in the bush.”

And here is the link to the site you get when you click on his name. http://www.dcglobal.us/

Finally, Graphic Designer commented with, “Yes i agree,. outsourcing is too much, i guess it really need to stop because alsoof the negative effects of outsourcing.”

Which prompted me to reply by saying, “One of the negative effects of outsourcing is not to be able to understand what person on the other end is try to saying, also they only havening a small knowledge of American English, and usually they can has terrible grammar. It is very much like talking to a LOL CATS.”

His name linked to the same http://www.dcglobal.us/ web site as Web Support Agents.

So that is about it for the odd and interesting comments. Keep them coming. It is what makes this whole thing fun for me. So thanks for taking the time to read and comment, and I’m sure we will do this again real soon.