Sunday, February 04, 2007

Nostradamus Predicts Superbowl XLI

* C7Q38
The elder royal one on a frisky horse
will spur so fiercely that it will bolt.
Mouth, mouthfull, foot complaining in the embrace;
dragged, pulled, to die horribly.

Bad news for Colts fans, this.


SouthernGal said...

The elder royal on his frisky Colt lightly spurred and did not bolt.
The mighty Bear was crushed under thunderous hoofs and died a bloody, horrible death.

So sorry Bears fans...there's always next year...maybe?

Nostradamus needs to find a new profession, his predictions leave much to be desired.


JohnMcG said...

I would have like to have seen Peyton Manning walk up to Rex Grossman after the game and say, "That's OK, Rex -- you've still got the best arm in the neighborhood!"

Schadenfreude said...

For baltimore-aureole.

Another boring Superbowl. Time to widen the field and go to three downs.

Final thoughts on the Fray:

The Fray gets a couple of hundred thousand hits a month. Given its cost, this suggests that the Fray may well be the only profitable section of the magazine (possible others: Fighting Words and Dear Prudence).

The problem is that Slate has long ago forgotten why the Fray was set up in the first place. As I recall, it was a place for the readers to interact with the writers, and not just with each other. As such, it was entirely reasonable to expect posts to be on topic, etc. However, with only a couple of exceptions, the writers dropped out of the Fray a long time ago, and it took on a life of its own that had little to do with the content of the magazine. Somehow, Slate has never realized that this was a good thing.

Regarding me specifically, I have no idea what Geoff is thinking. First, his statement that all bans are permanent and posters are reinstated only in very rare circumstances is pure bullshit. Given my chequered past, I have been banned before, and the ban was automatically lifted after a week, with no kowtowing, apologies, or correspondence of any kind with the editor. Second, his capricious and arbitrary decision that BOTF shall have no all-caps subject lines seems to have been temporary (one-day only) and triggered specifically by an Ender post in all caps.

My guess: he wanted to show who's boss - nothing more than that.

The one advantage to having a Frayster as editor was the reduction in learning curve. Geoff, paradoxically, has chosen to ignore everything he knows, I suppose in the misguided belief that this is somehow more fair.

PS. Word verification is just as bad as the Fray login. It never takes the first time.

TenaciousK said...

Word verification never takes the first time if you're composing in the comment window. It usually takes the first time if you paste into the comment window.

If I were to imagine Geoff as an overworked, over-busy person who is trying to do a good job, then I might be pretty understanding about errors like that one (or the deletion by mistake he recently admitted to). If he's feeling defensive about the impact his activity level might momentarily exert on his judgment [in front of his peers, no less!], he might be inclined to a PeeWee Hermanesque response:

"I meant to do that."

If he were never to back down, would his friends/peers be forgiving of this lapse? If not, given the tendency for many other people to make lapses (preserved in perpetuity on the Fray – unless you get flushed, of course), are people being hypocritical*?

[On a related note, I’m genuinely curious about how the impact of an identical act, in the context of an IRL friendship, would be different.]

*Not necessarily talking about you, Schad. Somebody with his ass-muscles clenched as tightly as yours rarely makes mistakes.

Schadenfreude said...


You're a fucking idiot. I mean that in all sincerity.

Either you have no clue about the culture in which you're immersed, but insist on talking about it anyway (my guess), or you let some initial impression , no matter how wrong, cloud all of your subsequent interactions (which would make you a hypocrite).

If it weren't Geoff, and just some clueless freshman editor who instituted a one-day prohibition and then promptly forgot it, I would just assume he was a complete moron (why, that could be you). The thing is that we know Geoff isn't a complete moron, so we are left to guess at his motives for acting like a complete moron.

PS. The existence of a non-intuitive way to get word verification to work properly makes it more like the Fray login, not less.

TenaciousK said...

Schad, when someone you know provides you with an explanation that makes no sense, what are you to do but make guesses?

I know you know Geoff – much better than I do. “The thing is that we know Geoff isn't a complete moron, so we are left to guess at his motives for acting like a complete moron.” I just made my guess – what’s yours?

My other question has more to do with the manner in which we make allowances for aberrant, obnoxious behavior IRL, and how this differs from this situation. It’s a real question.

In what sense have I been wrong about the culture in which I’m immersed? And what initial impression are you referring to?

I appreciate the sincerity of your sentiment.

Schadenfreude said...

Consider an analogy:

A group of people like to hang out in a certain bar.

They talk, they argue, sometimes they even sing the Rodeo song.

Then one day, one of them says, "Wouldn't it be great if one of us were the bartender? Then we could make this the greatest bar on earth." And he goes off and applies for the job (which he doesn't get - it goes to a professional bartender).

The subject comes up frequently thereafter, always the same patron coming up with new ideas to make the bar better - some of them good, some of them horrible, but all of them sincerely meant.

Finally, one day, one of the patrons finally lands a job as a part-time bartender - not the one who said he wanted the job, but one who sat at the same table.

Some of the patrons hated the idea, and left in a huff, but some of them supported it, and encouraged the new bartender.

He immediately instituted some changes (obviously dictated by management). He moved some tables around, kicked a few of the old drunks out, and organized the bar into sections - beer here, bourbon there, that sort of thing.

One day the fellow who had wanted the job was scribbling something on a napkin. The bartender snatched it away. "No more scribbling on napkins", he said, even though nobody had ever noticed it before. So, some other people scribbled on napkins, just as a joke. He snatched those napkins away, too. One of the patrons left, never to return. Another one scribbled on yet another napkin and was kicked out of the bar permanently.

The next day, scribbling on napkins was ignored again, as usual.

As for you, TK, your sniggering asides about me are juvenile. You don't know me or anything about me, and you obviously have little insight into my personality. You should feel embarrassed for yourself.

TenaciousK said...

Running with your analogy for a minute:

The bartender is having a horrid time of it – bank screwed up his deposit again, checks bounced, the obligations from his second and third job are wearing on him, and the bar ownership is constantly on his shit about the most inconsequential stuff (though they refuse to do so much as fix the leaky roof, or even buy a new tap). The job isn't anything like he hoped it would be, and he's sensitive to the degree to which his friends may feel let down.

He keeps trying to draw the owner’s attention to the patronage, who are after all paying all the bills, but every time he gets them to come down out of the top office, someone’s puking in the corner, there’s a fight going on in the pool room, and people are throwing rotten vegetables at the guy who keeps spouting off about Jews and various ethnic groups.

So he makes some changes – bans the weird racist guy, puts all the whiskey drinkers in the back, that sort of thing. Still, the managers keep giving him shit, and every time he asks them to come down and assess repairs, there’s something embarrassing going on.

One day while he’s nervously waiting for a representative from the ownership, he notices someone scribbling on a napkin. “No napkin-scribbling. It cheapens up the place,” he snaps. His friends and former partners in crime start confronting him, and he glances up and sees the owner staring with a baleful eye from the top of the stairs.

I have no idea how closely this reflects reality – it’s just a hypothetical. In a more detached way, I am interested in the degree of latitude afforded people in a place like this, versus in-person interaction. I like Geoff, I like you, and I like the fray. The whole situation bums me out.

As for me and you, Schad, my sniggering asides were never meant to be anything but juvenile. I assumed that was obvious. No, I don’t have a lot of insight into your personality – what motivates you, etc. I do find what you have to say interesting, and you certainly became one of my favorite contributors quickly enough. I’m sorry I haven’t been able to reciprocate.

But no, I’m really not embarrassed. I am sorry you took my comments even a little seriously, though.

JohnMcG said...

here's an interesting possible solution to the captcha problem.

Schadenfreude said...

Well, TK, I guess I'd have to say he's not a very good bartender, if he starts to sweat every time his boss comes around.

In reality, complaints to the bartender were met with suggestions that patrons go drink somewhere else. Which is one of the reasons we are here, and not there.

As for his personal life, how is that my problem?

TenaciousK said...

His personal life isn't your problem. My comment is more about the degree to which there's an implicit interpretation in your analysis as well.

What struck me is that, were this a flesh-and-blood scenario, his friend might be inclined in this situation to think it over, decide an apology doesn't have to mean you're conceding you were wrong, and trust in him to figure it out (or at least hope he does) on his own, eventually.

I don't even know if this is the most appropriate response. I have been struck by the degree to which people seem less forgiving online than IRL.

But that's pretty much the accusation you just leveled against me (quick judgment, no reconsideration), so maybe I need to look at that myself.

TenaciousK said...

Oh, and the "go drink somewhere else" thing? Could be an admission of powerlessness.

I didn't say he was a stellar bartender.

Has the Fray ever had a unanimously approved, stellar bartender? Just curious.

alexa-blue said...

! (bonus points for insanity)