You’re making this much too complicated

There’s a funny thing where obsessive people have Rosicrucian-like Ideas about what happened when once long ago a comment they made on my blog ended up on the cutting room floor. They think it’s because Dogmatism or Social Justice Warrior or Skepticism Stabbed in the Back or the Femistasi or The Lindbergh Baby. They obsess; they make wikis; they type and type and type and type; they go on for thousands of words. And all the time it’s much simpler than that.

The comment was fucking boring.

It was long, and detailed, and pedantic, and about a very small thing that couldn’t stand that much length and detail and pedantry, and it was fucking boring.

You know what? Not everybody writes well. It can be surprising how many people don’t write well and never realize it. I get some people like that commenting here. (Not you! Of course not you. But some people.) When people who can’t write well write long detailed pedantic comments about some tiny incident that can’t possibly merit that level of attention and verbiage…

then those comments are boring. Boring. Boring.

I hate boring. I don’t want boring here. I don’t want windbags here, boring everyone into stone.

But I don’t like just coming right out and telling people, that comment was boring and you go on much too long about much too little all the time.

So I just ditch the god damn boring comment and hope they take a hint.

But they don’t. Instead they develop a Key to All Mythologies on the subject, and they Casaubon it to death ever afterwards. But at least they don’t do it on my blog! They do it on other people’s blogs, and on their beautiful new wikis, and on fora, but they don’t do it on my blog.

And that, O Best Beloved, is how the leopard changed its spots.


  1. theoreticalgrrrl says

    I don’t write well but at least I’m aware of it. 🙂

    So you are responsible for a comment someone made 10 months ago on someone else’s blog, but you are also an evil censor who won’t let people say the same thing over and over and over again after they’ve call you nasty hateful names in forty different ways before you finally block them.

  2. Acolyte of Sagan says

    Ophelia, I think you made your point a little….boring. Too much repetition of boring to be interesting 🙂

    Yes, I jest, but I cant help it, it’s the crowd I hang out with. I’ve been a fan of J&M for too long, I suspect, and that crowd are a bad influence on an impressionable soul such as I..

  3. Ulysses says

    And that, O Best Beloved, is how the leopard changed its spots.

    So you’re making this into a just-so story.

  4. machintelligence says

    I hope that my comments make up in brevity for what they lack in quality. 🙂

  5. says

    I had a crashing bore get into a comment-war with me on my fetlife blog. They went on and on for pages until I decided I’d had enough fun and told them, “Want to learn an important thing about blog-warring from Sun Tzu? If you control the terrain, you cannot be defeated.” They didn’t realize that as the owner of the posting, I could delete all those comments they had spent hours on (versus the minutes I’d invested in my responses) – click click click click click poof “I just wasted all your effort at smart-sounding. Wanna play another round?”

  6. says

    (of course that only works if you don’t care about FREEZE PEACH) In that case I felt justified in deleting the comments because:
    a) I knew it would make blood squirt out of my opponents’ ears
    b) They bored me so they were probably boring everyone else
    c) Everyone got a good laugh out of the whole thing (I left my comment explaining what I was about to do, and why, as a tombstone for the whole affair)

  7. FelixBC says

    A blog post that swings at boring, obsessive dude with a *Middlemarch* reference makes my day. Dried up old pedant, Casaubon, trying to suck away all the best years of Dorothea’s vibrancy. He fails and is forgotten.

  8. latsot says

    Whenever I write a comment that doesn’t make it through moderation, my first reaction is to assume there was something wrong with the comment rather than with the moderator. It’s not always true, but it seems a more sensible approach than stamping out another conspiracy theory.

  9. says

    But, Ophelia, doing boring is a venerable internet tradition. I did it in the first email I sent via Fidonet in 1984 and I’ve never looked back since. Things like spam didn’t exist back then but there was plenty of boring.

  10. Brian E says

    I don’t write well, as I know too well. (A rhyme! huzzah!)
    Who was this boring pedant who creates Dan Brownesque conspiracies?
    (Just between you, me, and the Internet, whenever I see Verbose Stoic has held forth on blog posts, I move on. S/he (probably he) is more of a pompous windbag than I! Well, it’s a close tie then. Alright, I’m more of a pompous windbag. 🙂

  11. says

    So in these people’s fantasies, you or FTB as an entity is actually the supreme ruler of the universe, akin to Big Brother in the Orwellian universe, with a huge level of control over the internet where you weild your mighty banhammer/ignore button? See, you have so much power, actually 😉 It is as if you are mighty gods, ignoring their pathetic prayers and beseeching to be heard above the din…

  12. sailor1031 says

    It must be very frustrating for those who are so smart to take endless pains to sort it for the rest of us, who are so dumb, and then have their carefully explained and so well documented screeds disappear without a trace. But don’t worry – I’m sure they did a “copy” before sending their precious brainchild out into the cruel world…..

    BTW; does this mean we can be boring if we keep it short? just askin’

  13. AsqJames says

    Like others here have admitted, I too am not too great a writer. I do consider myself quite a good reader though, and I can tell the difference between good and bad writing. Thus it is easy (and necessary) for me to be my own pre-moderator. It really doesn’t take long to preview & read a comment before submitting. I’ve probably got a posted:drafted ratio of about 1:5 because all too often what I’ve drafted is boring or stupid or ill-thought out or trivial or better expressed by others already or whatever.

    And now I’m re-reading the above and it reads like such a humble-brag. So just to be clear: I’m not being humble at all. I’m proud of my self-moderation and I wish everyone on the internet was as good as it as I am!

  14. Thetar says

    Hi Ophelia, can you please specify the maximum permissable comment length? I’d hate to exceed it and risk it not being published after spending time on it. Thankyou.

  15. says

    sailor – yes! It does mean that. Of course it does. The boredom quotient rises steeply as the comment gets longer.

    Thetar – no. There isn’t one, so I can’t specify it. But it’s a high threshold. The threshold for abuse or harassment is low, but the threshold for length or boringness is high. It’s slightly lower for length and boringness combined, but it’s still quite high. And there are warnings. I will say when someone is being too boring or lengthy or both. It is only if that someone continues to make long boring comments that I will get exasperated and get rid of the comment.

  16. says

    No probably about it; it definitely wasn’t. I hadn’t heard of the blog, that I know of (and it’s probably named after the same Casaubon, by the way), and I meant the Middlemarch one. The magnum opus he was working on was titled The Key to All Mythologies, which is another reference in the post.

  17. 'dirigible says

    “(of course that only works if you don’t care about FREEZE PEACH)”

    Deleting blog comments is not government censorship.

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