Our Stage is Your Stage

I remember Biohazard saying something about how they were willing to share the stage with the kids in the pit. This was in the early 1990s when they were opening for Fishbone. Before I talk about the main topic at hand i.e, my point in posting, I’m going to tell you a story about Fishbone and drummers, which has nothing to do with anything, except that drummers kick ass.

My friend Pat is a dope drummer. If only he were, as Clem Snide suggest, half-Jewish… Anyway, Pat goes backstage, pre-show to mingle with Fishbone when they were together and touring and before all the crazy kidnapping and whatnot. Pat approaches the drummer for Fishbone and asks him if he uses any computer aid or drum machine aid for the insane kick drumgasm at the end of “Servitude” off of Give a Monkey a Brain and He’ll…. The dude from Fisbone told him hell no. I arrive at the show and ask Pat if he got to talk to the band. He says yes and that he had indeed asked the drummer about the craziness with the feet and the drums and that he, Pat was referred to in a vernacular that might be less than vaguely Oedipal in nature. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the show. After Fishbone finished “Servitude” in their set, the drummer leapt off his seat, ran to the lead mic and said, “That was for the motherfucker who accused me of using a drum machine.” I looked at Pat. He looked at me. I gave him the thumbs up and did the “I’m laughing knowingly at the band’s hijinks” head nod. Let it be known that the drummer indeed did not use a drum machine and pulled off 128th notes with his feet.

Now we discuss the topic at hand, e.g, Biohazard, anarchy and post-modernism. Or just how weird people are when they are offered the stage. Or an open comment form.

In reading popular personal sites, especially those with hundreds of commenters, there is a kind of comment hijack that occurs. It’s less about trolls or whatever, but very similar to stage diving. At some shows the people waiting to stage dive outnumbered the band by double and the band could barely function, because they were dodging fans. As a person who wants to see the band, but doesn’t feel a need to stage dive, it sucks because the band I came to see is in danger of being trod upon by the stage divers. It’s awfully dadaist when the audience takes over (but not in a sing-along kind of way) and destroys the performance of the artist, so maybe it’s a dadaist hijacking of comments that I’m referring to. And you only see it once the comments hit a hundred or more. At some point, it becomes impossible to track the comments, and by god, you have to comment, and pretty soon, you’re in line to stage dive, knocking the bass player over and forcing the band to cover for her.

At any rate, there are stage divers/commentors, dadaists and kick ass drummers all converging and submitting and essentially drowning out the original voice of the artist. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. However, as a student of both post-modernism and post-post-modernism, at what point does the artist even matter, except for providing the event from which the audience may take over?

I’m not saying that it’s evil or anything like that. It’s just a thing that happens that’s nutty. And all I’m saying is that the comments area is kind of the equivalent to Biohazard saying, “Our stage is your stage, man.”

  • julie

    128th notes with his feet?

    Awesome

  • http://misspriss.org becky

    rest assured that the original artist is WAY more interesting than the stage diving, though. every time.

  • http://www.blurbomat.com patatomic

    Dude…what you forgot to mention is that they played the song FASTER than what they did on the album. And my original question that I asked him was if it was all one live take. Somehow he misunderstood what I was asking. Boy did I feel stupid. Now he drums for Justin Timberlake. I doubt that I’ll get a chance to hang out backstage with him again.

    James Brown’s brilliance was that he was the one to organize the party that became the music. The musicians would be playing and then James would walk into the room and add his thing and then boom…the magic was finally synthesized. Of course James took all the credit (financial and otherwise) and never fully credited his musicians who did all the work. Kind of a sad really.

  • http://jesslin.com/blog/ jesslin

    I definitely have to concur with you on the whole drummers being awesome thing. How do they keep up their stamina – how do they do a freaking show like that? Especially drummers for punk bands where the drum rhythm is huge fast.

    And I totally agree with becky; you’re the inspiration!

  • Jen J.

    Over the last two or three days, I’ve come to VERY CLEARLY understand why some artists shut down the stage divers. Wow.

  • http://spankyourcat.blogspot.com/ Christi

    So, It would be bad to change the subject now?

  • http://metrodad.typepad.com/ MetroDad

    Interesting analogy. I was thinking of this very topic recently. Are the obsessive commentors attempting to achieve some sort of Warholian fame-by-association? Coolness by proximity? or is it merely a case where seeing your name/comments on the internet endows you with a sense of fame, importance or relevance?

    Whatever the case, it DOES all get a little nutty. And from a sociological point of view, I think it’s pretty fascinating. For example, look at Dooce.com. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a huge fan of your wife’s site. I think she’s cool, intelligent, and a great writer. But the enormity of her fan base frightens me. Sometimes I think she could post a photo of Chuck’s poop and she would get 300 comments. Is that what you meant by the hijacking of comments? (Because I always thought it was just that people wanted to be closer to the drummer.)

    Great entry.

  • Tracy

    Man – I’ve been trying to define what’s been bugging me about seeing a certain open comment forum sort of spin out of control recently, and what you wrote absolutely nailed it. Excellent perspective, and definite food for thought.

  • Carol

    Hmmm… point taken.

  • Carol

    Well, before I go… I thought (and I am new to this whole blogging thing) people who had blogs wanted comments. I really did. I thought we were all helping. But if not, that’s cool. I don’t need to comment. I comment because it’s fun. It really is. I’m sorry it has taken away from the artist, because I really don’t think that was the intention of all the commenters. The intention was to build up the artist. And become a community. Which to me is the greatest compliment to the person writing the blog.

  • Gia on Guam

    Thanks Jon. I’m sure those persons were well intended but it started to actually deter others as it left off the original subject matter.

  • http://www.kimmings.co.uk julian

    Good point – and Johns analogy is very appropriate… sometimes the post flooding can make comments seem very irratic.
    Wouldn’t it be great to aquire some kind of queuing or comment lock system like mySQL has… a first click first post thingy! All posts are held in a queue till the poster in front has clicked submit!?!?!

  • http://Http:www.stubbornlikeamule.net Michelle Koen

    Interesting post, I was thinking about the very same thing this morning as I have just begun the whole blogging thing after being a “long time blog reader (first-time commenter)”.

    I guess it’s a matter of context and relevance, as a new blogger I relish the few comments I get, but they are generally related to our posts. However, if I go to see a band/artist in an intimate setting nothing pisses me off more than people talking over the top of the act, it’s not what you made the effort to go out/visit for. However, with friends and family in new bands, I know they relish people coming up to them quietly after the show with positive feedback, however they do feel weird about groupies. I guess this is where the balance lies.

    Sorry if this was too long, delete as you will, may post with trackback instead on my blog.

  • http://chickenflicken.blogspot.com Chicken Flicken

    Just my thoughts….I like that there is a discussion element at Dooce, but sometimes I just want to see what people have to say about the picture or about the day’s post. I don’t necessarily want to know about someone else’s life unless I asked. Could this be remedied with a Dooce Chat Forum? That way, if one were so inclined, one could check out the chatter about topics other than Leta’s juicy, delicious thighs.

  • http://undecidedlyso.blogspot.com/ Courtney

    Excellent post. I was just thinking yesterday as I read your wife’s post how strange it is that there appears to be some sort of contest going on to be the first to post. I find this very bizarre. Especially when the comment only consists of “I’m first,” and nothing relating to the post that your wife so brilliantly wrote. In regards to Carol’s comment above, I think you may have misunderstood. I don’t believe Jon was saying he doesn’t welcome comments. If this were the case, I’m sure he would take the option to comment off completely. Bloggers do want comments. I just recently started my own blog and love when I get comments from the 2 people that read it. I do agree with you, though, and what a great analagy.

  • anne

    Great analogy indeed. I was rather hoping that you might say something along these lines.

  • http://misskimberley.blogspot.com Miss Kimberley

    I am a regular reader of both Jon and Heather’s site, and I also agree with MetroDad. Sometimes you see completely random comments, and/or wayyy off topic. Sometimes fun, sometimes not so much.

  • http://chanelbaby.typepad.com/chanelbaby Chanelbaby

    One, I agree with Miss Kimberly and MetroDad that some of the comments (actually many of the comments) Dooce gets from her posts are strange and irrelevant.

    Two, I think that underpinning your confusion about this question “at what point does the artist even matter” is an ambivalence about desiring relevance in a post-modern world. I think we want relevance, we want some ownership over the meaning of the writing, but we feel that we shouldn’t want that, because post modernism tells us that the community receiving the art plays just as much a role in its “meaning making” as we do.

    Which sticks a little bit, in the craw, don’t you think?

  • http://www.xanga.com/home.aspx?user=WindyLou WindyLou

    Interesting topic. I have all but quit commenting (at Dooce) because of this trend.

  • fayrene

    Short-time reader, first-time commenter here. This is a great analogy, and I just wanted to comment to let you know that I thought that you were smart when I read your post.

    Also, I think that commenting on other, more popular blogs (at least in some bloggy circles) and linking to your own site through the comments, is a way for some people to try to get more traffic on their own blog.

    Instead of stage-diving, though, is it more like a throwing gladioli/hugging Morrissey thing?

  • http://dev.freeverse.com/blogs/kerewin/ kerewin

    I’m first!

    Okay, just kidding. Anyway I just wanted to say thank you for voicing what has been in my thoughts for a few days. Essentially that it appears that some people’s sites (errr comments) have turned into forum posts. At times to the point where two people are just basically having a dialogue on someone else’s website. Strange creatures we are.

  • http://www.sugarpants.net Candice

    Well said. Thanks, Jon.

  • montana mommy

    the band also wasn’t opening the stage for the world to join in. when you have a comments page, people will comment. i think it is in our nature to see our name up in lights, or on the screen as the case may be (, especially if we can attatch our opinion to it). it does open up a lot for discussion, is the comments page for the blogger or for the viewers? anyway, i’m new to all this so maybe i just don’t know propper blog etiquete (sorry, can’t spell)

  • http://www.sweetney.com sweetney

    i noticed this phenomenon on dooce recently (and i assume this is what you’re referring to) — the comments veering dramatically from the original post, devolving into a “conversation” between commentors, often about things having nothing to do with what heather posted. i personally found it a little irritating in the “get a room!” sort of sense, but exhibitionists will be exhibitionists.

  • http://www.blurbomat.com dj blurb

    It’s not just dooce.com but other sites as well. By all means, I welcome comments, as I’d love to hear differing opinions or insights that I may not have considered. That’s why the comment form is made available. I just find it interesting what people do/say when given an open mic.

  • http://mihow.com mihow

    Then there are all the D.C. shows where people come and don’t move a muscle or dance a bone. They just stand there and take it all in. If one should jump up and down or stage dive, folks react quickly, armed with the most disturbing looks. Said stage-diver or dancing dolt is quickly made to feel like an idiot. They apparently missed the memo written years ago by our lord, sir Ian Mackaye.

    I got spoiled living in D.C. and going to shows. Generally speaking, people are there to see and hear the music.

    Just know that for every stage-diver there are folks in the way back, near the mixing board taking it all in and enjoying every minute of it regardless of all the “SEE ME!” fans.

  • http://mihow.com mihow

    One could always pull a David Yow and kick them in the head.

  • Danika

    I like reading the posts on popular sites. The funny little one or two line comments regarding the picture or blog. I also like reading the little stories people have that they were reminded of because of the pic or blog. What I can’t stand is when the comments become an area of people talking to eachother. I used to read ever single one of the comments on Dooce.com but now I skim. I don’t even read what certain people say because it doesn’t in any way apply to anything that Dooce wrote (or the picture she posted). It doesn’t apply to anyone else other than the few people that are conversing there.

    Its great that people find friendships there and they have lots of stuff in common but I think when they are taking over another persons blog comments they should either take it to their own site or emails.

    Just my 2 cents.

  • Lori D

    I was just thinking this same thing a couple of days ago. About how people will turn comments into a message board for themselves.

    But…with his feet? Maaaaan.

  • http://spacemonkeys.ca/blogs/tamara/ Tamara

    “Also, I think that commenting on other, more popular blogs (at least in some bloggy circles) and linking to your own site through the comments, is a way for some people to try to get more traffic on their own blog.” – fayrene

    Yep, blogvertising. I know that I would have a tendency to do this but I try to restrain myself until I at least have something relevant to say. On fark.com, they somehow arranged it so that anyone using the words “First post!” or similar in the comments gets their time stamp bumped 12 hours later… pushing them to the end of the list. I think it’s a great idea.

    I laughed my head off the morning dooce posted the first comment in her photo of the day – can’t remember the exact quote but something like “I’m first, suckas!”

  • http://mihow.com mihow

    Question, does anyone actually click on commenter links? Unless I am offended or totally shocked by someone’s blatant disregard for the facts or by their glistening stupidity, I rarely ever click on their links.

    You can give out free tickets to a rock show, but if the band sucks, you’re never going to go back. And surely you’re not going to run and tell your friends about it. (Unless they’re really awful, in which case, that works just as well — at least for a while.)

    On occasion, someone says something intelligent or insightful and I’ll click to find out a bit more about them. But for the most part it’s sort of like flipping through channels; as quickly as one is seen, they’re also that easily forgotten.

    Clearly, I need a job. I will shut face now. I fear that I’m moving into the territory of Jon’s post.

  • http://aredeaf.blogspot.com Coelecanth

    Drummers sell their souls to the devil in order to get the 4 limb coordination needed to do what they do. Really, how else do you explain all the havoc the cause? The drummer in my current band is the exception: smart, punctual, easy to get along with and has good hygiene and killer chops. If she ever deceides to quit we’re chaining her to the throne and telling everyone she spontaneously combusted.

    A really interesting notion about the dada-esque nature of the comments. One of the things I love about blogs is the inclusive nature of them. I guess de-railment of the original idea is the risk you run. I quite often read the last comments first and wonder “how did they get to that?” Usually you can track it back to one off-topic comment that grabs people’s attention.

    I also believe that music should be about inclusivness. Hell, I blogged about it recently. But there’s a point where, as you said, the audience can interfere with what the artist is trying to present. It’s never happened to me, but I’m sure it’d piss me off. You spent a great chunk of your time creating and perfecting something, you’d like people to have the chance to hear it.

    The good thing about a blog is that the original post is always there to be read despite what the comments end up talking about. The poster’s voice will aways be heard unlike a gig where the audience gets out of hand and starts knocking the perfomers around.

    And hey people: you folks that do that kinda thing, keep in mind that the musicans are packing. An electric guitar is a goodly hunk of wood and metal, you don’t want to be hit upside’a anything with one.

  • http://www.marymuses.com Mary

    I find that when comments start being overtaken by folks just wanting to play games with each other and have nothing to say about the post/photo/whatever, I am less inclined to read the comments at all or make a comment myself. I will click on a commentor link if they’ve said something particularly worthwhile, entertaining, intelligent, or charming. I’ve come across some of my favorite reads that way. In fact, I first started reading mihow because of good comment. So there ya go.

  • http://www.lobstershell.com/ Lobstershell

    32nd post! Yeah!

    Umm, I mean:

    This is one of the problems with democracy as it exists in America today: given the opportunity to speak their mind, some people feel COMPELLED to speak it, even if they don’t have anything to say on topic. For them, it is part empowerment, part release.

    Personally, I am willing to put up with it. Then again, I don’t update my blog more than once a year. As responsible blog commenters, we just need to be aware of it.

  • http://www.nicehat.com/blog Jeanette

    I have pondered to myself how in the world “blog celebrities” have time to read all the comments that are left. And, gosh, how intriguing those “I’m first” comments must be to the blog celebrity. Wasn’t there a contest going on about trying to be last the other day? Maybe a spoof on the “first”, but STILL.

    As you say, though, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  • http://www.uncollaborative.blogspot.com nancy

    thank you for this post. this is why I do not usually comment, and do not read dooces comments. I hate when the crowd takes over the show. my natural fears of mob violence I guess. However, I do enjoy some smaller blogs and shows that have a nice community between artist and audience.

  • http://www.blurbomat.com/ The Hat

    I run a weekly open mic event. It’s a combination of very cool and excruciating. Shades of brilliance at times, but mostly populated by people with rockstar delusions.

    Re: comment boards of 100+ comments. Its only at that level that a moderated board becomes necessary. For instance, it is obvious that Dooce is a heavily moderated board, as almost all comments are warm and fuzzy – not a single dissenting voice. A free-for-all board is almost surely a mistake at that level. Any self-respecting and rational artist would welcome rational and constructive criticism of their work, but one would quickly tire of fending off half-baked comments.

    I like blurbomat. Always thought provoking and intelligent.

  • http://spankyourcat.blogspot.com/ Christi Lee

    “comment-posting-commenters with all our “commenting commentaries”…

    That about sums it up.

    I really like to see feedback about what the author was writing about in the first place. I suppose it can be hard to always stick to the topic when so many people are involved with something. It’s like a form of “bonding” for us readers, because the blog in question is brings people (most of us have nothing, and I mean nothing in common, except sharing the interest of the blog) together, to talk and bounce around words together.

    In your comparison to comment ìhijackingî and a Fishbone concert you are lumping a more diverse area into a small stack. There will always be those who will try to take a small piece of the ìartistî away with them by changing the fabric for association purposes, and there are those who will bounce ideas taken form the ìartistî, and be one with the fabric. Poetic, maybeÖ

    I think this might have to do with getting attention. On a smaller audience level there is no contest between readers to get a response. Since popular blogs have more comments you donít need to respond to the comments as much as a blog with a smaller audience. It would be impossible to respond to every comment and question poised by your readers. A comment area on a blog is not like a chat room with a monitor to keep the subject matter uniform.

    If things get of track after the 100th comment, you canít blame people for the occasional ìI like ducks!î comment. The comment area can be just as entertaining as the blog itself whereas, watching stage divers can be annoying after the fourth or fifth time. That would be like (in comparison to stage diving affecting the bands ability to play) saying my monitor would go out every time someone changed the subject matter. Not interesting at all.

    If in fact the artist was deeply involved and responsive in his or her comments, then it would be less likely to be ìhijackedî. This is not to be said for the poor musicians whose stage gets invaded by drunken fans.

  • http://www.simzgirl.com Carrie

    Well said. I get annoyed when there is a whole conversation going on between a few people that has nothing to do with what they are “commenting on.” However, I do appreciate when someone asks a question (usually intended for the author) and people answer. But that is assuming it relates to the original post/picture.

  • http://www.maddox.com Wow

    Wow. I am floored by today’s post.

    I agree that things had gotten a bit out of hand at Dooce. But it was mostly late at night after hundrends of comments and people seemed to be having fun.

    I saw several people mention the idea of an IRC dooce-related chat room to take the conversation elsewhere. I think that’s a great idea so people can talk to each other without clogging the comment section on her site. But people obviously do care about it, because it was discussed. I don’t think these folks were trying to steal anyone’s thunder. I think most of them were just having fun.

    I just think it’s kind of crappy to post an ambigous analogy about rock stars to get your point across. You have these people’s email addresses, or some of them anyway. Why not just ask them to tone it down?

    At any rate I suppose your mission will be accomplished. It’s a shame to be holier than thou about it. But, oh well.

  • http://www.blurbomat.com dj blurb

    Holier than thou?? Hardly. Typical troll behavior. Now, if I deleted your comment, that would be holier than something wouldn’t it?

    Also, you are easily floored, apparently. I wasn’t saying that anything was “out of hand”.

    I just think it’s kind of crappy for someone to post anonymously and be a troll.

  • http://holyshitdudeack.com wow

    I don’t even know what troll means in internet terms.

    Delete away Blurb. I don’t get why you are being so agressive and mean about this. People respect you guys, I’m just saying why not treat others with respect if you feel they have stepped on your toes. You might be surprised at how they respond.

    People are not as evil as you think. In fact they are actually a lot like you. Just people.

  • http://www.blurbomat.com dj blurb

    Describe EXACTLY how I’m being mean. EXACTLY.

  • http://eeek.eeeek.eeeek Wow

    Sigh.

    If you don’t see that you are being really aggressive, then I don’t know how to show you that.

    People respect you and Dooce a lot. Including me. Most of the commenters on her site DO care about their comments and how they would effect others. A few people got out of control.

    Why assume they were trying to steal the spotlight? Why not just contact them via email and say “hey, could you tone it down a bit”.

    Some folks have their feelings hurt and maybe that’s what needed to happen. I just don’t think so. I think people deserve better than that.

  • http://www.blurbomat.com dj blurb

    I’d like to point to a few things in my post:

    1) I wasn’t referring to dooce.com exclusively. Lots of other sites have way worse comments. Like Slashdot or Fark. What I am referring to isn’t that people are being over the top or insensitive, just interesting. And there is a point of absurdity. Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it’s awesome, sometimes it’s not.

    2) I love that you want me to email people, but you yourself use a faked email address. Sweet.

    3) Who got out of control? Did I say anyone got out of control? I did not. YOU are the only one saying people got out of control. I don’t have a problem with ANY of the comments; just wanted to point out that it’s a bit like seeing a band where sometimes, the kids want the stage too. No big whoop.

    4) Who, specifically has their feelings hurt? Direct me to them, and I’ll apologize.

  • christy

    I don’t think dj blurb wants anyone to tone it down necessarily. I think he is just ruminating on a phenomenon.

    Right?

  • Leon

    Unfortunately, the entire discussion is a slippery slope. How do you tell your readers and commenters you appreciate their input and perspective, while at the same time trying to discourage the random chuckle heads from burning unecessary bandwidth? This entire consideration started for me a while back when I made an observation regarding the sheer volume of inane comments Dooce got on her site. People would gush about this and that no matter what it was. So, I pointed it out. I got a few agreeable responses, but mostly it was just violently angry backlash.

    I think what it really comes down to is a need for recognition. This is in line with all the monkeys trying to be the first or last commenter everyday. I find myself falling into a similar cycle to at times. I struggle to figure out the most clever reference to a post or a picture. Why do I do that? Who knows? Perhaps just recognition and acceptance from the almighty internet. If the internet validates me as clever or funny, then I must be clever and funny, right?

    Personally, I am as thankful for the comments as I am the blog contents themselves. Whenever anyone comes up with a witty comment, it makes me laugh as much as the witty blog that started the whole thing.

    That is where I think your analogy falters. The comments, unlike the stage divers do not obscure or hide the artist. They do more service to praise the artist by taking their creativity and running with it.

  • prilee

    I completely agree that commenting does get crazy and way off topic. And yes, people do try to show how they can be just as funny as Dooce. However, I think there is a major difference between this and fans hijacking the stage. In this setting, a Dooce fan can simply read what she brilliantly writes and move on, like I often do. In the other, the fan can’t enjoy that choice.

  • http://spankyourcat.blogspot.com/ Christi Lee

    Jon, I think your post could be taken personally at some point. I don’t think you meant it as an insult to your readers. I believe wow had a point about the holier than thou comment, and should not to be taken personally by you. If you were to get ìpig biting madî when ever anyone did not respond to your posts the way you wanted them to then that would be a holier than thou response.

    Thatís just the way I see it. I think your post was indeed interesting and many attitudes and ideas were sprung from it. Thatís what makes the whole ìpost and commentî thing worth wild.

    Since your response to wow was less than overjoyed, it shows how this turn of events makes a whole new topic. Are we being ìhijackedî? Only if you and wow have an all out ìwhoís the bigger trollî battle.

  • Benbot

    I read for the music references. Another sick drummer is from Mastodon. If he could be plugged into the early Metallica releases, metal nirvana would be reached.

  • http://www.livejournal.com/users/littlehoney Littlehoney

    Metrodad – I laughed when you typed that if dooce put up a picture of chuck’s poop everyone would say how beautiful it is – you know, something along the lines of capturing the true essence of the subject. ewww.

    As for open mic – I’d totally sing if it didn’t get lost in the translation.

    for those of us with less read blogs, the “conversation” aspect is usually between writer and reader.

    And I’m betting many people do post so they can get more traffic on their sites.

  • http://www.ladygypsy.net Kimberly

    A company had a day planned at a local theme park, where employees would get a free admission ticket, and their relatives/friends get deeply disounted tickets. Plus, they’d all receive free lunch at a picnic tent reserved by the Company.

    Somebody wanted to purchase 30 of the discounted tickets for ‘family’ and have a large family reunion at the Company’s picnic tent. Once Company caught wind of that, they decided to reduce the number of discounted tickets available per employee to 4 or 5.

    Even though the company invited employees to bring family/friends to the event, throwing one’s own party MOSTLY on the company’s dime is pretty rude.

    That’s what popped to mind about Dooce.com the past few days. People are using her bandwidth (that the BlurboDoocery PAYS for) to host their own free party.

    Being invited to someone’s house for a cup of coffee does not mean you can stay for lunch, dinner and must-see TV afterward.

  • Dr. Sean

    Commenting on your idea of posmodernism….

    I agree that perhaps the postmodern theorists (Lyotard, Harvey, Habermas etc) would say that the mass discussions after a post is a sign of the postmodern destruction of a overarching narrative. So the original post is a starting off point, and then allows everyone to start a discussion that will inevitably divide into a variety of discussions. So its less a question of a delibrate “hijacking” but is more the postmodern creating multiple narratives.

    I think I might even have a way I can even have that make sense in terms of your awesome band metaphor, but will just stick with that.

  • http://spankyourcat.blogspot.com/ Christi Lee

    I also thought that the posting a picture of chucks poop was funny. I bet they could sell a piece of freeze dried chuck poop for top dollars on eBay.

    I always find it captivating when Heather or Jon gets pissed off about reader feedback. Itís funny. I love both their blogs and there is a lot of ass kissing (myself included) going on both sites and too much ass kissing can be a let-down.

    I do think if someone is going to provoke a debate they should leave a real email address so that the author can act in response. It is human nature to build up idols and then try to knock them down. I think Jon had a great point about todayís post. Those who took offence are looking at it the wrong way.

  • http://www.knottyyarn.com Danielle

    Great post, Jon. Fishbone kidnappings?! Off to Google I go.

    And Kimberly – your analogy was amazingly on point.

  • Nobody

    People seem to be taking this post personally. If Jonís comments are ìmeanî, ìaggressiveî and ìholier than thouî, then you are working from some anarchic/consensus/sensitive ideal of your own. He isnít imposing a standard here, but if he did, why shouldnít he? He hosts the site and brings the people here.

    Past experience has shown his tolerance for people who disagree with him. If you think heís saying something that applies to you, maybe you should ask whether your behavior merits criticism rather than complain that someone criticized you.

  • http://www.edgeofbone.com/wedding Amanda B.

    I can only speak for myself. I have enjoyed talking smack on the Dooce comment board myself. I never meant it to take away from her site, and I really hope it didn’t.

    My comments, both on and off the pic/topic were meant to be funny, and hopefully give people a chuckle. They were mostly meant for Dooce. She makes me laugh, so I was hoping to do the same for her.

    I also, through the comment section, found some other great sites, like Moxie and Fish. (free plug) I’m glad about that.

    Anyway, will stop making an ass of self now. If I offended anyone, I didn’t mean to. :)

  • http://www.blurbomat.com dj blurb

    Hey. Let’s all stop talking about dooce.com. This wasn’t meant in ANY WAY to refer to a specific site, including this one or dooce. I think if you hit the boards on Fark.com or Slashdot, you’ll see a much bigger problem than most personal sites face, and see what I’m talking about more vividly.

    I agree that the analogy isn’t all that. However, there are times when the artist is subsumed by the crowd. Or times when a movement destroys itself. Like I said, nothing wrong with that. Sometimes that’s cool. I’m thinking here of the Situationists and Guy Debord via Lipstick Traces.

    It’s apparent that people aren’t seeing my sarcasm or my attempt at humor with regard to this subject. I truly regard the comment section as the space for readers. I typically don’t like to respond unless I’m asked a question (and even then, I like it when readers respond to the question). I felt that an earlier commenter was being troll-like in throwing accusations and making requests when the commenter didn’t leave a valid email address to take the topic offline.

    Either way, I’m amazed that people could be upset by my post, or take it personally. It was meant as commentary on a phenomenon, not a jab at any user/user group in particular.

    My hope was that people might read it and figure out who they were; artist or stage diver or bemused observer or whatever. Maybe the stage divers might be a little more considerate. Or not. No big whoop.

  • Stacey

    Doesn’t anyone realize that if Jon wanted to discourage comments, he’d just shut this section down? He was just making an observant analogy. It’s part of the reason you come to this site: Jon’s intelligent and often humourous observations. If you are becoming defensive about what he said then you really are being WAY too sensitive.
    Thought provoking post, Jon. Nice. And what a way to create a situation that evokes a perfect example of what you were saying!

  • http://www.roboranch.com Stephen McKenna

    Give someone an inch and they’ll bite off your entire fucking hand. Especially the internet. That bitch is HUNGRY!

  • http://www.jbrealist.com Julie

    Amen, Jon.

    –bemused observer/appreciative reader

  • http://spankyourcat.blogspot.com/ Christi Lee

    Kimberly,
    I see your point, but I have to say thatís like saying ìEnjoy yourself, but not too much…î I understand that people should not overly use the comment section for a ìwhateverî forum, as long as people are not using it as a dating service or to sell their car then it should not be seen as such a negative thing.

    Blog readers are the ones who click on the Google ads and keep the blog popular. As far as paying for the bandwidth, thatís the owner of the blogs decision to do so. People who chose to comment and have fun with it, have every right to do so. They are not commenting because they have to, and if it wasnít just for fun people would not do it so willingly. The readers are not employees and are not obligated to post only what the blog owner wants them to, just as we do not demand the subject matter of the blog.

    I think Jon was merely talking about the matter subjectively. I do think some of the readers who decided to comment today were taking a side of the fence that bashed people for commenting lightly or off topic. Sometimes people just post to show support to the blogger. I understand that negative comments are not a good thing and should be removed by the blogger if he or she wishes.

    To some people having a lot of comments on their blog is a sign of being successful and the readers are just saying ìhey, I was here, blah blah blahî. Do people who took the side of the fence that demeaned the silly comment people really think that their comments are worth anymore than the people who actually connect with each other and begin a conversation that started because of simply having a favorite blog in common? Shame on you if you did.

    A competition to be first is kind of silly, but hey Iíll take that over stuck-up ìyou are only here for self-promotionî attitude anytime. Who gives a shit? If it bothers you that much, donít read the comments. If it bothers the blogger, than he or she can turn off the comments.

  • http://listenmissy.com/blog Missy

    First time commenter, friend of mihow.

    Personally, I find that the number of comments after a person’s post and my desire to read said comments are inversely proportional. So, for example, if I go to a site where there are 78 comments, I will probably not click open the comments out of laziness–and after all, I generally read a particular blog for that particular author’s voice, not for the echo chamber.

    Similarly, if I go to a site that *routinely* has tons of comments, it is a signal to me that a) there’s simply too much to wade through (see above re: laziness); and b) people frequently go to the popular sites with comments and leave comments in attempt to make themselves heard in a large arena (especially those sites that touch a spectrum of topics rather than one specific esoteric niche topic) thus making it available for any Joe to offer an opinion, no matter how unimaginative…..and, well, then I don’t read the comments. At all.

    Also, if I have repeated anything anyone has already said, it’s because I didn’t read the comments.

  • http://www.sweetney.com sweetney

    hey, umm, i think *I* was the one who first mentioned dooce by name w/r/t all this, not dj blurb. and i’m sorry blurb, i didn’t mean to bring the haterade upon you, if i did. my bad, my big mouth. bah.

  • http://metrodad.typepad.com MetroDad

    I may be completely wrong here but I think that all of you (aside from Dr. Sean) have missed the point of John’s post. If I’m reading it correctly, he’s really just composing a really clever and amusing riff on blog commenting…as it relates to dadaism, post-modernism and the Society of the Spectacle. This is made even clearer as John refers to Guy Debord and the Situationists in his ensuing comments.

    If you’re familar with the above references, you’ll see that John’s analogy was actually pretty fucking funny. It wasn’t mean or aggressive at all. No need to get pissy.

    That being said…I could be completely wrong. But as another famous post-modernist once said, “fuck it. it’s friday.” (Eminem)

  • montana mommy

    comments pages are kind of like the game post office. once the message gets passed around, who know what you’ll end up with.

  • http://www.livejournal.com/users/adellyna Mandi

    I had brilliant insightful things to say about this. Then they got to be three pages long and were somewhat less than brilliant and insightful.

    I don’t know anyone here well enough to presume to know their intentions, but I do understand how people could be offended by the post.

    I come from a livejournal environment, and since we’re the incredibly unoriginal, lazy, redheaded stepchildren of blogging we take a somewhat different view of commenting. I’m used to, and perfectly ok with, comments deteriorating into a discussion of different types of salt… or something equally bizarre and unrelated.

    I’m assuming the post was intended to be more observational and not scolding, but hell… this IS the internet people. Nobody’s sane here.

    And of course, as I’m not a coward, my email address is included above. Valid and everything!

  • Savannah

    Jon, what you said was fine. And there’s no reason TO take it personally. People take it personally because, well, they want to. They want a reason to be offended and hurt so they can tell you about it and tell you exactly HOW you offended them. Attention. Kinda like the drunk stage-diver who tries to even grab the microphone and then gets pissed when security carries him out.

    What you said was fine. Not mean or hurtful. People with any ouce of maturity will understand, ponder it, maybe comment once, and move on.

  • http://www.smockblog.com jules

    I was a drummer……

    in the MARCHING BAND!
    *kickass*
    (:3

  • Mike

    Thank you all for the entertainment. I haven’t laughed this hard since Tuesday.

  • http://moxiemoron.diaryland.com Moxie

    I have found personally that I tend to not comment or read certain sites as frequently when the commenting has gotten so offtrack that I have to re-read twice to know what is going on.

    I have also found that I get a kick out of it, when the site owner responds to commentors with a quip of their own.

    That being said, I am taking my cookie from yesterday back and going home.* stomps out with a wink*

  • http://spankyourcat.blogspot.com/ Christi Lee

    Good one Moxie*

  • http://kathmccall.diaryland.com kath

    I can’t even FIND a comments section in Dooce’s journal. Go ME.

    But the capability for near real-time public conversation is what differentiates the ‘net from other venues of publication, I think. And in the cases I’ve seen, comments are separate (below or apart) from text, and so do not interfere with a reader’s appreciation of the original artist. Plus, the artist has the control over whether he/she allows the conversation; it can even be edited or truncated instantly at the artist’s will. Artistic control!

    It IS a fascinating phenomenon, though.

  • http://honestyrain.blogspot.com/ honestyrain

    i’m scared to post now. am i doing it wrong? am i a bad poster? did i step on the bass guitarist? oh no!

    point taken and in some ways i agree BUT your wife’s site is successful because of her fan base. she can close comments. i know that lately there has been…an uprising… over there and people have been talking about starting a site just for comments about dooce. that’s weird, i admit.

    my comments both here and on heather’s site tend to be…well i don’t just go aww nice pic of Leta. there are a thousand comments like that. i find it boring as hell to read those comments so i tend to be a little more creative. i don’t think you’re suggesting people be less creative (i hope) but perhaps a little less…weird?

    in truth, i’m not sure there’s much one can do to prevent it. delete anything that is truly awful and step aside as the furor ensues because fame, and you both have a degree of fame, takes on a life of its own.

    next you’ll be in the tabloids. they’ll claim Leta is an alien child born of an affair Heather had with a martian from planet BlahBlah. and of course they’ll try to get unflattering pics of you both. maybe you could save them the trouble and start taking pics of yourselves now? just an idea.

  • http://humanwrites.blogspot.com Dr. Johnny Fever

    I think the desire or need for people to commandeer the comment of a site is akin to the phenomenon that bore the paprazzi. When people identify someone or something that they like, they want to be enveloped in it. They want to become part of it. They want it to be who they are, too.

    A personal example: when I began to read Dooce, I found the kind of writing voice and tone that I have long hoped to possess myself. Because I felt a connection and a profund respect for the way she writes, I return to Dooce.com frequently, leaving comments on occassion because I want to be part of something so unique and good in whatever small way I can. I hope that doesn’t sound too stalkerish.

    Forgive the weird analogy, but I think this is the way little girls all around the world feel about Britney Spears — they see her, identify with her, want to be the person they perceive her to be, want to know what she wears and drinks and who she screws, and this desirous identification therefore fuels the machine that empowers paparazzi to take pictures of her everywhere she goes. (I presume this is all sounding sufficiently creepy by now.)

    There is a common thread that ties all three of these examples — stage divers, Dooce commenters and Britney Spears fans — together. That thread is respect. Perhaps the way respect is demonstrated differs drastically from one age group and socioeconomic strata to the next, but I think you see my point.

  • Katy

    Why do I feel like I just got scolded by one of my parents? I’m sorry if any of my posts were unwanted. I do enjoy reading the comments daily and I admit, I succumbed to participate in the witty banter.

    **Runs off with tail between legs**

  • http://www.livejournal.com/users/makingmywayhome Kristina

    I, for one, liked the analogy. And I agree with you, blurb, that tons and tons of sites have gotten out of control, not just dooce.com. I have to agree with other posters that I tend to not even read the comments if there are over 100. I hope I’m not a crazy stagediver, but I do comment on occasion. I like to think of myself more as a bemused observer.

  • http://www.blurbomat.com dj blurb

    It’s pretty clear that I needed to do a whole thing about Dadaism, the Situationists, the Society of the Spectacle without invoking websites or stage diving. Perhaps the following might help:

    “The spectacle is the moment when the commodity has attained the total occupation of social life. Not only is the relation to the commodity visible but it is all one sees: the world one sees is its world…. At this point in the ‘second industrial revolution,’ alienated consumption becomes for the masses a duty supplementary to alienated production.”

    People. This is your space. Do with it what you will.

  • http://gretchenb.tripod.com/mrbaby/ Gretchen C.

    That is an excellent analogy, Jon. I definitely see your point, but it’s sort of a tribute to you and Heather that people want to come and gather at y’all’s feet. The only other place I’ve really seen it happen to this extent is on Dave Barry’s blog. You’re in good company. If that helps any.

  • Sheryl

    I didn’t get to read this til mid-morning and since then too busy to respond. I liked the piece – thought-provoking, as others have said. Plus I am a total metaphor ho.

    When people comment on something very strongly it is typically a learning experience for me – about where they are at at a particular moment in time or something they feel. I know it’s not really about me.

    When people comment on stuff that isn’t interesting to me, I just ignore it. Even if it is about me.

    Even though I was one of the late night chatters that may have annoyed or amused people, I didn’t take any offense at what Jon or others wrote.

    I think it is meta-interesting human nature that some people here and at Dooce are co-opting Jon’s writing to support their position, whichever facet of their feeling it reflects.

    Something my grandma said, and Dooce also put in a newsletter about their chosen family values: “There are always several sides to every story”.

  • Lisa

    Freaky, Jon–I was just looking at some Lettrist stuff the other day (yesterday) and here you are posting Debord. You rock, as does Dooce, Leta, Chuck, George, etc. Am more of a Benjamin fan myself.

  • Sheryl

    Oh, and Jon – I never got into that “Your husband is so hot” stuff about the pictures – cause for me it’s in the brain and heart.

    But when you mention Dadaists and Post-Post-Modernism, and Biohazard in the same post. For a minute, my art-punk-girl heart was beating as fast as randy churchmouse’s would at a hamster stripclub.

  • Kate

    I must agree with the above comments. I think it is strange when the commenters start talking to each other, and at one point the other day two commentors played this odd words in bold game on your wife’s blog. So strange, and unnecessary. To me, it defeats the purpose of commenting. If you don’t have something important and relevant to say, then don’t say it….

  • Lisa

    “a hamster stripclub” – Now that would be a spectacle! LOL

    It’s shameful but now I must say something about Debord’s wife Becker-Ho. Becker-Ho! Writing on slang no less (though maybe ho ain’t no thang in Europe, f’shizzle).

    I fear that this comment may indeed suck.

  • Lisa

    A final comment before running off to get dinner. This has little to do with anything except associative thinking.

    I once dated a drummer who had a biohazard tattoo. First guy I ever dated with a tattoo. It was very cool, I thought; and he was a very good drummer. I had never understood much about music, and I am not musically gifted in any way myself, so he taught me very basic things that one should have learned in elementary school music classes all the way up to funk and punk style stuff. Therefore I will always have a fondness for Biohazard and drummers and wish I could be one myself.

    Thanks for a great bit of posting & nostalgia stirring, DJ Blurb!

  • http://aredeaf.blogspot.com Coelecanth

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens in these here comments for the next little while. The Blubonator made it quite clear that what gets discussed is our business. But will there be a little bit of restraint on the part of digressors, or will it be open season?

    Waiting with baited breath. (What are you fishing for when you bait your breath anyway?)

  • http://www.gabrielliot.blogspot.com Lushlife

    My first comment here – because your post made me feel compelled to comment:”DJ Blurb you wrote an excellent thought provoking post.” And having read nearly every comment prior to this one it appears everyone has commented relevant to the author’s post!

  • http://gretchenb.tripod.com/mrbaby/ Gretchen C.

    I’m doing exactly what we’re meant to not do, but it’s “bated” breath, Coelecanth. As in “abated” I think.

  • http://www.darkglass.org/ Tamara

    I saw Cake in concert and the singer actually told the audience to stop singing with him. Ironically, it was during the song, Nugget. You know, the one that goes “shut the fuck up.” He only wanted us to sing that part.

  • http://www.704d.com Toad

    I can’t believe I’m making an 88th (or so) post. But I guess people do read this stuff…I rarely ever read comments if it has more than 20 or so posts. You can almost guarantee that there is nothing worth reading. I mean, I came here to read what the Author thinks or has to say, not the entire internet, ya know? I wish there was a link to comments=”relevent” on every page. I’m not sure what’s worse, no comments, or too many. Anyway, It just struck a chord, must have been all the fishbone talk. It get’s me misty. (checking spelling…fixing spelling…ok, post!

  • Nobody

    Jon, does this quote of yours mean that it is our patriotic duty to go Christmas shopping? Please post reference.

  • George

    YEA DJ BLURB! WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    Jon is my favorite cousin who isn’t actually related to me, his sense of humor is far beyond that of a troll’s.

  • brillo

    i’m drinking a cup of water, and i just spilled it down the front of my shirt. ROCK. also, i work in downtown ft worth and i just noticed the radio shack buildings say “peace” on them. HOW’S THAT FOR A RELEVANT COMMENT? anyway, i just wanted to post a comment because i never do, and felt compelled to because of the nature of the topic. oh the irony. it’s the little things, really.

    p.s. please don’t delete my comment. i mean, i know that it sucks, but IT’S MY FIRST TIME. (insert appropriate analogy here).

  • Leon

    “…..you slimy piece of sack of shit, slut trash can, scummiest dirt bag……BIIIIIATCH!”

    Ah Fishbone. Good freeging times.

  • Josh

    I must say, I’m a bit dissappointed. I’m reading dj blurbs post, and I’m really getting into it. Yeah, man, I can see that. What genius writing skills you have. “The better to tell you my point with.” And just when I felt like I was getting to the meat of it. It ends. Leaving me hanging. Kind of saying, here’s a great story, this is sort of the point, just an observation, ha ha. (in the simpsons kid voice.)

    Maybe it’s just your (dj blurbs) style. Maybe it’s just how you think, short and to the point. Which is cool. But maybe sometime could you expand on it further? I mean, you obviously have the intellectual capacity to think beyond the three or four paragraphs that you wrote. Please, take it and run with it. Please don’t just tease me.

    Maybe you don’t want to friggin type anymore and you just want to be done. Which is cool. I have a blog, but I SUCK at writing all the time, so I can relate.

    So what I am really saying, (in my best kiss ass voice) please expand on your topics. I was hoping that you would dive into the deep ocean of post modern thought and get all sorts of serious with us. But hey, whatever, my ten minutes are up, you can have your spotlight back.

  • DG

    Josh. Baah.

  • http://www.rebeccacampbell.net snugglenitz

    I went to see the art critic Dave Hickey speak the other night and he made a pretty good case for ditching the whole postmodern disdain for privilege and hierarchy. He seemed to be acknowledging the impossibility of ìprogressî but offered in its place a more dynamic system of coup/counter coup. The idea being that if your idea or artwork or whatever is interesting enough people dwell on it and talk about it until they are sick enough of it to turn their attention to a different compelling idea. It doesnít mean the first idea was ìbetterî or ìworseî than the second but the attempt (futile as it may be) to assert or refute things in an insightful way in the end creates evolution where as the inert nature of post modern ìequalityî leads to an intellectual dead end that looks a lot like Narcissus staring at his own reflection. So I guess I am sayingÖ.. Who cares if you hurt some peopleís feelings? Edit all the comments to shit, including mine if need be. Get rid of the feel good space takers and hone a vision. (I guess I should apologize for starting this rant three hours ago and returning to it three white Russians later.)

    On a more imaginarily personal note, as an X Utah Mormon who abandon the comfort of Zion for the equally self righteous womb of the academic art world I split affection for both authoritarian and egalitarian tendencies. They are both fucked up. Sometimes I just wish it was 1988 and I was making bad but earnest drawings at the Painted Word, listening to slc punks play angry songs until someone got naked and pretty much none of us gave a fuck about the death of the author. You could just feel when something was magic or important or righteous.

  • jm

    Whoa.

    Um.

    I skipped all of these comments to tell you and all I got was this lousy Fishbone T-shirt. Sorry, kidding. Jon, that I liked your story about the drummers SO MUCH that I sent it to two drummer/philosopher pals.

    And I have a question for you.

    What is it with drummers who study philosophy? Is there a connection?

    (I guess that is two questions. Sorry.)

  • Aimee

    I completely understand what you’re trying to get across – i like the analogy

    I own a fansite which has a place to comment on every update, and there is some major hijacking going on there. People have turned it into a chat system (even though there is a separate chat system!), and are constantly posting meaningless comments and playing word games. I just wish people would understand what a commenting system is for (even though i repeatedly tell them!)

  • http://anna.typepad.com A N N A

    dj blurb, i got you. :)

  • brillo

    you totally deleted my comment! it wasn’t THAT bad, was it??? at least i didn’t think it was…and now i am sad. okay, okay, no more posting for me. so sorry.

  • brillo

    okay i’m stupid. there it is. ahhh!!!! i’m just not cut out for this crazy game!!!!

  • Jenny

    Okay, I thought the post was funny, but the comments were the funniest 20 minutes I’ve spent in some time. That’s comedy, baby.

  • GirlA.

    Interesting discussion. Cool post. Loved it! But it is no way objective. None of us are.

    “Maybe the stage divers might be a little more considerate.” Considerate implies that you’re at least a little miffed about it. It also implies good citizenship, which implies empathy, but also requires a base knowledge of the expectations/preferences, or cultural rules.

    If you aren’t privy to the explicit expectations/preferences of the host, nor the cultural rules of the audience, how can you be “considerate”?

    There’s no way to script a dialogue between your work and the audience, much less the ‘overarching narrative’, even if you supply a copy of the rules.

    I think it’s sometimes uncomfortable for creators when their work becomes the catalyst for whatever follows – and they realize they are part of the audience themselves.

    The only way to have that perfect creation that is only what you want it to be, is to keep it in your head (or in your basement, forever, and have it burned from your deathbed).

    But that just aint in keeping with human nature, since for many, the drive to create comes from the desire to communicate. You can hang up the phone, but that doesn’t stop the conversation.

  • http://none Girl X

    Girl A:
    Amen. Been reading through the comments in procrastination for about – oh, half an hour now – with many mixed reactions. Agree completely with Girl A who so articulately expressed some of the thoughts on my mind. Definitely true that ‘a little miffed’ sums up the request for consideration. warning: i will now make reference to the infamous dooce.com. (hey, so many people read this site b/c of dooce exposure – not surprising her comments section keeps coming up) I’ve got to say it’s a little discouraging to read people who have no interest in reading tangential comments, or make reference to/ expound upon a previous comment. I mean, if people didn’t do this, why would anyone read the comments? There are only so many “I love your hair, Heather! The red really brings out the rosiness of your cheeks! And that shirt! And the angle! The lighting! Are you made of fairy dust?” comments I can plough through. Don’t get me wrong, her dye job is quite nice – but there are only so many novel observations that can be made on the given photograph before an interesting discussion of canadian health care transpires…
    Especially when the communication platform is under a picture – does that mean posts are off-topic? And, with regard to the competition to post first, yes it’s lame. Most people would argue it’s kinda lame. But then again, it’s fun for the people who do it… Do people post anything to see their name attached? Yes, but people also give insightful feedback / food for thought all the time. Also, it shouldn’t be any surprise that people post just to see their names… Humans are inherently narcissistic. Hence the advent of the web log. Does that deter me? Not at all. Keep up the insight. Thanks for the thought-prompting and the discussion.

  • lorrie

    Real name, real email, babe. Totally agree with you 100%. Used to love comments on CERTAIN blogs, now I cower in horror at the thought of even looking at them.

  • http://www.somewhatsilent.com Sara 观星

    *stagedives in front of you*

    This is why I like formats that make the comments into little footnotes after the main content, and makes people click a link to read the comments. It puts the stagedivers into little boxes, while ensuring that the ability to comment exists, because hey. Comments are fun, and are part of the interactive nature of blogs.

    There should be a “limit number of comments” option available though. :) “Free for the first 50 commentors, 25 cents for each after”. :p

    Bet Heather could make a fortune if you set up a system to allow people to buy into commenting rights on her site. :p Of course, she’d get a million and ten suggestions on how to fix UTI’s, and why it’s a bad idea to feed babies cheerios. But hey- at least people would be paying for the privilige. :)

  • http://www.edgeofbone.com/wedding Amanda B.

    Good grief. I’ve already had my share time- but I feel like I’m back in junior high, taking up for the kids everyone else picks on.

    It’s just sad to me that people are so cynical about people making comments on any site they happen to enjoy or support. True, I don’t think people should hijack someones site. But, for the most part, I think people have interesting things to say. I also don’t think one person’s comment is any more important than the other. Or more hip, cool, smart or whatever.

    It’s like a bunch of preps snickering at the poor kids in school saying, “oh my god, look at his shoes! they have HOLES in them!”

    I’d much rather see people with some diversity and humor, than a bunch of people who feel they belong to a hip click saying, “oh, owner of website- you think poopsandwhiches are the best for breakfast?? ME TOO!!”

    (and now to contradict myself- Fishbone…ahhhhhh)

    Anyhoo- not trying to start a stink. Just feeling icky about it. Only Jon knows if I entered my real email- maybe I am a coward!

  • http://journals.aol.com/fkaren1964/Ajourneywomansjournal/ Fran

    Excuse me, I thought I was at bj urbomat. Pardon the interruption.

  • Katerina

    But since the artists themselves aren’t complaining, how do we know that they aren’t just happy that people have turned up and are having a good time?

    Perhaps it’s just the less-popular artists who not only lack stage divers, but also people to catch them stage diving who are bothered?

  • Katrina

    Oh God. I didn’t mean that last sentence to sound as bitchy and irrelevant as that.
    I’ll rephrase:
    My blog, when it existed, received only a handful of comments per post. Yet all of those comments were relevant to the post. It made sense to me – after all, who wants to be the fiftieth person to echo “I thought so too”? But on more-popular blogs that sentiment appears to be lacking and we can’t understand why.
    And perhaps as fans the girth of comments bothers us because it turns us into a member of the clamouring masses, and our thoughtful, responsive comment may be lost in a sea of inane chit-chat.
    My feelings toward the increasing number of comments on blogs I like can be summed up in the following story:
    When I was 15 I fell in love with U2. I had a cassette of the Joshua Tree that I listened to constantly. I lived in a small town, and only a couple of other people I knew liked them. We’d get together sometimes to listen to and discuss how wonderful they were.
    Then one day I came home and found my younger brother WITH A CD OF THE JOSHUA TREE! The Horror! *I* was the one who loved U2! *I* was the one with the exceptional, original taste in music. How could he, a dumb little kid, possibly appreciate how great they were?

    I feel the same way now when I read a dumb comment left on a blog that I feel deserves a *better* audience. (Amanda B., I totally feel your picking on the poor kid comment!) I guess I’m a blog snob.

    Anyway, to sum up: *I* was pissed that my brother liked U2, but I’m sure they weren’t bothered by it.

  • part timer

    hi jon! great article.. had a good laugh over it and then…… i read the comments… boy oh boy! (ok! THIS IS THE HOLIER THAN THOU thg someone mentioned earlier) what a bloody fuss! i’m not abt to take on the upset readers but just tell u.. I GOT U!
    cheers!!

  • http://ladymadaysia.blogdrive.com Amber

    Wow. When I read this on Thursday I thought that Blurb was just remembering days past and relating the stage stuff to the commenters. Who knew that people could read into something so much deeper?

    Honestly, I think that he was just trying to make a comparison. I’ve reread and I don’t see where he was saying that we should stop commenting on his blog. I guess I would think that Blurb would just go ahead and come out in the open if he didn’t like something we were doing.

    Love in Christ,
    Amber <><

  • http://www.ladygypsy.net Kimberly

    So perhaps I’m also guilty of reading too much into this, my not being a student of post-modernism and all.

    Perhaps the post from “the husband” on another popular site that said, “Others, sorry to intrude on your pseudo IRC” on the very same day this post arrived on this site nudged me along in my incorrect interpretation.

    My bad. 😉

  • dj blurb

    I was being genuine about interupting the comment thread.

  • http://www.shootersstation.blogspot.com Jazzy

    Here I am catching up and funny, I just sent Heather an email saying how I wondered how she could stand all the back and forth conversations in her comments section. Go start a Dooce and Blurbomat chat room for these people.

  • http://www.digitalcatharsis.com the mighty jimbo

    i can handle trolls and hijackers and all that. and as i only average a dozen or so comments, i don’t get so much stage diving, but i admit it can be entertaining.

    but for me, it’s the spam. the spam just fucking kills me. somebody make those people stop.

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