A matter of taste


Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

Related Post Roulette

93 Responses

  1. Avatar Pat Cahalan says:

    I love this plan. I’m excited to be a part of it.

    Movie quote aside, I like it. Now I just have to find just the right image(s)…Report

  2. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    I actually like the process of finding pics for posts. And it can lead to me finding pics I really love. The picture of the kid-made toy gun from my last post was an especially awesome find; it felt like it captured so much of what I was trying to say in one simple, uncomplicated image.Report

  3. Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

    EDK, since we have a “Comment Culture,” in the recently discarded format, it was easy to pop in a pic or a link. No more. It took me awhile to learn the rich HTML window [if that’s what it’s called], but eventually I did, and it was gold.

    Comments could read like posts, but no more, unless you want to expend the effort of generating yr own HTML a href= etc. I don’t even know how to deposit a picture, and frankly, what I do know about it is that it’s too much trouble.

    After undertaking the time to learn it, I liked that other window a lot as a frequent participant in our “Comment Culture.” Everybody knows that I comment and participate in discussions far more than I grab the Front Page, EDK. I think that’s what you meant by the LoOG comment culture, and I liked having the same tools available as a commenter as I do as a poster.

    Consider it, anyway, Erik. Respectfully submitted.Report

    • Avatar Erik Kain in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

      It was a very buggy box. I’m looking into other options. In any case, pictures in the comments are fine, but I’m talking more directly about posts here.Report

      • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to Erik Kain says:

        It was buggy for a month with the jumps, EDK, but then smoothed out perfectly. Links, pics, blockquote, and un-linking, grabbing text and then unlinking its links to not exceed our default 2-link limit.

        It was a beautiful thing. Typing out a href=”whatever, etc.” just to have it ignored, it just ain’t worth the trouble anymore. If you want the “comment culture” to be more fact than opinion, inserting links and pics needs to get easier not harder.

        Respectfully submitted. Plus, we can’t preview or edit in comments and so if this works, I guess I’ll STFU.


    • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

      Are you on Windows? If you’re uncomfortable with HTML, may I recommend the Coffee Cup free editor. It’s simple and obvious. And free. Me, I’ve been writing HTML since the dawn of the Internet and SGML before that, and I still can’t remember how to correctly put an IMG tag together.

      How we all screamed when Netscape went ahead and implemented the IMG tag without anyone’s input. It’s been a horror ever since. It could have been so much more obvious.Report

  4. Avatar E.C. Gach says:

    Seriously E.D., what do you have against blind people.Report

  5. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    Three issues:

    1. Copyright. Let’s make sure that we have the right to use pictures someone else has created. Lots of pictures can be found that you can use, generally with only attribution and a link, at Wikimedia Commons.

    2. Hotlinking. There are several people who don’t like it when you link your picture back to their site — when it pops up here, you’re using their bandwidth to use their picture. Once or twice back when I used blogger, I went back to an old post and found someone had been upset with me for hotlinking, so I try not to do that anymore.

    3. Size. Not dimensional size, but memory and compression. Believe it or not, there are still people who use dial-up connections and if you embed a 2-meg photograph in your post, it’ll take them a painfully long amount of time to load and even for a high-speed connection it can take a while (especially true if you’ve hotlinked). Be sure that the picture you use is small enough that it can load up quickly.

    But yeah, pictures add a lot. With a wider column for the articles, it should be easier to come up with a good looking format.Report

    • Avatar Erik Kain in reply to Burt Likko says:

      All good points! There’s lots of resources out there that are useful to avoid copyright, and I could probably get some plugins rolling that can auto-generate pictures, too. For the most part this doesn’t worry me. If we get our wrists slapped, so be it. It’s happened before. It’s a pain to take something down but the risk is minimal.

      Hotlinking – yeah, don’t do it. Upload photos only. And size does matter, as you say. We will run out of room at some point and have to pay for more. I think all that being said it’s still worth it in the long run.Report

    • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Burt Likko says:

      Burt made the same point I was thinking about. On my personal blog I am less diligent about attributing photos than I should be. Here though with a large readership it seems the polite thing to do.

      Anyone know a way to imbed the source data in the photo without having it junk up the post?Report

      • Avatar wardsmith in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

        MD, I’ll give it a go with the old buggy comment box here:

        Asteroid Apophis from Asteroidapophis.comReport

        • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to wardsmith says:

          Wardsmith – did you do that through coding?


          • Avatar wardsmith in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

            No Mike, the comment box has a simpleimage.image_desc widget in the lower right hand corner, left of the toggle full screen widget and right of the omega symbol widget for inserting funky characters like ™. The other trick to this comment box is that you don’t want to finish with a carriage return, that’s what generates all the white space between comments.Report

        • Avatar wardsmith in reply to wardsmith says:

          Well that didn’t work. If you’re running Firefox ver 10 on Windoze and right click with your mouse you’ll see a selection called “View Image Info”. That selection will show you the image description I typed in that the buggy comment box doesn’t or can’t put on the page. Of course when I see an image I like I usually just right click on it, select the “View Image” option and I get to see where the image came from and visit the site if I want by playing with the URL box (usually deleting the .jpg text at the end and backing up to the .com or .org portion).Report

        • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to wardsmith says:


  6. Avatar BSK says:

    Related…sort of… Anyway, there was a funny sketch on Comedy Central’s “Key and Peele” about Republican reactionism to President Obama. If someone could post and/or comment on that, positively or negatively, I think it’d be interesting fodder for discussion. It will probably be up on the CC website by tomorrow. Photos are just half-assed movies anyway.Report

  7. Avatar david says:

    On the topic of site design, if this blog is going to be hospitable to long exposition, then it should perhaps not have two columns of blank space on the right and left.

    In particular it makes comments several layers down the tree squashed rather badly.Report

  8. Avatar Kyle Cupp says:

    I post pictures for the increased traffic.Report

  9. Avatar Jaybird says:

    When I was growing up we had ascii characters. You know what we did in the absence of graphics? Ascii art.

    You kids today have no idea of how good you’ve got it.Report

  10. Avatar Kenneth says:

    Seeing as how someone has seen fit to delete at least two of my comments today, I’m going to presume that you made some pronouncement against me while I was not looking at conversations here.

    Feel free to email me. That’s the email I usually use right there provided for you.


  11. Avatar Kenneth The Third says:

    First – I am not anyone named “Mike.” My name is Kendrick McCormack. I go by “Kenneth” because many of my friends have remarked of the similarity of my name to the South Park character and I happen to enjoy the show. That’s also why I use that phrase in email fields when I don’t want to get spammed.

    Second – I like my online privacy, in case you haven’t caught on to it from the fact above. Therefore, I browse the internet primarily using the EFF’s TOR software.

    Third – I resent the implication from you that I am someone else, and I resent your using it as a nonsensical and pretextual justification for your behavior.Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Kenneth The Third says:

      Why would you resent the implication that you are someone else, when you don’t want anybody to know who you are?

      Shouldn’t you *want* people to think you’re someone else?Report

      • Avatar Kenneth The Third in reply to Patrick Cahalan says:

        I resent his implying that I am someone else he dislikes, which is his implying that I am someone’s sockpuppet or otherwise someone who it’s ok to treat in this manner.Report

        • Kenneth –

          If you have any specific questions, you can email either myself, Erik, Mark or Jason.  Or, if you prefer, I believe Mark will be making a post later.  At this time, however, I would like to respectfully ask that even though you have the ability to get new IP addresses and post here that your please refrain from doing so.

          Again, feel free to email any of us if need be.

          Thank you.Report

          • Avatar Kenneth The Third in reply to Tod Kelly says:

            No, apparently I can’t. Your “contact us” link only goes to a generic webform, which I’ve filled out already. Clicking on your names yields posts by you, but no contact email address.

            You do, of course, have my email address. And I previously posted asking one of you to email me, above.

            Dishonestly saying “well just email me” when your friend has disabled all ways to do so is ridiculous and you know it.Report

        • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Kenneth The Third says:

          I’m all about respecting someone’s desire for anonymity.  I’m not about going out of my way to adjust existing protocol to enable someone to use a site that isn’t theirs while they’re deliberately making more work for me.

          Of course, I’m not Erik, and I’m not presuming to speak for him.  But I’ve used TOR to get to the site before, and I know how TOR works… so if you’re getting blocked because “Mike” was using TOR and an exit node is on the list of suspicious IPs *and* you just happen to be routing out through that same exit node… well, this seems both highly coincidental (and very improbable) and perhaps unfortunate, but not really anything for which it’s Erik’s responsibility to go out of his way to compensate.Report

  12. Avatar BSK says:

    This picture sure is something.  From what I’ve read, this is his third return from a tour overseas and the first time he has been able to greet his partner in the way he would have preferred.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to BSK says:

      I read a similar story about these guys. Apparently the Marine had a crush on the civilian guy, and the civilian guy had a crush on him back, but they were platonic friends for a long time who were both very shy about admitting their respective interest. (IIRC, I think the civilian guy was not out and the Marine was discreet about it; might be wrong about that.) So they corresponded while the Marine was on deployment, confessed their attraction to one another over e-mail, and this picture captured their first kiss ever. It’s incredibly romantic.Report

    • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to BSK says:

      I’m just going to keep it real here and admit that I am less disturbed by two guy’s kissing (hooray for personal evolution) but I am bothered by seeing the soldier in a submissive position. Call me a traditionalist…Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

        … submissive position? That looks like “pounced da big guy” to me. Maybe it’s because I’m short, too…Report

        • Avatar Murali in reply to Kimmi says:

          Yeah, but it is usually the girl who does the pouncing and the wrapping of legs around the guy. Presumably then the soldier is the bottom in the relationship.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Murali says:

            Three comments have been written in response to this comment and I’ve deleted every one.

            This is the fourth.


            Ever since I’ve found out that George Michaels is gay and all of my “who is dating whom in the ‘Wake me up before you go-go’ video” theorizing was for naught, I’ve tried not to imagine which one in the relationship is in charge of punching the other in the nose while they’re peeing on each other in the shower because I am inevitably wrong whenever I come up with a guess.

            Best to leave those theories alone and just see two people who are delighted to see each other and say “awwwwww”.Report

            • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Jaybird says:

              I look at it this way; if I was goofily in love with a 6″9″ 265 lb powerlifting woman, I might jump on her like that, too.  That’s what goofs in love do when they’re smaller, they jump on the bigger one and say “gotcha!”

              The woman I’m goofily in love with is shorter than me and probably would not appreciate taking on the task of holding up my fat ass, as it currently stands.Report

            • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Jaybird says:

              We all know that in any same-sex relationship, one individual is the guy and one is the girl.

              I mean, right?Report

              • Avatar Murali in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

                My apologies, I didnt mean to stereotype (or apply heteronormative standards to situations where they did not necessarily apply)Report

              • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Murali says:

                No worries.  It’s interesting though who assumes what, and from what, when it’s not like it should matter all that much anyway.

                Some straight couples never have sex.  Some have lots of sex.  Some have kinky sex.  Gay sex is complicated like that too.  And — again, a similarity — most people probably don’t really want to know about it anyway.  Well and good, they shouldn’t.Report

              • It’s not even a gay thing, or a sexy-sex thing. I’m amazed at how many people at work assume I do certain things and home and my wife does certain things just based on the fact that we’re married and non-gender-neutral.

                I work with a guy, and maybe every few months he’ll ask something about what my wife cooks; I explain each time that I’m th cook, and each time he looks startled. And then blocks it out.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                I get some of that, too. I’m the cook, although a number of other divisions of labor in the Likko household do break down along more traditional gender lines. Right on down to me cleaning up after the dogs and she cleans up after the cats.Report

              • Avatar Murali in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

                So, out of genuine curiosity (if it is not insensitive for me to ask):

                To what extent among gay couples is the stereotype of one half being more “butch” while the other half being more “swish” true?

                And to what extent is it the case that the “butch” and “swish” halves respectively perform male and female gender roles?Report

              • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Murali says:

                To what extent among gay couples is the stereotype of one half being more “butch” while the other half being more “swish” true?

                Think for a moment about the question.  How would you even begin to quantify it?

                Some same-sex couples have clear gender roles.  Most I think don’t.  Trying to determine who is the butch and who is the femme in a lot of cases is like trying to determine who is the bigger fan of Dostoyevsky vs Proust in the relationship:  It’s not a terribly interesting metric for anything, and anyway, most couples don’t view their relationship through the framework that you’re trying to squash it into.

                And that’s just gender.  It’s well-known in the gay community that when you hit the bedroom, everything can change in an instant.Report

              • Avatar Murali in reply to Murali says:

                Some same-sex couples have clear gender roles.  Most I think don’t. 

                Thanks, that’s all I needed. sorry again if I was insensitive in asking. This is just a part of the culture that is very well hidden where I come from.Report

              • Avatar David Ryan in reply to Murali says:

                Two words:

                Power. Bottom.Report

  13. Avatar Murali says:

    Has the comment box changed recently? I haven’t noticed any difference. I know it changed some time ago from a purely coding view to one with the Visual tab. Bu that was many months agoReport

  14. God I am so hot now after reading about peeing in showers and punching in the nose. Thank goodness there is a “Murder, She Wrote” marathon on Hallmark so I can take a hot bath while watching Angela.Report

  15. Speaking of pictures, the young Davey Jones in some photos looks just like Andrea Tantaros with shorter hair.Report