Tinker Tailor Soldier Blogger

Avatar

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

303 Responses

  1. Avatar Patrick Cahalan
    Ignored
    says:

    This will be better for mobile devices.

    You fixed the photo bits in the older posts, quick job.

    You need a Dev site to tinker with this stuff 🙂

     Report

  2. Avatar greginak
    Ignored
    says:

    Should we complain about the redesign in this thread or will there be a separate post just for complaining?

     Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Dude, I can’t even get my copy of Mass Effect 3 until Midnight and I’m not even going to think about staying up that late.

    How in the heck did you get your copy already????

    (Is it awesome?)Report

  4. Avatar BradK
    Ignored
    says:

    Oh, I thought this was going to be about the movie.

    As you were, then…Report

  5. Avatar Tod Kelly
    Ignored
    says:

    I like the steam punk R2.  Can we keep him?Report

  6. Avatar Jason Kuznicki
    Ignored
    says:

    If you really feel that guilty about the sexism implicit in the name “The League of Ordinary Gentlemen,” then abandon it entirely.

    The way you have it now just falls between two chairs.  I don’t find it clever like the old name, and it still points up the (possible) past sexism all too clearly.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Jason Kuznicki
      Ignored
      says:

      I say go with this:

       

      Report

    • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Jason Kuznicki
      Ignored
      says:

      I think the name is also becoming a bit falsely modest.  Look at the bios here.  it’s not to be sneezed at.

      A League of Increasingly Extraordinary People?Report

    • Avatar Scott in reply to Jason Kuznicki
      Ignored
      says:

      How about The League of Ordinary Persons? That is about as generic, milquetoast and boring as one can get. But at least no one’s feeling will be hurt which we all know is the most important thing.Report

    • Avatar Plinko in reply to Jason Kuznicki
      Ignored
      says:

      I agree with Jason here.Report

    • Avatar J.L. Wall in reply to Jason Kuznicki
      Ignored
      says:

      I’m with Jason on this.  As for the other stuff, I don’t know from site re-designs.  Though if you find a way to, having the site nail a copy of each new post to the computers/doors of all subscribers would be my preference.Report

    • Avatar sonmi451 in reply to Jason Kuznicki
      Ignored
      says:

      I thought the name is just wordplay from League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Didn’t know you guys put so much thought into it.Report

      • Avatar BSK in reply to sonmi451
        Ignored
        says:

        I assumed as much.  I don’t like the new name either, especially since it is easily confused with another one of my favorite things out there, the television show caled, “The League.”  If you are concerned with the risk of appearing sexist (or harkening back to a sexist history of the LoOG, if one does exist), then rebrand entirely.Report

        • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to BSK
          Ignored
          says:

          The problem is that rebranding is really hard to do.  We’re looking at a loss of half the traffic to avoid an offense that may or may not actually exist.

          So let’s put the question to the proper audience:  What do the ladies here think about the use of “gentlemen”?Report

          • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Jason Kuznicki
            Ignored
            says:

            Leave it alone, you progressivists, we don’t need to worry about what ‘women’ might say.

            Women can start there own, separate but equal, blog..I’ll bet that would be interesting.Report

            • Avatar Chris in reply to Robert Cheeks
              Ignored
              says:

              It is sad, really, that this is not Bob’s most offensive comment ever? Not even by a long shot, really (he used to regularly suggest that we just let all the Muslims kill each other, for example, because the world would be a better place without them).Report

              • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                I find it inoffensive only because I find it completely impossible to take seriously.

                If I took it seriously, I’d be offended.Report

              • Avatar sonmi451 in reply to Jason Kuznicki
                Ignored
                says:

                You don’t take it seriously because you don’t think he really means it, or what? A question – if (by some miracle) he doesn’t actually believe all the stuff he’s saying, but is only saying it to drive “libruls” and “commie-dems” crazy, does that absolve him, somehow? Is it okay to say offensive things if you don’t really mean it and is only trying to get a rise out of people?Report

              • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to sonmi451
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t think he really means it. He’s trolling you. The fact that you can’t tell either speaks volumes about the left, or the right, or both.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Jason Kuznicki
                Ignored
                says:

                This is my favorite comment of the week.Report

              • Avatar sonmi451 in reply to Jason Kuznicki
                Ignored
                says:

                So it’s my fault as a leftist who thinks soooo many bad and evil thoughts about the right that I believe somebody like Bob really means what he say? Okay. But that doesn’t answer the original Q though, if he really doesn’t mean it, does it make it okay for him to say these things? It’s the internet after all, how are we supposed to decipher intent?Report

              • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Jason Kuznicki
                Ignored
                says:

                So it’s my fault as a leftist who thinks soooo many bad and evil thoughts about the right that I believe somebody like Bob really means what he say? Okay

                You’re forgetting the other option, which is that Bob really does represent the right — it’s trolls all the way down.

                Take your pick.Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to Jason Kuznicki
                Ignored
                says:

                JK-

                The reason we take it somewhat seriously is because we presume that this is a space for relatively serious conversation.  Trolls ought to be chased out.  Bob’s presence has been repeatedly defended by many.  Which means even when those same people are saying, “He’s harmless because there is nothing serious to his comments,” they are also communicating, “But there is enough merit there to allow his posts to stand.”  You can’t have it both ways.  Either Bob is a troll who ought to go or he should be taken seriously and taken to task when he says seriously offensive things.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jason Kuznicki
                Ignored
                says:

                I think everyone realizes Bob and others are trolling. The question is whether to let the trolling be or not to be. Whether it’s nobler to suffer those slings and arrows of outrage, or to take up arms and end them.

                I mean, people have been trying to figure this stuff out for, like, centuries.

                 Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to Jason Kuznicki
                Ignored
                says:

                SW-

                Considering the powers that be have taken up slings and arrows against others, why draw the line here?  What makes Bob different?  I have asked this on several occasions and always get the same responses: he doesn’t really mean it; he dresses his nonsense up just nice enough to slip by; booting him means we hate conservatives.Report

              • Avatar Erik Kain in reply to Jason Kuznicki
                Ignored
                says:

                Bob walks a very fine line.Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to Jason Kuznicki
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m sorry, EK, but you’ll need to do better than that to justify the treatment he receives.  Especially when he so egregiously blows that line out of the water, as he did here.

                DD is someone who I would say expertly walks a fine line.  And DD makes meaningful contributions that further conversation in his own, unique, line-walking way.  (DD, please read this as a compliment!  I don’t always agree with you, but even when I know you are taking a deliberately provacative tact, I am always given pause and saying, “He DOES at least sort of have a point!”)

                Bob is a troll plain and simple.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jason Kuznicki
                Ignored
                says:

                Sorry BSK, I meant that as a response to Jason. I pretty much agree with you about Bob. The one thing I agree with Jason about is that having him here let’s us see how he – and his kind! – think. The downside is that lots of people, including myself at times, let his shtick get under my skin. And then I’m led into wondering about why the f**k TPTB let him stick around.Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to Jason Kuznicki
                Ignored
                says:

                SW-

                But who are his kind?  Trolls?  If Bob really is a troll, than he adds NOTHING to the conversation.

                If he represents a world view that he himself possesses, than there is a place for that here.  But if he has made himself a caricature of a viewpoint that is not well represented here, than he ultimately detracts from conversation.Report

              • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Jason Kuznicki
                Ignored
                says:

                The problem I have with this ban-fever going around here lately is that it’s a slippery slope. We ban whats-his-name who calls other people fascist, subhuman pieces of shit in all seriousness; and then we ban H’ger for going on about exterminating the Muslim brutes because he’s probably serious although who knows; and then we ban Bob for making obnoxious comments even if we suspect they’re not serious; and then we have to ban the people who make obnoxious jokes about Republicans or dudes or some other group because everyone says we’re not being fair and balanced in our banning; and then we have to spend our time monitoring every newcomer here to make sure they’re not ban-worthy.

                Like I’ve said before, I think we should ban less often and remove obnoxious comments more often.Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to Jason Kuznicki
                Ignored
                says:

                Great points, Rufus.  I’m not necessarily calling for an out-and-out ban.  I don’t know that I’ve ever called for that.  But I do think a response is appropriate.  There is a lot of mileage between a ban and carte blanche.  If there is something positive I can say about Bob, it’s that there appears to be a high degree of intellect behind what he does.  He’s not some ESPN.com commenter who’s great intellectual achievement is figuring out how to represent the N-word using the @ symbol and posting it 1,000 times to every article involving a black athlete.  I’m confident Bob could contribute meaningfuly.  If we can find a way to elicit this from him, I think we’d be richer for it.  How we do that, I don’t know.  Stick or carrot?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jason Kuznicki
                Ignored
                says:

                Rufus, I’m with about the banning thing. But I’d hazard a guess that our tolerance for the Bob views is one reason we don’t have too many female Leaguesters on the books. And I’m also very sympathetic to women’s complaints about his trollery: it think it’s tolerated despite how offensive it is to them. I also think this is a consequence of the collective identity of the League – that we (ideally!) approach issues from a meta-perspective where gender, sexual orientation, party affilitiation, etc., take a back seat to the arguments presented and discussed. But for women (as one example) the inherent bias expressed by men regarding issues relevant to them, as women!, can be seen as skipping right over the most important issues in the debate. It’d be like a bunch of white guys talking about race issues in America without any input from an African American (wait, what?). I think we’ve seen that in this whole contraception debate: it took a long time before any woman entered the threads to offer her take on the subject. And when she/they did, they were denounced for simply expressing themselves. Much like Fluke. And so it goes.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Jason Kuznicki
                Ignored
                says:

                Stillwater,

                I was more disturbed by the guy who was openly hitting on me.

                Still, I would wager a lot of liberals would think twice about talking on a site that lets Bob post.Report

              • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Jason Kuznicki
                Ignored
                says:

                Kimmi: FWIW, that person was banned last week.Report

              • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Jason Kuznicki
                Ignored
                says:

                Still, I would wager a lot of liberals would think twice about talking on a site that lets Bob post.

                Like Jason said, I’m not sure that speaks well of liberals, frankly. I am glad we kicked off the creepy guy who was hitting on you and being obnoxious to everyone else.


                Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to Jason Kuznicki
                Ignored
                says:

                Rufus-

                If it speaks poorly of me that I’d rather not engage in dialogue on a site where “Commie-Dem” is a regular part of the vocabulary, so be it.  Don’t assume that people only avoid sites out of fear or discomfort.  They are just as likely to say, “I’m not going to waste my time with a bunch of clowns.”  Bob is a clown.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jason Kuznicki
                Ignored
                says:

                Like Jason said, I’m not sure that speaks well of liberals, frankly.

                That’s a little too meta for me. If someone came to this site and said ‘black people just need to get back to the fields where they belong’, we’d have a collective uprising on our hands. Bob essentially says the equivalent about women.

                Is it legitimate to be incensed at the former but not the latter? They seem strictly analogous to me. So accusing liberals of being overly sensitive about the expression of reprehensible views – even if they’re understood as trollery! – seems misplaced to me. It suggests that simply because someone says something to get a reaction you’re wrong to react, when what’s really in play here, it seems to me, is the expression of objectionable beliefs independently of their purpose.Report

              • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Jason Kuznicki
                Ignored
                says:

                Stillwater: You switched cards! Kimmi said ‘liberals’, I responded to ‘liberals’, and you switched it to ‘women’. I was responding to the notion that liberals, being the wimps they’re always accused of being, can’t stomach participating in a forum where someone like Bob also gets to speak without the bouncers throwing him out.

                This brings us to the other card switched here: reacting vs banning. Kimmi said the problem was that we allow Bob to post here, which suggests we should ban him to make liberals more comfortable. I said that doesn’t speak well of liberals and you said I’m saying nobody should react. Nope. That’s not what I’m saying.Report

              • Avatar Snarky McSnarkSnark in reply to Jason Kuznicki
                Ignored
                says:

                I think everyone is overthinking this.

                Bob is a classic troll.   90% of his postings are not participation in a conversation, but an attempt to derail one.   They are goads–he is simply trying to provoke a reaction from people.   And I’m astounded by his success.

                I’m not for banning any ideological point of view, here.   I enjoy hearing from all quarters.   But what Bob was doing was just peeing in a public well.   If Bob wants to engage instead of poke, I’d be fine with it.   But what he was doing was simply trying to get a rise out of people for his own amusement.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Jason Kuznicki
                Ignored
                says:

                Rufus,

                allow me to amend what I was saying, as I have had a mild change of heart.

                No banning. Let bobbie talk when he’ll actually contribute, which is infrequent, bt fairly pleasant when it occurs.

                Used to post on a site where someone would post long very-socialist/communist rants. It was about as unpleasant as Bobbie.

                Bobbie’s posts degrade the quality of the site as a whole, and reflect badly on the ownership — when he’s poking, as sonmi says.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jason Kuznicki
                Ignored
                says:

                Then interpret my comment as an independent contribution to the ongoing discussion. I mean, I really don’t know why those things you mention ought to matter in responding to what I wrote.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Jason Kuznicki
                Ignored
                says:

                At this point the conversation is kind of moot though, yes?Report

              • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Jason Kuznicki
                Ignored
                says:

                I guess it doesn’t matter, but I said one thing and you said I said something else, or strongly implied it, so I corrected that. I never said there was anything wrong with responding to what Bob says; I just don’t agree with banning him. It seems like a difference worth pointing out.

                Okay, as for your question: Is it legitimate to be incensed at the former but not the latter? They seem strictly analogous to me.

                Well, again, I didn’t say it wasn’t legitimate to be incensed. I think it’s totally legitimate to be incensed at both. Do I think people would be angrier if he said something like that about blacks? Probably so. I do there’s a historical difference between patriarchy and slavery that probably colors things.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jason Kuznicki
                Ignored
                says:

                there’s a historical difference between patriarchy and slavery that probably colors things. {{ rimshot! }}

                Rufus, I went back and re-read the thread and I did get your position wrong. You referenced Jason’s initial comment, but Jason wasn’t referring to banning there, or at least I didn’t understand him that way. Sorry about that.

                 Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jason Kuznicki
                Ignored
                says:

                At this point the conversation is kind of moot though, yes?

                Just saw this Tod, and you’re right. Not a very fair response. But I actually re-read the relevant comments and it seemed obvious to me (at the time) that I didn’t switch any cards: I was referring to liberals (not women) and I thought Rufus was referring to liberals reacting (not banning) objectionable commenters.

                So I really couldn’t find the argument HE was making and uncharitably attributed it to gamesmanship. My bad.Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to Jason Kuznicki
                Ignored
                says:

                Rufus-

                I’m curious to hear your response to my comment, about people avoiding a conversation that seems to be populated by clowns.  If you could oblige me, I’d appreciate it.Report

              • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Jason Kuznicki
                Ignored
                says:

                Sure, yeah! Bob is one guy who is often a clown. We’re not all clowns. My feeling is that, if someone pops up on a thread and says something obnoxious and a bunch of us say, Hey, what you just said was obnoxious!, it’s reasonable to expect that a lurker is going to feel okay about commenting here since we’re clearly not all clowns. However, I worry with banning people that doing that might inhibit conversation in the other way- someone who has something to say that isn’t exactly obnoxious but they think it might possibly offend someone else might just not comment and not risk it.Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to Jason Kuznicki
                Ignored
                says:

                Rufus-

                Great point.  My responses would be:

                1.)  Bob does not always get told he’s being obnoxious, in part because some of us choose (or have been encouraged) to tune him.

                2.)  I agree with you that an out-and-out ban carries enourmous risks.  Which is why I’m glad that he did not receive one.

                Finally, a question:

                1.)  Is Erik’s response (moderation) closer to calling him out as obnoxious or banning?  If it is closer to the latter, is it so close as to carry the same risks as a ban?  (Okay, that was two questions.  Sue me.)

                Personally, my first choice would be a genuine appeal to Bob.  It is my inkling (and others seem to confirm this with more concrete information) that Bob has a lot more to offer than what he currently does and is fully capable of doing so.  If this is the case, hopefully those who know him best (and it is again implied that some know him well, possibly even in RL) can make an appeal to him that brings him more in line with the culture we seek to cultivate here and help him find a way to maintain his “edge” but while adding more light than heat (again, I point to DensityDuck as someone who does this remarkably, the rat bastard :-p).  If these calls go unheeded, than I suppose Erik’s approach is the next best.  I don’t know what has been done already.  But it is clear that the “free market” approach doesn’t work with Bob and that more is needed.Report

              • Avatar MFarmer in reply to Jason Kuznicki
                Ignored
                says:

                “You’re forgetting the other option, which is that Bob really does represent the right — it’s trolls all the way down.”

                An option? So, Jason, you believe that everyone on the Right is a troll? You have made quite a few disparaging remarks that can be taken personally by people who consider their political position to be on the Right. I don’t get it — is this what you really believe? Because, if there’s an option that you represent the Left, then it says something unfavorable about the Left.Report

              • Avatar Bad-ass Motherfisher in reply to Jason Kuznicki
                Ignored
                says:

                Your meta detector is broken.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to sonmi451
                Ignored
                says:

                sonmi,

                I frankly have my doubts that he’s conservative at all. Performance art is what people call it herebouts.Report

              • Avatar sonmi451 in reply to sonmi451
                Ignored
                says:

                It suggests that simply because someone says something to get a reaction you’re wrong to react, when what’s really in play here, it seems to me, is the expression of objectionable beliefs independently of their purpose.

                Yes, this! Thank you. This is what I’ve been trying to say in several comments in my inarticulate way.Report

            • Avatar North in reply to Robert Cheeks
              Ignored
              says:

              Bob, ol’ boy, I’d say you’re very fortunate that the missus

              A) doesn’t read the league much and so likely won’t catch this comment.

              B) is (obviously) an astonishingly tolerant forgiving woman.

              Because otherwise I suspect you’d be sleeping on the couch tonight. For shame sir.Report

            • Avatar Snarky McSnarksnark in reply to Robert Cheeks
              Ignored
              says:

              When I was in college, my anthropology class went to visit the Primate Center at the San Diego Zoo.   There was a gorilla there that did not care for the director of the primate center.   This gorilla would save up his feces (and those of his comrades).   When the director would come by, alone or with a group, the gorilla would fling shit at him continuously until the director went away or the gorilla ran out of shit  (the gorilla had pretty remarkable aim).

              Bob reminds me of that gorilla.Report

              • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Snarky McSnarksnark
                Ignored
                says:

                Whaaa, whaaa!

                Hey, I ain’t the guy who titled this establishment: “The League of Ordinary Gentlemen!”

                One might make the argument that no, really devoted, librul would contribute here simply because of the obvious sexist nature inherent in that evil  name. In fact, I’m pretty sure that most of the editorial staff are growing rather wobbly as I write. All we need is a Ms. Flack to make a public remark concerning the ‘sexist’, non-inclusive’ LoOG and our masthead boys loose their librul credentials and bladder control simultaneously! Hell, no wonder Freddie left!

                I would think the title implies certain restrictions on the distaff side.How far the founding fathers wanted to go with these limitations I don’t know and, frankly, don’t care. Most women are confused and boring Leftist robots, mouthing the latest statist line and want a lot of gummint ‘free’ stuff. A very small minority are rather astute conservatives and consequently would be interesting to read. However, the leftist women who write here provide entertainment value. So please keep Kimmi and Kathrine!Report

              • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Robert Cheeks
                Ignored
                says:

                Bob, is there anyone who’s ever talked to you and not been totally turned off from Christianity by your behavior?Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Rufus F.
                Ignored
                says:

                I was pretty much down on Christianity already,Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to Robert Cheeks
                Ignored
                says:

                I find it interesting enough that Bob and other folks of his ilk feel the need to bastardize Fluke’s name to make their point.  Not only is it childish, but her name without change lends itself so well to such silliness that terms like “Flack” just demonstrate their overreliance on such stylistic arguments because of the inherent weakness of their substance.Report

              • Avatar Scott in reply to BSK
                Ignored
                says:

                BSK:

                Sometimes in politics as in life, folks don’t always talk so nice about each other, don’t you know this?  Haven’t you heard some of the nasty things Rahm Emanuel has said about his opponents? No one seems to mind his nastiness.  Does Fluke deserve a greater level of politeness/deference than anyone else involved in politics?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Scott
                Ignored
                says:

                Does Fluke deserve a greater level of politeness/deference than anyone else involved in politics?

                Hells yeah, brother! Well said. I mean, I’m in politics, right? I vote and sometimes I even express my views of how things should be. Out loud! So do you! Christ, we’re all in politics, right?! So no, of course not, no one deserves any level or politeness and deference. It’s a fucking free-for-all!

                Snark aside, I’m reminded of Trizzlor’s comment from a few days ago. Regarding all the apologetics and mental gymnastics around this issue, he asked if it’s really the hill conservatives want to die on.

                Seems so.Report

              • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Scott
                Ignored
                says:

                Actually, I think Rahm Emanuel’s an a-hole, for what it’s worth.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Scott
                Ignored
                says:

                Good God Rufus. Really?

                 Report

              • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Scott
                Ignored
                says:

                What? Did he become a nice guy at some point?

                I’ve read on the internet that he goes to gay bath houses with Obama– clearly that’s true. Ask them if he’s a nice guy.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to BSK
                Ignored
                says:

                Rufus’ link is good for a laugh. The photoshopping is just bad enough that it’s obviously fake, and the list of Obama’s male sexual partners includes Bill Frist.

                And Rick Warren is a Muslim. (Determined by process of elimination.)Report

              • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Burt Likko
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah, I was posting that as an example of the awesomeness of the Internet when it explains everything.Report

              • Avatar sonmi451 in reply to Burt Likko
                Ignored
                says:

                Pftttt. Obama can do sooooo much better than Frist and Emanuel. I’ve always had a certain dorky fondness for David Plouffe myself.

                On a serious note, amazing that the article manages to include so many batshit crazy theories – from Reverend Wright as matchmakers to Elena Kagan blackmailing the president to get a spot on the Supreme Court. Bleghhh.

                 Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Burt Likko
                Ignored
                says:

                Sonmi, the tell for me was when the writer said the “The bath house, Man’s Country, caters to older white men…”. Anyone who knows anything about Obama knows he’d go for younger guys.

                So this is just another right wing misrepresentation of the facts.Report

              • Avatar sonmi451 in reply to Burt Likko
                Ignored
                says:

                Anyone who knows anything about Obama knows he’d go for younger guys.

                Well there was that whole section about Michelle Obama being jealous of the relationship between Obama and Reggie Love. I swear, it’s like these people are writing fanfiction or something.

                 

                 Report

              • Avatar sonmi451 in reply to Burt Likko
                Ignored
                says:

                Just to be clear, it’s not the gay part that’s disturbing, it’s the speculating without a shred of evidence. If the article is talking about Obama making sweet, sweet love to elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor without any shred of evidence, I’d find it abhorrent too.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Burt Likko
                Ignored
                says:

                Bill First has sex in person?  I thought he just watched videotapes.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Robert Cheeks
                Ignored
                says:

                Oh, dear, I’m the one who’s confused and boring?

                You’re the one pretending to be a confederate history nerd.

                Which is all the sadder, because if you weren’t such a pretender, we could have had an illuminating conversation.

                If you were good, it wouldn’t have involved Godwin. Much.

                God bless your heart — and I pray that you understand what I mean.Report

              • Avatar Erik Kain in reply to Robert Cheeks
                Ignored
                says:

                Bob –

                I’m not going to ban you, but your comments in this thread remind me that you act like a troll most of the time. I’ve read your work elsewhere. I know that this trolling is nothing more than a slap in my face. I take it personally. I know you can do better.

                As such, every one of your comments will now go into moderation. Admins may remove these from moderation IF they are substantive and IF they do not stoop to the level you are so prone to stooping to. No more “commie-dem” crap. No more of any of this. You play nice, and smart, as I know you can – or you don’t play at all.

                This is not a ban. But it’s very close. I’m censoring you.Report

              • Avatar sonmi451 in reply to Erik Kain
                Ignored
                says:

                I’ve read your work elsewhere. I know that this trolling is nothing more than a slap in my face. I take it personally. I know you can do better.

                So is Bob really a conservative, or is the whole thing just performance art?Report

              • Avatar Erik Kain in reply to sonmi451
                Ignored
                says:

                Unless it spans his blogging elsewhere (such as Postmodern Conservative) it’s not in any way performance art. Performance trolling only.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to sonmi451
                Ignored
                says:

                The thing is, I liked reading his stuff on First Things.  It was really smart, well written, researched and much considered.  It’s hard for me to reconcile both Bobs sometimes.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Erik Kain
                Ignored
                says:

                “I’m censoring you.”

                Libs r nasty.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                Hey Koz!  WHere the hell you been?Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                Welcome back I guess.

                That said E.D. isn’t a liberal. He’s an in between.Report

              • Avatar mark boggs in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                And if you say that as though Bob’s on your side, I’m not sure what else to say.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                “Hey Koz! WHere the hell you been?”

                Thanks Tod. I haven’t been participating much, though I did write a couple comments about the Koch thing yesterday. One thing that’s been a real bummer is just how much of the antagonism here comes down to SWPL race/class solidarity.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                “And if you say that as though Bob’s on your side, I’m not sure what else to say.”

                Watching some of the intra-Republican primary antagonism, to be honest I haven’t been thinking real happy thoughts about our Voegelin enthusiast friend. But the censorship is still lame, and should be acknowledged as such.

                Mike had to go, even before the sockpuppet business. The problem with “subhuman Rethuglican Teatard asshole” is that you can’t ignore it, it necessarily dominates the conversation. Bob is often offensive to SWPL sensibilities (and others too, for that matter). But everything Bob writes is ignorable and the desire to censor him is all about getting one over on the out group.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m totally not getting what “stuff white people like” has to do with any of this.Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                I think he is referring to the particular segment of white America that SWPL targetted.  By and large, the “stuff” was the realm of young, urban, liberal white folks.  A lot of hipsterdom, but more.  There was much overlap between this group and the group that Bob targetted.

                Do I have that right, Koz?Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                two sides of same coin, koz.

                I’d attempt to call you something that would get under your skin like Bobbie’s sexist ramblings do get under mine…

                Just a game, mind…

                Did you decide to vote for Palin with your second head? (okay, see, I suck at this… it still has way too much content)Report

              • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                Koz, dude, thank you. So far, you’re the only one who has defended me, by referring to Herr Lt. Gruppenfuhrer Kain’s threat to CENSOR me as “lame.” Again, thanks because I know we don’t agree on much but do agree on the idea of public speech. I find it interesting the number of self-proclaimed libruls and libertarians who haunt these pages and their failure to engage or even understand your perspective.

                E.D., is your desire to CENSOR my speech, at this site, predicated on my humorous and accurate phrase, “commie-Dems” or is it based on the content? In this instance, my public and straightforward criticism of leftist women? Or, are their other instances where my political, moral, and societal ideas, and precepts have clashed with the radical progressivists here, and consequently you’d like to CENSOR my comments because you’d prefer what TvD refers to as an ‘echo chamber’?

                One other thing, and I’m not trying to be snarky, but would it be possible for the gentlemen on the masthead to publicly express their support or disagreement of your decision to CENSOR me, based on your criteria? I’d like to know their opinion and I think your readers would as well. Also, any remarks they have re: your decision would be of interest.Report

              • Avatar Erik Kain in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                Bob, I’m letting this comment through solely so that I can answer your questions and illustrate a point.

                Koz, dude, thank you. So far, you’re the only one who has defended me, by referring to Herr Lt. Gruppenfuhrer Kain’s threat to CENSOR me as “lame.” Again, thanks because I know we don’t agree on much but do agree on the idea of public speech. I find it interesting the number of self-proclaimed libruls and libertarians who haunt these pages and their failure to engage or even understand your perspective.

                Referring to me with Nazi language is a point against you, Bob. I’ve been more than patient lo these many years. You’ve crossed the line time and again and frankly I have no idea why I didn’t ban you sooner. You’re not helping yourself here.

                E.D., is your desire to CENSOR my speech, at this site, predicated on my humorous and accurate phrase, “commie-Dems” or is it based on the content? In this instance, my public and straightforward criticism of leftist women? Or, are their other instances where my political, moral, and societal ideas, and precepts have clashed with the radical progressivists here, and consequently you’d like to CENSOR my comments because you’d prefer what TvD refers to as an ‘echo chamber’?

                Using capslocks to draw attention to “censor” – a word I used explicitly to describe my actions, is another point against you. Capslocks is almost as annoying as the rest of the crap you do.

                Actually, your ideas don’t bother me that much even if many are abhorrent to me. It is your sloppiness and disregard for this community that irk me to no end. You can obviously write and present yourself as a gentleman elsewhere, yet you refuse to here. This has nothing to do with an echo chamber – hence TVD and Tim Kowal writing here and others like DD not getting banned or shut down in any way. This loud whining is unbecoming as much as it is false.

                It is your blatant disregard for this community and your disrespect to me that I find tiresome. And I’m not going to put up with it anymore, no matter how much of a hissy fit you throw.

                One other thing, and I’m not trying to be snarky, but would it be possible for the gentlemen on the masthead to publicly express their support or disagreement of your decision to CENSOR me, based on your criteria? I’d like to know their opinion and I think your readers would as well. Also, any remarks they have re: your decision would be of interest.

                They can say whatever they like, as this was done in public on a public thread, but it’s not open for debate. This isn’t a democracy and you have no rights.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                Why do you bother, Bob?   Doesn’t it get tiresome, even to you?    Why don’t you just come out from behind this pawky Aristophanes Clown schtick and be a real person around here?

                For all your much-talking about Voegelin, you have missed the most important point he ever made, that we’re both participants and spectators in history,  Life’s Great Pageant.    You don’t have to be this way, churlish and offensive.   C’mon, even you’re getting weary of these threadbare rants you’ve made so many times before.   I strongly suspect you’re a far nicer person than you want to let on.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                “Do I have that right, Koz?”

                It’s more that Bob isn’t SWPL so we can piss on him at leisure.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                Not even if he were on fire.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                Bob, I’ve defended you many times, but this cry baby schtick is your most annoying yet.Report

            • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Robert Cheeks
              Ignored
              says:

              FWIW, Bob, all three of your comments here in this thread were socially out of line, and your third comment contained an ad hominem attack on Erik.

              Most ungentlemanly of you, sir, and a bit disappointing to see coming from your corner. If you wish to make the case that it is your viewpoint and not your tone that has been called out on the carpet, then you should labor to express your viewpoint with an exemplary tone. This, you have failed to do.

              We all err from time to time, myself included. I’ve seen you do better and I respect the intelligence and principle upon which your arguments are (or at least can be) based. So I challenge you to see this as an opportunity to get better, to rise to the standards of civil discourse everyone here already knows that you are more than capable of fulfilling.Report

              • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Burt Likko
                Ignored
                says:

                Burt, what does, “socially out of line” even mean? Have I failed the PC test here at the League. Let me answer that, of course I have.
                Bp, dude I like your style and broad knowledge and for the longest time I couldn’t pin down what it was about you that set off alarms. The answer to the query (and I’m not being snarky) is that while you have an impressively broad knowledge, your analysis consistently derails. I’m assuming, and perhaps I’m wrong, but that particular problem has to do with your honestly proclaimed illness, and I wish you the best in recovery. BTW, Voegelin’s finest hours may have been the re-introduction of the Metaxy.

                E.D., I’m withdrawing from ‘commenting’ here. Of course I’d never put myself in a position where you could censor me and as you said this is your website. I do want to thank everyone for a fun couple of years.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Robert Cheeks
                Ignored
                says:

                That’s unfortunate Bob. Happy trails, my best to the missus.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Robert Cheeks
                Ignored
                says:

                Given the contents above, there seems to be no point elaborating further. Fare thee well, Mr. Cheeks.Report

              • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Robert Cheeks
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t have an op-ed column in the New York Times, and that pompous blowhard Tom Friedman does.

                But that isn’t censorship.  If it were, the New York Times would be the biggest censor in the world, because it doesn’t give everyone an op-ed column.

                Censorship is when the government stops you.  With, like, guns and prison and stuff.  If you think that what we’re doing to you is censorship, then go to China and see what you can find about Falun Gong.

                Your whining on this site is an insult to everyone who is dead or rotting in prison for what they’ve written.

                 Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Jason Kuznicki
                Ignored
                says:

                Oh bullshtt, Erik is censoring not least because that’s how he’s describing himself. Or look it up in the dictionary if you don’t believe me. Just because Bob Cheeks isn’t in Cuba doesn’t mean it’s not lame.Report

              • Avatar Erik Kain in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m absolutely censoring Bob’s *behavior* but not his ideas. There’s a difference. A big one. And it’s not lame. Bob has brought this on himself no matter how much you care to whine on his behalf.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                Well yeah, I get that and there are things Bob has written that if handled in a certain way are worthy of censorship. Maybe even this one.

                But what exactly is Bob being censored for? Hard to say exactly. As near as I can tell, it’s because he’s not SWPL-simpatico. And that’s what’s lame.

                You and I are Americans. In the American cultural scene, there are Confederate sympathizers, birthers, Ham radio operators, breechloading firearm collectors and many other groups we approve of or not. But whether we approve of various people or not, it’s still ridiculous to operate from the premise, “If we share Fat Tire bitter together, then I value your opinion. If we share Miller Lites then you’re completely worthless.”Report

              • Avatar Erik Kain in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                Good thing that’s not what’s going on then.Report

              • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                So is the New York Times censoring me?  And you, and Matt Yglesias, and Joe the Plumber, and everyone else it doesn’t happen to offer an op-ed space?

                Am I censoring you because I haven’t offered you a Cato Unbound lead essay?  Even if I did give you a lead essay, it would only last for a month.  I’d be censoring you from then on, ever afterward!

                Something is grossly wrong with any definition of the word “censorship” that makes censorship the single most common act in all of publishing.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                I think you missed my response to Erik:

                “..what exactly is Bob being censored for? Hard to say exactly. As near as I can tell, it’s because he’s not SWPL-simpatico. And that’s what’s lame.”

                It’s not censorship per se that’s the problem. It’s censorship as one item of many in the service of SWPL intellectual insularity.Report

              • Avatar Snarky McSnarkSnark in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                I really don’t understand your SWPL tack.

                It doesn’t seem so hard to understand.   Bob was censored because he was uncivil.   Because–on a site devoted to conversation among many different viewpoints–Bob consistently tried to derail conversations.     Because in a wonkish, policy-centric community, Bob offered only insult, provocation and discord.

                Other than that, you’re right.   He was insufficiently white.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                “Bob was censored because he was uncivil.”

                Maybe or maybe not. Writing uncivil things at the League does not make Bob in any way unique. What does make Bob unique is the fact that he’s not SWPL-simpatico and even seems to delight in poking at SWPL taboos.

                If this were just about Bob I wouldn’t care as much but I don’t think it is. Look at TVD who makes a fetish of civility and see where it gets him.

                It’s about protecting the precious SWPL eyeballs from having to abide distasteful-to-them ideas in their presence.Report

              • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                Let me just say that I’m really, really not getting this “SWPL” kick you’re on. I kept quiet for a while, but I’m seeing it more and more, and I’m just totally lost.

                First off, it never even occurred to me that Bob was black. Is he? Do you think we’re racists? Or is he white, and do you think that we think that he’s some kind of race traitor? (Was it the fishing hat?)

                I don’t understand this at all. Not one little bit.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                SWPL is an internet-based sociological acronym that started with (I think) stuffwhitepeoplelike.com but by now has a decent amount of currency. Check out Steve Sailer or halfsigma to get a sense of the phenomenon if you like.

                The point isn’t that SWPLs are racist, it’s that they are intellectually insular. (This also has particular relevance to the business about liberaltarianism, though that doesn’t have anything to do with Bob.)Report

              • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                I understand what SWPL is.  I just don’t see the connection to Bob.  Surely his Voegelin obsession is as insular as they come.  Right?  So aren’t you complaining that the pot isn’t calling the kettle black, or something?Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                Bob’s Voegelin enthusiasm is a niche it’s not insular. Bob tries to circulate his ideas, not try to protect some corner from anti-Voegelin contamination.

                Bob’s (lack of) connection to SWPL isn’t that complicated either. Bob isn’t SWPL or SWPL-simpatico, so there is resentment among some of the contributors here that letting Bob cavalierly break SWPL taboos contaminates their mindspace and shouldn’t be allowed.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                And like I wrote before, this goes beyond Bob. And for that matter, it goes beyond Erik as well. It might be easier to understand there’s a similar dynamic going on between Cato and the Koch brothers as well.

                KB aren’t SWPL. Cato staff is. Therefore, Cato must protect itself from the non-SWPL threat.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Jason Kuznicki
                Ignored
                says:

                I get the distinct feeling that, at this point, SWPL really means SKDL.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                Heh. I’m at least three eights SWPL myself.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Robert Cheeks
                Ignored
                says:

                At the risk of further prolonging this episode, for me this is “about” the combination of SWPL intellectual hegemony combined with incoherence and less about Bob Cheeks and his supposed misdeeds.

                If it were only Bob who is the offending party we could say it’s about him but it’s not. TVD is routinely and roundly abused here. Now truth be told, I have a fair bit of sympathy for the substance of the complaints against him but the nasty vitriol from James Hanley and a couple of others is way out of bounds relative to the offenses.

                Or this:

                https://ordinary-times.com/blog/2012/02/15/contraception-is-pretty-damn-important-to-a-womans-health/#comment-238902

                Note how Erik never tries to explain what exactly is supposed to be inappropriate about ward’s comment. Given its context I don’t see anything inappropriate about it and I wonder if Erik could give a cogent explanation for his complaint if he tried.

                Furthermore, at about the same time in that thread Jaybird made basically the same argument in words and Erik was equally dismissive of that as well. Ie, not that he disagreed w/ JB but dismissive, “I’m going to pretend that argument doesn’t exist” when for me at least that’s the main argument he has to deal with to take the pov he does in that post.

                What’s the common element of all these? Intellectual aloofness combined with incoherence. “I have to protect my precious SWPL eyeballs from having to read those bad people. What I think will always be right if I never have to come to grips with any objections.”Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                And just to be clear, this particular episode between Erik and Bob involves censorship but in general the aloofness and incoherence from SWPLs doesn’t have to and most of the time doesn’t.Report

              • Avatar Erik Kain in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                Koz, ward embedded a picture of a model in the combox and said he had a “right to have sex with this woman.” Okay, it was a joke. I find it to be an inappropriate one, especially given the sort of discussions we’re trying to have. It’s unhelpful. It’s demeaning. Or else I’m too serious. I just think it’s bloody obvious why that’s inappropriate and I find it peculiar that you would have such a hard time wrapping your brain around why.

                I wasn’t “dismissive” of Jaybird’s argument. I’m just not at all interested in getting into a debate in which I already know the outcome; I already know the positions everybody holds; I already know where I’ll come down and where Jaybird will come down, etc. What the flying fish is the point in having that argument? Who has the time? The energy? Not me. I didn’t pretend an argument didn’t exist – I preempted having the argument in the first place.

                Whatever. You want to come in here and call me aloof? And use this extremely lame “SWPL” nonsense? You honestly accuse me of always being right? With never grappling with objections? Have you been asleep in a fucking hole for the last three years?

                I’ve warned Bob at least a dozen times. In fact, I’ve stood up for him. Indeed, I’ve stood up for plenty of people around here with whom I disagree. Do you see me piling on TVD? Have I banned you or Farmer or any of the other conservatives? And you accuse me of intellectual aloofness combined with incoherence?

                Fuck off, Koz.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Erik Kain
                Ignored
                says:

                “I find it to be an inappropriate one, especially given the sort of discussions we’re trying to have. It’s unhelpful.”

                Then you’re misfiring a couple neurons because ward’s comment was perfectly on-topic (and elegantly so at that). Ie, the idea that your particular spurious assertions are actually “rights” have bad consequences and fairly obvious ones for that matter.

                Now the point isn’t to rehash the “right” to contraception but instead to note that it’s much easier to say “Inappropriate” and shut Ward down as opposed to dealing with his argument. Which is where JB comes in. Because even if swimwear models really are inappropriate, JB made the same argument without them and you still blew it off.Report

              • Avatar Erik Kain in reply to Robert Cheeks
                Ignored
                says:

                Bob – you would “never put yourself in a position” where I would have to censor you. Alas, you never were respectful enough to censor yourself. You were given many chances, and you showed time and again that you could care less about what we asked out of you despite your capacity to do so. If you had censored yourself, none of this would have been necessary.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Burt Likko
                Ignored
                says:

                I’ll echo Burt’s measured sentiments Bob, this is a pity.

                You’re a very capable writer and a learned individual; you’ve forgotten more about theology and philosophy than I’ve ever learned. You have written some great stuff (mostly elsewhere) and you’ve written some witty stuff (here sometimes). Alas the problem is illuminated most starkly by your very virtues. As a mere troll you could have been written off ages ago if you had no indications of wit or writing skill but it’s obvious you’re fully capable of both and moreover that you are willfully turning those gifts to the purpose of injecting heat into conversations (at the expense of light) and lowering the discourse (instead of raising it). On top of that you’ve been a poor guest; what a tawdry thing that is to get censured over.  I’d congratulate you on achieving your ends (martyrdom) but it’s just too sad.

                I wish you’d reconsider your writing style here. The League is a fine corner of the internet and it deserves better than this from you; (plus you still owe us a guest post about demons).

                E.D. for what it’s worth I feel that you have no good choices in this.  Still I’d hesitate to lend the validation that Bob seeks by this action; on the other hand I don’t have to be responsible for the entire site, you have all my sympathy.Report

              • Avatar Erik Kain in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                Well said, North. This has been a long time coming – but I reiterate, this is no ban. This is not even difficult. Bob can act his age and nobody will censor his *ideas* at all, only his behavior. If he wants to act like a troll and shit where he comments, he can comment elsewhere. If he wants to act like a participant in the community, he can rail against big gummint all he wants.Report

          • Avatar BSK in reply to Jason Kuznicki
            Ignored
            says:

            See my comment below, which I started immediately after the earlier one and only finished now.

            Regarding confusion with the television show, that is personal to me and need not be a major consideration.  And I am not specifically asking for a rebranding… I’m only saying that if you ARE going to rebrand, do it properly.Report

        • Avatar Elias Isquith in reply to BSK
          Ignored
          says:

          Respectfully but strongly disagree with a total rebranding. People around the interwebs know this place as The League, insofar as they know it at all, and I think it would be a mistake to lose the authority that comes with having a “sticky” name. Though there may be a show called The League, I think it’s fine — just so long as we don’t venture into television anytime soon…Report

        • Avatar BSK in reply to BSK
          Ignored
          says:

          And I would leave much of the decision as to whether or not the name is “sexist” to the women amongst us.  FWIW, I think any consideration of the name should be less focused on whether or not it is sexist and more focused on whether it implies inclusivity or exclusivity.  There is nothing inherently sexist about the word “Gentlemen”.  But if it communicates a message that this side is exclusive to men or otherwise not open or interested in women in the same way that it is as men, then you risk a problem.  I can’t say what message it sends.Report

          • Avatar Elias Isquith in reply to BSK
            Ignored
            says:

            +1

            I wouldn’t call the original name sexist. It was never mean-spirited or insensitive enough to warrant that (it wasn’t either at all, in fact). An exclusive/inclusive continuum is a good idea.

            Or we could make Mr. Cheeks the EiC and see where that leads us. Just a thought!Report

            • Avatar Anne in reply to Elias Isquith
              Ignored
              says:

              I did not read it as sexist but Elias has a point on the exclusive/inclusive continuum. I stuck around for awhile to figure out how women were treated here (the majority of you are “Gentlemen”) If someone gets the play on words I think they will get it with ladies included and feel included thus stick around. That said, changing the name is not a hill I want to die on.Report

          • Avatar sonmi451 in reply to BSK
            Ignored
            says:

            Every woman will have her own opinion, obviously. (And you have such a small sample of women here I don’t think it’s enough to extrapolate). It’s fine to me because I immediately assumed it’s a wordplay from League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and because I just assume people today wouldn’t use the term “gentlemen” to describe themselves in earnest, it has to be either a reference to something, or used snarkily. (But maybe I’m wrong on that second point?) But for people who are not familiar with the reference, it might feel exlusionary.Report

    • Avatar Elias Isquith in reply to Jason Kuznicki
      Ignored
      says:

      I like the inclusion of ladies, but The League is a fine name too. I call it The League when people ask where I write anyway.

      As to the redesign on the whole: the right columns are crowded, it’s true–but I really like having the text be flush left as it is now, and just the generally more compact and box-y design. I think it might be worth discussing whether people use the Comments Around the League feature enough to keep it (just sayin’). I also think it’s worth discussing whether or not we need Off the Cuff instead of just having people put those posts front-n-center as they would any other. Plenty of high-volume and high-traffic blogs feature very short posts (hell, it’s all Atrios has ever had!). But if I had to choose between going back to the old style or keeping this one, imperfect though it may be, I’d rather keep it. I like the flush-left, the blurry little man up top, and the name change a lot.Report

      • Avatar BSK in reply to Elias Isquith
        Ignored
        says:

        I use the “Comments” a lot.  “Off the Cuff” should be on the main page, especially since once those get pusehd down, they disappear.  The only way I’ve found to read/comment on an older “Off the Cuff” is to search for it… unless I’m missing something entirely.

        Perhaps adjusting the color or font or doing something else to better delineate between the two columns would be helpful.  It is a bit crowded, but I think there is probably a simple fix to alleviate much of that effect.Report

      • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        1. The Name: I’m with Jason too. It goes from being a cute play on League of Extraordinary Gentlemen to something more generic sounding. Also, I cringe a bit at the implication that more women would post here if the name wasn’t so intimidating. This, plus the ridiculous conversations here about Rush Limbaugh “silencing women” by being a stupid dick, make me wonder what sort of shrinking violets you people know in your everyday lives. I love you folks, but the women I hang out with could eat y’all for breakfast and not think twice about it.

        2. The Layout: I’ll get used to it. I’m not so thrilled about making it more mobile-accessible because I think people who can’t leave the house without being able to spend time online are addicts and don’t need encouragement, but my sense is that Internet addiction is so widespread now that it’s not a problem socially. Meanwhile, I can get used to looking at the other side of the page for stuff.

        3. The Game of Thrones trailer is because y’all are reading the books, right? Or is it going to be an add for the Scion next week?Report

        • Avatar Elias Isquith in reply to Rufus F.
          Ignored
          says:

          I don’t think “intimidating” is the right word, fwiw. More like off-putting. If I were browsing blogs and stumbled upon one that seemed to be interested in politics but had a title or sub-title that implied it was only by and for women (and let’s assume that most people don’t get the Ordinary Gentlemen inside-joke [I didn’t]) I’d be less inclined to wade into the water. Whether this is right or whatever is another conversation.Report

          • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Elias Isquith
            Ignored
            says:

            I, on the other hand, intentionally set out to find some black voices in the blogosphere. Their views on politics are illuminating.Report

            • Avatar Elias Isquith in reply to Kimmi
              Ignored
              says:

              To clarify: “wade into the water” means comment, not read. I read plenty of blogs that intentionally focus on analyzing things through a perspective I can’t share. But often because of that fact, I don’t comment there unless it’s a topic that specifically invites my perspective.Report

          • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Elias Isquith
            Ignored
            says:

            Meh. I dunno. I can only tell from the female friends I introduced the blog, who roared laughing at the name, checked it out, and said it was too geeky for their tastes. I can’t say if the steampunk R2D2 is more proof of that or not. Most of the women I know are pretty geeky, so this is saying something.

            Honestly, I ‘ve always wished we could design the front page more like a table of contents, with sections like Arts and Letters Daily. But, I also realize that would be a ton of work and probably really hard to read.Report

            • Avatar Elias Isquith in reply to Rufus F.
              Ignored
              says:

              Yeah, I’m not really familiar with the whole geeky milieu (at least as far as comics go; I can do Star Wars pretty well) and neither are my female friends on the whole so it’s very possible that the dissonance comes more from a cultural plane than a gender-defined one.Report

              • Avatar Erik Kain in reply to Elias Isquith
                Ignored
                says:

                Ever read The Mary Sue? Trust me, this blog is not that nerdy, and lots of girls like nerdy stuff. The problem here is most certainly not that it is too nerdy for girls. My Forbes blog is much nerdier than this blog, and I know for a fact that lots of very nerdy girls read it.Report

              • Avatar Elias Isquith in reply to Erik Kain
                Ignored
                says:

                That’s good to know (re: Forbes). Yeah, I’m firmly on the side of changing the name. I might be friends with a bunch of shrinking violets, but I’ve definitely noticed that if I tell the full name of the League to women who ask where I write, they’re at the least not enticed. 2 cents.Report

              • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Erik Kain
                Ignored
                says:

                Oh, I know that lots of girls like nerdy stuff. Trust me- I can’t get around our bedroom with of the stacks of Claire’s comic books- sorry- graphic novels- and her girlfriend is getting her into LARPing, so there’s that too.

                Anyway, what I was saying was that most of the women I’ve shown the site to have sort of giggled at the name and just not found the content to their liking. I don’t know anyone who found it off-putting.

                At any rate, I’ll concede to y’all on this one- I asked Claire what she thought of the name as she was getting breakfast and her response was, “It’s not offensive or anything, but I could see where somebody might assume it’s a sausage party there”. But, for god’s sake, change it to something snappier than The League of Ordinary Ladies and Gentlemen”. Maybe League of Ordinary Humans (and steampunk droids).Report

        • Avatar sonmi451 in reply to Rufus F.
          Ignored
          says:

          This, plus the ridiculous conversations here about Rush Limbaugh “silencing women” by being a stupid dick, make me wonder what sort of shrinking violets you people know in your everyday lives. I love you folks, but the women I hang out with could eat y’all for breakfast and not think twice about it.

          Well, slut-shaming is a proven tactic. If a woman decides she’d rather not testify in a public hearing because she doesn’t want to be called sluts, sex-crazed co-eds, prostitutes and the likes, are you going to judge her as a shrinking violet? Too scared to face the music? Cowards? Yes, we’re not all as AWESOME as the women in your life.Report

          • Avatar sonmi451 in reply to sonmi451
            Ignored
            says:

            Or let’s put this another way. Even if you are someone who have a strong tolerance for pain, and can definitely take it, it’s still not right for me to kick you in the … you know. The fact that women can take it doesn’t make what Rush said okay.Report

            • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to sonmi451
              Ignored
              says:

              No, I think Rush is a fucking asshole (sans euphemism!) and the discourse in the US is nowhere near what it would be in a civilized country.

              What bothers me about the argument that I’ve heard in the last few days (admittedly, in some other places more than here) is its gender-specificity, which feels condescending to me, and a bit chivalrous. If a person, male or female, cares so much about a topic that they would testify in front of Congress, but they can’t because they fear the backlash, that’s their prerogative. I might think it’s a shame, but I don’t think I would judge them for that- and, yes, I definitely think there’s a lot of work to do before the national conversation in the states is anywhere near as civil or adult as it is in civilized countries. What I find a bit Victorian about this argument, though, is that we know pretty well that anyone who sticks their neck out for a cause in the US is going to be vilified for it, but supposedly women, as a gender, are uniquely vulnerable to that vilification, so 51% of the population will be “silenced” by it. I might well be wrong about how people are coming at this, but it just sounds like there are some underlying assumptions there that don’t strike me as particularly productive.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Rufus F.
                Ignored
                says:

                There was a dynamic I noticed the other day that I’m still processing.

                The other day, someone told a female commenter to not get her “panties in a wad” over something and I found that exceptionally offensive and yelled about it.

                Later on, someone told a male commenter to “grow a set” and someone else called this out as sexist language… and my first thought was that everybody involved in the exchange was sufficiently thick-skinned that this particular defense was unnecessary.

                Which made me think about the defense that I had given previously. Which made me rethink the second comment and whether think-skinnedness meant for all that much and what *THAT* meant.

                Still processing, though.Report

              • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                That’s a much better explanation of what I was trying to say. I’m totally okay with saying we need to be a lot more sensitive to the people we’re arguing with about politics or whatever, but when we start saying we need to be a lot more sensitive to the women we’re arguing with, I wonder what we’re saying about women in specific.Report

              • Avatar sonmi451 in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I called the “grow a pair” comment sexist. Here’s where I’m coming from – I don’t think the thick-skinness or ability “to take it” of the target is the main point. I certainly didn’t obejct to the “grow a pair” comment because I thought Freddie couldn’t take it or needed some sort of protection (heavens, no!), it’s because an offense is an offense is an offense.

                Plus there’s another way the “grow a pair” thing is sexist; it assumes a correlation between positive traits such as bravery, personal integrity, lack of cowardice etc etc with the possession of male genitalia, which implicitly denigrates being women. Now I don’t think that was what David Ryan was doing when he made that comment (guys tend toss off this stuff pretty casually, I notice), but that’s an implication that people should consider.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to sonmi451
                Ignored
                says:

                Please don’t think I was criticizing your comment!

                I was more wondering about what my immediate responses meant about me, how I suspect my immediate responses to both was vaguely representative of gender dynamics for a large chunk of the population, and what that was likely to indicate.Report

              • Avatar sonmi451 in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I called the “grow a pair” comment sexist. Here’s where I’m coming from – I don’t think the thick-skinness or ability “to take it” of the target is the main point. I certainly didn’t obejct to the “grow a pair” comment because I thought Freddie couldn’t take it or needed some sort of protection (heavens, no!), it’s because an offense is an offense is an offense.

                Plus there’s another way the “grow a pair” thing is sexist; it assumes a correlation between positive traits such as bravery, personal integrity, lack of cowardice etc etc with the possession of male genitalia, which implicitly denigrates being women. Now I don’t think that was what David Ryan was doing when he made that comment (guys tend toss off this stuff pretty casually, I notice), but that’s an implication that people should consider.

                Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                As I’ve said elsewhere, I don’t consider gendered insults sexist.

                What would be sexist would be if someone said that a gendered insult wasn’t an insult.  Like if someone said “wow, her ovaries really exploded there”, and someone else said “haha, yeah, it’s funny because it’s true”.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Rufus F.
                Ignored
                says:

                Rufus,

                a bit of a difference between “betray-us” (how juvenile!) and being called a whore.

                If you think someone could have gotten away with calling a gay Marine a *insert sufficiently degrading word for homosexuals here*, and not have every damn Marine in the country on their tail…

                Rush crossed enough lines, and it’s clear enough in our society that those lines are rather gendered. The word gigolo is much, much less offensive than the female equivalent.Report

              • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Kimmi
                Ignored
                says:

                Kimmi- Absolutely! I wasn’t trying to say people shouldn’t be pissed at Rush, or that ‘whore’ isn’t uniquely offensive. I’ll take the point that it’s a pretty horrible thing to be called- maybe more akin to ‘nigger’ than ‘gigolo’. I see words like that as a bit like a rock sitting on a shelf in the house that you know damn well you don’t pick up and hit the other person with in an argument. They’re there and you know that they’d hurt like hell, but you just don’t do it. So, if people want to come down on Rush, I’d agree totally. I just assume that, were I to testify before Congress on a political issue, ‘faggot’ would be among the nicer things I’d be called- now, if I was called that by a mass media figure, I’d hope that people would come down on them for it. But there’s still the Internet- hell, people have called me some pretty nasty things there already!

                 Report

        • Avatar BSK in reply to Rufus F.
          Ignored
          says:

          Rufus-

          I sort of initiated the conversation about the inclusivity/exclusivity of a blog with the word “Gentlemen” in the title.  In bringing this up, I did not mean to say, with any definitiveness, that the name or the blog itself is exclusive of or otherwise uninviting to women.  My point was that, if we are concerned about that happening AND we think the name is complicit in that, than the name ought to be examined.

          I am of two minds on this.  On the one hand, you are right, and we ought not assume that women are so fragile as to only post on blogs with the words “flowers”, “princesses”, and “unicorns” in the title.  I recognized the reference to TLoEG but only because I remember when the movie came out; I am otherwise completely unfamiliar with the story/characters but remained because I followed some great writers here (JK and JH, to be specific).  To assume that women will not come and participate in the community here because the name has the word “Gentlemen” but not the word “Ladies” is to assume very little of women.

          On the other hand, it certainly is possible that the title does indeed do this for some women and that this does not mean these women are weak or whatever other characterization people might attach to them.  There are plenty of blogs I hear about and think, “That is probably not for me,” because of the name alone.  It is not necessarly an explicit exclusion of me or folks just like me; it is simply signaling.

          I think it is clear that the name was NOT chosen as an explicit or implicit signal as to which gender we favor, cater towards, or welcome.  What is not clear is what signal, intended or otherwise, it serves as and, more importantly, what we lose and what we gain by changing the name and, thus, the signal.  I am not pretending to have the answers to ANY of these questions… only offering them up as guides to serve us in the conversation.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Jason Kuznicki
      Ignored
      says:

      I appreciate the sentiment behind the name change but it sure doesn’t roll off the tongue.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jason Kuznicki
      Ignored
      says:

      A League of Our Own, in honor of those who could do everything Derek Jeter can do, but in dresses and heels.  (Plus play a decent shortstop, of course.)Report

  7. Avatar North
    Ignored
    says:

    I have an instinctive dislike of pretty much any change to familiar online digs so I’m far from thrilled. On the other hand since my reaction is always negative (even when the changes are objectively improvements) I can’t say that these changes are bad.Report

  8. Avatar J.L. Wall
    Ignored
    says:

    Also, what’s going on with the Game of Thrones trailer showing up on every page, and in a position that makes it look more prominent than either “Gifts of Gab” or “Around the League”?Report

  9. Avatar Erik Kain
    Ignored
    says:

    Thanks for all the feedback everyone. I appreciate it. Think of everything I am doing right now as experiments. The overall redesign is probably here to stay, but the change in title is up in the air. I do want to focus more on the “The League” for a number of reasons, but the bottom line or tagline could easily revert back to “of ordinary gentlemen.”

    Re: that change, no it’s not at all, whatsoever, about feeling like the title is sexist. It’s because it is in fact a bit exclusionary, and creates A) a sense that we are a gentlemen’s club that might be unwelcome to the fairer sex; and B) a sausage fest. Look at the combox. We have like – what? – five female commenters. And, at long last, *one* female author. If you don’t find that problematic – well, I sure do.

    I don’t like the “Off the cuff” section and have been trying to kill it off for years. It served its purpose once upon a time. Now, yeah, we should just post to the main column.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Erik Kain
      Ignored
      says:

      Oh… I love off the cuff.Report

      • Avatar Erik Kain in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        The cuff is fine, but posts on the cuff get pushed into the void once a fourth post is up. There’s really no way for me to revive them at that point. And there’s really no reason that *most* of the posts on the sidebar should be there in the first place. Why do you love it?Report

        • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Erik Kain
          Ignored
          says:

          I’ll add that I love it too.  “Fun with Azathoth” was a fun post indeed, but it wasn’t main-page worthy in my opinion.  Too tangential and too weird by far.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Erik Kain
          Ignored
          says:

          There are posts that are silly, that are trivial, that are goofy, but still have enough of a germ of interest for the page that they could command five minutes of attention but, after that, feh. Let them off into the aether.

          (I look at mine by looking at posts by author, for the record.)Report

          • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            This thing about Off the Cuff gets into something I’ve noticed recently- on my old blog, I used to post about 6 or 7 things a day, from the trivial to the profound. It was maybe a bit annoying, but I miss the charming eccentricity of it. Here, I can hardly get up to one post a week. I think it’s just more like writing your weekly article for the newspaper here. Off the Cuff is more like blogging for me- it doesn’t need to be as polished. I think we’d lose a lot of content from posters if we did away with it.Report

            • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Rufus F.
              Ignored
              says:

              Playing Devil’s – Do we need to separate “serious” posts from “lighter” posts, or shorter ones from longer ones?Report

              • Avatar Snarky McSnarksnark in reply to Tod Kelly
                Ignored
                says:

                No, I think the mix is one of the site’s strengths.Report

              • Avatar Erik Kain in reply to Snarky McSnarksnark
                Ignored
                says:

                I agree. The mix is good. I’m honestly not sure why people feel that some stuff isn’t worthy for the front page? Why is it not worthy? The change in post length and style and subject matter help to create “pacing.”

                I’m also working on ideas to create “featured” posts that stay at the top longer. This will give them more light. The problem with the Cuff section is it gives certain posts *less* light. Rather than do that, why not focus on promoting the best stuff, but keeping all the quirky stuff in the mix? If we had *tons* of sidebar posts this might be a different question. But we typically have very few.

                And for guys like Rufus, who feel like they want to post more frequently – why not write a sub-blog? The purpose of the sub-blogs is to give people more room to write as frequently as they see fit.Report

              • Avatar Snarky McSnarksnark in reply to Erik Kain
                Ignored
                says:

                Speaking of “pacing,” it would be nice if each post got at least two or three hours in the top slot.   I understand that there are a lot of independent wirters, here, but I’ve seen some very promising topics get largely ignored because they were followed up 10 or 15 minutes after posting with some newer OPs.

                I think it would help the conversations here if we only dangled one shiny object in front of us at a time.Report

              • Avatar Erik Kain in reply to Snarky McSnarksnark
                Ignored
                says:

                The trick with that is coordination. How to coordinate this? The honor system? That’s what we do now, essentially, but it’s hard to keep track.Report

              • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Snarky McSnarksnark
                Ignored
                says:

                There’s a ‘schedule’ function on the post formatting. We could check the other ones in the loading dock and try to give them at least 30 minutes to an hour before ours are scheduled to go up. I know what Snarky’s talking about. I’ve had some posts I thought were crackerjack go up and get buried within like ten minutes. I didn’t want to complain because I figured they might just have been boring!Report

              • Avatar Erik Kain in reply to Snarky McSnarksnark
                Ignored
                says:

                Rufus – hence my desire to get featured posts set up. The scheduling function is fine, but requires everyone to participate.Report

              • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Erik Kain
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah, a sub-blog might work. Honestly, I should just revive my old blog and link it here somehow. I had a handful of readers there who never made the leap here.

                Speaking of which, I’ve got a friend who’s a fairly interesting dude- anarchist, Muslim (yep, both), and frequent traveler around the globe. He actually just got back from Egypt. I think he might be interested in writing here about his travels- Note: I say might; I’ve had bad luck getting people to write here in the past. Most of my friends are flaky.

                 Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to Erik Kain
                Ignored
                says:

                Some thoughts:

                1.)  If we do keep “Off the Cuff”, is there a way to keep older one’s accessible?  I don’t like how once they disappear from the front page they are only acccessible via search.

                2.)  I do agree that multiple front page posts going up can make it easy to lose some.  Perhaps above the “Gifts of Gab” we can heave a “Headlines” section, with direct links via the titles to the X most recent posts?  That ensures that people can immediately see the titles of recent posts and need not scroll down.  This would be particularly helpful on tablets.

                3.)  Are you guys on twitter?  This might be a helpful avenue for people who use this medium (I am not one) to follow.  It doesn’t necessarily need to change anything here, unless you include your Twitter feed, which could do the same thing as the “Headlines” section mentioned above.Report

              • Avatar Erik Kain in reply to BSK
                Ignored
                says:

                Check out the icons under the video box. You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

                Also, I will think of some way to make miniposts live longer. Or at least try.Report

              • Avatar Plinko in reply to Erik Kain
                Ignored
                says:

                I love the off the cuff things, I don’t care where they go but I’d love to see more little posts from everyone. The Azatoth post was certainly front-page worthy, IMHO.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Rufus F.
              Ignored
              says:

              Yes, exactly. I feel safer posting to Off The Cuff than to the main page. The main page has me wanting to have Maribou read it first, do some copy editing, to go back, do more fact-checking, to address counter-arguments that arise the second that I paste it in from wordpad, to re-write it, to re-re-write it, to have Maribou read it again, and so on.

              Off the cuff? LET ‘ER RIP!Report

    • Avatar Anne in reply to Erik Kain
      Ignored
      says:

      I got the joke on the League’s name the first time I visited (I know, geek and LUV the steam punk R2) Like the new name I think it may help attract/welcome/intrigue women to stick around but understand a name change will be uncomfortable for long timers so whatever the powers that be decide is OK by me.

      Really like the other site changes

       Report

      • Avatar Erik Kain in reply to Anne
        Ignored
        says:

        Thanks, Anne. Nice to have that perspective. Again, I don’t think the original name was sexist but I do absolutely think it kept a lot of women away, and makes it particularly unlikely to net any more female authors. Which we do need I believe.Report

  10. Avatar BlaiseP
    Ignored
    says:

    Comments on website:

    The blurred gentleman is superb, except the search box has cropped his hat.   Set the logo in Garamond to match his retrolectual chic.   Might take the logo point size up a few, to either an H1 or at least H2 feel, it lacks presenceReport

  11. Avatar Patrick Cahalan
    Ignored
    says:

    I don’t have a problem with “The League of Ordinary Gentlemen”, and I like the Ordinary part not because it’s immodest but because for all our respective oddities or expertise or lack thereof, the reason why *I* like “ordinary” is that we manage to have reasonably civil discourse between conflicted parties.  That’s the thing I think should be ordinary.

    That said, at least three females of my acquaintance, and one person I can remember for certain from the comments, said they wouldn’t consider guest posting at a place that brands itself this way, as it’s too “boy’s club”.

    Gentlepersons assumes homocentrism!  There’s a perfectly acceptable common use gender- and species-neutral phrase available.  How about “The League of Ordinary Gentlebeings”Report

  12. Avatar Kyle Cupp
    Ignored
    says:

    Overall, I like the redesign and the three columns.  I’m not sure how I feel about the embedded video that appears on all the sites.  My opinion will probably depend on the content of the video.  Game of Thrones? Great!  Barney the Dinosaur?  He’s fine too.  You post the Avett Brothers, though, and you and I are having words.  😉

    You know what would be cool for that spot: League TV.  You could talk to Robert Wright about getting your own Bloggingheads show.  Then you could host episodes with League contributors and commenters.  Ask Conor or Michael B. to put in a good word for you.Report

  13. Avatar Will Truman
    Ignored
    says:

    I get the purpose of the new title, but I’m not liking it. It’s rather clunky. It was clunky before, but it was clunky in rather specific way and in reference to something.

    What about The League of Ordinaries? The League of Ordinarians? The League of Ordinary Humanoids? The League of Ordinary Folks. Something that’s not seven words. Also… the font. Don’t like the font at all.

     Report

  14. Avatar Burt Likko
    Ignored
    says:

    I take most of a long weekend off, post what I want to post on my phone, and come back to the site to find all this going on.

    I very much like the inclusiveness of “League of Ordinary Ladies and Gentlemen” but the phrase is so kludgy! Would that there were some sort of elegant yet inclusive word. “People” or “Gentlepeople”? I agree that we needn’t have everything colored pink and have hearts and unicorns and chocolate everywhere to attract female readers, commenters and writers — the audience responds to quality in content and that is not in short supply.

    I also am disturbed by the idea of a re-branding; the site has an established identity and re-branding means starting over nearly from scratch even if it’s to a similar-sounding title like “THE LEAGUE of ordinary ladies and gentlemen”. Maybe I’ll get used to it.

    Graphically, the fuzzy gentleman is fine with me. I would like to see more use of our iconic bowler hat; the scroll-locked “share” is a nice touch but it needs to be mirrored somewhere else.Report

  15. Avatar Tod Kelly
    Ignored
    says:

    The shading of one of the two side columns is a nice touch and makes the right hand side seem less cluttered.Report

  16. Avatar BSK
    Ignored
    says:

    The “Off the Cuff” format for the top post is strange.  The line underneath the headline makes it look as if there is a separate post below, when that is really the body of the post.  That does not appear to be the case for the others.  I’m not sure if that has to do with the block quote or what, but it is confusing.Report

    • Avatar Elias Isquith in reply to BSK
      Ignored
      says:

      Could the Blogroll tab maybe be replaced with Off the Cuff? It seems to have been a while since the former was updated, and that would kind of be a compromise between these two warring (so bloody, so brutal) camps.Report

  17. Avatar Will Truman
    Ignored
    says:

    New complaint: Way too much scrolling to get to “Gift of Gab Around the League.” Can you move Around The League back to the right-hand column? Or GOGATL? It’s way imbalanced.

    I’m really coming around to the two-columns-on-the-right dealio.Report

  18. Avatar Bad-ass Motherfisher
    Ignored
    says:

    Oh sweet Jesus.   Would somebody put a fresh post up?Report

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *