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.

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33 Responses

  1. Avatar greginak says:

    We need some new tags for posts: Vagina and Rush.Report

  2. Avatar Bruce Webb says:

    Oy. My home group blog (sorta because I’ve been gone mostly) is going through ths same turmoils.

    At which point that “Left of Center Commentary on Economics and Politics ” will whip some OG butt. Or maybe neither of us will come through the Cosmic Singularity. Yours in Heinlein (who was a Socialist in 1939′ read ‘Let There Be Light”)

    But in the meantime can we have a Kumbaya moment and agree that almost all comment platforms suck hugely? I mean Haloscan worked. kinda. Until some well meaning people (no snark) got hold of it. Now it is JS-Kit. “Sufficient to the Day is the Evil Thereof”.

    This is the ten year anniversary of Skippy. Who literally invented ‘Blogtopia’. No shit. And comment systems still suck. And don’t get me started on Captcha. CauseDante needed some extra cycles of Hell.Report

  3. Avatar Snarky McSnarksnark says:

    I prefer the previous banner.Report

  4. Avatar dhex says:

    some nitpicking on the masthead:

    the descender for the g covers most of “gentlemen”. it also uses three fonts. a quick solution would be to shrink the second line, leave it all caps, and run it from the left until right before the g with a rule above and below. alternately, make “the league” a medium to light grey, send it to the back, and run the existing line as-is over it in black.Report

  5. Avatar Sam Wilkinson says:


    I’d love to help, but I’m very busy as of right now working on yet another oxen testical. Such is my life.Report

  6. Avatar Maribou says:

    I freaking love the descender on the g. As in, I thought “There should be someplace where I can declare my love for that descender!!” And then I noticed there was, so I am declaring.

    You’re pretty awesome too, Erik. Thanks for all this.Report

    • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

      I’m good w/it all too, Maribou incl “the descender,” cheers to Erik bigtime on this. Getting the vibe, and I like the monocle idea, although it seems a technical toughie at the moment.

      Funny thing is, scrolling down from top toward bottom trying to take the website in fresh—like a virgin—I find that it’s a “group blog of politics and culture” to be self-evident.

      Hence, our descender could have its plunging and unapologetic loop without diminishing its proud graphic boldness with needless explication.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        Has everyone else noticed that these days every non-fiction book has a compound title? Take the one I just picked up: The President’s Club: Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity. Keep just the first phrase, and you’ve got a clever and intriguing handle; adding the rest makes it clunky and over-obvious. It’s as if Halberstam had called it The Best and the Brightest: How the Establishment Fumbled its Way Into War.

        This is a long-winded explanation of why I’m with Tom on this — drop the unneeded description, and let The LoOG be The LoOG. And long live the monocular descender!Report

        • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

          “Has everyone else noticed that these days every non-fiction book has a compound title?”

          Are you sure you’re not thinking of my posts?Report

        • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

          It probably has to do with catching the customer’s eye at retail. If you’re looking at the spines of a bunch of books on a shelf , or the results of an Amazon search, and deciding which ones merit a closer look, the subtitles tell you what a book is about without having to pick it up and read the blurb on the back or click through to the book’s page.

          This may specifically be related to the rise of online retailing and very large bookstores like Barnes & Noble, where there’s a larger selection to browse. In any case, publishers seem to think that it works, and they ought to know.Report

          • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

            That all makes perfect sense, except that this one’s subtitle isn’t on the spine, though, just on the front jacket cover and inside title page. It does appear as part of the title in the book’s Amazon page, and apparently on all Amazon links to it, which would serve a similar function to the one you posit.Report

        • Avatar Rufus F. says:

          It’s a commonplace in academic dissertations, so it probably filters outwards. I’m not using a compound title myself. Actually, I used to make fun of it by making up fake dissertation titles that were combinations of Slayer songs and real dissertation topics. So, for instance, “Raining Blood: Woman and medicine in early modern Europe,” or “Dead Skin Mask: a study of local education agencies in North Carolina.”

          This is the sort of thing that becomes amusing as one works on a dissertation for years.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        The subtitle is probably going bye-bye. We’re trying to salvage the descender.Report

  7. Avatar CK MacLeod says:

    Aspects of the design work very well, and seem very well thought out, but I don’t understand the difficulty finding comment-editing plug-ins. Are several well-tested free ones on WordPress that are very simple installs, unless you’re considering Facebook, Livefyre, or other 3rd party systems.

    Also, if you don’t want to disrupt a busy blog, why not install XAMPP on your desktop and do your creative experiments locally?

    • Avatar Erik Kain says:

      I’m generally skeptical of adding plugins because they have so many performance problems and unintended consequences. It’s not that I can’t add one, it’s simply that I am cautious in doing so.

      In terms of not disrupting the blog, well, trial environments aren’t the same as the real thing. Besides, this way I get feedback in real time. Hard to beat that.Report

      • Avatar CK MacLeod says:

        Adding the comment-link to e-mails should be a very simple hack.

        As for comment editing and other comment thread bells and whistles, some of the comment editing plug-ins have been around for years and years, and are very simple.

        An alternative to comment-editing that I ended up preferring is to use a simple comment preview plug-in, with simple text-formatting options. This one is simple and easily customizable:

        It’s also kind of too bad that your current “reply” option doesn’t automatically link and name-label the comment to which it’s replying. Another once-common feature was to blockquote selected text. This little and very simple plug-in simply adds a “quote” option next to each comment: that, when clicked, blockquotes the selected text and adds a name-labeled direct link to the replied-to comment.

        A slightly more advanced but slightly hinky reply/quote plug-in – you’d need to test for conflicts with other jquery-based plug-ins, if any, including IIRC with the comment preview plug-in above – is this one:

        Of course, much of the above will be irrelevant if you submit to the Faceborg or go with another 3rd party commenting set-up. They often include cool social media integration. Some simple capacities along those lines are also available via plug-in.

        On the other hand, you have a great and mostly user-friendly site already, so… no BFD if you ignore my suggestions.Report

  8. Avatar Jason Kuznicki says:

    I like the descender, but it can and should be done without the three fonts. The cityscape runner makes it look cluttered.Report

  9. Avatar CK MacLeod says:

    Incidentally, I would also find it a vast improvement if the comment-subscription e-mails linked to the particular comment being e-mailed rather than to the thread as a whole. I frequently find myself ready to respond, then being sent back to a long thread and forced to search for the spot. Just a pointless annoyance. Should be fixable via some very simple coding.Report

  10. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    The logo looks great now (no subtitle, subtle magnifying glass effect on the descender, unobstructed view of the gentleman on the right side.) Still not crazy about the Dickensian infernal machines, though.Report