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2006.07.25

[With_Toast: A_Miracle]

Boys and girls, I have to tell ya...I left WTC earlier today feeling rather disheartened. I mean, sure, lots of sites discuss fascinating topics like anal violation, but I don't generally like to visit those while at work, and it's not exactly what I'm looking for here.

Plus, I really hate to be like this, but I think I'm going to have to be a little more proactive in the moderation. For the most part, there's no need, and there is fun to be had in arguing back and forth, but I just can't allow any given individual to start taking over every thread on the board, making it all about him/her. I mean, look at the banner at the top of this page: "concerning trent reznor, nine inch nails, and all things gothemo." Nowhere do I see any mentions of "cockfros," "Indiana snipers," or "deeply stained shag carpets." (And I swear to God, Gabriel, you had better not change it, or you will be writing checks your scrawny body can't cash.) So yeah. [sigh] Although I generally like to be friendly and cheerful and game, I am going to unapologetically start reining things in. Not to the point where we're not having chaotic fun anymore. But to the point where we don't have to read 10,000 repetitive posts in a row from the same person or have to close threads for commenting because they have crossed all boundaries of decency. I pledge to be fair and not become some sort of "deletion nazi," but I'm just saying that you should heed any warnings given to you by Dierdre, Gabriel, or myself. We are beyond tolerant and patient, and if you like us and want to hang out, you shouldn't go out of your way to fuck with us. Also, I'd like to point out that if anyone wants to chat about something off-topic or something that would take up too much time and energy on the board, you can always send me an email. I like to chat with people, and I'll generally respond, even if I think you're totally full of shit.

Anyway, so the whole thing kind of got me down, and I was going to take a bit of a break from all the persistent retardation when divine intervention...uh...intervened. In the form of an email from our Iris, and kids, she has something amazing to report:

Maise!

You're never going to believe what happened to me tonight! I've been SAVED! After all that squabbling and filth that happened on WTC, I felt so impure. So as I fixed myself a little snack to think things over, He came to me. Trent Fucking Reznor appeared to me in my toast! I think maybe he's trying to tell me that all will be all right, that this shall pass, that as long as I hold my faith in the only thing that is pure--the music--that we'll all make it through these downright sinful days. Or Trent could just be telling me he goes best with boysenberry jam. Dunno. But lest you doubt my claim, I have proof! Look!

Iris

And she has indeed provided us with proof. Proof that has restored my faith in WTC.

With_toast

Isn't it beautiful? And, ladies and Gabes, everything Iris said is true. Because as petty and discordant as things can get around here, Trent is the guy who unites us all. His music touches our very souls and our breakfast foods. And even when he's not on tour, he's still out there--making the world a better place by writing new music that we can't wait to hear and imprinting his face on our bread. So let's pull ourselves back together, focus a bit, and appreciate this veritable miracle.

Posted by maise in maise_bites, wtc_guest_contributions | Permalink

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Comments

Sniffles... reminds me of the good old days. When Trent had hair. And wasn't a douchebag.

As for this moderation bullshit, that's fucking GAY, Maise. If this is just one more spot in the internet where folks can push buttons until some random person decides that it's gone "too far", and then everybody has to play ball you can count my ass out in perpetuity.

WTC is fun and amusing because it is chaos and no-holds-barred; it is a place where utter retardation can exists in massive doses, because the general intelllectual acumen of most of the readers is greater than your average douchebag.

Basically, the smarts give the chaos a place to breathe. I can go off for days about my shag carpet rape van, but the fact that it is With_Tongue In_Cheek is a foregone conclusion, and nobody really gets offended. And if they do, they deserve it for taking themselves so seriously.

That's the point of the extremes.

But if you or Dierdre is going to pull the plug on whatever all the time just because you guys can't fucking hack it or because you don't like what is going on, then you're basically dumbing down the site. Which is definitely your guy's perogative -- goodness knows I'm not involved day to day like I used to be -- but it's also sorta sad, because you're essentially killing off the main thing that made WTC different and unique.

By stopping the chaos you take away the smarts, and this is just yet another internet board full of self-congratulatory wankers.

That's my take at least; do what you will. But I think something will be lost.

Posted by: Gabriel | Jul 25, 2006 10:34:09 PM

Well, Liebchen, it's my take that the smarts took some JetBlue plane to wherever the hell Trent was flying to in that one picture.

I don't mind one or two threads that go totally off the rails, but now Every Thread Is Exactly the Same, no matter what its original intentions were. And what I'm seeing is a serious decline in quality. I think that quality was not due to our total free-for-all, but because intelligent people are on here who know what they're doing.

Like I said, I'm not going to be wielding moderation powers like some kind of grim reaper scythe because I would like for people to self moderate, but I want people to know that it's out there.

I see what you're saying...I love the freedom here, and I would never want us to resort to fascist like shutdowns of conversations we don't agree with. But very little actual discussion has been taking place in the past month or so because we are constantly trying to hash out what it is that we should be doing. Or dealing with interruption or non sequiturs. After we have tried to be nice and *tell* people 6,000 times what is that we want to accomplish. And by "people," I mean Hannah.

I don't even care if a thread like this descends into silliness. I mean...toast! But the PHM thread, for example, should be free of "I want to fuck you like an animal" nonsense.

Anyone care to back me up on this?

Posted by: maise | Jul 25, 2006 10:42:52 PM

And you are a bastard person for not acknowledging Iris' genius.

Posted by: maise | Jul 25, 2006 10:47:03 PM

And...one final point:

Gabriel, you can pop in and out whenever you please. Some of us (unsatisfactorily employed and under-supervised) wind up here every day. Some of us wound up becoming moderators in your absence and feel kind of responsible for what goes on here. What we've been dealing with recently might be amusing in short doses but is becoming exhausting at least to me.

Posted by: maise | Jul 25, 2006 10:53:36 PM

Trent Reznor appeared in my fucking toast and all you can argue about is whether deleting fucked up comments from the poster child for pro-abortion is a legitimate response or not?!?! You people clearly have your priorities out of whack!

Posted by: Iris | Jul 25, 2006 11:07:41 PM

Well as you know, I'm under-supervised and unsatisfyingly employed... which is a slightly different flavor than what you describe but we're both on the same general page.

I guess I just truly feel that "shutting down" threads and deleting posts are the actions of the defeated. We can discuss this off-air, as it were, but I think it's clear what's up your and D's butts, and honestly -- the situation to me is identical to when D and I used to hang out on ETS. There did come a point where they just simply threw up their hands and banned us both, because we were ruining "their fun time", or whatever it is they feel they've got going on over there. Dierdre and I felt that was a great victory; we'd beaten them down. We were basically mocking their misplaced self-importance with the resiliance of our irreverance; nothing was too holy in our eyes, so anything they threw at as glanced off rather benignly.

It was great fun, and really liberating to boot.

14 year old or not, Hannah's fucking with WTC's sense of self-importance. I say this is a good thing; the minute a website devoted to Goth-Fucking-Emo, for pete's sake, becomes "too important" to be sullied by a shit slinger is the day it should close up shop, in my opinion. I don't think WTC is there, not in the slightest, but WTC is also a growing organic beast -- and the influx and input of the readers (even the shit slingers) define it. Curtailing this in the name of keeping shit orderly and on topic just feels so... Republican.

At the end of the day, if we're gonna talk shit and poke fun around here, we need to be able to handle other people doing the same. Otherwise, the fun really is lost.

Posted by: Gabriel | Jul 25, 2006 11:14:49 PM

And Iris, you rule. I would eat your toast even if it was furry.

Posted by: Gabriel | Jul 25, 2006 11:16:01 PM

Thanks Gabe. But given the inconspicuous sexual tone **cough, cough, understatement, cough** of your posts earlier today, I’m not going to read too much into the proposition of you eating my furry toast. I’ll just assume, like a gentleman, you were referring to Trent’s hair style that was burned into the bread.

Posted by: Iris | Jul 25, 2006 11:28:08 PM

What else would I have been talking about?

Geez, you guys have your minds in the gutter.

Posted by: Gabriel | Jul 25, 2006 11:29:25 PM

“You’re too kinky” says the ball gag to the anal beads.

Posted by: Iris | Jul 25, 2006 11:31:46 PM

So what would you have us do, Gabe? We can ignore the retardation, but there's a LOT of it. Or we can just keep going back and forth til every thread becomes equally unreadable.

I have reasons as to why I don't really feel comfortable with the direction some of the "humor" has taken as of very recently, but I certainly don't want to get into that here.

All I know is...this isn't some unilateral complaint. Just about every poster who isn't Hannah has asked her to STFU in ways that are polite and not so polite. Even sweet little GuLin! Isn't it kind of our responsibility to address that situation in some way?

Hannah is welcome here, but I don't think it's fair for her to continually piss everyone off. There are times when you and she are going back and forth that are pretty damn funny (really, just because of you), but we have all different kinds of conversations here. Some of them wind up becoming a little more "serious"--not in terms of self-importance but because people really enjoy talking about music or whatnot, and she'll inject the same kinds of non sequiturs into the conversation. Or maybe she really just doesn't know how to participate in these kinds of conversations in a way that we will respond well to, but if that's the case, then she should READ more and LISTEN before posting.

Posted by: maise | Jul 25, 2006 11:33:07 PM

Bah, I don't like playing "bad cop." Believe me, I'd rather be discussing anal beads than whether I'm more or less uptight than some ETS moderator.

Where the hell is Jane?

Posted by: maise | Jul 25, 2006 11:35:46 PM

Maise, I really don't think you're seling the "not self-importance" angle of your argument with your 11:33 post.

And with regards of what to do, think it through -- if the monkey wants attention, the monkey throws their poop, and everybody screams. So monkey keeps throwing poop. You can tell monkey "no" nicely, you can scream at monkey, but either way, monkey likes because monkey's getting what monkey wants.

Deletion and thread closing and grand posts about The Recent Problems are still giving monkey what monkey wants. And unless you guys want to start instigating some form of IP-blocking (which wouldn't work long run anyway), you're not going to stop monkey from coming back in any form monkey chooses.

The problem is that monkey gets your goats so much you can't let it go -- this is what monkey is banking on. You can't let it go because monkey isn't taking WTC as seriously as you are, and it's making you guys feel that some sacred ground is getting soiled. But as long as you take it so personally, monkey ain't gonna go away.

I mean, I really wish I was monkey, because it would have meant I'd totally WTC'd the WTC'ers... but I'm not. And I think monkey has made this place more fun than it's been in ages... fuck, man --- why do you think I'm posting again all of a sudden?

Posted by: Gabriel | Jul 25, 2006 11:46:50 PM

why do you think I'm posting again all of a sudden?

Well I naively thought it was because you had finally caught up to the rest of the world and grown out of you “uncontrollable raging hormonal teenage boy” phase that flared back up when you moved to LA and caused you to have an unhealthy fascination with plastic tits. Guess I was wrong. But whatever the reason it’s nice to have you back.

Posted by: Iris | Jul 26, 2006 12:00:19 AM

Iris, you should know by now that the "uncontrollable raging hormonal teenage boy" isn't a phase -- it's a way of life.

And I have love (and other things) in me for all tits, plastic or not. Viva la bosom!

Posted by: Gabriel | Jul 26, 2006 12:18:09 AM

I just can't keep up with this site. What happened to the gambling with trent post? And why was cashpiles banned from ets? I'd like to know how he pissed them off so I can laugh about it.

Posted by: RL | Jul 26, 2006 12:39:43 AM

Yes,
I second RL.
Do tell us more of Gabriel and D being banned from ETS. Please! Are there any old posts floating around from this era?

Posted by: Lavender | Jul 26, 2006 1:48:23 AM

Firstly, Iris, your toast RULES. Oh, how I would LOVE to slather your toast with butter and eat it whole, savoring every furry mounthful. Mmmm-mmm-mmm.

Also, you are a genuis, just generally speaking. I got your e-mail the other day, and the answer is NO.

Now, on to this question of moderation. Like Maise, I find the contributions of some of our newest posters to be deeply tiresome, and if they are those of a troll, especially sharp, because they really cut to the heart of exactly what makes WTC worth the trouble: that it is entertaining and clever, and mostly peopled by witty smart-asses. I agree that the way Every Post Is Exactly The Same is fucking boring. Just to be clear on what I'm saying here: I'm not offended or upset, or appalled, or angry, what I am is BORED.

However.

I also agree completely with Gabriel, when he says that if we moderate too fascistically, we will be guilty of the same bullshit that makes ETS such a shithole: a small group of people who think they know how to discuss Trent Reznor better than anyone else. What a bore.

As I've said many times, everyone is welcome here, and no one will ever be banned. I mean that. I am just as interested in why and how the likes of Hannah love Trent as I am in why Maise and Gabriel love Trent (and Gabriel, don't deny it, you lying fucktard). I agree that banning posters and aggressive moderation are the actions of the defeated, especially since we started this website to fuck with people who behave like self-important asshats in exactly that way. In fact, as we agonize over this absolutely vital question of how to moderate our dumbass fansite, I can hear them laughing, and I can only say that I am so happy we can finally repay them in kind for all the entertainment they have provided us.

Having said all that, I like this very frank discussion of what is to be done, because I think it points to the fact that WTC has really changed. I like that we aren't keeping this in the background, but are doing it out in the open, because this site is not exclusively about parody, and fucking with asshats now. It's a community of people who love this work of art, and want to discuss it and other things, sometimes with absolutely sincere admiration, and sometimes with snarky wit. Gabriel is right when he says that this is an evolving beast, and I think that with evolution, the way to approach it all changes as well, because as much as we don't want to sink to the idiotic self-importance of the brass at ETS, neither do we want to turn into a roiling cesspool of absolute mental retardation, a la The Spiral.

Frankly, I am truly of two minds on this topic; sitting on both sides of the fence, as it were. I fully understand Maise's frustration, and yet, I think Gabriel is absolutely right. I'm not sure exactly how to proceed, but I'm really happy that more than a year later, we have to ask this question on WTC, because we have hundreds of readers per day, a lively, engaged community, and you know what? I still love Trent, and I love you bitches just as much.

(Pfft. Not THAT much. I was just blowing sunshine up your asses there.)

Gabriel and Maise, I think you both make very pertinent points, and that though they seem to have mutually exclusive repercussions, we need to think about how to accommodate both ends of that spectrum. And, Gabriel, I would also like to send a general purposes "FUCK YOU" into your general direction; you know, JUST BECAUSE.

Posted by: Dierdre | Jul 26, 2006 3:21:24 AM

I think that stupidity and bad grammar should be punishable by death, and that Trent should clean my kitchen in a miniskirt, but that's just me.

Posted by: Jane | Jul 26, 2006 3:47:58 AM

I'm siding with maise on this one. Seriously, posts with 200+ comments (50% of which are often non-sequiters from Hannah) is just tiresome. Slogging through all that bullshit takes way too long. To speak very frankly, I'd rather use my limited internet time elsewhere.

Gabriel, the only person taking WTC in complete, lunatic seriousness is you. Most of us just want to hang out with internet pals, have the occassional good-humored fracas, and enjoy our mutual love of Nine Inch Nails. YOU are the one bandying about phrases like, "How fucking DARE you!"

A sizable percentage of recent comments are nothing more than spam. Spam is boring and obscurantist. Spam should be deleted. If I want to read spam, I'll look at my fucking hotmail inbox.

Posted by: Baal Glyttr | Jul 26, 2006 7:19:55 AM

Well, this debate is getting a little more overwrought than I originally intended. Then again, it wouldn't be WTC if something simple weren't totally overwrought.

I think there's this sense of "Well, we are being watched by people from this, that, and the other website..." Honestly, if they're having a laugh at the expense of my online alter ego, I could care less. Oh my God, I so don't care. Meathead and Rob Sheridan can play "pin the tail on Maise" in their spare time, and it has no effect on my daily life or what I would do or say here. I never joined up here to slag off anyone else (it was because I wanted to see what you guys would do next), so I feel no pressure to be cooler, funnier, or more unflappable than any other given person on the internet. They all think I'm a deranged lunatic simply by virtue of being here, and that is a badge of honor for me. If there's someone out there with an agenda, all I can say is, well, they don't really know me either. As a sage philosopher once said, "Flame away, internet whiners." What matters to me is what goes on *right here*.

Also, the more controversial parts of this post were included (or intended to be included) as a response to what I felt was a rising demand. Well, now that we're actually talking about it, that demand seems to have completely evaporated. If we don't need it, we don't need it. God knows I want to do my own thing on here and not have to log into our website every five minutes to delete shit.

Also, I just want to say that what Gabriel is saying is *completely valid*, and I do see his point, and all I want to do is what's best for *us.* I was never planning on wielding an especially heavy hand to begin with, and I'll be more than happy not to have to do it at all if we agree that that is what we want. If that means not feeding the trolls, then I'll be happy not to feed the trolls. If we want to play with the trolls, that's fine too. If we want to do something about the trolls, then all you have to do is ask. I think I had some other pressing issues that I didn't realize were so pressing until I addressed them privately, and now they've been addressed. So it should be fine.

Meanwhile, check out how because Trent is such a perfectionist, his toast is a perfect, almost uniform golden brown. There will be no scraping of the Holy Trent Toast.

Posted by: maise | Jul 26, 2006 7:23:05 AM

Baal, I love you for throwing in the word "obscurantist" in the mix.

Posted by: maise | Jul 26, 2006 7:27:10 AM

I think it's this simple: you should draft a list of very basic rules. They should be things that are not terribly subjective like: thou shalt not flood the board with your comments, etc. And then, a very clear list of consequences like: comments that are deemed to constitute a flood of the board shall be deleted without consideration of their content.

WTC already has rules like this -- thou shalt not discuss Trent's ladyfriend, for instance -- and posts with that content are both ignored and at least on one occasion that I can remember, deleted, with apologies, if I recall.

I like that no one is expected to keep strictly to topic, and I enjoy the way things veer off into strange and unexpected directions, but agree that millions of posts by one commentor with little wit and no grasp of the basic tenets of the English language make for heavy reading, and if they continue to dominate, will significantly reduce the charms of this heretofore charming website.

Whatever the eventual decision, I think it should be fairly dispassionate. No one need get a twist in his or her panties, but I think the good of the community must be considered on a slightly higher plane than the exercize of face saving by NOT reacting to something that significantly impacts the quality of most readers' experience just because of the site's origin in a particular kind of satire. Fuck that. ETS losers don't deserve the privilege of having WTC define itself in opposition to their practices.

I'll only add that "a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" and say that the braver course of action than this simple refusal to moderate, as Gabriel seems to suggest, is to bravely attempt a better formula.

And then, to kill all stupid people at dawn.

Posted by: Jane | Jul 26, 2006 7:34:31 AM

Im glad Maise is in charge. And I survived last night. Interestingly enough. Theres alot, and I mean ALOT, of interesting details. email the young ferret.

Posted by: Hannah | Jul 26, 2006 7:47:57 AM

maise, you read my mind about the toast being perfect. where can I get a toaster that does that?
I've just ignored Hannah. If feeding her isn't working, which it doesn't seem to be, then maybe you should ignore her too, or delete, it doesn't matter to me. It's obvious to me that she's trying to piss people off.
Now, seriously, would someone please answer my prior questions? please?

Posted by: RL | Jul 26, 2006 7:52:37 AM

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