nothing in here is true

  1. Thursday, January 26, 2006

    yesterday some pretty big bloggers chatted thru the Washington Post about comments on blogs 

    In attendence were bloggers who included Jeff Jarvis of the Buzzmachine, Jay Rosen of Press Think, and Glenn Reynolds of the Instapundit.

    Because Professor Reynolds does not have comments on his very successful and popular blog, he had to repeatedly answer why he chooses not to have them.

    His reasoning was threefold.

    1. Very popular blogs will get so many comments that in order to keep them from being boring shoutmatches and flamewars you need to have them moderated. Moderation either takes time or money. Neither of which Glenn chooses to allocate to comments since if people have a differring opinoin they can go start their own blog.

    2. He’s fearful that the Liberal Press might inaccurately attribute a statement in his comments to him. He’s also nervous that he might be held legally accountable for impropriety in the comments like libel or slander (although ive never heard of that happening to a blogger).

    3. He believes that oftentimes a blogger can be influenced in a bad way by his commentors. If they cheer him on for something, Glenn fears that he might give them more of what they praise.

    because i may have misunderstood his take, here are some of the exchanges that took place–

    Glenn Reynolds: Some examples of good user communities are Slate’s “The Fray” (where I started) and Slashdot. Both, however, are moderated.

    My own sense is that it’s very hard to preserve civility — or even a good ratio of interestingness to flaming — on sites that have high traffic without a fair degree moderation. There’s some sort of a threshold after which things tend to break down into USENET-style flamewars, which some people like, but which I’m tired of. I find the comments on Atrios, Kos, or for that matter Little Green Footballs, to be tiresome.

    Jeff Jarvis: Glenn: I agree with your assessment of those particular sites. I wonder whether that is a function of size or topic or host’s tone.

    [Question from] Washington, D.C.: Hi, my question is for Glenn and then maybe Jane would like to comment.

    Why is it that most of the high traffic right-wing blogs don’t take comments, while most of the left-wing blogs do?

    From my perspective, it looks like the conservatives can dish it out, but can’t take it, that they are uncomfortable subjecting their ideas to scrutiny on their own Web sites.

    Jeff Jarvis: Heh.

    Glenn Reynolds: I think that one reason has to do with media treatment. Charles Johnson, for example — who does have comments — has repeatedly faced media stories about his site in which comments made by his readers are directly attributed to him, as if he had written them. I certainly worry about that sort of thing, too. I think that lefty sites expect, and get, less of that kind of mistreatment.

    I’ve never had comments. I get about 1000 emails a day, and I don’t have time to look at those, post on my blog, AND moderate comments. And unmoderated comments raise a risk of the kind of thing I mention above, as well as possible libel and copyright issues. I’ve actually considered bringing someone in to do that, but that seems too impersonal.

    Glenn Reynolds: To add to this, I think that although people often act as if bloggers avoid comments with which they disagree, I think that the real danger to bloggers comes from the commenters with whom they agree. I’ve seen a number of bloggers pushed toward more extreme views by their comment section. It’s seductive, I imagine — all these people talking about *your* ideas — and it seems to exert a pull.

    Jeff Jarvis: I think you’re quite right that anyone can have a blog and link and comment and, in many ways, that yields richer conversation. Still, there are times when I have something to add to a conversation and don’t want to use my own blog for that. I appreciate the blogs who allow that. Entitlement? No, I’d call it enlightenment.

    [Question from] Ann Arbor, Mich.: Some of you have comments on your weblog, and some don’t–notably Glenn Reyholds and, now, parts of the Washington Post. We know about the Washington Post situation. Would Glenn Reynolds explain about his decision not to have comments?

    Glenn Reynolds: I’ve already done this in one of the other posts. Basically it boils down to time, and my fear that comments by trolls would be attributed unfairly to me, as has happened to others. Plus, it’s not like it’s hard for people to get their own blogs.

    Jay Rosen: I must say I have never heard of that concern before: “media reports would attribute comment trolls to me, so I don’t have them.”

    I have comments at my blog, and they are completely open. I not only monitor them carefully, I’m an

    active presence

    in comment threads and I argue a lot with readers. I get mad at them too. A great many users have told me that while I write good posts, what they really like is the range of reactions from others in comments. For some, that discussion is a primary, not a second-order good on offer at PressThink.

    Glenn Reynolds: It happened to Charles Johnson and he was quite upset. Perhaps the press would be more sensitive where you’re concerned, Jay.

    as they say read the whole thing but i think in the future the good professor and the others of the right wing blogosphere who choose not to have comments should just be transparent and tell the truth: “we like to talk shit about others, we like to point fingers at others, and we know people like to talk shit and point fingers at us but damned if we’re going to provide a place to do that in our very own blogs… even though thats pretty much what blogging is about, you know, dialogue.”

    as for me, tony pierce, i dont like it when people disagree with me, but sometimes im wrong about something, or sometimes i know people are going to take an opposing view. the comments allows the readers their shot at either correcting me or providing their point of view as a sort of check or balance. i know the righties pretty much hate checks and balances in government so it doesnt surprise me that theyd be against them on their own blogs,

    but what is often shocking to me is when i write something that im afraid many will disagree with me about, oftentimes they dont. not because they omg love me so much but because i was just being paranoid that i was being this big punk rock rebel who would be misunderstood.

    now of course i dont spread as much bullshit as most of the righty blogs do, despite my tagline, but i dont usually say the popular line either. if you recall i once said that i was glad when ronald reagan died and i berated Catholics for mourning the previous Pope’s death. virtual pissing on peoples graves dont usually bring about a chorus of amens from the peanut gallery, but if i am going to accept their praise on topic a, then its only fair that i allow them to say their peace on topic b.

    and on the day that the busblog gets so many feaking comments that it needs a moderator, im pretty sure that i could either 1)find someone willing to intern for free or a very low wage to moderate a top 5 blog or 2)find a sponsor who would put ads in those popular comments that would pay for the professional moderator who would delete patently offensive comments or slightly edit comments so that they are not slanderous or libelous.

    however it is curious how big time left wing blogs dont seem to have a problem letting readers of both sides comment on their posts.

    oliver willis + huffington post + atrios + matthew good + daily kos

  2. dear major newspaper or magazine, please let me work for you. 

    nearly three years ago today on the busblog

    tony pierce?


    hi, we’re a major newspaper or magazine.

    oh hi. Hi!

    yes, we would like to hire you.

    praise Jesus.

    we wont pay you much.

    thats ok.

    you wont get to write anything good right away.

    thats fine.

    we’ll make you write in our patented style.

    thats cool.

    you wont get a very nice desk or window.

    who cares?

    we’ll call you nigger boy.

    ive been called worse.

    you probably wont get promoted for a while.

    thats nothing new.

    we wont give you any coffee.

    i dont like coffee.

    and no smoke breaks.

    i dont smoke either.

    do you think this is some sort of joke or something?


    i dont like your attitude.

    but i dont have an attitude.

    yes you do, its a positive attitude.

    trust me, it’s fake.

    do you really date all those girls?

    what girls? oh, yes.

    and you really have all those friends?

    i actually have way more.

    and youre saying you dont have a positive attitude?

    im saying its a fake positive attitude.

    so youre lying all day?

    sometimes if youre bummed and you start seeing things as bummed then that can spiral into even more bummed. same goes if youre happy. if you fake being happy, sometimes nice things happen to you for no good reason.

    you would never fit in here.

    i know… i know.

  3. Wednesday, January 25, 2006

    in may i was laid off from my job of four years 

    i experienced equal parts relief and anger, but my friends and readers were so supportive it turned into a really beautiful summer.

    about a month into the vacation i realized that it might be the right time to experiment with ads on the blog.

    i was petrified that it would change me as a blogger and that some of my readers might think less of me.

    i was afraid that it would change me in that i might suck up to bloggers who were capable of giving me more hits. or i might not criticize those who could one day help me get ads or spikes in my visits.

    so what i did was i tripled the ad rate that i probably should get that way even if i did get a few spikes throughout the year (a normal occurance for any blog) then it would still not be justification to raise the rate due to the link(s) from the patron.

    here we are now seven months later and not only have i had a very successful relationship with blogads, whom i highly recommend, but i believe out of hundreds of thousands of visitors ive only received one negative reaction to having ads on my blog. i’ll take it.

    its been so successful that i have recently considered raising my rates in the near future. not out of greed, but to get one step closer to my ultimate dream of being a full time blogger with no boss other than myself.

    currently im gainfully employed, as you probably know, at Buzznet where i am very nicely taken care of, and i have no intention of leaving any time soon, but still, it would be nice to fall back on the busblog’s ad revenues if four years down the road i hit another icy patch.

    late last week i received an email from one of the good people at blogads asking if i would be interested in participating in a program with an exclusive group of bloggers who have blogads to go to amsterdam for five nights. five star hotel, airfare, and a few other incidentals comped.

    they said i wouldnt even have to blog about it.

    all id have to do is let holland.com have a slot in my premiere ad space for a month and put a button on the side of my blog for a year.

    as i generally do when i find myself indian-wrestling with a new runway model, or front row at a secret rock show, or in the midst of my amazing friends, i pinched myself to see if i was dreaming.

    amsterdam? my third favorite city in the world? (isla vista, los angeles…) free?

    i couldnt say yes fast enough.

    so last night when the blog about the program was put up and i saw the list of the other bloggers who had also accepted i felt extremely grateful because theyre all insanely talented bloggers of whom anyone would feel lucky to be included with

    101 Cookbooks, AMERICAblog, Blurbomat, Brian Flemming, Celebrity Baby Blog, Chromewaves, Cityrag, Coolfer, Culturekitchen, Dooce, Ezra Klein, Finslippy, Jossip, Majikthise, Oh la la Paris, Oliver Willis, Outside the Beltway, Perez Hilton, Pink is the new Blog, Scenestars, Slice NY, Suburban Bliss, and TalkLeft

    in order to stabilze the balance of the blogosphere, we are not all going there at the same time or on the same airplanes. i wont be going until february 21, and even though i am looking forward to finally seeing the anne frank house, and revisiting the van gogh museum, i really hope i get to meet trent from pink is the new blog. dude fucking rules. no disrespect to the others.

    and i get to finally meet JaG!

    so there you have it. either it pays to sell out, or what they say about one door opens after another closes is totally true. so thank you blogads for considering me and thank you e! for letting me go cuz theres no way i woulda had ads if i still worked there.

  4. i have some excellent things to announce to you. 

    but now is not the time. and its killing me.

    one of the things i think i can announce but i want some other people to say it first.

    what intersting is one is because of advertisements on this blog

    and the other is because of my job.

    it’s interesting because a year ago today there would be no way in hell that i would ever have anything to announce from my job other than i did something dumb like meet a famous celebrity for ten seconds,

    and i had no ads.

    so the question is, am i glad that i no longer work for the television network

    and do i take back all the nasty things

    ive said about advertisements on blogs?

    i miss the good people of e of which there were many

    and yes i take back all the nasty things

    ive said about advertisements on blogs.

    dooce who got fired because of her blog is now a top 100 blogger and charges $500 a week for an ad

    and has five running right now.

    how on earth could i be against that sort of sweet revenge?

    has it changed the way she blogs – which was my prime fear about blog ads?

    nope. she writes about being a mom and a wife and normal things.

    she doesnt even post every day.

    f you pay me.

    anyways i dont believe this blog has changed because of ads, and whats interesting is the top ad i have right now is cafepress, of whom i have made my last two books from, and sold lots of other merch.

    and the other ad is a book my college girlfriend jeanine cowrote (she got a discounted rate on the ad.)

    i would have recommended these things anyways.

    its one twenty two and at seven am im getting my brakes fixed and at eight thirty the dude is gonna patch up the bathroom wall.

    sirius stock is trading at under six dollars a share and id invest but thats a third thing i cant talk about right now.

    and a fourth is barely a secret either.

    all four will be revealed next month so stay tuned.

    in the meantime i want to start a book club.

  5. Tuesday, January 24, 2006

    the leak and mold on my bathroom wall that i told my landlord about several months ago 

    and he did nothing about turned into water gushing through my laundry room wall today.

    so because i wont be able to write very much today as i am watching the repair guy demolish my beautiful 1940s bathroom, i will reprint something that was printed in the Cubs official web site.

    they have a good column over there where Carrie Muskat answers questions from the fans.

    here was a good question and a good answer today.

    Q. How did the Cubs get the name “Cubs”?
    — Robert S., Salt Lake City, Utah

    A. According to baseball historian Ed Hartig, the real name for the Cubs is the Chicago National League Ball Club Inc. Here’s some history: Following the formation of the American League in 1900, many of the National League’s best players jumped to the AL. Most NL camps in the early 1900s included many, many, many unproven players. This included Frank Selee’s 1902 Chicago NL team. The March 27, 1902, Chicago Daily News noted all the young players in camp referring to the team as “Selee’s Cubs.” An incredible 30 players would make their Cubs debut in 1902.

    The name “Cubs” didn’t become official until 1907. Until then, each newspaper used whatever nickname they deemed appropriate. The team was called the White Stockings when the club joined the NL in 1876, the Orphans, the Black Stockings, the Spuds (because of their Irish owner, C.W. Murphy), the Nationals (all NL teams were called this at some point), the Colts, the Panamas, the Cowboys and a host of other nicknames.

    Frank Chance preferred Cubs and convinced Charles Murphy to make it official in 1907. Even after the nickname become official, some papers still used unofficial nicknames. For example, during Johnny Evers’ tenure as Cubs manager, the team was often called the Trojans (Evers lived in Troy, N.Y.). And the nickname “Bruins” was commonly used from the 1940s to the 1980s. Rather than running “Cubs notes,” The Sporting News, for example, ran “Bruins Briefs.” Good thing they chose Cubs; otherwise, Ernie Banks would be “Mr. Spud.”

    read the rest of the questions + more pics of the destruction + danielle isnt as bad off as she seems

  6. my college roommate chris 

    has laker season tickets.

    so yesterday as i was driving to lunch i rang him up to see if he went to the game or if he sold his seats.

    “tone i went. and not only that, but the Lakers called me up before the game and asked me if i could make it down to Staples a little bit early, and i should bring my camera.”

    turned out he had been selected in a daily raffle of season ticket holders who had been loyal to the team for several years. what they wanted to do was upgrade some of the upperdeck tickets to twelfth row jobbers.

    first they took pictures with the laker girls, then they brought out some toys and merch for the kids, then they gave everyone better seats for the game.

    so not only did my bro chris see the best laker performance he’d ever seen

    but he did it in style,

    and twelve rows from the court.

    and he brought his camera, something he hardly ever does.

    and of course we put those pictures up on buzznet for him.

    he said the only picture he didnt get was when kobe gave him a high five as he exited the tunnel right before the opening lineup introductions.

    chris is a good guy who has been blessed with good fortune so i told him that he should tell the lakers that maybe they should permanently move his seats down there, and in the spirit of keeping the good mojo flowing, perhaps he should remind the lakers what kobe did the other night and make sure to always slap his hand before introductions.

    but chris said the magic idol might be his young daughter eliza who was not only there the other night, but also in attendence at the game where robert horry drained that sweet 3pointer to beat sacto back in the day.

    and for all those naysayers who want to argue about the Raptors sucking or kobe hogging the ball, may i remind you that the Raptors were up by 15 in the 3rd quarter and it wasnt until the second half, after all the Lakers proved that they sucked, that kobe took over and shot lights out 55 points in those last two quarters.

    i can understand how you can think kobe is a spoiled rich kid living in the OC with his flashy wife with her huge diamond rings

    but anyone who scores 81 in a game deserves major props. i dont care if its in college highschool or even in the nba.

    some of chris’s pics from the famous game

  7. today is john belushis birthday 

    king of snl.

    which is saying something when you consider who else was there

    bill murray
    eddie murphy
    dan aykroyd
    dana carvey
    waynes world
    farley, sandler, rock

    all of em.

    but im old enough to remember when saturday night live was just starting.

    i believe i was 92 years old.

    back then it was truly live. and weird.

    and occassionally a little bit wild.

    back in those days the wildest thing that you could find on television was harvey corman cracking up at tim conway and not being able to make it through a line.

    so sex and drug jokes on network tv was pretty fascinating and no one in that original cast had that wild spirit that you could see just below the surface.

    the samuri dry cleaner, the intolerant greek restaurant owner “no coke. pepsi.”, but particularily the weekend update reporter who could get heart attacks and die showed that dangerous edge which on live tv was riviting.

    he was intense as joe cocker and subtle as jake blues.

    but my favorite role of his was in Continental Divide when he plays tall skinny mike royko the chicago newspaper columnist.

    who wrote one and two sentence paragraphs.

    and talked about Chicagoians.

    most people dont know that the Blues Brothers toured as a musical group for several years with Paul Schaeffer as the musical director and band leader.

    they even opened for the Grateful Dead several times.

    if mike royko was a blogger he’d post once a day and never on weekends. thats pretty much one reason idolize him.

    when belushi starred in Animal House he was paid $40,000.

    during his first season on saturday night live he was paid $750 a week.

    i dont know why, but its nice to know the king got paid shit.

    kimbalina + vortexia + oceanaria + sexoteric (nsfw)

  8. Monday, January 23, 2006

    but the biggest thing that happened in downtown LA this weekend 

    took place a few blocks north of staples center, when the LA Times received word that yes Matt Welch would accept the offer and be their new assistant editor of their Opinion section.

    yes, this is bigger news than Kobe.


    this is isla vista in the house.

    this is long beach in the house.

    this is los feliz in the house.

    matt welch isnt any ivy league fancyboy with lasik and his third beamer. hes a ucsb dropout, one of the original warbloggers, a prague xpat who covered the first nader campaign and is leaving a successful stint at the libertarian news journal Reason.

    and todays proof that you do not need a college degree to be successful.

    along with many ucsb daily nexus staffers of the late 80s early 90s matt started the first english daily newspaper in prauge, Prognosis, and at night drank beer and played guitar in several bands.

    as Editor in Cheif he met with various members of government and once Prognosis had finished he easilly moved over to the Buddapest Business Journal with Ken Layne (now with Sploid) and Henry Copeland

    before he left europe to return to america he found himself the hottest french girl he could find and

    he asked her if she knew any hotter french girls that he might have overlooked somehow and she said no

    but then after a few bottles of becherovka the truth came out and she said one name


    he found her; promised her a life of angel games, neighbors whose pit bulls would bark throughout the night, and garden parties frequented by the likes of … bloggers.

    she said oui and now you have someone at the la times who’s literally in bed with the french.

    the nexus has breached the gates.

    first with the daily news and now with the times.

    and in pure isla vista style, welch did not kiss the host’s ass on his way in.

    in late november he criticized the Times’ (lack of) coverage of the LAUSD trying to bulldoze 50 homes near downtown, and they printed it and paid him

    in early novemeber he ridiculed the relationship between the Dodgers and LAT sports columnists Bill Plaschke and T.J. Simers.

    “As every long-suffering sports fan in this town knows all too well, ‘the Los Angeles media’ is unfortunately synonymous with the Sports section of the paper you are holding. Especially its two loud-mouthed, value-subtracting columnists, Plaschke and T.J. Simers.”

    and not only did they print that puppy too but they hired his ass to revitalize the section that they have struggled with for quite a long time now.

    correct me if im wrong, but this could well be the highest ascension that a blogger has lept to from the blogosphere to the 4th estate. yes, there have been old media types who have taken to blogging, but to have a real warblogger make the jump from blogger.com to la times opinion page in less than five years is outstanding, and totally deserving of being compared to kobe’s feat last night.

    looks like ive gotta get a subscription to the times now.

    matt’s past columns + matt’s announcement + matt was tsar’s original bassplayer

  9. many of my readers are canadian 

    i dont know what ive done to deserve such a blessing, but ive learned to adapt.

    one of them sent me an open letter that Michael Moore addressed to canadian voters today, their election day.

    she asked me politely to post it on my blog, and here i am doing it.


    Michael Moore is currently in production on his next movie. As an avid lover of all things Canadian, he has issued the following statement regarding Canada’s upcoming election on Monday:

    Oh, Canada — you’re not really going to elect a Conservative majority on Monday, are you? That’s a joke, right? I know you have a great sense of humor, and certainly a well-developed sense of irony, but this is no longer funny. Maybe it’s a new form of Canadian irony — reverse irony! OK, now I get it. First, you have the courage to stand against the war in Iraq — and then you elect a prime minister who’s for it. You declare gay people have equal rights — and then you elect a man who says they don’t. You give your native peoples the ir own autonomy and their own territory — and then you vote for a man who wants to cut aid to these poorest of your citizens. Wow, that is intense! Only Canadians could pull off a hat trick of humor like that. My hat’s off to you.

    Far be it from me, as an American, to suggest what you should do. You already have too many Americans telling you what to do. Well, actually, you’ve got just one American who keeps telling you to roll over and fetch and sit. I hope you don’t feel this appeal of mine is too intrusive but I just couldn’t sit by, as your friend, and say nothing. Yes, I agree, the Liberals have some ‘ splainin’ to do. And yes, one party in power for more than a decade gets a little… long. But you have a parliamentary system (I’ll bet you didn’t know that — see, that’s why you need Americans telling you things!). There are ways at the polls to have your voices heard other than throwing the baby out with the bath water.

    These are no ordinary times , and as you go to the polls on Monday, you do so while a man running the nation to the south of you is hoping you can lend him a hand by picking Stephen Harper because he’s a man who shares his world view. Do you want to help George Bush by turning Canada into his latest conquest? Is that how you want millions of us down here to see you from now on? The next notch in the cowboy belt? C’mon, where’s your Canadian pride? I mean, if you’re going to reduce Canada to a cheap download of Bush & Co., then at least don’t surrender so easily. Can’t you wait until he threatens to bomb Regina? Make him work for it, for Pete’s sake.

    But seriously, I know you’re not going to elect a guy who should really be running for governor of Utah. Whew! I knew it! You almost had me there. Very funny. Don’t do that again. God, I love you, you crazy cold wonderful neighbors to my north. Don’t ever change.

    Michael Moore

    (Mr. Moore is not available for interviews because he now needs to address the situation in Azerbaijan. But he could be talked into it for a couple of tickets to a Leaf’s game. )