I Need a Better Class of Panicked Dude Leaving Comments

Because I gotta tell ya, the ones that are posting here are letting me down. Consider this latest comment, expunged from its original place in a comment here but presented for your delight, from “ManCaveThrust”:

This place is horseshit. Anyone who tells the TRUTH about alpha game or feminism suddenly becomes a prime target for Scalzi’s black helicopter squad. Take your self-righteousness and stuff it. You and your rabbit poops can stay far away from me and my tight ass life.

Notes:

1. Tired rhetoric — “rabbit” references been done to death in terms of me, handwringing about feminism likewise, all this “alpha” stuff, game or otherwise, is just boring. Yes, yes, alpha this, rabbit that. Where’s the originality? Where’s the pop? Where’s the craft?

2. For that matter, this fellow is clearly not keeping up with current events, otherwise he’d know that at the moment I’m (fairly, to be sure) not exactly in the finest possible odor with many feminists. I want my ranting comments fresh and contextually aware, thank you.

3. A single all capped word? If you’re not going to commit to an all-cap lifestyle in your comment, don’t bring the all caps at all. And again, here we are with the craft issue.

4. Metaphor usage is not up to snuff. “Black helicopter squad?” If this dude was paying any attention at all, it would have been “pastel helicopter squad” — most people would have realized it was a play on “black helicopters” but the “pastel” bit would have more in line with the attempt to frame me as an emasculated tool of the matriarchy; real men won’t ever be seen in pastels, they’re clinically proven to shrink one’s testicles.

Now, granted, if I were actually an emasculated tool of the matriarchy, I would not be allowed helicopters at all, pastel or otherwise. But let’s not overtax this fellow by asking him to think his metaphor all the way through. Asking him for a little surface consistency, however, is not too much.

5. “Rabbit poops”? Really? I get this this is supposed to be insulting, but, honestly. It sounds like an eight-year-old unfamiliar with how swearing works jamming words together, Mad Libs style. It doesn’t really sync with the swaggering, hypermasculine tone this dude was clearly intending. I mean, he uses “horseshit” earlier, so we know he’s down with the swearing thing; “rabbit poop” is a bit of a come down. This is the opposite of sticking the dismount.

6. I’m not sure what kind of vibe this fellow was intending to send by calling himself “ManCaveThrust” and discussing his “tight ass life,” but I am pretty sure it’s not the same one I got.

7. Going to someone’s site to tell them to stay away from you? Dude. Come on.

Verdict:

Sloppy. Lazy. Inchoate. Any actual attempt to assert alpha-ness, or to accentuate my not-alpha-ness (or whatever) undermined by complete lack of composition, flow or sense. In short: Disappointing effort. But as with so many of these dudes, “disappointing” seems the best he can manage.

To be fair, I wouldn’t have let this comment stay in the comment thread even if it was brilliantly composed, because I have better goals for the site than to have it cluttered up with panicked boys trying to be all tough on the Internet, where they don’t actually have to look anyone in the eye as they type out their posturing. But at least I would have been entertained before I deleted the comment. All I get out of this one is a sense of pity, and a desire to put the fellow through a writing workshop. And that’s just not enough.

159 thoughts on “I Need a Better Class of Panicked Dude Leaving Comments

  1. I don’t suppose I need to note that for this comment thread I’ve already unsheathed the Mallet and will be happily swinging away if/when the Panic Boys show up. So when/if they do, please leave them to me.

  2. ” All I get out of this one is a sense of pity, and a desire to put the fellow through a writing workshop.”

    Sign me up for THAT writing workshop!

  3. Would Trolling for Dummies count towards college English requirements? Maybe include it with a semester of History of Trolling. Would help wannabe trolls have some grounding in the craft. A the least, force them to watch Steve Martin Cyrano.

  4. I don’t know, I kind of like the dissonance between Tough Guy (“This place is horseshit…Take your self-righteousness and stuff it”) and the attempt at intellectual (“Anyone who tells the TRUTH about alpha game or feminism…”). It’s got a certain “Mongo just pawn in game of life” quality to it.

  5. And besides, the only current term of art recognized by the cognoscenti is ‘Rabbit Pellets’…

    [very funny post, Mr. Scalzi]

  6. “Asking him for a little surface consistency, however, is not too much.”

    I don’t know. Given the usual tenor and substance of these sort of comments, expecting consistency is the quickest route to disappointment.

  7. Scalzi needs a helicopter like a fish needs a bicycle. Or something like that.

    Scalzi: I’m … not exactly in the finest possible odor with many feminists.

    Time to clear out your desk of all that bikini chain mail porn and go home.

    Thrust: You and your rabbit poops

    Didn’t John Wayne call one of the bad guys a “rabbit poop” in “True Grit”? Or was it the one with the hand-crank gatlin gun…. Hm.

    Thrust: “my tight ass life

    wh… what?

  8. Having read your critique, I am almost (in the sense of “not at all”) inclined to try writing an offensive comment that you would find amusing to read but contrary enough to the spirit of the place that you would delete it.

  9. John D:

    I have in the past had contests for people to write the most offensive comments. I won’t be doing that now, but it might happen in the future.

  10. #5 made me giggle, and I, too, thought “ManCaveThrust” was a bit man-bum obsessed. Then he said “tight ass life,” and I was all, “Well, that confirms a few things.”

  11. Excellent. I have not seen a grading of any hatemail recently and I was beginning to miss it.

    Cheers
    Andrew

  12. There are several problems with saying you need a better class of that guy:

    1. You’re going to remove it regardless of the quality.
    2. The “classier” ones wouldn’t bother with a well-crafted response since they know you’d simply delete it.
    3. You’re asking for a more clear-thinking individual that also has no understanding of equality. To have depth of prose without depth of thinking is asking a lot from internet commenters.

  13. Just you wait, Scalzi. You’ll be laughing out the other side of your face when the Manosphere finally works out how to use status anxiety as rocket fuel.

  14. Your odor with many feminists is as a patch of petunias compared to Dave Sim’s. Did you ever read Cerebus? Specifically issue 186? That one lost him an editor, proofreader, and as female staff member as I understand. That was almost 20 years ago, and his reputation with feminists has yet to recover. Not that he really cares, apparently. Send ManCaveThrust and his ilk to Dave Sim; they’ll find a kindred spirit.

    (Which doesn’t change the fact that I think Cerebus is one of the greatest works of comic art in history. It may be time for another re-read…)

  15. Any actual attempt to assert alpha-ness, or to accentuate…

    I was gonna say. Any real alpha would [a] shrug piteously in their internal dialogue and go about their business or more likely [b] fail to notice on account of doing things like making money or creating stuff or getting laid, all of which require a deep game to be accomplished well via the Internet. (There are, strictly speaking, better ways for most people.)

  16. I’m so sad that “the truth about alpha game” wasn’t discussing a cool new Scrabble-style video game in the early stages of release, but rather (apparently) a blog combining bitterness, entitlement and …self-help?

    Most of the links were about Street Fighter, though, which cheered me up and now I’m saying “sonic BOOM!” in my head. Wheeeee

  17. I’m guessing you have to read through a lot of these types of comments and it takes up a fair amount of your mental space, but as a long time reader I have to say I am kinda over these types of posts. It’s all sort of – Stupid Troll is Trolling. Again.

    Just my 2 cents.

  18. Very funny but surely….. too easy taking it out off the hard-of-thinking? I am however, muchly disturbed by the concept of “ManCaveThrust”. That is either some form of sexual activity or a great name for a new band?

  19. At my work we come on Google searches under “monitoring” and it is amazing how many people email us to complain about someone who is out to get them, has installed stuff on their computer over the Internet, is following them around, and so on. There are a surprising number of paranoid people out there who think that someone would for some reason spend their days trying to get them. When I read the comment you posted it sounds like that. The guy probably needs treatment.

    But its not paranoid if they really are out to get you. Maybe Scalzi is a member of the conspiracy, and is trying to put all of us off the track with this post. I’d suggest painting your helicopters something other than black. You give your villainy away when all your helicopters are black.

  20. I was somewhat disappointed that you did not provide a letter grade (or a numerical grade if you’re into that kind of thing), but then I realized that it’s the critical feedback that is more important in education than the evaluative quantification. I applaud your embrace of a constructive pedagogy.

  21. @chaosprime On that day we’ll all laugh with glee, since presumably they’ll be using that fuel to travel to their Normanian paradise.

  22. Along with all his faults of thought, creativity and writing skills, the guy clearly is no gardener. I’ll happily accept any rabbit poops anyone has to spare. They make excellent compost.

  23. I was struck by an imp of the perverse reading this and started composing a carefully crafted right wing assault, as a gift worthy of your deconstruction. Then I realised that there was a risk I would do it well enough to be taken seriously.

    Maybe the comments would be more satisfying if more came at you from the other side. For example:

    I take issue with your focus on the place of women in science-fiction. By talking about gender inequality, you are buying into the outdated concept of either-or. If you are unable to transcend the plane of stale us-vs-them rhetoric then you should confine yourself to writing military sci-fi for people who want their heroes as the thinly masked emasculated male: superior in all ways save their inability to breed due to an excess of similarity. If you truly wished to build a better world you would use your platform to change the meta-scape of society, building on the work of Moorcock and Morrison, to embed a the future-now in the collective unconscious, fast breeding hypersigils of the individual-with-society.

    Of course that does risk me sounding like I ate some bad rye bread for lunch.

  24. Reminds me of one part of The Crackpot Index (by Prof. John Baez): “A simple method for rating potentially revolutionary contributions to physics”

    http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/crackpot.html


    20 points for each use of the phrase “hidebound reactionary”.
    20 points for each use of the phrase “self-appointed defender of the orthodoxy”.

    40 points for comparing those who argue against your ideas to Nazis, stormtroopers, or brownshirts.

  25. Jesters! The liege grows weary of your much trodden jests. Thou should bring a better game lest ye be Malleted but good.

    That’s the thing with jesters, everybody loves to wear the hat, but very few can wield the cockscomb well. Make of that what you will.

  26. Paranoid people are so entertaining. In the late 90s I worked on the third shift in technical support at Dell and we got some real winners calling in during the wee small hours. These were the truly delusional paranoids, back in the days before there was a practically mainstream media machine dedicated to spreading paranoia far and wide. I remember one woman calling from New York calling because she KNEW her ex-boyfriend had tapped into her modem line in the basement of her building and was getting access to her computer that way. I told her it was very unlikely but if she really thought that was true she should contact the police instead of us. I probably owe the NYPD an apology for that.

    Now I like to imagine Mr. TightManAss up there as the ex-boyfriend in that story.It makes the caller seem less crazy – although she did clearly need more help than a call to tech support could provide.

  27. @jenphalian The Rapture of the Wannabee Sociopaths will indeed be a day of considerable hilarity. Pardon me, I need to write a SF story about a planet whose orbital solar collector array is in the shape of the words “HE-MAN WOMEN HATERS CLUB”.

  28. A long time ago my father told me a story about two rubes, one of whom was concerned about the level of his intellect. He went to his friend Billy Bob and asked if he knew how he could improve his mind. “Sure, Billy Bob, come back tomorrow and I’ll have just what you need. Bring $100 and soon I’ll have all your troubles on the run.” The next day Billy Bob went back to Clem and gave him a C-note for a little bag of what appeared to be brown pills. He took them faithfully for a couple days, until he realized what the “smart pills” really were. Taking his complaint back to Clem he loudly opined, “Damn Clem, them pills is just rabbit pellets.” Clem smiled broadly and said, “There you go, Billy Bob, you’re smarter already!”

  29. I’m struck by the existentialism of “This place…” — I know it’s just a flaw in our language, but the idea that each website and blog on the net has an actual physical location, most of them looking like a Blofeldian headquarters, is fascinating to me. And I suspect that more than a few of the ranters out there think that that concept is true.

  30. Do people assume you are gay? That’s what happened to me recently. I swear, I used to have long hair and do theater, and no one ever assumed I was gay until I publicly started writing about gender and feminism.

  31. @chaosprime Just make sure that story is a fond pastiche of hasty-though-imaginative pulp. Don’t let anything new-fangled (tainted by cooties) into this masterpiece. e.g., no dragons on your alien world.

  32. “All I get out of this one is a sense of pity, and a desire to put the fellow through a writing workshop. And that’s just not enough.”

    I sense a Kickstarter!

  33. David M. Perry:

    I have some reasonably obvious circumstantial evidence that I am straight, or at least bisexual, i.e., the wife and child. However, if these dudes wish to allege that I am gay because of my opinions, that’s fine with me. One, because there’s not a thing wrong with being gay, and two, if being straight means having to be like them, someone please load me up some hot, stiff cock RIGHT NOW.

  34. @jenphalian Good advice! It’s important that I make sure my work is free of the influences of Those Darn Women Who Are Ruining Everything Forever. This story is going to make some lucky slush reader *so happy*, I just know it.

  35. @David: Wait. They don’t accuse you of trying to get laid by faking being feminist? Gosh, but times have changed. And associating long hair and gayness isn’t as big as it used to be. Too many gay men with short haircuts and straight rock stars with hair below their shoulders, I guess.

    And WTF is alpha game? Is it like Hunger Games for the neckbeard set? And if so, can we please have them play it for real? I am so bored with their type I can’t even.

  36. Why is it that these supposed alphamales are so concerned about what other people are doing?

    If they were truly “alpha” wouldn’t they be above it all?

  37. “One, because there’s not a thing wrong with being gay, and two, if being straight means having to be like them, someone please load me up some hot, stiff cock RIGHT NOW.”

    Oh god, if only I had a recording of you saying that…

  38. Reminds me of the story in WWZ where they gather round a zombie whose lower half is stuck in ice. It moans and mechanically attempts to attack those alive, while they speculate on the ghouls’ ability to withstand freezing. Then they whack it with a tire iron. We should have something like that here.

  39. Oh, I’m sure, just as I’m sure that more than a few of them will doing their best to sweatily not think about that particular mental image while chanting “I’m a straight alpha male, I’m a straight alpha male…”

  40. To quote Luke McKinney of Cracked:

    “…His solution to the cake-division problem is locking everyone else outside, then screaming that knocking on a door is rude.”

  41. I don’t know about you being in the finest odor with feminist or not at the moment. Frankly I can see how the whole thing happened and with everything going on some of the finer points might have gone over your head as to how women might react to them. It happens. I’m sure over time you’ll be back in favor.

    Love the grading of your comments for their lack of originality. I think it the helicopter should have the gamma rabbit on it.

  42. Submarines are the only place I know where otherwise straight hetrosexual males find it perfectly acceptable to engage in homosexual activity. Why else would there be jokes like, ‘150 men go down but 74 couples, a preist and a golden gloves boxer come back up.’ And, ‘You’re only gay if you do it in port.’

  43. I have consulted with the rest of the matiarchy. You are correct, you will not be allowed a helicopter, but we will consider letting you have a pastel blimp. ;)

  44. I did in fact spit coffee from laughing. You don’t always do that, my keyboard does not thank you. I had not yet read the comments and now find that has apparently been an issue for others. I am encouraged to apply to be the new and improved Panic Boy; trust me, I can do bettet.

  45. Hilarious. I was also thinking how you were supposed to stay away from tightasscaveman.

  46. Pure comedy gold for me on the “manosphere” was this quote, from one of the (formerly, one gathers) anti-feminist relationship advisers. It didn’t go down very well with his fellow ‘gamers.’

    “There are unquestionably a very small percentage of women who are evil, bait and switch golddigging ****s, who deserve to experience a poorly skilled plastic surgeon. [But] The hard truth is if you go long enough with the case history, every single time after the husband’s rage has died down… and it may take years for that to happen…. he makes an admission of a gross lapse of his judgment during the marriage. I really don’t mean a little tiny thing either, I mean something bad enough where you suddenly sit back in shock and can’t help but mentally re-evaluate him as 20 IQ points less smart.”

  47. John, break out the mallet.
    It is true that you are a geek, but I would call you an old school geek rather than a modern geek. You practice your side show acts (biting off heads of poor baby chicks) for the passing crowds to distract them. We have 4 (or is it 5 now) major political scandals and this is what you’re posting on?

    As for your problems with the Taliban branch (http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Latest-News-Wires/2013/0607/Bikini-ban-at-Miss-World-pageant.-Why) of the feminist party, any true nerd could have told you it would have happened. Even though you try hard to get accepted by the IN CROWD, doing all the right things, jumping thru all the hoops trying to get approval, sooner or later, you will get shoved into a locker. Come back to your roots, and turn away from these phoney friends. I have a pair of 20 sided dice just waiting for you.

    I would refer the women who are after your head to George Lucas. If a gold bikini clad Princess Leia can defeat Jabba the hut, why couldn’t a similarly dressed barbarian princess dispatch a troll?

    George also has deeper pockets too.

  48. I think we should direct these fine fellows to any of George Takei’s recent Internets for lessons in effective rebuttals, one-liners and quips. This might also make their heads asplode.

  49. @BoulderStu: I really just need to learn to keep a spare keyboard around, or else not drink tea or coffee while reading certain blogs. (Whatever, the Bloggess, etc.)

  50. “…because I have better goals for the site than to have it cluttered up with panicked boys trying to be all tough on the Internet, where they don’t actually have to look anyone in the eye as they type out their posturing. ”

    Afraid to tell you John, this call-out was alpha as fuck.

    Emma and Alisha loved this whole thing, too.

  51. Do black helicopters travel in squads? I’d have thought flights or squadrons. Warrens or hutches if we’re sticking with rabbits.

  52. @jenphalian Lady slush reader!? How can there be such a thing! If she rejects my story, you can bet I will yell CENSORSHIP like it has never been yelled before.

  53. “someone please load me up some hot, stiff cock RIGHT NOW.”

    I am confused. Originally my Scalzi slash piece was going to feature Jonathan Coulton with a petulant Wil Wheaton as pivot man. But it occurs to me Joe Hill would make a strapping figure, thrusting from a black helicopter. That would be so tightass.

  54. This. Exactly this.

    The closest I come to this kind of small-minded abuse is on my bicycle (I’m a daily bike commuter). I’m so tired of having, “faggot” and “get off the f**king road” yelled at me. Can’t these people come up with something more creative?

    But then I remember the type of person I’m dealing with.

  55. Thank you.

    Admittedly, cleaning the coffee from my iPad was a chore, but it was worth it…

  56. John – The funny thing is, I was writing about my children, hence also some reasonable evidence for the straight thing, and yet, hundreds of comments bashing my sexuality on an essay I wrote.

    Really, I’m grateful, as it’s given me another essay topic.

  57. For those who were asking:

    “alpha” game is the release before “beta.” It’s 2 phases before production quality and really only suitable for testing, due to the usual extreme bugginess of alpha releases.

  58. >“alpha” game is the release before “beta.” It’s 2 phases before production quality and really only suitable for testing, due to the usual extreme bugginess of alpha releases.

    I tried one when they first came out but it kept crashing and I kept having to boot it. Sorry, I mean ‘re-boot.’

  59. Only slightly in ManCaveThrust’s defense, having flung horseshit and rabbit poop around, it might take more than his tightass skill to stick the landing. Although there would certainly be sticking.

    I used to annoy the Christian Wrong with a lapel pin that read “Straight but not Narrow”.

  60. >No wimmin allowed!

    Shame. I quite like PanickedMaleosphere, although I think their last album “Them Pesky Chicks” was a trifle derivative.

  61. “Sloppy. Lazy. Inchoate” – yes
    That it made you respond is a winner for said person, just saying

  62. UhNoThankYou:

    It didn’t make me respond. I chose to respond. And if this sad excuse for a y-chromosome-bearing sack of meat thinks he’s won for being mocked as unoriginal and boring, he’s even more special than most of his ilk. Unless he takes the critique to heart and does better next time. In which case, everyone wins!

  63. So… “ManCaveThrust” was a for-real handle?

    I thought it was a satire of the sort of person who invents a Supermasculinely Manly pseudonym to hide behind. But… it’s someone’s -actual- choice of a witness-my-bulging-manliness internet pseudonym?

    Seriously?

    Oh, my gosh… That’s so PRECIOUS! It’s… =darling=!!! It’s FABulous!

  64. Fortunately, I did not have any hot coffee around when I started reading this. ManCaveThrust was funny enough on his own, but somehow I don’t think that was his intention. John’s response had me laughing so hard it hurt, and the comment stream just kept it going. Thank you all!

  65. Pohl and Kornbluth’s Gladiator-At-Law has a ‘tween-age’ gang (they use broken bottles rather than guns, due to their youth) who’se call is ‘Waa-Waa-Waa-Waa-Wabbit Twacks!’

  66. You have a black helicopter squad???? Can we bedazzle them?

    Seriously, I wouldn’t actually mind an explanation of this alpha game thing, as it continues to make no sense to me. The concept of an alpha is like Highlander — there can be only one. The leader of a group is the alpha, and everyone else are beta followers. So if you’re not CEO of your company, not the Joint Chief of Staff, etc., you’re not the alpha. If you don’t have the primary power in the organization/hierarchy, you’re not an alpha, no matter how confident you are, because you have to be a leader with the ability to enforce to be alpha, not just a lieutenant.

    So if Scalzi can control black helicopter squads of followers to bedevil ManCaveThrust (trademark pending,) then Scalzi is the leader of the black helicopter group and is the alpha. And if ManCaveThrust has no power to stop Scalzi and his minions from bedeviling him, then he’s a beta, a follower. His coming over to Scalzi’s patch and attempting to urinate on it does nothing because he can’t disempower Scalzi in any way. So really, the statement was one of submission and defeat. Which means ManCaveThrust has no hope of being the alpha of any group, and certainly of the Internet, and so should either be quiet unless allowed to speak or join Scalzi’s helicopter squad as a proper follower.

    The concept of an alpha was erroneously taken from early observations of wolves, as we know, where the members of a pack were mistaken for followers acting in submission, when they were really young adult children of a mother and a father and the pack is a multi-generational family. And in that concept of packness, the alpha female, the mother (alpha female,) has equal to and as much power as the father (alpha male) as the other, female leader of the group. The manosphere seems to refute the notion of there being alpha females, even though it is part of the concept of an alpha male. Females, according to them, have no power, but try to fool men into thinking they have power and so emasculate them (which is a form of actual power,) turning beta males into gamma males.

    But alpha males cannot be emasculated by females, who cannot be alpha and leader. And yet, when the argument is that females are feminazis, censoring, imposing political correctness on society, controlling society, taking power from men, etc. these are statements that women have the power, are the leaders and therefore are alphas. If the women have actually taken the power from the men, then the women are the alphas and the men are beta followers. If the men are actually the alpha leaders, then the women can simply be ignored as they have no power and what they say, even if it is not “TRUTH,” doesn’t matter. If the men claim the women have taken their power and are controlling them or the society, then the men are not alphas — the women are — and the men are their followers. If the men fear that women can take their power, then again, they aren’t alphas because the alpha is the leader and has all the power. They are automatically betas. If they threaten to rape a woman for what she says, they are showing fear of her as a threat and so are proclaiming that she has power as a leader and they are not alphas, but betas. So again, it makes little sense to me.

    Now, they do try to make sense of this in were novels often, where there is an alpha male and it’s male hierarchical and the female alphas have lesser power instead of being equal, and there are lots of challenges and blustering, but it never is very logical, nor has much to do with the various behavioral patterns of the actual animal kingdom. Were societies in these novels are always fragile and self-destructing, which is good for fight scenes but not very workable as a civilization.

    But in all of these stories, they follow the same principle — the alpha is the leader who has the power. If Scalzi is not an alpha, then he has no power, and they have no reason to talk to him ever or listen to what he says, especially if they are also a beta themselves. Every time they come and yell at him and talk about him, they are saying that he is an alpha, he is a leader and he has power and is a threat, meaning that they themselves are below him hierarchically. But he would be more impressive if he actually had black helicopters. Just saying. Could the rabbit poop T-shirt have a black helicopter on it?

  67. “[I]f being straight means having to be like them, someone please load me up some hot, stiff cock RIGHT NOW.”

    I really hope you won’t mind if I borrow this from time to time.

  68. If he’d used gamma turds in place of rabbit poops, he’d at least have had one clever wordplay. One assumes missing the mark is a side effect of substituting piss and vinegar for a delayed-pubescent testosterone deficiency. His aim was all over the place. Trolls these days…

    #GetOffMyBridge

  69. How about a drone helicopter….

    An aside on alpha vs. non-alpha. Careful observation of different animals (dogs, horses, wolves) indicate that the pecking order concepts are pretty elaborate. You can have one animal alpha with respect to, say, breeding, and another ruling over interactions between the females and juveniles. You can have internal hierarchy and then interactions with outside groups. People don’t have exactly the same imperatives with respect to hierarchy you can, indeed, rule over one part of the pack in one situation while being a follower in another.

  70. Oh, come on. ManCaveThrust? Tight-ass life? That’s got to be satire. Scalzi, you’re just trolling us, right?

  71. My life isn’t nearly alpha enough. Clearly I need to join the Scalzi Black Helicopter Squad.

    We’d rappel down in the middle of the night, throw flash-bangs into the room, find the caveman inside, and wallop him in the head with a giant jelly dildo. Then, while he’s stunned, we’d break into his computer and replace all his porn with leather-clad biker guys. His copy of Gears of War would be swapped with a My Little Pony title; if he had Halo, the entire Xbox will be replaced with a basket full of yarn and a pair of lilac-colored safety-tip knitting needles. We’d then take pictures standing over him and making non-phallic gestures which will then be captioned with “Testoster-OWNED” and uploaded to the Internet. Then away into the night…

    I suspect, however, that it’d be tough to make the advertising on the pics thus uploaded pay for the helicopter fuel, the yarn and needles, and the MLP games. Bah. Clearly what we need is a government grant…

  72. ManCaveThrust?? Did he pick that name off one of those “One from Column A” and “the name of your first pet” lists?

    I keep picturing him very tightly clenched, all the time. Must be hell taking an actual shit.

  73. Okay, add me as one of the ones thinking that the name “ManCaveThrust” was a joke on your part. I got to the end and said “Wait, what?”

    Also, t-shirt idea: a squadron of black helicopters with gamma rabbits sticking their butts out the open side doors and dropping rabbit poop bombs. I’m also imagining that as a fantastic poster… Ooo! and the trolls are hiding under their bridges down below to avoid the rabbit poop! … Really wishing I had art skills right now so I could draw what I’m visualizing.

  74. In Defense of Mr. Thrust

    Dear Mr. Scalzi,

    I’m afraid I must beg to differ with your superficial analysis of Mr. Thrust’s contribution to the canon of Internet wisdom. You have made the fundamental mistake that many do of assuming that the overt words of the piece are actually expressing the primary intent. But it is in the covert – nay, the subterranean depths of this striking piece of literature that you find its heart.

    First, we must deconstruct, line by line, this work.

    1. This place is horseshit.

    Your analysis assumes that Mr. Thrust is referring to your blog. Nothing could be further from the truth. Within these four words, we find a statement with myriad meanings. “This place” is not your blog, but the whole Internet, and its horseshit manure fertilizes ideas and conversations of astounding depth. Rather than being a short-sighted, derogatory statement about Whatever, it is, in fact, a compliment of the highest caliber. To understand the rest of the post, we must first be at peace with the broader meaning of the first sentence.

    [pause to adjust cardigan sweater and take a sip of tea]

    2. Anyone who tells the TRUTH about alpha game or feminism suddenly becomes a prime target for Scalzi’s black helicopter squad.

    And here we get to the meat of Mr. Thrust’s argument. Your analysis, Mr. Scalzi, centered on the single capitalized word, the currency of your status in the world of feminism, and reference to the black helicopter squad. You have deeply, I’m afraid, missed the point.

    The fact that Mr. Thrust has only capitalized a single word – TRUTH – indicates the depth of his cleverness. For capital-T Truth, as we all know, is not for us to know. Truth, like Perfection, is a construct that we flawed humans are denied. Truth is reserved for God, Allah, Al-Salam, Yahweh, Bill Gates. By invoking the Truth and stressing its capitalization, and at the same time making reference to a clearly fictitious black helicopter squad, Mr. Thrust is inverting his meaning entirely. He is winking at you from behind his words, acknowledging the opposite of what he is saying: that, in fact, arising from the fertilizer of the Internet is a multitude of viewpoints, none of which represents the Truth because the Truth is impossible for mortals to divine! He is embracing both the “alpha game” and tearing it down at once. The subtlety of this analysis is breathtaking.

    3. Take your self-righteousness and stuff it.

    Much like Mr. Thrust’s first sentence, while one might assume that the second-person pronoun refers to you, specifically, Mr. Scalzi, in fact, he is aiming at all those who embrace sanctimony, on either side of the equation. Much as his acknowledgment of the precariousness of assuming there is a single Truth is made in the previous sentence, in this sentence he takes that a step further and asserts that any position we take from a belief in Truth must be flawed.

    4. You and your rabbit poops can stay far away from me and my tight ass life.

    And here…

    Okay, I got nothing. Clearly Mr. Thrust’s meds kicked in at this point. But all great poets leave something for future generations to dig further into.

    So, as you can see Mr. Scalzi, Mr. Thrust is not the simple troll you think. He is a brilliant deconstructionist, worthy of Jacques Derrida.

    Thank you for your time, and I apologize for the time it took me to deliver this defense of Mr. Thrust; unfortunately, they will only let me have crayons in here and someone has to retype what I write.

    Sincerely,
    ThrustDefender

  75. I have some reasonably obvious circumstantial evidence that I am not a virgin, i.e., the wife and child. And yet there was an argument about me, a few years ago, picked up by DIGG, as to whether or not I existed. One large group was sure that I was a hoax. Another thought it was marginally possible that I did all the stuff I claimed to, but then would have no time for a social life, and was probably a virgin. I just lurked. If I did not exist, but was a hoax, OF COURSE I’d have jumped in to say that I actually existed…

  76. Alright, totally late to the party, but no one posted this yet: http://xkcd.com/37/

    ManCaveThrust’s Tight Ass-Life. Ok, ok, he didn’t even bother with putting a hyphen in, but that just makes me want to put it in the second space all the more.

  77. Bigots tend to be unimaginative. If someone doesn’t have the empathy and intelligence required to be able to see, say, women as people with equal rights and worth as us men, they aren’t going to be able to write a smart “leaving forever” post either.

  78. Wait, did I miss another “Angry White Male” takedown, or are these clowns still coming around from weeks ago?

  79. Aaaah, now I know why I subscribe to your blog. Watching you expertly deal with the Trolls, Alpha Trolls, Troll-boys and poorly assembled meta-dweebs is fun. And the picture of thine feline covered in bacon of course

  80. I would applaud ThrustDefender but am reluctant to risk giving him my girl cooties. WHICH CAN TRAVEL THROUGH THE INTERTUBES.

    Surely somebody has programmed an “Anxious Posturing Comment Dude” name generator?

  81. @mythago

    Feel free to applaud. Your cooties will be blocked by my ManFirewallThrust.

  82. You had me at black helicopters. I’ve always wanted to fly a helicopter.

  83. “Surely somebody has programmed an “Anxious Posturing Comment Dude” name generator?”

    Ooooh! We could start simple, like a Christmas Elf Name generator I saw which was just a list, based on the initials of your first, middle, and last name. For example:

    William Makepeace Thackery = W M T, so his Anxious Posturing Dude Name would be
    Manly Bulging Stifframmer in a code-key where W = Manly, M = Bulging, etc.

  84. I think he was referencing ‘peeps’ meaning “people,” and saying “poops” because heh heh heh.

  85. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow = HWL = Toolhugging Manly Kittenkiller

    Ernest Miller Hemingway = EMH = Studly Bulging Toolhugger

    John Michael Scalzi = JMS = Bullets Bulging Rabbitslayer

    Laura Lee Resnick = LLR = Kittenish Kittenkilling Whipmaster

  86. “I have some reasonably obvious circumstantial evidence that I am straight, or at least bisexual, i.e., the wife and child. However, if these dudes wish to allege that I am gay because of my opinions, that’s fine with me.”

    The first time I heard you talk I assumed you were gay, you have a very pronounced lisp. No big deal though.

    About this rabbit business, you did adopt the rabbit as your official mascot did you not? If you thought you were going to grow tired of it methinks you should have chosen something cooler, like a tiger or shark or something a little less wimpy. The method of letting your enemies choose your animal is kind of goofy.

  87. Wouldn’t “Manly” need to be coded to a somewhat more common letter for names than “W” since it is one of the super important “I am afraid of rabbit poop” panicking words? Probably it should be attached to “T” or “J” or “A.” (M would be too obvious though.)

    I’m still waiting for my black helicopter to arrive for the Valkyrie swarm.

  88. Travis Sewell:

    “you have a very pronounced lisp.”

    You are the only person in the world who thinks so. This is, of course, leaving aside the fact that lisps and gayness don’t actually correlate. I do have a Southern Californian accent, although after 12 years in Ohio, it’s not as pronounced as it once was.

    “The method of letting your enemies choose your animal is kind of goofy.”

    I don’t suspect you have a very clear idea of what it is I’m doing re: the rabbits, or how I feel about them in a general sense, Travis.

  89. “I don’t suspect you have a very clear idea of what it is I’m doing re: the rabbits, or how I feel about them in a general sense, Travis.”

    I do, I just don’t agree with the method. I don’t think dudes walking around in a shirt with a pink and purple bunny is what you could call winning the argument; you’re still walking around in a shirt with a pink and purple bunny.

  90. Travis Sewell:

    You are indicating that you don’t, in fact, have a very clear idea of what I am doing, Travis, despite protestations to the contrary. Which is fine, mind you.

  91. John, you can keep hitting yourself in the balls with a rubber mallet and claim I don’t have a clear idea of what you’re doing but the outcome is self-evident.

  92. Travis Sewell:

    The fact you think this constitutes hitting myself in the balls means, to repeat, you haven’t the slightest clue what’s actually going on here. That’s the only thing that’s actually self-evident, I’m afraid to say. And again, that’s fine, but it’s getting repetitive at this point. Let it go, is my suggestion.

  93. And just what is WRONG with walking around in a shirt with a pink and purple bunny on it?? That’s what I’d like to know. Be specific!

  94. Huh. Whaddya know, I found something here on WP that references both my Alpha Bits comment and the whole PRISM kerfuffle.

    http://mediumlarge.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/medium-large-comic-friday-june-7-2013/

    John, you are so clearly from the greater Los Angeles area that it is, like, totally obvious. Although I notice your vowels go a bit Midwestern at times. But the dialogue in “Redshirts” rang so true, whereas novels written by people who’ve obviously never spent time in LA sometimes make me grit my teeth. It’s often hella atrocious <– and now students of American speech can tell you my accent.

    And Panic Boys who think "teh ghey" is lesser and wimpy should feel free to tell that to Alexander the Great, who was as Alpha as a person can get. His short life influenced a major chunk of Eurasia for centuries, and over 2300 years after he died, we still know his name.

  95. @Travis, the 80s called. They hung up before I could warn them neon isn’t actually flattering, but they did pass on that the whole “gay men all lisp” thing was on its way out.

    @ThrustDefender: better make sure you’re not using Game Mode.

  96. Gamma Rabbit isn’t John hitting himself in the balls. Gamma Rabbit is John picking his nose and chasing all the trolls around the yard with what he’s got on the end of his finger. And he’ll keep it up for as long as it makes them squeal like pigs. Yeah, I said it: Gamma Rabbit is John’s BOOGER BUNNY.

  97. Pasta Damn it John – I want to have your babies! #6 is the perfect cherry on your sundae of critical deconstruction of poor little mancave. You do these take downs better than anyone I know & each one is a gem.

    I would not be surprised if the silly child appears again to defend himself and insist you stop bothering him – HA!

  98. ManCave Thrust sounds like the not-very-bright prehistoric protagonist of a swiftly cancelled 1970’s children’s television series. I can just see the dodgy animation and friendly anachronistic dinosaurs.

  99. “Let it go, is my suggestion.”

    They never let it go, Scalzi. Makes them easy to mock, so it’s fine with me. (Note: I was going to ALL-Cap the word “never” for emphasis but decided to be prudent, given the post this thread is based on.)

    Also, you don’t have any sort of lisp, but you still don’t speak like a native Ohioan. You’ll get the hang of it sooner or later. People take lessons to be able to speak like us.

  100. Ugh. I’m not sure what this is all a reference to, but I googlified ‘alpha game’ and found a cultish, cantish website that made me want to roll my eyes out of my head.

    Seriously, that’s some weak eff’d up stuff there.

  101. I think The He-Man Wimmin-Haters were upset by John’s ability to apologise properly. Surely he would come over to the anti feminist side after the SFWA thing. Noooooooo! Same dude has been trolling FtB too.

  102. Is it just me or did he actually use ‘tight ass’ as some sort of positive description of his life? And is rabbit poops a thing now? I think I must need to work harder to keep up with how the kids are talking these days.

    He probably should have capitalized Alpha Game, though that might have ended up looking like the title of a third rate Robert Ludlum novel.

  103. I take issue with your taking issue with the writer using ONE all caps word. Yelling the whole rant is tedious, but yelling one word for emphasis looks entirely reasonable to me.

  104. @Scalzi and David M. Perry:

    Proper Response to someone asking if you are gay:

    “Bend over and lets find out”

    — George Carlin

    I don’t think this should be deleted. Its not really vulgar and just makes a reference. Plus its funny and its from Carlin….

  105. It’s funny; I was just reflecting upon this latest anti-feminist bout of hysteria, and I finally got the irony of the gamma rabbit. I just got back from a holiday away in a house that keeps 5 rabbits, you see. Bunnies are eternally grumpy, and will attempt a spirited disembowelling/biting match if you attempt to pick one up. In fact, the five bunnies had to be split into two groups because of their viciousness (two Jersey Woollies attempted something very much like an orchiectomy of their brother).
    Of the cats, dogs and rabbits in the house, the only ones never pleased to see me was the bunnies.

  106. Guess: I’ve found a good response if someone of the same sex asks me if I’m gay to say, “I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I’m not interested in you that way.” This is both true and courteous.

  107. Now I’m disappointed about the summer I spent as an intern at a cable news station and only fielded one phone call from the differently realitied (and that particular summer should have seen a bumper crop).

  108. [Jimbot let his snark get away with him, I think. Let's try to be polite with others, please - JS]

  109. Danika, I’m with you on the rabbits. I used to feed my then-neighbors’ rabbit when they were out of town, and she was not an animal one would want to tangle with. She’d much rather bite me than look at me.

    And then there’s the whole fucking-like-bunnies simile. Since when is that kind of sex drive wimpy?

  110. I apologize to the board. But part one was true in part. Even happily married alpha men have learned to say “yes dear”, Lysistrata had it pegged centuries ago.

  111. Lysistrata, destroyer of armies. The women want peace and they get their way eventually, but it’s primarily an embarrassment comedy about the men being too horny to walk upright.

  112. …like that would work in Ancient Greece! Yeah, the men would just go horny if the women cut them off. NOT.

  113. The funny thing is that Lysistrata makes no sense. The women go on a sex strike because they want their husbands to come home from their endless wars. But if the husbands are away at war, how would they even know about the strike?

  114. @MRAL:
    IIRC from the Classics subjects I took at university, in general the Greeks would have their wars in seasons, and would be home for winter. I *think* from memory it was spring that they would fight, on the fields in front of one of the cities.
    So yes, you can have a sex strike for the long winters (or whatever) when your husband is home.

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