Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Real Goddamned mail, soon to be delivered by drones

I don't know for sure, because I'm too lazy to look it up, but this might be the first appearance of the duck.

From College Misery, March 28, 2012

Real Goddamned Mail: The Censorship Edition.

Listen, I've just had three bottles of Orange Crush. Do you feel me? In glass bottles. My supermarket sells them that way and they are, like, the greatest tasting soda pops I've ever had. When I drink them I get a little high, a little more truthful. There is an ingredient in them that brings me a level of clarity, and I have chased them down because I need to open up this window to the loyal readers of CM.

Oh, I didn't introduce myself. I'm the RGM. That's Real Goddamned Moderator, no matter how many clever-tons try to reverse engineer it to Real Goon Moderator in their hysterical emails. (No, stop, my ribs are tickling.)

I've collected some recent email that I'll now share with you, in the manner:


  • I wanted to write to tell you how much I appreciate you keeping one eye on the page and one finger on Delete. Xxxxxxxx is a pain in the ass. I direct you to these comment threads: Xxxxxxxxxxx, Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx, and Xxxxxxxxxxxx. It's not just me sick of him; a bunch of folks can tell he's just another version of a troll trying to get a rise. I hate to admit I took the bait a couple of times, and it pissed me off half the day. Thanks for saving me the trouble. This page has got a level of discourse that's better than any place else I visit, and the people on here have been saviors to my sanity endlessly. When assholes try to ruin it, like Xxxxxxxx before he went away, it does a real disservice to what can be accomplished here. I'm sure you take shit for it, but thanks for keeping the sandbox safe.

  • Who died and made you constable? 

  • Where in the rules does it say we can't be assholes? That's what you mean, right? Except you let your "favorites" do whatever they want. The rest of us get cut off like kiddies shuffled to the little table at Thanksgiving. Fuck that. You can't delete everything because then you wouldn't have enough HITS to get your boner all hard and earn that big Google money. You know who you should delete is that fucking Xxxxxxx. She's out of her mind.

  • I take exception to your heavy hand with moderation. I didn't sign up for that.

  • I have been reading your page for several weeks now, and I see a real problem. What you should be doing is encouraging debate, not shutting it down. I see lately you've censored a number of comments by Xxxxxxxxx. I don't know him personally, but he is active on a couple of other boards that I read. He's funny. Maybe that's what your problem is. He's actually funny, and he's got a razor sharp view. He's tweaking you stuck up academics and that's maybe too much for you. Now, don't get me wrong, I value college and education, but professors? You're supporting the wrong group. I'm not ergo a professor, but I give several lectures each year at Xxxxxxx University. I'm the guy they call in when the professor is too tired from reading from the textbook. I have real world experience. I actually make enough money not to have to worry about attendance or Wikipedia. And my lectures are well attended and the class really gets into it. I talk the people's language. You can watch Professor Dunderhead over at the side thinking, "This guy is stealing my class," and he's right. For that hour or two I speak to the students about the real world, and they love me for it. You can't believe how many students stay afterwards, just to get my business card or to tell me how great my presentation was. I might hire some of these kids some day if Professor Dunderhead doesn't bash out their fire. But back to my concerns about how you moderate the page. I think you're shooting yourself in the foot by stopping anyone who has some real backtalk to your normal staid and boring whining. Like I said, you seem to only censor Xxxxxxxxx because he's funny, and he tweaks you guys. Lighten up a bit. Look at how he needles you. You need that. You need to listen to him and get with it. You'll be happier when you do. I probably won't stick around much longer the way you run things, but I thought you should know what would help you make this a better board.

All right, I've switched from Orange Crush to Fisherman's Wharf. Its effect is different. It's slowing me down, bringing on the self-loathing. I make Nixon look like a piker. Self doubt is swamping me. I'm unsure. Do I dare eat a peach?

But, the notes above are some that have come in recently about my heavy handed moderation. Please, if you'd like, bat some ideas around below. Or if that doesn't interest you, you may look at this duck:




  1. That stupid misuse of "ergo" in the last one -- so appropriate!

    1. I meet that guy (or his equivalent) about once a year at a social gathering of some sort: he doesn't want to actually teach a whole class, but he'd love to "substitute" for me some time (which it's very clear he envisions as pontificating to a group of adoring potential acolytes for an hour). These volunteers always kind of deflate when I explain that, by a few weeks into the class, I try to have things set up so that the students can move their work forward without me for a period or two if need be (with appropriate directions/guidance, of course). I think I'm bursting their semi-retirement fantasy of what college teaching would be like. You mean it's all about helping the students figure things out by themselves, while the instructor provides often-invisible-to-the-students guidance from the sidelines? horrors! Obviously, this model doesn't work for every discipline, but for the fields these professionals would be likely to teach -- business, government/international relations, and the like -- I suspect that case-study and other inquiry/discussion-based methods are much more common in the college classroom than they think. Bottom line: it's pretty easy to tell students all about what *you* have done over the course of a career. Getting them to the point where they can do it, too, in the same sort of ever-changing circumstances that you faced, is much, much harder -- and it's also what can properly be called "teaching."