you’ll probably get some questions about who you are and the like so perhaps include a short intro?
Fair enough - but if there’s a thing in this world I truly suck at it’s giving a short answer...it’s one of a litany of reasons that until perhaps a year or two ago I was an avowed lurker since there was an internet to lurk within. I flatter myself that I read at least moderately widely but I sleep poorly & a really good book deserves more of mind than there is to call upon behind these eyes from time to time. So an arguably unhealthy amount of my reading material these days seems to be online. I find I learn a lot on a regular basis. Much of it in places that not only resemble but include the likes of thesaladbowl & groupthink.
There are other such sub-blogs with content I enjoy immensely but I think those two have sustained me through more hours of should-have-been-sleeping-or-working time than very possibly any mainpage site that isn’t currently answering to the name AVClub.
As/when I’m using this account I guess I’m called Jake the same way MBCock is Milton Berle [although I should make it quite clear that Uncle Milton is not the person typing these lines out in any sense or by any stretch of the imagination...I’m not nearly that good at math] but if I had my druthers “I” wouldn’t be anything but another grey voice in the wilderness eavesdropping on the most interesting conversations I could find in the sprawling juke joint that is Kinjatown.
I elevated a group of Bowlers to mods so their backs might be up a bit (with good reason) with a new user who is sharing to the site.
When they summarily executed Splinter one dark & fateful night I was more than a little taken aback by the gap that left in the meagre supply I had hitherto found of ways to remind myself I might not in fact be the thing that was crazy out of me & the shit I was seeing play out before me day after day in the news...& more importantly that there were a lot more smart, talented, motivated & (when - as it so often does - the occasion calls for it) delightfully snarky folks on Kinja that used to perform that godlike miracle on a sustained & regular basis...& probably still were had I the wit to find them somewhere doing it.
I’d ridden my stalking horse through a succession of incarnations of the site &/or platform that became Splinter/Kinja for a good few years before the world lost its collective marbles & I think I’d underestimated quite how useful I’d found it to be over & above the idle amusement factor. It wasn’t until a year or so after what currently passes for an administration ram-raided the rose garden that I cracked & posted my first comments online...even then mostly to myself down in the greys where I believe I most likely fit most naturally.
Not least since all manner of things that I’d complacently considered to be settled matters of needful & overdue progress were (& still are...& look to continue to be) being thrown back several times further than I could throw a certain tangerine toddler in a badly-fitted suit absent the options of a cliff or the Prague classic of defenestration...
& although these days I think I can probably count more family members in the US than the UK I was raised on the rainy little island that’s busily trying to pull its own fly-by-night ditch & dash in a frankly insane bid to give the reins of power to people who believe that by dint of what might charitably be described as magical thinking (but perhaps more accurately be described as akin to the very lowest forms of trolling writ large...) literal impossibilities are to them as they were to Lewis Carroll when he came up with this little rejoinder:
“Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said. ‘One can’t believe impossible things.’
‘I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. There goes the shawl again!’”
...so my sense of humor is a tad bleak & arguably an acquired taste.
I flatter myself that I possess the latter in at least moderate supply, however - so when I created the SplinterRIP account it was intended as little more than a piece of personal shorthand. At the time I didn’t expect anyone to interact with the account other than me on an occasional basis to add names to the accounts that it followed.
If I had a purpose at that stage it was pretty rudimentary. I didn’t feel like I knew Kinja in general or the accounts I most appreciated reading well enough to know where or how I was most likely to be able to avail myself of their assorted bursts of wit, insight, analysis, information, explanation or straight up testimony...& it was a Sunday...& I hadn’t slept...& I could have used a little of that feisty back & forth for company. Also, the Blues Brothers & The Princess Bride may have been seminal works in the opinion of my psyche...
I figured the name might incline one or two folks to think I was a troll trying to twist the knife about the bell tolling for Splinter. Since all I thought I was doing was building a list of bookmarks (following the aggregated feed of all the posts of ten dozen or so account names I could remember or recognize as I went swiftly & obviously became utterly impractical & I didn’t fancy an army of bookmark sock-puppets of the sort I’d occasionally suspected certain sorts of trolls to be building up as they went) I stuck up a single post to serve as an I-am-not-a-troll notice for the sake of courtesy & figured that would be that.
When a modest flurry of people began talking to the account I checked that I didn’t think I’d imagined what I’d read about how to create a place like thesaladbowl & to begin with thought my lack of success following suit was my personal ineptitude &/or because I was starting with a burner account.
It was made clear to me that the functionality had instead been intentionally deprecated...but a bunch of people seemed to be having a moderately fun time of it & it was helping take the edge off the Splinter thing so I borrowed from all over as many shops as I could call to mind & managed to rope in some seriously top-drawer assistance in bootstrapping the immutable password property of the burner account into an ersatz form of group blog admin rights for a little less than a dozen enthusiastic individuals who made a powerfully decent stab at recreating an environment not unlike Splinter that was perhaps a few dozen to hundred or so strong in terms of a crowd until they told Deadspin to “stick to sports”. It snowballed a little from there before getting run off the road & flung into the deepest ditch on hand.
One of our little Skeleton Crew had created a sort of digital Flying Dutchman on the gamer-chat Discord platform (called Left of Dead) & one or two others had pre-emptively put together a DeadspinRIP, too. So for a week or two it was all fun & games until somebody old enough to know better threw their toys out of the pram & threatened to throw the baby out with the bathwater for an encore.
The whole thing was something of a riot in a number of different senses (& if you poke about a bit starting from the scrapbook of a few of Milton’s Daily Open Threads you’ll see what I mean) but shortly after both the RIP blogs were un-named & cast into a randomly numbered URL oubliette [& our posting rights to the account(s) severed along with] I set this account up by signing in with the SplinterRIP gmail credentials & set about trying to list a few posts that gave a sense of the sort of thing that seemed to have been being enjoyed by what turned out to be the literal thousands of people who found either those places or otherwise made their way over to a sort of kinja-whatsapp group on Discord in the fortnight or so that we held onto that particular paper tiger’s tail. Left of Dead is still merrily thundering away at a pace I can’t keep up with & a number of other spots sprang up about the place - r/SplinterRIP is a thing, even...which feels a little bit like making it into the listings for the internet’s unofficially official phone directory or something.
That same set of cats dreaming their digital dreams by the thousands over on Discord are universally accounts I’d rather people were interested in than my long-winded & self-indulgent ass except to the extent that I learned it was possible to not only actively moderate the comment sections of blogs like these but the possible methods of posting stuff “above the line” without it coming from a “personal” account you don’t want uninvited guests perusing more than can be helped are to some degree also more extensive than I’d supposed.
If I can find the time - & I’m starting to think increasingly that I may be of a mind to try to do so - there are other things I think I’d like to pull that scrapbook trick on...like trolls & harassment in threads that were dead & dismissed & other things that happen quietly in the wings of this system which in my opinion ought not to need to be...or articles linked by themes that once appeared on Splinter in an easier to find manner.
The whole thing is a work in progress that people are (obviously) welcome to take or leave as they please but I would like it known that I have strictly the politest of intentions - & whilst I may not be a terribly experienced online dance partner I only ever step on undeserving toes inadvertently.
& I always apologise if it’s called to my attention.
Just show the community you’re not crazy :)
...can I plead the fifth? I mean, I’ve accidentally wound up committing to an arguably not-that-smart-or-funny gag bit to a degree elaborate enough that (& this is where I may convince some folks that I am in fact the crazy kind of crazy) even the actual TomatoFace stopped by to say a series of remarkably complimentary things about how in another life I might have had a shot at developing some actual game in the trolling stakes.
I certainly meant no harm & tend to think it might even have done a bit of good to someone other than myself...
so if I set to building scrapbooks with a bit more frequency &/or scope I’d very much like to include a fair bit of your collective efforts if you wouldn’t mind?
Once again, I don’t mind at all. This is a community that does not hold back so if anyone has any concerns or issues, they’ll let you know.
I tend to think of that as being one of your more endearing collective traits, so I wouldn’t doubt it any more than I’d have it any other way.