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Jan 21, 2004
Another thing on my list of pathetic
things to be proud of, is the line:
"Is it because of your rat's ass
that you came to see me?"
I think that's tremendously funny, but
it makes no sense out of context, so
now I'll have to provide it.
Once upon a time, I was exploring a now-dead
mailing list by the name of "crackmonkey". (Web-archives of
it still exist).
At that time it was totally dominated
by male techies spewing insults. The
idiotic, forumlaic nature of a lot of
this was bugging me, and off and on I
was suggesting that it was all ("Did you ever get
automated. the feeling that
you were the last
human being in a
I think the source of the trouble world inhabited by
with the crackmonkey list (should bots?").
you give a rat's ass) was it's tag
line, which was:
CrackMonkey: Non-sequitur arguments and ad-hominem personal attacks
I'm pretty sure that the reason Nick Moffitt
went for this is that he's an old-school net
head, the kind of guy who likes to express
himself in a blunt, direct way without
worrying about nicey-nice twits hassling him
for being "impolite". So this tag line is a
joke of sorts (one might even call it
"ironic"), a way of heading off the people
who want to report you to their kindergarden
teacher if you call them a twit.
The trouble with this kind of thing is
that most people are totally deaf to
irony, and over time, the list
attracted people who thought that
content was forbidden and insults were Or such is my
required. analysis of
But back to the story: on
the subject of jwz's take
on C++, someone responded
"I don't give a rat's ass
about jwz's opinion about C++".
And days later, it occured to me that
the perfect comeback would be the line
I mentioned at the outset.
Warning, tedious exposition ahead!
You see, it's a reference to the
infamous "Eliza" experiment in
psychoanlysis with a computer
program, now enshrined inside of
emacs as "Esc-x doctor". In
fact, as long as I'm being
tedious, here's a sample session:
I am the psychotherapist. Please, describe your problems.
Each time you are finished talking, type RET twice.
I don't give a rat's ass about my problems.
I would appreciate it if you would watch your tongue!
I can't stick it out that far.
Can you elaborate on that?
I can touch my nose with it, but not my eyeballs.
Is it because not your eyeballs that you came to me?
There we go. It doesn't take long for the
"doctor" to get stuck and try a line like
"Is it because of your XXX that you came to
see me?"; though it's grasp of English is
so poor that it has trouble picking out a
good noun phrase.
So the parody line:
"Is it because of your rat's
ass that you came to see me?"
Does a beautiful job of accusing the poster
of mindless remarks; while simultaneously
insulting his butt.
But alas, the sad spirit of the escalator
runs groaning through these remarks, and as
you might guess, I never did make this
reply. The time had passed; the window for
a barbed quip had closed; day-old
cleverness is no cleverness at all.
And the crackmonkey list itself is now
no more... Someone called the Boston
Redsox a bunch of assholes, and Nick
Moffitt responded with a rmlist.
Ah proud crackmonkey,
to be brought down by
a sports flame....
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