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June 29, 2013 4:32 PM   Subscribe

First, SomethingAwful posted a parody of LifeHacker's How I Work series that imagined it interviewing famed Internetter Nick Smith, aka Ulillillia. Then Smith responded with a detailed 18-point critique of the original post. "Though not an all-out error, I primarily use paper towels instead of napkins for degreasing. Paper towels are far more effective and they practically never stick like napkins pretty much always do (they still do, depending on various circumstances (grease level of cheese and the food's temperature being the main ones)."
posted by Rory Marinich (30 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
Mkay, Rory. It's time for you to come out and face the truth.

We will not judge or reject you, but you need to come clean with us, okay?

Now, look us in the eyes and say "I am Rory and I am a Goon."

Go on, you can do it.
posted by Samizdata at 4:42 PM on June 29, 2013 [11 favorites]


I lost my forum password and their stupid password recovery doesn't work! :'(
posted by Rory Marinich at 4:43 PM on June 29, 2013


I still basically want to slap anyone who mocks Ulillillia; or really anyone who mocks anyone whose experience of the world is harmlessly different. The impulse to ostracize is one of the worst human traits.

I find Ulillillia's thought process baffling and I doubt we'd get along, but he seems like an okay person and the pointing-and-laughing element of stuff like this makes me very uncomfortable.
posted by byanyothername at 4:52 PM on June 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


the pointing-and-laughing element of stuff like this makes me very uncomfortable.

You don't get it. It's pointing and laughing at people like Cory Doctorow.
posted by charlie don't surf at 4:58 PM on June 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


Rory Marinich: "I lost my forum password and their stupid password recovery doesn't work! :'("

It's worked for me...ummmm...my friend on multiple occasions.
posted by Samizdata at 4:59 PM on June 29, 2013


Yeah, the joke is not "look at how weird this guy is", it's "look at how obsessed LifeHacker is with providing you meticulous details about a guy's life and workflow", and Nick is used in the parody because meticulousness is what he's famous for.
posted by Rory Marinich at 5:01 PM on June 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


What else is there to say.

He has zero Joysticks in his possession let alone a "Gravis" joystick.His desktop computer features one of the top-notch processors around. Altoids do not effect his energy levels.

How do you like the works of Claes Toldenburg, SA, because I believe you just witnessed a large scale public installation of fuckin told.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:02 PM on June 29, 2013 [16 favorites]


Oh I get it. It is a scathing indictmement of modern Journalism in the age of 24 hour cable.Accuracy is often sacrificed for ratings.

I didn't know you were a gamer Mainstream Media. I believe I see a copy of Knights of the Told Republic sitting on your coffee table in that pic of your housewarming party you just instagramed.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:34 PM on June 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


If anyone hasn't, they should listen to the interview with Ulillillia on A Life Well Wasted. Also, every other episode of ALWW.
posted by TimeDoctor at 6:29 PM on June 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just for those who were too busy playing Neopets and updating their Xangas while SA was at its peak, the tone of all of this is facetious and the Goon is not absolutely slagging off on someone who is displaying autism-spectrum characteristics? They're both in on the joke, right? And the ultimate point is that LifeHacker is banal and sucks and not a good replacement for an ADHD coach or something?
posted by dubusadus at 7:31 PM on June 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yes, pretty much. SomethingAwful is cynical compared to, say, The Believer (or LifeHacker), but it has a heart, for all its assholishness. Zack Parsons, who wrote this update, is pretty vocally critical of rape culture, casual racism, and other unintended or "oblivious" hurtful mannerisms which people then try to excuse. His posting of Ulillillia's response was straightforward and unmocking, which was what prompted me to post it: that acknowledgment that the original LifeHacker parody wasn't nearly as good as Nick Smith's response.
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:36 PM on June 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


For my part, I was playing along by pretending to take it literally. I do not support rape culture, racism, or ableism.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:53 PM on June 29, 2013


Yeah, I guess I just have an innate distrust of SA since I lurked the Rhizzone a little while ago and from all the things I hear from a buddy of mine who posts on WDDP. The VileRat comment about the laughable Xhosa girl is a meme on the Rhizzone but it's hard not to take everything they say with a grain of salt. Glad to hear that this was all pretty much aboveboard.
posted by dubusadus at 7:55 PM on June 29, 2013


I second the motion that the joke is on LifeHacker, and that LifeHacker's How I Work series would only be interesting if it really did focus on people such as Ulillillia. He is awesome, and no more or less neurotypical than many other people whose work I enjoy.

Also, Ulillillia is totally right about paper towels vs. napkins, especially with regard to the napkins that are at pizza places.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:58 PM on June 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, it's pretty clear that SA is in fact firmly in Nick's corner, having given him a platform (from which he boarded the Told Ironsides Express and officiated at the ribbon-cutting ceremony up in Toldwater Canyon).
posted by jake at 8:00 PM on June 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also anyone who thinks Uli is a singular example of weirdness in this particular gamer-culture scene needs to spend some time in the romhacking / speedrunning / game-glitching / chiptune reverse-engineering / homebrew console dev scenes, this is a deep deep rabbit hole full of genius-insane tightrope-walkers. If you are able to fully appreciate why certain things are crazy in terms of technique or precision or creation methods, you will never stop being blown away / terrified / humbled by them.
posted by jake at 8:07 PM on June 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I haven't talked to Uli directly but I'm familiar with some of the guys jake is talking about and they're those people you sit and talk to and have a good conversation with and the whole time you're thinking "I legitimately cannot tell if this person is so much smarter than me they seem to be operating on a completely different level or they're just completely bonkers."
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 8:13 PM on June 29, 2013


"Lifehacker, I wasn't ready for this. Just.... this was cool. That's all I can make out in the midst of the incessant fangirl babbling in my head. Thank you so much."

Ugh
posted by Brocktoon at 10:05 PM on June 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


The VileRat comment about the laughable Xhosa girl is a meme on the Rhizzone but it's hard not to take everything they say with a grain of salt.

And we have an impressive early contender for least comprehensible sentence on MetaFilter of 2013. Probably my money would have been on it being about EVE Online, but SomethingAwful is a strong dark horse.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 10:17 PM on June 29, 2013 [12 favorites]


There's a thread in SA's Games about Ullillillia, and making fun of him in that thread is a bad idea. The general tone seems to be a combination of affection and dismay.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:01 AM on June 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


strangely stunted trees,

The VileRat

Sean Smith, AKA VileRat, was a moderator of SA's Debate and Discussion board. You might also remember him as one of the masterminds behind GoonFleet in EVE, and also for being killed in Benghazi on September 11th last year. Mitt Romney's clumsy attempts to use his death as an electoral weapon against Barack Obama did not endear him to goons.

comment about the laughable Xhosa girl

This references a gross, racist thing VileRat said about the Xhosa people. You can see it here.

is a meme on the Rhizzone

About five years ago there was a subforum on the Something Awful Forums called "Laissez's Fair". This originated as a place to move threads about Ron Paul to, because people kept posting about Ron Paul and nobody wants to read that shit. After a few days lefty people started coming into LF and mocking and debating the Paulsies, and pretty soon the lefties were the only people posting in LF. This, combined with its relaxed enforcement of SA's posting standards, made it a fairly popular forum for people who like to joke about politics and talk about left-wing politics, and so it remained until people joking about making death threats against the President earned Lowtax a visit from the Secret Service, causing Lowtax to decide that LF was more trouble than it was worth and shutting it down.

WDDP and the Rhizzone are basically offsite LFs, WDDP being an offshoot of the old Worst Debate and Discussion Poster thread in Helldump (a now-closed SA subforum that was like Metatalk but for assholes) and the Rhizzone being founded to replace LF after its closure).

but it's hard not to take everything they say with a grain of salt.

People who post on the Rhizzone tend to do so without a lot of seriousness a lot of the time, so it's best not to always rely on what they say.

(That said, the Xhosa comment is real, so.)
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:13 AM on June 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


Thanks, that's a very thorough explanation, and I'm relieved to hear that EVE is involved after all.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 6:49 AM on June 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


The SA goons found Ulillillia many many many moons ago. His site may have originally been a submission for the old Awful Link of the Day; my memory is hazy on that, but there definitely was a discovery thread posted in the GBS subforum. After the initial group of people who always say "Laugh at this freak I'm pointing to" fell off, though, the thread readers kind of took Ulillillia under their wing. People seem to recognize that Nick's a very unique individual, a man seemingly dispossessed of any irony whatsoever, who's enjoying life by doing what he wants to do exactly how he wants to, and that he probably doesn't need any more mocking in his life. Ulillillia doesn't need extra protection either, you've seen how he shuts down trolls with stonewall responses. ("If you know what I mean.")

Like Pope Guilty said, the current thread about Ulillillia is both fascinated by and worried about his situation. And anybody who comes in trying to just make fun of the guy is shot down damn near instantly.
posted by Spatch at 8:47 AM on June 30, 2013


I just skimmed through a recent video of his in-progress game, Platform Masters. The level of detail and thought is pretty astounding for one man, and I particularly found the parallax effects and general feel to be be pretty affecting in a way.
posted by Magnakai at 10:51 AM on June 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


For an example of how Nick works, check out the cover of his self-published book, Legend of the 10 Elemental Masters. You might think to yourself that he used some sort of script or photoshop tool to create the wash of colors in the title text. No, instead he used a spreadsheet program and worked out each individual pixel. Dude is fucking painstaking about this sort of work, even when he's doing it in ways that would seem strange, suboptimal, or just plain nuts to the rest of us.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:18 AM on June 30, 2013


How do you like the works of Claes Toldenburg, SA, because I believe you just witnessed a large scale public installation of fuckin told.

Oh my god. This is my new favorite sentence on all of the internets.
posted by sriracha at 11:18 AM on June 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Helldump a now-closed SA subforum that was like Metatalk but for assholes

I was on SA for maybe three months or so in 2007, when I was just entering college. I didn't stay long because I bet the fitness forum that I could stay on my program. I couldn't, so I got banned. I got onto the fitness program because I browsed Helldump.

My nightmares are wallpapered with goons.jpg; the bookshelves have nothing but goons.txt.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:44 PM on June 30, 2013


So this post sent me down the rabbithole of Ullilllia again, and wow, he moved out of his parent's house, moved cities, and is looking for a job! That's a big life change for anybody, let alone a dude who has basically spent the last 11 years after graduating from high school playing video games in his parent's house. Go Uli!

Has anyone seen that Platform Masters documentary yet?
posted by pravit at 7:55 PM on June 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Rustic Etruscan: "Helldump a now-closed SA subforum that was like Metatalk but for assholes

I was on SA for maybe three months or so in 2007, when I was just entering college. I didn't stay long because I bet the fitness forum that I could stay on my program. I couldn't, so I got banned. I got onto the fitness program because I browsed Helldump.

My nightmares are wallpapered with goons.jpg; the bookshelves have nothing but goons.txt.
"

That's...ummm...what my friend tells me is called a Toxx clause.
posted by Samizdata at 12:43 PM on July 2, 2013


Toxx clause, right. I couldn't remember that phrase, and I thought it would be more comprehensible to non-goons if I called it a bet.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:54 PM on July 2, 2013


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