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PAW PAW?
July 14, 2010 3:05 PM   Subscribe

Worlds collide on reddit! A redditor boasts about a party he once threw at his grandparent's house years ago, only to be busted in the same thread by his own grandfather. Watch his jaw drop in this thread as he slowly discovers that his grandfather is a beloved member of the community and even has his own Facebook group with more than 500 fans. And go read Grandpa Wiggly's website, it's great!
posted by PercussivePaul (97 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
That guy (and has wife) has a bizarre and wonderful sense of humour. The blog is pretty terrific reading. I'm psyched that older people are coming online in droves; it's good for everyone. Consider this post the antidote to yesterday's lolelderly post
posted by Nelson at 3:11 PM on July 14, 2010


Saw that evolve today, very funny and improbable stuff, Grandpawiggly was redditor of the week just last week.
posted by CitoyenK at 3:16 PM on July 14, 2010


Grandpa sez of BSG:

My disappointment lies with the majority of the second half of season four, pretty much everything except for the Zarek/Gaeta coup d'état. It was just so melodramatic. It became abundantly clear that Ronald D. Moore did not have a plan to close up shop; he was simply winging it. The finale was somewhat of a letdown, too, but it was satisfying. It gave me a sense of closure. I thought the flashbacks were useless, they added nothing.

For a show that was once a risk taker, it became the exact opposite in the end. Characters had nothing to do, like Lee Adama, who they should have killed off. Even my favorite, Gaius Baltar, had nothing to do during most of the last season. It was like the writers fell in love with their characters and were afraid to kill them off. That is the hardest thing about writing, but you have to do it. You have to be willing to kill your babies. Otherwise you end up with emptiness on the inside.


I HAVE FOUND THE LOVE OF MY LIFE
posted by angrycat at 3:17 PM on July 14, 2010 [8 favorites]


Adolph Hitler was not a lover of mayonnaise, which is really quite surprising considering mayonnaise is white and far superior to all other condiments.

Poetry!
posted by blue_beetle at 3:18 PM on July 14, 2010 [14 favorites]


So awesome. Welcome to the party, grandpa!
posted by loquacious at 3:19 PM on July 14, 2010


Not everyone is convinced

Popcorn, get ya popcorn!
posted by djgh at 3:19 PM on July 14, 2010 [7 favorites]


More fraud research
posted by Science! at 3:28 PM on July 14, 2010 [5 favorites]


Oh damn djgh, that just ruined my day.
posted by PercussivePaul at 3:29 PM on July 14, 2010


Eh, I don't care if it's fake or not. It's damn good story telling. Reminds me of Something Wicked This Way Comes or Dandelion Wine, but modernized and more irreverent.
posted by loquacious at 3:32 PM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I hate to be all "SHOPPED!" about this, but it seems pretty fake to me, just judging by the writing style in the original thread. This seems to be exploiting the weirdly patronizing and infantilizing Internet love for old people who can type and make pop-culture references.
posted by nasreddin at 3:32 PM on July 14, 2010 [9 favorites]


As much as I like the idea of the story, I thought the same thing re: fakery, but I'm never an asshole about such things until somebody else does the research.

I think that says something about me and that something isn't good.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:33 PM on July 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


Pawpwnwed.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:34 PM on July 14, 2010 [7 favorites]


My bullshit meter exploded and singed my eyebrows and now I have no eyebrows.
posted by dirigibleman at 3:34 PM on July 14, 2010 [27 favorites]


Wow, djgh, if that's true I don't know whether to be impressed or appalled. Maybe grandpawiggly and wordsauce are the same person. Maybe ohnoahhedidnt is also the same person, "exposing" his own fraud. Maybe all three are personas of Erik Martin, stealthily trying to draw traffic away from Digg and back to Reddit. Maybe PercussivePaul is also Erik Martin, fueling the fires of conspiracy and intrigue here on MetaFilter. And maybe, just maybe, I'm Erik Martin too.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 3:34 PM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well now I'm all embarrassed. Cynicism filter was a little too low today.
posted by PercussivePaul at 3:35 PM on July 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


The 75 year old guy that rents my garage apartment smokes weed and participates in various Internet fora. (I don't know which; I don't pry)

Why is it so hard to believe that older folks participate, too?
posted by wierdo at 3:36 PM on July 14, 2010


but i want it to be true :(
posted by angrycat at 3:39 PM on July 14, 2010


wierdo: Why is it so hard to believe that older folks participate, too?

It's not at all. I've met plenty of older folks online -- some of them on Metafilter.

However, when a younger person says "Hey I had this party at my grandpa's..." when answering a question and then, for no good reason, ends his post with "I guess there's no reason why I shouldn't post these pictures because it's not like I'm going to get busted for this party" and then someone responds with a pithy response and their screename on this forum is Grandpa.

Yeah, my bullshit detector just crapped itself.

But maybe I'm a cynic.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:40 PM on July 14, 2010 [8 favorites]


Why is it so hard to believe

Because the writing on his grandpawiggly site is the same stuff that's on the wordsauce kids old archived blog.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:42 PM on July 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


Faking an Internet identity is so mayo.
posted by Copronymus at 3:42 PM on July 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


PPaul: Please leave it up. It's worth reading, even if fake.
posted by megatherium at 3:43 PM on July 14, 2010


Ain't up to me. My naivety is preserved for the ages now.
posted by PercussivePaul at 3:43 PM on July 14, 2010 [8 favorites]


Where to place my outrage? I can never tell.
posted by fixedgear at 3:46 PM on July 14, 2010


I WANT TO BELIEVE
posted by entropicamericana at 3:55 PM on July 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


He's supposed to be old, like 26.
posted by Artw at 3:58 PM on July 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


This was on Reddit? Huh. So this exact same thing will happen on Digg next week.
posted by EmGeeJay at 4:00 PM on July 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


I prefer to believe Grandpa Wiggly is real and wordsauce is the fake identity.
posted by Neofelis at 4:01 PM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's fun trolling and it's better for your ticker if you play along and enjoy it.

(Although the whole "your good twin signed me up 2 years ago" line blows the credibility out of the water)
posted by vectr at 4:06 PM on July 14, 2010


Huh. [backs away slowly] I'll come back later, when all of this is figured out...
posted by limeonaire at 4:10 PM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I dunno about all the rest of this, but the name "Grandpa Wiggly" creeps me out.

"Come on, girlie, come and sit on Grandpa Wiggly's lap. Tee-hee!"

Ugh /shiver
posted by Xoebe at 4:20 PM on July 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Honestly, I don't think anyone on the internet is who they claim to be. Thanks, dhoyt! Conversely, since I don't trust anyone, I take everyone at their word. Or something.
posted by muddgirl at 4:24 PM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Anybody notice this?

ohnoahhedidnt 439 points440 points441 points 7 hours ago* [-]

OK, I'm fucking tired of this bullshit. GrandpaWiggly and wordsauce are both this retard. I've been watching him try to get traffic to his crappy blog Megorious for years now on Reddit by posting links to his own site on different accounts. This guy is a fucking troll and Reddit would be a much better place without him.

EDIT: Here is the proof

[Whois information redacted]: both wordsauce's old site megorious.com and his new site grandpawiggly.com have almost the same registration info, down to the creators phone number.

Here is an archive of the old site where you can see the writing is the same, even down to the mayo humor.

Thanks to euphorie for this tidbit:

Guy with the same name (GrandpaWiggly) also posts on the SomethingAwful forums, registered since 2004 and mostly about movies/television. Would fit with the film student theory. Additionally, only one picture of him exists EDIT 3 - Here is another "photo of wiggly" from his livejournal, not the same man.

EDIT 2 (thanks ILoveTriangles, I love them too):

http://digg.com/oddstuff/Mywifeisa_creep submitted by flyingsauvcer http://friendfeed.com/flyinsaucier/088cad53/grandpa-wiggly-did-ama-on-reddit-about-his

THIS GUY IS A TROLL. PLEASE UPVOTE!!!

posted by Mental Wimp at 4:26 PM on July 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


next on twitter, mayomygrandpaeats.
posted by Wuggie Norple at 4:28 PM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


That does seem to be a fair assessment of BSG though.
posted by Artw at 4:34 PM on July 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


Yeah, this is pretty much fake from the word "grandpa." That's a comedy choice, with the "out-of-touch"/"wouldn't expect him online"/"let's haul ass to Lollapalooza" connotations. A parent or aunt/uncle would have been much more believable.
posted by drjimmy11 at 4:36 PM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


'In hindsight I wish I had said something other than "PAW PAW"'
Who among us hasn't thought this same exact thing at least once in our lives?
posted by boo_radley at 4:39 PM on July 14, 2010


The internets are not as they seem. Proceed with caution.
posted by TwelveTwo at 4:45 PM on July 14, 2010


'In hindsight I wish I had said something other than "PAW PAW"'
Who among us hasn't thought this same exact thing at least once in our lives?


I'm guessing... the furries?
posted by hippybear at 4:46 PM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


There was no reason to believe that this wasn't true, until someone dug up proof that it wasn't. As people making up shit on the internet goes, though, this is one of the most awesome.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 4:53 PM on July 14, 2010


Also, I'm guessing "shit my dad says" isn't, in fact, shit that guy's dad says.
posted by maxwelton at 4:53 PM on July 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


MetaFilter: Did I mention that he jerks it to Batman?
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 4:53 PM on July 14, 2010


Preposterous, the idea that this could be a troll. Redditors aren’t usually known to swallow bullshit that would appeal to their vanities and insecurities. It’s a mystery to me why Condé Nast is letting a community of such charming, intellectual young men circle the drain.
posted by lurkfirst at 4:57 PM on July 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


Has anybody considered the possibility that he's his own grandpa?
posted by The Confessor at 5:00 PM on July 14, 2010 [17 favorites]


(It's funny, I know.)
posted by The Confessor at 5:00 PM on July 14, 2010


I cant believe there are people on the internet who would lie about who they really are.

- Cortex
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 5:04 PM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I will cut you.
posted by cortex at 5:11 PM on July 14, 2010 [18 favorites]


I dunno about all the rest of this, but the name "Grandpa Wiggly" creeps me out.

I'm guessing the name is a reference to either the band Uncle Wiggly or to the Uncle Wiggily Longears children's story books, from which the band name was taken.
posted by dammitjim at 5:15 PM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I can't find the pictures but about a month ago, we had the wildest party in my daughters' rooms who luckily aren't expected back for at least six months and we really fucked up the place.

Unfortunately I had to call a couple of contractors on Monday to give us competing prices to repair the sheetrock and repaint the walls. If they give us a good price maybe they can install thermal windows while they're at it.
posted by digsrus at 5:21 PM on July 14, 2010


O tempora, o mores, o internets!
posted by The Whelk at 5:29 PM on July 14, 2010


I can't find the pictures but about a month ago, we had the wildest party in my daughters' rooms who luckily aren't expected back for at least six months and we really fucked up the place.

DAAAAAD! Yr soooo embarasing.
posted by piratebowling at 5:31 PM on July 14, 2010


I don't understand why this is so crazy. I mean, yes, he may be a troll, but sooner or later you're going to have cool old people on the internet. In fact I believe it may already be too late.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:39 PM on July 14, 2010


nasreddin: "exploiting the weirdly patronizing and infantilizing Internet love for old people who can type and make pop-culture references"

My hair is mostly gray, and I accept your weirdly patronizing and infantilizing Internet love. Where have you all been all my life?
posted by mwhybark at 5:44 PM on July 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


In fact I believe it may already be too late.

Christ, I'm not that fucking old.
posted by maxwelton at 5:44 PM on July 14, 2010


I should clarify: I accept it only via pixels.
posted by mwhybark at 5:47 PM on July 14, 2010


Reader comprehension and analysis. Those two missing skills are most apparent on the interwebs these days. Must be the whole social web phenomenon. Either that or redditors are stupid*.

* I have an account, but I'm not easily fooled by teenagers.
posted by jsavimbi at 5:50 PM on July 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Will someone tell me whether I'm supposed to be enjoying this or not?
posted by norm at 5:54 PM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


My bullshit detector was beeping like crazy as soon as I saw those photos. Those circus performers seem either a) hired, or b) someone's painfully embarrassing parents. In any case, nothing particularly controversial seems to be happening, other than having a few people over to stand around looking bored.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:55 PM on July 14, 2010


(Which is to say, "busted" for what, exactly?)
posted by Sys Rq at 5:56 PM on July 14, 2010


Saw that evolve today, very funny and improbable stuff, Grandpawiggly was redditor of the week just last week.

Wait, redditor of the week?
posted by Sailormom at 6:03 PM on July 14, 2010


There was no reason to believe that this wasn't true

Except that it was so obviously fake and toooooo perfectly coincidental from the very first moment.
posted by Saxon Kane at 6:08 PM on July 14, 2010


redditor of the week just last week

I believe you mean redditor of the weak ... last week.

/early nineties cliché insults for $200, Alex
posted by Sys Rq at 6:09 PM on July 14, 2010


"Wiggly" responds to outers:

panek, you have shook my faith in my fellow man today. Posting sensitive information about my family all over Reddit is despicable. Leave them alone. Your tiff is with me. You may think you know everything but you know diddly. My grandson sent you a private message and what did you do? You took it and used it against him, exposing his identity to the world. He is not me, I am not him. Once my other grandson sees what has transpired here this situation will only get worse. I will have no part in it and I hope that they won't either.
Yes, my grandson had a blog, I wouldn't call it a failed blog, it landed him a job writing for The Onion (still wonder where my interest came from?). He had paid up through the year so instead of letting it go to waste he gave it to me. It was a sweet gesture that now we both regret. I only started a blog at the encouragement of Redditors. I never openly solicited selling my incomplete memoirs. The only publishing I had planned to do was on my blog that I started at the behest of the Reddit community. I never solicited money. I never planned on making money. According to my grandson, my blog made a whooping $5.12. I plan to spend most of it on Fancy Feast. I can probably get six or seven cans, more if it's on sale. If it makes you feel better I'll donate the whole $5.12 to Reddit Gold. I don't want people to get the wrong idea.
Despite what you think, you have no right to post information about anyone but yourself on a public forum. I beg the modulators and administers to remove any and all personal information about me or my family. That is unless you will do it, panek. I am asking you from one man to another to do this.
It took me two years to feel comfortable on Reddit. You took that away in less than a day and all with piddly circumstantial bupkis. An outsider strolled in here and created an account and posted nothing substantial and you ate it up because that's what you do. You haven't just broken a man here today, you've crippled a community by unnecessarily splintering it right down the middle.

posted by mecran01 at 6:11 PM on July 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


His first response to the Grandpaw person gave it all away. If you're going to try to pull something like this off, the very first response is the most imperative. He failed and made it blatantly obvious as soon as he queued up that ridiculous reply. You'd think someone who fed into two fake/promotional accounts for two years would know better, but maybe not.
posted by june made him a gemini at 6:14 PM on July 14, 2010


Is this some kind of Reddit thing?
posted by Max Power at 6:16 PM on July 14, 2010


Some communities get very excited when the insular world that exclusively reflects their priorities back to them seems to attract someone who would normally be considered an outsider. How redditors celebrate a senior citizen among them (or hardcore gamers and a girl) is very similar to how conservatives love black Republicans. It seems like they have the narrow focus and interests of the community, but deeply resent that this puts them outside the mainstream. Like how they resent games not being considered art.

Rather than accepting their marginal status, they have a sense of entitlement that their worldview, which they consider to be superior, ought to be dominant. The presence of a member who is demographically unusual seems to hold out the promise that they could have it both ways - the narrow worldview, but also universal acceptance, because it allows them to deny their exclusionary practices and deny that race/class/age/gender/etc. are factors that make their worldview attractive to begin with.

Without trying to generalize about an entire subculture, I think there's a kind of (mainly nonpolitical) reactionary/conservative logic in some parts of the tech-geek-gamer subculture that manifests itself as entitlement to privilege and power.
posted by AlsoMike at 6:17 PM on July 14, 2010 [27 favorites]


*getting the very first response right is the most imperative.
Also, mecran's quote screams "unplanned back-up plan to internet call out 101."
posted by june made him a gemini at 6:17 PM on July 14, 2010


Eh, this is rather pointless and stupid at best, even if it's real. Whoooooo cares?
posted by kprincehouse at 6:24 PM on July 14, 2010


What the hell is AlsoMike talking about?
posted by Saxon Kane at 6:28 PM on July 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


So one year, I was at a New Year's Eve party, and I was talking to some dude I had just met. He told me he had just performed at the state capital's official New Year's shindig, and I asked him what band he was in. He kinda laughed, because he wasn't in a band, he was a freaking fire eater who had dropped out of college to join the circus. Which is all to say that no matter what else may or may not be true, I can totally buy the notion of random circus performers showing up at parties.
posted by Ruki at 6:31 PM on July 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ruki, I think the circus folk were the only truth in the entire story.
posted by 8dot3 at 6:35 PM on July 14, 2010


Christ. If you're going to fake an internet identity, you could at least pretend to have cancer or something...
posted by schmod at 7:03 PM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't actually believe in reddit.
posted by ob at 7:25 PM on July 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


Whether or not he's a fake, I'm seriously offended by all the posters (on reddit) who cite the fact that he likes modern sci-fi movies as "proof" that's he can't really be old. Jeezus ageist christ on a motorized pogo stick.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 7:29 PM on July 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Just after high school I worked retail with a woman who'd been a clown with Ringling Bros. and she enthralled us with behind-the-scene stories of clown pranks, clown fights, clown love triangles, clown brilliance, clown stupidity and even clown weddings.

Not sure what this has to do with anything, it's just rare that circus performers come up and I get a chance to tell that snippet of a nothing story with any sort of context.
posted by jalexei at 7:42 PM on July 14, 2010 [7 favorites]


Two years ago "grandpa" makes a post about John McCain. It gets all of 4 comments. Guess who made one of them? If that doesn't convince you I don't know what will.
posted by scalefree at 8:25 PM on July 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


jalexei, I wrote the Ringling Bros. a letter. It was mentioned to me that some guys drive big fancy cars to compensate for a certain lack of other equipment. I figured if this was true that the inverse had to be true as well, so I wanted to know the average size of a clown's unit. Don't mock me, this was for science!

I also asked how many clowns could fit in a 2000 Dodge Neon. I figured between these two answers I could do a simple measurement and find out exactly what kind of car I should be driving!

They didn't write back. Damn clowns.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:57 PM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd like to think there's a little bit of Grandpa Wiggly in all of us.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 10:23 PM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hell, I'm old enough to be the grandfather of a goodly number of people here, and I am by no means the oldest MeFite. One great thing about the internet is that nobody can smell you fart.

*gazes wistfully at his lawn*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:25 PM on July 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


stavrosthewonderchicken wrote: "*gazes wistfully at his lawn*"

If you're going to get that choked up, perhaps next time you might go out on the lawn before letting 'er rip.
posted by wierdo at 10:40 PM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


What the hell is AlsoMike talking about?

AlsoMike is saying that when you have a bunch of fucking insular losers (and here I'm speaking in the abstract) they like and need stuff that makes them feel less losery. Like cool grandpas. And not to generalize about nerds specifically (ho ho ho don't misunderstand me) it's clearly true that many of them do wear glasses.
posted by fleacircus at 10:50 PM on July 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


PAW PAW FOR JESUS PAW PAW FOR JESUS
posted by The Whelk at 10:51 PM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, gonna point at this next time someone exclaims incredulity at the notion that there are people with a lot of free time that go to elaborate lengths to punk a community for the lulz.
posted by cj_ at 10:59 PM on July 14, 2010


I've been checking reddit on and off for a couple weeks now. They seem to get epically trolled with some crazy meme taking up a ton of upvoted posts like every week. It's a constant hysteria.
posted by delmoi at 11:23 PM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Paw Paw for Jesus" is the phrase that started Pontypool.
posted by benzenedream at 12:39 AM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is why I love reddit. It's just the right amount of chaos and flouncing, and at times genuine pathos to keep me interested. I find it always helps to have a post-it in sight reading YABT.

Don't get me wrong, Metafilter has it's own thing going on which I like and I've been here under a couple of names since 2001, but it also has a kind of smug, gated community feel too.

There's enough room on the web for both.

And 4chan.

But not digg.
posted by littleredspiders at 1:35 AM on July 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Some communities get very excited when the insular world that exclusively reflects their priorities back to them seems to attract someone who would normally be considered an outsider. How redditors celebrate a senior citizen among them (or hardcore gamers and a girl) is very similar to how conservatives love black Republicans. It seems like they have the narrow focus and interests of the community, but deeply resent that this puts them outside the mainstream. Like how they resent games not being considered art.

Rather than accepting their marginal status, they have a sense of entitlement that their worldview, which they consider to be superior, ought to be dominant. The presence of a member who is demographically unusual seems to hold out the promise that they could have it both ways - the narrow worldview, but also universal acceptance, because it allows them to deny their exclusionary practices and deny that race/class/age/gender/etc. are factors that make their worldview attractive to begin with.

Without trying to generalize about an entire subculture, I think there's a kind of (mainly nonpolitical) reactionary/conservative logic in some parts of the tech-geek-gamer subculture that manifests itself as entitlement to privilege and power.


Nice dinner party diatribe, but it has very little to do with grandpawiggly or reddit.

Of course you can find large amounts of sexism and racism (and other reactionary worldviews) on reddit, just as you can find many thousands of redditors striving keenly to understand and erase the prejudices that divide us. reddit is an enormously diverse open-access community with over 280m page views a month.

reddit, like all communities, certainly has exclusionary practices, but is the positive response to grandpawiggly a good example of that exclusion in action? No. My New Zealand friends and I, both straight and LGBT, were extremely excited when the insular world of NZ politics elected the world's first transgender MP, Georgina Beyer -- an extremely demographically unusual event. In the same way, grandpawiggly was unusual because, yes -- apart from being intrinsically interesting -- he was (purportedly) almost 80 and far outside the typical demographics of reddit.

Some redditors were patronizing in their reactions, but many others simply seemed excited because a hitherto elided minority was finally being represented on reddit. They were keen to engage in open, equal-status dialogue with a fascinating individual they wouldn't normally get the chance to speak to online -- the kind of fortuitous stranger-interaction that is the hallmark of reddit. A good analogy here is the enthusiasm reddit showed for this severely disabled young man when he visited IAMA one day. Yes, redditors are keenly aware of the differences between them and an 80-year-old or a quadriplegic (necessarily so in a society that is nowhere near being age-blind or disability-blind), but they are also striving to overcome those differences and connect as though they were not important.

To overlook reddit's sincere attempts to overcome ageism (ableism, etc) as you did is worse than just pessimistic. It is a deeply unhelpful kind of essentialist cultural commentary that is ultimately self-defeating because it presupposes a community that is always and forever reactionary. It also betrays the kind of privileged superiority that you seek to call out.
posted by dontjumplarry at 2:58 AM on July 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is oddly appropriate (well okay, I really just always wanted to post this here).
posted by vers at 6:06 AM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


The nail in the coffin, for me, was the metatags on this guy's website:
As for the now-defunct megorious.com... the meta tags (from years ago) are glorious!


meta name="keywords" content="[real name redacted], megorious, megoriously, megoriousness, department of corrections, ubercrable, inspecable, sauce, The Daily Sauce, [real surname redacted], wordsauce, alliteration, wordsmith, puns, Emerson College, Boston, LOL, wordplay, blarg, sofa king, blog, freak of the week, Batman, mayonnaise, mediaper, Grandpa Wiggly, Grandma Nubb, Uncle Shakey, TED, glossaryan"


But how can that be PAW PAW, when you only first heard of wordsauce on reddit yesterday! and.,. and what IS this other metatag, "ubercrable"?!?! The very same ubercrable that was in a coma for 16 months just recently?
posted by desjardins at 7:26 AM on July 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


I've always had this vague feeling that I've been missing something by not frequenting reddit and digg. Good to put that worry to rest.

And although AlsoMike's soliloquy could be reworded and refined, I believe in his general thesis. This duality of both identifying people markedly different and overly embracing them is common. I think his black republican comparison is especially apt.

When people find out one of their WoW guildmates is a 62 year old woman, there's going to be both some celebration that "look, they are one of us, too" as well as extensive overtures to maintain the outlier in the group.

It's a lot like token members, except good natured, if that makes sense.
posted by discountfortunecookie at 7:52 AM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Let's see if the new thread on this stays on the frontpage or gets shit-canned.
posted by ericb at 8:56 AM on July 15, 2010


Shit-canned!
posted by ericb at 8:58 AM on July 15, 2010


Reddit's OK, I guess, but it's no Fark.
posted by infinitywaltz at 8:59 AM on July 15, 2010


I've been thinking about this on and off since yesterday and this morning -- partially because thanks to The Night Listener and its real life inspiration fascinate me and partially because I truly wonder what the motivation behind things like this are -- and I just wanted to stay that despite my light-snark earlier re: my bullshit detector, I wouldn't want to seem like it was rubbing it in the face of those who were fooled. I'm not actually a cynic except for things like this, and it's only become highly tuned because I encountered so much of it (and, to be honest, pulled the same shit) as a closeted gay 16 year old on online bulletin boards in 1991.

A weird part of me wishes I could fall for stuff like this. I'd probably enjoy MetaFilter much more. Why? I'm sure that part of the reason that I started actually reading comments/participating in threads is that I started seeing that this was a community where a fair amount of bullshit is rooted out. But no matter how clever many people are on here and as much as I try to respect everybody, I can rarely think of individuals as "real people" until I meet them IRL™ (and even then sometimes I'm not sure). And I really wish that wasn't the case.

That said, as much as my brain tries to wrap itself around stories like this (and I do think about them and get into the details of things like this and other things like it that have absolutely nothing to do with me) I can never quite get to the motivation behind it when money isn't involved. Until I remember that really scared, really lonely, really wanting to be loved kid I was who used to do the same thing. And it makes me a little less pissed and a little more sympathetic.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:26 AM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd like to think there's a little bit of Grandpa Wiggly in all of us.

ew
posted by backseatpilot at 10:41 AM on July 15, 2010


To overlook reddit's sincere attempts to overcome ageism (ableism, etc) as you did is worse than just pessimistic.

How am I overlooking them? My claim is that it is precisely their attempts to overcome ageism that exemplify ageism. The normal tolerant ritual that you repeat, of deep, sincere respect for the Other, listening to them tell their story, engaging in dialog, admiring their authentic cultural practices, etc. is at best a very ambiguous gesture. The idealized aesthetic appreciation of otherness actually works to keep them more at a distance.

Despite all the sincerity, reactionary elements still exist that tend to go unnoticed, such as the backlash against casual gamers, who play things like Wii games and Bejeweled rather than "real" games like Halo. One blogger wrote what I thought was a very insightful post pointing out that the term "casual gamer" is really code for "female". Needless to say, most Redditors did not share my opinion of it. Coincidentally, the ads on that page when I just looked at it are for Felicia Day's The Guild, another great example of someone whose embrace by the gamer community has a certain degree of this ambiguity.

The interesting part about the casual gamer backlash is that empirically, hardcore gamers are empirically not harmed by the rise of this new category, in the sense of fewer hardcore games--an apt analogy here is the non-existent rise in crime attributed to immigrants. Although it's possible that the anti-casual gamer discourse is also intended to police the community so that shame attaches to anyone who threatens to defect. The stated concerns are a screen for the real anxiety, which is the threat to cultural hegemony. Here, we see the contradiction in full effect: gamers love the idealized Other, the relatively rare hardcore female gamer who is just like them, and in practice, the actual Other who enjoys games differently from them (defined as the inferior form of enjoyment) is perceived as a threat. Notice how the different, strange modes of enjoyment of the Other is a very common focus of racist discourse: those immigrants, with their strange food and smells, strange sexual practices, etc. And the self-conscious PC performance of the opposite: "I love your beautiful culture and your delicious cuisine!" where eating at foreign restaurants (enjoyment of the aestheticized Other) is supposed to be a sign of deep commitment to diversity.

We can see this again in certain criticisms of Digg: it sensibly broadened its focus to more general interest, more inclusive topics like politics, and many claim that they've sold out the geek community; in a sense, Digg is accused of being Geeks In Name Only. Other examples of this reactionary impulse come to mind: the rise of racism connected to the presence of Chinese gold farmers in WoW; the hints of misogyny in the anti-iPhone "Droid does" ads. Some of the anti-iphone backlash follows the same logic as the casual gamers: the rise of iphone/ipad users threatens the power of the geek community to dictate product design, so the needs of those users are systematically represented as inferior--mere consumption devices, users are simpletons, they've been brainwashed by Apple's marketing machine. Then Google releases App Inventor, a simplified programming environment for creating Android apps designed by MIT Media Lab's revealingly named "Lifelong Kindergarten Group". Who can we get to demonstrate this application for "lifelong kindergartners"? I know, a woman! With a cat! Look, she made her phone meow, that's so cute.

Yet more evidence: this recent blog post tried to answer the question why Google has consistently failed to build successful social applications. According to one former employee: "[Google has] an environment that viewed social networking as a frivolous form of entertainment rather than a real utility." The overall demographics of social apps are quite strongly skewed towards female users, especially if you remove the "serious" (meaning male-dominated) social apps like Slashdot, Reddit and Digg. It's not surprising that the number of women in computer science undergrad majors has been on the decline for 25 years, a period in which the gender divide has nearly been eliminated in every other science/technology undergrad major.

But you know what, you're probably right, it's just me and my privileged sense of superiority.
posted by AlsoMike at 5:18 PM on July 15, 2010 [8 favorites]


On the internet, somebody will figure out you're a dog.
posted by wobh at 11:00 PM on July 15, 2010


I realize ageism is a terrible thing, but I live in a neighborhood, and attend church with, a bunch of elderly, most in their late sixties and up. I like most of them a lot, but let me tell you, they are different from you and me, and I'm guessing I won't see many of them at the Inception premiere today. I will do an audience scan and report back, however.
posted by mecran01 at 7:00 AM on July 16, 2010


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