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Monday, November 22, 2004

This Just In: 96% of TBOC! readers bested by Rain Man in test of wits

"You guys aren't serious enough."

"You're not funny."

Well, which is it, fuckwits? Either we're not serious, or we're not funny. We can't very well be both.

What has always charmed me about the lovable bunch of scalawags and ruffians that make up the readership of TBOC! (with few notable exceptions) is their unyielding inconsistency. Let's take a peek at a number of examples, shall we?

Our readers often grow tired of the grammatical whip we so wildly wield, without ever, as they say, "connecting the dots." Readers of our old site will know that a number of comments were made by our online followers about the inadequacy of our students of color when it comes to their command of the English language. To wit, these same critics exhibited some of the worse syntax and grammar skills to ever grace our domain. And that's saying a lot.

Other readers simply contend that it is not fair. We should, they admonish, focus on the ideas put forward in a post. So I pose this question: if you, dear reader, handed in a essay to a professor that was ideologically sound--nay, brilliant--in which you, simultaneously, demonstrated the grammatical prowess of a chipmunk, would it be unfair of said faculty member to factor that into your grade? Not only would it be fair, s/he would be doing you a supreme disservice were they not to correct your shortcomings. What I'm saying is, we critique because we love. Well, usually.

Another couple of examples: If we post something satirical, readers complain that it's "not serious," yet when we post something serious, readers complain that it's "not funny." Best of all, at least once a week, one or two brave souls pose the question: "Don't you have anything better to do than write for this site?" This is actually answered in the FAQ, but we'll take the time to repeat ourselves: Most contributors check the site once a day. Me? I tend to check it a couple of times on one day, and then take the few days off necessary to recover from the parade of idiocy that make up our comments section. However, I can't say the same about many of our readers--mainly those who issue this criticism--since the frequency and rapidity of their comments border on the obsessive.

In the end, perhaps my headline comparison to Rain Man was a bit inaccurate. Tom Cruise could never grow to love the bulk of our readership. They're just too dumb. Besides, it would be unfair to Dustin Hoffman. He's been in a lot of great movies.

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