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May 21, 2013 7:47 am

All joking (aside): No comment: A very serious column

Written by Dante Geoffrey

As the smartest person in Park County (and likely the state) I feel like I’d be doing the public a disservice if I didn’t share my enlightened views and delightfully progressive ideas.

Today: Why the government should increase taxes on fossil fuels to subsidize cakes for gay weddings.

I joke.



I wouldn’t want to give my bosses any aneurisms nor my colleague CJ Baker the burden of covering the 10-year-long trial that would follow my inevitable lynching. (Though there’s no doubt he would absolutely kill it — so to speak.)

Instead, I think it’s a good idea to let everyone breathe — hence the long layoff between columns. (Actually, I wish I could say it was a planned hiatus, and not just a prolonged stretch of uncreativity.)

Still, with this column I plan to do something against my better judgment.

It’s usually not a good idea to engage with online commenters. This I learned while working at my school newspaper, Sacramento State’s award-winning The State Hornet. (It is unclear whether they’d be proud of this association.) Replying to comments usually just encourages petty Internet bickering between a writer and mostly anonymous provocateurs.

But some of the comments submitted to the Tribune website are impossible to ignore, and I think it’s only fair that everyone understand the type of feedback we champions of free speech attract.

I have chosen to share with you some of the more peculiar, outlandish, baffling and otherwise interesting comments submitted to PowellTribune.com over the past two months, along with my responses.

They range from the polite...“Just stopping by to say hi free 4000 microsoft points.” -WileyKF.

Wiley? I should say so! Well a free 4000 microsoft points to you too!

To the mis-addressed... “Once the onion plant turns translucent, add evaporated milk alternating with the setting material, quilt the top?”

I think you meant to send this to the secret government agency you work for. No worries, it seems like you’re new, because only a rookie fresh out of the academy would ask such a silly question. Everyone knows you ALWAYS quilt the top.

Unfortunately, some commenters find it necessary to make it personal.

“Challenging Techniques To Become skilled at sacs longchamp ... Some Awful Inescapable fact Relating To Your Wonderful bags.”

As much as I’d love to be skilled at sacs longchamp, you leave my wonderful bags out of this.

But thankfully, most comments just try to be helpful and informative, though the results are mixed.

“AKG Unveils New Fighters With Braid Post Bluetooth Headphones.”

According to Wikipedia (and no further research) Bluetooth technology has been around since 1994. You know, a lot of things have been unveiled post Bluetooths — Twitter, five iPhones, Anderson Cooper’s sexuality, the constant fear that we may explode at any moment — all of which are more interesting than new fighters with braids. Have some perspective, AKG.

“How To Give A Boost To ray ban aviator store In 7 Seconds.”

Hey Powell Economic Partnership, maybe you should track down this person to help recruit and then boost a Ray Ban aviator store here in Powell? I think their name was LXTRRRR_14Q. I’m guessing female?

“I helped make this site for him if you want to check it out we buy used batteries and junk batteries well if you need any web design help feel free to give me a call and have a great day!”

Um, wow. OK, while I admire your ambition to be an entrepreneur, you might look into some type of medication that helps you focus on one project at a time. Also, I’d like three triple-A’s and one 9-volt.

“Viruses cause colds, the flu and most coughs and awkward throats.”

Is “awkward throat” a real medical condition, or an acting technique used only by Michael Cera?

“Shopping for food via the web might be both an excellent and as well bothersome likewise, however. when entering into the web picking up, you just aren’t able to escape faraway from generating rush transactions.”

Again, PEP, are you taking notes?

I normally think I’m fairly bright, but some comments go right over my head.

“This is a message necessarily to be as a stealer in the electric refrigerator overnight.”

I completely agree with the first four words.

If you haven’t already figured it out, all of these comments are (we assume) written by automated bots (or 1,000 monkeys with typewriters) that distribute spam across the Internet. The nonsensical text is normally riddled with links to websites no one would ever go to on purpose. I just thought the random combinations of words might provide us with some entertainment.

So I’ll leave you with this hilarious trio of comments so self-satirizing that only a poorly programmed robot could have possibly produced them.

1. “If you don’t like the way we live then get your candy ass on the next train and get the hell out of town.”

2. “I cannot believe that you are paid to write this garbage.”

3. “I hope nobody is stupid enough to pay you to write this crap.”

Ha ha ha ... oh, never mind. These are real comments written by real people. My self-esteem was really hoping for the typewriting monkeys.


  • Comment Link May 21, 2013 10:27 am posted by Chris

    Hilarious, playful and fun. Loved it.

  • Comment Link May 21, 2013 9:37 pm posted by Joe Flemazoid

    Sac State representing!!! As your former colleague, and dare I say editor, I think you are doing an awesome job.

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