While the world's media outlets are busy whipping up the their latest issues do jour, the UK Telegraph is the one great font of perspective:
There are bound to be blogs out there worthy of a mention in this top 10. So if you know of any, do leave a comment. But for now, here goes:
1. After Grog Blog
Fine Australian blog which has amusing section on cricket. A must to dip into when the Ashes is on. Tags itself as "Fruit for the sightscreen."
Why has it taken me so long to add Jim Treacher to my reader? To get to the other side. No? Better let the experts write the jokes:
Last night, President Obama debuted his standup comedy act on the Tonight Show. You've heard his hilarious wisecracks about the Special Olympics and "waterheads," and here are a few of his other witticisms:
On October 18 Typepad officially introduced "pagination". In essence, "pages" are an excellent idea. Remember Second Test: Streak Talk? Well, just think back to all the fun you had loading 11,158 words, 5 pictures and 671 comments.
The AGB is now limited to no more than 50 comments per page, with any comments over 50 displayed on a new page, any over 100 on another page, any over 150 on...
Anyway! you will have noticed a problem.
With more than 50 comments, when you click on the name of the most recent commenter, in this case the Esteemed Ranger:
you end up at the top of the first page, instead of the bottom of the last. You must then scroll down to the bottom of the first page, click "next", scroll down to the bottom of the "next" page, and eventually arrive at latest comments.
At least, I assume you have noticed.
Typepad are working on the problem - it relates to having one instruction call up different pages - so, for the time being, and maybe for all time being if it turns out to be a better option, I have reversed the order of the comments.
It used to be that the newest comments were displayed "Oldest first (Ascending), I changed that to "Newest first (Descending)".
The upshot is that instead of having to skip through numerous links to get to the latest comments, you now jump straight to the most recent comments which are displayed at the top of the first page
Update! Readers, we have a problem. (The real Swigert and the real Lovell really said "Houston, we've had a problem." True.) It would appear "pagination" doesn't work backwards. Testing
Update! Comments are being recorded by Typepad. However, when "newest first" is selected, the comments are being published as they go from the first page to the second, but NOT as they go from the second page to the third. Odd. For me to display Comment 101 in the previous post, I had to republish my comment settings.
Update! "Newest first" was, in the words of Gilly, a "joke". I've gone back to "oldest first", which is oddly appropriate to this stupid post. The more things change, the the more they end up back where they started. As a symbolic gesture I set the comment count at 30.
You will have noticed that comments are playing up in the Second Test post. This is because
Typepadders are crawling around under the bonnet, looking for reasons why the "Remember personal info" doesn't work.
The AGB won't load properly. Anyone else had trouble accessing this fine organ of record? I have. Sporadically. Over the last two weeks. Anyway. Typepad are working on it. And if not "it" then something. Or other.
Review the Known IssuesBlogs are currently not displaying right or not loading. We are looking into the issue and appreciate your patience while we work on resolving this. The status site will have more information here: http://status.sixapart.com/.
Check the Known Issues blog for updates.
A new Compose Editor has been released to some users. For information on the new editor, please see the Knowledge Base article here: http://kb.typepad.com/id/1267/
. Unable to Insert a Link? Highlight the text first. More information here!
Of course, this will mean nothing, less than nothing, if you can't actually load the AGB to read it.
If you can't read the AGB, get stuffed.
Since you remind me, here's my nomination for the best worst Aussie blog:
A showcase of the worst examples of architecture, design, culture and humanity in Perth Western Australia. Posts may contain adult concepts and occasional coarse language.
TWOP is such good a blog, and so well executed, I was thinking of doing the same sort of thing here at AGB. TWOM has a nice wrong to it.
In keeping with ancient blogging lores and traditions, passed down only by word of print, I will claim the idea as my own.
The AGB Anti-Nastyism Code.
Doubtless I'll look like a tool, and I'm absolutely positive I'm making a rod for my own back, but here goes.
Imagine my surprise this afternoon when I logged onto the internet (no, that doesn't mean I sh@t my bathers) and had a good read through the comments on the Fourth Test post.
Cue the excellent Algy... sorry, Ginger.
As a long time lurker here, thanks Tony for your insightful and witty posts and Pat, thanks for your articulate and historical response to Boo's strange assertion that Roy 'brought it on himself'.
There were several comments made here over the course of the test(s) in relation to the Indians (and Serbians weirdly) which made me uncomfortable and lowered the tone somewhat. I enjoy this blog and the comments, precisely because there is generally intelligent and witty discussion taking place which enhances my enjoyment of the cricket. I'm pretty sure there are more suitable forums for petty name calling and stereotyping on the www.
Lots of people who run blogs step in toot sweet to put the kybosh on nastiness. Not me. I like nastiness. But there are limits. My limits.
(Often too toot sweet, in my opinion. It's like the kyboshers are revelling in their power to kybosh. Or maybe they are pinheads who want to prove how righteous they are. Or putting the clamps on a dissenting opinion. Or losing an argument. Or just maybe they are right.)
Those limits, though, relate less to what you say and more to how you say it.
Keeping it topical, I don't have a problem with anyone calling the Indians "curry munchers". But I have a big problem with anyone calling them "effing curry munchers". You Indians are welcome to call us Strayans whatever nicknames you have. Goondahs, was it? Dunno what it means, it might even be nasty, but if that's your sledge of choice, go for it. And feel free to call me a monkey. On the other hand, don't call me an "effing monkey" or a "hunting goondah!" Get my drift?
Similarly for sledges in code. Notorious Biggy crossed the line the other day when he wrote "Packer Black Hunts". I write it now to make a point, but comments like that will be scratched. For nob-vious reasons.
Thing is, if I was to sledge Biggy he probably wouldn't care because he has been reading this blog for years and would know I was having a lend of him, not having a lash at him. By the way, I have no idea what "Kerry Packer weeps" means, you effing hunt.
Nor do I have a problem with whatcha might call robust exchanges:
13th Man: "You deserve my contempt"
Boo: "And you're beneath mine."
But making a point TOO forcibly is asking for trouble. By all means say you don't respect Indians, if that's your thing. I mean, I don't respect Carlton fans, people with tattoos, Big Brother housemates, the wankers who pick the music played on 774ABC radio, Jews, Muslims, Catholi...
Anyway, walking the fine line between abuse and sh1tstirring is a juggling act. Or a balancing act. It's certainly matter of tact.
The difficult bit from my end is what to do if someone gets out of hand. Nabakov reckons this blog is like a pub: I'm the landlord and you commenters are the booze addled pissheads... I mean, patrons. Anyone who mucks up gets put in a friendly headlock as a hint to keep their shit together. He's right. Up to now my preference has been to ignore the hot-heads and hope they suss the tone of the blog, get a feel for the place and either fvck off or pull their own head in without my tuning them. More often than not, we all end up on friendly terms without me banning them or closing off a thread. I have never banned a commenter. I have never closed off a thread because of a sh1tfight. Nor do I have a list of approved words like the ICC or the AFL. All I've done in the five and a half years of blogging is edit the occasional obscenity.
So keep one thing in mind: IT IS THE TONE THAT COUNTS, FVCKERS!
You don't have to be an effing weather man to know which way the hunting cookie crumbles.
You may have noticed the odd recent comment going AWOP (Absent Without Posting). Don't panic,
Chri Captain Mainwaring! This is due to TypePad's New! Spam Folder. So far those gobbled include three from South Straya's finest (after Studley Cornes, the Snowtown barrels and Don Dunstan's pants), Wicky and Nicky. Sorry, boys. Anyhoo, it was a doddle to reinstate your meisterwerk as bona fido comments. Woof!
Over the past few months, we’ve been busy rolling out new features for the comment service. Today, we added out another great new feature – a spam folder for comments and TrackBacks, similar to the spam or junkmail folder found in your email service or program. This feature is available to all users.
What does the spam folder do?
The TypePad spam service prevents over half a million of pieces of spam from reaching TypePad blogs each day. But there are some messages we can’t quite be sure about. Is a comment about a mail order pharmacy on a blog about healthcare spam, or a part of the discussion? We let messages we’re unsure about through our spam filter so you don’t miss legitimate comments.
Until today, that meant that comment and TrackBack spam may have still been published on your blog. Now that we’ve added spam folders for comments and TrackBacks we can let you see messages we’re unsure of without automatically publishing them to your blog. Any messages we think may be spam will be put into the spam folders found on the comment and TrackBack listing pages.
If you find a message in a spam folder isn’t spam, simply select it and click “publish” in the dropdown to publish it to your blog. If you find a message in your regular comment or TrackBack folder, simply select it and click “report spam” to unpublish it and move it to the spam folder.
We heard from many of you who used the word and IP banning features that you sometimes miss legitimate comments from those addresses or using those words. We’ll now put comments flagged by those features into the spam folder so you have a chance to review them.
Update: Thank you for all of your comments letting us know that the spam service is being overaggressive in categorizing your blogs' comments as spam! This is great feedback. We're working on a change that will help keep legitimate comments out of the spam folder and will post an update when it's done.
Good old TypePad. I've been using it for over three years now and it's virtually never missed a beat. Touch wood. It really is the best blogging system. Touch wood. I know this because I used a wooden imperial ruler with a steel insert down the side to measure the height of my blog, a K-Tel areometer to measure its specific gravity, constructed a scale of 1 to 23 from the numbers in the top flap of cigarette packets, and calculated that TypePad is 25, while Troppo is minus 6.
At the risk of going MIL (Missing in Link), can the Troppo gatekeepers stop getting all Precious Pupp over comments. As mouth-watering as a long list of nominations sounds, a good stoush might further liven things up.
Bring back the biff.
GIMME DAT KERCHING!
I am struggling. I have to pay for renovations to my house, but no Araldite! If you're an AGB tragic, please consider chipping in a few dollars or I will continue to blog. Click here to find out more.
Still at the minimum, see, but every extra cent helps me get nicer stuff -- a can of leak-sealer spray, one of those bathroom lights that gets hot, and because I'm a wanker, a basin that sits on the bench. So please donate!
Nosey Noreen Bile wants to know eight things about me.
1. There is no restaurant meal that I can't improve with Tobasco sauce.
2. I find the combination of quotation marks and commas - Daniel Johns said "I smoked dope with Garrett", but he was
skyting joking - untidy.
3. I used to barrack for Carlton.
4. I always call other drivers mush (as in push) if they do something stupid in traffic.
5. Out of a half hour lunch break, I used to drive ten minutes to, and ten minutes back from an Asian stall at the Airport West food court; for their brussel sprouts.
6. I once got in a punch-up at a new year's eve party while wearing a pink gown. It wasn't a gay thing, either, it was over football.
7. I always watch the television with the volume on an even number.
8. The glugging noise of a liquid being poured into a mug or glass from a pot or bottle makes me want to run from a room screaming. Fortunately I have excellent self-control.
I know Boynton wants to pick up this meme. And TimT. And FX Holden. And Amanda. Nabakov would, too, if he had a blog. So would Christopher Wayne Hudson, but he's in jail.
Anyone had trouble commenting lately? The TypePad comment facility has been all over the place. Mad womans' and all that. Sometimes you get the preview page, sometimes you press Post and the blog stalls, sometimes you get the verification page with its barely legible magic letters. Mind you, it seems to get there in the end, despite taking the scenic route.
Or does it? If you haven't been able to comment, please leave a comment.
Long feature on blogging in today's Age: The Blogs That Ate Cyberspace.
IT HAS been the most extraordinary rise, and it happened while you probably weren't even looking. In just under a decade, the blog has swamped the virtual world, multiplying at a rate usually seen only inside Petri dishes. Some now say it is poised to deliver a killer blow to mainstream media, others reckon it to be a fad that will soon be forgotten.
The hack, Dan Silkstone (also a blogger, although it doesn't say where he blogs), gives the caper a balanced write-up, neither proclaiming blogs mean the end of journalism as we know it, or conversely, that blogs are doomed. There are lots of stats, history on the early development of blogging and even a pop at the internet's "insatiable invention of new words". A point with which I'm in complete congreement.
While he mentions ten heavy hitters, a couple of whom I've heard of, he doesn't mention me or the AGB, which is quite an oversight. But neither does he mention any local blogs, thus preventing me from getting jealous. He also wisely steers clear of trying to define what makes a good blog and even wiser still, avoids any dismal Schembri-like attempts at "satire". Or as we sneer on the internets, schembrire.
In fact, it's not too shabby at all.
And of course he mentions cats. Where are we with cats? First people posted pictures of their cats. Then people started making jokes about people who posted pictures of their cats. It can't be long before people make jokes about people who make jokes about people who post pictures of their cats. Where to from here?
What Wicky and Amanda say is right (thanks for the mention). AGB match-day comments contain enough cricket fibre to keep you regular until the State Insurance Chappell-Hadlee Trans-Tasman One-Day-International Series Trophy Game One (Westpac Stadium). Whether comments, no matter how interesting/funny/ranty or churlish, actually constitute a Missing Link-worthy “post” is another story.
Don’t know about James’ opinion, but my own is that a short introductory post followed by 150 comments, some of which are interesting but many of which are repetitive, usually wouldn’t be suitable for Missing Link. That sort of post (Tim Blair also does them) is essentially for your existing blog community to engage in conversation, it isn’t very interesting or accessible for the casual or new reader. Missing Link is mostly intended to expose good blog writing to a new audience. As far as I’m concerned, non-selection of that sort of post also reflects personal taste - I mostly can’t be bothered reading long comment threads, unless they’re dealing with a topic that deeply interests me, and even then I usually don’t bother if there’s a high proportion of abusive comments or predictable ideologically-based rants (this doesn’t apply to your sports posts though).
Can't agree. Yes, I accept Ken's taste doesn't run to commenty posts for Missing Link, but I don't accept they wouldn't be "interesting or accessible for the casual or new reader". Who knows, the casual or new reader might get lost from Big Internet, wander into an AGB thread and suddenly, eyes aglow, burst out "This place is, like, astonishing." Or he might not.
For every Troppo post containing the likes of "Humanity is a highly specialised life form that solves extremes in environment through technology" or "In the last few years Australia’s most lucrative export, coal, was dug up, and shovelled offshore, at a rate of 232 Million Metric Tonnes per year" there's an equally slashing AGB comment: "Fark'n Flatty" for one, or "members are wankers!"
Anyhoo, I'm not shilling for links, I just reckon the comments here are gold. What do you idiots reckon?
Aussie humour's a funny thing, isn't it.
The usual cliché routinely trotted out on Australia Day goes like this. We're always been great at sport. Not to put too fine a point, we've err . . . punched above our weight. We’ve more recently been congratulating ourselves on the end of our 'cultural cringe'. In fact our cringes are still fairly healthy in various respects not least in our economic achievements - as indicated by our sad insistence on describing things in such terms as 'world competitive'.
1. William Burroughs' Baboon:
We’re also very good at humour: viz Gunston before Ali G; Aunty Jack before Little Britain; Frontline before The Office;
Vizard before Letterman.
Most of our humour is dismal. It makes me cringe.
13. Nicholas Gruen
"Humour" is too broad a category by far. I think Australians have a great sense of humour. Subtle, ironic, low key. It suits some genres (like cartoons) and hasn’t worked that well with others. But Barry Humphries seems to manage. And Frontline was a great show. So it depends.
I miss things. For years I thought "I'm staying home to wash my hair" meant hair washing was a big deal; I never realised it was a brush off. Am I missing something here, too?
Speaking of humour: How The Hell Did We Get Here? The Baby Boomer's Guide To Comedy. How The Hell was yet another "Top 20" affair in which Aussie faces vote on the usual suspects: Frontline, The Paul Hogan Show, Mother And Son, The Naked Vicar Show, My Name's McGooley, The Aunty Jack Show, Full Frontal (or Fast Forward), The Games and Kath & Kim. Pretty much what you'd expect, right. I often suspect the faces in question vote for these shows because they were involved in them.
But before you jump to the confusion it must have been an all-Aussie affair, the 20 contained numerous foreign shows: Laugh In (18), Yes, Minister (9), Get Smart (8), Absolutely Fabulous (7), Monty Python's Flying Circus (5), Fawlty Towers (2) and Mash (1).
This is where my cringe quivers into action.
Were I putting the list together, the only Aussie show I would have included would be Frontline. The Games would have had a look-in, but it was a little too Clarke-Dry for me. McGooley is before my time. I thought Aunty Jack was rubbish, but I only ever saw it when Channel Two disinterred it a few years ago and like Peter Beattie, I loved the theme song. Most of the rest I detested, or at best tolerated. Mother and Son, in particular, shits me to tears.
The shows I would have included are mostly foreign. Yes, Minister, Get Smart, Flying Circus, Fawlty Towers, Ripping Yarns, Dad's Army, The Royle Family, Hancock's Half Hour, I'm Alan Partridge, Will & Grace, Seinfeld, The Young Ones, Cheers, Newhart, Herman's Head, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Porridge, The Larry Sanders Show and Night Court.
You can argue all you like about the baby-boomerishness of my list, but the ABC show covered about 40 years, so mine did, too.
I've never seen The Office and I've only just started watching Curb Your Enthusiasm. Boynton reckons CYE is a "grouse" grouch show like One Foot In The Grave, but I've never seen that, either. Guess I'll have to assume it's nothing like the completely shitful and hideous faux-grouch Becker.
You'd be surprised how often women totter to my rescue when I'm being beaten up.
Now. While the FX account is roughly true, he wickedly misrepresents his own contribution. FX Holden? Holden Caulfield more like. What a thug. Not that it wasn't a fine rumpus, but it was nothing like the earlier vicious snarking about absent bloggers. That! was the truly brutal business. Especially ... well, doubtless it will get back without me letting the catfight out of the bag.
... "sentence finishers?" Why, errr, yes. Happily these fools register a loud ping on my fuckwit radar so I need waste little time working out I'm talking to a slow-learner. It's a perfectly tedious business conversing with simpletons, much better I sit in the corner doing a crossword, but often it's difficult to slip away. Manners, and all that. The done thing is to throw it back at them with good natured spite. "I saw The Who last year, they did a fabulous version of ... " I pause, luring them into my trap. "My Generation?" they'll jump in all expectant like. "No - Agadoo." They soon get the message and scuttle off.