A Change In Policy

Joe vs. The Comments

As an exercise this morning I tried to go back and re-read all 321 comments that follow the Chuck vs. The CAT Squad post. I’m not done yet. So far I’m about one-third the way through and the topics I’ve seen discussed at length are:

  • Morgan
  • Slapstick & Prat Falls
  • The director, Wootten
  • Sarah being OOC
  • Carina
  • OLIs & Triangles
  • Character growth (or the lack thereof)
  • Fake Name/Mask
  • S3
  • manure
  • fanbase & ratings
  • middle fingers
  • The Goodbye
  • ‘fessing up to failure

The tone is overwhelmingly negative, even if it is (mostly) polite. That’s not too surprising, considering that Cat Squad was one of the lowest rated episodes in our polls and by acclimation. However, the incomplete list of topics his already more than half about anything else but this episode, and frankly, I’m tired of reading.

I suspect many of you are tired of reading this stuff too. At one time, I was convinced that several of the show’s principles, including the actors, occasionally read our posts and comments. I no longer think that – they probably tired of reading them long ago.

Personally, even though I try (and generally succeed) reading all the comments, I find myself needing to respond less and less. That’s because the points have been addressed so many times, I’m bored with discussions of S3, Shaw, and show runners presenting the fans with extended middle digits. I can’t help but feel you guys all know my feelings on these things already every bit as much as we know yours.

More than anything, we want to hear about your insights and revelations. We’ve also set aside space, time and posts for those whose ideas take off from the canon and go to alternative story lines, most of which are very enjoyable in their own right. We’re not at all bothered by off-topic comments [Joe raises his hand and says “GUILTY!”], and nobody, least of all us, likes reading endless pages of mindless fan-boy posts.

However, It seems like a clarification of our policy is in order – and maybe a change too. We’re a fan blog and we’re here to exchange insights. I’m not less impressed by the show, but more impressed as time goes on, because after five seasons of viewing and five years (now) of writing about it, I’m still finding things I missed before in each episode. Those are the things I want to present here. We’re going to make a more concerted effort, then, to keep the discussions on track and more narrowly focused on the episode under review. “Meta-discussion” (that is, discussions about the discussion) is going to be discouraged.

We’ve never tolerated personal insults, no matter how veiled, even if the target is a thick-skinned professional who should know that criticism comes with the territory. Those will get you banned. What we have now is a lowered tolerance for comments that refuse to recognize the difference between criticism and critique, between denigration and appraisal and continue ad-nauseam. Forgetting those distinctions will first get a rebuttal, then a rebuke and then a heightened urge to moderate and nuke your next comment “just because it strikes us as too negative.” Repetitiveness is not your friend in this regard. Sorry – we’re only human that way.

I know that this seems directed at one person in particular. I assure you, it’s not. After looking over over 300 comments in the last thread, it’s clear we’re pretty much all guilty and all have a need to watch ourselves.

– joe


About joe

In my life I've been a professor, martial artist, rock 'n roller, rocket scientist, lover, poet and brain surgeon. I'm lying about the brain surgery.
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