My 1½ Years At LGF, Part VI: Symphony Of SycophantsOctober 22, 2007
Mr. Johnson gets a lot of “love” from the commentors on his site. It makes some sense, I suppose, since the way he restricts registration pretty much guarantees that the vast majority of netizens that get in are avid readers of LGF, and would share the same basic ideology. In fact, many of the lizards have commented that they have waited months (or longer) to finally catch a window of opportunity to register.
Is that unique to blogs? Certainly not. Bloggers run their blogs any way they choose, and LGF is certainly not alone when it comes to “filtering” the field of registered members. In Charles’ case, it appears that ever since he started the practice of short, unannounced registration periods, the law of averages were in his favor. But every so often, an aberration such as myself snuck in, and he probably figured that as long as we were well-behaved, there was no legitimate reason to cast us out. The system made it easy to deal with “trolls” on a case-by-case basis. Whatever the rationale, the end result is a comment section that is pretty friendly (to him). Nothing really groundbreaking there.
What is unique to LGF (and what I wasn’t prepared for) was the level of “love” exuded by the minions. Sure, some of the butt-kissing could be explained by the perceived need to collect brownie points in order to insulate oneself from banishment (a decision that I had always assumed was made by Charles alone), but it appeared to go a little further than that. I began to notice that gratuitous praise was being thrown out even for the most innocuous comments and banal threads. After a while, I started to get the feeling that there was a certain amount of hero worship going on, and people were making it a tad bit personal.
That realization hit me like a ton of bricks when I received an email from a fellow LGFer (who I invited to contribute to my blog, and will remain nameless), chiding me about my…um… behavior:
Chen- have you not figured me out? Have you not noticed my line? Disrespecting Charles is my line- the man is my hero. Scoff at me if you’d like, but I cannot tolerate disrespect for him by people he allows to remain on his blog, and I don’t think it’s too much to ask for people to be respectful to their host. You sneak off elsewhere to disrespect him- it’s no different than doing it at LGF. You can respectfully disagree with him, but you went over that line- way over. You weren’t even disagreeing with him- you just attacked him.
There is no way I can join you on your blog after what you’ve done- I can’t “defend” you either. I’ve heard what people are saying- that I’m your protector. How ridiculous! Charles’ patience is your protection, so I’d tread carefully if I were you. If you care to make amends, I’d start with a nice public apology to Charles– and don’t bother unless it’s sincere. If Charles sees fit to give you another chance- things between us will improve, but I’ll take my cue from him since it’s his blog, and I respect him. I stood up for you- twice. I put my reputation on the line for you, Chen- and this is my thanks? Did you see the number of people willing to give you a chance because I asked for it for you?! xx xxxx, and xxxx, and xxxxxxx, and xxxxxx and even Charles tried- and others. And what did you do with that gift, Chen? It’s like you spit in my face. You wasted it. What a shame.
I’m sorry I didn’t meet you in the lounge Sunday- I was pissed at others and was afraid I’d be more harsh with you than I intended. As for your secret- it will remain safe with me- I don’t stab friends in the back, and at the time you told me we were friends. You will always have my sympathy on this- but don’t you ever dare try to play me off it- I’ll tell you now I would find that be vile and completely below the belt. I may still take issue with your posts, and post to you, but understand it is not out of friendship. I will not return any friendly banter- unless you make that sincere apology and I see you show proper respect to your host. Bear in mind- I’m not talking about agreeing with him- just being respectful. You complain to me about getting called names on LGF….don’t be a hypocrite Chen- the world has enough of those. Take care of yourself and I’ll see you around.
As it turned out, I never apologised. My bad, I guess. Personally, I don’t really have a hero. If I did, and it happened to be some dude who sat in front of a computer all day in his pajamas…please shoot me.
Anyway, if you have a few handfuls of people like this hanging out on a daily basis, the predictable scenario would be that it might go to one’s head. It feels good, I’m sure. What might begin to happen next, however, is a situation where one would enhance and facilitate this feeling as much as possible…
Today, the likes of myself, Gordon, and Sura 109 are gone, Charles has begun to personally oversee the inclusion of new registrants, and the butt-kissing has been made possible without even having to put the sentiment into words (in the form of a new and otherwise useless comment and thread rating system ).
Those Wacky Comments!