So, yeah, the colossally stupid Kathy Sierra Pantyshopped Trollgate shitstorm is subsiding, and in the wake of the sturm und drang and handwringing, folks are taking up the pitchforks and the duct tape and proposing all sorts of protect-the-fatherHomeland ideas for stringing up anybody who doesn’t toe the civility line. Or at least pronouncing them anathema.
Not that the 98% of people out there in the long tail give a good goddamn if they’re excommunicated from A-Listory by the Usual Suspects.
Now, look, I’m all about civility and politeness and tea and crumpets. I’m the very model of a modern wonderchicken, and my reputed diet of whiskey, raw meat and bloody forehead sweat is purely apocryphal. I’ve reformed my ways, and I almost never tell somebody to f–k off unless they really, really need it. I am sweetness and light, snips and snails and expensive cologne.
But I see via Shelley that some Conference Organizers and Luminaries of The Holy Order of Self-Appointed Custodians of The Weblog Word and Sacred Sepulchre of Permalinks (Reformed) bcclogo.gif are suggesting (like so many years ago, when it was just rebecca blood doing the suggesting) a Blogger Code of Conduct. A lovely little badge has even been made for our use, to show what good blogistani citizens we are.
To which I fell compelled to say, in the nicest possible way, mark me, without trying to be mean, or scare anyone, or utter anything that could be construed as death threats: why don’t you take a flying f–k at a rolling doughnut? Why don’t you take a flying f–k at the mooooooooooooon?
Now I realize there are Big Important Issues of anonymity and free speech and sexism and the ethical bankruptcy of our culture at play here, but I’m just going to let my important internet opinions on those simmer until another day, I think.
Instead, here are some alternative badges I’ve made up, which express a little better, perhaps, my feelings on the matter. They’re roughish, but feel free to download and use any of them, if you like, or make your own, here.

Share, enjoy, and don’t forget to talk nice, or your ad revenues will decline, and nobody wants that, now, do they?
[Update: I cleaned up the backgrounds a bit.]
[Another update: I can’t believe the day after I randomly used a Kurt Vonnegut quote to make a funny, the old bastard up and dies. No disrespect to the man is intended — he was one of my favorite human beings, and he taught me (amongst other things) how to be angry without hate. ‘bye, Kurt.]
[Yet another update: Ooh, see, this is what I missed about the erudite, reasoned and civil to-and-fro of weblogging. It seems I am one of Them (judging by the title of the post, ‘them’=’bigots’). I have made ‘knee-jerk Hitler associations’, embarassingly ignorant and unimaginative ones. I haven’t read my history, and my natural response to being ‘lectured’ by my betters (like f–k) is to go Godwin. After seven years of this weblogging thing, that’s the first time I’ve been accused of that, so hooray for something, I guess. Don’t I realize that this is just a ‘civilized’ version of Cultural Revolution self-criticism, and totally OK? Do I need to explain the irony here, when I am caught up in a wide-cast net as one of ‘Them’? Well, no, it’s just possible that I don’t.
And you know, I shouldn’t have to say it, but this post was about having a laugh as much as anything else. Stop poking fun and laughing at yourself and those who would tell you how to think, and you really do end up kneeling in the town square confessing imaginary sins to a circle of teenage zealots. You know, metaphorically speaking.]

Metablogging, Trippy Visuals, Man

Join the conversation! 23 Comments

  1. Those metal badges may appear to be entirely too clangorous and metallic. Wouldn’t a gentler and softer insignia cause less tension? Let’s say that you have a blog that supports discourse and treatises whereby subjects are examined and dissertated in a rational and logical fashion. You could label your blog as one that supports “Sensitive Disquisition” and display this nice SD cloth insignia: Don’t you think that it’s softeness is more conductive to a kinder and gentler blogreich?

  2. i am humbled by their beauty and inspired by yours.
    off to download!

  3. Excellent work there Stavros
    Yorkd – ve haff ways to make you behaffe 😉

  4. I’m so far out on the long tail I can’t even smell the rat’s ass, Stavros, but from this distant perch, I salute you!

  5. I’m rather partial to the “keeping blogging safe for advertising” one myself.

  6. Damn that Vonnegut guy .. just when things were getting interesting. I guess he might say “I was here, and now I’m not.”
    Thanks for the badges. I was half-expecting one that said … “Chickenshit .. Consume at your own risk”.
    It doesn’t come any closer to true than “keeping blogging safe for advertising”.

  7. Am I gonna have to go RAGEBOY on your ass?

  8. No trackbacks yet! Well we’ll just see about that!
    Why isn’t everybody in tarnation here? These are so great, Stavros! … hey we could divide the blogosphere all over again!
    Hello? … hello?….geez, where’d everybody go …

  9. How to do Snark

    I'm in the midst of real life stuff that I would rather not be, but has now reached the critical point where I must focus. First though, a little snark.
    I don't want to go into Recent Events, nor its child, Code-and-the-Barbarian, but there w…

  10. I love you all. And that’s not just the beer talking, I swear.

  11. But part of it’s the beer talking, no?

  12. Hi there, followed in from a link over at and must say I love your style of writing, and this post in particular really gets the blood going (in a good way, of course). Consider me sub’d to your feed. (:

  13. What A Day I Missed

    Seems as if I need to find a good paying work at home job, with all that I miss when I’m out making money for the man. I go over to Sterling’s blog where I came across this post about badges. Since I like meme’s and the badge he displ…

  14. @Joseph: yeah, I’m a big wonderchicken fanboy, too. Thanks for crediting me on your path to enlightenment!

  15. BTW Stavros, I found your site via a link from Shelley a while back.

  16. I thank you for your kind words, friends and neighbours.
    And yeah, B-man, part it is is almost always the beer talking (as you well know after all these years). At least when I’m actually drinking the beer.
    Nothin’ wrong with that!

  17. Re: Rick Gleason (sorry, Chris, not about badges). I knew Rick at UBC in 1984/85. He was in my French class there for two years, and when I got some information about the Sorbonne’s program starting in September 1985 Rick asked about the costs and in the space of one class and about 20 notes passing between us, he had decided to come with me as well. Rick stayed only one term in Paris, and I took over his dingey garret room in rue de Ranelagh from January, and he went to London to work in a McDonald’s and live in another dingey room in Westmoreland Road SE19. We lost touch after he returned to UBC and I transferred credits to finish the degree in London, but in October 2002 I read on the CBC website that a Canadian named Rick Gleason had died as a result of injuries. The name rang a bell and it took a couple seconds to figure out why I knew him, and then about 30 seconds more to verify from your blog that it was the guy I had come to Europe with 17 years before. Why I am telling you this? A few weekends ago I was walking through St James’s Park (I still live in London) to get lunch with a friend and I stopped a monument I’d never noticed before – a stone globe about a metre high mounted on the sidewalk and carved with doves. My friend said that it was the Bali Bombing Memorial, so I went over, spotted that the wall behind the globe was carved with the names of all the people who had been killed, and there was Rick’s name carved in Times New Roman. I think we over-use the word, but I was shocked, it brought back how shocked I had been in October 2002 when I had read about Rick’s death and the long agony of your posts in this blog. But there was something else. In September 1985 when Rick and I had flown to London and were stayed at a youth hostel five days before going to Paris we did the regular siteseeing, and Rick was a tireless walker and tourist. As far as I could see Rick didn’t like London, and one of the many reasons he did not like it (crappy weather & food, no jazz bar, and no where to get breakfast on Kensigton High Street when we left he hostel) was that London had so many monuments to dead people, and particuarly dead generals. As I looked at the Bali Bombing Memorial I had to laugh at the irony that Rick’s name had ended up on a memorial, in London, a city he didn’t much like, in a high profile location and that he had made a small, indelible, stone imprint here.
    In any case, ironies aside, I thought I would pass on to you that your friend has another menorial other than the great memories you must have.
    Get back to me if you want a couple of photos.

  18. I kinda like Warren Ellis’ version (WAY NSFW).

  19. Jon, thanks so much for that info about Rick. I spent a lot of time with him(and Skip, when they were roommates) in London during a few different trips, and yeah, neither of us were that fond of the place.
    But staying well-liquored up helped quite a bit.
    I’d love to see those pictures you mentioned — I’ll drop you an email!

  20. Wondercousin – I think Kurt and his “wide open beavers” would have loved your take on the cleanliness of free speech. Maybe a redux – not of Ginsberg, but … hmmm .. One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest where McMurphy gets some nice group therapy and a Xanax prescription and Chief “sets him free” with some encouraging words…
    How do you think Hunter S Thompson, who was blogging before Al Gore invented the internet, would make out with the Civility Council?

  21. bwah hah hah hah haaaaaa

  22. Holy crap! You’re hilarious! Found you by accident and am so glad you’re out there making us badges and kicking ass! Keep it up!

  23. I like that the central image on a bunch of badges was borrowed from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. I’m fond of that image myself. Anyway, as a former member (with Honorary Withdrawal) of loc.1003 I am pleased to give you total permission to steal the workers’ symbols and complete and perpetual freedom from suits involving copyright, plagiarism, and other such nonsense issues.

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