January 12, 2009

An Althouse blog comments community project.

Yes, it's my birthday, but more important: Wednesday is the 5th anniversary of this blog. One thing that meant the most to me has been the ongoing conversation in the comments and the way it has developed over the years.

There have been great commenters who've built a lasting reputation, who've peaked and flamed out, who were wonderful until the day they stomped off, who go silent and then reappear, who go off and write on their own blogs but still stop back here from time to time. There have been trolls and quasi-trolls — trolls that annoy us and trolls that amuse us. It's been tremendously rewarding, and I'm glad to have you in my coffeehouse.

So here's the idea for the anniversary. Starting now, in the comments here, link to your favorite old thread or specific comment. You can highlight something your wrote or something from another commenter. Generate material of this sort, and, depending upon what you give me, I'll work it into a post for January 14th. (Remember, to link to a specific comment, click on the time under the comment, and then add the letter c to the URL after the #. Don't ask me why that c business is needed. It just is.)

67 comments:

Hoosier Daddy said...

Happy Birthday!

Meade said...

My favorite old comment.

Ron said...

This is my favorite, because how often do you get to christen a drink?

Kirby Olson said...

Just wanted to say that Simon is my favorite commenter. After that, Victoria.

I go through and read all their posts.

Lem said...

Happy Birthday!

Freeman Hunt said...

My favorite comment has been deleted. It was in this thread.

Sippican Cottage:

Hey, when you Algonquin Rountable Bibilical Scholars are through, why don't you just cut words out of it, paste them on a ransom note, and say, "See, the Bible teaches kidnapping too."

That comment has always made me laugh. There are other greatest hits... I'll have to search around...

Hoosier Daddy said...

I can't point to any specific thread or specific comment but I think Althouse has a pretty diverse community of commentors here which makes it a great place for discussion and the reason it's one of the few, if not sole place I go to for good conversation.

AJ Lynch said...

Christ Althouse, most of us work for a living. We come here to goof off not to be assigned more work. Heh.

[this is now my favorite comment]

Richard Fagin said...

Happy birthday and blogaversary!

As one of the annoying trolls with too much work to do, I respectfully agree with AJ Lynch.

Thanks to the Professor and some of the commenters (Simon) for trying to keep me up on con law and 60s music, and for the occasional great gal commenter (Victoria, Joan) for reminding me that there are still great gals out there (other than the wife who agrees with me that Pres. Bush "rocks" - her term - and that Iran should be summarly H-bombed).

Henry said...

Sippican Cottage came to my mind too, but I can't find the thread (that Blogger search is awful).

It was a serious discussion about universal health care and Sippican ran the table, just asking for specifics.

Another favorite of mine is Palladian's defense of the modern in this post.

Would that Monet and Renoir had been radical avant-gardists and left their canvasses blank sparing us from having to look at their ghastly, sentimental smears.

Henry said...

Oh, and many happy returns of the day!

Henry said...

Following the rules, here's the link to Palladian's comment quoted above:

Would that Monet and Renoir had been radical avant-gardists and left their canvasses blank sparing us from having to look at their ghastly, sentimental smears.

chickenlittle said...

...but I can't find the thread (that Blogger search is awful)

Does anybody know how to make this less time consuming? Also, does the linking process itself help make future searching easier?

Maxine Weiss said...

The best was the perverted/converted Frat House. The "Inhabited" Frat House ?

Too much trouble to look for that. Exhausting, as usual.

I've been thinking about that Frat House and what they do there, in the private living quarters. I can't believe Althouse lives 99 steps from such a place.

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ron said...

Bang on Trooper, Bissage is wonderful!

No one wins Miss Congeniality around here!

Meade said...

Trooper teases, but the big grain of truth in his jest is that Bissage's comments really ARE wonderful. So are Trooper's and so many other commenters. Too many to name.

If I find time, I will try to fish out some Althouse comments because some of those are by far my favorites... terse, subtle, wry, mocking, with both soft and hard edges, poking and piercing pomposity and pigheadedness. I've even been on the receiving end more than once. Those are the ones that keep me coming back.

Meade said...

And then, of course, there is Ron. Where does one stop?

Original George said...

Ah, the annual "Best of" issue....

You need college interns.

Work them like dogs.

mcg said...

If you know some key words in the comment you're looking for, try this search in Google:

keyword1 keyword2 ... +site:althouse.blogspot.com

if you know the person who wrote it, add

+"person said"

(including the quotes)

mcg said...

I usually put plus signs in front of each keyword as well, to make sure Google only returns posts that have all those keywords in them.

Outis said...

Clearly it's the 3:43 comment on this post. It briefly made the banner at the top, and I believe it was the first commenter quip to do so.

Christy said...

Chicken little, Try a google search, for example, on: "palladian said" site:althouse.blogspot.com

Throw in another word or phrase you remember from the comment to narrow down the search. "Palladian said" and "perfume" gave me 51 hits.

As for myself, I think you are all wonderful.

Christy said...

MCG beat me to it, I see.

Henry Buck said...

One of my favorites from Althouse's resident Keebler Elf:
"TORSO! TORSO!"

The Robert Wright/Satan Bloggingheads picture always brings a strong laugh.

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
downtownlad said...

I'm proud of this comment:
http://althouse.blogspot.com/2008/04/its-not-recession.html#c8441060074802933665

Actually I love all my comments in that thread.

downtownlad said...

Congratulations on five years. I think I did two years of blogging, but gave it up when i realized it was taking over my life. So I know how much hard work is involved, and you do it better than anyone.

Tibore said...

This thread: "Is that a sex theme park?!".

It was completely pointless, yet completely, totally hilarious. I revisit it occasionally just to get a good chuckle out of it again. It was freakin' outrageously funny.

Also, this one (a thread about bats): Yikes

Sure, there have been more serious and substantive threads here. But the first two that came to mind when I saw the professor's post were just complete entertainment ones. Those two are ones that I enjoyed the most.

garage mahal said...

This was good un. At 10:51.

Richard Dolan said...

Seeing the reference to Sippican in the comments above called to mind Ann's old blog claiming that 1966 was the greatest year for music. The post appeared on April 10, 2006 and was just titled "1966".

That thread isn't quite as good as it originally appeared, since it seems that Sippican has deleted all of his comments here. Too bad.

Freeman Hunt said...

There's an old Synova comment I have to find that presented freedom of religion in a way I'd never thought of before and actually changed my mind on one aspect of it. I must find it.

chuck b. said...

It's a little too early on a Monday for me to complete the assigned task.

Instead I tried to think about memorable blog posts, and the first one that came to mind and stuck there is the little trip you took us on to the tiny temple/chapel with the altar to Mary or some other character.

I love that kind of stuff.

chuck b. said...

And my favorite picture was last fall, of the buckeye butterfly on the purple aster.

I didn't say anything at the time, but I was crazy-jealous of you for taking that picture.

knox said...

I honestly could never narrow it down. The only specific thread I can think to point out is, of course, missing all of sippican's comments.

I'd say for me, Palladian has been the most consistently entertaining commenter. He is a true non-conformist, and his comments never fail to surprise.

I'm one of those who left in a snit and came back after about 6 mos. Best content, best commenters anywhere.

AJ Lynch said...

Happy Birthday too Althouse!

That new pic of you in the sidebar is fantastic btw.

That Meade is one lucky guy.

former law student said...

This comment by zrimsek, regarding why everyone was so interested in Obama's associates, really struck me for being succinct and vivid:

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2008/04/obama-is-letting-wright-overpower-him.html#c3739541566914175917

howzerdo said...

Although I enjoy reading the comments (and I suppose this isn't following the rules), but my favorite isn't a comment thread. It is a post (or maybe that should be a series of posts).

I will choose this one because it actually has some comments; if the search results are comprehensive, by the date I can see it is the post that finally got me to get Grey Gardens from Netflix:

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2006/03/grey-gardens-musical.html#comments

I enjoyed the movie so much that I bought it, and it has been the subject of lots of (off-line) discussion. There are later threads on the subject that generated many more comments, and there are also excellent earlier posts that have no comments (?).

TitusMaterialGirl said...

Please I must ask you to all stop. I am honored by all of the accolades but embarassed as well.

I feel like Kate Winslet at the Golden Globes last night.

Enough, please, already. No more. Please I beg of you.

Oh and Happy Birthday Althouse.

TitusMaterialGirl said...

I am really begging of you all to stop with the honors.

This post is about Althouse's birthday not my glamourousness.

Maybe one more but that's it. I forbid you.

Sofa King said...

Ok, I know it's probably awfully uncharitable, but in all honesty my favorite comment thread was the one that started here, wherein Freder made a rather elementary mistake, insulted those who gently tried to corrected him, doubled down on his ignorance, accused the real experts of being liars, and generally exposed himself as the blowhard he is.

Petty, I readily admit, but a more thorough beclowning I have never seen.

And just for the record, he never did admit he was wrong, nor apologize to those he insulted and accused of being liars.

David said...

Sorry, Babe, I'm too new here to be looking for my oldies but goodies. Plus who likes seconds on plain vanilla?

Nevertheless, let the narcissism begin!

Host with the Most said...

Congrats on your Birthday today AND the Wednesday 5th Anniversary of the Greatest Blog on the Planet.

Your regulars raise a glass to the Professor.

Not a queen.

Not a Diva.

A daily breath of edification in a desperate, cynical world. A unique respite from the front page.

I began re-reading this blog from the beginning 5 weeks ago. It is difficult to not comment on some posts that, though 3-4 years old, still retain some emotional punch.


Thank you, Ann Althouse.

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
garage mahal said...

You'd think telling me to go jerk off in the corner could've been frontpaged or tagged. But nooooooooooo.

mcg said...

Yes that was a good one, GM! You have to keep in mind that Ann called Michael a pussy the same day. She was clearly having fun being crude :)

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
audio theoretician said...

Happy Birthday, An Althouse! (The title of this post suggests you're one-third of the way through the process of eliminating your first name.)

My comment on this post, and my follow-up here inspired me to get my own blog going. Cheers.

blake said...

I like Chip's off-blog tangents. There should be a Nobel prize for pop-ups.

I can't really say what my favorite comment is, because whenever there's something really good, I steal it and forget that it's not actually mine.

chickenlittle said...

...since it seems that Sippican has deleted all of his comments here. Too bad.

What would possess someone to do that? He must be planning to run for office or something.

Richard Dolan said...

c/little: Don't know why Sippican did that but I just asked him over at his blog.

nina said...

Happy birthday, Ann. I'll drink a rum punch in your honor. It's a constant 80 F in Tobago. I'm suffering the anticipated cold of Wisconsin.

Joan said...

Happy birthday, Professor!

Guys, don't pester Sippican. He left and took his comments with him, and that's that. This can be a touchy subject around here.

I can't name an all-time favorite comment, but I quite enjoyed Althouse calling Michael a pussy the other day. There are a lot of moments like that, here -- smiles or laughs. Then there are the deep comment threads where you can actually learn something. I love those, too.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Doesn't Palin look just like Tina Fey? LOL

The whole thread, from last June, is amazing (reading comments about how Palin would help McCain carry so many swing states, like IA and NV and MN!, is priceless) but it's the Tina Fey comment that really gets me. Such a simpler, innocent time.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

I have another fave. It was the first time Palladian ever attacked me. I probably had it coming (I made a disparaging remark about West Virginian Hillary voters in the primary), and this is him at his most fantastically vicious. I also love that, in the end, he is wrong:

"No doubt you are one of the important educated rich people who you seem to think should control the lives of the rubes in flyover land. Well you've got a surprise coming to you, O superior being. It's people like you, and your superior messiah, that have been and will be the eternal losers in the United States. It's the people you mock and disdain as hillbillies and racists that die for your sorry, lazy, worthless little white ass. Believe me, when Obama is defeated, either before or after the Democratic convention, your premature schadenfreude will seem even more pathetic than it already does. You're going to lose. And that's a good thing. Go Hillary!"

chickenlittle said...

I also love that, in the end, he is wrong:

Perhaps in predicted election outcome. But Palladian is still right about the rest of it.

Palladian said...

""No doubt you are one of the important educated rich people who you seem to think should control the lives of the rubes in flyover land. Well you've got a surprise coming to you, O superior being. It's people like you, and your superior messiah, that have been and will be the eternal losers in the United States. It's the people you mock and disdain as hillbillies and racists that die for your sorry, lazy, worthless little white ass. Believe me, when Obama is defeated, either before or after the Democratic convention, your premature schadenfreude will seem even more pathetic than it already does. You're going to lose. And that's a good thing. Go Hillary!"

Yeah, I was wrong in that I didn't anticipate that Obama's people would be low enough to steal the election. But my most egregious error was assuming that you were rich. Silly me.

The premature schadenfreude thing remains to be seen after Transfiguration and Ascension Day. No matter what happens, though, you're still a loser.

Palladian said...

"Guys, don't pester Sippican. He left and took his comments with him, and that's that. This can be a touchy subject around here."

Well whatever. Deleting all his comments was a childish act and extraordinarily destructive to all the streams of comments in which he participated. Through that act, he destroyed or impaired hundreds of other comments, riffs and replies that depended on his comments for context. That's vandalism, pure and simple.

reader_iam said...

I've been thinking about this thread today, and here's the thing:

There are so many commenters (including, but not limited, by far, to those already mentioned) whose words, quirks and characters I value for one reason or another that it's very hard to name just one comment or another by any of them, just one commenter or another, or even just one thread or another. The imagery which keeps popping to mind is that of a tapestry, and if you pull out (separate out?) a few strands, the overall picture starts to unravel. It just seems to me that pretty much all of the strands matter, in one way or another, to the whole that is the work (in progress). That probably sounds stupid, and maybe it, but oh well: so it goes.

I say thanks to everyone (Althouse most of all, of course!).

reader_iam said...

This comment is in response to Althouse's post and assignment, not to any particular sub-conversation in comments.

Ann Althouse said...

"It is difficult to not comment on some posts that, though 3-4 years old, still retain some emotional punch."

I would love it if people would comment on old posts. The blog going back 5 years is my magnum opus, and I'm always pleased to see people reading the early pages.

All the comments are emailed to me, and I am especially likely to read and respond to a lone comment on an old post. It will be read. There are many posts that predate comments, where you can be the first one to comment. If something good springs up in an old post, I might even note it in a new post to send people back to it. But in any case, I will see it.

James Wigderson said...

Happy Birthday Ann. And true to form, any comment I made was one of my favorites.

chickenlittle said...

@mcg & christy-
Thanks for the search tips. That helped me find what I was looking for--one of my first posts here, where I asked a question and Madison Man answered. I just wanted him to know that I got a copy of Double Take and that it made a wonderful present for someone in my family.

peter hoh said...

I was pleased with the response to my comment about the Art of Toasting Marshmallows.

peter hoh said...

I got a tag and a headline for for a comment about the bailout

peter hoh said...

Any thread that includes comments by both blogging cockroach and Sir Archy qualifies as a keeper.

reader_iam said...

That reminds me ... I thought it was sort of cool that Althouse used photos of mine from the Iowa caucuses in a poster of hers from late 2008; also, she later used a picture I took of Hillary Clinton during one of her visits here in January 2008. I want to thank Althouse for that, and several early links to my blog when I was blogging, including, for a couple of examples, one about "Brownie" starting a business back in 2005 and another live-blogging the conversation between Camille Paglia and I forget who else during intermissions of the Academy Awards two or three years back. Plus, she even addressed some of my subjected topics in a couple-so of her vlogs. The stuff I forget!