The Joy of Moderation.

A blogger’s lot is not a happy one. You make a mistake, everybody wants to do the fully cleated Flemish clog dance on your head, and sometimes that’s even your own frigging readers, should you be so fortunate to pick up a few of them. That’s the territory, get used to it and don’t whinge if you choose to go in there. The kitchen, heat etc.

It gets worse though. It pays very badly, which means you’ll never make a red cent out of it. You sink a lot of hours and effort in, which might be better utilised earning a more sumptuous living. It’s a balancing act and to be truthful is more of an endurance thing. You really do have to be committed to some cause and believe despite very little feedback from the real world outside of cyber space, that you might actually be doing some good out there.

As one of the band of brothers expressed it, you spend a lot of hours looking at a computer and perhaps a few too many with your back to those you love. I suppose I’m worse than most in that I’m an essayist, which is an expensive way to blog. Writing takes time, and if you care about the language, which I do, it does chew up a lot of it. You don’t want to be nearly on target, it has to be exactly right down the damn pickle barrel, and you’ll keep working on it until it is. Engaging to the mind and pleasing to the palate.

The bitter cherry on top is those sites who feel free to copy and paste an article in its entirety, minus the copyright bit, for their place and without even a link to the original author. As the drill sergeant said, they’re giving you one up the ass without even the common decency to do a reach around hand job.

It does have its pleasures though. The big one is the personal satisfaction that you’ve written a good article that people find a resonance with, but the other one is reading the thoughts of commenters on it. So often, they round out the piece and suggest avenues of thought or insights which you’ve perhaps not explored. I enjoy reading people’s viewpoints on an article but I do operate a policy of excluding trolls, deranged maniacs, propagandists and those strange people who are only there to start their own comment wars.

I don’t get hundreds of comments on a piece, but I do tend to get good meaty ones on the heavier ones. Given that environment and a one article a week schedule, people have the time, the space and the peace to digest an article before commenting on it in some considered fashion, and all without the juvenile troll wars or dealing with the personality defectives that plague the blogosphere. I like the results of that, since it occasionally enables me to harvest out of the commenters those I have a feeling are capable of producing a piece themselves. Some of the comments are well up into the foothills of an interesting article in its own right.

I’ve nagged them into writing articles and they’ve been gutsy enough to make that transition from safe commenter to putting themselves out there in the danger zone as an author in their own right and at the receiving end of their peer’s opinion. As a commissioning editor who pays them absolutely nothing, I rarely do anything more than minor edits to their work and indeed, they themselves are a lot harder on their own articles than I’d ever be. With a work ethic like that, they’re low maintenance writers who can always be relied on to produce an engaging and readable piece.

I get to put my feet up for a weekend off and enjoy reading a decent article.

Of course, there’s a downside to the commentary. You get the odd one through for moderation and you look at it hard. You should trash it immediately but you can’t help but consider the vileness of it, and believe me, some of them are bottom of the barrel toxic stuff.

I wrote an article about a bunch of Hollywood C listers caught on camera plotting with what they thought was a representative of Arab big oil. They were agreeing to produce an anti-fracking movie but more importantly, conspiring to conceal where the financing was coming from. I called the piece American Traitors because in my opinion, accepting money in secret from foreigners to harm the interests of your own country is treason.

Very quickly, I received a comment for moderation. Apart from using the word traitor, it seemed to have little or nothing to do with the original post. When people mount very personal attacks on poor little me, which are obviously meant to make me lose my cool, the cold cyborg in me kicks in, and I take a hard look at it. Ignore the invective; back off your emotions and have a slow and careful read of it, and see what you make of it.

Who’s The “Traitor”?

U’re just stupid, brainless puke urself, “point”-head. “Treason”?–that’s what the northern Yankees said about the brave southerners who declared independence of the Washington DC regime of 1861.

“Treason”?–TO WHAT?–u scummy puke. What was USA doing in Vietnam, anyway? What’s USA doing in Afgan or Iraq?–killing good patriots who are only defending their country. And who are the US soldiers fighting for?–TRAITORS–the people trying to set-up world gov.

And what were US troops doing in Europe during WWII?–fighting for Jews and communists, that’s what.

U point-head are just a stupid, brainless scum, probably a neo-con who supports Israel–U’RE THE TRAITOR, U SCUM.

All a bit bracing, isn’t it? Of course, it’s anonymous. At first glance, it’s the standard hate comment I’m used to getting, and it appears to be from some Aryan Nation inbred who’s probably the latest product of a generational tradition of good ole boys who were a tad too affectionate with their first cousins but like the old farmer’s market joke goes, hold back those five hogs a moment until I count them. It doesn’t ring true for a number of reasons. It’s as if someone is trying a bit too hard to be an obnoxious redneck doing their best to be ignorant, offensive and insulting.

Every sentence does start with a big letter and ends with one of those funny little dots. I’m impressed already. Getting past the suspiciously desperate texting abbreviations, there’s only one spelling mistake – “Afgan”. It nearly looks deliberate, like dropping the occasional definite or indefinite article. Also, the proper nouns which should be capitalised, have mostly been capitalised, which is quite good going for a supposedly retarded bigot.

All the elision mistakes you’d expect of your usual frothing ranter have been avoided. Once you get over the text speak, “U’re” is actually correctly elided; as is “what’s” and “that’s”. The habit of writing precise English is very difficult to disguise, no matter how hard you try. Their fist is betraying the persona they’re trying to project at me.

The big bloomer they’ve made is trying to pass themselves off as a Southerner to someone who’s lived south of the Mason-Dixon. I have a friend who told me once that she was nearly twelve years old before she realised damn and Yankee were actually two words. I’ve heard a few stronger adjectives put in front of Yankee, but never northern. That’s a real clanger. It’s not as if they exactly come in eastern, western or southern varieties, is it?

I like the all capitals finish – it’s the best they can do in place of being able to shout at me.

Intrigued, I take a while to look into exactly who is working so hard to offend me and found him under his real name, because I’m good at finding people. I discover they’re a southerner alright, but posting from southern California, Hollywood to be precise. It’s difficult to work out a motivation but maybe in some vague way, they think they’re coming to the rescue of those Hollywood traitors.

Perhaps kicking off an ugly racist argument underneath the piece will devalue it and the kudos for doing so might curry favour for whatever dog-eared script they’ve been toting around in their back pocket for years without any success. Everyone in Hollywood has a script, even the guy who hauls your trash away to the dump. And yes, it turns out they’ve got their own pet script. Lots of mindless formulaic violence and not much in the way of human feeling. Talentless.

They, like their script and their comment, are all a bit pathetic and incompetent, so I leave the comment mouldering in the awaiting moderation queue and forget about it and them. They’ve wasted my time, so they can waste theirs checking back in to see if it’s finally cleared moderation, which it will never do. Hell will freeze over first.

The next I heard of the prat was a comment a few days later on something I wrote the previous week; a tribute piece to honour the ordinary soldiers who came ashore on D-day. It was off my usual global warming topic, but the coward hiding behind a keyboard had another even more vitriolic crack at getting my attention, not only with a death threat or two, but more grievously by disrespecting the sacrifice of those brave young men.

U typically brainless, ignorant, Jewwy filth who ought to be killed: there was no 4 thousand Americans killed on D-day, u stupid moron–it was about 1500. The worst, most horrible day for American dead was battle of Antietam during American “Civil” war–which was actually just a failed war of liberation for the South, war of imperial conquest for the north.

And the red Jew-Bolshevik army wasn’t on another “flank,” u scummy, dumb puke–it was an entirely diff. front, idiot. DEATH to u, u Jew-loving pig.


That was a mistake.

You did finally get on target about my sensibilities and managed to offend me, because while you have a right to bash away at me, and I’ll overlook the death threats because I know a keyboard coward when I hear one yapping, you’re on sacred ground when you come anywhere near the memory of those good people. After previously making a public example of someone wanting to play comment games here, I did give fair warning in a piece a few years back and have been left alone since. Time for a refresher lesson.

By a very circuitous route, the word has got back to me that someone out there actually went to the time and trouble of emailing a selection of Hollywood producers and agents with even a slightly Jewish sounding surname, and there’s quite a large number of them, the pitch for your script and thoughtfully added your opinion of brainless, ignorant, Jewwy filth like me, who should be killed.

Incidentally, I’m not Jewish, but what the hell, nobody’s perfect, as Joe E. Brown observed.

So, Phillip, whatever slim aspirations you might ever have entertained of Tinseltown, have I suspect just been killed stone dead. As we say down South, how do you like them apples?


Related articles by Pointman:

Moderating, trolls, soup ladles and Ethics.

The scorning of William Connolley.

Happy birthday Pointman’s.

American traitors.

Heroes for a day.

Click for a list of other articles.



32 Responses to “The Joy of Moderation.”
  1. Ed Moran says:


    thank you once again for an excellent essay. Your consistently high standard has been maintained.

    One question (I’m sure you expect this one) for you.

    What restrains you from “outing” the despicable…(every reader can fill in his own words here)? OK, you’ve done a good job on his potential career but do you not feel that such vileness deserves more?




  2. Blackswan says:


    You’ve swapped the usual finesse of a rapier for a broad sword and a double blade battleaxe. Good for you. That’s where the arrogance of such trolls becomes obvious – they keep underestimating their targets. Idiots.


  3. philjourdan says:

    There have been many studies that basically demonstrate that conservatives can act liberal, but liberals cannot act conservative. I think you see such a demonstration here. Just another liberal trying to sneak in some hate as a conservative. But not surprisingly, they are easy to spot even to a blind man.

    I like what you did – making it its own column. EM Smith, when he was blogging more often, use to run a column about once a month of the hate filled posts he never let through moderation. The column was a hoot! Unfortunately that is a victim of his new busy schedule. As I suspect yours would be also (given your once a week schedule). But while I can read about the climate many places, your flair with the WC (still trolling Joanne Nova’s blog) and now this thug (who unfortunately shares a name with me – even the same spelling) are a unique and rare topic that makes them all the more enjoyable.


  4. philjourdan says:

    Oops. Can you check the mod bin? I hope mine does not linger forever. 😉


  5. karabar says:

    You are a master wordsmith, pointman. A true craftsman. I look for your essays and devour them when they arrive. Your talent belongs in a syndicated column, rather than a blog, but then, a blog is far better than nothing at all.

    It is indeed unfortunate that you have not lured this lurid ‘Phillip’ in to the trap you set for the disgusting Connelley. That was a masterpiece.

    Thank-you for your perseverance Pointy, whoever you really are. You are a real champion in the battle with the political class and the elite. I believe that you do make a difference. Some day we will conquer the propaganda with the Truth.
    God Bless you.


  6. Shoshin says:

    To quote comedian Steve Martin:
    ” Some people have a way with words… Others… not have way.”

    Your detractors appear to have stumbled into the Not Have Way tent.


  7. M Simon says:

    “typically” stands out. Typically the brainless do not use “typically”. “All” or “never” are way more appropriate. The brainless do not hedge their bets.

    Excellent work! – From a fellow Jew. Welcome to the tribe.


  8. hoppers says:

    Having read both of the calling cards, one does wonder about the content of the script!


  9. diogenese2 says:

    The sublime art of acting is to create the appearance of a fake persona that cannot be distinguished from a real one. Real people do not perform like that (although they often try to).
    Observe bad acting and you appreciate just how difficult it is and the talent and skill that is needed.
    The fakers will always give themselves away by the tiny incongruities in their performance. Often one word, omitted or superfluous is enough. You see – and you know. Psychopaths (I’ve known a few professionally) pretend to be “normal” humans by aping behaviour but always get something wrong, as do speakers of a second language (which can even be your own native tongue).
    An overdue thank you Pointy for the sheer joy of language which, try as you might, you cannot keep from cascading into your posts.
    To paraphrase from a long forgotten poem –
    “Why – he has such a way with words.
    Words – he can almost make them talk”


  10. meltemian says:

    I bet Phillip’s script was like “A Good Day To Die Hard” only even worse………

    Some peoples’ motivation escapes me!
    (Oh God, hope the apostrophe’s in the right place?)


  11. Dagfinn says:

    What can I say about this without looking like a brainless groupie trying to suck up? I give up, ZOMG.


  12. RoyFOMR says:

    What Dagfinn said. KBO.


  13. Bill P. says:

    What is it about “totalitarians” and numbers adjustment? “There were no 6 million Jews, it was just 12,000, mostly killed in refugee camps by Allied bombing.” “D-Day had fewer American dead than ‘sacred’ Antietam.” Blah blah blah.

    I’m a proud Southerner, but not a supporter of the Democrat Party-centered cause of the Confederacy. (Granddad was an oddity, a Republican in early 20th C Georgia). And fiercely conservative.

    I hope you understand this guy isn’t a traditional American conservative, but a lover of totalitarianism. Fascism (from the ‘fasces’ carried by Roman lictors) is a form of totalitarian socialism centered on racial or ethnic pride and purity – differing from Communism only in that the latter focuses on economic class. (Ask anyone in Eastern Europe how “fascist” were the Soviets who looked down on non-Russians). Otherwise, difficult to tell a totalitarian’s “team” without a scorecard.

    American patriotism is unique – exceptional – in that it centers on love of the only nation built on an IDEA rather than a race, creed, or language.

    This guy isn’t a “patriot” so long as “American” is defined as in terms of race and creed, as he does.


    • diogenese2 says:

      Bill – this guy is only a lover of himself. Antietam is something he has googled. If he has ever been to Gettysburg he probably only remembers a nice burger and ice cream and brought from it only a fridge magnet. America is not built upon an idea but a desire, for freedom. What that is you only really know if you haven’t got it. Your founders knew. This guy abuses his in his ignorance. “Antietam the worst” – my arse it was.
      From Craig L. Symonds:
      ‘ Grant felt confident of success but the men in the ranks knew better. Many spent the hours….writing letters home and some even sewed their names and addresses into their coats so that their bodies could be identified afterwards. The grand attack lasted 8 minutes in which nearly 8000 union soldiers fell ….. better than 16 per second. The men in blue who leaped from the trenches …knew it would be that way, but they went anyway. A diary pulled from a dead union soldier…. The last entry read “June 3rd Cold Harbour. I was killed”.

      Men like these created your nation from choice, because they were free to do so.


    • durango12 says:

      Yes, the late French philosopher Jean-Francois Revel also made the point that the only real difference between Fascism and Communism is that one is based on racial hatred while the other is based on class hatred. He emphasized that the latter has achieved the far higher body count.


      • Graeme no.3 says:

        Yes indeed. I tried to give you a thumbs up but my iPad is wandering in the wifi a bit.


  14. Kent Dorfman says:

    Dear Pointman,

    I too look forward anxiously to your latest posts. I also agree with Karabar. I suspect there are many on-line magazines that could benefit from your work while providing a modest stipend.

    As for phil-the-troll, I think you’ve landed a Paulbot. Southern California is thick with them, and they are the worst sort of conspiracy theorists. They may indeed hate Jews. The whole Elders of Zion theme probably makes sense to them. But in the end, the thing that means the most is being able to say, “See, I told you so!” Drilling down into the Civil War issue, you’ll find that the ideology of North or South is not important to them. What is is the idea that the Government somehow interfered with the manifest destiny of the Southern Patriots as part of some long-term plan to empower the Federal Reserve, or some such. As for any foreign war, they are strict isolationists. Even Lend-Lease was a betrayal of the mind-your-own-business foreign policy they advocate. Victory in Europe (WWII) is galling in that it interferes with their need to be right at any cost. So the only recourse is picking apart the numbers. A crummy hobby, if you ask me. And skewered without a reach-around seems a proper consequence for him. Unfortunately he will only use his screwing as proof of larger forces at work.

    Thank you for your perseverance. Thank your family from me for giving you the space to create this thing of beauty each week.


  15. Auralay says:

    Hi, Pointman. I followed you link to the Feb 2011 article. In the comments you said you might write an article on the spiders. Did you get round to that, if so may I have the link, please?
    (Trying to take great care with my grammar while avoiding sycophantic praise of your articles. Please take it as read that I do enjoy- thanks!)


  16. durango12 says:

    “It does have its pleasures though. The big one is the personal satisfaction that you’ve written a good article that people find a resonance with..”

    This is one of those, but all of your works show the signs of a lot of care. Writing well is difficult. I don’t do it well myself though I have improved over many years. It is not nearly enough to have something to say, though that is a prerequisite and is itself rare. But it is hard not to be discouraged by the level of response we do get to see. This must be raised to a high power by those that we do not get to see. What I don’t know is whether these loons have been there all the time, beneath the surface, merely let out of their cages by the Internet, or worse yet whether they have indeed been made by the Internet.


  17. wulliejohn says:

    I cannot be alone, but I enjoy, appreciate and sympathise (in the true sense) wih all your articles, essays and general drivellings. Please keep it up, and if ever you feel alone, remember that there is a huge number of people who feel the same way as you do. Fair fa yer honest sonsie face.


  18. ossqss says:

    Nice read PM. Thanks

    As my grandma always told me “If you don’t stand for something, you will go for anything”.

    Regards Ed


  19. Lesley says:

    A perfect response to someone that deserved everything he will now get. I do hope he reads this post so he will be aware of why his scripts keep being rejected. As for the number of Americans who died on D-Day – May I just say thank you to each and every one for coming across to Europe and fighting in a war on foreign soil. Without their sacrifice my country (England) is unlikely to have survived and the whole of Europe, if not the world would be very different today.


  20. LabMunkey says:

    What a superb way to respond. You’re on my regular blog roll, but I rarely comment- just had to say, nicely played mate.


  21. Mryan says:

    You are now officially my favorite blogger. Thanks for your work.


  22. Pointman says:

    Ed Moran – I was strongly tempted to leave in his surname, but while they have more than their share of excessive maniacs, we’ve got a few ourselves, so we’ll leave them to do the death threats. I made the point without doing that anyway.

    Philjourdan – “There have been many studies that basically demonstrate that conservatives can act liberal, but liberals cannot act conservative.” I’d have to agree, perhaps because they lack a sense of humour. Saving the planet is a serious business.

    M Simon – If possible, can I join without getting the cruellest cut of all?

    Bill P & all Southerners – I’ve lived and worked in the South, and met too many good people with whom I’ve had some great times, to ever speak ill of it. Those two comments were just a black propaganda effort; someone pretending to be an OTT caricature of one of the stereotypes the alarmists try to portray skeptics as.

    Auralay – I never did write the “spiders” up, but if people are interested, I’ll have a go at it.

    Durango12 – “What I don’t know is whether these loons have been there all the time, beneath the surface, merely let out of their cages by the Internet, or worse yet whether they have indeed been made by the Internet.” There’s an article in that thought. Fancy having a crack?

    Wulliejohn- I’m a free man, not a haggis!

    Thank you all for the expressions of support, they’re much appreciated.



  23. Paul in Sweden says:

    There, Their, There’re Pointman, put your feet up, relax and enjoy the rest of the weekend. Maybe re-read Harry_read_me.txt which I find to be one of the most hysterical tears in the eyes things I have ever read. You are one of my favorite blogger/essayists/wordsmith and no doubt the favorite of countless others. Many thanks to you for all the info that you regularly provide with your wicked evil sense of humor.


  24. Mike Singleton says:

    Another excellent dissection even if performed with the above described battle axe, much harder to do than with a scalpel without self-immolation. What shines through, from behind your way with words, are the high IQ and EQ.


  25. Truthseeker says:

    I have a problem with the picture you have at the top of this post. The signs are pointing in the wrong direction …


  26. Roberto says:

    This process seems to be a variant of the Darwin Awards. Removing yourself from the gene pool by not surviving the experience of your own monumental foolishness.

    Yes, the good stuff always takes time, but it’s worth it. Keep up the great work, Pointman.


  27. Blackswan says:

    Sorry to be OT Pointman, but this is breaking news …….

    Sad to report, but it’s finally happened. An employee of the NSW Government Office of Environment and Heritage has been shot dead while serving notice on an elderly landowner for illegally clearing vegetation on his property.

    In the early days of Kevin Rudd’s Labor Government of 2007, having declared Global Warming to be “the greatest moral challenge of our time”, Rudd (in lock-step with the Greens and State Labor Governments) declared huge swathes of farmland to be “Carbon Sinks” thereby banning any clearing of vegetation from farmland.

    This policy, covering any vegetation in designated areas (even if it was regrowth on previously cleared land), has driven productive farmers into ruin and even suicide at the loss of family farms.

    A few years ago another farmer, Peter Spencer, staged a 52-day hunger strike in protest at the ‘carbon sink’ policy plunging him into bankruptcy.

    ”Australian Farmer Peter Spencer has been fighting for compensation for more than 10 years now. After the Government put a ‘freeze’ on the use of 109 million hectares of farmland across Australia (including his own), Peter has been unable to farm a large proportion of his land, thus preventing him from earning a living.”

    Today a 79 year old man has apparently taken up his gun and shot dead a Government employee serving him with notice of prosecution. The dead man is a father of six, compounding the tragedy of this appalling Labor/Green fiasco.

    JoNova has been fighting the good fight on behalf of similarly affected landowners for years, and still it continues unabated. We can only hope that this tragedy will prompt Prime Minister Abbott to add a repeal of this farcical “carbon sink” legislation to his dumping of the carbon dioxide tax.

    This insanity has to end. It shouldn’t have taken a man’s violent death to put a stop to it.


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