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May   3

Today is Nice Day at Barista

The Barista officially declares a ceasefire.Happy_face In the last couple days, we've heard from some people who are reluctant to come to our party for fear of meeting some of the people who post nasty comments here. Humor is humor; we're all for it. But yesterday, some of our threads really got out of hand, exceeding our usual standards of high-spirited sniping. Impersonations and cross charges about impersonations? Oh dear. Are we going to have to start making commenters register first with real e-mail addresses, or resort to censorship like you know who?

We would like to point out that it isn't necessary to eviscerate another poster in order to be funny.

Here are some recent comments that prove it. From the boldface names thread:

i may be misinformed, but i have met dottie frank a few times and i think she may have grown up in sullivan's island. and what does "self-congratulatory" mean? is it something like this: ***

writer #1: I say, we are a jolly bunch. look at my nice shoes.
writer #2: why, they're pips. Hush Puppies! bet they cost you a pretty penny on ebay, eh wot?
writer #3: yes, yes, lovely. Say, i have just had a piece on penny stocks published in institutional investor. aren't i pleased as punch with myself.
editor #1: Institutional investor? You don't say! why you'll be beating the pussy off with a stick, you old roue.
writer #4: oh, we are a clever bunch, i love us.

Posted by: fran | May 2, 2005 09:09 AM

From the 18-wheeler thread:

6.2.2 What problems are associated with an inadequate supply of SUV parking spaces?

An inadequate supply of SUV parking spaces can result in two negative consequences: (1) tired SUV drivers may continue to drive because they have difficulty finding a place to park to shop; while they are driving, they are unable to buy $300 colanders or $6 chocolate chip cookies thus depriving Montclair merchants of their livelihood, and (2) SUV drivers may choose to park at unsafe locations, such as the entrance to the BOE where appointed board members will kidnap them and make them watch four hours of Powerpoint presentations on class size, if they are unable to find available parking. Both of these consequences generate a safety hazard for the SUV driver and for other drivers using the NHS

Posted by: carya | May 1, 2005 09:35 AM

And even these two comments in the dog show thread:

I love it when people wear fur to animal events.

Posted by: Tom | May 2, 2005 04:18 PM

Tom, dahling, whatever would we go to dog shows for if not to window shop for next season's fashions?

Posted by: Cruella DeVille | May 2, 2005 04:36 PM

And yes, Cathar, we do appreciate your recent "gallantry."

The Barista reminds everybody that this is a place of business, with advertisers who pay good money for us to spend long, hard hours grinding out professional snarkiness. Even we have standards. No shoes, no shirt, no service. Now go. Have a nice day.

May 3, 2005 in Help Your Barista! | Permalink


hear hear.

Posted by: Right of Center | May 3, 2005 8:48:42 AM

Glad to see this posting. I thought I was just intimidated by the "comraderie" of the regular posters.

Posted by: annie oakley | May 3, 2005 9:07:19 AM

Do you really think my tongue in cheek impersonation of Cruella DeVille was out of bounds? I can't tell if you're being snarky in this post or not... Or am I missing it entirely?

Posted by: Lex | May 3, 2005 9:09:08 AM

How many of the spiteful ones will truly understand the word eviscerate?

We should all be emancipated, isn't it just all palaver anyhow?

Remember, the pen is mightier than the sword. I can't really forsee a Barista Brawl, can anyone else?

Posted by: Alf | May 3, 2005 9:13:13 AM

Oh, wait, do the example posts prove that our sniping is out of bounds or that we can be funny without the ad hominem?

Posted by: Lex | May 3, 2005 9:14:12 AM

The Barista, like any good parent, is rewarding good behavior with positive reinforcement. The quoted comments are exemplary examples of online cheekiness. And we know who Cruella is.

Posted by: Barista | May 3, 2005 9:16:40 AM

Lex, the example posts are the good ones.

Posted by: Right of Center | May 3, 2005 9:18:15 AM

So, you're saying I missed it entirely. I get it. I picked the wrong day to stop snorting Ritalin.

And how'd you know Cruella was me? Did you see me in my spotted stole?

Posted by: Lex | May 3, 2005 9:24:01 AM

I also think Alf is right. I would not worry about the party. People behave themselves much better when they are not virtual.

I hope registration on Baristanet won't be necessary, it would be a shame.

Just circle the e-wagons a bit and we'll keep and eye out for strangers!

It might be the online (addictive) version of Dante's 7th circle, but it is our circle!

Posted by: Right of Center | May 3, 2005 9:26:55 AM

The Cruella was hilarious! As was ROC's pictures of dogs.

I myself have felt intimidated about coming to the Barista party...

I agree that people are nicer in person and generally much of what is done online is play, even when it's mean play. I'm about as nice as they come in person and I am so online...unless you get nasty first. I'm not so good at turning the other cheek.

I like the sound of Baristanet registration...not as something we have to resort to, but just as a legitimate way of seein' who is who.

Posted by: butchcjg2 | May 3, 2005 9:32:58 AM

"I can't really forsee a Barista Brawl, can anyone else?"

I don't know. Will there be an open bar?

I was going to wear this as an icebreaker. That won't be a problem, will it?

Posted by: Lex | May 3, 2005 9:34:55 AM

Hey, we should vote on best post of the day! I think Fran's was the funniest by far yesterday.

Posted by: Lex | May 3, 2005 9:37:30 AM

Funny shirt, Lex...

I'm sure ROC's icebreaker will be even funnier...

Posted by: butchcjg2 | May 3, 2005 9:48:23 AM

Hmmm...maybe I'll bring my copy of Michael Savage's "Liberalism Is a Mental Disorder."

Posted by: Miss Martta | May 3, 2005 9:55:00 AM

Now I better ask, were those posts that purported to be from the Barista and Liz, uh, er, proffering virtue, authentic? Or did I just get fooled there too? If so, then I definitely need a long-contemplated vacation from this site. Perhaps in Beirut or Damascus.

Posted by: cathar | May 3, 2005 10:12:38 AM

Yes, Cathar, it was us ... were kidding around. (Liz started it.)

Posted by: The Barista | May 3, 2005 10:43:37 AM

cathar, don't take that vacation!

Posted by: Right of Center | May 3, 2005 10:46:07 AM

There are Internet connections in those places, Cathar.

Posted by: walleroo | May 3, 2005 10:50:53 AM

I must agree that the trolling of yesterday was unacceptible. Too meanspirited, and just dumb.

One of the interesting dynamics on this site is to see how people walk the line between wanting to stir things up a bit and wanting to be nice to everybody. Personally I think ROC is the master. He manages to be both an endearing pain in the butt and a good-hearted, decent person.

I'd also like to issue a blanket apology for all my transgressions in the future, and a plea: Please read my posts with a bit of tongue in the cheek. That's how I write'em, anyway. And if I offend you by, for instance, railing against writers and editors, there's probably a good reason. (In this case, the reason happens to be that I am one myself.)

Posted by: walleroo | May 3, 2005 10:58:54 AM

As an example of what's happening elsewhere while we're all posting/quarreling/quibbling/procrastinating (Liz, Barista, self, surely others with assignments due), the Newspaper Association of America is reporting today that average daily paid circulation for the 814 dailies reporting to the ABC declined 1.9%. Very few papers (about 3 out of 10 M-Sat., 1 in 4 on Sundays) reported even slight gains. And while I wouldn't necessarily weep were the Star-Ledger to slink away (with its woeful copy editors the first ones pulled into the pit by Satan's minions), this isn't good. Is it because we spend so much time "here?" Probably not, but still, that we even learn more about our area in this fashion doesn't bode well for newspapers, does it? It's scary, although obviously the Barista would pick up some new advertisers.

Posted by: cathar | May 3, 2005 11:04:10 AM

Sorry, I'm too busy rearranging the deck chairs to read your post, Cathar. What's that up ahead? Surely not an iceberg.

Maybe you're smart to butter up the Barista now. We'll be working for her in a year--if we're lucky, that is.

Posted by: walleroo | May 3, 2005 11:08:32 AM

I don't think it is scarry. Not at all. The media is in a shift right now. And this blog and others are the cause.

Not just because people will get more of their news from blogs and thus cancel their subscriptions, but, also, for the first time in history there is a "check and balance" aimed at the MSM. (Main Stream Media).

Prior they were their own check and balance. That is no longer.

This means that blatantly biased reporting (on both sides) is laid bare. Most cetainly this will result in fewer subscriptions.

Posted by: Right of Center | May 3, 2005 11:14:19 AM

I am not buttering her up, walleroo. Why are positive remarks about the implementer of a certain kind of addiction so construed? Besides, she's a long way from becoming a Si Newhouse-like figure. (Though I wonder if she doesn't dream of that day. Who, to continue the positivism, could blame her?)

Posted by: cathar | May 3, 2005 11:17:14 AM

ROC, I'm not sure there's any greater - or lesser, yes - commitment to "accuracy" on blogs and web sites. I do see the admission of blatant bias on blogs, admittedly, and thank goodness (not God) for that. Now, however, the same people who used to tell me "I'm a writer too!" even if the only thing they'd ever written so far were the minutes of a CYO meeting, well, they suddenly are all "writers." Are you sure that's completely to society's advantage? It's as if we've instituted a draft for writers these days, and one with sometimes very low standards. But it comes at the same time as we've moved to a professional Army. I don't know, I just don't see this as necessarily a golden age for tongues and language and reportage. 10 years down the line? Maybe. Just maybe.

Posted by: cathar | May 3, 2005 11:24:33 AM

Don't get me wrong. I love the Barista. And I'm not just saying this cuz it's Nice Day.

Posted by: walleroo | May 3, 2005 11:35:12 AM

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