“NO ONE IS SUGGESTING YOU CAN CONQUER GAUL BY DEADLIFTING 4 PLATES”

Why else should your site not have comments? Because Joe·My·God has them. If 4chan notoriously has the worst comments on the Web and YouTube the second-worst, this grizzled positoid staggers back from Blowoff with the bronze tiara digging into his scalp.

Technically, the worst blog in the world

Just to recap, Joe·My·God is, at a technical level, the worst blog in the world. Numbers like the following are sometimes deceptive for reasons Joe·My·God types could not fathom, but when your homepage claims to be Strict XHTML but still has 568 validation errors, you are fucked. (It chokes Validator.NU after 415 errors.) Last month’s archives page – all 1.5 MB of it – shows 8,700 errors and 3,300 warnings. Those are typical monthly numbers: Run through a year’s archives and your browser has to deal with 116,000 errors and warnings.

Hence Joe·My·God will reliably crash your browser. It’s an amazing achievement in the 21st century. Browsers are pretty solid these days. They handle really good sites like mine with aplomb, and have ever-more-hardened defences against shitty sites. But Joe·My·God is a kind of Chernobyl that lays waste to your equipment. There is no browser in existence that is impervious to Joe·My·God.

Why?

When bloggers barely understand computers

Like so many people online now, and like so many Windoids, Joe Jervis barely knows computers. I can explain Web standards to anyone in eight minutes flat and can deprogram a classroom of blind students in an afternoon, but people like Jervis just are not equipped with a neurology that permits them to understand how you cannot shove EMBED inside P inside DIV. They don’t know how the Web works or how browsers work, and in fact they don’t know what they don’t know.

Even after explaining it to them they don’t know. Even after you rid them of their ignorance they stay ignorant. People like this, when confronted with rudimentary technical details, stand there dumb as a mule. “I don’t really understand computers.”

This is the same reason why you should never ask a typical gay man to do anything practical. Hem your skirt, sure. Blow-dry your hair, maybe. Take your deposit at the bank, of course. But not change your tire, calculate compound interest (even at the bank), or learn what P, DIV, and EMBED are. (Or not top-post.)

The gay-male bridge brain just does not do practical. It only does pretty. And sometimes it doesn’t even do that very well, as the angry-fruit-salad nondesign of Joe·My·God demonstrates. I guess the thing Joe·My·God’s bridge brain does well is racontage, because he enjoys a reputation as a raconteur nonpareil.

Outsourcing comments

Like so many technical nonadepts, Joe·My·God outsources his comments section to a third party, Haloscan. This is a recipe for disaster on any number of levels and is itself a reason why the site crashes your browser. Beyond that, offshoring your comments means you don’t control them. Joe·My·God is still hosted on Blogspot, so I suppose this is merely one form of imprudence twice over. Then again, no commercially viable host anywhere would agree to run Joe·My·God, for technical and legal reasons. Nor could Jervis afford the bandwidth (who could?).

Legal reasons? In a kind of Godwin’s law manqué, all comment sections eventually evolve toward a lawsuit. In this case, weirdo Christian fundies finked out Joe Jervis to the FBI. Baseless, of course, but a needless spot of trouble.

Then there’s this superspecial kind of shit in the pool:

  • Last week’s JMG post… brought in about 1.2 million pervy hits…. That doesn’t mean much for us, except that porn spammers have been dropping malware and virus-laden links into many… posts. Beware and do not click out!

  • WARNING: Do NOT click on ANY outgoing links left in the comments of this post. Spammers are pouring in with malware and virus-laden links to their porn sites.

That classic Joe·My·God trope: Warning you of how dangerous his own site is. (Actually, shouldn’t that be grounds for legal action right there? I exaggerate, but only somewhat.)

What else are the fundies doing?

Republishing Joe·My·God comments in a new context. (Religious group: “We will reproduce all the offensive comments on our Web site. The pro-family Christian defense organization Liberty Counsel has contacted the FBI regarding the threatening post.”)

When you allow pretty much any comments into your system and implicitly consent to a Doctorow-style remix culture, you shouldn’t be surprised when your enemies reproduce your comments and use them to make you look bad. It’s an extension of anti-gay videos showing risqué highlights from gay-pride parades.

At any rate, Jervis has no moral standing to pretend his site’s comments, standing by themselves in their intended context, don’t make him look bad anyway.

Joe·My·God causes nothing but harm

The fact that Joe·My·God harms your browser is merely where the trouble starts. Links in its comments sections can damage your Windows computer (and, as a Windows user, you’ll be stupid enough to click those links). They overtax various hosts and systems, tend to attract nutbar fundamentalists, trigger specious complaints to law enforcement, induce copyright and moral-rights infringement, and reduce an already risible site to a cesspool.

Too harsh? I don’t think so. The American gay press is dying off before our very eyes, a trend even Jervis covers. It is nothing short of a shocking debasement of gay journalism that Andy Towle, Pam Spaulding, and Joe Jervis are the best Americans can come up with as a replacement. There is no historical parallel for this degree of incompetence. Even the Mattachine Society’s newsletters had higher production values. Blogs like these are a step backward, and, in Jervis’s case, are a menace in some respects.

Reconstruction

The problems could be solved. But Jervis doesn’t have the taste or acumen to do it. Joe·My·God won’t be fixed because Joe Jervis can’t be.

Incidentally, it’s intentional that I did not induce you to “click out” to Joe·My·God. I’m also not going to cut the brake lines of your car, roofie your Diet Coke, or shove a stick through the spokes of your kid’s bike.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2009.11.16 17:31. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
https://blog.fawny.org/2009/11/16/joemygod-cautionary/

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