Monday, May 24, 2021

State of the Blog

As the blog goes forward here are some thoughts on the state of same.  

For several years now I’ve moderated the comments… for the obvious reasons.  Those that get through I mostly love.  You guys often make more insightful observations than I do.  I also value that this is a little community.  I bring up topics and enjoy the different perspectives you all bring to them.  They’re thoughtful, funny, and a joy to read.  I never want to discontinue the comments feature.

But I would like to institute a new policy.  For years and years I’ve asked readers not to post anonymously, and still some of do.  Lately its increased.   I think the least a person can do when making a public comment is to own it — attach a name.  So from here on I will no longer publish anonymous moments.  Won’t even read ‘em.  So don’t post as anonymous but leave your name at the end of your comment.  I’ll never see it.   If you’re uncomfortable not being anonymous I respect that.  Then my comment section is just not for you.  

Also, it goes without saying, any pro-Trump, Big Lie, MAGA, Tucker Carlson/Sean Hannity/other Fox News idiots comments will be instantly deleted.  Save yourself the time.  It takes you several minutes to compose and submit your misinformation and it takes me literally one second to delete it.   Now you may say I’m being intolerant, and I should air all points-of-view.  No.  Sorry.  It’s not a matter of opinion.  It’s that this blog respects the laws of nature, science, and the real world.    

A further reminder, no attacking each other.  This should be a fun sharing of ideas.  Play nice, kids.  

And finally, I wrote this because I found this great photo of Natalie Wood.  

Thank you for your patronage, understanding, and most of all -- comments.

- Management (me)

38 comments :

Unkystan said...

Amen!

forg/jecoup said...

I was worried when I read STATE OF THE BLOG in my twitter feed. I thought you're ending this blog. THANK GOD it's not the case, I've been a loyal reader for many years now, I read almost everything (sorry can't relate to anything sports related!) so glad you're continuing on! I miss the daily blog entries but I understand but just continue writing please here

James said...

A Friday question for you. Do you think, had she lived, that Natalie Wood would have ended up starring in a TV series? A sitcom perhaps? Which do you think she might have been great in (she was a bit old for Jane's part in Big Wave Dave's).

Missy Eddy said...

I was scared you were going to end your blog! Glad you are not!

Barry Traylor said...

What a wonderful idea. I approve as I have never understood what people do that.

Mike Barer said...

Comment moderation has worked well for me, I think that I've made hundreds and maybe one or two were not published here.

David Riche said...

I've been a daily reader since about 2009. Your blog is one of the nice constant things in a weirdly changing world. It's also a nice respite from a world that's become hyperpoliticized. I'm pretty political and strongly opinionated, but I need a place like this where I can get out of my own head for a few minutes and enjoy some nostalgia and feel a fun connection to the shows that made the most fun decades of my life. Thanks for what you do here.

Roy DeRousse said...

There are some legitimate reasons why people should post anonymously on topics in some forums (personal medical issues, fear of reprisals, etc.), but I can't imagine why that should be necessary on the topics covered in your blog. (Well, maybe some of the political topics.) Anyway, this seems like a good policy for your blog.

DADreger said...

What clear, and thoughtful guidance. You've set the expectation of behavior and hopefully everyone follows it.

Thanks for all the time and energy to put into the blog.

tavm said...

Titles of Natalie Wood movies I've seen (off the top of my head): Scudda Hoo, Scudda Hay (I think Marilyn Monroe was in that one as well), Miracle on 47th Street (original of course, not the 1973 TV version with future "Good Morning America" host David Hartman or the 1994 John Hughes remake), Cash MsCall (with James Garner), West Side Story (her singing voice was dubbed by Marni Nixon), Splendor in the Grass, Sex and the Single Girl, The Great Race, Inside Daisy Clover, Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice (Would something like that be made today?), and Brainstorm. I remember enjoying most of them but I admit not paying too much attention to BCTD because I was having dinner with my aunts while it was airing on commercial TV with edits. I know Marjorie Morningstar has been on YouTube for years so maybe I'll catch that someday soon...

RyderDA said...

Proudly commenting under my actual name (not an alias) since 2014. Your blog, your rules, Ken. Keep up the great work!

thomas tucker said...

Excellent rules.
btw, this past week I was wine tasting in Sonoma and met a winemaker who is a former actor and holds the record for being the princicpal in more commercials than anyone else ever- over 3,000. His name is Squire Fridell and he also makes excellent wine (Glen Lyon Winery.)
Friday question- have you ever met him or worked with him? Have you ever written or directed commercials?

blinky said...

I used to comment all the time but I’ve given up on social media almost 100%. My Facebook page is just my name and that’s it. I don’t look at Twitter and I glance at Instagram once in a while. I used to comment all the time on stories on Reddit but I stopped that too. I think the idea that our comments are somehow useful or interesting to other people is mostly a myth in our own heads. It’s like 99% of all conversations where everybody is just getting ready to make their comment. Nobody’s really listening. All that said I still read your blog every single day and enjoy it. So keep up the good work I’m reading but I’m not commenting.

Jay said...

Still loving the blog after all these years!

MKNycutt said...

What a thoughtful, practical, respectful line of thinking. You don't belong on the internet, sir!!!

Douglas Trapasso said...

Possible Friday question (Another poster above had basically the same idea):

Have you watched a movie(s) since 11/29/81 and just whispered to yourself " was fine in this movie, but Natalie would have knocked this role out of the park?"

Cheryl Marks said...

I too was worried when I read the headline you were going to chuck the whole thing to concentrate on your play writing and wonderful podcasts. Thank you, Jesus -- uh, Ken.

Friday question that probably is impossible to answer: Once again Mariners management is asking us (fans) to be patient as they rebuild the team. As a baseball guy do you think they really are trying to put together a winning team or just continue to be incompetent or is something else going on?

On the other hand I did enjoy watching some great pitching, hitting, fielding and base running this weekend as the Washington Huskies hosted Michigan in the Regional NCAA Softball Tournament. #MightyAreTheWomen

maxdebryn said...

I have no idea how to post pictures or URL thingies, but if you do a search for Natalie Wood/Wedding Dress/Harper's Bazaar, you will be blessed with a lovely photograph of Miss Natalie.

Mike Bloodworth said...

I have be using my real name since I've started following this blog. And Ken can attest that that is my photo. (I'm not aging well)
I admit that sometimes I've felt the need to apologize for or reword a comment I've made. Yet, I'm usually not ashamed of what I say.

You would not believe how much restraint I have to muster on some days. Some people's remarks really piss me off. And I'm sure I piss off them, too.

As for silencing dissenting opinions, as others have said, your blog, your rules. Besides, look at how well that's working in Hong Kong, Myanmar, North Korea, etc.

See? Not ashamed.

M.B.

Earl Boebert said...

Bravo. Yours for a troll-free blog.

YEKIMI said...

WE have to attach our name at the end of the comments? So at the beginning of the post where it says "Yekimi says" isn't good enough anymore? Or am I an idiot that's getting your post wrong? If that's the case, I'll just start using my old radio on-air name. I learned a long time ago not to use my real name on the internet [except my Facebook page] seeing as how someone who didn't agree with me on something was able to track down where I lived, my phone number, etc. and kept harassing me for a long time.

By Ken Levine said...

No, I said some people are listed at anonymous but give their name at the end of their comment. I said that wouldn't work because I won't read anything from anonymous commenters.

B Smith said...

Hey Ken, I understand your play in the Sydney Short + Sweet Festival has made the semi-finals - congratulations!

(I only know because a friend of mine is directing one of the other semi-finalists)

Peter said...

Nothing to add, or respond to, really. Just testing this for future comments.

I’ve been reading this blog for a number of years now, ever since I read the recommendation by Mark Evanier on his blog.

Keep up the good work.

-P.M.

Cynthia Abel said...

I have been a longtime fan of your blog and have enjoyed reading your posts. I have watched MASH since it's first episode in the early 70's and also Cheers. Somehow I never got around to watching a single episode of Frasier. I became curious about the show from your blog comments and my dad told me to watch it since it was a wonderful show. Long story short, I started watching Frasier and I love it! Currently on season 2 and excited about the rest. Thank you for sparking my interest in Frasier!

Roger Owen Green said...

I've approved comments on my blog since 2010. Some people tell me I'm violating their First Amendment rights if I don't approve their scurrilous ranting. Their understanding of the Constitution is... somewhat lacking.

John (formerly) in NE Ohio said...

I rarely comment anymore (although I did over the weekend), mostly because I usually read on my phone now and cannot stand typing more than a few words there. Also, by the time I think about it when I am on my computer, a few days have gone by and it seems pointless.
That being said, I am all for a place for civil discussion. Whatever moderation it takes to make that happen, so be it.

Leighton (formerly Necco) said...

I realize that the show has likely been addressed already..."Mary" (1985).

You created and wrote it. I am curious what you have to say about it. It lasted just one season. Do you feel that it might have been just a bit too derivative of the "MTM Show"? There are several "corresponding" characters between the two series.

MTM had already gone through two terrible "variety" shows - "Mary" (1978), and "The Mary Tyler Moore Hour" (1979). Then, of course, "Ordinary People."

It's just that the 1985 "Mary" sitcom seems too similar to her old show. It would be followed by two one-season "dramas," "Annie McGuire" (1988) and "New York News" (1995).

Of course, the 2000 TV movie "Mary and Rhoda" was basically a "dramedy" pilot. And not very good.

Hal Turner said...

Many, many years ago in Southern California, Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood were leaving a shop as I passed by. They were both so much shorter and more tan than I ever imagined.

My Friday question: Have you ever been surprised by the stature or physical appearance of an actor or celebrity you'd known only onscreen?

Ere I Saw Elba said...

I couldn't agree more, all blogs with comments that are worth anything need to be moderated. No one wants to read unhinged off-topic crap or hateful rants.

I think SNL had the right idea about how to moderate trolls recently:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uItJuJeuDg

Brian said...

Thanks for instigating this policy. I have seen good blogs/boards go bad without a tighter rein.

By the way, in an inadvertent proof of this, I was looking up information on Jack Benny and I came across an article about how he provided for his wife after his passing. The comments section devolved into SEVERAL people touting love spells that will make your object of affection fall for you.

To paraphrase Benny, when he expressed disdain over his theme song, "Love in Bloom", which sports lyrics such as, "Can it be the breeze/That fills the trees/With rare and scented perfume?"...

"Now, what does THAT got to do with ME?"

Thanks, as always, for the blog and the comments section. I love it! I...really do.

Pat Reeder said...

What if your real name is Ann Onymous?

Roseann said...

I'm on your side, Ken.

Mike Doran said...

I've been contributing comments to this site for well over a decade.
For all those years, man and boy, I have always put my name on the comments.
Simple enough name ... perfect for a crossword puzzle.
At the risk of seeming immodest, I do take some pride in my command of facts, and in the reasoning that goes into my opinions - and once in a while, I do get off a fair zinger ...

This morning, I was going back into your archives, in search of my past "masterpieces".
I especially wanted to check out my own personal favorite, from The March Of Dames post from January of 2017.
That was a multi-parter, wherein I delivered what I thought was a reasoned debunking of the Electoral College.
So I looked up March Of Dames, and I was forcibly reminded of an anomaly that I was going through with my computer during this period of History.
It seems that during this period, due to technical problems that were all on the computer's end, my name - Mike Doran - was deleted from all my comments, replaced by Unknown.
It wasn't just on this site; several others I wrote to did the same thing to me (and to more than a few others, here and elsewhere).
Also, this enforced "anonymity" only covered a two-to-three period (approximately 2016-2018; I haven't got the patience to try to determine the exact dates).
Whatever the "reasons", my name is not on several comments that I happen to take some pride in, and that bugs me more than somewhat.
For the record, I'm not laying claim to all the Unknown comments on the blog; apparently I'm not the only victim of the Oedipusrexing mechanism that took from me my good name (and a few others as well).
In light of your reconstituted policies, I thought I ought to clarify my claims on what I've written to you over these long years, in particular my Electoral College rant of January 2017.
And if you go back to check it, it might be tagged Unknown, but it was written in its entirety by Mike Doran!
... just so you know ...

Roger Owen Green said...

This is a bit meta, I suppose.

I made a comment (above), and someone wrote a comment on my blog (https://www.rogerogreen.com/2021/05/25/sunday-stealing-covid-edition/): "Saw you wrote some bs about moderating comments on Levine’s blog today, dude you’ve had like 3 comments in 7 years, LOL."

The response was hyperbolic, but whatever. BTW, I approved the comment from Mr. Comment (that's how it was signed).

Still, I'm fascinated that this person, who is, as far as I know, a stranger to me, would see my comment on another blog and decide to make a snarky comment about it on mine.

KLAC Guy said...

Ken, a Friday question. I have been reading comments by Don Mattingly and Reggie Jackson about their dissatisfaction with the way baseball is played today. Both said that many of today’s games are unwatchable due to the lack of offense and the high number of strikeouts. Yankees play by play announcer, Michael Kay, talks about it often on his talk show. If you were baseball’s commissioner, what changes would you make to make the games more entertaining?

Andrew said...

Strange. I had the same experience as other commenters. "All good things must come to an end." I'm thankful that you will keep the blog going. I love your posts, and the comments equally. And why it's difficult for someone to come up with a fake name is beyond me.

MikeKPa. said...

I love Natalie Wood. Not crazy about this photo, though. Maybe it's the dress.