Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the the-scourge-of-free-earthquakes dept

This week’s comment voted most insightful came from (yet again) an Anonymous Coward — once again demonstrating that anonymity doesn’t mean crappy comments, as we keep hearing people claim. The comment was in response to the story of some NY politicians claiming that we need a “more refined” interpretation of the 1st Amendment, in which free speech is seen as a privilege that the government can take away if they think you’re a jerk:

Are we also going to get a more refined 2nd Amendment that legalizes all guns but outlaws gunpowder? And a more refined 3rd Amendment that still disallows quartering soldiers in a time of peace, but since we’re always in half a dozen wars there never is a time of peace. The more refined 4th Amendment says they can search anything they want as long as it’s within 1000 miles of a border. The more refined 5th Amendment defines due process as a process you have to bay a due for. The more refined 6th Amendment says you get a speedy and public trial unless you’re a terrorist, which you are. The more refined 7th Amendment says don’t worry about those civil trials anymore, because we’ve made everything criminal and you’re going to prison. The more refined 8th Amendment says the death penalty is neither cruel nor unusual because we do it a lot and so far not a single person who’s been subjected to it has complained. Plus people cheered it. The more refined 9th Amendment says sure you might have other rights, but what proof do you have? The more refined 10th Amendment says, well, not the people. I mean, the States maybe, but not the people. What were we thinking?

Coming in second was a comment from MrWilson, in response to the TSA’s response to mistreating a breast cancer patient:

“We strive to treat every passenger with dignity and respect…”

“…Unfortunately, our policies and procedures prohibit that.”

The truth can be so insightful. And yes, both of those comments scored well on the funny scale too — but not enough to get into the winners circle on that side of the fence. As for editor’s choice, we’ve got Marcus Carab’s excellent breakdown of the difference between media and messages that seems to trip up people who complain about “blogs vs. journalism,” even though that’s an apples and oranges comparison:

Way to mix media and messages. Let’s break this down:

JOURNALISM is a pursuit – it includes hard news reporting, research, analysis, editorial/opinion, audience interaction, entertainment coverage, light news, human interest – lots of stuff

NEWS is, as you say, supposed to be about pure objective fact. It’s just one component of journalism.

A NEWSPAPER is a medium. It is just a way of printing stuff. The term carries associations with journalistic values, but a newspaper can in fact be anything from a drug store tabloid to a parody like the Onion to a serious news outlet.

A BLOG is similarly, just a medium. And like newspaper, it can be used for anything from hard reporting to photos of cats. Because the bar to entry is lower, there is greater variety among blogs than among newspapers.


NEWS is a part of JOURNALISM which can be communicated in a NEWSPAPER or in a BLOG. But the simple fact that something is a BLOG or a NEWSPAPER tells you nothing about what kind of JOURNALISM it contains (and how much of that journalism is hard NEWS), or even if it contains any at all.

I kinda feel like that should be put on a poster and sent to anyone who complains about “bloggers vs. journalism.”

My second editor’s choice is actually two comments (which I’ll combine below) from Justin Levine highlighting part of the transcript from the Golan vs. Holder Supreme Court hearing, in which the US government tries to argue that pulling works out of the public domain does not represent a First Amendment issue and that existing exceptions in copyright law already solve any First Amendment issues:

“CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: General, there is something at least at an intuitive level appealing about Mr. Falzone’s First Amendment argument. One day I can perform Shostakovich; Congress does something, the next day I can’t. Doesn’t that present a serious First Amendment problem?

GENERAL VERRILLI: I don’t think so, Mr. Chief Justice…”

[….] “CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: What about Jimmy Hendrix, right? He has a distinctive rendition of the national anthem, and all of a — assuming the national anthem is suddenly entitled to copyright protection that it wasn’t before, he can’t do that, right?…So he is just out of luck? And that’s just one example of many, where you take existing works and you have a derivative work or something that is distinctive to you. So those people are just out of luck?

GENERAL VERRILLI: …the Copyright Clause already contains very significant accommodations of First Amendment interests. The idea/expression dichotomy, fair use; and — and that is going to provide — maybe — maybe Jimmy Hendrix could claim fair use in that situation….”

I do wonder if Verrilli (who, yes, was once the RIAA’s favorite lawyer, but now is the US Solicitor General) really is arguing that a fully derivative cover song of a copyrighted song would, in fact, be fair use. I doubt it.

Okay, onto the funny. First up, we’ve got That Anonymous Coward, with his explanation for how a download is a performance:

The magic pixies who live inside the thinking box, when you double click it they are forced to once again pick up their instruments and reproduce the drivel to appease their human captors.

The magic smoke one sometimes sees leaving a computer case is actually the souls of pixies pushed to far and to hard to reproduce to many songs in a public performance.

Before you torrent that next album, won’t you stop and think of the pixies?


And, voted second highest was Marcus Carab’s comment in response to the new US Postal Service’s ad campaign which mocks email for not being secure enough. Marcus points out that it could have been worse:

At least it’s not a sad letter carrier talking about how mail piracy is costing him his livelihood.

As for editor’s choice, we’ve got two more comments from Anonymous Cowards (yes, ban anonymity!), both of which made me laugh. First up, we’ve got a comment in response to the revelation that Monster Cable, who is lobbying Congress to pass PROTECT IP to deal with “rogue sites,” has its own list of rogue sites that includes Sears and Costco:

Yeah Masnick. Suck it up. The party’s over for you and your little rogue pirate friends like Sears and Costco. As soon as PROTECT-IP passes, all you pirate boys will be getting molested in prison like the naughty criminal bad boys you are.

Now you’ll have to excuse me. All this ranting has gotten me…”angry” and I…uh…have to go now…I have to…exercise. Yeah, “exercise.”

And finally, my favorite of the week was on the story where Japan is trying to claim that it needs to sign ACTA to help with the earthquake reconstruction — a linkage that didn’t make much sense to us. Thankfully, this AC explained it in simple terms:


Such a tragedy. Something must be done…

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

AC’s (multiple) therapists have referred to his obsession as “perfectly healthy” and have encouraged him/her to “explore this further,” preferably in an online venue. This is usually followed by any number of silent gestures as soon as AC’s back is turned, including miming of barehanded strangling and the ever-popular “one finger in a circular motion around one ear while making the ‘crazy face'”. Enthusiastic stabbing motions have also been spotted.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Well hello to you too. Still foaming at the mouth, I see. Did someone named Marcus defile your Barbies as a child, or something? Do my eyes look like the porcelain doll that watched while your uncle put things in you? Does my voice sound like the mean man who pushes your pills through the slot twice a day, and shouts at you if you don’t take them? Or is it the way I’m always sitting there in the corner laughing at you, but nobody else can see me? Did a movie convince you to assassinate me so Robert De Niro would fall in love with you? Is your porn-digging career fuelled entirely by the hope that you’ll find me out there one of these days? Do you make your dog call you Marcus during sex, or just afterwards? Do you have enough photos of me to complete your shrine, or do you keep *ahem* ruining them? Aren’t all those candles a fire hazard in a room with no windows? How many months since you’ve seen the sky? I’m just trying to figure out what could possibly lift your obsession to these levels.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Marcus, you are such a dweeb. You are the Charlie Sheen of Techdirt, you think you are #winning when in fact your are well past losing.

You work in an industry supported by copyright, and you rail against copyright. You claim to be a musician, but your “music” is laughable bad (for a 12 year old) and horrible for a grown man.

When you feel like you are losing more, you sign out of your account and try to as anonymous and make fun of me, but all you do in the end is screw up your bosses website and drive people away.

You are a talentless schmuck, you fail at everything. Please learn to accept this about yourself before commenting on others.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Actually, you caught me… I AM Charlie Sheen! It’s just as you feared: everyone is Charlie Sheen! Don’t listen to the doctor who says that’s crazy because (if you’re following along) he’s Charlie Sheen too! The only person who isn’t Charlie Sheen is, in fact, Charlie Sheen – but I’ve got bad news for you: Charlie Sheen is… Marcus Carab

The Charlie Sheen of Techdirt says:

Re: Re: Re:

I can never remember the rule for possessives that end with ‘s’ but I’m pretty sure that the guideline is ‘include an apostrophe.’ But that’s neither here nor there.

Do not fuck with me, bro. I sleep only 40 minutes a night, serenaded by air raid sirens and pirated Norwegian death metal.

Anonymous Coward says:

“As for editor’s choice, we’ve got two more comments from Anonymous Cowards (yes, ban anonymity!), both of which made me laugh. First up, we’ve got a comment in response to the revelation that Monster Cable, who is lobbying Congress to pass PROTECT IP to deal with “rogue sites,” has its own list of rogue sites that includes Sears and Costco:
Yeah Masnick. Suck it up. The party’s over for you and your little rogue pirate friends like Sears and Costco. As soon as PROTECT-IP passes, all you pirate boys will be getting molested in prison like the naughty criminal bad boys you are.

I am not particularly shocked to find you amused by your own staffs postings. This week was the “try to discredit anonymous poster” week, and your staff sadly not only failed, but also managed to kill discussion on any number of topics.

Perhaps you should ask Marcus to stay logged on rather than posting anonymously.

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

out of the way so we don’t have to deal with his crap anymore.

Just who is this mystical “we”? You and a couple other ACs? Paid lobbyists, shills, and IP lawyers for the dying content industries?

The reason he keeps getting voted up is a ton of people in the TechDirt community like his comments, so you’re obviously not talking for any noticeable fraction of the community.

And is Marcus, just posting amusing and insightful comments on a blog, causing your corporate overlords so much trouble that it has driven you to beg for help from Mike Masnick, who you also seem to have the same hate/oppression complex with?

Jeffrey Nonken (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

“The reason he keeps getting voted up is a ton of people in the TechDirt community like his comments, so you’re obviously not talking for any noticeable fraction of the community.”

Obviously he’s right and everybody else is wrong. Because, you know. He’s an anonymous poster, and therefore everybody should instantly recognize and respect his expertise in these things.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

The “we” includes all the people that have been scared away, or who decline to make comments that are not in keeping with the Techdirt line, because they know they will get shouted down by the lines of Marcus.

And where, pray tell, do such people congregate? Because the only collection of people I know who read Techdirt are the people on Techdirt, and they seem to really quite enjoy Marcus’ comments.

As for whose comments they do not enjoy… well… I’m sure your fun house has a mirror somewhere. Try looking in it. For what it’s worth, your comments have resulted in more requests for us to ban commenters than anyone else’s. So you have that going for you.

Let’s just say that if you truly believe that you are ‘poking holes in cheesy theories’ you’re not doing a very good job convincing anyone.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Hey, here’s a thought: why don’t you start a Techdirt competitor?

Think about it: you could wipe Techdirt out. No more biased articles. No more shouting people down in the comments. No more FUD. No more Mike!

Remember: competition is the driving engine of free market capitalism. You like capitalism, right? Right! Then get to it.

Anonymous Coward says:

I was reading Groklaw and I found a hilarious comment LoL

The real argument is totally different. The purpose of patents was always to improve the knowledge of things by giving inventors a monopoly on an invention in return for publication of the invention, so that others can build on it and improve it even more.

Why it is funny you ask?

All software must be published, it may be hard to read it but everything in a computer must be published or the computer wouldn’t be able to read it. So patents take from public in exchange for nothing LoL

Anonymous Coward says:

I’m a new reader here, just wanted to give my two cents on the anonymous poster thing. My first reaction when I started reading the comments was that it’s terrible, because it makes it harder to read conversations; when you’ve got people responding to multiple AC’s, it’s really difficult just to follow who’s talking to whom.

But after thinking about it, I think a better solution would just be to allow quotes in replies. I know that comes with its own set of problems, but I’d rather scroll down through an unnecessary quote tree than not be able to follow a conversation at all. And I care more about what is said than who says it.

I’m posting as an AC just because I enjoy the irony. I’ll sign up for an account the next time I have something to say.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...