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Tuesday's Most Active Threads

by Jeff Steele — last modified Jan 17, 2024 10:46 AM

The topics with the most engagement yesterday included a troll thread about yoga pants, a marital dispute about shoveling the deck, colleges for "C" students, and Trump's victory in the Iowa Caucuses.

The most active thread yesterday was one of the snow-related threads that I discussed yesterday and, therefore, will skip today. After that was a thread titled, "Are yoga pants ok?" and posted in the "Relationship Discussion (non-explicit)" forum. Based on the title, I thought this thread might be more appropriate for the fashion forum. But the original poster explained that the issue was a complaint by her boyfriend about her wearing yoga pants when they went out to a bookstore and for coffee. He apparently doesn't consider yoga pants to be "real clothes" and expects that if he dresses nicer when they go out, so should she. That made this more of a relationship issue, though posters who responded approached the topic from both angles. I immediately had troll vibes from this post and checked to see what else the original poster has been posting. I was surprised to see several threads about her husband — written just days ago. I would think that brings up an issue more important than yoga pants. The original poster also started another thread just hours before this one in which she said she and her boyfriend had broken up. In the past week, the original poster has posted about going on dates with both a man and a woman. But, the real cherry on top was a thread in which she said that she didn't want to have sex until marriage and then — in a thread one minute short of 24 hours later — posted about having sex with her boyfriend for the first time and it turning out to be terrible. I would say that she would have been better off keeping her yoga pants on, except that back in October she started a thread complaining that her boyfriend didn't initiate sex as often anymore. So, clearly she hasn't waited for marriage to have sex, either good or bad. When a poster like this one posts so many contradictory threads, it is impossible to know which, if any, are true. Moreover, this poster has started nearly 100 threads since October. In that time, she has been in a struggling marriage, divorced, widowed, dating with all kinds of complications, and changed genders a number of times. She also started a thread saying that she is too good for most single men, though it is not clear whether those are real men or men who exist solely in her imagination. I'm always torn about disclosing this sort of information. Some posters howl that it is a violation of privacy. First, it's not. Second, trolls don't deserve privacy. But I know this adds to the perception that the forum is nothing but trolls and harms DCUM's reputation. Of course some would argue that DCUM's reputation can hardly get worse in this regard, but I hate to do more damage. It is doubtful that a poster like this can be shamed into changing her behavior, but we can always hope. At any rate, I've locked this thread and deleted a few of the more recent ones.

Next was a thread that was also posted in the "Relationship Discussion (non-explicit)" forum. Titled, "DH has directed us to shovel off the deck - AITA", the original poster says that her husband texted her and their 16-year-old daughter saying that he would like them to shovel the snow off of their deck. The original poster says that the deck is fairly large, structurally sound, and not used in weather like we are currently experiencing. Therefore, she doesn't understand why it needs to be shoveled. But, the original poster then went on to describe a number of other issues about which her husband is particularly fussy. For instance, he does not allow jeans to be put in the dryer because they are too noisy and he insists that small bowls be placed on the lower rack of the dishwasher even though they fit fine on the top rack. The original poster wants to know who is wrong in this situation. Before anyone asks, with the memory of the thread above still fresh in my mind, I immediately checked to see if this poster was trolling and I am confident this thread is legitimate. A number of posters immediately sided with the original poster and, as is normal in the relationship forum, the original poster immediately received advice to divorce. But, this thread also demonstrated a phenomenon that I have frequently noticed in which posters seem unwilling or unable to accept a post at face value. A great many questions were posed to the original poster that seemed to be aimed at finding excuses for her husband. Beyond the questioning, outright accusations were lodged about the original poster in order to defend her husband's behavior. A significant number of posters were determined to find the original poster at fault in this relationship. The original poster was accused of being lazy, fat, useless, and a host of other negative things. Several posters focused very narrowly on the issue of the deck, which frankly, shouldn't have been that big of a deal to shovel, and ignored the fact that this is part of a much bigger pattern. Those that considered the entire context almost invariably sided with the original poster. A couple of posters described having been in similar relationships and offered advice from that perspective. This thread reached 15 pages, but long before that point it had become too long for several posters to bother reading. Therefore, many of the more recent posts asked questions that were already answered or they cover previously well-trodden ground.

The next most active thread was titled "Are there four year colleges for C students." and posted in the "College and University Discussion" forum. The original poster says that her child has a grade point average slightly below 3.0 and asks if there are any options other than community college. As a community college graduate, I don't like the very negative attitudes so many DCUM posters have about community colleges. They certainly have a role to play and can be a great option for many students. To her credit, the original poster later posted that she actually prefers community college for her child, but the child wants to go to a four-year school. As those responding explain, there are a great many alternatives for the original poster's child. Posters ask about budget, location, area of study, etc., in order to provide more helpful responses. This thread is a great candidate for the fantasy college admissions league that I've proposed. The original poster also clarified that her child suffered from a long-term health issue that required missing a lot of school which explains the challenges with grades. Post after post lists possible schools, often followed by posts arguing that one or more of the suggestions was not realistic. A number of posts also delve further into the reasons that students end up with less than optimal grades and the ramification of those scores. A poster who is a college professor says that there are students who really try and care, but have difficulties to overcome and end up a "C" students. He says those students — which the original poster's child appears to be — can benefit from college. He recommends smaller schools for such students. The professor has also seen another type of student that is smart, but doesn't care about college and doesn't put any effort into it. For those students, college is a waste of money until, or unless, they change. The thread is also filled with first and second hand accounts of students with poor high school grades who went on to do well in college and, in some cases, even excel.

Next was another of the snow threads about which I wrote yesterday and will skip today. Therefore, the final thread that I will discuss today will be one that was posted in the "Political Discussion" forum. Titled, "Donald Trump wins Iowa Republican caucuses in first contests of 2024", the thread was started late Monday after the results of the Iowa Republican presidential primary caucus were announced. Given the polling ahead of the caucus, the winner was never really in doubt. The only questions were whether former President Donald Trump would get over 50% of the votes — he did but just barely — and who would get second place. While polling had suggested that Nikki Haley might have the advantage there, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis managed to eke out a small lead over her. Discussion in the thread largely focused on divining the meaning of this outcome or spinning the results in the posters' preferred political direction. There is general agreement that Trump will ultimately prevail and win the nomination. Posters are divided about the futures of Haley and DeSantis. Few consider them to be likely Vice Presidential candidates and, instead, focus on other possibilities. There is also considerable debate about the importance of the Iowa caucuses. Some posters point out that the state's demographics are not very representative of the rest of the country — though the may be very representative of the Republican electorate — and the number of voters is small. Others tout the outcome as being a harbinger for the future, especially in terms of the issues that voters said were important to them. Posters also argued about the participation, which was fairly low. Many posters attributed this to the cold, snowy weather that covered much of Iowa. Others claimed that it reflected a lack of support for the Republican candidates. The Democratic Party is attempting to move away from the traditional "first in the nation" status that Iowa and New Hampshire have held. As a result, Iowa Democrats did not hold an in-person presidential primary caucus. Instead, they will vote by mail with results released in March. As with most political topics these days, posters make of it what they will. Democrats claimed that this shows Trump's dominance of the Republican Party with all the negativity that entails. DeSantis and his supporters argued that his second-place finish shows his strength as a candidate. Haley argued that her third-place finish somehow demonstrated that she is the only real alternative to Trump. Regardless of their views about the Iowa results, everyone turned their attention towards New Hampshire.

Anon says:
Jan 17, 2024 11:15 AM
Glad I started checking these daily. Make them a thread!
Anon says:
Jan 17, 2024 08:31 PM
I was not expecting this turn from the yoga pants thread!
Coco says:
Jan 17, 2024 10:06 PM
Unfortunately, I doubt this conundrum even reads these highlights. Probably has no clue this summary is here. Sad.
Anon says:
Jan 18, 2024 09:32 AM
Exposing the troll threads is positively fascinating! These people are downright prolific!
Anonymous says:
Jan 18, 2024 10:02 AM
Why not ban?
Jeff Steele says:
Jan 18, 2024 10:03 AM
I just discovered the poster yesterday and I am trying to ban them. But the reality is that it is very difficult to do that successfully on an anonymous website.
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