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The Most Active Threads Since Friday

by Jeff Steele — last modified Jan 22, 2024 11:30 AM

The topics with the most engagement since my last blog post included repeat posters, the UVA rush, marching band in APS, and a 30-year-old not shoveling snow.

The most active thread over the weekend was the Gaza war thread which I have discussed before and will skip now. After that was a thread titled, "Do you ever recognize repeat posters?". Posted in the "Off-Topic" forum, the original poster says there are a couple of posters who are "frequent flyers" and she is able to recognize their posts. She asks if others are able to recognize anyone. For some reason DCUM posters love to reminisce about old threads and, in many ways, this thread is simply a version of doing this. While some posters do seem to have someone specific in mind, in many cases the descriptions of alleged repeat posters really describe trends or habits instead of individuals. For instance, one poster complained about someone who constantly writes, "Try to keep up", but that phrase is used by a host of users. Similarly, another poster suggested "The grammar Nazi", which could refer to any number of different users. Perhaps in response to these posters, one person claimed to recognize "The posters (plural) who think only one person ever writes certain words or phrases". Another poster, wrote, "Many of the examples listed are not about repeat posters, rather they posted something memorable. That's a different discussion." But, this is the destiny of any thread that provides DCUM posters the opportunity to wax nostalgic. Despite all of this, a few posters did describe repeat posters who are recognizable to me. But, those posts normally went unremarked upon. An exception was a poster who I have been combatting for sometime who likely suffers from some sort of mental health issue. The poster has a few recognizable posting patterns and, as a result, was mentioned by multiple posters, though without apparent understanding that they were all describing the same poster. I am fairly certain that they were describing different habits of the guy, without knowing they were describing the same person. Later in the thread, posters started multiple debates over whether a single or multiple posters were responsible for some of the poster's posts. As a result, that poster was probably the most mentioned individual in the thread. Some posters claimed that they recognized a poster who would use a specific phrase only to have another poster chime in saying that they used that phrase but that it was also used by others. When a poster brought up someone who is obsessed with DEI, a debate about DEI broke out. If nothing else, that clarified that there are multiple posters obsessed with DEI to the extent that they can't even control themselves in a thread of this sort which has nothing to do with the topic. One poster appears have recognized himself and offered a defense saying, "Today white men are facing the greatest discrimination known on this earth" which left me uncertain about whether this was satire or the guy actually believes this.

After that was a thread posted in the "College and University Discussion" forum titled, "UVA rush". The original poster asks if anyone who has kids at the University of Virginia has been reading the Facebook posts about fraternity rush. She said the fixation on "top tier" frats reminds her of high school in which there were groups of popular kids. Both the University of Virginia and the Greek system tend to be controversial topics in the forum. So, it is no surprise that a thread that combines both would be among the most active. The thread immediately took on a couple of different dimensions with some posters discussing the Facebook posts and others discussing their own children's experiences with rush at UVA. In many ways, the thread resembled the college application threads with posters lamenting that their kids didn't get their top choices and others encouraging them and arguing that it is about "fit" rather than ranking. As if eager to prove that DCUM is no better than Facebook, posters were soon debating which frats or sororities were in which tier. I never participated in a fraternity and don't know all that much about them. Hence, most of this discussion is literally Greek to me. I don't know one house from another and, at times, couldn't really follow the discussion. The thread also got sidetracked with talk about other universities, especially Southern Methodist University. Essentially, the same things that the original poster complained about in the Facebook posts were repeated here. Posters discussed the stress their kids were under and their disappointment over not being selected by their preferred houses. The thread also featured a significant anti-Greek contingent with one poster saying, "The smartest kids of all are those who don't rush in the first place and find other things to do with their time." Given the prevalent view among many posters that frat or sorority membership is strongly tied to status and how a student is viewed by others, I found it easy to agree with that sentiment. I am strictly from the "I'd never join a club that would have me as a member" school of thought. This is a 21 page thread and the more I read, the more disillusioned I became (and I didn't really start out as a fan in the first place). So, I gave up reading at about page 8.

The next most active thread was titled, "APS - Symphonic Band marching band requirement" and posted in the "VA Public Schools other than FCPS" forum. My immediate reaction upon reading this thread's title was that this seems like an awfully esoteric topic to be among the most active threads. The original poster asks whether members of symphonic bands in Arlington Public Schools high schools are required to participate in marching band. The original poster's child is a member of a regional youth orchestra that meets at the same time as the marching band and, therefore, would like to participate in the school's symphonic band but not the marching band. The schools apparently also offer concert band which is at a lower level. Marching band would not be required when taking concert band, but concert band would be far below the original poster's child's skill level. Many posters agree that requiring marching band participation in order to join the symphonic band is unfortunate. Others understand and explain the reason for the linkage. According to these posters, the two bands play the same music and it is a way to channel the best musicians into the marching band. Several posters recommend that the original poster's child join the concert band — which is the lower level band — but use it as an opportunity to learn a new instrument. There is some dispute about whether learning another wind instrument would cause problems with playing the current instrument, but regardless, the child could try another type of instrument. My questioning of how a thread on this topic could become so active was answered after reading a couple of pages. High school band is far more complicated than I would have imagined. Moreover, posters have extremely strong feelings about the various programs. While the original poster's main issue with marching band was one of scheduling, other posters simply are not fans of marching band. Their critical comments about marching band were not received very well by marching band proponents. Soon, there was a full-fledged contretemps underway regarding the pros and cons of marching band. In the end, the original poster was left with a number of options to propose to her child as well as advice to question some of her child's private teacher's opinions. But, the battle over marching band marches on.

The final thread that I will discuss today was posted in the "Off-Topic" forum. Titled, "30 year old neighbor is not shoveling snow". The original poster, if nothing else, is determined that readers understand that her neighbor is 30 years old and that he is not shoveling snow. She also wants to know what she can do about it. Posters point out that in many jurisdictions home owners are required by law to shovel their sidewalks. But, the 30-year-old in question apparently lives in an area with no such law. Posters suggest shaming him on Nextdoor, ignoring it, going over and talking to him, or shoveling the walk for him. A couple of posters provided justifications for not shoveling their own walks. Their argument was that ice under the snow was more dangerous to walk on than the snow. The idea that they could also remove the ice seemed beyond their imagination. There is at least one proud non-shoveler in the thread. That poster doesn't provide a reason for not shoveling, but others say that they are just waiting for the sun and higher temperatures to do the work for them. Every winter DCUM has threads of this sort. My observation is that attitudes toward shoveling depend on the type of community in which you live and the part of the country in which you grew up. Areas in which large numbers of residents are likely to be out walking put a much higher priority on shoveling whereas in places with fewer walkers there seems to be less concern. But, shoveling is clearly an activity in which you can easily distinguish snow belters from sun belters. As a native midwesterner, snow shoveling is practically a religion to me and my only competition for shoveling on my block is a woman who grew up in Chicago. We once had a neighbor who was from Miami and he couldn't understand the need to shovel at all and refused to do it. He was eventually shamed into shoveling — though he was clearly not happy about it — when older neighbors began shoveling for him. One thing that is apparent in this thread is that there are a bunch of posters who are simply lazy. They are quick to invent excuses for themselves as well as for the original poster's 30-year-old neighbor. The sad thing is that the two snows we've had were both light and fluffy. Basically, Pop Warner level snow. Nobody should have had a problem shoveling it.

Anon says:
Jan 22, 2024 12:51 PM
I laughed several times.
colin says:
Jan 22, 2024 05:16 PM
really interesting threads today
Anonymous says:
Jan 23, 2024 10:28 AM
Glad it's locked but I did want to chime in and mention that the haiku poster on the Golden Bachelor thread said she's in her late 70s. So she's definitely recognizable, but she might be struggling to post and people can stop calling her weird now.
Avalon says:
Jan 23, 2024 06:02 PM
"An exception was a poster who I have been combatting for sometime who likely suffers from some sort of mental health issue. The poster has a few recognizable posting patterns and, as a result, was mentioned by multiple posters, though without apparent understanding that they were all describing the same poster. I am fairly certain that they were describing different habits of the guy, without knowing they were describing the same person..."

Oh, come on!
That's all we get??
Can you give us a few hints who you mean?
Are they recognizable by writing style? Subject matter?? Obsession of certain topics??
You can't leave us hanging! 😆
Jeff Steele says:
Jan 23, 2024 06:18 PM
I am fairly certain that I have written about this poster before. He normally writes very short posts that have little to nothing to do with the conversation. Sometimes the posts are only a couple of words. Favorite words and phrases include, "boo", "call me", "wut", "full stop", "whips or chains", and "clown". He is very anti-Indian and often calls them "injuns" or "crooked injuns". He is also very hateful about people with weight challenges, often calling them "pigs" or using a pig emoji. Finally, he is also fixated on butts and often refers to "buttocks" or "glutes". Because this poster can easily post over 20 times per day, he can easily be confused for 4 or 5 different trolls when it is actually only one person. He is very hard to block and, I suspect, has lots of experience of being blocked and has learned ways to avoid it.
Avalon says:
Jan 24, 2024 04:01 PM
Thank you!
I know exactly who you're referring to.
I've always wondered if he and the guy who complains incessantly about being white and "older" at his former job was detrimental to him are actually the same person?

That guy complains incessantly about young women or minorities (specifically asian, "latino" and Indian) get ahead of him and railed about "woke garbage" or PC police" "and back in his day" etc.

Both posters seem to be white, miserable, in their sixties or seventies and majorly disgruntled with their lot in life and clearly need someone to blame for their own choices?
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