you all morons

Occasionally we get a comment here on the site that I feel obligated to move up to the front page. Today’s is from a person calling himself “Your Father“:

Do people actually read this shit? I stumbled upon it by accident. I was looking for a website for people with lives. Guess I didnt find it. You all morons. What the hell does this site accomplish?

He says some other good stuff too, but that’s the gist of it. I decided to move it up here because I thought that it was worth discussing. I, as you might expect, think the comment about us all being morons is stupid, but the last question, about what this site accomplishes, strikes a chord with me. I often wonder whether or not this site is worth the time and effort that we put into it. I’d like to think that the discussions we have here somehow translate into meaningful actions in the real world, but I’m not so certain that’s the case. I’d love it if there were some concrete example of something that we’d accomplished as a result of a post that I put up here, but I don’t know that any exists. Maybe, if we get the bike-powered film series off the ground, that will be an example of the readership coming together to actually accomplish something, but there aren’t any others that come immediately to mind… Am I missing something? Sure, we’ve probably motivated a few people to go out and join a protest, write a letter to their Congressperson or take the bus to Ypsi to try a burger at the Sidetrack, but does that really justify the amount of work put into it?

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  1. Posted January 11, 2009 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    I think this guy’s on to something.

  2. Posted January 11, 2009 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    Personally, I was into the burger coupon. The HAAB’s deal was good, too. Outside of that, you shouldn’t rate things in terms of a cost/reward scenario. If it keeps you from setting a building on fire, then it’s worth doing.

  3. designatedrepublican
    Posted January 11, 2009 at 11:16 pm | Permalink


    This website was absolutely essential to the success of the SCIT campaign against Ypsilanti’s proposed income tax in 2007. Without your site, the dedicated folks from SCIT would not have been so successful in keeping Glen S. and so many other pro-tax folks tied to their computers and away from canvassing neighborhoods. Thanks!

  4. designatedrepublican
    Posted January 11, 2009 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    …oh, and the stuff about Dingell’s doings is always good too….

  5. mark
    Posted January 11, 2009 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    As I’ve said many times here on the site, the City Income Tax wouldn’t have passed no matter what. Given the economic situation here in Michigan, it was an impossibility, and it was silly, in my opinion, to both propose it, and to rally the troops against it as though it had even a remote chance of passing. The whole thing was a ridiculous mess…

  6. Posted January 11, 2009 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    If we can get a decent benefit concert for local food/energy independance together, you could buy a couple bike generators and bingo. Your life has purpose for an evening.

  7. mark
    Posted January 12, 2009 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    When you and I discussed this prospective event, Jake, I didn’t understand that you envisioned the bike-powered movie series being the beneficiary of concert. If that’s what you’re saying, that would be really cool. Even if we just raised enough for a generator or two, that would be a huge step in the right direction. And, yeah, I’d love for my life to have meaning, if only for about 90 minutes.

  8. ol' e cross
    Posted January 12, 2009 at 12:29 am | Permalink

    Speaking without wit or humor … I was raised to think it was my job to change the world. I tried my hand at it, but it didn’t last long. In brief, I eventually realized the person I most wanted to emulate was my grandpa from a nothing town in NY, who worked a nothing job, but was decent to all and, to varying degrees, encouraged the lives of those around him. I decided my life would mean more if I shoveled my neighbor’s walk than if I strove to stop apartheid.

    I don’t think this blog will stop global warming, but I think life in Ypsi is better for it. I’ve met neighbors, engaged in issues, and attended events that I’d otherwise have been ignorant of. And, I think dialogue, even the basest, is useful. We’re often too proud to admit it when it happens, but dialogue does soften and shape our views.

    And, this blog gives some angry, otherwise ignored people a bit of attention. And even the worst of us deserve attention.

    For the amount of work you put in, I doubt it’s worth “It.” But its worth something. Maybe that’s all, maybe that’s it.

  9. Brackache
    Posted January 12, 2009 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    That’s like asking if that last cigarette was worth it.

  10. Posted January 12, 2009 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    Actually mark, I’m trying to figure that out. I was thinking multiple beneficiaries. To include groups/projects advancing both the food independance and energy independance goals. The bike powered movie was the first energy one to come to mind. Still brainstorming.

  11. mepatrickyounot
    Posted January 12, 2009 at 1:45 am | Permalink

    What exactly is a website for people with lives?
    Is it this?

  12. Posted January 12, 2009 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    This site keeps me engaged and entertained on a daily basis. I’m thankful for that. To be able to provide that for hundreds more is special.

    I saw that comment earlier and wanted to ask if it was really your father.

  13. Posted January 12, 2009 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    In addition to what OEC said, the comments on this site often give an unexpected mid-morning laugh, which I desparately need at that point in my work day. Cannibal holocaust and the never-ending “how much should I pay the sitter” thread come to mind.

    Through this site I learned about Beezy’s. Probably would have eventually made it there, but you got me there sooner, and it was great. Even though I’ve been to some of Dreamland’s past shows, I probably wouldn’t have gone to the New Year’s show if you hadn’t mentioned it, and that was fun for a little while.

  14. Posted January 12, 2009 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    I’ve always thought of this site as sort of a trip inside the mind of Mark Maynard. It sorta reminds me of Vegas. It’s a nice place for a short visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.

  15. Rayne
    Posted January 12, 2009 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    It’s only a drive-by insult left by somebody who had nothing else to do with the time it took to leave their caustic comment. That’s all.

    Cosmically valuable since it offers one the chance for introspection on purpose and analysis of the human condition.

    Personally, I wonder what kind of person would be so bored to be entertained by being such a butthead. Are there many of them? Is this a local butthead or an import — and if an import, do we really need to support immigrant buttheads over our own local-grown buttheads?

    Keep ’em coming, even if some days it seems as if you alone are receiving any catharsis. Hope all is well with you and yours!

  16. Paw
    Posted January 12, 2009 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    I hesitate to participate in this little fishing (for compliments) expedition, but the Buy Local campaigns seem to have had a positive impact. And then there were all the tutorials on ball shaving. Lives must have been saved.

  17. Curt Waugh
    Posted January 12, 2009 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    It’s not necessary to have concrete “results” for some great effort to be a success. This idea that our time must be results-oriented is somewhat pedantic. We can find rewards in the effort alone or results can come in indirect ways. What matters is that a group now exists where before there was none. And yes, mark, you may pat yourself on the back for that.

    You are one of Ypsilanti’s great “inclusionists”. Others have alluded to that point in earlier posts. I have no doubt that this site would die instantly if mark stopped doing it and left it to the group. We now have a conduit through which our social instincts can be channeled with respect to improving our local community. It doesn’t have to be a large conduit or even point to great change. But it exists, it’s successful and I think we all sense the joy of community through it. For me, I am far more aware of my community than I was before. When the time for action comes, I believe that my greater awareness will serve me well.

    Those people who would view negatively have lost the spirit of communal activity (or thought even). No, we don’t have an agenda nor a balance sheet nor a chart to show results. We don’t have to. Our participation in this forum IS success. What were dozens of random thoughts about hundreds of haphazard topics are now focused. We have framed issues in far more intelligent ways than were done before. Even though we might disagree, at least we now have an exact picture upon what we disagree. You, mark, have achieved a level of quality of which Deming would be proud. (I shit you not; I say that with all sincerity.)

    I say “good on ya” and send Your Father back to whatever individualized, fully-scored, well-sigma’d, results-based hellhole from whence he/she came.

  18. Posted January 12, 2009 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    I get a better perspective on Ypsi life from your site than the Ann Arbor Snooze. That’s more than worth the price of admission to me. As an added bonus you make me laugh.

    Keep on keepin’ on.

  19. BrianB
    Posted January 12, 2009 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Your Father? yikes! Don’t let on that there are actually people with lives here or he will point the Death Star at us.

  20. Posted January 12, 2009 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    You introduce us to pterodactyl porn and still wonder if you’re making a difference? That post changed my life.

  21. Chaely
    Posted January 12, 2009 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    This site makes me feel more connected to things that are going on in my city. If that makes me a moron, then that’s ok.

  22. john on forest
    Posted January 12, 2009 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Call me a happy moron. Thanks for the hard work you put into this blog, mark and all other commenting morons.

  23. Posted January 14, 2009 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    That you even feel like you have to ask if this site is “worth it” is very surprising. Of course it is.

  24. Posted January 14, 2009 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    That you feel like you have to ask if it’s “worth it” is surprising. Of course it is. You do good work.

  25. designatedrepublican
    Posted January 14, 2009 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Edweird “I get a better perspective on Ypsi life from your site than the Ann Arbor Snooze.”

    We should be deeply concerned about the mental health of anyone who comes to believe that they have a clear perspective on Ypsi life after regular reading of It’s not all about shaving things and pterodactyl porn folks. There is more to life in this town…really! …really, I’m sure there is…..something.

  26. UBU
    Posted January 14, 2009 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Hey, don’t do us any favors. If you don’t want to to this feel free to stop…

  27. Oliva
    Posted January 14, 2009 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Your blog is supremely worthwhile, a doer/maker of good–and you behind it. That’s incredibly valuable. What you do, which is a rare great thing, is to let the blog be at once personal and intimate and able to connect us at many levels (seems to start with the heart) but also informative, useful, provocative, and much more.

    I’m very grateful for the blog, the community that flourishes here, and the clear effort and commitment by MM. Really, in the Best of Ypsi category, this would be tied for #1 with a few other local gems.

    So, thanks everybody here and MM especially.

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