Top 10 Internet Flame Wars
Hello, stupid! If you weren’t such an idiot, you’d understand why you’re wrong about everything. But apparently you’re so retarded that you can’t even spell right. And also you’re fat.
Internet flame wars! It doesn’t seem to matter what topic is being discussed; almost anywhere you look you can expect to find people trading hostilities and slamming each other with uproarious and (usually) unsubstantiated accusations. Here are 10 flame wars I found that are sure to make you smile. If they don’t, then you are probably gay.
10. Joe Rogan vs. Kevin
On March 1, 2006, comedian and Fear Factor host Joe Rogan received the following message from a MySpace friend named Kevin: Joe Rogan, I hate you… you’re not funny…
Not the greatest way to make friends, but at least he was being honest. Rogan decided to have some fun and responded in kind: I love the fact that you need attention so bad that you had to email me that. That makes me feel happy Enjoy your depression. —–
From there, both parties continued to toss a barrage of indignities back and forth. Kevin accused Joe of being a lame, unfunny sellout, even venturing to claim that he could “easily come up with a better stand-up routine” than Joe. In his responses, Joe bragged about his massive wealth while insinuating that Kevin as a fat, insecure douche bag and overall failure.
After Rogan posted the whole exchange on his MySpace page on March 2, it circled around various websites and incited some controversy. A few days later, Rogan said that Kevin had sent an email apologizing for the exchange – for what it’s worth, though, it looks to me like both Joe and Kevin thoroughly enjoyed their little flame war.
Link: Joe vs. Kevin Flame War
9. MINIX vs. Linux
In 1992 Andy Tanenbaum, computer science professor at Amsterdam’s Vrije Universiteit and creator of MINIX, began a debate on the Usenet group comp.os.minix with a post explaining why “LINUX is obsolete.” This assertion came only a few months after the first version of Linux was released, and launched a long and now-famous argument about kernel architecture. While not nearly as brutal as some flame wars out there, it’s still a classic example of Internet adversity.
Linux developer Linus Torvalds took it upon himself to respond the next day: Time for some serious flamefesting!
Re 1: you doing minix as a hobby – look at who makes money off minix, and who gives linux out for free.
Re 2: your job is being a professor and researcher: That’s one hell of a good excuse for some of the brain-damages of minix. I can only hope (and assume) that Amoeba doesn’t suck like minix does.
Among other things, Tanenbaum’s rejoinder contained the following: I still maintain the point that designing a monolithic kernel in 1991 is a fundamental error. Be thankful you are not my student. You would not get a high grade for such a design
Torvalds posted an apology less than two hours later, saying he was done with the debate. Then he jumped right back in the very next day! For an even better Torvalds flame, check out this post he made calling GNOME developers “interface nazis.”
8. Kevin Smith vs. Karl Trale
Clerks II, the sequel to Kevin Smith’s 1994 comedy hit Clerks, received mixed reviews from film critics and became the subject of a wonderful flame war on the Rotten Tomatoes forum. Two days after Clerks II hit theaters, a user called boxofficemojo planted a thread entitled “CLERKS 2 flops! It’s official! 9 million OPENING weekend.”
When the user Movie God challenged the claim that the film had flopped, boxofficemojo came back and called him a “total gullible idiot” and a “liar,” and answered other users by simply re-posting his initial commentary.
Kevin Smith himself stepped in at comment #15 with an even-handed explanation of the movie’s mediocre reception and profit potential. Everything could have been cool right there. But no.
Enter the insolent Karl Trale. In a sneering and colossal tirade, he addressed the director with bellicose terms like “pathetic loser,” “pseudo-celebrity,” and “slanderous jerk.” Kevin, you sound like my of my sister’s little daughter. One day she came to her mommy and said, “Wah! My brother hit me back.” So, Kev, don’t hit people if you don’t want people to hit you back.” Karl also posed this question to Movie God: Shouldn’t you be off sucking Kevin Smith’s —- somewhere?
You can probably guess how the flame war progressed from here. It gets pretty interesting. Smith’s sardonic response to Trale, however, is worth noting in part: “Rage on, l’il Rager. ROOOOOOOAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRR!!!!”
7. Jim Henley’s “Blog” blog.
That title probably sounds confusing, so here’s what happened. On April 7, 2006, Henley made a one-word entry to his blog, Unqualified Offerings. The post was simple – all it said was “Blog.”
What followed was a torrent of comments satirizing flamers and trolls in general. No, it’s not a “serious” flame war, but it’s damn funny and pretty much sums up the way people act (and react) in comment threads all over the Internet.
For example, comment #3 says Oversharp disagreement based on unstated difference in paradigms. Number 5 reads Egregious mspelling. The seventh commenter came in with Nazi analogy employed; Godwin’s law invoked. Thread over, and #12 is a comment flaming other commenter for spelling error, which flame contains the requisite spelling error of its own.
It keeps going like that for over 1,000 comments!
Link: Jim Henley’s “Blog” blog
6. A Top 10 list
I don’t know if using another Top 10 article for my own list is considered cheating, but it really seemed like a good fit here – “Top 10 Arguments That Can’t Be Won” by William O’Dell. Since the content deals with touchy topics like the existence of God and the universe’s origin, it inspired a fiery invective in the comments thread.
“Complete moron” shows up after only a few entries. Other memorable incivilities include “religious fanatic,” “intellectually challenged,” “arrogant ass,” and the obligatory Hitler reference. Most of the debate can be outlined as follows: 1) God exists. No he doesn’t! Does. Doesn’t! 2) Evolution is totally fake. No, it’s proven fact! Fake. Fact!
As noted by a few of the commenters, it’s kind of ironic that a flame war would erupt on an article about arguments that can’t be won. But it’s fun anyways, right?
Link: Top 10 List Flame War
5. Charles Johnson – “Why I Parted Ways With The Right”
Web / software designer Charles Johnson runs the website Little Green Footballs and is perhaps best known for his role in casting doubt on the authenticity of the Killian documents back in 2004. As a former right-winger, he is also famous for criticizing the political right and eventually turning against it altogether.
Johnson’s provocative writing style has drawn a lot of criticism in the past. Comment threads on his blog are often heated. When he posted a list of ten short reasons why he had decided to move away from the political right, it attracted plenty of flames.
Most of the bickering in this thread is made up of right-wing vs. left-wing rhetoric. Fighting words like “f–king lazy,” “whiny little choad,” and “f–king chickens–t” abound. The argumentation was shut down a week later, but not until nearly 1,500 comments had added up.
4. Guy Macon: EPIC flamer response
If you haven’t heard of Guy Macon’s Original Post before, you should check it out. If there was ever a monument to Internet flame wars both present and past, this is it.
Background – in October of 1997, a flamer called “Edgar Herbie Antonius van Tetering” posted this to the alt.os.linux.slackware newsgroup: What the f–k do you need so much RAM for? I believe it’s not even possible to have that much RAM, or maybe it is, but then you must have a huge simm module of about 8GB RAM. THIS IS CRAZY!!!! YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT THE F–K YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT. Fool!
Macon responded with his “Original Post,” which has since become a phenomenon in its own right. It’s way too long to quote in full, but it begins like this: You swine. You vulgar little maggot. You worthless bag of filth – and continues in that tone ad infinitum. According to Macon’s website, it’s a mish-mash of insults that he collected over the years and morphed into one enormous anti-flamer piece of total Internet ownage.
Believe me, it’s worth reading the entire thing.
Link: The Full Insult
3. Mac vs. PC
It doesn’t take much prodding for the Mac vs. PC debate to transform into a violently passionate flame war, and my list would be incomplete without an example to represent the battle. This one got its start from a simple picture of Wall-E and Eve:
User Stephen S. responded to the initial Mac is better / No, PC is better argument by clarifying that both robots in the image were technically Macs, and therefore the present controversy was moot. Then AlecDalek decided to pop in and open fire: BULLS–T!!! … macs and PCs are exactly the same now. The only difference is one has an obscure OS used by elitist faggots, and the other has a mainstream and popular OS called Windows… Sure, Windows won’t make you suck other men’s —-, but it will actually run all the popular software and games out there.
Stephen S. returned with a few thoughts of his own: Get back to me when you can come up with a more original insult than “elitist faggots”… Have fun with your bulls–t community and it’s bulls–t products.
The usual name-calling and head-bashing ensued at this point. It didn’t solve anything, but it sure makes for an entertaining read.
Link: Mac vs. PC Flame War
2. Mark Brazill vs. Judd Apatow
In 2001, Judd Apatow (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up) and Mark Brazill (That ‘70s Show) traded virtual blows in a very unfriendly email exchange. Apatow started things off by asking his old buddy a question about That ‘70s Show actor Topher Grace. In response, he got a chain of angry emails from an obviously bitter Brazill, who accused him of stealing story ideas from him years before.
Apatow tried to vindicate himself, but Brazill wouldn’t have it and ended one email by telling him to Get cancer. Bemused, Apatow replied: I’ll wait till you get it and then steal it from you.
I told you my idea, Brazill responded. You did it two weeks later, VERBATIM. Spew revisionist s–t all you want. Everyone knows you’re a hack… die in a fiery accident and taste your own blood.
Taste your own blood? Wow, what an original put-down… except according to Apatow, that’s a Sam Kinison line, you stupid f–k!!!! Hypocrite!!!! J’accuse!!!!
1. Cat advice?
On August 24, 1993, an anonymous user calling himself “Moby” posted to the alt.tasteless Usenet group, asking for advice about his two cats. The female was unbearably annoying while in heat, and the male’s bowel movements filled Moby’s loft apartment with an evil, nauseating smell. The combined effect was severely undermining his ability to find a consistent date. What should I do? he asked the forum. I love my cats, so I don’t want to get rid of them, but I can’t go on like this any more. It’s my love life, or them. Please help!!!
It was a fair request, and to protect himself Moby even asked that responders refrain from flaming him for posting anonymously. Nevertheless, the first response was spiteful: “Get a sense of humor, and a life. In that order.”
Commenters went on to suggest various maniacal solutions for dealing with the romance-killing felines, including do-it-yourself spaying, execution by handgun, and incineration. One commenter even recommended forgetting about women completely and just having sex with the cats.
User Matt Reinker summed up how most readers felt about Moby’s request when he said, “I think Moby (Not his real f–kin’ name) is going about the deal all wrong. Who gives a f–k how he can stop his cats from ovulatin’ and sh—in’ on his dates.”
I wonder if Moby ever got his girl?
Link: Cat Advice
Link: Another funny example of not getting the help you asked for.
So, does anyone have a crazy flame war they’d like to mention? I’m sure there are plenty out there waiting to be discovered.
But whatever you do, don’t start another one here – thanks