Steven Garrity is a Dink?

According to an anonymous guy named Joe, Steven Garrity is a “dink,” is “in the know,” “need[s] to take a chill pill” and considers himself “cooler than the rest of the losers.”

This is not an unusual sort of blogback.

The common pattern is: blogauthor writes something that appears to suggest that they are part of a certain elite group (i.e. they listen to a particular band, wear a particular kind of knee-highs, or use a particular sort of computer) and the blogcritic responds along the lines of “you think you’re so important, you member of an elite group you.”

Leaving all of the pluses and minuses of anonymous blogflaming aside, I’m left to wonder what the alternative is.

If we humans don’t do things that distinguish us into little sub-groups of humans, wouldn’t we all be “the same?” And wouldn’t that be boring?

Isn’t Steven really saying with his radio show “I’m Steven, and here’s something that makes me unique.”

And isn’t “Joe” really saying “stop pretending you’re unique.”

Me, I’ll take unique over mundane any day.

Dink on, Steven!


Mark's picture
Mark on December 10, 2003 - 22:31 Permalink

Since Zap I have wondered if more identity should be built into blog comments — for the sake of the blog & blogger as well as for the sake of the commmenters. Would segmented comments help separate qualified credible opinions from the anonymous? What is the rationale behind allowing the anonymous input? traffic?

Steven Garrity's picture
Steven Garrity on December 10, 2003 - 22:33 Permalink

Thanks Peter. Joe’s post bothered me more than it should have. I started to reply, be decided there wasn’t really anything constructive to say. I was also hoping that other readers might come to my defence, which they have (thanks Dennis!).

I butted heads with Dave Winer,/a> about this type of thing at the Zap conference. He was complaining about people like this and I basically suggested he was whinning. Now, I feel like whinning too.

The thing that gets me the most is that people say things that not at all constructive and get in the way of a conversation. You don’t have to like me — just leave if you don’t (or argue against me, at least).

Daniel made a post mocking the popular rock band Nickelback (who suck really hard, by the way). However, he made the post on his own website — not in anyone elses way. He didn’t go to a Nickelback fan site and call them dinks, and he didn’t call up Nickelback and tell them they suck. Is the difference so subtle?

I also suggested to Dave Winer that some of his problems with disgruntled readers might just be an issue of scale — if you get big enough, you’ll be bound to attract a few bafoons. I think there is something to that. Daniel’s website is new, and the community around it is tight-nit and friendly — there is little anonymity. He is probably not going to get people coming by to say “Nickleback rules! You sux!”. Daniel thinks if I had made the same post on Acts of Volition, just due to the little bit more visibility the site has (from having been around longer), I would have gotten all types of flames.

Google comes into play here too. Fantastic search indexing is a double-edges sword — it makes things easy to find, but it also eliminates the positive aspects of some level of obscurity (by the way, this is totally going to be the #1 Google result for “Steven Garrity is a Dink” in a few days).

I wonder would Joe have said those things to my face? He still wouldn’t like me (nor should he), but I bet he would have been a lot more polite and accommodating.

Derek Powazek, author of the fine book on web-based community issues, Design for Community, had the following disclaimer with the comments form on his personal website:

This is my personal site. It’s like my living room. I hope you’ll come in, have a seat, and be cool. But if you’re not and you post something off-topic, mean, or just plain stupid, I will delete it and kick you out. I reserve the right to delete any post for any reason. I also reserve the right to believe that people are essentially good, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Thank you.

And yes — I am totally going to dink on — the Acts of Volition Radio sessions have been great fun for me, and each time someone tells me they’ve listened to it (and maybe even enjoyed it), I get a great deal of satisfaction.

Dink on, indeed.

Steven Garrity's picture
Steven Garrity on December 10, 2003 - 22:40 Permalink

Mark asks: “What is the rationale behind allowing the anonymous input? traffic?”

I don’t want to punish the majority of readers (who contribute wonderful things to the site) with an extra step/hurdle to posting. Unless the noise level gets much worse, I’d rather tolerate a few unfortunate posts rather than get in everyone elses way.

I feel the same way about locking your car — why should the vast majority of people (non-thieves) have to take such drastic measures to avoid the wrath of a slim minority of theives? That said, I’ve been robbed several times — you can draw your own conclusions.

Alan's picture
Alan on December 11, 2003 - 00:54 Permalink

Steve, it is also possible you can be both dink and radio stylist at the same time, depending on what your each person in your audience brings that day. You can also be unique and mundane. They are not necessarily opposites or exclusive from each other. To some Nickleback is the best music that expresses their life. True, that music and that life isn’t what I would want to live because it likely has bigger chunks that suck, except perhaps when out with my auto-plant brother-in-law when it makes better sense. He and Daniel would not necessarily get along but that’s ok as I get along with each. That’s the thing about expression — to do anything it’s got to get heard by people with lives.

BTW, I don’t buy the living room. At best, it’s your front porch and you are talking into the street. Arseholes walk by. They, too, are people in your neighbourhood like Bob sang about on Sesame Street. But that can’t dissuade. It doesn’t matter. I get a real kick out of the shows and you’ve got me thinking about other things the medium can sustain. Dink.

Al O'Neill's picture
Al O'Neill on December 11, 2003 - 01:41 Permalink

I think I put the comments into my blog specifically as a way for people I make fun of to look stupid to the world in their lovely replies.

Kevin's picture
Kevin on December 11, 2003 - 13:07 Permalink

If you live life out loud (even partially) you will get “dink” type comments from every “dink” within earshot.

In a strange unfortunate hateful way they have a right to be angry at your successful lifestyle and say so — I agree with the comment, though, that the real nasty stuff could be left for his www.imthreatenedbystevengarrit… blog.

May I cautiously predict you will see more of this?

And I feel for the dinkerator who plunked down the comment, he mentions “train”. Anyone who must commute on a train deserves an extra measure of my compassion and I can understand how other people making a living (reference: cell phone) would irritate a person under such continuous and imperceptible stress in his/her life.

Rock on S.G.

Alan's picture
Alan on December 11, 2003 - 13:26 Permalink

successful lifestyle”? Does a cool t-shirt collection constitute a successful lifestyle? I suppose it does.

The Deuce's picture
The Deuce on December 12, 2003 - 14:04 Permalink

Being a Dink is not that bad. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just a classification of a person type. Actually it is what you call most young couples or newly weds.


Just in case someone was out in left field and thought being a D.I.N.K. was meant to be offensive.

Kevin's picture
Kevin on December 13, 2003 - 18:29 Permalink

I suppose I meant the lifestyle on the inside — never thought of T-shirts but why not?

Mandy's picture
Mandy on December 15, 2003 - 04:18 Permalink

And what a claim to fame it is… here here… I’m right there with ya Steven. Loved that show.

Steven Garrity's picture
Steven Garrity on December 16, 2003 - 20:57 Permalink


How is that the only Googlism on me!

DOLLY GLICK's picture
DOLLY GLICK on August 15, 2004 - 17:29 Permalink

Dear Steven, I am a great fan of yours I just love you on “JAG” please tell me you will be back on the show next season. the show won,t be as good without “WEB & HARM” I was so surprised when I read you played “DR.WORLIK” on “OLTL” I collect photo,s of stars. I would sincerely love to have one of you..would you please send me one? please come back on “JAG” in september. I will be waiting to see you on the show don,t forget to send me a photo..may I wish you much love and happiness..MUCH LOVE DOLLY GLICK.