Monday, February 13, 2012

(Not) Arguing About Pep and Storm

I'm going to borrow terms from debate for this post.  There is, after all, a long running debate playing out across the Second Life related forums, feeds, blogs and sims.

Resolution:  Pep and Storm are inappropriately, excessively and unnecessarily rude, offensive and mean to other residents and forum and feed posters.  Pep and Storm are not funny.  They are sometimes hyperemotional.  They use sockpuppets.  They should stop.

Affirmative:  Eloise and Steampunk

Negative:  Pep and Storm

This is a summary of one small part of the debate.  You can read the full transcript here.

Storm states a premise.  "I have over 50 posts to SLF with my alt. Not ONE has been returned (RIC'd, or moderated.) The conclusion I draw is that people RIC the poster and not the post.  I would like to add that in the last 6 months over 25% of my posts as Storm have been RIC'd.  Prior to the last 6 months I have 5000+ posts without a removal."

Venus states one:  "Another conclusion is that mods do not read/review for context.  A lethal combination."

Steampunk Gears questions the premises.

Pep questions Steampunk.

Eloise questions the premises and adds evidence by way of a testimony about RICing one of Storms' forum posts.

Storm acknowledges Eloise's evidence and point.

Zinnia affirms the posters.

Pep makes a joke.

Perrie Juran makes an observation and a joke.

Dres makes a joke.

Perrie makes a joke.

curiousaboutsl interrupts the discussion to ask technical questions about the Feed.

People reply to curiousaboutsl.  Lee and Venus take it off Storm's feed and answer curiousaboutsl in more detail on curiousaboutsl's feed.

Zinnia disaffirms Pep.  Zinnia uses her own judgment about Pep's joke and decides it is not funny and that it is offensive, and therefore not so much a joke as an actual accusation.  Zinnia affirms herself.

curiousaboutsl makes an ironic comment and asks more questions.

Steampunk Gears makes incorrect assertions.

Eloise makes an assertion that she is pretty sure Pep is a troll.

Storm asserts that Steampunk Gears is clueless.

Lee introduces Steampunk and curiousaboutsl to each other.

Storm introduces cocktails.

Lee makes an observation about Steampunk's general posting style.

Lee and Storm discuss the Forum Confidential blog and John Updike.

Pep affirms his virtual identity and makes more jokes.

Zinnia describes her own observations of Pep, criticizes Pep and makes the request that he "be nice."

Steampunk Gears states a premise, that Pep bullies, intimidates, humiliates, harasses and trolls and does not employ humor correctly.  This makes the second "Pep is a troll" assertion in the discussion.  (Steampunk and Eloise)

Steampunk also predicts punitive reactions from Linden Lab towards Pep.

Steampunk then implies that the discussion Lee and Storm had about Forum Confidential was a threat and would have been a violation of the ToS if the Feeds were moderated by the Lindens.  He then makes assertions about the entertainment value of Forum Confidential.

Steampunk then makes more assertions about Pep claiming that he has "hidden like a coward," lied and cheated and wasted time and trolled.  Although this remains the second "troll" premise as Steampunk made it before.  So we still have a count of Eloise and Steampunk asserting that Pep is a troll.

Steampunk makes the extremely difficult to support assertion that no one wants to listen to Pep and no one cares about what Pep has to say.  (More likely a typical neener-neener dig than an actual assertion.)

Steampunk then tells, presumably Pep, to "fuck off."

Pep says he has written a rebuttal to Steampunk on his (Pep's) feed.

Pep asserts that everyone is a little bad, he's just better at being bad.

Dres employs sarcasm.

Pep asks clarifying questions (about which blogs are being discussed).

Amethyst Gears asserts that Pep makes insults that belittle his opponents and suggests they are illiterate.

Pep asserts that he does not suggest his opponents are illiterate, he merely points it out when they are illiterate.

Eloise asserts that Pep claims his opponents are ESLers, uneducated, stupid and hyperemotional with no grasp of their intentions when they post.

Eloise states a premise couched as an observation:  "You're mean, pure and simple. I can be mean, we all can, but you do it for what seems like a living. I make no judgement. I simply observe."  She also asserts that Pep picks on others while Storm does not.

Eloise asserts that she sees Storm as posting in a manner similar to how Pep's posts to his opponents has been described.  She adds that "others" see Storm as the "epitome of a hyperemotional response."

Storm states that he is "in it for the drama" having failed at comedy.

Storm makes the extremely difficult to support assertion that he posts without emotion.

Eloise asserts that Storm and Pep are mean to others, but do not allow anyone to respond in kind or to be mean to them in any way or degree.  She asserts that this observed stance does not make sense.

Eloise states that she is aware of both sides of "this argument."  She asserts that she is not affiliated to either camp.  She positions herself as being against the mean posts of Pep and the hyperemotional posts of Storm and the stance both take with regard to how they make and receive posts.

Storm asserts that he is not affiliated with any camp.

Eloise asserts, via a question, that Storm is defending a camp or stance, with an added implication that Storm is defending Pep.

Eloise asserts that Pep "stirs up trouble" for others including Storm.

Eloise says she bites bait and the trolls bite her.

Storm states that he finds Pep to be humorous and entertaining.

Eloise asserts that neither Pep nor Storm are funny, though both are entertaining and "drama queens."  She states they are "scarily, obsessively mean" and that both have been banned from the forums, implying this supports the argument that Pep and Storm are mean.

Eloise and Storm parse the argument that either (or both) alts or sockpuppets are bad.

Storm asserts that his SL Forum ban was for questioning moderation, not for his posts in general.

Eloise asserts that Storm was banned for a sustained offensive.

Eloise asserts that some of the posters are reinforcing the idea "that when Pep misbehaves you all encourage him."

Dres makes comments about the SL Forum moderation.

Lee makes sidebar comments.

Dres asserts that Eloise has some valid points in a reasonable manner.  Lee agrees.

Eloise affirms Dres.

Storm asserts that the responses to Eloise have been reasonable as well.

Eloise makes a joke and then returns to what she sees as the point, "is what Pep does acceptable? Not to me. Not today, or ever and while people defend his behaviour...on your heads be it when you want SL to listen to you."

Storm responds, "The point was the OP, not your point Eloise."

Eloise and Storm both make the near-indefensible claim that they were not arguing with anyone or at all.

Venus explains her prior comment was a joke.

Dres states that Pep is an asshole, but Dres still finds reasons to like Pep.

Steampunk makes an attempt to get Lee's attention, but once again gets the facts wrong in the attempt.

Steampunk asserts that there is a type of observer that relishes in the misery Pep and Storm dish out to other residents and supports what Pep and Storm say regardless of how far Pep and Storm take their comments.  Steampunk offers no evidence to support his assertions.

Eloise states that she realizes she will never win peace on the forums or feeds, but she seems to suggest she'll have a good time trying.

Lee observes people making judgment calls on jokes again.

Venus asserts that jokes are like pornography.  "Jokes are like pron. I know it when I see it."

Lee asserts that she is "lightening the mood a little, giving encouragement, responding in a polite and rational manner."

Lee suggests that she sees stating one's point in the context of continuous back-and-forth opposing commentary to be "an argument."

Dres affirms Lee.  Lee affirms Dres.

Storm suggests the "argument" is merely a "dance."

Storms says he is a "drama ho" and  implies that he aims to please.

Venus states that she flashed her boobs.

Eloise attempts to claim, somewhat ironically, that she is not making assertions.  "I'm not making assertions Lee. I'm responding to the way that others post. I'm explicitly referring to the way that Pep posts and the responses his posts garner. I have no view on anything other than how rude Pep's posts are and how quickly the same few posters come in to defend his behaviour. Whatever you think of me, I would never be that incredibly rude. I would never condone that behaviour and I remain surprised by those who do."

Lee suggests it may be time to define our terms.

Venus brings up the old hotbutton of the question of interpretting "condoning behavior" and "silence" and "loves."

Dres reasserts that Pep can be an asshole and that he does not condone that behavior and that there is more to Pep than that.

Colleen peeks her head in to make a quick joke.

Venus and Dres wink and hug.

/end summary

You may judge this section of the debate in the comments section below or in the applicable feed.  There are actually numerous premises and assertions stated in that discussion.  I chose the main one, despite it not actually being the subject of the OP.  Please feel free to comment on any of the resolutions, premises or assertions that you observed in the feed discussion.

Thank you.

To be perfectly clear...I am NOT making any digs at Eloise who I thought handled herself quite well in the feed discussion.  I mean to be respectful and not disrespectful to Eloise.  There is no snark there.  I posted this because I am interested in framing the age-old topic of Pep, Storm (and the Fuckwads before them) as a debate, rather than a flamefest or tantrum or random drive-by shootings.

Do I need to explain that "Resolution" does not mean that I have personally resolved that statement as a fact? It's a debate term. It means that statement represents the main point of the argument now open to being discussed and debated by both sides (affirmative and negative).

ETA & Update:
Steampunk has dropped out.  We need more champions for the affirmative.

I've updated the "Defining Our Terms" blog post.

More related links.


  1. Seems like I went to bed too early even though it was Stupid O'clock.

  2. Perhaps I can offer some light on the "resolution" - as it applies to Pep only, of course:

    #1"Pep and Storm are inappropriately and excessively rude, offensive and mean."

    a) I have no doubt that some people find me "rude, offensive and mean"; I find LOLcats "rude, offensive and mean"; apparently Billy-Bob Thornton finds antique furniture "rude, offensive and mean"; as Rick Nelson sang in "Garden Party": "You see, you can't please everyone, so you've got to please yourself."

    b) Who determines what is appropriate or inappropriate, and how is that judgment justified? Also, is there a level of rudeness, offensiveness and meanness which is acceptable, and where is the line drawn - and by whom - for it to become excessive?

    #2 I protest vehemently that "Pep and Storm are not funny." I find Storm makes me laugh (in a good way, as opposed to the condescending way in which I am amused at how stupid people are in wishing to reveal their personality deficits) more than anyone else in the feeds, and used to in the forum, now Carole is no longer posting. You have noted that it is apparent that there are others who are entertained by my humour, and even unintentionally reinforce it, qv Lillie's naive belief that taking my self-description as a narcissist (hell, I thought that 100 wordstory was magic!) and restating it does anything but highlight the apparent inability of many Americans to understand self-deprecating humour.

    #3 I can confirm that I am never even emotional, much less hyperemotional. Surely it is evident, from the manner in which I meticulously craft my posts in whatever medium I am using, that I am attempting to subject the emotional hot buttons of others to sufficient pressure that they lose the plot themselves; a self-inflicted injury is significantly more humiliating than one incurred at the hands of a manifestly superior opponent, which merely creates a martyr as a rallying point for supporters.

    #4 I don't use sockpuppets. I am forced to use alts in the forum, but would much prefer to simply use Pep.

    Pep (is off now to look at the feed, since this was actually his first stop of the morning)

    PS I was put off by the notification of 163 posts in my feed inbox . . .

  3. I agree with Pep about one thing. Storm can be very funny.

  4. I can't believe I missed all the fun. Why didn't someone wake me?

  5. We wanted you fresh for Luuuve Day. Rawr.

  6. Update:
    Steampunk has dropped out. We need more champions for the affirmative.

  7. ETA:
    I've updated the "Defining Our Terms" blog post.

  8. I'm not exactly a volunteer, but I would be happy to participate. I can argue for the affirmative, however, I object to one of the basic premises. I don't think it is fair to lump people together, and make blanket pronouncements about them. But this will need to wait until after work.

  9. The summary is almost better than the actual debate..well done, Archivist!

  10. @ Kattatonia: Terrific! I'll look forward to your comments.

    @ Sylvia: Why thank you. ;-)

  11. @Sylvia, almost? Not almost, absolutely better!

  12. I don't do much blog-watching and even less blog-commenting, but I saw this referenced on the Feed today while looking around after seeing Katt's repost of your 'silence' comment (which I liked). I've enjoyed reading your stuff before, and I love the way you summarized the 'debate' but I'll not be taking part. I do my best to ignore both Storm and Pep; actually going out of my way to communicate with them would fly in the face of that strategy. In the end it would reduce to something like this:

    Dillon: Pep is a twat.
    Pep: Your pathetic little group of friends may enjoy your drivel, I do not. I'm much smarter than you are. I'm much smarter than ANYONE! I WIN! [Puffs out chest]

    Dillon: Storm is a turd.
    Storm: I laugh at your fucking ignorance. It's all a plot! That fucking Macmasters is behind everything! I PROVED it with geometric logic! [Wipes foam from lips and reaches for the steelies]

    Have fun, though ;-).

  13. Thank you, Dillon, for your kind comments with regard to me, for your wish for our fun and for respecting the tone of this particular chapter of the debate.

    Ima recused herself for similar reasons, though she has reserved the possibility of participating later. ;-)

  14. Well gee Dillon, when you put it that way it's pretty hard not to rethink my own involvement here.

  15. @ Kattatonia: You don't think you can keep your responses civil and rational either?

  16. Oh, I can be civil and rational, at least I hope so. But I was doing my best to ignore Storm and Pep too. You see, rather than agreeing with the resolution above, I had it down to a simple "Pep is a troll, don't feed him" and "Storm is crazy, run away" approach. You made the debate sound like so much fun, I was tempted to abandon my own resolve. Dillon merely reminded me of it.

  17. I'd like to modify that last post. It's not "Storm is crazy, run away", it's "Storm is crazy sometimes, run away". He's more like Othello, bouts of temporary insanity, when provoked. Pep is more like Iago.

  18. Please can you give us YOUR definition of a troll, Katt.

    Pep (is always amused when the worst thing anyone, for example, Dillon, can say about him is to compare him with a woman, or part of a woman's anatomy)

  19. Wait, we didn't define troll yet? Lee? I think the urban dictionary definition will suffice: troll: One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.

  20. @ Kattatonia: I only included the definitions of "sockpuppet" and "alt." Not "troll."

  21. Katt: Thank you SOOOOOOOO much. I will not plead "guilty" to being that kind of a troll, however, since I see no immorality in it, and certainly no reudeness, offensiveness or meanness implicit in the definition; rather, I see that as describing someone who is the life and soul of the party, who prevents awkward and embarrassing silences from occurring, who induces strangers who think alike to join together, who disturbs people from their comfortable intellectual inertia and replaces participatory somnolence with proactive declamation of their opinions. A catalyst is defined as something that, introduced into a chemical reaction, speeds it up, causing change in the other elements without being changed itself; your UD definition fits that nicely. I also refuse to perceive disruption and argument as being pejorative epithets for the exchange of ideas that is generated by the introduction of a grain of sand into the oyster of internet interaction.

    1. So what you're saying is yes, you are that kind of troll but that it is not a bad thing. I am not saying that it is a bad thing, just that I do not want to feed you.


  23. When he 'breaks out' from this scene Hoffman is running down Front street. You can see the Carmines restaurant sign (closed 2010 after 108 yrs in business) as he is running down front to water street; he is passing my loft.