Thursday, 05 July 2012

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DISBELIEF! [Other installments of Sekocom, Inc. games include DISADVENTURE!, DISADDENDUM!, DISMORALIZED!, DISINSOMNIA!, WHARTON!, GRADING!, DISBELIEF! and DISCONVENTION!.] Copyright (c) 1980, 1982, 2006, 2012 Sekocom, Inc. All rights reserved. DISBELIEF! is a registered trademark of Sekocom, Inc. Revision 23 / Serial number 8940729 West of Apartment Complex You are standing in an open field west of a white apartment complex, with a boarded front door. There is a small mailbox here. > e The door is locked. There is evidently no key. > kick down door You are in the kitchen of the white townhouse. A table seems to have been used recently for the preparation of food. A television tuned to CNN sits upon it. A passage leads to the west, and a dark staircase can be seen leading downward. The President is Black. To the east is a small window which is open. > wait what? You are in the kitchen of the white townhouse. A table seems— > no president part The President is Black. > GET THE FUCK OUT You are standing in an open field west of a white apartment complex, with a kicked-in front door. There is a small mailbox here. > check mail There are two envelopes in the mailbox. The first is from a woman whose name you do not recognize. The second is from the DMV. > open dmv The registration on a vehicle is about to expire. Its owner has three weeks to provide evidence of liability insurance. > look year I don't understand. > year on registration The registration of the vehicle will not be renewed for 2013 unless its owner— > it is 2012 The registration of the vehicle will not be renewed for 2013 unless its owner— > so year is 2012 You are a genius. > how black president He was elected in 2008. > WHAT THE FUCK You are standing in an open field west of a white apartment complex, with a kicked-in front door. There is a small mailbox here. There are two envelopes in the mailbox. The first is from a woman whose name you do not recognize. The second is from the DMV. > AND PRESIDENT The President is still Black. > open woman That would be wrong. > open LETTER FROM woman You open the letter from a woman whose name you do not recognize. > where she from The address of origin is Houston, Texas. > so america You are a genius. > so america 2012 black president You are hyperventilating. The letter from the DMV can be used as a bag. Breathe deeply into the letter and exhale slowly— > WHERE AM I You are standing in an open field west of a white apartment complex, with a kicked-in front door. There is a small mailbox here. > HOW I GET HERE You started paying attention. Your breathing seems to be increasingly shallow. You should consider seeking medical attention. > no insurance As of today your status as an American citizen...
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Is it even possible to have this conversation ... ... without proving Kathleen wrong? Bloggers who have been at it for a while have noted a recent decline in commenting, and while that decline may have begun with the popularity of RSS feeds (which abstract the content of blog posts from their web presences, encouraging reading without interaction), it has accelerated with the privatization of discussion on platforms like Facebook. When a friend shares a link there, it’s only natural to discuss the link with that friend, in that environment, rather than discussing the text with the author, on the author’s site. I'd start it, but I'm not a commenter, strictly speaking, so I don't know. (Or am I one? I try to "tend the garden" beneath my own posts, but I don't comment on other sites all that often anymore.) One thing I will note is that both Kathleen's post and the one to which she links have a slightly melancholic tone, and it's understandable why: once upon a time bloggers measured their worth by their ability to generate comments. (And mostly still do.) This worth doesn't accrue when accomplished cheaply -- as through deliberate provocation or daft contrarianism -- but when a blogger invests five or six thoughtful hours in a post, seeing comments snaking below it makes the investment feel worthwhile. This isn't the case so much anymore, though, because the conversation's have disappeared: if you link to something I write on Facebook, the uptick in traffic alerts me to the fact that I've written something that's being read, but I can't participate in the conversation, which not only strikes me as a strange -- inasmuch as I'm being excluded from conversations I've started -- but also creates an occasionally inhibiting paranoia. I know people are talking about something I've written, but I'm structurally excluded from that conversation. I like to imagine that if I wanted to join it, I'd be welcomed, but only because it's a comforting thesis that I can't disprove. But this post is about commenters and I'm a blogger, so I'll stop yammering and concede the floor to you.

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