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Old 01-08-2019, 11:30 AM
bump bump is offline
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Unrealistic expectations or just like to bitch?

So recently I've noticed what seems to me to be an uptick in the amount of serious-seeming griping about the quality of various movies, TV shows and books, which are generally acclaimed as being entertaining, and in some cases are award winning.

But nevertheless, you get people seriously bitching about the latest episode of The Orville as if it was some sort of serious science-fiction show with a crack team of writers and producers. It's not... it's a comedic science fiction drama that's somewhere between Star Trek and a sitcom, and it's kind of breaking new ground in that regard; most sci-fi shows aren't nearly so comedy oriented, even if there are occasional jokes.

Or all the kerfluffle about "Bohemian Rhapsody". It's not historically accurate in places, but it's entertaining. It has excellent performances, great costuming, etc... and it's probably a more fun use of your two hours and fifteen minutes than most other stuff.

Or we get people who seem to have dramatically unrealistic expectations for others' behavior. Not in the don't commit major crimes and have integrity way, but who seem to think that anyone in Germany who didn't actively protest the Nazi regime was somehow complicit. That seems like an awfully high bar. Or that everyone's primary motivator should be the elimination of racial/sexual injustice, and everything else is secondary or we're all racists and bigots.

Are these people suffering unrealistic expectations and are overly critical, or do they just like to bitch on the internet? I'm a little baffled; I don't quite approach the world with the intent to pick it apart like this.
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Old 01-08-2019, 01:35 PM
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Well, I think it's easier to criticize things and often more entertaining to read criticism than just "That was okay, I guess" so there's incentive to have that writing style. Plus people are more likely to respond to stuff they feel 'strongly' about than stuff they are lukewarm about -- sort of like how you're more likely to write a scathing review of a bathroom scale that broke than a four star review of one that just does its job adequately. So people who are just fine with something are less likely to write stuff and what they write is less likely to be responded to by others since there's no meat to it.

All that said, while I'm sure some people were irate about Bohemian Rhapsody, the majority "critical" opinion I saw was just "It was fun in places but nothing amazing". I'm not sure how you felt about the movie but maybe if you DID think something was amazing, you're more likely to think even mild criticism is harsher than it was intended.

Last edited by Jophiel; 01-08-2019 at 01:35 PM.
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Old 01-08-2019, 02:13 PM
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Just because something (as in The Orville) is parody does not make it exempt from being expected to be well written and acted. Do you honestly think that there can't be a bad episode, by definition?
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Old 01-08-2019, 02:14 PM
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"Those who can, do.
Those who cannot, teach.
Those who cannot teach, critique."

When I was in college, one of my professors taught the class how to write book reviews in the format for scholarly journals. One of his big rules was: Don't give a bad review because the author didn't write the book you think should have been written. Give a review based on what the author was trying to do.

A lot of critics, many of whom are frustrated wannabe authors, forget that.
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Old 01-08-2019, 02:16 PM
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Personally, I like to bitch. But I think it's typical of any product that becomes a commodity (like movies and TV have become) that there's high variability in the quality. People bitch about getting tomatoes that are tasteless or tough when compared to better tomatoes. Why not bitch about media when it's (they're) below average? I'd love EVERY tomato to be home-grown and delicious, but that's not going to happen in the real world.

Unlike in Lake Wobegon, not all movies and shows can be above-average.

Last edited by ZonexandScout; 01-08-2019 at 02:18 PM.
  #6  
Old 01-08-2019, 02:22 PM
Dale Sams Dale Sams is offline
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Originally Posted by bump View Post
So recently I've noticed what seems to me to be an uptick in the amount of serious-seeming griping about the quality of various movies, TV shows and books, which are generally acclaimed as being entertaining, and in some cases are award winning.

But nevertheless, you get people seriously bitching about the latest episode of The Orville as if it was some sort of serious science-fiction show with a crack team of writers and producers. It's not... it's a comedic science fiction drama that's somewhere between Star Trek and a sitcom, and it's kind of breaking new ground in that regard; most sci-fi shows aren't nearly so comedy oriented, even if there are occasional jokes.

Or all the kerfluffle about "Bohemian Rhapsody". It's not historically accurate in places, but it's entertaining. It has excellent performances, great costuming, etc... and it's probably a more fun use of your two hours and fifteen minutes than most other stuff.

Or we get people who seem to have dramatically unrealistic expectations for others' behavior. Not in the don't commit major crimes and have integrity way, but who seem to think that anyone in Germany who didn't actively protest the Nazi regime was somehow complicit. That seems like an awfully high bar. Or that everyone's primary motivator should be the elimination of racial/sexual injustice, and everything else is secondary or we're all racists and bigots.

Are these people suffering unrealistic expectations and are overly critical, or do they just like to bitch on the internet? I'm a little baffled; I don't quite approach the world with the intent to pick it apart like this.
Are we talking about Outrage Culture? Cause I think a fair bit of that has to do with Bohemian Rhapsody. From Bryan Singers involvement to Mercury's bisexuality getting watered down.

in the first...Singer was replaced, and the judgement in the quality of the film and whether it should get awards SHOULD BE exempt from his involvement. "Should be."

As to Mercury...again. The film's quality should be exempt form events being altered slightly. IMHO.

As to the other stuff. It's why I rarely go on FB and have culled my Twitter down to interesting people who have something interesting to say rather than just being an outrage parrot.
  #7  
Old 01-08-2019, 02:38 PM
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I don't think its unreasonable for people to expect their intelligence to not be insulted, to not have 'style over substance' forced on them, to not get pissed on and told that it is raining, to not be fed shit and told it is pate.

Unfortunately, the bar keeps getting lower and the common denominator keeps shrinking and we all get the worst crap foisted on us.

And, yeah. I like to bitch.
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Old 01-08-2019, 02:48 PM
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I don't know... it's just that there seems to be a lot of really pointed griping lately about stuff that's fundamentally enjoyable, or that honestly isn't quite worthy of that level of critique.

For example, The Orville is fun. I am under no illusions that it's all that awesome in the science fiction or comedy category, but it's entertaining. And honestly, as a mash-up of two things I enjoy, it's more likely a better use of an hour than something heavier.

But you get people out there who are DOWN on the show- talking about how shitty the acting or writing was, as if they have some kind of personal investment in it or something. I don't get it- it's not like they're being paid to write scathing reviews on here. It's like they have a deep-seated inability to just let something be enjoyable without it being awesome in all respects or something.

Same thing for Bohemian Rhapsody- yeah, the director is a predator, and there's some controversy about Mercury's bisexuality. But none of that has a damn thing to do with whether the movie was enjoyable to watch.

Same thing for the recent Star Wars movies- the level of investment and criticism is absurd, especially out of grown people who ought to have better stuff to do. And I say that as someone who's seen all of them multiple times, and who grew up with the Star Wars franchise (saw A New Hope at 4 years old in the first showing in 1977!) and who's read a fair amount of the expanded universe stuff.

Yeah, the movies weren't all they could have been. But they were fun for the couple of hours that I spent watching them. My biggest gripe is that they basically remade the first two movies with the most recent two. But I see no reason to hate on Kelly Tran or any of the other actors, or Rian Johnson, or whoever.

It's almost as if there are a lot of people on the Internet who feel like they're somehow not doing their jobs if they don't gripe about stuff. Go look at beer reviews- it's rare to find highly rated beers, even though a lot of 3/5 star beers are actually perfectly tasty beers that are perfectly good.

I wonder if this is a symptom of something larger, or if I'm just discouraged about people shitting heavily all over some things I happen to enjoy. I think if the criticism wasn't so pointed I wouldn't be so annoyed by it.
  #9  
Old 01-08-2019, 03:09 PM
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Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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Originally Posted by bump View Post
For example, The Orville is fun. I am under no illusions that it's all that awesome in the science fiction or comedy category, but it's entertaining. And honestly, as a mash-up of two things I enjoy, it's more likely a better use of an hour than something heavier.

That is your opinion. In mine, the first two episodes of season two offered very little that was either fun or entertaining. The series wouldn't have made it to mid-season if those were the first episodes of season one.

Last edited by Darren Garrison; 01-08-2019 at 03:10 PM.
  #10  
Old 01-08-2019, 03:24 PM
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When I was in college, one of my professors taught the class how to write book reviews in the format for scholarly journals. One of his big rules was: Don't give a bad review because the author didn't write the book you think should have been written. Give a review based on what the author was trying to do.
I remember reading Roger Ebert's Q&A column where he'd get people asking him why he gave that teenage sex comedy three stars, while only giving two stars to the serious costume drama based on a Thomas Hardy novel. He would answer that the teenage sex comedy in question was quite good, compared to others of the same type, while the costume drama sucked, compared to others of its type. In short he wasn't trying to compare the teenage sex comedy to the costume drama.
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Old 01-08-2019, 03:57 PM
SpoilerVirgin SpoilerVirgin is offline
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One other factor that frequently comes into play on the Internet is mob mentality. Once a few people in a discussion about a media work form an opinion, the remainder mostly go along. Many times I have watched a movie or T.V. show episode and liked it so much that I wanted to come here to discuss it, only to find that everyone was already saying how much they disliked it. At that point, it doesn't make sense for me to come in and say how great it was.

After watching the most recent episodes of The Orville (which I generally enjoyed), I went to a different message board to see what they were saying. The responses were almost universally positive, with one or two exceptions. Then I came here, and found that everyone was being critical. There are plenty of people on the Internet who are enjoying the show, but they don't really fit on this board.

In general, I have found that the Internet is more about snark than praise.
  #12  
Old 01-08-2019, 04:22 PM
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That is your opinion. In mine, the first two episodes of season two offered very little that was either fun or entertaining. The series wouldn't have made it to mid-season if those were the first episodes of season one.
See- this is what I'm talking about. Why does it bother you so much so that you started a thread to gripe about it? What exactly are you expecting out of a Seth McFarlane-helmed show mixing comedy and science fiction? Ideally it would be good at both, but sometimes it's going to be bad at one or the other, or even both.

So you're saying that you got no entertainment value out of either episode and they were both painful to watch? I find that hard to believe, unless you're just some sort of grumpy-assed curmudgeon.
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Old 01-08-2019, 05:25 PM
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"Those who can, do.
Those who cannot, teach.
Those who cannot teach, critique."
Every ass wants to stand with the King's horses.

That's why there are critics.


Some people just complain because they can. Because our instant culture makes it easy, nay, practically demands it. Everyone thinks their input is important.

But, on the other hand, standards for entertainment have gone up. No one makes sitcoms or shows like the 60s or 70s any longer. No one would watch them. they're too slow, too dumb, too corny, too formulaic, too something.

So we expect more from entertainment. If say, Star Wars was so very good, then WHY can't the new movies be at least as good as that? WHY must unimportant details be changed in Bohemian Rhapsody (or any biopic, such as First Man, or Hidden Figures, or name your movie)? Why must movies be written to the lowest common denominator?

We've gotten better in the past, and we expect better. That's not too much to ask. Movies that don't insult your intelligence have made money, sometimes more than ones that do. Is it too much to ask for movies that make sense?
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Old 01-08-2019, 08:00 PM
SpoilerVirgin SpoilerVirgin is offline
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No one makes sitcoms or shows like the 60s or 70s any longer. No one would watch them. they're too slow, too dumb, too corny, too formulaic, too something.
While it's true that T.V. has moved on for the most part, there are still plenty of people who enjoy the slower, more formulaic pace of earlier T.V. That's why there are channels like MeTV and others that schedule older shows, and a market for DVDs and streaming them, not to mention endless reboots. There's still an audience for shows like God Friended Me and Fuller House, even while most T.V. is too fast, too edgy, too slick, too convoluted, too something.
  #15  
Old 01-08-2019, 09:35 PM
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See- this is what I'm talking about. Why does it bother you so much so that you started a thread to gripe about it? What exactly are you expecting out of a Seth McFarlane-helmed show mixing comedy and science fiction? Ideally it would be good at both, but sometimes it's going to be bad at one or the other, or even both.

So you're saying that you got no entertainment value out of either episode and they were both painful to watch? I find that hard to believe, unless you're just some sort of grumpy-assed curmudgeon.

I started a thread for the whole second season because it needed one. If you bother to look, you will see that I was an active participant in the season one thread, and often had nice things to say about it. But apparently, while someone is allowed to say positive things about a show, they aren't allowed to say negative ones? Is that your point? Or that because something isn't serious drama you aren't allowed to expect decent writing? If the next episode is nothing but scenes of Seth lying on the floor cradling his knee interspersed with Conway Twitty videos should we fellate him for his brilliance?

Last edited by Darren Garrison; 01-08-2019 at 09:36 PM.
  #16  
Old 01-08-2019, 10:36 PM
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This might be another perspective:

If I watch a show or a movie, I've purchased a product. I might subscribe to the channel, I might have paid for admission, I might have purchased it on some form of media or streaming, or maybe I just watched the ads and commercials when it was broadcast. We tend to do one of two things when we're disappointed by a purchase--we either justify our bad decision by claiming that it was actually worth the price we paid or we bitch about the "failure to deliver on a promise." Therefore, I expect one, the other, or both reactions when someone sees an objectively bad show/movie. I'm rarely disappointed.
  #17  
Old 01-09-2019, 12:24 AM
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Same thing for the recent Star Wars movies- the level of investment and criticism is absurd, especially out of grown people who ought to have better stuff to do.
I think that gets exaggerated as well. Certainly there's some people who get all worked up about it. But, in the thread of The Last Jedi, I posted a number of times and I suppose that in a vacuum you might say "Gee, he must be really upset". In reality, I was just posting because that was the topic of the thread and I found it interesting enough to add to. But once I'd leave the thread, I stopped thinking about Star Wars almost immediately.
  #18  
Old 01-09-2019, 01:06 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Criticism of popular entertainment goes back forever. It was there at the start of vaudeville, of movies, of radio, of television. It's never stopped, but lately, this century mostly, there's been a gigantic tsunami of praise and recognition of the joys and worth of popular stuff. When Harry Potter first arrived, negative reviews were almost universal from critics. (Deservedly so. The first book is readable junk and nothing more.) Today, Potter and Rowling are almost sacred creatures you scorn at your peril.

Same is true for the MCU, video games, podcasts, and tons more of what used to be considered low art.

You may see more criticism that you used to. I'm be very surprised if you didn't; there's a hundred times more criticism easily available than in the old days. My big surprise is that there's a thousand times more praise than there used to be.

Remember at the start of the web when pundits started spouting about the Long Tail? They said the internet would allow everybody to access small and personal and non-corporate products and art and opinions. That happened. What they didn't understand that the flip side of that was that the dog attached to the tail would bloat to the size of a megaultrasaurus gobbling up all attention. You can talk about some great little series on Nexlfix or Gribblesnart or whatever the new platform is called. And the six others who saw it will happily get back to you. The other 99.9999% of the world is busy talking about next season's Game of Thrones because the conversation today follows the people and that's where the most people are.

Game of Thrones is a very good television series. I'll be watching the next season and probably join in the threads on it. All the time I'll be enjoying it, I'll realize in the back of my head that it's not great art. If you make an intelligent argument slamming it to small pieces I'll be cheering at the end.

I think the OP is the one with unrealistic expectations. Popularity is not goodness. Read any thread on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame if you don't believe me.
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Old 01-09-2019, 01:23 PM
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I think that gets exaggerated as well. Certainly there's some people who get all worked up about it. But, in the thread of The Last Jedi, I posted a number of times and I suppose that in a vacuum you might say "Gee, he must be really upset". In reality, I was just posting because that was the topic of the thread and I found it interesting enough to add to. But once I'd leave the thread, I stopped thinking about Star Wars almost immediately.
Could be; I thought The Last Jedi could have used a little bit of work plot-wise, but overall it was entertaining. Certainly didn't make me angry to have seen it or anything.
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Old 01-09-2019, 02:51 PM
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I'm in total agreement with Bump.

I feel kind of bad for these people. How often do they actually get to enjoy a movie or TV show?

Must suck to be them.

I also get the feeling this cynicism carries over to other aspects of their life as well.
  #21  
Old 01-09-2019, 04:22 PM
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I feel kind of bad for these people. How often do they actually get to enjoy a movie or TV show?
Quite often.

In fact, I'm quite often enjoying the show I'm critiquing.
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:55 AM
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I'm in total agreement with Bump.

I feel kind of bad for these people. How often do they actually get to enjoy a movie or TV show?

Must suck to be them.

I also get the feeling this cynicism carries over to other aspects of their life as well.
Well put- that's my thinking too. And I couldn't figure out if they're just unrealistic, or they just enjoy the kvetching about things, even stuff they actually enjoy.

I mean, I get that- I know how identifying the places something went wrong is a stepstone to imagining how it could be even better. It's like griping that your ice cream wasn't at the ideal temperature; it's still good, you still enjoy it a lot, but it could have been a little bit more or less firm for maximum enjoyment.

I just wondered because it has seemed like in every science fiction movie/tv thread or things like food threads, there are people out there who seemingly like to just gripe about these things in a strange fashion.

To use my earlier example, hearing someone gripe about the uneven plotting and acting of The Orville , seems about like hearing someone give a serious restaurant review style critique of a baseball stadium hot dog. Makes me scratch my head- what were you expecting? Of course it's going to fall short. Just sit down, have a swig of beer, and enjoy your hot dog. It seems absurd that you're talking about how the relish is too sweet, or the mustard is not vinegary enough when it's a ball park hot dog.
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:36 AM
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Could be; I thought The Last Jedi could have used a little bit of work plot-wise, but overall it was entertaining. Certainly didn't make me angry to have seen it or anything.
Likewise. But if you're going to assume that everyone in a thread criticizing it is all worked up, then you're going to wonder why people get so mad. When the answer is "they mostly don't"
  #24  
Old 01-11-2019, 01:15 PM
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To use my earlier example, hearing someone gripe about the uneven plotting and acting of The Orville , seems about like hearing someone give a serious restaurant review style critique of a baseball stadium hot dog. Makes me scratch my head- what were you expecting? Of course it's going to fall short. Just sit down, have a swig of beer, and enjoy your hot dog. It seems absurd that you're talking about how the relish is too sweet, or the mustard is not vinegary enough when it's a ball park hot dog.

You still just don't get it. I was very familiar with (and thought of bringing up) the Ebert system of judging movies. We aren't judging The Orville against Shakespeare, we are judging The Orville against The Orville. Some episodes are better than others. Maybe you are fine with if every once in a while your hot dog vendor forgoes the chili, drops his pants, and shits on it instead. Maybe you are happy to swill it down without complaint and say "Thank you Sir, may I have another?" But some of us are willing to say "You know, I usually like these hot dogs, but this tastes like shit!"



Feel free to hork down whatever swill is put in front of you--the supply is plentiful.

Last edited by Darren Garrison; 01-11-2019 at 01:17 PM.
  #25  
Old 01-11-2019, 02:24 PM
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Fair enough, and it may be some sort of recollection bias, but I mostly recall bitching from most of the threads about The Orville. Even in the parts where it's acknowledged that an episode was good, there's still nitpickery and griping.

It reminds me a lot of the way some managerial types feel like they have to say something negative on reviews about their subordinates so they have room to improve, even when that person is kicking ass and taking names in pretty much every way. It's like if they don't gripe about something, they're not doing their due diligence.
  #26  
Old 01-16-2019, 05:27 AM
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Sorry to bump, but I think pointing out some irony might help the OP understand.

You got rather worked up over something that is rather small: how other people enjoy discussing their fiction. You got quite passionate to the point that some of what you say comes off as somewhat insulting. You fully engaged with this topic.

Well, that's how some people handle their fiction. It's not that they are extremely upset. It's not that they feel a need to come up with something to complain about. It's that they chose to fully engage.

There are upsides and downsides. Fully engaging means that you get more out of it, but it also means that flaws matter more. Simply engaging like a warmed up hotdog will keep you from caring about the lows, but it will also mute the highs.

I don't notice any difference, as long as you are actually among the actual fans of a fictional work. If you notice a difference, it may be that being a full on fan is more accepted in society now, and there's a lot more good television that people engage with.

But, ultimately, we're all geeks and nerds on this board, and that's just what we do. We passionately engage with our hobbies and entertainment. You just aren't into the Orville as much as Darren is.

After all, the more you like something, the more critical you are when it doesn't live up to expectations.
  #27  
Old Yesterday, 02:51 PM
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...

For example, The Orville is fun. I am under no illusions that it's all that awesome in the science fiction or comedy category, but it's entertaining. And honestly, as a mash-up of two things I enjoy, it's more likely a better use of an hour than something heavier. ...
This is exactly why I think it sucks. It does neither science fiction nor comedy well enough to hold my interest. But I'm an outlier since the show has continued.
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