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Old 10-29-2019, 10:17 AM
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Reminiscing on the beginnings of SDMB.


IIRC, we may not post about how long we've been on SDMB, " Anniversaries " and such.

It's October 2019. For quite a handful of us, this autumn marks 20 years of involvement in our community.

Considering that milestone, and the fact that some Dopers / Mods / Admins may have fragments of the old AOL Board as well as nascent SDMB posts, could we be allowed to open a thread on this topic?

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  #2  
Old 10-29-2019, 11:15 AM
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Mom! MOOMMM! If he gets a party then I want one too!

It's not fair. All the older kids get the get the good stuff.
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Old 10-29-2019, 11:24 AM
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I'd be surprised if there's anything left from AOL other than, maybe, someone saving some of the text somewhere. So far as I know, the AOL boards wouldn't have been google indexed and probably not in any cache or on the wayback machine.

I think you'd have better luck finding remnants of FFF. Did FFF overlap with AOL at all?
  #4  
Old 10-29-2019, 09:07 PM
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I'd be surprised if there's anything left from AOL
What about TubaDiva?
  #5  
Old 10-30-2019, 03:00 PM
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What about TubaDiva?
And my e-mail address; I still use that. I was giving it to someone at work and when I reached "@aol.com" her comment was "boy you really are old".

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Originally Posted by Happy Lendervedder View Post
Man, when this place started, we used to read books to figure out what was going to be on TV! And then we rearranged our weeks around it!

And our houses had phone numbers!
Mine still does with wires and everything.

I remember when I first got on AOL and we basically did everything in flash sessions because the charge was by the minute. When the one-price-per-month came along all the chat rooms exploded. One of the reasons AOL called on so many of us to become "Hosts" -- I don't think they were really ready for it.


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I remember moderating using a phone modem for the first couple of years-what fun.
And I'll go you one better as well ----- I was still using AOL dial-up into 2015.
  #6  
Old 10-31-2019, 06:44 AM
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I remember when I first got on AOL and we basically did everything in flash sessions because the charge was by the minute.
Damn, I forgot about that; I was just lurking back then. Didn't join and start posting till the following year.
  #7  
Old 10-31-2019, 07:58 AM
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I registered 15 days before my oldest was born. I was bored at work, had been reading the columns for a while and was intrigued by JillGat - the first poster I recognized by name.

Now that baby is heading towards 20 and halfway through her sophomore year in college.

How time does fly.
  #8  
Old 10-29-2019, 11:38 AM
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IIRC, we may not post about how long we've been on SDMB, " Anniversaries " and such.
Really? Never heard of that. Go nuts, in the appropriate forum. I'd probably start with MPSIMS.
  #9  
Old 10-29-2019, 11:47 AM
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Really? Never heard of that. Go nuts, in the appropriate forum. I'd probably start with MPSIMS.
I feel like that's an artifact from the old rules against post padding.
  #10  
Old 10-29-2019, 11:51 AM
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I feel like that's an artifact from the old rules against post padding.
And the reminiscing begins.
  #11  
Old 10-29-2019, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
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IIRC, we may not post about how long we've been on SDMB, " Anniversaries " and such.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
I feel like that's an artifact from the old rules against post padding.
Right. I don't recall any rule against celebrating anniversaries, at least any that has been enforced in many years. Many years ago we had rules against "post parties" because they were prone to post padding, but now that many posters have counts in the tens of thousands there's little point.
  #12  
Old 10-29-2019, 06:46 PM
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And the reminiscing begins.
Back in my day, we posted about old wallpaper patterns. And we liked it that way.
  #13  
Old 10-29-2019, 07:40 PM
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Back in my day, we posted about old wallpaper patterns. And we liked it that way.

And we traveled three miles through the snow uphill both ways just to do it!
  #14  
Old 10-29-2019, 05:31 PM
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Really? Never heard of that.
Here's an example of a post count party that got shut down by a party-pooper mod.
  #15  
Old 10-30-2019, 09:39 AM
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Here's an example of a post count party that got shut down by a party-pooper mod.
She only made it there first because handy was banned.
  #16  
Old 10-30-2019, 09:39 PM
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She only made it there first because handy was banned.
Mr Unsolicited and Bad Medical Advice? Along with Satan, how easy it once was to get banned! And I couldn't stand Satan.
  #17  
Old 10-29-2019, 08:54 PM
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I might still have transcripts from when I was a chatroom co-host (as "Joe Cool"); sent copies to TubaDiva a while back.

Last edited by Skywatcher; 10-29-2019 at 08:54 PM.
  #18  
Old 10-30-2019, 10:35 AM
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I might still have transcripts from when I was a chatroom co-host (as "Joe Cool"); sent copies to TubaDiva a while back.
You were Joe Cool?

Married to Jersey Diamond?

Tried to get yer pal Satan unbanned?

Tried to get Vanilla banned?


What's upppppppp!!!
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  #19  
Old 10-31-2019, 03:31 PM
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You were Joe Cool?

Married to Jersey Diamond?

Tried to get yer pal Satan unbanned?

Tried to get Vanilla banned?


What's upppppppp!!!
Nah, that was Joe_Cool. Met him and Jersey Diamond at my first ‘fest in April 2000, I think.
  #20  
Old 10-31-2019, 08:26 PM
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Nah, that was Joe_Cool. Met him and Jersey Diamond at my first ‘fest in April 2000, I think.
was that the one with eve? and they started or said something in a thread and ended up banned over it ?


actually, i first read about the dope in a readers digest article that came from somewhere else .... then on one of the AOL versions if you put random as a keyword it showed a roulette wheel and took you to random sites and the dope was one of them it kept taking me to and I remembered the article from earlier and since i hated aols message boards and boards, in general, i didn't join until a year or so after the SD left AOL ...because I moved and forgot about ti for a while until i was sent an e-mail about it moving off of AOL

funny thing is I found out ti wasn't as random as they claimed .. it merely took you to one of the 50th low rated places ...early click nait if you will



and wow i remember vanilla......she was involved in some 3-way relationship and her trans lover was on here too and vanilla would post these non realistic threads threads on how she was raising her kids and when someone criticized her shed get all butt hurt and her lover would be her attack dog ....... look up her thread on how she wasn't going to let her kids even acknowledge Disney even existed because it so mean to stepmothers among other things .....
  #21  
Old 11-01-2019, 01:29 AM
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and wow i remember vanilla......she was involved in some 3-way relationship and her trans lover was on here too and vanilla would post these non realistic threads threads on how she was raising her kids and when someone criticized her shed get all butt hurt and her lover would be her attack dog ....... look up her thread on how she wasn't going to let her kids even acknowledge Disney even existed because it so mean to stepmothers among other things .....
That was lee. KellyM, of woman-sperm fame, was her lover.

vanilla is the one who got her pastor to register so he could take her side in a dispute.
  #22  
Old 10-31-2019, 03:44 PM
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You were Joe Cool?
Only during my AOL chat nights. I went by "Snoopy" on the board there.

Last edited by Skywatcher; 10-31-2019 at 03:46 PM.
  #23  
Old 10-30-2019, 07:34 PM
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I might still have transcripts from when I was a chatroom co-host (as "Joe Cool"); sent copies to TubaDiva a while back.
I have all this stuff archived ... including chat transcripts from AOL and big chunks of the AOL board ... just not available on this computer.

I'll have to see what I can resurrect but due to work and etc it will be Tuesday before I can get to it, sorry.

Jenny
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  #24  
Old 10-30-2019, 10:13 AM
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I can't recall who was the head NIC of the Cold Prickly Brigade (CPB). Whoever it was, they weren't doing all that hot a job, what with RevJimTull and ARG220 annoying up the place. 'Course you can't expect raw hostility to work miracles. Trolls is trolls. Sock puppets were harder to determine because they weren't registered as screen names but instead were AOL account names; to make a sock you would use one of the other available AOL screen names and log in as that person and come in to post.

One of the distant precursors to the Winter of Our Missed Content was the arrival of thread titles, aka the Debut of the Push Pins. Prior to that, all messages simply appeared in an uninterrupted feed -- kinda like Facebook, except that the replies weren't threaded below the original post so there was a lot of copying and pasting to help us keep track of which conversation it was about. Then the AOL powers-that-be decided to give us thread titles. But in the process they wrecking-balled the entire world of existing posts and when we logged in the whole environment was simply gone.

It's probably safe to type the evil Tilded One's name without much chance that he's gonna reappear: ~PerkyDan. Or was it ~PerkyDan~? Mentioning him by name was akin to saying Beetlejuice three times. But I figure if he's lurking and doing vanity searches, he's probably got socks and is already stirring the pot, unrecognized and unbeknownst to us.
  #25  
Old 10-30-2019, 10:27 AM
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I remember moderating using a phone modem for the first couple of years-what fun.
  #26  
Old 10-31-2019, 01:14 PM
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I remember moderating using a phone modem for the first couple of years-what fun.
"Honey, you going to be talking to your mom very long? I wanted to get on the web..."
"To check that Dopey site?"
"Uh, yeah... go ahead and take your time."

Lurked for ages before I ever registered, longer til I posted. Learned and laughed a lot. Still think that'd be a good antidote to "Hey, I just found this place so I started ten Libertarian threads, and a different Trumpocalypse theory in each forum!"
  #27  
Old 10-31-2019, 03:55 PM
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I remember moderating using a phone modem for the first couple of years-what fun.
That's nuttin'. I first moderated on a board using two cans and a string.

A 75-baud string.
  #28  
Old 10-31-2019, 05:04 PM
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Shall we all have some yellow cake with pink frosting? Manny people ask me and now I wonder...
  #29  
Old 10-31-2019, 03:52 PM
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I initially went by my real name here and on the erstwhile IMDb boards until a Twoofer over there doxxed me.
  #30  
Old 11-01-2019, 11:16 AM
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I initially went by my real name here and on the erstwhile IMDb boards until a Twoofer over there doxxed me.
I still remember your real name, as it showed up in some posts of the "Finish the..." threads, when I'd do a plot summary.
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  #31  
Old 10-31-2019, 06:04 PM
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My first AOL diskette was for version 2.5

It was 100% B&W.

I'd already been deep into "The Straight Dope" books.

Purely by luck I stumbled upon the AOL Board one day.
And my little brain exploded.

Dial-Up got verrrrry pricey after that.

Forever in debt to L'il Ed...


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  #32  
Old 10-31-2019, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Cartooniverse View Post
My first AOL diskette was for version 2.5

It was 100% B&W.

I'd already been deep into "The Straight Dope" books.

Purely by luck I stumbled upon the AOL Board one day.
And my little brain exploded.

Dial-Up got verrrrry pricey after that.

Forever in debt to L'il Ed...

I think I related this before but ---------- During the pay-per-minute days I didn't do much other than a couple of the Living History boards; I never even looked for the SD although I had the books out at the time. There was one of the newsgroups (wonder what happened to all those?) that purported to be SD-related but even I figured out pretty fast that they were BS. Could have been a real one out there somewhere but I never crossed it.

When monthly subscriptions came along I found "this" through the AOL Community system but ------ I had gotten tagged to be a Host elsewhere and even with a second dedicated phone line there just weren't enough hours in the day. I posted a few times but ------- not much and with my one AOL address as a name.

Then I found here and lurked quite a bit (years) until someone made the mistake of mentioning something about zombies. Not our kind of reanimated threads but the Saint George shuffling kind. I was big into the various zombie walks and world's record attempts and that is what got me to register and have something to say. You could probably find who is responsible for "me" but I believe the statute of limitations ran out on that crime in 2014.
  #33  
Old 10-31-2019, 08:16 PM
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You first-first-half-of-99-oldtimers are so cute.
  #34  
Old 11-06-2019, 10:58 AM
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You first-first-half-of-99-oldtimers are so cute.
Hey. HEY!

Jenny
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  #35  
Old 10-31-2019, 09:41 PM
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It was more fun to debate back in those days. Even if we did have to put up with John-John.
  #36  
Old 11-01-2019, 02:31 PM
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Now here's something. There was a short time when people could have more than one account.

Quote:
But notice that Ferrous Wheel has only two posts, the ones right here. Why would someone find this board and not post some trivial stuff first and then come up with the items above? I smell a scam...
Quote:
I tell only because I was asked...I'm one of you, as TubaDiva and Laura Rae have concluded.
Nowhere did Tuba object to whoever it was having two accounts. Now I'm wondering when and why the rule was created. But what's also anachronistic is the guy not wanting to use his known SD handle to post about something personal, or that reflected badly on him, or whatever his reasoning was. There's been so much oversharing since then, maybe because social media in general has blown up during that time.

(There was a regular at that time by the name of BigIron5. I and a few other posters thought it might have been him, if the name was anything to judge by.)
  #37  
Old 11-01-2019, 03:29 PM
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Nowhere did Tuba object to whoever it was having two accounts. Now I'm wondering when and why the rule was created. But what's also anachronistic is the guy not wanting to use his known SD handle to post about something personal, or that reflected badly on him, or whatever his reasoning was. There's been so much oversharing since then, maybe because social media in general has blown up during that time.

(There was a regular at that time by the name of BigIron5. I and a few other posters thought it might have been him, if the name was anything to judge by.)
At one point people would have a regular account and maybe a joke account that everyone knew was them and wasn't used much. Or, as you indicated, maybe they made a one off account to ask an embarrassing question. Of course, some people had to be assholes and ruin it for everyone else. They'd make fake accounts (sock puppets in the original sense) to make supportive arguments with them in debates and such or to troll. So no more side accounts for anyone.

Last edited by hajario; 11-01-2019 at 03:30 PM.
  #38  
Old 11-01-2019, 03:55 PM
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At one point people would have a regular account and maybe a joke account that everyone knew was them and wasn't used much.
While pre-social-media online forums may be on the wane, many still exist and are still vibrant -- if shrunken -- communities.

Joke accounts and badly-kept-secret sock puppets are still a thing.
  #39  
Old 11-01-2019, 03:47 PM
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IIRC, we may not post about how long we've been on SDMB, " Anniversaries " and such.
Wait ... what?

I have participated in some "SDMB reminiscing" threads in the recent past.
  #40  
Old 11-02-2019, 08:14 AM
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Wait ... what?

I have participated in some "SDMB reminiscing" threads in the recent past.
Inno- this goes WAY back. Readily agree that this topic occurs now and then in more recent years. ( You know. Recent years? The decades after John Updike first hit big? )
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Last edited by Cartooniverse; 11-02-2019 at 08:14 AM.
  #41  
Old 11-03-2019, 10:09 PM
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Melin's banning was a major turning point. I'm almost certain that was the first time a regular was banned. People reacted...well, pretty much like it was an impeachment.

And I love this:

Quote:
Originally posted by Bricker

It irks me like hell to do this, especially since the board has become a large part of my life in a short time -- and because I'm so close to 1,000 posts - this one, I think, is 994.

But there won't be a 995. I am not going to continue to participate here, because it's the only effective protest I can mount. I won't play in your backyard if you won't play fair.

So deal fairly, Ed, and lay out your case. Details. Equity. Reasonable reasons. I'm not being stubbornly partisan. I can be convinced that Melin needed to be banned. But you've got to provide more than conclusory allegations. Of course, it is your prerogative not to, as well.

But it's mine to leave...so, as Dennis Miller used to say on SNL, I am outta here.

Bye.

-Rick
Gee, whatever happened to that guy?
  #42  
Old 11-01-2019, 04:19 PM
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I remember being quite perplexed about whether UncleBeer and Onkle Biere were or were not the same person.
  #43  
Old 11-05-2019, 08:04 AM
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Melin's banning was a major turning point. I'm almost certain that was the first time a regular was banned. People reacted...well, pretty much like it was an impeachment.



And I love this:







Gee, whatever happened to that guy?
It is to laugh.

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  #44  
Old 11-05-2019, 04:03 PM
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Was Melin allowed back? I ask because I remember her name and that I liked her but she was banned a couple months before I joined and I didn't lurk before joining. Y'see , someone was wrong on the internet....
  #45  
Old 11-05-2019, 07:48 PM
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Was Melin allowed back? I ask because I remember her name and that I liked her but she was banned a couple months before I joined and I didn't lurk before joining. Y'see , someone was wrong on the internet....
I think she was reinstated, but was still seen as a problem. New rules were created, she opposed them, tripped over a new rule and was banned.
Interestingly, she and Ed stayed in (mostly non-hostile) contact for a long time after her second banning.

Last edited by tomndebb; 11-05-2019 at 07:48 PM.
  #46  
Old 11-06-2019, 11:31 AM
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I think she was reinstated, but was still seen as a problem. New rules were created, she opposed them, tripped over a new rule and was banned.
Interestingly, she and Ed stayed in (mostly non-hostile) contact for a long time after her second banning.
I wasn't around then, but my understanding is that Melin was first fired as moderator over a dispute with Jillgat, and then sometime later was banned over legal threats. A lot of drama in this board's first year.

Searching on her name as a poster yields no results. Evidently this was so long ago that her name has become detached from all of her posts (as occurs with many posts from 1999 or so).
  #47  
Old 11-06-2019, 12:08 PM
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I think she was reinstated, but was still seen as a problem. New rules were created, she opposed them, tripped over a new rule and was banned.
Interestingly, she and Ed stayed in (mostly non-hostile) contact for a long time after her second banning.
Oh gods, such a mess such a long time ago. I think I remember all of it. She nearly put us out of business altogether.

Let me explain. No, there is too much. (Really.) Let me sum up.

Melin was working as a moderator.
There was a large loud public argument between Melin and another moderator.
Ed Zotti told them both to knock it off.
Melin said no one could tell her to shut up.
Ed removed her as a moderator.
She continued to be difficult on the board.
I believe that's when Ed banned her.
Melin went to Chicago Reader management and threatened to sue for defamation and etc.
She also apparently mentioned that she could afford to file and sustain a lawsuit because as an attorney she could do it from work and it wouldn't cost her anything.
Reader management was extremely risk averse and took her seriously.
The cost of defending even the most frivolous suit is in the tens of thousands of dollars.
So management said if she filed they'd kill the entire site.
Reader management went on to do something we never do; they removed her registration and posts from the site.
Staff was told we were not to discuss this situation.
And they made us all sign NDAs. So we could never tell you our side.
I can talk about it now because all those people are gone now.
For a while there she kept signing up with other screen names, which we banned.

Ed was always polite to her because he didn't want her to file a lawsuit. You don't tickle the dragon's tail.

I might not exactly have the order right, that was a long time ago. But that's what happened.

Jenny
your humble TubaDiva
  #48  
Old 11-06-2019, 05:02 PM
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Location: Not the PNW :-(
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Joined Feb. 2001 but lurked for some time before that. Another faculty member clued me in about the site. Hmm, which given the person definitely means 1999.

In other words: a total and complete n00b!

You wanna know how long ago this was? Instead of 504 errors, you got DIV errors. Bah-dum-bum. Be sure to tip your waitress.
  #49  
Old 11-06-2019, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TubaDiva View Post
Oh gods, such a mess such a long time ago. I think I remember all of it. She nearly put us out of business altogether.

Let me explain. No, there is too much. (Really.) Let me sum up.
should I prepare to die?
  #50  
Old 11-06-2019, 06:24 PM
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To add a bit to Tuba's post above, the mod Melin got in a slapfight with was JillGat who was a CDC type person and when Ed said "Both of you knock it off" JillGat did and Melin didn't.

Melin's "side" of things was way, WAY wrong. I mean, just objectively. The short version is that Melin had said something like "I'm colorblind so I don't choose a 'race' on forms, government or otherwise" and JillGat said "That's easy to say since you have white privilege. There are a lot of reasons to list it, public health being one."

You can see Melin argue her "case" in this surviving thread:
https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...ead.php?t=1143. See post #8 for a wall o' text with Melin's screed on it. (The majority of people in that thread are "Guest")

She (Melin) claimed to be a lawyer and that was the best case she could make? Also, she apparently never heard that "brevity is the soul of wit". 10,000 lines to say that "There's no reason to EVAR give out your racial info, except maybe for health reasons, on any form."
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