Confessions of a Thread Hijacker

I am a thread hijacker.

In fact, according to one poster, I have a reputation for it. What thread hijacking means, best I can tell, is that I express my opinions. If others express their opinions, it is not thread hijacking. It is thread hijacking only when I express mine.

So, yes, I’m a thread hijacker. Especially in Great Debates. I’m gonna take some time to study these accusations against me.

Here ya go, starting with the latest:

Is sugar a drug?

The Opening Post said:

I replied, after much up front apology for expressing myself:

I was then admonished:

Okay. So I retreated to the new thread someone started.

Oh, but wait… Immediately thereafter, Jeffrey said:

There’s those remarks about society again, about it being some cognitive beast who can think, reason, have responsibilities, and draw lines.

Um, Madam Chair? Point of order, please?

Oh, you would have thought I had raped and pillaged a village:

Did I make any mention of the philosophy that dare not speak its name in Great Debates? [Word search…] Nope.

In fact, the first to mention the dreaded “L” word was the poster who was flaming me. Okay, so if you’re so tired of getting into it, why do you bring it up?

I never mentioned it. I was merely disagreeing with the notion that “society” ought to decide whether sugar is a drug. Society is a concept, not a living being. People make decisions. Let people decide for themselves.

Is this in line with my philosophies of Libertarianism, Christianity, and Objectivism? Yes. So what? Do people usually make statements that aren’t in line with how they view the world?

Predictable? Yes, guilty. My opinions are easy to predict if you know my world view. Was there a thread hijacking? Yes, there was, BUT, as you can see, it was not by me.

Not the first time that happened, either. Confessions to continue…

Now, here’s a good’n:

Radical Centrists Unite!

If that ain’t a political topic, I don’t know what is. The paraphrasing for this call to arms is, of course, straight out of the Manifesto of the Communist Party, “Workers of the World, Unite!”.

The Opening Post said:

Oh, really now? There followed three specific points that the “Radical Centrist” wanted his silent majority to force on the rest of us. I had debated Centrists before, mainly on boards that were focused on politics.

I left my opinion:

Had I been interfacing with people having lesser intelligence than those here at Straight Dope, I might have been moved to explain the metaphor. You know, how lubrication makes things go down easier. But I thought people could figure that out.


I suppose, in retrospect, I should have said, “No, I will not expound. Not even a bit.” That way, I guess I wouldn’t have been a hijacker.

My bad. I did expound:

Another metaphor. I must have been desiring pain.

Oh, but no problem. The chief assistant undercomplainer joined in the repartee, complete with rolling eyes:

Okay, so I spelled it out plainly:

Then, a great argument ensued over the notion of a slippery slope, enjoined by a couple of others.

Then, it happened. Again.

As a word search will show you, I had never raised the topic of libertarianism in that thread.

Nevertheless, I was asked to vacate the thread:

Contritely, I replied:

No list was forthcoming, so I continued responding to these assaults.

As it happens, at least one poster could see what was really going on:

And then the assaults redoubled, including a magnum opus attack by one poster that prompted me at that time to realize that, if I cannot participate in the threads of Great Debates and express my opinions as I honestly hold them, then what’s the point of being here?

So, I left. For a time.

But a couple of people advised me to cool off and come back later. So I did. I really wanted to participate here, so I was willing to do whatever I had to. Besides, a bit of rest from it all seemed like a good idea.

More confessions to come…

Here’s a shorter one:

The debate was whether people should use Celcius or Faranheit. Naturally, this was my opinion:

Yikes! Needless to say, I was really raked across the coals for this one. But not here. It was in another thread. The one I linked above, I think. I believe I recall a snide remark about sick of hearing about “peaceful happy people”.

R.E.M. flashbacks, I guess. You know, shiny happy people holding hands?

More confessions…

Okay, so the vice assistant undercomplainer said, as noted above:

Nearly every thread? Hmmm…

Since the word hijacker was being used in a special way — to mean Lib expressing his opinions — it got me to wondering what nearly every thread meant in this case.

Great debates. Last 100 days. Roughly 75 or so to a page. 10 pages. That’s about 750 topics. Rough estimate, but close enough. Of those 750 threads, including even the ones that were expressly about libertarianism, a spot check extrapolation shows that I might have posted in a fourth of them. More spot checking shows that I might have raised the topic of libertarianism in five or ten. Fifteen max.

Wow! No wonder these couple of people are sick to death of me! My God, I’ve taken over.

Well, there you have it. Those are my confessions. I’ll leave it to the Lib haters to correct the above numbers and show that, no, it wasn’t 1.6% of posts, it was 2.2%.


Thank God for David B. He told me once (twice, maybe three times) that I needed to develop a thick skin. Very steady advice, as it turns out.

Anyone who posts more than I HAS to be a thread hijacker.

Fuck the evidence. Guilty!

Yer pal,

Hey, no fair! You have way more posts than I, Satan.

Or is that I, Sparticus?


So,what does everyone think about Clinton?

I think he is an hegemonist. A recidivist. A tyrant. He routinely abridges the rights of peaceful honest people who are doing nothing more than pursuing their own happiness in their own way.

Lib! Nice ta see ya over here in the Party Palace that is MPSIMS. Have a seat! Can I get you a beer? Some chips?

So tell us, what’s your favorite movie/song/book/episode-of-the-Simpsons? Don’t worry. You can share in here. You don’t even have to cite anything in here, ever! No kidding!

Hope you have a good time, and come back and visit more often! :slight_smile:

(Smiley inserted because this is MPSIMS, and we’re nice here. Really.)

Changing my sig, because Wally said to, and I really like Wally, and I’ll do anything he says, anytime he says to.

Hey Lib,

FWIW, I think the term “hijack” should never have entered into the thread. You stated your opinion based (from what I could tell) on the general meaning behind the OP on that thread.

I would say a hijack of a thread is when one poster deliberatly turns around and forces the discussion away from the original topic. But that’s just me, you didn’t and someone read into it something that wasn’t there…

Most GD topics are about society and how we deal with things as a whole or indiviually…unfortunately some ideas and in this case people, are considered unpopular because of whatever reason.

Just keep on smiling and post your thoughts on the subject at hand! I think some would like to see if you can become pit material < giggle >.

FWIW, you stuck to the topic in the Favorite Cover Versions thread.

Favorite movie: Barton Fink

Favorite song: All the Nasties

Favorite book: John

Favorite Simpsons episode: Homer in the 3D vortex


First, you know I like you (at least I hope you know that) I even agree with a fair amount of the politic stuff you discuss. I am beginning to lean toward Libertarian myself (though I am not sure I can take it to the extreme).

Second, hijacking as I understand it is when someone (usually on purpose) steers a thread away from its original points and into completely different waters. This happens a lot in MPSIMS and quite often in GD.

I am not familiar with all of the threads you mention and I do not care to read them all right now to get the full context, but I am familiar with the Sugar as a drug thread and since you brought me into it I feel I should respond.

I think if you had discussed your views on whether or not sugar is a drug and then at some point added the comment about society not having any responsibility, there would have been no hijacking (at least not in my mind). But since you just came in and the only content of your posts was about a side issue that was not the point of the OP, it seemed like a hijack. Yes, I did mention something along the same lines as the society deciding a scale for drugs, but the majority of my post was about sugar as a drug.

Can’t we all just get along? :wink:


Know what really frosts me? Folks who demand honesty from politicians but pitch a vein popping hissy fit over the least deviation from gloss and spin.

Wouldn’t it be great if someone said, “look, dolts, the Prez can’t solve Congress, the Supreme Court, dandruff, teen pregnancy, your hemorrhoids, your in-laws, your soul, your choices in life, your pissant neighbors or pissants elsewhere on the globe. Get a clue, dork, you’re voting for an executive, not rubbing a lamp hoping a goddamned genie pops out”?


Awww, gee, Lib, so kind of you to remember me.

No, seriously, folks, feel free to read that thread (I believe my second post there is the magnum opus to which Lib refers) and make your own judgments.

Personally, I thought I managed to succinctly analyze the nature of the hijackings to which Lib confesses here. Read and make up your own minds.

Of course, Lib’s actually confessing to other people’s sins. That’s enough to clear me out of here. Seeya elsewhere.

“Living in this complex world of the future is not unlike having bees live inside your head.” - F. Scott Firesign

Here is a classic example of hijacking, MPSIMS style:


Love is like popsicles…you get too much you get too high.
Not enough and you’re gonna die…

BTW, Lib, did you ever get to see the thread on the snopes site’s board dedicated to your hijacking as well? (I haven’t been back to check.) I, personally, do not understand these people who are saying you hijack every thread but I just wanted to semi-hijack yours to ask!

I have a hobby. I have the world’s largest collection of seashells. I keep it scattered on beaches all over the world. Maybe you’ve seen some of it.

Lib said, in one of his many OPs to this thread:

Hear! Hear! Peaceful honest people should be thanking Me for Me!

Gaudere, looking over my shoulder, says that isn’t terribly funny, but it’s 2 am and time for bed. She’s asked me to tell you that she’ll respond later, when she’s somewhat more coherent. So there. And no, we’re still not really lesbian lovers. Now that would be a thread hijack! Or we could talk about her belly button ring…


Yeah, but of course my view is that peaceful honest people ought to be allowed to decide for themselves whether sugar is a drug. But if I had used that phrasing, what power on earth would have mollified the Lib slammers?

So, I tried to make my point by coming round the other way. My intention was first to discredit “society” as a rights bearing entity, and make people aware of who really makes decisions like these. They do.

When people say “society” makes decisions, what they really mean (whether they mean to mean this or not) is that the leaders of society, those with the most political clout — they are the ones who make decisions on behalf of society.

Even for something as mundane as sugar.


Well, they make promises like genies.


Oh, but shouldn’t society decide?


Yikes! Now that’s what I call a hijacking!


Huh? No. Thankfully.


Well, of course not. It would be funny only if someone else said it.

Well, I’m coherent now. Unfortunately, I have very little to say. Lib, have you ever heard the expression “if fifteen people tell you you’re drunk, go lie down”? Right now, David, RT, Polycarp and I have noted how you tend to explain everything–even threads about celcius and comments about humility–in terms of libertarianism. Now, that in itself is not so bad, but you often make statements that are so controversial that people jump to challenge them and the thread gets off track. I don’t think you do it on purpose (perhaps “unintentional hijack” would have been a better term), but you do do it an awful lot. You sound kind of pissed at me for saying that, but I’m not the only one who’s noticed and commented on it. You’re acting as if everybody hates you and is just looking for an excuse to jump on you. IMHO, a fair number of people not noted for unreasonable judgments are telling you you have some traits that are annoying…go lie down. :wink:

And to tempt you: The thread about you in snopes is here.

Now, who wants to talk about my belly button ring?

Peaceful honest people should be allowed to masturbate ketchup bottles without government interference