Curious events in SDMB history

Can someone tell me what the history of the events alluded to in this thread is?

Any help is always appreciated

[This time, I tried a link instead of a ressurrection. Is that better?]

Moderator’s note:

As may be inferred from reading the thread, a poster named Michael Masterson did some trolling on the boards, annoyed people and got slapped down for it. His intentions were more mischievious than hostile but nonethelesss he did cause significant problems.

You may note that MM did “come clean” about his misbehavior in that thread. He was permitted to return after he agreed to play nicely. He kept his word, took the advice to heart, asked to change his name to help shed the old image and is now a good poster in good standing.

I’m not inclined to mention his new screen name because it doesn’t seem particularly fair, kind or necessary. It was all old history until you felt compelled to dredge it up for some reason, wolfstu. Your obsessive interest in board history seems limited to the most painful, acrimonious events. Since you seem determined to dig up old dirt regardless of effects on others perhaps you would like to share your reasons?

Aside to posters: I’m most certainly not dictating what anyone can or can’t say about MM’s new identity. Speaking strictly as a poster now, not a mod, bashing someone for past mistakes that haven’t been repeated strikes me as crass.


uuuhh… oh,my… [tugs collar]… excuse me (diminutive voice)

Whew… I didn’t mean to bring up anything painful; I just didn’t know what was going on. I actually came here to post another link. I hadn’t intended to appear obsessive,

and really, if I’d known that this would anguish some of you I would have left it alone. It just seemed a significant event, and I wanted to know what really happened. This was not meant as an attack on anyone or an attention-getting troll stunt.

Nope. But I can only ask questions concerning what I’m aware of, and I can only be aware of what’s contained in message board threads. If I find questions about more bad things than good, it’s just because that’s what people posted.

Again… I don’t mean to be bothersome, offensive, or disruptive. And if Michael Masterson [whatever your new name] is out there, I didn’t intend this as an attack against you.

Hi, wolfstu. I’m not on the official welcoming committee here, but will pull up a chair nonetheless.

Um, you see, we’re visitors here. It’s not really like the Wizard of Oz scene where the Wizard says “do not pay attention to that man behind the curtain”, but more like a politeness factor. For example, in my household there are three people (and three seperate phone lines, too, but I digress), my 16 year old son, my SO and myself. we all have very different last names. we don’t make a big deal out of the whole arrangement, but I’m divorced from Ben’s dad, and not married to SO. Isn’t really anybody’s business, it’s not like I hide it or anything, but I’d consider it, oh, rather rude I guess, for a new visitor to our home to ask “now, just how are all of you related? and gee, I see a picture of some other woman on the mantle there, who is that?” etc.

So, enjoy the place for what it is, a place to learn and have fun while doing so. :smiley:

wolfstu, if you’re actually interested in stuff like this, take a few evenings (or whenever you come on) and read the older threads. Then you’ll know, and it’ll be in a way which doesn’t antagonize anyone.

I think I’m being misinterpreted again…

I’m not coming here just digging up dirt. I just want to know about the board. How long has it been here? How did it evolve? What events influenced that evolution? What can I learn about certain things I see on-screen? I’m not trying to create tension or discomfort. I want to know a little bit about my environment before I let myself live in it. When you buy a house, don’t you look at the foundation?
Very importantly, I most certainly don’t want to seem impolite. I’ve tried, in fact, to be conspiciously polite on the boards, since I’ve noticed a certain lack of politeness in online communication [not just or particularly the SDMB]. People can be downright rude and inconsiserate on-line. That’s not me (I hope) in life, and that won’t be me (I decided when I started posting) on-line.

The first line in the terms of agreement for using the board says something to the effect: “Basically, don’t be a jerk.”
I’m not trying to be one. I’m just curious about he board and it’s history. This sort of percieved offense by other posters and the risk of being misinterpreted were among the things I was worried about (but never fully explained due to thread shutdown) when I first came to these boards.

Please don’t anyone take offense at this. I don’t want to build a reputation as an idoit who screws around on the boards, nor do I want to be misunderstood. More importantly, I don’t want to give offense or cause anyone pain. If I’ve done any of these, please let me know. I don’t want to cause harm. If I’ve sufficiently offended someone to warrant my removal from the boards, it would certainly be regrettable, but I will leave voluntarily if directed to do so by the moderators.

This is certainly not where I wanted my posting carreer to go. Again, my intent was not to offend, but to learn. My apologies if I have missed my target.

Saddened by this state of affairs, wolfStu.

I’m not sure what this means exactly. Are you saying that in the past MPSIMS threads there are more acrimonious ones than pleasant ones? I found that hard to believe. If I look on the first page, and not having read all of the threads, I would guess that maybe four out of fifty are “unpleasant ones”. What are the odds that the two links that you posted in this thread are both to unpleasant events that were discussed in this forum?

Here ya go. Go crazy, but I’m warning you, it could take all night.

wolfstu, no one is saying that you’re not polite. But when there’s a choice of things to inquire about on the board, and the questions you pose are (at least in this thread) about unpleasant events in the past, one might wonder why you don’t ask about pleasant events that happened in the past as well.

I haven’t seen enough of you around to know if you’ve been doing that or not.

Actually browsing through MPSIMS today I see that you have revived two other threads:
“What happened to Melin?”
“Why was GQ closed once?”

The four old threads that I have seen you bring up today in MPSIMS (those two and the two brought up in this thread) are all ones that could be related to discord in the past at the SDMB (though it turns out that the GQ thread probably relates to server problems, not people disagreeing). So it seems that out of the thousands of threads in MPSIMS you have shown an unerring knack for picking out the more controversial ones. Which would perhaps explain TVeblen’s questions about your motives.

Moderator’s note:

*Originally posted by wolfstu *


No? Then care to explain why this is your second such resurrection so far within two hours?

Care to further explain how you failed to take notice of other posters’ opinons about this dismal little pastime of yours when there was an entire Pit thread devoted to it?
And how you somehow missed the very pointed comments offered in ATMB about your grave robbing?
Not to mention yet another thread in ATMB where your little hobby was discussed?


Wrong-o. If you’ve read enough to be aware then you can find the rest of the story the same way: in the old threads, in the privacy of your own monitor. If all you see is “more good than bad” in all those old threads then that’s what you were looking for in the first place.


Bull. You’ve been told–repeatedly–by many people exactly how obnoxious your behavior is but you keep right on doing it anyway. The registration agreement you agreed to begins with 2 lines: “We have one basic rule. Don’t be a jerk.”

You’re being a jerk. Knock it off.


Wow, oops, and Oh, my…
After reading some more of the old threads, I’m coming to realize that this MM incident was a lot more troublesome and extensive than I could gather from that one thread. It may even be the subject of this one, and certainly spawned a number of others.

I’m sorry. My apologies again. I didn’t realize I was in the powder magazine when I lit a candle to look around. I’m sorry.

To Arnold Winkleried:
The reason I seem to post to unpleasant old threads: I only revive a thread if it has merit, and hasn’t already been properly addressed. So a lot of the normal threads in here don’t count, because they outlive their usefulness before they get ignored and fall to the bottom pages. A few good ones fall through the cracks, though, and that’s partly why I spend time among the old threads.
While touring the old threads, I ran into some things that grabbed my attention, and I wanted to know about. So, I posted this thread. Turns out they were rather ‘unpleasant’, but I was just curious, and I didn’t know all of the baggage that came with them. (Come to think of it, if I had, I wouldn’t have needed to ask.)

Sorry and Sorrowed, wolfStu.

I’m just another member here, too, wolfstu. Still a newbie, really. But, after reading your reply to TVeblen’s response to your request for information, I coudn’t help thinking that the link you provided was at odds with what you said.

I suggest you read this thread, and ponder a definition provided by the fourth poster. I also recommend for your consideration a parable that thead contains.

I also have an interest in SDMB history, but I have yet to find anything that I had to ask questions about. The very same search feature which allows me to find incidents also lets me, oddly enough, follow board events to their conclusion without splashing perhaps painful memories into the faces of other posters.

For myself, I keep in mind that posting on these boards is a revocable privilege provided by the Chicago Reader. Understanding that is what allows us to maintain this little odd community. It appears to me that the posters who remain and develop a sense of that community are those posters who prefer to expand their intellectual horizons rather than indulge in constant bickering, baiting and rehashing of past mistakes – someone once said, “Those who dwell on the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Be well,


That’s exactly the point that I was trying to make. The posts that have a tendency to attract your attention just happen to be ones that refer to unpleasant events. If your attention were attracted to any of the much greater majority of non-controversial posts that could be found in this forum TVeblen would probably have had a very different reaction.

And every time I post a response to this thread, it seems it takes me so long to type that a bunch more posts are made in the meantime. [For example, the link in my last post (which I’m expecting to be immediately above this one) was posted before that long list of links and quotes by TVeblen]

Oh man…I’m really getting worried now. I’m not trying to get kicked out of here by bringing this up over and over again, but I’ve got a feeling that every time I try to explain myself I just dig a deeper hole.

Really: I had no idea what a can of worms I was opening up when I first inquired about that old incident. I don’t want to be trouble. I don’t want to be a jerk. I just wanted to know what that incident was… and now it seems I’m about to get thrown into the oil.

I’m not trying to upset anyone. I’m someone who comes here almost daily, and reads a whole lot. I read the current threads and try to piece together what I can from the historical threads. But I don’t have much time to spend on the 'net, so I never get to see much. Even if I had the time, I could never read all the old threads… there are a whole lot more than I thought there were when I first started posting here. Anyway, a lot of those old threads don’t give much information.
I came across a few things I didn’t seem to be able to answer, so I thought I’d ask. I had no idea how inflammatory that would turn out.

Please… this wasn’t meant to offend. I didn’t know what this incident was, and I was curious.

I came to this board with the best of intentions… I seem to really have screwed things up. I’m sorry. And since I don’t seem to be able to explain myself, maybe someone can just lock this thread up so it can fall to the lower pages where it won’t gather any more attention? Geez. I really didn’t know, guys. I’m sorry.

Shaking in my seat, wolfstu

See what I mean? nothamlet thought I was responding to TVeblen, when I was really just coming in here to say ‘OH My God, It looks like I really screwed up’
So now everyone thinks I’m an even bigger jerk, because I appear to apologise and recidivate all in one sentance.

Am I doomed to be forever misunderstood in here?

oh god… I think I’m gonna get kicked out of here.
Please… This wasn’t my intention.
I think I’m gonna cry…

Well, FWIW, I understand where you’re coming from. I went through the same thing myself, when I first registered. Lots of juicy, engimatic “insider” references to past fistfights, and a desperate need to Know All About It.

However, I managed to satisfy most of my curiosity just by doing a Search on the names of the posters in question, and you can do the same. Set it on Any Date and have at it. It’s all in there, in the Archives.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it One More Time (and then I won’t mention it anymore, I promise): Nobody appreciates seeing all this ugliness resurrected, even to satisfy what may only be the honest curiosity of a newbie.

Okay? :wink:

Now go and sin no more. And stop crying, they’re only pixels anyway…

However, if you come back again in a few weeks and do this same sort thing all over again (the bump of an old thread dealing with past sorrows, the repeated requests for information on the SDMB’s shady past, the profuse and apparently sincere apologies when posters protest) we’re going to start thinking ill of you, and inevitably somebody’s gonna use the T-word. No way around it.
P.S. If you really must know who MM grew up to be, you can e-mail a mod. [sigh] But why do you care? He’s a nice guy, leave him alone.

… Then there is me. ----------- or is that " I? "

wolfstu, you seem genuinely interested in some of the things that have happened here. I know that sometimes you can’t always get the full story from one thread.

What I propose to you is that you continue to read past threads–that’s a good thing. And if you have any questions regarding something that has happened or that was said in the thread, do not resurrect it! Instead, feel free to e-mail me with any questions. I’m not saying I know the answers to those questions but I might be able to provide some explanations in a more non-sensitive forum than the board.

Some of these threads can be painful for people here and people aren’t always kind when they’re upset. Your intentions seem innocent enough but people will not see that if they are angry with you.

I’m not trying to be arrogant in suggesting that you e-mail me but I am the only person I know with certainty who is willing to answer whatever questions you may have without trying to label you as a troll. Think about it, please.

My e-mail is in my profile.

I really don’t understand you Dopers sometimes… I mean, the SDMB is supposed to be a ‘battleground’ for the fight against ignorance, is it not? Then why do I see so many well-established Dopers attacking wolfstu in such an unreasonable manner?

First example comes from the moderator (of all people…) with his initial reply to our friend wolfstu. He writes:

This issue of reviving old threads/issues has already been discussed with wolfstu. It seems obvious that he enjoys reading the older posts and asking questions about past events of the SDMB. But to call his search for enlightenment an ‘obsessive interest in… the most painful, acrimonious events’ is a gross exageration. Wolfstu has apparently been examining many old threads and has posted to a few of them with questions and/or thoughts on the original topic. There have only been two posts in which wolfstu draws upon the… how shall we say… less plesant past of the SDMB (shelf life of a SDMB poster, and the thread we are in right now) To say that these two incidents merit an ‘obsession’ is downright ignorant. Much of wolfstu’s interest in the SDMB past never touches upon such controversial subjects. His posts are polite and usually revolve around the ‘mundane’. If you failed to notice these before casting your judgment, here are a few links to OLD posts wolfstu has expressed interest in: Ford vs. Chevy, Ouch what a way to go, rainbows, Religion and the Afterlife, and pen lickin’.

So please, TVeblen, choose more appropriate words when describing a persons actions next time. Exagerrated statements like that can easily snowball into arguments that could have otherwise been avoided.

I feel I must also clarify something here, TVeblen. In another post you say:

If you took the time to read the Pit thread that you refer to, you would probably have realized the general concensus was that wolfstu was in the right. That thread is FULL of posts like these:

Even the poor OP (just about only one against wolfstu) who took such a beating said at the end of it all:

See that? I bolded the word withdrawn for you to act as a proverbial smack up-side the head. It seems you were the one who ‘failed to take notice of other posters’ opinons’. I suppose, had you replied to the thread, you would have agreed with Esprix. But your opinion was of the minority, and if wolfstu was supposed to heed the advice of the posters, would it not be logical for him to take the advice of the majority? I suggest you go back and read it again.
And to my new friend Arnold Winkelried who says:

I suggest you pay a little more attention to what people have to say as well. If you read wolfstu’s post (the one you so readily object to here) carefully, you might have gathered what wolfstu actually meant. now read carefully, i’ll even bold the all-important words that seemed to sail right over your head:

Wolfstu did not say that the majority of the threads on the SDMB were acrimonious. He said, basically, that the majority of the threads that intrigued him (i.e. the ones that caused him to think: “what was that all about?”) just so happened to be the controversial ones. And so it should be. Human curiosity is piqued by events that are out of the ordinary, strange and unknown. The ‘MM issue’ was nothing short of that to him. It was out of the ordinary because never has a troll caused such a commotion (the event was even dubbed ‘the great troll attack of 2000’ by someone). It was strange and unknown because wolfstu could not find any other information on the incident. So, he decided to post here to find some answers.

How was he to know that the issue was as controvisial as he now knows it to be? How is it that teeming millions who are here to fight ignorance are so quick to attack this poor, misinformed soul giving little to no regard to his position in all of this? It seems that if his actions were as bad as you say they are (which I believe they are far from it), a slight tap on the wrist would have been sufficiant. Wolfstu has many well-informed posts to his credit. He is a reasonable, polite individual ready and willing to follow the ways of the Straight Dope. He has mentioned this several times so THERE IS NO NEED FOR SUCH HEATED REPLIES!
In wolftu’s defence I’d like to say that this whole issue of reviving dead threads was thought to be resolved (hence the Pit Thread). Again, the majority agreed that reviving an old thread and sticking to the original topic is better than posting a new thread on an old subject. He followed that advice. He followed the majority. To quote Coldfire:

As for the issue regarding ‘MM’, I should see no harm in inquiring about the event. What is it that everyone finds to be so threatening about wolfstu’s question? If someone had given him a simple answer right from the start, this thread could have ended with no more than a single reply cough TVeblen cough. It’s not as though MM is going to suddenly remember his past life of trolling and revert back to his old self again just because wolfstu asks a question. Get real. The only reason this thread took the bad turn that it did was because of all the people afraid of the controversy wolfstu might rekindle. But the only people flaming around here are those who were against the potential controversy in the first place (oh yeah, and me… the little voice of reason).


p.s. I don’t know the state that this thread is in now, I have been typing for an hour. So if this post suddenly seems out of place, then sorry… I started this a while ago when I felt it was appropriate.