I Aten’t Ignoring You

by Belle Waring on February 2, 2015

I wasn’t paying attention to un-approved comments in the queue, so a bunch got stuck there. Why? Because I almost never do anything about them until a co-blogger is like, “hey Belle, remember how we have a moderation queue that ever requires you to do a thing ever?” I just went and approved them all, as is generally my inclination, even–I will have you know–the ones calling me a bad person who writes in a fundamentally unserious way about serious subjects, and who is personal friends with Brad DeLong even though he is an economic quisling and opinionatedly wrong about works of history about Eastern Europe which I (myself, Belle Waring) have not read. So, if it seemed as if you were in moderation hell, sorry about that.

You also really have to work at it to get me to ban you; please don’t. It’s tedious. I wouldn’t do it even if I personally disagreed with you about historiography of Eastern Europe, rather than at a trusted remove (at which remove I also won’t ban you obvi, since, here you are). Well, if I knew you were fabricating lies and hurling spurious claims of ‘anti-Semite’ everywhere I’d hassle you, but you’d have to be King Dick of it to get banned on my account. I did have some homophobia in the first thread from whoever it is who has been baiting MPAVictoria so incessantly. It was fake homophobia that he wasn’t even selling. I wasn’t buying a nickel bag of it. But pretending to be bigoted is almost worse. I seriously am too bored to look up his very-like-another-person’s name right now. You, thingface, knock it off, and MPAV for the love of all that is unholy just don’t rise snapping to that hand-tied-fly what has been cast onto the mottled surface of our limpen stream. And then…a male commenter said this to me:

“he is, in fact, crying like a little girl”

Nit: Boys and girls cry the same way. “Little child” would have less unconscious bias.

O god I am dying. I don’t even…I…I…it’s not like you can tell people, “just assume I know everything if it will make me seem smart, but read it slant if I’ll seem cooler that way,” so that’s not fair. People need to be free to correct me. Sometimes I’m wrong about stuff, or haven’t thought it through. But at the same time could I really conceivably ever have gotten that far down into that post, or this far along into my own life without noticing that ‘crying like a little girl’ is a gendered insult? SOBS INTO PILLOW. I wish I thought this was an ultra-understated reverse PC-ninjutsu. Wait, make it have been that! Lie to me, homes! I am gullible!

I’ll just put some Tiger Balm on my ribs because they hurt so bad now from laughing and close by unsatisfactorily sort-of answering how anyone ever gets banned and whether we have a policy which, in reverse order, a) not really and b) a critical mass of commenters and posters get mad. Or alternately one poster, because, hey, it’s our blog! So, let’s say someone is driving you nuts. After the eleventy-fourth time they are “just asking questions about why the answer is always ‘raycism’ or that the cops ‘hate negroes’ rather than, as is equally plausible, a factual, polyvalent, threat level analysis based on the race of all victims and perpetrators of every crime committed during the past 35 years taking place in the past 15 mile radius, with a higher value accorded those within a 4 mile radius, in the supercomputer-enhanced mind of each police officer at all times,” simply sacrifice a white goat-kid on the black-stained altar kept under your bed for the purpose of contacting the Elder Gods say “hey Belle?” No wait, call someone reliable, say, “hey John or John or Eszther or Henry or Chris or whoever? Commenter rushtheTREES1993 is really getting on my nerves. Can I get, like, a holla or something?” And then your fellow commenters will all no doubt pile on in crushing ideological conformity, except for mcmanus-sensei, because he is unpredictable and you seriously never know what he will do next. You don’t, though. You think you could write a good mcmanus-sensei-bot, but I don’t think you could. He’s trolly like a fox.

Have I written you a good response to Freddie DeBoer’s post yet? Nope, but I will. In the meantime you should listen to this song, which is good, and it’s freaking me out that it’s five years old. Why is it? Also how is 2015 more than 1/12 over?

Relatedly Uptown Funk is amazing and my younger daughter’s friends all love it and She was home sick today and we debated what song to play them to explain how what they secretly like is late 70s funk, Prince, and Michael Jackson. I feel like “Hollywood Swinging” is a good candidate on the funk side. But really we need something with slap bass. I respect “Uptown Funk” qua retro song a million times more because Ronson put slap bass in there. Also, the curlers! Screw it, I’m embedding the video.

“This hit, that ice-cold/Michelle Pfeiffer, that white gold…” (No one will ever call cocaine anything other than Michelle Pfeiffer again, right?) The video is glorious in its near-perfect recreation of the past, which it intentionally undermines by letting you see the California sun shining on the palm trees behind the set. They even went to the beautiful YouTube point of putting a static fake LP photo as the “video” for the disco remix. Needless to say, this is one’s primary experience of what one looks at while listening to a song newly-discovered on YouTube. There’s nothing to see–yet, clicking to a different tab to read something dumb on Kotaku would make it impossible to truly evaluate/enjoy that rare Rose Royce track. Thus, one stares at the photo of the 45, or the LP single as for the hypothetical above. But maybe they made an EP! I can probably buy it on vinyl! Such a bitch to ship to Singers though… “Got to kiss myself, I’m so pretty.” So pretty, indeed!



MPAVictoria 02.02.15 at 3:47 pm

“MPAV for the love of all that is unholy just don’t rise snapping to that hand-tied-fly what has been cast onto the mottled surface of our limpen stream.”

Totally willing to cop to being a bull who sees a red flag sometimes. Particularly on the issue of LGTBQ teens which is near to my heart for a number of personal reasons I will not get into here.

I will try to resist going for the bait next time.


Rich Puchalsky 02.02.15 at 3:49 pm

I think a lot of the confusion that newer commenters have about this is about the very strange CT automoderation system. It seems to just kind of randomly choose comments to hold in the moderation queue, based on no known criteria, until a poster goes and unmoderates them all. So I often see newer commenters posting something like “My comments are being held in moderation because of X reason, so I hope this one is OK” when it’s not really X reason at all … it’s just random. Does this auto moderation thing ever really pick out comments that posters later think it really should have picked out? Maybe it’s stopping a lot of spam or something, I don’t know.


Roland 02.02.15 at 3:52 pm

Lovely, have no understanding of >50% of what you are writing, but I let the words wash over me like a warm, bubbly spring in an Icelandic lava pool, and there–I’m in a happy place…


Belle Waring 02.02.15 at 4:09 pm

Um Roland see, I need to approve comments to our blog which have been, quite at random, put into the moderation queue. And as Rich points out, they get grabbed for no reason. But I don’t free them because I am a fundamentally unserious person, though not so whimsical as to let Brad DeLong ban commenters at my site. And then, let’s see…J. Somebody is being a dick but I don’t feel like banning him yet, but maybe I will by the end of the next 24 hours because it seemed like he was maybe still carrying on. MPAV I do see why you had a good excuse at that literal moment, nonetheless he’s been trolling you hard for ages and you should just ignore him. Hm, and then an idiotic male commenter helpfully pointed out I was expressing deeply encoded sexist language which LOL. Maybe it was Jonathan Chait while he was drunk! Then…I explained our non-existent comments policy, which is, don’t piss Dsquared off. Or, if you’re a commenter who’d like to phone in a report of a suspicious commenter, be sure to mention whether he or she has a gun and then call the police department of a NJ suburb, and we’ll suddenly show up and start firing wildly into the thread. Hm, and then I explained how much I like the intentionally throwback song Uptown Funk–not more than the Prince song Uptown or anything, but lots–and I praised its clever video…I think I’ve caught up with now now. Hope everything is pellucid at this point.


politicalfootball 02.02.15 at 4:26 pm

It’s easy to get around the moderation queue. You just have to avoid controversial words like so/cia/lism and pu/chal/sky.


Brett 02.02.15 at 4:27 pm

Bruno Mars is just a goddamn master at doing that funky Sleeze’N-Cheese music. “Uptown Funk” is my third favorite song of 2014.

. . . Hey, Bruno. If you’re re-doing old genres, do you think maybe you could do a cover of “Somebody’s Watching Me”? I know you could do it better than the original singer (Rockwell).


Rich Puchalsky 02.02.15 at 4:31 pm

The thing about “don’t comment using the word socialism, or your comment will be held in auto moderation” is a folk theory. I think it’s funny that CT has folk theories about the automoderation queue. I mean, it just can’t be random, people think — it’s a program, so it has to be able to be figured out in terms of simple rules. Someone should do a study.


MPAVictoria 02.02.15 at 4:33 pm

In my experience it is links that tend to do it. Or misspelling your Name or Email.

/Belle I have already resolved not to respond to anymore of J. Thomas’s comments. I will do my best to keep that resolution. Anyway thanks for being relatively gentle in your advice giving.


Brad DeLong 02.02.15 at 5:06 pm



dbk 02.02.15 at 5:11 pm

Belle, Have you been banned from Professor DeLong’s site? ‘Cause I have. Oh, hi there, Professor DeLong!


The Temporary Name 02.02.15 at 5:14 pm

Look out for fakes!


Aulus Gellius 02.02.15 at 5:19 pm

Rich: I thought I remembered the “so-cialis-m” thing being stated as an official explanation on the blog at one point; I assumed it had been a real problem, that was then fixed.

Of course, if I’m misremembering, I am happy to have provided this detail about the spread and development of a folk theory of comment moderation.


Sasha Clarkson 02.02.15 at 5:19 pm

I like Granny Weatherwax too Belle! :D

MPAV: if you don’t want to be tempted to respond, it’s better not to read them in the first place. After all, the sheer volume produced suggests a preference for quantity over quality, and that the said person might benefit from getting a life – (as well as learning the art of précis!)

Anyone writing thousands of words per week on other peoples blogs should probably consider getting one of their own.


Chris Bertram 02.02.15 at 5:20 pm

You can be held in a moderation queue, afaict, for the following 6 reasons:

1. It is your first time, or there is something about your comment (new IP, different email) that makes things look that way to the software.
2. Your comment is really long.
3. Your comment contains links (maybe several).
4. Your comment contains naughty or spammy words or sequences of characters within words that are naughts or spammy.
5. You’ve pissed us off so much in the past that your comments always go to the mod queue by default
6. For unknown random reasons.


J. Parnell Thomas 02.02.15 at 5:21 pm

I’m very very very very very slightly curious about why you (BW) personally disagreed with (presumably) me about etc.


J. Parnell Thomas 02.02.15 at 5:24 pm

Actually, I’ve changed my mind. I misread all those words as implying some personal experience in the context of travel but now I see that’s not what was meant, so never mind, my slight curiosity has evaporated.


J. Parnell Thomas 02.02.15 at 5:28 pm

Also I was wrong about “(presumably) me,” but you can see how this sort of thing can happen.

I’m pretty confident that I’m the one who pisses off whogivesafuck though.


Harold 02.02.15 at 6:07 pm

Thank you, Belle Waring for your post, which indicates to me that you understand what I was trying to say as did the responses of a few other people on the thread — the minority, alas. My great-grandmother, who was a shop-keeper, emigrated from Galicia in the 1880s, no doubt driven out partly because of the terrific famines that were always happening in that region, and this is one reason I got interested in the Ukraine in the first place.

In any case, I am glad my comment, which contained a quote from the historian of Galicia (among other things) Omer Bartov, has been taken out of moderation. When it was put there I felt compelled to go ahead and repeat my message in various ways, among them quoting several other historians who said very similar things as Bartov. This made the thread a great deal longer and more boring than it needed to be, probably. The gist was that a book by a certain scholar is not held in very high regard by his professional peers (though these peers don’t call him a liar, as the magazine Jacobin does), and they think his book has points in common with an argument by someone called Nolte (whom I have not read and don’t intend to read) in the 1980s. I am sorry I got publicly “called out” by Brad de Long. That was painful. I remain a fan of de Long, nevertheless, but I stick by my opinion.


mattski 02.02.15 at 6:21 pm

I have this on King Dick’s authority.


Ronan(rf) 02.02.15 at 6:43 pm

Soooo….what does anybody think of Timothy Snyder ?


Ronan(rf) 02.02.15 at 6:45 pm

(place where a cryptic smiley winky face would be)


Harold 02.02.15 at 7:32 pm

I like Brad de Long because he is a reader and posts interesting snippets (extracts) from books he has read.


MPAVictoria 02.02.15 at 7:38 pm

If it means anything Harold I think you have handled this whole thing admirably.

/Don’t know enough about the subject matter to have an opinion on the topic.


Labitokov 02.02.15 at 8:51 pm

Ban this Party Train!


Rich Puchalsky 02.02.15 at 9:44 pm

Aulus Gellius: “I thought I remembered the “so-cialis-m” thing being stated as an official explanation on the blog at one point; I assumed it had been a real problem, that was then fixed.”

Huh, I think you’re right. At least, JQ on this old thread seems to think so. I’d never known that this was an actual problem at one time.

As Barry writes on that old thread: too bad there’s no drug called Bertaria.


J Thomas 02.02.15 at 9:53 pm

Avoid the names of games of chance.
Avoid the name of the nation that caused a public pirate scandal a few years ago.

Sometimes I know some others but I usually remember them right after I type them, or sometimes after my comment is moderated.


Longitudinally Enabled 02.03.15 at 1:13 am

I am a fundamentally unserious person, though not so whimsical as to let Brad DeLong ban commenters at my site.



Kiwanda 02.03.15 at 1:25 am

My comment on another thread just spent about 7 hours in moderation; I’ll assume it’s 2 and 3 and not 5 of the reasons listed at @Chris #14 for moderation. Another feature of moderation is that once approved, the comment goes into the comments where it would go in chronological order, so not only has the conversation moved on, but even fewer people will notice my deep insights. The moral is, when Belle wants discussion with links, don’t oblige her.


JanieM 02.03.15 at 1:29 am

Links by no means ensure moderation; I guess that’s part of the randomness. I’ve never had a comment end up in moderation, and I often include links, though probably never more than three in a single comment. (On the other hand, I don’t comment all that often to begin with.)


Mike Schilling 02.03.15 at 2:24 am

For “cried like a little girl”, you can substitute the non-gendered “Cried like a Yankees fan who finally figured out what an awful shortstop Derek Jeter was”.


mattski 02.03.15 at 2:49 am

@ 29

It takes a train to cry.



bad Jim 02.03.15 at 2:54 am

“Socialist” was definitely a problem at one point; not only did several of us suggest alternate filtering methods (regular expressions, anyone?) but it became the norm to obfuscate the “i” or the “l”.


Belle Waring 02.03.15 at 4:20 am

J. PARNELL Thomas: you are cool, dude. It’s all good. Mad love.

Kiwanda: :-(

Mike Schilling: I like the cut of your jib, sir.


JakeB 02.03.15 at 7:36 am

@Mike at 29:

To bring it full circle, my ex-girlfriend and I used to say, whenever the Yankees had been driven from the playoffs or playoff race, “Is little Derek Jeter crying? Don’t cry, little Derek Jeter, there’s always next year.” (in a mocking tone, of course. We lived in Philadelphia, after all.)


Donald Johnson 02.03.15 at 8:59 pm

Wait, is J Parnell Thomas different from JThomas? I’ve half-assumed so, but the other half of me is confused.


J. Parnell Thomas 02.03.15 at 9:07 pm

Christ, I really need to change this name. OK, next time maybe I’ll try Elmer McCurdy and see how long it takes to get through moderation. If I ever happen to have something I want to say.


The Temporary Name 02.03.15 at 9:30 pm

JPT has the wonderful advantage of brevity.


MPAVictoria 02.03.15 at 9:39 pm

“JPT has the wonderful advantage of brevity.”
And a measure of wit as well.


js. 02.03.15 at 9:40 pm

Links by no means ensure moderation

I think if there are more than three links in a comment, it gets auto-modded. And I may be wrong about this, but that rule might even be a WordPress default.


JanieM 02.03.15 at 9:51 pm

Maybe it’s links, but what it should be is mean things about Derek Jeter, like this.


Yeah, it’s a slow day.


JanieM 02.03.15 at 9:52 pm

js., yes, I just submitted a comment with 4 links and it hasn’t appeared.

(Belle…feel free to delete it entirely, and sorry for the silliness. Nice to have something easily testable in the midst of this murky conversation. ;-)


ragweed 02.04.15 at 12:04 am


Now I am not accusing you of maliciously deleting posts as part of an evil funk conspiracy, but I think it would be stupid to believe that you are not part of an evil funk conspiracy if there is no proof that you are not part of one.


MPAVictoria 02.04.15 at 12:22 am



Belle Waring 02.04.15 at 3:31 am

JamieM was right–IT WAS LINKS ALL ALONG! Sorry dudes. Make two comments, each with two links. Also, J. Parnell Thomas, no idea why you were caught in there while J. “Null Equals Giant Pain in The Ass” Thomas sailed through, but there you are. More importantly. that Gap Band video in Venice is THE JAM. Thanks Labitokov.


js. 02.04.15 at 4:45 am


Your old handle was all kinds of awesome. Surely just go back to that? Whatever kinda nonsense banning happened had to have been some kind of nonsense? (Not to be redundant or anything.)


Belle Waring 02.04.15 at 2:22 pm

Did we ban you before JPT? I don’t even remember. I think you have been innocently confused with your evil alter ego by like everyone for ages; you should stride free into the sunlight of the spirit with a marginally altered pseud.


Harold 02.05.15 at 12:30 am

Politically correct? The New Republic seems to have thought so:



Harold 02.05.15 at 12:33 am

The foregoing was published when Chait was senior editor, I believe.


J. Parnell Thomas 02.05.15 at 12:58 am

Yeah, I got banned. I’ve mentioned it before.


John Quiggin 02.05.15 at 1:02 am

Just released you from moderation, JPT


Rich Puchalsky 02.05.15 at 1:05 am

You go, dog.


Lasker 02.05.15 at 1:37 am

@47 – perhaps I’ve missed something, butI can’t figure out the relevance of that article to your argument. Certainly interesting though, so thank you in any case.


Harold 02.05.15 at 3:07 am

Tone of article decidedly sexist.


JPL 02.05.15 at 10:45 am

If you haven’t already seen it, check out their live performance of “Uptown funk” on SNL: intimate setting, band is feeling the music in the moment and you get a better feel for the choreography, including the sideways crouching groove move, also a reference to the 70s.
(And the unison jump steps)

Here is a good example from 1975 of “uptown funk”, as opposed to just plain funk properly so called as played by bands like the JBs, the Bar-Kays or P-Funk. (Make sure to turn it up real loud!)


Minnow 02.05.15 at 12:12 pm

My seven year old’s verdict on Uptown Funk? ‘OK, but it’s not exactly Bootsy Collins’.

I wonder if this will escape moderation.


Val 02.05.15 at 1:07 pm

Is the US Supreme Court actually sane? http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/supreme-court-lets-stand-ruling-firing-woman-breastfeeding-not-sexist-men-can

Can anyone explain this?

(I feel this is related to liberalism – or more probably neoliberalism – gone feral, and thus somehow to the discussion about Chait)


Belle Waring 02.05.15 at 1:21 pm



Peter King 02.05.15 at 2:14 pm

#56 Val

The linked article refers to (and provides a link to) an article on the ACLU’s Web site.

That article states that the appellant, Angela Ames, was claiming that she had been fired, but

“[t]he courts dismissed Angela’s case saying that she didn’t take sufficient steps to complain internally before writing her letter of resignation – even though her own supervisor was the one who handed her the pen and dictated what to write – and therefore, she wasn’t really fired. The courts found it irrelevant that Angela was supposed to take these additional steps while engorged and waiting for a pumping room that her employer told her wouldn’t be available for several days.

The trial court also held, nonsensically, that even if Angela had been fired because she was breastfeeding that was not sex discrimination, in part because men can lactate under certain circumstances.”

For what it’s worth, the employer apparently claimed (and the courts accepted) that “a pumping room” would be available, just not for “several days”.

More to the point, and something the alternet.org article omitted entirely, is that, according to the ACLU article, the issue before the higher court was not whether breastfeeding-related dismissals are sex discrimination–though one would liked the court to address that–but the much more narrow one of whether Ms. Ames had in fact been dismissed.


Peter King 02.05.15 at 2:17 pm

Oops … there should be quote marks at the start of the paragraph beginning “The trial court also held …” The last two paragraphs are mine.


MPAVictoria 02.05.15 at 2:57 pm

Peter that is still pretty fucking awful.


Lynne 02.05.15 at 3:08 pm

That Supreme Court verdict is appalling. This poor mother was trying so hard to get back to work, and probably after only a brief maternity leave. Having a pumping room available in a few days is like having a delivery room available in a few days for a woman who’s in labour.


Peter King 02.05.15 at 3:17 pm

#60 MPAVictoria

You’ll get no argument from me on that.

If you have the time (and the stomach for it), the ACLU article has a link to an earlier ACLU article on the case that includes a link to the appeals court decision, in which the court summarizes the evidence at the original trial. I confess that I haven’t read it all … one of my browser’s plug-ins crashed/froze and knocked me out, and I haven’t been able to make myself go back and finish it yet.


Val 02.05.15 at 10:28 pm

Thanks Peter. I’ve also been commenting on Feminist Philosophers, which is where I first saw this mentioned, so as I’m really short of time I’m cutting and pasting some of what I said there (apologies).

I don’t think the SC decision on constructive dismissal was reasonable and it’s worth reading the ACLU amici curate submission that (linked from the ACLU site). However I think a big issue here is the underlying legal reasoning that lactation can only be legislatively protected as a medical condition whereas breastfeeding is conceptualised as a choice.

[quoting self, with apologies, here] In Australia, breastfeeding is a protected ground under Anti-discrimination legislation, as is pregnancy. It’s not necessary to medicalise either. As a feminist historian, I think doing so rests on an inherited assumption of the embodied male as the normative individual. This may be a particular problem in the US because of the ideological commitment to individualism and liberalism rather than social democracy. [This is where I think it links to Chait]


John Emerson 02.07.15 at 3:36 am

Boy this thread is dropping with comity.


MPAVictoria 02.07.15 at 3:39 am

“Boy this thread is dropping with comity.”



John Emerson 02.07.15 at 3:53 am

“Dripping”, sorry. Where are the trolls?


MPAVictoria 02.07.15 at 4:19 am

Hiding? Mugging poor billy goats for milk money?


J. Parnell Thomas 02.07.15 at 6:10 am



J. Parnell Thomas 02.07.15 at 12:33 pm

Moderation in all things?

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