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The People's Republic of Paradise versus The Speckled Band

In the spirit of investigating the different ways in which the BT verdicts shall be given, today's will be told with the royal "we." Comments from individual judges have been incorporated into the whole.

People's Republic of Paradise
The day Dave emailed PRoP that her blog was to appear on Blog Thunderdome, she wrote, "Current Mood: scared." Absolutely goddamn right.

Anyone who uses any sort of "current mood" functionality is a lower form of life, ranking somewhere between dung beetle and Geraldo Rivera. From July 12, "Current Mood: simple." We don't even know what that means. Simple is not a mood. There is no point in the history of the English language during which you could say "simple is a mood." Except, apparently, on July 12, 2005, when PRoP decided that, indeed, her mood was simple. Okay, hotshot, emote "simple." We're waiting. Yeah, didn't think so.

To quote Maddox on blogs, "Here's a little trick you can use to find out whether a link someone sends you is worth checking. If it contains the words "live, journal," or any combination thereof, you can safely ignore the link without missing out on anything." Mean, but true. However, PRoP is the first Live Journal site we've seen that doesn't have us screaming for the hills. The design is clean, if a bit too grey. (Live Journal still sucks.)

Content-wise, Maddox's maxim may hold. From Wednesday, June 15, "Sunday can't come soon enough." Tell us we didn't just read that.

On the other hand, we have a post like this from May 30, "Gingerly is my favorite adverb. I've always wanted to be described as having done something gingerly but all of my motions are graceless. Gingerly says something about fluid feminine caution that I lack. There is an abrupt exaggeration in my gestures. I have never done anything gingerly because I have never, in my nature, been so mild." Now that's good. It's also one of the longer entries in PRoP. Unfortunately, the rest are scattered thoughts, often about AP exams (we should've banned high school blogs from even entering the Thunderdome). Most of PRoP's entries are so short, in fact, that BT commenter k@os posted the definition of a paragraph to help her out. Thanks, k@os. Who says Blog Thunderdome never helped anyone?

The Speckled Band
We are greeted at The Speckled Band by a banner of two kids holding hands. Our heads shake wearily; our bodies brace for a cold, nauseous shiver akin to biting down on tinfoil. Speckled obliges with the Reynold's Wrap Grade A aluminum. A post about his WordPress feed and how itís not working...could there be anything more maddeningly tedious? Of course there is. How about a post about Thunderdome in which every sentence ends in a question mark? Where he laments his inability to see the merits of the opposing blog? Even declarative sentences end in question marks? Maybe it's an oversight? Or a not-so-transparent plea for a swift punch to the trachea?

On July 16, "Book writing has been 'on hold' over the past week or so." Please don't pretend that your readers actually care about this; we are not your proxy book editor. We hate the blogging mentality that, "oh, but I need to talk about the little things that are going on in my life so all my friends and family can read it without me writing separate emails." If you can't spend the time writing an email to a friend, then he is not your friend. He is "that guy I used to hang with, I haven't seen him in a while." There's a name for that, and that name is not "friend." The post continues, "I have been writing a ton of blog entries as backups in case I donít have anything particular to say on some days." Ugh. Blogging about your own blog. There ought to be jail time for this.

In our miserable travels around the interweb, we have seen this Speckled Band person comment on many a blog. He is, without question, one of the most polite and sincere commenters we've read. It's just too bad Thunderdome is not a contest in manners.

In fact, his frequent references to Blog Thunderdome reek of forced humor and sad attempts at good-naturedness. Blast it, man. PRoP was scared, dammit. "Current Mood: scared" were her exact words. Speckled's lackadaisical attitude is offensive. He shows absolutely no passion for the contest. PRoP was shaking, fer cryin out loud. But no, Speckled is all, "it's cool, I'm just sitting back with a little R.E.M. and if I get banned, so what?" Have some pride, you fool! Where's your battle spirit? Where's the passion? What's the frequency Kenneth? Ugh, disgusting.

The Verdict
PRoP's entries are short, sometimes maddeningly so. They're surreal and elliptical, but also lovely. Sorta. Speckled lays it all out for you, PRoP does not. On the one hand, PRoP is a ghost. Her blog exists in that hazy penumbra of daybreak when you're not quite asleep but barely conscious. Speckled, meanwhile, is a raging narcissist. His attempts at concealing that demon with effusive politeness and friendly candor fall just shy of success.

PRoP writes so little that no one would arguably notice if we banned her. Besides, if Speckled were to win, what could we possibly say, "Congrats, Speckled Band. You beat a high schooler. Way to freakin go. We should ban you as a matter of principle." So instead of banning him as a matter of principle, we are banning him as a matter of fact.

Speckled has written (and in excruciating detail, mind you, not to mention in comment boxes on other people's blogs) that he will spend his banned time guest posting on other blogs.

The horror.

In order to contain this potential content virus from breaking out on the interweb, the Holy Order of Thunderdome (HOT) decrees that on this, the 20th day of July, 2005, the penalty for losing in the sacred battlefield of Blog Thunderdome shall not exceed one month. HOT strongly recommends that Speckled shut off his computer and experience a bit of the world outside the blogosphere so that when he returns he shall have something other to write about than his own blog. Graphics for the winner and loser are available.

Medals of Dubious Honor:
Most upside: Speckled has topped out, dude. This is as good as he's ever going to get. That's pathetic. PRoP earns this medal hands down.

Most references to R.E.M.: Speckled wins. There aren't a lot of medals revolving around overrated, Atlantan alterna-rock bands, so good for you, I guess.

The Holy Order of Thunderdome has spoken.

Speckled Band has defied the Holy Order of Thunderdome and violated his ban. He is declared Excommunicatus, pariah of the blogosphere. We are declaring a BOUNTY on his blog. Any entrant in Blog Thunderdome who damns this blog shall receive double extra bonus points during his/her contest. Triple bonus points if the post is funny.

Speckled has complied with his ban. The bounty is hereby revoked.

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