Yesterday morning I had only a few minutes to put up something on the blog before I had to leave for a volunteer gig at the Special Olympics. The article, Obot Wars VII: A New Hope, was one of those articles that I expected to get few comments on, yet as of this writing the number of comments is 330.
I think that number of comments is not due to the article but to a comment left on it, the sixth:
William: Name one vital historical development in the world historically that met an exact deadline to the day?
Over the past week or so, I’ve been watching episodes of the TV series NUMB3RS. For the benefit of those not familiar with the program, a college math professor uses applied mathematics to help the FBI solve crimes and catch criminals. My math training was on the theoretical rather than the applied side and quite a bit on that show sounds like technobabble to me, but the general idea that human interactions can be quantified has stuck in the back of my mind and came forward as I was thinking of the reaction to the comment quoted above. A small commented garnered a big response.
While the comment seems simple enough on the surface, it really is a powerful topic-shattering statement, working in two ways. On topic, it appears to be a defense of Zullo’s continual promises of evidence that are don’t get delivered. It has the goading quality of unfairness, since Zullo is not just late; he has been delaying his last set of revelations for a year and a half, and now is holding out for next October or November. In addition to raising the unpopular (on this site) idea that Zullo should be given more time, it provides the opportunity to revisit everything Zullo ever argued against Obama and every argument that can be raised against Zullo, so we get topics like
- The full faith and credit clause
- The de facto officer doctrine
- Commenter demands of other candidates
- Donald Trump
- Obama’s “questionable background”
- Citizens’ right to an investigation
- Hawaii verifications
- Who in the Hawaii Department of Health holds a political office
- The definition of “hearsay”
The second effect of the comment is to ask a literal question, sending readers scurrying off looking for vital historical developments that came off on time, leading the way for the introduction of topics as far from Obama Conspiracy Theories as could be, like the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. This online community has selected itself around certain consensus opinions, and gets along pretty well; however, once the topic ranges outside familiar territory, differences surface and arguments start, like secondary fires after an explosion. We get topics such as:
- Pearl Harbor
- Moon Landing
- Operation Sea Lion
Unlike our typical drive-by birther commenter, this one stayed around to keep things rolling, introducing:
- Obama’s Selma speech
- The authenticity of historical citations
- Eric Holder
- Anonymous office seeker somewhere who allegedly tried to seal records
- John McCain birth certificate
- Vladimir Putin
- How candidates are vetted
- Congressional certification of elections
- Acton & Dystel bio
- Birther lawsuits: dismissal vs. decision on the merits
- Is Zullo a witch?
- Insults, present and historical
- Tea Party and anti-Obama rhetoric
- The use of the name “tea bagger” and its origins
The asymmetric comment appears to either have been intentional or at least co-opted based on the closing comment for the day from the commenter that started it:
William: So works done for the day.
That was some hard earned dollars. But it rallied up the team Obots, for what is about to come.
We’re really a pretty soft target. Perhaps this will help explain why I sometimes bring in the topic police here.