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[We ran a computer-generated Flame of the Week. We wished we hadn't. Emails demonstrating previously unknown levels of stupidity arrived by the vanload. We decided the only thing to be done was write an apology. People then flamed us for apologising (Hint: whenever you see "An apology" on The Reg, you can be absolutely certain that it is what we like to call "sarcasm". That means we don't really mean it. We are doing it for humour alone. Here is a selection]

Flame of the Week: BOFH is abysmal
Flame of the Week: an apology



I'm terribly sorry you feel that Simon Travaglia is a child murder[er?]. Maybe you should step back and see his missives as what they truly are: HUMOR! He readily pokes fun at, not only himself, but others in the IT world.



It is upsetting that anybody would take his postings in any way shape or form as factual. Try reading his original stories, Striped Irregular Bucket.

[We removed the name. We think it's only fair]



[Nutter alert]



I just finished reading your simply thought provoking article, and, still with many questions answered through your words of wisdom and biblical preaching, many gaps are still left unfilled. I would be forever in your debt if you helped answer these questions that have been burning within me forever.

Mr. McCarthy, my first question is, what are your thoughts on vintage midget pornography? I have spoken to my mother and uncle on this topic (as they are both former vintage midget pornstars), and they never cease to answer with the "When I was your age, I walked 10 miles in the snow to get to a vintage midget pornstar", and I'm not satisfied with the answer. Please put this question to rest for me.

My second and last ponder is of your opinion on the porn pictures of the Pope with men, dogs, horses, and so on. Do you think the Pope did the right thing by submitting them to the Animal Sex Farm internet web site? The registration fee is only $9.99 a month I believe - will God be satisfied with this fee? Thanks! I love your articles!

Alex Orange



Hey, if they don't get it, screw 'em.



Evidently too many readers of The Register too easily confuse hyperbole with a sharply divergent curve (hyperbolic). Why cater to the brain-dead? Do you think THEY are the ones who click on your advertiser sites? At best, they are trivia whores with an inflated sense of the importance of their own opinions. Let them find their own way out of their befuddlement: There is no need to spoon-feed them.

If you are merely trying to stem the email flood, give up: There will always be more idiots with keyboards than readers with brains. Simply announce that 99% of all reader letters will be disposed of without being read beyond the subject line, and use a bozo filter to do the initial weeding for you.

But please, do NOT explain yourself over and over. Apologetic groveling is NOT The Register style. Take a stand! Are you Bastards or Dweebs?

Personally, I was greatly amused by the original letter. It was a very good commentary on the demented state of flaming on the Net, when so many people confused that letter with the "real thing". Furthermore, I'd feed all the ignorant reader feedback on this issue to a complaint generator, and use THAT as the reply! Eventually, after enough iterations of this, they will have hopefully accumulated the mental funds to purchase one small clue.

Then again, your "apology" did use very small words. It was nice to see just how far down the intellectual ladder you are able to communicate. Hopefully, you've proven your point. Now stop it, and vow never to do it again!

Your Fellow Bastard,
BobC



I find it seriously hard to believe in the level of stupidity you describe.



If what you describe were possible, then the ultimate fate of the world would be to become a mindless society were the opinions and minds of the populus were dictated by evil money-grubbing corporations through the voluntary surrender of thought; the government would evolve from a body representing the people to one that catered to the every whim of the companies that held it's pocketbooks in their hands, and the entire bowl of punch would become a cess-pool of consumers whose lives served the sole purpose of feeding the corporate world and...--oh.

Well, then I guess your right.

Dan Pulliam



I just found

The Register

, and it's a nice piece of work. Although I have read many of the articles, I particularly enjoyed your letters section.



I enjoy finger-in-your-eye humour immensely, and am always appalled at your average person's inability to understand it for what it is.

I could go on (especially about my feeling that you should be encouraged to keep sticking fingers in the
eyes of my American cousins to the south of our extremely thin and porous border, but I think you probably don't need such encouragement), but the point has been made.

Keep it up, and don't let neurotic propeller-heads ever made you think anything is wrong. Their eyes must point too close to each other for them to really get it.

Sincerely,

Robert Pratt



[Loads of spelling mistakes in this one. We've corrected most of them]



Shazbat. I just read the flame of the week for 7/31/00 (Yank to the end) and would console you, but for the many miles, and that I just had the last of the Bushnell's.

Indeed, some people think chicken's have lips. I believe a nice set of graphic flags with ANSI standard symbols must be invented, so that in the future the readers will have a clue. We could even CALL Them clues, and color code them.

I have considered the problem of human stupidity at length, and I think I am beginning to be on to an answer.

We must harness the power of human stupidity. It is the most powerful force on the Earth, and has done more to shape world events, current and past, than any other thing. With this mighty force, rivers could be turned, dams broken, fortunes exchanged, nations made and broken.

It appears there is indeed a war between good and evil, as many faiths teach, and that man was created as a race of geniuses. However, we have been hypnotized by the evil one into sleepwalking, and as a race of zombies, we now walk (stumble) the face of the Earth, completely convinced are are a race of high grade morons. The lengths to which we go to prove this are evidence of the labors of almighty mind, a genius firmly determined to prove it is an idiot.

A very few of us manage to wake up to some limited degree. We actually begin to show sparks of the original brilliance lancing our from the prison of ignorant darkness. At the least, we begin to realize we have been hypnotized, and to seek ways to awaken ourselves more completely.

I am sure Mssr. Simon would completely find this study fascinating, were he not so disgusted by the subjects. If he could but refine his technique ever so slightly, he would then have much fun inflicting great pain, for then it would focus what passes for a mind in the recipient and help draw them alond one step closer to waking up, a wonderful moment of illumination, when awareness, and SELF awareness, enjoy a momentary lighting bolt of brilliant AWAKENESS. I am sure the laughing buddha would do himself an injury following the career of this most excellent bastard, possibly disgusting him no end by proclaiming Simon's ministrations a sacrament, for sacraments draw one closer to the perfect.

So we will leave Simon to his own illusions, and know that his pain therapy causes others around him to WAKE UP just a bit more, and allow time to take it's amusing course.

Perhaps someday I shall introduce another prank and test the waters of the human ocean.

Chow. Lunch, even...



It was Americans that flamed your flame of the week, wasn't it?



Sometimes, even when using a big stick, we just don't get subtlety. Sigh.

I thought it was funny, but the apology was better. :)

Thanks,
chad



Where do you get 'em from?



Do you go out into the woods at the weekend, shake the trees to make them fall out?

Regards,
Jeff



[And one from a blind guy. Cool]



When I read your apology for the "flame of the week" that you posted last Friday, I could not believe my ears (yes I said ears). If a blind man can figure out that you wrote the original article correctly, I would think that there would be no excuse for those who can see to figure it out. I do not sympathize with those people who wrote you and thought you had missed the fact that this was a complaint generator.

Even the headline said so, and anyone who was actually reading the story would have figured out why the sub-headline read that a well-spoken computer speaks its mind. I have yet to understand why (I have seen this before) when I send email to someone and they do not read the entire text before responding to it, making their response useless and nonsense.

I have also seen times when someone wrote a comment about an article they had read, and it was clear from reading their words that they were so incensed by what they had read that their comment made no sense. Can't people just slow down and get it right?

Ron Kassen

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