The Secret Codex Of The Spoiler Boards
Part II - A Ride Through The Land Of The Amish
Flame wars get tiring after a while. So after my brief but intense encounter with SmelliKimmi, I settled into posting spoiler analysis. Despite my fiery entrance onto the EZ board, I was serious about spoiling the show. During S1, I had run a Survivor dead pool and had even posted weekly odds. I felt pretty comfortable posting my analysis of spoiler materials.
Of course the spoiler boards were still chaotic. Especially at night. The combatants by this point had paired off into vicious rivals. AtlantaFatMike and vvicked always seemed to find each other. Of course at the same time, vvicked was thrusting his insanely long signature line on everyone. SmellyKimmi and Vanillaslave stalked each other all across the board.
Then, one day, strange things began to happen. vvicked and SmellyKimmi disappeared. Then threads began to disappear. It was if a supernatural force had descended on EZ. Then, the first locked thread was seen.
The moderators had arrived.
EZ had been the Wild West for a good three weeks before the law showed any evidence of existence. I say evidence because they were never seen. These new forces of moderation were silent but deadly. There actions however were noticed. People began to wonder what happened to vvicked and also began to notice that the harshest flame threads were either locked or deleted outright. The saloon was still open but no one could toss chairs through the window any more.
The subtle changes brought on by moderation drove some away. The hard-core flamers, fearing the fate of vvicked and SmellyKimmi migrated to the Sucks forum. There, Sucks regulars like GregBuisisaDick, PleasePassthePork, CrayZHorse and others promptly incinerated them. Those like Vanillaslave and AtlantaFatMike who were somewhat serious about spoiling but didn’t mind the occasional flame stayed in the spoilers forum for the most part. A few, such as jeffisgay8888, wandered back and forth between the two worlds like some shade; able to stay just on topic enough to not get banned but including a well-honed barb in every post.
The moderation was not completely effective. The trolls still ruled the night and it was obvious that the moderators were not always present.
Around the end of February, an event happened that would forever change both Spoilers and Sucks. Mike’s hands.
AtlantaFatMike found a picture of Mike Skupin with burn gloves. This was just prior to the episode where Mike did indeed burn his hands. After wandering in the desert for nearly six weeks, it was as if the spoiler board had stumbled upon an oasis. Some drank deeply from this new water. Others doubted whether the water was real or just another mirage. Either way, the Spoiler forum had its first legitimate spoiler of the season. Despite the cry and hue of many, the episode the following week would indeed prove AFM’s picture to be the real deal.
Mike’s unfortunate accident didn’t just breathe life into the Spoiler boards. Over at Sucks, an unknown poster named JaneDoe101 (most likely the ghost nic of a regular poster) posted a simple post named Burn Baby Burn. She gleefully described her pleasure in seeing the pig killer Michael Skupin fall face first into the fire. The immediate reaction was to debate whether this was unfair or even cruel. Soon, however, regular Sucks posters such as Hobie Lapatka, GBIAD and DarkGwalchmei showed everyone what cruel truly meant. The thread turned into a flame zone / porn haven like EZ had never seen. It became, quite simply, the Rosetta Stone of the Sucks forum.
It’s strange how time seems to compress events. It was around this time that the original boards finally died a horrid death. The original spoiler board was gone forever and the “old” spoiler posters had to find a new home. They really had no choice. They had to come to EZ.
Although, things had calmed down quite a bit in Spoilers, for every legitimate post, there were still four by people like Bumperboy, Bradly450, Jeremy and Jeffisgay8888. I guess I should mention Jeremy. Jeremy was a poster who claimed that he had a satellite feed that allowed him to see the shows before they aired. He was scoffed when he posted it and when his predictions turned out to be wrong, he was flamed so mercilessly that he never showed up again. It was very funny, well deserved but also showed many people the dangers inherent in posting anything in Spoilers.
Homeless, scarred by what seemed to be a betrayal, the original spoiler board posters began to show up at EZ. Familiar names like Toddnick, Aja and Paratrooper began to pop up on posts. Some welcomed them like long lost cousins. Some remembered the calls of “B” board and slEZy. At times it was as tense as the Sharks and the Jets.
This time of tension between the people who had become comfortable with EZ as their home and the refugees from the old boards was brief. One day they all disappeared. Aja still posted her vid caps but the rest simply vanished. Including AtlantaFatMike. No one knew where they went but their departure was noticed.
With her old nemeses, vvicked, SmellyKimmi and AFM now gone, Vanillaslave ruled the spoilers board. She was undoubtedly the queen bee and she was not afraid to let people know. She soon developed two affectations. She frequently finished posts with “bless your heart”. Bless your heart is a very southern saying. A person will say bless your heart when they want to point out someone’s incredible ignorance but do not want to hurt their feelings. Her other signature was to call people Amish. Vanillaslave’s Amish attacks may have been the most misunderstood utterances on the board. It really wasn’t mean spirited. Hell, I thought it was really funny. The origin of the term Amish traces back to Agbranif on the old boards. One time, someone said something so ignorant that Agbranif said “"ARE YOU AMISH? DID YOU DROP OUT OF SCHOOL IN THE 8TH GRADE TO MILK COWS????" Vanillaslave decided to adopt the term Amish for her own and she began to use it like a machine gun. Some joined in and mocked the Amish. Some were very offended and let her know it. With the last group, she simply blessed their Amish hearts and went back to her business.
During this time, I was still posting spoilers but I soon joined in the Amish fun. I would follow Vanillaslave around blessing people’s hearts. I soon developed my own signature line where I would make up fake quotes by people and attribute it to a fake book called The Secret History of the Amish or The Secret Codex of the Spoiler Boards. Vanillaslave began to notice that she had a little follower and soon we became friends.
It didn’t take long for this game began to wear thin as well. I went back to just posting spoilers. I would still throw out the occasional flame but mostly I kept to my own business. Meanwhile, Vanillaslave in her own fashion was actually causing the Spoiler forum to shape up. It was still obvious that the moderation was infrequent. However, being viciously berated as Amish was almost as good as having your thread locked.
One day, Vanillaslave posted something and noticed a subtle change. The term moderator appeared below her name. Somewhere, in the deep bowels of the EZ board, late at night, someone with a very twisted sense of humor had made the most volatile personality known a moderator. The denizens of EZ could only stare in wonder. Some were amused. Some were terrified.
Having a new title certainly didn’t change Vanillaslave in the least. She still assaulted the Amish, blessed hearts but now she also promptly locked threads. The EZ members began to wail and moan as the number of locked posts increased. Where moderation had been infrequent before, now it was nearly twenty four hours a day. Where moderators had lurked in the shadows before, now there was a moderator who was out in the open and damned proud of what she did. It would come back to get her in the end.
Continue reading in Part III