Here’s a novel way to discourage bad behavior: positive reinforcement. At least that seems to be New York magazine’s take on an anonymous Brooklyn blog commenter gone wild. This week’s cover story is ostensibly about how the comments section of the the Brooklyn real estate (a.k.a., gentrification) blog Brownstoner can be viewed as a fairly accurate gauge of the culture wars currently taking place in Brooklyn as Manhattanites spread their real estate wings. For example: “Clinton Hill is full of black people who have a chip on their shoulder and some white people who think themselves cool for living among them.”
However the article primarily focuses on the crazy rants of “The What” an apparent Nostradamus of the Brooklyn blogosphere who is making Brownstoner reader’s lives hell with remarks like: “Y’all are fucking finished and the asshole Brokers who pumped this shit up will get ass-raped!” And nice little acronyms such as ROTFLMMFAO (rolling on the floor laughing my motherfucking ass off). And who, in the process, also seems to be taking on the heroic proportions of say, an anonymous superhero (albeit one in the vein of “Mickey and Mallory“) among Brownstoner readers “who’ve made a sport of trying to create a portrait of The What, like FBI profilers feverishly assembling scraps of clues to trap a serial killer.”
Why the magazine chose to feature such a foul-mouthed creature as emblematic of online commenting practices, we’re not sure, but we will say it seems a whole lot closer to “a blend personal narratives with larger political or ethical or philosophical concerns,” than some other recent cover stories.