December 8th, 2011 / 1:37 pm

ToBS R1: trolling for spelling errors in blog posts vs. changing your facebook picture daily

[Matchup #27 in Tournament of Bookshit]

I don’t know.

I’ve never had a blog.

I haven’t been on Facebook in almost a year.

I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with this, what the fuck “Trolling for spelling errors in your blog vs. changing your Facebook profile pic daily” means.

This would be so much easier if I’d been given something easy, like:

Jimmy Chen vs. every woman on HTMLGIANT.


Or being Matt Bell vs. not being Matt Bell.

Or telling Blake no vs. telling him yes.

(Is it possible for the gender with the vagina to tell Blake Butler no?)

Fuck Blake Butler. Fuck HTMLGIANT. Fuck “mean week.”


That’s what I should have said.

But being the hungry-for-attention person/writer/gender with a vagina I am, I said yes. I thought spitting out a couple hundred words would be easy.


(I was thinking something along the lines of the former (trolling for spelling errors in your blog) being a solitary act, the neuroses of which can only be known by the perpetrator (boring!) vs. the latter (changing your Facebook pic daily) being something we can all witness and make fun of and enjoy (interesting!).)


Instead I spent a week avoiding any sort of “real work” on the collection I was supposed to have finished December 1st, choosing to fixate instead on the 200-500 words I would write for mean week.  So typical.


At one point during this week I was out having drinks with other writers (because I don’t know any real people), one of whom was Sean Kilpatrick (big name drop! This is like a blog post mentioning Tao Lin and Megan Boyle except for the fact that no one gives a fuck or two shits about either Sean or me so it’s not like that at all. Also, Sean and I aren’t married, or even separated, and as far as I can remember, have never done drugs together or gone to Target together or made smoothies.).


Anyway, someone (probably me) mentioned HTMLGIANT and Sean said something about being asked to write something for mean week and I said me too and for a few seconds we were both really excited, hoping one of us could help the other understand what it is we were supposed to write but then neither of us knew so it didn’t help at all.


I’ve since asked Sean to send me what he wrote, but he’s been avoiding my emails. Maybe he’s worried I’ll copy his fucked up, babies-aborting-other-babies’-babies style of writing? I wish I could.


I considered emailing Jereme Dean for help.

Mostly I wanted to know where the fuck this guy has been.

Why he no longer comments on HTMLGIANT.

(I barely know any of the commenters anymore. Who the fuck, for instance, is DeadGod? It’s so much less fun when people don’t use their real names. Or their real fake names, at least. Or whatever.)

I miss Jereme.


Wait. Where was I?


Maybe this should be about giving a shit what people think about you vs. not giving a shit.  (Jereme seems like he doesn’t give a shit. I should try to be more like Jereme.)


Or whether the Internet makes people neurotic or merely caters to neurotic people. (Probably I should find a way to make this all about me:)


Admission: any time I make a comment on HTMLGIANT, I do so and then quickly get offline. I never look back to see if anyone said something in response to me or “liked” my comment or whatever. (I will not look at HTMLGIANT during mean week.) (Which seems to make no sense. Why the compulsion to say anything? I have no idea.)


I think mostly what this is about, is whether you’re the type of person who writes something on the Internet and feels secure/smug/confident or the type who is immediately racked with regret and self-doubt and self-loathing. Such as I am now. (Well, maybe not self-loathing. That’s probably going too far/being overly dramatic. But self-doubt and regret definitely.)


But there is that compulsion to say something. (Dare I say?) to say anything.

So let’s say this is about compulsion and name compulsion the winner so we (read: I) can be done thinking about this and think about something else. (Like Sean Kilpatrick and why he’s such a dickhead and won’t show me his writing and do drugs with me. Fuck you, Sean. )


I miss Jereme.


Elizabeth Ellen

– – –

[Ed. note: Since this judge didn’t explicitly make a selection, I briefly considered entering Elizabeth Ellen as the winner and having her represent there forward, but then realized she would automatically dominate any pair up on principle alone, therefore, EE is the unofficial winner of ToBS. After that, I flipped a coin.]

WINNER:  trolling for spelling errors in blog posts



  1. drew kalbach

      this is my favorite

      i too wonder who deadgod is (i hate his name)

  2. Scott mcclanahan

      Great post, Elizabeth.

  3. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      Lately, I have found deadgod to be less thoughtful and more consistently troll-like, leading me to wonder whether there are multiple deadgods.

      I have several times thought he might be someone a bit older than the average htmlgiant commenter, and perhaps someone more associated with the New York publishing industry. I think it would be more interesting if he was someone with a “name,” because otherwise, who the fuck cares who deadgod is. For some reason, I am pretty sure deadgod is male, and in New York City.

      My other, not entirely serious but sort-of funny theory is that deadgod is Justin Taylor (it seems possible that deadgod only materialized after Justin left, tho I’ve by no means put effort into verifying that), and that Justin was instructed by his agent or publisher or something not to contribute to htmlgiant anymore and so is now hanging around anonymously.

      Back before the transition to disquus, before all the anonymous commenters had names, there used to be this one anonymous commenter who would drop by occasionally and just be like, Everyone here is awful except Justin Taylor, or, Justin Taylor has no idea how badly he is damaging his career by contributing to this site, and dumb shit like that.

  4. Anonymous

      This is my favorite one so far, I think.

      I am also “the type who is immediately racked with regret and self-doubt and self-loathing”.  Which is why I’m not going to say anything else.

  5. Frank Tas, the Raptor

      Considering how FUCKED my bracket is, does anyone want to make some side bets on this thing?

      Like, I bet that the entry for “Middle aged white male sex scene” will actually describe a middle aged white male sex scene.

      Stakes negotiable.

  6. Mr. Ian M. Belcurry

      I like Elizabeth Ellen (two 1st names). I read a story abt a vacation and erotic finger sucking that I dug. And her steal your MFA piece. I like the Jimmy Chen vs every women bit, though JC is sympathetic to women and women should love the JC and not hate the JC.

  7. 88888888888888888888888

      I, on the other hand, will bet that the entry for “Middle aged white male sex scene” will be a play by play recap of The Ice Bowl.

      Let’s negotiate

  8. Frank Tas, the Raptor

      Loser buys winner of Dick Cheney’s autobiography?

      What happens if we’re both wrong? Yahtzee!?

  9. Frank Tas, the Raptor

      a copy of*

  10. barry

      i will bet on anything. fuck your post elizabeth. haha. jereme is king of htmlgiant. 

  11. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      Inside intel: Depends on your definition of “describes.”

  12. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      What’s an Ice Bowl?

  13. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      SAMUEL L JACKSON IS NOT A GOOD NAME FOR A RABBIT and this post is brillz.

  14. Frank Tas, the Raptor

      Sounds like 88888888888888888888888’s sending me a copy of Dick Cheney’s autobiography!

  15. Frank Tas, the Raptor

      I bet that there will be LESS than 13 comments on the next HTMLG post.

      Throw some stakes.

  16. Frank Tas, the Raptor

      Also, none of our comments count, and don’t use different anonymous accounts to win, i.e. “Be a dude not a dick.”

  17. barry

      also, dont let liz lie to you. she is deadgod…

  18. barry

      i will bet two buy one get one free whopper coupons, two books from my shelf, and  some of my pubes. what you putting on it? 

  19. JW

      It’s not trolling for spelling errors in YOUR blog posts, just blog posts in general, and I think that puts an entirely different spin on it.  Elizabeth, please reconsider your (non)-answer.

  20. Frank Tas, the Raptor

      An mp3 of me singing both parts of “The Time of My Life” duet from the Dirty Dancing OST and a pack of Dunkin Donuts original blend coffee.


  21. Frank Tas, the Raptor

      WAIT we should have a deadline. LESS than 13 comments by Saturday 11:59 PM ET. Someone PLEASE post a link to an exciting new lit journal PLEASE.

  22. barry

      making rules after i agree? thats not the spirit of htmlgiant… i will still make the bet. 

  23. Frank Tas, the Raptor

      haha. Game on!

  24. barry

      deadline. yes. agreed. game on…

  25. barry

      also, as long as no one posts some stupid, time-waste post in between bookshit tourney postings, sewage treatment v pulitzer prize is up next. that should be good for 13 comments. 

  26. shaun gannon

      god i feel like barfing

  27. shaun gannon

      ok now i seriously think i’m gonna barf

  28. shaun gannon

      cmon get your shit together

  29. shaun gannon


  30. shaun gannon

      stop thinking about barf

  31. 88888888888888888888888

      THE Ice Bowl. 1967 Packers Vs Cowboys

  32. christopher.

      This is by far my favorite of the Bookshit posts. 

  33. 88888888888888888888888

      If we’re both wrong, we each do a public reading of Dick Cheney’s autobiography, cover to cover, in our respective cities

  34. 88888888888888888888888

      God I hope the guest judge of that face-off reads this comments section and gives a play by play of the ice bowl. Otherwise I’m screwed.

  35. bartleby_taco

      deadgod is one of my fav people on htmlg lol

      “The Deadgod and The Troll” by August Strindberg

      “[deadgod]” by Samuel Beckett

      “deadohmygod” by Miranda July

      “Deadgod: An Exegesis Toward Beginning” by Paul Ricœur

      “one day my deadgod will be happier than your deadgod and then we will draw pictures of hamsters and have a joint tumblr account” by as of yet unknown future muumuuvian author

      “What We Talk About When We Talk About deadgod: A Memoir” – deadgod

  36. Mr. Ian M. Belcurry

      love yr randomness. agree on the brilz :-)

  37. Frank Tas, the Raptor

      This should probably happen no matter what.

  38. Craig Ronald Marchinkoski

      i read, ‘i’m also the typo…’ then i felt bad. i still feel bad. 

  39. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      It’s the title of one of my favorite EE works, which appears in Best of the Web 2010, tho I will cop to being deliberately oblique.

  40. Tim Jones-Yelvington
  41. Mr. Ian M. Belcurry

      Thanks for the link. That was a great read. In the back of my mind I thought it was a reference to one of her works. And I had read that one maybe a year or so ago. I liked the one she did of stalking David Eggers. I like how you champion EE. I feel the same way abt JC. The cellulite thing of Anastacia kind of turned me on tho cause it implied a bigger booty, which is good.

  42. Justin Taylor

      I dig that theory Tim, but I’m afraid there’s nothing to it. Blake and I have the same publisher, HarperPerennial, and they’ve been pretty supportive of this site more or less since its inception. Giant was critical, for example, in helping us launch “The Word Made Flesh”, the literary tattoo anthology I edited with Eva Talmadge, which HP published.

      I stopped writing for the Giant because I wanted to focus more on my fiction, and to reserve my critical energies for more straightforward reviews and essays  ( , , because that’s the kind of work I’m interested in pursuing. I didn’t look at is as a “career choice” so much as a personal choice (not that I’m complaining about the bylines either). I had never blogged before I was invited to join Giant, and I agreed to do it in part because I was pretty skeptical about whether I’d be any good at it. I think I got the hang of it eventually–learned a lot, had fun, made friends, all that good stuff–when I felt like I had maxed out my potential to learn from/give to the site and the experience, I left. I do still read the site regularly(ish) and occasionally leave comments on posts–but always under my own name.

  43. Adam Wilson

      Don’t listen to him. He’s not the real Justin Taylor. I am. 

  44. Frank Tas, the Raptor

      Deadgod would probably an awesome editor to work with. That’s what I’ve taken from hanging out on this site.

  45. Roxane

      Interesting theories, Tim. I’m very curious as to who deadgod is. He’s an interesting commenter but I don’t understand most of what he writes at all. Also, the word blogicle. I don’t know why but it makes my skin crawl.

  46. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      For sure, I hope I was clear this was conspiracy theorizing for fun and not anything serious.

  47. Justin Taylor

      Read you loud & clear–just happened to be around and figured I’d chime in. Cheers.

  48. Laura Carter

      I think a lot of comments here are clever, but deadgod’s actually seem intelligent. That, too, is one reason I read this website.



  50. jesusangelgarcia

      Aaron is a lucky guy. In case you really don’t read these comments, EE, I’m gonna copy this statement to his FB now.

  51. Leapsloth14

      Mean week has to be the most hydrated (watered down/down/down) week in the history of weeks.

      Fuck you, EE.

      also, you rock it.


  52. deadgod

      trawling for spelling errors in blog posts vs. having a facebook picture

  53. gene

      Yes. Dude or Lady is clearly old timer extraordinaire or someone who’s never left the homestead. Don’t mind most of deadgod’s posts but fucking blogicle and Muumuuvians are the kinds of words self chucklers love to pen. When I see those words I want the world to bleed. 

  54. deadgod

      When I see a comment with my blogonym – ‘my’ blogonym – that I didn’t write, I mark it–most recently, after Mason had already responded to it.  That I’ve seen, it’s mostly just me.

      (I would’ve guessed that the disqus system wouldn’t accept a blogonym without the same email account as the other posts with that tag, but I’ve never tried to use another commenter’s tag, so I don’t know that, and, after the first maybe couple of weeks of trying punning tags fitted to the content of the post, I haven’t posted except as “deadgod”.)

      I don’t think I’ve become more irascible recently, nor do I think I’m hostile without a “thought”–that is, exclusively to provoke distress.  I don’t think my rancor is out of order (except rarely).  I also think that pussy-footing around the rancor that other people front is not to be confused with amiability.

      Is that whole previous paragraph a Bad Sign of one kind or another?  Maybe.  Bah.

  55. mimi

      have you been reading my blog again deaders??  

      because just this morning i used the phrase “pussy-footing” and . . .   

      i was actually looking for a good place on hg to propose an alternative to “blogicle”  

      blogactite? shag haircut? bloggulag?

  56. NLY

      Awhile back I was reading the comments on an old Guardian article and I came across a comment (or several) by deadgod. I can’t remember if he used the same name or I recognized him by his style and references, but I’d like to think it was the latter. Ever since then I’ve been seeing him in comments on various places on the internet without him actually being there, like a mirage.

  57. David Fishkind

      i enjoyed reading this

  58. Matthew Simmons

      This particular little comment chain is, given the actual guest judge of the match-up in question, so very wonderful.

  59. 88888888888888888888888

      I know. When I saw the inside intel below, I figured I’d be losing. However…

  60. deadgod

      That poster is me; the Books Blog mutated into a mostly children’s-book thingy, but I still hang out at their Poem of the Week a few times a week.  There are a couple of other places I’ve posted at for some months (but not now), but only a couple. 

      A mirage is caused by the refraction of light as it passes from one medium to another.  The internet is a hive of mirages.  Maybe, so is every thing.

  61. deadgod

      “Self chuckler” makes me smile.

  62. bartleby_taco

      I just want to get glimpses into *the mystery*

  63. alan

      I generally don’t mind and occasionally like your posts, but I would ask you to consider resisting the temptation to reply to multiple threads within a discussion to the extent that your voice drowns out everyone else’s. You have a tendency to turn what should be a shared space into your own personal forum through the sheer critical mass of your posts. Or at any rate that is my perception.

  64. mimi

      i have occasionally thought to try to say something to the effect of what you have so graciously and succinctly put here, alan, thank you!! (not that i’m not a fan of deaders, i am – but i also like so many of the other voices (old and emerging) that i hear at htmlg – that’s why i keep coming back)



  66. Evan Hatch
  67. deadgod

      It is an interesting thing alan says–he occasionally says interesting things.  My perception is that my voice does not stop the sharing of space, but alan’s perception – which might be a common one – is something to think about.

  68. mimi

      the mocking tone of your first sentence does not change the truthiness of your second sentence but it does undermine any possible sincerity you may be trying to express  

      considering your oft-evidenced erudition i am assuming that this is deliberate



  70. mimi

      i would be in agreement with you ZIPPERS except . . . for the use by deaders for the third time in this short blogicle-icle of the word ‘occasionally’ – nobody SAYS INTERESTING THINGS *ALL THE TIME*

      okay, that’s it – peace-out li’l pho bro 

  71. deadgod

      I was repeating alan’s “occasionally”.  A small joke is co-existing peacefully with an acknowledgement of a point of view.

  72. mimi

      “I was repeating alan’s “occasionally” ” – understood    i too echoed alan’s “occasionally”, before you did, and in defense of youalan  “occasionally” likes your posts – i often (frequently, almost always) like them  but i occasionally (but not often) want to give you the same feedback alan did  

  73. Anonymous

  74. Anonymous

  75. Anonymous

  76. Anonymous

      Elizabeth, I’ve been out partying with girls half my age.