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Media Meta

 
One of the most fascinating spin-offs that has spawned from within the EVE player community is the large amount of related media. Last week, Rock-Paper-Shotgun published a really good piece on the use of propaganda and advertisement in EVE, tools that have the potential to influence opinions, morale, and even success or failure of organisations within the game. Expanding on that, I’ll have a look at the written news and opinion media created by EVE players with a focus on how they’ve formed, functioned, and developed over the years.

The Big Three

There are many blogs about EVE, some of them becoming quite influential in forming “public opinion.” The most prominent example would be Ripard Teg’s now discontinued “Jester’s Trek”. While being very prolific and widely read in his own right, Ripard Teg definitely gained more traction by being syndicated through Eve News 24 (EN24) which has been the premier EVE news site for many years. At its 2010 founding date, EN24 took that position almost by default. There always were a number of independent reporters, but the site’s name immediately declared its purpose to be a 24-hour news service about EVE Online, including original and syndicated content.
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Despite its uncontested position, EN24 was plagued by problems from the very beginning. The site’s founder Riverini is not a native English speaker, and his writing unfortunately showed that quite clearly. The editing and proofreading of articles was rather haphazard too. As a result, EN24 continuously struggled with a reputation for bad or unreadable articles. Despite many reforms to the editing process since Bobmon became editor-in-chief in 2012, EN24 still has its flaws today. Much of that has to do with the fast-paced release schedule they are dedicated to. EN24 pride themselves on being the first to report on an event or subject, but diligent editing often falls by the wayside. More than once EN24 even published false information fed to them because they failed to fact-check. Another problem that has consistently plagued EN24 is the founder’s in-game background. Factionalism is very strong within the EVE player community, and as a member of a prominent power (NC.), Riverini was regularly accused of bias. Although he never openly affiliated his site with any particular faction, the general assumption was that he favoured writers from his own camp, or at least not from the Goonswarm affiliated alliances in the game.    This assumed division became a fact when the second big news site—The Mittani (TMC)—was established in 2012. Like many Goon related things, it immediately created controversy. At the time of TMC’s inception, Goonswarm’s Deklein Coalition was rising in power within the game, and many saw TMC as yet another propaganda tool in the Goon’s arsenal and evidence of The Mittani’s megalomania. TMC themselves responded by both acknowledging and rejecting the different accusations leveled against them. As for the title, the claim was that it was not about The Mittani as a person, but about his name as a recognisable EVE-related brand. As they say on their “About” page:

“‘“The Mittani’ has become a brand: one of the most recognisable and googled phrases or labels in Eve, it simply has recognition value that we would have struggled to create with anything else.”

themittanidotcom_logo-darkbg-text Concerning propaganda and bias, TMCs response was that unbiased journalism is an illusion. Rather than pretending to be objective, they would commit to being inclusive and try to get as many writers on board who have different viewpoints from Goons and their allies. For a time, that worked really well; TMC became known for very well written and edited articles that approached EVE related news from different angles. Just like the in-game coalition around Goonswarm, the site’s pool of contributors expanded quickly. They offered good payment, a solid support infrastructure and good editing. At the same time, TMC aggressively recruited prominent community figures and even poached some of the better EN24 writers. Politics did catch up with them eventually though, as I will elaborate on later. Over time, they lost much of the “outside perspective” as well as some of the better content creators they had attracted.
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Some of those actually switched to the very distant third of the major EVE media sites: This one. Crossing Zebras (CZ) began as a podcast by Xander Phoena and Jeg Elsker. Their show gained a large boost in prominence with the stellar effort of interviewing almost all candidates prior to the CSM 8 elections of 2012. Before that, the two show-hosts had already supplemented their podcasts with blog posts, but with increased following they attracted sponsorship which in turn meant that additional writers could be paid for contributions. Consequently, CZ began to build a limited stable of contributors each writing a weekly column. The initial goal was to cover every day of the week with a different writer, and it worked, but CZ could not compete with EN24 or TMC in the field of news reporting. Rather, CZ aimed to produce quality op-ed pieces which go beyond the daily events in EVE. The site has been on an expansion path ever since I joined, and has since moved on from the weekly column model to producing more content including video streams and even a second podcast: The JEFFRAIDER show. Despite being in good health, CZ still cannot compete with TMC or EN24 in terms of readership though.

The Media Metagame

I have already made a few comments in the brief history of the three sites that reference metagaming practices and even a level of conflict. In particular, TMC opened up with a zinger against EN24:

“There are other news sites for Eve, too, but the level of quality tends to be awful.  With a few exceptions, articles tend to be scrawled in a patois only vaguely related to any written language known to man, while desperation for content means that badly-disguised sock-puppet pieces explaining the links between Test Alliance and the Knights Templar appear with alarming regularity.  Syndicated blogs tend to be of mixed quality at best, and bias is not just tolerated but celebrated.” – TMC’s About page

The perception that EN24 was largely “anti Goon”, and the obvious Goon affiliation of TMC immediately created two camps. The more factionalist EVE players would refuse to read articles on one site or the other, they’d use adblocking plugins when they did visit “the competition”, and in the comment sections, a constant war of words went on where each side accused the other of bad journalism or spreading propaganda and falsehoods. TMC also began to target EN24 writers and editors with their recruiting strategy and—intentionally or not—they effectively drained EN24 of quality writers for some time. One of the examples was FearlessLittleToaster, who had excelled in producing regular updates on the developments in nullsec politics for EN24 but was recruited to TMC soon thereafter. Eventually, many writers who were not decidedly “anti-Goon” ended up at TMC, which in turn gave them the opportunity to point at EN24 as the ones who really were biased and factionalist, while TMC appeared as the more balanced medium. At the same time, that prevented EN24 from attracting any writers who would be affiliated or allied with Goonswarm in-game and so the dividing line between those two sites became ever more pronounced. kzCl1Nl In retrospect I cannot say whether this was due to affinity alone or whether there was an active policy in place that would forbid Goons or CFC members to go and write for EN24, but I do know now that certain elements in Goonswarm actively discouraged or even attempted to sanction people who would go and write for a competitor; at least during the times that I was privy to the things that went on behind the scenes. Although even before I was actively involved in EVE media, there was a defensive-aggressive attitude that came directly from prominent Goonswarm members. I personally experienced that when I got into a discussion with Darius JOHNSON, former Goonswarm CEO and CCP employee. I had made a general statement that for as long as there are prominent players from powerful in-game organisations hired into influential positions within CCP, players will come up with conspiracy theories about collusion. Unfortunately he interpreted that as a personal attack against his work as CCP Sreegs. The day after I found that I was banned from commenting on TMC. I never received an answer to my inquiry why that happened, but I can only assume that it was because of that episode, as I had never posted anything even remotely inflammatory on their site. That attitude of TMC management and the way it is tied directly to the metagame of the CFC/Imperium sours the deal that The Mittani offers to its writers. In-game, the Goons can offer players access to a great organisation which provides content and security, if they submit to the rules. The implied threat is, that if they defect they could just as easily be destroyed by the very same coalition. When it comes to media, all a site can offer to a writer is ISK and exposure. EN24 may offer less ISK and CZ less exposure, but if the price is dealing with overly meddlesome management, some writers and editors gladly swallow that bitter pill. Over the years, several very proficient TMC contributors became alienated, and the pool of potential content creators that TMC can draw from became smaller. While The Mittani boasts in an interview with the Observer that TMC can rely on the affinity of 40.000 players with 12.000 in Goonswarm alone, that is of course not really true. There are 40.000 accounts in The Imperium. How many players that reflects is open to speculation, and not all of them are cut from the cloth that can make good writers. As a result, the quality of writing has declined noticeably. In the past, TMC have often mocked EN24 for haphazardly written pieces that contained little value, and they were not entirely wrong. Recently, we have seen a reversal of those roles during the dissolution of Black Legion and the secession of some corporations from NC. which were both covered in-depth on EN24. At the same time TMC has toned down its media metagaming attacks against EN24 too and appear almost complacent when it comes to EVE-related content. Certainly they can be satisfied with the readership they get from their own community and recently they have branched out into other media like twitch streaming and focused even more on games other than EVE. In particular, H1Z1 has become popular with Goons and is now prominently featured on TMC to such a degree that they have a whole FAQ page dedicated to joining the game via their channels. On a personal level, I both welcome and lament this development. On one side, I am glad that the needlessly divisive and belligerent attitude of TMC has become less intense; on the other I miss the good quality writing that they produced. leaving-job As a neutral party to the antagonism between EN24 and TMC, we at CZ have also played our own little media metagame: Xander Phoena is a well-connected socialite who manages to attract personalities from many different groups within EVE, and Editor-in-Chief Niden is no stranger to targeted recruiting himself. Over time, CZ attracted several contributors from TMC and EN24 who were looking for a place where they could work on the same quality level, but without control freaks breathing down their necks or an overly hectic environment. I myself was the subject of a very well-timed and successful recruiting pitch which drew me away from EN24. While CZ is currently successful, we do have to watch out for potentially getting caught in the same trap as EN24 and TMC and becoming too factional. Diversity lay at the foundation of the CZ style and the goal was to attract players not only from different organisations, but also from different playstyles. Like attracts like though, and at this point we have to watch out that we do not become too centered around Gallente Militia and Pandemic Legion players.

Boys Will Be Boys

… and EVE players love their metagame. Propaganda and media warfare have been part of this metagame ever since larger player organisations formed. If you watch Andrew Groen’s EVE player history presentation, you can see the evidence of that from ten years ago. Major news sites are comparatively recent additions to that aspect of the EVE community, but they also took sides in that competition for the hearts and minds of players. Not only that, they also supported CSM candidacies, agitated for game changes, and exposed scandals to a larger readership. The ferocity of the rivalry between EN24 and TMC also goes beyond their potential support for one faction in the game or another. Those two sites get enough pageviews to actually create income, and competing for readers thus involves higher stakes than just online fame in a gaming community or effective propaganda that can lead to success or failure of a campaign in EVE. It is a debatable issue whether this monetization is a good or bad influence on the content of the sites. People have often criticised EN24 for what they call a “FOX News style” of mass appeal that favours simplistic and sensational reporting. TMC has faced criticism for their pagination of articles which was seen as a cheap attempt to get more pageviews without really improving readability, or their layout changes which are geared more towards mobile devices.   On the other hand, the added pressure generated by the desire to create income has also motivated both parties to improve their content and keep developing themselves. Their desire to outperform each other also raised the bar for a smaller site like ours. Certainly it had the same effect on many of the independent bloggers who continuously write their stories, analyses, agitation pieces, and commentaries about the game we are all involved in. The different forms of EVE related metagame have continuously evolved over the years and resulted in ever more complex and sophisticated forms of player organisation, third-party services, political strategies, combat tactics and player narratives. The EVE related media landscape was always intertwined with those developments and grew alongside other metagaming methods. The very fact that I have only covered the development of three particularly prominent media sites while there are a multitude of blogs, podcasts, audio and video streams and graphic design shows quite clearly how rich and diverse EVE related media is, and more than a few of those content producers have their own agendas in the media meta.
Tags: en24, Eve News 24, media, metagame, tarek, The Mittani, tmc

About the author

Tarek Raimo

Former nullsec spy (no not under that name of course) and current failure at lowsec solo PVP, Tarek spends his time not logging in to the game as much as he keeps thinking about its social and metagame nature and sharing some of those thoughts with the CZ readers.

  • Matterall

    We love reading CZ over at EN24. The part where you guys have high quality, analytical pieces is true. Hopefully this adds to your excellent piece (without making too many spelling errors, which is also true for me at least):

    1. the pressure to get page views (to make income) is really an issue of frequency, not quality. We only see readership dips when nothing is publishes, or 1 or 2 articles per day. Longer, more thoughtful pieces don’t really add to readership (as you know). Consistency does and that is less taxing with smaller articles. So for us, there is no pressure to produce short fast articles, no pressure to make money.

    2. Historically you are right about EN24 – it started as a rumor site, with very short stories and usually anti-goon. But that was LONG ago and Riv, who throws sharp elbows and took many from pro-Goons is essentially retired. He runs the servers and has nothing to do with content. It’s not really fair to think of EN24 as an anti-goon outlets anymore – Bobmon (editor) is about pro game stuff and the staff generally avoid taking sides in the writing. We have CFC writers but they use other names to avoid retaliation – which is true and sad. Bobmon and senior writers all steer away from criticizing other media outlets on our site. We try to talk about the game – especially what’s going on IN it.

    3. EN24 has improved quiet a bit after loosing good writers. We have excellent Battle reports from Sulivan Harddin who is simply amazing at putting out good stories consistently. Tiberius Stargazer compiles volumes of facts for big events like CSM elections and AT all in one story. And we have new writers that are starting to get their legs, like Dracos Rhaghar, who chase down facts.

    4. Yes we could use better editing. it might be the speed, but I think there is no excuse. We moved up some guys to proofread and that helps.

    5. One problem we wrestle with is good stories being buried by short ones. And that will get fixed soon with a layout and composition update – as mentioned by Bobmon at EVE_NT.

    The only prob (personally, not from EN24) with TMC is that it has the potential to leverage EVE players OUT of EVE by talking up alternatives too much. Sure it can leverage other players into EVE as well, so maybe it’s a wash.

    Anyway – good piece, normally I skip self-referencing material but you’re a good writer worth reading.

    • Kamar Raimo

      I had quite some difficulty writing about CZ and was afraid it would come across as too self-congratulatory. I excuse myself by saying that all the best stuff I said about the site was about a time before I joined.

      As for your points, they definitely provide further insight and critique. When I was with EN24 it was in the middle of the transition that you now see coming to fruition, and many things were still pretty chaotic. A lot of the “anti Goon” bias is a carryover from the past of course, although syndicating Gevlon’s blog doesn’t help. I do realize though, that even the likes of Gevlon Goblin generate hits, and in all honesty, his pieces often have very well crafted data analysis in them. His overall message is just a bit crazy.

      As for competing with reddit, that is a battle you will never win, but it is also one that doesn’t have to be fought. There is rarely any context and certainly not much depth in the reddit news aggregation. Sure, a link to the newest devblog will be there first, but that just forces us to provide an interpretation.

      The time where we can just copy&paste articles is definitely over with reddit, and that is also why I see the EVE side of writing on TMC to be on the decline because they don’t take much of an effort anymore these days. When you see how much better pieces they write about other games or even space exploration, then I get the impression that the EVE content of their site has become much more of an obligatory effort for them rather than something they are dedicated to.

      • Matterall

        Thanks, and…

        FYI – We don’t syndicate Goblin anymore, since he called someone who got ganked a retard (months ago). And he’s countered the “NC’s Changing Faces” article on his blog (which we think is great and fine), but he’s not affiliated with EN24 at this time. He and Riverini both share that hard edge writing style, but we’ve moved away from that approach.

        The TMC EVE coverage did wane and looks to have rebounded, but that was my point – they seem to be attracting players out of EVE. You put your finger on it – coverage was better for other games.

        As for reddit – they are competition for page hits, not content. I’ve always thought curated content is better than crowed sourced. There is so much noise getting scraps of facts on reddit that “news sites” will always be needed. Well, hopefully.

        • Kamar Raimo

          You stopped syndicating Gevlon Goblin because he called someone a retard? Damn, with those standards you probably have to go through the EVE playerbase with a fine comb to find people who can write for you 😀

      • Dirk MacGirk

        I wouldn’t call it obligatory. It’s not like TMC is intentionally avoiding EVE articles as a subject topic. As with anything else, its about writers writing about what they want to write about. Probably based on what they are playing. There’s no pressure to cover a specific topic or title. Now maybe that latitude to be able to write about one’s topic of choice has created a situation where the end result is fewer articles about EVE. But for the site as a whole, I’m certain TMC would be more than happy to have more EVE articles. But writers write about what they’re feeling, not necessarily what the site is feeling.

        And for the record, I used to write for EN24, or submitted my articles there, long before I switched over to TMC. And I was in the CFC at the time. The only reason I switched was for a change of personal pace, but that didn’t stop what happened anyway, and that was about just being tired of writing on top of everything else I was doing. (Being multimedia is hard LOL.)

        I never worried about the whole idea of any of the sites being biased. I think most of that comes from the early days or is in the head of the readers based on who is behind the site. As a writer nobody should care about stuff like that unless you think it is actually influencing what you’re writing, and I never experienced that behind the scenes at either place. For sure it was never a situation of something like MSNBC vs. Fox, which is pretty much the gold standard for institutional bias. Part of me would like to think that bias is bad for business, but if Fox News proves anything its that its absolutely not bad for business. For MSNBC I’m not so sure their slant has really helped them with ratings. But here, in EVE media, I think its better for business to not have an institutional bias. Let the writers write and editors edit and hope readers like what they are reading enough to frequent the site. Or, go to TotalEve dot commmmmm and pick the stories you want to read from all over.

        • Kamar Raimo

          Good points as always.

          I didn’t mean to say TMC only writes about EVE because they feel they must, but with the generally better coverage of other games the overall impression of the site’s content tends to be that EVE is being sidelined.

          I agree with you on the institutional bias, but on the other hand, a site also has to give itself a character just like the classical newspapers had an editorial line that they followed. In my home country we had (and still have) newspapers that were strongly leaning towards different major groups in society. Conservatives, liberals, socialists, catholics and protestants. They would equally aim for fair reporting, but what they reported on and how they did it was very much geared towards the community of readers. The “founding statement” of TMC very much expresses a similar idea. This also goes beyond EVE as they state that they recognise their readers to be interested in the broader subjects of (computer)games and scifi. I see nothing intrinsically wrong wit that.

          It does become a problem when the divisions become too extreme-like Fox News and MSNBC-and the positions become so polarised that t becomes difficult to reach across the aisle.

        • Matterall

          Although MSNBC is not that great, its no Fox news. Fox news viewers are the least informed viewers for domestic and international news. In both cases they know less than people who don’t watch news.

          http://www.businessinsider.com/study-watching-fox-news-makes-you-less-informed-than-watching-no-news-at-all-2012-5

          • Dirk MacGirk

            My point was it caters to the left the way fox caters to the right. And viewers of either don’t think their network of choice is biased at all.

          • Matterall

            I got that – Just a cheap-shot at Fox on my part.

            But also, on bias: EN24 takes on the personality of the guy paying. When it was Riv, he liked fast pace, “you heard it here first,” anti goon articles. Edgy. And it worked, people at that up. Without that EN24 might not be here.

            I see one problem: CZ wants exclusivity to writers. You can’t write for anyone else. The Imperium doesn’t allow (informal pressure) it’s players to write for EN24, or even talk to reporters. EN24 has no such restrictions. If I could I’d write for all three – putting longer more analytical pieces in CZ and short BR’s or rumors on EN24. And whatever was in between on TMC.

            There’s something selfish going on with news sites and it’s either about the money or about the brand. Could just be the meta-media tycoon RPing of building a news outlet. Maybe the sense of competition? Who knows. Point is there are forces that don’t want to unify, and that’s too bad because one really well run news site for EVE would be a great thing to see.

          • Kamar Raimo

            It’s not entirely true that CZ wants writers to write for them exclusively. What I got told was that CZ wants to make the fist call on everything I want to publish. I admit that *effectively* that leads to exclusivity because most people don’t manage to write that much to go and publish it all over the place.

            I have heard it being said, that TMC is guilty of draining the independent EVE blogosphere of writers because they draw them all in to write for them instead. If that were the case, the same could be said for CZ because I wrote for a friend’s blog before starting here, and I stopped. EN24 is probably less likely to have that effect because you guys syndicate other people’s content

          • Matterall

            I think we just don’t care. More the merrier. Again, poeple who read one will likely read all three, so it doesn’t matter as long writers keep posting.

          • Kamar Raimo

            Yeah, TotalEVE and other aggregators that have existed before it are great. For me they have become almost unmissable because I tend to forget checking all the blogs, despite RSS feeds. It just works better when you can go look on one site and check what’s new and read the first few lines.

            Those aggregators are providing a great service, as does EVEpodcasts

          • Dirk MacGirk

            I’ve said that myself, on podside in fact a couple episodes ago. Never got to finish the thought since it was also the TMC is evil and trying to ruin EVE episode. It’s crossed my mind that media consolidation would allow for all sorts of things. But it would never happen. Personalities at the top and all that. Someone would lose. Then there is the idea of going so far as to try and corral the independents like podcasts and blog writers into some unified group ends up being answered with incredulity that someone would even suggest that they give up their personal independence and answer to the man and all that. EVE Media – more fragmented than nullsec.

          • Matterall

            Dirk, start something. I’ll join you. You can be leader.

          • Dirk MacGirk

            Not me. I don’t push buttons anywhere. I value the people who take the time to organize. I couldn’t even be bothered to set up my own blog back in the day just to toss some written words out. I’ll read and investigate and do whatever it takes to try and learn about a subject. But when it comes to bothering with herding the cats, both front line and back office: Nope, that’s not my hobby. Same went with the Eve Media Round Table. An attempt at bringing together various voices from around the spectrum to focus on a specific topic in a semi-moderated atmosphere. Problem with even that was in trying to get people who are already committed to their primary outlet to make the time for it consistently. Like I said, I value the people willing to put in the
            organizational time. The people who handle the editing and websites and recording and all that. The content providers are great, but they’d all be random individuals without the back office side. And either they do it for themselves on top of the content, or they hook up with a group. Hence why I just found sites to publish on. Now I can’t even do that. My gig is show up for a show and chat.

            Keeping writers writing, and content providers delivering whatever content they create is the absolute biggest issue each site deals with. For 99.9% of the people involved in all of this, it’s a side project, a passion related to a hobby. Writing, and writing well, takes time and effort, and its easy to burn out. So there always needs to be new blood coming in. Every site has suffered from it or will suffer from it.

          • Matterall

            Yeah that sums it up, but don’t discount the value of the “content provider.”

            I’ve been on both sides. I made evebattles-com (in 2010) looked great, worked fine, but no writers beyond me… it died. I do the EN24 podcast; hardest part is getting good guests, bad guests bad show.

            I can program and art direct (hobbie portfolio http://s138.photobucket.com/user/bakkhai/library/Porfolio)… and still won’t go out on my own because… need the talkers. 🙂 The idea guys that make it worth listening to.

          • Kamar Raimo

            I absolutely understand the sentiment 🙂

  • JZ909

    I read all three sites. CZ does the best for analytical pieces, EN24 does the best for battle reports, and TMC is a good mix of the two.

    Right now, the JEFFRAIDER show is probably my favorite EVE media and puts CZ at the lead for me. It’s chill, positive, not too political, and JEFFRAIDER is a really good interviewer. He talks enough to keep the conversation on track but not so much to dominate and ruin the discussion.

    • Kamar Raimo

      Yeah, he does a great job. I generally get the impression that many podcasts have become better at managing a larger panel. Hydrostatic have done that a few times now, and the EN24 podcast as well. These days you can even find structured and well moderated discussions on podside sometimes.

    • Smokey

      Being chill and fairly positive makes for a good podcast. My issue is that as an avid podcast listener, tjs offers me the same as other podcasts, in a slightly different delivery style.

      I have more apreciation for new ideas/themes like evereader (rip), hydrostatic lore panels, the learning cliff, ccp uncloaked. The old shit on kugu had a good style, with many guests joking and telling stories, too bad it died.

  • I enjoy reading the articles from each of the sites. With this in mind, the writing on CZ seems to be more articulate. When I use a combination of these three sites, I am usually able to find a semblance of truth. For the most part, CZ produces quality content. Unfortunately, just like any real world media entity some material is of lower quality. For instance, a show that I have enjoyed until recently, the JeffRaiderShow. Episode 4 approached a Rush Limbaugh level of vulgarity. I don’t mind a bit of cursing but after a certain threshold, it detracts from the topic and the material.

    • Kamar Raimo

      Well, it had DurrHurrDurr in it. Did you really expect civilised conduct?

      • Dirk MacGirk

        Now see, I though DHD, along with Grath, made that episode pretty damn entertaining to listen to. In fact, I don’t even recall DHD being vulgar. Grath on a couple of occasions, but that’s Grath; and a Grath that doesn’t sound like Grath isn’t as entertaining. Seriously, I don’t listen to DHD very often, just don;t see/hear him around the holes I frequent, but I found absolutely nothing wrong with what he had to say or the way he said it. Different tastes I guess.

        • Kamar Raimo

          It was more of a joke tbh, and yeah, Grath was way more extreme with the profanities. While I’m not one of the people who go all “language please” when I hear people say shit and fuck and all that kind of stuff, I’m sorta with Firiel there. I know that among some people it’s considered to be a cool and edgy thing to swear a lot, it usually just makes you sound like some piece of gutter trash if you keep throwing the expletives into every sentence.

    • Dirk MacGirk

      I don’t listen very often to Rush these days, but I didn’t know he used vulgarity on his radio show. Unless by vulgarity you mean “views I don;t agree with”.

      • Vulgarity is the quality of being common, coarse, or unrefined. This judgement may refer to language, visual art, social classes, or social climbers.

        My comment is my opinion, which is offered to the author and Crossing Zebras as constructive criticism aimed at professional and profitable improvement of site material.

        • Dirk MacGirk

          Oh. Didn’t realize you weren’t being common in your use of the term vulgar. Every once in a while one of the intelligentsia slips in and their references and allusions get lost in the mix of common communication.

          • Kamar Raimo

            We seem to attract those intellectual types here who actually write whole paragraphs in the comments. No idea where they all come from.

  • Semideus

    I very much enjoy the article’s on CZ aswell as the battlereports on EN24.

  • Freelancer117

    Nice article,

    “If we all reacted the same way, we’d be predictable, and there’s always more than one way to view a situation. What’s true for the group is also true for the individual. It’s simple: Overspecialize, and you breed in weakness. It’s slow death.”

    source: Major Motoko Kusanagi

    • Kamar Raimo

      +1 for the GitS reference

  • Mike

    I haven’t visited TMC since I found out I was banned from comments for who the heck knows.