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June 20, 2007

Everything I Read Online is Pornography

I'm sitting in the airport in Dayton. It has free wireless Internet, which is good, but over on top of that free wireless Internet is the Webmarshal filtering system, which is bad. It's bad because it is apparently absolutely indiscriminate in what it classifies as pornography, and, thus, blocks.

Among the sites currently blocked as "porn": Boing Boing, Google's blog search, Gawker, and all of LiveJournal. All of it! So is MySpace! And Facebook! Apparently Webmarshal is convinced that every single social networking/blogging site is endemically plastered with Goatse double-penetration felch hentai or something. Sure, maybe parts are. But surely not all. And certainly not the parts I want to visit. My days of grooving to Goatse double-penetration felch hentai are over. Most days. And even if they weren't, I'm not going to try to access any of it in public. I don't want to get thrown out of the airport, you know. I do have a flight to catch.

Even Whatever is not immune to Webmarshal's charms -- I can access it, but not before having to go a screen that warns me that there's harsh language here (which is totally fucking untrue), and that my access is being noted by the system administrator. Well, let him note it. In 30 minutes, I'll be on a plane.

Anyway, note to Webmarshal: Your Web filtering sucks. And yes, I fully expect Whatever to be blocked as pornography the next time I come through Dayton's airport. This is what I get for writing "Goatse double-penetration felch hentai."

(Update: Heh. It actually got blocked within 30 seconds. I can update to the site, apparently -- I just can't see it. Ridiculous.)

Posted by john at June 20, 2007 08:45 AM

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Bill | June 20, 2007 09:10 AM

Interesting. The top five google results for Goatse double-penetration felch hentai are a German, Chinese, Russian, and Netherlands site. And a refinance site. Which makes me think two things:
1) Americans need to have more domestic porn lest we become dependent upon foreign porn like we are dependent on foreign oil.
2) My mortgage company is way too prudish. I want to have Goatse double-penetration felch hentai as an option in my mortgage.

Chang, for rizzle. | June 20, 2007 09:12 AM

Huh. I don't know what they use at Logan airport, but I could see the whatever and boingboing and my LJ site just fine. And that was the week I did nothing but cover Goatse double-penetration felch hentai all day every day. Weird.

'Choo doing in an airport anyway?

Lugo | June 20, 2007 09:22 AM

I am so lame and out of it, I had to look up both Goatse and Hentai...

Charissa | June 20, 2007 09:24 AM

Okay, I could see library computers having such a ridiculously puritan web-nanny, but an airport?! Who cares what I'm accessing in an airport? Do they honestly believe they're protecting anyone, and if so, why do they think it's their job to do so?


KevinQ | June 20, 2007 09:33 AM

I work for a city government, and we have some of the most erratic web filtering I've ever seen. Myspace is blocked, livejournal isn't, and Facebook is blocked occasionally. Yahoo, Hotmail, and Gmail are not blocked, but the local University's webmail is (I work with a lot of students). The rest of the University's site is not blocked.

Penny Arcade is usually (but not always) blocked, PvP is never blocked, and VGCats is always blocked.

AIM is blocked, and starting last week so is Google's Talk widget, but you can still chat from inside the gmail screen.

My guess is that the webmaster simply looks at his logs each week, and blocks the top-requested site, regardless of actual content. It's the only answer that makes sense.


John Klima | June 20, 2007 09:40 AM

That's totally fucking hilarious. Our blocker at the college here seems absolutely random. Sites like Stuff magazine is blocked but Maxim magazine is not.

Usually it's the type of things you'd expect, but the above example I just don't get. One of the IS guys must be a fan of Maxim or something.

Cassie | June 20, 2007 09:40 AM

I don't have to know what those things are, do I?

Janiece | June 20, 2007 09:43 AM

Isn't paternalism grand? Especially from an airport. Good Grief...

Steve Buchheit | June 20, 2007 10:00 AM

Mr. Scalzi? The TSA would like to have a word with you. You have been randonly selected for a full body-cavity search.

cathy | June 20, 2007 10:03 AM

The webfilter here at work (federal agency) is somewhat erratic. I've never tried to actually access porn, because I don't want to get fired. However, for a while it was blocking access to the Northern Virginia Dr. Who Viewing Society site. No clue why. The best I could come up with was maybe it was on the same server as a porn site. The webfilter also treats all streaming video as probably being porn and blocks it, So I lose bits of msnbc and cnn and other news sites.

Tom Brandt | June 20, 2007 10:05 AM

I must lead an incredibly sheltered life. I don't even know what "Goatse double-penetration felch hentai" is.

Steve Buchheit | June 20, 2007 10:10 AM

Tom Brandt, consider yourself lucky.

Chris Gerrib | June 20, 2007 10:19 AM

I am the IT director at work, and have been actively involved in web site filtering for years. Not that I want to be the Internet cop. Frankly, if your Internet surfing habits are getting in the way of work, that's your boss's problem, not mine.

But anyway. Most of these web-filtering products have a canned list of site categories to block. For example, the product we use has the categories "sex," "adult," and "lingerie / bikini." A third-party rating company surfs the Net and puts web pages into the appropriate category. (Yes, Virginia, people do get paid to surf the Net.)

The first problem is that "adult" is defined by most of these sites as "mature language," not, as you would think, "pornographic."

The second problem, or rather point of confusion, is that there are a number of reasons to block sites. We block YouTube at work because it sucks a lot of bandwidth. Two people looking at streaming video can bring the main Internet line to a standstill. Webmail is usually blocked in corporate environments because that bypasses email virus scans and other malware filters.

Heavy MySpace users can suck a ton of bandwidth (because they're on it ALL DAY) and MySpace is virus / malware heaven. Lastly, as noted above, most of these products allow whitelisting of specific sites or domains.

Joyce Reynolds-Ward | June 20, 2007 10:26 AM

Meanwhile, my filter at work cites "social networking" as one cause to filter sites.


KevinQ | June 20, 2007 10:39 AM

Tom Brandt,

I must lead an incredibly sheltered life. I don't even know what "Goatse double-penetration felch hentai" is.

Unfortunately, I know all of them, except for "felch." From context clues, however, I'm pretty happy to remain ignorant.


An Eric | June 20, 2007 10:54 AM

Ah, KevinQ, but because of that you missed out on a truly very funny sight-gag on Family Guy. (A community center's announcement board attempts to advertise a public showing of Chevy Chase's Fletch by a local dyslexia support group. Yes, I know explaining sight-gags doesn't really work. Sorry. But it really is pretty funny.)

Tom Brandt | June 20, 2007 11:06 AM

Steve Buchheit:
Tom Brandt, consider yourself lucky.

I did a bit of Googling, and you were right.

rayyy | June 20, 2007 11:30 AM

You too John? Dayton's dippy Webmarshal recently swaggered in and saved me from (gasp!) Google News.

I felt like I was in China. Being really naughty. Quite a buzz :)

PixelFish | June 20, 2007 11:37 AM

I wonder why the Dayton airport has a filtering program ANYWAY. Generally speaking, most children in the airport would have parents with them.

Anyway, I hate filtering programs. They're applied so arbitrarily, and they often cut out things which are perfectly legit, while My art website got blocked by a few major programs because they used the same database which spidered folks, and picked up my blog link to my friend's site which had the blog title of "Mental Masturbation." (She used to be the number 1 hit for "masturbation" during 2000-2003ish, although really I only recall her discussing it once ever.) Anyway, we were all blocked as porn sites. Yay!

My favourite story is how Dick Armey's campaign site was once blocked by numerous sites such as Net Nanny and CYBERsitter, because it contained frequent usage of the word "dick".

Bitter | June 20, 2007 11:41 AM

Does this now mean that I can't check the Whatever at work?...Thanks to this little post, it probably does trigger all sorts of alerts and filters.

Since my boss is over IT, it might be a little embarassing when they tell him I'm visiting inappropriate sites at work....Now I'm really bitter.

Carol Elaine | June 20, 2007 11:53 AM

I work for a government entity and have had no problem accessing anything I've wanted to access. Then again, I've never tried to access porn sites while at work because I'm not stupid.

As for the whole Goaste thing, I know what every word except Goatse means. I'll look that one up when I get back home.

Tor | June 20, 2007 11:59 AM


Reading the word 'felch' on the computer screen is not wrong, nor does it create liability for sexual harassment/hostile work environment. You boss may be interested that you are wasting your time at work reading a blog, but just because some idiot web filter calls something obscene, it doesn't actually mean that it is...

Paul | June 20, 2007 11:59 AM

By my count to this point, two people admit to having googled "goatse" because John mentioned it. According to official rules, John wins this Internet game. Well played, John.

On topic: a friend and I recently had a discussion regarding The Whatever. Seems he had never heard of Bacon Cat. I sent him links to the relevant posts, and he found that his office web filter allowed him to access the post wherein you threaten to tape bacon to your cat, but not the post in which you actually perpetrate the act. So, discussing taping bacon to a cat is OK, but presenting photographs of the result is PR0N!!!1

Espana Sheriff | June 20, 2007 12:17 PM

"The first problem is that "adult" is defined by most of these sites as "mature language,""

Maturity? On the webz? As if.

My current workplace has no filters at all thank goodness... although now and then it might have been handy (I read warrenellis.com)

Jim Wright | June 20, 2007 12:23 PM

Agh! I googled Goatse. Agh! Now I've got that in my head. Thanks, Scalzi, thanks a whole lot. I'm not going to look up the rest of it - I can live without knowing. I'm going fishing and try to rinse this out of my head.

Anonymous | June 20, 2007 12:23 PM

I think some folks here are gonna need some cute baby unicorn chasers after following their curiosity.

Nathan | June 20, 2007 12:35 PM

Unicorns chasing Goatse? Aghhhhhhhh!

Tlönista | June 20, 2007 12:36 PM

Interesting. The top five google results for Goatse double-penetration felch hentai are a German, Chinese, Russian, and Netherlands site.

Get on the ball, people. Let's make the top Google result for Goatse double-penetration felch hentai an American site. Getcher homegrown Goatse double-penetration felch hentai here!

...not the best Googlebomb idea? never mind then...

yoshi | June 20, 2007 12:44 PM

I work security so the setup for web browsing filters usually falls under my jurisdiction. I agree with everything that Chris Gerrib mentioned but I'll like to bring up two other points: laws. Countries have them and they are all different. One country's laws will be different than another - so if you have one internet connection for multiple countries you have to go with the least common denominator.

Second you also have liability issues. If someone sees a pair of boobies - they can cry sex discrimination and sue (its happen and they won)

But like Gerrib - I feel its the manager responsibility to deal with employee issues. However - we log -everything-. So if a manager comes to us and we pull the logs and detect a pattern of going to "bad stuff" - I will be more than happy to report you to HR and have you fired. But its got to be pretty serious.

Pete | June 20, 2007 12:52 PM

Fortunately, I work at a college where the faculty has admittedly said they will not tolerate any type of filtering software that may impede with research or first amendment rights. As a result, only certain file types are blocked.

As the Webmaster, I've run into issues with our firewall blocking access to .tgz files. That's about the only problem I've had, though.

Dave S | June 20, 2007 12:55 PM

Get on the ball, people. Let's make the top Google result for Goatse double-penetration felch hentai an American site. Getcher homegrown Goatse double-penetration felch hentai here!

12:51 PM Eastern: Whatever is #1
Fortunately no hits come back using Google Images.

Pete | June 20, 2007 12:56 PM

Excuse my reliance on Firefox's spell checker. The faculty is adimately opposed.

Mary | June 20, 2007 12:56 PM

Should I be proud or embarrassed that the only term I had to Google was "hentai"?

I know you claimed that your new green background was just a heavily filtered and processed picture of your lawn, John, but now that I look closely, all I see is goatse. Tsk.

Bitter | June 20, 2007 01:07 PM

Yes Tor, that is most of the problem. Guess I'd better get back to work.

Nathan | June 20, 2007 01:26 PM


Did you mean Adamantly? lol.

Ewan | June 20, 2007 01:49 PM

New poll:

Which, if any of the following terms would you be unable to define?
* goatse
* felch

...I do *like* this particular Googlebomb, I admit :).

Janiece | June 20, 2007 01:59 PM


None of the above, actually, and based on Jim Wright's comments about the image burned into his brain as a result of his search, I am content to linger in blissful ignorance. Yikes!

Eric | June 20, 2007 02:24 PM

At Penguicon, somebody said, "The Internet is our collective unconsciousness."

Charles Stross replied (roughly), "Yes, and in that collective unconsciousness, we have Lovecraftian nightmares--like Goatse."

You have been warned.

This particular nightmare just drove Jim Wright to shrill, unholy madness. You have been warned again.

Some tips for the overly curious:

  1. It isn't work-safe.
  2. It isn't anytime safe.
  3. You don't want to know. Really.
  4. In fact, you'd be better off investigating certain forgotten plateaus in Antarctica. Go say hello to the nameless dread that predates the dawn of Earthly life. You'll be happier that way.

Jeff Hentosz | June 20, 2007 02:30 PM

A PSA from me, Jeff Hentosz: Hi. If you or someone you love isn't familiar with the meaning of any or all of the search terms John mentioned in his post, listen to Eric. Take a tip from Janiece and Jim Wright, and just say "no" to the Google. I feel safe in guessing all you really want is the assurance that each of those words describes an activity which is, at the very least, frowned upon by the Old Testament. And so they are.

Why not take a short break from teh Intertubes, right now? Hug your kid or SO, give your pet a snack, or just go outside and rub a dandelion under your chin, secure in the knowledge you won't require a trip to the Alaskan back country to clear your head. Thanks for listening, and Peace.

Janiece | June 20, 2007 02:34 PM

Curiousity killed the cat - and the engineer.

I have now joined Jim Wright in his shrill, unholy madness, and will henceforth run willy-nilly to the river in Alaska where he is fishing and drown myself in an effort to remove the image from my brain.


Carol Elaine | June 20, 2007 02:41 PM

I know it's all manner of ew (just from the words in that phrase that I do know), but damn it! I'm double curious now! It's going to be very hard to keep from Googling the one word I don't know before I leave work.

(Like Mary, I don't know if I should be proud or embarrassed that I only have to look up one word...)

Mike Fullerton | June 20, 2007 02:47 PM

You're better off not looking it up, trust me. :-P

Seth Breidbart | June 20, 2007 02:55 PM

Just remember this: you can't unclick. No matter how much you want to wash your brain out with strong bleach, you still can't unclick.

(It's nice having a colo server. All anybody else cares about is that I don't spam with it. I can ssh tunnel for anything I want, and public places don't block ssh.)

Tor | June 20, 2007 02:56 PM

Personally, I think the more knowledge you have the better off you are, so I'm actually a little disappointed that I knew all the words on the list. In fact, I've written 'stories' using all three of those terms in close proximity to each other. And dammit, I'm proud of that.

Sigh, I was hoping for some new words to google.

Eric | June 20, 2007 03:06 PM

Let's put it this way: If you absolutely must know about Goatse, despite all the warnings, look for a textual description without the infamous picture.

Then, armed with this knowledge, decide whether you want to see the picture itself.

Most people, I think, will be able to satisfy their curiosity from a textual description. My previous warning was too flippant--I'm really not trying to convince people to look at deliberate gross-out images.

Steve Buchheit | June 20, 2007 03:07 PM

Oh look, there's a run on Mental Floss at the CVS Drugstore.

Mary | June 20, 2007 03:11 PM

Wikipedia has a purely textual description of goatse, with very clearly labelled links to the image. Be warned: even though this is textual, the Wiki page will probably not be safe for work.

Camron | June 20, 2007 03:17 PM

I wish I had read Eric's post before I searched for the terms. But I didn't know any of the words (well, other than d-p), so I felt I needed to educate myself. I'm so, so sorry I did that. I'm heading to Alaska with Jim and Janiece, right after I find the cute baby unicorn chasers.

Captain Button | June 20, 2007 03:43 PM

Clearly many people are in need of a preventative meausre to protect them. Like this mouse pad.

(Link is to a webcomic mechandise sales site. I have no affiliation with the site other than as a customer.)

Let your conscience be your guide.

Gabriele | June 20, 2007 03:44 PM

Maybe some of the more weird filters don't really filter for porn but for political content. Let's face it, our Shrubby friend in the White House isn't happy to be called an illiterate moron and belligerous idiot, and I know some people on who do just that online. Perhaps it's that what gets LJ and blogs blocked by airport filters.

Sorry, I'm afraid my comment will probably block your blog better than any hentai. *grin*

Captain Button | June 20, 2007 03:46 PM

Whereas I, of course, badly need to proofread more carefully before pressing "post".

Carol Elaine | June 20, 2007 04:36 PM

Y'all say not to click, but then y'all provide links that invite me, entice me to click. I can hear the links calling my name oh so seductively (with a strangely manly voice). Y'all are so very cruel.

No, not while at work. I will not succumb!

But once I get home? That's a whole other story.

Joyce Reynolds-Ward | June 20, 2007 04:37 PM

Goatse was the only word I didn't know, and I followed the wiki link.

Eww. I'm off to Alaska, folks.

Old Jarhead | June 20, 2007 04:40 PM

"Mr. Scalzi? The TSA would like to have a word with you. You have been randonly selected for a full body-cavity search."

Right, Steve, and they will use a cardboard paper towel tube, some cheese, and a match so that they can restage the greatest web urban legend in history. Bring on the gerbils!!!!


Anonymous | June 20, 2007 04:44 PM

Gabrielle, it is really poor form to call someone else illiterate in a post that contains silly mistakes. I believe you mean to call him a belligerent idiot?

Mary | June 20, 2007 04:54 PM

Did someone ask for a gerbil? All I have on hand is this prairie dog. (Safe for work, but you might want to check your speaker volume).

John H | June 20, 2007 05:18 PM

Steve Bucheit: You have been randonly selected for a full body-cavity search.

Which will be administered in a Goatse double-penetration felch hentai manner.

Janiece | June 20, 2007 05:20 PM

John H,

I can't go much further than Alaska without leaving the planet, you know - double ew.

Susan | June 20, 2007 05:25 PM

Oh...the humanity. Did I really have to see that - and people think the birth scene in "Knocked Up" is bad.

doubt | June 20, 2007 05:38 PM

Once upon a time, I let curiousity get the better of me, and went looking to find out what the goatse thing was all about. I didn't think there was anything out there so bad I'd actually want to unsee it afterwards.

No longer.

John H | June 20, 2007 05:47 PM

If you want some really disgusting pics, go to Google Images and turn off the SafeSearch. Then let your imagination run wild...

Steve Buchheit | June 20, 2007 05:49 PM

John H and Old Jarhead, yep, those are part of the joke. I was also going to include a line about "please assume the position" but I thought that would be over the top.

John H | June 20, 2007 05:49 PM

Sorry Janiece...

Janiece | June 20, 2007 05:53 PM

John H - it's just the mental image of Scalzi in such a position that makes me run screaming into the night. I'm sure you understand. *grin*

Kameron Hurley | June 20, 2007 06:00 PM

YES. I had the same issue when I was headed out to WisCon from Dayton. I couldn't even access my own blog...

Frank Dreier | June 20, 2007 06:07 PM

Unicorns chasing Goatse? Aghhhhhhhh!

Aren't unicorns generally associated with virgins? I'd find this to be quite a fascinating twist to the story, and it would certainly give the character more depth. Not that he needs it. (Rimshot)

CaseyL | June 20, 2007 06:26 PM

I looked at the wiki entry for Goatse.

I am forever pathetically grateful there were no pictures.

Though it would have been interesting to have someone take a picture of my face as I read the definition. I think my eyebrows almost sprained themselves.

I'm not sure I should wait a few hours to look up the other terms, or get it all done now like ripping off a bandaid all at once.

MWT | June 20, 2007 06:32 PM

*looked up every single word on Wikipedia*

*has taken on a distinctly greenish tinge*

*books tickets to Alaska*

On the bright side, I'm glad that Wikipedia had text descriptions of everything so I wouldn't have to throw myself at the mercy of Google's image results...

Thomas | June 20, 2007 06:47 PM

Hey, I was having a similar problem at work and on the road, and I found a solution that really works well for me.

With some fairly irritating but totally worth it steps, you can set up your laptop to tunnel all your web requests through your home computer. This means that you ask your computer for the webpage you want to look at, and it downloads and sends the content on to you. The user experience is pretty seamless, you're just surfing the web as always.

This has some advantages, most notably that since it goes through SSH, your traffic is encrypted... which is nice if you happen to be looking at email or say, your banking site on the nice open public WiFi spot.

The other advantage is that as far as the filtering software knows, you're just sending repeated requests to your home IP (which shouldn't be blocked by the filtering software), and you can even use Dyndns or a similar service so you don't have to try and figure out what your IP is on a given day.

All this assumes that you have broadband at home and don't mind leaving the computer on while you're trying to surf from the road, of course.

Here's the guide I used. Although it's a complicated process to set up, I just followed the instructions and everything worked out pretty well:

The article is called SSHirking Work. Clever!

Tania | June 20, 2007 07:12 PM

As the Alaskan that is familiar with all the terms, and the unicorn chaser reference, I offer myself up as a contact find you all a lovely remote cabin with wildflowers, friendly critters, and glorious scenery.

Since I work at a hospital, I can also hunt up a counselor to help you work through the trauma you inflicted on yourselves by looking up that crazy stuff.

We have SmartFilter at work. It is a ridiculous piece of crap. I especially like how it bans me from looking up legitimate work related stuff. It's too much hassle to get a site whitelisted.

zakur | June 20, 2007 07:26 PM


"I could see library computers having such a ridiculously puritan web-nanny..."

Whoa, there! We librarians have fought filtering quite vociferously:

ALA's Resolution on the Use of Filtering Software in Libraries

Ohio Library Council Intellectual Freedom Policy Statement

Janiece | June 20, 2007 07:51 PM

We librarians have fought filtering quite vociferously

That's because librarians ROCK.

Carol Elaine | June 20, 2007 08:11 PM

That's because librarians ROCK.

That they do. Librarians are made of complete awesome.

Martyn Taylor | June 20, 2007 09:10 PM

I wanted to book some tickets and couldn't find them on the normal sites, so, while at work, I typed 'Deep Purple' into Google and promptly got reported for trying to access a music site...

Omaha Lisa | June 20, 2007 09:28 PM

Congrats, John,
you're still # 1 on Google for searching on "Goatse double-penetration felch hentai"!

Naomi | June 20, 2007 09:42 PM

Funny you should mention this. I'm on the road at the moment and using my hotel's public terminal, and the Whatever is practically the only site on the Internet that isn't blocked by the hotel's net nanny. Go figure.

Carol Elaine | June 20, 2007 11:08 PM

So, uh, is there still room for that trip to Alaska?

Yeah, I'm home and I looked up goatse. Yeesh.

I gotta say, there is a contrary part of my brain that is thinking about the entire phrase and is wondering how it's physically possible. Obviously, brain lye is desparately needed.

Ya know, I think the real reason John posted this entry is to see how far his slavering minions would take it.

Natalie | June 20, 2007 11:15 PM

I work for the federal gov't and am not allowed to access the Whatever while at work. And this most recent post will not make that unhappen anytime soon, I expect. I had to look up all of the terms except double-p, and am also pathetically grateful for text descriptions. I've been through med school and seen some incredibly gross things, but just the description of goatse gave me a case of major heebie-jeebies...

Janiece | June 20, 2007 11:15 PM

Carol Elaine,

As Tania says, "the trauma you inflicted on yourselves by looking up that crazy stuff."

Guilty, guilty...and you can sit by me on the plane.

And I wouldn't put it past Scalzi - after all, we are sending him to the Creation Museum. Payback is a bitch!

Jim Wright | June 20, 2007 11:27 PM

What? This conversation is still going on? And you were talking about me while I was gone?

On the other hand, I did catch a 23lb King Salmon today - and didn't think about goats filching hamsters (or whatever it was).

Now, you'll have excuse me, I've got to get the grill started. Fresh salmon, with lemon and brown sugar, on the grill. The cats are doing back flips. Bawahahahaha!

Soni | June 20, 2007 11:54 PM

Just be thankful he didn't drag tubgirl into the picture. Can you buy eyebleach in bulk?

*evil grin*

Anonymous | June 21, 2007 12:36 AM

I had never heard the phrase "Goatse double-penetration felch hentai" inspite of being well over 60 years old. I wish I still didn't know them.

Patrick M. | June 21, 2007 12:47 AM

Is this seriously a post bitching about the quality or manner of a free service provided by an airport? Just checking, 'cause I'm not opposed to that.

gedalia | June 21, 2007 01:12 AM

well... after everybody above me mange to insert all the words that the blocking software search for it's no wonder that whatever is blocked :-)

MWT | June 21, 2007 01:52 AM

It was "felch" that did me in. Ewwwww... ewww... blech... *goes to retch*

And I REALLY DIDN'T NEED TO PICTURE goats felching hamsters. Possibly a goatsed hamster. Thanks so much, Jim. :p

*wanders off doing another round of ewwww's*

Carol Elaine | June 21, 2007 03:07 AM

I HAD to look it up, Janiece. I can't help it. If I were a cat, all nine of my lives would have been gone years ago. BTW, can I get a window seat?

Patrick M., that may have been where the post started, but that's not where it ended up! Still, I can see John's point. Yes, the airport has the right to block whatever it wants to block on a service it offers to its customers for free. However, the extreme lengths to which it goes to kepp our fragile little minds safe from bad stuff is ridiculous. I mean, Google's blog search? WTF?

Carol Elaine | June 21, 2007 03:09 AM

I HAD to look it up, Janiece. I can't help it. If I were a cat, all nine of my lives would have been gone years ago. BTW, can I get a window seat?

Patrick M., that may have been where the post started, but that's not where it ended up! Still, I can see John's point. Yes, the airport has the right to block whatever it wants to block on a service it offers to its customers for free. However, the extreme lengths to which it goes to kepp our fragile little minds safe from bad stuff is ridiculous. I mean, Google's blog search? WTF? I know it's done through some sort of algorithm, but it's a pretty bad one.

Carol Elaine | June 21, 2007 03:11 AM

Sorry for the double posting. Bad fingers! Bad!

Kathryn from Sunnyvale | June 21, 2007 04:51 AM

In 2000 the EFF awarded "librarians everywhere" the EFF's Pioneer award, calling librarians "the unsung heroes of the fight for free expression, intellectual freedom, and access to the Internet." Also awarded that year was Tim Berners-Lee. Yes, librarians rock.

Not long ago the FBI was complaining about 'radical militant librarians' refusing to just unquestioningly obey every FBI request. You think the government likes how libraries delete all records once the book is back?

(I'd like to note that if you look up "guild of radical militant librarians" there's at least one link that gets you to a spiffy "we know what you read, and we're not saying" t-shirt. Disclosure: I want to get one of these shirts, even though I'm not a librarian.)

S Andrew Swann | June 21, 2007 07:40 AM

Alex, I'd like to take "Things on the internet that would offend Tom Green" for $1000 . . .

Steve Buchheit | June 21, 2007 08:05 AM

Jim Wright, I hope you kept leftovers on that salmon, 'cause it looks like you're gonna have a lot of company up there real soon now.

Gabriele | June 21, 2007 08:07 AM

Hi Anonymous,
it wasn's a silly mistake, it was a logical one. -ous is one of the correct endings for an adjective, only it didn't fit 'belligerent'. Thanks for pointing that out.

Janiece | June 21, 2007 09:18 AM

Kathryn from Sunnydale,

I want one of those T-Shirts, too. Shiny librarians, yay!

Carol Elaine,

I'll arm-wrestle you for it...

John H | June 21, 2007 12:49 PM

S Andrew Swann: It wouldn't surprise me if Tom Green was the guy in the Goatse photo...

Carol Elaine: I gotta say, there is a contrary part of my brain that is thinking about the entire phrase and is wondering how it's physically possible.

Well, it would certainly depend with what the Goatse was being penetrated, and whether the felcher was using a straw. But since it's hentai it would be up to the animator to pull it all together.

Okay, I think I just grossed myself out...

Jim Wright | June 21, 2007 12:53 PM

Steve, well I've got some of the salmon left, but not enough to feed this crowd - and a couple of them are vegetarians so fish isn't going to work for everybody. Damn, guess I'll have make a grocery run into Anchorage. Going to need some more pillows and blankets too. Beer too.

On the other hand, can you imagine this crowd as a sleepover? How friggin' cool would that be?

Marcos | June 21, 2007 01:14 PM


and people think the birth scene in "Knocked Up" is bad

They do? Seriously? I was quite surprised that they put that in a mainstream movie, but there wasn't anything bad about it . . .

Carol Elaine | June 21, 2007 01:32 PM

Jim, if it'll help, I'll bring my own blanket and pillow. Or "borrow" the ones from the overhead compartment...

John H, it's nice to know that someone's mind goes off in odder directions than mine.

Carol Elaine | June 21, 2007 01:36 PM

Oh, and Janiece, you're on.

Brian | June 21, 2007 01:40 PM

Google 'onion routing', Scalzi. It's worked to get me around stuff like that. There is even a nifty widget you can add to firefox to turn it off/on.

Patrick M. | June 21, 2007 02:07 PM

Claire, The free coffee provided in the lobby of this office building is absolutely horrendous, disgusting even.

They aren't protecting you, they are protecting themselves. Likely they don't have an IT staff and they have outsourced it to someone and probably only made a decision as strong as, would you like the web filtering off, low, medium or high. :)

Oddly, my laptop CDMA card doesn't have any filtering... Huh. I can view porn in the airport. :)

John H | June 21, 2007 02:39 PM

Strange coincidence -- one of the onion routing networks is named Tor. Maybe PNH can get you hooked up...

Matt | June 21, 2007 06:05 PM


You forgot "bukkake". It is something you do not order in a sushi bar.

Janiece | June 21, 2007 06:26 PM

I have learned my lesson - this time I will not look up "bukkake." I have no desire to have some additional image of who-only-knows-what burned onto my retina.

Patrick M. | June 21, 2007 06:56 PM

Janiece, it is a small decorative rice cake served only at traditional holidays involving the mother spirit, if memory serves me correctly.

Hal | June 21, 2007 08:31 PM

When I am using someone else's WiFi, I set my browser and email client to proxy through an encrypted ssh tunnel to my home computer. From the point of view of the internet provider, I'm just sending a lot of random bits to and getting a lot of random bits from [withheld].dyndns.org on port 22.

wil | June 21, 2007 08:32 PM

Three points:

1. Boingboing has a very useful way to route around censorware, which you can't see if you're being censored. Ha.

2. You owe all of your readers a Unicorn Chaser after this.

3. Librarians rule the entire universe.

Andrew Wade | June 21, 2007 08:43 PM

Just be thankful he didn't drag tubgirl into the picture. Can you buy eyebleach in bulk? *evil grin*

I wonder if goatse broke my brain. After the first viewing, which did in fact freak me out, I now react more along the lines of "people are weird". As for tubgirl, "yeah, ok, that's gross". Smells make me nauseous in no time, but fortunately my browser doesn't support olfactory transport protocol.

S Andrew Swann | June 21, 2007 09:55 PM

Andrew Wade: whenever you start thinking, "ok, that's the limit, there's nothing left that can offend my sensibilities." You will inevitably come across something worse. . .

I came across a guro picture by accident and my brain actually could not process the data input. . .

I'll take Goatse over that any day.

Kathryn from Sunnyvale | June 21, 2007 10:04 PM


There's a photo-tag/meme out there along the lines of "first look at groatse." A good friend of mine got caught by that (one person showed the pic, another snapped a photo). Beware of people wanting to show you a pic on their smartphone if someone else is waiting with a cameraphone.

When I found out who did this, I gave them a good talking-to. It's one thing when people warn you and you choose to look anyways (i.e. like when H. Ellison wrote not to read all of Deathbird Stories in one day, believe him). It's another to surprise people.

I also highly recommend blocking "Snap Shots"- that webapp that pops up preview pics of websites when you mouse over / hoover over a link. Pranksters are known to put groatse and similarly icky pics in those.

Janiece and Carol,

Unlike yesterday, now the first hit on that "guild..." phrase/ search is the makers themselves.

(disclosure: I know them via a science fiction blog, but haven't (yet) bought any of their items.)

Andrew Wade | June 21, 2007 11:13 PM

Andrew Wade: whenever you start thinking, "ok, that's the limit, there's nothing left that can offend my sensibilities." You will inevitably come across something worse. . .

Oh, I didn't mean to imply that goatse/tubgirl didn't offend my sensibilities, good gracious no! (For a start I rather doubt either individual has given permission for their respective image to be circulated round the internet. And I disapprove of denigrating people for entertainment (and in most other contexts). I suspect the backstory of tubgirl is not a happy one.)

I came across a guro picture by accident and my brain actually could not process the data input. . .

I'll take Goatse over that any day.

*Google*. Hmm. Well. Yeah that's disturbing stuff. I think I'll stop before I find something that does have me reaching for the eyebleach.

Max | June 22, 2007 05:26 AM

Mr. Swann, having googled guro, I now hate you. Clearly, it's your fault I encountered such things--I have no personal responsibility.

So I've decided to burn my copies of your books.

Although, come to think of it, that'll just mean I have to buy them again, and doing so would put more money in your pocket. Hmm. Perhaps I should rethink that plan.

In all seriousness, the guro stuff made me momentarily nauseous. I'd like to believe no one could possibly get off on that kind of thing, but, well, my faith in humanity has long since perished.

Paul | June 22, 2007 10:34 AM

http://mingle2.com/blog-rating says your blog is rated NC-17.

My photoblog is rated G. Kinda makes me feel a little icky, in a Julie Andrews sort of way.

S Andrew Swann | June 22, 2007 11:09 AM

As a writer, I'm always impressed at achieving an NC-17 for language alone. . .

Martin Wisse | June 22, 2007 04:42 PM


Though it would have been interesting to have someone take a picture of my face as I read the definition. I think my eyebrows almost sprained themselves.

Some deranged people did just that...

Carol Elaine | June 22, 2007 05:08 PM

Mr. Swann, you are an evil man. I have a curiosity disorder and thus had no control over my Googling of guro (as well as tubgirl, Soni). Thankfully I was able to access text only descriptions, but I found them far more disturbing than the aforementioned phrase that shot Mr. Scalzi into the number one spot for...you know.

Because my curiosity disorder makes it impossible for me to forswear such Googling, thereby making me incapable of taking responsibility for my own actions, I will have to sue you, Soni and Scalzi for my emotional trauma. Please expect to hear from my legal team (Berman, Sherman and Schiff) within the next week.

Max, perhaps you could make copies of said Swann books, then burn the originals. You have his text, he gets no more money.

Then again, he's going to need the money once my lawyers contact him...

(Disclaimer: Carol Elaine does not advocate the copying of works when in violation of copyright or intellectual property laws. All opinions in this comment are the opinions of Carol Elaine alone and do not reflect the views of this establishment.)

My blog is rated PG. Crap.

S Andrew Swann | June 22, 2007 07:25 PM

Change the crap to s*it and you'll get an R

Soni | June 22, 2007 09:54 PM


Good luck with that. By virtue of spending a year serving in Americorps (yearly stipend - 10,900 before taxes), I am by default judgment proof. The only thing I have an appreciable amount of at the moment are dustbunnies the size of feral hamsters. Enjoy.

But by all means, please do have your legal team send some letters. That high cotton paper they use makes for a good source of free TP. :-P

BTW - ">here's something to keep you busy for a while. Not safe for work, but mainly because your co-workers will be startled by the constant explosions of nose-beveraging laughter and shrieks of hysterical disbelief. (Seriously funny stuff - I suggest starting at the very end and working your way forward, so as to fully appreciate the gut-busting previous-reference-jokes)

Heh heh. Now you have to look.

Soni | June 22, 2007 09:56 PM

crap, the link broke in transit (and I previewed it and everything. if this doesn't fix it, HELP SCALZI!

Soni | June 22, 2007 09:58 PM

Hey, it worked. So here's the link in plaintext, just so Carol doesn't go all 'splody due to unrequited curiosity. :-D


Martin Wisse | June 23, 2007 04:25 AM


What's so horrifying about a Seoul neighbourhood?

S Andrew Swann | June 23, 2007 08:57 AM

Martin Wisse: You have discovered the joy of multi-lingual homonyms.

You see, there was a *reason* I came across the *shudder* alternate meaning of the word by accident.

S Andrew Swann | June 23, 2007 09:10 AM

BTW- There's a Felch Michigan nestled in the base of the Upper Peninsula about 20 mi northeast of the Wisconsin border. Nearby is Felch Mountain MI, which may be another town, may be a geographic feature. . .

And I may not want to know that.

John H | June 23, 2007 01:10 PM

Isn't there also a Double Penetration, KY?

Gennita Low | June 23, 2007 09:12 PM

Damn, I was just doing my weekly porn search for new sites for Goatse double-penetration felch hentai and Google sent me here.

Melrose | June 23, 2007 10:21 PM

I've seen Tubgirl but I haven't seen goatse. Ah, the wonders of internet.

Also familiar with bukake, hentai, and double penetration.

Felch, well, if you browse or see enough hentai, you'll get that. With straws, even.

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