Ten Years Ago in MPS*…

popI just realized that January 4th marked the beginning of the 10th year of Mock, Paper, Scissors! And I realized that I am a bad blogger for not remembering that and writing a self-congratulatory post about it.

Until now, that is.


First things first: I need to give a deep bow with a flourish of me feathered-cap  to many people (bonus point to the first person who can tell me the reference!), not the least of whom include my inspirations:

  • Morse – my blogfather from the infamous Media Needle who more than anyone else held my paw at the beginning and encouraged me to dive in.
  • Watertiger – who more than I can say is my inspiration. I recall the day I walked into Scissorhead RacyNora’s office and told her that I wanted to do this, and showed her Dependable Renegade; I think we spent lunch for the next week in her office reading DR and laughing hysterically. Everything I know about keeping it short and funny I learned from WaterTiger. Brevity is the art of wit. Add a funny graphic. Add an occasional f***-you.
  • BlueGal, without whom I cannot imagine keeping this thing going. Early on she told me to just write something, anything, everyday, just for a couple of weeks. She was right as she always is. BG remains the biggest supporter of this little blog. If I am the Godfather of small blogs (as some claim, and I’m looking at you…, well, you know who you are), Bluegal is the Godmother.
  • Mike Finnegan, the immortal Mike of Mikes Blog Round Up at Crooks and Liars, who not only linked to MPS, but he asked me to fill in for him at MBRU while he toured with Joe Cocker (SIX DEGREES, PEOPLE!); I’m still shocked that I was his last guest blogger when he retired.
Behind the scenes at MPS...

Behind the scenes at MPS…

I think for most of lefty Blogtopia, we began as a reaction to the Reign of Error of Chimpy McStagger. Some of us came to blogging earlier than others, and they remain the A-List bloggers, and the rest of us sort of staggered in for last call, had a beer, and eventually were sent home. MPS stayed at the bar. This post, it seems to me, is a down-payment on the tab.

I recall the 2004 election posting something to the infamous “Sorry World” website, and starting to comment on Dependable Renegade, my commentary mostly consisted of dick jokes about Chimpy McStagger (Hung like a bee), and about Dick Cheney (Blam-Blam) eating kittens, usually prefaced with “Dammit, Lynne…”

Our pal Driftglass tells the story about how the late Steve Gilliard told him to start his own damn blog and kicked DG out of his joint, and Watertiger did the same to me. Morse also encouraged me to hang my own shingle (and what a shingle it was in those days, acid yellow and green), and believe it or not, we got some recognition for web design (and no, not because it was ugly, but because it was innovative, an early adopter of CSS).

Condi leaves Gwen Iffil's studio...

Condi leaves Gwen Iffil’s studio…

The early days of MPS usually consisted of captions on news photographs (I like to think that Creative Commons was, well, created because of my snarking on pictures that were un-copyrighted), and sometimes a few dialog bubbles, which eventually became the biting comics usually tagged as Tengrain Presents… well, you can look them up yourselves.

And of course, our devotion to St. Ronnie’s hagiographer and Bacardi Lifetime Achievement Winner Peggy Noonan became the stuff of legends, and was copied far and wide. (You know who you are, a-hem) But am I bitter? You bet.

Somewhere along the line MPS earned a blogging award or two, and we contributed to some really excellent blogs, probably the best amongst them being The Black Magpie Theory, which didn’t last long, but hot-doggie! the candle burned bright at both ends. The illustrious Fairlane was the genius behind that adventure which featured so many great bloggers: the best blog writer I think I’ve ever known Lisa Golden and the mysterious and sexy Utah Savage.

If I were one to brag—this post is nothing but a Trump-Kardashion exercise, so let ‘er rip ‘Grain—the single greatest honor of all has been our long-standing relationship with Crooks and Liars. As the Godfather of Small Blogs as the appropriately named Bastard has called me (thanks a lot B-4), I try to feature the smaller blogs just as Mike Finnegan so long ago featured MPS; pay it forward as the saying goes. It’s an honor and a privilege to host the Round-Up (which, coincidentally I will be doing again NEXT WEEK, so you bastids, so start blowing your own horns, moderation is for monks, etc.).

A close second in honor was when Alan Colmes himself asked me to contribute to Liberaland. Seriously, I thought someone was playing a trick on me; I made him prove to me that he was really Alan Colmes! I do contribute to Liberland now and then, and should do more often. I mentioned that I am a bad blogger, right?

There are so many people who have been here, well, since always, that I still think of them as the unindicted co-conspirators: Tex Betsy, DistributorCap NY, GRS, Katie Schwartz, MountJoy… – MPS is truly blessed to have so many people who were willing to swing in the gallows (humor?) with me. I cannot begin to say thank-you enough to all of them.

Scissorheads have come and gone over the years, and I’m afraid to leave anyone out, so I will not try. There are many who followed MPS from the Dependable Renegade commenting days, and I love you as much as you tolerate me. Take a bow in the comments (if you want, and as WT would say, f***-you if you don’t!)… and so very, very, many others who’ve spent a decade spitballing with us.

And no mention of the early days of MPS can be considered complete without a mention of XristiM, who will always be with us, and probably the greatest force I can think of for fighting Theocracy. I cannot say enough about how she inspired all of us to love our enemy even as we are fighting them.

I think that is really the mark of the Spitballer: we want a better world, and we are willing to use all the tools we have (righteous indignation and scurrilous humor) to win. The sacred cows (“Oh, very! as Gandhi once said) are many, and the straws are few.

Thank you, everyone, and let’s have enough saliva to continue to splat the Pontificating Poltroons with a really great spitball.

It’s an election year, there’s much work to be done. Get your straws ready.

*Ten years ago in Spy was a regular feature of that magazine. It was always one of my favorite features, but it was always hard to describe.

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16 Responses to Ten Years Ago in MPS*…

  1. Big Bad Bald Bastard says:

    Ten years of serious mischief and mischievous seriousness… it’s a pleasure and a privilege to be one of the passengers on this bus full of lovable scamps.


  2. Congratulations on 10 years! You are one of the best “bad bloggers” out here.


  3. Karla says:

    I don’t comment often, but I swing by here to read every day.
    Thanks for all you do — addressed to TG and all the Spitballers.


  4. laura says:

    Jeez, everytime I’m reminded of Steve Gilliard I’m reminded of how much I miss Steve Gilliard. One hell of a good, good man.
    Thanks Mr Tengrain for all you do, especially modern men’s fashion!


  5. Oblios_Cap says:

    I’ve always liked this blog. Especially the Noonan stories. Keep up the good work.

    BTW – what ever happened to WT? She went out for a pack and never came back.


  6. another kiwi says:

    MPS is continuously funny and amazing while reporting things that are jaw breakingly stupid. I salute you all and expect birthday cake in the mail.


  7. moeman says:

    Bow. Wow!

    10 fucking great fuck you years?! Time flies. Who knew!?


  8. sjclark35 says:

    Oblios_Cap asked the same question I have. WHERE IN HELL IS WATER TIGER? I read MPS several times a day and I check DR everyday to see if it is back up.


  9. Ur the best, TG. Many happy returns! And I mean decades. Also write a novel (“Darkness at Noonan”).


  10. Perdurabo says:

    MPS is the tits. I also visit Crooks, Raw, and Rude Pundit every day, but I only leave stains here. Thank you 10G, no horseshit my friend, thank you.


  11. Bruce388 says:

    Keep up the good work, Ten. Carry on.


  12. Pissed in NYC says:

    Congrats, evil twin. You don’t look a day over 9!


  13. purplehead says:

    What they all say. You are the best and this is funnest and most infuriating place. Thank you for keeping the wads packed, TenG!


  14. grs says:

    Congrats. Thank you for the entertainment along with the insight. I think blog years are measured the same way as dog years, so 10 is really like 80.


  15. lisahgolden says:

    Ten years! TEN YEARS!!! Congratulations!!!! and thank you for the huge compliment.


  16. Beth Corbin says:

    Clearly I’ve been away too long! Congratulations on 10 years! xoxo


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