MEATWATCH: Poster’s Bushido, Explained.

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Look, we know what you’re thinking: This is by far one of our worst pun-based ideas. But Greg gets real pissy if we don’t let him just go to town roasting something, both literally and figuratively, every thirty days or so. And so we present: The Poster’s Code.

Posting is an art that has existed in concept, if not in form, for a long time. The medium took a while to arrive, but the mentality was already there, waiting for it. The first True Poster might have been Socrates, for being so rude and influential that the mods had to have him banned from life, in the first recorded instance of being owned. Revolutions, also, have long been the domain of the Poster, and of course here we find one of history’s most famous Posters: Leon Trotsky. A man before his time, Trotsky was so incapable of shutting up that even the people who agreed with him hated his guts, so it was only a matter of time before he too caught a ban via an axe to the dome. 

For my money though, the greatest Poster in history might have been Dorothy Parker. She was also a writer, but writing isn’t the same as posting, and she was a mighty Poster. It’s not her best work – which isn’t a slight, because her best work is incredible – but probably her Most Poster Moment was her response to Calvin Coolidge dying, where she’s quoted as saying “how did they know”. This is a good burn to lay on an extremely taciturn dead guy, but what sells it for me is how wildly inappropriate it is, and how perfectly timed. Immediately cracking a joke about it when you hear the president died is technology that just didn’t exist in the 1930s. It’s perfect.

These historical figures had one thing in common: the Soul of a True Poster. What can we learn from them? What mysteries of the Poster’s Code have been uncovered, and what is still to learn?

The first tenet of the Poster’s Code is to aspire to having The Soul of a True Poster. This is distinct from Poster’s Brain. A True Poster is irrational always. Attempting to Post rationally leads inexorably to Poster’s Brain, and Poster’s Brain leads to damnation. So does the Soul of a True Poster, but to watch one is entertaining, and the other excruciating.

To fire off a Post and eat a ban for it, to be serene in that knowledge, to know exactly what will happen and to Post anyway, this is in the true spirit of Poster’s Bushido. Show me a Poster without a rap sheet and I will show you a false Poster. Do something stupid, and get owned for it, and understand on a base level that you had it coming. We all must live, and die, by the Code. It both protects and binds us. 

The most Shameful of Posters is the admin that cannot Post but desperately seeks validation. There is no shame in realizing that the game is not for you, and to decide not to Post, but once you enter the arena you will be judged on your merits, perhaps harshly if you are found wanting. The second most Shameful Poster is the one who engineers to be noticed by senpai, who attempts to remake themselves as the Main Character. Building a Brand has to be organic, and if it is to happen it must happen on its own time. Attempting to force the issue will only bring shame upon you. You may indeed be noticed by senpai for your sins, but your desperation will ensure that you are not noticed in the matter you envisioned. The third type of Shameful Poster is the one who cannot discern Irony Levels properly, or who cannot get jokes. They are damned. May their Posts be ever unread, a ghost in the channel speaking to an audience of none. 

These false Posters will flood channels incessantly and demand your attention while offering nothing. They may be an amusement, and are fair game to clown on, but the True Poster will simply pity them for their lack of juice. It can be best to block, and move on.

The act of Unposting is against Poster’s Bushido. To delete a Post simply because it was bad or a Bit didn’t land is an act of un-creation that flies in the face of the Creed. Edits are fine – fix your typos – but there is one exception: if another Poster of sufficient respect reveals to the channel your typo – if “this mf said ___” – then it is shameful to correct the mistake. In this manner it is a race between you and the other, with the winner receiving the right to choose whether the error is remembered forever or forgotten.

Never apologize, never back down. Redouble your efforts when challenged. There must be no thought, only action. When you possess the Soul of a True Poster, your hands will know what to do, and your brain can only slow their dreadful work.

Do not use punctuation or capitalization. By ignoring the shift key, one can Post faster, with less drag. To make the largest number of the best posts, this is the ultimate end of Poster’s Bushido. If the technology exists to Post Weird, you may or may not take it up, depending on your Power Level and whether you think the joke will land. Decide on your own if you would like to Post Big, or in fantastic colors and fonts, but accept the consequences bravely and with an open mind. Choosing not to Post Weird will not bring you shame. Rather, other Posters must be appreciative of, but also disappointed by, your caution.

Posting is a collaborative art, and a True Poster will hate neither the player nor the game. Respect your fellow Posters and their Posts, for they are at the same time both your audience and your competitors, but eschew the False Poster, a pale imitator of the real practitioner.

Do not post “memes”, or as they are known in the cant of Old Posters, “image macros”. A True Poster will create their own material, and never rely on another’s stale Bits. Do not post rapid flashing gifs either, this is harmful to certain people (I’m actually serious about that one, don’t do it).

The True Poster will commit to the Bit, even when they would rather not. If you threaten to ban a fellow Poster for their next transgression, and they should transgress, you must follow through. The Code demands it. To do otherwise is Shameful. If a Bit becomes annoying, should everyone hate it and you, it can be abandoned, but this must be because you as a Poster have decided so. It cannot be the result of being told to knock it off. To decide on one’s own to curtail a Bit before riding it into the ground, this shows wisdom. To knock it off because you were told to knock it off is Shameful.

Sometimes a moderator will change your display name or the name of the channel to something Rude. This is their right, and you must bear the burden until a funnier name offers itself. What you must not do is instantly complain and change it back. That is not the way of Poster’s Bushido, and only invites the cycle of violence to repeat. Counterintuitively, if you are confident enough when protesting a name change it loops back around to following Poster’s Law. To say, “this name is Rude, and you are Rude, change it back”, is weakness. To say, “I have reverted my name because I do not respect your authority”, shows the Soul Of a True Poster. Be wary when attempting this maneuver, as it may backfire horrifically. 

A True Poster will read the room, and moderate themselves as appropriate to maintain decorum and The Right Of Posting. The technique of entering a tunnel must be acquired, and through the concomitant loss of connectivity, the worst excesses of Fugue State Posting may be avoided. 

The traversal of Irony Levels must be mastered. The True Poster can express two ideas in conflict, and deny having held them, even when presented with direct evidence, by simply changing the Irony Level on which they operate. Advanced Posters may hold in their hand multiple simultaneous Irony Levels, and Post on them all. Do not use this as a retroactive smokescreen to deny bad opinions that you later come to regret. As the devil knows his own, so will True Posters sniff out the scent of backpedaling. You must stand honestly beside the worst of your Posts, or you will never lay claim to your best.

Enhanced Posting Bushido allows you to go against orthodoxy but only if you are sufficiently skilled and liked. It’s a level beyond normal Posting, not recommended for the faint of heart. If you must question whether your Posting is strong enough to permit breaches of the letter of Poster’s Code in order to uphold its spirit, then you do not have the Soul of a True Poster. The answer matters not – simply by asking you have exposed the frailty at the heart of yourself. You must begin your studies anew. A True Poster would never ask such a question: they would simply know the answer.

A core tenet of Poster’s Bushido is simply to Post without regard to consequences or feedback. In this you will become Free. The True Poster need not concern themself with the opinions of the masses. However, the number one rule of Poster’s Bushido is “no not believing in yourself”. You must believe in yourself, and your Posts, without irony or introspection, in order to fully thrive and become a True Poster. I cannot tell you that it will all be OK, because I don’t think it will be, but there is simply no other way to live.

I hope this has been helpful. Some of you, clearly, could use the assistance. Please, make use of the comments below, or email, if you require more guidance.