Twelve Commandments of Flaming

  1.  Make things up about your opponent: It's important to make your lies
     sound true. Preface your argument with the word "clearly." "Clearly, Kevin
     O'Neill is a racist, and a dirtball to boot."
  2.  Be an armchair psychologist: You're a smart person. You've heard of
     Freud. You took a psychology course in college. Clearly, you're qualified
     to psychoanalyze your opponent. "Peach Pshawski (God Bless You!), by using
     the word 'zucchini' in her posting, shows she has a bad case of
  3.  Cross-post your flames: Everyone on the net is just waiting for the next
     literary masterpiece to leave your terminal. From OPINION to EZ-READER to
     PETS to CHIT-CHAT, they're all holding their breaths until your next
     flame. Therefore, post everywhere.
  4.  Conspiracies abound: If everyone's against you, the reason can't
     *possibly* be that you're a #anatomy-part@. There's obviously a conspiracy
     against you, and you will be doing the entire net a favor by exposing it.
  5.  Lawsuit threats: This is the reverse of Rule #4 (sort of like the Yin &
     Yang of flaming). Threatening a lawsuit is always considered to be in good
     form. "By saying that I've posted to the wrong group, O'Neill has libelled
     me, slandered me, and sodomized me. See you in court, Kevin."
  6.  Force them to document their claims: Even if John Ranalletta states
     outright that he likes tomato sauce on his pasta, you should demand
     documentation. If Newsweek hasn't written an article on Johns's pasta
     preferences, then John is obviously lying.
  7.  Use foreign phrases: French is good, but Latin is the lingua franca of
     flaming. You should use the words "ad hominem" at least three times per
     article. Other favorite Latin phrases are "ad nauseum", "vini, vidi,
     vici", "fetuccini alfredo".
  8.  Tell 'em how smart you are: Why use intelligent arguments to convince
     them you're smart when all you have to do is tell them? State that you're
     a member of Mensa or Mega or Dorks of America. Tell them the scores you
     received on every exam since high school. "I got an 800 on my SATs, LSATs,
     GREs, MCATs, and I can also spell the word 'premeiotic'".
  9.  Accuse your opponent of censorship. It is your right as an American
     citizen to post whatever the hell you want to the net (as guaranteed by
     the 37th Amendment, I think). Anyone who tries to limit your cross-posting
     or move a flame war to Netusers is either a communist, a fascist, or both.
 10.  Doubt their existence: You've never actually seen your opponent, have
     you? And since you're the center of the universe, you should have seen
     them by now, shouldn't you? Therefore, THEY DON'T EXIST! This is the
     beauty of flamers' logic.
 11.  Lie, cheat, steal, leave the toilet seat up.
 12.  When in doubt, insult: If you forget the other 11 rules, remember this
     one. At some point during your wonderful career as a flamer you will
     undoubtedly end up in a flame war with someone who is better than you.
     This person will expose your lies, tear apart your arguments, make you
     look generally like the bozo you are. At this point, there's only one
     thing to do: insult the dirtbag!!! "Oh yeah? Well, your mother does
     strange things with ..........."

                             The Golden Rule of Flaming

     My flames will be witty, insulting, interesting, funny, caustic, or
     sarcastic, but never, ever, will they be boring.