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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

There are minions... and then there are minions!

An alleged insult that has been leveled at treppenwitz on more than one occasion is the presence here of a large number of 'adoring fans'.  Each time this accusation has been tossed at me I scratch my head and wonder exactly how this is supposed to qualify as an insult.

Apparently the people who throw out such an 'accusation' feel that the amiableness and general bonhomie that holds sway here on treppenwitz's comment board demonstrate a general lack of both critical thinking and diversity of opinion.

One pundit even went so far as to call the loose confederation of treppenwitz commenters my 'minions'!   Yes, you read that correctly.  No, not 'minyans'... that's a quorum of Jews required for communal prayer. 

They really called you people my 'minions'!

The Oxford English Dictionary (second edition) has pages of definitions for the noun 'minion', but I think that:

"...a person who is dependent on a patron's favour... a hanger-on... a follower or underling, esp. one who is servile or unimportant... a henchman...' 

... pretty much sums up the sense my accusers likely had in mind.

Just curious... is that the role in which you all view yourselves? 

I mean, granted, how cool would it be to actually have henchmen to blindly do one's bidding?  But in reality I think you'd be pretty hard pressed to find a group of people with a wider range of backgrounds and opinions than the readers of this journal. 

Now if you want to see a web site with real live minions at work... go check out one of my new favorite reads; Book of Joe, the home of the "World's most popular blogging anesthesiologist".  It is a blog that is chock full of the most interesting and useful information, Products and well, neat stuff you could ever ask for... and it's updated more frequently than Jack's Shack!

But what about the 'minions' you ask?

The neat thing about Book of Joe is that if you are interested in a topic... any topic... and Joe hasn't touched on it (yet), you can submit a comment asking for help with your quest and within minutes his minions will hit the ground running. 

OK, Joe doesn't actually use the term minions anywhere on his site... preferring the phrase 'crack research team', but who are we kidding?  These henchmen (and henchwomen) are his minions, and they're there to do Joe's (and your) bidding!

I first discovered Book of Joe via one of my minions, er commenters named Elizabeth a couple of weeks ago while I was asking my readers for help with the whole shabbat/coffee dilemma.  Elizabeth left me a thoughtful comment suggesting I submit my question to Joe's 'crack research team'... so I did.

In less than an hour I got an email from a woman named Shawn (with a picture, even!), who politely identified herself as "the bookofjoe staff member who has been assigned to your coffee question". 

She then went on to clearly state the criteria she had used to research my question (to make sure we were both on the same page), and then laid out a veritable treasure trove of links to thermal solutions that would meet my needs.

Apparently Joe's minions compete for his favor (or some other kind of reward) because at the end of her helpful message she closed with:

"If you feel this e-mail has helped you in some small way, please help me win the coveted bookofjoe Crackpot Researcher of the Month title. Just forward this e-mail to Joe at [email protected] with "I Vote for Shawn" as the title."

I'm not trying to put anyone down here... but someone would have to be crazy to call treppenwitz readers 'my minions'.  I mean holy crow... If you want to see 'minions' at work, just go check out Joe's crack research team.  Now, those are 'minions'.

You guys are just a bunch of poseurs!  :-)


Posted by David Bogner on March 15, 2006 | Permalink


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Funny coincidence that you posted this now...

Just a couple days ago an email was sent out at my workplace announcing the opening of the new company shul (synagogue). As is common in Israel mincha and maariv take place rather naturally, and their times were listed. But because my company works 24-6, the person sending the email wanted to know if there was an interest in a shacharit minyan as well. Problem was, he didn't noticed his spell checker did quite a job on his question.

An awful lot of people didn't have a clue what he was talking about when he asked if they were interested in a "saccharine minion"...

Posted by: Dave | Mar 15, 2006 11:26:07 AM

Well, I've never been called a poseur before... of course it's better than a saccharine minion...

Posted by: nrg | Mar 15, 2006 12:22:46 PM

"accuser" - sheesh David, why so mean? How about "observer", rather...like in "adoring fans"?

I think with Joe's br..err researchers, you have just described another variant of the homo blogos legendis. There, sounds much better than "some people don't have a life".


Posted by: a | Mar 15, 2006 12:43:56 PM

I'm a henchman! Neato!

Posted by: Alice | Mar 15, 2006 2:51:50 PM

Can I have a uniform or something? Marc Jacobs is good. Calvin. Prada. You choose.

Posted by: Alice | Mar 15, 2006 2:53:05 PM

I work here because of the benefit package. But it appears that you have given me work, the BOJ updates more frequently than I do.

The cad, the nerve, the chutzpah. I shall have to lay down the law and call out my own minions to fight this upstart.

Anyone remember the time Rufus T. Firefly was called an "upstart." movie reference .

Oops, this post really wasn't about me was it. Damn, if the world payed more attention to me it would be a more interesting place. ;)

Posted by: Jack | Mar 15, 2006 4:16:50 PM

Trepp, I would like to create a new category of minion: Newbie Minion. I have only just recently started reading your blog and have fallen under your spell. HELP! (actually, it's just jealousy...everyone who blogs wants tons of comments. Not that there's anything wrong with that).

Posted by: Randi(cruisin-mom) | Mar 15, 2006 6:21:10 PM


But for some reason, in my mind, minions have always been associated with evil... Hmm. I don't know where I was going with that... ; )

Posted by: Irina | Mar 15, 2006 6:42:02 PM

I think that the person calling us "minions" has a severe case of "comment envy".

Posted by: westbankmama | Mar 15, 2006 6:48:38 PM

ha hahahhahhhaa. I am a minion - ha hahahahhaha

Posted by: lisa | Mar 15, 2006 7:08:15 PM

I actually read your blog every day because I LIKE it. Even in cyberspace, there are those who want to be the Thought Police and the fact that some guy from Judea has a following makes people like that gnash their pointy little teeth. Hee, hee. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: aliyah06 | Mar 15, 2006 8:02:01 PM

So are the women minions here mignonettes?

(ducking and running)

Posted by: Rahel | Mar 15, 2006 9:39:58 PM

I don't much care to be a 'minion' (even my son's. I'd opt for the suggestion of 'fans'. However, would it add a dash of class if we could be thought of as a 'clique'? With our collective image at stake, we really have to think hard! 'Entourage'? 'Devotees'?

Posted by: Delmar Bogner | Mar 16, 2006 2:00:17 AM

I like Entourage!

Posted by: Essie | Mar 16, 2006 4:06:18 AM

hey, I'll be part of 'entourage,' that sounds very HBO,

Posted by: Jonah | Mar 16, 2006 4:07:42 AM

I'm honored to be associated with a wonderful individual such as yourself, Mr. B!

Posted by: tnspr569 | Mar 16, 2006 5:34:02 AM

Your readers most definitely speak their mind if they disagree with you. I do. But when they do, it is often in a polite way, out of respect. There is no significant carrot or stick that we are ruled by when we visit here. I think a "minion" would find themselves in a different situation, and governed by a different psychology. Myself, I bow to no earthly person :) I've been pretty easy going here. Let me know if you want me to "step it up a notch" and keep things entertaining ... LOL

Posted by: Seattle | Mar 16, 2006 5:48:25 AM

Minions? Hey David, cause I put you on to Book of Joe, can I have the #1 Treppenwitz minion badge?

Or out here in California, you would say of us that we'd be "My peeps" or "my posse".

How would you say "peeps" or "posse" in Hebrew?

Posted by: Liz | Mar 16, 2006 7:05:02 AM

Dave... I don't believe in coincidences. :-)

nrg... WAY better! Oh, and I meant poseur in the nicest possible way. ;-)

a. ... "homo blogos legendis" Not that there's anything wrong with that. :-)

Alice... Don't you mean 'henchPERSON'? And yes, the henchmen wore Prada. :-)

Jack... Please don't take BoJ's pace as a throw down... I can't keep up with your posting schedule as it is! :-)

Randi... Well, whatever you do try not to emulate me... I seem to have made every blogging mistake in the book before settling (oops, bad word) into a groove. Your shooting buddy Seraphic Secret would be a better guru to follow. If I had it to do over, I'd probably want to follow Robert's format (and magically receive his writing chops). :-)

Irina... Yes, I neglected to mention that nearly every dictionary definition of 'minion' I used has a negative connotation. But of course I didn't mean any of those. :-)

Westbankmama... The various malcontents who have become annoyed at the general friendliness around here are those who aren't really happy unless embroiled in an argument. Makes perfect sense to me.

Lisa... I'm trying to picture you back in HS with your Seaside Park posse... now that> constituted minions. ;-)

aliyah06... I think it has less to do with where I live and more to do with how people here conduct themselves. Let's face it... people whose kids are spoiled brats often have nasty jibes for parents whose kids are well behaved and polite. Many of the bloggers who have taken me to task for my 'adoring fans' have comment boards that look like World Wrestling Federation news conferences. I'm glad you enjoy it here... I hope some of the stuff I write about is helping you with your upcoming aliyah.

Rahel... I can't tell... they're sitting behind a big, opaque curtain way in the back! (ducking and running in the opposite direction) ;-)

Dad... I think entourage has a nice classy ring to it... I'll try that out for a while. :-)

Essie... Who could ask for a nicer entourage?

Jonah... Um, maybe I need to rethink 'entourage', then. :-)

tnspr569... Aw shucks. :-)

Seattle... I certainly hope you haven't been holding back on my account. I'll let you know if you cross any red lines. :-)

Liz... I try not to play favorites, but if you like we can have a rotating head minionaire every day... kinda like the hall monitor in grade school. You're it today. :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Mar 16, 2006 8:55:54 AM

I might be willing to consider your offer, for a kilo or two of rugalach. ;)

Posted by: Jack | Mar 16, 2006 9:53:37 AM

I'm still trying to get my hands on that rugalach!!! They just won't ship to Norway... go figure. I occasionally go to the website to drool at the photos, though. note to self, must learn to bake...

Posted by: nrg | Mar 16, 2006 10:35:02 AM

Is someone implying that we're all kiss @ss readers??... please!! Im meant to understand that jealously can manifest itself in many words (such as 'minion') and deeds.

Posted by: pk | Mar 16, 2006 1:12:47 PM

Could I instead be your groupie? Sycophant? Home boy?

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Mar 17, 2006 2:55:53 AM

The stuff you and other Israeli bloggers write helps with our upcoming aliyah a lot--not so much 'practical' questions (that's what the Tachlis board is for) but more a picture of day-to-day normal existance. Thank you for sharing with us...

Posted by: aliyah06 | Mar 19, 2006 6:01:24 AM

Hello ! This is very [url=http://www.google.com/bb497]good[/url] site !!

Posted by: Rokko | Apr 3, 2006 5:05:20 PM

As it happens, I have minions too:

Posted by: J. Steven York | Jan 21, 2007 10:17:17 AM

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