OK, I am a laid back creature by nature, but I am getting weary of posters with nothing productive to say wasting my time with pointless arguments.

The focus of this blog, is, as much as possible, reality. Not fantasy, not fiction, not movie magic, or video game mythos, but as much as humanly possible, real life experience, physics, history, aesthetics and practical ramifications of a given weapon design.

I see too many people who read the subject of my posts and make arguments that are obviously tainted by what they’ve seen in the movies or a video game. Sometimes it’s a conscious action and sometimes it’s subconscious. Many even go so far as to argue with me over the practicality of video game or Hollywood physics, or the validity of a fantasy design in comparison with well documented historical ones.

I don’t mind a little light hearted jabber about how cool a movie or video game move is, but I would like to avoid having to argue with you why they are impractical in real life. So if you don’t think you can separate the fantasy from the reality, please don’t post. My brain cells and orc slaves will thank you.

So, I have come up with a set of posting rules. They are very simple. And if a Balrog, who dislikes rules with a passion, can follow them, so can you. So here they are:

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RULE 0: LEAVE YOUR EGO AT THE DOOR.

If, in your head, when you read a post or anothers comment, you hear yourself go, “Sigh. I see I’m gonna have to school these noobs…” or any variant of that statement thereof, please do not bother posting. You will most likely get on my bad side and get banned, and have your posts deleted… You can disagree with me, I don’t mind being wrong, but unless you do so gracefully, you will just get on my nerves. Just fair warning.

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RULE 1: MAKE CONSTRUCTIVE COMMENTS/CRITICISMS, OR NONE AT ALL.

This means, unless you have something positive to add, a query, some additional information, perhaps would like to correct some errata on my part, and can do it in a positive fashion, etc. DO NOT BOTHER POSTING.

I don’t mind the occasional “This character is cool, and his weapons are cool, but I disagree with you about xxx” But if you are going to start a conversation with that, please have some real good reasons to back it up.

Because henceforth I will wantonly delete/massacre/crucify/edit for humor (at your expense) any posts that do not have any logical and well thought out arguments to back them up. Whereas If your comment has substance, I may even overlook one or two non-constructive corollaries that might normally have resulted in fiery Balrog breath upside your head…

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RULE 2: NO FANBOISM/FANBOI ARGUMENTS.

This rule is tied directly into rule number 1, and is frequently the reason rule 4 gets violated. If you want to disagree with me, that’s fine. But if your basis for disagreement consists primarily of arguments containing little more than subjective comments, professing the undying coolness of a blade (or the character who wields it) or an attack on my taste in blades, well then I really don’t care what you think you are, I will consider you a fanboi, incapable of any rational thought in regard to the weapon or character in question.

No If’s ands or buts. Please fully expect to have your comments deleted (or even worse – edited for humor), and possibly also repeatedly feel the impact of my ban hammer upon your unworthy fanboi head…

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RULE 3: STAY ON TOPIC.

If you are going to disagree with me about point X, then make sure that all of the reasons you provide for your point of view are actually related to point X. Unrelated Points w, y and z should not enter the conversation unless they are being directly addressed or are of direct relevance to the topic at hand.

Here’s an example:

Me: While this this sword is nice, it is not a real scimitar.

KnuckleHead: Yes it is, it’s a fantasy scimitar.

KnuckleHead (who we will call poster “KH”) has just committed the cardinal sin of using the word “Fantasy” to describe an abominable, at best, reproduction of a real, and historically documented, type of blade. – Strike one.

At this stage, however, he/she still gets the benefit of the doubt:

Me: I’m not talking about “Fantasy” scimitars. I’m talking about historically accurate scimitars.

KH: Yeah, but it looks great as a fantasy scimitar, It even looks like this real life “Hookah” sword. Seriously, look it up.

Given that I am actually familiar with this arbitrarily named “hookah” sword, which happens to look similar to the sword in question, but is also, quite obviously, not a scimitar… – Strike two

OK, so how about we get back on topic?:

Me: Yes they look nice, but neither it nor the “hookah” sword are real scimitars.

KH: Your an idiot. Stop calling me a fanboi. I’m not talking to you anymoar.

Seeing this overwhelming display of maturity, I have no choice but to capitulate to KHs superior opinion…  NOT! – Strike Three.

KH just bought him/her/itself a beating with the ban hammer.

KH: Whine, blah, blah, whine, blahdi, blah, moan, blah, blah blah, whine…

Me: delete, delete, <ban KH>, delete… Buh Bye now. Y’all don’t come back now y’hear?

You get the picture? Good. Art was never my forte.

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RULE 4: PLEASE DO NOT USE FICTIONAL MOVIE OR VIDEO GAME REFERENCES TO SUPPORT YOUR POSITION.

A lot of the weapons I blog about, are, by their very nature, weapons of fantasy, and therefore generally not even remotely plausible or realistically usable weapons from a practical standpoint. Many are reproductions of video game or movie weapons, which, for the most part, may not really be based on any real weapon, are mostly too impractical for any real life application, and are often the creation of a person for whom battlefield practicality and/or reality is not even a passing concern.

Also, in almost every case, the repro houses that make these weapons are usually catering to the largest crowd for the lowest cost, so they tend to, in general, create mediocre reproductions that are not even remotely battle ready. But I digress.

My point is, if I make what you consider to be a disparaging or incorrect comment about a weapon you like, please refrain from commenting back along the lines of “But in <insert random movie or video game reference here> <insert fictional protagonist here> they used <insert fictional awesome weapon here> with <insert fictional mind blowingly cool move here> to wipe out <insert fictional evil antagonist here> pretty effectively, so I don’t see why a similar basic strategy couldn’t be used in real life….”

Don’t do it. You will get on my nerves and cause me to drop the ban hammer on you, your pets, your friends and family, indeed anyone or anything even remotely related to you…

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RULE 5: DO NOT CONFUSE OPINION WITH FACT.

For the most part, with a few exceptions borne of personal experience, when reviewing a blade, I try to stay away from absolute statements, like “This blade is a steaming pile of…” I generally try to quantify both the pros and the cons of any given blade, based on personal experience, what I’ve learned from others more experienced that I, and from my own research on the topic. Because my thoughts on these weapons, for the most part, are my opinions. Not necessarily facts.

The various details of a sword, such as it’s shape, color, length, developmental environment, history, how it was used, etc These are facts. There is a big difference between these and opinions. Know the difference and word your responses accordingly. Remember also that history is not always accurate, historians often disagree on various details, and even “historical” accounts can be flawed.

I would appreciate it if every one remembered this when posting. Remember that in this world there are no Absolutes. Except, they say, Death and Taxes. But people evade their taxes all the time, and for people of many religions, death is not final.

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RULE 6: PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE.

This rule is actually for your benefit rather than mine. If you submit a post with links in it, it will automatically get sent to my moderation queue for spam. A lot of people just keep reposting, but that will not help. I manually review every post that has a link in it in order to avoid letting a spambot post a bogus comment. So be patient, I get notifications for every one, and when I see it’s from a regular poster, I will let it through, but you have to give me some time to get to it…

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RULE 7: THINK BEFORE YOU TYPE. AND MOST DEFINITELY BEFORE YOU HIT “SUBMIT”

This rule is for those of you who have the tendency to post multiple times on the same thing, back to back. We really do not need 5 consecutive posts to get the gist of a single idea. Really. We don’t. Yes. Seriously. Please, either write out what you are thinking, off line, in its entirety, edit it and then copy and paste it here, or give yourself a few minutes to review and think about what you have written, and what you are trying to say, before you hit submit.

Multiple posts are often the trademark of someone who has not thought through what they are about to say. And I would rather have more sporadic, but thoughtful posters, than mind numbingly prolific ones… Seriously… Because every time you multi-post, a cool blade gets melted into scrap… Save a sword. Don’t multi-post…

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RULE 8: GET TO THE POINT!

This unfortunate but preventable condition is related to both Rule 3 and Rule 7. When posting about a blade, some of you (you know who you are) tend to ramble on and on about peripheral matters sometimes only tenuously linked to the topic at hand.

For instance, when talking about the practical pros and cons of a blade, we really don’t need to hear about the piece of meteorite from Mars in your back yard that you used to sharpen your blade so that it can cleave cars in half with a single slash. Or all the different “Rambo” poses that would look cool with that particular blade. Or how your moonshine inebriated ferret running head first into a tree gave you the idea for this new blade. Or the pet Chihuahua you shaved to look like a French poodle with your Martian technology enhanced blade… I hope you catch my long winded, meandering and completely pointless drift here…

Please. Before you post, READ your post and make sure it is ON TOPIC and TO THE POINT! We shouldn’t have to wade through a paragraph of unnecessary detail just to get at the relevant info. Keep it short and sweet. Now to be perfectly be honest, I don’t mind reading long posts IF it’s all relevant. But I’d much rather you try your darndest to keep your posts as concise as possible…

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RULE 9: THOU SHALT NOT SPAM THIS BALROGS BLOG WITH RANDOM SALES POSTS.

This is another recent post inspired by the increasing number of marketing garbage I’m finding posted under the guise of a comment. I’ve had enough. Henceforth, if you come to this Balrogs cave entrance (or door) selling something, It had better be weapons. Or something equally cool. Like claws. Or game props. Or something similar.

Or I’ll incinerate you, the horse (I guess you all use cars nowadays) you rode in on, whatever is left of whatever irrelevant junk you may have been trying to sell, and anyone who comes looking for you afterwards, without hesitation. To ash. Dispersed to the four corners of the earth. No traces. Capiche? Good.

Wanna advertise on The Dark Blade? Now you can. There are links in the banners you can click on to submit your own ad. Just don’t pretend to you are making a comment when it’s clear you just want to plug your site. Keeps everyone honest, and I like it that way. And jsut as a side note, I am kind of picky about what kinds of ads I’ll let run on this site.

If you haven’t picked up on it yet, This Balrog likes games, movies, anime, martial arts, things that go boom, humor, anything that’s good reading, and, of course, anything that is sharp and pointy. If you can’t see a Balrog playing/reading/laughing with what you’re selling, don’t hold your breath about it showing up on the site. I’m a freakin’ Balrog after all. We are generally not impressed by cutesy/artsy stuff. More to the point, we are kind of antisocial, suffer severe allergic reactions to warm and fuzzies, and therefore generally just don’t play well with others. Just a friendly (or not so friendly, depending on your point of view) warning.

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Anyway, these rules are (hopefully) clear, and simple enough that you do not cause me to ban hammer you into oblivion. For the most part I let a lot of things slide. But don’t push your luck. Balrogs have surprisingly fickle tempers…

Phyreblade