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Well, this is just great. I was literally one move away from finishing a very close Scrabulous game when I heard. Apparently, it was the game’s developers, not Facebook, who blocked US and Canadian users. It’s little consolation that clicking on the Scrabulous icon gets you a screen that asks for your e-mail address, so the developers can keep you updated on the games status.

Who do I blame? Hasbro, of course, the makers of Scrabble. This is all the result of their lawsuit against the Scrabulous makers, who are based in freakin’ India and probably aren’t subject to the same copyright laws that US developers would be. What’s really dumb about the whole thing is that Scrabulous has undeniably incited enthusiasm for offline Scrabble-playing, too. The NYT points out that Hasbro has created its own Scrabble Facebook app, but their blogger and others have had trouble using it. I’m annoyed enough to not support Hasbro in any way, so I think I’ll be ignoring their game. Meanwhile, you can still access Scrabulous through its non-Facebook website.

And though I support the developers, I really wish they would have given us a week of warning before taking down the app.


Someone sent me this video accompanied by the words, “Beth Ditto, feminist.” So I expected something kind of cool. Instead, I got this. I mean, it’s nice that the Gossip singer has a necklace that says “feminist” on it. And I guess it’s cool to see her shimmy around in weird costumes. But does that really justify wasting a minute and a half of my time? Not so much.

I’m not particularly fond of Black Kids. Sure, their song “I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You” was catchy and kind of cute. It made for a good party-mix track. The Killers-like attempt at gender ambiguity in the lyric “You are the girl that I’ve been dreaming of/Ever since I was a little girl” seemed gimmicky. But okay, whatever, I was willing to give their full-length a chance, depending on what the reviews looked like.

So I scooted over to Pitchfork to see how the site had reviewed the band whose reputation they made. The writer, Scott Plangenhoef, gave Partie Traumatic a 3.3 rating. And here is the entire “text” of the review:

Uh, you mean you jerks hyped this band to high heaven on the strength of a measly EP, and all you can give us is a picture of two sad-looking dogs and a lame “sorry”? Did Pitchfork get swallowed by I Can Has Cheezburger while I was sleeping? Are you so inept at admitting you bought into an utterly craptacular band that you aren’t even going to bother to explain what went wrong? I really hope Plangenhoef (who is also, frightening, the site’s Editor-in-Chief) doesn’t get paid by the review.

I mean, I understand what they were doing with their Jet review. They had never championed Jet, and they were just trying to say that the album wasn’t even worth considering. But I think publications are responsible for the hype they create, and with that in mind, this is totally unacceptable.

As Dan Gibson of Idolator wrote in a spot-on IM conversation posted by Maura Johnston, the site’s editor, “I would appreciate a more extensive apology.”

The question is, does Pitchfork want to be a reputable publication, or does it want to be a repository for hipster-douchebag humor? I appreciate irreverence as much at the next 20-something, but I wish they’d understand that you can’t have your elitism and eat it, too.