Absolute Beginner's Frequently Asked Questions

The Original Demon Fuckwit FAQ

This was written by Peter McDermott and is reposted here with his permission. Although its original frame of reference was the newsgroup demon.service, it is still very relevant across Usenet - and also web forums.

From: Peter McDermott
Newsgroups: demon.service
Subject: FAQ - Demon fuckwits v0.1
Date: Tue, 01 Apr 1997

1) What is a fuckwit?

Fuckwits come in many shapes and sizes, but the best way to determine whether somebody is or not is by a careful scrutiny of their posts to usenet.

2) What? You mean if I make a silly post once, I'm likely to be labelled as a fuckwit?

Extremely unlikely. In fact, the chances are that someone who would try and label you this way is a fuckwit themselves.

3) How about newbies then? Are they fuckwits?

Sometimes they are, but they aren't necessarily.

4) Come on then, stop being coy. What exactly is a fuckwit?

A fuckwit is someone who lacks the ability to receive Clue. Clue doesn't actually have anything to do with technical knowledge, but is more a matter of social competence.

5) Huh? Can you expand on this?

Sure. If you post off-topic to a newsgroup, someone may tell you that your post is off topic and point out the correct newsgroup. This can happen with varying degrees of politeness. However, this does not make you a fuckwit.

Should you respond, however, by insisting that you will post where the fuck you like, and will keep on doing so, you are undoubtedly displaying the quality of "fuckwittishness". Your post may be regarded as a "fuckwitticism". But this still isn't enough to be classified as a fully- fledged fuckwit.

For example, you could realize that you were being silly, and refrain from digging your hole any deeper. This would show an ability to receive clue and as such is incompatible with the true fuckwit.

Or you could continue to be obstreperous, but you could do it in a stylish and amusing way. This would also be incompatible with true fuckwittedness, because the true fuckwit is invariably the most stupendous bore.

However, this last point is inherently problematic. Because of this inability to receive clue, most fuckwits actually believe that they are being stylish and amusing when they aren't. Which is one of the major factors that predisposes a person to fuckwittedness.

6) But I know I'm not a fuckwit! I've had people write to me and tell me they agreed with my point!

That's no guarantee, I'm afraid. Sadly, these days there are all too many fuckwits on the internet, and so it isn't surprising that they'll back each other up from time to time.

7) I don't accept this. What you're doing is arguing that unless I agree with the majority, I'm a fuckwit.

Not at all. However, you should watch yourself. This is a standard fuckwit argument, so perhaps ... ?

Anyway, your opinions can be as extreme and as out of left field as you like, provided you express them in a rational or entertaining manner and an appropriate way in the appropriate place. Fuckwits tend to be most easily identifiable by their problems with form rather than with content.

8) Are there any great Demon fuckwits?

Hmm. I don't know if 'great' fits, but there are a fair old number of notorious fuckwits who hang around in the demon.* heirarchy. I'd name a few for you, but fuckwits that they are, it would only start a huge thread where they all whine about net abuse and what an affront it is for me to call them fuckwits. But Ron Chew might serve as a classic of the fuckwit paradigm. Go look up his posts on dejanews (Google, these days) if you really want to study the form.

Also, many of the demon.service regular posters tend to have the occasional lapse into a state of fuckwittedness, but they avoid being marked as fuckwits by their ability to rapidly recover from it. The all-important ability to receive clue operating again here, see.

9) OK, you've convinced me. Is there anything I can do to avoid becoming a fuckwit?

Yes, there's a lot. Read the FAQ's. Read the fuckwitting manuals. Read a group for a while before posting. Pay attention to what people say in response to your posts. If you start wondering why so many people can be so unreasonable, it's time to start asking yourself if maybe you are a fuckwit.

10) And what if I recognize myself as an irredeemable fuckwit?

I believe that AOL will happily accept your money, so I suggest you go where you will be among friends. Feel free to read the demon.* heirarchy from there, but please don't post. And don't feel a need to provide us regular posters with kindling to satisfy our regular need to flame someone. There's no shortage of new fuckwits coming along to fulfil that function. As a self-aware fuckwit with an AOL account, you've got a great big internet out there to irritate. With just a little effort, you could soon be as notorious as people like keegan and dr. mahara jai whose fuckwittisness is legendary all over the world. As a true fuckwit, you will surely recognize what an honour that must be.

Think parochially, post globally -- and pray that all those other fuckwits out there never learn how to killfile.


Peter McDermott

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