SEB under the microscope.

It looks like SEB has undergone some sort of review or commentary by whomever runs a blog called Mr. B says NO! I only know about this because of a trackback ping to my entry on restaurant managers strip searching people I wrote the other day. The review I found at the other end of the trackback seems quite lengthy and includes a few snapshots of SEB including a close-up of my ugly mug in the upper left corner and a possible critique of my meager CSS design skills. I don’t know for certain, however, because it’s written in another language and being your typical American I never got around to learning anything other than English.

Well, not entirely true. I did take a year of French in high school and can still recognize a good number of French words as well as how to say “I go to the bathroom” in French. Oh, and I can also say “the cat is on fire” in Spanish, which is a fun way to answer the phone when you want to confuse people. I suppose I have mastered Pig Latin, but I don’t think that really counts. l33t sp34k probably doesn’t count either.

Anyhow, normally I’d shrug my shoulders and just move on, but in this case I was intrigued by the length of the article so I scanned it to see if I could make out anything at all. Other than an opening quote from me at the start and the name of this website the only recognizable text that caught my attention right away were the words “skinhead,” “stereotyp,” and “despot.” As you can imagine, this piqued my curiosity considerably. Further examination revealed discussion of a couple of the categories I maintain with a focus on Don’t Be That Guy and a reference to my current job as an IT Planner. One part appears to discuss my piss-poor attempts at layout design (I admit I’m not anywhere close to being a master web designer) and there’s also links to some of the products in my Cafe Press store such as the hats and the house wares.

Needless to say I’m now very curious to find out what the article has to say. I’m not concerned about whether it’s a positive or negative commentary about SEB and myself as I can handle criticism pretty well these days and both forms can be useful in learning more about how others perceive me. As near as I can tell the language is Danish, or something close to it, and the only website I could find that would attempt to translate it into English only manages to convert half the text leaving you to do a lot of guessing. Based on that piss-poor translation it seems like this is a thoughtfully written review about what SEB is about and whether others might like it.

I’m thinking I’ll drop the site owner an email to see if I can get him to send me an English translation of the review, but if any of you folks who stop by daily happen to be literate in whatever language it’s written in want to try your hand at translating it then please feel free to do so.

Update: Neil T. from Neil’s World got ahold of a friend in Norway via IM who has kindly provided the following summary for us:

    his first impression is that jenkins was the evil bastard you see in the picture, but nothing concludes that this is jenkins himself, it could be a fictive persion, it could just be a stereotype

    then how he discovered that it is jenkins himself and that it might be ironical then some more ramblings about why he would call himself that

    then about the subject, irrational acts, stupid people, overnatural phenomenas, fanatical politicians and religious fundamentalists

    “the language might be vulgar and sarcastic” high interactivity – 33 comments for one example etc. and that most negative persons probably use e-mail

    then about how the author thinks the category “don’t be that guy” really means that jenkins thinks his readers shouldn’t be like that

    some stuff about the layout etc, how blue is used when you want to look like an authority with lots of credibility, he thinks the date headers should be easier to read and how much of the stuff plays on “stupid evil” – stats, comments, etc. and about the merchandize

    he wouldn’t really recommend the blog for everyhone, but those with a high level of critical thoughts, and interest in philosophy and politics would definetly benefit from it and that’s pretty much it.

I think that’s a pretty fair summary of SEB, though I didn’t realize the color blue could be perceived in that manner. As I told Neil I just like the color blue and that’s about all the thought I put into the color choice.  I can see his point about the date headers and I’ll see what I can do to make them a little easier to pick up on. And, yes, I do get most of my negative feedback via email as most folks who want to tell me off seem unwilling to open themselves up to having some of my regular readers chime in on thier opinions. grin

17 thoughts on “SEB under the microscope.

  1. .no is the TLD for Norway so it’s more likely to be Norweigan. I know a couple of Norweigans so I’ll see if one of them can do a translation, or at least give you a better idea of what the article is about.

  2. Actually I just ran it through a couple of language guessers, including this one from Xerox, and they both said Norweigan. So hopefully that will lead you somewhere .

  3. Yep, it is Norwegian. The only translator for web pages I know of is here (Translate link at the top)

  4. Coolness. I happen to have a friend who’s dating a Norwegian. I’ll have to hit her up for a translation.

  5. I get something about you being a demon creation skin-head fashion model who won the won the Lotto….

    Maybe it better to not know the translation.

  6. Look at me, jumping in late. Yes, it’s Norwegian. Yes, I’ll send it to Ole and have him take a look see. If he injures himself laughing though, I’m sending you the medical bill.

    *afterthought: wait, he’s got that socialized medicine thingy going for him. There won’t BE a medical bill.*

  7. Here’s what I got at

    I especially like the “Dive evil crossbreed” and “a skinhead with a lot of beard” - ;o)

    Dive evil crossbreed

    “dive evil crossbreed” has existed afterwards 2001 and has crop above 750’000 meet during this period. Websiden crash down in under sjangeren weblog or blogg ( see Jill Walker

  8. I just wanna say a big HALLO! to this guy, whoever he is; he obviously wrote a thoughtful review.  Wish I knew enough Norwegian to fill in the blanks from the translator, though; my brain conjures up all sorts of interesting images at the thought of, for example, “dining haref

  9. Heh, he’s a fan!

    It took me a while to parse “Dive Evil Crossbreed” into “Stupid Evil Bastard”

    He seems to be commending you for giving some folks a good tongue-lashing.  He also seems to like the fact that you’re a demon creation, and you’re big and jump headlong, at the handbag and in cup

    Auto-translators have a way to go, yet


  10. Looks like a whole load of new taglines to me - You could run one a week for a year.

    What the fuck is wrong with me? I wouldn’t want to lose the current line by any means but:
    Stupid Evil Bastard - A deeper and additional earnest,  certainly has a ring to it.

  11. Hi Les (and the rest of you guys)!!! (HALLO GeekMom

    I’m the Norwegian behind the review (Mr.B says NO). This review was done in a course at the University of Bergen. I was not familiar with stupidevilbastard until I accidentally stumbled upon it. Now, I’ve done a quick translation to English (perhaps a tad better than the sludge above, but far from perfect . Some of the facts concerning the site might be wrong, but what I’ve written represents my first impression of the blog. I really enjoyed reading - this site has become part of my daily needs!

    ——Here we go!

    Stupid evil bastard has existed since 2001 and has harvested over 750,000 hits during that period. The website can be characterized as a weblog (see definition) and offers informative and personal thoughts from an American man called Les Jenkins. According to Evan Williams (one of the founders of weblogs) a blog consists of three main things; frequency, brevity and personality—something definitively got!

    My immediate impression of the site told me that Jenkins was portraied as the stupid evil bastard in the top left corner of the blog; a skinhead with a lot of beard. But there was no particular indication at the website that told me he was the definite author.

    On the other hand; this man could appear to be Jenkins strawman; - a fictious person which defines the connotation of the title: “stupid evil bastard”. With connotation I mean some kinda stereotype of the concept: stupid, evil bastard.

    The truth was established once I examined and The man in the picture appeared to be the blogs’ despot; Les Jenkins.

    Does the author wish to appear as a stupid evil bastard? No, the picture might contemplate as a deliberate strategy to create interest, some confusion, visualize the author’s self-irony and create desire in new readers to examine the purpose of the site.

    So, who’s this stupid evil bastard? New readers will soon experience that Jenkins has a fierce and aggressive tounge. “Stupid evil bastards” is this mans categorization of people which, according to him, are stupid—and often so stupid that the foolishness manage to create negative consequences for other people. I.e: the man who claimed to be possessed after he had molested his stepdaugthers.

    Jenkins’ commitment is huge. He is annoyed by a lot of the stuff he reads in the media, and is not afraid to show it. Irrational actions, stupid people, supernatural phenomenas, fanatical politicians and religious fundamentalists receives a personal and up-close, verbal beating. By using a word of mouth, sometimes vulgar and sarcasm with a touch of humour—it’s pretty clear that Jenkins amuses and ignites his readers. The website has a particular high deegree of interactivity (above example: 33 comments). Most of the articles are commented by fans.  According to Jenkins he gets a lot of heat for calling people stupid, but it is not apparent that these critics are among the majority of commentators. This goes for the forum as well. It’s adjacent to believe that most of these negative people contact him by email.

    The articles at stupidevilbastard are often related directly to the title of the blog. The category “don’t be that guy” is an interesting observation. “That guy” may in this context mean a “stupid evil bastard”, and Jenkins often place articles that involve persons with coarse immoral or irrational qualities in this category. Readers of the blog are left with an impression that one should not behave like a stupid evil bastard, and I got the impression that the blogmasters’ scribblings contains a deeper, moralphilosophical tone.

    Jenkins’ area of interest far exceeds what I’ve previously seen in any blog. Thirty six different categories have been filled with over 2000 posts and 10000 comments. The post- frequency varies from a few posts to above eight per day.

    Not all of the articles are related to stupid evil bastards. Jenkins also writes about himself, movies, music, books, computing, science and blogging. After reading many comments I noticed that his blog has helped him to create strong ties to his blogging friends. There are several people who actually submit nice comments - if Jenkins has had an unpleasant experience i.e. at work. Jenkins works as an IT-planner in a huge carproduction-company.

    Visually, the blog is well organized and presents a consistent style. Jenkins has chosen a basis in white and blue colours at a black background. This forms easily read articles and a good overview. Blue colours are often used when one wishes to project as an authorative and credible person (i.e. the police and news-sendings). Whether this has been thoroughly considered, I don’t know. This extreme focus on blue colours causes some negativity though; the transitions between the posts are floating. I had some problems with separating the posts from different days. Perhaps some other headline-colour would be nice?

    Jenkins cuts and pastes various media-articles directly to his blog. He has chosen to portray them with a blue background—to great advantage for his readers. This enables the user to distinct Jenkins subjective opinions from the media-articles he comments.

    In addition - this prohibits the readers’ attention to be drawn away from his blog. An ingenious and effective strategy.

    His particular style is reflected in each headline-section to the left; almost all of them acts upon the title of the blog—i.e. “Stupid evil stats” or “Stupid evil comments”. The stupid evil bastard-concept can also be carried at the body, on the head, on the bag and on the cup.

    Would I recommend this blog to you? Ehr.. that depends. Are you among those persons who embrace critical thinking, laughs when you read about absurdities or are a little interested in politics and philosophy? Yes, definitively! But if you (on a daily basis) wander around in wonderland with ghosts and trolls everywhere, eat rabbit-feet to win the lottery or think of homosexuality as the work of the devil—well, maybe you’d not enjoy this blog.

    Personally I’ll continue reading this blog to get my daily stare- and laugh exercises. One might question Jenkins constructivity, but the higher you scream, the bigger the chance is to be heard!

  12. Bjarte, your written English kicks major-league ass and thanks for the full translation!  I hope you got a good grade on the review from your prof …

    It’s too bad you’re at the Uni in Bergen; if you had been in Oslo I would have asked your help in tracking down a friend of mine who was at UIO and who’s fallen off the radar in the past ten years … oh well.

    I can’t even say anything disrespectful about Norwegian.  I’ve always thought that Danish sounds just like German being spoken backwards, but the most I can say about your language is that some of your road signs crack me up (“farts dempere”).

    Geek(pining for the fjords)Mom

    PS - Les is indeed a skinhead with a whole lotta beard.  You might say that all the hair slipped from the top of his head down to his chin.  Darned gravity.

  13. GeekMom got a special mention! *I’m so jealous!*

    At least Bjarte has taste. He knows a good American blog when he reads one. And now I can relax - knowing Les isn’t really an international runway model…….. Uhh, right?

  14. Brock, Norwegians are pleasantly odd and have a strange fascination with potentially falling down from high places

    So, who knows.

    By the way, spoken Norwegian has lots of German-sounding chunks. It confused the heck out of me when I caught a Norwegian commentary during some Olympics coverage.

  15. Thanx! Yeah, “farts dempere” is a nice word!

    I still laugh hard when I see some of the early interpretations

    1. I get something about you being a demon creation skin-head fashion model who won the won the Lotto! (Brock)

    2. He says that if you vagger around daily with apparitions and are believable all over, you probably won’t like the site. (GeekMom)

    3. Dive evil crossbreed (Spocko)

    4. He seems to be commending you for giving some folks a good tongue-lashing. He also seems to like the fact that you’re a demon creation, and you’re big and jump headlong, at the handbag and in cup (Doccus)

    Man those auto-translators are good! 😀

  16. Thanks for the translation, Bjarte. I’m very flattered and I think you did a pretty good job with the review.

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