November 15, 2004:
A debate about whether there was a voter-fraud conspiracy to re-elect George W. Bush is yet another example of something typical at this point in Tragic Comedy's history: Although the conversations remain civil and respectful, there is very much an imbalance politically, which leads to unfair treatment of the site's lone vocal conservative, Mike Eberhart. When other members express liberal opinions, they're supported and applauded, but when Mike expresses nearly any conservative opinion, he is challenged to defend it with evidence and a rationale. The subtlety of this treatment makes it go on longer than overt abuse would have been tolerated, but Mike notices and points it out and eventually decides to stop offering his opinions, a huge loss for Tragic Comedy. Scott spends years regretting that he allowed the unfair treatment to occur.
January 5, 2020:
Funeratic collects plenty of miscellaneous biographical data about its members if they choose to share it, but other than name and photograph, the data point that comes up most often is gender. Across the text of the website, there are many instances where the member's declared gender affects their pronouns (ie. he), pronoun objects (him), and possessives (his). But there are two problems with Funeratic's handling of this: One, it forces a binary male/female declaration when more and more people identify outside of that binary, and two, it forces a declaration of gender when it's more pertinent simply to ask for the person's preferred pronoun terms, which is all that matters as far as Funeratic is concerned. Scott codes this overdue change into the site, and it's not long before several transgender members are more comfortable changing their pronouns, while one member chooses non-binary pronouns. It would be increasingly hard for Funeratic to say that it's welcoming to all without making everyone feel that way.
August 17, 2020:
Over the years, Scott has made quite a few unfortunate mistakes by using a photo of the wrong person to make a celebrity goo. This happens again when Steve West makes a goo of actor Carlos Villarías and accidentally uses a photo of Bela Lugosi, both of whom played Dracula on screen. After Erik Bates alerts Scott to the situation, the rules compel Scott to delete the incorrect guesses and allow players to guess again, but late in the week, that's not much help. Chris Lemler points out that the right photo is essential to solving the goo, so Scott makes a long overdue change to the rules: In this and all future errors of the same nature, the images will be completely replaced and the goo will be given an extension of another seven days, although the season won't be extended the same way. The erroneous goo of Villarías even inspires a do-over goo of Legosi, a pair of vampires to mark the occasion when the game stopped some needless bloodletting.
December 30, 2020:
The movie Wonder Woman 1984, officially titled WW84, is released on streaming while theaters are still mostly closed mid-pandemic. It quickly becomes the most-discussed and most controversial movie in years on Funeratic. Scott likes the movie for its big ideas, while Erik Bates and Evie Totty are frustrated by its flaws, and Samir Mehta is very disappointed in it. The discussion leads all over the place, from cults of personality around politicians to whether sex during a Hollywood "body swap" qualifies as sexual assault. The movie's tepid support is enough to land it on the site's "Best Movies of 2020" feature, in part because so many different voters saw it, but in a rare pandemic fluke, it's the only superhero flick on the list for a change.
March 5, 2021:
Maybe it's a coincidence, or maybe there's something in our collective mood this deep into a lonely pandemic that prompts several former participants in the site to return after many years. In the spring, Mike Eberhart is the first, solving a goo after a five-year absence and joining Tragic Comedy discussions about politics and mundane life. In the summer, Derek Kendzor is the second, looking up Funeratic and catching up with Scott in email about where life has taken him (albeit not participating in the site again). In the fall, Scott Horowitz becomes the third, returning to the site after eight years to solve goos and catch up in Tragic Comedy discussions about pop . All three are met fondly and welcome back any time.
March 7, 2021:
Rock Block's spring tournament draws inspiration from Live Aid, challenging players to "see" every performance at the legendary 1985 benefit show by winning concerts. Furthermore, since the real Live Aid raised money for famine relief in Africa, the Rock Block version does something similar, donating $50 to Save the Children for each participating player, with some players making their own separate donations on the side, ultimately raising hundreds of dollars for a great cause. As for the tournament itself, Scott misjudges the size and pace of the competition and neglects to include a rule ending the tournament after too long, so it drags on into the fall before Steve West finally earns the 67th and final performance to win.
May 17, 2009: Scott's longstanding plans for annual Rock Block tournaments finally come to fruition: "Stairway to Heaven," a months-long tournament, pits all players of the game against each other in an escalating series of concerts where the winners climb higher towards Heaven and the losers fall lower towards Hell. Read more...
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