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MySpace's State of the $*%@#! Union

Frank Ahrens

MySpace, the world's most popular social-network site that boasts 100 million profiles and that is owned by Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp Inc., had a nifty idea for last night's State of the Union address.

Why not let MySpace users post their own State of the Union address? In fact, why not make it a competition? The winner would get a bunch of prizes, including a trip here, to D.C.

Yesterday, MySpace picked a winner: Jesse Dollemore, 32, of Boise, Idaho. You can watch his impassioned speech here.

His speech was chosen by an esteemed panel of judges that included former Senate majority leader Bill Frist and former Clinton chief of staff John Podesta.

I wonder if either of them knew what the abbreviation on Dollemore's t-shirt stands for.

During his address, Dollemore stands in a home before a fireplace. He wears a black t-shirt bearing the letters: "STFU."

Among we vulgarians, STFU stands for "Shut the [very bad word] Up." Which is an interesting slogan to be wearing while extolling the virtues of the American democratic political system.

Asked about this, a spokeswoman for MySpace offered that STFU might stand for, "a University in Southern Texas."

Nice try.

Prompted, the MySpace folks put a call in to Dollemore. The next e-mail I got from MySpace read: "It means what you think it means." On the one hand, you could take this as a confirmation that STFU is the vulgar phrase mentioned above. On the other hand, it could be an existential answer: STFU means whatever anyone wants it to mean. Wow. Deep.

MySpace said it would not remove the winning entry, as the whole point of the contest is to showcase freedom of speech. Score one for Dollemore's slightly subversive State of the Union address that takes advantage of the Internet's worldwide theater.

By Frank Ahrens  |  January 23, 2007; 11:12 PM ET  | Category:  Frank Ahrens
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Posted by: Dave | January 24, 2007 1:19 PM

state of the f$&#ing union?

Posted by: sam | January 24, 2007 3:06 PM

Dude, you have some sort of perverse preoccupation with the word F*CK! This is the second article, that I know of (maybe more?) in which you've gone out of your way to point it out to everyone.

Either you had some type of tramatic event as a child in hearing that word, or you need to generate some type of controversy to get people to read and comment on your article,

Seriously, of all the things to write about, you keep looking for that word? I don't get it... you're supposed to be writing about technology, yet you really flip-out when you see that magic word and make sure we all know about it. Were you a tattletale in school? Are you the word police? Or do you just like writing about the word F*CK? Personally, it's kind of creepy, the way you obsess about this. Please tell us, we'd like to know what the F*CK is on your mind?

Posted by: Alan | January 24, 2007 9:21 PM


Dude, I'll stop reporting on it as soon as the media stop broadcasting it.

Here's the news props for the two blog postings you note:

a) Within hours of Fox's broadcast of the f-word during the NFL game a couple of weeks back, an indecency complaint had already been filed at the FCC. The agency must investigate that and any other complaints because there are *regulations on the books* that prohibit broadcast of such language. I did not write the regulations and I have no opinion of them. However, I know they exist.

b) The MySpace state of the union user contest video that included the guy wearing the t-shirt with the f-word abbreviation was judged by *former Senator Bill Frist* and *former White House chief of staff John Podesta.* They are two noteworthy figures who have put their imprimatur on the contest. Their pictures are right next to the picture of the dude wearing the t-shirt. MySpace is the world's most popular social-network site. The guy in the video was extolling the virtues of our political system and discourse while wearing a t-shirt that MySpace confirmed abbreviated the phrase "Shut the [f-word] Up." Need I go on?

If I were to ignore these newsworthy items -- one of which is a possible violation of federal regulations -- just because, hey, man, we're all just a bunch of uptight squares hung up on bad words, then I wouldn't be doing my job.

You may feel like that and God love ya, but I'm not the guy to complain to about it.

I can assure you, I am not obsessed with the f-word. I *am* obsessed with some words, however.

Such as: "ept." An incompetent person is "inept," but a competent person is not "ept." What's up with that?

Posted by: Frank Ahrens | January 26, 2007 6:39 PM

naturally busty*[url=]naturally busty[/url]*

Posted by: swers | February 15, 2007 7:35 AM

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