Worse Than Youtube Comments

I like Youtube, but reading Youtube comments is like performing trepanation on your own head with a pencil eraser. I tell myself not to read them, but often they are in all caps, so they sneak into my brain anyway. I struggled with this pain for months before coming to a stunning realization: I can block Youtube comments with a tiny Greasemonkey script! However, simply shutting off comments didn't fill me with joy and hope. Fortunately, while discussing the dilemma with Zach, the solution presented itself: reduce the text of each comment to "Bla bla bla..." Genius! It may even have been Zach's idea.

I searched the web a bit until I found a script to donate some code -- feyntube replaces Youtube comments with quotes from Richard Feynman. Of course there is very little of the original code left, because I wanted each word to be replaced with a "bla" -- hopefully with similar capitalization and punctuation.


Picture 4

Wow, this is fairly egregiously nonsensical.


Picture 3

Here's the code, with copious comments.

// ==UserScript==
// @name Youtube blablabla
// @namespace http://jpmullan.com
// @description transform YouTube comments into reasonable and smart ones
// @include http://*youtube*/*
// ==/UserScript==

// Based on feyntube, Written 2008 by Julien Oster <feyntube@julien-oster.de>,
// find the newest version at http://www.julien-oster.de/projects/feyntube

function blanode(node) {
var text = "";
// if the node has children, loop through them
if (node.hasChildNodes()) {
var children = node.childNodes;
for (var i=0; i < children.length; i++) {
} else if (node.nodeName == "#text") {
node.oldText = node.nodeValue;
node.newText = blatext(node.nodeValue);
node.nodeValue = node.newText;
/* Uncomment the following if you hate life only a little and want a
* reason to end it, like the ability to see the source text of
* comments. I do not recommend this course of action, but it is there.
node.parentNode.addEventListener('mouseover', function (event) {
node.nodeValue = node.oldText;
}, false)
node.parentNode.addEventListener('mouseout', function (event) {
node.nodeValue = node.newText;
}, false);
return text;

function blatext(input_string) {
/* split the input on word boundaries */
var input_parts = input_string.split(/\b/);
var output_string = '';
var part;
for (var j = 0; j < input_parts.length; j++) {
part = input_parts[j];
if (part.match(/^[A-Z]+$/)) {
/* words that are all caps */
output_string += 'BLA';
} else if (part.match(/^[A-Z]\w+$/)) {
/* words that are capitalized */
output_string += 'Bla';
} else if (part.match(/^[a-z][a-z]+$/)) {
/* words that are all lowercase and have more than one character
* this leave possessives and the like intact, so you get bla's
* instead of bla'bla, which is the wrong kind of funny */
output_string += 'bla';
} else if ('I' == part) {
/* self reference? whatever */
output_string += 'Bla';
} else if (part.match(/^[0-9]+th$/)) {
/* fix ordinal numbers! */
output_string += 'blath';
} else if (part.match(/^[0-9]+rd$/)) {
output_string += 'blard';
} else if (part.match(/^[0-9]+st$/)) {
output_string += 'blast';
} else {
/* Okay, that's plenty. Anything else would be just mean. */
output_string += part;
return output_string;

var allDivs = document.getElementsByTagName('div');
for (var i = 0; i < allDivs.length; i++) {
div = allDivs[i];
if (div.hasAttribute('class')
&& div.getAttribute('class').match(/commentBody/)) {

That's the meat of it, but this isn't a programming magazine from the 1980s that requires you to type ten thousand lines of BASIC into your C64 -- this is the internet, and it is full of many magicks. If you are the type of person to enjoy a good greasemonkey script from time to time, you might enjoy this one:


But wait there's more! I read Boing Boing, and they have comments, too. Most of the time their commenters are smart and reasonable people, but occasionally I read something from some troll on there that makes me temporarily lose my mind. I could just block specific people, but then I might still be caught unawares. The solution is to nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.


Picture 2


Picture 1


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