Perhaps the Most Foolhardy Post I Have Ever Written, or Will Ever Write

Ok, this judgmental post – part of Judgment Week on ThreadTripping – is really very ill-advised, a bit too personal, and not necessarily fair.

But why let that stop me.

In this post I would like to express my criticism of a fellow BoardingArea blogger – Seth Miller of Wandering Aramean.

I’m not judging his blog mind you. Seth is widely regarded as an excellent blogger – and I don’t disagree. He offers a unique point of view on BoardingArea and possesses some technical skills that allow him to deep dive into the ocean of frequent flyer program data and come up with some intriguing and useful specimens.

His blog is great.

I have also had the good fortune to have met Seth in person several times and he is terrific. He’s polite, intelligent, interesting, funny, and just generally a very enjoyable person to be around. I like him, and everyone else I know who has met him in person likes him.

And if I were a smarter person this is where I would stop.

You see, here’s the thing. As fun and helpful and intelligent as Seth is, he is also a Flame Warrior. In person, he’s great. As a blogger, he’s excellent. But post something he disagrees with in the forums and watch out.

In the world of Flame Warriors, Seth is a cross between a Jekyll and Hide, a Jerk and a Tireless Rebutter.

Those of you who participate on and/or read FlyerTalk and Milepoint, you probably know what I’m talking about.

Seth posts a lot, and often his posts are helpful. But sometimes they are snarky and more than a bit condescending. As evidenced by these recent, and not unusual examples, from a rather innocuous Milepoint thread by AMPfromBNA, initiated with the following post:

Departing LAX last night, I heard the staff talking about food. Turns out the food in the skyclub is set to return starting today.


Landing in ATL this morning I was pleased to find cereal, fresh fruit, and hard boiled eggs. Nothing amazing but certainly an upgrade.

Nothing groundbreaking, to be sure, and AMPfromBNA even acknowledges that. But how does Wandering Aramean respond:

Food might be a bit of a stretch. They’re adding soup back to the menu. This is hardly cause to cancel dinner plans and race to the airport.


Yes, it is an upgrade and it is nice to see a bit of effort/investment there. But let’s not pretend this is some amazing change which will suddenly make travel more than the stressful, hurry-up-and-wait experience it often is.

mattsteg then mildly chastises Seth:

Pretty sure no one was claiming fine dining was coming to the sky clubs…just something more substantial and healthy than the current options for the times you might need/want to grab a quick bite.

Only to be met with:

Which bits are more healthy?


Or really more substantial as “a quick bite” really? The nutritional information charts for the few items they had didn’t look all that great to me. And a cup o soup is nice but really not the deciding factor in planning a trip or even choosing to buy a lounge membership/CC annual fee. At least it shouldn’t be for most rational folks. ~Wandering Aramean

(emphasis added)

And so, based on this and several other similar exchanges over the years, I, serving as judgmental a-hole this week, hereby rule that as long as you, Seth, choose to keep posting in forums in the manner you do, that when confronted with a criticism such as this one from bksmm on FlyerTalk:

…if you’re going to try to explain your accusation, you might want to understand what satire means first. From satire is “the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.”

You are not allowed to respond with:

I’m quite familiar with satire; thanks, though, for treating me like an idiot. That’s always fun. ~sbm12

If you are going to be a Jekyll & Hide-Jerk-Tireless Rebutter – be a Jekyll & Hide-Jerk-Tireless Rebutter. That’s fine. But then when someone calls you on it, don’t feign being a CrybabyWeenie.

As for me, I will now happily fall back into my role as a LurkerYuk Yuk who lobs in the occasional grenade from time to time. And I will accept any admonishment Seth sees fit to dole out for this foolhardy attack on his posting style. I fully anticipate being ripped to shards, and in a perverse way would welcome it as an  honor from a Flame Warrior of Seth’s caliber.

Read the threads that inspired this judgmental rant in their entirety: BAcon 2014 [split off from ‘BA Bloggers Starting to Run Out of Content’ thread] and The return of skyclub food

And thus ends Judgment Week on ThreadTripping … and frankly, it couldn’t come soon enough. I’m not feeling nearly as dark and judgmental as I was earlier in the week and it has become more and more challenging as the week has progressed to find topics to go all judgmental on – witness today’s stretch (yes, this is a weasely attempt to avoid Seth’s wrath). Perhaps the very action of freely expressing my judgment has lifted my mood.

Or maybe it was all the alcohol – impossible to tell.

Image by The U.S. Army. CC BY 2.0.



  1. Agree Seth overreacted. The original poster had a disclaimer “nothing amazing but certainly an upgrade.” Flaming such an innocuous post adds no value to the discussion.

  2. I’ve met the guy in person at FTU, he turns into a giant douchebag as soon as you disagree with him.

  3. Agreed. I’ve met him before, also at FTU (though I doubt he’d remember me) and it was amazing to see him transform if somebody even mildly disagreed with him.

  4. This post seems more like it should be a conversation between you and your target vs. this forum. Not certain what point you are otherwise trying to make.

  5. You never really know which personality you’ll encounter on FT with him…sort of a bi-polar poster. The most insignificant little detail can drive him to pounce and bogart a whole thread on some tangent. And it’s no just turning into a douche when you disagree with him…he occasionally seems to invent reasons for a disagreement when none would have otherwise existed.

    Though he’s by far not the worst for this behavior on FT. GUWonder comes to mind as a pretty aggressive Flame Warrior. Similar to Seth, s/he can pick up on some inane turn of phrase and use it to cause a major argument. Unlike Seth, GUWonder is rarely helpful in general and seems to have a rather unpleasant demeanor 24/7..yet is a “Flyertalk Evangelist” Go figure.

  6. I feel like this is something that could be addressed in the thread directly. This just provides a forum for people to continually call him out in these comments vs. a place he would see it.

    At that point, it feels more like gossip than constructive.

  7. He’s as bipolar in person as he is online.

    Total douchebag who can’t stand for anyone having a differing opinion from his own.

  8. Some things you can’t really “address in the thread” due to FT’s lopsided moderation practices. Some folks like this are permitted to constantly derail threads and stir things, but other members’ attempts to call them on are it thwarted as you “attacking” them. And of course one can’t “discuss moderation practices” on FT so issues like this never get fixed.

  9. I couldn’t agree more. I have muted him from my twitter feed more than once due to the incessant attacking of some target he seems routinely driven to do. In the end I always un-mute as he does regularly produce great posts and information. It is unfortunate someone as smart as him finds it so necessary to always publicly prove he’s smarter than others, even if it requires attacking an individual for a statement as innocuous as the one in this thread.

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