The Goats are Everywhere. Burning.

Denialism and Customer Service

What happens when it is your job to help people back out of mistakes, but you are an unrepentant skeptic and most of those people you are trying to help are … not?

… I want to yell at the naturopath who tells me that vaccination is dangerous and that she is selling cures that help people avoid sickness. I want to tell them to stop it, to wake up and prepare for a new economy rather than allow themselves to lose out by hanging on to an old economy…..

Goats on Fire

From now on, we’re calling it “Goats on Fire.” Or, for short, GOF!!!


  1. #1 Endless psycj
    December 12, 2009

    Had a few GOF moment today at an anti-vax protest. But kinda annoyed when woosters don’t turn out to be Shirley Phelps esque moronic dribbling and deluded psychopaths.

    (Wee blog in more detail here:

  2. #2 John McKay
    December 12, 2009

    We need a Flaming Goat award. Maybe the SB bloggers and readers could nominate their favorite troll comment of the year for a panel of prestigious judges (or low traffic bloggers with nothing better to do) to evaluate.

  3. #3 Hank Fox
    December 12, 2009

    I’ve been seeing references to “goats on fire” over the past few days. Take a look at this — the banner image from a blog I used to write.

  4. #4 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    December 12, 2009

    Why didn’t we think of Goats on Fire instead of Quiche Moraine? Okay, QM is a great name, but “Goats on Fire?”


  5. #5 MadScientist
    December 13, 2009

    Goats on Fire = Flaming Goats = Gay Goats on Parade?

  6. #6 HalfMooner
    December 13, 2009

    Background: The stand-alone sentence, “GOATS ON FIRE!” was quoted by PZ Myers from a raving email he’d gotten from Dennis Markuze, the deranged, threat-slinging Canadian troll, aka “David Mabus”. Markuze apparently used his original “GOF” as a sentence devoid of any explanation or explanatory context. It’s a fine phrase to indicate completely meaningless trollish ranting.

  7. #7 Greg Laden
    December 13, 2009

    HalfMooner: Right, that is why I linked to PZ’s post! I receive the same exact emails from Mabus, and the same web site spam as well. In fact, when he sends out an email, it goes to about 200 places, including dozens of blogs, the “contact us” email addresses for every news agency you’ve ever heard of, lots and lots of people in the sketpics/athiest movement, etc. You must be on his list, yes? If not, let me know, I can arrange it!!! :]

    One of my email clients was set at one point to remember all addresses found in all emails. Then I got one of the Mabus spam-mails, and the number of contacts doubled instantly. Which is annoying because I now have dozens of contacts named “info” …

  8. #8 HalfMooner
    December 13, 2009

    Uh, thank you very much, Greg, for the offer of getting me onto Markuze’s email list. But I do think I’ll let that honor pass to others who are more worthy. I’ve seen more than enough of his hate-filled nonsense in the form of spam he leaves at Skeptic Friends Network (where I hang out), and don’t really need more.

    We do have Markuze to thank for introducing a new meme to the skeptic community. All sorts of interesting conceptss (like “Poe”) have terms for them, but now GOATS ON FIRE! is such a delicious expression to signify pure and unadulterated madness. Thank you for promoting this meme.

  9. #9 Mikael Lännqvist
    December 16, 2009

    One this that really gets my tits in a twist is that Markuze has semi-stolen my online identity.

    I’ve used the handle “Dr. Mabuse” since 1999 when MechWarrior 3 first went online. I registered to Skeptic Friends Network, and got promoted to moderator there before Markuze came and spoiled it all.
    I’m also supporting the Skepticality Podcast by administering their discussion board.
    Now, everywhere I turn, I do it will fear that everyone will summarily dismiss me, guilty by association or hastily mistaken identity.

    PZ Myers said he’d be using GOATS ON FIRE as a highlighter, but even with it, Pharyngyla doesn’t accept my registration-requests. Maybe I missed something (like, only select people gets access by referral or similar, to Pharyngula).

    I don’t know if any of you out there who’s on Markuze’s mailing-list are doing this, but every single time he posts at Skepticality, I track down his IP-number and send a complaint to his ISP. If everyone started doing it, their abuse departments will get flooded, and eventually no provider in Montreal will want to have him back again. It’s a legitimate denial of service, for which he has himself to blame.

    Mikael Lännqvist aka Dr. Mabuse of Skeptic Friends Network & Skepticality.

  10. #10 Derek Colanduno
    December 18, 2009

    As the producer, and co-host of the Skepticality podcast, I can fully agree with Mikael. This person has been a bane to not only the Skepticality message system, but I have seen him on almost every science and skeptic based forum and blog out there.

  11. #11 Dennis A Johnson
    April 11, 2011

    GOATS ON FIRE! I love it so!

    A past insanity is untreatable, a present one is undeniable.