Alternadad and struggling writer Neal Pollack (pictured, right) has, of course, his own "alternative online parenting publication" called Offsprung, and the site in turn has a chat section called "the Playground," and Pollack figures no one else should be allowed to ever use the word "playground" in the name of a parental discussion board. But that's exactly what Nerve.com founder Rufus Griscom (pictured, left) has gone and done, with his "Babble Playground," attached to his existing hipster parenting site Babble. And so the hipster parent flamewar is on. Cue the requisite nauseating, passive-aggressive bickering over which site is authentic and which site is derivative and tacky. To make things more fun, lawyers are involved.
Roughly a year ago, Pollack started his "Playground" discussion forum. In the last couple of weeks, Griscom's Babble started a similar forum called "Babble Playground."
"We felt usurped, if not completely ripped of," Pollack wrote. Some of his commenters went and started a thread on the competing discussion forum about how their own Playground was totally better. Mature, right? Griscom deleted the thread, which he called "inaccurate and kinda tacky."
Then Griscom sent an email saying, basically, What, you exist? I'm sorry, I hadn't noticed your little chat board. ("We had no idea that you had social networking functionality on your site... I haven't been there in some time.")
Then Pollack asked his legal counsel if Griscom could somehow be sued and made to starve in the street for daring to copy his brilliant "Playground" naming scheme, and they said Uh, definitely not.
So Pollack exercised the only attack vector left at his disposal, calling Griscom a yuppie and a square:
Babble is an expensive downtown urban loft rehab, where everything looks pretty, but it all feels so perfect, so smooth, so sterile, so target-marketed, so…fake. Offsprung, on the other hand, is like going over to the house of a good friend, a friend who has three kids and can't afford to even dream about a nanny. The house is imperfect. It's loud. There's a weird yellow stain with hair clumps behind the toilet. But it's home, and it's comfortable, and it's yours.
Then all the hipsters went back to ruining their children and the world forever, The End.