BushFilter. December 19, 2007 7:34 AM   Subscribe

George Bush.

George Bush George Bush George Bush George.

Dear Mefimericans, It's not really our fault you elected him.
Can you go away until you elect someone decent ?
It's been a long time listening to you all moaning and i can't really take it anymore.

I'm willing to jump on a plane to the us and shout 'George Bush !' very loudly outside certain mefites windows through a loudhailer at 3am if any non - mefi yanks would like to sponsor me.

That is all.
posted by sgt.serenity to Etiquette/Policy at 7:34 AM (319 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

That link doens't go anyplace. If you want to include the correct link I'll fix it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:37 AM on December 19, 2007


You just linked to the comment box.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:37 AM on December 19, 2007


er....aye ok please fix it thanks, you see what all this george bush chat has done to my faculties ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 7:39 AM on December 19, 2007


http://www.metafilter.com/67562/Reuters-Photos-of-the-Year-Aught-Seven
posted by sgt.serenity at 7:40 AM on December 19, 2007


of course 'Reuters-Photos-of-the-Year-Aught-Seven' is an anagram of: ' George Walker Bush', it's amazing how everything just kind of revolves around him.
posted by sgt.serenity at 7:41 AM on December 19, 2007


Is there still BushFilter? I guess I'm so worn out that I don't even see it anymore. But I can still hear the "mosquito" ringtone, so I guess I'm not old yet.
posted by hermitosis at 7:41 AM on December 19, 2007


George Bush borked your link! Let's discuss.
posted by SassHat at 7:42 AM on December 19, 2007


Who?
posted by studentbaker at 7:45 AM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]



Who?
posted by studentbaker at 3:45 PM on December 19 [+] [!]




george bush, i think he's some sort of canadian guy or something.
posted by sgt.serenity at 7:48 AM on December 19, 2007


This, then?
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:48 AM on December 19, 2007


Yall wish I was frontin, I George Bush the button.
posted by cashman at 7:50 AM on December 19, 2007


I really like this picture of NotGeorgeBush.
posted by Mister_A at 8:03 AM on December 19, 2007


I would like to see a MeFi front page post about George Bush.
posted by the dief at 8:07 AM on December 19, 2007


Malkovich? Malkovich. Malkovich. Malkovich. Malkovich. Malkovich!
posted by klarck at 8:10 AM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


im in ur bush bushin ur bush

All Your Bush are Belong to Bush

[To the tune of "shoo fly"]
Bush bush, bush bush bush bush
Bush bush, bush bush bush bush
Bush bush, bush bush bush bush
Bush bush bush bush bush bush.
posted by Mister_A at 8:14 AM on December 19, 2007


You think it's bad. Try fucking living here.
posted by koeselitz at 8:16 AM on December 19, 2007 [26 favorites]


You were expecting deep discussion in a thread about looking at pretty pictures.
posted by smackfu at 8:20 AM on December 19, 2007


I don't understand the purpose of this thread. Am I dense? Someone explain?
posted by sneakin at 8:21 AM on December 19, 2007


Oh noes, people like to talk about the president. And some people even don't like him!
posted by roll truck roll at 8:22 AM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Flag it and move on. Flag it and move on. Flag it and move on.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:24 AM on December 19, 2007



I don't understand the purpose of this thread. Am I dense? Someone explain?
posted by sneakin


sgt. serenity is ordering us to stop interrupting his serenity.
posted by milarepa at 8:25 AM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


First, since a picture of George Bush was part of the FPP, I'm not sure what the moaning in this MeTa is about.

Second, we'll stop moaning about him when y'all do. I am in the UK at this very moment and all ANYONE here wants to talk about, the second they find out I'm from Texas, is George Bush -- and how dumb we all are for electing him and how sad it is that one terrible election can ruin the whole world and how your economy is sliding thanks to Bush and it's our faults and yadda yadda yadda. He's either a blight on all of global humanity giving everyone the right to moan about him, OR it's just one US president and what's the BFD and Americans should stop bitching already... but you can't have it both ways.

Third, do you not see the irony of expressing your own opinion about a topic while asking others to shut up about it?

Fourth, your original comment in the thread was a wittier and more effective way to tell us all not to lose sight of the bigger picture (that there are loads of other compelling photos in the Reuters slideshow), than this MeTa.

Finally: the most effective way to tell us would have been to actually start some of that conversation in the thread yourself. Talk about the dwarf wrestler photo or the bleeding lady photo or the dolphin sex photo* or any one of the dozens of others. "Be the change you wish to see in the world," Sergeant.

That is all.
posted by pineapple at 8:26 AM on December 19, 2007 [10 favorites]


We didn't elect him. Twice.
posted by interrobang at 8:26 AM on December 19, 2007 [10 favorites]


I'm trying to imagine a bushfilter. It keeps away things that don't fit through a hedgerow. So hedgehogs, global warming and kittens are all that passes through a bushfilter?
posted by ardgedee at 8:26 AM on December 19, 2007


* may or may not be any actual photos of dolphin sex in that slideshow.
posted by pineapple at 8:28 AM on December 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


The only thing more annoying than bushfilter are the people that complain about bushfilter.

Not really, I just recently realized how annoying the phrase "the only thing worse than foo are the people that bitch about foo" and wanted to use it here.
posted by puke & cry at 8:33 AM on December 19, 2007


Is there a point to this call out? I mean seriously, what are you trying to say? I get that you're upset about some mention of George Bush, but you just linked to a single thread, while writing shitty, whining snark.

Don't you have a blog that you can use for this bitch sessions?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:37 AM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Dear SgtSerenity: This complaint would seem a little less whiny and silly if you had included links to multiple instances of threads centered on or devolving into discussions of GWB, instead of just moaning about this one thread. (Also, it's not like most of us Americans voted for or like him either.) Also, you're very fortunate to live in the U.K. which has never had an unpleasant, war-eager, or dishonest leader!

On preview, what Blazecock said.
posted by aught at 8:37 AM on December 19, 2007


I'm trying to imagine a bushfilter. It keeps away things that don't fit through a hedgerow.

If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now.
posted by cerebus19 at 8:37 AM on December 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


First, since a picture of George Bush was part of the FPP


There was a picture of flooding in yorkshire there as well - but i didnt see a load of crap posted about that.

Be the change you wish to see in the world


What are you, Whitney Houstons songwriter ?

Frankly, this thread should be full of americans thanking mefi-rest-of-the-world that we put up with them and asking for yet more tolerance from us.
Or giving us money or something.
posted by sgt.serenity at 8:40 AM on December 19, 2007


Maybe I'm missing the obvious, and yes, there is a lot of discussion of Bush in that thread, but not egregiously so. I mean, people are discussing the Bush crying picture, but there is also plenty of other discussion about the other photos as well.

I don't argue that we discuss Bush (and the rest of his administration) quite a lot here, but I don't know that this is the thread I would have held up as an example.

More importantly, it's not just Americans that bring Bush and crew up. Mainly because while he is the American president, he's also the guy that feels that he has the right to impose some kind of will on the rest of the world, a view currently shared by several other nations, all of which have a large MeFi population. And a lot of Mefites who live in areas other than the US take issue with that.

I'm not saying that most of the discussion originates outside the US, but I think that because Bush is affecting more than just US politics, people outside the US do have opinions that they want to discuss.
posted by quin at 8:41 AM on December 19, 2007


Anyway, pile on, you imperialist running dogs.
posted by sgt.serenity at 8:41 AM on December 19, 2007


If you really want to twist the knife, you should call us imperialist waddling and out of breath already dogs.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:46 AM on December 19, 2007 [4 favorites]


Frankly, this thread should be full of americans thanking mefi-rest-of-the-world that we put up with them and asking for yet more tolerance from us.

Thank you Sergeant, may I have another?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:46 AM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's been a long time listening to you all moaning and i can't really take it anymore.

It gets that way for me sometimes too.

Then I remember that he has caused the death and displacement of hundreds of thousands of people and will *never* answer for a catastrophe that he directly authored.

Then I get all depressed and sort of sleepy, and then I take a nap. When I wake up I feel all better.

What I'm saying, sgt. serenity, is that you should go take a nap.
posted by tkolar at 8:48 AM on December 19, 2007


Oh yeah, Geroge Bush. Sorry, I was still getting over the shock that Jamie Lynn Spears is pregnant! Now, let's discuss this... after I watch the finale of I Love New York. It's hogging space on my Tivo I need to record TMZ. Wait, what were we discussing?
posted by studentbaker at 8:53 AM on December 19, 2007


Sounds like somebody pissed in your morning scrumple-and-groats.
*receives note*
...
Excuse me, I've just been informed that this is the proper way to prepare scrumple-and-groats.
posted by boo_radley at 8:55 AM on December 19, 2007 [10 favorites]


Blazecock Pileon: Flag it and move on. Flag it and move on. Flag it and move on.

...unless you're talking about a general issue that might be solved by some community attention. Like this.
posted by koeselitz at 8:56 AM on December 19, 2007


I thought there were a larger proportion of pictures from China than I would have expected, but didn't want to say so for fear of being pigeon-holed as a one-note commenter. Last time I was pigeon-holed, I couldn't sit down for a week.
posted by Abiezer at 8:58 AM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]




Here's the thing: only a tiny percentage of our posts/threads are about Bush, all told. So why not just deal with it?
posted by ORthey at 9:06 AM on December 19, 2007


Nineteen Ninety-Six Guy says, "George Bush ate my balls."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:08 AM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh, I get it. You like Bush and you're upset that people keep on lamenting the downfall of humanity due to his presidency. Rock on!
posted by jmd82 at 9:10 AM on December 19, 2007


...unless you're talking about a general issue that might be solved by some community attention. Like this.

I agree, but let's be honest: is there an epidemic of Bush posts? Is there an epidemic of bad political posts, for that matter (e.g. Ron Paul)?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:11 AM on December 19, 2007


We didn't elect him. Twice.

Well seeing as how people managed to do fuck all about rectifying that -- twice -- I'm thinking that isn't something to brag about.
posted by chunking express at 9:17 AM on December 19, 2007 [3 favorites]


Our bitterness runs deep, sgt. Much deeper than yours.

In other quasi-Bush-related news, the old Executive Office Building was on fire this morning.
posted by Tehanu at 9:17 AM on December 19, 2007


Your beef is with Reuters. There's zero in that picture of photographic interest or merit. It's a close-up of an old man crying. They stuck it in there precisely because they knew it would trigger the sort of discussion going on here at MeFi. It's like finding a land mine covered in shit sitting in the middle of a tulip field.
posted by docpops at 9:25 AM on December 19, 2007


jmd82: Oh, I get it. You like Bush and you're upset that people keep on lamenting the downfall of humanity due to his presidency. Rock on!

Ha!

Yes, dear Sergeant! You love Bush, don't you! Why don't you explain to us why exactly you love him so much, eh?
posted by koeselitz at 9:29 AM on December 19, 2007


Frankly, this thread should be full of americans thanking mefi-rest-of-the-world that we put up with them and asking for yet more tolerance from us.
Or giving us money or something.


*breathlessly* Oh thank you thank you everyone in the world but especially sgt.serenity for tolerating our shameful shameful existence and our insistence on running or is that ruining or maybe both the world and making everyone so angry and sad with the constantly running bushfilter. truly sgt.serenity until you pointed this out it would never have occurred to me or any other american mefite that anyone else on the planet had reason to be angry at us or our leaders whom we did not elect (twice!) and we would not have known to hang our heads in shame and to crawl off to live silently in a cave somewhere so as not to bother anyone else at least until the next election.

/sarcasm
posted by rtha at 9:30 AM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


jmd82: you may wish to peruse the sergeant's user page.
posted by koeselitz at 9:32 AM on December 19, 2007


I would like to apologise to the rest of the [world/site] for [George Bush/Sgt.Serenity] and would like to assure all of [my valued friends/you motherfuckers] that he is not representative of the rest of us [American idiots/idiots]
posted by Jofus at 9:36 AM on December 19, 2007 [3 favorites]


Shit, I was right there when that transformer exploded near Grand Central. I had to run 28 floors down to the street amid a crowd of screaming lunatics because we all thought we were going to die in a collapsing building because no one knew what the explodey rumbley sounds were till we got to street level. There was a picture in that slideshow of that, and it didn't get as much discussion as the bush pic either, but I'm not complaining about it. Why? Because I got over myself.
posted by shmegegge at 9:48 AM on December 19, 2007


What is it with the rest of the world and their obsession with body hair? All I hear is, "Bush, Bush, Bush, you Americans have got to get rid of Bush..."
posted by Pollomacho at 9:53 AM on December 19, 2007


I didn't come griping to you during the Maggie Thatcher years, did I? Incidentally, can we close this hopeless thread?
posted by Skot at 9:53 AM on December 19, 2007


Ok, so maybe I'll have to spell it out the first few times.

This is our "Shh, don't tell the admins this is an open thread" thread for today.

Carry on.
posted by davey_darling at 9:56 AM on December 19, 2007


Shit, I was right there when that transformer exploded near Grand Central.

Wait a second...I thought that was just a movie; it was a documentary?
posted by inigo2 at 9:57 AM on December 19, 2007


For what? The Rodney Dangerfield memorial userpic?
posted by jmd82 at 10:00 AM on December 19, 2007


If that fire in the Old Executive Office building had been a little more patriotic, it would have spread to the White House and burned Bush to a cinder..
posted by breezeway at 10:03 AM on December 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


For what? The Rodney Dangerfield memorial userpic?

Rodney Dangerfield - the greatest president america never had.
posted by sgt.serenity at 10:03 AM on December 19, 2007


I'll be happy to take criticism over the way we conduct politics here in the USA from anyone who doesn't live in a fucking monarchy. *uncontrollable laughter*
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:03 AM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


aye, jmd - you're just jealous my snake on head photo tops your chee - thingumy on head photo.
posted by sgt.serenity at 10:06 AM on December 19, 2007


sgt. serenity, you are trying to teach a pig how to sing with this one.
posted by baphomet at 10:08 AM on December 19, 2007


What is the origin of using the term "Leader of the free world" to refer to the American President? I alway assumed it was something a president thought up to impress some lady in an airport bar. How do the other world leaders feel abut this? Is there a leader of the unfree world? How about a leader of the "extra-free but americans are wary of our unique brand of socialism" world? Why aren't there third-world olympics? I think Haiti could use the self-esteem boost.
posted by billyfleetwood at 10:08 AM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


> sgt. serenity is ordering us to stop interrupting his serenity.

True. Since he found it, there's no place he'd rather be. But you want to really see him lose it? Try to take the sky from him.
posted by WCityMike at 10:10 AM on December 19, 2007 [4 favorites]


I'll be happy to take criticism over the way we conduct politics here in the USA from anyone who doesn't live in a fucking monarchy. *uncontrollable laughter*
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur

you are painting yourself into a corner, Ambrosia.
posted by micayetoca at 10:11 AM on December 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


Keep on Rotting in the Free World. Just seemed like something this thread needed.
posted by Wolfdog at 10:13 AM on December 19, 2007


Nay- I rather prefer my thingumy not being able to put my life in peril. Besides, something creeps me out about a pet that could eat mine. Or strangle me to death. Or both.
posted by jmd82 at 10:16 AM on December 19, 2007


Oh come on now, you come from a culture that likes to deep fry Mars Bars, like you're in a position to say anything.
posted by cmonkey at 10:19 AM on December 19, 2007


> You just linked to the comment box.
> posted by cortex at 10:37 AM on December 19 [+] [!]

A link with visible text "george bush" and a url pointing to the metafilter comment box? What could possible be more appropriate than that? Except maybe one pointing to the Crooks and Liars comment box. I took that to be sgt.serenity's meaning and went "Oh aye, ain't that the truth."
posted by jfuller at 10:25 AM on December 19, 2007


What are you, Whitney Houstons songwriter ?

Actually that quote is attributed to Gandhi, who had a thing or two to say about British imperialism.
posted by joseph_elmhurst at 10:27 AM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's yet another case of Babylon mashing up the scene and blaming the Rastaman.
posted by sgt.serenity at 10:28 AM on December 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


Oh come on now, you come from a culture that likes to deep fry Mars Bars, like you're in a position to say anything.

Okay, if we've gotten to the point where we're in any way impugning the deepfrying of Mars Bars, we've lost the war in fighting the battle. Everybody just go home.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:30 AM on December 19, 2007


There was a picture of flooding in yorkshire there as well - but i didnt see a load of crap posted about that.

So why didn't you?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:31 AM on December 19, 2007


Actually that quote is attributed to Gandhi, who had a thing or two to say about British imperialism.

I saw that quote the other night on a plaque on a recycling bin in North Portland. I'm not sure how to feel about that, exactly.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:32 AM on December 19, 2007


We're sorry you're tired of basking in the glow of American might and power in your little backwater, third-world, has-been/never-was country. While it's true that America is in decline, it's surely true that all of those poor indians and zulus got pretty tired of hearing about Victoria this, and Prince Albert that 150 years ago. Your empire had its moment in the sun. America is still in it, at least for the moment. Please have the grace and courtesy to accept that and go back to your haggis and warm beer, and shut the hell up.
posted by Dave Faris at 10:38 AM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh come on now, you come from a culture that likes to deep fry Mars Bars, like you're in a position to say anything.
posted by cmonkey at 10:19 AM on December 19 [+] [!]


Dude, he's from Scotland. Cuisine comparisons don't work.
posted by sleepy pete at 10:47 AM on December 19, 2007


Typical Yank a-historicism. The British Empire had a profound and lasting effect on the world that will be remembered long after you're a brief footnote - largely recalled as one of our spin-offs. You're the Joanie Loves Chachi to our Happy (and Glorious) Days.
posted by Abiezer at 10:52 AM on December 19, 2007 [3 favorites]


So, sarge, who should we be talking about? Malcolm Chisholm?
posted by languagehat at 10:55 AM on December 19, 2007


Dude, he's from Scotland. Cuisine comparisons don't work.

So what, you're telling me that you don't like sheep's 'pluck' (heart, liver and lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally boiled in the animal's stomach for approximately three hours (aka haggis) ??
posted by worker_bee at 10:56 AM on December 19, 2007


At least we're still in syndication and not some kinescoped oddity.
posted by Dave Faris at 11:00 AM on December 19, 2007


[To the tune of "shoo fly"]
Bush bush, bush bush bush bush
Bush bush, bush bush bush bush
Bush bush, bush bush bush bush
Bush bush bush bush bush bush
bush bush.

Fixed that for you. Literally.
posted by davejay at 11:01 AM on December 19, 2007


Haha, what I love about americans* is that a lot of you guys are so very american. It's perfectly allright for you to criticize your own country, but the second a foreigner does it you're reciting the pledge of allegiance. I've got this sneaking suspicion that if I sat down with a hardline WTO protester (or someone like that) and said "hellö, I äm from Swedön, and I thing yör kountry ees morally corrupt änd pröbably the clösest we've cöme to ä Röman emipre in the 21st centöry" he/she'd go "fuck you man, this is the land of the free and fuck your monarchy and rotten fish eating ways".

True, this post isn't that good, but surely you americans can find it in your hearts to see where the BushFilter feelings come from. There's no need to get personal. There's no need to zoom in on the atrocities perpetrated by the UK. Flag it and move on, or something.

Personally, I skip every thread that has something to do with american politics, but sometimes I still feel what the good sgt. feels.

* Used here to denote people living in the USA.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 11:01 AM on December 19, 2007 [7 favorites]


This callout and ensuing thread are confusing to me. I am going to go shake some dopamine loose by having a King-Sized Whopper meal and then go squeeze a few off at the shooting range. Then I'll go to church.
posted by everichon at 11:02 AM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Is this like 'cockblock' for those of us with girly parts?
posted by juliplease at 11:02 AM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Haggis, tatties, and neeps may look dull on the plate and sound appalling to the squeamish, but damned if they ain't fuckin' delicious, and one of only several foods that naturally pair with the alcoholic heft of a single malt.
posted by breezeway at 11:04 AM on December 19, 2007


You're the Joanie Loves Chachi to our Happy (and Glorious) Days.

I prefer to think of us as the Family Matters to your Perfect Strangers.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:04 AM on December 19, 2007


Perhaps we could use a "BushLit" tag for posts like these.
posted by salishsea at 11:07 AM on December 19, 2007


You're the Joanie Loves Chachi to our Happy (and Glorious) Days.

I prefer to think of us as the Family Matters to your Perfect Strangers.


I see us as The Prisoner to their Secret Agent.
posted by breezeway at 11:08 AM on December 19, 2007


Our World really needs to get attaked by Plutonians.
posted by studentbaker at 11:08 AM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Maybe they could attack us, too.
posted by studentbaker at 11:09 AM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


this thread should be full of americans thanking mefi-rest-of-the-world that we put up with them

What do you mean by "americans"? Do you mean "people who support or complain-about Bush"? Because that's not the same as "Americans." The two sets overlap, but they're not the same.

I was born in New York. I have an American accent. By most reasonable definitions, I'm an American.

I didn't vote for Bush. I don't support him. I also don't complain about him. I rarely discuss him. I think he's doing a lot of bad stuff, but I'm not interested in him. Talking about Bush bores me, so I don't do it. I have never posted here about him.

Do I not count as an American?

Also, how have you had to put up with me? Me personally. What have I ever done to you? Or maybe you mean "my people" have done something to you. Except they haven't. My people are my wife, my friends and my family. As-far-as I know, none of those people have have ever posted anything here about Bush. I doubt they've made a blip on your radar. So I don't see how you've had to put up with them.

I, on the other hand, have to put up with people like you, who post about George Bush! Don't you think you should thank me for putting up with you?
posted by grumblebee at 11:10 AM on December 19, 2007 [6 favorites]


Perhaps the The Three Amigos to your Tim Meadows' unending tenure on the Saturday Night Live cast, actually.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:10 AM on December 19, 2007


Actually, we're the Pee Wee's Big Adventure to your The Groundlings. After all these years, you're still running around talking about royalties.
posted by roll truck roll at 11:13 AM on December 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


It's perfectly allright for you to criticize your own country, but the second a foreigner does it you're reciting the pledge of allegiance.

Wow, that's original. Who says Europe has stagnated when it comes to innovative thought and trenchant criticism? Now do 'Bah! In your so-called land of the free 5% of the population controls 95% of the wealth...'!

I'm Canadian, so I don't really care either way. About anything, really.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:14 AM on December 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


This thread is a perfect example of how Metafilter is reeeaaally starting to suck.
posted by stinkycheese at 11:16 AM on December 19, 2007


stinkycheese typed "This thread is a perfect example of how Metafilter is reeeaaally starting to suck."

Screw you. Don't trust anyone under 30000.
posted by roll truck roll at 11:17 AM on December 19, 2007 [3 favorites]


Who says Europe has stagnated when it comes to innovative thought and trenchant criticism?

George Bush, I think.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 11:18 AM on December 19, 2007


"In other quasi-Bush-related news, the old Executive Office Building was on fire this morning."

Oh, just a routine evidence fire. Nothing to be alarmed about.
posted by klangklangston at 11:19 AM on December 19, 2007 [9 favorites]


Pah, more like America's The Goonies vs. the rest of the world's Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead if you know what I mean.
posted by cmonkey at 11:20 AM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm Canadian, so I don't really care either way. About anything, really.
Don't cop out Alvy - at least offer a spurious crap TV analogy of your own. Let's move this vital debate forward!
Mildred and George to our very manly Man About the House.
posted by Abiezer at 11:23 AM on December 19, 2007


Thanks davejay!
posted by Mister_A at 11:26 AM on December 19, 2007


hellö, I äm from Swedön, and I thing yör kountry ees morally corrupt änd pröbably the clösest we've cöme to ä Röman emipre in the 21st centöry" he/she'd go "fuck you man, this is the land of the free and fuck your monarchy and rotten fish eating ways

Actually, talk like that just makes me want you as my waitress. Rawr.
posted by jmd82 at 11:27 AM on December 19, 2007


Now that's a crap analogy, Abiezer. It would be more accurate to say the USA is the Three's Company to the UK's Man About The House, or The Ropers to Mildred and George, or Three's a Crowd to Robin's Nest.

(Saved By The Bell to Degrassi)
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:28 AM on December 19, 2007


Haha, what I love about americans* is that a lot of you guys are so very american. It's perfectly allright for you to criticize your own country, but the second a foreigner does it you're reciting the pledge of allegiance. I've got this sneaking suspicion that if I sat down with a hardline WTO protester (or someone like that) and said "hellö, I äm from Swedön, and I thing yör kountry ees morally corrupt änd pröbably the clösest we've cöme to ä Röman emipre in the 21st centöry" he/she'd go "fuck you man, this is the land of the free and fuck your monarchy and rotten fish eating ways".

True, this post isn't that good, but surely you americans can find it in your hearts to see where the BushFilter feelings come from. There's no need to get personal. There's no need to zoom in on the atrocities perpetrated by the UK. Flag it and move on, or something.

Personally, I skip every thread that has something to do with american politics, but sometimes I still feel what the good sgt. feels.


Nope. I can't find it in my heart. Because the problem here, for me, is not that sgt. serenity complained about Yet Another Bush Thread. "Your favorite thread sucks" is sort of the raison d'etre of MetaTalk.

The problem here is that instead of "can we stop talking about George Bush?," he had to toss some "God, thanks, shitty Americans, for electing such a loser, and also you all suck and should beg me for your forgiveness, and NOW can we stop talking about George Bush?" I mean, I hate to be all "he got personal first," but... well, he did. Makes his complaint hard to give a shit about.

So, whinge about how nationalist we are all you like -- but don't conflate the "Americans are jingoistic nationalists" argument with "sgt.serenity made a callout with merit." Because, while, yes we are, also no he didn't.

And, also, for the last effing time -- if you (The General You, not any particular "you") hate it here so much, visit another site. Or start more threads about Swedish politics or about Scottish politics or about Martian politics or whatever you're on about.

But, "Hmph, I do not like to read it, therefore this is bad website and I sit here long hours to complain about other people's posts" is a really dumb way to work the internets. With or without umlauts.
posted by pineapple at 11:28 AM on December 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


pineapple, one problem with that is that nearly every thread about some other country is instantly flooded with USians comparing things with their own country. So it really doesn't matter how threads are presented, they wind up being The American Experience.
posted by stinkycheese at 11:31 AM on December 19, 2007 [5 favorites]


Wow. Hard to imagine that excessive politics discussion would lead to bad feelings and frustration. Didn't see that coming.
posted by dios at 11:33 AM on December 19, 2007 [3 favorites]




dios you old devil you!

Now about some threads becoming US-centric: Get over it. BushFilter is boring, we all agree, but the fact is that the majority of MeFites are "USian" (that is the last time I will ever use that awful appellation), and so naturally measure stories about other lands against their personal experience in the 21st century United States of America. Morans.
posted by Mister_A at 11:39 AM on December 19, 2007


Just wanted to say Canada is the best. The rest of yous can all try your best to be as awesome as us. Good luck with that.
posted by chunking express at 11:39 AM on December 19, 2007


You're right of course, Alvy. Worse, thinking back, Mildred and George was a better show than Man About the House too.
posted by Abiezer at 11:41 AM on December 19, 2007


FYI, socialized awesomeness is totally watered down.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:41 AM on December 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


Whatever, eh.
posted by Mister_A at 11:42 AM on December 19, 2007


I mean, Canada would be great if it didn't have Vancouver in it. Blecch.
posted by Mister_A at 11:42 AM on December 19, 2007


So, whinge about how nationalist we are all you like -- but don't conflate the "Americans are jingoistic nationalists" argument with "sgt.serenity made a callout with merit." Because, while, yes we are, also no he didn't.

I never did. Or, at least, I never intended to. As I said, this post isn't that great. But, that said, this is a callout with some merit. Sure, it's a merit that has been hashed and re-hashed and beathen to death and never even again should be touched with a fourty foot pole, but...

And, also, for the last effing time -- if you (The General You, not any particular "you") hate it here so much, visit another site.

...seriously, no fucking way. I love it here. But the purpose of MetaTalk is to air grievances, right? And if one of MetaFilter's members has a grievance to air, well, it'll probably drown in an avalanche of snark. Still, BushFilter is a part of this site. It's worth discussing. Well, maybe not for the millionth time, but still. AmericanPoliticsFilter is another. And as you lot are gearing up for another election, this will escalate. And in it's wake, a few MetaTalk threads, I guess.

And, yeah, a majority of MetaFilter members are american*^, but some of us are from other parts of the world. WE SHALL OVERCOME
posted by soundofsuburbia at 11:44 AM on December 19, 2007


beathen?
posted by soundofsuburbia at 11:45 AM on December 19, 2007


Well Mister_A, with that point of view, why not just be honest and call it Americanfilter or something? This site used to have a pretty international userbase, at least in comparison with most, er, comparable websites. That brain drain you feel is the rest of the world giving on intelligent discourse with the US. Have fun chatting amongst yourselves; the TV references and in-jokes can be that much more obscure!
posted by stinkycheese at 11:46 AM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Alright, that's it. I can't take it anymore. I can't believe someone would write something so offensive, so bizarre, and unfounded. It's a sad day here at MetaTalk when we allow such filth to survive without deletion. Degrassi IS NOT the canadian version of Saved By The Bell. There, I said it. And I AM NOT ASHAMED!
posted by blue_beetle at 11:47 AM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


I also love how a complain by a Brit about americans turns into a debate about Canada. I &hearts MeFi.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:49 AM on December 19, 2007


also, for the last effing time -- if you (The General You, not any particular "you") hate it here so much, visit another site.

I hate this argument. It stinks so badly of "America! Love it or leave it!" and in this particular debate it stinks even more richly. Please folks, there is room for dissenting opinions without resorting to some call of homogeneity or exile.
posted by shmegegge at 11:50 AM on December 19, 2007 [3 favorites]


also, we are Family Matters to their Die Hard. This is the gospel truth and undeniable.
posted by shmegegge at 11:56 AM on December 19, 2007


I think I'm going to start calling Europeans "EUians"
posted by blenderfish at 11:57 AM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


U.S. : Canada :: Colbert Report : Red Green Show

The most valuable exports of both nations, really. Hey, I didn't know you could fix that with duct tape. Thanks, Canada!
posted by Tehanu at 12:07 PM on December 19, 2007


I can't believe someone would write something so offensive, so bizarre, and unfounded. It's a sad day here at MetaTalk when we allow such filth to survive without deletion.Degrassi IS NOT the canadian version of Saved By The Bell.

Uh, that is so not what I said. I was illustrating how Canada is infinitely better than the US by comparing each nation's most popular and/or iconic youth-oriented television programme. So, like, quit putting words in my mouth, you dastard.

Your conduct is unsurprising, considering where you live.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:09 PM on December 19, 2007


pineapple, one problem with that is that nearly every thread about some other country is instantly flooded with USians comparing things with their own country. So it really doesn't matter how threads are presented, they wind up being The American Experience.

Could that have anything at all to do with the fact that the majority of the site members are Americans?

And that the American Experience might be all they have to contribute?

Like I said, I'm overseas right this second, and I know from first-hand experience that my countrymen can really be provincial assholes at times... that we mostly do not have a global worldview like Europeans do... that we tend to reframe everything we know in our own experiences and understanding. And I have loads of theories about why that is, and why it's not intentionally assholish behavior -- but more a simple bit of "country come to town," that we are a huge country with not many neighbors, and that for most Americans it's financially out of reach to travel to other countries (which often means other continents, when we can manage to save up the cash for that kind of trip), and in fact that Europeans in particular never seem to realize how good they have it, dozens of cultural experiences within two hours by car -- but those theories don't matter too much in the grand scheme here, which is basically:

Yes, there is a cultural majority on this site, and yes, that cultural majority takes the lead most of the time, and yes, that's not exactly fair to the cultural minorities. What is the suggested course of action? Shall we all divide up like a game of Risk and then one can only post in threads where one has something culturally relevant to contribute? Shall we never talk about American popular culture?

I know it must be hard to be a non-American on this site, at times. But, like I said earlier, I just don't think the way to rectify that situation is to call us imperialist scum and then wait for the favorites to roll in. Flies, honey, et cetera.

This site used to have a pretty international userbase, at least in comparison with most, er, comparable websites. That brain drain you feel is the rest of the world giving on intelligent discourse with the US. Have fun chatting amongst yourselves; the TV references and in-jokes can be that much more obscure!

I'll ignore the insults and ask again, happily listening for answers, and hoping there are actual suggestions instead of just jabs or crickets:

What would you like us to do? Talk less about American topics? Equal FPP topic distribution among represented countries? Equal representation among represented MeFite countries in each thread? (It'll be like the UN!)

I'm totally amenable to ideas. But really all I'm seeing is finger-pointing and no solutions offered.

"also, for the last effing time -- if you (The General You, not any particular "you") hate it here so much, visit another site."

I hate this argument. It stinks so badly of "America! Love it or leave it!" and in this particular debate it stinks even more richly.


Only because you are choosing to read it that way. There is a reason I'm always using that one particular Gandhi quote. I have long been on record at MetaFilter (among other discussion boards) of being in the camp that there are three courses of action when you don't like something on the internet:

1. Be a net-positive user and change the discussion.

2. Sit back and just endlessly whine and moan about how bad it is around here.

3. Vote with your feet, and leave.

Two of those actions make change. One is just noise. Sorry that you are reading my position as something political, but it's not. I just hate the behavior of whining and complaining without offering suggestions. Everyone has got the same right to use their words here to effect change on the community and environment... and that it happens to be non-Americans talking about whether Americans are culturally deaf doesn't alter my stance.

If you want to argue that complaining is doing something, then fine. But that's a different discussion, and doesn't have anything to do with such crass behavior as "wayull, iffen yew dont much lahk our ways, then yews jus' git out!"
posted by pineapple at 12:09 PM on December 19, 2007 [5 favorites]


Christ, people, you are the Steptoe & Son to our Sanford & Son. Ours has much better theme music.
posted by joseph_elmhurst at 12:12 PM on December 19, 2007


No, no, no, no, no. You're the American Version of Cracker to our British Version of Cracker. So there.

Or, maybe Coupling. But that's more contentious.
posted by flashboy at 12:16 PM on December 19, 2007


I think you misunderstand me, stinky cheese. My point is that there is nothing wrong with Americans expressing their views on this site, just as there is nothing wrong with Australians, or Dutch, or anyone else, talking about their experiences and comparing with those of people in other lands. Since the lion's share of the site's users are Americans, it may be that the lion's share of the comments come from an American perspective. The USA is an easy target for bashing, and much of the bashing is perhaps justified, but it is unfair, immoral, and intellectually sloppy to paint Americans with a broad brush, and your (stinkycheese) blithe implicit characterization of citizens of this country as intellectually vacuous is insulting.
posted by Mister_A at 12:17 PM on December 19, 2007


Actually, it reads about the same pineapple. And your reasons why USians don't travel certainly got a laugh out of me. Unless you think Canadians drive across the North Pole to go visit Russia or something, there's very little difference as far how the two countries are able to physically get other places (for instance).

Here's a mindblower: replace male with USian (or American if that makes this more palatable for you), and female with The Rest of the World. As regards the site & its members, I mean. Does that make this easier to understand?
posted by stinkycheese at 12:18 PM on December 19, 2007


The USA is an easy target for bashing, and much of the bashing is perhaps justified, but it is unfair, immoral, and intellectually sloppy to paint Americans with a broad brush, and your (stinkycheese) blithe implicit characterization of citizens of this country as intellectually vacuous is insulting.

I'll let you in on a secret: outside of the USA, this sort of plead for 'equality' just makes everyone snigger and roll their eyes. Stop killing people all over the world and you'll be shocked to find your reputation improves.
posted by stinkycheese at 12:20 PM on December 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


I really don't think USians truly understand what the second election of Bush did for the RotW. Think about it for awhile, see if you can grasp what that said to everybody else on this planet.
posted by stinkycheese at 12:21 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


What would you like us to do? Talk less about American topics?

Yeah. If your american topics are the best of the web, keep posting them. Give me your weird snacks, your cartoon shows, Your huddled Pee Wee Herman yearning to breathe free. (...) I lift my favorites beside the golden door!
posted by soundofsuburbia at 12:24 PM on December 19, 2007


I really don't think USians truly understand what the second election of Bush did for the RotW

Seriously. You know how it goes: "Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again."
posted by chunking express at 12:24 PM on December 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


You're quite a fucking douchebag, aren't you stinkycheese? I am talking about basic respect among people, and you are shouting "YOU'RE AN UNINFORMED AMERICAN BABY KILLER THAT'S ALL I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOU!"

Go fuck yourself you weak-minded bigot.
posted by Mister_A at 12:25 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yikes.
posted by stinkycheese at 12:27 PM on December 19, 2007


I really don't think USians truly understand what the second election of Bush did for the RotW

"We approve of his murder, torture, war, and threats of aggression," perhaps?
posted by Tehanu at 12:28 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Or, maybe Coupling.

There was no American version of Coupling. *fingers in ears* Nope, LALALA, I can't hear you! It never happened! It doesn't matter how much I like Rena Sopher, she had nothing to do with any project that might have been an attempt to copy this particular BBC show.

IT NEVER HAPPENED!
posted by quin at 12:29 PM on December 19, 2007


Only because you are choosing to read it that way.

No. I didn't say that was what you were trying to say. I said that's what it comes off as. Unfortunately, how it reads doesn't depend very much on how you wanted it to read. You don't have to be an asshole to smell like shit, you can just have a little on your shoe. The fact is that what you call "whining in metatalk" does for the most part have a net positive effect on the site. What community participation exists here in terms of sitewide standards and practice happens largely on metatalk. So no. You're not actually encouraging real action, you're just telling people to leave if they don't like it. Voting with your feet only works if absence causes a tangible loss. Leaving metafilter because you don't like one particular aspect of it has never really accomplished anything, except for perhaps when Jennydiski (it was her, right?) and EB left after the sexist discussion. But what was accomplished through that discussion (which would have perfectly fit into your apparent definition of "whining in metatalk") was more through the discussion and less through them leaving. Really, you're not offering a workable alternative. You're just demanding homogeneity even if that's not what you mean to do.
posted by shmegegge at 12:32 PM on December 19, 2007 [3 favorites]


It doesn't matter how much I like Rena Sopher

If you really liked her, one would think you could spell her last name correctly.
posted by cerebus19 at 12:33 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


outside of the USA, this sort of plead for 'equality' just makes everyone snigger and roll their eyes.

Everyone who has a twelve year old's mentality when it comes to people and politics, I'm guessing.

Stop killing people all over the world and you'll be shocked to find your reputation improves.

Well, now we've heard from both the Condescending Euro contingent and the Smug & Sanctimonious Canada representative. Who's next?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:34 PM on December 19, 2007


I'm proud to be an American, where at least I'm told I'm free.

I am envious of the European MeFites, though. Not only because many of them have state-sponsored affordable healthcare and less-insane justice systems, but also for the reason pineapple mention above: I can get in my car and travel for ten hours by interstate and still be in the SAME FUCKING PLACE, for all intents and purposes. A friend of mine once illustrated this by driving across the country and taking pictures of himself standing in front of every O'Charley's restaurant he passed. The resultant photoset was hilarious and depressing simultaneously: exact same sign, exact same building, while the background changed from desert, to mountain, to seashore, to prairie....

And to address the poster's original point: I would be loudly and vociferously complaining online about whoever's in charge of the Princely House of Liechtenstein if he or she were an arrogant, deluded douchebag with the power to destroy civilzation.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:34 PM on December 19, 2007


What is the origin of using the term "Leader of the free world" to refer to the American President?

I may be way off, but I think it started with the truman doctrine or around there. Maybe the marshall plan.
posted by puke & cry at 12:39 PM on December 19, 2007


Can we just have the Brits stick to "whinge" and the Americans to "whine"? You're confusing the shit out of me.
posted by Durin's Bane at 12:40 PM on December 19, 2007 [3 favorites]


"I really don't think USians truly understand what the second election of Bush did for the RotW. Think about it for awhile, see if you can grasp what that said to everybody else on this planet."

OH NOES CANADA HATEZ US!

I really don't think you truly understand what the election of Harper did for the RotW—absolutely nothing, because Canada doesn't fucking matter. You'll keep sending us your wood and oil, and we'll keep politely listening to your ramblings about two-fers and toques.

Perhaps, if you're really good, we'll let our 19-year-olds go over and get shitfaced in an ass town like Windsor.

(I mean, if you weren't being fucking retarded, you'd have realized that yeah, a great many Americans do get it, and we've been doing everything we can short of shooting the motherfucker to get him out. Oh, and that Canada's really not that fucking different out in the wilds of Alberta. But instead, fuck you Canada—try and stop us.)
posted by klangklangston at 12:42 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


stinkycheese: I really don't think USians truly understand what the second election of Bush did for the RotW. Think about it for awhile, see if you can grasp what that said to everybody else on this planet.

Absolutely. What did it say to the rest of the world? It pissed off Muslims. It pissed off Canadians. It pissed off Europeans. Because Muslims would rather have a just and responsive theocracy and know that the western world (the whole western world) has roundly been oppressive and closed-minded, Canadians would rather not be bothered to fucking think about international politics, Europeans would like money and the moral satisfaction that goes with refusing to stand up for anybody or anything or to make any kind of tough decision. Fucking racists, all of you, and fucking whingers. Except the Muslims. Most of them, anyhow.

Call us back about "what the election said to the world" when you justify your own government in terms of our lives, and when you decide your elections on the basis of our opinions. Also, when you know a damned thing about domestic politics. I don't like Bush, and I wouldn't vote for him, but that has fuck-all to do with the rest of the world and everything to do with what it means for those of us who live here. As it should. The presidency isn't the goddamned United Nations, and, call me crazy, but I have a slight suspicion that you couldn't give a damn about the administration of the US National Forest Service or the federal interest rate unless it put money in your pocket or gave you an excuse to whinge about how much you hate another country. And until you do care about those things, don't come telling us how the fuck we should fucking vote.

Europeans/Canadians are all the fucking same. They think the whole world agrees with them. Well, news, friends: nobody gives a fuck what you think, least of all the developing nations and third world, and you've spent just as many years as us being imperialist oppressors. And now, at the moment when we're behind the curve, you have the gall to point fingers? Fuck off.
posted by koeselitz at 12:43 PM on December 19, 2007 [5 favorites]


(that is the last time I will ever use that awful appellation)

It had damned well better be, Mister. I've got my eye on you, too, chunk-ex.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:44 PM on December 19, 2007


If you really liked her, one would think you could spell her last name correctly.

I knew that it didn't look right. Well played, sir, well played.

posted by quin at 12:45 PM on December 19, 2007


Wait a minute, is this Fark? Cuz it really seems like this is Fark.
posted by stinkycheese at 12:46 PM on December 19, 2007


This comment was spot on.

Just because America sucks so much is no reason to tell people to fuck off.
posted by chunking express at 12:49 PM on December 19, 2007


Okay, so I actually think projects like this are pretty cool, so props to your friend. But to use that as proof of some truth about this country, that's a little dense. Get off the fuckin' interstate and see what these towns are really about.
posted by roll truck roll at 12:52 PM on December 19, 2007


Unless you think Canadians drive across the North Pole to go visit Russia or something, there's very little difference as far how the two countries are able to physically get other places (for instance).

My point, which you are either not bright enough to grok, or are willfully ignoring, was that most Americans can't afford to fly to other countries, and driving for four days to get to Canada or Mexico isn't exactly practical either. Maybe if you Canadians got a Disneyworld or something, more Americans would waste the better part of a year's vacation time to drive up there from places like Tulsa and Athens and Topeka and Phoenix. But we've got four million square miles down here -- of actually inhabited land, mind you -- and it's not as easy for us to hop around from country to country like it is for Europeans.

And your reasons why USians don't travel certainly got a laugh out of me.

Don't forget, it's just my own theory. I never said it was fact. And contributing different theories to a discussion about cultural differences is how change happens. But by all means, sit there and feel superior about how you're getting farther, faster with silly insults and your barely-masked loathing.

I really don't think USians truly understand what the second election of Bush did for the RotW. Think about it for awhile, see if you can grasp what that said to everybody else on this planet.

What it should have said to everyone else on the planet is that Americans don't actually perceive the impact of our domestic political activities on other countries, because we aren't aware of how it affects day-to-day life for non-Americans -- we only hear about broad strokes like "this country's economy" or "that country's export policy." Frankly, most Americans assume that how I vote in my precinct affects you about as much as how you vote in your precinct affects me. (Oh, and kudos for taking the opportunity to enlighten us in a way that might have some effect!)

If you want to assume that Americans actually do know, but just ignore it while we laugh maniacally in our corner of the globe, rubbing our hands with glee at how one dumbass from Texas has been able to negatively impact every man, woman, and child of the entire human race, that's on you. Again, good luck with all that loathing. It must get tiresome but something tells me you've got a healthy serving of denial and justification to give you a hand with it all.

Really, you're not offering a workable alternative.

Well, I did make the suggestion that one who didn't like the way it works out around here did always have the option of starting topics of one's own cultural interest... but that was rejected as too difficult by one of those complaining.

And since I'm not the one complaining about how insensitive and inhospitable the Americans are, I'm not really sure that it's incumbent upon me to suggest the alternatives anyway.

My point is now, and has ever been: one can complain, change, or leave. Only one is an actual course of action, to my mind. Again, you can believe that complaining is a decent course of action... but I'm not sure I'd equate the Jenny Diski feminism prompt to the "all Americans totally suck and are intellectually retarded, amirite?" that we're seeing here.

Pommes and naranjas, as it were.

What the vehement non-Americans here seem to want to forget is that, here at MetaFilter? Most of the American users actually agree with you. We know that it sucks that Bush is ruining everyone's life. We know that it's not fair that you have to live with whatever the hell happens in Ames, Iowa in February of every year that is divisible by 4. We know that it's totally shit that many of our countrymen are clueless, nationalistic, inward, protectionists who'd rather read about Britney Spears than the U.S. foreign policy. You are preaching to the fucking choir.

But, by all means, dump on us because we're the low-hanging fruit. We love it.

Just because America Bush sucks so much is no reason *for sgt. serenity* to tell people to fuck off.

Fixed that for you.
posted by pineapple at 12:55 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


chunking express: Just because America sucks so much is no reason to tell people to fuck off.

This is probably an accultured response. Really, I studied political science with students from other countries, so I know.

The accultured response is thus: USians have a habit of getting pissed of when arrogant assholes dismissively label them as unintelligent bigots. And Europeans and Canadians have a growing tendancy to act like arrogant assholes who dismissively label USians as unintelligent bigots.

So, you see, we tend to have this reaction. I don't accuse you of this, but we do get it fairly constantly, and it begins to wear on a person about the billionth time they've had to explain the electoral process or the fact that the whole world for some reason isn't allowed to vote in our elections.
posted by koeselitz at 12:56 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


You fuckers are still trying to remake Father Ted. It's these kind of unilateral, ill-advised international imperialist actions that piss people off. Should this go through, it will mean eternal jihad.
posted by meehawl at 1:00 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hey, stinkycheese, you sure are posting a lot in this thread. Do the words "self-righteous blowhard" ring a bell?
posted by languagehat at 1:01 PM on December 19, 2007 [3 favorites]


Geez Steve, how long have you been following me around waiting to post that quip?
posted by stinkycheese at 1:06 PM on December 19, 2007


So, comrades, I think our substantive business here is done. Shall we close with a rousing chorus of the Internationale?
posted by Abiezer at 1:07 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'd love to know what the average American can do about the fact that Bush cheated in both elections to win. Cause I wish I could have stopped it too.
posted by agregoli at 1:08 PM on December 19, 2007


Why would he have to follow you around? It seems applicable just about any time that you crop up, declaiming on the US.
posted by klangklangston at 1:09 PM on December 19, 2007


Jeez, stinkycheese, now you're just looking for an excuse to hit the big red button. Allegations of stalking? Playing the name card? Come on.
Drink some water, take a couple of deep breaths, and calm down.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:10 PM on December 19, 2007


koeselitz, what I find interesting is that Americans -- perhaps more than anyone else out there? -- feel a certain obligation to leap to their countries defense all the damn time. If I pop in here and say "AMERICA SUCKS LOLS" who really gives a fuck? I'm some random dude on the Internet. And, as you point out, comments like that on this site really are "are preaching to the fucking choir." And yet they still illicit a "lets go ape shit" reaction from Americans.

klangklangston making some lame comment about Canada doesn't seem to have dragged out the "fuck you America Canada is the fucking greatest" crowd. Ditto comments about Europe.

I guess that's because Canadians are smug in the knowledge their country is the most awesomest.
posted by chunking express at 1:12 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


I guess all the things I'm saying here are easier to dismiss if you see me as some frothing freak Alvy, but I'm very chill right now, thanks. Getting ready to go home soon actually so I'm really in quite a good mood. Hope you have a good evening too. Honest.
posted by stinkycheese at 1:18 PM on December 19, 2007


what I find interesting is that Americans -- perhaps more than anyone else out there? -- feel a certain obligation to leap to their countries defense all the damn time.

this is sort of the problem with foreign views of americans. while there are americans who will be precisely that, at least on metafilter that's not really what you're encountering. what people in america RIGHT NOW don't like is being lumped into this giant steaming pile of "americans and they're god damned president." see, we don't want him either. we're working at it, and it often seems fucking impossible, but it's not like he's doing all this shit with our blessing. he has lied and cheated and murdered and tortured his way into doing all that shit you guys don't like, and it's not like we're cheering him on. some people want to act like we're all ignorant of what's being done in our name, but happily ignore all the "Not In Our Name" protests that happen all over the country all the time. When that evil motherfucker held his god damn convention in nyc, rooftops all over the 5 boroughs had tarps spread on them saying that he wasn't welcome on the off chance he'd see one when he flew in.

so yeah, a bunch of us don't want people telling us how terrible americans are as if we're holding pom poms and yelling rah as our president scores another touchdown for interests other than our own. it's not americans. it's him and those who support him. that's not america. it's not me, and it's not a lot of mefites. we didn't ask for this, it was forced on us and right now it's really god damn hard to fix it. we're dong what we can, but shit, we couldn't even kick england off our own god damn soil without french aid. the sneering, generalizations and insults? not helping so much.
posted by shmegegge at 1:20 PM on December 19, 2007 [9 favorites]


"klangklangston making some lame comment about Canada doesn't seem to have dragged out the "fuck you America Canada is the fucking greatest" crowd. Ditto comments about Europe."

That's because no one cares about Anglophone Canada, and the Habs can't read.
posted by klangklangston at 1:20 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


I guess all the things I'm saying here are easier to dismiss if you see me as some frothing freak Alvy

no no, they're easy to dismiss because they're so laughably myopic and stupid.
posted by shmegegge at 1:21 PM on December 19, 2007


Dear Stinkycheese,

I am very sorry that I have the gall to live in the same country as people who voted for George W. Bush.

Further, I am sorry that I sent a message to the rest of the world by living in the same country as people who voted for George W. Bush. I didn't mean to!

I really really want you to like me! What can I do to make you like me?

Cordially,
posted by everichon at 1:21 PM on December 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


also, chunking, there are really very few moments where something bad is said about canada around here with any real sincerity. tongue in cheek nonsense from people who actually like canada? sure. but i didn't notice anything bad about canada being said in a way that I would attribute with anyone's actual feelings about the country.
posted by shmegegge at 1:22 PM on December 19, 2007


we're dong what we can,

hee. i said dong.
posted by shmegegge at 1:25 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


see, we don't want him either. we're working at it, and it often seems fucking impossible, but it's not like he's doing all this shit with our blessing. he has lied and cheated and murdered and tortured his way into doing all that shit you guys don't like, and it's not like we're cheering him on.

Yeah, we don't. Kinda makes you wonder just how history will treat us. 100 years from now, people will probably shake their heads and wonder what kind of people sat by (for the most part) and watched it all happen. And I'll be one of them. So weird.
posted by cashman at 1:25 PM on December 19, 2007


And there may even be a record of all the funny things you had to say online the whole time!
posted by stinkycheese at 1:28 PM on December 19, 2007


That's because no one cares about Anglophone Canada, and the Habs can't read.

For an American who is eager to dismiss everything Canadian as worthless, you sure seem to know a lot about the minutae of our country. I mean, damn, that was harsh. Harsh but fair. And you can't make insults like that without knowing a lot about Canada - the country that doesn't merit such attention... ?
posted by GuyZero at 1:29 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


OK, I'm out. I sincerely apologize for posting in this thread as much as I have.
posted by stinkycheese at 1:29 PM on December 19, 2007


dear mefimericans, it's not really our fault you elected him.

nobody said it was. i didn't vote for him either.

can you go away until you elect someone decent?

go fuck yourself!
posted by bruce at 1:30 PM on December 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


ANGRY WEB POSTER POSTS WITH ANGER
posted by ook at 1:31 PM on December 19, 2007


OK, I'm out. I sincerely apologize for posting in this thread as much as I have.

Bye. Have a good one. I didn't see if you'd edited the message on your userpage, but hope you're not still all metasuicidal.
posted by cashman at 1:33 PM on December 19, 2007



Just because America Bush sucks so much is no reason *for sgt. serenity* to tell people to fuck off.


well, fuck offs a term of endearment where i come from.

To segue into a Bushathon in a thread about reuters was quite impressive (unless GW has been made photographer of the year) - now that i've hopefully got you all in this thread talking about Bush rather than that one, i'll have a wee peek and see if it's got better.

To me that thread summed up quite a lot about america at the moment - WE ARE HAVING A DISCUSSION ABOUT BUSH HERE ! YA HEAR ? WE DON'T CARE IF IT'S NOT ACTUALLY ABOUT HIM ! THAT'S JUST THE WAY WE ROLL !
posted by sgt.serenity at 1:36 PM on December 19, 2007


shmegegge, I get how comments like "god damn Americans don't know blah blah blah" might make people crazy, because you might be at your desk thinking, "what? I totally know blah blah blah." However, comments like, "God damn America blah blah blah" really shouldn't make people go ape shit if in fact America is doing blah blah blah. And really, half the time when people have a complaint about the US it is justified. The country isn't doing good stuff in the world -- nor at home as far as I can tell. I just get the sense that Americans feel this irrational urge to leap to the defense of the homeland, whether that is justified or not.

Though in this thread there seems to be a good share of both America Sucks and Americans Suck. I imagine most people when they say Americans Suck really mean Most Americans Suck. (Or something like that.)
posted by chunking express at 1:36 PM on December 19, 2007


eh, most likely. I mean, nationalism is a fierce and dangerous thing and America is and always has been thoroughly saturated in it. Sometimes it takes something like what surely must be coming our way to quiet it. I don't know. At the risk of godwining the thread (again?) though, I will say this: One of the important things that helped Hitler rise to power was the German people being thoroughly fed up with feeling like shit for being German after World War I. They were fucking tired of being poor and spit on and the dude worked that hard. If Bush is our Kaiser Wilhelm, and I think that's a more than apt comparison, attitudes like stinkycheese's have a place in our possible future, but not a great one.
posted by shmegegge at 1:42 PM on December 19, 2007


The country isn't doing good stuff in the world -- nor at home as far as I can tell. I just get the sense that Americans feel this irrational urge to leap to the defense of the homeland, whether that is justified or not.

I think it's cause this light goes off in our brains labeled, "WE KNOW ALREADY."

It gets tiring to be bashed constantly even if the bashers have a point. We know the point. We wish it wasn't so. But to be lumped into evil because of where you were born? Well, it sucks.
posted by agregoli at 1:49 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


(unless GW has been made photographer of the year)

There's a great anecdote about Reuters making a photographer out of a President: there once was one of those summits of the Americas in Cuba and all the presidents were there and were being photographed except for Fidel, who arrived late.

By the time he arrived all the Presidents were lining up on one side and the photographers were behind a "security fence" in front of them. As all the photographers were trying to get as close as they could, they had formed a "human wall" and when Fidel crossed the room in front of them he stopped, looked at the photographers and said:

- Look at you, someone should take a picture of you!

The photographer of Reuters gave him his camera and said:

- Please, Mr. President, you take the picture.

Fidel took the picture and Reuters ran it with the Fidel Castro byline. The went as far as to send a check to Fidel for 50 dollars, what they usually pay stringers for a pic.

About a month after, during an interview Fidel was talking about his views on foreign companies and he said:

- I have nothing against foreign companies. I even took a picture for Reuters the other day, and they sent me a check for it. The only problem is that I haven't been able to cash it: it's from an American bank.
posted by micayetoca at 1:51 PM on December 19, 2007 [14 favorites]


I suspect it's much like the "you're an ass" vs "you're acting like an ass" differential. It's one thing to say, "american foreign policy sure sucks under bush" vs "america hates foreigners".
posted by nomisxid at 2:01 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


MetaTalk: Liberté, égalité, fraternité (and a swift boot to the head)
posted by blue_beetle at 2:09 PM on December 19, 2007


But to be lumped into evil because of where you were born? Well, it sucks.

Now you know what it's like to be from the south.
posted by nola at 2:15 PM on December 19, 2007 [6 favorites]


"For an American who is eager to dismiss everything Canadian as worthless, you sure seem to know a lot about the minutae of our country. I mean, damn, that was harsh. Harsh but fair. And you can't make insults like that without knowing a lot about Canada - the country that doesn't merit such attention... ?"

I grew up in Michigan, where Canadian currency is legal for all transactions under a dollar. (Though now I wonder if they'll take US change in Windsor.) It's all osmosis.

Well, that and as an American overlord, I feel it my duty to keep up with the affairs of the tributary nations. ALL HAIL CŒSER!
posted by klangklangston at 2:15 PM on December 19, 2007


MetaTalk: Liberté, égalité, fraternité (and a swift boot to the head)

What's this about swiftboats?
posted by shmegegge at 2:17 PM on December 19, 2007


I'll have the Coeser salad, please.

And sarge, you still haven't said who we should be talking about. If not Malcolm Chisholm, who?
posted by languagehat at 2:21 PM on December 19, 2007


Look, we're obviously supposed to be talking about Malcolm Chisholm. Who else. Really.
posted by shmegegge at 2:27 PM on December 19, 2007


Now you know what it's like to be from the south.

Or Mordor.

Let me tell you I am SICK of the stereotypes. Eat man-flesh just ONE time and suddenly your one of THOSE Orcs.
posted by tkchrist at 2:29 PM on December 19, 2007


"I'll have the Coeser salad, please."

Heh. Zing! It's my æffectation.
posted by klangklangston at 2:30 PM on December 19, 2007


I live in New York, which isn't really part of America, so I don't care what anyone says.
posted by Falconetti at 2:36 PM on December 19, 2007


ALL HAIL CŒSER

And now you're buying Clamato juice too? Wow. I'm beginning to think you're actually just a self-loathing Canadian...
posted by GuyZero at 2:37 PM on December 19, 2007


chunking express: koeselitz, what I find interesting is that Americans -- perhaps more than anyone else out there? -- feel a certain obligation to leap to their countries defense all the damn time.

Well, point conceded. And I'll be the first to agree if you'd like to criticise USian culture or USian politics.

The thing that bothers me, and the thing that provoked my little outburst up there, is the fact that people outside the US (who almost exclusively happen to be from Europe and Canada) are constantly looking down their noses sternly and saying to us, "well, we here in the rest of the world are very unhappy with the way you've been acting." As though, first of all, the rest of the world had any sort of agreement what the US ought to be doing and wouldn't be fighting tooth and nail if they actually got the chance to vote for our president. It seems incredibly condescending to me that someone can speak as a representative of "the rest of the world;" not condescending towards citizens of the US, but condescending toward everybody else. Second of all, it's not as though it should even matter what the citizens of any other country think about the president of a given nation. I'm not alone among USians, perhaps it's even part of our character, in thinking I'd damn well like to have a president who was just and fair, and that I wouldn't really care what anybody else thought of her if she were.

But every time I go abroad, I'll have people sneer at me about some president that I'm waiting to leave office and act put out about it, and act as though I've done something personally wrong. Heck, people from other countries will continue to say the same stuff to me here in the US. Whereas, ironically, nearly every American I know is just like me in this: we would never in a billion years treat someone from another country like this simply because of where they're from. But I never correct them about it; I just put up with it. It's hard to sometimes, however.

The irony is that people are commonly guilty of what they accuse others of. Like stinkcheese up above. Bigotry is bigotry, even if it's done in the name of egalitarianism.
posted by koeselitz at 2:37 PM on December 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


Falconetti: I live in New York, which isn't really part of America, so I don't care what anyone says.

The rest of us agree. Especially my friends in Texas.
posted by koeselitz at 2:38 PM on December 19, 2007


The rest of us agree. Especially my friends in Texas.

Which is funny since so many texans think they're defending america in the war on terror, but no one has bothered attacking texas.
posted by shmegegge at 2:41 PM on December 19, 2007


shmegegge: Look, we're obviously supposed to be talking about Malcolm Chisholm. Who else. Really.

Wait... you all aren't talking about Malcolm Chisholm?
posted by koeselitz at 2:44 PM on December 19, 2007


Let me tell you I am SICK of the stereotypes. Eat man-flesh just ONE time and suddenly your one of THOSE Orcs.

Can someone translate that for me, I'm not stoned.
posted by nola at 2:45 PM on December 19, 2007


Here you go, nola.
posted by joseph_elmhurst at 2:53 PM on December 19, 2007


I think I understand now. Those Orcs were scary.
posted by nola at 2:58 PM on December 19, 2007


I'm not stoned.

And you call yourself a southerner!

NOTE: NOT SOUTHERNIST. (born in North Carolina)
posted by tkchrist at 3:05 PM on December 19, 2007


Trailer Park Boys is Canada's finest export. And what the fuck happened to Tim Horton's big plans to expand into the US?
posted by birdherder at 3:07 PM on December 19, 2007


Which is funny since so many texans think they're defending america in the war on terror, but no one has bothered attacking texas.

The terrorists only want you to think that by the clever misdirection of allocating 99% of all their efforts in large liberal population centers near important engines of commerce.

Then before you know it... BAM! They hit Lubbock with a cruel and witty graffiti campaign. The rest of the country disintegrates under the humiliation.
posted by tkchrist at 3:11 PM on December 19, 2007


Can't we all just get along? ; )
posted by ericb at 3:15 PM on December 19, 2007


Just out of curiosity, has anyone ever seen Sgt. Serenity and Miguel Cardosa in the same room? Because this is the same complaint that supposedly drove Miguel away, and that, and the obvious unnatural affection the two have for each other make me suspicious.
posted by Dave Faris at 3:32 PM on December 19, 2007


Migs fucking LOVED American politics AND George W., and DON'T YOU FUCKING FORGET IT, FARIS.

Damn, that was some tasty Kool-Aid.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:37 PM on December 19, 2007


Wait, what?
posted by cgc373 at 3:46 PM on December 19, 2007


Can't we all just get long?





Or small. We could all get small.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:02 PM on December 19, 2007


I'm down
posted by Duncan at 4:04 PM on December 19, 2007


Hi there, me again. Just checking in here to note that nothing I said in this thread seems the least bit bigoted to me. I'll spare you the "some of my best friends" speech, but golly gee, if I really need to actually clarify this here, so be it : when I say 'USians' or 'Americans', I do not mean to infer that I am speaking about you personally. You are not personally killing people. If that needs to be said.

That educated, intelligent people can so divorce themselves from the actions of their government is pretty sickening however, truly. You are, like it or not, GW Bush's bosses. That may not feel good or even correct right now, but that's the way your system operates (in an overtly simplistic turn of phrase, yes). American Democracy - the system the rest of the world (and, again, I do not mean that to infer that I am speaking for all 9 billion plus people personally) is supposed to be so envious of, and eager to replicate.

If you, the people (including those who didn't vote for Bush) who live in the US, are not to blame, who is? The endlessly replaceable heads of state? The Republican party? The Chicago school? If the system is broke, it is up to you to fix it and no one else. "You know that", "you don't need to be told"? Wow, what appalling gall. Historically, as a faltering power, you'd be worried about the next power in line leveling your countryside and enslaving your population as comeuppance, you wouldn't be melting down because of some (pretty meager really) criticism on the internet.

shmegegge: If Bush is our Kaiser Wilhelm, and I think that's a more than apt comparison, attitudes like stinkycheese's have a place in our possible future, but not a great one.

Wow. That is seriously one of the craziest things I've ever read. Do you even know what you're saying? You're like some drunken husband who beats his wife to death because, after all, she just wouldn't stop nagging and nagging...that's an incredibly bizarre view of how things work in this world. Attention current critics of US policy worldwide, you may be responsible in future for the rise of the Fourth Reich. WTF.
posted by stinkycheese at 4:51 PM on December 19, 2007


I was here.
posted by Sailormom at 4:54 PM on December 19, 2007


"And what the fuck happened to Tim Horton's big plans to expand into the US?"

Dude, Tim's got his bits all over Michigan and New York.

Stinkycheese— Gee, thanks for all that. I hadn't realized I was to blame for George Bush, despite voting against him twice. Since you're such an insightful observer of US politics, what, exactly, should I be doing to get rid of him now? I mean, if you're not just a wanking Canuck, you should have plenty of good ideas, right?
posted by klangklangston at 4:59 PM on December 19, 2007


01.20.09: The End of an Error.
posted by ericb at 5:00 PM on December 19, 2007


If you, the people (including those who didn't vote for Bush) who live in the US, are not to blame, who is?

Not the populace, but The Supreme Court.
posted by ericb at 5:04 PM on December 19, 2007


They've got quite a few Tim Horton's in CT too. Seems like they're expanding down, like some kind of plague... they're all north of me.
posted by smackfu at 5:05 PM on December 19, 2007


Eat man-flesh just ONE time

Oh, great, now it's "boyzone" on top of everything else.
posted by maxwelton at 5:08 PM on December 19, 2007


Friends

...

To establish a general practical brotherhood, a general unity of aim amongst the working men of all nations, to promote everywhere and on the same basis their moral, intellectual and economical improvement, to embrace according to opportunities afforded all the important questions affecting the condition of working men, from taxation, electoral reform and political rights to mutual relief societies, co-operation and educational institutions (for this must be your aim), is no doubt a bold attempt fraught with difficulties requiring time and a persisting unconquerable activity on our part; still it is a grand moral and truly religious aim. It elevates our tastes from the inferior narrow ground of local interests to the higher principle of common aspirations for general interests; it points out the dawning of a new era which will cancel inequalities, compulsory ignorance, the present wages system, and [which will promote] the substitution of equal duties and rights for all, true national education and the association system for producing and consuming. It is the thing to be attempted and therefore we do join you. May our union last for ever!

...

[Source]

Obviously, the women had it all sorted already at this point.
posted by Abiezer at 5:09 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


If you, the people (including those who didn't vote for Bush) who live in the US, are not to blame, who is?

Epic Fail.

Man, those Jews should have done something about the Holocaust. Even if they didn't vote for Hitler, they were still Germans. So if they weren't to blame, who was?
posted by blenderfish at 5:10 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Since you're such an insightful observer of US politics, what, exactly, should I be doing to get rid of him now? I mean, if you're not just a wanking Canuck, you should have plenty of good ideas, right?

Why don't you go a' hunting and see what I've said the other dozen or so times (it seems) that some turkey trots out this turd of a question?
posted by stinkycheese at 5:10 PM on December 19, 2007


Man, those Jews should have done something about the Holocaust. Even if they didn't vote for Hitler, they were still Germans. So if they weren't to blame, who was?

Thanks for proving my point. Go back and look at the American media of the time, wiseass. Who was to blame? Not the Jews, nope - the Germans. Or Krauts. Or Jerries. Or whatever.

And please note that it wasn't Only Those Germans Who Voted For Hitler. Or even Only Those Germans Who Were Principally For What Hitler Was Doing.
posted by stinkycheese at 5:13 PM on December 19, 2007


I'm starting to get embarrassed for the rest of the Canadian MeFi contingent.
posted by pineapple at 5:17 PM on December 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


"Why don't you go a' hunting and see what I've said the other dozen or so times (it seems) that some turkey trots out this turd of a question?"

And have to deal with more of your retardery? Why can't you give a straight answer here?
posted by klangklangston at 5:18 PM on December 19, 2007


Mister_A: The USA is an easy target for bashing, and much of the bashing is perhaps justified, but it is unfair, immoral, and intellectually sloppy to paint Americans with a broad brush, and your (stinkycheese) blithe implicit characterization of citizens of this country as intellectually vacuous is insulting.

stinkycheese: I'll let you in on a secret: outside of the USA, this sort of plead for 'equality' just makes everyone snigger and roll their eyes. Stop killing people all over the world and you'll be shocked to find your reputation improves.

Mister_A: You're quite a fucking douchebag, aren't you stinkycheese? I am talking about basic respect among people, and you are shouting "YOU'RE AN UNINFORMED AMERICAN BABY KILLER THAT'S ALL I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOU!"
Go fuck yourself you weak-minded bigot.


stinkycheese: ...golly gee, if I really need to actually clarify this here, so be it : when I say 'USians' or 'Americans', I do not mean to infer that I am speaking about you personally. You are not personally killing people.


See, stinkycheese, this is the kind of contradiction that pisses us USians off. When Mister_A says you shouldn't "paint Americans with a broad brush" or characterize all USians as "intellectually vacuous," you responded with: "Stop killing people all over the world and you'll be shocked to find your reputation improves." Do you see the parallel cases, or do I have to spell out the controversial ones? It's unfair to characterize Jews as money-grubbers, even if there are some Jews who are. "Well, you Jews should stop trying to make so much money, and then maybe your reputation will improve." -- Is it clear how silly this rejoinder is? The whole point was that it's unfair to dismiss any one person solely on the basis of where they come from or what race they are. And that's the kind of thing Americans often experience on the basis of where they come from. Whereas I've met as many intellectually vacuous people in other countries as I've met here.

I care about governments, and I care about regimes. What's more, I care about the way ours is, and I think it's somewhat unfortunate. But you didn't wait to hear me say that. You sided with the people who'd judge me without even knowing me. And that's why you pissed some of us off.
posted by koeselitz at 5:18 PM on December 19, 2007


*Sits at stinkycheese's feet, licks pencil tip*
posted by everichon at 5:21 PM on December 19, 2007


A word of advice for stinkycheese: if you don't want to get treated as a pathetic wannabe shit-disturber, quit acting like one. Also, I trust you're willing to accept full blame for Stephen Harper.
posted by languagehat at 5:22 PM on December 19, 2007


stinkycheese: Wow. That is seriously one of the craziest things I've ever read. Do you even know what you're saying? You're like some drunken husband who beats his wife to death because, after all, she just wouldn't stop nagging and nagging...

Well, shmegegge's comment there was a little reaching, but good job: you totally out-crazied him.
posted by koeselitz at 5:30 PM on December 19, 2007


Why don't you go a' hunting and see what I've said the other dozen or so times (it seems) that some turkey trots out this turd of a question?

Okay - I just read through all of your comments here, and you didn't answer this point even once. Was I supposed to read everything you've ever written before considering the merits of your argument? Please advise, as I'm trying to decide whether or not I should kill myself, since according to you I'm personally responsible for every wrong ever committed that I did not personally manage to stop. So, like, there's a lot riding on whether or not I should be taking you seriously.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:31 PM on December 19, 2007


No fuck that shit stinkycheese. klangklangston has got you dead to rights, what the fuck are we supposed to do in this democracy now short of armed revolt? If you feel that strongly about it met me at the border with what ever weapon you've got and give us a hand watering the old tree of liberty. In other words shit or get off the pot.
posted by nola at 5:32 PM on December 19, 2007


I KILLED SPARTACUS!!!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:37 PM on December 19, 2007


stinkycheese, when you sober up you're going to be so embarrassed.
posted by dersins at 5:37 PM on December 19, 2007


A sincere offer: Send us your George Bush. We'll instate him as Prime Minister immediately. While we don't like him one bit, he'll probably do us less harm as the head of our country than as the head of yours. xoxo, Canada.
posted by ~ at 5:38 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


"Also, I trust you're willing to accept full blame for Stephen Harper."

Fuck that, who's going to take the blame for Celine Dion?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:38 PM on December 19, 2007


you're going to be so embarrassed

That or belching the happy belch of a well-fed troll.
posted by everichon at 5:39 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


I just spent about an hour writing a response, but on preview, why bother.
posted by stinkycheese at 6:17 PM on December 19, 2007


For what it's worth, I generally feel that metafilter isn't as americanocentric as many other sites run by Americans (or USAians or whatever someone from the USA is called these days) and I don't feel totally on foreign soil here as I often do elsewhere on the internet. There seems to be a good representation of us 'international' types, a variety of viewpoints aired and tolerated and a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere. I also think the admins do a decent job of cutting down on the pointless American politics, the shit where someone is posting simply because they think it's So Important that we Must All Care (actually, I don't give a shit about USA politics and see no reason to start), and there's enough other good stuff that the politics that remains can be skipped over.

Yeah there are moments of 'ha! look at what the dumbfuck American said!' but usually aimed at specific users rather than as a generalisation for the whole country, and I'm sure I get 'stupid naive kiwi!' in return sometimes. The negative sentiments being expressed here, from both sides, isn't part of my usual experience with this site where on the whole I think the balance of nationalities is handled well. I've realised over the years that New Zealanders are actually pretty anti-American and become at least a bit sensitive to the whole thing, so I don't think I'm being too hopelessly optimistic in saying that this thread (and really a pretty small handful of users) is making a much bigger issue of bushfilter and American hate and whatever than metafilter as a whole.

So for those watching please don't get too hung up on this thread, overall metafilter actually does the American vs international thing pretty well.
posted by shelleycat at 6:22 PM on December 19, 2007


why bother.

Welcome to America.
posted by nola at 6:26 PM on December 19, 2007


why bother.

...to convince us you're about more than shit-stirring? Come on, just a few more precious drops of Enlightened Global Perspective, I am begging you.
posted by everichon at 6:44 PM on December 19, 2007


I KILLED SPARTACUS!!!
Well someone had to do something!
posted by Sailormom at 6:52 PM on December 19, 2007


Fucking riot already. Why the fuck do Americans have crap loads of guns if you aren't going to use them to shoot shit up. If now isn't the time to be busting out the guillotines when is? Though I guess armed rebellion is really a hard cause to take up. I honestly would probably sit on my ass and read MetaFilter. Seriously.
posted by chunking express at 7:25 PM on December 19, 2007


"Why the fuck do Americans have crap loads of guns if you aren't going to use them to shoot shit up."

I was under the impression that a) we had about the same number of guns per capita as the Canadians (and fewer than the Swiss), and b) that we already shoot up malls and schools and churches pretty regularly.

As for myself, my guns are up in rural Wisconsin, in about the most idyllic place I've been. That might be the other sticking point for foreigners—our President just doesn't matter very much in our day to day lives. Like, he makes macro choices that mean that it's harder for me to go to Europe, and he dicks around with the tax code and cuts some services, but I don't directly know anyone in Iraq, and my governors have had a bigger influence on what life is like for me, and after them, probably the mayors. So if I was with my guns, it'd be hard to muster much vitriol for using them, up in the hemp-filled verdant pastures, surrounded by co-ops and organics and socialists and Mennonites.
posted by klangklangston at 7:32 PM on December 19, 2007


I don't have any guns, I am an abject wuss who crosses the street to avoid so much as eye contact with other people, and would be equally useless for armed uprising in any country. I am a useless wuss first, and an American...like...49th, after Fan of chocolate chip cookies.

So, ixnay on the iotray. I will stick with voting, and writing really stern letters from time to time. When I'm not killing people all over the world with my running dogs.
posted by everichon at 7:33 PM on December 19, 2007


If the armed revolution needs chocolate chip cookies baked, I will consider it, providing their platform is one I can get behind. To, you know, avoid the tasing.
posted by everichon at 7:36 PM on December 19, 2007


Kind of like how I'd imagine that, aside from stoking the fires of righteous outrage, Bush has had very little effect on the lives of most foreigners, especially those privileged enough to use the internet and speak English.
posted by klangklangston at 7:37 PM on December 19, 2007


Pretty much. I think he's more annoying than anything else for people in the Western world. The idea that there is someone like Bush or Chenney fucking shit up makes me crazy. But then I can play my DS and call it a day. Not everyone is so lucky.
posted by chunking express at 7:48 PM on December 19, 2007


Just out of curiosity, has anyone ever seen Sgt. Serenity and Miguel Cardosa in the same room? Because this is the same complaint that supposedly drove Miguel away, and that, and the obvious unnatural affection the two have for each other make me suspicious.
posted by Dave Faris at 11:32 PM on December 19 [+] [!]



Nah, i'm actually Crunchlands sockpuppet : )


Anyway, WHO POSTED THE F*CKIN GEORGE BUSH COMMENTS ?
NAE C*NT GETS OOT AY HERE UNTIL AH FIND OOT WHO DID IT!
posted by sgt.serenity at 7:53 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


As of 8 PM or so Pacific time, the linked thread had 60 comments.

This one currently has 240. Maybe sgt. serenity should have hung a "Mission Accomplished" banner in the [more inside] section.
posted by the_bone at 7:56 PM on December 19, 2007


Shit I'm not saying Americans are not responsible for their government I just don't need someone who is not accountable telling me I'm not doing enough. You don't know me, you don't know what I do, and you don't have any idea of the scale of what me and every other American is up against. Come tell me about holding government to account when your nation is a super power on par with the US. Right now most of us are just living in the shadow of the beast. And I don't like it anymore than you men.
posted by nola at 7:59 PM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


I must've been away from MeFi for way too long. What the FUCK are you people on about?
posted by c13 at 8:14 PM on December 19, 2007


Wow. I just read this:

note: Everyone needs a hug.


after getting through this epic blistering 240+ comment thread and LMAO. Too funny.

sad too, but funny...
posted by Skygazer at 8:16 PM on December 19, 2007


I think the frustration from both sgt.serenity and stinky cheese (and I admit often from myself of late) is that there are often comments from American-based members which are very dismissive in regards to issues in other countries, and do change the topic back around to themselves.

I have noticed this particularly in the recent threads about the Australian elections, and whenever there is a major disaster in other country (the best example was a post in which people were calling for the deletion of it even though it was about 3 major earthquakes in Japan which had a considerable effect on the entire country).

It's also very common in AskMefi - even when the person states which country they are in specifically there is often "Well here in America" types of answers. These really do become like noise - because the poster is not in America.

So perhaps sgt.serenity didn't handle his frustration outlet in the right way - but I can certainly see where he is coming from, as well as stinky cheese - but the answer is not "Americans you are all gun toting stupid arseholes" or "our country is betterer!" types of responses - the answer is maybe to take a step back and to think perhaps more on an international scope than a national one, especially in regards to posts which are not related to the country you are in but another one.
posted by gomichild at 8:26 PM on December 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


Can I safely assume all the anti-Canada sentiment here is actually just meant for stinkycheese, or am I supposed to be getting upset here?
posted by juv3nal at 8:45 PM on December 19, 2007


Non-US mefites, please don't tell me I elected Bush. I live in California's 14th congressional district, just south of San Francisco [map]. We dislike Republicans in general and we hate George W. Bush.

In the 2004 presidential race, Kerry beat Bush by more than 2:1 [souce.pdf]. In our two-party system, that pretty much means "fuck you, Bush".

In the 2006 congressional election, the Republican candidate raised zero dollars for his campaign and finished with less than a quarter of the vote. More than half a million people and not a single donation. In comparison, the Democrat candidate raised $986,019 [source].

So, non-US mefites, I hate Bush, my family hates Bush, my friends hate Bush, and my neighbors hate Bush. We hate him more than you do.
posted by ryanrs at 8:52 PM on December 19, 2007


unless you're Iraqi, I guess
posted by ryanrs at 8:55 PM on December 19, 2007


O CANADA
MY HOME AND NATIVE LAND
TRUE PATRIOT SOMETHING
IN ALL THY SOMETHING SOMETHING

Sorry, I learned the anthem watching hockey games.

Here's the thing, stinkycheese (who is, I should note, one of my only contacts marked as 'muse' because of a particularly great post so long ago I don't remember it): you are right! Many Americans ARE fat dumb reactionary xenophobes who consider a trip to Wal-Mart a family outing. Many Americans don't give a good goddamn if Bush tears up the Bill of Rights and pisses on it during a press conference as long as taxes are low, gas is cheap, and American Idol is on. Many Americans think the earth is 6000 years old, all Muslims are evil, and intercessory prayer cures cancer. Hell, we've got a whole fucking STATE of nutjobs working overtime to get a Brylcreem robot nominated on the Republican ticket! And his major opponent is a woman with the SAME GODDAMN AGENDA as the people she's running against!

BUT!

Very few of those Americans are MeFites.

You've heard of "preaching to the choir", right? Well, you've gone and done one better. You're HECTORING the choir.

We are not your target audience, dude. We understand that Bush is not just dumb but evil; that our political system is broken; that our country, which we'd LIKE to be proud of, is quickly becoming nothing more than a front for a bunch of multinational corporations who are determined to sell sell sell their shit to our stupid selves until we collapse into a black hole of international debt and realize we need to learn Chinese to appease our new owners.

Your screed is heartfelt, no doubt. But to point the accusing finger at American MeFites is way off base. You shouldn't be surprised at the outcry in this thread. Because WE ARE ON THE SAME SIDE.

So to sum up, STFU.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:50 PM on December 19, 2007 [3 favorites]


Haggis is delicious.

Serenity now.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:56 PM on December 19, 2007


I just spent about an hour writing a response, but on preview, why bother.

See, that's totally a smug Canadian response right there; an American would just say, 'Fuck you, I'm not going to bother, asshole' whereas the smug Canuck has to make it clear that they intended to invest time and effort, only to be undone by the failings of the undeserving.

I trust you're willing to accept full blame for Stephen Harper.

Personally, I'm more pissed at people who voted for and support Dion. I predicted the government's take down via non-confidence vote like, three times on the Blue this year, only to be made a liar by that spineless non-entity.
I'll get you, Stephane!
And your little dog, too!

Side note, because I'm at that weird tired/weird part of the week: Did anyone else catch Michael Enright's interview with Chretien on The Sunday Edition a few weeks back? It was mostly fluff, but got me all nostalgic all the same.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:43 PM on December 19, 2007


'... that weird tired/wired part of the week', rather. I'm goin' to bed.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:45 PM on December 19, 2007


to point the accusing finger at American MeFites is way off base
Funny how you can never find anyone who voted for him, yet he was elected in a democratic election. Out of a selection of ~60k people, you can't possibly believe that at least a sizeable portion didn't vote for George Bush (both times, most likely). It may not be a majority, but it would be a significant minority, for sure. Besides, who the fuck else should he blame? Canadians? Americans voted for him in sufficient numbers to put him in the White House twice and, while you may not have personally voted for him, the American people chose him for the President and, as a people, you are responsible.

It's certainly true that what Bush does doesn't affect the daily lives of most people in an obvious way. He does, however, affect the lives of almost every person in the world in a more holistic sense and every single effect he has seems to be negative. For that, the American people are totally to blame, because they decided he was the best person available to lead America. Maybe you need to add a "none of the above" choice to your ballot papers. God knows, we could have used one of those at our elections recently.
posted by dg at 11:04 PM on December 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


klangklangston: Since you're such an insightful observer of US politics, what, exactly, should I be doing to get rid of him now? I mean, if you're not just a wanking Canuck, you should have plenty of good ideas, right?

Discussed previously. I don't see any good alternatives to pursuing the normal political process.

stinkycheese: You are, like it or not, GW Bush's bosses

Incorrect. Collectively the American public has tremendous power. Individually each American has relatively little power. See Tocqueville's comparison between an aristocratic society and a democratic one (meaning one in which people are equal, and therefore power is centralized).
A great aristocratic people cannot either conquer its neighbors or be conquered by them without great difficulty. It cannot conquer them because all its forces can never be collected and held together for a considerable period; it cannot be conquered because an enemy meets at every step small centers of resistance, by which invasion is arrested. War against an aristocracy may be compared to war in a mountainous country; the defeated party has constant opportunities of rallying its forces to make a stand in a new position.

Exactly the reverse occurs among democratic nations: they easily bring their whole disposable force into the field, and when the nation is wealthy and populous it soon becomes victorious; but if it is ever conquered and its territory invaded, it has few resources at command; and if the enemy takes the capital, the nation is lost. This may very well be explained: as each member of the community is individually isolated and extremely powerless, no one of the whole body can either defend himself or present a rallying point to others. Nothing is strong in a democratic country except the state; as the military strength of the state is destroyed by the destruction of the army, and its civil power paralyzed by the capture of the chief city, all that remains is only a multitude without strength or government, unable to resist the organized power by which it is assailed.
Of course the United States hasn't been invaded; instead, the executive has been seized by ideologues who claim that there are no limits to their power.

dg: Funny how you can never find anyone who voted for him--

I know at least a couple people who voted for Bush in 2004. They're not on MetaFilter.
posted by russilwvong at 11:27 PM on December 19, 2007


By the way, if I understand sgt.serenity's original complaint, it was that the thread was getting derailed into yet another discussion of how much Bush sucks. Isn't there already a "derail" flag?

For people who are really into politics discussions, you may want to take a look at Devoter. Not much discussion (not enough members yet, presumably), but there's a steady stream of political news. Brandon Blatcher's also been working on setting up PoliticsFilter, although there's no indication when it'll be up and running.
posted by russilwvong at 11:37 PM on December 19, 2007


Funny how you can never find anyone who voted for him, yet he was elected in a democratic election. Out of a selection of ~60k people, you can't possibly believe that at least a sizeable portion didn't vote for George Bush (both times, most likely).

Yeah, I do believe exactly that.

I live in the Reddest State You Can Imagine. I can vote for Democrats and Socialists and Libertarians and Anarcho-Syndicalists until the cows come home, and it won't make a bit of fucking difference. That's how the US system works (or rather, doesn't).

PRESIDENTS ARE NOT ELECTED BY POPULAR VOTE IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

Get your facts straight.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:56 PM on December 19, 2007


this entire thread is based on the perception of one non-american poster that all americans and all american mefites are somehow surrogates and enablers of bush policy. this is an insulting presumption coming from the same folks who so often demand tolerance for their own ranks, and to them i can only suggest an url for a new weblog: bidetfilter.com. there'll be no confusion.
posted by bruce at 12:25 AM on December 20, 2007


Worse, thinking back, Mildred and George was a better show than Man About the House too.

The show was called George and Mildred, and no, it really wasn't -- despite having the wonderful Yootha Joyce in it.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:42 AM on December 20, 2007


I'll be happy to take criticism over the way we conduct politics here in the USA from anyone who doesn't live in a fucking monarchy. *uncontrollable laughter*

And when you live in a country that can provide health care for all its citizens, we might start to think that you're competent to make a judgement about such matters.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:49 AM on December 20, 2007


You hush, PeterMcDermott. You're just cross because you're a subject.
posted by dersins at 12:53 AM on December 20, 2007


Nadar.
posted by srboisvert at 1:07 AM on December 20, 2007


Nadir!
posted by Happydaz at 1:44 AM on December 20, 2007


Natter!
posted by cgc373 at 1:46 AM on December 20, 2007


Personally, I'm more pissed at people who voted for and support Dion.

You voted for her?! My god, you Canadians are more culpable than I thought...
posted by patricio at 2:02 AM on December 20, 2007


I'd like to see you show your working for that bold claim, Peter. My admittedly hazy memory of the pair of them (hence getting the title wrong) was mostly of the Yootha Joyce getting the extra screen time she deserved, but the humour in Man About the House being a bit insipid.
posted by Abiezer at 2:23 AM on December 20, 2007


the humour in Man About the House being a bit insipid

Now you shock me. What an unpleasant aspersion!
posted by Wolof at 3:05 AM on December 20, 2007


There's certain issues upon which a man must speak his mind plainly, Wolof, however disturbing that may be to others. And however ill-founded in any appreciable familiarity with the matter at hand.
posted by Abiezer at 4:28 AM on December 20, 2007


I've lived in Europe since Clinton was in office. I have heard constant high-pitched whining about the US since that time, only difference being that it used to be a sad logically strained mishmash of a laundry list ("I hate hate hate Americans because they are so unhealthy/wish to ban smoking/are prudes/whose movies offer too much cheesecake/think of themselves as the world's policemen/who won't intervene in the world conflicts that I want them to/work so many hours and miss what's good in life and have no health care/are so spoiled/are so dumb/have too much influence over the technological future/are such terrible racists unlike us/have no nice old homogeneous culture like us/...") and these days other Western countries' freaky superiority-inferiority complex about the US just has a one-syllable catchall excuse.

I think it's a shame that Anti-Americanism was such a tolerated form of bigotry back when the US was more different than bad, that there has been no perceptible change in tone now that it's more bad than different. The worst offenders are invariably from the countries that could never make a world-scale fuckup because they don't have that kind of influence, so they can polish their halos pretty much for the rest of their lives without ever having their assertions about their own moral qualities put to the test. But of course British subjects also get pretty bent out of shape, because as our Beavis-like enabler, they share our guilt.

The funniest thing about it is watching you standing there after the big unloading, pantingly waiting to hear the American self-abasement in response, as if you're the ones we owe anything to. I've personally apologized to citizens of nations which suffered as a result of US foreign policy, but Canadians/Dutch/New Zealanders who think there's a reason I should give their anti-American angst any special meaning or consideration are just craving the buzz of self-righteous victimhood that their privilege has denied them. Honestly, just fuck off and be happy that it's impossible for you to ever become the bogeyman.

The whole "don't talk about the politics that are on your mind in a place where you're in the vast majority" thing seems completely classic in this light. Why on earth not? I've been the one American in the conversation with a kazillion Brits and I would hazard to say that you get a lot more consideration and politeness from the Americans here than I've ever experienced when the tables were turned, and it's that expectation of politeness that makes you demand something here that you would never even consider granting for a second if the proportions were reversed.
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 5:03 AM on December 20, 2007 [10 favorites]


PRESIDENTS ARE NOT ELECTED BY POPULAR VOTE IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
Get your facts straight.

Well, there's no doubt that that is one fucked-up system you have. Still, I can't see how the president would be elected unless there was a majority of people voting in that person's favour. Even though some states always vote a certain way, overall the election is a democratic one where the majority wins, right? Maybe I'm missing something, of course, but that's the way it seems to work to me.

But then, I may be soft in the head from all that free health care ... ;-)
posted by dg at 5:03 AM on December 20, 2007


Also, it's George and Mildred and it is neither better nor worse than Man About the House - just slanted differently to suit a different age.
posted by dg at 5:06 AM on December 20, 2007


Maybe I'm missing something.

Yes, you are.
posted by grumblebee at 6:00 AM on December 20, 2007


PRESIDENTS ARE NOT ELECTED BY POPULAR VOTE IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

Even worse than that is the fact that he CHEATED. BOTH times. Votes were lost and changed to votes for Bush as well as all that Supreme Court nonsense. I can't believe that more people inside and outside the U.S. don't know this.
posted by agregoli at 6:40 AM on December 20, 2007


Even more specifically: 1824, 1876, 1888, and 2000.
posted by Tehanu at 6:40 AM on December 20, 2007


Plus what agregoli said. And provisional votes were thrown out by Ken Blackwell in Ohio in 2004 (the tipping point state) after lots of administrative "goofs" (machines not in place, not working properly, too few machines at a location) that were strikingly bad in Democratically slanted areas such as certain (black) neighborhoods Cincinnati. So if you voted in a different location when your own location had really long lines or borked machines or the paperwork sent you to the wrong place, your vote likely got trashed. And that was more likely to happen if you were from a neighborhood that wasn't so fond of Bush. And you were also likely to be greeted at your polling location by a group of Republican challengers who would (illegally) demand to see proof that you were eligible to vote.

I voted in a heavily Republican area. Took 5 minutes, tops. Walked in, walked out. No lines, no challengers, no technical difficulties. Interestingly the town more machines than its voter traffic seemed to require.
posted by Tehanu at 6:52 AM on December 20, 2007


agregoli, if Americans are aware of the fact he cheated -- twice -- then shouldn't they step up and do something about it. Maybe you as an individual don't have the power to make a change, but the fact that the country as a whole shrugged their shoulders is a bit disappointing, don't you think? Is the country a democracy or not?
posted by chunking express at 6:54 AM on December 20, 2007


Of course it's more than a bit disappointing. Who said it was happiness and light? And please, someone express what exactly we should do about it except armed rebellion in the streets, which wouldn't enact any change except getting our asses killed or in jail?
posted by agregoli at 7:20 AM on December 20, 2007


Oh - and it's not a democracy. I believe it hasn't been one for quite a while now. Who is claiming it is one? Oh, right, Bush is. Well, he's a liar.
posted by agregoli at 7:21 AM on December 20, 2007


I joke about armed rebellion all the time, but I agree it probably would result in more people getting shot in the street than any real change. That said, there are examples of Americans, and people around the world, rallying together to effect real change without a lot of guns. Gandhi kicked the British out of India. Black people are equal citizens under law in the US. The Philippines got rid of their despot. Czechoslovakia? South Africa? There are lots of examples. The key is people need to really give a fuck. Lots of people I suppose.
posted by chunking express at 7:33 AM on December 20, 2007


I think the real issue is that most people within the US lead pretty alright lives. It's hard to galvanize people when things aren't that bad.
posted by chunking express at 7:36 AM on December 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think Canada and Canadians are generally great, especially when you say "Sooory" and I get to watch your marvelous television show "Trailer Park Boys" (I'm a fuckoffer). I'm pretty strong on Europe too, although you guys need to calm down with the techno music and the hair gel, please. Hell, I can find something to like about people from just about everywhere. That's all, have a great day everybody.

ps. I don't have the energy to fight this business... "...but the fact that the country as a whole shrugged their shoulders is a bit disappointing, don't you think? Is the country a democracy or not?", so thanks for those of you who are fighting it right now.

pps. Please, USians is an awful, stupid and clunky expression.
posted by Divine_Wino at 7:43 AM on December 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Please, USians is an awful, stupid and clunky expression.

I agree. When did people start using it?
posted by chunking express at 7:50 AM on December 20, 2007


I think it has to do with non-American North Americans getting all bent out of shape because they think "America" refers to a continent.

It hardly matters. I've just set in motion a chain of events that will free us all.
posted by breezeway at 7:56 AM on December 20, 2007 [2 favorites]


The key is people need to really give a fuck. Lots of people I suppose.

And if you have ideas on how to do that, I'm all ears.
posted by agregoli at 8:09 AM on December 20, 2007


Seriously. Not sarcastic.
posted by agregoli at 8:09 AM on December 20, 2007


I've just set in motion a chain of events that will free us all.

Most pretentious description of a fixie ever.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:10 AM on December 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Attention current critics of US policy worldwide, you may be responsible in future for the rise of the Fourth Reich. WTF.

This has to be the stupidest misinterpretation of something I've said ever. stinkycheese has lost his mind, and I suspect this is why he can't fathom why no one is taking his criticisms seriously.
posted by shmegegge at 8:28 AM on December 20, 2007


chunking express: The problem with these generalizations (and I see the same thing in regards to the internal regionalism within the U.S.) is that it's made on the basis of single offices and without knowing or caring about the politics on the ground. In a parlamentary system, the 2006 elections would have resulted in a new executive officer. But instead what we have is a lame duck president. Which explains why there is not, at this point in time, a heavy quantity of activism against Bush. Bush's days in office are numbered, and activism against Bush at this time pulls critical time and energy away from activism targeted at the next election, or pressure put on congress to pull in the reins.

And there is a heck of a lot of activism focused on trying to make change. A lot of this happens on the local level as we try to make our communities, schools and workplaces better places to live and work. But there is a large chunk of it devoted to the next election cycle as well.

The problem is that these criticisms are often without a lick of nuance or understanding that there is a profound lack of consensus within the United States over many areas of policy. The mefi front page is loaded with stories of people trying to enable political change in the United States, it would be nice to actually have those efforts supported rather than dismissed because the president belongs to the wrong political party.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:44 AM on December 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


poop!
posted by ozomatli at 8:57 AM on December 20, 2007


My bridges have been perhaps been burned here & the only consistency in this thread seems to be misunderstanding, but I would like to try & salvage two ideas from the mess before I leave it behind me.

a) that the majority of posters to MeFi are from the US, and constitute a sort of cultural hegemony, much as the majority of male posters here may be said to constitute a sort of sexual hegemony.

b) that posts produced by people from the US may read differently depending on whether the person reading it is themselves from the US or not.

This is kind of inevitable, is it not? Particularly when the US is not only the world’s foremost cultural power, and economic power, but its foremost military power as well. The view from outside will be almost by necessity different from the view from inside (I believe this difference in context also has a great deal to do with the friction and acrimony in this thread).

The fact of the US’ overall power BTW is why I for one scoff when people suggest that those critical of the US are being bigoted or ignorant of the diversity of opinion amongst its populace. I only wish that I could be a little more ignorant of this force which so dominates current-day reality.
posted by stinkycheese at 10:17 AM on December 20, 2007


stinkycheese: I for one scoff when people suggest that those critical of the US are being bigoted or ignorant of the diversity of opinion amongst its populace.

You're being critical of individual Americans, not the US:
This thread is a perfect example of how Metafilter is reeeaaally starting to suck.

I'll let you in on a secret: outside of the USA, this sort of plea for 'equality' just makes everyone snigger and roll their eyes.

That educated, intelligent people can so divorce themselves from the actions of their government is pretty sickening....
It's not surprising that you're getting a hostile reaction. (By the way, if it matters, I'm Canadian.)

One further point:
This [friction and resentment] is kind of inevitable, is it not? Particularly when the US is not only the world’s foremost cultural power, and economic power, but its foremost military power as well.
This was true long before the Iraq war. As other people have noted, resentment of US power and reflexive criticism of American society were widespread long before Bush was ever elected.

It's human nature to resent others' power over you as illegitimate and unjust, while regarding one's own power over others as natural and just. It's an endless source of conflict. Orwell, writing during World War II (when Britain could still be regarded as the world's dominant power), refers to "anglophobia" as being the reflexive criticism of anything British. It had exactly the same source as reflexive anti-Americanism today: a desire to demonstrate that the dominant power is in some way illegitimate. (Hence comments about the death penalty, guns, lack of public health care, Hiroshima, etc.)

Despite the power of the United States as a whole, individual Americans have no greater power than individual Canadians, say, beyond the power to cast a single vote.

From your profile: --worst of all the 'what do you expect us to do about it?' response.

People on MetaFilter are doing something about it: they're participating in the normal political process, which will produce a new President-elect in November 2008. The end is in sight. Last year the Republicans lost control of Congress, which was a major step forward.

The principle of ultra vires nemo obligatur applies: one cannot be obligated to do something that is beyond one's abilities. If you think there is something that individual Americans can and should be doing, besides preparing for the November 2008 elections, what is it?
posted by russilwvong at 11:19 AM on December 20, 2007 [6 favorites]


If you think there is something that individual Americans can and should be doing, besides preparing for the November 2008 elections, what is it?

Don't ask him questions he's not capable of answering, you'll just hurt his feelings. He hasn't even accepted responsibility for Stephen Harper yet.
posted by languagehat at 11:27 AM on December 20, 2007


Sometimes MeFi makes me tired.
posted by everichon at 11:37 AM on December 20, 2007


Sometimes?
posted by chunking express at 11:40 AM on December 20, 2007


I hope that no one seriously thinks that an uprising in the US would be a good thing for the rest of the world. Democracy - even our bastardized version, even if rigged - assures the one single outcome that anyone loathing and fearing modern US policy should be praying for night and day: a non-violent exchange of power.

Gandhi kicked the British out of India.

And millions have died in regional conflicts resulting from that action. I'm not saying it wasn't ultimately worth doing, I'm just pointing out that it wasn't without a huge cost, and that it was - and continues to be - a destabilizing event. Luckily, the newly divided countries of India and Pakistan weren't the world's dominant nuclear superpowers at the time.

A massive, popular uprising in the US would have one of two likely outcomes:
1) The uprising would be crushed because the government controls the military and the infrastructure. But in putting down the rebellion, the President would finally have the excuse he's wanted to declare marshal law and suspend the constitution. He would have unfettered power.

2) Less likely, but still remotely possible, the rebellion might have some measure of success, leading to a fractured union and loss of central control. Exremists and fringe elements would almost certainly try to take advantage of the chaos to gain access to nuclear technology.

The only action I can think of even slightly outside of the current political system that might possibly foment a positive change would be if the US citizens were to successfully stage a nation-wide general strike to call for the President and Vice President's resignations, or for Congress to impeach. But even in that event, the exchange of power would have to take place within the system, or risk a nightmare scenario for all.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:54 PM on December 20, 2007


chunking express: "agregoli, if Americans are aware of the fact he cheated -- twice -- then shouldn't they step up and do something about it. Maybe you as an individual don't have the power to make a change, but the fact that the country as a whole shrugged their shoulders is a bit disappointing, don't you think? Is the country a democracy or not?"
While I can see that my somewhat ill-informed opinion leaves my previously tenuous credibility completely shot, I seriously have trouble getting my head around the fact that a country which has a long history of trying to ram democracy down the throats of countries all over the world, sometimes at a huge and tragic human cost, can so easily and with barely a whimper, allow its own democratic processes to be completely corrupted. It appears (from the outside) to be a case of "do as I say, not as I do".

I know lots of Americans who are decent people, upstanding citizens of their country and who have a strong sense of right (most of them here on MeFi). As a country, though, the more I learn about America, the angrier I become about the most powerful nation on earth refusing to lead by example and saying to its victims "install democracy or we will bomb you back to the fucking stone age" while standing idly by and allowing democracy to be subverted on its own shore.

Maybe it's time for the US to have a look at the beam in its own eye before working on the speck in everyone else's. I mean, you guys here that I interact with every day? You rock. Seriously. Your country? Not so much.
posted by dg at 12:58 PM on December 20, 2007


I seriously have trouble getting my head around the fact that a country which has a long history of trying to ram democracy down the throats of countries all over the world, sometimes at a huge and tragic human cost, can so easily and with barely a whimper, allow its own democratic processes to be completely corrupted. It appears (from the outside) to be a case of "do as I say, not as I do".

And I live here and I have trouble getting my head around it too. Every day. And yes, it IS a case of "do as I (the government) say and not as I (the government) do."

Maybe it's time for the US to have a look at the beam in its own eye before working on the speck in everyone else's.

That would be great. Any idea on how to make our government, you know, do that?

I mean, you guys here that I interact with every day? You rock. Seriously. Your country? Not so much.

Again, I live here and I agree. Who is vehemently disagreeing with you and saying rah-rah-America-is-the-best here?
posted by agregoli at 1:17 PM on December 20, 2007


I seriously have trouble getting my head around the fact that a country which has a long history of trying to ram democracy down the throats of countries all over the world, sometimes at a huge and tragic human cost, can so easily and with barely a whimper, allow its own democratic processes to be completely corrupted.

well a lot of us have problem getting our heads around it, too. All of a sudden it feels like Karl Rove just wrote the ultimate guide to cheating at Politics before we even knew what hit us. And the key to it seems to be tapping into a gigantic resolute voting base of delusional evangelical christians who are so completely used to living in a state of complete denial and rationalization that they can and will fight and die for their candidate of choice in the face of insurmountable evidence that he is doing wrong by them.

understand that we're talking about tens of millions of people who are essentially raised as a collective unit by snake oil hucksters and carnival barkers who tell them that they speak directly to god and that no one but them can be trusted.

Near as I can figure, Rove was just the guy who figured out that if you tell these people that you talk to God, hate gays and think abortion is murder then you're set. After that, it doesn't even matter if they'll get you a majority of votes. They're such a resolute block of suckers waiting to be swindled that corporations will line up down the block to take their money. These corporations promote the evangelical interests in washington to help them do that and BAM! your country doesn't belong to you any more. So long as you keep them poor and under educated, they'll never figure it out and they'll hate anyone more privileged than they are so fiercely that no one will ever help them see what's actually going on.

Hell, we may be headed for a civil war.
posted by shmegegge at 1:26 PM on December 20, 2007


Hell, we may be headed for a civil war.

The USA is one of the few countries in the world where there aree people who sincerely believe that that's a good way to solve political problems. It did work out well the last couple of times.
posted by GuyZero at 1:48 PM on December 20, 2007


agregoli: "Again, I live here and I agree. Who is vehemently disagreeing with you and saying rah-rah-America-is-the-best here?"
Nobody - I just wanted to make it clear (this time) that i was criticising America, not Americans. Well, Americans as a homogeneous group, perhaps, but certainly not the people here who, as previously noted, rock and seem almost normal to boot.

I don't have any answers about how to make your government do their job - it's your government and you have to figure it out, I guess. It's not like our government is any shining example - the only thing we have over you is that nobody in their right mind could doubt that the current government won the election fair and square (well, the ex-government lost it, actually, but whatever). If I think of anything, I'll be sure to let you know where to send the Nobel Prize.
posted by dg at 2:00 PM on December 20, 2007


Hell, we may be headed for a civil war.
posted by shmegegge at 3:26 PM on December 20


People really don't believe that, do they?

I mean really, really, really deep down. What do you put the odds of that happening at? I got to figure that there is a 0.00000000001% chance of a civil war happening in the next 5 years. What odds do you place on it?

Honestly: what would the civil war be over? What issue do people believe so passionately about that they are ready to pick up arms and stones and start attacking their fellow man? Nothing. Your comment seems to suggest that religious people are going to start a war to kill the gays or something (to be honest, I can't actually understand your point so I am paraphrasing). Do you really believe that? Do you really believe there are enough religious people thinking that way that they could start a civil war over it?

If you don't really believe it, why would you say it? Is it purely out of the need to be rhetorical?

After all the braying and crying and bemoaning of tyranny over the last 8 years or so, what's happening right now? A campaign for a new election. A year from now, someone else will be in power. If you ask me, it's not much of a tyranny if you have to completely and peacefully transfer power at a predefined times.

The most depressing thing to me about the explosion of media coverage and the internet is that rhetoric has become ridiculous. We have too much information about every little issue from so many sources that people think they need to be as hyperbolic as possible to get their point across. Something can't merely be disagreed with because we see so many disagreements. Rather, something must be castigated as Evil Incarnate to let us know that a certain thing is really, really importantly bad. Or, in terms of this specific discussion, it's not enough to dislike or disagree the current administration; we must hear about how they evil at every point over and over. Eventually it gets a little exhausting hearing how bad someone is when its couched in eschatological terms.

I submit that any individual who discusses revolution or tyranny in today's climate has lost all perspective and become so attached to their political affectations that issues are blown to absurd proportions. Insularity on the internet of people with shared politics--where to be noticed one has to go to extremes--only makes this worse.

We are nowhere near a revolution. And to suggest we are in the same ballpark as one is to show a lack of understanding about the political realities of countries that are going through such tragedies. We are going to have an election, and then for the next 8 years one half of the country will get to bitch about the other half. Then it will switch. There is unique about the disagreements extant today. They are just more artificially louder.
posted by dios at 2:15 PM on December 20, 2007 [6 favorites]


Gosh, well, thanks for the help.

This is why it's so annoying. Because we get yelled at that it's all our fault, why don't we do something about that damn government of ours, then we explain that it's not that easy and what should we do, exactly, that we aren't doing already, and there are no answers. So why keep berating the very Americans that KNOW there are problems? We don't have any way to fix it, just like you don't have any answers for how to fix it.

So keep on berating us, I guess. Maybe that will help it all get better.
posted by agregoli at 2:20 PM on December 20, 2007


"Again, I live here and I agree. Who is vehemently disagreeing with you and saying rah-rah-America-is-the-best here?"

I dunno. Most of the places that allow me the same level of personal freedom have worse weather. I mean, I like the Netherlands, but ugh, I lived in Michigan too long to move to a climate like that. Spain, maybe? I mean, I like Italy, but they're all sorts of fucked internally. Maybe the south of France? Kinda expensive, though. And they've got weird laws about drugs and porno. Here, despite what it looks like through the media sometimes, our conservative cranks don't have nearly as much power as they have coverage. Really, the only place outside the country that I've seriously thought about moving to is Vancouver (and Canada's weird about porno too). I almost know enough metric to make it work.
posted by klangklangston at 2:36 PM on December 20, 2007


What do you put the odds of that happening at? I got to figure that there is a 0.00000000001% chance of a civil war happening in the next 5 years. What odds do you place on it?

dunno. I'm not really putting it on any sort of timeline restriction, for one thing. but I'm not placing bets one way or the other. what I happen to believe is that there is a very large group of people in this country who will certainly seem willing to die to fight things like abortion, gay marriage and the separation of church and state. If you don't agree, I don't know what to tell you. Jesus Camp is one of the scariest movies i've ever seen in my life. We have a history of violent resolutions to our civil problems, and we also have a history of legislative and judicial resolutions to them. Right now it seems like there's a rather serious problem in the public discourse regarding faith in the judicial and legislative system. (as in confidence in it, i'm not at the moment talking about religious faith's place in the system.) So yeah, I think we might be. in 5 years, not really, but you never know when something big will happen that inflames tempers and catalyzes movements, so like I said I'm not placing bets.

Your comment seems to suggest that religious people are going to start a war to kill the gays or something (to be honest, I can't actually understand your point so I am paraphrasing).

That is not what I'm trying to suggest. I'm trying to suggest that our country may be divisive enough that we may have another war for secession. The last one was not, as I understand it, a war about people taking up arms to try and kill a lot of black people. Rather it was about a lot of people who wanted to secede from the union over the gold standard, state's rights and slavery. I can easily see the issues I mentioned above being the reasons why some people would want to secede nowadays, though I wouldn't put odds on when or even try to argue that it's definitely going to happen.

Do you really believe there are enough religious people thinking that way that they could start a civil war over it?

I believe they could be the catalyst for a movement of people of similar mindsets. Not all republicans are evangelicals for instance, but there are enough people who are not evangelicals in many political and social camps that can share their mindset on key issues enough to agree with a demand for secession.

If you ask me, it's not much of a tyranny if you have to completely and peacefully transfer power at a predefined times.

There wasn't much of a tyranny before the Civil War, either. But then, I'm not sure why you're making that statement since it doesn't really speak to my point in one way or the other.

I submit that any individual who discusses revolution or tyranny in today's climate has lost all perspective and become so attached to their political affectations that issues are blown to absurd proportions.

I submit that this is much in line with your previously and often expressed viewpoint and that I am not remotely surprised. I also submit that I don't agree and that your viewpoint is the result of wishful thinking and a heavily buried feeling of voter's remorse somewhere so deep within your psyche that you can't even acknowledge it to yourself. But then, we're apparently just both making overblown statements about the other's emotional state at that point.

There is unique about the disagreements extant today. They are just more artificially louder.

Louder than what? Louder than the disagreements that ALSO fundamentally changed the social and political face of our country throughout its entire history? You act as if democracy is just this neat little pendulum that doesn't even go back and forth all that much and whatever's bothering you this time won't in a year or two. Meanwhile that same democracy has had a civil war, two suffrage movements, more social change in its history than periods of social stability and has consistently been at war in one part of the world or another for decades. What historical precedent are you exactly relying on for your analysis? If you don't think there's anything divisive enough to foment a war for secession under any circumstances, bully for you. But your entire attitude stinks of unmerited egotism and naivete.
posted by shmegegge at 2:46 PM on December 20, 2007


Jesus Camp is one of the scariest movies i've ever seen in my life.

You've got that right. I actually got teary-eyed from FEAR. The only other movie that's done THAT to me is the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
posted by agregoli at 2:50 PM on December 20, 2007


In the event of a civil war, I'll be taking to the high seas, armed to the teeth, until things die down a bit. I'll make brief contact with friendlies on the shore, and I'll be unsurprised at the panic caused by poisoned reservoirs and bombed nuclear power plants. I'll discount rumors of radioactive mutants in the interior as I ditch my oceangoing vessel for a lighter craft and take to the crumbled nation's waterways.

One day I'll find myself surrounded by muties and I'll either rocket my way to retirement or they'll kill me, take my boat and weapons, and bring mutant war to the last vestiges of America.
posted by breezeway at 5:49 PM on December 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


We are nowhere near a revolution. And to suggest we are in the same ballpark as one is to show a lack of understanding about the political realities of countries that are going through such tragedies. We are going to have an election, and then for the next 8 years one half of the country will get to bitch about the other half. Then it will switch.

Yes, it's all nice and neat. Wrap it up in a box and put a bow on it and break for tea and crumpets...Dios has declared on this day the 20th of December in the year of our lord 2007 that all is well. The Tyrant Bush and the sadist Cheney, shall retire in Jan. 2009 to comfortable respected lives as statesmen beloved by the nation for their fine service to our nation and a new administration of the Democratic variety will take their place for the allocated 8 years and all will go on forever and ever in perfect happiness and bliss. America!! America!! God shed has grace on thee And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea!

Invasion: We're America!! War on TERROR!!

Mass Murder: We're America!! War on TERROR!!

Election Fraud: We're America!! War on TERROR!!

incompetence: We're America!! War on TERROR!!

Corp. Corruption: We're America!! War on TERROR!!

Tyrannical Executive privilege:
We're America!! War on TERROR!!

No privacy rights: We're America!! War on TERROR!!

Wiretapping: We're America!! War on TERROR!!

Signing statements: We're America!! War on TERROR!!

Torture: We're America!! War on TERROR!

Torture: We're America!! War on TERROR!

Torture: We're America!! War on TERROR!

Torture: We're America!! War on TERROR!

Torture: We're America!! War on TERROR!

Torture: We're America!! War on TERROR!

Torture: We're America!! War on TERROR!

Torture: We're America!! War on TERROR!

Cover up: We're America!! War on TERROR!! !


Destruction of CIA Video tapes:
We're America!! War on TERROR!!


Considering how wrong you've been in the past, Dios, the fact that you say there's no chance of a revolution scares the fucking bejesus out of me.
posted by Skygazer at 6:14 PM on December 20, 2007


shmegegge typed "Jesus Camp is one of the scariest movies i've ever seen in my life. "

Huh. Are there two movies out there called Jesus Camp? The one I saw was a very sympathetic portrayal of people who've been ostracized from American culture, yet are still blamed for all of its problems. Which is actually very scary, but maybe not in the way you're thinking.

Look, the poor conservatives who still take Jerry Fallwell seriously have more in common with the poor conservatives we're killing in the Middle East than they have with the rich conservatives doing the killing.
posted by roll truck roll at 6:29 PM on December 20, 2007


Well, it seems like the only one really wanting to discuss him here is you, sgt.
posted by Lillitatiana at 7:19 PM on December 20, 2007


I think this thread should be closed before the US erupts into civil war - i can't believe what i've unleashed !
Dios nails it, the high pitch of anything about bush gets annoying pretty quickly and the posters about it seem to be completely irony free and in the grip of asparagus syndrome.


(Mottrams law reached one)
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:40 AM on December 21, 2007


Americans are so apathetic/can't stop talking politics! Oh I hate them.
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 8:01 AM on December 21, 2007



Hell, we may be headed for a civil war.

Has anyone told South Carolina?
posted by thivaia at 8:06 AM on December 21, 2007


Huh. Are there two movies out there called Jesus Camp? The one I saw was a very sympathetic portrayal of people who've been ostracized from American culture, yet are still blamed for all of its problems.

I don't know. The one I saw was a documentary where the owner of the camp said that she thinks Christian children should be brought up to believe that dying as a soldier in a religious war against muslims was the greatest thing they could do with their lives. It also had interviews with children talking about how much they want to be martyrs some day, and how Catholic churches are dead churches that God doesn't visit or listen to because no one there speaks in tongues.

Scared the bejeezus out of me. Maybe it was sympathetic. I don't know. On a purely aesthetic note, I think the best documentaries are the ones that try not to push a judgement on you, but rather allow you to come to your own conclusions, so maybe we saw the same movie.

Did yours have the part where the kids in the camp dressed up in camouflage with fake assault rifles as part of a dance about how much they want a holy war?
posted by shmegegge at 9:48 AM on December 21, 2007


If crazy-ass Christians is your sort of thing check out Soldiers of Christ from Harper's a while back.
posted by chunking express at 9:57 AM on December 21, 2007


Look, the poor conservatives who still take Jerry Fallwell seriously have more in common with the poor conservatives we're killing in the Middle East than they have with the rich conservatives doing the killing.

I absolutely agree. I think they're being manipulated and swindled, which isn't their fault.
posted by shmegegge at 10:00 AM on December 21, 2007


dios: ... in terms of this specific discussion, it's not enough to dislike or disagree the current administration; we must hear about how they are evil at every point over and over.

I'd describe the current administration as irresponsible and disastrous, not evil.

Alan Wolfe suggests that the underlying problem is its conservative hostility to government. He discusses how this played out with FEMA and Katrina:
[Joe] Allbaugh, and his hand-picked successor Michael Brown, like so many Bush appointees, were afflicted with what we might call "learned incompetence." They did not fail merely out of ignorance and inexperience. Their ineptness, rather, was active rather than passive, the end result of a deliberate determination to prove that the federal government simply should not be in the business of disaster management. "Many are concerned that federal disaster assistance may have evolved into both an oversized entitlement program and a disincentive to effective state and local risk management," Allbaugh had testified before a Senate appropriations subcommittee in May, 2001. "Expectations of when the federal government should be involved and the degree of involvement may have ballooned beyond what is an appropriate level." There was the conservative dilemma in a nutshell: a man put in charge of a mission in which he did not believe.

Long before Katrina destroyed New Orleans, Allbaugh and Brown were busy destroying FEMA: privatizing many of the agency's programs, shifting attention away from disaster management, and shedding no tears as scores of agency staff left in dismay. Human beings cannot prevent natural disasters, but they can prevent man-made ones. Not the Bush administration. Its ideological hostility toward government all but guaranteed that the physical damage inflicted by a hurricane would be exacerbated by the human damage caused by incompetence.
And in Iraq:
So long as conservatives denigrate government while relying on government to achieve their objectives, Rumsfeld's vision of how to fight wars is the only kind of conservative foreign policy one can have. His low-balling of troop estimates in Iraq was the foreign policy equivalent of libertarian economics: relying on government while refusing to pay for it. His hostility toward Iraqi reconstruction resonated with those skeptical of rebuilding New Orleans. His disdain for Colin Powell's State Department mirrored Joe McCarthy's for Dean Acheson's. Only a tried-and-true conservative could ever have come up with the idea of turning the management of Iraqi police forces over to private firms to the extent that Rumsfeld did, with catastrophic results for the Iraqis themselves. While it is difficult to label someone who plans a war an isolationist, Rumsfeld's hostility toward America's historic allies represented a contemporary version of unilateralism, which has always been isolationism's first cousin. The neoconservatives wanted to draft hugely expensive undertakings onto a party with an isolationist past. The Secretary of Defense wanted to draft on to the same political party a distant war, but with the promise of being cheap and avoiding the loss of American lives. It is not difficult to conclude which one would win in today's conservative environment.
He summarizes:
Conservatives cannot govern well for the same reason that vegetarians cannot prepare a world-class boeuf bourguignon: If you believe that what you are called upon to do is wrong, you are not likely to do it very well.
That isn't to say that the United States won't be able to recover from the Iraq war. Hans Morgenthau, writing in 1965:
The prestige of a nation is not determined by the success or failure of a particular operation at a particular moment in history. Quite the contrary, it reflects the sum of a nation's qualities and actions, of its successes and failures, of its historic memories and aspirations. The pages of history record many examples of nations which, secure in their possession of great power and recognized as such by their peers, have suffered defeat or retreated from exposed positions without suffering a loss in prestige. When was the prestige of France higher: when it fought wars in Indochina and Algeria which it could neither win nor thought it could afford to lose, or after it had liquidated these losing enterprises? And how much did American prestige suffer in the long run from the debacle of the Bay of Pigs, as thorough and spectacular a failure as one would wish only one's enemy to suffer, and as humiliating a revelation of governmental incompetence as one would not want perhaps even one's enemy to reveal? When France demonstrated the wisdom and courage to liquidate two losing enterprises on which it had staked its "honor," its prestige rose to heights it had not attained since the beginning of the Second World War, and the Bay of Pigs has weighed little in the scales of American prestige, heavy as they are with power and success. To say, then, that we ought not to be in Vietnam but cannot leave because our prestige would suffer, is to confound ephemeral fluctuations of public opinion with the lasting foundation of national power and prestige and to think little of American power and of the American prestige which reflects that power.
posted by russilwvong at 11:27 AM on December 21, 2007 [4 favorites]


When I saw Jesus Camp, I thought, The Army of Christ is just a bunch of kids? I can't wait to kill these little fools in the name of Satan or Civilization or just a good-time Saturday night. I'm going to hell anyway, I might as well go to hell for foiling their dark God's master plan.

Freedom and justice will churn their blood and bones into nature's godless soil, and generations will eat the fruit of their nutritious rot.

Either that, or they're right, and God will help them torture, rape, and murder me on the road to Holy Dominion. Kids these days, what can you do?
posted by breezeway at 11:47 AM on December 21, 2007


Whatever, dude.
posted by joe lisboa at 12:51 PM on December 21, 2007


You know what, shmegegge? I just had one of those fantastic moments that are the reason I love MetaFilter. I made what I thought was a snarky comment, someone else responded to my snarky comment in a serious way, and I ended up learning something. Thank you for your earnest reply.

Liberal as I am, it was still hard for me to watch Jesus Camp without feeling an awful lot of sympathy for Becky Fischer. The juxtaposition of her more-or-less irrelevant ministry with Mike Papantonio's extreme accusations--to me--sent a very clear message: these are not the enemies we are looking for.

Take, for example, the oft-discussed "praying for Bush" scene. When guest-speaker-woman said that line, "Bush has come to visit us," I thought the whole situation dripped with irony. No, Bush did not come to visit you, speaker-lady. Bush could care less about you and your needs, but actually you know that.

I think the only person who really came off as a bad guy in that movie was Ted Haggard and his extreme smarm. No wonder he's tried to sue the filmmakers, and Becky Fischer uses the film in her ministry.

shmegegge typed "Did yours have the part where the kids in the camp dressed up in camouflage with fake assault rifles as part of a dance about how much they want a holy war?"

Yes, I guess it did. That sure did squick me out, but again, it all comes back to how this country takes advantage of the poor. As long as our country keeps picking fights, children in the poorer parts of the country will be taught to romanticize militarism.
posted by roll truck roll at 4:20 PM on December 21, 2007


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