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It's hard to be a mod. March 17, 2008 3:57 PM   Subscribe

I think Jessamyn needs a hug. First there was this and then this. I liked the sarcasm of this one and was thankful she stepped into this !narcoterror! thread. Frustration bubbles here and then, in the best delete ever, explodes.
posted by incessant to MetaFilter-Related at 3:57 PM (270 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

I don't think she needs a hug. She needs for people to stop being snarky assholes.
posted by iconomy at 4:04 PM on March 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


I apologize for pushing her over the edge.
posted by found missing at 4:04 PM on March 17, 2008


Yes, please keep Jess away from the edge................

Oh, it was your fault??
posted by Wilder at 4:05 PM on March 17, 2008


not to be contrary or 'nuthin' but doesn't "FUCKS SAKE" have an apostrophe in it somewhere?

i've always preferred "FOR THE SAKE OF FUCK"

no apostrophe necessary.
posted by stubby phillips at 4:09 PM on March 17, 2008


I think what jessamyn really needs is another MetaTalk thread to deal with.
posted by grouse at 4:09 PM on March 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


When I was little, there was this old nun at our school, I can't even remember her name now, but she ran the cafeteria. When we would start to get rowdy and out of line, she would slam her wooden staff down on the ground and yell, "Quit being dorks!". Thanks, Jessamyn, by way of Incessant, for bringing back a fond memory. I don't ever want to stop being a dork.
posted by msali at 4:12 PM on March 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


so she's pissed off, i don't blame her, we're all pretty annoying.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:13 PM on March 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Fucks Sake has been made by the Fucks family using traditional rice-wine fermentation techniques for over 100 years. Insist on the best.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 4:14 PM on March 17, 2008 [34 favorites]


Maybe she's just sick of our shit?
posted by klangklangston at 4:14 PM on March 17, 2008


I think Jessamyn needs a hug.

Note: Everyone needs a hug.

Duh.
posted by dersins at 4:14 PM on March 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why isn't cortex stepping up to the plate and zapping the dorks every once in a while? Maybe she's just overworked. She needs to go out and drink green beer and dance on tables.
posted by misha at 4:16 PM on March 17, 2008


Jessamyn needs you to install the taser keyboard and hand over remote control.
posted by Artw at 4:17 PM on March 17, 2008


Yeah, if she was out here, I'd take her out for beers pretty regularly. I'm afraid that even moderating a generally-decent website for cash and gift certificates can leave a person with those bleak, empty eyes of gainful employment after a little bit.
posted by klangklangston at 4:18 PM on March 17, 2008


I think Jessamyn needs a hug

Back of the queue.
posted by cillit bang at 4:20 PM on March 17, 2008


Why isn't cortex stepping up to the plate and zapping the dorks every once in a while?

He does- zapped some annoying derail from agregoli and the responses in this thread.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:20 PM on March 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


QUIT BEING DORKS AND ANSWER THE QUESTION FOR FUCKS SAKE

insta-meme?
posted by Durin's Bane at 4:21 PM on March 17, 2008


More from Dr. cortex.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:21 PM on March 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Whether it's hard-knock life or not, I don't think this is part of the solution, incessant. FFS!
posted by mumkin at 4:25 PM on March 17, 2008


Man, the noise in Ask Me really annoys me.

Call me a hard-liner but I think if N number of your comments get removed from Ask Metafilter, there should be an instant week-long timeout perhaps with an accompanying email: "It looks like rather than being part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Please take a week off to understand how Ask Metafilter works."
posted by vacapinta at 4:26 PM on March 17, 2008 [33 favorites]


Oh pro-fane!
posted by buzzman at 4:27 PM on March 17, 2008


it seems as though theres a few posters on here that are glad jessamyn is upset - i wouldnt have a problem with them getting a timeout.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:30 PM on March 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm really interested in knowing how people were being dorks about the Chatfiltery question.
posted by 0xFCAF at 4:35 PM on March 17, 2008


I think "guesses can be written on pieces of paper and tossed out the window" should replace the bit about wisecracks below the answer box.
posted by timeistight at 4:42 PM on March 17, 2008 [4 favorites]


Call me a hard-liner but I think if N number of your comments get removed from Ask Metafilter, there should be an instant week-long timeout...

I agree, where N=1
posted by popechunk at 4:42 PM on March 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


We're zappin' dorks 24/7, tyvm. It's been kind of a high-volume day on the dorkdom, mostly.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:43 PM on March 17, 2008


I think Jessamyn needs a hug. First there was this and then this. I liked the sarcasm of this one and was thankful she stepped into this !narcoterror! thread. Frustration bubbles here and then, in the best delete ever, explodes.

I think you're overreacting. Most of those are pretty tame, run of the mill deletion reasons.

And really, what the hell do you want? Little sparkly animated flower GIFs tagged on to deletion posts? Should she send a card or flowers to people after deleting their comments?

Me, I say leave our wonderfully snarky librarian alone. Her job is hard enough.

However, the truly obvious solution to all of this is to ban anyone who uses Hotmail.
posted by loquacious at 4:47 PM on March 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


I don't think there was anything particularly revealing of her mood those deletes, except maybe the second one. But if she is having a bad day, a MetaTalk post inviting everyone to discuss her mood might not be the best way to alleviate it.
posted by gsteff at 4:48 PM on March 17, 2008


And really, what the hell do you want? Little sparkly animated flower GIFs tagged on to deletion posts?

Could we get those?????? Pretty pleeeeease with a jpg of a smiling puppy on top??

No?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:49 PM on March 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Excuse me, but how many days do we currently have in the Cooter bank?
posted by mullacc at 4:50 PM on March 17, 2008


By my count the target date is March 27, though I don't have a policy of explicitly looking until the time runs out, as phrase search on the site doesn't work and I'd have to do a bunch of work.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 4:55 PM on March 17, 2008


It's been kind of a high-volume day on the dorkdom, mostly.

St. Patrick's Day. Expect extra stupidity in the green.
posted by eriko at 4:57 PM on March 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


TheOnlyCoolTim: Excellent. You're truly a community resource (unless you turn out to be wrong).
posted by mullacc at 5:03 PM on March 17, 2008


> if she was out here, I'd take her out for beers pretty regularly.

According to some twitters I intercepted, she was in town just last night and I missed it. Dangit.
posted by ardgedee at 5:11 PM on March 17, 2008


He turns out to be wrong.
posted by dersins at 5:11 PM on March 17, 2008


St. Patrick's Day. Expect extra stupidity in the green.

Erin Go Braless!!

*passes out*
posted by jonmc at 5:13 PM on March 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


Updated to April 8th.

Remember, if you see something, say something.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 5:16 PM on March 17, 2008


I'm assuming that the counter gets reset even if a girl does the deed.
posted by team lowkey at 5:17 PM on March 17, 2008


A girl can reset it. The first two entries since I started noting the Chronicle of Failure were girls.

However, in my opinion the phrase used in that post doesn't count, although I am willing to bow to opposing community consensus.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 5:21 PM on March 17, 2008


Jessamyn has been an unnecessarily sarcastic bitch for a while. But it's only to be expected given that she's constantly dealing with about five thousand 2 year-olds.
posted by folgers crystals at 5:22 PM on March 17, 2008


i could take on five thousand two year olds, no problem. i'd need a pointy stick or something.
posted by stubby phillips at 5:24 PM on March 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


I guess Jessamyn did quote an exact phrase, so variations shouldn't count. But the usage certainly breaks the spirit, if not the letter of the edict.
posted by team lowkey at 5:27 PM on March 17, 2008


I would have gone with "shockingly tolerant and patient person" and "about five thousand varied and generally pretty awesome if not always totally well-behaved people", but, you know, to each his own.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:27 PM on March 17, 2008 [21 favorites]


I think "guesses can be written on pieces of paper and tossed out the window" should replace the bit about wisecracks below the answer box.

Seconded!
posted by desuetude at 5:30 PM on March 17, 2008


folgers crystals: Jessamyn has been an unnecessarily sarcastic bitch for a while.

Words fail me.
posted by loiseau at 5:31 PM on March 17, 2008


yeah, I am SO HORRIBLE. Let's start a sexism thread about my comment. wah wah wah.
posted by folgers crystals at 5:33 PM on March 17, 2008


unnecessarily sarcastic

I keep reading that phrase over and over, but I just can't make those two words work together. Help?
posted by maudlin at 5:34 PM on March 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


yeah, I am SO HORRIBLE.

You are horrible. In addition to acting the ass, you are in no way the fine coffee that I am usually served. I call freeze-dried Robusta BULLSHIT.
posted by mumkin at 5:36 PM on March 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


folgers crystals: yeah, I am SO HORRIBLE. Let's start a sexism thread about my comment. wah wah wah.

Tactless and a winning personality.
posted by loiseau at 5:38 PM on March 17, 2008 [4 favorites]


yeah, I am SO HORRIBLE. Let's start a sexism thread about my comment. wah wah wah.

You know, you're being a dick. There's not really an argument that needs to be made one way or the other: you were flat out being a dick, on purpose, without explanation or apparent motivation. The normal move here would be to apologize, not try and start some shit when people call you on it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:40 PM on March 17, 2008 [12 favorites]


yeah, I am SO HORRIBLE. Let's start a sexism thread about my comment. wah wah wah.

Hey, welcome to MetaFilter, and thanks for doing your part to make it a great place!
posted by OmieWise at 5:40 PM on March 17, 2008


this !narcoterror! thread.

I was just skimming that, and was disappointed to find there wasn't a discussion of interocitors.
posted by drezdn at 5:47 PM on March 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


two thousand five year olds? i'm not so sure. i'd need a clown suit and a flame thrower.
posted by stubby phillips at 5:48 PM on March 17, 2008


I'm not sure Jessamyn needs a hug, but this thread is not a hug.

Also, folgers crystals, you're out of line, mister.
posted by johnofjack at 5:48 PM on March 17, 2008


folgers crystals: wtf dipshit?
posted by LobsterMitten at 5:57 PM on March 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


TheOnlyCoolTim: However, in my opinion the phrase used in that post doesn't count, although I am willing to bow to opposing community consensus.

No exceptions. It counts. We deserve a clean Cooter.
posted by mullacc at 5:59 PM on March 17, 2008


Wow, I wish someone would give me a hug in my workplace. Mod worship again????? Sheesh...
posted by wafaa at 6:00 PM on March 17, 2008


Jessamyn has the patience of a saint. She deserves hugs, a million thanks, and an apology from everyone whose shit she's had to clean up. She's nice even when we clearly don't deserve it, and I find her sarcasm welcome and perfectly appropriate.
posted by stefanie at 6:05 PM on March 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


Fucks Sake has been made by the Fucks family using traditional rice-wine fermentation techniques for over 100 years. Insist on the best.

But get the pronunciation right! It's not "Fucks", it's "fah-ku-su." Got it? FAH-KU-SU!!!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:05 PM on March 17, 2008


hai
posted by stubby phillips at 6:07 PM on March 17, 2008


yeah, I am SO HORRIBLE. Let's start a sexism thread about my comment. wah wah wah.

Y'know, we were doing OK without you.
posted by klangklangston at 6:12 PM on March 17, 2008


I'm sorry I ever maligned the good name of cortex, now. Special extra hugs for him, too!
posted by misha at 6:13 PM on March 17, 2008


Jessamyn has been an unnecessarily sarcastic bitch for a while.

Aw, looks like somebody got their feelings hurt. How many tears did you cry when the big, bad mod deleted your AskMe snark, little sockpuppet?
posted by LeeJay at 6:14 PM on March 17, 2008


Somebody got their schmuckiness in my the thread.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:20 PM on March 17, 2008


Jessamyn doesn't want your damn germfilled hugs. Stop acting like retarded jackasses that can't reign in every little twitch that crosses your brain. Just knock off ok?

And send a bit of cash. Everybody loves cash.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:20 PM on March 17, 2008


the hug thread, rather.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:20 PM on March 17, 2008


wah wah wah

Is this the sound of instant coffee dopplering far, far away from us?
posted by rtha at 6:23 PM on March 17, 2008


Wish we could vote people off the island.
posted by peacay at 6:24 PM on March 17, 2008


Well I for one will give any affection needed. I can't claim selflessness, however.
Additionally, if anyone seriously calls jessamyn a bitch, I'd love to grind their facial bones with my fist bones.
Not that my help is needed or desired.
and I owe cortex an Irish bar (I typed bra at first, perhaps an Irish bra would be preferable?)
posted by dawson at 6:24 PM on March 17, 2008


I wish we could eat people on the island.

But seriously if the mods need anything, I'm betting it for people to get outta Metatalk and go back some cool posts.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:25 PM on March 17, 2008


folgers crystals: wtf dipshit?

Maxwell House envy.
posted by jonmc at 6:27 PM on March 17, 2008


Jessamyn go bragh!
posted by kuujjuarapik at 6:28 PM on March 17, 2008


two thousand five year olds?

dag, that's only a few years younger than Jesus.
posted by jonmc at 6:32 PM on March 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


yeah, I am SO HORRIBLE.

I'm not sensing a lot of disagreement on this matter, folgers. But I *am* sensing an almighty flameout in your very near future.

I'ma lay in some popcorn and lawn chairs, just to be ready.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:35 PM on March 17, 2008


I think that last link from Jess is excessively chatty, and probably needs to be deleted. It has nothing whatsoever to do with answering the question.
posted by Dave Faris at 6:35 PM on March 17, 2008


Erin Go Braless!!

That's two websites. Come on jonmc, find a third to display your witty banter before you pass out.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 6:41 PM on March 17, 2008


This is a test.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 6:54 PM on March 17, 2008


I wish I could take this post back. I just wanted to point out the deletion comment that made me spew soup out of my nose because it was so funny, and give it a little context. If I had known some people would use it to crap on Jessamyn (and me? Thanks, Loquacious), I never would've said a thing.
posted by incessant at 7:08 PM on March 17, 2008


Oh hi. I was at the Tuba Museum. Cheered my shit right up.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:15 PM on March 17, 2008 [18 favorites]


Well, they do say the internet is a series of tubas...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:23 PM on March 17, 2008


Anything good in the gift shop? Little magnetic tubas for the fridge?
posted by ook at 7:28 PM on March 17, 2008


Tuba? I hardly even know her! (* Read in Boston accent)
posted by loiseau at 7:32 PM on March 17, 2008


Tubby the Tuba !!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:33 PM on March 17, 2008


yeah, I am SO HORRIBLE. Let's start a sexism thread about my comment. wah wah wah.
posted by folgers crystals at 5:33 PM on March 17


Flagged as fantastic.
posted by deborah at 7:34 PM on March 17, 2008


Watch this, and then imagine a childs face, squeeling with pleasure, forever.
posted by Artw at 7:46 PM on March 17, 2008


Now if someone could just teach that cat to play a tuba at the same time, that would be nirvana.
posted by maudlin at 7:52 PM on March 17, 2008


"Now if someone could just teach that cat to play a tuba at the same time, that would be nirvana."

No, Nirvana was more like caterwauling. It had nothing to do with tubas.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:01 PM on March 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Are you sure?
posted by maudlin at 8:03 PM on March 17, 2008 [4 favorites]


Nice work, maudlin!</small
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:09 PM on March 17, 2008


Oops. Small tag.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:10 PM on March 17, 2008


*ehug for Jess, just because she is so cool and all. As for needing that hug, hah, I think she is stronger than dirt. What a weird call-out. Anyway, hugs and cheers for Jess all around, and if I am really missing some stress on her part, well then all my support and love to help her through, but really, I think she is tougher than you think, probably tougher than you, and definitely tougher than I. You go Jess.
posted by caddis at 8:24 PM on March 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


smells like teen spit valve.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 8:27 PM on March 17, 2008


Jessamyn, thanks for being so awesome.
Not a stalker
posted by waraw at 8:36 PM on March 17, 2008


Here are photos of the Tuba Museum.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:40 PM on March 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


I feel for jessamyn. She basically pours her heart and soul into moderating AskMe, the part of the site with the most traffic, and as a result she's the mod who probably has to deal with the largest percentage of douchebags.

I'm starting to like AskMe more and more. I didn't really go there a lot but I've found I have been participating there more and more. But I find my participation (and as such, my enjoyment) there waxes and wanes. It wanes mostly when I enter, say, a relationship thread and see that the first wave of 'advice' is DTMFA. Consistently, this is AskMe's #1 response to any relationship question. "Dear AskMe, my boyfriend coughed earlier... I'm afraid he might be sick. What should I do?" Advice; DTMFA. Or the question might be "Dear AskMe, I can't decide between a kitten as a present for my girlfriend or a teddy bear. What should I get?" Advice in this scenario usually goes "YOU'RE AN ABUSIVE BOYFRIEND! STOP BEING A FUCKER AND STOP TORTURING THIS WOMAN! LET HER GET ON WITH HER LIFE WITHOUT YOUR INTERFERENCE!!!" or some other variant of that kind of hyperbole.

Obviously I'm exaggerating here, but it seems to me that a great number of people think Askme is MetaTalk. They think AskMe is a place not to answer questions and help others out, but to scan the words of the question and tear apart the poster. Now, I love this in MetaTalk. I love the sport of it. Hell, that's why I come here. But in AskMe, it turns me off and I find I don't want to be there for a while. And yeah, I know I could just avoid the relationship threads, where this kind of shit goes down the most, but I like them and I shouldn't have to avoid them. And besides, people find ways to be assholes in other questions too. No matter what the topic, someone, some-thread will always find a way to get their snark on. And as I say, it turns me off the site.

So I can imagine being in jessamyn's place, having to moderate a place which she obviously loves (hence her participation in almost every thread) and having to delete comment after comment after comment of people being wankers. I could imagine her getting mightily pissed off with that.

Jessamyn needs a hug, sure, and I'm certain a great many people here would dearly give her one in a nanosecond for ensuring that Ask Metafilter is, despite the onslaught of trolls and assholes, a great place to participate. But I think what she really needs is for the aforementioned trolls and assholes to go get fucked from the site once and for all.

A self-link will get you banned around these parts. How about a policy that you get the banhammer for any kind of douchebaggery on AskMe? I think that'd make AskMe a better place (might make someone think twice before being a douche) and, best of all, it would make jessamyn's job (and life) a helluva lot easier.
posted by Effigy2000 at 8:49 PM on March 17, 2008


Oh for God's sake. If Jessamyn hadn't deleted those comments, those threads would have been more fun to read. The threads still would have been just as helpful to the poster (I'm sure the OP has no trouble following all of the comments in her or his own thread.)

The internet is not particularly serious business and most forum moderation just boils down to rearranging the deck chairs on the. . . fuck, I wish there were some commonly known Carnival cruise ship name I could insert here. Frownies.
posted by 1 at 9:05 PM on March 17, 2008


Shut up 1.
posted by nola at 9:13 PM on March 17, 2008 [14 favorites]


Flag and move on, cutie.
posted by 1 at 9:15 PM on March 17, 2008


You know who makes good points and really contributes to this site?

Not 1.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:15 PM on March 17, 2008 [7 favorites]


Haha you don't flag stuff in a cage match dude, you put up or shut up.
posted by nola at 9:17 PM on March 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


Haha you don't flag stuff in a cage match dude, you put up or shut up.

Or, sometimes, both.
posted by 1 at 9:19 PM on March 17, 2008


Attention low-hanging fruit of metatalk : Please don't rise to the bait.
posted by Dave Faris at 9:24 PM on March 17, 2008


Dork dork dork!
posted by miss lynnster at 9:24 PM on March 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


Chuckleheaded Fucknuts don't stand a chance against super-pwning jessamyn™ extra-strength Post-Cleaner!! With NEW toilet-bowl attachment!!
posted by not_on_display at 9:26 PM on March 17, 2008


Oh for God's sake. If Jessamyn hadn't deleted those comments, those threads would have been more fun to read.

Possibly true, but that isn't the objective.

The threads still would have been just as helpful to the poster

See "broken window phenomenon" (not to be confused with the broken window fallacy.)

The internet is not particularly serious business and most forum moderation just boils down to rearranging the deck chairs

That's definitely an opinion, but the Internet is a giant object lesson in the value of filtration. This is all the proof you need of that.
posted by blenderfish at 9:53 PM on March 17, 2008


Sparkly gifs used to be allowed. Maybe hugs are better.
posted by Sailormom at 9:54 PM on March 17, 2008


This is all the proof you need of that.

According to that graph, filtration is so 2007.
posted by 1 at 10:07 PM on March 17, 2008


Meta trees bear low-hanging fruits.
posted by fleacircus at 10:11 PM on March 17, 2008


Chuckleheaded fucknuttery does not pay! The Shadow Jessamyn knows!

(Alls I know is around the start of that sequence, jessamyn came out pre-coffee and was brightly and firmly social at a bunch of blinking Austinians & conference-goers who were too morning-lagged to remember to buy her beer. She is a-ok. (But you all knew that.))
posted by ormondsacker at 10:29 PM on March 17, 2008


Thanks for the photographs Jess!

(Librarians are tough as nails; I don't think you'd want to mess with the Jessinator)
posted by hadjiboy at 10:37 PM on March 17, 2008


PS. sorry about the dead baby photographs; I honestly didn't think people would be that bothered about it that they'd want them to be taken down
posted by hadjiboy at 10:49 PM on March 17, 2008


For the record, I disagree with the site's zero-snark-tolerance policy toward AskMeFi but I still admire our mods for their ability to enforce it. It's a dirty job, so maybe they can get Mike Rowe to sit in for a day... Hugs all around.

jessamyn came out pre-coffee and was brightly and firmly social

So that's why folgers crystals is pissed at her... pure caffeinated jealousy.

And the Mefite Known As 1 lives up to his name by going #1 into every thread he comments in, although sometimes his contributions are more #2.

But then, everyone deserves a hug.
**hugs folgers crystals and 1 until they stop breathing**
posted by wendell at 10:50 PM on March 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


Hunh, someone replaced my cup of distilled horseshit and bilious fuckwittery with folgers crystals.

And indeed, props to Jessamyn, though I'm surprised at how popular AskMe pruning notices are.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:54 PM on March 17, 2008


1, stop being an ass. There's always Yahoo answers if you prefer the derailed, jokey, and useless threads.
posted by Phire at 10:56 PM on March 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Jessamyn West is the Best of the Web.

There, I said it.
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:30 PM on March 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


Yeah, but say it 25 times in a row, really, really fast.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:34 PM on March 17, 2008


Jessamyn West is the Best of the Web.
Jessamyn West is the Best of the Web.
Jessamyn West is the Best of the Web.
Jessamyn West is the Best of the Web.
Jessamyn West is the Best of the Web.
Jessamyn West is the Best of the Web.
Jessamyn West is the Best of the Web.
Jessamyn West is the Best of the Web.
Jessamyn West is the Best of the Web.
Jessamyn West is the Best of the Web.
Jessamyn West is the Best of the Web.
Jessamyn West is the Best of the Web.
Jessamyn West is the Best of the Web.
Jessamyn West is the Best of the Web.
Jessamyn West is the Best of the Web.
Jessamyn West is the Best of the Web.
Jessamyn West is the Best of the Web.
Jessamyn West is the Best of the Web.
Jessamyn West is the Best of the Web.
Jessamyn West is the Best of the Web.
Jessamyn West is the Best of the Web.
Jessamyn West is the Best of the Web.
Jessamyn West is the Best of the Web.
Jessamyn West is the Best of the Web.
Jessamyn West is the Best of the Web.

Oh, you meant offline...
posted by hadjiboy at 11:55 PM on March 17, 2008


Jessamyn West is the Best of the Web.
Bessamyn West is the Jest of the Web.
Jessamyn Best is the West of the Web.
Wessamyn Best is the West of the Jeb.
Wessamyn Jest is the West of the Beb.

oh crap.
posted by wendell at 12:03 AM on March 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think most pubs should be museums, or perhaps the reverse.

My favorite tea room is in Palms, and they call it a museum too, and I believe it is the very first time I ever did see a silver windhound.
(I originally misstyped: a solver windhound, but alas only in my mathematica dreams it seems.)
(And now to my chagrin post-searching, I discover that I misheard the type of dog, and it was in fact a silken windhound, which happened to possess, confusingly enough for the non-breed-aware, a silver aspect. Goodness, now we're even farther away in error-space from my potential Tegmarkian taigan*.)

* Yes, I confess, I looked up sighthound breeds just for the alliteration. Paean to procrastination reverberating for all, I Post Comment and get back to These Damn Integrals.
posted by johnjoe at 12:24 AM on March 18, 2008


I am still awaiting delivery of my Internet Hugomatic 3000™, but I do have this cookie I got in that other thread.

*offers cookie to jessamyn*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:45 AM on March 18, 2008


(I only took one very small bite.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:45 AM on March 18, 2008


Ask MetaFilter without moderation. The "serious business"-style moderating is important.
posted by ignignokt at 12:50 AM on March 18, 2008


folgers crystals: "Jessamyn has been an unnecessarily sarcastic bitch for a while. But it's only to be expected given that she's constantly dealing with about five thousand 2 year-olds."

I thinbk you're being a bit optimistic there - it's more like two thousand five-year-olds.
posted by dg at 12:51 AM on March 18, 2008


I thinbk, therefore I abm.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:17 AM on March 18, 2008


Tubas and beer > hugs.
posted by louche mustachio at 3:19 AM on March 18, 2008


Oh please really?

The woman deleted a few comments? Why the undergrad fawing?

I'm calling this MODMERATION
posted by mattoxic at 4:02 AM on March 18, 2008


Yeah, really. Talk about praising Caesar, not burying him.

Only a few short months (years?) ago, we were gnashing our teeth and rebelling against the very heavy handed moderation on the green, the new mod/killjoy deleting everything left and right, with every criticism making her more and more defensive.

What a roundabout, and what fickle sheep are we.
posted by Dave Faris at 5:25 AM on March 18, 2008


We, Dave?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 5:26 AM on March 18, 2008


what fickle sheep are we.

Yeah, sure, kemosabe... As for me, I've neither praised nor blamed Jess.

Well, I think I said something nice about her banjo playing that one time...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:34 AM on March 18, 2008


How about a policy that you get the banhammer for any kind of douchebaggery on AskMe?

E2k for Midnite Mod!!

Why can't the "delete comment" button on askme turn into a "delete comment and bestow vacation" button? The vacations get longer and longer the more deletions you've had in the last year. Say, deletions squared days.
posted by popechunk at 5:52 AM on March 18, 2008


Why can't the mods just use their best judgment when deciding whether to give people a timeout?
posted by grouse at 6:26 AM on March 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why can't the "delete comment" button on askme turn into a "delete comment and bestow vacation" button? The vacations get longer and longer the more deletions you've had in the last year. Say, deletions squared days.

If we were to consider increased wrist-slap timeouts for bad askme behavior, it'd have to be something a lot more cautious (and a lot less robotic) than that. For all the balance that's required to keep AskMe from melting without being total hardcores about it, auto-kick isn't a feature that I think would fit that well. An observable patterns of problematic behavior, okay, but one-off ill-considered remarks? Misunderstandings? Non-contentious noise comments? We'd have to design a whole system of varied deletion-types just to account for when we did and didn't want a deletion to count toward the automatic system, etc. Not a great plan, though I realize you might have been joking to some degree.

Only a few short months (years?) ago

Minutes, even. Gnash away, Captain Fun.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:31 AM on March 18, 2008


Obviously 1 was jealous of folgers crystals usurping his place as Most Fuckwitted Commenter and decided to reclaim his throne.
posted by languagehat at 6:33 AM on March 18, 2008 [5 favorites]


I'm suggesting that they use their judgment to institute a new policy in AskMe that would more seriously discourage unhelpful comments.
posted by popechunk at 6:33 AM on March 18, 2008


I'm guessing that they would all be opposed to this inflexible new policy, so you're really suggesting that they use your judgment. I prefer their judgment.
posted by grouse at 6:40 AM on March 18, 2008


"Only a few short months (years?) ago, we were gnashing our teeth and rebelling against the very heavy handed moderation on the green"

Who is this "we," kemosabe? Let's try again.

People who were wrong were gnashing their teeth and rebelling against moderation on the green.
posted by majick at 6:41 AM on March 18, 2008


I've always enjoyed the frank tone of the admin comments around here. It works better for me than being handled by a dry & shiny corporate spin-bot. But I wonder sometimes if the cussing and flailing of arms doesn't undermine them with some users. It's generally a good idea to take the high road and set an example. And going beyond exasperation into snark (as many deletion reasons, in particular, do) is too much. No snark in the comments linked here, btw.
posted by scarabic at 6:41 AM on March 18, 2008


Not a great plan, though I realize you might have been joking to some degree.

I was mostly serious. You guys are the only ones who really know what gets deleted in Ask, so it's hard to tell how big of a problem it really is as the site grows.

I think it would be a dis-incentive in both directions. You might be less willing to hack away at a thread, and people might be less willing to take a few days off just to make a funny.

And in the grand scheme, a couple days off from commenting is not a big deal.

We'd have to design a whole system of varied deletion-types just to account for when we did and didn't want a deletion to count toward the automatic system...

I think if it was flexible it wouldn't work and it would increase, rather than decrease, your workload. But it doesn't matter, because I know it would never happen, and plus, I gotta go to work.
posted by popechunk at 6:43 AM on March 18, 2008


I'm guessing that they would all be opposed to this inflexible new policy, so you're really suggesting that they use your judgment. I prefer their judgment.

KNEEL BEFORE POPECHUNK!!!!!!
posted by popechunk at 6:47 AM on March 18, 2008


Just want to point out that it is Spring Break time of year so all the college kiddies are running amok on our lawn. :(
posted by frecklefaerie at 6:49 AM on March 18, 2008


But I wonder sometimes if the cussing and flailing of arms doesn't undermine them with some users.
This rings kind of true to me. Stuff like this just seems to offer double the fun - get your jokey comment up for a while, then get to see the teacher blow up in front of the class. It encourages a "What'll she say this time?" curiosity among the poking-and-prodding-to-see-what-happens set, don't you think?
posted by Wolfdog at 7:02 AM on March 18, 2008


If you poke and prod a Portuguese Man-o-war jellyfish long enough, it'll just lie there on the beach, drying in the breeze, before it gets really boring and you take your stick elsewhere.
posted by breezeway at 7:24 AM on March 18, 2008


I don't think she needs a hug. She needs for people to stop being snarky assholes.

But she is far more likely to get a hug than the other thing.
posted by Mister_A at 7:25 AM on March 18, 2008


Sometimes if you poke and prod at a particularly nasty lesion or suppurating sore, a little hand pops out, grabs your stick, and yanks you in for a journey under the skin.
posted by breezeway at 7:28 AM on March 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


If you look into a mirror at exactly 10:35 am EDT, and say, "Jessamyn, Jessamyn, Jessamyn", she appears with her banhammer and hits you with it, sometimes right in the middle of a
posted by Mister_A at 7:35 AM on March 18, 2008


Mister_A I think you're confusing Jessamyn West, Moderator Extraordinaire and Candlejack, odious internet me
posted by Skorgu at 7:50 AM on March 18, 2008


What, you guys are suggesting that the transition from devil-may-care Ask Me, where it was as chatty as the rest of the site, to the no-nonsense, "just the facts ma'am" paragon of information that it is today was a completely smooth one, without anyone complaining?

I must have dreamt that, I guess.
posted by Dave Faris at 7:57 AM on March 18, 2008


Ok, I get that whatever the reason, the decision has been made to allow sockpuppets.

But here is a proposal: sockpuppets are allowed but they have a zero-tolerance policy. The first time someone is a dill with a sockpuppet it goes bye-bye. That at least solves two problems: (1) people using sockpuppets to act like complete assholes (2) while also allowing the supposed 'benign uses' of a sockpuppet account.

Any downside to that policy?
posted by dios at 8:00 AM on March 18, 2008


I remember being concerned about what I thought were gratuitously snarky deletion reasons, but blatantly flip-flopped on the issue when people seemed to start getting progressively dumber. Unfortunately, and unlike yourself, I can't speak for anyone else.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:02 AM on March 18, 2008


The above was a response to Dave Faris, representative and spokesperson for the Teeth Gnashing Collective.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:05 AM on March 18, 2008


Any downside to that policy?

We don't have an auto "this is a sock puppet" indicator, but this is often what we do anyhow. Basically unless we go look at a user's page, it's not super simple to tell a sock from a "real" account if they don't have much of a track record. The problem is not really sock puppets, honestly, it's people being fuckers. Lots of people do that just fine with their semi-anonymous accounts; making sock puppet rules won't solve that.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:06 AM on March 18, 2008


Well, if that policy does loosely exist, I would think that folgers crystals would no longer be active. (A legit two week old account doesn't post that a mod has been a bitch recently...only a sock puppet would do that).
posted by dios at 8:14 AM on March 18, 2008


I can understand the reasoning. New account, apparent long-term familiarity with site, being a jackass: must be a sockpuppet. And sometimes it is, but sometimes it isn't. Sometimes, people read the site for a long time before first signing up, and sometimes the people that do sign up decide to act like dicks once they do.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:27 AM on March 18, 2008


In all seriousness I think you are pretty special jessamyn. Don't let the bastards get you down.
posted by vronsky at 8:28 AM on March 18, 2008


Sometimes, people read the site for a long time before first signing up, and sometimes the people that do sign up decide to act like dicks once they do.

For some, acting like a dick isn't a decision. They were born dicks.
posted by breezeway at 8:33 AM on March 18, 2008


You know, I think she is, too. I wouldn't want her job, and I didn't mean for my comments to seem as a slight, and I apologize if I insulted her. I was really more amazed at the turn-around that she's pretty much single-handedly pulled off.
posted by Dave Faris at 8:37 AM on March 18, 2008


(Notes on newness vs. sockness intended in the abstract, not necessarily applicable one way or the other to this specific case. It's more that the "foo MUST be a sock" things comes up a fair amount—dios, I know you for example have speculated as much on a few occasions—and it's a little frustrating sometimes because it feels beside the point.)
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:43 AM on March 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


I wish I wasn't broke; Unnecessarily Sarcastic Bitch could make a fantastic sock puppet name.
posted by quin at 9:01 AM on March 18, 2008


whew, with 1 acting up again and Insomnia_lj back and now this folgers crystals asshole making an appearance, metatalk has become... just a little awesomer.
posted by shmegegge at 9:02 AM on March 18, 2008


Yeah DF, I took that in the spirit in which it was intended. Basically AskMe started out as a "let's try this thing out" and I came on at about the same time as the site was getting a bunch bigger and mathowie needed an extra set of eyes just to keep an eye on the place in case of super-meltdowns of various sorts. However, it did mean that there were two people keeping an eye on the site instead of one which meant, effectively, more moderation which chafed some people. AskMe's policies were evolving at the same time, since it was a newish part of the site and so the super-chattiness of the earlier days became something that we decided kept that part of the site from being as useful as it could. Remember in early AskMe times (pretty sure) we didn't even have question posting limits, no AnonyMe feature, no tags, etc.

And yeah dios, for someone whose account here has no personally identifying information, I think you push this sock puppet button pretty hard. As someone who can sort of see what the sock activity is behind the scenes, it's really not the problem here. It's not against the rules to call the moderator a bitch in MeTa, it's just a cranky and not super constructive.

shmegegge, not that you might care, but it's not awesomer for everyone. While I defend people's rights to rail against the mods, people getting to call me a bitch is not, in any way, awesome.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:10 AM on March 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


whoah whoah whoah. I was being sarcastic. now and for the record, let me please clarify my earlier comment: it was sarcasm, I don't think this is awesome and I apologize to jessamyn for causing her to think I was enjoying her being treated so badly. I think folgers crystals is a fucking shitheel and I am not happy that he's behaving this way.
posted by shmegegge at 9:14 AM on March 18, 2008


t's not against the rules to call the moderator a bitch in MeTa

idea: can we make it against the rules to call anyone a bitch in MeTa and the rest of the metafilter network?
posted by shmegegge at 9:15 AM on March 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


How about we just beat your bitch ass?
posted by Artw at 9:20 AM on March 18, 2008


White Power Bill? Is that you?
posted by shmegegge at 9:22 AM on March 18, 2008


I bet if youse dried out the deletion reasons a bit, the dicks wouldn't be as comfortable insulting the mods. Sets a tone, ya know?

That said, anyone who calls Jessamyn a bitch is a ratfuck who deserves to be thrown down the stairs. She is a light unto the world.
posted by breezeway at 9:22 AM on March 18, 2008


Solution: At sign up, in addition to the $5, users provide a home address andsign a waiver for baseball bat injuries.
posted by Artw at 9:35 AM on March 18, 2008


You know, maybe I'm just old-fashioned (or maybe I'm just old), but I sort of think that threatening to throw anyone down the stairs for any reason has got to be just as bad as calling anyone a name, no matter how beloved and revered. I mean, that's just carrying brown-nosed obsequiousness too far.
posted by Dave Faris at 9:37 AM on March 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


jess, I am sorry somebody called you a name, but I'm not going to offer to beat anyone up, or what have you, on your behalf. It would be sexist to assume that you need help from a big strong handsome man like me, and besides, I can tell that you eat lightning and crap thunder, to quote Mickey from Rocky. Keep up the good work.
posted by Mister_A at 10:09 AM on March 18, 2008


I disagree. No one calls mob bosses girly just because they have someone else beat you up or pop a cap in your ass. On the contrary - it shows that they are powerful, well respected figures who also know how to delegate.
posted by Artw at 10:11 AM on March 18, 2008


threatening to throw anyone down the stairs for any reason has got to be just as bad as calling anyone a name

That's a great point, Faris, but your conclusion is stupid.
posted by breezeway at 10:15 AM on March 18, 2008


oh hey, it's dave faris being grouchy again.
posted by shmegegge at 10:21 AM on March 18, 2008


Unnecessarily Sarcastic Bitch could make a fantastic sock puppet name.

Oh pleeze.
posted by Unnecessarily Sarcastic Bitch at 10:28 AM on March 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


Damn we're almost up to 70,000 bitches!
posted by Mister_A at 10:31 AM on March 18, 2008


...but the Internet is a giant object lesson in the value of filtration...

At first glance I misread that as being: "but the Internet is a giant object lesson in the value of flirtation..."
posted by ericb at 12:25 PM on March 18, 2008


What a WTF and depressing thread.

Ingrates. Keeping this site going is work. Half-assed snark that would embarrass the 12 year old boys in the back of the classroom? Not so much.
posted by jokeefe at 1:06 PM on March 18, 2008


Unnecessarily Sarcastic Bitch could make a fantastic sock puppet name.

Oh pleeze.
posted by Unnecessarily Sarcastic Bitch at 11:28 AM on March 18


No offence, dude, but you totally got ripped off. That joke's worth a buck and a half tops.
posted by gompa at 1:16 PM on March 18, 2008


I can't believe that a thread which could be a warm appreciation for jessamyn--I certainly appreciate her calm and clever mind behind the screen--has the word "bitch" in it, not once, but multiple times, just because, ha fucking ha, it is so funny to be funny/sarcastic. Maybe those who find themselves so amusing can think of new and less shit-laden ways to crack a joke.
posted by Riverine at 3:05 PM on March 18, 2008 [4 favorites]


Dave Faris: "What, you guys are suggesting that the transition from devil-may-care Ask Me, where it was as chatty as the rest of the site, to the no-nonsense, "just the facts ma'am" paragon of information that it is today was a completely smooth one, without anyone complaining?

I must have dreamt that, I guess.
"

If you did, one of us is channelling the other's dreams and that's just too scary to contemplate.
posted by dg at 3:05 PM on March 18, 2008


That's just cuz we're soulmates. I'm looking at the same moon and stars as you are, dg.
posted by Dave Faris at 3:11 PM on March 18, 2008


I can't believe that a thread which could be a warm appreciation for jessamyn--I certainly appreciate her calm and clever mind behind the screen--has the word "bitch" in it, not once, but multiple times,

I believe that there has been quite a bit of warm appreciation for her here, and I certainly hope she knows how much we value her, and the undoubtedly difficult job she does here.

But for the most part, only one person used the word 'bitch' as a pejorative against her. Everyone else was either quoting the original poster, or using it ironically against that same poster. I believe it has been pretty well established that the person who said that 1.) doesn't represent the common view, and 2.) does not, in fact, taste as good as fresh ground coffee.
posted by quin at 3:26 PM on March 18, 2008


mountain groan.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 3:31 PM on March 18, 2008


Ironic bitch nonsense is still reading the word bitch over and over and over and over again. Riverine is spot-on about that. I don't take it personally, but it's not as different from folgers crystals' initial outbursts as people might think/hope.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:08 PM on March 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: newness vs. sockness
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:10 PM on March 18, 2008


I've been to the Tuba Museum.

It was delicious.
posted by stubby phillips at 4:15 PM on March 18, 2008


nowhere near vermont, though...

huh. a chain?
posted by stubby phillips at 4:17 PM on March 18, 2008


I was in Michigan yesterday. There is no Tuba Museum here in Vermont, alas.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:26 PM on March 18, 2008


Also for the record - Never heard of the tuba museum before you mentioned it last night, and I'm totally jealous and will make a point of getting out there one of these years. It looks awesome.
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:47 PM on March 18, 2008


So the Antique Tubas and Ethiopian Food-based restaurant market is wide WIDE open. Just stay outta Okemos.
posted by stubby phillips at 5:00 PM on March 18, 2008


Hey, even in Okemos there might be room for another one! And the competition would undoubtedly drive standards at both establishments even higher! On the other hand, if you're looking to open in Okemos, perhaps an Antique Nose Flute Museum and Scottish Haggis Restaurant is something to consider. And making it 24-hours would guarantee success.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:39 PM on March 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


partners then?
posted by stubby phillips at 5:54 PM on March 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wait a sec. I've been consigned to this godforsaken hellhole lived in this delightful state for 16+ years, and no one bothered to inform me until now that there iit includes an actual tuba museum a mere 2 hours and 9 minutes (if you drive the speed limit, pffft) away? And people from such exotic locales as Vermont can just merrily traipse on over to said museum while we poor Michigander suckers are stuck going to our stupid mundane boring pointless jobs? Well, I never.

*swallowing tongue in self-pity*
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:22 PM on March 18, 2008


I dunno, stubby, after years in quiet little burgs like NY and Tokyo, I'm not sure if I could handle the bright lights and hubbub of Okemos...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:22 PM on March 18, 2008


1) fellini: closer to the soo = closer to heaven. you know this.
2) tokyo: you're the figurehead. all you gotta do is learn to play the sousaphone. trust me. jesus. it wasn't this hard in the eighties.
posted by stubby phillips at 6:53 PM on March 18, 2008


Wait a minute, I gotta learn the sousaphone? I though I was gonna be the silent partner!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:55 PM on March 18, 2008


silent ain't yer long suit, bub.

no offense.
posted by stubby phillips at 7:08 PM on March 18, 2008


offense taken.

Silence isn't any musicians long suit there stub. Nor should it be.

(unless you're John Cage of course)
posted by vronsky at 7:17 PM on March 18, 2008


4.33? c'mon..........
posted by stubby phillips at 7:21 PM on March 18, 2008


dammit. no seconds.
posted by stubby phillips at 7:22 PM on March 18, 2008


I have a friend who lives in Lansing, and she took me to the Tuba Museum for the first time some 15 years ago or so. I don't remember signing a guestbook or anything, but to this day I still get quarterly newsletters in the mail from them with their upcoming menu specials. Have they cleaned that place up any in recent years? It used to look like they got their furniture, dishes and cutlerly from Goodwill or someone's curb.
posted by Oriole Adams at 8:15 PM on March 18, 2008


Ok, I get that whatever the reason, the decision has been made to allow sockpuppets

Just as a decision has been made to allow anonymous accounts like yours.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:02 PM on March 18, 2008


Sorry no involvement in witty repartee, but after spending several days reading all the threads related to the o/s/r flag (10,000 posts, it seemed like):

thanks Jess.
posted by Nabubrush at 9:08 PM on March 18, 2008


Not to rerail this thread or anything, but I can't resist mentioning that this past sunday, I had the rare pleasure of buying Jessamyn beer, dinner, coffee, and a modjeska on behalf on all Mefites. She also got hugs. She's a good hugger.

I also play the sousaphone.
posted by ulotrichous at 8:44 AM on March 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


You did all that, and all you got was a hug?
posted by Dave Faris at 8:47 AM on March 19, 2008


ulotrichous: that modjeska is so wrong, so wrong. And you have cute dogs.

Dave Faris: you're not as funny as you think you are.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:47 AM on March 19, 2008



At first glance I misread that as being: "but the Internet is a giant object lesson in the value of flirtation...

More like abject lesson...
posted by owhydididoit at 11:04 AM on March 19, 2008


You did all that, and all you got was a hug?

Did you read the thread title? That was all I needed. Also, what LM said.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:49 AM on March 19, 2008


Oh, I don't know. My numbers are climbing with the Crotchety Old Men (45-65) demographic.
posted by Dave Faris at 11:53 AM on March 19, 2008


No, I'm square in the middle of that demographic, and I consider you pretty much consistently jerkish. I know you don't see yourself that way, and it baffles me that someone could have so little self-perception. Yes, I too can be cranky. No, I'm not even in the same neighborhood as your ballpark, and I've been known to apologize when called on my crankiness. You tend to just up the ante. (I fully expect a response to this that attacks me without the slightest acknowledgment that I, jessamyn, LM, and pretty much everyone else who interacts with you might have a point.)
posted by languagehat at 12:25 PM on March 19, 2008


for real, that comment is pretty much the kind of thing no one should ever say. it's why we have the sexism flag.
posted by shmegegge at 12:32 PM on March 19, 2008


Yeah. I don't do well with the "holier than thou" crowd, that's for sure.
posted by Dave Faris at 12:52 PM on March 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


You don't even do well with the shithead troll crowd, Faris.

And I should know.
posted by breezeway at 1:04 PM on March 19, 2008 [5 favorites]


Hmmm, maybe it says something about me that I'm often cheering Dave Faris on from the sidelines, but I think those of you who rate him so highly on the annoyance scale haven't worked with some of the people that I have. Maybe its just that I fit perfectly into that Crotchety Old Men (45-65) demographic.
posted by dg at 1:35 PM on March 19, 2008


Dave Faris: Not As Bad As Those People dg Has Worked With!
posted by languagehat at 2:11 PM on March 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


31% of US voters recently polled still approve of the job that GWB is doing. It is very hard to get consensus on how bad someone is.
posted by found missing at 3:12 PM on March 19, 2008


Dave Faris isn't as crotchety as Bruce. What happened to Bruce, anyway? He hasn't posted in a long time.
posted by Locative at 11:26 PM on March 20, 2008


The thugs finally got to him.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:28 PM on March 20, 2008


Some people need a target, and I'm languagehat's. Miguel and y2karl used to be one of mine. I understand how it goes. My joke wasn't sexist. Had cortex gone to wherever and someone posted that list of things they did, I might have made the same comment. But, whatever. It was a glib comment and shouldn't really need defending.
posted by Dave Faris at 4:53 AM on March 21, 2008


I dunno Dave. You might really be the prickliest, most consistently unpleasant guy 'round these parts, or nearly so, anyway. I mean good on ya for saying what you think and all, unfiltered, one is forced to assume, but, you know, sheesh. It's a struggle, for me at least, to think of a time when you said a good thing about anything or anyone, and all great unwashed us out here in internet land can only assume that that's the sort of person you want us to think you are.

Which is fine, I guess. But I do kinda wonder why.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:38 AM on March 21, 2008


OK, so you said 'Great work everyone' here, I just realized, which kinda makes what I just said sound like I was just being baselessly nasty and shit. I wasn't, I swear. My memory's pretty bad, but I just don't remember much positivity from you, many gold nuggets in the poopflood.

So, yeah, I've been accused of being a negafuckinegative ninny, too, before. Pot kettle. Whatever. Just saying.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:45 AM on March 21, 2008


People tend to focus on the negative stuff. I've said it before -- if you look at my posting history, it certainly is studded with that sort of thing, but there are a lot of other comments that aren't. And even my feeble attempts at jocularity aren't good enough for some.
posted by Dave Faris at 7:55 AM on March 21, 2008


Good enough for me, brother. Good enough for me.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:03 AM on March 21, 2008


My joke wasn't sexist.

Whatever you intended to put into that joke Dave Faris, it made me feel bad.

It made me feel like "oh this again..." (not from you, just from MeFi generally) and turned something nice -- a nice dinner and time hanging out with ulotricious -- into a snarky "you spent money on her and didn't get laid? heh heh." joke. I'm totally used to that sort of comment from the world at large. I like to think that I can avoid comments like that -- personally, directed AT me -- mostly here. This is complicated by the fact that this is 1) where I hang out and also 2) my workplace and 3) at some level I work for you, so part of my description is sucking it up and not just going GRAWR GRAWR because the moderators are held to a higher standard here than... well than you, for one.

Feel free to say that wasn't what you meant by it, which I think you already have. What I'm saying, for the record, is that if you are not going out of your way to say things to people (notably cortex and I and mathowie) that hurt our feelings, you need to adjust your "what makes people feel bad" meter. You're missing the mark.

I like to think that people can mention giving me a hug, in a thread about how I've been having a hard week, without someone bringing up the tired stereotype that people do nice things for women to get into their pants. I'll agree that I think people pile on you occasionally when you're just being as snarky as the general peanut gallery, but this is not one of those times.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:10 AM on March 21, 2008 [5 favorites]


It's probably payday for many of us out there...give to a clean water charity or something and quit yer damn yappin'.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:24 AM on March 21, 2008


Some people need a target, and I'm languagehat's. Miguel and y2karl used to be one of mine. I understand how it goes.

Sorry, I'm sure you'd like to think that, but it's not true. You sniped at Miguel constantly; it was embarrassing even to me, who tossed my share of barbs his way. You show even less respect to those guys than you do to everyone else; in your approach to them you're nasty, humorless, obsesive. I respect you a great deal as a poster and you're clearly an intelligent person, and I don't like vendetta-type interactions, so I usually ignore the fact that your comments are consistently unpleasant for no apparent reason. Every once in a while, I call you on it, and I urge you to note that pretty much every time other people chime in to agree that you're amazingly dickish. It's not me, it's you. I don't want you banned, I don't want you to leave the site, I just wish you'd stop being such a dick for no good reason.

Let me put it another way: you sniped at Migs no matter what he said, just because he was there. I sniped at him when he was being particularly self-involved and oblivious; the rest of the time I interacted with him in a normal, friendly way, the same way I'll interact with you if you ever stop being such a churl. But I'm not holding my breath.

My joke wasn't sexist.


It would be unbelievable to me that you could think that except that I already know how oblivious you are because you also think your comments aren't jerkish. But just for the record: yes, it was sexist, and no, it wasn't in the least funny.
posted by languagehat at 10:40 AM on March 21, 2008


Maybe Dave needs a hug.

I dunno. Since I've been vacillating lately between being a prick and trying (sometimes really hard) to not be a prick, I can kind of both understand the impulse to twist daggers and the feeling of being unfairly ridden for things that aren't meant as digs or things that are meant as digs, but can't be defended without digging myself deeper (no matter how legitimate I thought they were). I can also say that moderator sympathy tends to go in cycles, often (at least to my mind) irrespective of what I've felt like my performance has been. Motes in the eyes of God, etc., but that mod sympathy can definitely have a sway in public perception and the ensuing tenor of a conversation.

Finally, I'd note two things about what Dave said: It's the type of comment that can be seen as making fun of a cliché rather than supporting it and that this does call for more delicacy when deploying (due in large part to the general context in which women interpret such comments).

I wouldn't necessarily tar it with the sexist brush de facto, but one of those things that I tried to learn from the Sexism Opus was that saying things that I think are funny and harmless can still piss people off, and I would prefer to only piss people off when I mean to piss people off. A little bit of collateral damage is OK for me, but I've tried to dial it back. I do think it's related to Metafilter (and MeTa even more) going from the relative size of a bar to a small city council meeting. I don't necessarily agree with all of the exhortations to respect everyone's shibboleths, especially because I'm a pretty hard person to offend, but I do try to be awake when I push the edges and I try not to get too bent out of shape when something of mine gets axed (even in the relative free-fire zone of MeTa).

Man, that comment was supposed to be brief and verge on glib! Something went TERRIBLY RONG!
posted by klangklangston at 11:47 AM on March 21, 2008


I would prefer to only piss people off when I mean to piss people off.

And that's why I love you so (that and your dazzling wit, of course). If I thought Dave had even a scintilla of that feeling, he'd bother me a lot less. I honestly don't think he gives a damn if he pisses people off or not.
posted by languagehat at 12:31 PM on March 21, 2008


And that's why I love you so (that and your dazzling wit, of course).

Oh, Lhat, you know we can never be together! Not unless you refer to my wit as scintillating or coruscating…

I do wish to share, and have checked for veracity, a wonderful word that I've picked up from the editor of Taboo—he says that the Russian word that expresses the feeling of being in such luxuriant surroundings that it actually makes you feel depressed is poshlost. True?
posted by klangklangston at 1:06 PM on March 21, 2008


Close, but not quite. Poshlost was made famous by Nabokov, who in his little book on Gogol said it was "not only the obviously trashy but mainly the falsely important, the falsely beautiful, the falsely clever, the falsely attractive"; in this interview he expands on that: "Corny trash, vulgar clichés, Philistinism in all its phases, imitations of imitations, bogus profundities, crude, moronic, and dishonest pseudoliterature—these are obvious examples." So surroundings that were luxuriant without having any taste, that made you feel depressed specifically because of their bogus luxury, would be an example of poshlost, but if you're depressed by, say, the Waldorf-Astoria in NYC (assuming for the sake of argument that it can be taken as an example of true luxury), simply because you can't afford it, that's a different problem.
posted by languagehat at 2:19 PM on March 21, 2008 [4 favorites]


Oh, and the adjective is poshlyy (or poshly if the double y looks too weird); poshlost is a noun. Not that I've seen anyone use the adjective in English, but I'm trying to avoid having to see poshlost used as an adjective.
posted by languagehat at 2:21 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


So…is there a word, in Russian or otherwise, that means being so overwhelmed by opulence that your life is depressing in comparison? Because if not, there really should be.
posted by klangklangston at 2:51 PM on March 21, 2008




It's really uncanny how that t-shirt got thought up, created, and mailed to me and this thread is still open.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:25 PM on March 21, 2008


Haha badass pose.
posted by klangklangston at 3:31 PM on March 21, 2008


JESSAMYN IS A GANGSTER
posted by dersins at 4:37 PM on March 21, 2008


The coolest gangsta evar!
posted by rtha at 5:02 PM on March 21, 2008


Haha...love the sunglasses and mini-blind shadows.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:32 PM on March 21, 2008


It's totally '80s video about to rock!
posted by klangklangston at 5:35 PM on March 21, 2008


Yo, Metafilter Raps!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:53 PM on March 21, 2008


The shirt looks great, jess! BB, way to go! You are my new hero!
posted by misha at 6:37 PM on March 22, 2008


klangklangston: "...Finally, I'd note two things about what Dave said: It's the type of comment that can be seen as making fun of a cliché rather than supporting it ..."

For what it's worth, that's the way I read it and the way I read things generally - assuming that the writer meant no harm. I guess it's no longer safe to assume everyone does the same.
posted by dg at 4:51 AM on March 24, 2008


assuming that the writer meant no harm. I guess it's no longer safe to assume everyone does the same.

All other things being equal, with a user with no track record, I'd feel the same way. With someone who seems to go out of their way to be antagonistic I don't see any reason to always presume good faith in any individual ambiguous comment. Snark takes effort. Of course, jokes get misunderstood. However, if you're trying to not be seen as some sort of snarky asshole, an easy way to go forward with that is not to make edgy jokes until it's a little clearer what you're about.

The whole Brand New Day policy/attitude here is real. If you've been a jerk and want to turn it around, we welcome that and will try to keep ankle-biters from harassing you about some way you used to behave on the site. That said, people can also cloak their grousing in acting like they want to take advantage of this without actually doing anything on their part to bring it around. I know it's hard to let people go on being jerkish when/if you decide you want to turn over a new leaf, but we've seen it happen. However, having had a decent track record years ago and expecting that to stand-in/compensate for current actions just doesn't fly.

Compared to many online communities I've been a part of, this one can be overwhelmingly forgiving (with a few notable exceptions, of course) but forgiving isn't at all the same as forgetting, and that's one thing that doesn't happen so well here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:29 AM on March 24, 2008


So you're saying that if anyone else had made the comment I made, it would have been acceptable, but because I haven't been sufficiently ingratiating, then the comment was anathema? I don't think that's particularly fair. I mean, I can understand a stance of zero tolerance for perceived sexist comments, but that ought to apply to everyone equally. And it's fairly natural to hold a grudge, but at least be honest about it.
posted by Dave Faris at 7:32 AM on March 24, 2008


I'm not sure how you got from "someone who seems to go out of their way to be antagonistic" to "I haven't been sufficiently ingratiating," but that you don't seem to see them as different might explain some of your trouble with tone.
posted by OmieWise at 7:43 AM on March 24, 2008


So you're saying that if anyone else had made the comment I made, it would have been acceptable, but because I haven't been sufficiently ingratiating, then the comment was anathema?

No. I'm saying because you have lately been spending an awful lot of time recently grousing in MetaTalk in what seem sometimes to be fairly personal digs at the moderation and policies I don't see any reason to cut you a break when you make a statement that can be read in a number of ways. I'm saying some people could have made that comment and not seemed assholish about it, in my eyes.

This has nothing to do with being ingratiating, very few people here are total suckups. Additionally, when I said it hurt my feelings (and I don't think I was the only person who gave your comment the non-charitable reading) you said nothing. I apologize to people all the time on MetaFilter because even if I think they may be being sensitive about something, if I didn't mean to make them feel bad I'm sorry that I did that. That's not your style and that's fine, but again I'll say if you're making an effort to be anything other than (on balance) churlish in MeTa lately, you are missing the mark.

it's fairly natural to hold a grudge, but at least be honest about it.

If I felt like this opinion was mine and mine alone I'd consider it a grudge. The original MeTa topic here had to do with why I've been grouchy lately. This is one reason.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:49 AM on March 24, 2008


For what it's worth, I said nothing because when I'd come back to the thread, it had moved towards being about that t-shirt, and I decided that I didn't want to steer it back towards stuff I figured no one really wanted to read about. I wasn't the one who started it back up. I should have taken the time to mention that in my previous message.

I'm sorry you felt bad about it, and continue to feel bad about it, even after I explained that my intentions weren't to insult you.
posted by Dave Faris at 8:26 AM on March 24, 2008


And here are four recent comments from me that I offer in rebuttal, if I'm not being too self-indulgent...

"Actually, I apologize for some of the messages I posted here yesterday, done mostly for laughs..." 1,

"Apologies to cortex. That was a cheap shot I took last night in this thread. I have no justifiable reason to take any animus out on him - quite the opposite, really. He's always been fair and open-minded, and yet I went ahead and slurred him anyway. I don't know why I sometimes behave like such a boorish jerk. My comment reflected more on me than it did on him. The less said about it, the better." 2.

"I think there's been a distinct increase in the social pressures for people to behave appropriately lately. People are getting called out on Metatalk for behavior that was once ignored or tolerated, even if it wasn't completely accepted. Despite the community's obvious appreciation for a good zinger (as evidenced by the number of favorites the one liners get), there's certainly a faction that is pressing the "guilt" buttons, and making it clear that they think certain behaviors are not acceptable... The blanket apology threads and recriminating comments, while a nice gesture, are only as good as the actual behavioral changes that result." 3,

"It's hard to win back people's trust, especially online, where even the most innocent comments you make are taken the wrong way, and scrutinized and presumed to be an insult. It's human nature. I speak from experience, you have to work doubly hard to get out of a hole you've dug yourself into, and even still, you won't win over everyone." 4,
posted by Dave Faris at 8:53 AM on March 24, 2008


hey jess... wanna dance?

(though I must warn you, this is how I dance)
posted by vronsky at 8:56 AM on March 24, 2008


Here I thought Dave Faris was a dick.

But he apologized to Jessamyn for her decision to be offended by his innocent comment. Then he dredged up a couple of his own apologies as character witnesses and threw in some laments over others' inability to forgive him his trespasses, just to keep things fair.

Now I'm convinced.
posted by breezeway at 9:21 AM on March 24, 2008


There's a difference between being a dick, which is usually typified by mean spirited behavior, and just simply not being fluent in the emotional component of language.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:37 AM on March 24, 2008


breezeway, you're not helping.

Just to put this a little more in perspective, and only getting all snowflaked up about this because it's apropos, I've also been getting weird shitty comments over on my personal blog over the past few weeks of the "go die" "fuck you, you slut" "watch your back" "I hate the sound of your voice" (?!) variety.

The only reason that has anything at all to do with this is because at least one of them mentioned MetaFilter. That has nothing to do with anything that's been said in this thread and my personal feeling is that they may or may not have anything to do with any actual MeFite (anyone can tell where I work with a quick Google), but I've been spending a lot of time going back and forth trying to decide what, if anything, to do about them.

Ignoring them seems at some level to be pretending that this sort of thing isn't happening, that someone's not making creepy personal threats from an anonymous IP using my blog's comment form. However, there's no real way to respond, nothing much to be said and honestly I don't get the feeling I'm in real danger. However, it rattles me and probably makes me a little less gracious than usual both here and on the rest of the site. It definitely makes me look at each jerkish comment directed towards mods or moderation with a questioning "is it you?" eye.

I've been running more of the things that I think are deleteworthy past cortex and/or mathowie because I'm aware that I've been a bit GRAWR under the collar lately, but short of everyone deciding to be pleasant all of the sudden -- and I wouldn't like or recognize the place if that were to suddenly become the case -- some of this is just something that time needs to undo. That and all this snow needs to go away.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:37 AM on March 24, 2008


You're right, Jessamyn, and I'm sorry. And to Dave Faris, as well. I was being an ass. Neither of you deserved it.
posted by breezeway at 9:50 AM on March 24, 2008


Look, I don't deny I don't act like an asshole sometimes. (I think I have plenty of company in that regard.) Some of you think I act that way all the time. I say you're wrong. I posted that stuff from my history because Jess stated that apologizing wasn't my style. I often am in the position of having to apologize, and I often do. I also do recognize that my moral calibration is apparently off kilter lately. (I mean, defending William Buckley? I surprise myself sometimes.)

I'm sorry you're getting that level of harassment on your blog, Jess. That's actually criminal behavior, and I hope you have enough of an opinion of my blunt honesty that I would never stoop to that level. I might not agree with some of the things that happen here, but not to the point of threatening physical violence.
posted by Dave Faris at 10:13 AM on March 24, 2008


Yeah sorry Dave, I didn't mean to insinuate for one second that I thought you had anything to do with that.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:56 AM on March 24, 2008


Look, I don't deny I don't act like an asshole sometimes. (I think I have plenty of company in that regard.) Some of you think I act that way all the time. I say you're wrong.

I try mostly (and sometimes fail) to stay away from responding at the moments when I think you're (seeming to me to be) acting like an asshole, Dave, so I haven't really jumped in on this point the last couple times I've seen it come up from one side or the other, but I'll go ahead this time around, since it seems more topical than derail at this point.

You don't act like an asshole all the time. The people who say you do probably fall into one of two camps:

1. Folks that genuinely don't realize you make good faith contributions around here.

2. Folks who are knowingly exaggerating of any mix of laziness or frustration or simple rhetorical self-assurance—for them, "always" being, if not literally correct, close enough to "more often and more pointedly than the big majority of folks around here" that they figure it'll suffice. (languagehat has used the word "consistently", which I think is kind of ambiguous because it might means "every comment is the same" which isn't true, but it might mean "behavior that recurs steadily over time", which is more on the money.)

Anybody in the (1) camp owes you, just as they'd owe anyone else in my opinion, some time spent checking through your posting history to maybe get a little perspective that almost everyone on this site lives on a balance of good and not so good behavior. You've got a long history of good posts under your belt, and have just as much right as anyone to make jokes or be conversational or drop snark in Metatalk, etc, and a hardline argument otherwise doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

That said, I have a hard time seeing the folks in (2) being anything but metatalk-baseline honestly on the ball. I'd say that for all the rep Metatalk has of being rough and tumble, it's a small minority of folks around here who are even in a position to need to explicitly confirm their own frequent assholish behavior—and while I appreciate your self-awareness on that front, it's still an admitted, apparently ongoing pattern of behavior that really does go above and beyond what's normal around here.

Part of the problem (both for your own shittier remarks and for the amplified way people react to your any given negative-seeming remark whether you meant particular ill or not) is that you're such a long-timer, you've got both a fairly keen eye for the site's history and how it works, and you don't seem to have a lot of inclination to pull punches when you feel like leveraging that in an aggressive remark. So you're not just being a jerk like some random flyby newbie with a bug up his ass: you're being a kind of surgical, nuclear-grade knows-better-and-doesn't-care jerk.

I've sniped back at you more than once, and I acknowledge that I'm in the same place as Jessamyn in that sense—a lot of your brighter flares of assholedom seem targeted specifically at us, or at moderation in general, or at the history or heritage or nature of the site, which has a potent "what the fuck are you hanging around for, then?" sting to it that either of us probably feels more strongly than most folks (and which long-timers like languagehat et al probably feel more strongly than the average newer or less-involved mefite).

So to some extent I think you do get shit for remarks that wouldn't be seen as being as bad, or wouldn't be read so defensively, if they were coming from most other users. Not all other users; you aren't unique in having a history of being a jerk or an asshole sometimes about this stuff. And no, it's not a consistent, not a 100%, not a wholly unrepentant history—again, the folks in camp (1) are off the mark, for you and for most of the other folks who get the same treatment— but definitely and undeniably an ongoing and unusually critical and jabby history of criticizing the site, the way it's moderated, some of your fellow users, and Matt and Jess and me in particular.

I think it sucks (at least, when I'm not wanting to strangle you) that you get more grief than you necessarily deserve for any given comment, and that some of your comments get read as an attack or an offense when you were aiming for wry wit or neutral objective summary or whatever. I also think that it's not at all surprising that it happens to you given that you are and have often been for a long time now suprisingly and unambigiously abrasive or outright nasty in some of your comments. I suspect that misreading or uncharitable reading of your more ambiguous and interpretable comments is unlikely to stop happening until you've managed to make a good long go of avoiding any assholism.

And even if you're actively, visibly a saint for three months straight you'll probably still get some guff from people who've developed a dislike for you, and that kind of sucks and you have my sympathies but, shit, life is a pain in the ass that way. If you decide to rein in jerkiness because you think it's the right way to be, eff the folks who continue to give you shit unfairly after the fact and be glad that you're doing right. It's a hell of a row to hoe and I'm not sure I've seen anyone pull it off 100% on this site, or really ever anywhere, but I've seen people make a pretty good goddam effort of it, enough that I appreciate and admire their effort and give them a lot more consideration than I might have before they really proved themselves as willing to take the high road.

As you say, it's not just you. This is a long-ass comment, and it's as much a general commentary on this kind of behavior as it is a reaction to you specifically, so I apologize if it seems like a singling-out. I personally think you're a totally okay guy with some really good contributions to this place and a lot of insight into the place, along with, yeah, some fairly bad habits.

And it's not like I see myself as being exempt from this stuff, either; I've had my moments, and while I hope I've done a pretty good job of having less of them as time goes on I know I'm a damned far cry from perfect and that I react badly to people sometimes, yourself included, based not on just the substance of a single comment but on the history behind that and my emotional and contextual response to the perceived meaning or intent of the comment. And I'm capable of feeling perfectly right and justified about it at the time and feeling hurt or taken aback when called on it, so I know what a damn mess the whole thing is. But motherfuck do I wish there was less "I know I'm an asshole, but..." sentiment around here much of the time, and more just-not-being-an-asshole instead.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:23 AM on March 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


languagehat has used the word "consistently", which I think is kind of ambiguous because it might means "every comment is the same" which isn't true, but it might mean "behavior that recurs steadily over time", which is more on the money

Yeah, the latter is what I mean: "consistent" in the sense "not just the occasional bad-mood grousing, which can happen to anyone, but dependably recurring on a frequent basis."

you're such a long-timer, you've got both a fairly keen eye for the site's history and how it works, and you don't seem to have a lot of inclination to pull punches when you feel like leveraging that in an aggressive remark. So you're not just being a jerk like some random flyby newbie with a bug up his ass: you're being a kind of surgical, nuclear-grade knows-better-and-doesn't-care jerk.


That's it exactly. I can think of a couple other posters who are also consistently jerkish, but I just ignore them, because that's all there is to them and I figure one day they'll cross the line and get themselves banned. That's not the case here, and it doesn't seem like it would take a huge effort to be less of a jerk, at which I for one would rejoice and never bring up past history. Brand New Day, baby!
posted by languagehat at 1:24 PM on March 24, 2008


Since we are getting real, I would just like to take this opportunity to apologize to Dave and Karl for any hurtful remarks I may have made over the years. It is a brand new day and all.
posted by vronsky at 2:00 PM on March 24, 2008


"Yeah, the latter is what I mean: "consistent" in the sense "not just the occasional bad-mood grousing, which can happen to anyone, but dependably recurring on a frequent basis."

So, continuously, not continually.
posted by klangklangston at 2:12 PM on March 24, 2008


Strike that, reverse it.
posted by klangklangston at 2:13 PM on March 24, 2008


Burhanistan: "There's a difference between being a dick, which is usually typified by mean spirited behavior, and just simply not being fluent in the emotional component of language."
Yeah, that's kind of what I was getting at somewhere way up there. Maybe, though, I have more tolerance for those who struggle with that fluency because I suffer from the ailment myself.

jessamyn: "... With someone who seems to go out of their way to be antagonistic I don't see any reason to always presume good faith in any individual ambiguous comment..."
Fair point. I'm inclined to view this type of comment from a slightly different angle (that, precisely because I know the commenter, I know they don't mean to be an arsehole and I have probably misread the intent of the comment if that is how it seems to me), though. I guess we are looking at the same object through opposite ends of the telescope, so to speak.

I too am really sorry to hear that you are being harassed on-line. If you drew up a list of the ten million people who most deserve grief on-line, you wouldn't even be up for consideration. You know that, if you ever find out who it is and where they live, it won't take but a moment to rustle up a MeFi posse to "correct their behaviour" - all you have to do is say the word ;-)
posted by dg at 2:36 PM on March 24, 2008


jessamyn, that's awful and I'm so sorry to hear it. Could it be just some kind of weird spam, ie not really personally directed? I wish I had a tech solution for you.

With Dave Faris's specific comment above, I felt like it could be one of two things: either super-crazy mean-spirited, or a one-off clunker with a faintly grody feeling. I took it to be the latter (clunker that DF didn't realize how grody it would come off), which is why I said what I did. The natural response to that, it seems to me, would be for DF to say "er, yeah, I meant that in a lighthearted ironic way, not at all in the serious and grody way. Guess it didn't come off that way. Sorry jessamyn." I don't think that would be "ingratiating"; it would be exactly what any of us would do at a party if we made a clunker that earned us some offended/annoyed/"what the hell" looks. Slightly sheepish clarification. Not meaning to be a jerk, and taking steps to clarify if one accidentally comes off as a bit of a jerk. DF, I don't know your history or whatever, but you so often have good things to say about why civil behavior is the way to go around here; this kind of "oops, sorry" thing would seem like a natural step (even if just by memail, if you don't want to derail).
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:47 PM on March 24, 2008


Languagehat : it doesn't seem like it would take a huge effort to be less of a jerk

Maybe you could show me your secret method.

I have actually made efforts to temper and tried to turn over a new leaf, though the efforts were usually never noted. Backsliding, on the other hand, always was, so I'd figure, why bother?

Repeatedly telling someone they're an asshole doesn't give them much incentive to change their ways. And I don't care who you are, no one likes being told they've got a crappy sense of humor, which is how "you're not as funny as you think you are" reads to me.
posted by Dave Faris at 4:00 PM on March 24, 2008


Yeah, sorry about the general aspersion on your sense of humor. I didn't mean that aspect. I meant "in that most recent comment, what you've said comes off as weirdly harsh or sexist or grody or something". Should have phrased better. I had my back up over your comment and didn't succeed in being as tactful as I hoped.

(I don't have any view of your sense of humor generally. So, didn't intend a comment on it at all. Was just teed off about what seemed like a really weird cheap shot.)
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:20 PM on March 24, 2008


I have actually made efforts to temper and tried to turn over a new leaf, though the efforts were usually never noted.

What, are you four years old and in need of a constant outpouring of positive reinforcement? Decent behavior shouldn't need recognition.

Backsliding, on the other hand, always was, so I'd figure, why bother?

Like others have said, the reason why folks jump on you (Or klang, or lhat, or me) when you act like an ass is because your participation is largely positive. Unlike the few who make a point of being a prick in each and every comment, you've demonstrated that you get MetaFilter and can make meaningful contributions to the community, which makes your snide and petty quips far more galling and gratuitous than another turd from whatever schmuck is playing the role of Nemesis MeFite this month. Taking the time to tell you that you're been out of line is, in its way, recognition of your usually above-par level of participation: "We know you're smarter than that, you know you're smarter than that, knock it off."

Repeatedly telling someone they're an asshole doesn't give them much incentive to change their ways.

As mentioned above, very few - if any - people seriously think that assholish behavior is truly representative of 'your ways'. And again, we aren't children here.

"you're not as funny as you think you are"

No one is, get over it.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 4:38 PM on March 24, 2008


"Maybe you could show me your secret method. "

Well, I'll let you in on at least part of my thought process: I try not to immediately assume that someone else is doing something just to be a jerk, even if I suspect that they are.

Like, I mean, I know that you and LH have this longstanding pissing match going on, right? It does seem like he goes out of his way to ride you, and that, in turn, leads to a lot of pissy comments back based on that assumption. But in this case, it didn't read to a regular observer like he was trying to be a dick to you; it was your response that made you look bad, rather than him.

There are a couple of folks here that seem to follow me around, looking for things to give me shit about. Usually, it's typos or my (oft-atrocious) foreign language acuity. It tends to get under my skin because 1) I usually do read back through what I've written to check for typos, but not always, so my lack of diligence annoys me, and 2) usually when I'm writing something in another language, it's one that I only have the barest "fluency" in, which means both that I'm doing it for fun and that my lack of aptitude should be readily apparent to anyone who speaks that language. I don't do it to put on airs, but rather because it's fun to say things in different languages. But there's one guy who just won't let up about that, and he's almost always a dick. So even when he's commenting on something in a positive way, or when I see that he's added a favorite to something I said, I always have to double-check to see whether it's sarcastic or a put-down or whatever.

I used to then try to be snide right back, and sometimes I still am. But I've found it less caustic to my mental health to just kind of be, like, well, everyone else realizes that I have only a year of barely-remembered middle school French (or five years of barely-remembered German), so what's the big deal? I know, objectively, that no one else really even notices this guy sniping at me, so what's the harm in just giving him a grin and treating him like he's the doofus for not getting that joke? I get to play to my own ego by being "the better person" by not getting pissy when he's clearly being obnoxious, and I spend less time on Metafilter worrying about what some guy wants to goad me with. It's not just better for Metafilter, it's better for me.

It's similar to why I try not to develop grudges or anything, which I know I've mentioned before—I find myself often arguing against people whom I'd previously agreed with, and vice versa. While I know that they're all tragically wrong about liberalism|guns|indie rock|vegetarianism, they might be totally right about something else. And it allows me to believe that they don't hold at least some of my bullshit against me—it's a conversational negotiation that keeps people from scorching the earth.

And that, not to get too weird or personal here, is something that I think maybe you have trouble with: it often seems like you hold every instance of bad behavior against someone forever, and thusly they have little reason to be forgiving with you, even when you do turn over a new leaf.
posted by klangklangston at 4:42 PM on March 24, 2008


Oh, something else that I'd mention, Dave: The dickishness really only seems to come out in Metatalk. Everywhere else, you're aces, at least from what I've seen (though I don't, you know, follow you around or nothin', and I even think that looking at people's commenting history is kinda invasive, so it's just an impression).
posted by klangklangston at 4:48 PM on March 24, 2008


and I even think that looking at people's commenting history is kinda invasive

Nah, looking at people's commenting history is calibration. It's generally pretty humanizing: you get this more general picture of people just being people, usually, than what you might have expected if you went there based on something provocative that caught your eye. (Or, every once in a while, they turn out to be a SEO spammer cockstain. I digress.)

Looking at people's with commenting history with a clenched jaw and a red pen in hand and the unshakeable desire to go "ah HA!", on the other hand, yeah, not so great.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:00 PM on March 24, 2008


OK, well, let me rephrase that—I am too lazy to go through most people's comment history. I usually only do it if they've said something really interesting, or if they're someone that I think I know from real life.
posted by klangklangston at 5:18 PM on March 24, 2008


Like, I mean, I know that you and LH have this longstanding pissing match going on, right? It does seem like he goes out of his way to ride you

If DF said that, I'd roll my eyes, but since you're an objective observer, I'll take it seriously and assume that my own sense of how I behave towards him is skewed. So:

I have actually made efforts to temper and tried to turn over a new leaf, though the efforts were usually never noted.


I'll take this at face value and assume that my snarks have been holding you back, for which my sincere apologies. Go ahead and turn over your leaf; if I think I'm seeing backsliding, I'll just ignore it. I have no desire to come across as "riding you." Brand New Day!
posted by languagehat at 5:52 PM on March 24, 2008


I guess you aren't the nannering school marm I thought you were. Here's to a brand new day then.
posted by Dave Faris at 6:41 PM on March 24, 2008


Back story, for those who might have forgotten. And, rereading that thread, I'm sort of sorry I even mentioned it now.
posted by Dave Faris at 6:51 PM on March 24, 2008


Everybody needs a t-shirt.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:44 PM on March 25, 2008


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