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The longest boat
July 30, 2008 1:56 PM   Subscribe

Shed a tear for the passing of the LongBoing, this day at 9:58am. We got 2516 oars in the water before setting the whole thing aflame, standing on the strand to watch it drift beyond the horizon. It's where we were all Vikings.
posted by mwhybark to MetaFilter-Related at 1:56 PM (155 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Can you maybe explain this for people who are savvy enough to read MetaTalk but perhaps do not get this reference?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:58 PM on July 30, 2008


Do you mean literal Vikings or metaphorical vikings?
posted by yellowbinder at 2:00 PM on July 30, 2008


Dear those people,

You're not cool.

Here endeth the explanation.
posted by ND¢ at 2:01 PM on July 30, 2008 [6 favorites]


I believe that it's where we were all vkngs.
posted by Kattullus at 2:04 PM on July 30, 2008 [4 favorites]


A 2516 comment Metatalk thread just closed due to the month limit on threads being opened.

It actually stood out among such threads in that it largely stayed on the same topic for an entire month rather than being constantly repurposed or turning into a dumping ground for random thoughts.
posted by tkolar at 2:05 PM on July 30, 2008


I'm making tshirts that say "I read your damn thread, but you're still an asshole."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:05 PM on July 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


Dnt b n sshle kttlls
posted by Mister_A at 2:05 PM on July 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


er, "month limit on threads being open".

Though god knows we could use a month limit on threads being opened.
posted by tkolar at 2:06 PM on July 30, 2008


It wasn't a Metatalk thread, it just sort of felt like one.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:06 PM on July 30, 2008


Kttlls ws ltrl vkng. th rst f s wr mtphrcl vkngs.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:20 PM on July 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


.
posted by felix betachat at 2:21 PM on July 30, 2008


ah, geez, jess, I did pack it densely, mm?

a) what tkolar said.

b) 2516 comments is the current most-comments record for the Blue

b) long-ass threads somehow got dubbed 'longboats' a ways back

c) longboats are known associates of Vikings

d) Oh boy! Sleep! That's where I'm a Viking!

This particular thread is known as the LongBoing as it is the thread which was (mostly) devoted to analysis and japery concerning trivial blogoswamp issues between BoingBoing and one Violet Blue.
posted by mwhybark at 2:22 PM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Is the longest Metafilter thread to date being about BoingBoing really something that should be celebrated?
posted by nanojath at 2:25 PM on July 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


Violet Blue, the crayon? I love that color; what was the big fuss?
posted by not_on_display at 2:27 PM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hi, I'm one of those uncool people.

Here's the best I've been able to put together:

At some point in the past, threads stayed open rather than closing. So people would use these threads to start up irrelevant conversations. When a thread got closed up for some reason, they would then row along to another thread and continue filling it up. I have no idea why boats were used as a metaphor or why these people think they are so cool. I guess it's like knowing that band before everyone knows the band, then the band is somehow really crappy because everyone knows about it, the end.

There are a lot of in jokes on MetaFilter but you can still enjoy the site even if you don't get any of them. For example, I still haven't figured out why quonsar = fish + pants, or why jonmc is so very very angry.
posted by Deathalicious at 2:28 PM on July 30, 2008


Jonmc isn't angry, he's just a regular dude who works at a bookstore, likes Nightranger and beer from cans, and wants to remind us all that we all, like, have some prejudices, man.
posted by klangklangston at 2:31 PM on July 30, 2008 [4 favorites]

likes Nightranger and beer from cans
Anyone who doesn't is probably a goddamned Communist.
posted by scrump at 2:35 PM on July 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


No one knows how they managed to erect colossal stone heads on those isolated island threads, or craft the heads with only access to primitive neolithic tools.
posted by Artw at 2:38 PM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sanity has finally returned to MetaTalk.
posted by GuyZero at 2:38 PM on July 30, 2008


We were his community weblog. We should have been looking out for him.
posted by ND¢ at 2:40 PM on July 30, 2008


I am having a real hard time figuring out what jonmc has to do with this thread.

also, can anyone point me to where the boingers finally came around to say what their final analysis of the situation was?

I didn't have the time to follow the boingboing thread here for very long, and I certainly don't have the time to scour boingboing's sea of crap for it, but I recall seeing someone mention something about cory doctorow finally having chimed in.

and no, I'm not talking about the boingboing thread "that violet blue thing" since that was just a xeni thing, near as i can figure.
posted by shmegegge at 2:41 PM on July 30, 2008


Here's the original BB statement, on the morning of July 1.

Here's the later followup post, from the morning of July 18, bylined by Xeni but explained later on as being at least in part a group statement from all the principals.

Here's the BB moderation thread, which predates all this considerably; there's some related discussion during July, but it's more meta stuff than specifically VB for the most part.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:50 PM on July 30, 2008


I recall seeing someone mention something about cory doctorow finally having chimed in.

He opined that he was 'jake' with the whole mess. Steampunk slang for 'cool', I believe.
posted by jack_mo at 2:51 PM on July 30, 2008


Cory said it was Jake. I think that’s a Chinatown reference.
posted by Artw at 2:51 PM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Artw, I have heard that those early navigators used threads to tie together bundles of reads into flotation devices.
posted by mwhybark at 2:52 PM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


... and we are going to get to the bottom of these water rights issues if it kills us!
posted by mwhybark at 2:54 PM on July 30, 2008


"I am having a real hard time figuring out what jonmc has to do with this thread."

Because sometimes when Jon isn't around, the rest of us have to bear the burden of making threads be all about him.
posted by klangklangston at 2:54 PM on July 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


Shed a tear for the passing of the LongBoing

How about "no"? Does that work for you? I also have "Hell no.", "Fuck, no!" and "No way. What the fuck is wrong with you?"

Take your pick.
posted by loquacious at 2:55 PM on July 30, 2008


And now this thread is going to go to over 1000 comments, isn't it?
posted by painquale at 2:55 PM on July 30, 2008


I missed that thread. Can anyone summarize it for me? Preferably in a series of one-word comments.
posted by Eideteker at 3:05 PM on July 30, 2008


Because sometimes when Jon isn't around, the rest of us have to bear the burden of making threads be all about him.

oh, this is more of that, then. meh on cross-thread feuding. meh, i say.
posted by shmegegge at 3:08 PM on July 30, 2008


No.
posted by Arturus at 3:13 PM on July 30, 2008


I have no idea why that thread went on for so long. Terminal bike-shedding? Or are people just sore that Boing Boing is popular and will take any chance to stab Cory Doctorow & Co. in the face for even the faintest hint of hypocrisy?

When actual news corporations lie, cheat and/or defraud us we get threads of a fairly normal length, if it's something really huge we get a hundred posts. Some not especially widely read website deletes a few posts and we get a new record? You guys need to get your priorities straight.
posted by public at 3:18 PM on July 30, 2008


For the record, I missed getting in "Fortean Extrusions?" as the last comment. I have no idea what that means, really, which is why I suppose there is a question mark.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:19 PM on July 30, 2008


I think this is an incorrect use of the term "longboat." I think threads were only referred to as "longboats" when some people worked up a weird numerical system whereby they moved the chattiest of fun chatter from thread to thread as old threads closed. Sort of like a "jump" on Battlestar Gallactica, if the jumping were done not for survival and avoidance of decimation by the Cylons, but to relocate a party.

I always thought they were called "longboats" because those were the boats used to transport people from one boat to another, but I could be wrong.

Therefore, if the posts in the Boing Boing thread really did stay on topic, imho this should not be called a longboat. A LongBoing may be acceptable, so long as it's recognized that this is in some ways a misappropriation of the longboat term, and highly suspect.

Sincerely, longboat snob,
onlyconnect
posted by onlyconnect at 3:19 PM on July 30, 2008


This thread is still open and badly in need of sanity.
posted by languagehat at 3:19 PM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


"oh, this is more of that, then. meh on cross-thread feuding. meh, i say."

Nah, I'm just razzin' him on the chance he comes around. I don't have any real feud with him (or anybody, so far as I know).

Though he did once say that he wore his hat better than I wore mine…
posted by klangklangston at 3:20 PM on July 30, 2008


And so ended the long, dark night of the Boingpocalypse(TM), as the first blush of dawn teased out visions of a brand new day era, an era of lightning gods and unicorn stew, and vowels free to walk the earth again, unafraid.

Except where otherwise noted, this comment is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:26 PM on July 30, 2008


I have no idea why that thread went on for so long.

- It was bloggy drama, which is personally engaging to a lot of people who pay attention to the blogosphere in a way that is more intimate and direct than, say, some Corporation X.
- When the dam finally broke on the 1st, there was nonetheless a lingering sense that This Wasn't Done Yet: Boingers saying they needed time to make a statement, folks wondering where Cory was.
- There was cross-site discussion in a couple different directions which kept things prodded every couple of days (it didn't just stop on the 1st or anything), so folks kept discussing each new twist or perspective.
- Some of the folks with personal connections to what was going on showed up periodically to add their perspectives and in some cases do some hollering.
- The subject matter itself was fairly meta, which lent itself to a conversation that could outlive the specific incident: we were talking about, in part, how a lot of this stuff fits into no just the case of BB but bloggery and websites in general.
- Long thread is looooooong.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:27 PM on July 30, 2008 [4 favorites]


It wasn't a Metatalk thread, it just sort of felt like one.

It was a Metatalk thread for another site. I think we should all shoot ourselves in the face out of shame, or go outside, or something. I was going to go outside today, but it's raining.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 3:29 PM on July 30, 2008


So kinda like why people read Valleywag then I guess.
posted by public at 3:31 PM on July 30, 2008


I was going to go outside today, but it's raining.

Are you the wicked witch of the west?
posted by public at 3:32 PM on July 30, 2008


The longboat joke started in 9622v.2 ("That's not MY longboat.") I can't get a link to it, but it was thread number 9622 on MetaTalk, if someone else can bring it up.

It had nothing to do with the length of the thread. It had to do with silliness and my being in Iceland at the time and some talk of a longboat landing carrying MeFites and, well, silliness. It was really ONLY about longboats.

And how do I know this? I started it.

I hate to one-up you on longboat nerdery, onlyconnect, but the reason that we kept jumping from chatty to chattier threads had nothing to do with the longboats, they just came with us. It had everything to do with the 30 day limit.

I had no idea that the joke would live on so long that no one would remember where it started.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:46 PM on July 30, 2008 [7 favorites]


And so ended the long, dark night of the Boingpocalypse

I think it's being termed "Boingnarok".
posted by felix betachat at 3:48 PM on July 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


languagehat was there with the longboat! He can back me up!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:49 PM on July 30, 2008


INTERNETS NEVER DIES
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:49 PM on July 30, 2008


(oh, that's totally a copyrighted term, btw. you steal it, i sic my crack team of lawyers on you and we take everything you own.)
posted by felix betachat at 3:49 PM on July 30, 2008


And in the bottom of the longboat... the gnawed bones of dead MeFites - consumed for sustenance!
posted by Artw at 3:51 PM on July 30, 2008


*spits out davy's knuckle*
posted by felix betachat at 3:52 PM on July 30, 2008


Are you the wicked witch of the west?

Well, I was going to go on a decently lengthy bike ride, which is not so pleasant in the pouring rain.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 3:53 PM on July 30, 2008


I posted early in the LongBoing and it then dominated my "Recent Activity" for weeks. At first it was irritating, and then it became strangely compulsive, like a soap opera. Once it pulled in Wikipedia, I was hooked.

So, .

By the way, what exactly did VB do to get unpersoned? Did anyone actually figure that out?
posted by WPW at 3:53 PM on July 30, 2008


SOMETHING VERY BAD

(so most likely fuck all)
posted by Artw at 3:55 PM on July 30, 2008


By the way, what exactly did VB do to get unpersoned? Did anyone actually figure that out?

That remains pretty much entirely unclear. I have heard several compelling theories that badly contradict each other.

It's kind of a moot point, anyway: it is ostensibly personal business; how the handling of its non-disclosure was done stands pretty much independent of what the actual deed was; those of us who think it was not so kosher to do a broad wipe don't really care what the incentive was for the bad decision; those who think it was totally fine to do so don't need a reason either. Eh.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:59 PM on July 30, 2008


Long Boat
posted by public at 4:00 PM on July 30, 2008


Is the longest Metafilter thread to date being about BoingBoing really something that should be celebrated?

Its long anticipated death should be.
posted by tkolar at 4:00 PM on July 30, 2008


languagehat provided wotan-esque closing ceremonies in the LongBoing, in fact, grapefruitmoon. He appears to be the keeper of the tale and associated ceremonial tomfoolery. One might hazard a guess that he might be able to provide a complete evolutionary etymology.
posted by mwhybark at 4:04 PM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wotan-esque, eh? Very appropriate, since today is Wednesday.
posted by WPW at 4:08 PM on July 30, 2008


By the way, what exactly did VB do to get unpersoned? Did anyone actually figure that out?

I'm not at liberty to tell the whole story, but I'll give you two words: Xeni, wedgie
posted by found missing at 4:28 PM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


I could never explain anything under this blue sky better than your humble Commish - if you'll indulge me, I will quote this little gem of his in full. So if you're going to favourite anything today, fave him, not me.
* lights a smelly cigar, sits down *

Pull up a chair, lemme tell you how it used to be.
You see, back before threads were closed every 30 days, there were LOTS of places - places they didn't tell you much about, except in whispers. They called them "cult" threads.

* takes a long puff, blows smoke rings *

Except, back then, you had to FIND the threads. There were whispers here, hints there, but you had to dig deep into the archives, hunt around, pay attention and really get to know the website before you found them. And when you did, and if you said your piece in them - maybe you were accepted, maybe you weren't. That's how they worked in those days. But, you know - chances were you'd be accepted. Because you made the effort to find them, and that said something right there.

* gazes off into the middle distance *

Then, a few years back, there came the time of the great dispora. No, I don't know what it means, either - look it up. Anyway, what happened was, a bunch of folks who had either forgotten about the cult threads or never knew they existed in the first place suddenly got reminded of or told about them, and there was a big to-do about it all. There was lots of harsh words and jibber-jabber about all the chattiness, and pseudo-flirting, and general sillyness that went on in all these cult threads, and how the server must be getting hammered, and how this must be a Bad Thing, and just look at all those in-line images! Surely that must be terrible on the server load! Why, the cult threads, it was said, were HURTING METAFILTER!

So, the cult threads shut down.

* spits *

Voluntarily, that is. The monkeys moved on to 9622.net, the trolls, or goblins, or whatever they were at 1142 moved on to - well, they were already there and it was it a closed society, so it doesn't really matter much where they went. Anyway, the old cult threads all simmered down and had pretty much petered out altogether by the time the 30-day cutoff came into place.

But you know, a funny thing happened. More and more folks kept coming around, and after they shared their interesting links and made their interesting comments, they still wanted to chat - and pseudo-flirt, and put up in-line images and indulge in general silliness. Of course, now that the cult threads were dead and buried, the silliness was everywhere! It wasn't just confined to a few places that folks had to actively hunt for - no, it was in every thread! Why, the silliness, it was said, was again HURTING METAFILTER!

* coughs *

Excuse me.

* sips beer *

So, MetaChat was formed, and that was the second great dispora. But there were still a few folks who wanted to have their silliness, their flirting, their in-line images, here on the mother ship.

That's when some idiot posted the MetaTalk thread that became known as 9622 v.2. You may remember it.

Now, for the first time, there was a single place for everyone who wanted to to put all the images, chat, gossip and silly. It wasn't spread out on all sorts of cult threads all over the website, and it wasn't on every thread, either. It was on one place.

Trouble was, the place was scheduled to close down in 30 days.

So, they did the only sensible thing. They got themselves a longboat, and moved every month.

* takes another long puff, exhales *

And I, for one, salute them.

There's always a place for silliness.

posted by yhbc at 4:22 AM on October 27, 2005

-----

Sooo, is the message that the img tag should be removed? Because I'm still considering it.
posted by mathowie at 5:31 AM on October 27, 2005

-----

* swallows cigar butt, kicks the brandy bottle under the chair *

Hi, Dad.
posted by yhbc at 5:34 AM on October 27, 2005
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:31 PM on July 30, 2008 [10 favorites]


When is Violet Blue going to read this MetaTalk thread out loud?
posted by lukemeister at 4:37 PM on July 30, 2008


Unpublish it from orbit; it's the only way to be sure.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:39 PM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


I hate to one-up you on longboat nerdery, onlyconnect, but the reason that we kept jumping from chatty to chattier threads had nothing to do with the longboats, they just came with us. It had everything to do with the 30 day limit.

I actually agree with you that it was about the thread closing problem. I guess I didn't say that in the post? I just thought the term "longboat" was appropriate because it's a smaller boat carried on a larger boat, so it could be used by folks on the big boat (or thread) to get to other boats (or threads). Maybe you didn't mean that when you used the term, but it always seemed almost poetic to me.
posted by onlyconnect at 4:45 PM on July 30, 2008


And so it is told, that on the 30th day, Metafilter rested.
posted by netbros at 5:19 PM on July 30, 2008


languagehat was there with the longboat! He can back me up!

*backs up grapefruitmoon with Wotanesque grandeur*

*offers aquavit around*
posted by languagehat at 5:23 PM on July 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


Yes, the boat certainly did become poetic, I'll grant it that.

*slams aquavit like her good Swedish mother taught her, involving a lot of whooping and beating her chest with her fist*
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:34 PM on July 30, 2008


*dips ensign*
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:48 PM on July 30, 2008


I must note that the thread would have had even more comments to its name if the MetaFilter Moderators (as opposed to the BoingBoing Immoderators) had not deleted my most successful effort at being provocative/obnoxious and given me a 24 hour timeout.

And that I was indeed the first to name the thread "LongBoing", which I felt could have stood on its own as a label without requiring a full explanation of MetaFilter's Longboat Legacy. But I'm kinda glad we brought back the Longboat anyway.
posted by wendell at 5:52 PM on July 30, 2008


I always liked to read the longboat threads, but never felt comfortable participating in them. I always imagined there were silent rules for which gifs were worth posting, and what injokes were kosher to revive. Not so much an agreed on set of rules as an organic feeling of "THIS is the direction we're going". Like birds in flight.

But my dream for longboats, the thing I longed to see, was that they would somehow be the only place some old contentious/loved mefite who no longer posted would ever appear, but that he or she would appear like clockwork. As though Miguel, for instance, would simply materialize out of the ether whenever a longboat came around, trade nonsense for a few weeks in only that thread, then fade into obscurity again until the next longboat happened.

This was, of course, after there stopped being agreed upon longboat meeting places as soon as the 30 days were up. That did stop happening, yeah?
posted by shmegegge at 6:17 PM on July 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


The super-hero Copyfighter's nemesis turns out to be the "un," which was thought to not even exist on his planet but is, in fact, too numerous to count.
posted by maxwelton at 6:23 PM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


If one adds the 70 comments on this thread, and the 247 comments on the other metatalk thread that was spawned by the original FPP, one gets 2833 comments on this "topic." Of which I've read probably 3%, but yet I seem to remember that there was a link to a video of violetblue herself responding to/talking about/reading comments from the original metafilter thread--and I thought that that was its own metatalk thread as well. But my searches have dissuaded me that there was yet another thread on this unholy mess after all. Any help here, or do I need to start another thread?
posted by ornate insect at 6:52 PM on July 30, 2008


I think it's being termed "Boingnarok".

AKA 'Twilight of the Mods'.
posted by jamjam at 6:57 PM on July 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


Hey thanks, gnfti.

It's weird to be reading along and suddenly see your own stuff Like that, though.
posted by yhbc at 7:30 PM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


"I was going to go outside today, but it's raining."

Oh, how I dream of rain. Forty-some straight days of dry weather makes me a bit cranky.

OK, a lot cranky.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:28 PM on July 30, 2008


"It's weird to be reading along and suddenly see your own stuff Like that, though."

Is this where I point out that the word is diaspora?

OK then. Carry on.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:29 PM on July 30, 2008


Wow, it's like someone partitioned a whole new file system and made a softlink.

Pocket universe!

Damn, it's Wednesday. No liquor for me. :(
posted by lysdexic at 8:56 PM on July 30, 2008


Actually, if I recall correctly, I flagged that post right after it made the front page.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:10 PM on July 30, 2008


As "fantastic post"?
posted by Artw at 9:29 PM on July 30, 2008


ornate insect: viddy VB here.

Originally spotted in the wild by Seth Finkelstein, who kept up a steady stream of supplies during the voyage.
posted by mwhybark at 10:00 PM on July 30, 2008


You guys need to get your priorities straight.

You must be new here.
posted by turgid dahlia at 10:01 PM on July 30, 2008


Is the longest Metafilter thread to date being about BoingBoing really something that should be celebrated?

That's like saying Ulysses was about marriage or Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road? jokes are about the chicken.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:05 PM on July 30, 2008


When my niece was five she told me the best ever chicken/road joke. As far as I know she made it up herself:


"Why *didn't* the chicken cross the road?" she asked.

"I don't know," I said.

"Because it was DEAD!!"
posted by tkolar at 10:11 PM on July 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


LongBoing could never really be a Longboat without the img tag.

"My Comments" (now "Recent Activity") sank the Longboat for good, although I think it was taking on water prior to that development. (by the way, thank you GNFTI and yhbc for that great synopsis) It also prevents a repeat of the great Jim Jones thread.
posted by caddis at 10:24 PM on July 30, 2008


*glucks a slug of aquavit*
posted by mwhybark at 10:25 PM on July 30, 2008


Ah, Jim Jones, where are you today? Truly, giants trod the bits in those day, I tell you.
posted by mwhybark at 10:44 PM on July 30, 2008


I'm still firmly convinced that 9622v.2 (THIS MESS) is what kiled my old iBook. May she rest in peace.

Oh, the img tag. How I miss you.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:46 PM on July 30, 2008


I seem to remember that there was a link to a video of violetblue herself responding to/talking about/reading comments from the original metafilter thread--and I thought that that was its own metatalk thread as well.

Nope. Just mentioned in the mefi thread is all. The video in question. (On preview: go mwhybark.)

Actually, if I recall correctly, I flagged that post right after it made the front page.

I was actually this close to deleting it as maybe too blogdramatic, before I reconsidered and left what I think of as my Defense Of Letting It Stand comment (my first in that thread) instead. I've wondered to myself a couple times since whether nixing it would have significantly changed the blogospheric dynamic of those first couple of days.

I also wonder sometimes what would have happened if I hadn't deleted Stuff White People Like, though.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:32 PM on July 30, 2008


...and three years down the track
we'll be a Las Vegas lounge act
We'll be back, we'll be back
cuz we're the Boingers

posted by Wolfdog at 2:21 AM on July 31, 2008


I was in a tunnel. Heading for this warm, white light...And I swear LongBoing was there - and she looked GOOD! And she said, "Turn around girlfriend and comment some more..."
posted by anotherpanacea at 4:31 AM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


So, seriously... is pb having some fun with us all, or did the midnight mod find the protools?
posted by anotherpanacea at 5:04 AM on July 31, 2008


I thought that thread was dying out about 2 weeks ago. People just love to chat.
posted by smackfu at 5:43 AM on July 31, 2008


Since this is a kind of MetaMeTa thread, does anyone have any idea why it is that newspaper website comments are so disastrously terrible? I mean, like, I-feel-ashamed-to-be-a-member-of-the-human-species terrible. I don't remember usenet being like that. Or any blog's comments. It's just hideous.
posted by Kattullus at 5:55 AM on July 31, 2008


There's been quite a bit of chatter over the past few weeks about why newspaper comments suck so much (and they do, oh boy do they suck.) I think it's a combination of two things.

One, the fact that newspapers have always attracted the most opinionated blow-hards in writing letters to the editor - online comments have just lowered the bar for entry into this world of Giving The Powers That Be A Piece Of Your Mind. You no longer need the discipline and coherence it requres to sit down and actually write a letter (and of course, it all gets published - unlike letters to the editor, where the ones written in green crayon with lots of underlining generally get thrown away).

And, secondly, there's generally no engagement - there's no sense of a conversation between the originators of the content and the people commenting. Which always leads to people feeling free to be bigger assholes. If you look at threads on the Guardian's Comment Is Free (but really, don't), they generally take a major step towards coherence whenever the author gets involved in the discussion. Still dreadful, but less dreadful.
posted by flashboy at 6:44 AM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, what flashboy said, but I tend to still use the term "Eternal September" for this.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:55 AM on July 31, 2008


Is this where I point out that the word is diaspora?

Okay, so "weird" also includes a subset of "it's been over two years; will anyone point out my egregious typo this time?"
posted by yhbc at 8:01 AM on July 31, 2008


anotherpanacea, it is said that on the darkest night of the year - a time when some say ragnarok lurks behind every ash - the midnight mod comes to do the work of the people, but only once in every era.
posted by mwhybark at 8:13 AM on July 31, 2008


Weirder still, perhaps, is the fact that the thread doesn't appear in "Recent Activity" any longer. That's definite evidence of divine intervention, and I don't mean the star of Pink Flamingos.
posted by anotherpanacea at 8:22 AM on July 31, 2008


I think Recent Activity just does a straight 30-day calc, instead of the fuzzier "month" interval stuff.

I'm wondering if we should change threads to do the same thing to avoid this weird coda thing. But then, it doesn't really ever come up except when we're being a giant bag of weirdos, and even then it doesn't do any harm.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:39 AM on July 31, 2008


words matter, yhbc. ;)
posted by mwhybark at 8:46 AM on July 31, 2008


MetaFilter: giant bag of weirdos
posted by mwhybark at 9:02 AM on July 31, 2008


cortex: Jerzy closed at 8:58, so it's a one-day offset. Looks like there's a logic issue where the initial closure is in effect at 30 days, and then on first page build the next day, the thread opens again until the time of day it was created.

Next question, then: does this affect threads outside of a 24-hour window of initial closure?
posted by mwhybark at 9:14 AM on July 31, 2008


The answer appears to be "no."
posted by mwhybark at 9:17 AM on July 31, 2008


feh. i got busy with work and forgot to preload some tabs, dang it.
posted by mwhybark at 9:59 AM on July 31, 2008


Chooser of the Slain, Father of the Wolf, heed our plaintive cries!
Vanquish SQL logic!
Ruler of Gallows, Raven Tester, heed your people's sighs!
Vanquish the mods who oppress us!
Yule Father, Battle Blinder, heed those who early rise!
Vanquish the trolls who oppose us!
One-Eye, Sky-Mauler, heed those who in your name vie!
Vanquish the limits of time!

All Father, Shield Shaker, hear our prayer!
Reopen the thread!
Bale Worker, Spear Charger, hear our prayer!
Reopen the thread!
Journey Adviser, Wealth Friend, hear our prayer!
Reopen the thread!
Screen-killer, Leg-puller, hear our prayer!
Reopen the thread!
posted by anotherpanacea at 10:15 AM on July 31, 2008 [2 favorites]


(from the end of the revenant moment over there)

anotherpanacea: Wait... 4:25 server time is when I checked the thread. Are you saying I have the touch of kings and can resurrect the dead? Because that's just silly.

It's much more likely that the Sky-Mauler merely used me as an instrument of his terrible and awesome will. I'm just a vessel, man; Ragnarok is inexorable
.

Beware, anotherpanacea, because he will take your arm if he has invested it with his will. I have seen it! Right there, in the late Fritz Lieber.
posted by mwhybark at 10:24 AM on July 31, 2008


that's pretty good, by the way, ap. maybe you will get his attention.
posted by mwhybark at 10:26 AM on July 31, 2008


Thanks, Burhanistan, for introducing me to The Strange Life of Ivan Osokin—I found it in Russian!
posted by languagehat at 10:28 AM on July 31, 2008


I am a Viking.
posted by homunculus at 12:23 PM on July 31, 2008


languagehat, that book must be a bit fresher in it's native language. Ouspensky is a very dry writer to begin with, and the translation to English probably makes it more business-like than necessary. Enjoy!
posted by Burhanistan at 1:18 PM on July 31, 2008


I think it's being termed "Boingnarok".

AKA 'Twilight of the Mods'.


Möderdämmerung
posted by turbodog at 3:35 PM on July 31, 2008 [5 favorites]


I would consider myself one of the people wandering around blindly in that thread, not aware that I needed to actually get into the longboat. I'd have been stuck on the beach with all the unpublished kittens or on the sinking ship with the disemvoweled (impossible to walk if you're disemvoweled, very sad) - if not for the kindness of the other viking MeFites.
Wait, they were vikings? I totally missed out on having one of the cool hats with horns. Damn.
(Yes, I know real vikings didn't have those - MeFi vikings would though.)
Forgot to go cavort at the threads end too. Bummer.
posted by batgrlHG at 3:41 PM on July 31, 2008


So, wait a minute... What happened?
posted by pointilist at 5:29 PM on July 31, 2008


The partially disemvoweled have to drag their vowels behind them... very painful and humiliating.
posted by Artw at 5:31 PM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


Nope. Just mentioned in the mefi thread is all. The video in question. (On preview: go mwhybark.)

*gasp!* I heard my name! It's like the computer can see me and it's this hot girl. Who is asking me "what the fuck." Violet Blue is my HAL!
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:35 PM on July 31, 2008


If I type "I am just as much of an attention whore as this Jenny Garden character" do you think she'll see and read it too?
posted by Artw at 5:38 PM on July 31, 2008


"Buttface". Heh.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:41 AM on August 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Suddenly, cortex wanders in from this thread...
posted by tkolar at 9:09 AM on August 3, 2008


So, did cortex post in the wrong thread or is there some context I'm missing?
posted by Kattullus at 12:58 PM on August 3, 2008


Yes.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:48 PM on August 3, 2008


Please ignore this character test.

cutpaste from
http://ftp.iasi.roedu.net/mirrors/lynx.isc.org/lynx-2.8.1/lynx2-8-1/test/unicode.html

✓ check mark
☎ telephone

cutpaste wikipedia

‽ interrobang
؟ irony mark
☞ index fist
¢, $, €, £, ¥ currency
posted by Meatbomb at 1:35 AM on August 4, 2008


So, cortex, do you ever wish you were a mod where clowning with comments was more acceptable? If only so that you could put stray comments in correct threads?
posted by Kattullus at 4:32 AM on August 4, 2008


(boo ya)
posted by jack_mo at 7:22 AM on August 4, 2008


(boo ya)

"We know all the tricks. We have access to all the resources. We know all the laws. We're all friends with each other. We have done this thousands of times."

buttface!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:50 AM on August 4, 2008


We refer to ourselves in the third person. Sometimes, we make emergency microwave nachos with Kraft pre-shredded cheddar cheese on Wheat Thins crackers and sit down with a pitcher of frozen strawberry margarita mix to watch the Joanna Kerns marathon on Lifetime. Nevertheless, we are hard cases and not to be fucked with.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:18 AM on August 4, 2008


Since this vaguely deals with the media, I figured I should put this here.

Maaaaaaaaaaaaaan is this a weird headline:

Obama backers Bernie Mac and Morgan Freeman both hospitalized

What the hell? Why specify that they're Obama backers?
posted by Kattullus at 2:14 PM on August 4, 2008


Apparently, they're prominent back men.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:26 PM on August 4, 2008


Like Sir Mix-a-Lot?
posted by turbodog at 3:26 PM on August 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Chopping down cherry trees was basically MC G. Wash's personal liking-of-big-butts. The connection to the current Presidential political dialectic couldn't be clearer.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:35 PM on August 4, 2008


"Don't be the next victim of Barackitis! Get the McCure!"
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 3:43 PM on August 4, 2008


If Hillary Clinton were the nominee, she wouldn't have famous black supporters in the hospital.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:46 PM on August 4, 2008


He sends one of your famous black supporters to the hospital, you send one of his famous black supporters to the morgue. That's the Hillary way.
posted by ND¢ at 4:12 PM on August 4, 2008


Mom, Dad, I'm Into Steampunk.
posted by lukemeister at 9:14 PM on August 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


YOU FOUND THE SARCASM TAG! (or more accurately the 'irony mark')

This is the greatest thing I have ever seen؟
The level of discourse in the Presidential campaign just gets better and better؟
I can't understand why everybody doesn't respect Bill Watterson's copyright؟
I'm certainly going to hang out with IRFH the next time Lifetime has a Joanna Kerns marathon؟
Now you see what happens to prominent black men who support the wrong candidate؟
I love that "Punch in the Dick" song؟
And I want to use my index fist ☞؟

I could do this all day؟

but I have to answer the phone ☎ ☎ ☎ ☎ I always wait until the fourth ring ☎ oops؟
posted by wendell at 7:16 AM on August 6, 2008


I don't do webdesign, so someone tell me: can Metafilter be haxed so that when I use the <ul> tag the browser will replace its default bullets with ☞ ☞ ☞ ☞ ☞? This would improve the site.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 7:30 AM on August 6, 2008


☞ Hey fuckos hands off my special symbols.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:31 AM on August 6, 2008


Remember when I was crawling around the attic, looking for my old Planters-peanut-man Halloween costume? I didn't donate it to the children's theater, like I told you. I salvaged the monocle, top hat, and cane, combined them with a swallowtail tuxedo, and stole away to a midnight screening of the underrated masterpiece The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Liking that monstrosity would get my daughter a disowning from me, or at least a "couldn't you just be gay?".
posted by Artw at 6:29 PM on August 9, 2008


Yes, I still pay attention to this story once every couple weeks. And I'm not alone:

It's no fact at all [that the Boingers have smeared the name of VB]. You lie like a rug. I can only assume you're saying that for the benefit of readers who skip to the end of the thread to see how the story comes out. What the Boingers were trying to do all along was to keep this imbroglio from descending into slurs and smears. As for the state of Ms. Blue's name, that's surely her own creation.
posted by waraw at 8:07 AM on August 13, 2008


I dreamt last night that I was reading a fanzine written in the 1970's by Patrick Nielsen-Hayden. That was actually slightly more interesting than my dreams are normally.

Oy! What a boring dreamlife I have.
posted by Kattullus at 11:53 AM on August 15, 2008


Do you ever dream of VB reading your comments into her webcam?
posted by homunculus at 1:27 PM on August 15, 2008


You lie like a rug

Theresa Nielsen-Hayden, the immoderate moderator.
posted by dersins at 1:31 PM on August 15, 2008


homunculus: Do you ever dream of VB reading your comments into her webcam?

No. Which just goes to show that my real life is much more interesting and fun, not to mention weirder, than my dreamlife. I think this has some sort of causal link to my insomnia.
posted by Kattullus at 1:35 PM on August 15, 2008


Nice bit of juggling there. All they are doing is saying that VB is no not considered wonderful and has commited crimes so foul* that they are not to be named for her own good, and she brought the Stalinist purge upon herself, and everyone should focus on that rather than any alleged hypocrisy inherent in said purge, which isn’t hypocrisy anyway because handwave handwave handwave. So there no returns.

*Crimes that amount, I suspect, to being just as bonkers as XJ in some overlapping area, and that no-one not directly affiliated with XJ actually seems to give a toss about.
posted by Artw at 1:57 PM on August 15, 2008


I my dream, I read comments posted by Kattalus on Metatalk about "boring dream life" into my webcam and post them to Youtube. Then I take screenshots of the videos, trace them onto paper, photograph the drawings, and post them to Flikr.

It is even more boring than having the "initial dream".
The part about Flikr is a premonition of a future dream.
posted by Meatbomb at 12:01 PM on August 16, 2008


Oh my! I'm a vicarious YouTube star now. Like Chris Crocker, if Chris Crocker's random spewouts were recited by other people.
posted by Kattullus at 9:05 PM on August 16, 2008


I don't think VB or XJ are ever going to want people to leave them alone.
posted by Artw at 9:43 AM on August 17, 2008


Desperately-attention-seeking controversy-having media-figure trendoids – ">Julie Burchill is your dark future.
posted by Artw at 9:02 AM on August 18, 2008


Something seems to have gone horribly wrong with your link, there.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:18 AM on August 18, 2008


Link
posted by Artw at 9:25 AM on August 18, 2008


Yeah, uh, Meatbomb here, and I'd just like you to please, uh, pay a little bit more attention to me? I've gone to the trouble of posting these videos to Youtube, and I'm just not really getting the amount of attention I would like, could you please fucking pay some more attention to me‽
posted by Meatbomb at 12:18 PM on August 18, 2008


You are no longer wonderful. I am deleting all mention of you from my blog. I can only hope that this action will NO result in people clicking the above link.
posted by Artw at 12:38 PM on August 18, 2008


Oi! Julie Burchil is a national institution! Leave her alone!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:01 PM on August 18, 2008


"We've at war with VioletBerlinia. We've always been at war with VioletBerlinia."
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:15 PM on August 18, 2008


Oi! Julie Burchil is a national institution! Leave her alone!

Well, sorta...

In 2003, Burchill was ranked number 85 in Channel 4's poll of 100 Worst Britons.
posted by Artw at 3:18 PM on August 18, 2008


100 Worst Britons.... 'who are not dead or in prison'. So presumably she's not as bad as Myra Hindley

Weirdly she really does a have a whiff of the Ghost Of VB's Furture about her... dark haired, sex-temptress, who's even had a notorious sapphic love affair. Though I suspect she's a bit better writer than VB... had VB written a bonk-buster yet?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:37 PM on August 18, 2008


You know, assuming you glossed over the whole child murder thingy, I bet going for a pint with Myra Hindley (when she was still alive) would be considerably less draining than going for a pint with Julie Birchill, Violet Blue or Xeni Jardin.
posted by jack_mo at 4:19 AM on August 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Though, after giving the matter some thought, I'm pretty sure Cory Doctorow would make a better drinking partner than Ian Brady.
posted by jack_mo at 4:21 AM on August 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


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