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Your Favorite Attitude Toward Sentimental Stories Sucks September 29, 2008 3:01 PM   Subscribe

Intercalated with the fantastic yarns touched off by the cab driver story, some people are getting very personal and bilious.

I propose that those people call each other names over here, in the grey, and let the rest of us enjoy the aforementioned fantastic yarns in the blue.
posted by eritain to Etiquette/Policy at 3:01 PM (126 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I'm with jammy on that one though, as always, I'm surprised how fighty people got about other people's reactions to that post.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:04 PM on September 29, 2008


Because this works, every time
posted by waraw at 3:05 PM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I didn't care for the story myself, but I cared less for being called a bitch and an asshole. That just made me think that someone needed a nap.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 3:07 PM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Doesn't have to work every time. Working at all is better than not.
posted by eritain at 3:07 PM on September 29, 2008


Intercalated? Someone got a new word-a-day calendar!
posted by turaho at 3:13 PM on September 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


I am astonished by how vitriolic and horrible the "this is a beautiful story and if you don't see it you have a heart of stone" folks are being.

I am less astonished by how vitriolic and horrible I'm being, because I think that's the normal discourse of cynicism in response to sentimentalist groupthink.

And as I said in the thread, I read the story and didn't like it. But I didn't feel the need to share my dislike of the story, because God knows I've posted FPPs that other people thought were a load of crap in my day.

And I kept feeling no need to share my dislike of the story until everyone started demonizing the other people who didn't like the story.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:18 PM on September 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


I really enjoyed the story. It was a good reminder of how important the little things are in our lives. There wasn't any big event -- the woman didn't want to return to any particular place where some momentous, life-changing event occurred. This was no Hollywood movie where we learn she used to be a movie star or a glamorous socialite who dramatically lost everything. No, instead, it was just a woman. All she wanted was to remember those small little days that make up the most of our lives. She wanted one last fling with those things that once were monotonous, that she won't get again.

I guess a lot of people focused more on the driver than I did. I guess I can understand why they read him as some self-aggrandizing jerk who didn't do much of anything. But I was thinking instead about the woman, and I appreciated it.

Then I went into the thread, and I saw all the angry, displeased comments about how much it sucked, and the moment was lost for me.
posted by Ms. Saint at 3:21 PM on September 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Then I went into the thread, and I saw all the angry, displeased comments about how much it sucked, and the moment was lost for me.

Oh. Well, when I read the story, it made me angry and sad, because I hated that the writer had used a group of people about whom I feel very strongly--hospice patients--to puff himself up.

So there you are. It doesn't mean either of us are bad people, which is why it would never in a million years have occurred to me to go into that thread and start a smackdown about what was wrong with the people who did like the story.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:27 PM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Strike one: "author of eight books on spiritual values"

Strike two: "this beautiful story has been widely circulated on the web"

Strike three: "this story hit the front page of www.reddit.com and stayed at the top for several hours"
posted by Sys Rq at 3:29 PM on September 29, 2008


This is the sort of post that if I really did just delete stuff that I didn't like I would have deleted with a scaaaaaaaaathingly arch deletion reason.

But as much as I may feel that way, I'm well aware that reactions to this sort of thing are all over the map, and I really don't like it when people go out of their way to point such stuff out unprompted, which is why I just stayed the heck out of that thread instead of making a comment with the word "dreck" in it.

Also, I really don't like it when people go out of their way to point out how broken or unfeeling or emotionally maladjusted other people are for not gurging up overt expressions of whelmedness on cue. Which, again: stayed out of it.

It's interesting that this theme recurs—look also at the divisiveness over that (goddam) Joshua Bell, Maestro Busker thing a while back, or that Ugly The Kitten post—but its interesting more in a metadiscurvise sense than anything. The threads themselves usually bring out the worst in both sides, because both reactions have some reasonably understandable emotional/critical basis but they're pretty wildly unreconcilable.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:29 PM on September 29, 2008 [6 favorites]


Can we take the bold button and caps keys away from Sidhedevil?
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 3:34 PM on September 29, 2008


I liked the story. Some people didn't like the story. If they want to write a novel about why it sucks, fine by me - I've absolutely done the same thing before. I'm not going to LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU about it.

If other people's opinions ruin it for you, skip the long entries that start out with negative words. I assume we can all read well enough to do that.

Seriously, what's with all the bickering in that thread?
posted by Solon and Thanks at 3:39 PM on September 29, 2008


(also, I'm not saying that silly behavior was limited to pro-story people, either. I saw plenty of baiting and bickering from both sides. :\ )
posted by Solon and Thanks at 3:41 PM on September 29, 2008


<vocabulary>Intercalation has to do with calendars and dates. The word probably should be interpolated.</vocabulary>
posted by cgc373 at 3:41 PM on September 29, 2008


I bet Mr. Rogers would like that story.

Seriously. I'm not trying to be snarky or anything. I just think he'd like it.
posted by scody at 3:42 PM on September 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Was my smart ass remark just deleted from this thread, or did I somehow manage not to make it? I don't care if it was deleted - it wasn't worth repeating. I'm just more worried that I'm starting to lose my frickin' mind.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:42 PM on September 29, 2008


in·ter·ca·late /ɪnˈtɜrkəˌleɪt/
–verb (used with object), -lat·ed, -lat·ing.
1. to interpolate; interpose.
2. to insert (an extra day, month, etc.) in the calendar.

posted by Sys Rq at 3:43 PM on September 29, 2008


Heh.

I was working on a post about this Newsweek article on men cheating, lots of links and shit, but was kinda dreading posting it, figuring fights would start, so when I came across the cab story, I thought it would make a better post, light though it was. Heh.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:46 PM on September 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Mean people suck.
Metafilter is full of them.
We can all do better next year.

Shana tova
posted by caddis at 3:46 PM on September 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


As I hope I imputed in the thread, I LOVED the bickering and fingerpointing.

Without it, the thread was without flavor. With it, people told horrible stories about actual cab rides, and nice stories about actual cab rides, and made free with mockery of the original in wise and humorous ways. This MetaTalk thread kills the bickery aspect of the thread, deflating and leaching substance from it.

So, um, to summarize: this thread sucks and drools! That thread rules!
posted by mwhybark at 3:49 PM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I thought that was the cheesiest and falsest story I've read in a long time, so I skipped the thread.

I'm all for inspirational and uplifting stories, but that one was just hokey.
posted by Forktine at 4:04 PM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I enjoyed the post personally. It opened itself up for a lot of witty comebacks and mefi cab tales, which I enjoyed reading.

The thing that consistently surprised me was the insistence by various characters that the story had to be true. They were running around looking for all the fallacies in the post based on the time of day that was suggested etc. See that forest guys? You can't, because there's a ton of trees in the way.

I would prescribe the snarks to view Grave Of The Fireflies by way of punishment, except the first comeback would be (I suspect) the criticism that anime characters didn't exist in the second world war.

To quote the oracle: Lighten up Francis.
posted by panboi at 4:08 PM on September 29, 2008


This is the sort of post that if I really did just delete stuff that I didn't like I would have deleted with a scaaaaaaaaathingly arch deletion reason.

Without deleting the post, would you be willing to share "what if I deleted it" reasons?

Top 10:

10. "I bet the old lady smelled like soup."
9. "I liked it better in the 70s with Judd Hirsch."
8. ... ?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:09 PM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Judd Hirsch is my cousin. He seriously is. Well, my mother's cousin, so he's my whatever the hell that would make him.

The first time I met him was at the unveiling of my grandmother's tombstone in Queens. Then we all took a taxi together to Manhattan, to get lunch or something. As we drove over the Queensboro Bridge, I started to whistle the theme to Taxi. Everybody in the cab shiften in place, embarrassed, and Judd did not look at me for the rest of the day.

That's my taxi story that I'll never forget. TAKE THAT SHIT TO THE TOP OF REDDIT!
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:16 PM on September 29, 2008 [31 favorites]


The thread worked for me. I love the way it exposed a raw nerve in a so-called "progressive community" (that's what Metafilter is, isn't it?) and have been very much engaged by all the fallout.

The bleeding heart vs the heartless bastards.

At the risk of repeating myself (a heartless bastard), I see a big chunk of the issue being the belief (held by many) that just because something moves us, it must be good and true, and as such beyond reproach. This is sloppy and dangerous thinking and I love it when such gets exposed.
posted by philip-random at 4:17 PM on September 29, 2008


I want to call out this comment for awesome work. My mum taught me to give credit where it's due.
Bitches.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 4:24 PM on September 29, 2008


Designbot's sneaky snarky homage that shouldn't be spoiled redeemed the thread if not the post.
posted by nicwolff at 4:26 PM on September 29, 2008


I love the way it exposed a raw nerve in a so-called "progressive community" (that's what Metafilter is, isn't it?)

What? Where are you from?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:26 PM on September 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


You know that saying--a few bad apples spoil the bunch? That's what's wrong with the way that thread has gone. Whether you thought that story was a treacly mess or an inspiration in some way, there's just no reason for ANYONE in there to have gone as batshit and aggro as some of those comments got.

Everyone has opinions, and opinions aren't facts. When you snark about someone else's opinion, I'm not surprised if it gets their hackles up. That then sets up a dynamic (I've seen), where then more and more people snark, the others get pissy, the snarkers get pissy because of that, and then things devolve into hatefulness.

Why do people bait others on here? To me, that's a really unattractive and undesirable quality for people to have. If I ever leave MetaFilter, it will be because of this sort of thing. Argh.
posted by Stewriffic at 4:29 PM on September 29, 2008


a so-called "progressive community" (that's what Metafilter is, isn't it?)

what
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:32 PM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


The cab ride I'll never forget was from O'Hare to Naperville, Il., where my girlfriend and I were staying during the week of her sister's wedding. The driver was from Estonia, but was Polish, and it took a long time to learn his name. The cab ride itself took a long time, about an hour and a half, because the driver didn't know where he was going. He cut that time off of the tab.

What? I don't take a lot of cabs.
posted by klangklangston at 4:33 PM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'd like to take a minute to intercalate some biliousness.




Thanks.
posted by DU at 4:36 PM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Can we take the bold button and caps keys away from Sidhedevil?

You'll have to pry them from my cold, dead heart.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:41 PM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


My comment here inspired the comment here.

The funny thing is, I didn't care deeply about this story (I thought that this was clear from my comment), and Sidhedevil didn't care much about the story either.

We also agreed, apparently, that the some of the comments in the thread were full of unwarranted moralizing. We disagreed who was doing this unwarranted moralizing.

Sidhedevil, feel free to memail me if you want to talk about this out-of-thread. I now know that you volunteer at a hospice, which I think is great. I think you have made some assumptions about my own opinions/aesthetics/moral stance which are unwarranted. But then again, you don't know me, and I don't know you.
posted by ferdydurke at 4:41 PM on September 29, 2008


I see a big chunk of the issue being the belief (held by many) that just because something moves us, it must be good and true, and as such beyond reproach.

Where is this happening, please?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 4:46 PM on September 29, 2008


I think you have made some assumptions about my own opinions/aesthetics/moral stance which are unwarranted.

I don't see any assumptions about your opinions, aesthetics, or moral stance. I am talking about things that don't "get me," not things that either "get you" or don't "get you."

When you say "You wouldn't be responding to this if it didn't get you" then you are making assumptions about me. When I list things that don't "get me" I am not making any assumptions about you.

"I don't like this" is not an assumption about you, even if you liked it. "You have a heart of stone" is an assumption about me for not liking it.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:47 PM on September 29, 2008


Note: ferdydurke, I realize you were not the person who made the "heart of stone" comment.

Also, you're aces with me as a fellow Gombrowicz fan.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:48 PM on September 29, 2008


Well, when I read the story, it made me angry and sad, because I hated that the writer had used a group of people about whom I feel very strongly--hospice patients--to puff himself up.

So the only acceptable way to tell this story would be for the driver to put himself down? Or should he just have kept quiet about it, knowing how much heartwarming stories piss people off?

This is sloppy and dangerous thinking and I love it when such gets exposed
people agree with me.
posted by languagehat at 4:54 PM on September 29, 2008 [6 favorites]


Funny, I first saw this linked on another blog. At the bottom, it said "via MeFi." I went to click on it to see what the comments were like, and then I thought to myself "nah, I enjoyed it too much. The funsters on Mefi will just ruin it."

Then I saw this. For once, I was right.
posted by nevercalm at 4:55 PM on September 29, 2008


I started to whistle the theme to Taxi. Everybody in the cab shiften in place, embarrassed, and Judd did not look at me for the rest of the day.

SEE? SEE? That story belongs in the original thread, not over here! Why, I oughta start a MetaTalk thread about this egregious shortcircuiting of creative tension! I DEMAND A RECOUNT!
posted by mwhybark at 5:26 PM on September 29, 2008


If I ever leave MetaFilter, it will be because of this sort of thing. Argh.

What's that I smell? Could it be... popcorn?
posted by mwhybark at 5:29 PM on September 29, 2008


The thing that consistently surprised me was the insistence by various characters that the story had to be true. They were running around looking for all the fallacies in the post based on the time of day that was suggested etc.

I pointed out the improbability of a dying woman catching a cab to a hospice at two thirty in the morning not to call fake on a story that claimed to be true. As presented, it's left unclear if it's fact or fable. If it's meant to be true, that detail seems unlikely, and if it's fiction, that sort of false note takes me out of the story. (And at no time was I running around.)

the woman didn't want to return to any particular place where some momentous, life-changing event occurred.

The story mentions that she visited some places and sat looking without saying anything. Did she have an illegal abortion there, or win a mint in a poker game? She kept whatever happened in those places to herself, and I found that to be very evocative and really the best part of the story.
posted by longsleeves at 5:32 PM on September 29, 2008


Rock on, Sidhedevil! This is feels like one particular scene out of the novel.

The cab story certainly didn't "get" your sentimental side. That was obvious from the beginning. But it seemed, at the time, to piss you and a bunch of other people off. And that's what I meant by "get." (That probably wasn't clear, and I went to bed before you posted your response.) Usually when I'm pissed it's because something has struck close to my own experience. Now I know what that experience was for you. For others, I suspect it was a default snark setting, which (just my opinion here) is injurious to long-term personal happiness.

I read your comment as assuming that I loved the cab story, thought it was a reflection of "the good," and generally like to tamp down dissent and keep up a bunch of happy talk. You may have been responding to others in the thread, but it seemed like you were addressing me directly.

And I think we can agree that admirers of Gombrowicz generally don't fall into the mawkish camp.
posted by ferdydurke at 5:43 PM on September 29, 2008


I'd love to see some of you guys dissecting The Little Book Of Calm.

"When you're feeling under pressure, do something different. Roll up your sleeves, or eat an orange"

"WHAT THE BALLS ORANGES AREN'T IN SEASON THIS TIME OF YEAR I CALL SHENANIGANS!"

"Keep a lookout for things that make you laugh. If you see nothing, pretend you see it, then laugh"

"WHAT ABOUT BLIND PEOPLE FALLOPIAN BLOODSHIT THIS STUFF GETS ME SO MAD!"
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:43 PM on September 29, 2008 [12 favorites]


I see a big chunk of the issue being the belief (held by many) that just because something moves us, it must be good and true, and as such beyond reproach.

Where is this happening, please?


Ummm ... is this not evident as the underlying sentiment in some of the denunciations in the thread: "cynical smegma" - "Some of you have the heart of a slumlord" - "I seriously hope a bunch of you die in a fire" to point out a few?
posted by philip-random at 5:49 PM on September 29, 2008


If you're going to crack on people for their feelings, don't be surprised when they hit back.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:53 PM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


a so-called "progressive community" (that's what Metafilter is, isn't it?)

what


Free people freely exchanging opinions, ideas, emotions with very little restriction on content other than it be more or less relevant. How is that not progressive?
posted by philip-random at 5:58 PM on September 29, 2008


Some of you have the heart of a slumlord

I meant that as a complement, sheesh some people are touchy.
posted by nola at 6:04 PM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Free people freely exchanging opinions, ideas, emotions with very little restriction on content other than it be more or less relevant. How is that not progressive?

That's a pretty expansive definition that would include, say, 4chan, and a Republican Party meeting. I don't think that word means what you think it means.
posted by grouse at 6:07 PM on September 29, 2008


Derail: I'm suddely reminded of a thread from many moons ago, which linked to a story (from Everything2 I belive, but I could be totally wrong about this) about a guy who killed his tormentor (who had been in a car accident). OK, this is not the same thing, but I'd like to read that thread again for some reason. Thing is, I'm very tired and I haven't got the foggiest idea about what to search for. Little help?
posted by soundofsuburbia at 6:10 PM on September 29, 2008


Yeah around here progressive means you're even further left than the Democrats in terms of healthcare reform and drug legalization. Not that that definition might not apply, but it's what I think of when I hear progressive. That and car insurance.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:10 PM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


What's that I smell? Could it be... popcorn?
Ah, the irony! Naw, I'm not leaving. If I do at some point, though, it would be if I decided that my participation caused me more grief than enjoyment.
posted by Stewriffic at 6:15 PM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ummm ... is this not evident as the underlying sentiment in some of the denunciations in the thread: "cynical smegma"

Well, you're quoting me so I can denounce it directly! Nope! I never thought it was a good story or a true story, or a story worthy of defending as if it were itself a frail old woman, but a good experience? Sure. A good little cry. See, I really think that's the problem. It's analytical hats vs. experiential hats. Multimodality is a feature, not a bug! The inability or unwillingness to just kick back and let the schmaltz run through you is hardly something to trumpet, it's just a style choice to me, cynicism, but that is, I think what started the whole debacle. I'm repeating myself now, but it's not exclusively an argument about taste that went on, but also righteousness and empathy. Many of the "nays" were asserting that indulging in this kind of thing is itself bad or somehow indicative of personal failing, and, to carry that further, that emotional manipulation is an insidious and absolute evil. I can't even fathom that, it's so subjective and also so much a part of human nature.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 6:15 PM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


freely exchanging opinions, ideas, emotions with very little restriction on content other than it be more or less relevant.

That's a pretty expansive definition that would include...a Republican Party meeting.


WHAT oh, a meeting. I thought you said policy.
posted by DU at 6:17 PM on September 29, 2008


As I read through the first part of the thread before commenting, my thought was that most of the comments were the very definition of thread shitting.
posted by nola at 6:21 PM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah around here progressive means you're even further left than the Democrats in terms of healthcare reform and drug legalization. Not that that definition might not apply, but it's what I think of when I hear progressive. That and car insurance.

No mention of King Crimson and Jethro Tull? Ignoramus. Er, Ignoramess? Is there a female version of that? get back to me...when you've made progress, 'progressives.'

(forgive me, I'm drinking banana beer)

(I had pecan beer at noon and apricot beer the other day. I'm drinking fruit salad is what's happening. It's all healthy and stuff)
posted by jonmc at 6:22 PM on September 29, 2008


'Progressive' makes me think of Brian Mulroney. Which sucks for 'progressive'.
posted by CKmtl at 6:27 PM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


The thing that consistently surprised me was the insistence by various characters that the story had to be true.

I didn't see that happening in the thread. "True or not" was the most often expressed opinion.
posted by Stewriffic at 6:30 PM on September 29, 2008


Some of my all-time favorite movies are by Frank Capra, "it's a wonderful life" and "mr. smith goes to Washington" specifically. I am one of the more sentimental people I know. It's because i love honest, heartwarming, life-affirming stories that I flagged this warmed-over email forward as "it breaks the guidelines."

Of course it's fiction, but that's not what bothered me about it. If it had been the least bit believable, if it had contained the tiniest spark of originality, or honesty, or empathy for real people and the real world they live in, or anything but the stench a piss-poor hack writer of fiction aggrandizing himself, maybe I could have resisted making a smart-ass comment. If I was a cynic, I wouldn't care much either way. It's because I care about people and the world and everything good in it that I hate crap like this.
posted by drjimmy11 at 6:35 PM on September 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


Many of the "nays" were asserting that indulging in this kind of thing is itself bad or somehow indicative of personal failing, and, to carry that further, that emotional manipulation is an insidious and absolute evil. I can't even fathom that, it's so subjective and also so much a part of human nature.

Yes, insomuch as there is such a thing as "human nature," dishonesty and the intentional manipulation of others are part of it. Evil may be a bit melodramatic, but I'm at a bit of a loss for why I should have anything but negative feelings towards these things.
posted by drjimmy11 at 6:39 PM on September 29, 2008


It's funny because I hear what you're saying drjimmy11, but for some reason the very same story hit some of us as touching. I'm a bit of a cynic so it's rare for me to find a tear in my eye. And now I feel kind of stupid for being moved by something that many people here think is transparently contrived crap. Oh well, it takes all kinds right?
posted by nola at 6:41 PM on September 29, 2008


And now I feel kind of stupid for being moved by something that many people here think is transparently contrived crap.

Don't apologize for being moved, my friend. It just means your human, and if being 'too human' for some people is your biggest fault, you're doing pretty good.
posted by jonmc at 6:44 PM on September 29, 2008 [8 favorites]


Everyone can be moved by whatever they like.

I just don't think it belonged on Metafilter's front page, in the same way that "that was when i carried you" Jesus stories don't.
posted by drjimmy11 at 6:49 PM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


that was when i carried you

Oh man that one gets me every time.

Also I hated the shawshank redemption, thought it was really overrated.
posted by nola at 6:53 PM on September 29, 2008


Well, I just find Tim Robbins vaguely irritating. Except whenhe played Nuk LaLoosh.

This underwear feels kinda sexy...dosen't mean I'm queer, though.
posted by jonmc at 6:56 PM on September 29, 2008


It just means your human, and if being 'too human' for some people is your biggest fault, you're doing pretty good.

Faved for the hilarious irony, although the last phrase could use a little work. Also, you should have ended with a double line break and then "Peace."
posted by DU at 6:58 PM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


jonmc, you are the very definition of fruit salad.

GROUP HUG

marred, or is that improved, by elbows, squirming, name-calling, and fingerpointing

I should point out that I have heard from a number of you concerning the loss of my cat. Thank you. It was not my intention to seek sympathy, but rather to egg on the foodfight. Although my note concerning Simon's passing was indeed true. Thanks to all of you for the laughter and the kind words.
posted by mwhybark at 7:00 PM on September 29, 2008


Faved for the hilarious irony, although the last phrase could use a little work. Also, you should have ended with a double line break and then "Peace."

OMG faved for super double big time irony for the win.
posted by nola at 7:01 PM on September 29, 2008


Many of the "nays" were asserting that indulging in this kind of thing is itself bad or somehow indicative of personal failing, and, to carry that further, that emotional manipulation is an insidious and absolute evil.

I'm certainly guilty of the above assertion, particularly the part about emotional manipulation being an insidious and absolute evil ... although I would lose the "absolute evil" part. I just discussed the issue with my neighbor who's something of a deep thinker. He maintains that emotional manipulation is as old as the species and that we all indulge in it on a more or less daily basis. It only becomes an absolute evil when it's serving absolutely evil means.

Which brings us back to the cab driver and the old lady and the thing that really hurt my feelings. Nobody took particular offense to my soylent is people provocation.
posted by philip-random at 7:02 PM on September 29, 2008


"Also I hated the shawshank redemption, thought it was really overrated."

Oh, yeah, totally. Plus, it had that Magic Negro bullshit. Has Stephen King ever met a black man who didn't have mystical supporting character powers?
posted by klangklangston at 7:05 PM on September 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


Oh, yeah, totally. Plus, it had that Magic Negro bullshit. Has Stephen King ever met a black man who didn't have mystical supporting character powers?

Actually, in King's original novella, Freeman's character was a red-headed white Irish guy. I get and agree with your main point, but just wanted to set the facts straight.
posted by jonmc at 7:14 PM on September 29, 2008


You hated "The Shawshank Redemption"??? You fuckers must have the soul of a corrupt prison warden. I hope you DIAF!
posted by Crabby Appleton at 7:59 PM on September 29, 2008


I've never seen Shawshank Redemption but the fan-boy adulation and seriousness with which it is regarded has always gotten my back up (ie: if it's not one of the best five movies I've ever seen, and I know it won't be, it will be a huge disappointment).
posted by philip-random at 8:03 PM on September 29, 2008


I kinda find it ironic, in the Alanis Morrissette sense - that people are hoping that fellow MeFites die in fires about a story whose basic (though sappy) message is "Hey. Sometimes being nice is awesome."

I don't think it was the best story I've read, or the worst. But man, the vehemence is really... top-notch. On both sides. It does seem like in terms of actually having a Zen moment, there's a lot of (to quote Sidhedevil) "Olympic Level Doing It Wrong."

So yeah, that's about it for my opinion. Hey jon, pass the fruit salad. I'd like a Zen moment of my own and I'd like it to be fruity.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:08 PM on September 29, 2008


Game warden to the events rhino's version of the footprints in the sand thingy makes that thread all worth it.

Dude, that handle's way too long.
posted by small_ruminant at 8:46 PM on September 29, 2008


I looked in the thread to see if somebody had already taken care of calling it 'glurge'. Someone had, so I didn't have to comment.
posted by empath at 9:48 PM on September 29, 2008


Ignoramus. Er, Ignoramess? Is there a female version of that?

Ignoramiss, natch.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:06 PM on September 29, 2008


Gosh, that thread was rolicking fun. A dithering hissy fit of high dudgeon. Clap clap. Good show.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 11:51 PM on September 29, 2008


The best cab driver I ever got a ride with was an Afghani guy who was a few years younger than me and had come to Canada shortly after the NATO invasion. Blew my mind.
The story in question, not so much.

But, lest anyone think I'm a horribly jaded monster who doesn't understand this thing you humans call emotion, I did read We3 at work again today and had a five minute crying jag.

"BANDIT U R GUD!!!"
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:20 AM on September 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ignoramiss, natch.

I think you meant ignorams, so as not to discriminate by marital status.
posted by jacalata at 1:08 AM on September 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


The idea of mentioning the social good one performs as an excuse for getting insanely aggressive is such a good one I'm going to start using it in my own correspondence:

"I HATE this fake glurge about Boy Scouts! I once bought a FUCKING CHRISTMAS TREE from them and they were PERFECT LITTLE GENTLEMEN. So don't go LYING about the GODDAMN SCOUTS or I will EAT your HEART."
"Saccharine tales of BONE MARROW DONATION? I've got my donor card RIGHT HERE and I will SPLIT your carotid artery WIDE OPEN with it, MARY POPPINS."
"Man do not accuse ME of failing to have a heart of gold. I'll have you KNOW that I VOLUNTEER with the ELDERLY while you sit at home on your ASS forwarding SYRUPY FUCKING EMAILS about LOVE and BABY JESUS all day. So don't count on a visit from ME any time soon, GRANDMA."
posted by melissa may at 3:36 AM on September 30, 2008 [17 favorites]


I read that OP. I didn't read the comments, except for a couple of the first ones linked to from here. I didn't read all of this thread. I drove a cab for several years, as did my father. Here's my partially-informed opinion:

That story rang completely false to me. It's fiction, designed to get an emotional reaction, but it isn't executed well. If you enjoyed it, fine - but I prefer O. Henry for that kind of thing.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:41 AM on September 30, 2008


Take care of yourself, and each other.
posted by Rock Steady at 4:57 AM on September 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


I too think that story was fictional bullshit. And I've driven a cab too.

Really, it was "footprints in the sand"-level bullshit. And even if it were true, it was not a very compelling story.

Come on people, what is this? A motivational speaking convention? I want my good old MeFi cynicism, snarkiness, sarcasm, and mistrust of sentimental bullcrap BACK!
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:35 AM on September 30, 2008


Sentimental bullcrap is just dandy, if it's well written. Comparing this to Mr. Smith Goes to Washington or It's a Wonderful Life is giving the writing way too much credit.
posted by garlic at 7:17 AM on September 30, 2008


You know what I hate? That asshole William Carlos Williams and his fucking plums.
posted by everichon at 7:34 AM on September 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


That wasn't thread shitting. That was pure unadulterated snark, which is what happens to mediocre posts on Metafilter.

I think the post was saved by the Mefi Taxicab Confessions in the comments, but that goes against the whole "it's the links, not the discussion" thing.
posted by graventy at 7:36 AM on September 30, 2008


It's analytical hats vs. experiential hats.

Hey, all hats are good! And we could all use a steaming and blocking now and then, right?
posted by languagehat at 7:52 AM on September 30, 2008


Come on people, what is this?

Chicken Soup for the Snark.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:01 AM on September 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


OK, so I've read the entire thread over there and the entire thread over here, and there's something I still don't get:

The old lady is at death's door and she's utterly alone in the world. In the context of the story I can see why the driver would turn down the fare, but why in the world wouldn't she pay him? I thought the rule for those kinds of stories was to have the dying person give their fortune to a diner waitress, or a prostitute with a heart of gold, or even a taxi driver who doesn't just tap their horn but actually knocks on the door. Just what exactly is she saving her money for?
posted by headnsouth at 8:16 AM on September 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


Jonathan Livingston Sméagol
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:22 AM on September 30, 2008 [5 favorites]


I've realized something today that I didn't understand before.

Apparently, it's completely impossible to be genuinely moved by something if you later find out that someone else was not as moved. Apparently, if I don't appreciate something that is supposed to be heartwarming, it means that other people who once DID find it heartwarming now no longer can. Apparently having a differing opinion (or even worse! talking about that opinion!) actively reduces someone else's ability to maintain their own opinion.

It really makes you wonder how they can live with themselves, those callous bastards. Ruining everyone else's heart warmth like that. Honestly, they deserve whatever treatment they get for spoiling another person's ability to like a story by not liking it themselves.
posted by shmegegge at 9:23 AM on September 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Apparently, it's completely impossible to be genuinely moved by something if you later find out that someone else was not as moved.

No, it's difficult for a person to enjoy their warm fuzzy feeling while someone is actively telling you what inspired the warm, fuzzy feeling is shit and implying you're an idiot for having warm, fuzzy feeling about that.

Some people liked the story, it seemed to mean something to them on an emotional and personal level, that's pretty obvious. Then along comes various people who not only dislike the story, but feels the need to actively share that they didn't like the story and do so in snarky manner. These people later act surprised and shocked when those who enjoyed the story take the snark and criticisms personally.

Quit acting shocked this when you harsh someone's mellow.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:00 AM on September 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Can't we all just get along a bong?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:12 AM on September 30, 2008




Ooh, steaming and blocking! Purrrrrrrrrrrr.......
posted by Lynsey at 10:24 AM on September 30, 2008


No, it's difficult for a person to enjoy their warm fuzzy feeling while someone is actively telling you what inspired the warm, fuzzy feeling is shit and implying you're an idiot for having warm, fuzzy feeling about that.

No, it's difficult when you're not self-assured enough to have someone disagree with you without assuming they think you're an idiot. and that's a you problem, not a them problem.

here's the first criticism of the piece in the thread. show me where he implies you're an idiot.

here's the next one. the third. then someone replied completely civilly to your completely reasonable "not every tree" defense of the story.

here's someone specifically telling another mefite that they didn't get the story. it's the first point in the thread where a judgment or criticism of another mefite is made, and it's made by one of the warm fuzzy brigade, to no great surprise.

a bunch of back and forth discussion, all completely civil and reasonable from both sides then happens.

at some point this comment happens. i'm still not sure if it's a genuine hate-on for the cynics, or if it's a sarcastic condemnation of the people who are criticising the cynics, or if it's just a joke. either way, i found it amusing.

and then the heart of a slumlord comment, direct criticism of mefites #2, also made by the warm and fuzzy brigade, to no great surprise.

auden seems disgusted by people not liking the story. maybe auden just hates negativity. i don't know. but apparently auden can't handle people not liking that story.

direct criticism of mefites #3, again by the warm fuzzy brigade.

so yeah, it's a problem with the warm fuzzy brigade, not the people who found it to be trite manipulative pap, which it is. and note, i didn't even comment in the thread, cause I figured it didn't need my particular brand of cynicism and I'd just let people gush over the piece if that was their bag. but then someone takes it to meta, and we have people posting comments like this.

so, we have people whose "moment" apparently depends on total unanimity in discussion, and who react with personal condemnations when they don't get it. so yeah, the cynics in that discussion came out looking like the people with actual hearts, and the warm fuzzies look like jerks who can't handle people disagreeing with them.
posted by shmegegge at 11:12 AM on September 30, 2008 [5 favorites]


0) The thread has had some comments removed.

here's the first criticism of the piece in the thread.
A) You forgot "mmm, treacle!" which was the third comment and sets the tone of condescension among the "cynics" (scare quotes because grouping comments into two sides is rarely accurate).

it's the first point in the thread where a judgment or criticism of another mefite is made
B) Which was followed up by UNLEASH THE MOTHERFUCKING MOONWALK!, ratcheting up condescension

at some point this comment happens
C) Yeah, hard to tell what to make of that.

and then the heart of a slumlord comment
D) You skipped right over "Well, isn't he great. glurge glurge glurge glurge" and "This post just killed Garrison Keillor." Why?

warm and fuzzy brigade, to no great surprise. ... again by the warm fuzzy brigade.
WTF) How in the heck could you miss "sappy, self-important glurge should pour yourselves a big, refreshing cup of SHUT THE FUCK UP."?

so, we have people whose "moment" apparently depends on total unanimity in discussion, and who react with personal condemnations when they don't get it.
IOW) Your reading of the thread is selective at best and does not support your conclusion.
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 11:40 AM on September 30, 2008


here's the first criticism of the piece in the thread.

Actually, no, it's the 3rd comment in the thread. The first comment could probably be seen as negative also.

show me where he implies you're an idiot.

Just to be clear, I'm not taking this personally, just trying to explain how the breakdown in communication that occurred between those who liked and those who hated the story.

here's the next one.
This was a pretty good comment expressing dislike about the story, because it critiqued it on literary merits and had some good points. Then it ends with this sentence, which I'm betting is where the harshing of the mellow really started: "This is cheesy, saccharine and overcooked all at the same time: an impressively awful achievement." It may not have been intended as a personal attack, but it's pretty easy to see how those who enjoyed the story would view it as such.

On preview: Uranus nicely sums up where I was going, in replying to your points, so I'll stop here.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:12 PM on September 30, 2008


The thread has had some comments removed.

and when a mod tells us about some really uncalled for comment from a cynic, this will no doubt be relevant. for what it's worth, the thread looks just the same to me now as it did when i first saw it.

Which was followed up by UNLEASH THE MOTHERFUCKING MOONWALK!, ratcheting up condescension

how so? that's just a silly comment. where's the condescension?

You skipped right over "Well, isn't he great. glurge glurge glurge glurge" and "This post just killed Garrison Keillor." Why?

because they were just criticisms of the article, not mefites. I thought we were talking about people making other people feel like idiots. is the point now that people are not allowed to make themselves look like idiots?

How in the heck could you miss "sappy, self-important glurge should pour yourselves a big, refreshing cup of SHUT THE FUCK UP."?

i didn't miss it. maybe you didn't notice, but sidhedevil was specifically responding to the condescension from the warm fuzzy mefites. specifically, sidhedevil was responding to the "heart of a slumlord" comment I already mentioned, and frankly he was totally right to say it. you should be glad i didn't mention it since he nailed the problem with the warm fuzzy brigade right then and there. there's nothing wrong with telling people who are being jerks to shut up. the problem is with being a jerk to begin with.

Your reading of the thread is selective at best and does not support your conclusion.

no it's not, and yes it does. your comment actually supports my point.
posted by shmegegge at 12:17 PM on September 30, 2008


Actually, no, it's the 3rd comment in the thread. The first comment could probably be seen as negative also.

well, it isn't the first, because i did miss mmm treacle. but the first comment in the thread could also probably be seen as a positive. someone should get rxrfrx in here to tell us so we know for sure.

but remember: you're the one who said that this was about people who didn't like the article implying that people who did are idiots, NOT that this was about people not liking the article. so neither of THOSE comments do that, either.

Just to be clear, I'm not taking this personally, just trying to explain how the breakdown in communication that occurred between those who liked and those who hated the story.

I got that. It seemed to me that you were saying that the people who did not like the article were implying that "people who do like the article are idiots," regardless of whether one person or another took that implication personally. where i misunderstood you is that I figured that you did take it personally since you brought it up. my point was to show that no one did imply that people who liked the article were idiots. since then, no one has shown me where anyone did. more importantly, my point was to show that there was a whole lot of condescension and judgment made by the people who DID like the article first.

my point again is that the warm fuzzy people took it personally first and attacked the cynics first. if that thread developed a problem, it started in one of two places: either in the fact that the post was pretty garbage-y in the first place, or in the fact that the warm fuzzy brigade made it personal.
posted by shmegegge at 12:24 PM on September 30, 2008


so neither of THOSE comments do that, either.

Shmegegge, you seem to be taking this pretty literally, i.e. you're looking for a comment that explicitly states "you're an idiot for liking this story", while ignoring any and every other insult and how that might have contributed to the to perception of "you're calling me an idiot for liking the story."

This is what various people said about it:

"Sometimes it's hard to remember that there are still nice things and good people in the world too... "

"Note to self: call granddad. *gulp*"

"Great story."

"Fiction or not it was real sweet"

"Don't care if it's fiction, it's enough to me that he wrote it and shared it."

"Best of the web."

"That's a good, faithful, spiritually uplifting story, true or not,"

Comparing the story to treacle and the various other snark is pretty tone deaf to people feelings. If you don't like it fine, you don't have to, but neither do you have to play the "who's the wittiest" game either, especially with some something people obviously liked. But if you do, don't be surprise if people take it as you're calling them idiots, even if it wasn't literally done. Is it rational? No, but people usually aren't.


if that thread developed a problem, it started in one of two places: either in the fact that the post was pretty garbage-y in the first place, or in the fact that the warm fuzzy brigade made it personal.

If you're not even going to consider the idea that the story haters were insulting, then we'll just have to agree to disagree and go for pie. Apple or Key Lime?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:57 PM on September 30, 2008


Shmegegge, you seem to be taking this pretty literally, i.e. you're looking for a comment that explicitly states "you're an idiot for liking this story", while ignoring any and every other insult and how that might have contributed to the to perception of "you're calling me an idiot for liking the story."

no, i'm just looking for the implication. feel free to point out a comment that has the implication. seriously, i keep asking for it and you keep not showing me one. that's fine, you don't have to, but since that was the entire reason you disagreed with my first comment color me a little perplexed.

Comparing the story to treacle and the various other snark is pretty tone deaf to people feelings.

you mean like the feeling that the story is manipulative and cheap self-promotion? people have differing feelings, and in metafilter threads they often discuss them. if these guys had stood up in defense of treating the old lady badly, that'd be one thing. if they had in fact implied that anyone who liked the story was an idiot, that'd also be one thing. but i don't see either. what i see is a metatalk thread where people that acted like jerks are trying to act like they're the victim. you're defending the jerks in direct response to my comment, so here we are.

If you don't like it fine, you don't have to, but neither do you have to play the "who's the wittiest" game either, especially with some something people obviously liked. But if you do, don't be surprise if people take it as you're calling them idiots, even if it wasn't literally done. Is it rational? No, but people usually aren't.

so getting irrational and calling people names and being condescending = okay because people usually aren't rational. but playing some irrational "who's the wittiest" game = not okay because it doesn't go far enough out of its way to accomodate your side's irrationality? come on. what are you looking for here? you're blaming the victim.

here's the deal. people, as you said, usually aren't rational. but when they act irrationally and call someone else names or just generally act like a dick about it they're expected to get their shit together and apologize. the people who should apologize here are the people on your side. i'm not saying they're terrible people, and i'm not saying they don't have a right to feel defensively toward a story they liked. i'm saying that, so long as they feel like this belongs in meta, lets call it what it is. and what it is is your side being jerks and crying about it afterward.

If you're not even going to consider the idea that the story haters were insulting, then we'll just have to agree to disagree and go for pie. Apple or Key Lime?

i'm perfectly willing to consider it. we can agree to disagree if you want, but it would be a mistake to paint this like i'm sitting here stubbornly refusing to consider your side. it's really just that you guys won't consider ours. as far as you guys are concerned, disliking the story is tantamount to having the soul of a slumlord, or being an asshole. and no matter what anyone says, you apparently refuse to realize that that's a dick position to take.

but hell, let's have pie. fuck that apple or key lime shit, though. i like real pies. coconut custard!
posted by shmegegge at 2:24 PM on September 30, 2008


no, i'm just looking for the implication.

I thought it would be pretty obvious that when you make fun of something that others take seriously, it's tantamount to making fun of them, i.e. implying they're idiots. andsome of these comments are listed above.

you mean like the feeling that the story is manipulative and cheap self-promotion?

Hell, all stories are manipulative and the self-promotion is a stretch, IMO.

so getting irrational and calling people names and being condescending = okay because people usually aren't rational. but playing some irrational "who's the wittiest" game = not okay because it doesn't go far enough out of its way to accomodate your side's irrationality? come on. what are you looking for here? you're blaming the victim.

Nope, I'm pointing out that a person shouldn't be surprised or shocked when then start snarking in a thread that some people will get pissy and hit back. People are just like that. If several people are standing around admiring their special unique snowflake and you don't like it fine. Walk away or start a MetaTalk thread. But if you want to join then and then exclaim that their special, unique snowflake is actually shit (and it may well be), then don't expect them to greet you with smiles and shouts of joy. You're probably going to piss them off and if you get pissed off them because they're pissed off at you, well that's accomplished a lot, hasn't it?

i'm perfectly willing to consider it.

No, you're not. Uranus demonstrated that you looked at the thread and then somehow filtered out any comment that didn't fit your position.

as far as you guys are concerned, disliking the story is tantamount to having the soul of a slumlord, or being an asshole. and no matter what anyone says, you apparently refuse to realize that that's a dick position to take.

Personally, I'm not on any particular side in this. My response to your original comment was rooted in the idea that not only where you not understanding the situation, but you were also demonizing the other side, while complaining about them demonizing your apparent side, which is only perpetuating the cycle.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:57 PM on September 30, 2008


My comment was one of the first of the haters' pile-on. I suppose I should explain myself.
That particular unique snowflake was bad. Jesus-beach-footsteps are fine, if treacly, so is Beaches and Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, I suppose, if that particular kind of thing floats your boat. I've got nothing against those unique snowflakes. The cab ride story was different. Not as a matter of taste, it was bad in a toxic, virulent way.
The author had what he claimed was a Zen moment (and let's leave that issue to the side) through interaction with a frail, elderly woman who claimed to be dying. That moment came about through a very limited social transaction: his free cab ride. The author gets a free education care of a walk-on stereotype who makes Mr Miyagi look like a fleshed-out character, and in return, pats himself on the back and encourages others to find meaning in small moments of voyeurism. This isn't just schmaltz, this is sleazy, Zen-xploitative schmaltz.
I do hold, as Ambrosia Voyeur puts it, that:
indulging in this kind of thing is itself bad or somehow indicative of personal failing
This glurge is bad and glurge-ists should feel bad.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 5:43 PM on September 30, 2008


Pie! I want pie! Preferably apple. None of that pumpkin pie shit, or you can go die in a fire.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:05 PM on September 30, 2008


I thought it would be pretty obvious that when you make fun of something that others take seriously, it's tantamount to making fun of them, i.e. implying they're idiots.

No, that's actually not the case by definition. Making fun of something that others take seriously is not making fun of them. if it were we would just call it making fun of them, not making fun of whatever the thing actually is.

I'm reminded of the discussion we had a little bit ago about the fake script for Batman someone had written as if they were Michael Bay. And at some point someone who had spoken up to defend his movies had asked why he was stupid for liking his movies and as I recall the answer was that he wasn't, but his intelligence didn't make the movies intelligent.

My point is that what you said is only obvious if you're the person who likes that something, and even then only if you have the kind of self esteem that really takes disagreement personally. What you said makes exactly as much sense as saying that "making fun of the color green is tantamount to making fun of people who like the color green." It's simply not true, but you would believe that it is if you seriously can't meet disagreement without personal judgment. Frankly, it's time that you really analyzed your own feelings on this and thought long and hard about just how judgmental you are. Much like the old saying about how you can tell when you've met a liar because they always suspect everyone else of lying to them, you can tell when someone's constantly judging others because they constantly think they're being judged.
posted by shmegegge at 8:19 PM on September 30, 2008


Damn, shmegegge, that flap a while back about cartoons of Mohammed must have baffled the heck out of you.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 8:41 PM on September 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


I thought it would be pretty obvious that when you make fun of something that others take seriously, it's tantamount to making fun of them, i.e. implying they're idiots.

No, it's making fun of their ideas, not them. If you can't separate yourself from your ideas, you're on a slippery slope. Seriously. This is where fundamentalism comes from.
posted by philip-random at 8:59 PM on September 30, 2008


ANTI-GLURGE PROPAGANDA TEAM EDGES CLOSER TO DECLARING "KITSCH = NAZI"
--
FINGERPOINTING ESCALATES DESPITE PIE-SHARING
--
kitsch defense forces mass at border, parents, email-using grandparents warned to evacuate
--
aesthetic-cleansing charges anticipated, World Court notified
posted by mwhybark at 9:36 PM on September 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


I disagree. It isn't their ideas, it's what they consume. Telling someone what they liked reading is crap is exactly as rude as telling someone drinking a glass of milk that they're swilling modified sweat. If that isn't rude by your reckoning, okay, we don't agree.

Telling someone something they enjoyed isn't just crappy but manipulative IMPLIES that they must have been manipulated in order to enjoy it. Well, maybe so, but there's an awfully broad spectrum of manipulation that goes on in narratives and language generally, and unless you're just not reading or watching or listening to any media, you too are consuming content that is, to one degree, manipulative.

Sheep! Sheep! You're all sheep!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:49 PM on September 30, 2008


Sheep! Sheep! You're all sheep!

ahhh ... but we are discreet sheep
posted by philip-random at 10:51 PM on September 30, 2008


No, it's making fun of their ideas, not them. If you can't separate yourself from your ideas, you're on a slippery slope. Seriously. This is where fundamentalism comes from.

What? That's possibly the most asinine and moronic thing I've read all week. Sure, unquestioning adherence to a school of belief is most certainly dangerous, but possessing the point of view that people cannot/should not subscribe to and internalize ideas and incorporate them as integral facets of who they are is incredibly specious and the height of post-whatever relativist nonsense, bordering on an endorsement of some sort of psychosis.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:18 PM on September 30, 2008


Dammit, my legs are starting to cramp up hiding behind this bush, and my palms are so sweaty I keep dropping the string tied to the stick that's propping up the box...
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:40 PM on September 30, 2008


but possessing the point of view that people cannot/should not subscribe to and internalize ideas and incorporate them as integral facets of who they are is incredibly specious and the height of post-whatever relativist nonsense, bordering on an endorsement of some sort of psychosis.

Okay, I had to look up "specious". I guess I take your point. I probably should have presented my "idea" more sensitively, and succinctly. But I stand by this: we all, at some point or other, have dumb notions floating around inside our psyche pretending to be "integral facets" of who we are. Fortunately, they tend to get exposed when we express them, often as simple as casually mentioning we really loved a certain lame movie, or album or maybe a short story about a cab driver and a little old lady. Our friends and/or acquaintances notice we're sounding like idiots and call bullshit, not always politely, but they don't really mean any harm. It can be a little humiliating but that's life. Humility is endless, as some wise guy said.

My point being: every now and then, you've got a let a dumb notion go. I used to love Styx for Christ's sake.
posted by philip-random at 12:22 AM on October 1, 2008


And at some point someone who had spoken up to defend his movies had asked why he was stupid for liking his movies and as I recall the answer was that he wasn't, but his intelligence didn't make the movies intelligent.

Hey, that was me! Mmmm...Armageddon.

Our friends and/or acquaintances notice we're sounding like idiots and call bullshit, not always politely, but they don't really mean any harm. It can be a little humiliating but that's life.

Are you really stating that someone saying "Sometimes it's hard to remember that there are still nice things and good people in the world too..." is sounding like an idiot and you're just being a helpful pal by calling bullshit on that?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:29 AM on October 1, 2008


Brandon, for someone who claims not to be taking a particular side on this issue, you do seem to be spending an awful lot of time defending the behaviour of people who were somehow offended because some people didn't like their story.

Does it still count as post-modding if you do it on Metatalk?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:19 AM on October 1, 2008


Hey, that was me! Mmmm...Armageddon.

ach. i was afraid of that. i hope you don't think i was trying to say something about you or anything.

anyway, off to dallas for a week. hope everyone enjoys themselves.
posted by shmegegge at 8:21 AM on October 1, 2008


you do seem to be spending an awful lot of time defending the behaviour of people who were somehow offended because some people didn't like their story.

No, I was defending people who were hitting back after they were mocked. I've just grown tired of people mocking others for liking something. Like I said earlier, some of the comments were fine about not liking the story, especially the ones critiquing it on story methods.

i hope you don't think i was trying to say something about you or anything.

It's ok if you were. Cortex and I went back and forth in that thread and we just agreed to disagree.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:36 AM on October 1, 2008


I thought we agreed to beat up Uwe Boll together.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:41 AM on October 1, 2008


I like glurge.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:43 AM on October 1, 2008


But do you like like it?
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:47 AM on October 1, 2008


Will you two cut it out? That sounds like the height of post-whatever relativist nonsense.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:54 AM on October 1, 2008


we all, at some point or other, have dumb notions floating around inside our psyche pretending to be "integral facets" of who we are

Well, I'm not sure that the feelings folks expressed in the FPP are comparable to liking Styx, but all the same, I see your point.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:09 AM on October 1, 2008


Are you really stating that someone saying "Sometimes it's hard to remember that there are still nice things and good people in the world too..." is sounding like an idiot and you're just being a helpful pal by calling bullshit on that?

On the face of it,"Sometimes it's hard to remember that there are still nice things and good people in the world too..." sounds like a completely genuine thought, adequately expressed, something I might even have said myself on occasion. But then I give it some thought and realize that there's any number of contexts where it could come across as quite idiotic. So in answer to your question, yes, I might call bullshit on it, in context. Of course, the "correct" way to call the bullshit would be as sensitively as possible, so as not to hurt any feelings. This unfortunately doesn't always happen on Metafilter or in any other pubic forum I'm aware of for that matter. For this, I blame humanity.

A final thought (I hope) on this post-mortem:

First there was a little story about a cab driver and a little old lady. Some people really liked it (the yay-sayers). Some didn't (the nay-sayers). The yay-sayers feel that the first shots fired in the conflict came from the nay-sayers. (I believe "treacle" was the very first). But could it not be argued that "treacle" was just a defense against the story itself, which some truly found offensive in its trite and manipulative sweetness? Bottom line, it all went haywire when we got too lazy to actually argue each others points and just started calling each other idiots, slumlords, smegma etc.

Not that is hasn't been fun ...
posted by philip-random at 10:14 AM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think the naysayers are jealous because they didn't get a free 2 hour cab ride.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 10:43 AM on October 1, 2008


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