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December 2, 2008 10:39 PM   Subscribe

This is the more civil Metafilter?

Klang is just on a roll of insulting behavior and language in that thread and really it's just too much. He essential drove Telf off.

This is not an isolated incident. Several people have mentioned it. If he's right or not is irrelevant. He destroys the tenor of a number of threads in which he participates.

Klang you need to knock this emotional name calling insult thing off and learn to talk to people like a grown up. I'm not claiming to be entirely innocent. I apologize for any offense - though I can honestly see none in my comments. But. Seriously. I'm asking you, POLITELY, on behalf a more civil board, to knock it off.
posted by tkchrist to Etiquette/Policy at 10:39 PM (388 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

I've never had a real mint julep.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:44 PM on December 2, 2008


I'm not claiming to be entirely innocent.
Once I realized the two of you were gonna have a pissing match I started scrolling past your parts of the thread, but my initial impression was that you were being a bit of ass. A BIG bit.

The thread is notable for having another, completely unrelated dick-measuring contest earlier between jonmc and Astro Zombie; maybe it's some combination of holiday stress and seasonal affective disorder putting people a bit on edge?

remember we all need hugs, even the vegulons
posted by jtron at 10:46 PM on December 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


Cortex keeps a shotgun under the bar.
posted by Artw at 10:49 PM on December 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


I mean, I once tried to make a mint julep, but it turns out they don't have fresh mint in Iowa in the middle of winter, so I made one with that fake artificial mint extract in a plastic bottle they sell in the spice aisle.

I don't think that's how a real mint julep tastes.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:50 PM on December 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


maybe it's some combination of holiday stress and seasonal affective disorder putting people a bit on edge?

Only if SAD happens in all four seasons.
posted by tkchrist at 10:53 PM on December 2, 2008


Arrr! Emotions!
posted by ageispolis at 10:55 PM on December 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


klang is always a dick... It's his Thing.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 10:55 PM on December 2, 2008 [5 favorites]


klang is always a dick... It's his Thing.

His idiom. His flavor.

I thought we were supposedly frowning on that sort of thing now in the age of Obama.
posted by tkchrist at 10:59 PM on December 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


That thread was just like being at a real bar.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:01 PM on December 2, 2008 [6 favorites]


I miss this side of Metafilter. Like, a lot.

Kept the newcomers on their toes an- HEY! HEY YOU! YEAH I SEE YA THERE! GETTOFFA MY GAWDDAMN PROPERTY OR YER' GETTING A SHOTGUN BARREL FULL O' ROCKSALT IN YER' HIDE! SCRAM!

God-damn newbies, I tell you whut.
posted by Ryvar at 11:23 PM on December 2, 2008


This is Metafilter SPARTA!

Will that ever get old?

The answer: yes.
posted by Justinian at 11:29 PM on December 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


I miss this side of Metafilter. Like, a lot.

If you want I can randomly pop into threads and call you a stupid fucking moron if you like? Cost you five bucks a go. 10 bucks to virtually spank you with image tags.
posted by tkchrist at 11:31 PM on December 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


I hate when I miss breaking pissers.
Oh fuck, you mentioned the img tag, it is so on.

(The linked above is what happens when you use caffeine with alcohol and sugar, no more Irish coffee for anyone till it's cleared by the OHS please)
posted by vapidave at 11:37 PM on December 2, 2008


Oh fuck, you mentioned the img tag, it is so on.

By that I mean that I thought the img tag was a great outlet valve.

My thought was that we have one thread a month where the img tag is allowed with one post per.

not 4chanist
posted by vapidave at 11:40 PM on December 2, 2008


OK WHICH ONE OF YOU SLOPPY BLATHERSKITING FUCKWITS JUST KNOCKED OVER MY PINT I SWEAR TO ZOD I'LL WRING IT OUT OF YOUR YELLOWED PLAGUE-LIVERS WITH MY BARE HANDS AND THEN I'LL RIP OUT YOUR LUNGS AND TIE RIDICULOUS BALLOON ANIMALS IN THEM BEFORE BEATING YOU PULPY WITH A DIRTY SOCK FULL OF YOUR OWN GIBLETS AND SPITE AND AND...

..what? Oh, lovely, I'd love a fresh pint. Thank you ever so much. You're much too kind.
posted by loquacious at 11:53 PM on December 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


See, my macho cockfriends, if you drink a sweet drink, like me, you're too busy going "Mmmm, pineapply! I am so cheerful and zingy!" to glass people. Protip.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:07 AM on December 3, 2008 [5 favorites]


if you drink a sweet drink, like me

Are you a twist off or do I need a bottle opener?

*peers at AV's bottlecap carefully*
posted by loquacious at 12:14 AM on December 3, 2008 [6 favorites]


Yeah, until the glass is empty, then what are you gonna do, huh?
posted by dg at 12:14 AM on December 3, 2008


klang is always a dick... It's his Thing.

The individual who wrote the above in no position to do so, given the frequency with which he pops in to threads to drop a steaming load of nonsense.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:19 AM on December 3, 2008 [13 favorites]


Are you a twist off or do I need a bottle opener?

Bloody hell, you don't know what to do with a magnum of bubbly, do you? Just back away, you'll hurt someone.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:20 AM on December 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


Bloody hell, you don't know what to do with a magnum of bubbly, do you? Just back away, you'll hurt someone.

I've never had any problems opening any bottle in front of me. I just wasn't aware that Cisco currently had products on offer that didn't come in a screw-top.

RUNNING AWAY QUICKLY NOW, VERY FAR, YES, FAR AWAY
posted by loquacious at 12:26 AM on December 3, 2008


I've never had a mint julep.

There's an onomatopoeia-kind-of-thing happening there that makes me think of juniper, which makes me think of gin, which I can't stand. It might be dislike by association, but there you are.

Also, there's the Kentucky Derby julep tradition and I wouldn't feel right toasting that until they run the horses on padded foam or turn it into a speed-walking event. A bunch of horses speed-walking would be awesome. Anything to prevent another repeat of the horror show it's been lately. I don't wear nearly as many goofy hats now, either, in a kind of show of solidarity.

Mint juleps probably taste OK, but there's too much baggage.
posted by empyrean at 12:27 AM on December 3, 2008



The individual who wrote the above in no position to do so, given the frequency with which he pops in to threads to drop a steaming load of nonsense.


Eeeesay there.

My impression was he was identifying. Affectionate, even.

Besides it's not really in the spirit of a thread about civility to go about casting MORE aspersions, right? So let's give everybody the benefit of the doubt. I said the benefit of the god damned doubt, DICKHEAD!?!
posted by tkchrist at 12:30 AM on December 3, 2008


The thread is notable for having another, completely unrelated dick-measuring contest earlier between jonmc and Astro Zombie;

Did I go off topic? I'll try to remember that next time there is a thread about bartenders and I am tempted to talk about bartenders.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:34 AM on December 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Tkchrist, some of your comments seem deliberately obtuse and not honestly argued. In particular, the bits about ordering meat in a vegan restaurant and Wild Boar Risotto without the Boar are silly strawmen. Also the "I have been insulted, this will not stand!" posturing is ridiculous.

Klangklangston, your comments, particularly later in the thread, are somewhat rude and quite abrasive. Not sure if it warrants a callout, but it's a close call. On the other hand, I feel your arguments are more compelling, and that counts for something.

Mods, there's a bunch of noise that ought to be deleted. Search the thread for the word "threadjack".

Ta-da! All settled.
posted by ryanrs at 12:35 AM on December 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


FUCK that, someone is mixing innocent alcohol with demon pineapple.
posted by vapidave at 12:36 AM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Might as well have a corpse julep.
posted by vapidave at 12:37 AM on December 3, 2008


AZ. Consult your MeFi decryption matrix. In threads about bartenders we ALWAYS talk about vegetarians. It's in threads about high fructose corn syrup that we talk about bartenders.
posted by tkchrist at 12:37 AM on December 3, 2008 [4 favorites]



Ta-da! All settled.

I am unhappy with this conclusion. Do you have any other options that might please me more.
posted by tkchrist at 12:39 AM on December 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


Oops, a julep or corpse of any variety to ryanrs.
posted by vapidave at 12:40 AM on December 3, 2008


AZ. Consult your MeFi decryption matrix.

Whoops. Always forget that.

Jon and I decided to measure our dicks years ago, by the way. Just finished yesterday, and now we need to return all those yardsticks.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:43 AM on December 3, 2008 [6 favorites]


Does this mean that we can all go and try and join LGF again? Cause I'm bored and they told me I can't be president anymore.
posted by vapidave at 12:44 AM on December 3, 2008


back when i was a kid eating out meant getting dime hamburgers at mcdonalds and eating them in a station wagon with no air conditioning and we liked it

oh, yeah, and if we wanted fiber in our diet, we had to eat barbed wire - so GET OFF MY SURF AND TURF, KIDS!!
posted by pyramid termite at 12:47 AM on December 3, 2008


Do you have any other options

Sure! I want to fight with MaryDellamorte about mint juleps. Unfortunately, she and I haven't managed to create a well-formed argument as of yet. I sense that if I insult bartenders as a group, she might come to their defense.

But then I started reading old New York Times editorials about mint juleps. This diverted my attention away from MaryDellamorte.

Really, those editorials are great:
"No person of ripe intelligence and sound taste could possibly hold that a mint julep should contain water" —NYT

"None but a barbarian or a New York bartender, which is almost the same thing, would bruise mint with a spoon" —reader from Tennessee.
posted by ryanrs at 12:56 AM on December 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


As a side note I've been succinctly and correctly informed that I totally suck at flirting.

That's rather liberating to admit. I think she's probably right.
posted by loquacious at 12:56 AM on December 3, 2008


No, termites know nothing of wire. They are masters of sneaking into wood. ((C6H10O5)n)
They mostly trick small things into digesting cellulose.
Mostly.
It's bobwire.
It defeats them.
Erect a pyramid of bobwire in the east african desert and we will all be up to our necks in wood soon my friend, sooner than we want.
posted by vapidave at 1:02 AM on December 3, 2008


Jon and I decided to measure our dicks years ago, by the way. Just finished yesterday, and now we need to return all those yardsticks.

That's the damn weird thing about all of that. I never could figure out why you kids kept that pile of yardsticks for so long even after I offered to build you a nice sturdy table - always looking into that damn microscope with your pants down.
posted by loquacious at 1:02 AM on December 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Barkeep? One corpse julep, please.
posted by loquacious at 1:15 AM on December 3, 2008


The plural of anecdote is bucket of cocks.
posted by fleacircus at 1:25 AM on December 3, 2008 [10 favorites]


Here you are, and keep the tip.
posted by vapidave at 1:31 AM on December 3, 2008


Hey guys, anybody here live in a state with 190 proof Everclear? In California, I can only get the 151 proof. But that seems like a compromise, a capitulation to the state. I want to get my hands on some 190 for my home bar. Anybody want to fedex me some? Maybe we can trade liquor. (Does California have any unique beverages?)
posted by ryanrs at 1:45 AM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Will trade a bottle of Rittenhouse Rye, 100 proof bottled in bond. North American Whiskey of the Year, 2006 San Francisco World Spirits Competition
posted by ryanrs at 1:50 AM on December 3, 2008


This thread makes me both thirsty and puts me in a fighting mode. I think I'll pour myself a gin and tonic and then scream at it for five minutes, calling it weak and berating its choice of gin.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 2:31 AM on December 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


klango is always derailing threads. i think he should be given a time out.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:34 AM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


If I was a fussy drinker, I would probably have a "fine establishment" list and a "hard to mess this up, even in a dump" list of drinks. You would think it would be pretty easy to determine which kind of place you're in pretty quickly.

Does that solve the thread?
posted by maxwelton at 3:21 AM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ahem.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:23 AM on December 3, 2008


FUCK that, someone is mixing innocent alcohol with demon pineapple.

Oooh, I see according to the MeFi decryption matrix that the mention of pineapple warrants a discussion of pizza toppings. Now this call-out will be all about pizza!

(Pepperoni & DEMON PINEAPPLE plz.)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:25 AM on December 3, 2008


Pineapple & Vegemite pizza is my current favourite.

But on the topic of booze - a bloody mary with about a dessertspoon full of vegemite instead of worcester sauce is about as close to heaven as you can get. only a dash of pineapple juice could improve it.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:28 AM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I mean, I once tried to make a mint julep, but it turns out they don't have fresh mint in Iowa in the middle of winter, so I made one with that fake artificial mint extract in a plastic bottle they sell in the spice aisle.

i did this once, too. i was settling in to watch the derby lo! so many years ago! and it was more of an excuse to drink than to watch a horse race. except i didn't have any mint, and i couldn't see the point in using the artificial stuff, and if one doesn't have mint, what's the point of the sugar & water? and seriously, what's the point of the sugar & water, anyway? so i was going to put some bourbon in a glass, but i said, 'who wants to wash a glass?' and just drank straight from the bottle. never actually saw any horses racing on the television, but that was a damn fine mint julep. i think.
posted by msconduct at 3:59 AM on December 3, 2008 [12 favorites]


Here's a tip...shut your fucking mouth.
posted by gman at 4:22 AM on December 3, 2008


See, my macho cockfriends...

Hey, I didn't even post in that thread!

klang is always a dick... It's his Thing.

His idiom. His flavor.


Are you saying that klang is dick flavored?
posted by Pollomacho at 4:52 AM on December 3, 2008


The MetaFilter--

2 oz smooth southern whiskey
1 splash weak northwestern beer
1 tsp sugar
1lb Bees
& lots and lots of bitters

Shaken not stirred.

posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:53 AM on December 3, 2008 [7 favorites]


Jon and I decided to measure our dicks years ago, by the way. Just finished yesterday, and now we need to return all those yardsticks.

you returned yardsticks. I returned an odometer.
posted by jonmc at 4:58 AM on December 3, 2008 [13 favorites]


ryanrs,
seems: Everclear (190 proof) is available in the following States: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

A little research says you can't ship it, or aren't supposed to. Seems though that if you have internet access you can have a licensed, third-party send it to a "friend". It does not matter what state you, or they, are in.

Kind of takes the fun out of it.

Oh, make sure it's not the last bottle in your collection when the *kids* raid the cabinet. I've consumed an 83 Drano Lafitte (bold yet dangerous) that did less alimentary violence than the one time I had 190 proof Everclear.

http://www.winechateau.com

Note to TSA: this is not me.
posted by vapidave at 5:07 AM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Pineapple & Vegemite pizza is my current favourite.

Mix me a Pineapple and Vegemite Julep, please. And don't stint on the Vegemite.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:24 AM on December 3, 2008


ConfidenceFilter/
"Do you think this kind of shit hasn't happened here before? Granted it's usually on Tuesdays, and usually I tell the police, "No Officer, I didn't get a good look at the shooter." Usually, anyway."
/ConfidenceFilter

also

Note: Everyone needs a hug.
posted by arimathea at 5:27 AM on December 3, 2008


Damn I knew I forgot an ingredient.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:31 AM on December 3, 2008


on behalf a more civil board, to knock it off.

Civil?





Metafilter?





HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Though I enjoyed all the drama in that thread, it was a pretty painful one to read at the same time. Some of the blatant elitist remarks were unbelievable, especially by that douchebag plexi...I'm shocked that the thread wasn't called out in MeTa way earlier.
posted by sixcolors at 5:35 AM on December 3, 2008


Like a guy in the wilderness hitting a steel pan with a cleaver, endlessly klangklangklangklangklangklangklangklangklangklangklangklangklangklangklangklang

Finally, one day, someone stumbles upon this unwashed Caliban, says "you know you can stop doing that. There is no one here."

"Fuck you! I'l do this as long as I like! 10,000 comments is never enough! You suck! Check me out! You fucking suck! HAHAHAHA! " until the only other person leaves, and he carries on as before

klangklangklangklangklangklangklangklangklangklangklangklangklangklangklangklang

posted by plexi at 5:36 AM on December 3, 2008


oh fuck i'm losing the argument and people aren't siding with me like i thought they would

TIME TO TALK ABOUT CIVILITY, IT'S LIKE TELLING SOMEONE TO SHUT THE FUCK UP ONLY I GET TO BE THE VICTIM
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:39 AM on December 3, 2008 [9 favorites]


Ha. Ha. Ha. That thread is awesome. And ikkyu2's little tantrum at the end is the olive in the martini:
"So you guys, you fake fucking bartenders with your fake fucking lives, keep speedpouring your fake drinks for fake people, take home your paper fucking money, vent your fake fucking rage on this fake fucking website."

Dude's about a step away from wishing for a rain to wash the streets clean.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:54 AM on December 3, 2008 [6 favorites]


The individual who wrote the above in no position to do so, given the frequency with which he pops in to threads to drop a steaming load of nonsense.

Haha! Blazecock, I don't think you've ever once known what you were talking about when you posted on this site. Not even once. I kind of admire that.

It's kind of comforting knowing that whenever I post I can rely on you showing up and pretending to have some semblance of a thought about what's being discussed. It's like watching a child play scientist--no real conception of what anything means, or any hope of understanding, but the earnestness is infectious.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 6:04 AM on December 3, 2008 [8 favorites]


Now who wanna fuck with Hollywood Cole?
posted by Divine_Wino at 6:12 AM on December 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America - I'll tell you one thing. Your profile picture is an absolute masterpiece. And I know what I'm talking about.
posted by gman at 6:16 AM on December 3, 2008


I mean, I once tried to make a mint julep, but it turns out they don't have fresh mint in Iowa in the middle of winter

Check the produce section of your local supermarket. Off season they likely won't have anything, but from mid-spring to autumn usually you can buy a little plastic thingy full of the stuff.

Which I highly recommend, because I pity you poor sorry bastards who have never had a proper mint julep. That's like saying you've never had oral sex or heard Beethoven's Ninth or killed a hobo with a rusty straight razor just to watch the light go out of his eyes.

And yes, you do muddle the leaves with a spoon. That there's flavor country.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:18 AM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I just skimmed that thread, and the "ordering vegetarian items off-menu" stuff was unrelatedly interthreaded with the "A Great Horned Owl cocktail contains sterilized owl pellets and vole skulls", so I assumed they were all one conversation and it was funny for a second there.
posted by dirtdirt at 6:20 AM on December 3, 2008


seems: Everclear (190 proof) is available in the following States: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

DC too, I think. Maybe.
posted by inigo2 at 6:39 AM on December 3, 2008


About mint juleps: Is the mint peppermint, or spearmint? In my experience, it's nearly impossible to find anything but spearmint at the grocery store.
posted by rtha at 6:45 AM on December 3, 2008


Hey look, it's metachat.
posted by smackfu at 6:47 AM on December 3, 2008


Ooooh! Look, an Internet pissing match.

*goes outside, breathes fresh air, makes a snowball, lives*
posted by chillmost at 6:51 AM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Dad?
posted by waraw at 6:52 AM on December 3, 2008


I jumped out of that thread pretty quick but I think the linked-to comment is spot-on and contains the correct level of civility.
posted by Manhasset at 6:54 AM on December 3, 2008


rtha, you can use either in my experience, though I don't like spearmint quite as much. Pineapple mint is interesting, if you can get some. I've also muddled my leaves in the juice of a fresh summer peach instead of sugar and water (juicy local peaches only) and was very pleased with the results.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:55 AM on December 3, 2008


Nope, you can't get the 190 version in DC. Anymore.

What? I had a misspent youth. Used to drink it with Rock Creek blue cream soda...
posted by JoanArkham at 6:56 AM on December 3, 2008


Cortex and I both looked at thread and decided it probably couldn't be saved and also couldn't be pruned. tkchrist, either you or klang could have stopped your pissing match at any time. The same was true for the jonmc/AstroZombie pissing match earlier. I look at "fuck you" "no fuck YOU" back and forth as a community problem not the problem of one individual.

And yeah, klang needs to totally and seriously knock it off.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:58 AM on December 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


I maintain my and Jon's pissing match was on-topic.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:07 AM on December 3, 2008


Oh man, I missed a jonmc/AstroZombie pissing match?
posted by Eideteker at 7:07 AM on December 3, 2008


Also, I don't recall us deteriorating into "fuck you/no fuck you." It was an honestly discussed difference of opinion. Even if I did call Jon a friend of the working man.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:10 AM on December 3, 2008


If you want I can randomly pop into threads and call you a stupid fucking moron if you like? Cost you five bucks a go. 10 bucks to virtually spank you with image tags.
posted by tkchrist at 2:31 AM on December 3 [1 favorite -] Favorite added! [!]


Since when have you ever made a comment worth paying for?
O SNAP!

But yes, please oh please oh please do this (for free). The neat thing about persistent, obsessive hostility: the only person you end up marginalizing is yourself.

It helps to remember that Metafilter is just a website.
posted by Ryvar at 7:11 AM on December 3, 2008


Oh, n/m. It was in a thread about something boring, like alcohol. Not in a thread about something cool, like music.
posted by Eideteker at 7:12 AM on December 3, 2008


It was a thread about a psychotically hostile bartender after all. What did you expect?
posted by Burhanistan at 7:13 AM on December 3, 2008


Wait, Jon did call me a schmuck in the thread.

Jeeeeeeez, Jon.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:16 AM on December 3, 2008


Jesus Christ, there's a lot of anger and politics and drama in here. I know the internet is srs bizniz and all that, but honestly people, it's a discussion forum. What's the point of holding grudges and citing "entire posting histories" and whatnot? Just enjoy the conversation; it's pretty hard to get anywhere else.

Flameouts are only ever fun when it involves some spammer idiot trying to defend himself against true allegations. I guess I was hoping that this being a community 'n all, we'd afford respect to each other, regardless of dissenting opinions. I know, I know, LOLidealistn00b, amirite?

And to think I come to MeFi to escape the drama.
posted by Phire at 7:20 AM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Golly, a real mint julep. The kind where you have to stick your face in all those mint springs to get to the precious precious bourbon, softened and sweetened with sugar syrup. Where the ice is a layer of cool beneath all those lush. tickly mint springs. Where the cup frosts ever so slightly and you have to set it down or freezerburn your hands, but if you set it down, you're so much farther from the soothing cloud of fresh mint, and the welcome layer of cool and the precious precious bourbon beneath it all. Is there anything better? I think not.

Dammit, why is it 35 degrees outside with an expectation of five inches of snow before dinner?
posted by crush-onastick at 7:25 AM on December 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


Now this call-out will be all about pizza!

There is no need to sully the plain, perfect slice with toppings. But if you MUST, the two true toppings are:

-Spinach and Chicken

-Pineapple and Bacon.

That is all.

"Hey look, It's Metachat!" is a bouncy chorus waiting to happen
posted by The Whelk at 7:31 AM on December 3, 2008


You know what the core problem here is? Connoisseurism. You people always have to show off how discerning you are. "The bartender can't make my fancy drink the way I like it because the philistine refuses to fly in fresh mahi mahi from Peru." There's your problem right there. Fancy pants-itis. If we all agree to just drink Miller Lite from now on I think we will be okay. Before you object, you can drink it ironically if you want.
posted by ND¢ at 7:33 AM on December 3, 2008 [11 favorites]


NONE LEFT BEEF
posted by BeerFilter at 7:37 AM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I like klang, even though I disagreed with him in the thread. But he does have a habit of going from zero to sixty on the hostilometer if people have the gall - the gall! - to disagree with him, as seen with the interaction with Telf. I don't take that sort of thing personally since I'm just as big a dink as klang and know that for every shitty or belittling comment he's made many more cool and thoughtful contributions, but the guy needs to calm down and stop trying to bully people if they say something he doesn't like.

I blame bartenders.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:40 AM on December 3, 2008


I admit, I enjoyed the Astro Zombie / Jonmc thunderdome match. It was like watching a pokemon battle unfold, in real time, it really made my Monday marginally bearable.

A wild Astro Zombie appears
posted by hellojed at 7:43 AM on December 3, 2008


NONE LEFT BEEF

"It's like, how much more pizza left beef could it be? The answer is, none."
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:44 AM on December 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


I blame bartenders.

I approve of your impulse to assign blame, but you could not be more wrong in where you have assigned it. We are clearly paying a terrible price for the fanciness of our pants. Look down right now. Look how fancy the pants you're wearing are. What went wrong? When did you decide that you needed pants that fancy? When you were a child, I bet you never said to yourself "I want to be a wearer of fancy pants when I grow up." We have collectively taken a wrong turn somewhere into pants of excessive fanciness territory and unless we make a correction then we are doomed. Our extremely fancy pants are tearing us apart!
posted by ND¢ at 7:52 AM on December 3, 2008 [22 favorites]


Some left pork, some left chicken, and some left turkey, but none left beef.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 8:00 AM on December 3, 2008


I wish there was a way to filter out comments that are responses to other comments. When I read a thread, very rarely am I interested in peoples' nattering little back-and-forths.

Here's a hint - if you're at the point where you're pulling multiple quotes from other comments and responding point-for-point, STOP RIGHT NOW BECAUSE YOUR COMMENT SUCKS.
posted by Afroblanco at 8:05 AM on December 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


Look down right now. Look how fancy the pants you're wearing are.

I... I'm not wearing any right now. I'm frankly offended and horrified that you would be so insensitive to the pantsless, let alone the fancy pantsless.

Like my grandma used to say: I once wanted a new pair of fancy pants, until I saw a man wearing culottes. Dude, that's so not a good look.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:08 AM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


octobersurprise : Dude's about a step away from wishing for a rain to wash the streets clean.

Speaking of things that relate to my being drunk, the fact is that rain never sufficiently cleans the streets. For that you need fire.

Lots and lots of fire.
posted by quin at 8:12 AM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I blame the Service Economy. When we let the Japanese and Chinese take over making all our stuff, everybody here had to go into service jobs. Some of us are clearly not up to it - they just don't have what it takes to do service. Some number of people who would otherwise be making TVs or GI Joes or flying cars seem to have gravitated to jobs making drinks or food. Unfortunately, those are still service jobs, and the Morlocks just can't grasp that aspect of their trades. If something isn't done - and soon - all the bartending and cooking will be outsourced to foreign countries. That giant sucking sound will be another whole class of skilled work swirling down the funnel of lost dreams into the grease trap of memory. I know nobody wants to see that.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:14 AM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


If we all agree to just drink Miller Lite from now on I think we will be okay. Before you object, you can drink it ironically if you want.

But, but, I thought you could only drink Pabst Blue Ribbon ironically?
posted by rtha at 8:22 AM on December 3, 2008


Thank you for the mint clarification, middleclasstool. I don't much like spearmint either.
posted by rtha at 8:23 AM on December 3, 2008


Rambo apples shoot exploding arrows.
posted by stinkycheese at 8:23 AM on December 3, 2008


Why is it that threads about one pseudo-controversial topic tend to snowball and pick up more? Oh, this is about customer service? Let's throw tipping into the mix. Then, we'll talk about what makes you a snob/jerk/demanding elitist at a bar/restaurant. Now vegetarianism. Top with veganism. Aaaand out shitstorm souffle is done! META!
posted by piratebowling at 8:26 AM on December 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Oh boy, Mint Juleps! That's where I'm a viking!
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 8:27 AM on December 3, 2008


I thought the unpantsed might want to have their say. Here is the thing: life is all about balance. While being too fancy is bad, a little pretension here and there is not necessarily a bad thing. Without it we would be eating from troughs and wallowing in our own filth and listening to heavy metal. So, while fringed satin gaucho pants are clearly too fancy, anything from sweatpants on down is not fancy enough. Balance. Yes, creating your own drink subsisting of single grain organic mulled wine and albino otter tears is too fancy, swigging Boone's Farm from a crumpled up frisbee while lying in a gutter is not fancy enough. Balance. I suppose my point is that you should be exactly as fancy as I am, but no fancier. Is that so hard?
posted by ND¢ at 8:34 AM on December 3, 2008 [9 favorites]


The thread is notable for having another, completely unrelated dick-measuring contest

I resent your use of the male organ in such a sexist way and ask, nay, DEMAND that in the future you an organ that applies to both sexes.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:41 AM on December 3, 2008


My appendix is more useful than yours?
posted by carsonb at 8:46 AM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I get nd¢'s point about connoisseurism, but it's not always a bad thing. And it was part of a reasonable discussion about what service is, and what can and cannot fairly be expected from it. I guess I'm in the minority, but I thought klang got a lot more unnecessary poking and prodding than he provided in that thread.
posted by ~ at 9:09 AM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


oh fuck i'm losing the argument and people aren't siding with me like i thought they would

TIME TO TALK ABOUT CIVILITY, IT'S LIKE TELLING SOMEONE TO SHUT THE FUCK UP ONLY I GET TO BE THE VICTIM


oh fuck i'm winning the argument and people are siding with just like i thought they would

TIME TO CALL ANYBODY WHO DISAGREES A STUPID FUCKING MORON BECAUSE I'M A LOSER WHO IS AFRAID OF PEOPLE IN REAL LIFE
posted by tkchrist at 9:10 AM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's kind of comforting knowing that whenever I post I can rely on you showing up and pretending to have some semblance of a thought about what's being discussed.

And there he goes again. His trolling blather just never ceases.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:11 AM on December 3, 2008


In a thread about a bartender's umbrage and vitriol, there's bound to be some umbrage and vitriol mirrored in the comments. There are many ways of being rude and uncivil, and insulting language is only one of them. Deliberate misreading is another, and it's actually more insidious than a good expletive or mocking snark. Let me say that again: uncharitably interpreting your interlocutor is a much worse offense than saying 'fuck you.'

Oh, boo-hoo, you delicate desert bloom.

I'm with klangklangston on this one. He called you a delicate desert bloom, and the joke is that you're a tough guy. You pretended he said something he didn't say. That's the real incivility: it says "You don't matter to me enough for me to actually figure out what you're saying." He kept the stream of insults going a mile a minute, but your argumentative misreading is much more insulting.
posted by anotherpanacea at 9:32 AM on December 3, 2008


A modest proposal:

From here on out, all MetaTalk pissing matches must be done in a Pro Wrestling format.

The parties must address each other as BRO-THERRRRRRR and brag about their GUNZ OF STEEL.

Extra-special old skool bonus points for doing Skuka Slams on each other.
posted by jason's_planet at 9:40 AM on December 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


(Snuka Slams. Sorry 'bout that.)
posted by jason's_planet at 9:41 AM on December 3, 2008


oh fuck i'm losing the argument and people aren't siding with me like i thought they would

That's obvious bullshit - the problem is that rather than actually have an argument, which isn't an inherently bad thing, klang and now you try to shut down the discussion by being unnecessarily offensive and over the top. You don't 'win' an argument by acting like a prick and driving the other guy away, you win by presenting your point of view and arriving at a mutual understanding, even if that ultimately means agreeing to disagree. Needing to 'win' doesn't justify being an asshole and doesn't make you right, it just makes you a loudmouthed bully. A discussion, debate, or argument isn't necessarily and zero-sum game. If you can't appreciate that argument ≠ fight and that bringing a win/lose mentality to the table makes things shitty for everyone, you might want to rethink how you approach discussions.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:46 AM on December 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


I wish there was a way to filter out comments that are responses to other comments.

Me too.

When I read a thread, very rarely am I interested in peoples' nattering little back-and-forths.

Totally.

Here's a hint - if you're at the point where you're pulling multiple quotes from other comments and responding point-for-point, STOP RIGHT NOW BECAUSE YOUR COMMENT SUCKS.

Absolutely. Couldn't agree more.
posted by googly at 9:47 AM on December 3, 2008 [19 favorites]


Pissing contests, dick-measuring contests...
Whatever happened to good old-fashioned multiplayer electronic trivia?
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:48 AM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I wish I could draw. This whole bitter, angry dogpile could feed a webcomic for yeeeeeeeeaaaaaaars. I would draw klangklangklangston with those angry eyes: ><>
Hugs, y'all. Hugs. And spirits. And a couple bowls of bar snacks. And some oontzoontzoontz mixed in with some thumpthumpthump and some twangtwangtwang. And hugs. Maybe even mostly hugs, once that headache starts.
posted by batmonkey at 9:54 AM on December 3, 2008


What about those of us who are both fancy and pantsless? Where does that leave us?
posted by owtytrof at 9:59 AM on December 3, 2008


anotherpanacea, I just wanted to say that I do not agree with your characterization of Hitler as "a cool guy to party with."
posted by ND¢ at 10:01 AM on December 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


oh fuck i'm winning the argument and people are siding with just like i thought they would

TIME TO CALL ANYBODY WHO DISAGREES A STUPID FUCKING MORON BECAUSE I'M A LOSER WHO IS AFRAID OF PEOPLE IN REAL LIFE


No, no, no, that's not how it's done. You sarcastically speak as the other person.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:04 AM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


You don't 'win' an argument by acting like a prick and driving the other guy away

Your total failure at understanding of what happens here is even more inexcusable given that your posts in that thread were pure dickery. You don't get to play the stupid asshole and condemn people for being stupid assholes, sorry.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:07 AM on December 3, 2008


Question: If you're a no-pants-wearing guy like cortex is now, what fancy item would you wear instead?
posted by SpiffyRob at 10:11 AM on December 3, 2008


On non-preview: Exacty, owtytrof.
posted by SpiffyRob at 10:11 AM on December 3, 2008


I'm a man of simple tastes. I like my cocktails strong and well-made, and I like my pants fancy.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:17 AM on December 3, 2008


Your total failure at understanding of what happens here is even more inexcusable given that your posts in that thread were pure dickery. You don't get to play the stupid asshole and condemn people for being stupid assholes, sorry.

Ooo, praise from Cesar! "Pure dickery"? What, this? You're right, I really need to dial my monstrousness down. Or did you mean this bit of viciousness? I was a real beast here. I did tell klang not to be a belligerent jackass in this comment, but I doubt he lost any sleep over it.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:18 AM on December 3, 2008


Bloody hell, you don't know what to do with a magnum of bubbly, do you?

*performs saber service on AV*
posted by dersins at 10:24 AM on December 3, 2008


What about those of us who are both fancy and pantsless? Where does that leave us?

In the back of a Huntsville, Ark. PD cruiser.
posted by netbros at 10:28 AM on December 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


im gay
posted by Damn That Television at 10:46 AM on December 3, 2008


When I read a thread, very rarely am I interested in peoples' nattering little back-and-forths.

Preach on. I barely made it to your comment in this thread before the "Oh, who the fuck cares?" factor became overpowering.

That said: When posting on MeFi, you run the risk of being called a "delicate desert bloom". You just have to know that going in.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:51 AM on December 3, 2008


well, i chimed in in the thread already, but i'd like to reiterate that there was a lot of disheartening head butting in that thread, and it wasn't one sided. sure, there could maybe be a decent conversation here about the need for more respectful and earnest discussion instead of aggressive back-and-forth. but in the end, that thread was the result of a lot of tin-eared people making loud proclamations along the lines of "the AUDACITY of you [opposite siders], claiming [hyperbolic representation of a reasonable argument.]"

yes, klang needs to stop calling people names. otoh, yes he has recognized this and has made a good faith effort in recent months to curtail it. no, he did not succeed this time. yes, you really pushed his buttons, and not entirely accidentally.
posted by shmegegge at 10:58 AM on December 3, 2008


From here on out, all MetaTalk pissing matches must be done in a Pro Wrestling format.

You're on. We settle this at Sunday's PPV in a Steel Cage Match.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:00 AM on December 3, 2008


Hm. Yeah, whatever. On the other hand, I'd be interested in name and address of that Tuscan restaurant...
posted by _dario at 11:04 AM on December 3, 2008


I'm not going to take the high ground here as earlier in the offending thread I made a few semi-facetious blanket statements about how certain people were friendless assholes. I did extricate myself from the discussion once I gleaned the level of vitriol my comment engendered. In retrospect, the tone of my comment came out as way more pompous than I had planned.

I was not trying to get a rise out the vegetarians in the thread as several of my girlfriends have been vegetarian and I currently work at a vegetarian/vegan/gluten free sympathetic establishment. I think my comment was poorly executed in that it came off as having an overly French inspired, carnocentric view. My listing of ingredients such as stock, butter and fond could have easily included thai fish sauce, japanese dashi, or maybe MSG.

My point, though poorly made, was an extension of earlier assertions that one should be mindful of the type of restaurant he is entering. I made a comment about not expecting kosher food from a Tacobell.

Finally, I made a comment about browsing the menu of a restaurant before patronizing it. The tone of this comment was especially dickish and condescending.

That being said, I think that the reactions to my comments were fairly inappropriate and certainly escalated the level of rancor unnecessarily. I think that tkchrist was making valid statements, and was not being obtuse or inflammatory. The tone of the thread was already so volatile that his opinions were immediately met with an unwarranted aggression.

I suspect that if I hadn't left the thread, my immediate reactions would have been a lot less controlled than tkchrist's.

I've talked it over with Klangklangston and I think we both agreed that we were off base. This was a pretty stupid reason to get worked up over. Both sides had valid points and we both cherry picked the inflammatory comments and burnt some strawmen in the process. I'm surprised that nobody invoked Godwin or cited Bourdain. Anyway, let's make up and put this behind us.

Finally, I'm not sure why when I tried to be polite, I end up sounding like a pretentious 7th grader. Sometimes I want to punch myself in the dick after reading some of my own comments.
posted by Telf at 11:10 AM on December 3, 2008 [5 favorites]


Taaaaalk to meeee, Klaaaaang-Klaaaang-ston as if you are talking to the GOD you speak of! Klaaaaang-Klaaaaangston. GRAAAAAAH!
posted by kosem at 11:15 AM on December 3, 2008


"If you're a no-pants-wearing guy like cortex is now, what fancy item would you wear instead?"

GPS-monitoring ankle bracelet.

Chromed.
posted by An Infinity Of Monkeys at 11:18 AM on December 3, 2008


Blazecock Pileon: The individual who wrote the above in no position to do so, given the frequency with which he pops in to threads to drop a steaming load of nonsense.

...

And there he goes again. His trolling blather just never ceases.


That's just so rich, coming from you.
posted by mkultra at 11:19 AM on December 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


Dammit! In case you were interested in my ultra substantive contribution, as opposed to a borked link:

Taaaaalk to meeee, Klaaaaang-Klaaaang-ston as if you are talking to the GOD you speak of! Klaaaaang-Klaaaaangston. GRAAAAAAH!
posted by kosem at 11:21 AM on December 3, 2008


I'm not sure why when I tried to be polite, I end up sounding like a pretentious 7th grader.

Heh, I've done that too; the effort to write something diplomatically and unambiguously clear usually ends up with me making a comment that's conspicuously mannered and unnecessarily verbose. It's only after I post it that I notice all the typos and tortured grammar.

Moral: Don't think, just type.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:23 AM on December 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Typos and Tortured Grammar

Now there's a band I would pay to see live!

Alternatively:

Metafilter: I notice all the typost and tortured grammar.

posted by owtytrof at 11:33 AM on December 3, 2008


Shit.
posted by owtytrof at 11:34 AM on December 3, 2008


Klang is not always a dick. He can be a dick (so can I) but he isn't always a dick. Also, one should never make absolute statements because there will always be some example where that absolute statement is wrong. For example the one about Klang always being a dick. I'm sure there are many examples of Klang not being a dick. (It's really slow here today. How's y'all's day going?)
posted by Carbolic at 11:35 AM on December 3, 2008


Also, where can I find the jonmc/AstroZombie pissing match? I'd hate to miss that.
posted by Carbolic at 11:37 AM on December 3, 2008


I wish there was a way to filter out comments that are responses to other comments.

Yeah, that's the stuff of great conversations. It would be so much better around here if one party would go on and on like a professor in a lecture hall and then when he stops the other party go on and on lecturing as if the first person had never written a word. Occasionally these non-sequitur lectures would be on a quasi-related topic but only by coincidence. That sounds like a real community to me!
posted by Pollomacho at 11:39 AM on December 3, 2008 [5 favorites]


It would be so much better around here if one party would go on and on

MetaFilibuster?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:47 AM on December 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


It's actually only about three or four exchanges. I will summarize:

ME: I am great and drink good drink and slay with my dragon-forged sword any barkeep that dares serve me any but the Valkyrie-poured mead!

JON: Fuck off poser! A working class hero is something to see!

ME: Prepare thyself for a blood eagling!

JON: Gob on ya!
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:47 AM on December 3, 2008 [8 favorites]


I'm surprised that nobody invoked Godwin or cited Bourdain.

From the link:

So apparently this post has been linked to again from another website, judging by the recent influx of mostly idiotic comments I’ve been receiving, which are being deleted as soon as they are posted. To that end, I’m done wasting my time monitoring these damn Anthony Bourdain posts for troll droppings and replying to comments left by people who have nothing better to do than seek out vegan websites in order to leave comments about how they’d “like to fuck a slab of steak before eating it”. None for me thanks. Comments are closed.

I would however like to thank whoever it is that keeps linking here and sending these rabid, frothing-at-the-mouth Bourdainians my way. All the free web traffic is much appreciated considering that it’s driving up my advertising revenue exponentially… so keep ‘em coming. After all, it equals more money I can spend on tofu, because you know, that’s all vegans eat anyway.

posted by Joe Beese at 11:48 AM on December 3, 2008


FACTS:

1. Potomac Avenue, you have not made a proper Metafilter unless you include beans, properly overthought, and a strip of delicious bacon for garnish.

2. The following beers may be consumed ironically: Pabst Blue Ribbon, Natty Light, Porkslap, Olympia. Of these, only Porkslap must be consumed in this matter, but if you are consciously aware of and concerned about whether the consumption is ironic or not, then you are already sufficiently immersed in hipster culture to qualify as an adherent, and thus are drinking the beers ironically de facto.

3. Both tkchrist and klang were being dicks in that thread, way the fuck out of proportion to the subject at hand, and yet somehow still not quite at the level warranting a callout. Both of these guys are cool, normally, so no further aspersion on their respective characters will be made.

4. MeFi requires an immediate emergency pony which will inform me and only me of any burgeoning pissing contests between AZ and jonmc, via email, for all the immediate future, so that I may join in with vigor for the benefit of all mankind.

5. Now is as good a time as any for me to apologize to DecemberBoy for totally laying into him in that "Chinese Democracy" thread. Sorry about that, man. It was uncalled-for.

6. People still drink Mint Juleps? When they've got access to Pimms?

7. I need a drink.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:49 AM on December 3, 2008


Man, being "that dude that sometimes makes funny comments" is pretty nice. Nobody even hates me!
posted by sonic meat machine at 11:51 AM on December 3, 2008


I hate you.
posted by found missing at 11:58 AM on December 3, 2008


2. The following beers may be consumed ironically: Pabst Blue Ribbon, Natty Light, Porkslap, Olympia.

I would argue that Milwaukee's Best is making some progress on this front as well.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:58 AM on December 3, 2008


Nobody even hates me

I'm pretty sure eyeballkid does.
posted by dersins at 11:59 AM on December 3, 2008


There are two Minnesota beers that can only be consumed ironically: Pugs Eye and Grain Belt.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:59 AM on December 3, 2008


Whoops. Pig's Eye.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:00 PM on December 3, 2008


I had a friend whose parents bred pugs, and sometimes when they bathed one, if they pressed on its head the wrong way, its eye would pop out. They just stuffed it back in.
posted by Evangeline at 12:01 PM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Pugs Eye sounds deliciouser. And snorty.
posted by middleclasstool at 12:03 PM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


There are two Minnesota beers that can only be consumed ironically: Pugs Eye and Grain Belt.

I'm way too cool to drink anything fromMinnesota, ironically or not.

(I really want my own pissing contest with AZ. It would make me feel big. Am I doing this right?)
posted by Navelgazer at 12:05 PM on December 3, 2008


Pig's Eye Parrant founded the city of St. Paul by taking over a cave near the Mississippi and turning it into a saloon that he called Pig's Eye Pandemonium.

That's the best story in the history of Minnesota, and it's 100 percent true.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:06 PM on December 3, 2008


I didn't read said pissing contest, but I know that is an inaccurate summary because jonmc has never made two consecutive comments that weren't about himself.
posted by ND¢ at 12:08 PM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hah! People in Minnesota drink in CAVES!

(which is admittedly awesome, but for these purposes should be taken as fighting words.)
posted by Navelgazer at 12:11 PM on December 3, 2008


He called you a delicate desert bloom, and the joke is that you're a tough guy.

Tough guy. I kinda liked the delicate desert bloom comment. Made me feel like a pretty lady.

It was the incessant belligerence and him screaming "moron" and "Stupid" (at several people) and, well, eventually you get to wondering if he's angry about something, y'know?

Klang repeatedly describes himself as "hyper-masculine" and had a profile picture of himself pointing a gun right at the camera. So. I think this place is ooozing with internet tough guys harboring grudges. Not just me.

"You pretended he said something he didn't say. That's the real incivility: it says "You don't matter to me enough for me to actually figure out what you're saying."

I disagree that I did that. But. Okay. I guess I should weed through comments (even the belligerent noise) more carefully next time. I promise to not drop a incendiary snarky line I suspect might set off the emotionally unstable or grudge holding members of the site.

Look this has been on my mind a while. And not JUST klang. Not even close. I think building up to the election this site got really nasty. Personal insults really started building. Either you think its fine call fellow community members names or you don't. But if you DO you don't get to bitch about civility or good-faith and honest discussion ever. Especially if you are on the right side of an argument.

There is no middle ground in my opinion.

Any way it might be moot. I found mondo meta as my "solution." So I have kill-filed all the problem children. Least I think it works.
posted by tkchrist at 12:11 PM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, okay, two people hate me.

I can accept that.
posted by sonic meat machine at 12:13 PM on December 3, 2008


The problem with the practice of not giving people the benefit of the doubt, and leaping over the gap wherein lies the gracious assumption of misunderstanding, to a conclusion that manifests as namecalling, is that you're vulnerable to being factually, even if not demonstrably, dead wrong in your declarations, which makes you the ass, at least in the eyes of the one you abuse. By now there are lots of us who've been painted with the same derisive brush, and it really says more about the artist.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:13 PM on December 3, 2008


Oh, heck, you're too lovable to hate.
posted by found missing at 12:15 PM on December 3, 2008


Have you looked at my profil pic, tkchrist? Klang is a pocket protectored, 98 pound, sand-kicked-in-the-face baby man next to yours truly.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:16 PM on December 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


What's important is that we've finally opened up a dialogue about mint juleps.
posted by Skot at 12:20 PM on December 3, 2008


Ohhhh, Astro Zombie, I had no idea you were so gangsta... that's so hawt.
posted by Evangeline at 12:23 PM on December 3, 2008


I promise to not drop a incendiary snarky line I suspect might set off the emotionally unstable or grudge holding members of the site.

Seriously, please stop it. Either you're sincerely sorry for your part in it or you're still playing last-wordism snark games. I think you're a decent guy tkchrist and you've given me a ton of good things to think about in AskMe and I generally like your participation here, but sometimes you are a total sonofabitch, mean to people, jerkish and fighty, nasty, Just Like Klang.

Every time one of your brilliant comments comes up for sidebarring and people are falling all over themselves wanting to pat you on the back, I always feel that pulling out your more bonnish mots are in some way condoning the other fighty stuff you do, stuff that I think is harmful to the site. More often than not, you're cool, we're cool, and the site is fine with your occasional scrappiness, and klang's.

My issue is that you come in here like you've found jesus or AA and act like the other guy is the one who is really fucking up this great thing for everyone. You're certainly not the only one who does this, but you're one of the ones I would think would have a bit more meta-insight into the patterns that everyone falls into around here [myself included]. Every time people get in here and say "I admit I'm part of the problem but THIS GUY OVER HERE....." I say to myself (and now out loud) "Well hey, stop being part of the problem then."

The answer to why you, the general you, don't, won't or can't probably applies to every other person who has gone off on someone on the site.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:23 PM on December 3, 2008 [19 favorites]


I also have a gun in my profile.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:24 PM on December 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


Jessamyn wins.
posted by Evangeline at 12:25 PM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]



Have you looked at my profil pic, tkchrist? Klang is a pocket protectored, 98 pound, sand-kicked-in-the-face baby man next to yours truly.

Have I looked at it? What do you think I'm staring at when I'm wearing the blue velvet robe chanting "Daddy loves baby, does baby love daddy? Yes. Yes he does." every Sunday and Tuesday night?

Well. It's not Klang. 'Cause That's Monday/Wednesday.
posted by tkchrist at 12:28 PM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Jessamyn and I changed out profile pics to the ones with guns at the exact same moment, I think. Hers is indeed funnier. But I actually bought that rifle the month after I took the photo, and have been teaching myself to rapid-fire it and then spin it like The Rifleman does, so if there is ever a remake of The Rifleman, at least I have the consolation of knowing I will probably be cast rather than Jessamyn.

Actually, not exactly like Chuck Conners does. He modified his rifle so that just sliding the lever causes it to both reload and fire. But, still, I'm pretty fast, and I can almost do the twirl without breaking the side of my face.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:35 PM on December 3, 2008


A man who knows his cocktails and can twirl a rifle - impressive.

Now I wish I had a gun instead of a stupid old skeleton.
posted by Evangeline at 12:38 PM on December 3, 2008


The real irony of the thread is that the link goes to one of the more civil posts from that argument.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:38 PM on December 3, 2008


Is that 'gun'? Looks like 'gub'.

I, for one, am tired of that Smedleyman prick. Where does that guy get off?

“Hey guys, anybody here live in a state with 190 proof Everclear?”

I do (Illinois). I use it to clean my camelbak.

“What's important is that we've finally opened up a dialogue about mint juleps.”
If one mint julep
is good enough for the (formerly) coolest man alive, it’s good enough for me.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:40 PM on December 3, 2008


You can't see it the way my profile pic is cropped, but one of my arms is a fully-automatic minigun mech. I am, truly, all that is man.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:43 PM on December 3, 2008


Klang is a pocket protectored

My fancy pants say this should be "pocket-protected."
posted by octobersurprise at 12:44 PM on December 3, 2008


Klangston has been a jerk to, what, like everyone on this site now? Why is this continually tolerated? "Blah, blah I've been here a long time i can say anything i want and no one will do anything", is the response he's given me when I questioned his behavior.

It's pretty damned tiring, and if "I've been here a long time and can do anything I want" is a viable way of being, for me, that's more than enough reason to leave Metafilter. You can't have special rules for some and not alienate others. Not that anyone cares.
posted by SaintCynr at 12:46 PM on December 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


I also have a gun in my profile.

you know who else liked flags with black logos in white circles on a red background?
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:53 PM on December 3, 2008


MetaFilibuster?

We need asavage to build Metabuster. We can drop him off buildings and blow him up and do all the things we want to do to the people that have pissed us off.
posted by lukemeister at 12:53 PM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's pretty damned tiring, and if "I've been here a long time and can do anything I want" is a viable way of being, for me, that's more than enough reason to leave Metafilter. You can't have special rules for some and not alienate others.

if you think about the history of banninations on this site, you'll notice that virtually nobody gets the full on boot for being a dick, even consistently. people just REALLY REALLY get a lot of chances on mefi, and I'm inclined to think it's better that way. Klang isn't getting special treatment, it's just that people who have gotten punished worse for that type of behavior have deserved it more, or crossed some other line additionally.
posted by shmegegge at 12:54 PM on December 3, 2008


also, i will admit to being a 98 pound, pocket protected weakling since my profile pic shows me running away from guns rather than brandishing them.
posted by shmegegge at 12:56 PM on December 3, 2008


It's pretty damned tiring, and if "I've been here a long time and can do anything I want" is a viable way of being, for me, that's more than enough reason to leave Metafilter. You can't have special rules for some and not alienate others. Not that anyone cares.

No, nobody cares when the opinion comes from a 36K-er.

*kidding*
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:56 PM on December 3, 2008


you know who else liked flags with black logos in white circles on a red background?

out of curiosity, is there a single comment someone can point me to that started the whole "you know who else..." hitler thingy?
posted by shmegegge at 12:57 PM on December 3, 2008


I Klangs defense I’d point out that he’s apologized for being an asshole after the fact on at least on occasion, and is quite funny sometimes.

I’m probably not considered entirely un-assholish myself though.
posted by Artw at 12:57 PM on December 3, 2008


out of curiosity, is there a single comment someone can point me to that started the whole "you know who else..." hitler thingy?

You know who made that first comment? That's right... Hitler.
posted by found missing at 12:58 PM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


you know who else liked flags with black logos in white circles on a red background?

Anarcho-Communists?
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:58 PM on December 3, 2008


You can't have special rules for some and not alienate others. Not that anyone cares.

We care a great deal, actually, but there is no rule against being kind of a dick on the site. It's just that most people have the good sense or good manners or just plain positive attitude that they rarely if ever do act like a dick. Which is something that makes me pretty happy.

Like shmegegge says, we don't hand out bans like candy here. It's never been that way. What we do do is allow folks to call one another out; we give timeouts sometimes if someone is just on a streak; we send email or chat to try and kind of make the "hey, this you-being-a-dick thing is a problem" clear on a personal level; etc.

There are days when I think that casual bans for dickheadeness would be nice, but there are a lot more days where I'm glad that's not the culture here as far as account management goes; the ability of the community to collectively tell someone via a few different mechanisms they're out of line is part of the site's immune system and that's something that I think is valuable, even if it necessarily means ploughing through some rough spots now and then. Replacing that entirely by low-threshold fiat bans isn't something that I think would make this place better, even if in some respects it might make it "nicer".
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:05 PM on December 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


>>you'll notice that virtually nobody gets the full on boot for being a dick, even consistently.

Then we couldn't really get upset if the place became overrrun with assholes, could we? In fact, why is this post even here discussing it, if the "guidelines" are just window dressing and nothing ever gets done, even when someone has shown over and over and over again that they think the sun shines out of their ass, that the rules don't apply to them, and everyone else who can control themself, or gasp! apologize when they go too far is just a poor dupe for their amusement.


Again, tiring. And I must say, not really very impressive for a community of supposedly enlightened and intelligent adults for the children in grown-up bodies to have the run of the place with no ramification. But I know, no one cares, and it's just the way things are, and I should get used to those who talk the loudest and treat others poorly being somehow given a pass.

I wouldn't tolerate it in real life. Would you?
posted by SaintCynr at 1:05 PM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I maintain my and Jon's pissing match was on-topic.

Well, if drinking takes place, pissing certainly does follow, so...I'll buy that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:07 PM on December 3, 2008


"ploughing"? Am I suddenly English? What the hell.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:07 PM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Fuck you for suggesting anything English could ever be wrong!
posted by Artw at 1:09 PM on December 3, 2008


Use of English spellings of words? That's a blood eagling.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:10 PM on December 3, 2008


Klang you need to knock this emotional name calling insult thing off and learn to talk to people like a grown up. I'm not claiming to be entirely innocent. I apologize for any offense - though I can honestly see none in my comments.

If I'm not mistaken, it was you, tkchrist, just the other day yelling at me DO YOU HAVE A FUCKING MENTAL ILLNESS OR SOMETHING?!??
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:10 PM on December 3, 2008


>>we don't hand out bans like candy here. It's never been that way. What we do do is allow folks to call one another out; we give timeouts sometimes if someone is just on a streak; we send email or chat to try and kind of make the "hey, this you-being-a-dick thing is a problem" clear on a personal level; etc.


So all the times you've brought it up with klangston have clearly borne fruit then, because he's not still doing it. Oh, wait.
posted by SaintCynr at 1:12 PM on December 3, 2008


"ploughing"? Am I suddenly English? What the hell.

If you bring the full-time gig, the attitude will follow.
posted by lukemeister at 1:14 PM on December 3, 2008


Then we couldn't really get upset if the place became overrrun with assholes, could we? In fact, why is this post even here discussing it, if the "guidelines" are just window dressing and nothing ever gets done, even when someone has shown over and over and over again that they think the sun shines out of their ass, that the rules don't apply to them, and everyone else who can control themself, or gasp! apologize when they go too far is just a poor dupe for their amusement.

in all honesty, i think you're getting a bit bent out of shape, here. your frustration is totally understandable. I've been there myself, and I've gone way over the line snapping at people out of frustration over precisely what you're describing. But the best sign I can think of for noticing when someone is a mite too annoyed to think clearly about site policy and moderation is when they start using phrases like "nothing ever gets done," and "no one cares."

the fact is that we ARE adults, and like adults we handle things between each other rather than running to the nearest hall monitor to solve all of our problems. sometimes you need the hall monitor, and thankfully they're here for us, but most of the time, just like in real life, we handle our differences face to face (virtually speaking, of course.) do you run to the bartender or bouncer every time someone else at the bar acts like an asshole and demand that they be ejected from the premises? did you run to the teacher every time someone called you a name? do you go to your boss every time someone treads on your territory at the office? of course not. the very fact that we try to behave like adults here is part of why we have guidelines instead of rules, and moderators instead of police. adults get angry. adults act poorly. adults can be dicks. and adults deal with these things themselves before they insist on administrative action.
posted by shmegegge at 1:14 PM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


out of curiosity, is there a single comment someone can point me to that started the whole "you know who else..." hitler thingy?

You know who made that first comment? That's right... Hitler.


You know who else likes trimming his moustache down to a little Chaplin lipwarmer and marching around in jodpurs and jack boots? Yeah, that's right, me

-posted by Hitler at 4:20 PM on April 20 [16 favorite +][!]
posted by Pollomacho at 1:15 PM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


not really very impressive for a community of supposedly enlightened and intelligent adults for the children in grown-up bodies to have the run of the place with no ramification. But I know, no one cares, and it's just the way things are, and I should get used to those who talk the loudest and treat others poorly being somehow given a pass.

Maybe this is just my alcoholic-parent rationalization here, but I can't make him be different. I can have a nice back and forth talk with klang (for example) and tell him to tone it down and that it's a problem and he sucks at Scrabble and he usually does and that's that. Then it ramps up again at a later time.

For you to imply that we're "doing nothing" is either a willful misunderstanding of what we've been saying here, or just a different interpretation of nothing than I'm used to. We try not to ban people when we think there are better ways to accomplish the same ends. We only ban people who we think are incapable of playing nice with others most of the time.

Both klang and tkchrist are far far more signal than noise and we think that's valuable so we work extra hard to try to get them to act decently on the site most of the time. We also hope that people can handle it if they're not always able to keep it in line.

So yes, we'd like them to be decent. We also would like other people to be forgiving when they're not. That seems fair.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:16 PM on December 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


That crazt fuckign German is totally biting my style.

-posted by LittleTramp at 4:21 PM on April 20 [120 favortie +][!]
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:18 PM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


SaintCynr: "Klangston has been a jerk to, what, like everyone on this site now? Why is this continually tolerated?"

Because not everyone (not even in this thread; not even some people he has fought with) think that his behavior is totally out of line. The general pattern is usually that someone says something stupid, he calls them out on saying something stupid, they get offended/defensive about being called stupid, and he hulks out into full-on "fuck you, you're an idiot" mode. His arguments are generally smart and informed, only with a lot of profanity and personal attacks thrown in. I actually find it refreshing.

SaintCynr: "Then we couldn't really get upset if the place became overrrun with assholes, could we? In fact, why is this post even here discussing it, if the "guidelines" are just window dressing and nothing ever gets done, even when someone has shown over and over and over again that they think the sun shines out of their ass, that the rules don't apply to them, and everyone else who can control themself, or gasp! apologize when they go too far is just a poor dupe for their amusement."

What rules have been broken? You don't like how he interacts with people. That's not a ban-worthy offense. He has apologized when it's gone too far, and he's said he's been trying to curtail the general fightiness. What would you have the mods do?
posted by team lowkey at 1:19 PM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Funny, shmeggage, I've found that people say things on the internet they'd never say in person. If that doesn't match your experience, I'm all ears as to what I could possibly do to encourage someone else to act like an adult instead of a self-absorbed shithouse Caesar. Because really, asking nicely has been sooooo succesful.
posted by SaintCynr at 1:19 PM on December 3, 2008


1. There are two Minnesota beers that can only be consumed ironically: Pugs Eye and Grain Belt.

No way. Not that Grain Belt's great, but it's totally possible to enjoy it unironically as a better-than-average cheap beer. Pig's Eye, yeah sure.

2. Not only am I holding a gun in my profile picture, the gun in question has a bayonet attached. No man can stop me.
posted by COBRA! at 1:22 PM on December 3, 2008


Like my grandma used to say: I once wanted a new pair of fancy pants, until I saw a man wearing culottes.
Mrs. Seinfeld: Jerry?

Jerry: Ma, it's not true!

Mr. Seinfeld: It's those damn culottes you made him wear when he was five!

Mrs. S: They weren't culottes, they were shorts.

Mr. S: They were culottes! You bought them in the girl's department.

Mrs. S: By mistake! By mistake, Jerry! I'm sorry!

Mr. S: It looked like he was wearing a skirt, for crying out loud!

Jerry: Ma, it has nothing to do with the culottes!

Mrs. S: Not that there's anything wrong with that, Jerry.
posted by ericb at 1:24 PM on December 3, 2008


Clearly, wanting civility is stupid, as some you are currently saying. Silly me.
posted by SaintCynr at 1:24 PM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I ain't seeing no liquor in that profile pic. Guns and liquor go together like children and running and steak knives!
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:24 PM on December 3, 2008


That beerhall putsch was totally meant ironicaly, and they lock me up! Fucking fascists.

-posted by Hitler 5:21 PM on November 9 [5 favorties +][!]
posted by Artw at 1:26 PM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


"ploughing"? Am I suddenly English? What the hell.

Oh, quit your whinging.
posted by deborah at 1:28 PM on December 3, 2008


I promise to not drop a incendiary snarky line I suspect might set off the emotionally unstable or grudge holding members of the site.

Okay that WAS a dick move. I should not have wrote it. I'm sorry and you can nuke it.

but you're one of the ones I would think would have a bit more meta-insight into the patterns that everyone falls into around here

One would think, huh. Every time I try to get out. They pull me back in.

Jess, I know I'm fighty. You know I really DO like people. I'm not looking to make enemies and I care what people think of me. I really do. I certainly don't enjoy hurting peoples feelings. I'm very sorry when ever that happens.

It's just that I'm not all that bright. Despite my thickness it's obvious to me there are number of people here who simply do not make the same effort at in making the nice after or during those human moments. And I simply don't know, in this medium, what to do.

Overwhelmingly though most of the input I receive from here is friendly, positive, and productive. Sometimes too flattering. Not that it should ever stop. I SAID NOT THAT IT SHOULD STOP.
posted by tkchrist at 1:28 PM on December 3, 2008


That's just so rich, coming from you.

I will not take that thing from his hand, and I suggest others do the same.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:31 PM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think it's the guidelines being under the comment box and making it seem like they matter or something that has caused confusion and distress.

Maybe those should be adjusted to set expectations more appropriately?

For those who haven't read them over in a while:
"Note: Help maintain a healthy, respectful discussion by focusing comments on the
issues, topics, and facts at hand—not at other members of the site.
"
posted by batmonkey at 1:31 PM on December 3, 2008


a hollow voice says, "plough"
posted by stubby phillips at 1:32 PM on December 3, 2008


I'm all ears as to what I could possibly do to encourage someone else to act like an adult instead of a self-absorbed shithouse Caesar. Because really, asking nicely has been sooooo succesful.

hang on a sec while I break out my sarcasm flow chart...

okay, you're saying asking people not to be dicks nicely has not been successful, so you think that... i guess you believe that hardline moderation and more frequent bannings are the solution? I'm going to assume that the sarcastic implication that I am somehow being stupid and/or ridiculous to disagree is unintentional.

so, obviously I disagree. I can't say that I recall what efforts you've made to address rude behavior on the site, but let's assume that as you say it hasn't worked. I'm inclined to believe that while small battles may be lost here or there, overall the war against total cockbaggery is going in the favor of civility on this site, at least as far in civility's favor as it can go. I'm not sure if you have other sites you frequent where heavy handed moderation and stricter rulesets has resulted in a better discourse than the one we have here, but in all honesty, metafilter is the best discussion i know of on the web. yes, it gets heated, and yes people sometimes act like children, but overall the combination of self-policing and moderation by guideline has, I think, resulted in a really uniquely excellent level of discourse by internet standards. So yeah, I disagree and I'd say that our method (which is not really well described by "asking nicely.") has been successful. I'm sorry if you don't think it has. Klang does have a reputation as one of the nastier members of the site when he wants to be, but he has also recognized, publicly and (as I've heard) privately that he needs to work on it and he has gotten better. so yeah, success. progress. I'm sorry you don't see it.

and just to repeat myself a bit: I'd strongly consider taking a breather if I were you. since we're talking about civil disagreements and acting like adults, I think it's worth pointing out that I'm not exactly imagining an adult saying "Because really, asking nicely has been sooooo succesful."
posted by shmegegge at 1:34 PM on December 3, 2008


Funny, shmeggage, I've found that people say things on the internet they'd never say in person.

Making sure people say only those things that they would say in person is not the primary goal around here. I'm satisfied if the people here are generally better behaved and more genuinely communicative with one another than the baseline internet bullshit that goes on out in the wilds of the blogosphere and forum territory. And I think we're beating that by a significant margin, which is one of the reasons I like it here so much.

Fact is, this is a great big site full of all kinds of people with all kinds of personalities and experiences and motivations and discursive tendencies. In the normal mix there's going to be occasional spikes on every discrete vector of personality, and that includes people occasionally acting like assholes despite having generally good intentions. Different people are going to have differing opinions of what the threshold of "out of hand" is, and I can totally appreciate that and we may just disagree on what that threshold is, but that's always going to be a problem.

I get pretty turned off by moderation that extends into "I don't like your tone, fella" as the justification for giving someone the boot. It breeds I think a kind of ideological insularity that is pretty antithetical to the general big-mix-of-everybody spirit of metafilter, and I find that even sites populated by smart, funny, likeable people don't keep my interest if they also have that sort of attitude toward moderation, that shoot-first-rationalize-later take on bans for bad behavior. I don't like the idea of metafilter abandoning its focus on self-policing in favor of that sort of nanny-state model. I'd sooner tell someone they're being an asshole and ask them to cut it out.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:35 PM on December 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


tkchrist, you were fighty and condescending to me once, but if you buy me a Pig's Eye and/or a pug's eye (attached to a pug), I will let it slide. Also it would help if you posed with a gun.
posted by Evangeline at 1:40 PM on December 3, 2008


cortex: what about deleting comments that break the stated guidelines?

I'm with you on nanny-bans being extreme, but it does seem that a lot of the "HEY, STUPID! YES, YOU!" stuff could be dumped without harming the flow. In fact, it could make it better. Maybe.
posted by batmonkey at 1:40 PM on December 3, 2008


If I'm not mistaken, it was you, tkchrist, just the other day yelling at me DO YOU HAVE A FUCKING MENTAL ILLNESS OR SOMETHING?!??

Do you REALLY want to do this? Really?

I didn't yell. I said, without caps, "I'm starting to think you're fucking mental ill or something."

Ironically it was you that then said that in fact you DO have a mental illness.
After, you know, you making a pretty terrible series of jokes about Israelis who were in the process of being held hostage and murdered. Comments later deleted by the mods.

I was sincerely wondering why you were acting like a complete and total ass despite the hours that went by and the repeated restraint showed to you before that comment. You essentially forced people to blow up at you to get you to stop. It was, and remains, a very unbalanced moment for you.
Anyway. I think it was explained to you, right? Like by ten different people. Including two moderators. I thought you agreed in that MeTa that it was the last we would speak of it.

Why are YOU playing a victim here? I notice you keep bringing it up since in several drive by comments in several threads. Including this one. I think you better move on. Let it go.
posted by tkchrist at 1:43 PM on December 3, 2008


tkchrist, you were fighty and condescending to me once, but if you buy me a Pig's Eye and/or a pug's eye (attached to a pug), I will let it slide. Also it would help if you posed with a gun.

Was it about Puritanism? Didn't I apologies? Okay. Yeah. That was a dumb fight for sure. Sorry about that. I think that was a very bad month.
posted by tkchrist at 1:45 PM on December 3, 2008


First you say: I disagree that I did that. But. Okay. I guess I should weed through comments (even the belligerent noise) more carefully next time.

And then you say: Any way it might be moot. I found mondo meta as my "solution." So I have kill-filed all the problem children. Least I think it works.

The fact that you would do that, and then brag about it, is just more evidence that your overall attitude is "You don't matter to me enough for me to actually figure out what you're saying." But perhaps you'll never know I mentioned it.
posted by anotherpanacea at 1:48 PM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


It was something like that, and the funny thing is, I think at heart we were pretty much in agreement. And it was partially my fault. I'm overly sensitive to criticism, and generally try to stay away from the more contentious threads.

But I still want the beer.
posted by Evangeline at 1:51 PM on December 3, 2008


Man, I'm still freaked out to learn that salt raises the boiling point of water. That makes no sense to me, based on my lifelong observations: water in a pan on the stove is hot, and not even close to boiling. I add salt, and it's immediately boiling. Ergo, the salt lowered the boiling point. WTF?
posted by mullingitover at 1:54 PM on December 3, 2008


>>I'd sooner tell someone they're being an asshole and ask them to cut it out.

Which, again, has been really, really efficacious. Pretty please, stop breaking the guidelines?!
posted by SaintCynr at 1:55 PM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Man, everybody yellin' at everybody in here. In the spirit of the season, fuck you artw, ya English poof!
posted by Mister_A at 1:56 PM on December 3, 2008


I think Metafilter has a quite high signal-to-noise ratio. So yes, very effective.
posted by ryanrs at 1:57 PM on December 3, 2008


mullingitover, SALT MAKES THE WATER MORE STICK-TOGETHER-Y, YOU FUCKING VEGAN RETARD!

I think I'm getting the hang of this.
posted by Mister_A at 1:57 PM on December 3, 2008


Thank you! Finally some recognition.

...and fuck you all!
posted by Artw at 1:58 PM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


At first I was bummed that I missed most of the bartender thread, and then I was bummed that I was reading that one and this one to catch up instead of participating, but now I'm glad.

What I really want to know is, does that old guy in Thank You For Smoking really have a legit claim about crushing the mint on an ice-cube? Also, why the hell would Fidel Castro know the secret to a good mint-julep?
posted by solipsophistocracy at 1:58 PM on December 3, 2008


The fact that you would do that, and then brag about it, is just more evidence that your overall attitude is "You don't matter to me enough for me to actually figure out what you're saying." But perhaps you'll never know I mentioned it.

I really did consider what you said up thread.

But now? I have every right to ignore anybody who has, since the very start, been belligerent and grudgy to me. Or for what ever reason I want. I can ignore any topic, thread or poster I want. What business is it of yours.

You don't see the slightest irony or inconsistency that you are not extending me the same courtesy that you demand I extend? Characterizing it as bragging? Yeah, that's what I was doing.

What is your problem? Did I do something to you?
posted by tkchrist at 2:03 PM on December 3, 2008


Pretty please, stop breaking the guidelines?!

The guidelines don't say "don't be a prick or you're out of here." I'm sure there are people who don't appreciate or enjoy compulsive jokesters like me, and they have every right to be annoyed by it. I get annoyed by myself sometimes. But dealing with people who have communication styles that you find obnoxious just sort of goes with the territory. And, like some others, I find a little bit of unadorned, saracasm-laden, potty mouthed straight talk can be bracing sometimes, even when I am on the receiving end of it.

But, then, sometimes I like it a little rough.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:03 PM on December 3, 2008


what about deleting comments that break the stated guidelines?

We do that, but it's always going to be a (see above) compromise and folks are never going to entirely agree on what the proper threshold of unacceptable behavior is. What we do is aim for a balance of removing stuff that is going to cause problems by its continued existence that outweigh the long-memory, own-your-words benefit of having bad behavior on the record.

That remains a bit of a gut call that depends a lot on the situation, of course, but if it's a question of e.g. a pissing match rather than someone truly and deeply flipping out, we're generally more concerned with seeing a cessation (or at least relocation) of the hostilities than in pretending that it never happened. The stuff that really needs deleting by our usual metric is the stuff that is going to continue causing headaches and drawing piles of flags and email just by being there in the thread, usually.

It can also depend on whether it is happening or has already happened; if it's low-grade dickery and the culprit(s) already cut that shit out by the time we see it and there's no ongoing derail, we're going to look at the delete button more conservatively than when we land on the scene mid-mudfight.

Which, again, has been really, really efficacious. Pretty please, stop breaking the guidelines?!

It actually has been, if you're willing to accept "steady progress and improvement over time" as a goal rather than "no one here is ever the least bit impolite". People who care about being good faith members here tend to respond in good faith to requests to cool it or tone it down. They're not perfect about it, they relapse or have bad days or whatever, but, yes, I've seen a lot of people display a capacity to improve their behavior.

The ones who care more about just 100% letting their junk hang out than they do about meeting us halfway are the ones who tend to, by and large, wander off or manage to earn one of the rare permabans-for-bad-behavior we dispense.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:06 PM on December 3, 2008


It was something like that, and the funny thing is, I think at heart we were pretty much in agreement.

In my family (otherwise known as the Nietzsche Family) it was considered to productive to begin every disagreement with:

"You know what your problem is..."

Evangeline, you know what your problem is? Other than being overly sensitive to criticism. It's that you are way too awesome. Cut it out.
posted by tkchrist at 2:08 PM on December 3, 2008


BTW I am not calling for a ban of anybody.

Just for somebody to complete me as a person, hold me close, and tell me I'm a special snowflake.
posted by tkchrist at 2:09 PM on December 3, 2008


Actually my real problem is that I have a bunion on my big right toe that is KILLING me, but thank you.
posted by Evangeline at 2:11 PM on December 3, 2008


::holds tkchrist close, tell him he's a special snowflake::
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:11 PM on December 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Sometimes I imagine MeFites out in the snow, mocking each and every snowflake for thinking it is special.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:14 PM on December 3, 2008 [11 favorites]


::holds tkchrist close, tell him he's a special snowflake::


mmmmmm... your fabric softener smells nice... mmmmmm
posted by tkchrist at 2:20 PM on December 3, 2008


"I really want my own pissing contest with AZ."

It's a big state. Are you sure you're up to it?
posted by An Infinity Of Monkeys at 2:22 PM on December 3, 2008


In my family (otherwise known as the Nietzsche Family) it was considered to productive to begin every disagreement with: "You know what your problem is..." For example:

In mine you begin every argument with "That's not the point..."

Me: "You should always crush the mint leaves."
They: "That's not the point. The point is that you're being a dickhead."

or

Me: "You were very nasty to me in our last argument."
They: "That's not the point. The point is that YOU were being nasty to ME in our last argument."

or

Me: "I think that Arendt's banality of evil thesis, while not applicable in all cases - as Goldhagen's contrary thesis indicates - deserves preservation as a caution against the dehumanizing tendencies of modern bureaucracies."
They: "That's not the point. The point is that you are as mean and uncaring as Hitler."

Its surprisingly effective.
posted by googly at 2:25 PM on December 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


I can't help but wonder why klang hasn't made an appearance in this thread. I wonder if he's just sitting back with a beer reading this and laughing at us poor peons.

I think I've brought up beer in every other comment, which clearly means it's time for me to get out of here and go get one.
posted by Evangeline at 2:25 PM on December 3, 2008


I think maybe you guys are being a bit too tolerant, though. Wouldn't it be nice to not have to deal with threads like this because someone's lowest-common-denominator insultfest was deleted?

There's no harm I can see - absolutely zero - in taking the whole "don't insult other members" thing more seriously. Banning, sure, that should be very rare. But once people are name-calling and impugning character, it degrades the experience for everyone who isn't into watching angry people get their bash on. And there are a lot of people who get absolutely no thrill from that sort of thing. In fact, it kind of ruins a lot of good stuff, so it's exhausting, annoying, and senseless to see other adults making excuses for it.

I used to work at a grocery store. We had this older woman who would come in a couple of times a week and have absolutely insane diarrhea in one of our two restroom stalls. I mean explosions - it would be on the floor, the toilet tank, the walls, and sometimes even the stall door. And, if she stepped in it, anywhere she went after that until it dried or completely transferred.

No matter how nice she was - and, man, I'm telling you, she was one of our nicest customers - we couldn't let her continue smearing shit all over the place for various (hopefully obvious) reasons. The biggest was, of course, health code stuff, but the next in line was the comfort of other patrons. They tend to not like shit all over their grocery stores. So we had to institute a "key request" system for customer use of the restrooms. The shitfest ended. In fact, she quit coming to our store. Our suspicion was that she had somehow felt we were okay with cleaning up the mess and that she was getting away with it, making that nice old lady seem a lot less nice in retrospect.

What I'm saying via lengthy anecdote is the comments that resort to attacks, insults, name-calling, and the rest of that are shit smeared all over the walls of MetaFilter, and it seems some folks are finding themselves tired of having to put up with it. When they complain, the response is clearly tilted toward MetaFilter finding it more okay to be a dick than to be tired of dickishness. It rewards assholish behaviour while punishing those who strive to be otherwise. Which is kind of a shame, when you think about it.

And, hey, if that's how MeFi rolls, then it's probably appropriate for those who find it distasteful to wander off. It's just sad to me to see the less bombastic people pushed away.
posted by batmonkey at 2:33 PM on December 3, 2008 [10 favorites]


I can't help but wonder why klang hasn't made an appearance in this thread.

there's a secret mefite trick where, if you're called out, you don't make an appearance for a good long while, if at all. Almost every callout will have sufficient backlash to make the caller outer the target of community ire, so long as the original target doesn't show up. tkchrist managed, so far, to keep things from backlashing too hard in his direction, but it happened here a little bit, too. the worst thing you can do, if you've been called out, is to come into the thread swinging. usually, someone else will come along and do your defending for you.
posted by shmegegge at 2:34 PM on December 3, 2008 [14 favorites]


Is there no anecdote-to-analogy that diarrhea by old ladies won't perfectly full fill.
posted by tkchrist at 2:35 PM on December 3, 2008


If there is, tkchrist, I haven't found it.

But I will keep trying.
posted by batmonkey at 2:44 PM on December 3, 2008


I think maybe you guys are being a bit too tolerant, though. Wouldn't it be nice to not have to deal with threads like this because someone's lowest-common-denominator insultfest was deleted?

What would be nice is if all comments were either

- useful, or
- insults

and not both. What would also be useful is if comments that were just insults could be removed before they became back and forth insults. What would also be nice is if it was clear "who started it" so that we could only delete those comments that were insulting which happened after someone "started it" Alas, my perfect world this isn't. We have two full time mods and a hands-off approach to dealing with stuff on the site and this is the side we err on.

MetaTalk and this sort of airing of grievances is actually part of how the site is supposed to work. So, no, there's not really a sense in which I don't want to deal with this sort of thing. What I prefer is dealing with this sort of thing here rather than in the thread.

And, honestly, these sort of dustups -- ones that are a big enough deal to result in emails and MeTa threads -- are RARE. Rare enough that we feel that more deletions would likely engender more ill will than they would spare. People dislike getting their comments deleted and, in MeFi especially, we dislike deleting them. It's hard to draw a clear "don't be a jerk" line and so it means more judgement calls and more "I disagree with your judgement call" fights.

Yeah there's a sense in which this does preference the belligerent over the easily offended. However, there is also a sense in which people can not get embroiled in these sorts of things and I feel that they literally won't be affected. Plus there's AskMe where this sort of shit almost never flies.

But, seriously, there's "hey fuck you you fucking asshole fuck, you" and then there's "Oh excuse me for living obviously you have everyone's BEST interests at heart" sort of sneering passive aggressive sarcasm. For many people, one of these sorts of approaches to conflict is the one they are more used to and/or the one they respond to viscerally. We-the-mods may be unusual in that I think while we don't like the snarling and the swearing fighty stuff, we're also pretty turned off by what seems to be dishonest sarcasm which is somehow pretending to not be similarly aggressive and/or hurtful.

So, no, we've thought about that approach and decided that it's not really the way we want to go. There's collateral damage no matter what direction we choose and I'm always at least somewhat sad to see people leave but sometimes it also seems that people expect this place to be something it's not. I feel like our main job is to set expectations properly, not necessarily make it a place free from conflict even if that conflict at times gets heated.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:48 PM on December 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


The rabbi of Dubnow was famous for his parables. Whatever the question, he had a parable that perfectly matched it. His students once asked him how he did this. "I will answer your question with a parable," he said.

"There was a man who was a famous archer. If there was a target made of a circle of smeared feces, he would always hit it right in the middle. One day, he was asked how he did this.

"'It's simple,' he said. "I shoot the arrow. Wherever it hits, I go to it, bring and old lady, and use her diarrhea to smear feces around the arrow."







Come to think of it, I might not have gotten that story exactly right.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:49 PM on December 3, 2008 [5 favorites]


there's a secret mefite trick where, if you're called out, you don't make an appearance for a good long while, if at all. Almost every callout will have sufficient backlash to make the caller outer the target of community ire, so long as the original target doesn't show up.

Yes. I fully considered this. Having been on the other end and understanding the strategic necessity of watching which way the wind blows.

But you know in this case, as ill-conceived as the specifics of the call-out may have been (and trust me I do recognize it), I was thinking we needed a civility discussion anyway. Nothing between any of use exists in a vacuum.

Yeah. Not everybody out of 70,000 people are going to love you. (Or hate you).

It's easy to draw the ire of a small percentage. No matter how righteous or idiotic the subject of ANY public "Look at me I'm upset and Look at ME!" type of thing is gonna be. Some people are always gonna take out their knives no matter what. It's just the way people are. And it's not a bad reaction in general. In this case people will feel like they are forced to choose between to members of a community. And many people are, by nature, just going to resent being put in that position. My hope is that now that initial emotional aspect is spent maybe we can move beyond all that.

I try to be as sincere and forth-coming as I possibly can, admit when I'm wrong, but still stick to a core principle. I have faith that if I can demonstrate that I can take it as good as I can receive it, everything will work out okay. Of course things still could go terribly wrong. Depending on the good will of the community and if my gaskets hold.
posted by tkchrist at 2:51 PM on December 3, 2008


Man, I'm still freaked out to learn that salt raises the boiling point of water. That makes no sense to me, based on my lifelong observations: water in a pan on the stove is hot, and not even close to boiling. I add salt, and it's immediately boiling. Ergo, the salt lowered the boiling point. WTF?

You are an excellent observer, mullingitover, and you have the courage of your observations, too.

I heard Peter Barham, author of The Science of Cooking and a physicist, say on an NPR program that salt raises the boiling point of water so slightly that adding enough salt to the water it would make your rice inedible would raise the boiling temperature less than taking the pot with its hot plate off the counter and putting it on the floor would raise it due to the increase in atmospheric pressure from the counter to the floor.

When you are boiling pure water in a clean, smooth pot, the water actually heats above its boiling temperature before it begins to boil because it lacks nucleation centers (a name masquerading as an explanation, perhaps). When it is superheated, you supply nucleation centers when you add the salt, and so it starts boiling instantly.
posted by jamjam at 2:57 PM on December 3, 2008 [8 favorites]


When they complain, the response is clearly tilted toward MetaFilter finding it more okay to be a dick than to be tired of dickishness.

Well, but that's not necessarily so. In this case, we have a callout by tkchrist when he himself had been acting like a dick in the situation for which he was calling out klang, so there's been some blowback on that front.

And that's not a super rare occurrence, where someone couches a reasonable point of etiquette here swaddled in their own bad behavior (either from the situation they're noting, or in the presentation of the callout itself) and so it can be hard to cleanly separate the two. People can have a point and still behave badly in one sense or another themselves in trying to make it, and a certain (usually temporary) blindness to this on the part of the person stating their case can lead to a sort of inversion of what they expected to result from their post. See what Jess just said about this not being a perfect world that way.

If what you mean instead is e.g. SaintCyr's complaints here, I think it's a bit different but the same dynamic applies—arch sarcasm while hammering a point repeatedly and basically dismissing whatever we have to say is not a good way to have a conversation about this stuff. It's a conversation I don't mind having, and I don't even disagree with the spirit of it at all—I've been pretty clear on many occasions, as have Matt and Jess, that we don't consider the dickishness that crops on the site as a feature so much as just not-a-bug. I'd rather people not be dicks; I'm just not comfortable with the idea of setting the bar for punitive action as low as I think some folks are asking.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:58 PM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hardly a day goes by that I don't feel inadequate for not being a 600 ft tall giant that can stomp on crowds of people and be amused by their faraway screams.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:11 PM on December 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Jessamyn:
"Yeah there's a sense in which this does preference the belligerent over the easily offended. However, there is also a sense in which people can not get embroiled in these sorts of things and I feel that they literally won't be affected."

If you're trying to read a thread and you're suddenly having to pick through someone's road apples of personalised anger, that's not getting embroiled. I say this as someone who has dropped my own road apples in my time here.

Anyway. Everything in the world, just about, caters to the belligerent and offensive, the aggressive and loud. I imagine it's incredibly disheartening to those who are not that way to see it accepted when they spend a lot of time worrying about their own responses to things, learning to modulate their communication, and working to be in accord with community guidelines.

It must feel very personal to them to do all of that and then see other people "get away" with antisocial behaviour. It may be simply demoralising in a world that's already pretty rough, or felt as a direct insult. I think that is literally affecting, based on additional stress and anxiety for those who don't deal with things by getting their hate on.

It seems reasonable to me to be more firm with those who increase stress and anxiety with their antisocial behaviour, because they are clearly less vulnerable and feel that words online are meaningless. No harm done, and maybe a nice thing to do for people who don't get much consideration on this planet.
posted by batmonkey at 3:14 PM on December 3, 2008 [5 favorites]


It must feel very personal to them to do all of that and then see other people "get away" with antisocial behaviour. It may be simply demoralising in a world that's already pretty rough, or felt as a direct insult. I think that is literally affecting, based on additional stress and anxiety for those who don't deal with things by getting their hate on.

Which is an understandable sort of reaction, that frustration, but a social contract based on the notion that you should be well-behaved only because you expect that other people must be is kind of a house of cards. Moderating your own behavior and not being a jerk is something you ought to do because it's the right way to be, not because you think it somehow obliges other people to do the same. If everyone is only being polite because they're satisfied that others are being sufficiently polite as well, all it takes is one person stepping out of line and all of a sudden everybody goes nuclear.

If you're moderating your behavior because you just know it's how you should be, you have added some net value to the idea of civility where you spend your time, because (a) you're refusing to participate in the crappy behavior and thereby (b) refusing to perpetuate a crappy dynamic with someone who seems to be starting some shit up, and (c) you're actually setting a good example for the rest of the community. That's all good stuff, and I think that's what a lot of people are doing here all the time, whether by reasonably calling bad actors on their behavior or by flagging and moving on with the quality discussion that said bad actors have dropped an otherwise potentially distracting crap in.

It seems reasonable to me to be more firm with those who increase stress and anxiety with their antisocial behaviour, because they are clearly less vulnerable and feel that words online are meaningless. No harm done, and maybe a nice thing to do for people who don't get much consideration on this planet.

Which comes back to the question of what "being more firm" is supposed to look like. It's not going to be a big uptick in bannings; much of the actual being-firm that we do is behind the scenes via private communication, so it's not really visible and generally speaking shouldn't be; and we have in Metatalk a venue where, specifically, folks can and always have been able to publicly address what they see as specific over-the-line examples of bad behavior from fellow mefites that needs addressing. What's the notional change that would be implemented, basically, is my question, if it's not "ban people for being jerks"?
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:29 PM on December 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


I can't help but wonder why klang hasn't made an appearance in this thread.

Are you kidding? This is the most hilarious callout in weeks. It doesn't take shmegegge's secret trick to figure out there was more to gain by watching tkchrist flail around endlessly, flinging relentless and increasingly convoluted rationalizations in all directions, than bothering to engage him in his current state. Three cheers for a rare instance of restraint on klang's part; let's hope the obvious usefulness of the approach here will encourage him to try it again - often - in the future.
posted by mediareport at 3:36 PM on December 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


What's the notional change that would be implemented, basically, is my question, if it's not "ban people for being jerks"?

A simple day off for both of them would have avoided a whole mess of unproductive drama.
posted by mediareport at 3:41 PM on December 3, 2008


Why are YOU playing a victim here?

meh, only pointing out a hypocrisy on your part. you come here whining that people should behave civilly & communicate like adults, yet in that case i believe it was you, and you alone, who was being over-the-top aggressive & totally uncivil.

not that it matters all that much; i just assumed you were drunk & bored on thanksgiving - numerous typos supported this assumption.

and i'm not sure about those "several drive-by comments in several threads" - i was actually biting my tongue so hard in the bartender-hates-you thread that i almost took it clean off, until gman brought up the topic of a certain subsection of the world's population (who shall remain nameless) in the grey & i jokingly responded.

you will recall, of course, that it was gman himself who banned a certain group of people of his own ethnic background from his own restaurant set up originally to cater specifically for such people, so that was a joke that he totally set up & would presumably have appreciated.

so, in summary, ner ner ner ner ner, smellypants!
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:42 PM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Fancy pants? Fancy PANTS?! What about fancy SKIRTS? It's always such a freaking boyzone around here.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:47 PM on December 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


How is it that we are 250 comments into this thread and no one has yet made the obvious "tkchrist, what an asshole" joke?
posted by googly at 3:54 PM on December 3, 2008


WE WERE TRYING TO BE CIVIL, NUMBNUTS!
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:55 PM on December 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


OH BAY-BEE YOU...you got what I nee-eed...but you say he's just a friend, you say he's just a friend...
posted by davejay at 4:02 PM on December 3, 2008


can't say FANCYSKIRTS for fear of offending the Angry Feminist Lesbians (c) Amanda Palmer 2008
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:04 PM on December 3, 2008


cortex:
"Moderating your own behavior and not being a jerk is something you ought to do because it's the right way to be, not because you think it somehow obliges other people to do the same."

I promise you I'm not saying otherwise. Nor am I saying that those who find this sort of kerfuffle tiring enough to absent themselves (Telf, for example) are only showing socialised behaviour because they're supposed to, rather that when folks spend time caring about that sort of thing they get a bit more bent out of shape by those who don't simply because they do care.

"What's the notional change that would be implemented, basically, is my question, if it's not "ban people for being jerks"?"

Just to be clear, I'm with you on banning being something that should be used rarely and only to the greatest effect (I also think that ban request was emotional hot-headedness, but I guess I'll find out if I'm wrong about that).

Personally (and I think you can attest to this based on dealing with me in past threads, if any of that even sticks in your memory with all else that goes on here (and I must say I really hope it doesn't, even if that would be handy)), I think that if someone takes the ballistic tack, they're negating the usefulness of the rest of their reply. People are going to be responding to the negative instead of the useful, factual, or interesting. That's why I'm in favour of the deleting. If you've contaminated your comment with drek, make it again without the drek.

I get what Jessamyn is saying about it being difficult to pick which things to delete if someone is mixing insults with less useless output. Further, I'm one of those people who prefers to see the full spectrum of each of the people around me, because more info is better. AND, I dislike those "omg, that's censorship!" shenanigans that spring up when anything is deleted. PLUS, I'm personally a fan of the type of hashing out that MeTa allows.

Still, though, there are those folks who are having to put up with other people's shit in a place that shouldn't be stressful, and others have been lost and that makes me want to solve things. Personally, I don't know what to do. I still like making the deletions a bit more aggressive versus aggression, but appreciate the difficulties that causes for you guys.

Is there a way to put the onus on those who get fighty instead of on those who are alarmed by fightiness in a social setting or putting more on the shoulders of the mods?

Maybe there should be a MetaFilter Thunderdome! Two users go in, one user comes out!
posted by batmonkey at 4:11 PM on December 3, 2008


Hi, Dios!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:30 PM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


For the record, I like AZ, and any pissing contests we get into are good-natured. And I like klang, too. and tk. Fell the love, gents.
posted by jonmc at 4:40 PM on December 3, 2008


That's why I'm in favour of the deleting. If you've contaminated your comment with drek, make it again without the drek.

Yeah, I hear you. And that's more or less how it works on AskMe, really, to an extent that doesn't apply to the blue or the grey, but that cuts somewhat to the point: there's a specific goal of utility, and a corresponding legitimate need I think for a degree of social "safety", on the green, where the cost of jerkish behavior is more direct and more profound than on mefi proper or metatalk.

In the latter cases, threads serve as a loose social and conversational nexus/outlet (to complement web content on the blue; to complement metacommentary/policy/organization/feedback content on the grey), and I think it's true that there's a degree what you could characterize as "...Stay Out Of the Kitchen" caveat emptor stuff going on there as a result. I want people to feel reasonably comfortable on mefi—certainly I don't like the idea of someone being run off by a screaming crowd just for the lulz, etc—but the site has always had a fairly strong tendency towards vigorous argument and speaking one's mind, and the balance between trying to keep it from being overtly hostile and avoiding the imposition of an overbearing Nice filter is, yeah, the key thing here.

I may just be saying that I sympathize while disagreeing about some of the degree/execution details again, here. But basically I do totally understand where you're coming from and I think we mostly agree.

Is there a way to put the onus on those who get fighty instead of on those who are alarmed by fightiness in a social setting or putting more on the shoulders of the mods?

Well, there's no way to just magically cause them to decide that the onus is on them, of course; putting it on the more less requires that someone do the putting, which is where I think we are by default already. Flag problematic stuff. Send someone a polite email asking them to chill out. Drop us a line in the contact form. Take it to metatalk if it needs it, and maybe earlier rather than later if possible so things don't develop badly. All of these are ways that folks can do exactly that: put it on the person behaving badly, help us be aware that something is going on as soon as possible, etc.

A simple day off for both of them would have avoided a whole mess of unproductive drama.

If by unproductive drama you mean this thread itself, I can't really agree that this is something a timeout would be a fit preventative tool for. This is what Metatalk is for, and tkchrist wasn't abusing the guidelines by posting it. I don't think it was a particularly good callout as initially presented, but it's totally kosher.

If by unproductive drama you mean what happened in the thread after the comment tkchrist called out, there wasn't any there that I can see; it appears that they both cooled it and tkchrist directed his spare energy on the subject over here. Again: problem solves itself.

If one of them was wigging out and not letting up and we were heading to bed, you can bet that'd be a timeout, but this is a case where I think it's easier to suggest a punitive timeout as being somehow a good idea than it is to apply that thinking to the scale of the site as a whole and justify the ramifications of such a big shift in account management policy, you know?
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:51 PM on December 3, 2008


Hi, Dios!

What?
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:53 PM on December 3, 2008


Hi, Dios MPDSEA!

there you go
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:57 PM on December 3, 2008


I feel the need to point out that in my profile pic I'm not wearing any pants, the large bottle of booze is inside me where it belongs and I HAVE DEADLY FUCKING LASER BEAMS OF SPITE SHOOTING OUT OF MY HEAD AIMED AT YOUR BIG STUPID FACE MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Can I still have a hug?
posted by loquacious at 5:04 PM on December 3, 2008


The thing is, a Thunderdome smackdown draws a big crowd. I realise the reference was lighthearted, and I hear what you're saying, batmonkey, especially about diarrhea: wow, lay off the metamucil, granny! But I also believe that meting out justice in a really satisfying way would be tough, in most cases. Public disgrace is celebrity in another guise, and screening out every overtly or passively aggressive post would require a lot more resources than are presently supported by my $5 and advertising revenue. (Disclaimer: Mutant could assess the financial situation much more lucidly than me).

Assholitude is probably recognised by the MeFite population and causes silent eye-rolling or mouse-scrolling past comments of repeat offenders. I honestly believe it would be hard to withhold a key in this instance, or to limit sales of grapenuts, quaker oats, broccoli, if we're staying with the dietary analogy. Everyone needs a hug, but you don't have to hug them if they're shitty. I'm glad we have some guidelines and mods to keep things clean(ish), but they're just guidelines. I can't think of a solution apart from humour +/or a cathartic brawl in MeTa.
posted by woodway at 5:04 PM on December 3, 2008


I HAVE DEADLY FUCKING LASER BEAMS OF SPITE SHOOTING OUT OF MY HEAD AIMED AT YOUR BIG STUPID FACE...

You boys and your toys. Adorable.
posted by Evangeline at 5:18 PM on December 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


I have every right to ignore anybody who has, since the very start, been belligerent and grudgy to me. Or for what ever reason I want. I can ignore any topic, thread or poster I want. What business is it of yours.

Indeed you do have every right to use a killfile: no one can or ought to stop you. However, precisely because it isn't my business, you shouldn't broadcast the names in your killfile, which now undoubtedly include klangklangston. Talking about your killfile is the internet's version of sticking your fingers in your ears and shouting, "Nah, nah, nah! I can't hear you." And while I suppose you're right that that's not quite bragging, since one normally boasts about praiseworthy things, it isn't exactly civil, either.
posted by anotherpanacea at 5:20 PM on December 3, 2008


Both klang and tkchrist are far far more signal than noise and we think that's valuable so we work extra hard to try to get them to act decently on the site most of the time.

This bears repeating.

I'm all for diversity of personal style here, The freakier a mefite, the better, imo, and it's my personal distaste for derision (I see it as only destructive) that gives me the impression that assholes are the worst among us, but if assholeness is judged against and forgiven because of other positive attributes of the charming/handsome/clever/powerful nevertheless assholey asshole, it still remains to be stated that it brings their total value as a community member down some notches, to my way of thinking. We do have community purposes and standards. This isn't your novel, great American misanthropes, it's your coffeeshop, and there are mefites who shine without sharpness, who don't have to be argued about and explained for and cleaned up after by Metafilter's Lee Krasners.

That makes those users better than you at this. Just my opinion.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:52 PM on December 3, 2008 [7 favorites]


yet in that case i believe it was you, and you alone, who was being over-the-top aggressive & totally uncivil.

Well, apart from your whole, "hurf durf, let me tell you how much I hates Jews I hope the terrorists kill them good" schtick.
posted by rodgerd at 6:01 PM on December 3, 2008


rodgerd: not jews. israeli backpackers (actually, more specifically, when they are in groups; solo travellers & couples have always been great, in my experience).

to repeat, criticising the behaviour of english soccer hooligans != hating british citizens != hating all anglo-saxons.

is that simple enough for you to understand or should i model it in Play-Doh?
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:43 PM on December 3, 2008


Fell the love, gents.

I meant feel the love, dammit. Let's leave poor Mr. Roper out of this clusterfuck.
posted by jonmc at 7:06 PM on December 3, 2008


It's threads like these that seriously make me wonder if I should try venturing to meetups. I am finally in a position where I might could go to the next one, but if people can be this big of assholes on the internet, why would I want to meet them in real life? Are you people nice to each other at meet ups or should I just stay home?
posted by silkygreenbelly at 7:42 PM on December 3, 2008


silkygreenbelly,

The people I've met at meetups have been nice. You need to like beer, though.
posted by lukemeister at 7:57 PM on December 3, 2008


In my experience, everyone at meetups is terrific and I've been to quite a few of them.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:03 PM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


but when the cat's away, the mice will play.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:10 PM on December 3, 2008


(only joking; what lukemeister said. i'd say "what jessamyn said" but she's probably been to more meetups than me)
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:11 PM on December 3, 2008


The people I met at the meetup were nice but the bartender was a fucking asshole.
posted by turgid dahlia at 8:29 PM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Fucking cats. Have you seen them at play? It's Chutes and Ladders, Chutes and Ladders, hour after hour of Chutes and Ladders with maybe a single game of Candyland to break things up a little.

Cats are morons at play.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:33 PM on December 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'd like to see the Play-Doh model, please.
posted by HopperFan at 8:47 PM on December 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Mice, in the meanwhile? All Avalon Hill games. Can't get enough of that shit.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:48 PM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


What's all this about a Play-Doh man bris?
posted by Burhanistan at 9:05 PM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, honestly, meetups are the shit. I cannot endorse them heartily enough.

The mice are always like "come on, we can use my parent's basement, I got a brand new Jutland set, we'll use simplified weather tables so it'll go faster".
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:23 PM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Are you people nice to each other at meet ups or should I just stay home?

We are TEN TIMES MEANER in real life. I come home with black eyes.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:25 PM on December 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


All of my meetups have been great. I've met a bunch of folks whom I'm proud and honored to be able to call a friend. I hope they know I'm there for them if they need anything I'm capable of providing.

Of course we don't really talk like this at meetups. I don't actually have laser beams of spite shooting out of my head, usually. So why do some of us talk like this on MetaFilter? I don't know. Maybe the only answer we need is "the internet makes you stupid" and "sometimes it's fun."

But more seriously - this sort of bombastic banter or even openly angry debate is nothing new to the world. It's not just MetaFilter or even just the internet. Iconoclasts, pedants, scholars, philosophers, scientists, artists, cranks, curmudgeons and even outright nutballs have been doing this kind of thing ever since the written word. Later it was the printing press, then news sheets and books, then the postal system, the telegraph and so on right through CB and HAM radio to BBSes and computer networks.

People argue. A lot. Because everyone has an inherently different perspective and experience of everything and because we're not telepathic - and even because more than anything else we're not just tool-users, we're language users.

Arguing and disagreements are an inevitable condition of being thinking, language-using. non-telepathic meat. Practicing and playing at it refines the skills required to argue and debate - as well as to seek compromise and understanding.

It's a miracle - or possibly an evil curse - we ever manage to agree on anything at all.

However, none of this is an excuse to take things too personally or resort to personal attacks. This is the definition of a lack of objectivity, and possibly rationality.
posted by loquacious at 9:30 PM on December 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


So why do some of us talk like this on MetaFilter? I don't know. Maybe the only answer we need is "the internet makes you stupid" and "sometimes it's fun."

It probably goes without saying, but text will always be a terrible medium for real communication. So much is lost without body language and emotive tone that it's surprising people haven't enacted legislation to limit the use of the written word to specific formulae, (or German).
posted by Burhanistan at 9:34 PM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


The people I met at the meetup were nice but the bartender was a fucking asshole.

let me guess - he refused you service because you grabbed his pair of things?
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:42 PM on December 3, 2008


All I want to know is where the hell that Tuscan restaurant that tkchrist was going on about is located? (I'm guessing Serafina?)
posted by P.o.B. at 10:03 PM on December 3, 2008


Jessamyn: I also have a gun in my profile.

I have a bullet hole in my profile.

SaintCynr: Klangston has been a jerk to, what, like everyone on this site now?

When I had a 12-hour layover in L.A. coming from Australia on my way to getting divorced in Providence klang took time out of his day to come meet me, take me to a nice burrito place, then to his neighborhood bar and drive me back to the airport. We had never met before. We've had our differences about stuff, on site and off, but he's never been anything but reasonable to me.

shmegegge: Klang does have a reputation as one of the nastier members of the site when he wants to be, but he has also recognized, publicly and (as I've heard) privately that he needs to work on it and he has gotten better. so yeah, success. progress. I'm sorry you don't see it.

Damn straight!

ryanrs: I think Metafilter has a quite high signal-to-noise ratio.

Some subjects (e.g. vegetarianism, hipsters, race, religion) we don't do so well with. On others we're pretty damn swell. I can't tell you why.

blazecock pileon: Hi, Dios!

cortex: What?

Dios is the past master of sitting out callouts.

jessamyn: In my experience, everyone at meetups is terrific and I've been to quite a few of them.

I haven't met a MeFite (and I've met quite a few) who wasn't very nice in real life. A bit too nice. The danger isn't so much that fights break out but that people get drunk and share very personal details from their lives (this has happened more than once to me at meet-ups).
posted by Kattullus at 10:03 PM on December 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


But on the topic of booze - a bloody mary with about a dessertspoon full of vegemite instead of worcester sauce is about as close to heaven as you can get.

You know what is also good. So, so so good? See, I've always loved Caesars (which are basically more of less Bloody Marys, except with Clamato juice). Last time I went back to Canada for a visit, I was introduced to the practice of stirring in a little pure ground horseradish, about half a teaspoon, into the drink. It is literally the Greatest Thing I Have Ever Tasted, at least cocktailishly speaking.

Of course, the canonical end to that tale is that I can buy neither horseradish nor Clamato in Korea. Sigh.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:07 PM on December 3, 2008


you grabbed his pair of things?

wait - i should phrase that in technical terms so as to avoid any potential misunderstandings:

"du hast der Barmannszweidingebetrunkengefasst?"
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:15 PM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


stavros: what a great idea! i'm totally making a wasabi bloody mary at the first possible opportunity.

the other week i was experimenting with diluting the tomato juice with the tasty leftover liquid from a jar of polski ogorki - salty, vinegary, dilly goodness!

i assume there are no polski ogorki to be found in korea, either, alas.

clamato - hm, sounds interesting. there's a mob in melbourne (USA Foods Australia) who sell it, but it's not at all cheap. i wonder if i could get by with adding a bit of anchovy instead...?
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:21 PM on December 3, 2008


Klang is a pocket protectored, 98 pound, sand-kicked-in-the-face baby man next to yours truly.

Real beards don't have to hide behind guns.

My issue is that you come in here like you've found jesus or AA

Doubtful since I'm probably on the kill-list, but I appreciate being included in such distinguished company (Another beard that didn't need to hide behind a gun, I might add).

MeFi Fun Fact #2753: I am contractually bound to make a lame comment or pun in any thread involving Alcoholics Anonymous or improperly rendered & amp; characters. Matt said so.
The lame comments and puns I make in other threads? Freebies for your enjoyment.

posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:24 PM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


the other week i was experimenting with diluting the tomato juice with the tasty leftover liquid from a jar of polski ogorki - salty, vinegary, dilly goodness!

Oh, yeah, I do this too. Even with just plain tomato juice. (I can order polish dills online here, at least, thank goodness (though with the exchange rates, they're painfully pricey)).
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:27 PM on December 3, 2008


Why bother with tomato juice at all when you can have a lovely pickle juice and vodka? Add a chunk of dry ice for the best thing ever to drink out in the desert.* I call it a Trotsky Icepick(le).

*There is no point whatsoever in going to the desert without dry ice, pickles, and vodka. Trust me.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:55 PM on December 3, 2008


It probably goes without saying, but text will always be a terrible medium for real communication.

Only when the alternative is clear speech.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:56 PM on December 3, 2008


The people I met at the meetup were nice but the bartender was a fucking asshole.
Second that.
posted by dg at 11:39 PM on December 3, 2008


This whole "I can only let my real self go nuts on the internet" principle that we seem to take as a given around here is a chickenshit compromise.

Or is it that nothing in real life makes people passionate enough to transgress? That would be merely tragic irony.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:49 PM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I skipped most of the bullshit in the middle but this thread sucks. This callout was a bitch move and I know the thread has derailed from the original topic of "that guy Klang sucks ass" but why the fuck did this thing even start. One dude didn't like what another guy was saying so he went and told on him? Goddamnit metafilter, I love you but your too fucking sensitive sometimes.
posted by BrnP84 at 12:05 AM on December 4, 2008


Why do I have this vision of Jessamyn (or Matt or Cortex) banging their head against the wall and quietly muttering, "One night ... just one bloody night ... come on, I deserve that at least ... "?
posted by WCityMike at 12:06 AM on December 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


maybe we could strike a deal: one night of us all behaving ourselves like blissful & rosy-cheeked little children, and in return jessamyn changes her name to 'Cooter'.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:12 AM on December 4, 2008


That's not a pistol in my profile; I'm just glad to see you.
posted by timeistight at 3:03 AM on December 4, 2008


Ok. Is there any way to have tkchrist, UbuRoivas, and whatever the fuck the other dude being hassled in this thread's name is, at the same meetup? I'd be willing to throw in some cash and the e to make it possible, but I'd want full rights on the youtube videos. Shit, I'd pay just to hangout with tkchrist on e.
posted by gman at 4:07 AM on December 4, 2008


hey, i'll gladly hang out with them all on cocaine, acid, and other drugs.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:26 AM on December 4, 2008


Yeah, like we need another attack.

And by the way, threads like these are fuckin' stupid. I recently found one which some self-righteous prick did about me back in June (on my birthday, in fact) and attempted to call out how stupid call outs like this are in my own thread yesterday, but it was deleted.
posted by gman at 4:32 AM on December 4, 2008


whoa, chill, man.

*passes chillum*

now, i'll light this for you, but before you inhale, you have to praise Lord Shiva.

ready? now say "Bom Bom Bhole!"

*strike strike strike strike strike*

(damn, fucking indian matches never work; anybody got a lighter?)
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:42 AM on December 4, 2008


Almost everything that goes wrong on Metafilter is about tone and culture.

I have a ton of friends who'll tell me to 'go fuck myself' at the slightest provocation, and I also have a ton of friends who think swearing is déclassé and shut down on me if I get too boisterously argumentative. One guy likes to tell raunchy 'your mom' jokes... to my mother. Another one honestly wishes we were all disembodied rays of light.

These friends? They do not get along with each other, but they're all great folks. Metafilter is like that.
posted by anotherpanacea at 4:46 AM on December 4, 2008


Meetups are great, but watch out for grumblebee - he hits on me EVERY SINGLE TIME.
posted by Evangeline at 4:52 AM on December 4, 2008


I notice you keep bringing it up since in several drive by comments in several threads.

Sorry I can't let the vison of drive by comments go:

Christ whaT AN ass hole
posted by Pollomacho at 4:54 AM on December 4, 2008 [5 favorites]


Your favourITE BAnd sucks

posted by UbuRoivas at 5:15 AM on December 4, 2008


To sum it up, this is why one man's favourite is another man's flag-it. It's what makes the fuckin' world go round.
posted by gman at 5:33 AM on December 4, 2008


Sorry, I didn't mean to incense anyone by talking about flag-its. And is there any way we can hold a referendum on Metafilter's spelling of 'Favourite'?
posted by gman at 5:39 AM on December 4, 2008


Dios is the past master of sitting out callouts.

Hells yeah. I should post a private message in which he threatened me with a 'time out'. Needless to say, my response was not very amicable.

rodgerd: not jews. israeli backpackers (actually, more specifically, when they are in groups; solo travellers & couples have always been great, in my experience).

Just wait til the 'Israel Nukes Iran' thread. Any criticism of Israel on your part will be labeled anti-semitic and I'll be called a self-loather.
posted by gman at 6:05 AM on December 4, 2008


Again: problem solves itself.

Until the next time they shit up a thread. Ok, so I should have said a simple day off would help avoid a *future* mess of unproductive drama. Most of us have had bad moments and comments deleted. But repeated crap like what these two pull? A day off once in a while as a consequence is hardly heavy-handed moderation.
posted by mediareport at 6:15 AM on December 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Some days, it just doesn't pay to read MetaTalk.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:22 AM on December 4, 2008


They've actually gotten a day off once in a while. Seriously, this is one of the reasons I'm not a parent. I don't have a stomach for the perpetual panopticon that mostly-transparent discipline brings.

The moderation here ebbs and flows and we're in a post-election "wow people aren't being assholes all the time!" haze where we're probably a little more lax than usual. I'm sure that will transmogrify into the "wow these people all must really hate their families to be this assholish on a website just because they're spending time with them" vibe that we're used to around late-December holidaytime.

gman: reposting private email will get you temp-banned but relating private email by a user who isn't even participating is just poor form.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:27 AM on December 4, 2008


gman: reposting private email will get you temp-banned but relating private email by a user who isn't even participating is just poor form.

Yeah well I say allowing a callout thread based on me to transpire without notifying me, is poor form.
posted by gman at 6:32 AM on December 4, 2008


Take that up with dersins, gman. Posting an opaque, nutteriffic metatalk post and (now apparently) blaming us for not telling you that dersins called you out is at the top of this particular heap right now.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:48 AM on December 4, 2008


You guys close this shit off after 30 days. I attempted to reopen it yesterday to point out how ridiculous these threads are, and was shot down.
posted by gman at 6:52 AM on December 4, 2008


You posted this, which as written was utterly unclear and looked like spazzy attention-getting nonsense. Nowhere in that post is anything like "I object to the notion of callouts or at least to this one specifically (which I was not even aware of at the time!), and here is why I feel that way and what I think needs discussion".

If you want to have a conversation, start by telling folks what the hell it is you want to talk about instead of writing to the audience of one inside your brain. Nobody else knows what you're thinking, and without some explicit context it looks for all the world like a great big stunt, and those generally get deleted right quick.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:56 AM on December 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


That's EXACTLY what I intended to do in my first comment, but fair enough, man.
posted by gman at 7:04 AM on December 4, 2008


We're cat herders not mindreaders, man.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:10 AM on December 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Group hug please.
posted by gman at 7:15 AM on December 4, 2008


*hugs nia long and angelina jolie*
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:18 AM on December 4, 2008


Now I want to hug Nia Peeples.

Thanks, Brandon Blatcher.
posted by batmonkey at 8:09 AM on December 4, 2008


Metafilter: writing to the audience of one inside your brain.

Rock over London.
Rock on Chicago.
posted by mrmojoflying at 8:41 AM on December 4, 2008 [4 favorites]


Take that up with dersins

Or, y'know, don't. That would be OK, too.
posted by dersins at 10:45 AM on December 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


Klangklangston has improved noticeably.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:10 AM on December 4, 2008


I'd like a Greasemonkey script that adds the word 'man' to the end of everyone's comments, man.
posted by box at 11:11 AM on December 4, 2008


I'm hereby instituting a zero-tolerance ban on gendered terms, man.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:14 AM on December 4, 2008


is there any way we can hold a referendum on Metafilter's spelling of 'Favourite'?

is that really necessary? speakers of the queen's english can use 'favourite' while north americans can stick with 'favorite'. it's that kind of local colour that adds spice to things - whenever i see 'favorite' i immediately think of flavor flav, and that's gotta be a good thing.

Just wait til the 'Israel Nukes Iran' thread. Any criticism of Israel on your part will be labeled anti-semitic and I'll be called a self-loather.


well, i *am* a big fan of all things persian. some interesting talk over in the funerary practices thread, by the way, eg "The Iranians tolerate the Islamic Republic so long as it doesn't interfere in their Iranianism" - one of the most succinct gems i think i've read here.

as for self-loathing, if you could turn that into some kind of comedy schtick, you'd probably have invented a completely new & heretofore never-heard-before brand of humour. it would probably only be understood by goyim though, so you'd have to pick your audiences well.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:51 AM on December 4, 2008


That's some fuckin' chutzpah you have to suggest that no North Americans use the Queen's English. Based on your timezone, are you farshikkert?
posted by gman at 12:07 PM on December 4, 2008


farshikkert? getting there. it's a couple of hours until work, so i still have time to get another half dozen beers in.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:10 PM on December 4, 2008


Australians must be a productive bunch. *as I sit here at 3pm on Metafilter commenting away.
posted by gman at 12:13 PM on December 4, 2008


This whole "I can only let my real self go nuts on the internet" principle that we seem to take as a given around here is a chickenshit compromise.
Or is it that nothing in real life makes people passionate enough to transgress? That would be merely tragic irony.

Well, you could take it as a compliment that people feel safe enough here to act like the real them instead of the sham that they portray "out there".

Is it that they don't feel safe in putting their thoughts, feelings and beliefs on the line because of concerns about physical retribution? Is it that, if the opposing argument gets too compelling here, they can just walk away, which is much more difficult in person? Is it just because they think that, if they let their real feelings, thoughts and beliefs show to friends, co-workers and family, someone will use that knowledge to hurt them in some way?

There's no way of knowing, of course, but I prefer to interact with people here on the assumption that we see the real person without the veneer of false sophistication, maturity and cultural correctness that overlays their every action in real life and to take that as a measure of the comfort people feel in acting honestly in our company. Sometimes, this reflects poorly on those people, but I'm sure we see the better side of many people here, as well (as frightening as that thought may be). People generally suck, anyway, so there's no reason why people should suck less on-line.
posted by dg at 12:19 PM on December 4, 2008


People generally suck, anyway, so there's no reason why people should suck less on-line.

Very cynical and I find that to be completely not true at all. You get what you expect and what you put into it.

This "real self" thing is bullshit. There is no secret minority of angels out there.

It's like those survivalists who are constantly bemoaning the "veneer" of civilization. Garbage.

Humans are animals. Some smarter. Some stronger. Some weaker. But the overwhelming majority of people behave appropriately, and more often do the "right thing", in the context of their communities most of the time.

Their behavior is often defined by context and circumstance. Push ANYONE hard enough, at the wrong time, the right place, and you are gonna see something maybe nasty emerge. Many times people who are terrible people can occasional, when pushed in the right way at the right time, be wonderful people.

Online the context IS different. People DO interact with a very different nature becuase as animals that evolved for millions of years to communicate mostly non-verbally it cannot be any other way. Especially to those of us old enough that our social norms evolved ONLY in meat-space. Some people are better at it becuase they are either more practiced at this norm, astute at interactive written communication, or simply not overly emotional people in the virtual context.

I don't think for a minute that Klang, or most people here (except for some of anotherpanceas's friends, evidently) would be as belligerent and abrasive face to face as often people interact online. I occasionally hang out with very rough people. Literally fighters. Few of them are wantonly belligerent to the people with whom they have bonded.

When I say people reveal their true nature in these interactions what I mean is they reveal their biases, grudges, and vulnerabilities to THIS community that they would never express even close to the same way in meat-space. I know this becuase I know most people are not assholes when then CAN communicate they way animals evolved to communicate. Face to face. Which IS ultimately closer to any kind of original nature. For lack of a better term.

When I meet a new person I don't think "Here's another one that probably sucks." I think "I wonder what this person is all about and I hope we can be friends."
posted by tkchrist at 1:16 PM on December 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


well, i *am* a big fan of all things persian. some interesting talk over in the funerary practices thread, by the way, eg "The Iranians tolerate the Islamic Republic so long as it doesn't interfere in their Iranianism" - one of the most succinct gems i think i've read here.

I just remembered how pissed I was at myself for listening to all the rave reviews about Iran from Australians who'd never been east of there into the Stans. Most Iranian males outside of Qom, aside from the Imams, are dressed in horrible Western clothing. Tommy Hilfiger type shit. Tehran was an extremely unpleasant city - crowded, polluted as hell, ugly and drivers speed up when they see pedestrians. It seemed you couldn't go anywhere without seeing people with broken arms, legs and faces. Coupled with the "accidents" was the fighting. Iranians are scrappers and I saw plenty. At this petrol station, I saw a massive Iranian pull another through his car window and drill him twice in the nose. It's not like similar thoughts didn't go through my head. Most young Iranians are greasers who like to suck their teeth at you, or bother you in some other way. I don't blame them - they're just unemployed and bored. The small boys in villages, who are on summer vacation, really enjoyed stoning foreigners. But - the Japanese really have it bad there - they are perceived as ultra-rich, naive foreigners, who would rather part with their belongings than make trouble. I met more than one who had either been robbed or spat on. Another favourite trick is pulling up in unmarked cars, claiming to be police, demanding passports and driving off.

Not to metion, Iran has just about the worst food I've ever tasted, except for that in people's houses. Street food = hamburgers on baguettes and pizza with ketchup as it's sauce.

It was always amusing when my English travel buddy told Iranians I was from Israel. The reactions ranged from amused to extremely positive - "my Yehudi brother".

Anyway, I also spent over a month in the mountains and they simply pale in comparison to neighbouring countries.

Ever been to Qazvin, UbuRoivas?
posted by gman at 1:26 PM on December 4, 2008


BTW the attitude above is not natural to me. I still have to work on it consciously and constantly. I am at root also a terrible cynic. And I HATE that about myself. It's a miserable reflex that will cost you a great deal of fun. But thankfully, and oddly, I'm also extremely very gregarious by nature so the "fake it till you make it" expect the best from people thing has paid off dividends in real life. Seriously. I'm talking like life changing in all the best ways for the last ten years or so. I'm just not sure how to do it here, yet.
posted by tkchrist at 1:31 PM on December 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Most young Iranians are greasers who like to suck their teeth at you, or bother you in some other way. I don't blame them - they're just unemployed and bored.

Sounds like Baltimore.
posted by tkchrist at 1:33 PM on December 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Take that up with dersins

Dersins, where are my car keys? What should I have for dinner? Is blue a good color for me? What does it all mean, why are we can here?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:36 PM on December 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


ask.dersinsfilter.com
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:42 PM on December 4, 2008


Dersins, where are my car keys? What should I have for dinner? Is blue a good color for me? What does it all mean, why are we can here?

Right where you left them. Chicken Saltimbocca with Lemon Sauce served on a bed of Carrot Orzo. Not really-- you should go with the plain theme and its professional white background. It doesn't, really, and appearances to the contrary, we aren't.

Hope this helps.
posted by dersins at 1:50 PM on December 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Okay. Lessons learned. I think we covered it all. Except for cat de-clawing. I say wrap this sucker up before we repeat our selves and I do Obnoxious TK: Take Two Electric Boogaloo.

Everybody FREEZE FRAME. Roll Credits.
posted by tkchrist at 1:54 PM on December 4, 2008


tkchrist, I'd be curious to know how you think your own social interaction modes (online and offline) differ from one another, since you claim such modes naturally do, and yet seem to be describing a real you (fighty, or touchy perhaps, cynical, trying hard to stay gentle in a weathering milieu) that matches your online behavior pretty well.

I suspect you are not high on my list of inauthentic un-self-actualized chickenshits, is what I'm saying. At least with regard to aggression, what with the major outlets for and relationship with aggression you've chosen to pursue. Not a website warrior, if you will.

There are other vectors of social expression and transgression that happen more or less online than IRL for various people, besides aggression. Simple talkativeness, self-revelation, self-implication, etc.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:57 PM on December 4, 2008


OK, whatever you do, just make sure that y-

*PRATFALLS*

(I'm doing the outtakes that roll during credits)
posted by mkultra at 2:01 PM on December 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


"Everybody needs a hog, so would you two just please—

Wait, what did I say? I said hug! I so said hug. Okay, okay, let's do another."

"Everybody needs a hog, so OH MY GOD."
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:05 PM on December 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


tkchrist, I'd be curious to know how you think your own social interaction modes (online and offline) differ from one another, since you claim such modes naturally do, and yet seem to be describing a real you (fighty, or touchy perhaps, cynical, trying hard to stay gentle in a weathering milieu) that matches your online behavior pretty well.

Hard to say. Not sure what correlates in the same anonymous environment. In real life I may be prone to the occasional mild road rage, flipping people off and such.

In real life I'm fighty in the sense of being sometimes hyper competitive. Though not like I used to be.

In real life I have few problems confronting people. In fact my heart rate often lowers. I used to really enjoy it. Look forward to smiling down assholes who though I was some skinny nerd who should be afraid of them. Not so much any more.

Now that I think about it. Yeah. I guess I'm kinda confrontational in real life in that I don't just ignore things. When I do ignore things it will eat at me and I will feel guilty or weak. Comes from being picked on a a kid or seeing other kids get picked on I guess.

But I try very, very, hard to keep it from being belligerent, or sarcastic. Quite unlike here. Where it's my go-to reaction. I actually surprise my self reading comments later on. My family were horribly sarcastic people. You would not believe.

But I don't act that way in real life perhaps because in real life I DO realize, way more than most, I could easily get punched in the nose. I fully understand what level of bad-assedness I'm capable of and have no illusions on that score. And you really never know how tough the guy is you are dressing down. Plus I've come to learn you get more with sugar than vinegar.
posted by tkchrist at 2:26 PM on December 4, 2008


Now, this IS the more civil Metafilter.
posted by gman at 2:48 PM on December 4, 2008


There’s a good pointless legal argument in the Damien Hirst thread.
posted by Artw at 2:56 PM on December 4, 2008


I just remembered how pissed I was at myself for listening to all the rave reviews about Iran from Australians who'd never been east of there into the Stans.

guilty, as charged.

Most Iranian males outside of Qom, aside from the Imams, are dressed in horrible Western clothing. Tommy Hilfiger type shit.

hehe - so true!

Tehran was an extremely unpleasant city - crowded, polluted as hell, ugly and drivers speed up when they see pedestrians.

yeh, there's nothing particularly special about tehran, other than the mind-boggling collection of persian treasures in the basement museum thingy - puts the british crown jewels plus topkapi saray in istanbul to shame.

It seemed you couldn't go anywhere without seeing people with broken arms, legs and faces. Coupled with the "accidents" was the fighting. Iranians are scrappers and I saw plenty [...] Another favourite trick is pulling up in unmarked cars, claiming to be police, demanding passports and driving off.

you know, i didn't experience any of that in around six weeks (?) there. actually, a couple of minor incidents involving afghan refugee youth - the iranians pointed out that they're problematic for everybody. we also had some guys try to pull the "police / passport" thing so we did what you always do in such situations - one person to the front of the car, one to the back, out with paper & pens & start writing down the licence plate. that gets rid of the fuckers, quick-smart. also gives the police something to do to justify their pay.

Not to metion, Iran has just about the worst food I've ever tasted, except for that in people's houses. Street food = hamburgers on baguettes and pizza with ketchup as it's sauce.

the restaurant food is actually fantastic; the only problem is that it's often very difficult to find a restaurant - usually just a door to a basement or upstairs room, signposted in farsi. as for the street food, delicious kebabs on super-thick crusty naan were awesome & cost only about $1 for four tender & spicy skewers of grilled meat. other than that, wieners, wieners & more wieners - piled up in huge pyramids in a variety of sauces - ketchup, mayo, ketchup & mayo, mayo & ketchup. tasted a bit like hotdogs when served on a roll. not too bad, but quite stomach-churning after a while.

It was always amusing when my English travel buddy told Iranians I was from Israel. The reactions ranged from amused to extremely positive - "my Yehudi brother".

that's pretty cool. every iranian i spoke to on political subjects (and boy, did they love talking politics! it was at the time of dubya's first election - florida & all that) pointed out that they have nothing whatsoever against citizens of the US or Israel & would greet them with typical arab & persian hospitality (which is unsurpassed anywhere in the world); it's just that the governments of the countries don't get along.

Anyway, I also spent over a month in the mountains and they simply pale in comparison to neighbouring countries.

Ever been to Qazvin, UbuRoivas?


sure have. loved it! shame it was flattened by an earthquake later. there was a fantastic old covered bazaar, only not turned into a touristic disneyfest like, say, the one in istanbul. actually, those old bazaars are all over iran, but the one in qazvin was less of a shopping mall, as you see in other towns (jewellers, fashion stores etc) but instead just your regular vegetable market, furniture joinery, butcher kind of place. also the mirrored tombs - hoo, boy! i'd seen them in the movie Baraka, and always thought they were the Blue Mosque. not finding that stuff in Turkey, i was confused, until spending hours in those places in qazvin, my first stop after crossing the border at dogubeyazit.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:00 PM on December 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


a couple of minor incidents involving afghan refugee youth - the iranians pointed out that they're problematic for everybody.

Yup. While there are tonnes of problems with the Afghans in neighbouring countries, these same countries did have a hand in fucking Afghanistan up.

the restaurant food is actually fantastic; the only problem is that it's often very difficult to find a restaurant - usually just a door to a basement or upstairs room, signposted in farsi.


I actually had great restaurant food in Tehran. Problem is the place was Pakistani. For some reason I thought I'd be getting something similar to the beautiful fare in Lebanon or Turkey. You happen to know how Coke and Pepsi were able to remain licensed in Iran after 1979?

every iranian i spoke to on political subjects (1 and boy, did they love talking politics! it was at the time of dubya's first election - florida & all that) pointed out that 2 they have nothing whatsoever against citizens of the US or Israel & would greet them with typical arab & persian hospitality (3 which is unsurpassed anywhere in the world)

True, true, and true-er

qazvin, my first stop after crossing the border at dogubeyazit.


I actually didn't even touch Turkey that year until I left Syria. You do know what Qazvin is famous for, yeah?

Sorry, if this sort of discussion isn't appropriate here, let me know. I could email UbuRoivas privately, but perhaps some are interested in our experiences.
posted by gman at 3:30 PM on December 4, 2008


Fuck no, this is interesting.
posted by Artw at 3:35 PM on December 4, 2008


When I say people reveal their true nature in these interactions what I mean is they reveal their biases, grudges, and vulnerabilities to THIS community that they would never express even close to the same way in meat-space.

i have the opposite experience - that whole schtick of dropping some outrageously non-pc joke or comment is something i do a *lot* in real life, but have to cut right back on here, because as people have pointed out, the absence of vocal tone, facial gestures, body language etc cause people to take the comments here at face value, when in actual fact they're very tongue-in-cheek.

to give just one example, it's very rare for me to refer to a baby as anything other than a "cunt turd", except in the most polite of company.

a friend of mine - an english academic at sydney university, for what that's worth - pointed out recently that it's a particularly celtic kind of pisstaking humour, and probably not used a whole lot outside of ireland, scotland & australia.

on preview: if i remember correctly, coke "remained" licenced in iran because the iranians stole the trademarks & copyright, no? looks like coke, tastes something like coke, but has nothing at all to do with the actual coca-cola company.

what is qazvin famous for? a particular style of carpet? the fact that it's not all that far from alamut, home base of hasan-i-sabah and the hashisheen?
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:05 PM on December 4, 2008


Yeah, seriously, next time start with this stuff.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:12 PM on December 4, 2008


Coke and Pepsi are in Iran, man. And remember Zam Zam?

Qazvin is the gay capital of Iran (near the bottom). Which is interesting because it's common for Muslim dudes to walk down the street holding hands...
posted by gman at 4:20 PM on December 4, 2008


Zam Zam cola - hell yeah! The wikipedia article is charmingly disingenuous:

The product's name is a reference to the Well of Zamzam in Mecca, that is one of the stops on the Islamic pilgrimage of the Hajj. However, it is not made with water from the well.

Now that you mention it, I do remember more than a few guys trying to pick me up in Qazvin. As for the hand-holding thing, I wouldn't have thought much of it at the time, being fresh across the border from Turkey, and still becoming acclimatised to the local ways & customs. Male hand-holding & walking arm-in-arm (as friends) is a very commonplace sight in India, of course, and I would've just assumed that it was the case in Iran as well - a very plausible assumption considering the long historical interaction between those parts of the world.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:34 PM on December 4, 2008


While on the topic of Iran, I should add as well that those political obsessives were following the US election extremely closely, and most were hoping for dubya to win. During his campaign, his stated policy was that the US should mind its own business, and stop meddling so much internationally. The Iranians eagerly looked forward to his victory as an important step in the thawing of relations between the two countries.

After his 'victory', I think I was back in Turkey or Egypt when dubya gave his maiden speech - that Axis of Evil bullshit - and I could feel a massive disturbance in the force, from millions of Iranians simultaneously thinking "WTF?!??" and "oh no, fuckballs!"
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:45 PM on December 4, 2008


Did you get the impression that Bushes tough talk was basically an unitentional gift to hardliners? That was always my theory, pre Bush we’d hear about reform and Iranian women bloggers and all that, and then it was axis of evil time and it sounded like things got worse and worse.
posted by Artw at 4:53 PM on December 4, 2008


Iran has just about the worst food I've ever tasted

Do you know how hard it is to make ghormeh sabzi keep in large quantity on the off chance that someone orders it that day?

if i remember correctly, coke "remained" licenced in iran because the iranians stole the trademarks & copyright, no?

I thought it was because coke and pepsi opened plants in Iran during the shah era because the arabs wouldn't drink anything out of Israel and no body else was our ally in the region. When the shah fell they just kept making coke exactly as before.

I should add as well that those political obsessives were following the US election extremely closely, and most were hoping for dubya to win.

Sure, the more the ferangi wave their pricks the more the mullahs wave theirs back and say, "see, I told you they were out to get us!"
posted by Pollomacho at 4:56 PM on December 4, 2008


No, totally. The hand holding is common all over the place and this means gays can, to a certain extent, be public with their affection for one another.

Ha. by the time I arrived in 2003, Bush was on the outs with the Iranian public. As was Blair. This was always a favourite of mine.

I think I may have mentioned it on Metafilter once before, but I was busted by the Iranians while crossing into Iraq. That was a pretty fun 4 hours which then lasted another 3 weeks in Iraq.
posted by gman at 4:58 PM on December 4, 2008


Do you know how hard it is to make ghormeh sabzi keep in large quantity on the off chance that someone orders it that day?

Once again, TOTALLY. I was complaining more about the lack of decent street food. I've had fantastic Iranian fare.

The Coke and Pepsi issue in the Middle East is interesting. I guess it was only the Arabs (and not the Persians) who boycotted Coke?
posted by gman at 5:04 PM on December 4, 2008


to give just one example, it's very rare for me to refer to a baby as anything other than a "cunt turd", except in the most polite of company.

I would have found that funny when I was like 23. In that nervous, wow-it's-so-edgy way that young people think is so thrilling.

Now? Meh. Just slightly obnoxious and attention needing.

If that is a common example of what you refer to as "humor" you may, just may, possess a serious lack of some fairly important social filters and, if you are as intractable in real life as you sometimes demonstrate here, then you might be surprised to find out how many people in Meat-space don't really dig it all that much either. But they don't want to hassle with editing you. Unless your "polite company" is broader segment of your interactions than you let on.

Just food for thought.
posted by tkchrist at 5:14 PM on December 4, 2008


I was complaining more about the lack of decent street food.

why do you hate the awesome Iranian kebabs?

that's the street-food version, exactly as i remember it (though i was slightly off before on the style of bread - more like lavash, less like naan)

damn, now i want one so fucking badly!
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:16 PM on December 4, 2008


tkchrist: that would explain why i don't have any friends & spend all my time alone.

hang on, that's not true in the slightest. most times, it's a matter of trying to work out how to juggle three or four separate social events on the same night. school nights are easier, thankfully - usually only one or two to pick from.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:29 PM on December 4, 2008


on the other hand, maybe i'm an aspie. does anybody know of any good internet tests i can do to self-diagnose for aspergers?
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:32 PM on December 4, 2008


I do love me some kebabs, but I didn't find them in the hills where I spent most of my time. I actually waited on the border for the Iranians and the Iraqis to approve my Iraqi 'visa' for like a week or more. All I'm getting at is that I find the food in neighbouring countries far superior and much more diverse.
posted by gman at 5:43 PM on December 4, 2008


yeah, lebanese is fantastic. luckily, australia received heaps of lebanese migrants after the war, so it's a long-established cuisine here. alongside chinese & italian, probably about the first to make its way into mainstream whitey tastes.

and an afterthought over lunch: that c*nt t*rd example was spectacularly poorly chosen, as it is actually strictly friends-only. even then, it's only used among certain friends - it's essential to establish beforehand whether the person you're talking to is positive, neutral or negative towards the whole concept of babies; some people are inexplicably fond of the noisy little parasites *wink*.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:48 PM on December 4, 2008


tkchrist: that would explain why i don't have any friends & spend all my time alone.

Your dance card is always filled, I'm sure. And not my point at all.

But you seem to be professional at missing these kinds of things lately. So I give up.

BTW you may want to consider a slightly wittier and less off-putting "Crib Slug", "Mammary Lamprey", or "Fleshy Tax Deduction" as replacement for... for the other one.
posted by tkchrist at 10:03 PM on December 4, 2008


Remember that episode of South Park where it turns out that Bono was actually the biggest turd ever shat and he's been raised to an adult by his proud shitter? I dunno, just popped in me head.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:14 PM on December 4, 2008


Some days, it just doesn't pay to read MetaTalk.

Only if you forget to punch in.

I owe my soul to the company store.

Doo do doo do doodle do dooo.

posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:00 PM on December 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


AV: funny you mention South Park, coz i was just thinking "y'know, it's wrong, Ubu, to suggest that Americans don't do that kind of grossly offensive humour - South Park is a perfect example of it"

the fact that there's one black kid, and that he's named "Token", is *exactly* the style i'm talking about.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:30 AM on December 5, 2008


to give just one example, it's very rare for me to refer to a baby as anything other than a "cunt turd", except in the most polite of company.

I have friends that talk like this, and let me tell you, it's exhausting. FYI, shocking statements rely upon shock for their impact - after you've said it once it becomes a common turn of phrase, and then it's just annoyingly crass. I'm sure you can find more interesting ways to make an impression.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 1:07 AM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


FYI, shocking statements rely upon shock for their impact - after you've said it once it becomes a common turn of phrase

yeh, like i said, it's a friends-only thing. kindof an in-joke. in the wrong company "you know who else...?" would also be annoyingly crass.

I'm sure you can find more interesting ways to make an impression.


actually, that part is all genetics, so i can't take any credit for it ;)
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:54 AM on December 5, 2008


And hats, Ubu, don't forget about the hats.
posted by Kattullus at 4:33 AM on December 5, 2008


the fact that there's one black kid, and that he's named "Token", is *exactly* the style i'm talking about.

His full name is actually "Token Black".
posted by inigo2 at 6:35 AM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


hats! yes, of course: I regularly sport pinstripes and a fedora. I have a natural accent - I am often thought to be either British or Eastern European (having lived in both places), despite being born and raised in the States. I read everything I get my hands on, and have wacky tales of adventure to amuse and intrigue. I also tear up the dance floor at clubs.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:06 AM on December 5, 2008


BTW "Mammary Lamprey" is 100% mine and if it does go into common usage I get a % on the back end.


Um. That didn't come out right.


neither did that
posted by tkchrist at 11:05 AM on December 5, 2008


yeh, but i'm not sure about the 3-2 syllable structure; it doesn't quite roll off the tongue with enough punch* - could i use something like "boob leech" instead if you're willing to halve your percentage commission?

* nothing like an awkward mixed metaphor!
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:09 AM on December 5, 2008


UbuRoivas, I'm sure I'm the only person here who's ever going to say this, but don't ever change.
posted by Artw at 11:11 AM on December 5, 2008


aw, thanks!

also: i want what you're on.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:19 AM on December 5, 2008


I'm loving this discussion of Iran and Middle Eastern food. One of my great regrets is that when I was in Aleppo I didn't eat pistachios, for which the city is famous. The waiter brought a bowl of them with lunch, and (being in I'm Not Gettin' Ripped Off mode) I told my wife sternly "If we eat even one of those nuts, they'll add a couple more bucks to the bill, they're counting on us thinking they're free." Then after we left I slapped myself hard.

In other news: Iskender kebab! It's fucking delicious!
posted by languagehat at 1:19 PM on December 5, 2008


damn, i didn't eat pistachios in Aleppo either, only i'm even one step futher behind you, because i never even knew the place was famous for them.

and i *love* pistachios - i'm sure i'm not alone in this, but a bowl of pistachios in my presence has only two possible states: freshly arrived, and empty. you'd need to be an olympic finish line camera to detect the change between the two.

and Iskender kebabs are indeed delicious! i had the privilege of feasting on them in their birthplace: Bursa, Turkey - a few hours southeast of Istanbul.

as we all know, Iskender kebabs were named in honour of Alexander the Great. for those in need of some trivia, in Turkey & the Arab lands he's known as "Iskender" because they heard his name as "al-Iskender", naturally parsed it as "the Iskeneder" and promptly dropped the "al" part. Wikipedia says that they're named after their inventor, but that would just be his family trying to cash in somehow.

the kebabs consist of bread with grilled meat layered on top, then a kind of hot tomato salsa, youghurt, and the killer punch: slightly burnt melted butter! rich. creamery. melted. butter.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:19 PM on December 5, 2008


It's safe to say that there are lots of tasty grilled meat items in the former realm of Dhul Qarnayn.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:23 PM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


According to Tafsir Ibn Kathir, a widely used 14th-century commentary on the Qur'an:

The Quraysh sent An-Nadr bin Al-Harith and `Uqbah bin Abi Mu`it to the Jewish rabbis in Al-Madinah, and told them: `Ask them (the rabbis) about Muhammad, and describe him to them, and tell them what he is saying. They are the people of the first Book, and they have more knowledge of the Prophets than we do.' So they set out and when they reached Al-Madinah, they asked the Jewish rabbis about the Messenger of Allah. They described him to them and told them some of what he had said. They said, `You are the people of the Tawrah and we have come to you so that you can tell us about this companion of ours.' They (the rabbis) said, `Ask him about three things which we will tell you to ask, and if he answers them then he is a Prophet who has been sent (by Allah); if he does not, then he is saying things that are not true, in which case how you will deal with him will be up to you. Ask him about some young men in ancient times, what was their story For theirs is a strange and wondrous tale. Ask him about a man who travelled a great deal and reached the east and the west of the earth. What was his story And ask him about the Ruh (soul or spirit) – what is it If he tells you about these things, then he is a Prophet, so follow him, but if he does not tell you, then he is a man who is making things up, so deal with him as you see fit.

According to Maududi's conservative 20th century commentary:

This Surah was sent down in answer to the three questions which the mushriks of Makkah, in consultation with the people of the Book, had put to the Holy Prophet in order to test him. These were: (1) Who were "the Sleepers of the Cave"? (2) What is the real story of Khidr? and (3) What do you know about Dhul-Qarnain?

Dhul-Qarnayn (Arabic ذو القرنين dhū al-qarnayn [ðuːlqarˈnajn]), literally meaning "He of the Two Horns", is a figure mentioned in the Qur'an, the sacred scripture of Islam, where he is described as a great and righteous ruler who built a long wall that keeps Gog and Magog from attacking the people of the West. Some of them said he was called Dhul-Qarnayn (the one with two horns) because he reached the two "Horns" of the sun, east and west, where it rises and where it sets. Historically, Dhul-Qarnayn has been identified as Alexander the Great, and this remains the opinion of most secular historians, while contemporary Islamic scholars are divided on the issue, some identifying him with Cyrus the Great.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:41 PM on December 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


(the "sleepers of the cave" were, of course, a bunch of people who went to sleep in a cave & woke up some centuries later. the cave has also been visited by your faithful correspondent; it's near the wonderfully-preserved ruins of the Roman city of Ephesus, near present-day Efes in Turkey, final abode of the Virgin Mary (Maryam), and namesake of the refreshing Turkish beer, Efes Pils. this is nowhere near the town of Adana, birthplace of the tasty Adana Kebab)
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:51 PM on December 5, 2008


i had the privilege of feasting on them in their birthplace: Bursa

Me too! I can even tell you which restaurant: the Hacı Bey, which claimed to be the very place it was invented. Of course, I imagine all Bursa restaurants claim that, but it had a nice view and the kebab was great. (As is the city, the old part of it; the Green Mosque is one of the most beautiful buildings I know.)

And I had Adana kebab in Adana, too. Kind of an unpleasant town (I was hassled by cops and mosque attendants), but more great kebab.
posted by languagehat at 5:02 PM on December 5, 2008


All I remember about eating in Bursa was the Bixie Cola.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:25 PM on December 5, 2008


This thread has convinced me to make Sebastian the Martyr And His Companions again this Christmas ~

Prep time: 3 weeks and one hour.

Ingredients:

2 cups strongly brewed Guatemalan coffee.
2 cups of white sugar.
Half a fresh vanilla bean, chopped.
1.5 cups Remy Martin VSOP Cognac.
Milk.
Swiss milk chocolate.
Swiss dark chocolate.
Whipped cream.
Powdered cinnamon and nutmeg.

Heat the coffee in a saucepan, bringing it to a boil. Add the sugar. When the sugar has been dissolved, reduce the heat and allow to cool. Add the chopped vanilla bean to the cognac, then the cooled sugar-coffee combination to the cognac-vanilla bean combination. Cover it tightly, such as in a large jar, and shake it vigorously at least once a day for three weeks. At the end of three weeks, pour the liquid through a strainer into another container.

Heat milk gradually in a saucepan. And enough of the milk chocolate, whisking all the while, to satisfy your tastes. Pour into an Irish coffee glass, three quarters full. Add one shot of your cognac coffee liqeur. Top with whipped cream, dark chocolate shavings, and a pinch each of powdered cinnamon and nutmeg.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:53 AM on December 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


But I actually bought that rifle the month after I took the photo, and have been teaching myself to rapid-fire it and then spin it like The Rifleman does, so if there is ever a remake of The Rifleman, at least I have the consolation of knowing I will probably be cast rather than Jessamyn.

Hang on now. Is this a .30-.30 we're talking about here? Because with a loose enough action you could certainly fan out, but I was always told to absolutely never, ever attempt the Rifleman Spin. But maybe that's because I was a horrible shot and not very coordinated, either.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:12 AM on December 6, 2008


i had the privilege of feasting on them in their birthplace: Bursa

Me too! I can even tell you which restaurant: the Hacı Bey, which claimed to be the very place it was invented. Of course, I imagine all Bursa restaurants claim that, but it had a nice view and the kebab was great. (As is the city, the old part of it; the Green Mosque is one of the most beautiful buildings I know.)


hm, nice view *tick* great kebab *tick* birthplace of the iskender kebab *tick* - might've been the same place that i did the exact same thing.

as for the Yeşil Cami (Green Mosque - people will recognise that Cami = Jami, the Turks pronouncing the C like a J) - true; very beautiful. some photos here.

and for a bonus prize: here's a snippet of Radio Birdman doing Iskender Time.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:09 PM on December 6, 2008


wait, most of those photos were of the Ulu Cami (great mosque), not the green one. my bad
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:16 PM on December 6, 2008


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