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An opportunity for me to ham-handedly reference Husker Dü's "She Floated Away."
October 15, 2009 6:02 PM   Subscribe

This post, about the identified flying object that did not have any passengers, was a bad post for Metafilter.

1) The link itself was thin, and will almost certainly die later. It may as well have been, "Go turn on your TV right now so we can talk about this!"
2) The link was posted as the "news" was "happening," instead of waiting until we all knew that happening didn't actually happen.
3) The comments were predominantly of two stripes: cheap LULZ and sanctimonious garment rending over said LULZ.

I know that we as a community have done breaking news well before, but those were exceptions and this was illustrating the rule that breaking news should be held to a higher standard.

I'm not particularly mad or anything, and I realize that if it was going to be deleted, it woulda been deleted by now. But I hope by bringing this up in Metatalk that I can shift awareness toward a moment of reflection prior to posting whatever crap happens to be on CNN at the moment, thus reaffirming the higher standard consideration and encouraging both restraint on behalf of posters and, ideally, a lower threshold for deletion regarding similar posts in the future.
posted by klangklangston to Etiquette/Policy at 6:02 PM (215 comments total)

Sorry for sounding all officious in the post itself. I just hoped to preempt a lot of the usual complaints, to more quickly facilitate derails about Dr. Strange and pie.
posted by klangklangston at 6:04 PM on October 15, 2009


800 comments?! Wha?!
posted by Kattullus at 6:05 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


You're quite right. I did my bit by ignoring it.
posted by Abiezer at 6:06 PM on October 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


I think this kind of thing is unavoidable, though. When everyone is watching something on TV, then all the mefites want a place to talk to each other about it. So someone creates a thread. It shouldn't happen often, but sometimes it just makes sense.
posted by bingo at 6:07 PM on October 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


I usually get my girlfriend a Kidinperil from the little stand near the checkout whenever I go shopping - it's a nice chocolatey snack and her rats like the plastic egg the toy comes in. But those toys are rubbish.

700 comments for a single-link piece of non-news is pretty rubbish too. I saw five seconds of it this morning and it sounded like the kid was reciting memorized lines.
posted by turgid dahlia at 6:09 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't know, it was the stupid news of the day on every news organization, but it was also kind of insane on first read, right? I mean, it's one of those "rare & crazy enough that it deserves mention" stories when something really bizarre happens.

In hindsight, it was poorly sourced and ended up being untrue, but I could see why someone might post it since it sounded so fantastic.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 6:09 PM on October 15, 2009 [7 favorites]


I was going to read that thread, but things were kinda busy at work today, and, next time I looked, there were 300 comments or some goddamn thing, so I just said 'the hell with it, it's not like it's Sarah Palin.'
posted by box at 6:12 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think the post was crap and I made four LULZ comments in it. But it did provide this awesome multi-level-meme-pic made by Senior Cardgage. But it did take seven-hundred-too-many comments to get to it.

Here's a future rule of MetaThumb... if I, evilmidnightbomberwhatbombsatmidnight, make more than one comment in a thread, it is so deleteworthy...
posted by evilmidnightbomberwhatbombsatmidnight at 6:14 PM on October 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


It was a sort of silly topic, but that thread was quite a phenomenon in itself...I was thinking about making an fpp:

"Giant internet thread achieves consciousness, eats website".
posted by Salvor Hardin at 6:17 PM on October 15, 2009 [6 favorites]


"I don't know, it was the stupid news of the day on every news organization, but it was also kind of insane on first read, right? I mean, it's one of those "rare & crazy enough that it deserves mention" stories when something really bizarre happens.

In hindsight, it was poorly sourced and ended up being untrue, but I could see why someone might post it since it sounded so fantastic.
"

I'm not saying that I don't understand why it was posted, just that it was a bad post and that recognizing things like it being poorly sourced and ultimately untrue should be a learning moment regarding what makes bad posts.

There's not much point in learning to recognize bad posts in retrospect if we don't also try to apply that learning to future posts that might also be bad for the same reasons. Holding off for a couple of hours to see how something works out should be fine; Metafilter isn't CNN. And just because something wild happens doesn't mean that Metafilter's the place to post it.

Sorry, that comes across as more lecturing #1 about his site than I meant, but you know what I mean, right?
posted by klangklangston at 6:20 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


box: "I was going to read that thread, but things were kinda busy at work today, and, next time I looked, there were 300 comments or some goddamn thing, so I just said 'the hell with it, it's not like it's Sarah Palin.'"

BUT HE WAS FOUND HIDING IN A BOX

You missed an opportunity for someone to claim eponystericality and others to roll their eyes because eponystericality is over-used!
posted by subbes at 6:25 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, it is the age of stupid. Are we supposed to just ignore this?
posted by philip-random at 6:27 PM on October 15, 2009


Well, the main thing is that we learn the lessons of this event, so that we can apply them the next time a six-year-old boy from a family which was on Wife Swap is believed to be trapped in an experimental helium balloon flying thousands of feet over Colorado but then it turns out he's been hiding in his home the whole time.

Which is a snarky way of saying, I think this story was just too weird to be worth trying to learn from. You can build strong community disapproval for poorly sourced stories, or stories that haven't been verified, or stories that turn Metafilter into CNN, or stories that are silly... and people are still going to post about a six-year-old kid in a helium balloon who's not really in the helium balloon whose parents were on Wife Swap.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 6:27 PM on October 15, 2009 [9 favorites]


It's hard to remove it from the context of phenomenon, though; I mean, I agree in practical terms with your criticisms of the post and I don't think anybody would defend the post on the merits if it was divorced of the sort of breaking-news, this-is-what-everyone-is-talking-about wave it was riding on.

Out of that context, it's just news-of-the-weird, and out of that context it'd be flagged to death and killed quickly.

As an occasional outlier thing, I'm not sure it's all that objectionable, insofar as it's generally understood that it is an outlier thing and that we don't expect folks to look for the random developing story of the day and try and do this on a daily basis. So as far as that goes, I think it makes more sense to look at this as an example of the relative flexibility of the community mores in the face of exceptional circumstances than it does to try to analyze it as e.g. a failure of the community to function correctly.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:28 PM on October 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


some of us were interested in it and the posts don't all have to be good as you define it - or even most of us define it
posted by pyramid termite at 6:40 PM on October 15, 2009


I couldn't agree more; I thought it was as ridiculous as the update-on-an-ad-campaign FPP the other day. Somedays I honestly cannot guess why certain things aren't nuked.
posted by paisley henosis at 6:42 PM on October 15, 2009


"I mean, I agree in practical terms with your criticisms of the post and I don't think anybody would defend the post on the merits if it was divorced of the sort of breaking-news, this-is-what-everyone-is-talking-about wave it was riding on."

Imma let you finish, but… The points that I'm trying to make here is that I don't think that the context of it being the current topic of the braindead megaphone makes it post worthy, and that I think there is value in lauding good posts on MeTa and decrying bad ones.

I thought about ending my first comment here with, "The sooner everyone agrees with me, the sooner we can screw around or close this down." I don't expect disagreement (much) on the merits, though this is MeTa. In the parlance of hippy colleges, I suppose I'm just trying to raise awareness about what bad posts look like, even when they're fairly popular (to judge by the number of comments).

(This callout is more perfunctory than fighty, at least from me.)
posted by klangklangston at 6:44 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


But I hope by bringing this up in Metatalk that I can shift awareness toward a moment of reflection prior to posting whatever crap happens to be on CNN at the moment, thus reaffirming the higher standard consideration and encouraging both restraint on behalf of posters and, ideally, a lower threshold for deletion regarding similar posts in the future.

Shorter sentences, please. And monosyllabic words.
posted by carsonb at 6:52 PM on October 15, 2009


The points that I'm trying to make here is that I don't think that the context of it being the current topic of the braindead megaphone makes it post worthy

I mostly agree, but that's where things get a little funny around the edges in weird situations. It's not just a matter of it being the story going around as it is of it being a story that's really, really going around and that in that context may not be something (a) people are going to flag as much as they would otherwise or that (b) we're going to on the balance decide to kill if, despite the formal thinness of the thing, there's a whole lot of apparent interest from the userbase.

I'd put it like this, maybe: it's a post we could have very easily have done without, but it's a post we got and there wasn't any apparent need to get rid of it once it showed up. The same could be said for other not-great posts that fall a bit to the thin side but people end up liking.

I feel like to some extent we may disagree over whether there's some obligation on the part of the mefi community to reject a story like this (or by extension a post about it) because it's the thing the media is making a big thing out of—while I don't think that's necessarily a good reason to decide to make a post, I also don't feel like there's any obligation to stand up to it per se either. I don't know if you feel otherwise.

and that I think there is value in lauding good posts on MeTa and decrying bad ones.

Absolutely, and I'm being discussy and not fighty as well. I have no problem with this metatalk thread, I'm just throwing in my take on it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:52 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


That story gave me a series of honest to god panic attacks and I literally could not get away from it. The hell with all of you.
posted by boo_radley at 6:55 PM on October 15, 2009


I thought the collection of YouTube clips and IMDb pages about Spies Like Us, along with the Fmily Guy ep on Hulu which referenced the movie made a shitty post setting a bad precedent too, as long as we're talkin'.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 6:55 PM on October 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


I like that weird, random, rare stuff like this gets posted to the blue. I can't even say I care much about the links. I just like talking about stuff like this with all of you; I like reading what you all have to say about it. There's no group I trust more, not even my personally-selected Facebook friends (who have proven themselves to be untrustworthy on a number of subjects). I wasn't at my computer today; I was on my iPod touch in a public place, and the thread kept me up to date on what was going on in the story when the CNN mobile site was about two story-cycles behind (CNNMobile: There's a boy up in the balloon! CNN regular site: The boy isn't in the balloon! Metafilter: They found the boy in his house!).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:59 PM on October 15, 2009 [9 favorites]


*smiles hopefully at cortex, then looks down and blinks at what appears to be a heavy Frisbee he's holding* Oh, discussy.

*slinks off*
posted by adipocere at 7:00 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


I dig where klangston is coming from. I don't think anyone - even those like me who had a rollicking good time in it - would nominate that thread as the blue's ambassador to the world. And while I think this mini-callout was kinda optional on his part, his tone has been civil and his stance well argued.

Apart from that: what bingo said.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:07 PM on October 15, 2009


Just noticed the title. I had actually thought of "Up In The Air" off Warehouse. Go figure.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:09 PM on October 15, 2009


I agree with cortex and game warden to the events rhino. It was a fluke. I think chances are there was going to be a post on this anyway, and while this wasn't its best possible incarnation it was what it was, and then, what would be the alternative -- a post padded out with links to Larry Lawnchair and the history of home-made flying machines?

So to me, this was one of those breaking news exceptions, one on the other end of the scale of importance from 9/11 -- perhaps the canonical example on Metafilter -- sure, but one that was the talk of the day, for better or for worse, and one that nobody really understood the nitty-gritty of until it unfolded in front of all of us.

Hell, it was the talk of the day here, halfway across the world from Denver, and we had a major bank failure, a cabinet decision on raising the state retirement age, and a court ruling on Geert Wilders entering the UK. Well, okay, maybe it was the fourth item on the news, but even then.

Plus, it ended in a relieved, comic free-for-all that I personally enjoy immensely, and that I feel Metafilter needs from time to time.

I also disagree with the assertion that comments were either mockery or disapproval of said mockery. Sure, there were derails, but there was genuine discussion too, and this combined with the cathartic happy-end-to-crazy-story absurdity fest at the end makes the thread more than worthwhile to me.

I understand where you're coming from, but I feel you're maybe reading too much into this. There's little for the mods to do except delete doubles or select the best one, and I doubt there were many other posts in this case, if any, and this kind of post is so rare that I really don't think we ought to make it into a teachable moment of any kind.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:09 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


I really hated the stupid Dollhouse post referenced above, but I've been a pretty staunch advocate historically of deleting things that really belong on Whedonesque, and, um, not here, really, so I didn't bother to say as much. Balloon boy, though, was something everybody was talking about, and I'm not really sure how it could have been a better post -- a bunch of links to the history of hot-air balloons run amok? -- and someone was gonna make it. If that one had been deleted, it would have gone all hydra-headed.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:09 PM on October 15, 2009


Ya all see the policeman attacking the balloon with a shovel?

Man that was hilarious. It's a wonder he didn't try and taze it.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:12 PM on October 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


1: No, YOU'RE a bad post for metafilter.
2: At the time I posted it, it was an amusing story from a small town. I had no idea it was A THING. People post weird little news stories here all the time.
3: A SIX YEAR OLD BOY WAS IN A GIANT BALLOON. I MEAN COME ON.
posted by empath at 7:25 PM on October 15, 2009 [20 favorites]


Or wasn't, but you get my point.
posted by empath at 7:25 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sorry, I take that back. He was obscured and I initially thought he was trying to tear a hole in it.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:31 PM on October 15, 2009


Absolutely, and I'm being discussy and not fighty as well. I have no problem with this metatalk thread, I'm just throwing in my take on it.

Oh, I am being fighty.

GRAR
posted by empath at 7:32 PM on October 15, 2009


That story gave me a series of honest to god panic attacks and I literally could not get away from it. The hell with all of you.

No offense, Boo Radley, because I probably would've been feeling much the same if I'd been paying attention, but coming in to all of this late (less than an hour ago), I feel compelled to declare that something REALLY FUCKING DUMB is going on.

Everywhere.

Or certainly everywhere that electronic media has influence. The Balloon Boy Incident is nothing if not smoking-gun proof that there is something desperately WRONG with our information technologies, or certainly our deeply immature relationship with them. And when I say I "WE", I mean pretty much everyone, everywhere. We're just not up to it.

"We're idiots, babe, it's a wonder we can even feed ourselves." (Bob Dylan)

Children are starving, children are being abused, sold into slavery, the f***ing apocalypse is upon us ... but we nevertheless found several hours on Sept-15-2009 to drop everything and fix our hungry empathic focus on a runaway balloon with a non-boy in it.

I'm glad the FPP happened. I'm glad it's now with us, on the record, 817 comments + counting; evidence of something deeply ... something.

Where's Marshall McLuhan when you need him? Oh yeah, he's getting referenced in the amazing Raold Dahl thread that had only 18 comments last time I looked.
posted by philip-random at 7:37 PM on October 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


Seriously, though, while failing to meet some standards of the community I think it brought out the best of some others. I suppose there could have been a blue/grey debate somewhere, but I agree with the above in that this is the really the one and only community I wanted to filter this through, using it maybe not quite the way it was intended and is run but that's how these things are sometimes, you know?
posted by setanor at 7:41 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


GNFTI, I still feel unresolved about the balloon boy thread because I still don't know "What's got silky white hair, was a gift to the King of Spain and hides in a box?"

Aren't you ever going to clear that up?
posted by Cold Lurkey at 7:42 PM on October 15, 2009


Children are starving, children are being abused, sold into slavery, the f***ing apocalypse is upon us

and here you are typing words into a little box
posted by pyramid termite at 7:43 PM on October 15, 2009 [30 favorites]


I'm glad it's now with us, on the record, 817 comments + counting; evidence of something deeply ... something.

No, no thanks. Don't say "WE" when you don't need to. This is the scenario, at any point in history: You are told, "There is a small boy floating high above the ground in a balloon, sailing away across counties and over the dirt plains. Look, here, you can see it, you can watch!" - there is a human interest there, and it's not coloured by any new developments with the media or any other popular targets.
posted by setanor at 7:44 PM on October 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


Cold Lurkey: Maltese Falcon
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:45 PM on October 15, 2009



and here you are typing words into a little box


When in doubt, take notes.
posted by philip-random at 7:46 PM on October 15, 2009


Also, the fucking apocalypse has been upon us since the day we first walked the earth.
posted by setanor at 7:46 PM on October 15, 2009


Anyway, if this is so much of a problem, maybe a current.mefi subsite where people can have another way in which to use this community?
posted by setanor at 7:48 PM on October 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


there is a human interest there, and it's not coloured by any new developments with the media or any other popular targets.

Of course, there's a human interest. That's the point ... I think. Natural human interest fused with world-around-media-connectedness = a waste of f***ing time.

This is kind of tragic, is it not? Certainly ridiculous.
posted by philip-random at 7:50 PM on October 15, 2009


The balloon thread tought me that there is no way to easily refresh using mefi mobile, and there is no way to look cool when furiously flicking your finger across your iPhone screen to get to the bottom of a thread.
posted by iamkimiam at 7:57 PM on October 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


As-it-happens NewsFilter seems to me to be the purest form of ChatFilter. In that situation, the thread is essentially acting like an early-nineties refreshes-every-30-seconds chatroom, with constant crosstalk and wave after wave of a hundred comments saying the same thing at the same time with each new revelation, and gah.

Yeah, that ain't MetaFilter.

I'm sure y'all racked up those news ratings though, so, kudos!
posted by Sys Rq at 7:58 PM on October 15, 2009


(That said, it was a fun read.)
posted by Sys Rq at 7:59 PM on October 15, 2009


Oh, and my love of words containing 'ught' in their spelling.

By love, I mean hate.
posted by iamkimiam at 7:59 PM on October 15, 2009


an early-nineties refreshes-every-30-seconds chatroom

Can you imagine if one had existed with the quality of users that we have here? It'd probably still be running.
posted by setanor at 8:00 PM on October 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


and there is no way to look cool when furiously flicking your finger across your iPhone screen to get to the bottom of a thread.

Seconded! Any way we could get a "jump to the bottom of the page" button?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:01 PM on October 15, 2009


oh hey it's the i-don't-own-a-tv brigade. thanks for updating us on your non-mass-media-watching status! i was just wondering if any of you had caved in and joined the mainstream. Glad to know you're still "keeping it real"!
posted by empath at 8:02 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


This made me laugh:

100 ft.
Impact!
soft landing
It just landed.
Just landed!
It just landed!!!
He just landed.
Oh it's on the ground. Jesus fuck.


Anyway...

Klang, by your first two criteria, shouldn't we delete the 9/11 thread because it was too thin and made up of a single URL that (I haven't checked) might possibly die at some point? Sometimes we have single link posts, and when it comes to breaking news, often that's the best a poster can do on a subject. I don't speak for the rest of our community, but personally, I'm okay with that. As the news unfolds, links will most likely be added in the comments. That is normal.

3) The comments were predominantly of two stripes: cheap LULZ and sanctimonious garment rending over said LULZ.

No, they weren't. There were several simultaneous conversations going on in that thread, and I participated in some of them.

And since when is a post's status determined by how the conversation thread goes, anyway?
posted by zarq at 8:04 PM on October 15, 2009


The balloon thread tought me that there is no way to easily refresh using mefi mobile, and there is no way to look cool when furiously flicking your finger across your iPhone screen to get to the bottom of a thread.

I was reading it on my Blackberry for a while. The "Recent Activity" url worked well. Although there were times when the comments outpaced the "last ten" between refreshes. :)
posted by zarq at 8:06 PM on October 15, 2009


Seconded! Any way we could get a "jump to the bottom of the page" button?

I think if we at least get this pony out of this ordeal, the whole thing will have been worthwhile.
posted by empath at 8:09 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Any way we could get a "jump to the bottom of the page" button?

Yay! No more of this pesky 'reading the thread' nonsense!
posted by Sys Rq at 8:13 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yay! No more of this pesky 'reading the thread' nonsense!

Yeah, what? The point is that on a mobile device, you have to scroll from the top to bottom every time you reload the page.
posted by setanor at 8:15 PM on October 15, 2009


zarq: Klang, by your first two criteria, shouldn't we delete the 9/11 thread because it was too thin and made up of a single URL that (I haven't checked) might possibly die at some point? Sometimes we have single link posts, and when it comes to breaking news, often that's the best a poster can do on a subject. I don't speak for the rest of our community, but personally, I'm okay with that. As the news unfolds, links will most likely be added in the comments. That is normal.

You're joking, right? You aren't seriously comparing the one thing to the other, are you?
posted by paisley henosis at 8:15 PM on October 15, 2009


Yay! No more of this pesky 'reading the thread' nonsense!

Glad you started with this one!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:16 PM on October 15, 2009


You're joking, right? You aren't seriously comparing the one thing to the other, are you?

Well, when klang is suggesting the criteria for a good post come before all other considerations, why not?
posted by setanor at 8:17 PM on October 15, 2009


You're joking, right? You aren't seriously comparing the one thing to the other, are you?

In the most simple sense, they're both breaking news. I have no problem substituting another example if the comparison offends. Try the Gonzales resignation or Terry Schiavo threads, instead, then.
posted by zarq at 8:20 PM on October 15, 2009


"I think this kind of thing is unavoidable, though. When everyone is watching something on TV, then all the mefites want a place to talk to each other about it. So someone creates a thread. It shouldn't happen often, but sometimes it just makes sense."

This is the kind of thing IRC is great for.

"it's a post we could have very easily have done without, but it's a post we got and there wasn't any apparent need to get rid of it once it showed up."

Except to discourage future OMG BREAKING NEWS posts.

"I think this story was just too weird to be worth trying to learn from. You can build strong community disapproval for poorly sourced stories, or stories that haven't been verified, or stories that turn Metafilter into CNN, or stories that are silly... "


Yes, let's do that.

"...and people are still going to post about a six-year-old kid in a helium balloon who's not really in the helium balloon whose parents were on Wife Swap."

Which we can then delete.

I mean, really, did anyone think the kid wasn't hiding somewhere from being yelled at? Let us wait til the dust has settled to decide if something is post-worthy.
posted by Eideteker at 8:22 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Two thousand dead Americans in a massive terrorist strike, the State's right, ability or willingness to intervene in the life of a private citizen, and the resignation of a suspected accomplice to war crimes.

A little boy who seems to be in a hot air balloon.

If you really think those are all the same level of news-filter, then I don't know what to say to you. Or, at least, I don't know anything civil to say.
posted by paisley henosis at 8:25 PM on October 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


I think Metafilter would be a better place if we had a live play-by-play of a lost kid in a zepplin being chased by helicopters every day. I really do.
posted by Avenger at 8:25 PM on October 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


This is the kind of thing IRC is great for.

Right, IRC client use is so ubiquitous these days...

Except to discourage future OMG BREAKING NEWS posts.

Which is great, if that's what you want. Why try so hard to foster community disapproval when there's so much innate approval already? Maybe this isn't the right community for you.

I mean, really, did anyone think the kid wasn't hiding somewhere from being yelled at?

Yes, when the news first broke, it seemed plausible that there was a child inside.
posted by setanor at 8:25 PM on October 15, 2009


If you really think those are all the same level of news-filter

PLEASE. The conversation here is newsfilter or not, regardless of the "level" of newsfilter. I really, really doubt zarq was trying to draw a connection between the events themselves beyond how they might be categorized into the categories of newsfilter or not-newsfilter.
posted by setanor at 8:27 PM on October 15, 2009


If you really think those are all the same level of news-filter, then I don't know what to say to you. Or, at least, I don't know anything civil to say.

By all means though, let's completely ignore the point I was making completely in favor of over-the-top sensitivity.
posted by zarq at 8:30 PM on October 15, 2009


When I posted it, I was at work, and not watching TV, and nobody around me was talking about it. A friend IM'd me the story, I thought wow, that's a really interesting story (and seriously, if you don't think it is, then you are broken) and posted it to metafilter. It wan't posted as OMG breaking newsfilter! To me, it was just man-bites-dog-filter. Like -- 'That's not the kind of lede you see every day'. If I had known it was going to get wall-to-wall coverage on cable news, I wouldn't have posted it.
posted by empath at 8:32 PM on October 15, 2009


PLEASE. The conversation here is newsfilter or not,

Or it could be quantum physics. Shrodinger's Boy. A box is floating in a balloon high up in the air. Until the balloon comes to ground, two possible realities (that is, two different universes) are more or less equally probable:

Universe A - the boy in the box
Universe B - the boy is in a different box, upstairs in his home, asleep
posted by philip-random at 8:34 PM on October 15, 2009 [11 favorites]


setanor: PLEASE. The conversation here is newsfilter or not, regardless of the "level" of newsfilter. I really, really doubt zarq was trying to draw a connection between the events themselves beyond how they might be categorized into the categories of newsfilter or not-newsfilter.

It's a specious and shallow distinction; some current events can surpass their roll as 'filler for the 24 hour news cycle' and are actual, meaningful Events, worthy of coverage and discussion while others simply don't.

If your argument is that the posts on news events which truly are Events ought to be held back until something more substantial can be cobbled together, I wouldn't disagree. I think it has worked out well for obit posts, personally. But to say that zarq is comparing apples to apples is just dishonest.
posted by paisley henosis at 8:34 PM on October 15, 2009


PLEASE. The conversation here is newsfilter or not, regardless of the "level" of newsfilter. I really, really doubt zarq was trying to draw a connection between the events themselves beyond how they might be categorized into the categories of newsfilter or not-newsfilter.

And so my intentions aren't deliberately misinterpreted, that was all I was doing. The comment was not intended to be a judgement call on 9/11. I'm a native New Yorker. My feelings about the day and its aftermath are on record here on MeFi and on my own blog, for anyone who cares to search.
posted by zarq at 8:34 PM on October 15, 2009


Eideteker: "I mean, really, did anyone think the kid wasn't hiding somewhere from being yelled at?"

Apparently.

I mean, golf clap for you not having been fooled like the rest of the rubes. But, for better or worse, people believed in Balloon Boy.

Any argument that doesn't begin with an acknowledgment of that just isn't dealing in facts.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:40 PM on October 15, 2009 [6 favorites]


What bugs me about the complainers is that they're really just using it to point out how much better they are than everyone else that they aren't interested in this sort of thing.

Meanwhile they're pissing away their time back here pointlessly navel gazing about it when they could be doing something valuable with their time like solving world hunger.
posted by empath at 8:40 PM on October 15, 2009 [5 favorites]


I found that thread when it was at around 400 comments and just sat and read rapidly through the whole thing. It was oddly emotional, like getting an entire crisis and resolution to an entire story in about five minutes.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:41 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


I loved that thread and thought it was awesome. The human drama was great, nobody was killed, and now it's getting crazy. It was like a party! THURSDAY IS THE NEW FRIDAY!
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:42 PM on October 15, 2009 [4 favorites]


Universe A - the boy in the box
Universe B - the boy is in a different box, upstairs in his home, asleep


There is, of course, a third reality in which both boxes are manifested by the boy, and he exists in neither.
posted by setanor at 8:42 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


I loved that thread and thought it was awesome.

You just loved it because you 70 people accidentally favorited your first comment when they REALLY meant to favorite my well crafted post.
posted by empath at 8:44 PM on October 15, 2009


It's true.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:45 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's a specious and shallow distinction; some current events can surpass their roll as 'filler for the 24 hour news cycle' and are actual, meaningful Events, worthy of coverage and discussion while others simply don't.

The balloon incident looked like a meaningful event at the time.

I commented in the balloon thread when it was happening. To my eyes, it looked as if a small child was in mortal jeopardy. I was as relieved as many other people in that thread when he was not discovered in the balloon. My kids are 19 months old. As a parent, the idea that a young boy might have died as a result of both parental negligence and their own simple innocent curiosity made me sick to my stomach.

In progress, it looked like an unfolding tragedy. It's all well and good for you to smugly announce that this was a non-event after the fact. But to some of us it didn't look that way at the time, no matter what cynical or morbid jokes a few people in that thread were making.

If your argument is that the posts on news events which truly are Events ought to be held back until something more substantial can be cobbled together, I wouldn't disagree.

If Klang had made this point, I might have agreed with and supported it. He did not.

I think it has worked out well for obit posts, personally. But to say that zarq is comparing apples to apples is just dishonest.

I'm truly sorry you were offended and have tried in good faith to clarify what I meant in my original comment in this thread. Hopefully, you understand my point now.
posted by zarq at 8:45 PM on October 15, 2009


Setanor, thank you for defending me. I appreciate it.
posted by zarq at 8:48 PM on October 15, 2009


"Right, IRC client use is so ubiquitous these days..."

Not my fault. mibbit.com makes it as close as your browser. If you can MeFi, you should be able to chat! =D

"Why try so hard to foster community disapproval when there's so much innate approval already? Maybe this isn't the right community for you."

Same could be said for gay marriage. Not the same level or degree, but the principle is the same. If you don't think something is healthy, you should work to change it. Not leave. Else you'll be forever leaving.

"Yes, when the news first broke, it seemed plausible that there was a child inside."

So? Should we start posting on everything that's plausible? Also, I don't think the possible death of a child is something to gawk at. And if you know the child/family, you're welcome to speculate on your own blog.

"The balloon incident looked like a meaningful event at the time."

I disagree. It looked like an entertaining event, something to talk about. Kids do stupid stuff all the time. Sometimes they get killed. It's a shame, but it's not the best of the web. And if you want to mourn, let's wait til there's a body.
posted by Eideteker at 8:49 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Meanwhile they're pissing away their time back here pointlessly navel gazing about it when they could be doing something valuable with their time like solving world hunger."

Hey, it's almost midnight. I'm done working on World Hunger for the day. Now it's time for me to work on making my MeFi better.
posted by Eideteker at 8:51 PM on October 15, 2009


I've done some self-reflecting, and am willing to make the following pledge.

The next time a young child appears to have floated away from his house in a fantastical flying machine, I will wait until we find out if he survives, whereupon I will post a round up of media criticism of the coverage of the event, and editorialize on how it reflects badly on the Current State of American Culture.

And if he dies, I will post a thoroughly researched obituary post, with a title derived from wistful, hipster-approved indy rock lyrics.
posted by empath at 8:52 PM on October 15, 2009 [8 favorites]


my MeFi

It's not just yours.
posted by setanor at 8:54 PM on October 15, 2009


Don't forget to act all butthurt when people disagree with your judgement, empath.
posted by Eideteker at 8:54 PM on October 15, 2009


My MeFi experience, then?
posted by Eideteker at 8:55 PM on October 15, 2009


I'm not actually butthurt, I'm amused by it, because hey - 800 comments!
posted by empath at 8:55 PM on October 15, 2009


My MeFi experience, then?

Maybe just ignore the one single post of the sort of that only comes up very infrequently that you don't like that lots of other people seemed to really enjoy and focus on the fact that it really didn't do anything bad to this community at all?
posted by setanor at 8:57 PM on October 15, 2009


On the Blackberry, pressing the B key jumps you to the bottom of the page.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:00 PM on October 15, 2009


Yeah, I mean, I'm really concerned about this sort of thing becoming a trend -- i mean if every time a 6 year old boy flies away from his house in a giant ufo, someone posts it to metafilter, what kind of place would this be? I mean, it would be all giant balloon filter all the time.

Actually that would be kinda cool.
posted by empath at 9:00 PM on October 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


GiantJiffyPopBalloonFilter: All Giant Jiffy Pop Balloons, All The Time, Forever.

A beautiful, buttermilk-yellow background should do it.
posted by setanor at 9:01 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


On the Blackberry, pressing the B key jumps you to the bottom of the page.

!!!

Thanks!
posted by zarq at 9:03 PM on October 15, 2009


You're right. Who am I to question the wisdom of blindly following the news networks?

Here is a quick guideline: Setting aside my distaste for news in my mefi (as I understand that's not everyone's taste), think of your newsfilter post as a story. Do you have all the actors accounted for? All the details? Is there a beginning, middle, and end? If not, has it been long enough for the missing actors to be declared dead (a la Amelia Earhart)?

The news caster on the TV where I was eating lunch said that this was "a story we'll never forget." I disagree. Far from being a transformative event of our times/generation, it will be forgotten as soon as the next major news item involving something shiny appears. It's a question of media literacy, and not being fooled. You're not dumb or stupid for having felt compassion (or empathy, hah!) for the kid, but again, let's wait til we have all the facts before we go public with our feelings.
posted by Eideteker at 9:05 PM on October 15, 2009


setanor writes "Yeah, what? The point is that on a mobile device, you have to scroll from the top to bottom every time you reload the page."

Instead of refreshing click on the time stamp of the last comment. It's a named anchor to that comment so the page will reload and you will be reading right where you left off. (making the big ol' assumption blackberries/iPhones/Mobile devices support named anchor tags)

empath writes "You just loved it because you 70 people accidentally favorited your first comment when they REALLY meant to favorite my well crafted post."

That would explain it. I couldn't believe it when Astro Zombie's lead off comment had 65 favourites when I saw it. My not even six year old can tie and untie her shoes and her dog's leash; can operate both the combination deadbolt on our front door and the key dead bolt on the back door; can identify the key for our van out of the 20 or so keys on my keyring, open the locked door of the van, insert the key in the ignition, and start the van; can operate the DVD player and Wii better than a lot of adults I know; can take pictures, upload the pictures to her computer, and then print them off; isn't slowed in the least by child resistant caps on medicine bottles and has was able to log in to her computer and figured out how to change her password at the age of four1. Releasing this balloon probably would be childes play short of a latch requiring more strength to operate than she can apply.

[1] Interestingly because she's just learning to spell now up until a couple months ago her passwords, which she generated on her own, were crazy strong resembling line noise rather than anything a normal user would use.
posted by Mitheral at 9:08 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


And T of course pops you back up top.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:08 PM on October 15, 2009


Shorter sentences, please. And monosyllabic words.

I see what you did there.
posted by scalefree at 9:09 PM on October 15, 2009


It's a question of media literacy, and not being fooled.

Honestly, that's relative. I didn't really feel anything for the kid, and more people than you think were pretty unconvinced for most of the "drama", though it sure would have been a sad day if he had been in the thing and it crashed. I just enjoyed following how this community reacted to the idiosyncrasies of the event, figured things out... Again, in the traditional sense, this is not an appropriate use of Metafilter. But, I think most people would argue that an important part of Metafilter is flexibility in certain circumstances, and I think this was one of those, not because this is supposedly some cultural touchstone, but because it had some sort of miscellaneous, uncharacterized resonance.
posted by setanor at 9:10 PM on October 15, 2009


Oops, totally missed it. Wouldn't have noticed it all if it weren't for this thread. This means I'm either totally post-post-post-post-modern and media aware, or I'm a complete ignoramus. You pick.

(I'd reference the fantastic Lucksmiths tune "Up", but I can't find a pirated version online, and my new ISP refuses to host mp3s for me. Oh well, your loss.)
posted by pompomtom at 9:12 PM on October 15, 2009


Instead of refreshing click on the time stamp of the last comment. It's a named anchor to that comment so the page will reload and you will be reading right where you left off. (making the big ol' assumption blackberries/iPhones/Mobile devices support named anchor tags)

That would be great if it actually worked, but it doesn't. At least, I've never been able to make it work on the iPod Touch browser.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:12 PM on October 15, 2009


I really don't think it's necessary to characterize this as evidence of the fall of society to media ubiquity. If we had all been working on neighboring farms, and over ol' Matty's farm there was a big balloon and ol' Jimbo comes over and says hey guys I hear ol' Kenny's youngest is up in that there thing we all would have gathered around the fence-posts and discussed it and wondered if he was there or inside, etc...
posted by setanor at 9:12 PM on October 15, 2009


It's a question of media literacy, and not being fooled. You're not dumb or stupid for having felt compassion (or empathy, hah!) for the kid, but again, let's wait til we have all the facts before we go public with our feelings.

I'm sorry if I gave you the impression that I actually cared about this callout, and that's a hilarious amount of condescension in one paragraph.
posted by empath at 9:13 PM on October 15, 2009


that's a hilarious amount of condescension in one paragraph.

It actually knocked me over for a few seconds.
posted by setanor at 9:14 PM on October 15, 2009


2He NEVAR FORGET
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:15 PM on October 15, 2009


Okay, I am going to finish up my Meghan McCain Twitter Scandal post so I can get it up before the rush tomorrow morning, so I'm checking out of this thread.
posted by empath at 9:16 PM on October 15, 2009


Okay, I am going to finish up my Meghan McCain Twitter Scandal post so I can get it up before the rush tomorrow morning, so I'm checking out of this thread.

I thought you were doing the Garth Brooks post?
posted by setanor at 9:17 PM on October 15, 2009


ThePinkSuperhero writes "That would be great if it actually worked, but it doesn't. At least, I've never been able to make it work on the iPod Touch browser."

Well it was only introduced in the html 1.0 draft specification so I can see why they might not have it working yet. Or does the mobile version of MeFi strip the anchor tags?
posted by Mitheral at 9:23 PM on October 15, 2009


Yeah that thread is all sorts of hot air.

It's odd how certain stories get taken up, and others ignored.

Last week a man fell from a balloon in NM; last week five teens set a 15 year old boy on fire; last week a Louisiana Justice-of-the-Peace refused to marry an interracial couple; today an Oklahoma woman was charged with locking her son in a closet for years; this week Goldman Sachs announced it is giving out over 16 billion dollars in bonuses; and yet these stories are all too grim, and somehow the story of Falcon floating away had the right combination of suspense and drama and potential heroic redemption (we'll never know) to momentarily captivate the media machine....reminds me of the story of the kid who fell into the well...
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 9:23 PM on October 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


Who's better, the people who speculated with no facts to go on for hours or the navel gazers who slam those who wanted to live in the now?
posted by inturnaround at 9:24 PM on October 15, 2009


This post, about the identified flying object that did not have any passengers, was a bad post for Metafilter.

Oh boo hoo. Get over it.
posted by Artw at 9:26 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


"I really don't think it's necessary to characterize this as evidence of the fall of society to media ubiquity. If we had all been working on neighboring farms, and over ol' Matty's farm there was a big balloon and ol' Jimbo comes over and says hey guys I hear ol' Kenny's youngest is up in that there thing we all would have gathered around the fence-posts and discussed it and wondered if he was there or inside, etc..."

Another thing overheard from the news was when there was no boy inside. The newscaster said something to the effect that this was either a horrible tragedy or a terrible hoax that had been perpetrated on the nation. Well, no. It wasn't either. And even if it was a hoax, it was your fault for going national with it. I could divine no intent to defraud the entire American public, other than by the news outlets looking for ratings.

I think my concern is more for having the tenor and tone of the conversation set by a few sources with a lot of capital. It's about using judgement to decide if something the news networks focus on is really that important. Thankfully, no one listened to that jerk and, say, lynched the family, but stuff like that has happened in the past. And sure, the "fooled the community, let's get 'em" stuff happened in the fencepost days, too. Doesn't mean we should keep it up.

"that's a hilarious amount of condescension in one paragraph."

I'm not hearing it. Maybe adjust your browser and read it again? You seem to be taking this personally, in that "dude, I am so laughing at this because it's beneath me to take it personally" way. (Okay, THAT was condescending, but in a joking, "no hard feelings, let's get some beers" way.) I'm not trying to attack you or put you on trial here. What matters to me is the discussion. Setanor makes a good point about the discussion in the thread being fairly reasoned. I don't know because I didn't read the thread. 800+ comments was too much to sort through. Which, again, is why I think this is not so much a web thing as a chat thing (whether IRC or some other shared chatspace). It's a case where immediacy is important, but lasting impact is low.

"Oh boo hoo. Build a bridgeballoon and Get over it."

FTFY. And me.
posted by Eideteker at 9:33 PM on October 15, 2009


As-it-happens NewsFilter seems to me to be the purest form of ChatFilter. In that situation, the thread is essentially acting like an early-nineties refreshes-every-30-seconds chatroom, with constant crosstalk and wave after wave of a hundred comments saying the same thing at the same time with each new revelation, and gah.

Yeah, that ain't MetaFilter.



It's time we stop pretending Metafilter is just about the posts; it's not. Metafilter is also about the discussion. We have 80,000 plus members here and they're here for the discussion. To pretend otherwise is to ignore the obvious.
posted by nola at 9:33 PM on October 15, 2009 [11 favorites]


"As-it-happens NewsFilter seems to me to be the purest form of ChatFilter. In that situation, the thread is essentially acting like an early-nineties refreshes-every-30-seconds chatroom, with constant crosstalk and wave after wave of a hundred comments saying the same thing at the same time with each new revelation, and gah."

This is really the gist of what I'm saying. I know Matt's not really into running a chat server as well as everything else, but it seems like there should be a better place for mefites to do this.
posted by Eideteker at 9:36 PM on October 15, 2009


This is really the gist of what I'm saying.

I guess what I'm saying is that I really do understand why you don't like that sort of thing, but I think the community can maintain ideal integrity while allowing these to crop up every so often, even if it's not the sort of post you enjoy, and even if you think it represents some sort of cultural malfeasance perpetrated by the media. That didn't really influence most of the conversation that was in the thread - sure, there were a lot of one-liners, and a lot of cross-talking, but it's like that one day in school where your teacher lets you go have class outside for that one day near the end of the year. There were always the kids who hated that...
posted by setanor at 9:41 PM on October 15, 2009


Hey, I liked it just fine, so long as I could read my book under a tree, in peace.
posted by Eideteker at 9:43 PM on October 15, 2009


Can you even imagine how long the thread would have been if Metafilter had existed when Baby Jessica fell down the well in 1987? 2.5 days of comments before she was even rescued!
posted by ericost at 9:43 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Children are starving, children are being abused, sold into slavery, the f***ing apocalypse is upon us ... but we nevertheless found several hours on Sept-15-2009 to drop everything and fix our hungry empathic focus on a runaway balloon with a non-boy in it.

Yeah, I hate not being able to care about more than one thing at a time, too.
posted by ShawnStruck at 9:44 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, the conversation has now moved to Terror Farts. That thread is like the pudding in Sleeper
posted by setanor at 9:46 PM on October 15, 2009


Amber alert hoax. This is the kind of thing I'm hoping to avoid making its way to MeFi. Get the facts!
posted by Eideteker at 9:49 PM on October 15, 2009


But... it didn't.
posted by setanor at 9:49 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Until now!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:55 PM on October 15, 2009


I blame eideteker for that story making it to metafilter.
posted by dersins at 9:56 PM on October 15, 2009


THURSDAY IS THE NEW FRIDAY!

FRIDAY is the NEW FRIDAY!*

*for those of us who live in the future.
posted by gomichild at 9:59 PM on October 15, 2009


So, I hadn't watched tv all day today. And then I decide to check The Superficial for some newsworthy tidbits and low and behold there's alluding to "Balloon Boy." I was all, "What the heck?" Figuring I was missing something, I turned on the news channels and it seemed I kept missing the story. Then I decided to check the news online. Those news stories, were of course, incomplete (since the situation had not yet resolved). Anyway . . . I was really unable to find "complete coverage" on the story. Frustrating.

You know what I did then? I checked MetaFilter hoping there was a post/thread that would round out the picture.

I was not disappointed. Maybe it wasn't the place for that post, I dunno. But I'm glad it was there.
posted by Sassyfras at 10:02 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Give me this post over some SLYT post, any day.
posted by jayder at 10:09 PM on October 15, 2009 [5 favorites]


"No, YOU'RE a bad post for metafilter ... oh hey it's the i-don't-own-a-tv brigade ... I'm not actually butthurt"

Logicians should come up with a new form of fallacy called the "hipster irony fallacy" where skinny white hipsters make ironic and snarky counter-arguments, then claim that they don't really care about the position they are putting forth.
posted by ollyollyoxenfree at 10:26 PM on October 15, 2009


Oh, shit, skinny and white? Where's my pickaxe?
posted by setanor at 10:28 PM on October 15, 2009


Seconded! Any way we could get a "jump to the bottom of the page" button?

This would be super handy! Thirded, fourthed, fifthed, or whatever number we're up to now.
posted by painquale at 10:35 PM on October 15, 2009


Klangklangston is so tough, he laughed at the sad part of Up, just like that scene with Max Cady in Scorcese's Cape Fear. j/k
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:44 PM on October 15, 2009


Seconded! Any way we could get a "jump to the bottom of the page" button?

We've discussed this a number of times & each time agreed against it. Encouraging people to skip to the end will only short-circuit the conversation & lead to more duplicate comments, derails & confusion that disrupts the flow of the discussion. If you really want to do it anyway, your web browser has a keyboard shortcut you can use.
posted by scalefree at 10:47 PM on October 15, 2009


I can't believe people are complaining about that thread. That was like the body of a full thread evolving in real time. Invisible boy in runaway balloon. As its on every tv station, a lost episode of Wife Swap turns up, as well as, what was the other thing people were linking - an instructional video about boxes by the father?

And the resolution is, the boy is hiding in a box! It was ridiculous.

But Astro Zombie hit it on the head - it was like a spontaneous party, with everyone getting to do what they do best - cracking jokes, digging up new links, people were working out the math and physics of the balloon dilemma .... it was great.

Ultimately, I think if it didn't happen the way it did, we would still have a thread and it would stick.
posted by mannequito at 10:49 PM on October 15, 2009


Seconded! Any way we could get a "jump to the bottom of the page" button?

We've discussed this a number of times & each time agreed against it. Encouraging people to skip to the end will only short-circuit the conversation & lead to more duplicate comments, derails & confusion that disrupts the flow of the discussion. If you really want to do it anyway, your web browser has a keyboard shortcut you can use.


Could the next person who wants to respond to this topic please read the conversation from the beginning, and attempt understanding? The irony here is killing me. The topic is as follows: those of us attempting to read long threads in iPhones/iPods have no way of reloading the page without losing our place. Having to scroll from top to bottom of the long pages again and again is a pain in the ass. The ways that help on normal browsers do not apply. Some sort of feature for mobile users could be helpful in this matter.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:05 PM on October 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


skinny white hipsters

you just jealous of my metabolism, don't hate.
posted by empath at 11:12 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Logicians should come up with a new form of fallacy called the "hipster irony fallacy" where skinny white hipsters make ironic and snarky counter-arguments, then claim that they don't really care about the position they are putting forth.

Also, I don't think you know what fallacy means.
posted by empath at 11:15 PM on October 15, 2009


Could the next person who wants to respond to this topic please read the conversation from the beginning, and attempt understanding?

I've been reading the thread all along but when I see people talking about iPods my eyes tend to glaze over. So I guess I missed that part. My bad.
posted by scalefree at 11:25 PM on October 15, 2009


"I don't think you know what fallacy means."

lol, yes, and I'm sure a person that makes a statement without reasoning is a person with authority to claim what is or isn't a fallacy.

This is for you.
posted by ollyollyoxenfree at 11:26 PM on October 15, 2009


It's time we stop pretending Metafilter is just about the posts; it's not. Metafilter is also about the discussion.

Yeah.

And good grief, there are cute kitten videos that make FPPs. If there weren't some variety it would be a dull and boring place.
posted by SLC Mom at 11:27 PM on October 15, 2009


Hey klang.
posted by vronsky at 11:28 PM on October 15, 2009


lol, yes, and I'm sure a person that makes a statement without reasoning is a person with authority to claim what is or isn't a fallacy.

I merely questioned whether you knew what it was. And I still think you don't. I also don't think you know what 'hipster' means or 'ironic' or 'argument'.
posted by empath at 11:42 PM on October 15, 2009


Falcon Heene's Flying Machine
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 11:45 PM on October 15, 2009


"I merely questioned whether you knew what it was"

um, no. You made a claim without reasoning -- "I don't think ..." -- as to why you believe it. If it was a question, then your writing is ambiguous.

"I also don't think you know what 'hipster' means or 'ironic' or 'argument'."

Ok sure, Mr I-make-claims-without-reasoning.
posted by ollyollyoxenfree at 11:49 PM on October 15, 2009


man you really told a guy on the internet he was wrong about something i gotta hand it to you.
posted by empath at 11:54 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


lol, i know, ring-a-ding-ding school is in amrite? it must be awesome to make one-liner digg/reddit-type claims without reasoning, the dick tuck away from your original claim.

1: "I DON'T BELIEVE YOU KNOW X."

2: Ok, what brought you to that conclusion?

3: "I MERELY QUESTIONED WHETHER YOU KNEW X. MAN I AM SO SMART QUESTIONING PEOPLE ON THE NET. BACK TO DRINKING PABST BLUE AND BEING IRONIC."
posted by ollyollyoxenfree at 12:01 AM on October 16, 2009


BACK TO DRINKING PABST BLUE AND BEING IRONIC

what the fuck is up with your "hipster" fetish?
posted by setanor at 12:10 AM on October 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Like, on the one hand, I'm tempted to keep replying to see how long this will go on, and on the other hand, I don't think I should be encouraging Angry Internet Man behavior, so I'll just let it drop.
posted by empath at 12:16 AM on October 16, 2009


But like, I dunno Olly --

let's pretend you're having a party at your house and you're getting into a little bit of an argument with your friends about what you're gonna watch on the TV. Say you wanna watch sports and one of your friends wants to watch Lost, then some random stranger walks off the street and calls you a fat stupid hippy.

That's kinda what you did here. I mean, sure the doors open and anybody can post back in metatalk, but most of the folks in the thread have been here a while, and there's a HISTORY, so when I tell Mr Klangston that "NO YOU'RE A BAD POST FOR METAFILTER" he knows that I don't really mean it, and we all shared a knowing laugh about it.

So what you did here was make a bunch of invalid assumptions about what was going on here (and incidentally about who I am -- but that's just amusing) and decided to put in your two cents where it wasn't needed.
posted by empath at 12:28 AM on October 16, 2009


"what the fuck is up with your "hipster" fetish?"

Are you taking it personally?

"I don't think I should be encouraging Angry Internet Man behavior, so I'll just let it drop ... But like, I dunno Olly ... blah blah blah crappy analogy"

So you are trolling?

"So what you did here was make a bunch of invalid assumptions about what was going on here (and incidentally about who I am -- but that's just amusing) and decided to put in your two cents where it wasn't needed."

Oh, cry me a river you big privileged baby. Metatalk isn't your secret little club. Part of it is ripping the crap out of each other, and you damn well know it.

Remind me to bring my super secret metafriends and stone masons cipher next time I pop my head in here, so I can decode everything.
posted by ollyollyoxenfree at 12:52 AM on October 16, 2009


Yeah, I don't think this is really going to work out for you.
posted by empath at 12:59 AM on October 16, 2009


The meta-arbiter has spoken.
posted by ollyollyoxenfree at 1:07 AM on October 16, 2009


yeah well your mom arbits hipsters
posted by little e at 1:32 AM on October 16, 2009 [7 favorites]


I use the normal, not Mobile, Mefi. For me, on an iPhone:
* click on a timestamp near the end
* click on the time bar at the top to go up
* click reload
* go back
This puts me back where I was.

To go to the end, click on the "search" field at the top right, then click "Next" above the keyboard.

If you tack on "#comment" to the address, it goes to the bottom - like when you preview - but as a bookmark, it goes to localhost instead. Presumably this would be doable as a "Skip to the end" bookmarklet, but I'm not up to writing it just now.
posted by Pronoiac at 1:38 AM on October 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Of course, having written that, then gone to view source: Mobile's far less functional. Every single element I just wrote about - timestamps, any text fields at all (no posting anything?!), the #comment anchor - isn't available there.
posted by Pronoiac at 1:48 AM on October 16, 2009


Uh, make that "timestamp links" instead of "timestamps." The named anchors are there, but there are no obvious links to them.
posted by Pronoiac at 2:02 AM on October 16, 2009


Oh, hang on. Maybe it's "go back, then forward? And if that doesn't work, go up to the location bar, select it, & hit 'go?'"

I am not even awake right now. 'Night.

posted by Pronoiac at 2:22 AM on October 16, 2009


Down with this sort of thing.
posted by fire&wings at 2:24 AM on October 16, 2009


Oh, cry me a river you big privileged baby. Metatalk isn't your secret little club. Part of it is ripping the crap out of each other, and you damn well know it.

Remind me to bring my super secret metafriends and stone masons cipher next time I pop my head in here, so I can decode everything.


Dude, that is some really impressively pokey wang-waving but you should smoke a bowl or quit bogarting the coke. You're raging like a sackful of porcupines tumbling in a dryer.

Anyway.

Seriously? I broke my vow of silence for that thread? Fuck that shit. You want a slow news day? You want mad balloonists? This is about what it'll take to get off the ground...

...you see, I've actually done the math on this before. I did the math originally back in about 1983 when I first saw weather balloons for sale in an Edmund Scientific catalog. Depressingly - the numbers seem to keep going up the older I get. In many more ways than simply dollars it's much cheaper to do this the younger (and dumber) you are.

Here, I have a shopping list.

75 8' weather balloons in latex or neoprene. NO MYLAR.

20000 cubic feet of high potency 99.99% pure helium - approximately 60-75 T, K or A sized high pressure cylinders depending on fill. Basically a truckload.

3000 linear feet of high quality braided 1/16-1/8th inch nylon line in various bright colors.

200 feet of parachute cord.

25 feet of cargo sling webbing and assorted hardware including load bearing carabiners, shackles and ratchets (TBD)

1 bag of assorted nylon zip ties (100 ct)

2 large rolls of industrial grade duct or gaffer tape.

1 webbed aluminum chaise lounge.

1 pump action pellet gun with box of pellets.

4 2.5 gallon jugs of drinking water.

1 large styrofoam cooler filled with ice and a case of good beer and a fifth of vodka.

1 pack of rolling tobacco.

1 pair of sunglasses.

And finally,

1 printed banner of your choice weighing no more than 10 pounds.

Terror farts will be amply and generously provided by the pilot. Gratis.
posted by loquacious at 2:38 AM on October 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


I think there were interesting discussions about what being a dilettante means, what it means to be attention whores, what good parenting means, TV culture, and I came home and had a really interesting discussion with Mr. Llama about the different ways we consumed this story during the course of the day, with mine being via Metafilter and Twitter and his being traditional news, and I also happened to see the story unfolding on CNN in front of a couple dozen people in the breakroom near my desk.

So it was really interesting to talk about the relationship between speed and accuracy in news delivery, and what a slow behemoth TV news seems comparatively.

I thought it was a good post. I learned a lot. I know it seems like a circus/People magazine kind of thing, but I thought there was a lot of there there.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 3:01 AM on October 16, 2009


I mean, it would be all giant balloon filter all the time. Actually that would be kinda cool.

Well, balloonfilter.com is available, if you want to get something started.
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 4:26 AM on October 16, 2009


A commercial. For a TV show. A reality TV show.

/me burns down western civilization
posted by DU at 4:49 AM on October 16, 2009


I'm with Klang on this one. It's not the kind of thread that adds anything of value, other than the lulz (which usually aren't very lulzy, so it's more lulls, as in "lulls you to sleep"). Not something worth being up in arms over, but definitely I hope the trend is away from that sort of thread, rather than encouraging it for every story of the moment.
posted by Forktine at 5:02 AM on October 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


You guys have got to stop being scandalized that some bad-to-mediocre posts get hundreds of comments and some thoughtful posts get 14. Placing a comment isn't the same as voting on the worth of a thread. A crazy new-of-the-moment post like balloon boy has a bunch of easy entry points into discussion, so that your math geeks, helpful news updaters, snarky bastards, and detective squad types all have a hook to get them involved, and all it takes to jump in is: "According to my back-of-the-envelope figures....," "CNN just said FOO!," "buttloons, lol," or "Hey, look! They made a children's video!" High intrinsic drama + low threshold for meaningful content within the context of the thread = 13 bajillion comments. On the other hand, the Roald Dahl post (which I love with all my heart), takes reading a slew of text and probably having some done some specific reading in the past in order to make much of a contribution. That's just the way of the world.

To recap: comments don't equal votes on worthiness. And favorites still don't equal love.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 5:30 AM on October 16, 2009 [7 favorites]


A Terrible Llama: " it was really interesting to talk about the relationship between speed and accuracy in news delivery, and what a slow behemoth TV news seems comparatively. "

It was certainly amusing to see CNN's front page grimly reporting "Deputy: ZOMG! Something Fell From Balloon!" while people in the thread were already celebrating/rolling their eyes at the discovery of the boy in the attic, with the corks popping on all those pent-up LULZ.
posted by Joe Beese at 5:37 AM on October 16, 2009


loquacious! Good to see you. Now get back to work.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:02 AM on October 16, 2009


The other thing that I thought was interesting is that there's really no where you can go for reporting that's as fast as the internet. CNN is pretty bad and has a pretty bad website, but I think they're the fastest as far as mainstream news goes when reporting a major story, and however people feel about it being a major story, the reality is that if it dominates television all afternoon it's a major story.

So, if you want the up to the minute details, you want web sources. The internet knew about the Wife Swap link in about a second and a half. So there's your source, except that your best source is also prone to doing things like Photoshopping a child falling out of a hot air balloon, strictly for the lulz.

It certainly takes a lot more work to be a consumer of news than ever before, but then on the other hand, it probably always should have taken more work -- there have certainly been times when mainstream news should have been questioned more often and harder than it was. Like, oh, I don't know, the past half century or so.

Now it's just much harder to pretend otherwise.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 6:06 AM on October 16, 2009


As-it-happens NewsFilter seems to me to be the purest form of ChatFilter.

Technically, chatfilter is only against the rules on the green, not the blue. The blue is all chat, really, except for when it's the Mefi Political Debating Club.
posted by smackfu at 6:30 AM on October 16, 2009


Absolutely, and I'm being discussy and not fighty as well.

I would just like to say that this community affectation is becoming irritaty.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 6:57 AM on October 16, 2009 [6 favorites]


I think I have to agree with slogger on this one. In both that thread and this one, slogger has made the most insightful, accurate and intelligent comments. In fact, if all of us could act more like slogger -- in the way we compose our comments, as well as the way approach one another -- I think Metafilter would be a much better site for it.
posted by slogger at 7:01 AM on October 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think I have to agree with slogger on this one. In both that thread and this one, slogger has made the most insightful, accurate and intelligent comments. In fact, if all of us could act more like slogger -- in the way we compose our comments, as well as the way approach one another -- I think Metafilter would be a much better site for it.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:05 AM on October 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


"I'm being discussy and not fighty as well."

I think you're looking for "discursive" and "argumentative" respectively.

"I would just like to say that this community affectation is becoming irritaty."

Agreedy.
posted by Eideteker at 7:23 AM on October 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Combustible Edison Lighthouse: "162Absolutely, and I'm being discussy and not fighty as well.

I would just like to say that this community affectation is becoming irritaty.
"

Yes, I wish this habit would either quietly fade into disuse and be forgotten or DIAF. Either would be fine, really.

As for the appropriateness that post for MeFi, I have little kids and I was mesmerized by the story. When the word got out that the boy wasn't on the balloon, I was sick because I assumed he had fallen out. Now it looks like it was a hoax.

Metafilter is many things to many people. Not every post has to be erudite. Those posts are great and there are plenty of them for those who have the appetite for them. There are other people here that are interested in different things than you. That's what makes the place so interesting. If a post doesn't catch your interest, move on to the next one.
posted by double block and bleed at 7:27 AM on October 16, 2009


Part of it is ripping the crap out of each other, and you damn well know it.

You are possibly confused or haven't been paying quite enough attention over the past year or so.

And 1000 comments [here and the original thread] later, I have to agree with klang. An unfolding news story that actually affects people is worthy of a single link "zomg news as it unfolds!" CNN link. Human interest japery, maybe not so much. There's literally nothing going on.

I appreciate that people were concerned and wanted the kid to be okay, but if that's the bar, it's too low. Tons of people experience mishaps daily, they just don't all make it on to CNN. Other than the MeTa "let's make fun of the kids parents" and "let's make fun of the media" there just wasn't any there there.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:31 AM on October 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


Guys, it was a breaking news story that dominated literally every single media outlet. It was a 6 year old boy trapped in a speeding out-of-control UFO at 10,000 feet. It generated 1000 comments in less than a day. Do you really think we should have just ignored it?
posted by Damn That Television at 7:54 AM on October 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


And by ignored it, I mean "not instantly made an FPP about it while it was happening" (admittedly there could have been a more substantial post)
posted by Damn That Television at 8:01 AM on October 16, 2009


Part of it is ripping the crap out of each other, and you damn well know it.

This place would actually be a lot better off if fewer people believed in and hewed to that bit of mythology. Please, all else aside, don't go rolling it out as some sort of righteous defense of crappy behavior.

Do you really think we should have just ignored it?

I'm in this middle place where I don't think we should have but don't think we shouldn't have either—either way would have been fine with me. As it is, we got a thread, it wasn't a great post, but it was a big live-bloggy party in the thread and the folks involved seemed by and large to enjoy it even if (or maybe partly because) the whole thing had a simmering and ultimately proved-out whiff of weird bullshit about it.

It wouldn't have been bad for metafilter if there had been no post—we'd have had a smattering of Balloon Boy jokes in random threads instead, and people would have made do. I'm a little more fond of the thread we did get than Jessamyn is, I think, but then I was tooling around in it all afternoon so that kind of figures.

It had the advantage, some odd parent-judging-no-u aggro stuff aside, of being less obnoxious than some of the other weird shit we had to deal with on the site yesterday. Which cuts to another element in the weird mix that is the context of this thread—it was a weird and ultimately trivial situation, but it wasn't one with a strong ideological charge to it of any sort and so it was hundreds of comments without much ox-goring or axe-wielding, which was kind of a pleasant change of pace from some of the very-active threads we sometimes get around here.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:02 AM on October 16, 2009


I think you're looking for "discursive" and "argumentative" respectively.

Don't get homonymy with me, bucko.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:05 AM on October 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I’ll take “fighty” over “Meefs” any day. Seriously – Meefs? Boo.
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 8:05 AM on October 16, 2009


LOL Meefs
posted by josher71 at 8:07 AM on October 16, 2009


I don't know. Mock me as being beneath Metafilter's distinguished high standards if you will, but this is the sort of wacky, silly thread that brought me here in the first place - and continues to keep me here, apparently, all of my unworthiness notwithstanding.

I don't read Metafilter for the news. When I read a news-related post on Metafilter, it's to find enlightening, uplifting, fascinating, depressing, and hilarious new perspectives on that news. This thread contained more hilarity and less substance than most, and that's perfectly okay with me. Granted, I wouldn't like this to happen all the time, but really.

Moderation in all things, including moderation, no?
posted by po at 8:16 AM on October 16, 2009 [8 favorites]


I'm in this middle place where I don't think we should have but don't think we shouldn't have either—either way would have been fine with me.

I mean, I agree with you. But like I said: this absolutely dominated the entire media. Everything, without exception. As a personal example, my boss who really, really doesn't get distracted + is all business + got angry at people last year when they put on the TV to watch the global economy collapse spent about 45 minutes in front of the TV in the conference room watching this.

I'm normally totally resistant to breaking news personal interest story bullshit. But again: small child trapped in out-of-control UFO. It could have been a better post, but to say we shouldn't have had a post at all -- when clearly hundreds of people discussed it, because it was fascinating -- really seems to contradict two of the three big guidelines on what makes a good FFP.
posted by Damn That Television at 8:22 AM on October 16, 2009


Maybe I'm biased because I live in Colorado, but when someone walked over to my desk and said, "There's a six year old boy! Trapped in a floating balloon! Flying over Colorado!" the only thing I could think was "Holy shit! I must see this!"

And then, after I listened to the funny, pull-random-crap-out-of-our-butts newscasters and experts say the same things over and over again, all I could think was, "I can't wait to read the thread on Metafilter! It's going to be hysterical!" And lo, it was hysterical. So what I'm saying is I think threads like that are intrinsically what Metafilter is about, and I don't get why it's a problem.
posted by Kimberly at 8:23 AM on October 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


Maybe I'm biased because I live in Colorado, but when someone walked over to my desk and said, "There's a six year old boy! Trapped in a floating balloon! Flying over Colorado!" the only thing I could think was "Holy shit! I must see this!"

Exactly, except my response was "Holy shit! metafilter must see this" -- again, keeping in mind that I had no idea it was a Major News Media Event at the time.
posted by empath at 8:25 AM on October 16, 2009


Synonymy, even. Hadn't had my tea yet.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:29 AM on October 16, 2009


Metafilter accurately reflected the larger community. The silver balloon skimming along, maybe holding aloft a child, was a compelling image, made more so by the artificially speedy look caused by the camera angle. The family is just weird enough to be really interesting, but not genuinely horrible (yes, some people disagree about this). So we all had a lively discussion, which is part of what makes Metafilter work so well.

I was reminded of The Red Balloon (Le ballon rouge), a wonderful movie, especially when it was clear the boy was not in the balloon, and was safe.
posted by theora55 at 8:37 AM on October 16, 2009


I've got to disagree with you on this one, klang. As many people have pointed out, this was a pretty rare phenomenon: we don't see the ol' "Flying Invisible Kid Captivates Country" stories very often, and when we do it's awfully fun to see Metafilter run with it. I was in a room without a computer for most of the day, and during a quick break I took a moment to browse MetaFilter and noticed that this one thread had hundreds of comments, and I read the whole thread (to that point) in a gulp. Thrilling reading, and for the first time ever I avoided clicking over to CNN because I didn't want a spoiler *about real life*.

I'll accept no argument that we should have been worried about other things, or that other children were in peril yesterday. The human need for drama is innate and unslakable and I'm simply not convinced that if we all take a day to gape at the invisble balloon boy it's "score one for our fatcat media overlords." Of course the news channels were all over this. It was a near perfect instant news moment (they would have preferred if the boy hadn't been invisible).

But, you might say, must we have a MetaFilter thread about it. Well, no, but read the thread again (or don't; it's really long). It's not just fighty-fights. It's fighty-fights pitting the self righteous vs. the callous, it's people discussing the proper math to use, it's quips both funny and unfunny ... can't you see? That thread is MetaFilter. You have seen the enemy, klang, and it is us.

When this thread derails, can we make it be about Paranormal Activity? Although it is not well-written, I really admire what the filmmakers achieved.
posted by Bookhouse at 8:39 AM on October 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


If only MetaFilter were around in the eighties for Baby Jessica and her adventures in a well.
posted by ignignokt at 8:58 AM on October 16, 2009


I just want to echo what many have already said – that when something wacky happens, I want to know MetaFilter’s take. Because I (usually) respect and enjoy your opinions, and I don’t want to have to go somewhere like Fark for the play-by-play.

I understand that people don’t want the site to turn into a meaningless free-for-all. But I would be sad if chatty or newsy threads were outlawed completely. I have to do a lot of analytical thinking in real life, but MetaFilter is where I often take a brain break. Sometimes you just want to go to the Drones Club instead of the debate club, you know?
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 9:01 AM on October 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


And when the shiny, inflated thread that had held attention rapt for so many hours finally hit the dirt, they found there was nothing in it after all.
posted by Phanx at 9:08 AM on October 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


cool! i've been sitting in airport transit lounges for the past, um, what day is it? and missed this story.

thanks, klang, for bringing it to my attention. a kid adrift in some kind of balloon? this is surely the human interest story to end all human interest stories! well, it would be if he had a pregnant cat that was unable to lactate, and gave birth to dozens of adorable kittens, which could be viewed via the kid's iphone, that is, if he had one, and if he was in the balloon with his pregnant cat in the first place. better yet if the cat hadn't been declawed, and in its frustration at the little nippers biting away so hungrily at her dry nipples, began to slash about with her fearsome claws until she slashed a dangerous tear into the outer layer of the balloon...
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:29 AM on October 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


When this thread derails, can we make it be about Paranormal Activity? Although it is not well-written, I really admire what the filmmakers achieved.

Tell me more!
posted by Artw at 9:33 AM on October 16, 2009


I thought this was a place to post our theories about Hilary Clinton being a shape shifting reptilian (thanks condour75).
posted by filthy light thief at 9:41 AM on October 16, 2009


Moderation in all things, including moderation, no?

Yup which is why we didn't do much except for watch it. I'm not sure what I think would have been better. I certainly don't think not mentioning it on MeFi would be practical or even a good idea, but our general feeling is that single link "OMG this is happening NOW" posts are good when there's some sort of disaster and less good when there's just some very hig profile news of the weird. That said, I can't think of a better way to do something about this so I'm left saying "huh" about the whole thing. As cortex said, there was worse crap yesterday but I'm happy we're having the discussion about what was good and bad about this sort of post. I don't think there's a real mod-ly angle to it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:44 AM on October 16, 2009


what post?? what kid???
posted by HuronBob at 9:45 AM on October 16, 2009


"ox-goring or axe-wielding"

could we change that to ox-axing and gore-wielding? just for today...
posted by HuronBob at 9:49 AM on October 16, 2009


I think the thread could have been improved with the <IMG> tag, but I'm sure that's just me.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 10:16 AM on October 16, 2009


all slaughtering herds of bison
all waving around a doll that says "you are hearing me talk"

posted by cortex (staff) at 10:22 AM on October 16, 2009


"Don't get homonymy with me, bucko."

Homonymophobe.
posted by Eideteker at 10:26 AM on October 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


When this thread derails, can we make it be about Paranormal Activity? Although it is not well-written, I really admire what the filmmakers achieved.

Tell me more!


Well, while remaining spoiler-free, I'll say this: the movie is pretty clearly deliniated between the scary and non-scary sections, and the non-scary sections are a real drag. (Writers matter!) But the scary sections are incredibly effective. The audience I saw it with were mostly teenagers, and they were screaming their heads off ... like nothing I've seen in a movie theater. Imagine the Blair Witch Project minus the shaky vomit-cam plus some really good practical (as opposed to digital) effects. Verisimilitude plus freaky happenings equals nice scares. I've also heard that the $15,000 grand budget thing isn't exactly true, as Paramount dumped more than that on souping up the audio. Brilliant move, that. The downfall of most micro-budget films is the sound, and this one uses noise really, really well.
posted by Bookhouse at 10:27 AM on October 16, 2009


I let homonyms use my bathroom all the time.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:33 AM on October 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


i heard that the kid really did fall from the baloon and hes dead and that kid their talking to on tv is a clone that his dad the scientist guy made and hes got clones of all his kids that he does experiments on cause hes a member of an obama death panel and their trying to come up with a drug that will kill old people and make it look like they died of natural causes
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:37 AM on October 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


I let homonyms use my bathroom all the time.

Piles and piles of 'em!
posted by zarq at 10:47 AM on October 16, 2009


Children are starving, children are being abused, sold into slavery, the f***ing apocalypse is upon us ...
posted by philip-random at 7:37 PM on October 15


Where my 'poccies at? Where my other 'poccies at? High five, 'poccies!"
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:51 AM on October 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Give me this post over some SLYT post, any day.

Wish I could favorite this more than once.

Also seconding the sentiment that 'the links, they must stand on their own!' is just not so.
posted by fixedgear at 10:58 AM on October 16, 2009


all slaughtering herds of bison
all waving around a doll that says "you are hearing me talk"


you mean like this?
posted by nomisxid at 10:58 AM on October 16, 2009


Damn That Television writes "Guys, it was a breaking news story that dominated literally every single media outlet " in the US.
posted by Mitheral at 11:39 AM on October 16, 2009


The downfall of most micro-budget films is the sound,

You know, I hang around people in the industry, and I hear this over and over, and I don't agree. "Clerks" had god-awful sound, even after Miramax tried to fix it. You can actually hear the gaps in the dialogue where they chopped words out.

The downfall of most micro-budget films is that they are really really really shitty.

Haven't seen Paranormal yet.
posted by drjimmy11 at 12:05 PM on October 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


(but "clerks" is a very good movie, because of the story, in case that was unclear.)
posted by drjimmy11 at 12:07 PM on October 16, 2009


Metafilter: derived from wistful, hipster-approved indy rock lyrics.
posted by neuron at 12:17 PM on October 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


No need for an FPP, but: Train Baby replaces Falcon Heene (Balloonboy) as media hero.
posted by ericb at 12:32 PM on October 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Spoiler: The noises on the attic in Paranormal Activity are the balloon boy.
posted by qvantamon at 12:36 PM on October 16, 2009


Not enough alliteration. It'd have more of a chance if it were a Train Toddler.
posted by qvantamon at 12:38 PM on October 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Train Baby replaces Falcon Heene (Balloonboy) as media hero.

Deep in his secret lair, Elijah Price points his browser to Orbitz.com and books a flight to Australia.
posted by dersins at 12:54 PM on October 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


On the bright side, the kid died. Oh wait ...
posted by joe lisboa at 1:07 PM on October 16, 2009


Also: Hüsker Dü = awesome.
posted by joe lisboa at 1:07 PM on October 16, 2009


"Guys, it was a breaking news story that dominated literally every single media outlet " in the US.

Though, as Klang likes to point out, Metafilter *is* a US site.
posted by Artw at 1:25 PM on October 16, 2009


"Clerks" had god-awful sound, even after Miramax tried to fix it. You can actually hear the gaps in the dialogue where they chopped words out.

Clerks also had awful acting and a silly plot. Fresh-sounding dialog will buy you a lot. The point is that if you watch a lot of micro-budget films you're more likely to ask "What did he say?" than you are "what's that a picture of?"
posted by Bookhouse at 1:31 PM on October 16, 2009


Ya all see the policeman attacking the balloon with a shovel? Man that was hilarious. It's a wonder he didn't try and taze it.

I think loquacious might have it right:
"The 'million volts' parts of the 911 call* probably explains the weird behavior of the rescue crew with the shovels and such. That makes the fact that they didn't just grab the balloon with their hands make much more sense."
* -- Dad: "Well, it doesn't run, it's filled with helium, and it operates off of million volts to, uh, move left and right horizontal."
posted by ericb at 1:37 PM on October 16, 2009


Ok, I re-read what I wrote, and I came off as an asshole.

Sorry to empath. Sorry to the mods as well.

This is actually the second time I've jumped on someone here, so maybe I might give myself a timeout for awhile.
posted by ollyollyoxenfree at 4:22 AM on October 18, 2009


speaking of Husker Du ... and kind of what this whole STUPID thing has been about.
posted by philip-random at 10:39 AM on October 18, 2009


Metafilter: a sackful of porcupines tumbling in a dryer.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 12:27 PM on October 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


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