Two steps forward, 1.999 steps back?
November 18, 2009 5:31 AM   Subscribe

WTF, MetaFilter? Especially after two epic threads about rape experience and not knowing whether to trust other people, it seems, I don't know. Unwise? To post about this animation that's rather the antithesis of all that work. I'm really just not getting it.

I'm just not feeling the "different strokes for different folks" here, even if it's "art".
posted by kalessin to Etiquette/Policy at 5:31 AM (512 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Right,

That post is already being almost universally derided by the commenters over there. What is the point of discussing its poor taste here as well? Flag it, use the contact form, it'll be deleted or it won't.
posted by atrazine at 5:34 AM on November 18, 2009


I flagged it. I don't think this belongs on the blue. And that's saying something, considering my own posting history.
posted by hermitosis at 5:35 AM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


The point is to get it out in the open and to move the discussion here, per etiquette.
posted by kalessin at 5:36 AM on November 18, 2009


That post was crap and I wouldn't mind seeing it deleted.

That said, I don't think all posts on MeFi have to be philosophically homogeneous or build on each other. Previous posts are not "work" that needs to preserved by later posts.
posted by DU at 5:36 AM on November 18, 2009 [15 favorites]


I'm sorry, are you suggesting that we ban all mention of any media including rape as a theme or topic?

That animation is funny and well-made.
posted by Netzapper at 5:37 AM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


To me, MetaFilter is part utility and part community. I do believe that as we go forward there is probably going to be some cohesion to our posts, our discussions, or assumptions. If I'm wrong about this, whatever, but I don't think I'm actually wrong.

One of the spontaneous things that often grows up around consistent moderation is community and community standards.
posted by kalessin at 5:40 AM on November 18, 2009


I'm sorry, are you suggesting that we ban all mention of any media including rape as a theme or topic?

No, just those in which male aggression results in rape for comic effect and a reluctant woman is impaled on a phallus so massive that it stretches her body into a skin-balloon.
posted by hermitosis at 5:40 AM on November 18, 2009 [19 favorites]


I watched Pink Flamingos more than once and enjoyed it every time, but still somehow could find no redeeming value in this animation.
posted by idiopath at 5:41 AM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I removed it. Yeah in another universe it might be okay but not really this one.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:47 AM on November 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


Aaaaaaand it's... outta heeeeeeeeere!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:52 AM on November 18, 2009


Thanks jessamyn. Feel free to close this discussion if you feel it's reasonable. I'm also fine with it staying open.
posted by kalessin at 5:53 AM on November 18, 2009


Look, I'm not one to defend misogynistic ideals. The patriarchy doesn't please me (despite how it privileges me).

But there are all sorts of art that many people find in bad taste. For instance, I find Ren and Stimpy completely without taste. It literally makes me want to vomit most of the time. And yet I seem to recall several FPPs mentioning Ren and Stimpy.

No, just those in which male aggression results in rape for comic effect

Why should rape be a protected class, while general violence isn't? Most of slapstick is predicated on violence. But I don't see anybody complaining about the misogyny in The Three Stooges. Likewise, I don't imagine it's any less traumatizing for somebody who's been beaten to watch slapstick than it is for someone who's been raped to watch the trucker animation.

and a reluctant woman is impaled on a phallus so massive that it stretches her body into a skin-balloon.

That shit's hilarious. As a sight gag, just hilarious.

To me, MetaFilter is part utility and part community. I do believe that as we go forward there is probably going to be some cohesion to our posts, our discussions, or assumptions.

Part of a community is having people who mostly fit in, but who have odd or unpopular ideas. The last goddamn thing I want from any community, and especially metafilter, is homogeneity and groupthink.

I find this whole meta callout far more unsettling than I do the original post. (And I had wished that the original animation had ended with the girl "winning"... but even without the justice, I still found it amusing.)
posted by Netzapper at 5:54 AM on November 18, 2009 [13 favorites]


Netzapper, I'm sorry you feel that way. I disagree.
posted by kalessin at 5:57 AM on November 18, 2009


Jessamyn for the win!

It was not that great - I was thinking about it while doing the dishes, what it was that was so lame about it and decided it was too facile. I really hated that Uncle Grandpa one too but it was pretty ravishingly tasteless, whereas this was busy showing off cool pictures _and_, incidentally striving for the land of tastelessly "too much."

It was interesting the way I hated it, but not enough to be impressed. Uncle Grandpa wowed me with how much I hated it, which, in turn, is a kind of respect.
posted by From Bklyn at 5:58 AM on November 18, 2009


Jokes about rape: never funny.

Jokes about gigantism, aeronautic enemas and facial ejaculation in space: often funny

I'm conflicted.
posted by Jofus at 6:00 AM on November 18, 2009


Probably worth noting that the poster of that thread is a woman...

just those in which male aggression results in rape for comic effect and a reluctant woman is impaled on a phallus so massive that it stretches her body into a skin-balloon.

Yeah, it's offensive and stupid gaming/sex humor, but it had some funny, odd and interesting bits in and around the homophobic, sexist, violent garbage. I'm trying to feel sad about it being deleted, since there's obviously always been a place here for obnoxious humor, but ultimately think kalessin's point about it not being appropriate for this community at this time is spot-on.
posted by mediareport at 6:00 AM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Btw, anyone else get reminded of Jim Goad's "Trucker Fags in Denial" while watching that?
posted by mediareport at 6:03 AM on November 18, 2009


Part of a community is having people who mostly fit in, but who have odd or unpopular ideas. The last goddamn thing I want from any community, and especially metafilter, is homogeneity and groupthink.

As I said in the deletion reason, this is part a timing issue and part a judgment issue. I know desjardins as well as I can know anyone I haven't met on MeFi and I'm sure this wasn't some cryptic hurf durf rapists commentary on her part. However it was also posted in the middle of the night and didn't really have any contextual cues that, if you didn't know her, made it clear sort of what she was up to with the post.

And the thread where MeFies [women and men] have been sharing their perspectives on rape and assault and sexual aggression is still going strong. And rape is a topic that it's hard to do well under the best of circumstances, though we've seen people do it. This was a little too not-well so it got under people's skin and they didn't like it and thought it was bad. If kalessin had come here and said "I think this is a bad deleteable post" and people had disagreed, things might have gone the other way.

I don't want MeFi groupthink here either but it doesn't mean that edgy distasteful stuff always sticks around because we feel that we need to provide counter-examples. The same has been true for racially charged stuff and pet abuse topics. I think it's easier to see the line with pet abuse posts because no one thinks that pets could possibly be a "protected class" and it's easier to see that we just don't want to be the sort of site that says "this video of this person hurting an animal is hilarious"
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:06 AM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


The more I think about it, the more this thread is making me the most pissed off I've ever been on metafilter. I don't feel at all strongly about the animation itself--it was funny, but hardly brilliant. But this thread just has me absolutely seeing red.

I think it basically comes down to the idea that a thread on the blue should be deleted because of somebody's question on the green. I recognize that rape is a sensitive subject. But it feels to me like the extension of this argument is to ban all mentions of death on the blue, because some people on the green are dealing with loss. Or to ban all discussion of tax code reform because somebody on the green's in trouble with the IRS. I battle depression every day when I remember that life is finite... please stop posting obituaries. For me. Pretty please?

I understand that ask.me lets us see into the personal, often traumatic, lives of some of our users. And that we are a community. But curtailing the community conversation because of the trauma of one member? That's throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

I'm hardly suggesting that a pro-rape scree by some idiot somewhere be posted. But a humorous animation? I just don't fucking get it.

I'm really hoping it's just sleep-dep that has me feeling this way. So I'm going to go smoke a cigarette, then go to sleep... 'cause otherwise, I'm afraid I'll say something I regret.
posted by Netzapper at 6:06 AM on November 18, 2009 [7 favorites]


I'm really hoping it's just sleep-dep that has me feeling this way.

Me too, because the alternative is...wow.
posted by DU at 6:11 AM on November 18, 2009 [6 favorites]


I sort of feel, to give another sideways example, that if someone posted... I dunnow some hilarious "man has brain tumor which explodes leading to encounter with aliens then dies" animation, we might remove it because, y'know, mathowie's just out of the hospital. Have a good rest Netzapper, we'll be here when you get back.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:13 AM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry, but feeling like I have to watch what I read on Metafilter where the epic anti-rape thread is still going strong, having a personal opinion that the Trucker's Delight post was not well-timed or appropriate does not mean that I am participating in group-think. In fact, I am one of the least group-thinky people I know and I object to that label vociferously.

So I call shenanigans. Let's do some deeper thinking and try not to be so fucking dismissive.
posted by kalessin at 6:14 AM on November 18, 2009


FWIW: Trucker Fags in Denial on MetaFilter, 2004.
posted by ColdChef at 6:14 AM on November 18, 2009


The more I think about it, the more this thread is making me the most pissed off I've ever been on metafilter.

Yeah, that's an absolutely certain signal to yourself that you need to turn off the computer and go do something else.
posted by mediareport at 6:14 AM on November 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


. But I don't see anybody complaining about the misogyny in The Three Stooges.

I don't recall the Stooges being particularly misogynistic.

The rape in this animation wasn't incidental. It was the entire premise. This brief cartoon was nothing but a vehicle for rape and scat humor. If you don't see why that's pretty much something each person should have to seek out on their own, and not something to be shared in a community like MetaFilter, well then I really don't know what to say.

There is a way of playing on taboos that leaves people feel that they've been given something to consider, or at least something greater than the sum of its parts, something that stands on its own as comedy. This didn't do any of those things, in my opinion. It was puerile and gross for the sake of being puerile and gross. We Can Do Better.
posted by hermitosis at 6:17 AM on November 18, 2009 [12 favorites]


Yikes. Thinking, "How bad could it be?" I went over to the original thread and watched it. It's pretty fucking bad. I haven't even finished my coffee and I feel violated and offended. Good call on the deletion.
posted by oinopaponton at 6:20 AM on November 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


humorous animation

I fail to see any humor in rape whatsoever. The animation sounds dreadfully sick to me.

Not appropriate for Metafilter, thank you Jessamyn for deleting it.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:25 AM on November 18, 2009


It's not exactly Robert Crumb. In quality or in the badness of its taste
posted by dng at 6:26 AM on November 18, 2009


Sorry all, this was bad judgment on my part and I think my posting/commenting history shows that this is a lapse rather than a pattern. I saw the video as so ridiculously bizarre that it could not be construed as condoning rape, but I appreciate that rape is a sensitive topic (as it should be) and I apologize for not keeping that in mind.

I think it basically comes down to the idea that a thread on the blue should be deleted because of somebody's question on the green.

I don't know to what this is referring - nothing on the green influenced my posting decision.
posted by desjardins at 6:29 AM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


it's offensive and stupid gaming/sex humor
I don't follow you on how this is gaming related.
posted by Liver at 6:31 AM on November 18, 2009


FWIW, not that this excuses anything, but I spent about a half hour trying to dig up information on the director (Jéremie Perrin) and got nowhere. The guy has no web presence that I could find except for a few brief mentions in a French language blog.
posted by desjardins at 6:36 AM on November 18, 2009


Liver: "I don't follow you on how this is gaming related."

Anus inflator one-up, super size molesting tongue one-up, stupidly large penis one-up, homosexual anal domination one-up, all delivered in the classic Mario "pops out of a random floating box" manner, with numeric timers showing you when the effect will run out. Of course the gaming-relatedness is not in any way the offensive part.
posted by idiopath at 6:36 AM on November 18, 2009


Oh, ok. I'm and work and haven't looked at this thing. It was the first mention of anything like that and I was ignorant.
posted by Liver at 6:39 AM on November 18, 2009


Yeah, it's a total game parody. Along with the homophobia and rape, I mean.
posted by mediareport at 6:43 AM on November 18, 2009


This is a question that keeps coming up: Why is rape privileged, and we can't joke about it, when we joke about all sorts of other violence. But I think that's generalizing violence too much. The Three Stooges pulled each other's noses; they didn't travel to Guyana and poison 900 cultists. Ren and Stimpy slapped each other around, they didn't build gas chambers. Not that rape, Guyana, and gas chambers are completely off-limits for humor, but they're not a good blend with slapstick, which, after all, comes partially from the world of puppetry -- Punch and Judy, to be precise -- and so was always understood as representing an impersonation of violence, rather than violence itself. And Punch was pretty anarchic -- he had a habit of assaulting his wife (who assaulted him back, although most modern Punch shows trim that back quite a bit, domestic assault no longer being viewed as hilarious), the police, and whoever else crossed his path. But he never raped anybody.

I dunno. I guess I think there can be ethics in comedy, and one of my rules is that you don't go after people who have already been hurt, you don't re-victimize them by making them the butts of jokes. So jokes in which rape are the punchline are off-limits, because people have actually been raped, and it's not fucking funny. And I suppose an argument can be made that comedy is often used to push boundaries of taste, and I agree with that argument, but I just don't feel its very useful to push on this particular side of the envelope, because when it spills open, bullying spills out.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:46 AM on November 18, 2009 [53 favorites]


>>To me, MetaFilter is part utility and part community. I do believe that as we go forward there is probably going to be some cohesion to our posts, our discussions, or assumptions.

>Part of a community is having people who mostly fit in, but who have odd or unpopular ideas. The last goddamn thing I want from any community, and especially metafilter, is homogeneity and groupthink.


As someone who is fine with the FPP deletion on the grounds of crappy framing and timing, I have to say that I'm with Netzapper in finding the call for cohesion really off-putting. Being told how right I am by people who agree with me is not what I'm looking for here, at all.

I think it's kick-ass that even my ultra-crappy local library makes available -- on the general circulation shelves, no less -- a whole bunch of books that are offensive to many, if not most, people in the community. MeFi isn't a public library, but it shouldn't be a boring echo chamber either, where weird and even sometimes offensive stuff can't be seen and discussed in the light of day.

To reiterate, I think the deletion was the right decision, but because of the (lack of) framing, rather than that the subject itself should be considered forbidden.
posted by Forktine at 6:47 AM on November 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


"I don't follow you on how this is gaming related."

I think the implication is that it's gaming related because of the intentionally low resolution of the animation and flat, heavily quantized color palette. That's wrongy wrong wrongly wrong wronging wrongness, but low resolution graphics are incorrectly associated with gaming in the same way that comics and cartooning are wrongly associated with kiddie entertainment.

I don't particularly agree with the deletion -- and I think the thing about how we're not building on "work" here applies -- but Jessamyn's judgement carries more than a little weight with me. Generally speaking if I disagree with a moderator decision around here, it's likely because I'm wrong or underinformed about something.
posted by majick at 6:48 AM on November 18, 2009


I think the implication is that it's gaming related because of the intentionally low resolution of the animation and flat, heavily quantized color palette.

And because it uses the car and the lady from Outrun, and contains loads of parodies of other games and game genres.
posted by dng at 6:52 AM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that's an absolutely certain signal to yourself that you need to turn off the computer and go do something else.

Yeah, 'cause it's wrong to be pissed off about something on Metafilter.

Having the thread deleted is fine (WTF desjardins), but the premise of this callout is disturbing in that it holds the threads about rape experiences as a barometer of what should and should not be humorous on Metafilter. It's completely understandable that people would be offended by that animation and want it deleted, but attitude of "OMG, how could you, what is wrong with you, did you not read these very very very important threads about rape?!"

It's the presumption of negative intentions,when if you had even a passing knowledge of the user who posted it, you'd know that was probably far from her intentions. In choosing to call out someone for their supposed ignorance, you displayed some of your own, which pretty much negates the callout.

You've also done the rather gross thing we all do from time to time, taken our personal views and projected them as them as being correct and normal and those who disagree are not only wrong but have something wrong with them and in the process leaned on what you believe is the crowd's opinion to further highlight the rightness of your views.

So yeah, I can understand Netzapper's anger at this callout.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:52 AM on November 18, 2009 [17 favorites]


I followed the rape/sexual aggression thead on the blue (and the subsequent one on the grey) pretty closely, and I feel like calling shit like this out is exactly what needs to happen. Instead of standing back and letting a discussion roll about the animation quality, humor, and shitthisiskindofoffensiveamirite?, I'm glad that kalessin dragged this misogynistic crap to the grey and exposed what the video is: pretty fucking stupid, and not funny in the slightest. Thanks kalessin, and thanks jessamyn for deleting it.
posted by pintapicasso at 6:55 AM on November 18, 2009 [9 favorites]


Sorry all, this was bad judgment on my part...

How dare you try and be reasonable about this!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:03 AM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Having finished my coffee:

This sort of humor isn't new, and it's all over the internet (and off it). This particular example displays some of the more offensive and brutal objectification I've ever seen, plus a nice heaping of violent homophobia. As a female person, I've been offended by this stuff since I started going on the internet as a young teen. And I've never seen a response like this before. I see the "timing" issue of it not as hypersensitivity but as a new freedom (in light of the rape discussions) to decry things like this as offensive and deeply hurtful to some members of the community. It's like the advice given in those discussions about rape to men who wanted to help women feel and be safer: saying that this sort of thing is disgusting is actively challenging rape culture.

I agree that if this were framed better (maybe as a discussion of historical rape comedy), it could have been an okay post. Otherwise, this sort of thing belongs on 4chan. Or, preferably, nowhere.
posted by oinopaponton at 7:05 AM on November 18, 2009 [24 favorites]


I'm a little torn here, because while I entirely agree with the outcome (deleted post), I'm uncomfortable with the stated reasons why.

Personally, I think something should either pass or fail on its own merits, not based on whatever's happening in AskMe. It's a horrible animation, and should be removed purely for that reason, not because it might offend this week's special snowflake.

In my opinion, if you can even imagine a time that a post would be acceptable in the future, it shouldn't be removed in the present. There are a lot of sub-communities and different interest groups here, and policing based on how certain people will feel is a really, really bad precedent. It means whoever is in favor with the mods gets extra protection until someone else comes along.

If you're gonna remove something because it's bad, then just remove it because it's bad. "Timing" is an extraordinarily bad reason to suppress anyone's expression. If it's no good this week, it should be no good EVER.

I'm firmly in the 'no good EVER' camp on this animation, so I'm glad it was deleted, but I don't like that thought process. There's been much more aggressive moderation recently, and I don't think it's been going in a good direction.
posted by Malor at 7:16 AM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I probably wouldn't have watched it even if there had been more context, but given the timing and context-less-ness of it, I think the deletion was a good call.
posted by rtha at 7:17 AM on November 18, 2009


Trucker Fags is the funniest comic I have ever read.
posted by Tube at 7:23 AM on November 18, 2009


The most offensive thing about the video was its depiction of truckers as horndogs on wheels. No one's said a goddamn word about that, though, which is to be expected around here.
posted by dortmunder at 7:23 AM on November 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


If I got it right from decades of listening to Red Sorvine, truckers are, properly, amphetamine addicted alcoholics who see ghosts on the highway and burst into tears when they hear stories about little boys.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:25 AM on November 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


I was planning to be offended by some crazy feminist callout of a funny video, but that video was truly worthless. I don't think questions of context should even come into it, it was just disgusting and it doesn't belong on MetaFilter in any time period whatsoever.
posted by shii at 7:26 AM on November 18, 2009


Can someone explain the references to an AskMe post? I remember the gigantic Mefi thread about Schroedinger's Rapist but I do not recall a recent AskMe question about rape.
posted by desjardins at 7:29 AM on November 18, 2009


Here's, let's all watch this much funnier and equally violent gaming-inspired video instead.
posted by shii at 7:29 AM on November 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


Netzapper: "The more I think about it, the more this thread is making me the most pissed off I've ever been on metafilter. I don't feel at all strongly about the animation itself--it was funny, but hardly brilliant. But this thread just has me absolutely seeing red."

this may be your cue to step away and find something else to do with your time. I mean, you can disagree with the deletion, and you can find this callout distasteful and that's all fine. but if someone saying "I really don't like this post with a cartoon making light of rape" is what makes you the most upset you've ever been on metafilter, I'm going to go ahead and assume that there's something else going on here, and your best bet is to give this as much space as you can. on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is "understandable sentiment I happen to disagree with" and 10 is "the most patently offensive thing I've ever heard," you're acting like this is a 10 when it's clearly a 1.
posted by shmegegge at 7:30 AM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


I would suggest that preparing to dismiss a complaint about sexual violence being used as humor as being some nonsense from a "crazy feminist" is not the best way to enter a discussion.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:30 AM on November 18, 2009 [15 favorites]


I'm fine with people being angry about my callout.

It's not that I go out of my way to have fights. I don't. I have worked with jessamyn and cortex to actively avoid fights here, and I've had my fair share of being an asshole and getting deleted for it (or called out - though mostly in MeMail).

I do feel that in this case it was the right thing for me to do to have a potentially offensive opinion to some of us on MetaFilter, to know that it would be read by some of our community as censorship or some kind of inappropriate policing, but to have that opinion and to express it ANYWAY.

Part of the reason I posted my callout was that I didn't feel we had been tactful enough about either posting the post or consuming the post. The other part of the reason is that I thought that without the context, the posted material was fucking insulting especially in the face of the ongoing strong and epic thread about rape experience.

I feel that it is insulting and disrespectful to post material without context that by itself actively sabotages an ongoing discussion that has demonstrably been very helpful to members of this community with material that "reads" as a violent and over the top negative and critical response to that ongoing discussion.

By no stretch of the imagination do I wish anyone to change their opinion or their behavior on MetaFilter for my sake. By no means do I think anyone needs to agree with me about the post (though I'm glad that I apparently have overlap with SOME people - it means I may be able to continue contributing to MetaFilter as a whole and I might be imagined to have compatriots).

There is absolutely no reason for me to think that even jessamyn agrees with me, and I don't think she does in the entirety - possibly partially - I don't know.

I posted this callout only because I wanted to talk about the reason for the post being on the Blue and staying there (until it was deleted).

I am glad that jessamyn deleted the post. I did not expect her to. And honestly if she undeleted it, I wouldn't be pissed. I know she and the rest of the mods are careful. I know they have good reasons for what they do.

I do not feel that this callout is personal (which is why I didn't call out an individual but our community), but I do think that it bears thinking about, whatever your considered opinion ends up being.
posted by kalessin at 7:31 AM on November 18, 2009


and of course, you voluntarily stepped away, which is why you're awesome and go you. I just hope, when you come back, that you're in a better frame of mind, is all I'm sayin'.
posted by shmegegge at 7:32 AM on November 18, 2009


desjardins, if you find the MetaTalk ongoing thread about the Schroedinger's Rapist post, you will find links to at least one AskMe post there.
posted by kalessin at 7:33 AM on November 18, 2009


In my opinion, if you can even imagine a time that a post would be acceptable in the future, it shouldn't be removed in the present. There are a lot of sub-communities and different interest groups here, and policing based on how certain people will feel is a really, really bad precedent. It means whoever is in favor with the mods gets extra protection until someone else comes along.

I don't think the mods are responding based on how certain individuals would feel about a given issue; they're responding based on how the community as a whole feels about a given issue.

I've gone back and forth about this (in the grand and glorious three minutes I've just spent thinking about this issue, I'll admit), and I think I back the mods -- and I'm a first-amendment zealot, even.

But. One of the steps involved in sussing out First Amendment/obscenity cases comes in figuring out exactly what obscenity IS. At some point, someone's gotta draw a line in the sand and say "okay, THIS is obscene, and THAT isn't." But it's really hard to do that across the board for everyone in the world at large, so Federal law (and most state laws) leave the definition up to "a given community" to determine.

I think, then, that what the mods did in this case is ascertain that in the community of Metafilter, at this time, this post wouldn't be a great idea. They didn't bend to the will of one person, they took a read on the tone of the WHOLE of Metafilter and made a call based on that. Might it be different later? It might. And I assume desjardins can post a similar cartoon on a later date (mods: if I"m wrong on that, my apologies). But, as jessamyn said above, it wasn't so much "rape is something we should never joke about" so much as "right now, this particular post is going to piss more people off than it would amuse, so in the interest of the community harmony as a whole we're going to kill it." and I support that, at the end of the day.

*shrug* it sounds like the cartoon sucks anyway, but hey.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:33 AM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Rape culture^ is rape being used as entertainment, in movies and television shows and books and in video games." [snip]

"Rape culture is rape jokes." [snip]

"Rape culture is people objecting to the detritus of the rape culture being called oversensitive, rather than people who perpetuate the rape culture being regarded as not sensitive enough.

Rape culture is the myriad ways in which rape is tacitly and overtly abetted and encouraged having saturated every corner of our culture so thoroughly that people can't easily wrap their heads around what the rape culture actually is." Rape Culture 101, by Melissa McEwan

God forbid we do our part to try pulling the pins out of the wheels violence towards women ride on.

She didn't want to be fucked and he fucked her anyway with his painfully gigantic dick. HAHAHA that's so funny. And well done. I don't know why people are whining about this. It's just a cartoon. It doesn't represent anything. People who don't like this are ruining my fun. </sarcasm>

Don't you get how stupid you come off?
posted by FunkyHelix at 7:34 AM on November 18, 2009 [41 favorites]


I'm no longer interested, and you can erase my number.
posted by zennie at 7:35 AM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


desjardins, there were two different posts two days apart, on the 9th, which was a post about a woman (I presume) was raped in a foreign country and on the 11th, which deals with trying to have a normal sex life but having memories and flashbacks come up.

So, yeah, it's an extra-sensitive topic right now.
posted by zizzle at 7:36 AM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I would suggest that preparing to dismiss a complaint about sexual violence being used as humor as being some nonsense from a "crazy feminist" is not the best way to enter a discussion.

I was attempting to explain that my initial guess as to the content of this post was wrong, perhaps to allow us to better understand the position of other people who did not want to the post to be deleted. Just saying.
posted by shii at 7:38 AM on November 18, 2009


Wow, what a piece of shit. Thanks for the deletion, Jessamyn.
posted by jokeefe at 7:41 AM on November 18, 2009


I feel that it is insulting and disrespectful to post material without context that by itself actively sabotages an ongoing discussion that has demonstrably been very helpful to members of this community with material that "reads" as a violent and over the top negative and critical response to that ongoing discussion.

Since you're playing Metafilter police, whataboutthis AskMe thread where the OP asks for erotica featuring:

-Submission, especially by women, either to men or other women
-Multiple men with one woman
-Some forms of coercion such as difficulty with paying rent
-Light bondage

Should it have been deleted? Just curious.
posted by dortmunder at 7:42 AM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


dortmunder, I have a personal opinion about the Trucker's Delight post. I'm not interested in engaging with you about this.
posted by kalessin at 7:43 AM on November 18, 2009


I was attempting to explain that my initial guess as to the content of this post was wrong, perhaps to allow us to better understand the position of other people who did not want to the post to be deleted. Just saying.

And I'm trying to explain that this doesn't seem like a very fair guess.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:44 AM on November 18, 2009


My God, that thing made me feel the need for eyeball bleach. Do Not Want.
posted by killdevil at 7:46 AM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


The post was a link to one of the most bizarre youtube videos I've ever seen. I understand that the lady in the car was raped insofar as she had the strange trucker's super bonus penis turn her into a human condom. His super bonus slurp also violated and destroyed a hummer full of barely clothed ladies on the highway there. And then there was the riding of the giant boyfriend at the club. Maybe I missed the point of this video, though, but I don't feel it was rape-themed, rape-supporting or even resembling rape in real life. In poor taste? Definitely. Anything even tangentially resembling reality? Not really.

Cartoons are such weird abstractions of reality that I can't imagining relating them to my life. I've known people who died in car crashes, but didn't think "This post is offensive because that trucker's reckless driving led to the deaths of that hummer full of girls!". I feel like this is the same discussion people have over the Grand Theft Auto games. Some people say "But - you can't do that!" and others say "Relax, it's just a game." This thread is a plate of beans, and it's overthinking is imminent.

I saw it as more of a "Hey Metafilter, this is a big chunk of WTF for you!". Not the "antithesis" of that really great thread about women's rights. Even if this post had anything to do with rape other than the inappropriate slapstick cartoon antics of a trucker, it still wasn't condoning or supporting anything. Let's all chill the fuck out, flag it as offensive and move on.
posted by battlebison at 7:48 AM on November 18, 2009 [6 favorites]


To me, MetaFilter is part utility and part community. I do believe that as we go forward there is probably going to be some cohesion to our posts, our discussions, or assumptions. If I'm wrong about this, whatever, but I don't think I'm actually wrong.

One of the spontaneous things that often grows up around consistent moderation is community and community standards


If you wanted to say the post was crap, fine. I happen to agree. If you want to talk about community standards (a favorite term of the anti-porn crusaders, I might ad), then it's time to talk about community standards. You brought it up. You can't back out now.
posted by dortmunder at 7:50 AM on November 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


I saw it as more of a "Hey Metafilter, this is a big chunk of WTF for you!". Not the "antithesis" of that really great thread about women's rights. Even if this post had anything to do with rape other than the inappropriate slapstick cartoon antics of a trucker, it still wasn't condoning or supporting anything.

I also saw the post itself as a "Hey MeFi, here's a big chunk of WTF", but that doesn't change the fact that the actual content of the post is basically about an aggravated rape, cartoonish or otherwise. There's enough WTF out there that people can easily find it if they want to.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:51 AM on November 18, 2009


An aggravated rape that is portrayed as winning the game, no less.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:52 AM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Part of the reason I posted my callout was that I didn't feel we had been tactful enough about either posting the post or consuming the post.

Are you really trying to decide what's tactful about for others to consume?

The other part of the reason is that I thought that without the context, the posted material was fucking insulting especially in the face of the ongoing strong and epic thread about rape experience.

Not everything revolves around those threads.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:04 AM on November 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


"There's enough WTF out there that people can easily find it if they want to."

This is probably the most reasonable stance to take regardless of how much pixellated rape fiction one does or does not want around.

" it's time to talk about community standards"

One of MetaFilter's community standards is applying the most charitable possible interpretation of what others are saying, and trying not to run around spoiling for a fight. Could you perhaps take the chip off your shoulder before asking people to engage you? I suspect you'll find you're much more persuasive, better received, and much better able to impart your views once you do.
posted by majick at 8:04 AM on November 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


I guess I think there can be ethics in comedy, and one of my rules is that you don't go after people who have already been hurt, you don't re-victimize them by making them the butts of jokes.

So do you think someone really did fly an aeroplane up a woman's arse then?

but they're not a good blend with slapstick, which, after all, comes partially from the world of puppetry -- Punch and Judy, to be precise -- and so was always understood as representing an impersonation of violence, rather than violence itself.

Just not following your argument here, AZ. How can Punch and Judy be representing an impersonation of domestic violence, while this animation is somehow representing the real thing? Or rather, I follow it, but it doesn't seem valid.

If anything, regardless of its artistic merits, this animation was much more obviously an impersonation of rape/sexual assault than Punch and Judy is an impersonation of domestic violence. The acts portrayed were so utterly fantastic that nobody could imagine that they represent things that actually ever happened to anybody at all.

So is it something about the sexual nature of rape that makes it less suitable for comedy (or less appropriate for a post on the blue) than a piece on Punch and Judy would be? Or are we to deny all future representations of Punch and Judy for fear that they further victimize victims of domestic violence?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:04 AM on November 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


Addendum: I don't mind the deletion, and I'm more than happy for such stuff to not be posted to Metafilter. I'm just not sure, if we're to apply the logic of Astro Zombie's arguments, where we draw the lines. The implication would seem to be that you can never represent any sort of violence, because someone, somewhere has always been a victim of violence.

I take the point that in a misogynistic culture, stuff like this isn't very helpful and contributes to that. And it seems perfectly reasonable that the community should decide that they don't want it on Metafilter. My quibble is really that the next step becomes people advocating that we shouldn't allow this stuff to exist anywhere.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:12 AM on November 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


I watched the 1st link, fast forwarding a lot. Genuinely vile.

a reluctant woman is impaled on a phallus so massive that it stretches her body into a skin-balloon.
That shit's hilarious. As a sight gag, just hilarious.

That shit's offensive.

Rape is privileged, as race is privileged, because equal rights for women and equal rights for African Americans are pretty fragile. Humor is often used as a subtle way to convey the message that it's okay to hate women, denigrate blacks, etc.

How tolerable would the video have been in this community if the violence and hate was directed against gay men? I looked at a few panels of Trucker Fags, and it's dripping with sarcasm, subtext, politics and depth. It's really not comparable, from what I read.

I don't think the need for deletion is particularly related to question on ask.me. The need for deletion is because the content is offensive. Astrozombie's comment, by the way, was really thoughtful, and desjardin's response is also appreciated.
posted by theora55 at 8:12 AM on November 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


Malor: "In my opinion, if you can even imagine a time that a post would be acceptable in the future, it shouldn't be removed in the present. There are a lot of sub-communities and different interest groups here, and policing based on how certain people will feel is a really, really bad precedent. It means whoever is in favor with the mods gets extra protection until someone else comes along. "

this is an extremely confused set of statements, and I find it really hard to get behind any of them. you've created three criteria, here, that you think are bad reasons for deletion and lumped them together as though they were the same thing:

1. a post's timeliness
2. special snowflakes
3. mod favoritism

that you would start off talking about a post's timing and in the very next sentence change topic to special snowflakes and mods playing favorites is... not a good sign. it makes me think you're sort of grinding an axe on this, and that the given topic is just a foot in the door for you to talk about what you REALLY want to to talk about.

and that's beside the fact that you still haven't explained why the timing of a post shouldn't matter. I mean, it seems obvious to me that it necessarily would. If the feelings of the community at large at the time of the posting, and their reception of the post because of same, shouldn't matter, what on earth would?
posted by shmegegge at 8:12 AM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow, very few things upset me but this really freaked me out. The whole idea behind it was to me, "trucker likes pretty lady. pretty lady is stuck up and rejects advances. trucker teaches pretty lady a lesson and gets his way with her in the end." It smacked so much of "stuck up woman gets what she deserves in the end," and that's what I found really offensive about it.

It was also incredibly WTF and I can see why it was posted as a sheer hey-look-at-this-craziness, but i'm really really glad it was deleted.
posted by ukdanae at 8:14 AM on November 18, 2009 [5 favorites]


So is it something about the sexual nature of rape that makes it less suitable for comedy

I think there's something about the "gee we just had a thread last week in which we learned just how many MeFites have been victims of rape and sexual assault" timing of it that makes it particularly problematic, as I said upthread about a brain tumor lulz post would be. Also, part of the side problem is that while the video may have been a little slice of WTF, the "look at the fucked up thing!" starting point, whether it's cop violence or TimeCube, is often a bad starting point for a thread. What are you going to say about it besides "man that's fucked up!" and a lot of times it starts people both riffing ["heh, I like the part where she got raped"] and fighting ["that's not funny!"] and doing some uncomfortable mixture of the two.

I know you're basically trying to engage AZ in a discussion and that the deletion wasn't too contentious, but there's a pretty deep and rich set of things we think about when deciding whether to leave or delete a post and part of it is timing [you may disagree Malor, but we've always said that context is important] and part of it is whether something will go well here and whether it's worth it even if it's the sort of thing that doesn't go well.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:15 AM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


re: the Punch and Judy comparison: there's a reason why domestic violence humor isn't mainstream anymore. And it's not because women have no sense of humor. I mean, seriously, do you people laugh at women being beat up? Norms change.
posted by oinopaponton at 8:16 AM on November 18, 2009 [6 favorites]


My quibble is really that the next step becomes people advocating that we shouldn't allow this stuff to exist anywhere.

I think there are actually about a hundred steps between here and there.
posted by hermitosis at 8:16 AM on November 18, 2009 [8 favorites]


I had not previously encountered "Trucker Fags in Denial." What's one level up from NSFW? In any case, does this solve the taters question?
posted by prefpara at 8:17 AM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


And it seems perfectly reasonable that the community should decide that they don't want it on Metafilter. My quibble is really that the next step becomes people advocating that we shouldn't allow this stuff to exist anywhere.

Well, people can certainly say that they are of the opinion that we shouldn't allow this stuff to exist anywhere. But until the day that the mods become Grand High King Cortex, Lady Jessamyn the Valiant, and Mathowie the Pan-Dimensional Emperor, posessing the power to retroactively moderate the entire universe at a quantum level, those opinons are going to remain simply that -- opinions, which cannot be enforced. So just as I support the right of stuff like this to exist period, I also support the right of a community to define whether they want to include it within their own boundaries.

And, I support the right of people to say "I don't want this to exist at all," because simply saying it will not make it enforceable as such.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:18 AM on November 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


The world is sure complex.

The thing with Punch, Ren, Itchy, Judy, Stimpy, Larry, Jerry, Scratchy, Moe, Tom, Curly, etc. is that despite the horrible acts of violence they perpetrate on each other, they bounce right back. Moe gets a pencil in the eye and suffers no damage, Tom has a bomb explode in his mouth and shakes it off, Punch takes several dozen blows to the head with a chunk of cordwood and shows no effect whatsoever. Much of humor comes from illogic, or mis-fulfilled expectations, so that's part of what is (ostensibly) funny about that sort of cartoon - the cognitive dissonance of violence without consequence.

But. In the violence of rape the consequences are so so so much more than physical, and those psychological wounds are present long after any outward physical damage is healed (see both of the harrowing threads on the green being referred to above). Admittedly, this is true of any violence, but it's easier to see how, you know, an anvil smashes a mouse, yet the mouse pops up and keeps running, so that mouse isn't REALLY much bothered by it - there's no messy emotional component. The fallout of rape is primarily emotional component. It's really hard to see it as inconsequential because the repercussions are often so hidden, but pervasive, in real life.

And then there's this cartoon which, if I didn't enjoy exactly, I'm glad I saw. I thought there were good things about it, and yet, I thought it was, on balance, irredeemably despicable. I'm perfectly happy that it was deleted, I probably would have flagged it but it was already gone.

See, I think we owe it to ourselves to be vigilant about this, and I think it is worth erring on the side of caution, even if it means that some mythological "GOOD rape cartoon" gets left out.
posted by dirtdirt at 8:19 AM on November 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


When the woman in the Hummer got embedded in the truck's grill, I knew this wasn't the sort of thing I'd enjoy. I don't understand why the trucker character is the hero here. When your conflict is what's the best way to forcibly stick my dick in this unwilling woman, you need to go back and do some rewrites.

I've had at least one FPP deleted because it was in bad taste, and it was in way less bad taste than this video in which a woman's helpless body conforms to the shape of her rapist's penis. How is this not a no-brainer? (I will say I enjoyed the music.)

And even if you concede that "bad taste" isn't a good enough reason for deletion, the posted reason pretty clearly indicates to me that it was mostly a matter of timing: As in, look, we've been talking a lot about people's rape experiences around here lately, so maybe now's not the best time for a cartoon about women getting anally penetrated by 747s, mmkay? Even speaking as someone who sometimes finds jessamyn's reasons for deletions a little too vague (no offense), this one seemed pretty up-front. I just can't get my head around why anyone would argue with this, but then, it's a big community, I guess.
posted by hifiparasol at 8:20 AM on November 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


So do you think someone really did fly an aeroplane up a woman's arse then?

No I don't, and I am guessing you don't think I do either. It may be a stylized representation of sexual violence against women, but it's still a representation. As to where we draw the line, well, it's complicated, but I would say when you create a video consisting entirely of bullying humor based on sexual humiliation of women and mocking gay people, you're well across the line.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:36 AM on November 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


I had not previously encountered "Trucker Fags in Denial." What's one level up from NSFW? In any case, does this solve the taters question?

I discovered Trucker Fags directly from Blanchard, right around Metafilter's Tater Time. Alas, it appears that no less an authority on Mefi taters than Cortex himself has declared there to be no connection...
posted by Tube at 8:38 AM on November 18, 2009


Interesting. The FFP is gone, but the link to the video itself is perpetuated in the link to the deleted post. So it will remain in the annals of metafilter and visible to us forever.

Not to mention all the graphic descriptions that make me think I don't even need to watch the video to know what grossness happens in it.

Are MeTa threads delete-able?
posted by SLC Mom at 8:40 AM on November 18, 2009


Leaving everything else aside the discussion in the thread wasn't going well. The thread was doomed from the start. It could have had one of a dozen deletion reasons. Not a good post for metafilter. A little thin... Etc. I'm guessing if it hadn't gone down on its own you would have seen "Poster's request" as the reason this AM.

The worst thing about this callout is that it will cause more people to watch the stupid thing. I'm so not the target audience for this sort of thing, but I checked it out because of the deletion. & callout. I regret having done so.

The cherry on top is the video is also a spot racist. And I just realized it is a checklist of the Seven Deadly Sins as well. That takes some effort in that short of a video.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:40 AM on November 18, 2009


Preface: I love desjardins, she's one of my favorite members on this site. But yeeps, this video was terrible, disturbing, and uncool. I wish I didnt surf over to MeTa and find it. :(
posted by NikitaNikita at 8:48 AM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Er, yeah, what they said too. Can we close this thread and bury it, at least?
posted by NikitaNikita at 8:49 AM on November 18, 2009


Are MeTa threads delete-able?

Pretty much no, but there are rare occasions when we disappear things. This is not one of them.

If SEO spammers get posts deleted we'll change all of their links to example.com but usually we'll leave all other links. In this case especially, trying to talk about a thing without having the thing available for disussion is pretty well impossible.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:50 AM on November 18, 2009


That cartoon, inexplicably, didn't bother me in the least. I'm guessing it had a lot to do with the mood I was in when I saw it, but I just saw something so far-reaching, so far-over-the-top-idiotic that the whole "offensive" thing just sort of escaped me. I can certainly understand how people could be offended by it, but I think I may have seen what the OP was seeing: something so off-the-charts ridiculous that it just failed to seem actually offensive. But, you know... yeah, sure. Of course.

As I said inthread, I freely admit that there's no accounting for taste; and, really, what I might be freaked-out by one day, I could be laughing at on another day due to context or my mental/emotional state when I run across it. I think the deletion was absolutely called-for (literally). A lot of people seemed quite bothered by it and not in a way that suggests they could use some enlightening -- I mean really, it was pretty hideous toilet humor.
posted by heyho at 8:50 AM on November 18, 2009


I think that "bad taste" and "community largely thinks it's not okay" are fine reasons for deletions. We don't have posts with links to stormfront, for instance, which is full of (to most of us) absurd, offensive WTF material.

If anyone who thinks this post shouldn't have been deleted has argued for why it should have been kept - on its own merits - I've missed it.
posted by rtha at 8:53 AM on November 18, 2009


The thing with Punch, Ren, Itchy, Judy, Stimpy, Larry, Jerry, Scratchy, Moe, Tom, Curly, etc. is that despite the horrible acts of violence they perpetrate on each other, they bounce right back. Punch takes several dozen blows to the head with a chunk of cordwood and shows no effect whatsoever.

Its a long time since I've seen a Punch and Judy show, but doesn't Punch usually kill his wife and then get sentenced to death for it?
posted by dng at 8:56 AM on November 18, 2009


I don't think the mods are responding based on how certain individuals would feel about a given issue; they're responding based on how the community as a whole feels about a given issue.

Yeah, the question of timing isn't one where we're saying "hey, one person recently had a bad experience and they might see this", it's one where there's been a tremendous amount of pretty soul-baring experience from many, many members of the community over the last month and a half, with a big part of those multiple discussions being lot of revelation for folks who were not even aware that any of those awful things were happening. Certainly not everybody in the community is aware of that, but we're talking about a whole lot of people for whom this sort of thing is on their minds lately.

kalessin's framing of this metatalk thread in terms of awareness of all that, without providing probably enough context here for those folks who aren't in fact aware of it, could probably have been improved in a different universe, but c'est la vie.

The timing element is really only part of it, though, and I think the general notion that presentation mattered a lot here is the main problem with the post, as desjardins seems to be on board with as well, and she's made it clear that she went looking for some context herself but didn't so much find it. So the post is just kind of a misfire, not any real crime on anyone's part, and it got flagged pretty heavily during its short early-morning life as I think pretty much a clear indication of the community read on that particular misfire.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:57 AM on November 18, 2009


That cartoon, inexplicably, didn't bother me in the least.

The first thing that popped into my head was a classic Onion article on Marilyn Manson Now Going Door-to-Door Trying to Shock People. Everyone's WTF meters are calibrated differently, but my gauge's needle was almost unwaveringly in the "trying way too hard" area.
posted by Drastic at 8:59 AM on November 18, 2009


Interesting. The FFP is gone, but the link to the video itself is perpetuated in the link to the deleted post. So it will remain in the annals of metafilter and visible to us forever.

Not to mention all the graphic descriptions that make me think I don't even need to watch the video to know what grossness happens in it.

Are MeTa threads delete-able?


We discuss things here -- to death, sometimes -- but we don't disappear them. That's what makes people's occasional complaints about censorship pretty incredible, in my opinion.
posted by hermitosis at 9:03 AM on November 18, 2009


Interesting. The FFP is gone, but the link to the video itself is perpetuated in the link to the deleted post. So it will remain in the annals of metafilter and visible to us forever.

Memory holes are never the answer.
posted by hifiparasol at 9:04 AM on November 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


PeterMcDermott: "So is it something about the sexual nature of rape that makes it less suitable for comedy (or less appropriate for a post on the blue) than a piece on Punch and Judy would be? Or are we to deny all future representations of Punch and Judy for fear that they further victimize victims of domestic violence?"

We're heading into weird territory here, when we talk about these things in this context.

I think what's going on in this thread is a conflation of several things: general disgust at rape (which everybody here feels), general off-puttedness by the video in question (which many people here feel, though not everybody), and a more vague question about humor and what is and is not funny (which the opinions here are all over the map on.)

The result of this conflation is that we have people who clearly don't find rape funny on its face, don't find this video funny are trying to explain why the latter is the case, and are naturally linking the two. contrasted with this, we have people who clearly don't find rape funny on its face, may or may not find this video funny either, but feel like there's a third element here, and that the link is not as direct as the 1st group believes.

so, here we are trying to explain things in terms of "is topic x funny" or "is topic x okay for jokes" or "what hard rule has this video broken," etc... and the truth is that none of these questions are the right questions. humor is possibly the most subjective experience human beings can have. 99% of the time, 99% of us don't know why what we find funny is funny, and cannot put in quantitative or qualitative terms what works about a particular joke, even if we're the ones telling it. as the man said, "Dying is easy. Comedy is hard." the question is not, "is this topic okay, and who would it be okay to," then, because there is no one answer to that.

but let me propose a slightly different question: what do we respond to with laughter, and where does that response come from within us? as with everything, the answer is nuanced, subjective and complicated. but I think, for this discussion, it'll help to consider our senses of sympathy and empathy. psychological studies have been conducted that show that starting from our earliest infantile experiences, we learn to laugh at what makes us nervous. (not exclusively, obviously, but among the many things.) as a for instance, a baby, when thrown in the air by a parent, will laugh because the thrill of being unsupported and in motion causes anxiety, but something about the circumstance results in laughter rather than tears. necessarily, that it's a parent or someone trusted is part of the equation. we experience anxiety, but from a position of security. similarly, we experience (as part of our sympathetic and empathetic response systems) anxiety at many of the jokes we laugh at, and from the security of being told the story instead of experiencing it ourselves. slapstick, like slipping on a banana peel, falls within this category. social anxiety, like virtually every joke in The Office, also falls within this category. Within these categories, there's so much variation in terms of degree and nature that even the distinctions I've drawn here fall apart in example after example. Moe Green being shot in the eye in The Godfather II is not funny. The guy being shot just as he starts singing The Snowman song in Cannibal: The Musical is hysterical. Sarah Silverman makes a very funny joke (and spare me the Silverman hate for now, please) about being raped by a doctor in Jesus is Magic. This video, however, fails totally. They are both similar in that PART of the anxiety we feel is not sympathetic to the rape but actual anxiety as an audience member beind exposed to the joke. it's the shock value that contributes most powerfully to our experience of the joke. but one works and the other doesn't. We've all heard it before. Context is everything. We experience the anxiety of the situation, but we laugh or we cry, and context is what may make the difference.

as someone else mentioned upthread, consider privilege as the difference maker in this instance. When Sarah Silverman jokes about being raped by her doctor as a girl, she says "which is so bittersweet for a jewish girl." she comes from the position of being someone who has lived with the possibility of sexual assault, harrassment etc... her entire life. further, she's subject to the pressures of being a woman, and a jew, that also contribute to the joke. she's not coming from a position of privilege making light of someone else's experience, and that shows in this particular joke. even if she told the joke through a vocal disguise in a dark room, the joke would not come off as being told by someone who thinks it's funny when someone else gets raped.

I have no doubt in my mind that whoever made the video above does not think it's funny when someone gets raped. but one other thing is also clear: they come from a position of privilege that has not given them cause to live with or deeply consider life with that perpetual threat. jokes like this, where they're simply shocking charicatures of the act with no sympathetic treatment of the victim whatsoever, are the privilege of people who don't have any experience with the act. the security of never having dealt with the real life consequences of rape on the lives of every woman (whether she's been raped or not) allows one to laugh at the audacity of making the video. as in, "ha ha. can you believe he made that shit? oh man, the balls on that guy." if the pain of the act is not real to you (and not necessarily as a survivor of rape, or the friend of a survivor, etc... it is enough merely to live with the possibility and the anxiety from that) then the audacity is removed from the implication and you get the attitude that thinks this kind of thing is a good idea.

which is why almost nobody here actually likes the thing. metafilter's userbase, I'd wager, has a fairly high sympathetic response. we don't respond to jokes from a position of privilege that way. it's not funny to us to laugh at what happens to someone else told by someone else as an act of cruelty (even if it's fake cruelty created for shock value). we can respond well to anything that engages our sympathetic response, but not something that necessarily separates us from the less privileged and looks down at their predicament and laughs, even if it's laughing at the idea of laughing, rather than laughing at rape victims. what I mean by this is that the shock value joke is often laughing at the act of making the joke, rather than the joke itself. the sympathetic response in that is geared toward someone who lives with the possiblity of being seen as an oppressor, rather than oppressed. anyway, we don't respond to that. and that is absolutely where this video comes from. it's a position of privilege that makes light of the violence of the act because it will never deal with its reality, and that is a very difficult thing for many mefites to actually find funny.

wow. long ass comment. sorry about that. anyway, I think that might be the better way to consider the question of this post. it's not "is rape funny." it's entirely more about what mefites respond to and why, in my opinion.
posted by shmegegge at 9:13 AM on November 18, 2009 [48 favorites]


Wow, thanks shmegegge.
posted by hermitosis at 9:18 AM on November 18, 2009


What's one level up from NSFW?

NSFA
posted by lore at 9:24 AM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think there's something about the "gee we just had a thread last week in which we learned just how many MeFites have been victims of rape and sexual assault" timing of it that makes it particularly problematic

I agree with this deletion reasoning and thank you for it, jessamyn, but I think that we still don't know just how many MeFites have been victims of rape and sexual assault. We only know how many of those victims have taken the risk of sharing their story. There are lots more of us lurking in those threads who, for myriad reasons, have not yet spoken up. We have only begun to glimpse the depth of this problem.
posted by philotes at 9:37 AM on November 18, 2009


So, I know Lionel a little bit, and I've loved that song since it first showed up in the Soulwax mix and he's gone and pretty well fucking ruined it for me now, so I'm not even sure what to think.
posted by setanor at 9:42 AM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I don't think Jessamyn meant to imply we'd found an upper bound, just that this has been a very perspective-altering experience for a whole lot of people in terms of the general scope—that many people (whether those mostly unaffected or those personally affected by sexual harassment and assault) are understanding better or the first time just how many other people in this community, in terms of sheer numbers and commonality of experience, have dealt with this sort of thing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:43 AM on November 18, 2009


dirtdirt: The thing with Punch, Ren, Itchy, Judy, Stimpy, Larry, Jerry, Scratchy, Moe, Tom, Curly, etc. is that despite the horrible acts of violence they perpetrate on each other, they bounce right back. Moe gets a pencil in the eye and suffers no damage, Tom has a bomb explode in his mouth and shakes it off, Punch takes several dozen blows to the head with a chunk of cordwood and shows no effect whatsoever. Much of humor comes from illogic, or mis-fulfilled expectations, so that's part of what is (ostensibly) funny about that sort of cartoon - the cognitive dissonance of violence without consequence.

But. In the violence of rape the consequences are so so so much more than physical, and those psychological wounds are present long after any outward physical damage is healed (see both of the harrowing threads on the green being referred to above). Admittedly, this is true of any violence, but it's easier to see how, you know, an anvil smashes a mouse, yet the mouse pops up and keeps running, so that mouse isn't REALLY much bothered by it - there's no messy emotional component. The fallout of rape is primarily emotional component. It's really hard to see it as inconsequential because the repercussions are often so hidden, but pervasive, in real life.


So your point is that there was no psychological damage being inflicted in Ren & Stimpy? As a 7 year old, I found the emotional abuse and psychological trauma to be so overwhelming that I couldn't watch the show, and I had a pretty easy childhood, in those areas, compared to lots of people. The little brown one hates the red one, humiliates and denigrates the red one, lashes out physically at the red one for no reason, and even systematically tortures the red one, all whilst keeping the red one emotionally dependent on himself. And if that wasn't bad enough, the original, undiluted creator's vision was, without exaggeration, several orders of magnitude more offensive and less clever than that trucker cartoon.
posted by paisley henosis at 9:47 AM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't think we have a duty to adjust for every extreme sensitivity in the community all the time, but I have gotten to thinking that the level of our discourse and the quality of our ability to express opposing views is not significantly limited by the removal of, say, a rape joke or some racist comments. Particularly if we do so in the name of kindness towards those in this community who are *right now* sharing difficult feelings about this very subject. Whether we think they should or shouldn't be offended by this video, I would like to give the more serious discussion the room it needs to happen and a reasonably positive amount of support. And if that means sacrificing some in-poor-taste yuks, I'm okay with that.
posted by bunnycup at 9:47 AM on November 18, 2009


"I am one of the least group-thinky people I know"

All group-thinky people think that. It's up there with "I'm not [noun], but..." Intolerant groups usually pride themselves on their tolerance, then note what they, champions of tolerance, disapprove of.

There is metafilter group-think, because group-think is inevitable. Among the reasons I love metafilter is many of its members are aware of the group-think effect and have linked to studies of it. Humans conform, whether they're cops or gangsters, straights or hipsters, mefites or boingboingers...

In the case of this video and its deletion, I'm torn. I would gladly have those minutes of my life returned to me. On the other hand, my fondness for free speech is to the left of every moderator I've ever known, and I think people have missed the video's context, so they're seeing a story about a trucker raping women. What they're not seeing is a commentary on the sex and violence in video games. The trucker is a thoroughly repulsive being from start to finish; there's no romanticizing of a rapist here. He's not someone anyone wants to be...uh, unless there are people who want to fly through someone's bowels in a plane, dodging meteors of feces.

Now, I don't think the video's successful as a parody of videogames, but since I've played few, I could be wrong--its audience might get it.

I also think shmegge's right that the videomaker hasn't thought deeply enough about depicting rape in art.
posted by shetterly at 9:51 AM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


> The most offensive thing about the video was its depiction of truckers as horndogs on wheels.

Oh my God. Are you serious.

I don't have the time to really get into this discussion, I'll just say "what shmeggege and hermitosis said" but add: I am NOT a squeamish person wrt disturbing humor or images. But the skin balloon yukyuk (as well as the no-game-purpose eating and shitting women and the indiscriminate plowing them over with the truck) made me feel a cold, hollowness inside.

Using women's bodies as comedy props that can be defiled and disposed of is scary, not funny.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:03 AM on November 18, 2009 [11 favorites]


I appreciate the 16-bit cuteness so much, too. It's just really misused here. Blechhhhhhhhhh.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:05 AM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Put me in the liking the video column. It's a kind of immature sort of violent sexual fantasy mixed in with a kind of even weirder shame about it that ends up just heightening the violence. I liked the oppressive tone the music added. I liked the visual gags, especially the descriptions of the power ups. It is basically what sex would be if it was a 1990s sega videogame, which is a horrible thing to behold and weirdly interesting.

If you think I'm reading too much into the video, read the description on the YouTube page. I think it shows there was more thought put into it than just her her giant cocks. I think the fact that it shows some craft in it's construction makes that even more obvious that you can't take it as something made purely for pleasure.

That said, I understand why people are upset about it and can't just ignore it. There is merit to the idea that these kind of bizarre urges should only be talked about in a way that seeks to eliminate them, though I don't subscribe to that. I do admit that other works, like Story of the Eye, possibly treat this subject in a more constructive manner, but not everything has to be so intellectualized. This isn't a bad post for Metafilter, and I'm happy that the deletion reason reflects that.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 10:09 AM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm really getting sick of saying the same thing over again, but while my focus is community standards/community expectations (this is the kind of focus I just come with - am wired with), and I do still firmly believe that in the complex system of large moderated community you get some nebulous thing called "community standards" or "community expectations".

That I believe we do have community expectations, I'm croggled if I even know what they are in more than a fraction of instances.

What I don't think is:
- I don't think I have any right to say what the community expectation is or should be.
- I don't think that my personal feelings have any bearing on what community expectation is except in its tiny democratic contribution.
- I don't think that my responsibility is to change community or individual expectation.
- I don't think that the force of my feelings is enough to change community or individual expectation.
- I don't think that I have any right to expect that any individual or subgroup in the community will or should agree with me.
- I don't want the responsibility for running this community.
- I don't want the responsibility or duty to moderate this community. The existing mods do a fine job.
- I do not want to censor anything.
- I do not want to police anything.

Simply saying that I believe we have communal expectations is absolutely not the same thing as wanting anything to do with guiding, shaping, forming or influencing them.

What I do think is:
If I have an opinion about something and further if by being an advocate for that opinion I can start a discussion that I feel needs having, and it's not appropriate to have in that thread, I should create a MetaTalk discussion and participate in it as I am able to.

That's all I wanted to do. I wanted to discharge what I saw as my obligation to say "Hey, what the fuck?" I got to do what I wanted.

I'm also actually okay with other people thinking they understand my motivations better than I do. I like to think they're wrong, but hey maybe they're not. I just want to be able to publicly disagree.

Some of you think I want to police the community. In fact, all I want to do is express an opinion.
posted by kalessin at 10:15 AM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


> If you think I'm reading too much into the video, read the description on the YouTube page. I think it shows there was more thought put into it than just her her giant cocks. I think the fact that it shows some craft in it's construction makes that even more obvious that you can't take it as something made purely for pleasure.

Yeah no. I overthink this shit as my vocation, and I'm gonna just go ahead and say "Bad art! Bad!"

I'm currently thinking about how I can frame this for discussion in the Interactive Media seminar I'm in, a grad level critical studies in media course mostly populated with neeeerrrrrdy game makers. I think the class would mostly concur that this is ill-conceived, overcooked caricature, even if its intended target of ridicule is RapeLay, say. Imitation approaching flattery, unfortunately. Graphic depiction of violence to women for humorous effect is a FAIL.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:15 AM on November 18, 2009


Shetterly: it's those last two comments of yours that ultimately tipped the balance for me.

The point you make about context is a good one. In context, this probably was meant to lampoon things like GRAND THEFT AUTO and what-not. Now: at first, I was going to make the argument that "nevertheless, the guy included an element that stuck out like a sore thumb and overshadowed the point, so yanking this was best."

Realizing that, I then uncomfortably wondered "wait, so if that's true....then is it therefore okay to yank HUCKLEBERRY FINN for using the 'n-word'? Because that's something that has been a powerful distractor from the rest of HUCKLEBERRY FINN in many communities." I've supported the use of HUCKLEBERRY FINN despite the inflammatory word in the past -- but why give it a pass if I wanted to reject this film, despite the two of them having a similar issue?

But then I realized the difference: HUCKLEBERRY FINN has a damn sight more things going on to recommend it than this guy's video has. And Mark Twain was a damn sight better at letting you see what the subtext was than this guy is. And that's another part of the obscenity definition too -- not just "does the community get skeeved out by it", but also "is there anything else of worth in this thing to offset the skeeve to the point that we can let it stand." And it sounds like, in this case, there isn't. The possibility exists for another, better-written work similarly poking fun at video games and similarly featuring questionable elements to be posted here, and that could be accepted -- because it's better written to the point that more of us understand what the subtext IS. This, however, is not that work. And thus, in the interest of keeping the peace, out it goes.

And that works for me. The casual misogyny was skeevy enough, but a better author could have incorporated even that into something that may have stayed; as it was, this was serving more to piss people off, and so it wasn't even achieving what the author wanted (assuming "criticizing video game violence" is what he wanted to do), so...no great loss.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:16 AM on November 18, 2009

In my opinion, if you can even imagine a time that a post would be acceptable in the future, it shouldn't be removed in the present.
Lots of PoliticsFilter posts get deleted around election time that might otherwise have stood.
posted by Karmakaze at 10:17 AM on November 18, 2009


my fondness for free speech is to the left of every moderator I've ever known

I would argue that you can be pretty aggressively in favor of free speech and still have a "there's a time and a place for everything" approach in smaller communities. Others might disagree. I think there's an argument to be made that any site that actually has moderators is in some level saying that they have decided that some speech restrictions are appropriate in their small section of the larger world.

My personal non-mod opinion is that many people seem to think that the idea or concept of rape, being controversial and weighty, is a good vehicle for exploring other issues of sexuality, power, edginess and whatnot. This is very true in some sense. However there's also a way in which lots of people use rape as a shorthand for "insert troubling imagery here" [other people do the same thing with casual racism or other "kill your idols" type of talk] in ways that aren't particularly thoughtful or interesting and it's gotten to the point where it makes mainstream media [particularly movies, but you see it more and more in "edgy" tv] just seems sort of rapey. So in a situation where you're trying to help people be less afraid and genuinely attack and grapple with this sort of societal problem -- which involves a lot of difficult conversations that need to take place in somewhat safe spaces -- lots and lots of people lulzing over trucker-rape cartoons isn't really helping. This is, again, my personal opinion. If people think it's creeping too far into my modly decisions, feel free to let me know.

And sure there are many many ways in which MeFi "doesn't help" advance the larger issues we face in the world. I just think it's one way to think about the idea of context.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:18 AM on November 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


So your point is that there was no psychological damage being inflicted in Ren & Stimpy?

I'm sorry Ren & Stimpy bothered you as a child. But would you contend that a Ren & Stimpy cartoon would be inappropriate for an FPP on MetaFilter because of the amount of, or type of violence, in the same way that the post in question was? I would not, and I think it's at least partly because, yeah, the depth of the psychological damage being done to the characters is not long lasting. This is tricky, of course, because Ren & Stimpy is sort of a meta-cartoon, and there *is* some sort of long term psychological turmoil.
posted by dirtdirt at 10:18 AM on November 18, 2009


On the other hand, my fondness for free speech is to the left of every moderator I've ever known

Every moderate? Oh. Moderator. Like cortex and jessamyn (and pb and vacapinta and mathowie too, of course).

Free speech doesn't apply here. Metafilter isn't run by the government, and no one's got free rein to post whatever they want to the blue or ask any question on the green. Are you troubled by any/every deletion here?
posted by rtha at 10:19 AM on November 18, 2009 [5 favorites]


I wanted to discharge what I saw as my obligation to say "Hey, what the fuck?"

kalessin, I think what you did was exactly right. It's why metatalk exists, and it's another reason I love metafilter.

I would argue that you can be pretty aggressively in favor of free speech and still have a "there's a time and a place for everything" approach in smaller communities.

jessamyn, complete agreement. I'm not a free speech absolutist. Moderating is like being an umpire: you have to make the tough calls quickly, and then endure the analysis by the fans. In your place, I might've done exactly what you did.
posted by shetterly at 10:26 AM on November 18, 2009


Simply saying that I believe we have communal expectations is absolutely not the same thing as wanting anything to do with guiding, shaping, forming or influencing them.

Of course you do, otherwise you'd wouldn't bring it up that there are communal expectations.

No one posts MetaTalk threas and hangs around in them 'cause they don't care.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:27 AM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Free speech doesn't apply here. Metafilter isn't run by the government

rtha, if your concept of free speech is defined by what the government allows, let's agree to disagree.

Are you troubled by any/every deletion here?

No. I've been thinking a lot about compassion lately, and I think deletions can be extremely compassionate. We all make mistakes, and while the past should not be denied, it does not need to be paraded either.
posted by shetterly at 10:34 AM on November 18, 2009


Now, I don't think the video's successful as a parody of videogames, but since I've played few, I could be wrong--its audience might get it.

As someone who has played a whole lot of 'em, I can say that the video is successful at at parodying/mimicking a lot of aesthetic and structural tropes from video games, but that all of that comes off as fairly superficial dressing on it—the game-aesthetic elements don't in any obviously interesting or meaningful way justify or contextualize the taboo content.

I can buy the idea that the author of the video was going for something like a dark-comedic indictment of the way some games tacitly legitimize violence and horror, but it feels like the author was paying more attention to art direction and sight gags than he was to the effectiveness of any kind of message that was supposed to be conveyed by the thing, if such a message was intended to be conveyed.

So it works much better as shock humor than as commentary. If it was intended as shock humor, it succeeds on that front but it's not a success a lot of people here are that impressed by on the whole for a lot of reasons. If it was intended as meaningful commentary, it fell badly flat.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:34 AM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Graphic depiction of violence to women for humorous effect is a FAIL.

I think this will clear up why I like this video:

Rape? Not funny.

A woman in stripper heels and panties around her thighs being skewered on a man's penis as they both fall to their deaths after the women was enlarged to be the same size as the earth and the man piloted an airplane through her colon? Funny. But here is the important part: it's due to the weirdness and the fetish-per-second ratio, not the rape.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 10:35 AM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


rtha, if your concept of free speech is defined by what the government allows, let's agree to disagree.

Pretty sure she's invoking the notion that free speech is enshrined in the Constitution as something the government ought not to trample on—in opposition to the notion that such strictures would apply to non-governmental entities—and not trying to establish government-in-practice as the end-all, be-all of speech libertarians.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:36 AM on November 18, 2009


All group-thinky people think that. It's up there with "I'm not [noun], but..." Intolerant groups usually pride themselves on their tolerance, then note what they, champions of tolerance, disapprove of.

shetterly, I'm not sure where you want me to go with that. It's sort of masterful in a "Have you stopped beating your wife yet?" sort of way.

You don't know me. I do know of you. In general I've had a good opinion of you and your opinions, but I've also seen you swoop into the bullshit zone before. I've privately wished you good luck (sincerely!) getting out of the rhetorical holes you've dug for yourself.

I hope it's not group-thinky to call shenanigans on your opinions here. I mean I know a lot of folks disagree with you already. I don't want to be tarred with that brush when the opinion I'm expressing here to you is purely personal. You know, person-to-person, not "I saw a whole lot of people posting crappy comments on shetterly's blog and it looked fun so I piled on too."
posted by kalessin at 10:39 AM on November 18, 2009


It is no more about video games than Fuck Her Gently is about Christianity or cartoons.
posted by fleacircus at 10:45 AM on November 18, 2009


The little brown one hates the red one, humiliates and denigrates the red one, lashes out physically at the red one for no reason, and even systematically tortures the red one, all whilst keeping the red one emotionally dependent on himself.

Not to get too deeply into the history of cartoon violence, here, and not to claim Ren and Stimpy is any deeper than it is, but:

1. This stuff underpins a number of slapstick comedy routines, from Bugs Bunny to The Three Stooges

2. Anyone who knows the barest details about Kricfalusi through osmosis gets a definite vibe that Ren could be a commentary on his relationship with an emotionally abusive father, and that making the cartoon is cathartic for him and that watching it is cathartic for young viewers who have suffered the same mistreatment

3. As horrible as Adult Party was, I don't think all of R+S can be fairly judged by that aberration

Thanks for listening.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:46 AM on November 18, 2009


kalessin, mulligan!
posted by shetterly at 10:46 AM on November 18, 2009


rtha, if your concept of free speech is defined by what the government allows, let's agree to disagree.

What cortex said (especially since he said it so much more coherently and succinctly than I would have. More coffee for me, I guess).
posted by rtha at 10:47 AM on November 18, 2009


1. This stuff underpins a number of slapstick comedy routines, from Bugs Bunny to The Three Stooges

I forgot to add: "to Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove".
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:56 AM on November 18, 2009


A woman in stripper heels and panties around her thighs being skewered on a man's penis as they both fall to their deaths (...)But here is the important part: it's due to the weirdness and the fetish-per-second ratio, not the rape.

huh. I understand this as saying that the toon just uses enough extremity to counterbalance the distaste of the rape... but since I'm a person who wears panties on a daily basis, and stilettos often, calling those features part of the fetish justification is too close to home. "it's funny because she was a tart"??
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:58 AM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I can buy the idea that the author of the video was going for something like a dark-comedic indictment of the way some games tacitly legitimize violence and horror

Yeah, that's how I read it, though I'm probably giving the author too much credit. It seems clearly intended as not "humor" or "entertainment" but some sort of satirical social commentary [pausing to wipe screen] mocking the very people who'd find it hilarious. Unfortunately, Jonathan Swift it ain't, and so it fails miserably, as so much crude satire tends to do.
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:02 AM on November 18, 2009


I've also seen you swoop into the bullshit zone before

kalessin, what you call "the bullshit zone" can simply be thinking outside of a group's comfort area.* As you seem to understand when you say "I saw a whole lot of people posting crappy comments on shetterly's blog and it looked fun so I piled on too." Reject group-think, and the group will attack, whether they're Scientologists, liberals, or John Wayne fans.

There's no shame in thinking like the people you think like. But if you think you're not thinking like your group and are not susceptible to peer pressure, you're not as self-aware as you think you are.

* Yes, it may also mean I'm batshit insane. I'm cool with that.
posted by shetterly at 11:02 AM on November 18, 2009


I get the feeling we're about to re-hash the Ms. Magazine letter page brouhaha over spanking, only in 2009 terms. Be aware, many women have non-consensual fantasies, which can and should absolutely be separated from depictions of real-world violence and dehumanization. I think the separation was evident here, tho following the perspective of the sports-car driver rather than the trucker would probably have made the bright-lines brighter.

I was amused by the eclectic collection of auxiliary fem-sub genres, especially the transformation ones, but I don't think mefi is the right venue for a fetish porno, even a well animated one - as such, it should be deleted, as it was pretty much raunch for raunch's sake.
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:07 AM on November 18, 2009


outside of a group's comfort area.

shetterly, I really feel that you've got the best of intentions here but you may not be aware of your "us vs. them" language both here and in general on the site. If you'd like to engage people sincerely, you may want to step down from generalizations a little bit and try to talk to people directly as individuals working within a larger system. I can see why people are finding your comments maddening, and I'm not sure that you do. Your position seems to be that your view on this issue is somehow enlightened and others' positions aren't.

rtha's response about the government is also important. We have never, on MetaFilter, advocated a position of absolute free speech for everyone. If you disagree with the limits we've placed on it, do speak up, but saying that we fail to adhere to a moral position that we have not claimed to take does not seem to be arguing this point in good faith.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:10 AM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


kalessin, a PS: I didn't mean to attack you by noting your denial of groupthink, and, upon reflection, I'm sorry I mentioned it. As I said earlier, I think you had every right to make this post.
posted by shetterly at 11:12 AM on November 18, 2009


It is no more about video games than Fuck Her Gently is about Christianity or cartoons.

There were specific videogame references aside from the style of the presentation. When the trucker would get a "Super Bonus" power up boxes, and then there would be an instruction on how to use what was contained in the boxes. Specifically it had blinking 'A' and 'B' buttons next to the directions, as if either the character onscreen could enact these "powers", or possibly if there was another person or thing (id?) controlling the character could then engage them.
But, yeah, they were just references rather than some kind of failed meta-commentary.

Beyond all that, the cartoon was pretty crass and was essentially a series of rape jokes. It shouldn't have been posted and should've been deleted sooner.
posted by P.o.B. at 11:17 AM on November 18, 2009


"Group-think" is a really loaded term, and to me its only connotation is negative. I'm not sure if this is how you use it or mean it.

Segregationists engage in group-think. So do desegregationists. If Bull Connor had shown up at an SCLC meeting and spoken against their aims rather than using firehoses, then he would have been challenging the group-think of that particular group. But his iconoclastic behavior would not have been "good" just because he was challenging a particular group's ideology or ideas.
posted by rtha at 11:18 AM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


It is no more about video games than Fuck Her Gently is about Christianity or cartoons.

Wasn't the Giant Trucker Grabs a Handful of Women and Eats Them And Poops Them Out bit a Rampage reference?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:22 AM on November 18, 2009


It shouldn't have been posted and should've been deleted sooner.

We can't delete things in our sleep, fwiw.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:28 AM on November 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


Malor: Personally, I think something should either pass or fail on its own merits, not based on whatever's happening in AskMe....If you're gonna remove something because it's bad, then just remove it because it's bad. "Timing" is an extraordinarily bad reason to suppress anyone's expression. If it's no good this week, it should be no good EVER.

This pretty much summarizes my feelings. I haven't seen the video and have no interest in seeing it, but the precedent here is a dangerous one IMO.
posted by stinkycheese at 11:29 AM on November 18, 2009


but since I'm a person who wears panties on a daily basis, and stilettos often, calling those features part of the fetish justification is too close to home

Do you walk around with those panties around your thighs, showing off you ass? I wasn't trying to hit close to home, I don't know much about you, but I don't think you can deny that the women was dressed in a way that many men find arousing.

But yea, it's not just the heels and the panties. It's the Macrophilia (a sexual fantasy involving giants), scat, anal and oral closeups, Exhibitionism, the fantasy of having impossibly huge genitals and billion more if I was to stretch a little. If there were any amputees we pretty much would have the whole list of paraphilias covered.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 11:31 AM on November 18, 2009


We have never, on MetaFilter, advocated a position of absolute free speech for everyone.

jessamyn, I didn't realize I'd implied that you had. I know that I'm outside metafilter's demographic, so when I talk, I'm speaking as an outsider. And maybe that's an untenable position--you can't be both in the group and outside it.

I have been having a lot of trouble figuring out how to talk about larger systems without alienating individuals within them.

I'll ponder this.

"Group-think" is a really loaded term

rtha, true. My sympathy for Netzapper's position undoubtedly colored my decision to mention it. That kalessin was upset by it is completely understandable, and, well, my bad for focusing on an issue instead of a person.
posted by shetterly at 11:32 AM on November 18, 2009


shetterly, jessamyn said it better than I can manage.

Also, from Brandon Blatcher, we have this:

No one posts MetaTalk threas and hangs around in them 'cause they don't care.

I think you misunderstand. I'm not sure if it's intentional or not, and I don't care (about whether or not you are intentionally misundersetanding). I DO CARE. I care a lot. If I didn't care, I wouldn't have posted. If I didn't care, I wouldn't still control an active MetaFilter account.

What I'm actually doing here, hanging around, contributing, discussing, calling shenanigans, is trying to understand the communal expectations. I am also exercising my privilege of expression and of having an opinion and being able to write about it. You may have missed the bit where I talked about being a democratic fraction of the community.

What keeps happening is I keep saying "I have an opinion." and people seem to be saying back to me "Don't tell me what to think!" and I'm not. I'm having an opinion. I expect others, individually or collectively, to agree or disagree as is their wont. They are free to tell me or not. I am free to change my opinion or not, as are they.

Having an opinion does not obligate me or anyone to do anything.

Like I said before, I had an opinion. I posted about it on MetaTalk, where opinions go. Things happened.

What I disagree with and will keep saying until it stops coming up is the idea that I am trying to unduly influence the community's varied spectrums or averages of opinion and expectations by having my own personal opinion and expressing it.

What have I learned so far? Try not to forget to include context when posting about things on MetaFilter that readers on MetaTalk may be unaware of.
posted by kalessin at 11:32 AM on November 18, 2009


We can't delete things in our sleep, fwiw.

That's just lazy talk.

Kidding. I realize why it wasn't deleted sooner.
posted by P.o.B. at 11:36 AM on November 18, 2009


I know that I'm outside metafilter's demographic, so when I talk, I'm speaking as an outsider.

I think part of the problem—I know this is something that has been bothering me, certainly—is that you seem to have some fairly specific idea of what "metafilter's demographic" is and that you're framing some of your arguments in terms of the line you draw between yourself and that. I'm standing here wondering what the hell that demographic is, when this is a huge and heterogeneous community.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:41 AM on November 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


The Devil Tesla, a lot of MeFites did a lot of work in the threads about Shroedinger's Rapist on the blue and on the grey to help other people see why their comments were offensive and part of the problem.

I'll do my part here: When you say things like, "Do you walk around with those panties around your thighs, showing off you ass? I wasn't trying to hit close to home, I don't know much about you, but I don't think you can deny that the women was dressed in a way that many men find arousing," the conclusion you're leaving unspoken is, "... and so she deserves to get raped/she's asking for it."

That's dangerous territory, horribly offensive, and completely untrue. It blames victims. Not getting raped is not a woman's responsibility. Sexual predators are the problem, and what a victim was wearing is inconsequential.
posted by juliplease at 11:41 AM on November 18, 2009 [10 favorites]


shetterly, this is not in any way meant as a genuinely personal attack (if it were, I wouldn't say it), but a sort of WTF follow on from cortex's comment above.

Mostly the different demographic you seem to be in from the average joe (take me for example, but you and I have friends in common) is that you are a better-known blogger who gets in bigger and more public fights about the same stupid crap I get in fights about.

What is the difference between us beyond the publicity?
posted by kalessin at 11:45 AM on November 18, 2009


While I think the The Devil Tesla could have been clearer in what he or she said, I don't think the comment you quoted was intended to demonstrate why the character in the cartoon deserved to be abused as it demonstrated his or her original point, that there was so much piling on of fetishy and WTF images that the sexual violence wasn't the prominent detail when he or she watched the cartoon.

Me, I see a lot of women in fishnets, so it was the violence that stood out.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:46 AM on November 18, 2009


I know that I'm outside metafilter's demographic, so when I talk, I'm speaking as an outsider.

Unless you've taught your cat to type, and that was your cat who was typing... how on god's green earth are you "outside metafilter's demographic"? I'd love to hear this one.
posted by heyho at 11:51 AM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think things like this are tricky, and not clear-cut (to be clear about my personal reaction, I hated this and described it in the deleted thread as "vile" which I certainly stand by). The fact that something is outrageous, in poor taste, or depicts things that, if translated into the real world, would be atrocities, doesn't make them automatically worthless.

But I to me this was an example of something I feel like I'm seeing way too much of lately, where I am supposed to "get" that the representation of something horrible is satire or commentary and I just can't find it anywhere in the actual product. Yes the format of this as a videogame was something ostensibly non-serious, but the presentation of the narrative was completely straight in my eyes, I did not witness any element that suggested commentary or critique or satire of the story as several have summarized it: the sexy girl rebuffs the nasty trucker so he runs her down and super-rapes her, killing, devouring, and shitting out numerous women on his way. To me this is lazy, self-indulgent pseudo-satire. The most charitable case I can find is the idea that things like this are rooted in a kind of intentional overkill to the point of philosophical absurdity. I'm conflicted because I definitely get the kind of shocked/baffled catharsis in this sort of thing in some cases.

But then again, I don't think glorying in pure offensiveness is new, it certainly isn't daring or brave anymore, I don't see how it is particularly clever. The fact that it is well made technically doesn't justify it. A really nasty racist or misogynistic joke may be cleverly constructed or based on a well-crafted play on words, it's still a shitty hateful joke. I don't think it should be censored from reality, I just don't see the justification of it being showcased here. If there is a meaningful conversation to be had about edgy, boundary-defying animation I think a superior example is out there to be discussed.
posted by nanojath at 11:53 AM on November 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


Fair 'nuff, Astro Zombie, thanks for the extra perspective. I (obviously) didn't see any other way to read it than the way I did. I'm still troubled enough by the tone to stand by my comment, but I can see now that it's possible I misunderstood. My apologies if I misrepresented your point, The Devil Tesla.
posted by juliplease at 11:56 AM on November 18, 2009


What I disagree with and will keep saying until it stops coming up...

WE GET IT.
posted by fleacircus at 11:57 AM on November 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


stinkycheese: " I haven't seen the video and have no interest in seeing it, but the precedent here is a dangerous one IMO"

I once made a FPP with disturbing imagery that led also sparked a long thread in the grey. And if the mods had deleted that FPP because they didn't agree with what I thought were the valid reasons for posting it, I wouldn't have viewed their decision as "setting a precedent". I would have taken it as them saying "Thanks anyway, but not what we're looking for."

And since they're the ones responsible for deciding what MetaFilter is looking for, what else is there to say?
posted by Joe Beese at 12:06 PM on November 18, 2009


The cartoon wasn't just in poor taste; it was hateful.
posted by Ouisch at 12:08 PM on November 18, 2009


What I disagree with and will keep saying until it stops coming up is the idea that I am trying to unduly influence the community's varied spectrums or averages of opinion and expectations by having my own personal opinion and expressing it.

Of course you want to influence expectations, otherwise you wouldn't have started the Metatalk thread. Which is fine, but the whole tone of that post was very much "what the hell is this doing here" with the implicit question of "shouldn't it be deleted". All of which is fine, but that's hardly just expressing your opinion as you seem to be saying now.

Never mind the whole "this post undermines everything the rape experience threads stood for" which is just odd, IMO. I'm not arguing that those threads should be completely ignored, but their existence should be as pressing as you seem to want to make them in regards to the original post.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:11 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Of course you want to influence expectations, otherwise you wouldn't have started the Metatalk thread.

You really don't know what somebody's motives are, unless they state them, and even then, they might be lying. It's probably better to sinply address the post itself than to theorize about why it exists. It's certainly more fair and less likely to cause a fight between one person and another.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:12 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


When you have to explain your joke, you've done a piss poor job in telling it.
posted by edgeways at 12:17 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


where I am supposed to "get" that the representation of something horrible is satire or commentary and I just can't find it anywhere in the actual product.

This was sort of the reason I had a hard time watching Consolidated play. They had a lot of right-on [to my mind] messages in their lyrics but they played with a bunch of really sort of overly-sexualized imagery playing on screens around them. I know their songs and so I was pretty clear that this was a sort of high irony thing they were doing, but there was definitely a subset of the audience that was like "oh cool, boobies!" and it turned the experience into a weird one, for me.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:18 PM on November 18, 2009


The opgoing risk of irony is that its not always clear that you're being ironic. If you ironically tell a racist joke, and nobody catches the irony, you've just told a racist joke. And a lot of people scuk at being ironic.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:19 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


The scuk I tells ya.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:19 PM on November 18, 2009


I just favorite'd the original post >:)
posted by Damn That Television at 12:20 PM on November 18, 2009


I'm still troubled enough by the tone to stand by my comment, but I can see now that it's possible I misunderstood.

You turned "guys like girls in stilettos and panties" into "girls in stilettos and panties deserve to get raped." I believe that's a misunderstanding. I'm sympathetic to why you reacted to what I said, but I would be a little more comfortable if you admit that you messed up pretty badly.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 12:24 PM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


We are MetaFilter.
posted by Sailormom at 12:25 PM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


it doesn't help that your comment got six favorites in half an hour :(
posted by The Devil Tesla at 12:27 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


But you'r okay with me never getting around to click on your profile to determine your gender, I hope, he or she who wrote that.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:28 PM on November 18, 2009


I think the problem here is not just a taste issue -- it's not a matter of some people linking to things that other people in the MeFi community just don't like -- it's that some of these things actively alienate existing members of the site, in a way that their absence wouldn't alienate people who might like them.

I mean, if you want to go watch cartoon women getting violently impaled by giant cartoon dicks, more power to you -- that's basically why the entire internet exists in the first place {/hamburger.}

But as far as sharing things with a community of actual people goes, it might be a good idea to avoid things that large swaths of us not only disagree with or dislike, but find threatening in a way that is difficult to describe.

And given the context of the earlier threads on rape and sexual harassment, it's difficult for any poster to claim ignorance of the sensitivity of the community to these topics.

I mean, the choice is basically: have the privilege of posting super-exploding-giant-mega-rapey-penis cartoons to your heart's content, or keep Metafilter a place where many members (like myself and, if the other threads are any indication, large numbers of other members, not all exclusively women) don't feel like they're being metaphorically bitch-slapped and simultaneously dismissed as human beings by having the temerity to click on a link to a cartoon.

Just sayin.
posted by Ouisch at 12:30 PM on November 18, 2009 [5 favorites]


Add to the discussion about having to explain jokes (and their inherent funniness), please, that many feminists and activists in overlapping spaces are really tired of being told that they lack sufficient funny bone when they complain that a joke or comedy is misogynist.

Yes, we often know how the joke is or is meant to be funny, it's true, but we are often more interested in speaking about communal expectations of tact because some of the folks that we are advocates for (and who for whatever reason may not be interested in speaking up for themselves) because we are concerned for them, both in general and in specific.

Activism and advocacy are also sometimes mixed up with "white knight" syndromes and other language meant to confuse and disorder these activists/advocates. I don't find that funny either. In fact I find it disrespectful and disingenuous, but that's just a personal opinion.
posted by kalessin at 12:31 PM on November 18, 2009


But you'r okay with me never getting around to click on your profile to determine your gender, I hope, he or she who wrote that.

I didn't notice because I was happy that you came to my defense :).
posted by The Devil Tesla at 12:31 PM on November 18, 2009


cortex, kalessin, and heyho, when I talk about metafilter's demographic, I'm not knocking it, honest. But I'm older, poorer, and more commie than most mefites. That may give me more sympathy for traditional conservatives and religious people who post here, because they're also far from metafilter's center. Metafilter, with its high percentage of folks who've been on the web for a long time, seems disproportionately rich and white-collar (a term which must have been replaced by a newer one that's escaping me), with a high mix of liberal capitalists and right-libertarians. My tolerance for speech that I disagree with is greater than the local norm--and I'm not pointing at the mods when I say that, because mods have to represent their community. If I was in their place, I would make most of the same calls they make, and some of the calls I wouldn't make would undoubtedly result in flamewars or worse.

Eh. I didn't mean to sidetrack the discussion. I'm not suggesting that anything about Metafilter should be different. And I am thinking about what I might change to fit in better.
posted by shetterly at 12:32 PM on November 18, 2009


I'm right in MetaFilter's center, and it's being run by the head of a small and very mean wire heair terrier dog attached to the Internet with a series of tubes and wires. I think his collar says his name is Pudwalla Marsqueth the 3rd, but every time I get close enough to check, Pudwalla growls in a very menacing way.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:37 PM on November 18, 2009 [5 favorites]


The Devil Tesla: "it doesn't help that your comment got six favorites in half an hour :("

well, if you're going to gripe about the favorites, then let me just mention that, as someone who favorited the comment (and will probably get around to unfavoriting it soon, since it was a misunderstanding), you may want to be more concerned with how badly your comment came off, 'cause... what you were trying to get at was not at all what I got. I'm not trying to blame you or anything, but a misunderstanding's a misunderstanding, ya know? these things happen.
posted by shmegegge at 12:38 PM on November 18, 2009


Seconding shmegegge here. And I think juliplease responded fairly, so maybe time to let this one go.
posted by Ouisch at 12:40 PM on November 18, 2009


I'm happy to formally apologize for the misunderstanding, The Devil Tesla, and I appreciate that you can see how I got there. I'm sorry.
posted by juliplease at 12:43 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


That favorite is a thanks :)
posted by The Devil Tesla at 12:53 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


> I'm standing here wondering what the hell that demographic is, when this is a huge and heterogeneous community.

Well, used to be that when you weren't logged in you could click on this link that brought you to a page about advertising on metafilter. It said something like "Has 40k members, 73% of which are liberal males in their 40s, most have their own blogs, Brandon Blatcher is the black member, Joe Beese is the Conservative, St. Alia of the Bunnies is the Christian, and It's Raining Florence Henderson makes everyone laugh," but you wouldn't know this because you never log out (and now that link only returns: "The requested URL /about/ was not found on this server," or "Hello, World. DEFAULT SITE" or I would have quoted it in it's entirety).

There is a metafilter demographic. It might be hard to put your finger on, and honestly I'd expect you'd do a better job than most, so I'm not sure if you're saying you can't or that you can't grasp what demographic shetterly is using for the site.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:01 PM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]



Yes, we often know how the joke is or is meant to be funny, it's true, but we are often more interested in speaking about communal expectations of tact because some of the folks that we are advocates for (and who for whatever reason may not be interested in speaking up for themselves) because we are concerned for them, both in general and in specific.

Activism and advocacy are also sometimes mixed up with "white knight" syndromes and other language meant to confuse and disorder these activists/advocates. I don't find that funny either. In fact I find it disrespectful and disingenuous, but that's just a personal opinion.


So, NOW, you're an activist. Upthread, I thought you were someone who had no opinion on what community standards should be. Did you have some sort of Joycean epiphany or something, or did you just think that no one was paying attenion anymore.
posted by dortmunder at 1:01 PM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


dortmunder, I think you're being aggressive in a pretty obnoxious way.
posted by Ouisch at 1:05 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


You really don't know what somebody's motives are, unless they state them, and even then, they might be lying.

Bullshit, I have special internet powers.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:10 PM on November 18, 2009 [5 favorites]


dortmunder, I think you're being aggressive in a pretty obnoxious way.

It's just that kalessin spent the day (you don't know the half of it) trying to deny he had any sort of agenda at all re: community standards on Metafilter, and then comes out and describes himself as an activist, which pisses me off. Had he made some sort of public acknowledgement of that early on, I wouldn't be so irritated. So yeah, I'm being obnoxious. If you've got an agenda state it up front.
posted by dortmunder at 1:15 PM on November 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


"And I am thinking about what I might change to fit in better," shetterly.

Or if you're willing to change those things. Sometimes you just have to not fit.

I know I've made a lot of concessions on this site than I ever expected I would. Some of this is due to honest discussion changing my mind. Some to avoid conflict with people I respect. Some because I know I will look like an idiot. Some due to reasons I have no idea about (it just happens by sticking around).

What got me with the people taking offense at your portrayal of "group-think" is that it seemed like some were missing the fact that (from my reading) you are placing yourself firmly within the effects of such thinking. I wasn't reading it as me vs them as much as people taking on the mores of the culture they choose to reside within. I don't think you were saying there's anything wrong with group-think other than being unaware that it is there.

But then I could be putting words where they don't belong or reading things completely incorrectly.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:15 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


dortmunder, I've been an activist all this time, I just chose not to identify as one. People can be activists any time they want to. I have been an activist professionally, as a hobbyist and not at all at different times in my life. I am not obligated to be or identify myself as an activist at any time. I didn't really think it relevant until I was talking about a particular aspect of our discussion and how it impacts activists. Since it's important to me to own my own words and opinions, I didn't think anything of identifying as an activist at this time.

While we're at it, you have the ability to take this chip you've got on your shoulder particularly about me to MeMail, which I note you have done. When I decided to stop responding there, you took it back here.

What's going on here? I've told you I think you just want a fight before, and it seems like you really are pursuing trying to get a fight out of me again in public. What's your game?
posted by kalessin at 1:17 PM on November 18, 2009


So yeah, I'm being obnoxious.

Maybe you could back off of that a little bit. You can totally talk about things without it turning into an interrogation.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:18 PM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm conflicted about this.

I liked the animation style, I liked the music and I can just barely entertain the possibility that it was presented as a parody of video game violence and misogynism. Unfortunately, it wasn't actually funny, which is sort of a prerequisite for a parody to be accepted. Not only was it not accepted but indeed was actively reviled, apparently by most who saw it. On those grounds, deletion was wholly appropriate.

I am worried by the idea that topics being discussed in other, unrelated threads about rape were the ostensible reason for deletion. The cartoon itself was really bad all by itself. That is a sufficient reason for deletion in and of itself.

I don't want to come off as someone from a "privileged position" who can't understand the inherent fear many women have about sexual assault. Yes, I am a middle-class white male American, but I am also the victim of childhood molestation. I'm not wild about dark parking lots or deserted stairwells myself.
posted by double block and bleed at 1:24 PM on November 18, 2009


Joe Beese: I understand what you're saying. I suggested it was setting a dangerous precedent specifically in this case because of the reasons given for the deletion.
posted by stinkycheese at 1:26 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


There is a metafilter demographic. It might be hard to put your finger on, and honestly I'd expect you'd do a better job than most, so I'm not sure if you're saying you can't or that you can't grasp what demographic shetterly is using for the site.

I can definitely identify trends—a lot of left-leaning sentiment in terms of social policy and politics (influenced I think in no small part by the high visibility of recent US political history over the life of the site), predominantly North American/Western-centric culturally, plenty of relatively young folks, tendency toward tech-savviness or at least web-savviness—but I think it becomes pretty dicey to try and treat the membership as a whole as "a demographic" when there's tremendous variation on every one of these axes among the actual individual members.

I think it's problematic at best to try and define one's self as being outside the "metafilter demographic" when any number of valued and well-respected and visible members of the site are themselves outside any reductive grouping you could make along the lines of the above but are nonetheless absolutely vital and integral parts of the metafilter community. It's a discredit to the actual shape of the whole membership, and I'm really willing to object to that sort of casual grouping in the service of anyone's personal declarations about their own special insight or whatever.

I'm deeply thankful that Metafilter doesn't have any sort of social/political mission statement or other such ideological organizing principle. I'm sometimes annoyed by the collision of popular opinion and loudmouthery that shows up on the site in ideologically-charged circumstances and would love to see less of it, but making a point of being "outside" of such a fuzzily-bordered zone and premising arguments on that outsiderness and questioning the perceptions of other for their insiderness, which is what it feels like shetterly was doing up there, seems like reaching very, very far to group those who fail to agree with you into a convenient unselfconscious opposition. That a whole lot of individuals just, in fact, disagree with you as individuals for a variety of reasons is not an implausible notion.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:29 PM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


I appreciate cortex's comment. I am glad that MetaFilter does not have a specific agenda. I wish that all users were more amenable to the idea that some people have radically different ideas than their own. I particularly wish that "These people are intolerant, and therefore I will be intolerant of them" were not an acceptable position for any person to hold.
posted by jefficator at 1:41 PM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


"That a whole lot of individuals just, in fact, disagree with you as individuals for a variety of reasons is not an implausible notion."

Very true. But when they disagree with you for similar reasons, and especially when they express those reasons with shared terminology, they're a group, and you're outside it.
posted by shetterly at 1:48 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


And for the record, if the poster had phrased his post similar to what I've written below, and acknowledged his perspective without all the "WTF Metafilter" and subsequent denials of having an agenda, I wouldn't have had any problem with it at all.

I am concerned about this post. I think, in the wake of two recent and eye-opening threads about rape, that it is inappropriate. Those threads really taught me a lot, and I think we, as a community, should steer away from posts that can be interpreted as misogynistic without the proper context. Thank you.
posted by dortmunder at 1:52 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


dortmunder, I've been an activist all this time, I just chose not to identify as one.

Spare me.
posted by dortmunder at 1:56 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


If anyone wants the high-resolution version of the music video, I have it here:

http://www.welcometointernet.org/trucker

I think it's technically well-done. I understand why it would anger people greatly. I look forward to the creator's next projects, in which he doesn't find himself at the center of a vortex of hate.
posted by jscott at 1:57 PM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


they're a group, and you're outside it.

But they can be a part of "group who likes eggplant" (i.e. no real values ascribed) as much as they can be a group of "people who hate jews" (negative values ascribed) or whatever meaning you want to ascribe to that group-think thing. Sometimes people who think they're speaking truth to power are just wrong. Not saying this has anything to do with this particular situation, but one of the reasons Palin and her ilk have such a weird despicable reputation is that

1. they're wrong [about at least some things]
2. they act like they're rebels and we're only saying they're crazy people because we're threatened, not because they're wrong

So you stop talking about ideas and more "what are you afraid of, huh? Afraid of a woman in the white house??" And at this point, you're not having a real conversation, it's red team versus blue team. It's divisive and not condusive to learning. If you can get these discussions out of the realm of "your type of people" and instead deal with what's right in front of you, things tend to go better, at least on MetaFilter.

And I've spoken about this before but I think the sense of "not one of you" is actually more of a brain chemical thing for some people than it is a real factually observable thing. I mean sure some people just don't fit in. However I think there are a lot of people whose sense of not fitting in is the only thing keeping other people from feeling that they fit in. Double-edged sword, certainly. I think we see it often here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:59 PM on November 18, 2009 [7 favorites]


What's your game?

You're disingenuous. You talk about community standards, and then claim to not want to discuss community standards, and then say you're not trying to influence community standards, and then call yourself an activist, implying you have a cause, which means you do want to influcence community standards, and they you say you only identify as an activist when you feel like it, and then you accuse me of having a chip on my shoulder.

I don't like disingenuousness. Next time you have a problem with something state it up front. I suggest you see my post where I wrote a hypothetical metatalk post, which I think, coming from you, would have been entirely honest. I have no problem with honesty, or even with your point of view. I just find the way you've gone about this dishonest and self-serving.
posted by dortmunder at 2:05 PM on November 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


dortmunder? You may wanna switch to decaf....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:10 PM on November 18, 2009


> I know that I'm outside metafilter's demographic, so when I talk, I'm speaking as an outsider.

I've been trying not to engage with you in this thread since your attitude rubs me the wrong way, but I don't feel I can let this go. All of us are outsiders and all of us are insiders in this weird and wonderful thing we call MetaFilter; to look at it any other way is to put oneself at risk of self-aggrandizement and/or self-pity. I suggest you recalibrate. Your "disproportionately rich" in particular is obnoxious; I assure you that many, many MeFites, including me, are pathetically un-rich. Since you don't know what the "demographic" is, why not just interact with the members as you encounter them, rather than with some imagined abstraction?

> I have no problem with honesty

Well, then, dortmunder, I will be honest with you: you are being a complete jerk here.
posted by languagehat at 2:26 PM on November 18, 2009 [12 favorites]


I find shetterly's navel-gazing derail about Metafilter groupthink and his own immunity from same agonizingly dull. Okay, you perceive some differences between the aggregate and yourself. You have passed a kindergartener's level of social awareness.

shetterly, we all have aspects of our identities that don't jibe with the main thrust of the Mefi's aggregate. Yours aren't any more relevant than average.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:26 PM on November 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


Regarding community standards, the piling-on of dortmunder is ugly and I hope it stops.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:32 PM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


shetterly, we all have aspects of our identities that don't jibe with the main thrust of the Mefi's aggregate. Yours aren't any more relevant than average.

Amen, sister.
posted by desuetude at 2:36 PM on November 18, 2009


I keep trying to forget about this thread and walk away and yet I keep being bothered by something about it, which I'd like to try and put my finger on. I do think it was right to delete the original post, not because the cartoon is bad, nor out of reasons of sensitivity but because of the poor framing. I do not think the cartoon is brilliant by any means, but I don't think it is bad either, and I do think that a bit of warning and a bit of context might have made posting it acceptable.

I do find it slightly horrifying that anyone found anything funny in the cartoon. I don't think any of it is intended to be remotely funny. Nor do I think it is intended to be offensive for the sake of causing offense. To me it clearly and deliberately depicts an unpleasant misogynist sexual fantasy which raises issues of class as well as gender and provides no easy answers. It is trying to start a conversation about these things and it does so.

It could have been better executed, and I can also see how not everyone is up for dealing with such a depiction no matter how well executed. But it succeeds insofar as it inspires thought and debate; both this thread, the original post, and Ambrosia Voyeur's intention to bring it up for discussion in a grad level seminar strike me as proof of that.

I don't think it's just about misogyny in games either, though there is that aspect. A fat working class truck driver honks his horn at and is flipped off by a wealthy attractive woman in an open top sports car. He then fantasises unpleasantly - retro computer game style - for a few minutes about what he would like to do to her. Even in his fantasy he is impotent without power-ups which rapidly time out. And that's it.

I am in no way suggesting that any sympathy for the truck driver should be felt, nor am I belittling the importance of deconstructing and dismantling the mindsets that lead to a culture where rape or sexual assault are considered acceptable. Perhaps this is not the best example of attempting to defeat rape by trying to poke at an understanding of why anyone might ever think such things are acceptable. Yet, having watched the thing, I think this is what it is trying to get at. As such, responding with 'Ban This Sick Filth' is not ultimately helpful.
posted by motty at 2:45 PM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


shetterly, I agree with some of what you are saying. Sometimes I have deferred from making some statements of personal opinions simply because I don't have the wherewithal to deal with the ensuing shitstorm that may result. Metafilter does have some strong community norms that can take some bravery to challenge, but just because it does have those norms do not mean that everyone in the community is completely in agreement with every other member.

At this point in my life, I am an unwilling factory worker who is fairly well paid for being a factory worker, but I'm not paid as well as you seem to think the average mefite is. I don't really care how much the average mefite makes.

What seems to work for me is to take the words of the other users on the site and form opinions of those individual members according to what they say rather than trying to grok metafilter as a whole. There are too many people with too many different points of view here for me to attempt to generalize all of them into one homogeneous group.
posted by double block and bleed at 2:46 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


And, I just want to say this as a gentle reminder, because I don't personally feel a need to delve deeply into the issues of cultural violence against women that this video, the post, or its deletion may encourage, but isn't it tedious that we've gone off topic this SAME OLD WAY? Where we might have had (deeper, further) discussion about reactions to video violence or cartoon humor or agency and gender in gaming or non-gaming media, etc., etc., we're instead having what amounts to a dick-measuring contest about who can talk the loudest and the snidest about what Metafilter's doing wrong, no u.

I don't think this thread's an optimal space for discussing those relevant and interesting and contentious issues right now, and that's a bit of a recurring, and possibly gendered, problem around here, n'est-ce pas?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:46 PM on November 18, 2009 [6 favorites]


Well, then, dortmunder, I will be honest with you: you are being a complete jerk here.

I may go cry. Someone on the Internet called me a jerk. I stand behind everything I said. I appreciate your honesty though.
posted by dortmunder at 3:03 PM on November 18, 2009


Indeed, I am rich. Phenomenally rich. Playing clay pot drums and 3-stringed guitars and singing about cupcakes has made me one of the richest men in Japan. And I think it's safe to say that, in this way, I am much like the rest of Metafilter. We are overwhelmingly rich, and we all bang on clay pots, pluck 3-stringed guitars and sing about cupcakes. And live in Japan.

I love being part of this community.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:13 PM on November 18, 2009 [5 favorites]


I may go cry. Someone on the Internet called me a jerk.

I often feel that metafilter would be a better community if more people stopped thinking of it as as second-rate community because of its cyberlocation.
posted by jefficator at 3:16 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


If I am rich it is because MetaFilter makes me rich.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:18 PM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


To the individuals who think Metafilter does not consist of an identifiable group, you must've missed Sailormom's link to Federated Media:

Audience:
67% male
78% 18-39
32% HHI above $75k
29% managers or above
35% IT professionals, developers or engineers
47% publish their own blog

I have a blog, and I'm male. Othewise, I ain't there, and every time someone bitches about my focus on class issues, I'm reminded of that. Which is cool. I haven't given up on class issues, but I do try to link to sources mefites won't think aren't too commie.

If anyone wants to say more about this, I'd suggest a metatalk thread on metafilter demographics.

In the hope of getting this thread back on track, I agree with motty: the original post has big framing problems. But in the poster's defense, I'll note that Mefites hate editorializing in their posts. Framing fairly is tough.
posted by shetterly at 3:23 PM on November 18, 2009


the piling-on of dortmunder is ugly and I hope it stops

Perhaps he took this thread a bit too seriously. But yeah, there's something weird going on there, definitely.
posted by mediareport at 3:24 PM on November 18, 2009


I don't like disingenuousness.

This site is not set up to cater to your likes and dislikes, and members are not expected to behave in a manner that pleases you. Also, their motives are their business, and you might do well not to insist that you know and understand them.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:24 PM on November 18, 2009


Sincere question, mediareport: do you mean you find our reactions to dortmunder weird, or dortmunder's own commentary to be weird?
posted by Ouisch at 3:28 PM on November 18, 2009


(has anyone linked to the reddit thread about this video yet, so we can get back to a more MeFi:ish "us vs. them" instead of this "you vs. me" thing?)
posted by effbot at 3:29 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]




This site is not set up to cater to your likes and dislikes, and members are not expected to behave in a manner that pleases you. Also, their motives are their business, and you might do well not to insist that you know and understand them.


Gotcha. From now on I'll just keep my head down and my mouth shut unless you give me permission to speak. When I see something I don't like, I'll call it out. If you don't like that tough.
posted by dortmunder at 3:34 PM on November 18, 2009


Gotcha. From now on I'll just keep my head down and my mouth shut unless you give me permission to speak.

Yes, that's precisely what I was saying, and I am glad somebody who doesn't like disingenuousness was able to see it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:36 PM on November 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


Shetterly, you said you only fit into two of the categories you listed. Another way to look at it is that the majority of Mefites only fit into two of the categories you listed according to the very statistics you cited. And for what it's worth, I only fit into two of the categories as well. Hurm...
posted by Thin Lizzy at 3:36 PM on November 18, 2009


you must've missed Sailormom's link to Federated Media:

Bummer, no racial/ethnic numbers.*

* Interest is only for curiosity purposes, no agenda is implied or should be inferred.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:37 PM on November 18, 2009


Audience:
67% male
78% 18-39
32% HHI above $75k
29% managers or above
35% IT professionals, developers or engineers
47% publish their own blog


73% are really obsessed with fonts
12% have linked to that askme answer about disposing of a dead body
28% claim they like bacon even though they don't just so they don't get weird looks from everyone else
posted by dng at 3:40 PM on November 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


98% fully understand the its/it's distinction and hate the other 2% with the heat of a thousand suns
1% have made websites about it
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:42 PM on November 18, 2009 [20 favorites]


At least five percent are Astro Zombies.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:42 PM on November 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


He then fantasises unpleasantly - retro computer game style - for a few minutes about what he would like to do to her.

That's an interesting take, but I just watched the first thirty seconds again and I don't see a clear delineation between his fantasy world and what we perceive as what is happening. Not that they need to do some wavy "here's a dream" like state thing but I would just reiterate if it was the case it was a dream then it was a failure at showing that.
posted by P.o.B. at 3:44 PM on November 18, 2009


I only fit in one! Neener neener!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:46 PM on November 18, 2009


Boyzone 2009...and, yes, I realize that a woman made the original post.
posted by Carol Anne at 3:49 PM on November 18, 2009


I have a blog, and I'm male. Othewise, I ain't there

Are you under the impression that a majority or even a large plurality of the mefi userbase fits that profile like a glove? If not, then how close of a fit does the fit have to be? Which of those factors are core to the group defintion—which carry greater and lesser weight? What factors that that list doesn't mention are nonetheless important from a grouping perspective, and how do those come into play?

This is a key difficulty with the idea of trying to stage something as one vs. The Demographic—it fails to address just how permissive any definition of that demographic-as-homogeneous-group would have to be in order for it to achieve a majority mass. If managing to define a large enough group to define yourself as Other from requires greatly diluting the definition of that group, it becomes a very mushy and honestly pretty selfserving-seeming move.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:49 PM on November 18, 2009


I hit one, unless you consider me an IT professional.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:56 PM on November 18, 2009


I score two, too.
posted by Ouisch at 3:59 PM on November 18, 2009


When I see something I don't like, I'll call it out.

....Usually, calling something out ONCE is sufficient.

three posts in a row calling out the SAME SINGLE COMMENT and we're starting to verge on "get a room" territory, there.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:09 PM on November 18, 2009


I actually fit fewer than the guy who claims he doesn't fit the demographic. What does that mean?
posted by heyho at 4:12 PM on November 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


To the individuals who think Metafilter does not consist of an identifiable group, you must've missed Sailormom's link to Federated Media:

Audience:
67% male
78% 18-39
32% HHI above $75k
29% managers or above
35% IT professionals, developers or engineers
47% publish their own blog

I have a blog, and I'm male. Othewise, I ain't there


But I'm in only one category, so I WIN THE OPPRESSION OLYMPICS! (until someone who isn't in any of those categories posts in this thread, in which case I get the Silver Oppression Medal).
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:20 PM on November 18, 2009


I've been rendered invisible? Is that how it's gonna go? SHIT.
posted by heyho at 4:23 PM on November 18, 2009


I guess I was tied with a lot of other people. Boy, this competition is tough--I'm thinking about juicing now.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:24 PM on November 18, 2009


I've been rendered invisible? Is that how it's gonna go? SHIT.

You get extra points because I oppressed you.

Or maybe I get extra points because my Internet connection was oppressing my post.

It's so hard being a Noble Misfit.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:25 PM on November 18, 2009


I got zero. Nuttin. W.T.F. DEMOGRAPHICS.
posted by heyho at 4:25 PM on November 18, 2009


But I'm in only one category, so I WIN THE OPPRESSION OLYMPICS!

I'm in 4 categories so who do I get to oppress?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:26 PM on November 18, 2009


I just watched the first thirty seconds again and I don't see a clear delineation between his fantasy world and what we perceive as what is happening. Not that they need to do some wavy "here's a dream" like state thing but I would just reiterate if it was the case it was a dream then it was a failure at showing that.

As I understood it, the whole thing is his fantasy. Hence the computer graphics style from the outset, which departs from being remotely realistic pretty quickly, if not immediately, real trucks and real people not being pixellated and such.

You could imagine a similiar film being made with real actors - there might then be an argument for making some clear visual distinction between the reality of the setup and the fantasy that follows. Even here, choosing to deliberately not make the distinction and leaving it up to the viewer to work out where one bit starts and another stops - maybe even leaving the viewer wondering whether it was all a fantasy or not - would emphasise the point that there are two kinds of unpleasant misogynist fantasies - those which are and are not acted upon.

Eradicating the latter is key to eradicating the former.

(I wouldn't want to see that film either.)
posted by motty at 4:28 PM on November 18, 2009


I'm only in 3, Brandon. You can oppress me.

Although I think you divorced me once already, so maybe that counts.
posted by never used baby shoes at 4:28 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have a blog, and I'm male. Othewise, I ain't there

Wow. I'm not in any of those categories. Not a one. But I'm a dyke, so I'm used to the whole "invisibility" superpower.

So does that make me more outside than you? Because I don't feel very outside. I mean, it's a very contextual thing - I'm never going to have much to say in threads about anime or bending python to my will or how to drive traffic to my blog, but I still feel generally not-very-outside here.

This demographics, I don't think it is what you think it is. Or what I think it is, either.
posted by rtha at 4:33 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Uh, if you have an income under $75k, aren't a manager, and aren't an IT professional, doesn't that mean you're in the majority in those cases? And if you have a blog, you're in the minority. So you're actually part of the majority in four out of the seven categories.
posted by lore at 4:36 PM on November 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


Oh, well that's a fair point. WHEW.
posted by heyho at 4:38 PM on November 18, 2009


Lies, damned lies and MetaFilter demographics?
posted by Pragmatica at 4:46 PM on November 18, 2009


cortex, if anyone other than a mod had asked, I would've taken this to email. I don't think Federated Media's stats are a full picture of Metafilter--I'm curious about the same things Brandon Blatcher is, and I'd love to know the wealth and income stats to see if I'm entirely up my ass on some of my assumptions.

And, honest, cjorgensen has it right above: I don't think there's anything inherently wrong in a group having its own identity, complete with groupthink and groupspeak. That's what humans do. We can be aware of that, but if there's a way to completely overcome it, I'd be grateful if someone would tell me.

On preview, I see some folks whose idea of intersectionality rarely includes class have arrived. Color me unsurprised.
posted by shetterly at 4:55 PM on November 18, 2009


> Audience:

67% male
78% 18-39
32% HHI above $75k
29% managers or above
35% IT professionals, developers or engineers
47% publish their own blog

I have a blog, and I'm male. Othewise, I ain't there, and every time someone bitches about my focus on class issues, I'm reminded of that.


Wow, talk about lying with statistics. Let's rephrase a few of those:

68% earn under 75k
71% are not in management
65% are neither it professionals, developers, or engineers

There you go, now you are 5/6! Thank me later.
posted by cj_ at 4:55 PM on November 18, 2009 [6 favorites]


But I'm a dyke, so I'm used to the whole "invisibility" superpower.

rtha, one of the reasons I love metafilter is it's extremely welcoming to people to LGBT folks, and people of color, and people of different ethnic backgrounds.
posted by shetterly at 5:05 PM on November 18, 2009


I'm only in 3, Brandon. You can oppress me.

Then how about you get in the kitchen and finish up that rewiring and redoing the cabinets!

and people of color

(rant)
God, I hate that term. Are there people of non-color? Must we give backhanded compliments by noting they are people, but still different, can't they just be people?!
(/rant)
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:10 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


cj_, I could be wrong, of course, but given that 32% make more than $75k, the next 50% are probably closer to $75k than to the poverty line. In the US, 75k puts you high in the fourth quintile ($55,331 - $88,030, if Wikipedia's up to date).
posted by shetterly at 5:13 PM on November 18, 2009


On preview, I see some folks whose idea of intersectionality rarely includes class have arrived. Color me unsurprised.

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA oh you are funny.

I especially like your use of the word "intersectionality" to refer to your "class is the only form of oppression" nonsense.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:14 PM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Must we give backhanded compliments by noting they are people, but still different, can't they just be people?!

I like to use the language people use for their own self-descriptions myself, because I assume they know better than I do how they like to be called (and I know that not everyone who might be described by those who self-identify as "people of color" like the term, but the thing is that it's not something white people made up).
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:16 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Brandon Blatcher, I hate that term, too. Got a good alternative? Non-honkies?
posted by shetterly at 5:17 PM on November 18, 2009


rtha, one of the reasons I love metafilter is it's extremely welcoming to people to LGBT folks, and people of color, and people of different ethnic backgrounds.

Oh, I'm sorry that you don't find MetaFilter welcoming enough to voluntarily under-employed gone-Galt people who went to prep school and college with the help of family trust funds.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:18 PM on November 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


Sidhedevil, who did make up "people of color"? I know "unpacking the invisible knapsack" and "racism equals power plus privilege" were both the creations of white women.
posted by shetterly at 5:20 PM on November 18, 2009


> On preview, I see some folks whose idea of intersectionality rarely includes class have arrived. Color me unsurprised.

Jesus, shetterly, if you want a mulligan stop pulling that shit.
posted by languagehat at 5:22 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I especially like your use of the word "intersectionality" to refer to your "class is the only form of oppression" nonsense.

See, that's the kind of bullshit I find too often. Where I have I ever said it was the only form of oppression? I've been beaten up by racists. It's awfully hard to deny what you've bled for.

Boy, is this a derail.
posted by shetterly at 5:24 PM on November 18, 2009


Brandon Blatcher, I hate that term, too. Got a good alternative? Non-honkies?

In the book (and movie) Little Big Man, the Cheyenne referred to themselves as Human Beings. That's always worked for me.
posted by philip-random at 5:25 PM on November 18, 2009


Yup, I'm definitely playing hooky tomorrow afternoon and hanging a "Gone Galt" sign on the door.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:25 PM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Tyops maen im amgry an nede a timout. Ciao for now!
posted by shetterly at 5:25 PM on November 18, 2009


and "racism equals power plus privilege" were both the creations of white women.

My race studies professor and I didn't get along very well. She trotted out that "racism is prejudice plus power" thing, and I asked about a Black-owned business who wouldn't serve whites. She told me that it wasn't racist, since the Black business owner still wasn't privileged in the larger society.

So then I asked about an American Klansman moving to Japan. "Does he stop being racist the moment he boards the plane, or does he have to get into Japan first?" She told me to shut up. I still don't have an answer to that question within the framework she was positing, and it bugs me.
posted by Netzapper at 5:27 PM on November 18, 2009


Sidhedevil, my dear bete noir, regarding "gone-Galt": is this like calling Obama a Nazi Communist? One of the things I thought we had in common was a thorough distaste for Ayn Rand.
posted by shetterly at 5:33 PM on November 18, 2009


People of color me unsurprised! Non-honky intersectionality! Derail on the other side of the tracks!

What?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:33 PM on November 18, 2009 [5 favorites]


Netzapper, a conservative came up with one I like a lot: American Nazis don't have power. Does that mean they're not racist?
posted by shetterly at 5:34 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


flapjax, Sidhedevil's part of an old flamewar that I was foolish enough to get involved in. Basically, I'm with Malcolm X and Martin Luther King in thinking you can't separate race and class issues. But Critical Race Theorists like to imagine racism as a spherical cow.

I'm taking my break now. If this thread gets back on track or dies, excellent.
posted by shetterly at 5:45 PM on November 18, 2009


Leave it to a conservative to gloss the fact that they're still white and thus have a certain privilege in America.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:46 PM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Uh, I'm kinda with AV, here -- there's an interesting and worthwhile conversation to be had about violence in entertainment, why some kinds of violence in entertainment are squickier (or not, as the case may be) than others, and etc., and it's too bad we're not having it. The Bizarro World version of me probably isn't even having it over on Bizarro MetaFilter, because not only do they love shitty rape animation there, but Bizarro me is only a pile of dessicated bones and a comically-grinning skull, having been devoured by kittens. That's fucked up, guys.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:48 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow. Looks like this place has a fun Thanksgiving weekend in store.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:51 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Netzapper, a conservative came up with one I like a lot: American Nazis don't have power. Does that mean they're not racist?

They're still white, and privileged. Therefore, under the given framework, they're still racist.

My Klansman in Japan question is far better.

(Note: I'm not arguing the facts of privilege. Only that silly definition of racism.)
posted by Netzapper at 5:51 PM on November 18, 2009


That is a really disgusting rape in that animation, and I'm gonna let you be oppressed by rape culture, but ECONOMIC CLASS IS THE WORST KIND OF OPPRESSION OF ALL TIME

OF ALL TIME
posted by idiopath at 5:54 PM on November 18, 2009 [14 favorites]


For what it's worth, I used to be a member of the primary group of vociferous feminist second waver activists. Then I found there were a number of ideological issues where I didn't match up. I am no longer a second waver. I'm not really in a solid or cohesive group or subgroup of feminism but I still identify as a feminist because there is for me significant overlap.

In the antiracist movements, Netzapper, I am in a similar situation. I mention this because I also don't think the Racism = Power + Privilege formulation always works. It's a reasonably good Antiracism 101 guideline when talking about majority/minority dynamics, but it's also bullshit to say that the minority or underprivileged folks aren't also biased in very similar ways.

I do think it's kind of jerkish baiting behavior, Netzapper and shetterly, to actively sabotage discussion that's 101-level because you think you have all the answers or want to show up the teacher of the class. If you want to do 201-level or 301-level teaching that's fine, but it's rude to steal other teachers' classes and it's rude to assume that they'll continue to indoctrinate the students with what you think is a flawed methodology.

Teaching classes, especially about "soft" or sociological/cultural history subjects is usually progressive in complexity and difficulty. As with other kinds of beginning learning, there are beginner stories and then there are advanced stories. You can't expect everyone to be graduate level out of the gate and I think it can be effectively argued that 101-level learning needs to be simplified. That's how I think of the Racism = Power + Privilege argument.

I think that the teacher was right to tell you to shut up, Netzapper. I think if you wanted to work with the teacher, you could start a study group. If you wanted to work against the teacher, you could start and teach your own class and teach your own topics.
posted by kalessin at 6:02 PM on November 18, 2009 [7 favorites]


Forgive me if this is a derail, but this has been bugging me.

A few days ago, I made an FPP about the "No Russian" level in the video game "Modern Warfare 2." At the heart of the issue is the graphic depiction of violence against innocent people. And it may just be my impression, but it seems like most of the reaction to that rhetorical question was: "Good lord, calm down, it's just pixels on a screen. Of course it's not real people this is happening to! If you get so worked up about bad things happening to animated characters, you must have something wrong with you!"

So, then, flash forward to this thread. And again, it's just my anecdotal understanding of things, but in here it seems to be, "This is disgusting! I don't care if it's just pixels on a screen or not, it's a depiction of an act that hurts people in the real world!"

So, I'm just wondering where the difference lies. Terrorism hurts people, rape hurts people. Why are we okay with animated depictions of one but not animated depictions of the other?

For the record, I thought this cartoon sucked and was absolutely lowest common denominator. So that's not the issue. The issue is: Is it "just pixels on the screen," or is it something more?
posted by jbickers at 6:04 PM on November 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


Well, I forwarded the video to my husband and HE thinks its offensive and can't fathom why I posted it, so case closed.
posted by desjardins at 6:09 PM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Because visual media is itself a tool of sexism and "rape culture" much moreso than it directly endorses terrorism.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 6:13 PM on November 18, 2009


Some kinds of crimes can be understood as helping to create an environment of terror.

There is a difference between some guy getting killed in a fight in a bar and a lynching. The lynching serves as a warning, saying that the reason that this man is dead is his race, and all others of that race are similarly vulnerable.

Similarly, an argument can be made that there is something called a "rape culture", which is an environment of terror created through the constant threat of sexual assault.

While a depiction of some guy getting killed in a bar fight, or a random shooting as in the airport scene in "Modern Warfare 2" is a depiction of violence, an acting out of a rape scene or a lynching can serve a second purpose, beyond just depicting violence: it reminds a certain class of people that their rightful place in our society is to be a victim or a potential victim. It is not just a fictional event, it is also, arguably, an act of "propaganda by deed".
posted by idiopath at 6:13 PM on November 18, 2009 [6 favorites]


given that 32% make more than $75k, the next 50% are probably closer to $75k than to the poverty line.

Yeah, this is begging the question. Do you have any data to support this claim other than your presupposition that everyone here is rich? I mean, I suspect it's true of the Internet in general (that demographically it trends away from the poverty line) because, if nothing else, computers and internet access aren't free. Additionally, education and income are positively correlated, which I imagine would have some influence on who would find spending their time reading a place like this a valuable use of time.

But that aside, I'm not even sure what your point is. As a community, I can think of many things Metafilter values, and what quintile you are in is not one of them. Yeah there are huge class/income issues in the U.S., but why you think that is relevant to Metafilter has me stumped.
posted by cj_ at 6:14 PM on November 18, 2009


Wow. Looks like this place has a fun Thanksgiving weekend in store.

Yeah, I always look forward to the regular mid-November through January 2 re-enactments of that heartwarming family favorite, The Grar Who Stole LISTEN I DO NOT ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR EXCLUSIONARY BOURGEOIS CELEBRATIONS, SO SHUT YOUR PIEHOLE.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:18 PM on November 18, 2009 [9 favorites]


I hope this doesn't turn into a "show us scans of your paystubs" thread.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:18 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh man I just realized I'm arguing with The Class Guy what manages to make every thread he participates in about class divide.

Sorry for the derail.
posted by cj_ at 6:21 PM on November 18, 2009


Because visual media is itself a tool of sexism and "rape culture" much moreso than it directly endorses terrorism.

huh?
posted by jbickers at 6:22 PM on November 18, 2009


Somehow he manages to work in the "spherical cow" thing, which nobody but him has ever mentioned, and yet he insists its the way other people see the world.

There's a very limited dialogue repertory going on here. Coupled with a certainty that these things must be talked about, and that he's right, and it tend to cram a discussion into a corner. Or two corners. The one where Shetterly is talking about class, and the one I'm in now, where we talk about Shetterly.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:25 PM on November 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


This thread has turned into a hot mess of a train wreck. HMOATW!
posted by Eleutherios at 6:25 PM on November 18, 2009


Sidhedevil, I thought about it. You're forgiven. Either we keep fighting on Metafilter, or one of us leaves, and if so, that's me, but I'd rather not. You mean well. If you want to keep sniping at me, that's cool. You're still forgiven. I suppose it was naive of me to think a flamewar elsewhere would stay off the Blue and Gray. I don't expect you to change your opinion about the nature of power in the US, or to be the least bit politer toward me. This is purely me saying that from now on, I will interpret your words with more charity.
posted by shetterly at 6:26 PM on November 18, 2009


You have to admit, AZ, he's gonna be easy to (secret quonsar) shop for.
posted by heyho at 6:29 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh, and can one be discriminated against if you're every color?

For that reason we should all get together and have babies. Mix those races!
posted by Eleutherios at 6:29 PM on November 18, 2009


Ooop! shetterly, don't click on that! ^^
posted by heyho at 6:29 PM on November 18, 2009


You know, that thread did result in CrunchyFrog posting this link, so some good came out of it, anyway (has NSFW ads)
posted by davejay at 6:30 PM on November 18, 2009


The one where Shetterly is talking about class, and the one I'm in now, where we talk about Shetterly.

talkin' 'bout Shetterly
or talkin' 'bout class
I ain't up for neither
I'll just take a pass
and all these silly derails, well,
I hate to sound crass,
but y'all can take these silly derails,
and shove 'em up your...

INTERSECTIONALITY!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:31 PM on November 18, 2009 [6 favorites]


And now I will bow to the non-existant group's preference and stop mentioning class issues here.
posted by shetterly at 6:32 PM on November 18, 2009


Oh for the love of Pete.

[NOT PETE-IST]
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:35 PM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


> So, I'm just wondering where the difference lies. Terrorism hurts people, rape hurts people. Why are we okay with animated depictions of one but not animated depictions of the other?

A lot of people are pretty unhappy about the airport scene in MW2, so I don't know that it's being treated much differently, though perhaps by different people. Even my friends who are playing it found it pretty uncomfortable, FWIW.

I think comparing these two things is really problematic, because there's a different argument going on between gamers and media/legislators who insist violence in video games can be correlated with real-life violence. I don't see anyone here claiming this animation will encourage people to rape so much as saying it's just plain offensive, lacks artistic merit, and doesn't belong on the site. I think if it were done better and meant to be commentary, it'd at least have a chance.



> And now I will bow to the non-existant group's preference and stop mentioning class issues here.

My fucking god you are tedious.

posted by cj_ at 6:39 PM on November 18, 2009 [6 favorites]


I do think it's kind of jerkish baiting behavior, Netzapper and shetterly, to actively sabotage discussion that's 101-level because you think you have all the answers or want to show up the teacher of the class. If you want to do 201-level or 301-level teaching that's fine, but it's rude to steal other teachers' classes and it's rude to assume that they'll continue to indoctrinate the students with what you think is a flawed methodology.
...
I think that the teacher was right to tell you to shut up, Netzapper. I think if you wanted to work with the teacher, you could start a study group. If you wanted to work against the teacher, you could start and teach your own class and teach your own topics.


At the time, it was a culture clash kind of issue. I'm an engineer. In my head, when you make a definition, it must be universal. If it isn't universal, then it should be noted that the definition only stands under certain conditions. What's more, I'd gotten quite used to my compsci classes where you got brownie points for spotting mistakes or vagaries in the teacher's lecture. The worst I ever got over in the compsci department was, "Yes, yes, but we'll pretend there's no page table at the moment." My professors always acknowled that of course the situation is more complex and nuanced than the discussion at hand.

But that's not what this woman was doing. She allowed no nuance into the discussion, and refused to even admit that there was such a thing as nuance. The whole course made me (a white male) feel like shit, as it was routinely explained that not only was I the sole cause of all social inequality, but that there was nothing I could do to ameliorate the situation. The whole class was reductionist and exclusionary. Which is fine; I don't need to be included in everything.

But the class was mandatory: it was required that I sit for a semester, twice a week, for 3 hours, and listen to the teacher inform me of my overwhelming shittiness, and then tell me that any view or input I might have on the subject was by definition without value. I suppose that if the idea was to give me a taste of what it feels like to be persecuted, it succeeded admirably.

Frankly, that course has resulted in me fucking loathing the entire realm of "social science". I have nothing but contempt for the subject at this point. Mostly, I've just found the language useful for interacting with people who do think it has value.

Which isn't to say that the issues of privilege aren't important. Simply that the framework set up to discuss it academically is just so much wankery and self-congratulation.

[Personally, I can buy the "prejudice plus power" argument for racism and sexism... but, I also expect that people recognize that power can come from places other than social privilege, like control of a property or holding a gun or teaching a class.]
posted by Netzapper at 6:46 PM on November 18, 2009 [6 favorites]


So that's not the issue. The issue is: Is it "just pixels on the screen," or is it something more?

Maybe it's just that we're mature enough now to see how indefensible rape is. Full stop. But we're not there yet with regard to generalized violence/mayhem/bloodletting.

Look no further than the Kill Them All! thread from yesterday. 128 comments (thus far) but none of them truly questioning the dark absurdity of a culture that could view such stuff as "entertainment", as opposed to the psychosis that I'm hopeful a future, more evolved humanity will come to know it as.

(yes, never end a sentence with a preposition ... but f*** if I had another way out of that one)
posted by philip-random at 6:48 PM on November 18, 2009


Based on this new FPP, today must surely be Groundhog Day.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 6:48 PM on November 18, 2009


cj_: "I don't see anyone here claiming this animation will encourage people to rape"

A few of us have advocated for the "rape culture" hypothesis. I don't know if this is the time or place to hash out its merits, but it is argued that the way rape is depicted in fiction is part of a system of attitudes that works to make rape as prevalent as it is. So yes, there are a few of us in this thread that are saying there is a link between the way rape is depicted in this fictional work and the actual crime of rape. And I think that argument has a much stronger case behind it than the video games cause violence argument does.
posted by idiopath at 6:50 PM on November 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


A lot of people are pretty unhappy about the airport scene in MW2, so I don't know that it's being treated much differently, though perhaps by different people. Even my friends who are playing it found it pretty uncomfortable, FWIW.

The point of that scene is to make you feel uncomfortable. I felt uncomfortable as I played it. I also respect that the message there was, "Shooting people isn't always fun, is it, gamerboi?"

Why is it that folks can watch a movie like Natural Born Killers and take away from it the understanding that such actions and lifestyles are really fucked up, but people have trouble playing an interactive sequence with the same message?
posted by Netzapper at 6:50 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Many of my days here are Groundhog Day.

Netzapper, I got into an argument with my second grade teacher about whether the world was round or not (everyone knows it's not, duh!), I feel your pain.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:52 PM on November 18, 2009


Look no further than the Kill Them All! thread from yesterday. 128 comments (thus far) but none of them truly questioning the dark absurdity of a culture that could view such stuff as "entertainment", as opposed to the psychosis that I'm hopeful a future, more evolved humanity will come to know it as.


I'd like to point you in the direction of my comment. Artw called me a wimp for it!

I had a jaw-dropped, 'WTF' reaction to this FPP. It was pretty over the top. The animation was kinda cool, though, and I liked the song.

I don't really have a horse in this fight except to say that I am not, as Artw claims, a wimp. Thank you, and good night.
posted by orville sash at 7:06 PM on November 18, 2009


jessamyn, at the risk of rising to what seems to be HAMBURGER-flavored bait, the difference is that the shape of the Earth is an empirically-provable fact. We can develop an experiment to show its shape.

The root causes of racism and sexism apparently are not, nor are the solutions. In the entire course of that class, I saw not one experiment posited. The closest they got were statistical analysis of polling and demographic data. And every time I pointed out that correlation does not equal causation, I was told, "What other possible explanation could there be but white male privilege?"

My contempt for the field of study doesn't stem from the chance that I might be wrong about something, but that scholars of the subject don't argue from evidence and logic, but from definition and rhetoric. The entire thing felt like literary criticism leveled against the real world. Except that the discussion wasn't about a piece of art, which is ultimately irrelevant (but valued), but about the very fabric of our social structure. They manipulate language, and then claim, "Look, we've found answer!" instead of finding the answer, and then describing it in the most straight-forward way possible.
posted by Netzapper at 7:09 PM on November 18, 2009


Well, I forwarded the video to my husband and HE thinks its offensive and can't fathom why I posted it, so case closed.

desjardins: I lol'd.
posted by Ouisch at 7:10 PM on November 18, 2009


One of the things I love about metafilter is our ability to take such really, truly, simple issues and spin them into big, grand problems. "This is about free speech!" you say. Or "nothing is sacred in comedy!"

Let me ask you something. Having watched that video, putting aside whatever notions you have about whether cartoon rape has any bearing on real life culture, do you like it? Do you think it represents the best of the web?

I'm not asking if you thought it was offensive, or whether other people should be offended. Just, can you provide a justification for arguing that was a great piece of art with valuable things to say?*

It was a piece of shit. Tasteless, vulgar, awful (and yes, horribly horribly misogynistic, but we don't even need to go there). I'm glad it's gone, and I can't understand what the fuss is about.

*Motty provides an answer. All I can say is: you're staring at a piece of poop and trying to find the deeper meaning in its swirls. What you see is something that I don't think is there. And if I'm wrong, the original poster should have done a lot more to provide context and make that clear. It's clearly a parody piece.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 7:11 PM on November 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


sorry, not baiting; just bad at broad metaphor.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:13 PM on November 18, 2009


> The point of that scene is to make you feel uncomfortable. I felt uncomfortable as I played it. I also respect that the message there was, "Shooting people isn't always fun, is it, gamerboi?"

Right, which is why I think that if the animation in question were depicted more as commentary, it'd have a chance. But it really doesn't come off that way. If someone posted an animation of people being slaughtered framed as it being wtflulzy I do not think it would go over very well either.

> A few of us have advocated for the "rape culture" hypothesis.

Fair enough. I don't know that I agree. I would think "rape culture" a reflection of real life rather than the other way around, but I honestly don't know much about the subject. I'm not even sure what is meant by rape culture, as it seems to me rape is considered a Really Bad Thing in the media I am exposed to. (Prison Rape aside)

In either case, my point wasn't that you can't draw parallels between the MW2 scene and this animation, but rather you have to gauge people's reactions (which is what jbickers was asking about) in the context of the larger debate, which will necessarily influence those reactions. The short answer is: There are a lot of people outraged by the game. Fox News has been going bananas with it.
posted by cj_ at 7:15 PM on November 18, 2009


Why is it that folks can watch a movie like Natural Born Killers and take away from it the understanding that such actions and lifestyles are really fucked up, but people have trouble playing an interactive sequence with the same message?

Well, there are two answers. The first is: What makes you so sure that people are taking that understanding away from Natural Born Killers? Not everyone would agree. Personally, I think you take yourself into any movie you see, book you read, etc., and someone who is "inspired" to kill somebody or whatever from watching a movie is looking to get inspired. Or maybe that's too easy? I must say in this particular instance that NBK is a movie that I think has dated really, really badly, and that I can't even watch all the way through now -- but when I saw it at a considerably younger age, I left the theater jittery as hell, sat in a coffee shop with friends and scanned the room for weapons as we all talked like we'd just entered the halfway point of an all-night coke binge. It affected me (again, at a much younger age, and accordingly at a much more hormonal and less grounded point in life, and also -- frankly -- at a point in life when my taste in movies could have been much better) viscerally, on a sub-rational level. I got Stone's messages, anvilicious as they were, but they were a little hard to take seriously when the film took such clear delight in depicting carnage. I think it's bullshit to say that this movie can be blamed for violence (it has been, at least once, and pretty famously), but is that really true? I don't know. It didn't inspire me to do anything more sinister than be inappropriately primed to react to sudden mayhem one evening, but could it be a trigger in someone less stable? You know, maybe. People like that should probably watch other movies, would be my cavalier response, generally speaking...but that may be a little too blase. Truth is, I don't know. Maybe it is irresponsible. Who can say?

Answer two is that video games are purely visceral experiences, not nuanced narratives like (good) movies. By which I mean to say, they're more about immersing you in a world that you react to directly than they are telling you a story you passively absorb. Does that make it easier to confuse the world of the fiction with the world of reality? Maybe. I'm not really a big video game guy at all, so there's not much I can say to that.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:15 PM on November 18, 2009


I got into an argument with my second grade teacher about whether the world was round or not (everyone knows it's not, duh!),

I got an argument with my second grade teacher about whether God exists. It was a Catholic school if you're wondering how it went
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:23 PM on November 18, 2009

...One of my rules is that you don't go after people who have already been hurt, you don't re-victimize them by making them the butts of jokes.
I think this cuts to the heart of it. It's not "A joke about rape" but rather "A comical animation in which the protagonist's goal is to rape an anonymous blond stranger." As others have noted, this distaste for taking-the-side-of-the-offender is not exclusive to rape. Imagine a couple a couple of the following scenarios: All of those are offensive, and all of those are violent, and all of them are pretty likely to be considered a terrible post if they're not given context. But one is different than the other -- the latter makes a powerful person or group of people the 'butt of the joke' while the others target those who are already targeted.

This is not some sort of argument for why the first two posts should be nuked and the second should be allowed, it's just an attempt to explain one of the conceptual differences between them. The "What should we do?" question differs depending on the particulars of each case, but I think that underlying distastefulness of making the downtrodden the butt of the offensive joke explains a lot. I think it's one of the fundamental differences between, say, Andrew Dice Clay's vibe and Bill Hicks'.

You can say that it's not fair, but I think distaste for kicking those who are already down is not an uncommon human response.
posted by verb at 7:28 PM on November 18, 2009 [18 favorites]


Answer two is that video games are purely visceral experiences, not nuanced narratives like (good) movies. By which I mean to say, they're more about immersing you in a world that you react to directly than they are telling you a story you passively absorb.

I disagree with this analysis.

First, the exact same argument was made about film for the first twenty or thirty years of its existence. People routinely argued that, while books were a passive medium, movies were an active medium that confused reality with visceral reactions to montage. In fact, it was a once-explicit rule of cinema that you never depicted a character aiming a gun at the camera (and thereby audience), because people were incapable of separating reality from film, and so would fear for their lives.

Second, the argument that modern video games aren't nuanced narratives is specious. While it's true that Super Mario Bros. doesn't constitute a well-developed narrative, Modern Warfare 2 most certainly does. As evidence, I point to my wife, who made me play the game only when she was around, so that she could "see what happens next." There are a huge number of games with intricate plots and narratives. While the quality of the writing is largely terrible, modern AAA-release video games have become far more like interactive movies than mere interactive diversion.
posted by Netzapper at 7:33 PM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


cj_: "it seems to me rape is considered a Really Bad Thing in the media I am exposed to"

The rape culture hypothesis is not based on a simple "media encourages it, viewers do it" model. As I understand it, the idea is that in order to feel OK raping somebody, a man needs certain rationalizations about the nature of what sex is or should be and what women are or should be.

So, without saying "rape is good, why don't you try raping somebody sometime" (which is a ludicrous proposition that even the animation we are arguing about didn't really suggest), a set of values are established that allow rape to be rationalized. For example framing the interaction as "she turned him on and whose to blame him for doing what came naturally, if she didn't want it she should not have dressed like that". But it doesn't even have to be that blatant. Seeing a woman's sexuality as a piece of property that is reduced in value when she loses her virginity, and is protected by her father / boyfriend / husband. Treating getting laid as a prize one would compete for or earn. Seeing sexual penetration as a form of ritual humiliation that establishes power over the penetrated. None of these things alone can be called the equivalent of rape, of course. But the argument is that there is a cluster of ideas like these that makes being a rapist a comfortable thing, and that it may be possible to reduce the prevalence of rape by changing some of these attitudes. And the way we tell stories has a very strong effect on our attitudes about things.

In the animation, the man finds himself aroused by the woman, who shows no reciprocal interest. What follows is a series of usages of sexuality as a form of violence to put her in her place, ending with his prize and final winning achievement (framed in this way using the video game metaphor) of being able to shove his penis into her, despite the fact that she does not want him to do so. A number of harmful attitudes about gender and sex are presented, attitudes that lay the groundwork for men to feel OK with rape.
posted by idiopath at 7:35 PM on November 18, 2009 [18 favorites]


Man I feel so bad for that second guy who posted the link again..

"hai guiz i found dis cartun it's gross huh haha...say wut? Metawho? o ffffffuuuuuuu"

Srsly though, why are bammas so eager to post this on the blue? I like lots of things way more offensive than this (I presume, I ain't seen it yet) but I wouldn't even put them in a comment, much less fpp em. This is not for that.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:36 PM on November 18, 2009


Hrm, I said, "If someone posted an animation of people being slaughtered framed as it being wtflulzy I do not think it would go over very well either" but had not yet seen the Kill Them All thread. So I take that back. I'm honestly surprised that post didn't get deleted. It's a pretty fun movie, but, really?
posted by cj_ at 7:36 PM on November 18, 2009


No less uncommon than schadenfreude.

We are never going to get anywhere if we let our baser instincts rule and give a pass to criminals whose victims who are less lovable than others. Kinda like the prison rape thing. It's really horrifying to me to see how easily we humans trade our principles for a little old fashioned blood lust.
posted by gjc at 7:41 PM on November 18, 2009


Also, regarding the comparison to violence, if there were a similarly widespread epidemic of homicide, I think it would make sense to look for attitudes that help rationalize homicide (even if they do not explicitly say "killing people is good, try it some time"), and criticize ways of telling stories that encourage those attitudes.
posted by idiopath at 7:43 PM on November 18, 2009


shetterly, you do know that calling "class!" can be coded-speech, right? A way to wield privilege when minority groups seek rights? I'm asking this both earnestly and annoyedly. Calling "classist!" was actually a significant part of second wave feminism. When women sought more rights for, well, women, one response used as a way of retaining male privilege was to out-liberal the woman or women in question by shutting them down with "Classist!" And in response there's material in existence today (try Dear Sisters) to help women respond and to understand that it's part of the power-struggle - to not take it personally and feel you have to defend your understandings of classism because classism isn't the issue at hand, it's a non-sequitur used by the privileged to retain privilege.

So what perhaps feels to you as acontextual as calling people out on their classism, is actually deeply contextual for certain minority groups.

I say this as an anarcho-communist, which I mention so that you will understand that I understand classism.
posted by birdie birdington at 7:44 PM on November 18, 2009 [7 favorites]


First, the exact same argument was made about film for the first twenty or thirty years of its existence. People routinely argued that, while books were a passive medium, movies were an active medium that confused reality with visceral reactions to montage. In fact, it was a once-explicit rule of cinema that you never depicted a character aiming a gun at the camera (and thereby audience), because people were incapable of separating reality from film, and so would fear for their lives.

If done correctly, though, this kinda works. I guess this is my point: The movies we watch, books we read, songs we listen to, etc., do affect us on a deep level. That's a big part of what makes them worthwhile. Are there books, movies, etc., that are basically poisonous, then? I mean, I don't think so, because while I've seen some scary movies, I've never seen one that could give me a heart attack and fucking kill me, and while I've seen some sexy movies, I've never seen one that felt like actually having sex (...except that scene in Mulholland Drive, which...you know, moving on). But it's kinda bullshit to say that this stuff doesn't affect us at all, that we all go home and kick back and reflect gently upon it, because that's not really how most people's filmgoing experiences play out, in my experience. Like I said, I think the people who are "inspired" by movies to do awful things are pretty much primed for such inspiration and would get it anywhere, but I do think we're all affected by this stuff to some degree or another.

Second, the argument that modern video games aren't nuanced narratives is specious. While it's true that Super Mario Bros. doesn't constitute a well-developed narrative, Modern Warfare 2 most certainly does. As evidence, I point to my wife, who made me play the game only when she was around, so that she could "see what happens next." There are a huge number of games with intricate plots and narratives. While the quality of the writing is largely terrible, modern AAA-release video games have become far more like interactive movies than mere interactive diversion.

Honestly, I don't believe you can have an interactive story that does what a story is supposed to do. Games involve you doing things in a world where consequences only matter in the context of a game. If you do something that would ruin your life if you were to actually, you know, do it...who cares? Worst that happens is you lose and start over. You can't have a Hamlet video game -- the whole point of Hamlet is he tosses around his doubts and options for four acts before he actually takes (intentional) action, which I can't really see happening in a game -- you'd just kill your evil stepfather and be done with it. That'd be fun and all, but it doesn't mean anything vis a vis your real life, the way stories are meant to. I mean, turn Transformers into a video game and you've probably improved it, but I don't see creating a video game with real literary qualities. Again, not being a real video game enthusiast, I could be wrong, but I can't honestly see how...just the conditions of a game at all are anathema to that.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:54 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


idiopath, I follow the reasoning, and I agree with much of it on a certain level. How does that concept mesh with the "rape isn't about sex, it's about power" theory?

I don't disagree that depictions of violence lead others to feel justified in their own violence. But people who are looking for justifications can find it anywhere. Do we live in a culture of hate because some nutjobs believe the bible tells them to persecute [whomever]? The idea of rape as entertainment makes my skin crawl- I find it difficult to watch Law and Order SVU when I stumble upon it. Both because I expend emotional energy feeling bad for characters on tv, and because the idea of a roomful of writers sitting there thinking of new and better ways to portray rape REALLY freaks me out. But I'm even more freaked out by the idea that society should be censoring anything because we are worried people are going to get some bright ideas from it. A just society would do its best to teach people how to act and let the sickos create any fiction they want, and yes, let people who are offended by those works have the same opportunity to express their outrage. But never to the point of diminishing someone else's creative rights.

The author had the right to create that, we have the right to complain about it, metafilter has the right to not publish it.
posted by gjc at 8:01 PM on November 18, 2009


idiopath: Thanks for the explanation. In general, I'm not in love with the idea that media is a cause of various social problems rather than a reflection of them. On the other hand, I do think media can reinforce and perpetuate damaging views by allowing people (who already hold them) to be comfortable with doing so.

Also, I want to say that rape happens less now than at any time in the past (which would argue against the hypothesis), but I'm having trouble finding straightforward statistics on rape so I have no idea if this is objectively true or not.

Anyway, I find it a reasonable hypothesis when explained, and something to think about.
posted by cj_ at 8:04 PM on November 18, 2009


As I understood it, the whole thing is his fantasy. Hence the computer graphics style from the outset, which departs from being remotely realistic pretty quickly, if not immediately, real trucks and real people not being pixellated and such.

I don't think it really is a fantasy of the character, but rather an actual cartoony depiction of a series of violent sexual assaults. I don't assume something is a fantasy of a character because of it's style unless the context dictated it. But I also don't think it would excuse the vileness. I found this description on the YouTube video

Truckers Delight animated video clip directed by newcomer wunderkid Jérémie Perin (Premiere Heure) who takes the song's title (a tribute to those little pleasures that the lonely truck- driver indulges himself in) and takes it to the next level. Think Spielberg's Duel + Russ Meyer's Faster Pussycat Kill Kill! and Marc Dorcel's wildest fantasies. All warped into an 8-bit Sega era style graphic. And this clumsy and somehow pretentious description doesn't even come close to what you're about to see: it's très funny,très dirty, -très sexy. Très Flairs indeed.

As far as the comparison to Modern Warfare 2 scene, I think we need to keep the context within sight. I don't think anybody is outright stating either of these things are acceptable in real life, but I think there are huge differences when presenting it for art or entertainment.
posted by P.o.B. at 8:05 PM on November 18, 2009


birdie birdington- how does any of that further equality?

It is really frustrating to have someone re-frame ones own argument back at them. It shows an imbalance of respect. We really can't know when someone else is using code words at us or not, and that sort of reasoning just perpetuates the conflict.
posted by gjc at 8:10 PM on November 18, 2009


cj_: "rape happens less now than at any time in the past (which would argue against the hypothesis)"

I am pretty sure the kinds of attitudes I was describing are less prevalent today than they were in the past, so on the contrary, if what you say is true, this could be seen as possible evidence that changing rape culture reduces the prevalence of rape, which is all the more reason to continue to fight rape culture and advance upon those gains.
posted by idiopath at 8:11 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've been thinking it over and digging around and it looks like I am entirely wrong about the intent being other than to be funny: from the YouTube video, Jérémie Périn is credited as being from a company called Premiere Heure, whose site is here, and whose blog entry announcing the video is here, where it describes the video as 'dirty, sexy and very funny'.

Watching it again, I found it to be none of those things.

Périn also made this (entirely harmless though oddly macho) video for Ozwald Boateng / Givenchy, which sheds no light at all on anything.

I'm not watching Truckers Delight a third time, I tell you that much.
posted by motty at 8:13 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Uh, yeah, if anyone thinks Trucker's Delight is anything other than adolescent humor they're obviously reading far too much into it.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:16 PM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


there are a few of us in this thread that are saying there is a link between the way rape is What follows is a series of usages of sexuality as a form of violence to put her in her place, ending with his prize and final winning achievement (framed in this way using the video game metaphor) of being able to shove his penis into her, despite the fact that she does not want him to do so. A number of harmful attitudes about gender and sex are presented, attitudes that lay the groundwork for men to feel OK with rape.

By this argument, Romeo and Juliet and Thelma and Louise lay the groundwork for teenagers and women to feel OK with suicide.

posted by shetterly at 8:21 PM on November 18, 2009


birdie birdington, it's best I don't say anything more about class on MetaFilter. Let's leave it at this: Between 2007 and 2009, I was in frequent disagreements on LiveJournal with people who refused to consider class in discussions of oppression. In 2009, that blew up in a most regrettable flame war. At no time did I ever say that racism did not exist, or that we were now in some sort of post-racial paradise.
posted by shetterly at 8:28 PM on November 18, 2009


> Why is it that folks can watch a movie like Natural Born Killers and take away from it the understanding that such actions and lifestyles are really fucked up, but people have trouble playing an interactive sequence with the same message?

Interactive media is different, that's why. Immersion and agency are its particular currencies. Pushing the ethical boundaries of players is a major trend right now, which I think is a good thing. It's kind of Brechtian, which is the opposite of immersion, and then before you know what hit you, you've got a dialectical relationship between the real and the virtual, and that's wicked awesome.

That's one reason this video was extra disturbing, it plays with the notion that the trucker is playing a "game" the purpose of which is [outlandish] rape, or else it posits a fictional "player" controlling the scenario. I don't think I can reach a conclusion as to what that means for the video's text, but it certainly complicates it, whether you apprehend it as a satire, merely a goof, or as misogynist or anti-misogynist agit-prop. I get it: it's a video of a phony game... but the real thing has been done already, in complete seriousness, RapeLay... so what does this video contribute? It funs on violence and misogyny in the context of a pseudo video game but the message if any eludes me. It's not a cogent critique of any particular game or trend I am familiar with, and its retro style and humor seem to be made to appeal to good-time-folks who want an easy laugh. Fail, I said. So, without a sense of reason to it, it amounts to an astonishing amount of craftsmanship that has gone into sadistic imagery, and that's creepy. Thinking about how the story was designed and the details agreed upon by the creators? Ugh... It's hard not to imagine them drunk on their own foolhardiness, giddy with disregard for common sense.

> Because visual media is itself a tool of sexism and "rape culture" much moreso than it directly endorses terrorism.

huh?


Sorry, chalk that up to metafiltering from the phone of the doctor's waiting room. This is the first time I've sat in one place for five minutes all day. Let me rephrase. To answer the question "So, I'm just wondering where the difference lies. Terrorism hurts people, rape hurts people. Why are we okay with animated depictions of one but not animated depictions of the other?"

Visual culture is one of the tools of oppression and hegemony or whatever. One of the forms of this oppression is men over women, and the oppression of women also includes other manifestations, such as unequal pay and violence against them. Therefore, negative images of women (or other disempowered groups) are parts that work along with, for example, rape, to construct an oppressive institution. Perhaps it's extra demoralizing when one part of the machinery is shown demonstrating reinforcing another because it reminds us how universal and entrenched the system at work is.

Now, if you happen to think that all violence is oppression, then I think you could indeed feel that seeing violence in media was universally distasteful. However, aside from a totalizing pacifism, I'm having difficulty imagining what perspective could enable a point of view that apprehended any and all violent images as part of a single oppressive system. I certainly personally have a beef with many types of militaristic violence in media, as an analog. It's often gratuitous and eclipses more challenging modes of discourse. I find wartime shoot-em-ups quite distasteful, for these same basic reasons. It's like culturally cavorting in shit. But bopping turtles on the head is A-OK with me, and so is consensual street-fighting, I suppose, etc. etc. It's all relative to me, though, politics is personal. If you were forced into a life of street-fighting, you might feel that my perspectives were insensitive and ignorant, and I wouldn't be able to really disagree. Maybe that's what too much groupthink does to the brain.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 8:29 PM on November 18, 2009


Either our attitudes about the world influence our behaviors or they do not. I am fairly certain that our attitudes do influence our behaviors (not necessarily in all cases determine, but definitely influence). Either the ways that stories are told help form our attitudes or they do not. I am fairly certain that the repertoire of stories we know are a large part of how we form our attitudes about the world.

It is not as simple as "suicide happens in the story, therefore audiences suicide".

While Romeo and Juliette and Thelma and Louise contain suicide as plot elements, I am not convinced that they support a network of attitudes that justifies and encourages it.

If there were such thing as stories that facilitate attitudes that justify and encourage rape, I am pretty sure that the animation we are talking about here would be one of them.
posted by idiopath at 8:32 PM on November 18, 2009


> if anyone thinks Trucker's Delight is anything other than adolescent humor

Do you mean to say "boys will be boys?" because if I saw this as an adolescent, I would have been really freaked out and frightened, wondering what truth there was in how it portrays men's desire for the use of women's bodies.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 8:34 PM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


If anybody thinks this sentence is anything more than a random assemblage of letters, they're reading too much into it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:37 PM on November 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


But it's kinda bullshit to say that this stuff doesn't affect us at all, that we all go home and kick back and reflect gently upon it, because that's not really how most people's filmgoing experiences play out[...] but I do think we're all affected by this stuff to some degree or another.

I didn't say that media has no effect on us. I have some shit in my head from fictional media that will never go away, no matter how much I want it to.

Honestly, I don't believe you can have an interactive story that does what a story is supposed to do. Games involve you doing things in a world where consequences only matter in the context of a game. If you do something that would ruin your life if you were to actually, you know, do it...who cares? Worst that happens is you lose and start over.

Movies (or books or TV or opera) involve you watching things in a world where consequences matter only in the context of the movie. If a character does something that would ruin his life, who cares? Worst thing that happens is that you walk out of the theater and get a beer.

I don't understand this argument.

You can't have a Hamlet video game -- the whole point of Hamlet is he tosses around his doubts and options for four acts before he actually takes (intentional) action, which I can't really see happening in a game -- you'd just kill your evil stepfather and be done with it.

Yes, Hamlet would make a bad video game. But that doesn't mean that a video game can't tell a story. And you could do a point-and-click adventure with a Hamlet-esque non-action approach. It'd be difficult to pull off. But, really, most people who try to pull off a Hamlet-esque story in non-interactive media wind up writing boring, whiny, pretentious drivel. It took Shakespeare to make that plot interesting enough to endure.

That'd be fun and all, but it doesn't mean anything vis a vis your real life, the way stories are meant to. I mean, turn Transformers into a video game and you've probably improved it,

Wait, what? The only reason that Hamlet has anything to do with my real life is that I've taken the time and effort to draw parallels. Otherwise, it's just a story about a whiny Danish prince.

Just because a story was written doesn't make it universally relevant to real life. For instance, Emma is supposed to be a great novel. And yet, when I read it, I can't find anything to relate to.

but I don't see creating a video game with real literary qualities. Again, not being a real video game enthusiast, I could be wrong, but I can't honestly see how...just the conditions of a game at all are anathema to that.

Look, you're saying, yourself, that you don't play games, and then, in the same breath, saying that you know enough about them to say they're incapable of narrative. This is like someone who's never seen a film, or never read a comic book, arguing that they're incapable of portraying narrative. It's pure snobbery. "I don't get it, so it must not have anything to get."

For heavily narrative games I offer the following: Fallout (1, 2, and 3); Mirror's Edge; Final Fantasy; and, actually, just for the sake of argument, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare both 1 and 2.

Now, I'm not arguing that these are masterpieces of narration. The medium is young, and so I won't say that we've had Citizen Kane for PS3. But they all make me feel something, both through the gameplay and the cutscenes. And that the "something" is much more complex than "yee-haw, I won" or "oops, I died."

Look, here, watch this. That's a playable level, not a cutscene (well, after the load screen is over). You wake up, crawl out of the crashed helicopter, and die. When I played it, I felt every bit as horrified by a nuclear bomb as when I read Hiroshima in 10th grade.

Or how about this semi-playable section of the same game. I'd never considered how terrifying and saddening it must feel to be the deposed president of a country during a coup. To be dragged from your house, to see the horror being wrought on your homeland, and then to be executed.

It may not be especially subtle or nuanced, but if that's not narrative, I don't know what the fuck is.
posted by Netzapper at 8:44 PM on November 18, 2009


Do you mean to say "boys will be boys?"

Something like that. The same kind of disgusting attempts at humor that high school boys indulge in because they don't know better.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:44 PM on November 18, 2009


> You can't have a Hamlet video game

There's a _Walden_ video game, ffs. I guess it's "bad"... or just arty and experimental.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 8:46 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Look, you're saying, yourself, that you don't play games, and then, in the same breath, saying that you know enough about them to say they're incapable of narrative. This is like someone who's never seen a film, or never read a comic book, arguing that they're incapable of portraying narrative. It's pure snobbery. "I don't get it, so it must not have anything to get."

Not at all -- I'm just saying that higher literary qualities aren't there to get, because the form doesn't lend themselves to them, but I'm not applying a value judgment to that. I love comics, but comics will never be musical theater, no matter how hard they try. It's just not gonna happen, because comics? Don't make any noise. And if they did, they wouldn't be comics anymore; they'd be those awful iTunes comics with the goofy semi-animation and the guy reading all the parts in funny voices or something, which is something closer to really low-rent cartoons. Point being, I'm not telling you that a video game can't have a narrative -- dude, "My Humps" has a narrative; narrative is not real hard to come by -- I'm telling you that a video game can't do what a novel or a film does, because those media present stories over which you have no control, and you aren't supposed to. The novelist or filmmaker creates a unified world where your place is observer and -- to the degree that you bring your own imagination and experiences to the story -- limited participant, but essentially your role is passive, because granting you greater agency takes away from the authenticity of the experience of characters who are not you, but whose experiences may reflect and parallel your own. The point is not to put on an alternate persona and through it you solve a mystery or fight a war or what have you. That may be fun, that may be cool, but that's not what literature (to include film, comics, etc.) does. Maybe you'd rather it did, in which case, gaming is probably more your thing.

But the whole point of this was to say that gaming is necessarily more immersive than film, because of your increased direct involvement, and that direct involvement itself is probably going to hit you in a nervier place than would a movie. I don't actually care which form is superior, because I don't think it works like that; a visionary's video game is certain to be a better work of art than a Uwe Boll movie, or even most movies, because s/he's a visionary. That can happen in any medium. That could happen with a guy designing potholders. The medium is less important than the person working in it.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:06 PM on November 18, 2009


Cf. the incomparable Planescape: Torment, a game more literary than most airport best-sellers. Video games are still a very young and volatile medium, and there are all sorts of unsolved problems with adapting and revising existing storytelling methods to the format and finding altogether new approaches to same, but beyond that primordial newness and the universality of Sturgeon's Law, there's nothing particularly wrong with the video game as a storytelling format.

The (steadily morphing and lessening) social taboo toward video games as a serious entertainment platform is a part of the current problems, of course. But that's not unique to the medium either. Another generation and even that will have mostly gone away, I think.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:08 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have a blog, and I'm male. Othewise, I ain't there, and every time someone bitches about my focus on class issues, I'm reminded of that. Which is cool. I haven't given up on class issues, but I do try to link to sources mefites won't think aren't too commie.

heh, nice verb

you remind me a lot of my dad right now, he always thinks that people behave the way they behave towards him because he's different and thinks differently and is different.

on one hand, it's kinda true, on the other hand, he is completely discounting the effect his shitty behavior has on other people because every time someone disagrees with him, looks at him funny, whatever, it's because he's [x] and they're [y].

he is unable to interact with people who disagree with him with any kind of depth or nuance. it's because he's not talking to them, he's talking to typical poor white guy. typical middle aged woman. typical MBA. typical black person. typical waiter. typical salesman. typical feminist. typical republican. typical democrat.

and every time he interacts with them and something doesn't go his way, well, it's typical of that kind of person and he doesn't have to face the fact that a thinking individual disagrees with him or dislikes him.

on one hand, it's a good defense mechanism for someone who hasn't always been allowed to fit in; on the other hand, it's a lonely and insulated place to be and he rarely learns or grows.
posted by kathrineg at 9:12 PM on November 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


kittens for breakfast, I feel like you're assuming the impossibility that games could put the player in the position primarily of observer, of passive viewer of a world, and I don't know where that assumption is coming from. Games are not universally run-and-gun affairs with only token cutscenes posing as story; the tradition of storytelling/exploration games is a very long one and I think could be compared fairly with something like an epistolary novel.

The nature of choice in video games, of agency, is a big one and I think you're right to recognize that it is the fundamental defining aspect of video games as a medium separate from novels or film, but that agency and how it is handled and leveraged in the service of story and art is the interesting challenge of the growing medium, not proof that it cannot be literary.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:15 PM on November 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


Jessamyn: I got into an argument with my second grade teacher about whether the world was round or not (everyone knows it's not, duh!)

Brandon Blatcher: I got an argument with my second grade teacher about whether God exists. It was a Catholic school if you're wondering how it went.

I didn't get into an argument (that's not how I rolled) but when my second grade teacher, Sister Dolores, told me that I wouldn't ever see Smokey in heaven because Smokey never had a soul, that was my very first glimmering of WTF.

I still wanted to be a nun.

I am a very slow learner.
posted by dogrose at 9:17 PM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


birdie birdington, it's best I don't say anything more about class on MetaFilter. Let's leave it at this: Between 2007 and 2009, I was in frequent disagreements on LiveJournal with people who refused to consider class in discussions of oppression. In 2009, that blew up in a most regrettable flame war. At no time did I ever say that racism did not exist, or that we were now in some sort of post-racial paradise.

this has little to nothing to do with your ability or willingness to discuss class on metafilter. we're not on livejournal. nor are hordes of livejournalers coming over here to keep you from discussing class issues.
posted by kathrineg at 9:17 PM on November 18, 2009


I used to write a column on local music for an arts and entertainment rag. Years prior, a local venue, The Half-Ass (or "East Quad Music Co-Op Presents the Halfway Inn" to give full appellation) had featured G. G. Allin for several months, and I mentioned that in my column, which was mostly about how shock art was eternally new to college freshmen, but incredibly dull once you realized that being earnestly shocking was an artistic dead end. The line went something like, "G.G. Allin would be old enough to enjoy eating at Bill Knapps now," or somesuch.

A woman who read the column wrote to me, and to my editors and publishers. She had "dated" Allin once or twice, and then, her letter read, he abducted her and held her captive, raping and torturing her. I knew that Allin had been convicted of rape, and that he was openly into some brutal and, to understate, evil, fucked-up shit. Seeing his name in print meant, she wrote, that she could never feel safe reading my column or the magazine again, and basically asked to have me fired.

The magazine contacted her, and I'm pretty sure that we printed her letter (though it's been long enough that I don't remember). I basically didn't respond to her because I wasn't sure how to, because while I was aware that Allin was a scumfuck and that was part of the point of the casual allusion, I didn't feel that my reference to him was out of bounds or inflammatory. I felt like her reaction was legitimate (my mind rather buckles in horror thinking about it), but I'm not sure what that meant for how I should act outside of the rather obvious not glorifying Allin or endorsing any of his actions or anything.

Don't misread this anecdote as an argument, I just tend to think anecdotes are a better way to express conflicted feelings.

What brought this to mind was thinking about how this call-out was framed and about the recent violence-against-women threads, and kind of abstractly thinking about whether I would be comfortable not just making that same remark about Allin (yes), but making a post about him. I think I would. But what if that woman is a member of Metafilter? Would it be worth it to possibly make it so she couldn't read Metafilter again without being traumatized? I think I might still be OK with it, though I would probably think a little more about not coming across as endorsing Allin.

Then I got to the tougher question—What if I knew she was a member?

I'm not sure.

What if she was a member and I knew her, was friends with her on Metafilter?

No, I don't think I would make that hypothetical post.

This is just how I personally would think about the ramifications of my contributions, and I realize that there are arguments that could be made on either side, but in general I find that I end up defending a broader view of what should be acceptable here—even at the cost of offending or alienating other members—simply because I tend to think that the idea of a slippery slope isn't fallacious with regard to tighter community standards, and because I think that a lot of well-meaning people advocate the other side with a presumption of righteousness that I don't necessarily share.

I tend to think of these things as competing goods, mutually exclusive in the extreme but generally quite easily balanced. It's only on edge cases that murky calls have to be made. Unfortunately, there's only an option to delete or not delete, making the ultimate decision binary, which also, I think, tends to foster a binary view from membership. I don't really care about this video (didn't even bother watching it) though I do care about the larger discussion.
posted by klangklangston at 9:28 PM on November 18, 2009 [9 favorites]


Either the ways that stories are told help form our attitudes or they do not. I am fairly certain that the repertoire of stories we know are a large part of how we form our attitudes about the world.

idiopath, agreed. Decades ago, I was quite fond of John Gardner's On Moral Fiction. If I didn't think art affected attitudes, I'd be a lot more prolific.

heh, nice verb

kathrineg, we call that a tyop where I come from.

we're not on livejournal. nor are hordes of livejournalers coming over here to keep you from discussing class issues.

Ah, would that that were true. I could point you to the MetaFilter post where Sidhedevil and a few of her LJ amigas blindsided me by piling on under names I didn't recognize. I confess, that may be why I think MetaFilter's group dynamics are different than they might actually be.
posted by shetterly at 9:34 PM on November 18, 2009


I could point you to the MetaFilter post where Sidhedevil and a few of her LJ amigas blindsided me by piling on under names I didn't recognize.

Please do not bring grudges from other sites here. This goes for you and other people who may be bringing grudges against you over here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:37 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


jessamyn, that's why I've forgiven her.
posted by shetterly at 9:38 PM on November 18, 2009


Then leave it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:38 PM on November 18, 2009


The deletion and the reasoning behind it make MetaFilter look more foolish and juvenile than the post did, and there's no good reason that the discussion of what bothered people about the video couldn't have happened in the original thread.

Even if it's bad art, I'm embarrassed for MetaFilter that its moderators don't trust its membership enough to allow discussion of a provocative artwork in the blue.
posted by NortonDC at 9:44 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


katharineg asked. Am I to pretend sidhedevil and her friends aren't here and that they don't start mocking class issues whenever I mention them*?

If the answer's yes, that's cool.

*which I won't do here anymore, honest. Henceforth, MetaFilter gets the class-free square on the bingo card.
posted by shetterly at 9:47 PM on November 18, 2009


The deletion and the reasoning behind it make MetaFilter look more foolish and juvenile than the post did, and there's no good reason that the discussion of what bothered people about the video couldn't have happened in the original thread.

Since people love indulging in extending arguments by saying "by that logic", by that logic I could go post a video clip of some rape porn and then we could have a nice long thread detailing exactly why rape porn is disturbing. How embarrassing if the mods curtailed that important discussion!
posted by Burhanistan at 9:49 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Even if it's bad art, I'm embarrassed for MetaFilter that its moderators don't trust its membership enough to allow discussion of a provocative artwork in the blue.

Would you be less embarrassed for a Metafilter whose moderators ignored vociferous negative feedback about a post? I'm not sure what you think happened with that post, but we certainly didn't remove it blindly in the absence of community feedback.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:53 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


NortonDC: "Even if it's bad art"

I think a post on Salo or The Story of the Eye or Pink Flamingos would probably still be up there. The issue is not just the taste vs. tastelessness of the content or the quality of the artwork. Hell, I found out about the Church of Euthanasia's I Like to Watch thanks to Mefi.

I like to think that the combination of the poor quality, the irresponsible message, and the offensive content doomed the post, where any of the three alone probably could have stayed.
posted by idiopath at 9:53 PM on November 18, 2009


shetterly, you just got through saying that where you come from, you're used to more dissent and now you're being systematically silenced? I'm not sure where there's room for middle ground here.
posted by kalessin at 9:54 PM on November 18, 2009


its moderators don't trust its membership

The membership are the ones who basically tell us what to do. I don't understand your analysis.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:57 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


there's no good reason that the discussion of what bothered people about the video couldn't have happened in the original thread

Actually, that's not how I understand MetaFilter etiquette. If discussion about a post isn't topical it's called thread hijacking. Which is why I understood I needed to take the discussion to MetaTalk.

From the feedback I've gotten so far about that aspect of why this post is here in MetaTalk, I am pretty sure that I understand that aspect of MetaFilter etiquette correctly.
posted by kalessin at 9:57 PM on November 18, 2009


kalessin, I think I'm not getting your point. I don't need more room for dissent here. I can quit bugging people about class. It's not like the revolution's going to start on MetaFilter. :)

(I hate emoticons, but I was just reading the thread about novel advances, and people were being astonishingly think about tone, so I figured I'd better be as clear as possible in this thread.)
posted by shetterly at 10:00 PM on November 18, 2009


Would you be less embarrassed for a Metafilter whose moderators ignored vociferous negative feedback about a post?

In this case, yes. It's not like it's photographs of a guy fucking a chicken.
posted by NortonDC at 10:00 PM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


And I'm out. If people need me, I'm in the usual places.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:03 PM on November 18, 2009


That sound you heard was the car crossing the tracks into Trollville.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:03 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


kalessin, a discussion of what bothered people about the video is exactly in line with the purpose of MetaFilter discussions in the blue.

A discussion of what bothered people about the presence of the video in the post is what MetaTalk is for.
posted by NortonDC at 10:05 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


people were being astonishingly think about tone

Uh, *thick*

Maybe I need an XKCD button that reads things back to me before I post.
posted by shetterly at 10:06 PM on November 18, 2009


purpose of MetaFilter discussions in the blue

THE PURPOSE OF METAFILTER IS NOT FO
posted by setanor at 10:10 PM on November 18, 2009


Sorry, what?
posted by setanor at 10:11 PM on November 18, 2009


I know that I'm outside metafilter's demographic

Yeah, you're our token college-educated left-leaning white American male.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:15 PM on November 18, 2009 [7 favorites]


> klang, that woman was a friend of my good friends, though I did not know her. Through them, I had heard about her experience. It still gives me chills to think about it. Allin, released from jail, lived at the Y in Ann Arbor, about three blocks from me for a short while. I used to rehearse what I'd say to him if I saw him, what I'd do to him, but I never did run into him. All these years later, every time his name is mentioned here, I have the same baaaaad feeling; I never participate in threads where he's the topic of discussion because I'm always mindful of hurting her further if she were to read it. I'd hate that. It sickens me to even hear or read his name, actually. I, for one, would feel better never hearing it again, and I've never even seen the guy face-to-face. I do know that he was a horrible, horrible, sick fuck of a man. There's not much about him that people can't live without knowing, if you ask me. (Just my opinion, and you're certainly free to post about things I despise... but you raise a very valid point with your comment above.)
posted by heyho at 10:28 PM on November 18, 2009


My Captain Obvious four-penn'orth:
1. 'Group think' is (as I think has been mentioned above) quintessentially human behaviour and at base a Good Thing. We are social animals. The pain that the atomisation and alienation of modernity entails are in large part because as it spread to various different places around the world it broke down the existing settled group norms. Since alongside those negative consequences, the modern break-down of the old order has also been in some aspects liberatory, what with the old order often being shit itself, the task is preserve the latter while rebuilding the former. What matters, then, is the content of the thinking. So this sort of discussion is also a Good Thing.
2. It seems self-evident that unless you accept racist notions of inherent difference between human groups, the only explanation for the institutionalised racism we have today lies in the history of its emergence with the colonialism and imperialism that were central to the new type of class society formed in the early modern period. This is to speak of meaningful differences, not the obvious minor surface things and as opposed to 'good old-fashioned' in-group vs. out-group bigotries.
Class is a process, a process unique to the socio-economic relationships of capitalism, that allocates power and forms groups in a different way to pre-modern castes, clans, tribes or social orders. The identity politics of recent years does seem to be only so much mental gymnastics emerging from the liberal academy because it doesn't want to reject the overall basis of the society it is embedded in, is a product and beneficiary of and apologist for. If such a politics succeeds in its aims of allowing all bar the privileged few to be equally oppressed by class society, it will have achieved nothing. It wont succeed anyway, because it wrongly identifies the causes of inequality so can hardly expect to address them.
It does also seem that some of the objection to the idea that class is the over-arching framework within which racism arose is due to the misrepresentations of class by soi-disant communists themselves, as many producing what passes for theory in recent years have joined that academy and have adopted its misunderstandings.
Sexism is a different thing because despite the obvious fact that its manifestation in a class society will be shaped by that larger context, it is in fact based on differences between women and men - and the way gender has been constructed based on these - that are substantive in a way race isn't.
3. The Cartesian subject is in fact...zzzzzzzzzzzz
posted by Abiezer at 10:34 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, you're our token college-educated left-leaning white American male.

Alvy, I have 20 teeth in my mouth. When you can't afford to fix a tooth and something needs to be done, you pull it. The last one pulled was because Arizona's version of Medicaid, AHCCCS, covers pulling a tooth, but otherwise doesn't cover dentistry.

So, what percentage of MetaFilter's American contingent is covered by Medicaid?

Which, I will add, is a damn fine program, and much of the reason I wish we were getting Medicare-For-All instead of Obama's Mandatory Insurance plan.
posted by shetterly at 10:51 PM on November 18, 2009


kittens for breakfast- For a very unusual take on the place of narrative and control in video games, you might want to try Home. You can play through it in ten minutes; then go hug someone.

And after that, go download and play the rest of increpare's games.
posted by Jpfed at 11:07 PM on November 18, 2009


In this case, yes. It's not like it's photographs of a guy fucking a chicken.

So your position is, earnestly, that we'd be displaying greater trust in the community by ignoring their very clearcut feedback about a post? By telling them to go shove it and take the video whether they like it or not? At least, or particularly, in this case?

And you top it off with a cheap shot at Jessamyn about something in a completely different context years ago?
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:12 PM on November 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


How should we change, shertterly? How should Metafilter be more amenable or knowledgeable about the working poor? What's your constructive criticism? Cut to the chase, otherwise you're just breaking community norms by doing an extreme amount of "and now, back to me."
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:29 PM on November 18, 2009


Alvy, I have 20 teeth in my mouth. When you can't afford to fix a tooth and something needs to be done, you pull it. The last one pulled was because Arizona's version of Medicaid, AHCCCS, covers pulling a tooth, but otherwise doesn't cover dentistry.

So, what percentage of MetaFilter's American contingent is covered by Medicaid?


I can't be covered by Medicaid for five years because of my immigrant status. I won't have health insurance until February because of how my husband's provider works. My Chinese in laws are visiting for thanksgiving next week and I can't relate to them, because unlike their version of how people should be, I come from a South Bristol council estate, am not educated to a college degree level and I'm fat. This not only halts conversation but makes me feel supremely inadequate around them. Also I got my period today, which thankfully means I'm not uninsured and pregnant, but means I have these killer cramps that have confined me to the couch all day. I can't take birth control pills because I get these awesome migraines that paralyse me down one side of my body, and thanks to the American health care system as it stands now, that will count as a pre-existing condition even when I do get health insurance.

Do I win? Does it matter? Now can we get back to talking about the topic at hand instead of about how much of a victim you are as a white American male? Because I don't know about the rest of Metafilter, but I am sick to the back teeth of the constant derailing that you're bringing to this thread, which is supposed to be about rape, not you. If you want your own thread, I can totally start one for you.
posted by saturnine at 11:38 PM on November 18, 2009 [14 favorites]


> I do believe that as we go forward there is probably going to be some cohesion to our posts, our discussions, or assumptions. If I'm wrong about this, whatever, but I don't think I'm actually wrong.

I hope you're wrong about this because I don't want to be part of a MetaFilter where every post has to be "on message" and that message is decided by the people who complain most stridently in MetaTalk. There are enough of us here that there are MeFites whose opinions on ANY issue you care to name are diametrically opposed. There is almost no topic that will not cause offense to at least one MeFite. That is richness and diversity. You seem to want MeFi to change to a place where everybody shares a single opinion (yours, presumably) and topics you don't like are censored. I am happier that MetaFilter is and will remain a place where people can discuss almost anything and express whatever opinion they have, and if they have a bad opinion be called out on it. I find it interesting to be exposed to opinions that differ from my own (even though y'all are all wrong wrong wrong). I believe that any statement including the phrase "as we go forward" is likely to be bullshit, but if we must, there will always be an open exchange of different ideas from people of all backgrounds from all around the world.

[not defending this puerile and unfunny video]
posted by nowonmai at 11:44 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ambrosia Voyeur:

1. I ain't going there.

2. Stop asking me questions, and I'll stop answering them, and the thread can stay on topic.

saturnine, every time I see a white guy sleeping under a bridge, I think, "Enjoy that white American male privilege, bro!"
posted by shetterly at 12:09 AM on November 19, 2009


saturnine, a ps. If this was about rape, I wouldn't be posting here. Well, unless it was to jump on someone who was being really insensitive about rape.

But the post is about the appropriateness of a video that mocked the sex and violence in videogames by using impossible and intentionally disgusting depictions of rape. And when we're talking about art and responsibility, I'll chip in.
posted by shetterly at 12:14 AM on November 19, 2009


I was starting to feel welcome around here. God this is heartbreaking, I thought --
Oh well, carry on.
posted by Methylviolet at 12:15 AM on November 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


saturnine, a second ps. I am sorry you're going through hard times, and for all that I think the Dems are shafting us on health care, I think it is likely that they'll finally end the pre-existing conditions bullshit.
posted by shetterly at 12:17 AM on November 19, 2009


But the post is about the appropriateness of a video that mocked the sex and violence in videogames by using impossible and intentionally disgusting depictions of rape.

First time on topic and it's a swing and a miss.
posted by P.o.B. at 12:19 AM on November 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Methylviolet: "I was starting to feel welcome around here. God this is heartbreaking, I thought --
Oh well, carry on
"

.
posted by idiopath at 12:24 AM on November 19, 2009


> I was starting to feel welcome around here. God this is heartbreaking, I thought -- Oh well, carry on.

The hell?
posted by cj_ at 12:42 AM on November 19, 2009


shetterly, I gotta tell you, class is my #1 issue, and I'm a queer woman, so that's saying something. And I still think you're fronting. Where's the beef?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:56 AM on November 19, 2009


Oh well, carry on.

I think maybe... someone... didn't quite get what happened here?
posted by setanor at 1:12 AM on November 19, 2009


So...the argument now that...we should have left the video stand....because Metafilter is an exclusive gated community, and the reason we know that is because...someone lost their teeth?

Can someone explain to me what the hell is going on?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:58 AM on November 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Methylviolet's account is disabled.
posted by XMLicious at 4:33 AM on November 19, 2009


Oops, that's what idiopath was saying.
posted by XMLicious at 4:34 AM on November 19, 2009


.

Well done to us. This is what I was talking about when I asked WTF in the post.
posted by kalessin at 4:46 AM on November 19, 2009


Well done to us. This is what I was talking about when I asked WTF in the
post.


I think you mean well done to you, since you're the one who made a metatalk thread out of a post that was destined for deletion and obscurity.
posted by dortmunder at 5:44 AM on November 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


you're the one who made a metatalk thread out of a post that was destined for deletion and obscurity.

But YOU'RE the one turning it into "dortmunder thinks kalessin eats boogers." That's not really an improvement, friend.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:54 AM on November 19, 2009


Well done to us. This is what I was talking about when I asked WTF in the post.

The whole is more than the sum of the parts. That's an important thing to remember about Metafilter, that as ugly as some threads may be overall, it's still a fabulous community to belong to.

Methylviolet, you're one of my fav Mefites, have been for a while. You've left the site before and I was happy to see you had returned. I hope you keep this departure and come back soon, you will be missed.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:03 AM on November 19, 2009


Since there is no actual argument about class as it relates to this thread, the message I get is: There is no discussion that can't be made about the subject of Shetterly, with class as the pretext.

When it winds down, it seems like his desire is that this be a community of one, and that one be Shetterly, and the discussion be about whatever he wants them to be. I've participated in many threads, and I don't recall them ever becoming about me, except, perhaps, the specific callouts about me that have happened here on MeTa, and even those I tend not to comment in too much.

I don't know if you're aware that you're doing this Shetterly. I suspect you think you're providing a much-needed perspective. But one of the marks of privilege, as I have said before, is taking an issue that is not about you and making it about you. This is a thread to discuss the deletion of a video that shows violence toward women in a purportedly humorous way, and the various issues that raises. It's not a thread about white guys sleeping under bridges, or how many teeth you have, or how you feel like an outside.

I know you think every one of those comments is justified by something somebody said in this thread, or by something somebody asked, but I'd like to suggest to you that there is an option you are not exploring. And that option is to say: This is not really the topic of the thread, so I will decline to answer, or introduce the topic, and if anybody wants to discuss it with me, or ask me further questions, they can go ahead and MeMail me. You seem to have a compulsive need to make every comment that pops into your head, regardless of whether it derails the discussion or not, and, since you have promised not to talk about class anymore (a promise you just can't seem to hold to), instead the subject of discussion in this thread is how you're an outlier. Could I ask that, before you comment, you ask yourself what the subject of the post is, and whether you are forwarding a discussion or derailing it?
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:06 AM on November 19, 2009 [13 favorites]


Well, hopefully Methylviolet is only taking a break, but if not, I don't really care. I'm not seeing anything here that would make a person feel unwelcome. Perhaps the opinions held by some might annoy or offend, but they are individuals and this is a website on the internet. Bailing on it because of a deleted post to the blue or to people's reaction to said post is like no longer going to the library because they carry Playboy or Glenn Beck's latest or some asshole patron insist you not check out "Alice in Wonderland" because the author liked little girls a bit too much.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:10 AM on November 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Cheap shot?! I guess I have different idea of context than you. I'm not in the moment to moment minutia like you have to be. My responsibilities keep me out of them; yours keep you in them. Because of my more distant perspective, the outliers, especially those produced by the moderators, have a very lasting impact on my idea of the boundaries of MetaFilter.

This deletion is a new boundary marker, and it's disappointing.

So your position is, earnestly, that we'd be displaying greater trust in the community by ignoring their very clearcut feedback about a post?

Yes, in this case. It's disappointing and embarrassing to see the moderators (and some members) deciding we're too fragile in the blue to handle a fictional movie of a imaginary video game depicting an era that's almost a generation in the past. I know you got complaints about it, but I still hope for the cliche of good speech countering bad speech, especially here. That's a big part of what makes MetaFilter special to me, and the approach used in this case diminishes MetaFilter's capacity for that. Maybe you think this thread is the opportunity for that good speech, but I'm disappointed the discussion of the video wasn't allowed in the blue where it started.
posted by NortonDC at 6:36 AM on November 19, 2009


But YOU'RE the one turning it into "dortmunder thinks kalessin eats boogers." That's not really an improvement, friend.

I think he's been dishonest. I've said it. I stand behind it. If he eats boogers, that's his business.
posted by dortmunder at 6:36 AM on November 19, 2009


I still think you're fronting.

Busted! Really, who could think a white guy would care about po' folks? I will now do my happy dance of white American male privilege. Jeeves! Another martini!

Could I ask that, before you comment, you ask yourself what the subject of the post is, and whether you are forwarding a discussion or derailing it?

I went back in the thread to try to figure out how the derail began. It was at the beginning, where Netzapper mentioned groupthink. That led to people denying that there was any groupthink on Metafilter or an identifiable demographic. I said there was. People denied this was true. Perhaps I should've accepted that's so, because clearly it's important to the group to believe it.

You are right that groupthink deserves its own subject.
posted by shetterly at 6:52 AM on November 19, 2009


I went back in the thread to try to figure out how the derail began. It was at the beginning, where Netzapper mentioned groupthink.

Yes; certainly others might begin the derail. But you manage to load it up onto one of those Japanese bullet trains, and, three comments later, it has traveled from Tokyo to Osaka. If you'll forgive the mixed metaphor.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:56 AM on November 19, 2009


Cheap shot?!

"Oh yeah, well [invocation of unrelated thing Jessamyn's gotten a lot of shit about over the years]" reads as a cheap shot, yeah.

This deletion is a new boundary marker, and it's disappointing.

How is this new? What is the new thing? What do you think is fundamentally different about us deleting this heavily-flagged post that sets it apart from our standard MO of deleting most heavily-flagged posts?

Yes, in this case. It's disappointing and embarrassing to see the moderators (and some members) deciding we're too fragile in the blue to handle a fictional movie of a imaginary video game depicting an era that's almost a generation in the past.

You're the only person in this entire discussion who has used "fragility" to characterize the situation. We don't think the community is too fragile or otherwise incapable of handling a discussion of the video, we think the clearcut feedback mechanisms we use to see whether the community thinks any specific post should be deleted were firing off a loud-and-clear YES, PLEASE. It was a lousy post.

There's been some decent bits of discussion of the video in the thread here, which I think is keen, and as we've said a few times in this thread a post about it on the blue that was framed better to provide some context for the video would probably have been fine, and that would have been a totally okay venue for some discussion-on-the-blue about the video as well.

Why you're disappointed and embarrassed that a poorly-framed, poorly-received post got deleted I don't know, but I think you're premising that reaction on some imagined other Metafilter where that post being deleted would ever have not happened.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:01 AM on November 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


NortonDC, I've sometimes felt about issues in the past like you seem to feel. That is, discussions sometimes happen that will upset people and I don't think that an individual's (or a few people's) emotional reactions should dictate what others can discuss. At the same time, Metafilter is a community and in a community sometimes people decide to do things, out of kindness, that they don't have to do - because they care about other people in that community. I thought klangklangston's comment, above, really did a nice job articulating that balance, and with that anecdote really managed to inform my feelings about it.

It's all well and good to suggest Metafilter be more dog-eat-dog, that people toughen up - but when you care about those people (individually, or just as a group on principle) it's not as clear a line. There are certainly difficult discussions on unpleasant topics that I might be, hypothetically, interested in having - but would I have them with my Mother, or with a friend who would be upset by them? Personally, I respect that judgment in favor of compassion here, but it doesn't mean I always will (or the mods always will, or the community always will) in the future.

I'm not suggesting you have to agree, at all, but it bears thinking about.
posted by bunnycup at 7:01 AM on November 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


...we're too fragile in the blue to handle a fictional movie of a imaginary video game depicting an era that's almost a generation in the past.

I missed the nuanced indications that this was from 25 years ago, but this aside I think you're missing a few points.
  1. The OP said she'd rather she hadn't made the post.
  2. It was a link to a video pretty much universally derided in the comments while it was up, and a link to a MySpace page. Not exactly what most would call a good MetaFilter post.
  3. Some people's recent public discussions of sensitive personal issues were taken into account.
  4. It was gathering flags at an alarming rate.
  5. The video content was questionable.
I could go on. Probably make a 25 Reasons the Post Should be Deleted, but what I haven't seen so far is one person say they thought it was a great post. I'm with you on the idea of free speech, don't think discussion should be hampered in a negative manner on good posts.

I really hate to say it, and I could be wrong, but I doubt we'd be having this discussion if it had gone up in the daytime and cortex had been the one to delete it. That last statement has everything to do with deletion reasons, and not moderation. "This is not a video game we want to play here," or some such reason would have probably gone unquestioned. The fact that someone decided to be aware of surroundings, have some compassion for members that might be sensitive to issues surrounding such a video, and deleted a crappy post only has people's hackles up because she wrote, "the most important thing about good comedy is timing. And unfortunately, the timing isn't really right for this."

The deletion reasons are not essays with detailed explanations as to the destruction of a special snowflake.

All this aside, and if you still think it's a great post that should have lived, well, deal with it. Even if this was a bad call, and I don't think it was, there's a correcting systems in place for such a thing. I'm thinking the the thinking of the higher powers is pretty unanimous on this one. I am betting the backroom debates on whether or not it was a poor deletion and should be reinstated were pretty damn short (if it came up at all). Add to this the OP didn't make a case for it, and the community overwhelmingly disliked it, I don't see a compelling reason to keep it around. I'm not going to lave a cat turd in my living room just because someone on the internet wants to talk about it.

I could be wrong.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:08 AM on November 19, 2009 [9 favorites]


Hey guys! What's going on? I had to run to Home Depot to get a new 10-foot pole. What'd I miss?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:14 AM on November 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Astro Zombie, clearly my dalliance with the attempt to coax discursive earnestness or cogency out of Shetterly was a mistake. He tells a tale of sound and fury.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 7:30 AM on November 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


What'd I miss?

We're comparing dickstooth holes.
♫Mine's big-ger!♫
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:33 AM on November 19, 2009


I only wish my profile picture was a self-portrait....
posted by h00py at 7:44 AM on November 19, 2009


This thread went soooo weirrrdddd. I wanted to respond like three times but all three of those derails went and made their own derails.

1. Yay for non-threaded pages!
2. Boo for poopy heads too many "Look you might have a point and ima let you finish but IM THE RIGHTEST COMMENTER OF ALL TIME. ALL TIME."
3. God I love that meme.

4. I think the original video could have been removed as "Ennhhrhfnh.. not really a fantastic video, and kind of juvenile in its rapetasticness" without much mention of "We just had a hug it out session talking about women's issues so this isn't the time for it."

4.5 I think the minor pushback from folks about that is the first part of (4) is more than enough to kill it, without bringing up the latter half, as the latter half gets into "So there's a point in time where this post would have been fine? Whaaa?"

5. See 2.
posted by cavalier at 7:47 AM on November 19, 2009


I want to respond but I fear just becoming a number.
posted by h00py at 7:56 AM on November 19, 2009


Eh, number two can be unfairly applied to everyone.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:01 AM on November 19, 2009


jessamyn: "98% fully understand the its/it's distinction and hate the other 2% with the heat of a thousand suns
1% have made websites about it.
"

I like the idea that fully 1000 mefites have made websites about the distinction between it's and its.
posted by shmegegge at 8:01 AM on November 19, 2009


A ridiculous notion, User 52224.
posted by Abiezer at 8:02 AM on November 19, 2009


Eh, number two can be unfairly applied to everyone.

I would take issue with the logic of "unfair to everyone," but having number two applied to you does sound pretty universally awful. [NOT COPROPHILIA-IST]
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 8:08 AM on November 19, 2009


I am not a number, I am a free OH SHIII.
posted by cavalier at 8:13 AM on November 19, 2009


"I do think it's kind of jerkish baiting behavior, Netzapper and shetterly, to actively sabotage discussion that's 101-level because you think you have all the answers or want to show up the teacher of the class. If you want to do 201-level or 301-level teaching that's fine, but it's rude to steal other teachers' classes and it's rude to assume that they'll continue to indoctrinate the students with what you think is a flawed methodology."

apologies if this has been addressed, because I'm still reading the backlog of the thread since I logged out last night. outside of the discussion within this thread, I think it's perfectly acceptable to challenge something a teacher has said in a 101 level class, even or especially if you're bringing up 201 or 301 level issues. It's not his job to dumb himself down for the sake of the class, it's the teacher's job to take what he said, and address within the context of what the class teaches. In that circumstance, it's always a good idea for the prof to say "that's a good point, and you'll have professors who will get into that in greater depth with you. It's a nuanced subject, and the questions you raise are part of that. So let's refocus a little bit with that in mind, even though we're not addressing it in total here in this class. When I say "racism is prejudice + power," I'm trying to focus our attentions on the state of racism against minorities in america, and the forms it takes in american society, politics and industry. Though it's always problematic to speak in absolutes (see what I did there?), for the sake of our discussions, it's useful to keep the phrase in the back of your mind and consider it when discussing the applications of power in the instances we're going to look at."

many many teachers won't do that, but that's because many many teachers don't know how to respond to open minds trying to learn through discussion. most of those teachers eventually learn to do this, however, thanks to students like Netzapper. And in the end, the whole class learns in a better frame of mind, where they consider things in certain contexts and understand them without falsely believing they've learned a universal truth.
posted by shmegegge at 8:14 AM on November 19, 2009 [5 favorites]


Yes, all those dodgy teachers need is a clever student to one up them and show them the way they should be teaching.

Jesus.. just a spot of hubris with your tea this morning?
posted by cavalier at 8:33 AM on November 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Benefit, you get the fuck away from that doubt, y'hear?
posted by breezeway at 8:53 AM on November 19, 2009


I had a Psychology 101 teacher pronounce Carl Jung with a hard j. She had a Texas twang as well.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:55 AM on November 19, 2009


cavalier: "Yes, all those dodgy teachers need is a clever student to one up them and show them the way they should be teaching.

Jesus.. just a spot of hubris with your tea this morning
"

you've gotta be fucking kidding me.
posted by shmegegge at 9:11 AM on November 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, if a teacher is at the point of telling someone to shut up, they could use some advice.
posted by kathrineg at 9:14 AM on November 19, 2009


Even if that advice is "next time, drink moar"
posted by kathrineg at 9:14 AM on November 19, 2009


shmegegge, I think you're half right. I think you're addressing the times that classes go well and dissent helps construct a better lesson. I also think there are times when classes go to shit because some jackass tried to show up the teacher.

I don't think that the fact that either outcome is possible means we have to make rules about what to always do in teaching situations and I don't think it'd be wise to do so either. I do think that I generally read it as "Would my smartass opinion be welcome here? No? Then I'll shut up." instead of as "I'm going to enlighten my fellow students by bringing this discussion up to 201- or 301-level because I'm just that good."
posted by kalessin at 9:20 AM on November 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Let me be clear; the racism teacher shutting Zapper down, quite clearly argues taht she might not be able to engage in rational discourse or an open exchange of ideas.

It's the part where you cast a broad stroke that "many many teachers don't know how to respond to open minds" -- it reeks that you at some point didn't recieve an answer you liked from a teacher in some sort of authority, and now you're going to make a blanket statement that the majority of them are all unable to "respond to open minds trying to learn through discussion".

If you still feel I'm kidding you, I'm sorry that I'm not and we'll just agree to disagree?
posted by cavalier at 9:20 AM on November 19, 2009


Possibly 11 hours too late, but it's like a rock in my shoe, so....

Am I to pretend sidhedevil and her friends aren't here and that they don't start mocking class issues whenever I mention them*?

I don't know sidhedevil, or her friends, and I think I've been on LiveJournal exactly once in my life to read about a friend's tomato garden, but I'd like you to know that I [silently] mock you every time you mention class issues. And it's not because I don't care about class issues; I do. It's because you always seem to manage to bring class into a discussion that was previously about something else entirely.

The Great Eggo Shortage of 2009? It's not about a flood in Atlanta, it's about how we insist on feeding po' folks processed food crap!

The malfunction of the FAA's system for tracking flight plans? It's not about computers, it's about how po' folks can't afford an airline ticket!

Bill Belichik's decision to go for it on 4th down? It's not about hubris or Tom Brady, it's about how inner city kids don't have any way out of poverty except professional sports or 9mm bullets!

And while each of those things might be true, in part, THEY DON'T HAVE TO BE A PART OF EVERY DAMN DISCUSSION THAT OCCURS ANYWHERE ON THE SITE.

A derail? You bet it's a goddamn derail. At least you recognize it -- it's one that you start repeatedly.

[T]he post is about the appropriateness of a video that mocked the sex and violence in videogames by using impossible and intentionally disgusting depictions of rape. And when we're talking about art and responsibility, I'll chip in.

...BY TALKING ABOUT CLASS.

Can you see how tiresome that gets?

I don't feel a part of any group here, so I hope you recognize that I'm speaking as an individual who feels, like a lot of the individuals around me seem to, that you're a one-note wonder. Regardless of anything that's happened on other sites, THAT'S why people seem to jump on you for bringing up your pet subject. (That and your passive-aggressive playing of the martyr card. "Oh, I guess no one wants to hear little old me. I guess I won't talk about this anymore. Sigh.")

Your pet issue doesn't always belong, but you seem to be incapable of recognizing that. And anyone who tries to point it out is committing the crimes of oppression that you claim to carry the mantle for.

Sheesh. Look at me, oppressing you! Here I go again!

I'm glad I'm not eating Thanksgiving dinner with you. I imagine that would be one of the most eye-rollingest Thanksgiving dinners in history.

"Can you pass the gravy please?"
"That's not 'gravy,' it's a representation of how economic realities have forced us proles to stretch perfectly good meat juice by augmenting it with fillers and starches!"
"Uh, I just want some gravy. This turkey's a little dry."
"Of course you'd say that. I guess I just don't understand, since I'm not one of those people who can go out and buy blue tennis shoes and then blog about it."
"No, I really wasn't talking about shoes. My shoes are 10 years old and falling apart. I just wanted some gravy."
"Fine! I guess no one cares about my opinions. Go eat your shoes and wear your gravy and I'll just go jump off a bridge!"
posted by mudpuppie at 9:39 AM on November 19, 2009 [27 favorites]


mudpuppie, do you want to talk about why they chose a trucker for their rapist cliche instead of a guy in a suit and tie? I don't agree with whoever said that was the worst thing about it--which I assume he meant as hyperbole--but if you're concerned about moral art, all choices are significant.
posted by shetterly at 10:05 AM on November 19, 2009


...So, wait, how do teeth fit into this again?....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:08 AM on November 19, 2009


I don't agree with whoever said that was the worst thing about it

I said that and, for the record, it was hyperbole.
posted by dortmunder at 10:08 AM on November 19, 2009


No. No I do not want to talk about it. Thank you ever so kindly for the invitation to discuss the only thing in the world that really warrants discussion, but to me IT DOESN'T FUCKING MATTER. It was offensive. It would have been offensive regardless of the class of the animated penis owner. It wouldn't have been any less offensive had the animated penis owner been Warren fucking Buffett.

*Looks at front page of Metafilter, smacks forehead, rolls eyes, walks away*
posted by mudpuppie at 10:09 AM on November 19, 2009


cavalier: "It's the part where you cast a broad stroke that "many many teachers don't know how to respond to open minds" -- it reeks that you at some point didn't recieve an answer you liked from a teacher in some sort of authority, and now you're going to make a blanket statement that the majority of them are all unable to "respond to open minds trying to learn through discussion"."

well, hey, it's great that you got my REAL intentions despite my attempts at obfuscation.

but for real, no. I'm saying that it takes experience for a teacher to learn to deal with a student who deviates from what they'd like to teach. so: many many teachers don't know how to deal with that at first, but as I said, MOST of them learn by dealing with it. and though I'm not a teacher, it's been my experience as a student and as someone who had a lot of his friends become teachers that ultimately teachers learn to deal with these things by accepting challenges and focusing class attention rather than shutting students up.

but let's recall that I was specifically responding to the idea that it's not okay for a student to challenge their professor. my ultimate point was simply that, yes it's ok and the class can benefit from it and here's an example of how that could work. no, I don't have a problem with teachers. no I was not some smartass student, though I'd say everyone has had their moment of challenging something being taught, and finally yes I've had the good fortune to have a lot of teachers who accept the challenges of their students which is why I'm a propenent of doing so.
posted by shmegegge at 10:12 AM on November 19, 2009


*Looks at front page of Metafilter, smacks forehead, rolls eyes, walks away*

Fuck's sake, shetterly.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:14 AM on November 19, 2009


kalessin: "I also think there are times when classes go to shit because some jackass tried to show up the teacher.
"

I agree entirely. let me state for the record that I was operating under the assumption that we were talking about something like what netzapper discussed where it was a simple question being dismissed outright by a teacher instead of engaged in good faith. I don't believe anyone should try to simply dominate class discussion with bullying tactics or jackassery.
posted by shmegegge at 10:15 AM on November 19, 2009


"...So, wait, how do teeth fit into this again?...."

That was totally my bad. I got email from someone who explained that Mefites don't like anything that sounds like you're claiming authority on a subject, and since I'm a white American male, I can't know anything about poverty. Henceforth, I'll only cite what I've read elsewhere on the web.
posted by shetterly at 10:16 AM on November 19, 2009


shmegegge: "propenent"

I will fight to the death anyone who says this isn't a word.
posted by shmegegge at 10:17 AM on November 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Cortex, you can delete it if you want. Mefites are much more comfortable discussing race, so I figured something about white folks was legit. The article does not use the c-word.

shmegegge, has your generation completely lost the notion of challenging authority? This deference to teachers kind of creeps me out.
posted by shetterly at 10:19 AM on November 19, 2009


shetterly: "shmegegge, has your generation completely lost the notion of challenging authority? This deference to teachers kind of creeps me out."

dude, I have no idea what you are specifically referring to or what you're getting at. I suspect that, in your rush to post 37 comments about how big a deal class is, you've gotten comments of mine mixed up in your head. I wasn't deferring to teachers, I was defending the right to challenge them, and pointing out that a good teacher can roll with those punches. what on earth are you talking about?

also, the class thing again? come on, dude. surely you realize how broken your record is, and how sharp your axe must be.
posted by shmegegge at 10:24 AM on November 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ah, I see Jessamyn shut that down. Heaven forbid any liberal should have to consider the idea that poverty might also affect white folks. Bye bye, MetaFilter. Write if you find work.
posted by shetterly at 10:25 AM on November 19, 2009


Mefites are much more comfortable discussing race, so I figured something about white folks was legit.

Hmmm. Do I:

A) Laugh
B) Cry
C) Throw the computer out the window
D) ????
E) Profit!
posted by rtha at 10:26 AM on November 19, 2009


NortonDC, I used to feel all warm and fuzzy when I saw your username. "Ah, an old-timer who coined one of the great MeFi in-jokes!" thought I. You've successfully destroyed that image. Now you're "that jerk who keeps giving jessamyn shit." Congratulations.

> which I won't do here anymore, honest.

I guess the word "honest" doesn't mean what I thought it did.
posted by languagehat at 10:27 AM on November 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


> do you want to talk about why they chose a trucker for their rapist cliche instead of a guy in a suit and tie?

DUDE.
posted by cj_ at 10:31 AM on November 19, 2009


....Wait! I got it!

This entire MeTa is a TRAP!

No, bear with me -- what happens is, from now on, if anyone else is thinking about trying to post another crappy flash video like that, they'll be drawn to this thread unconsciously first -- and then they'll get so caught up in this whole amorphous discussion that they'll get stuck trying to figure out what teeth and gravy and teachers and what-not have to do with anything that they will forget all about what they were going to do and wander off.

It's like the Venus Flytrap of MeTa! Awesome!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:32 AM on November 19, 2009


Now that's timing. 10:35 AM. Reach bottom of thread, ten minutes after Shetterly posts final comment, disables account.

This is what comes from enthusiastic observance of 31st anniversary Jonestown festivities.
posted by philip-random at 10:37 AM on November 19, 2009


Hey, who ate all the pie?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:38 AM on November 19, 2009


shmegegge, thank you kindly for clarifying your comment for me. In genuine sincerity, I understand much better now what you were driving towards. I retract my hubris snark and nod humbly in your direction.
posted by cavalier at 10:41 AM on November 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hmmm. Do I:

A) Laugh
B) Cry
C) Throw the computer out the window
D) ????
E) Profit!
posted by rtha at 10:26 AM on November 19 [+] [!]


I've settled pretty firmly on A) Laugh. I recommend it.
posted by mudpuppie at 10:41 AM on November 19, 2009


It's easy to find drama when you want it just so bad
posted by setanor at 10:43 AM on November 19, 2009


Wait, wait.... what?

First shetterly said :

"Cortex, you can delete it if you want. Mefites are much more comfortable discussing race, so I figured something about white folks was legit. The article does not use the c-word."

and then, two posts later:

"Ah, I see Jessamyn shut that down. Heaven forbid any liberal should have to consider the idea that poverty might also affect white folks. Bye bye, MetaFilter. Write if you find work."

I'm so confused. :(
posted by ShawnStruck at 10:51 AM on November 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


cavalier: "shmegegge, thank you kindly for clarifying your comment for me. In genuine sincerity, I understand much better now what you were driving towards. I retract my hubris snark and nod humbly in your direction"

aw, you rock. thanks.
posted by shmegegge at 10:51 AM on November 19, 2009


Damn, I always arrive 10 minutes after the flame out. If memory serves this is the second time Shetterly has disabled his account this fall. Link to the offending post anyone?
posted by Think_Long at 11:07 AM on November 19, 2009


He said it was okay for CORTEX to delete it, not JESSAMYN and you would probably UNDERSTAND THAT if you weren't BLIND TO THE WAR HE IS FIGHTING FOR JUSTICE
posted by kathrineg at 11:12 AM on November 19, 2009 [13 favorites]


Is there a record for the number of people who disabled their account in a single thread? We're up to two now.
posted by cimbrog at 11:22 AM on November 19, 2009


Think_Long, looks like here - or, well, after he got in a few more last words in that thread, anyway.
posted by restless_nomad at 11:35 AM on November 19, 2009


I'm so confused.

I'm not.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:49 AM on November 19, 2009


Holy Christ on a cracker, just what the fuck happened here??
posted by Ouisch at 11:59 AM on November 19, 2009


*head spins*

"There you go, bringing class into it again."
"Well that's what it's all about!"

What a strange thread this has been.
posted by jokeefe at 12:04 PM on November 19, 2009


Holy Christ on a cracker

It's either in the cracker, or represented by the cracker. Please don't open up a whole new theological conundrum by positing that Christ is actually ON the cracker.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:05 PM on November 19, 2009 [7 favorites]


Well, you could always transubstantiate the wine and leave the host alone, and then dip the latter in the former.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:08 PM on November 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


Christ on a cracker.
posted by Skot at 12:09 PM on November 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I briefly considered starting a second meta thread.

Then I reconsidered. I mean this is meta already, right? How absurd is it to open a meta thread about a derail in a meta thread? That would be a terrible precedent.

In retrospect I was probably wrong. Maybe if I post that disgusting fucking video on the blue with some extra careful framing can we maybe have that conversation about media and rape? Because I kind of think that conversation could have gone somewhere at one point here.
posted by idiopath at 12:17 PM on November 19, 2009


Is there a record for the number of people who disabled their account in a single thread? We're up to two now.

fishbike?
posted by cjorgensen at 12:21 PM on November 19, 2009


idiopath: "In retrospect I was probably wrong."

nah, you were right. it sucks when meta gets derailed by someone's axe grinding, but that's meta for you. you're right that we don't tend to want meta threads to keep spawning progeny all across the front page.
posted by shmegegge at 12:24 PM on November 19, 2009


We can attempt to have that convo now, idiopath.
posted by kalessin at 12:29 PM on November 19, 2009


Eight, if anybody is wondering. I was curious so I counted. Eight different people/characters were depicted being violently and sexually assaulted. The antagonist twice. That's also not counting the six women the protagonist ate and subsequently shat out, but I suppose when you are fifteen times larger than someone you want to express domination over your options are limited.
posted by P.o.B. at 12:31 PM on November 19, 2009


What the hell was that guy on about, anyway?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:40 PM on November 19, 2009


What the hell was that guy on about, anyway?

stop it!
posted by philip-random at 12:44 PM on November 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I, for one, will miss his spunk.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:49 PM on November 19, 2009


In practice the guidelines for whether any post stands on the front page is - did enough people flag it, or did it push the buttons of some mod enough to merit deletion.

In terms of what deserves righteous deletion, I think Astro Zombie's suggestion regarding kicking someone when they are down is helpful (momentarily disregarding the inevitable arguments regarding who is really 'down').

Also important is the question of who is being included or marginalized. If something was posted that glorified the triumphant usage of violence against the poor, or reinforced a set of attitudes that makes random violence against poverty seem reasonable, then I would expect a shetterly to come out here with his well-ground ax and yawlp out a righteous "WTF". And I can clearly remember class related callouts over much smaller issues that happened here in the past, and seemed to serve their purpose.

And the issue of hurt feelings is really an important one. There are certain real world events that contextualize fiction. Like it or not, talking about the Nazi Holocaust lightly, making light of rape, riffing on American racist kitsch - are going to be touchy issues because they touch on real issues that hurt people and continue to hurt them today.

Theoretically you may think that all the victims of institutionalized persecution and all the sufferers of gendered violence would be welcome in the discussion if they could just "man up" and get over their hurt feelings and play rough with the white guys like us white guys like to play, but in practice I don't think things actually tend to work that way.

And believe it or not, this isn't because minorities or women are just not smart enough or not articulate enough to hold their own.
posted by idiopath at 1:14 PM on November 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


> My contempt for the field of study doesn't stem from the chance that I might be wrong about something, but that scholars of the subject don't argue from evidence and logic, but from definition and rhetoric.

Netzapper, your instructor in that class may very well have been making the mistake of arguing through definition, but please don't let that poison you against all social science. Seems like the problem is that in social science we have what are called Construct Theories, and (without going too much into Philosophy of Science) it doesn't make terribly much sense to talk about falsifying such a theory with any single experiment (assuming it would be ethical or even possible to set up a true experiment in the first place). That is, a construct is rejected only when a better construct comes along and replaces it, and even then sometimes it is still useful. The best example I can think of off the top of my head is Maslow's Hierarchy of needs, which is deeply flawed, but still useful because it is easy to grasp and helps novice managers be better managers.

I recently picked up this book (pdf link to relevant chapter), which has a great little infobox on Event Theories vs. Construct Theories. Homepage for the book.

Hope that was helpful.
posted by tarheelcoxn at 1:32 PM on November 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Translation: Please don't knock our silly fictional constructs; they're all we have.
posted by fleacircus at 1:42 PM on November 19, 2009


Can we please stop talking about rape for a month or two? I won't speak for all rape victims, obviously, but even when the subject is done well, its a little hard to see rape on the frontpage as regularly as it has been lately. Its a trigger, no matter the tact.
posted by lazaruslong at 1:49 PM on November 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Netzapper: "My contempt for the field of study doesn't stem from the chance that I might be wrong about something, but that scholars of the subject don't argue from evidence and logic, but from definition and rhetoric. The entire thing felt like literary criticism leveled against the real world."

You are aware that every field of study does this, right? Copernicus' numbers didn't actually work out until factors he never even heard of were accounted for many years later. Evidence and logic play a part in the history of the sciences, but things are a bit more complicated than that, even in the hard sciences.

With concepts used to describe humans and social relationships, humans not being trivial machines, you are going to find some unexplained edge case or contraindicating tendency for every single interesting model. The fact that a model is useful or predictive in a majority of cases is actually enough. And you don't abandon a model because it has exceptions, but rather if the exceptions prevent the model from being useful. Humans are a messy thing to study and they do weird things if you pay too much attention to them, but it is still useful to be able to generalize about them.
posted by idiopath at 1:57 PM on November 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Translation: Please don't knock our silly fictional constructs; they're all we have.

From looking at your profile and posting history it seems like this is more than likely a joke. Sadly that means you think Rape Culture is a joke, too, or maybe you just didn't think through your joke very well?
posted by tarheelcoxn at 2:08 PM on November 19, 2009


There are strong points above that helped me rethink and clarify my objection, and it is much less about the deletion than the reasoning given for it. That reasoning is what inspired my comment about fragility. Maybe I'm the only one that's expressed it that way, but it's the reasoning for the deletion that's the source of the sentiment, not my expression of it. The callout, and the reason provided following the callout, in the post, give the clear impression that an offensive cartoon was deemed just too much for MetaFilter to endure at this time. And that reasoning shows a lack of confidence in MetaFilter that's disappointing.

So, ultimately, I don't care much whether the post is here or not, but the reason given for deleting it is disheartening.

And languagehat, I know exactly what you mean.
posted by NortonDC at 2:10 PM on November 19, 2009


The callout, and the reason provided following the callout, in the post, give the clear impression that an offensive cartoon was deemed just too much for MetaFilter to endure at this time. And that reasoning shows a lack of confidence in MetaFilter that's disappointing.

I still feel like you're basically missing the point that it was a crappy post but one that might have suvived in a different context, maybe. The reason it was flagged up the wazoo pretty much immediately I ascribe much more to a bunch of people being not only "wtf" but also "too soon!" Those sorts of things matter and are worth communicating to the OP. Reasons for deletion are quick and are not expected to be the Last Word on any particular deletion but they are expected to convey, to the OP and the people who had already commented in the thread, exactly what was going on.

I sort of cannot believe you are saying I have a lack of confidence in MetaFilter. I again disagree with your analysis.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:19 PM on November 19, 2009


I haveconfidence that when people on MetaFilter flag something, it's not an accident. This is not the mods paternally deciding what we can and cannot see. This is a portion of the community voting for something to be off the front page, and a large enough portion that the mods respected the vote. I presume the thread didn't get an equal number of favorites, or we would probably be having a very different discussion.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:58 PM on November 19, 2009


This is the most aptly named thread I've seen in a while. (Not the post, but the thread of comments.)
posted by heyho at 3:00 PM on November 19, 2009


You need one thing, and is http://www.catsforgold.com/
posted by Worm at 3:23 PM on November 19, 2009 [4 favorites]


I knew this was the kind of place where a weird, funny, tasteless video like that would get a post censored, i just hadn't seen it happen before. But I knew, that for all the derision of other folks censoring things they didn't like, that it could happen here too, by the same people who made fun of lesser minds' censoring things they personally found offensive. And ... a librarian removed it. That's just awesome icing on the awesome cake.
posted by luriete at 4:54 PM on November 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I knew this was the kind of place where a weird, funny, tasteless video like that would get a post censored, i just hadn't seen it happen before. But I knew, that for all the derision of other folks censoring things they didn't like, that it could happen here too, by the same people who made fun of lesser minds' censoring things they personally found offensive. And ... a librarian removed it. That's just awesome icing on the awesome cake.

Is this performance art?
posted by desuetude at 5:03 PM on November 19, 2009


luriete: "I knew this was the kind of place where a weird, funny, tasteless video like that would get a post censored"

There is this website called reddit where people think rape is funny and they don't censor things, you may enjoy it more over there if removing posts for offensive content bothers you.
posted by idiopath at 5:06 PM on November 19, 2009


And you've been here HOW long, luriete?

Really?
posted by Ouisch at 5:08 PM on November 19, 2009


And you've been here HOW long, luriete?

Really?


You should have checked his profile before snarking. Always a good idea.
posted by dortmunder at 5:12 PM on November 19, 2009


I knew this was the kind of place where a weird, funny, tasteless video like that would get a post censored, i just hadn't seen it happen before... a librarian removed it. That's just awesome icing on the awesome cake.

*Looks at camera*

"Heeeere we go agaaaaaiiin!"

*Freeze frame, roll credits*
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 5:19 PM on November 19, 2009


luriete, yours is exactly the sort of comment i would have made and been very proud of when I was 14.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:26 PM on November 19, 2009


I have to admit, I'm pretty goddam worn out by this thread at this point.

luriete, jessamyn and I have both put a lot of effort into substantially addressing the context and reasoning behind removing the post, and have been pretty clear that the problem was not with the idea of ever posting that video but with how it was done in this instance.

Your comment feels more like lazy potshots than a considered reaction to the discussion here, and that's your prerogative but it doesn't make me feel all that great about having put out the effort on my end to try and talk about this at length for the last couple of days.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:32 PM on November 19, 2009



And you've been here HOW long, luriete?

Really?

You should have checked his profile before snarking. Always a good idea.


Woops. I misunderstood Ouisch's reaction. I retract the previous statement.
posted by dortmunder at 5:33 PM on November 19, 2009


NortonDC—

I'm largely with you, man, regarding the idea of Metafilter as an ideological community that removes things that aren't, to invoke that bugaboo, politically correct. I end up arguing against that a lot. I tend to think there's a lot of marmish concern that relies on emotional reactions against things that make people uncomfortable, and I think it's a little too easy to inveigh. I'm also someone who grumbles about having to tag things as NSFW, and expect the community to be, well, rowdy enough to handle most anything, in part because I'm kind of a rowdy guy myself, and ain't I normative?

But I also subscribe to a philosophy here that regards moderation as probabilistic. There are all sorts of factors which can lead to deletion of posts, from poster's improper interest to axe-grinding to newsfilter. In fact, I kinda like the metaphor of multiple filters, which should weed out most of the crap. Because that's what separates us from the rest of the goobers out there in cyberspace, that we cull the crap aggressively and that we're pretty good at it. Those filters all function in aggregate, and, well, it looks like this time some video rat turd got sifted out of our cornflakes.

So yeah, I disagree with the validity of some of the filters used—I like weird, obscure and challenging stuff, so I'm willing to put up with more offensive crap in order to see it, but I can understand others not liking that. This also means that I have far less interest in newsfilter, and would filter it much more tightly, but plenty of other (deeply wrong) people like it, so I roll with it despite thinking that it's bad for the community as a whole.

It's completely possible to disagree with other folks here over matters of what are essentially taste. I'd be kinda frightened if I didn't. And I think that's what's going on here, at least for you. I might have left the video had my finger been on the button—or maybe not, since I don't really like to watch videos on my computer, so I might axe 'em all. Other people disagree. But when you say that the antidote to bad speech is good speech, realize that good speech is also the antidote for restrictive editing. If you're super motivated, I'm sure there's some way to make a post in which that video is OK, or is at least way less likely to get deleted.

One last thing—The chicken fucking that Jessamyn posted was hilarious and super-cool of her. I feel like often by harping on stuff like this, the playful and fun Jessamyn gets so much unwarranted shit that it makes her react by trying to be more neutral in her tone and more serious. I tend to think that both undercuts cool goofy shit she'd contribute otherwise because you're making her react more like this is her job and not where she wants to hang out, and reinforces that sort of serious business tone that you're complaining about here.

I mean, obviously, I haven't run this thesis by her—just kinda spitballin'—and it's totally weird to talk about her like she's not in the room, but I feel like you're coming across as super spiteful regarding something I thought was really cool and I'd kinda like you to think about your tone, since I hope that you don't mean for it to be as hectoring as it reads.

Cool?
posted by klangklangston at 5:45 PM on November 19, 2009 [6 favorites]


I realize the hour for this has long since passed, but I can see how manipulating the player's role could potentially move video gaming into something closer to a genuine literary experience, although it seems to me that subtly removing agency from the player goes against the grain of what it means for a thing to be a game, full-stop. It's possible, I guess, that "game" could ultimately become a misnomer in the same way that "comics" aren't funny, et cetera, but at that point are we even still talking about games, really? Is "game" too limiting a term for such a thing? Maybe I'm just restricting my notion of


um


hey


do you guys like...you know

posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:45 PM on November 19, 2009


luriete, it's funny you should bring up librarians as censors, because in my Information Ethics class earlier today we had a discussion of censorship and libraries. Did you know that libraries have collection development policies? What would the parallel policies be on this website? Did you know that many libraries simply do not accept donated books at all in order to avoid accusations of censorship when they turn down a donation? If you want to think of this website as a library, then it has a fairly liberal collection development policy, but it still has one, and the mods are the arbiters of what does or does not meet that set of policies. The post in question was deleted because it didn't meet the guidelines, and the mods are nowhere near alone in that assessment.

I actually work for two institutions that very much do consider themselves web-based libraries, so if you seriously want to have a conversation about collection development and the web, then we can have that conversation via mefimail, but that's not going to happen because you just wanted to take ignorant potshots at the moderators of one of the best general-interest sites on the web. Seriously. Check yourself.
posted by tarheelcoxn at 5:55 PM on November 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Kittens, you should read the book called "Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature" by Espen Aarseth, which largely goes the other way, looking at the history of texts that require agency from the reader/user/player to either navigate or complete. By working from that broader perspective on literature, your objections don't really make sense, and there's a multi-thousand year history of texts that work like this, from I Ching to Julio Cortezar. Interactive literature has been a persistent form throughout history, and trying to exclude it leads to all sorts of weird demarcations, where you have to decide that the Iliad only becomes the Iliad when it's fixed in a final form because oral culture is highly interactive, or where you ignore the expected interplay between performers and audience in stage shows from Shakespeare to Rocky Horror.
posted by klangklangston at 5:58 PM on November 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


You should have checked his profile before snarking. Always a good idea.

I did, you moron. That was the joke.
posted by Ouisch at 5:59 PM on November 19, 2009


Good. Then I retract calling you a moron, you moron.
posted by Ouisch at 6:00 PM on November 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


kfb, my feeling is that there's less tension between the ideas of restricting agency and game-ness than perhaps you do—granting that different games, different genres, will have more or less use for that sort of thing. Some comics are funny, some aren't; some games have literary elements, some don't; some movies are art, some are action schlock.

I love a good FPS but don't really expect the most literary progress in gaming to come from that direction—the raw mechanics of move-and-shoot are what make that sort of game attractive in the first place, to the point where involving a narrative is certainly possible but making the game about the narrative runs the risk of distracting from that core gameplay. At that, though, there's a whole spectrum of approaches, from the nearly narrative-free oldschool things like Quake and Serious Sam, to the more modern story-as-set-dressing stuff like Return to Castle Wolfenstein or F.E.A.R., to more narrative-heavy things like Half-Life 2 or Bioshock.

But games that aren't so action driven don't have as many problems with restricting agency, because agency itself is a bit more abstract when the player's sense of Playing The Game isn't fundamentally about twitch and tactics. A lot of text adventures could be looked at essentially as a novella that you read non-linearly—Burroughsian cut-up formalized as a game experience—and that sensibility itself is being adapted increasingly to games outside of the text genre as game writers and designers (and the tools they have to work with) mature.

I think what is and isn't a game, in practical terms, is an interesting question.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:06 PM on November 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


That's just awesome icing on the awesome cake.

I have a serious question: do you honestly think there is no case in which a post should be deleted?
posted by dirtdirt at 6:07 PM on November 19, 2009


Also: the maturing discipline of the interactive, flexibly-triggered multiparty conversational cutscene owes a lot to Robert Altman. There, I said it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:10 PM on November 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Your comment feels more like lazy potshots than a considered reaction to the discussion here

It's worse than that. I don't really have a good reason to be any more angry than you are, but I suspect I am more angry. Maybe it's because I'm in a library school getting a graduate degree and luriete seems to know how to do my job up to a higher standard. Maybe you got a degree from an accredited school, luriete? Maybe you've had to deal with somebody asking you to pull something from a collection? Let me tell you something: I have. I once took a page off the web that had been up pretty much continuously since 1993. It nearly killed me, but it was the right thing to do. Probably nobody will miss it but me, but there it is. Until you can honestly tell me that you've wrestled with the challenges of managing a collection that you care about and that serves the public, I think I'm still going to be rather annoyed at your comment, luriete.
posted by tarheelcoxn at 6:15 PM on November 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

posted by idiopath at 5:06 PM on November 19
There is this website called reddit where people think rape is funny and they don't censor things, you may enjoy it more over there if removing posts for offensive content bothers you.
Tell me, was the "He's your bitch" part funny? Since it was the earliest rape and when you should have shut the video off in disgust. Odd I didn't notice any mention of it, maybe prison style rape isn't an issue for you?

Furthermore, how do you define consensual sex in this insane 32 bit world the video lets us peek into? Who is to say we're not looking at a common mating practice for this world? Certainly something so absurd would make perfect sense in a world where a pink box can enlarge your tongue or cock.

I mean you don't go into Daffy Duck:The Henpecked Duck and say it's advocating child abuse. It's really not proper to apply real world expectations to a cartoon, especially a cartoon that is being so cartoony. Though Daffy Duck is honestly risking his child's life in that cartoon, in other cartoons characters put guns next to their heads and pull the trigger. How can you evaluate a medium that is lauded for it's ability to display the surreal by giving a sober and realistic analysis?
posted by Worm at 6:22 PM on November 19, 2009


Worm: "it was the earliest rape and when you should have shut the video off in disgust"

I watched the whole thing twice. You either haven't read the things I said in this thread, or don't understand them. Realism has nothing to do with it.
posted by idiopath at 6:30 PM on November 19, 2009


How can you evaluate a medium that is lauded for it's ability to display the surreal by giving a sober and realistic analysis?

Worm, you really need to go read this comment by hermitosis again, and yes, I did find the "he's your bitch" bit offensive. I clenched my jaw and watched the whole cartoon so that I could speak intelligently about it here. It was disgusting and part of me regrets having done so. Let me ask you this, Worm: what redeeming value does this cartoon have? If there's an analysis that doesn't have LOLRAPE as the core premise of this piece, I'd love to hear it. I don't think I've seen it compellingly articulated yet.
posted by tarheelcoxn at 6:33 PM on November 19, 2009


Tell me, was the "He's your bitch" part funny? Since it was the earliest rape and when you should have shut the video off in disgust. Odd I didn't notice any mention of it, maybe prison style rape isn't an issue for you?

You know what? Rape is goddamn awful, and graphic, gratuitous depictions of rape are goddamn awful, no matter who is doing the fucking raping, or who is getting raped. No on in this thread, or in any of the rape threads, has said any different to my knowledge.

So, you know, you can just go toss that red herring in some vinegar and enjoy it for lunch tomorrow with onions, rather than trying to distract the grown-ups by waving it around like that.
posted by Ouisch at 6:55 PM on November 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


And for the fucking record, YES, I found that particular bit of rapiness just as offensive as the rest of it. And I dislike prison rape jokes just as much as the rest of the ANTI-FREE SPEECH SQUADRON.
posted by Ouisch at 6:56 PM on November 19, 2009


I love a good FPS but don't really expect the most literary progress in gaming to come from that direction

Have you played Far Cry 2? Because I would have said the same thing until I played that game. Such an interesting structure that ends up saying a lot.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 7:04 PM on November 19, 2009


First of all, it's difficult to come into a discussion of this length and fully digest everything everyone has said. So if you want to act like that is something unforgivable on my part, go ahead. I think it just makes you guys seem a little extreme.

idiopath, I'm sorry. Realism does actually matter. This is why cartoons can have 'graphic violence' or 'cartoon violence'. If realism didn't matter or wasn't the point then those phrases wouldn't exist. You may think your issue is the bleeding edge of some last line drawn in the sand against the unwashed barbarian hordes, that's okay, everyone thinks that. However you're simply making the same argument made against Warner Brother cartoons with misogyny in place of violence, and rape shouted multiple times for good measure. That's why realism matters, because you're making old arguments.

Now I know this will cause some clenched jaws, and if it does, please relax. Just take a breath before this next paragraph. Okay? Okay.

We're witnessing cartoon rape, which simply is in a different class than graphic rape. Standing there arms crossed and saying "Rape is never funny" over and over is like saying the same about Violence, while it's technically true, it misses the big picture.

Worm: what redeeming value does this cartoon have?
It's funny! It was funny before the "rape", and even the girls getting pooed out and vaginal canal travel made me cringe a little. Though it's not so bad cringing once in awhile. Part of life.

You can dismiss that, however it's completely true as far as I'm concerned. Please don't try to hyper focus on the "rape" since you'd probably be just as displeased with the general misogyny(after all your jaw was clenched the entire time)
posted by Worm at 7:07 PM on November 19, 2009


Tell me, was the "He's your bitch" part funny? Since it was the earliest rape and when you should have shut the video off in disgust.

That wasn't the earliest rape scene.

Furthermore, how do you define consensual sex in this insane 32 bit world the video lets us peek into? Who is to say we're not looking at a common mating practice for this world? Certainly something so absurd would make perfect sense in a world where a pink box can enlarge your tongue or cock.

Those questions are veering into preposterous.

It's really not proper to apply real world expectations to a cartoon, especially a cartoon that is being so cartoony. Though Daffy Duck is honestly risking his child's life in that cartoon, in other cartoons characters put guns next to their heads and pull the trigger. How can you evaluate a medium that is lauded for it's ability to display the surreal by giving a sober and realistic analysis?

You know they don't show most of those old Looney Tunes anymore, right? What with all the racist stereotypes rampant in a lot of them. Handpicking a cartoon from 1941 that probably hasn't been on television in twenty some odd years doesn't really bolster your argument.
posted by P.o.B. at 7:09 PM on November 19, 2009

posted by Ouisch at 6:55 PM on November 19 [+] [!]
You know what? Rape is goddamn awful, and graphic, gratuitous depictions of rape are goddamn awful, no matter who is doing the fucking raping, or who is getting raped. No on in this thread, or in any of the rape threads, has said any different to my knowledge.

So, you know, you can just go toss that red herring in some vinegar and enjoy it for lunch tomorrow with onions, rather than trying to distract the grown-ups by waving it around like that.
And is this not true of violence, murder, child abduction, drunk driving, being paralyzed racism, and a various amount of other things? Lots of things are awful, why here in Massachusetts a mother was killed, and her daughter's throat slit. Her daughter is in recovery. Will Metafilter now ban a thread on any media containing violence?

What about posts about family guy? It often tastelessly jokes about being paralyzed. Is being paralyzed just not awful enough to receive your ardent defense? What about a person who loses a child? Certainly we shouldn't humor such a thing with Daffy Duck.

I think I've made my point, and man, you just walked right into it.
posted by Worm at 7:12 PM on November 19, 2009

You know they don't show most of those old Looney Tunes anymore, right? What with all the racist stereotypes rampant in a lot of them. Handpicking a cartoon from 1941 that probably hasn't been on television in twenty some odd years doesn't really bolster your argument.
Well you'll see above I destroyed your fellow poster with some contemporary examples, so just reference those.
posted by Worm at 7:13 PM on November 19, 2009


I destroyed your fellow poster...

Put your dick away, please.
posted by Ouisch at 7:14 PM on November 19, 2009


Well you'll see above I destroyed your fellow poster with some contemporary examples, so just reference those.

Family Guy? I don't watch it often so you're going to have to try a bit harder. All I can say is your reasoning about violence is faulty. Homer doesn't choke Bart anymore. Brian getting into a ridiculous fight with a chicken isn't even in the same league as depicting rape.
posted by P.o.B. at 7:19 PM on November 19, 2009


Ousich, I'm sorry! Was that a rebuttal? Many unimaginably awful things are lampooned and made fun of every single day. I'm just still here sitting and wondering why you guys take these things, categorize and rate them, and then get offended appropriately. It seems like a sort of clinical compassion.

I think if nothing Family Guy is just as bad if not worse, since it features Joe hilariously losing his ability to walk in a few episodes. I mean that right there is like a Truckers Delight television series!
posted by Worm at 7:20 PM on November 19, 2009


Family Guy? I don't watch it often so you're going to have to try a bit harder. All I can say is your reasoning about violence is faulty. Homer doesn't choke Bart anymore. Brian getting into a ridiculous fight with a chicken isn't even in the same league as depicting rape.
I'm sorry. Feigning ignorance of the examples I have to use isn't a proper response. I'm telling you Joe is graphically paralyzed in episodes of Family Guy, is your next step to say "Liar Liar Pants on Fire?", P.o.B?
posted by Worm at 7:23 PM on November 19, 2009


The depiction of violence in cartoons is in a vastly different state then it was years ago. It has been changing and will continue to change...so whevs. You can argue about that but I don't see how this relates.
Is this like one of those things where you say "it's the same thing!" when it's obviously not?
posted by P.o.B. at 7:23 PM on November 19, 2009


You know what? Come get me when they start showing rape in Family Guy or The Simpsons.
posted by P.o.B. at 7:24 PM on November 19, 2009


Look, I think I said this earlier: if you want to see cartoons that contain rape, please, be my guest. The whole internet's your oyster. I'm not arguing for their existence -- I'm arguing for whether or not they're appropriate for Metafilter.

This doesn't have to be a more complicated issue for that. For one, the mods made a judgment that it wasn't appropriate, likely following up on a number of members flagging the post. So, for two, a lot of members here apparently felt really bad about that post, and that's how things get decided here.

And, for three, we've just heard that lots of Mefites have direct, personal experience with sexual assault. Unless you're just a complete tool, it might be something to take under consideration when decided whether or not to defend a cartoon that absolutely luxuriates in its blatant rapiness.
posted by Ouisch at 7:26 PM on November 19, 2009


It seems like a sort of clinical compassion.

In my case, it's absolute fucking NOT, but I am not about to get into a discussion of my own personal experiences of sexual assault with someone as charming as yourself.
posted by Ouisch at 7:27 PM on November 19, 2009


Worm created his account with the purpose of trolling this thread, we are probably wasting our time trying to engage with him at all.
posted by idiopath at 7:29 PM on November 19, 2009


But, you know, if it makes you more comfortable to think that we're just being clinically compassionate PC-heads, rather than confronting the fact that, apparently, a large number of people are regularly violated in ways that defy imagination, that's your prerogative. Reality isn't for everyone.
posted by Ouisch at 7:29 PM on November 19, 2009


In that case, I'd like to nominate him for bannination, though I realize this nomination will only be taken symbolically.
posted by Ouisch at 7:31 PM on November 19, 2009

The depiction of violence in cartoons is in a vastly different state then it was years ago. It has been changing and will continue to change...so whevs.
You've just gotten a pretty good response here to your own complaints with the video! Congratulations!
Is this like one of those things where you say "it's the same thing!" when it's obviously not?
I'm sorry, why is a graphic depiction of someone losing their ability to walk different than a cartoony depiction of someone being raped? I mean, I'm sorry someone said "Rape is the worst thing ever", but I'm making the proper response to that line of reasoning. There are a number of "worst things", and you guys obviously don't hold all to the same standard.

Some of the "joe is paralyzed" gags in Family Guy are pretty bad, some are even worse than Trucker's Delight. So I don't see why you just don't say "Okay well that's just as wrong", well I do see why, but I don't want to spoil it.
posted by Worm at 7:31 PM on November 19, 2009


why is a graphic depiction of someone losing their ability to walk different than a cartoony depiction of someone being raped?

Wow, if you really can't imagine what the difference is, I would suggest that Metafilter, being largely composed of a number of intelligent people with the capacity to perceive nuance, really isn't the place for you.
posted by Ouisch at 7:32 PM on November 19, 2009


Jesus. Just close up this dumb thread.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:34 PM on November 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Anyone have a time machine?
posted by desjardins at 7:35 PM on November 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

But, you know, if it makes you more comfortable to think that we're just being clinically compassionate PC-heads, rather than confronting the fact that, apparently, a large number of people are regularly violated in ways that defy imagination, that's your prerogative. Reality isn't for everyone.
Well, do you take issue with Family Guy for tastelessly depicting a person getting paralyzed or not? Does it make you grit your teeth or not? I think it's a pretty simple issue, if you're going to take issue with Trucker's Delight then there are a number of things you (and this site by proxy) should take issue with. Is that something you're willing to do for consistency or will you tend toward the tragedies that you know ... seem more tragic?
Worm created his account with the purpose of trolling this thread, we are probably wasting our time trying to engage with him at all.
I created my account to post a catsforgold link. Now I am engaging you, and you're pulling out the same dismissals you did any time anyone tried to disagree in this thread. All the way back before Netzapper left the discussion.
posted by Worm at 7:35 PM on November 19, 2009


Please don't try to hyper focus on the "rape"

What? Did you not go back and read the comment I linked? I'll paste the operative part for you: "The rape in this animation wasn't incidental. It was the entire premise. This brief cartoon was nothing but a vehicle for rape and scat humor." The cartoon starts with the trucker honking at the woman--an unwelcome advance which she rebuffs--and the rest of the thing is him punishing her by forcibly raping her. Oh, and he sexually abuses everyone else along the way.

after all your jaw was clenched the entire time

Actually no. I first got annoyed when I saw the abuse of a Hummer full of women. I'm resisting the temptation to re-watch up to a point so that I can give you a more precise description. I did not claim none of the video was funny, either: I said it was LOLRAPE, which is not an okay kind of funny for us to pass on. As men, we don't have to beat ourselves up if we laugh at a rape joke; we DO have a responsibility to stop telling them, passing them on, etc. because it perpetuates rape culture, because it is directly and immediately hurtful to our (sometimes invisible) female audiences, and because there are so many other kinds of jokes that aren't at the expense of 52% of the humans on this little blue-green marble.

Really this comment by shmegegge is much better than what I've just said, and I would strongly encourage you to read it. Don't just take my word for it: 42 other people thought it was worth a fave, so it's likely not a waste of your time.
posted by tarheelcoxn at 7:36 PM on November 19, 2009


And ... a librarian removed it. That's just awesome icing on the awesome cake.

I've actually thrown away books too. Do you understand what a librarian does? Do you understand that MetaFilter isn't a library? Do you understand that people who are acting as stewards for the public's information have a different responsibility (both ethical and actually legal) than someone who has a job trying to make sure that a community website runs more or less smoothly? I'm comfortable with my librarian activism and I'm comfortable with the decisions I've made here.

If you think MetaFilter policy needs to be somehow different, you're more than welcome to start that conversation. Taking cheap shots at me seems to be an easy way for people to voice disapproval without offering anything in the way of constructive feedback: we had a post that was flagged a lot and eventually wound up in MetaTalk where people said how much they hated it. Why should it not have been deleted like other bad posts are deleted?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:36 PM on November 19, 2009 [5 favorites]

Wow, if you really can't imagine what the difference is, I would suggest that Metafilter, being largely composed of a number of intelligent people with the capacity to perceive nuance, really isn't the place for you.
Thank you! Here we have a person mentally rating tragedies that we're to assume they can't imagine and barring a statistical anomaly they can only imagine one. Now let's move further. What right do you have to to classify and rate tragedy? Why do you assign values to experiences that are not yours?
posted by Worm at 7:38 PM on November 19, 2009


You've just gotten a pretty good response here to your own complaints with the video! Congratulations!

So you're saying if I replace violence with rape in my sentence, it is a counter-argument to what I find objectionable? Let's see. Nope!

Well, do you take issue with Family Guy for tastelessly depicting a person getting paralyzed or not?

Dude! We don't have a say on that. There is a much larger community that gets to say yay or nay on whether or not they want to keep watching that show.
posted by P.o.B. at 7:40 PM on November 19, 2009


This thread seems as if it was composed with each contributor only getting to see the comment just above his, and no others. Just ... weird.
posted by palliser at 7:40 PM on November 19, 2009


Or, better ... only seeing one random previous comment.
posted by palliser at 7:42 PM on November 19, 2009


Troll is trolly.

Now, about that awesome cake you're serving jessamyn...
posted by P.o.B. at 7:42 PM on November 19, 2009


There is a difference between a random misfortune, and an act of violence that is deliberately perpetrated against an individual with no other motive than to hurt, humiliate, control and cause suffering, and which, furthermore, disproportionately targets an already-disadvantaged class of human beings.

Jesus fucking Christ, I cannot believe I just had to type that.

Worm, I am finished here. Please continue you argument with someone else.
posted by Ouisch at 7:43 PM on November 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


So making fun of paralyzed people is cool! Alright, high five, we accomplished alot here.
posted by Worm at 7:45 PM on November 19, 2009


No, I don't think it's alright, and I never did. Please go troll somewhere else.
posted by Ouisch at 7:48 PM on November 19, 2009


Worm created his account with the purpose of trolling this thread, we are probably wasting our time trying to engage with him at all.

Totally. I'm annoyed with myself that I responded. I'm done with this thread. Have fun with your trolling while it lasts, Worm.
posted by tarheelcoxn at 7:48 PM on November 19, 2009


Agreed, on all counts.
posted by Ouisch at 7:49 PM on November 19, 2009


Okay, I've gone from pretty tired to completely tired. Anybody who really, really feels like there's something unresolved that needs discussing still, please consider giving it a day or two to rest and then starting over with a different thread.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:52 PM on November 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


« Older Anyone remember this thread ab...  |  MeFiChi: It's that time yet ag... Newer »

This thread is closed to new comments.