wth? December 20, 2009 9:12 PM   Subscribe

Why the hell did this thread get deleted?

I've seen this story all over the rest of the web - I was interested in reading about it on metafilter. When ortho posted it I was even more psyched because he did a bang-up job of collecting links that the other sites missed. Also, what kind of bullshit deletion reason is this, "don't. you know where metatalk is." That doesn't even scan for me. What does the Israeli organ harvest story have to do with metatalk?
posted by Baby_Balrog to Etiquette/Policy at 9:12 PM (278 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

In fact, in the few (admittedly heated) comments that were posted before the thread was nuked from orbit, I found a lot of depth and interesting links. I feel like it was killed for some reason other than its content.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 9:14 PM on December 20, 2009


The thread was killed so its organs could be harvested.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:22 PM on December 20, 2009 [29 favorites]


Has to do with this.
posted by Kattullus at 9:23 PM on December 20, 2009


I feel like it should be pointed out that "some doctors" isn't "Israel", and "Israel" isn't "The Jews". We need to be careful with our synecdoche.
posted by empath at 9:23 PM on December 20, 2009 [12 favorites]


To be less cryptic: orthogonality got into a kerfuffle in the mumps thread and made a post to the Blue arguing his point of view. That is stunt post territory and frowned upon most heavily.
posted by Kattullus at 9:24 PM on December 20, 2009


I always assumed cortex was a secret Jew because of his Jesus stylings, but it turns out jessamyn has Zionist leanings. They're all around us!

HAMBURGER
posted by graventy at 9:26 PM on December 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


h wll n tht cs rtrct m prvs cmplnt. thnk th dtng rnd hr s ttll rsnbl.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 9:26 PM on December 20, 2009


Also, I think the thread was deleted because the framing was fucking awful. The original article claimed that Israeli soldiers were killing Palestinians to steal their organs. The new article says that a few doctors were stealing organs from Israeli soldiers as well as Palestinians who were already did, which, while an interesting story, is not remotely the same thing.
posted by empath at 9:26 PM on December 20, 2009


orthogonality was very active in another thread where he made a sort of ascerbic comment that was laced with some pretty shitty we-don't-do-this-here nastiness. It started a huge derail and I deleted it and a bunch of "you're an asshole" follow-up comments. He made that post with a bunch of pull-quoted fighty language [i.e. "it's not me that's editorializing, it's the quotes that are saying the shitty things"] about a similar topic [the sort of taboo surrounding criticizing Jews, if I'm reading it right] a few hours later. I checked in with Team Mod first [i.e. this isnt just me being pissed] but it's got "angry stunt post" written all over it and orthogonality really isn't in a position here where we're willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

I'd prefer this not turn into [another] big "why can't we criticize the Jews??" discussion since we've already had one this week, but if people want to talk about it, I'd prefer it happen here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:27 PM on December 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


The FPP seems biased because it leaves out context that seems crucial to understanding why Israelis reacted so negatively to the first article. The Swedish article asserted that Jews were killing Palestinians for their organs, rather than what was actually happening: the scientists were harvesting organs from Israelis and Palestinians (Jewish and non) who were already dead, without permission.

It's a heinous story that I'm glad is seeing the light of day, but let's face it: that was a very poorly worded FPP. And considering that the poster made some rather intemperate remarks against Orthodox Jews in a different thread this evening, I suspect the mods were concerned that he was editorializing.
posted by zarq at 9:27 PM on December 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Or, what empath and jessamyn said. :)
posted by zarq at 9:27 PM on December 20, 2009


I always assumed cortex was a secret Jew because of his Jesus stylings, but it turns out jessamyn has Zionist leanings.

Each of us has one Jewish parent. I find these sorts of comments not particularly funny.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:28 PM on December 20, 2009 [36 favorites]


Thanks for the feedback. I'm going to bed now because it's late and I'm exhausted. However, I'd like the record to reflect that I'm frustrated when a story breaks all over the internet and I don't see it hit metafilter. I've been spoiled rotten by this website; the comments sections on pretty much all the other websites out there are useless cesspools of dumb. The fact of the matter is that I wanted to read about this story on Metafilter and I was really frustrated to sit it hit the front page and then get deleted. Even when we fight like cats in a bag I come out of it feeling well informed. Too bad - it looks like this is one story we'll take a pass on because someone used it to grind an axe.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 9:35 PM on December 20, 2009 [13 favorites]


also i have a jewish parent can i be a mod?
posted by Baby_Balrog at 9:35 PM on December 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


Without the backstory (of which I was blissfully unaware) of the goings-on in the mumps thread though, it did seem to be a reasonable post - albeit with the usual "Oh no, not again&hellip" of Israel-related posts here.

And am I misremembering it, or has the deletion reason been expanded since it was first closed? I'm sure it originally just said "don't".
posted by Pinback at 9:38 PM on December 20, 2009


Too bad - it looks like this is one story we'll take a pass on because someone used it to grind an axe.

I would be willing to bet that if you made a completely objective post tomorrow with no editorializing that the mods would let it stand.

Better check with Team Mod first, though. ;)
posted by zarq at 9:38 PM on December 20, 2009


Yeah, make a better post, fine with me. And yes, the deletion reason said "don't" for exactly one minute according to our little admin activity log. Good catch.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:44 PM on December 20, 2009


orthogonality was very active in another thread

If "made two comments" is "very active".

I made one comment about ultra-Orthodox practices that could indirectly lead to not getting vaccinations. In response to a thinly veiled accusation of antisemitism -- which no moderator bothered to remove -- I made a second, purely of links to articles about bloc voting by the ultra Orthodox in New York State, something that's been pretty well known since it was linked to the Clinton last minute pardons.

it's got "angry stunt post" written all over it and orthogonality really isn't in a position here where we're willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. I'd prefer this not turn into [another] big "why can't we criticize the Jews??" discussion....

So you'd be OK with someone else reposting it, someone you'd give the benefit of the doubt to?
posted by orthogonality at 9:50 PM on December 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


I love you man, but my first reaction to being accused of anti-semitism would not be to make a front page post about how jews are stealing organs.
posted by empath at 9:53 PM on December 20, 2009 [78 favorites]


So you'd be OK with someone else reposting it, someone you'd give the benefit of the doubt to?

Yes, actually. You pretty badly fucked up the benefit-of-the-doubt thing here. We try awfully hard to extend it to people, but it's not a bottomless well and you emptied it pretty thoroughly in the way you went about your business tonight. I'm sorry if you felt cheesed off at having people think your initial shitty comment about Jews was a shitty comment about Jews, but the smart move there is to disengage from that shit, not to grab a bigger shovel and commence digging.

This is hardly the first time that the problem with a given post has been with the behavioral context leading up to the post rather than the subject of the post in abstract; that "stunt post" is part of the working vocabulary around here is testament to that.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:21 PM on December 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


jessamyn sez: He made that post with a bunch of pull-quoted fighty language [i.e. "it's not me that's editorializing, it's the quotes that are saying the shitty things"]

jessamyn must not have read the linked articles, as:

The first quote is simply the first paragraph of the article it links to;
the second quote is simply the last two words of the first sentence of the first paragraph it links to (to save space, the entire first sentence/paragraph is not quoted);
the third quote is from the first sentence of the third paragraph (and first opinion, rather than recapitulation/quotation paragraph) linked to in the fifth link;
the fifth quote is the first and final sentences of the sixth and central thesis paragraph of the linked op-ed;
the fourth quote is of the second sentence (first sentence of the second paragraph) of the linked article;
the sixth quote is the first sentence of the linked article;
the seventh (more inside) quote is to the headline of the linked article.

So, characterizing the quotes as "pull-quoted fighty language" is sloppy and unfair; for news articles, written in news format (most-important-first), I quoted either first or second sentences; for the op-ed piece, I quoted the thesis paragraph. My purpose was to characterize the articles fairly and accurately, with minimum editorializing by me.

To Tobin's quoted words "blood libel", I added an additional link to a respected ecumenical source for a history of the Blood Libel, to give Tobin's complaint context (and to emphasize the horrors of the historical use of the Blood Libel.)


Did I then editorialize by adding my own words? Well, what I added, in total, was:

"The article was widely condemned as a vile and baseless antisemitic slur," which I think is a fair summary;
the word "Israel's" to qualify the quoted "Government Press Office director..." (to answer which GPO? Israel's.);
the words "In Commentary Jonathan Tobin asked," to identify the author and source of the block quote following it;
the words "Today, the Associated Press reports that" to give the date and source of the AP article,
and, in the (more inside) the context "More on Mondoweiss:", to give source.

That connective filler and the quote from Deuteronomy 19:21 that makes up the title, were my sole contributions. Some factual connectives, and except for the Tobin opinion piece, the first or second sentences of the linked articles.

Had I not quoted (to make it less "fighty"), I've have been criticized for paraphrasing. But it's just not fair to say or imply, as jess does, that that the quotes were selective, or editorializing, or "shitty". And the connectives weren't editorializing.

jess's is a facile and unfair characterization.
posted by orthogonality at 10:29 PM on December 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


Sounds like a stunt post, and a trap you tried to lay for the mods. Well done, you.
posted by Rumple at 10:40 PM on December 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


So you'd be OK with someone else reposting it, someone you'd give the benefit of the doubt to?

Well considering there's no doubt from her in your motives there's no way to give you the benefit of it. If some random person said the same thing she'd have reasonable doubt regarding their motives and could give the benefit of it.

One would think this would be semantically obvious.
posted by Talez at 10:45 PM on December 20, 2009


Yeah, god knows the world would be a better place if yet another axe-grindy I/P thread were allowed to stand. Then I could be reminded yet again why I may want to think twice before self-identifying as a member of this community.

As a sidenote, has anybody else ever had a recurring nightmare about being attacked by Ortho's blockquotes? There's this sequence that keeps replaying where the blockquotes are chasing me across a field and they're opening and closing like a set of teeth and shouting at me like an angsty, anti-semitic college professor with too much time on its hands. It's actually quite disturbing.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:48 PM on December 20, 2009 [7 favorites]


So can anyone explain the link between the backstory and the latest scandal? Empath shows that there really isn't any beyond the two words "organs" and "Israeli". I feel like there have been plenty of deleted stunt posts that just try to work in some sketchy outrage. This doesn't look any different.
posted by FuManchu at 10:49 PM on December 20, 2009


jess's is a facile and unfair characterization.

Yes, and the post was such a joyful invitation to civil and reasoned discourse. More tea, Vicar? Cucumber sandwich, mayhaps?

I am astonished you would even defend this monumental shitpile. It's provocation, pure and simple. I have no opinion on whether you're a bigot or not, but your post is framed to incite a certain response, and you achieved it, no matter what rhetorical strategery you have working in deep background.
posted by Wolof at 10:59 PM on December 20, 2009 [8 favorites]


Ortho, you are totally my dogg, dogg. But this was, in a totally neutral way, a butt post given context of your mmr vax comment (which i defended in part).

Basically you followed up "jews did mumps" with "jews did organ theft", and it's kind of a bad precedent to set as far as your image is concerned, even with good citations.

Oh, and for when that time comes there was a very interesting bit on bbc world news about Israel's organ donation rate, the lowest in modern countries. They interviewed an OD activist about the challenges he faved and it was pretty good intro to the topic.

You're not backed into a corner here and maybe we can ctfo and at least a few more days to let the nascent pissiness dissipate before you (or someone like you) posts about this topic.
posted by boo_radley at 11:05 PM on December 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Word, boo. CTFO seems like good advice for everyone on both sides.
posted by Ryvar at 11:15 PM on December 20, 2009


"why can't we criticize the Jews??"

Because when I do, my Jewish wife punches me and tells me to shut the hell up, that's why.
posted by davejay at 11:28 PM on December 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Because when I do, my Jewish wife punches me and tells me to shut the hell up, that's why.

I was going to say "Because I like their deli's," but that works too.
posted by Cyrano at 11:40 PM on December 20, 2009


I've seen this story all over the rest of the web...

That seems like a pretty good reason to delete it. We're supposed to be looking for the obscure, the unusual, the "best of the web". If we do all the same things as everyone else on the web, the we'd be unnecessary.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:48 PM on December 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I dunno what this thread is about, but I was celebrating Hanukkah with my jewish partner for the first time and learned that I get to eat anything that I fried in oil and that made me very happy.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:53 PM on December 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


In all fairness, I feel like this story should not have been such a surprise, nor controversial, given that it's long been known how much Jews like chopped liver.

I'm so sorry, I had to.
posted by Asparagirl at 11:56 PM on December 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


I keep writing and deleting my comment so I'll just say that, Orthogonality, you're spending way too much time and energy writing about various problems you have with the Jews and you should probably not do things like defend the blood libel on the front page. Combined with your comments about slavery and the Civil War in the John Henry thread and, well, it doesn't paint a real great picture. Maybe spend less time on the evils of Judaism and ending slavery from now on.
posted by Justinian at 11:57 PM on December 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


So you're saying that time when I woke up in a hotel bathtub full of ice, minus one kidney, that the Jews did it? I thought for sure that it was the Russian mob.
posted by double block and bleed at 12:21 AM on December 21, 2009


There's a much better story in this, about the way it was handled by the Israeli government/state/media. If somebody drew that out it would be worthwhile, and stay away from the organ theft, which happens in other places too.
posted by Sova at 12:40 AM on December 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


So that's why Jesus figures always have that spear wound in his side. Turns out they were just stealing his liver.
Hey Mel Gibson, you missed this one!
posted by qvantamon at 1:08 AM on December 21, 2009


The stuntiness thickens...
posted by qvantamon at 1:45 AM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Looks like we're in for round two now. It's a fucking shame too, because there is actually an important story here, but fucking A if people don't sometimes get in their own way.
posted by iamkimiam at 1:57 AM on December 21, 2009


To be less cryptic: orthogonality got into a kerfuffle in the mumps thread and made a post to the Blue arguing his point of view. That is stunt post territory and frowned upon most heavily.

What was the kerfuffle about? obviously it was cleaned up.

I didn't know the back-story of the thread but I'm not at all surprised it was deleted.
posted by delmoi at 2:00 AM on December 21, 2009


I dunno what this thread is about, but I was celebrating Hanukkah with my jewish partner for the first time and learned that I get to eat anything that I fried in oil and that made me very happy

BACON!?

Aw, drat.
posted by loquacious at 2:20 AM on December 21, 2009


Figured I would put $0.02 here:

I've tried contributing to the overall I/P conflict discussion in the past, and it has been a decent while since doing anything with it. The conflict, however, never ceases to leave my mind since I learned details ~a year ago.

Lately, I determined that stories like these are particularly bad for too much spreading, with the reason being that it is nothing but political (and potentially anti-Jewish) mud. It is yet another shot against the Israelis, to which Israel could likely respond to with a shot against the Palestinian state. Just like the conflict itself, political shots exchanged, this is not news with the exception of it being a new fact (as was a previously deleted article I posted earlier in the year).

I check myself: this is antisemitic how exactly? The fact itself as reported by the AP? Not antisemitic out of the box. It does become that however when you take a free handout for criticizing the state (i.e. the Gaza op last Winter, etc.), and use that as a basis for whatever else can be dug up about them (could be described as 'inductive': we can take this step (1), and if we can take k steps, then perhaps we can go k+1). Pretty sure we can dig up dirt on the Palestinians of equivalent nature, regardless of where in time we get it from. And pretty sure this can keep going and going and going...

What I am suggesting is that stories like these can bring out the unconscious antisemite/anti-Jew, just as much as stories against the Palestinians can bring out the unconscious anti-Muslim in folks. Neither help the conflict end. A little note here or there would not hurt, but seeing that it has made the rounds on the interwebs, this has become a little more than a note, which is unfortunate.

/$0.02 (hope this doesn't come out as awk; carry on)
posted by JoeXIII007 at 2:24 AM on December 21, 2009


A second stunt post is inflammatory and unhelpful. Whatever the merits of the story, it's now been swamped by meta-metacommentary - an action which does justice to neither the story, nor metafilter.
posted by smoke at 2:39 AM on December 21, 2009


I generally trust jessamyn's judgement on things, but in this case her reading of that post seems rather harsh.

oh yes, and:
what
posted by dunkadunc at 2:45 AM on December 21, 2009


You know, I really don't mind it when people are critical of Israel. I actually support a one-state solution, an idea which is abhorrent to most Israelis and Zionists. What I do object to is the way people talk about the issue, and I think that Ortho's conduct today has been a perfect example.

When it comes to other subjects -- things like race, class, gender, sexuality, and body image -- I feel like people go out of their way to be tolerant and open-minded. But for some reason, all of this just flies right out the window when it comes to Israel. All of a sudden, it's anything goes; the Israelis are obviously on the wrong side, everything is just so clear-cut, it's just such a simple situation, you'd have to be a bloodthirsty barbarian to disagree.

What it comes down to is this -- I really, really, really don't like it when people make I/P out to be a simple situation where there's an obvious good guy and bad guy. I mean, obviously it's more complex than that, otherwise we'd already have figured it out.

But apparently, there are people out there who feel like we haven't solved the I/P conflict because PEOPLE JUST AREN'T MAD ENOUGH. I would tell these people that people certainly are MAD, and in fact, that's been the status quo for a over half a century. I really don't think that getting more mad and piling on the outragefilter is going to improve things.

However, there are a number of people who see MeFi as their own political conduit, and they've decided to use this open-access medium as a way to flog their opinion. And unfortunately, sometimes they let themselves slip into genuinely anti-semitic territory. Sometimes I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt -- if they didn't grow up Jewish or around Jewish people, perhaps they don't really understand how they're coming across. But sometimes they cross the line. When I look at the I/P threads, it really makes me disappointed in the community. I really don't like the way people discuss the issue here. Anybody who knows me could tell you that I try not to let what somebody says in one thread affect my opinion of them in another thread. But my esteem for a number of people has dropped after reading what they've said in I/P threads, and I've wound up thinking less of the community for not calling them on their BS.

ANyway, I'm not saying that it's impossible to discuss I/P, just that it needs to be discussed with more civility and minus the outragefilter. For example, look at the I/P thread that I linked to above. Instead of yet another "LOOK AT WHAT THOSE BASTARDS HAVE DONE" post, it was mostly a discussion about policy -- which was actually really interesting and constructive.

I'm not saying that we shouldn't talk about it -- just that we should approach it with the same delicacy that we use when addressing some of the other subjects that we actually handle quite well. And if we can't do that, I would like it if we didn't discuss it at all. At very least, it would help me maintain my faith in the community (and humanity!)
posted by Afroblanco at 3:15 AM on December 21, 2009 [25 favorites]


I'd like to complain because everyone knows Israel can't do anything wrong. I mean, remember the Holocaust?
posted by bokane at 3:49 AM on December 21, 2009


I entirely disagree with this deletion, and I entirely disagree with the mods' reading or interpretation of ortho's 'intentions' here as a stunt post.

Qua form, there don't seem to be any problems with the post; ortho has collected solid, interesting links (as far as newsfilter goes) and has not committed a framing error, as has been suggested above. I agree that the post could have been better, for instance, as was also already mentioned, by focusing on the communication of aspects of the story by the government or by focussing on organ donor issues in that part of the world.

Qua 'intention,' it seems like the'axe-grinding' proscription has been applied all too speciously here. An alternative to the 'stunt post' explanation is that ortho has channeled some of his indignation at the deletion of his prior comments into a post which requires close reading on both sides of the issue. Not only is that an 'intention' that should perhaps be encouraged around here; as an explanation of ortho's post, it seems just as parsimonious as the 'stunt post' label.
posted by rudster at 3:56 AM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


There's a much better story in this, about the way it was handled by the Israeli government/state/media.

Agreed. And I tried for that with links 2, 3, and 5. Indeed, I wanted to emphasize that the "antisemite/antisemetic" slur too often gets hurled as a first resort, before anyone has time to weigh the facts.

But (as I've noted before) usually only the first or final link tends to be the basis for most of the discussion, so in recognition of that, I didn't try as hard as I might have.
posted by orthogonality at 4:06 AM on December 21, 2009


I'd like to complain because everyone knows Israel can't do anything wrong. I mean, remember the Holocaust?

What?
posted by killdevil at 4:11 AM on December 21, 2009


I'd like to complain because everyone knows Israel can't do anything wrong. I mean, remember the Holocaust?

I wonder if it would be possible to get a ruling on comments like this. Any time a criticism comes up about the way a comment is phrased about Israel, or a sense that a sentiment is skirting with intolerance, a variation of this comes up. Certainly supporters of Israel can be overly sensitive when the subject comes up. But sometimes critics can be overly insensitive, and I think Ortho demonstrated, and it doesn't facilitate the conversation to instantly launch into a OH MY GOD THE JEWS SILENCE ALL THEIR CRITICS drive-by.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:33 AM on December 21, 2009 [7 favorites]


Here's hoping that when someone does do a post on this story, they clarify the difference between "Israeli soldiers kill Palestinians for their organs," which the Swedish article contended, and "a group of Israeli doctors illegally harvested the organs of already-dead Israelis and Palestinians without permission from their families", which the AP reported. The distinction is extremely important, in that it makes the charges of anti-Semitism against the Swedish paper not so irrelevant when they are, indeed, distorting facts and flat-out making shit up.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:38 AM on December 21, 2009 [7 favorites]


Black Hats vs. bicyclists in Brooklyn is kinda funny.
posted by fixedgear at 5:10 AM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'd like the record to reflect that I'm frustrated when a story breaks all over the internet and I don't see it hit metafilter.

That shows a misunderstanding of what Metafilter is for, does it not? I mean, Tiger Woods is all over the internet, but not on Mefi. So is the health care bill in the senate. Mefi isn't a breaking news site. It's a best of the web thing. No way a poorly framed story intended to smear Jews and Israel by the weakest of guilt by association and imputation tactics was "best of the web."
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:26 AM on December 21, 2009 [4 favorites]


It is interesting how like the blood libel is the claim that Jews harvest organs from non-Jewish dead for their own use. If I were to write a science fiction novel in which historic antisemitic claims were updated for a future society, that's how I would recast the blood libel.

I guess that book doesn't need to be written now.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:31 AM on December 21, 2009


One would think this would be semantically obvious.
posted by Talez at 1:45 AM


I thought this whole thread was about how orthogonality's post and comments treaded into anti-semantic territories.
posted by piratebowling at 5:41 AM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


This seems like both a perfectly good deletion, and a reasonable reading of whether or not it was a stunt post. There are things that require sensitivity when they are discussed, not because we're all special snowflakes, but because there is a history informing the topic that leads to easy misunderstandings.

I read orthogonality's comment in the mumps thread, and it read as very frustrated and ranty. It certainly isn't a comment that would have stood were made about how "the gays" get special dispensation, because they "vote as a bloc," despite the evident damage their horrible lifestyle is causing to those around them. Similarly, the post seemed designed to inflame about what is already an inflammatory topic. There should be no topics about which we are forbidden to post, but that doesn't mean that all posts about all topics are appropriate.
posted by OmieWise at 5:50 AM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Tiger Woods is all over the internet, but not on Mefi. So is the health care bill in the senate.

Wrong on both counts.
posted by fixedgear at 5:51 AM on December 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


True, we had a Tiger thread. And we've had health care threads. But we don't see a new post every time either story twitches.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:57 AM on December 21, 2009


Check the front page, the vote for cloture was mis-characterized as a vote for passage. Twitch!
posted by fixedgear at 5:58 AM on December 21, 2009


Everyone deserves a Hug Sameach.
posted by gman at 6:21 AM on December 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


I think one measure of how hard Israel / Palestine discussions are to have is how tricky jokes about it are. In this thread alone there are a bunch of attempted jokes that at best fall totally flat, and at worst make me wince with embarrassment for that person.

I guess I don't get the need to add additional misery to the moderators' lives. If you are upset, take a break. Go for a walk, or stay away for a few days. Don't magnify an initial slight, imagined or real, into a big, public to-do. No one wins, and we all lose for it.
posted by Forktine at 6:29 AM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Astro Zombie: If I were to write a science fiction novel in which historic antisemitic claims were updated for a future society, that's how I would recast the blood libel.

Didn't one of the Larry Niven organ bank stories* have a weird Jewish caricature villain at one point? Or am I confusing stories? I read them a long, long time ago. Maybe it was a Gil Hamilton story...


* You know, the ones where every last, little crime was a capital crime so that organs could be harvested from criminals.
posted by Kattullus at 6:39 AM on December 21, 2009


And, again
posted by The Whelk at 6:48 AM on December 21, 2009


Well, that post is a decent framing of the issue, thank goodness, but Lord some of the comments are gross.
posted by ocherdraco at 6:54 AM on December 21, 2009


but Lord some of the comments are gross.

Yes. Although, I couldn't help but chuckle at the Kosher kitchen joke.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:57 AM on December 21, 2009


Kattullus: "Astro Zombie: Didn't one of the Larry Niven organ bank stories* have a weird Jewish caricature villain at one point?"

Could you be thinking of the Larry Niven comet story with weird African-American caricature villains?
posted by Joe Beese at 6:57 AM on December 21, 2009


We're supposed to be looking for the obscure, the unusual, the "best of the web". If we do all the same things as everyone else on the web, the we'd be unnecessary.

No, we'd be metafilter. Stop doing this. Stop being the metafilter culture police. You don't get to decide what I find interesting. I come here for the conversation and just because something is "all over the web" doesn't for one second imply that it's "all over the web" in a format I find accessible or comprehensive. Digg and Reddit link to single stories and BoingBoing is written for five year old children. If I find the same story on Metafilter I can expect concise aggregation, depth, clarity and, above all, interesting analysis. Reading the comments at Digg causes me actual physical pain. So nothing pisses me off more that seeing drive-by critics like you and fourcheesemac complaining about how "you already saw this somewhere else." I didn't. Someone here once described the web as a kind of mental honeypot. Metafilter is my choice dipper. Don't make me go read digg to find out about Israeli organ-harvesting. Don't make me do it.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 7:12 AM on December 21, 2009 [23 favorites]


It's been a long time since I've read Niven. All I really remember is how awkward and embarrassing his sex scenes are, like he's contractually obligated to provide them, but personally finds them distasteful.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:13 AM on December 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


Indeed, I wanted to emphasize that the "antisemite/antisemetic" slur too often gets hurled as a first resort

And that was your reason for making a post to the front page?
posted by mediareport at 7:17 AM on December 21, 2009


Baby_Balrog: " If I find the same story on Metafilter I can expect concise aggregation, depth, clarity and, above all, interesting analysis."

Are we still talking about I/P threads?
posted by Joe Beese at 7:20 AM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Indeed, I wanted to emphasize that the "antisemite/antisemetic" slur too often gets hurled as a first resort

Perhaps it does get hurled a little too quickly. It also gets dismissed a little too quickly. ANy time the subject of antisemitism comes up, somebody will try and shout it down, in the way that charges of sexism or racism are similarly shouted down; this accusation sounds to my ears very like the charge that black people pull out the "race card" all the time, and functions as a mechanism for stifling an uncomfortable discussion about sensitivity to a minority population.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:21 AM on December 21, 2009 [11 favorites]


I've have been criticized for paraphrasing. But it's just not fair to say or imply, as jess does, that that the quotes were selective, or editorializing, or "shitty". And the connectives weren't editorializing.

If what you're saying is that you used sentences from articles in order to avoid community critique for paraphrasing well we'll have to disagree what the worse approach would be in this situation. Hot button topics like Israel/Palestine relations require a careful touch in making posts, which yours wasn't.

You went from a comment characterizing the Orthodox community's perspective on outsider women as "shicksa sluts" to making that post on the front page. I'm sorry your comment about the insularity of the Orthodox community was so poorly received [and based, it seems on a misapprehension of vaccination rates in the Hassidic community] but I don't think your post was the proper response to it, your assiduous defense of it nonwithstanding.

I wasn't in any way saying you didn't work at it, I was saying that what you did was poorly received by both the community and the mods and you may want to rethink your strategy.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:21 AM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's good to see that we traded up from this one to one posted by uber-putz markkraft in which he is every other comment in the thread.
posted by The Straightener at 7:35 AM on December 21, 2009 [5 favorites]


Well, that post is a decent framing of the issue, thank goodness, but Lord some of the comments are gross.

The self-thread-modding is a little tiresome, too.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:36 AM on December 21, 2009


I think one of the reason us more radical liberal/progressive types are more anti-Israel than might otherwise be expected is our intense aversion to theocracy.

Yes, right now Israel is only "a little bit theocratic", but unfortunately that's a lot like being "a little bit pregnant". With the latter the only two possibilities are a) have an abortion, or b) have a baby, with the former the only two possibilities are a) purge the theocracy and embrace secularism with zeal, or b) have a theocracy. You can't stay "just a little bit theocratic".

There's also the fact that the Israelis are living basically first world lives, and the Palestinians are living in a third world hellhole at best and in refugee camps at worst. That tends to engage our "side with the underdog" reflex.

There's also the fact that the ever expanding "settlements" look a lot like a giant "screw you liberals" message.

Which isn't to say that indiscriminate bombing, both suicide and otherwise, by the Palestinian side are good, productive, or in any way to be encouraged or excused. But I think all of the above help explain why, to the more radically liberal minded folk the Israelis look a lot like unambiguous bad guys.

They aren't, of course, there's enough nuance to fill a dozen Jane Austin novels going on over there. But when one side sips latte in a first world coffee shop and the other scrounges for food because the latte sippers blockaded them, it tends to engage a visceral reaction among the radically liberal/progressive.

As for this particular issue, yes, the Israeli doctor appears (who knows the reality) not to have been part of any official program, and yes, he was taking organs and tissue from Christians, Israelis, etc as well as Palestinians. But, especially given the history of the blood libel, especially given how much that myth is perpetuated in middle eastern Islamic communities, and especially given how victimized the Palestinians already feel, I literally can't imagine anything short of actual sex slavery or cannibalism that is more guaranteed to send a surge of hate through the Palestinian people.

Either the doctor is playing a weird political game and wanted, for some reason, to galvanize the Palestinians, or he's mind bogglingly stupid.

jessamyn wrote You went from a comment characterizing the Orthodox community's perspective on outsider women as "shicksa sluts" to making that post on the front page.

When they destroy a bike lane because they don't like how the female bike riders dress, I think "shiska sluts" is a fairly accurate description of how they perceive outsiders.

I'll freely admit that my atheist/secularist/radical liberal/whatever reflex is engaged there. When ultra religious people destroy good things because they don't like how women dress, my first instinct is to a) acquire a serious dislike for the religious people, and b) shout their evil attitudes from the rooftops. And, of course, c) show them in no uncertain terms that they can't intimidate us with their evil religion, which is why I really support the topless ride through the neighborhood.

I'm already primed to have a reflexive "screw 'em" attitude towards the Haredi, they assault women who dare not to ride on the back of the bus in Jerusalem, and I see their destruction of the bike lane as a threat to continue that sort of evil here in America. Accurately saying that they view the bike riding women as "Shiska sluts" is tame compared to what I'd like to say about the Haredi.
posted by sotonohito at 7:39 AM on December 21, 2009 [14 favorites]


When they destroy a bike lane because they don't like how the female bike riders dress, I think "shiska sluts" is a fairly accurate description of how they perceive outsiders.

Pretend-speaking the voice of a minority community and tossing around insider language like you know what you're talking about is never a good idea. I'm pretty sure that introducing a completely unrelated anecdote that show that community in a bad light isn't playing fair either.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:43 AM on December 21, 2009 [12 favorites]


DONT TALK ABOUT ISRAELIS DOING BAD THINGS, IT'S RACIST.
posted by Allan Gordon at 7:46 AM on December 21, 2009


Ok, the latest deletion reason is bullshit. All-caps BULLSHIT.
posted by Malor at 7:50 AM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't know what it is about this subject that makes it so fucking hard for people not to do a bad job with posts about it, but good god, people.

DONT TALK ABOUT ISRAELIS DOING BAD THINGS, IT'S RACIST.

Yes, that's the kind of nuanced approach to the discussion that's going to help this kettle stop boiling.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:51 AM on December 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


Well, that's three down. Who's next?

Seriously, I don't think there is a way to post this to the blue without it being completely pointless or deleted. As it has been pointed out a few times, it isn't the organ harvesting itself that seems to be making this interesting but the rage-filled I/P aspect. So you end up with with a post that post that either pisses off half the populace or one that dodges the actual issue and doesn't actually say much.
posted by cimbrog at 7:53 AM on December 21, 2009


Malor: "Ok, the latest deletion reason is bullshit. All-caps BULLSHIT"

Look, you got a problem with the Jewish conspiracy... tell it to my Zionist masters. I just work here.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:54 AM on December 21, 2009


DONT TALK ABOUT ISRAELIS DOING BAD THINGS, IT'S RACIST.

Mods, I'm going to press on this. You mentioned that this discussion had happened already in an earlier thread, but I must have missed it. Was there some sort of conclusion. Because, honestly, it's terrifically alienating to see this sort of flippant thing tossed around, and it undermines any attempt to honestly discuss insensitivity to Jews -- and you can look at all of the deleted threads and see examples of this -- by behaving as though any time that subject is raised, its simply horseshit designed to deflect criticism of Israel.

Well, honestly, it isn't. The Swedish article in question had its facts wrong -- dangerously wrong -- representing the story in question as an organized program by Israelis to kill and steal Palestinian organs, when the truth was it was specific doctors who were stealing organs from pretty much anybody who passed in front of them. And it's a worthwhile discussion to have, and it becomes impossible when a) Insisting that questioning criticism of Israel is tossing around accusations of antisemitism, and b) that this accusation is always going to be nonsense and bluster thrown up to cover for Israel's self-evident crimes.

It's complicated by the fact that the Israel thing is mixed up with a Jewish thing, which means sometime stuff that is phrased as a criticism of Israel is actually, even if accidentally, a broader criticism of Jews. Perhaps some of those broader criticisms are fair, but sometimes they aren't, and it becomes impossible to disentangle the discussion when people aren't even willing to entertain the idea that their criticism might be off base, and might be duplicating a historic slander against Jews.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:55 AM on December 21, 2009 [8 favorites]


Man, it's the motherfucking Zombie thread that will not die. Drive a stake through its heart, shoot it with a silver bullet, douse it with Holy Water, but please make it stop.
posted by fixedgear at 7:56 AM on December 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


Because someone who posts an FPP seems to be interested in talking about it in comments doesn't mean you should just delete the thread.

I think the mods are insulting our intelligence by implying we can't understand the actions of a specific group of Israelis versus JEWS. Yes, we know this isn't something that all Israelis got behind on, but it happened and it's probably going to get more coverage.

So I don't see why there shouldn't be a thread about it. Of course I/P threads are going to somewhat rough and tumble, but choosing to not allow topics of conversation because IT MIGHT BE CONSTRUED AS ANTISEMITIC is just retarded.

No one said that jews are evil and going to steal your organs. There was a Swedish article that alleged that Israeli soldiers were killing Palestinians for their organs. Is that true or not I don't know, but Palestinians did get killed and had their organs taken out without their or their families prior consent. And these organs weren't used for Palestinians.

Again, it's a hot topic, but let's not limit ourselves here.
posted by Allan Gordon at 7:59 AM on December 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


I think "shiska sluts" is a fairly accurate description of how they perceive outsiders.

Be that as it may, it's a very very bad idea for MetaFilter where that background information is 1) necessary to understanding the comment and 2) absent.

The self-thread-modding is a little tiresome, too.

We really wanted to just keep a thread on this topic and be done with it at this point, but markkraft's own behavior in that thread [touchy topic, aggressive threadmodding] made it almost immediately untenable.

This is getting like police shootings as a topic, where not only do people in this community have strong feelings about a topic, but so much of the media is slanted one way or the other, that even a newsy post about the topic winds up being mired in slanty axe-grindy bullshit.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:59 AM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was talking with a MeFite friend this morning who was calling this thread our annual holiday meltdown and I was all like "psssssssssshaw! this is nothing..."

I am now reconsidering my appraisal. Well, at least this year it's a Solstice celebration. It makes my pagan heritage feel good to see a massacre on this most holy day.

Happy Solstice everyone! Step away from the internet and go slaughter a pig for Odin! Goats slaughtered for Cernunnos also accepted. And listen to Ring Out, Solstice Bells.

NOW IS THE SOLSTICE OF THE YEAR
posted by Kattullus at 8:00 AM on December 21, 2009 [6 favorites]


Look, if we can't have the organ-stealing-cover-up post, can we at least get the health-care-reform-cloture-vote post back?
posted by orthogonality at 8:01 AM on December 21, 2009


NOW IS THE SOLSTICE OF THE YEAR

Everyone needs a wicker goat.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:01 AM on December 21, 2009


Mods, I'm going to press on this.

I think it's a stupid, bullshitty approach to conversation that makes this place a bit worse and makes the person saying it look like a ham-handed jerk. Swap out "ISRAELIS" for a lot of other values of X and that holds. In some cases, that sort of thing crosses over the line even into deletability, though much of the time it's more of a let-it-stand thing where folks are welcome to call it out critically themselves.

I'm not sure if you're asking us to take some firmer stand than that. One of the things I find endlessly frustrating about a lot of hot button topics here, and I/P is definitely one of the absolute champions in this bracket, is the degree to which trying to find any approach to ugly fighting about it becomes one of us being clearly under the thumb of which ever side the person angry at us for action or inaction is against. Often in both directions, simultaneously.

It's fucking exhausting, and anyone who thinks our primary interest is in taking one side or the other in this rather than not seeing this fucking community melt to the ground is, I have to suggest, too wrapped up in their own take on an argument to remember that metafilter is a community first and a place to pursue their own personal rhetorical salvos only nth.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:02 AM on December 21, 2009 [20 favorites]


I think it would be appropriate for Marisa to admit that she was wrong when she said that "the Swedish article distorted facts and made stuff up".

If you read the Swedish article, it says:

"In the summer of 1992, Ehud Olmert, then minister of health, tried to address the issue of organ shortage by launching a big campaign aimed at having the Israeli public register for postmortal organ donation. . . .

While the campaign was running, young Palestinian men started to disappear from villages in the West Bank and Gaza. After five days Israeli soldiers would bring them back dead, with their bodies ripped open. . . ."


It then goes on to say:
"I was in the area at the time, working on a book. On several occasions I was approached by UN staff concerned about the developments. The persons contacting me said that organ theft definitely occurred but that they were prevented from doing anything about it. . . . The families in the West Bank and in Gaza felt that they knew exactly what had happened: ”Our sons are used as involuntary organ donors,” relatives of Khaled from Nablus told me"

In other words, the timeline of this program fits in exactly the timeline you would expect the program in question to be in... from the early 90s through to 2000, when Israelis started legal action, complaining about their own people having organs removed without permission.

Really, in retrospect to what we now know, this article not only stands up, but stands strong. It's a shame that Marissa attacked the thread not on its facts, but on her smears.
posted by markkraft at 8:03 AM on December 21, 2009


Marisa is a dude.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:04 AM on December 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


Look, if we can't have the organ-stealing-cover-up post, can we at least get the health-care-reform-cloture-vote post back?

we still have the dead hollywood celebrity thread, don't we?
posted by pyramid termite at 8:05 AM on December 21, 2009


The MuffinMan takes a tangent. Just thought I'd point that out here instead of derailing in the thread. I know the donor rates in Israel came up so I wonder if that inspired him or if this is pure synchronicity.
posted by cimbrog at 8:05 AM on December 21, 2009


Markkraft asked me for a cite before his thread was deleted. And so, here's the English translation. Some relevant bits:
While the campaign was running, young Palestinian men started to disappear from villages in the West Bank and Gaza. After five days Israeli soldiers would bring them back dead, with their bodies ripped open.

Talk of the bodies terrified the population of the occupied territories. There were rumors of a dramatic increase of young men disappearing, with ensuing nightly funerals of autopsied bodies.
...

We know that Israel has a great need for organs, that there is a vast and illegal trade of organs which has been running for many years now, that the authorities are aware of it and that doctors in managing positions at the big hospitals participate, as well as civil servants at various levels. We also know that young Palestinian men disappeared, that they were brought back after five days, at night, under tremendous secrecy, stitched back together after having been cut from abdomen to chin.

It’s time to bring clarity to this macabre business, to shed light on what is going on and what has taken place in the territories occupied by Israel since the Intifada began.
This is a bloggy and speculative article about Israeli soldiers killing Palestinians to harvest their organs. This is inaccurate. Contrast this with what the AP reported, and also how they reported it. There is a marked and distinct difference between what is being reported in both articles. I do not understand the confusion.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:06 AM on December 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


Happy Solstice everyone! Step away from the internet and go slaughter a pig for Odin!

I was just going to stay in the masjid a bit longer today after stopping in for salat ul-maghrib after work. I always try to be in some kind of quiet state at the precise times of the solstices and equinoxes.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:06 AM on December 21, 2009


WTF Metafilter 1; 2; 3.
life is more than bunnies on pogo sticks and no less than 3 fairly comprehensive posts (admittedly one repeat) and one meta down and this is being banished from the face of metafilter. Seriously mods you might not like the subject but the paying and unpaying public seem to want to have their say.

The interview with Hiss was released by Nancy Scheper-Hughes, professor of anthropology at the University of California-Berkeley who had conducted a study of Abu Kabir.

Scheper-Hughes has for the last decade, been involved in a multi-sited, ethnographic, and medical human rights oriented study of the global traffic in humans (living and dead) for their organs to serve the needs and desires of international transplant patients.
From the Guardian article in the last failed FPP:
she is quoted by Associated Press as saying that while Palestinians were "by a long shot" not the only ones affected, she felt the interview must be made public, because "the symbolism, you know, of taking skin of the population considered to be the enemy, [is] something, just in terms of its symbolic weight, that has to be reconsidered."
posted by adamvasco at 8:07 AM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Because someone who posts an FPP seems to be interested in talking about it in comments doesn't mean you should just delete the thread.

I don't think most folks even particularly disagree with this. There's a world of difference between "interested in talking about it" and "jumping into an argument about it", though, just as there's a difference between "here's a neat thing I found" and "let's argue about something really heated". Context matters, a lot.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:07 AM on December 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


Actually, I think you've been doing a good job a moderating, even if it just ends up being a lot of deletions. I don't know what to do about it either, but I find it wearisome to be painted as an apologist for a country I have never visited and have no specific feelings for when somebody uses their criticisms of that country as a jumping off point for Jew jokes, or -- often without realizing they're doing it -- as a broad and uneducated criticism of Judaism as a whole, which happens once in a while when people quote passages from the Talmud of of context and the like.

I suppose it is possible that my opinions, which generally seem to be held in pretty decent regard, are sometimes dismissed in these instances because I happen to have been adopted by a Jewish family. I mean, I'm Irish American, and nobody ever shouts me down when I say green beer in an abomination.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:09 AM on December 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


cimbrog: "I know the donor rates in Israel came up so I wonder if that inspired him or if this is pure synchronicity"

You know how if you flip a coin and get 9 heads in a row, that has no bearing on the likelihood of whether the 10th flip will always be heads?

That doesn't apply to Israel-themed organ harvesting threads.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:11 AM on December 21, 2009


Man, that thread got close.

Here, take this:

There's a lot of information about the state of Israeli when it comes to organ donation, and it's not entirely impossible to believe that individuals are acting out of a misguided sense of morality by harvesting without consent. This isn't approval or condoning, of course; it's acknowledgement that there's a problem in Israel around organ donations and transplants. It seems like the act is done out of desperation rather than a Organ donor rates in the country overall are 45% of the populace and Organ Donor Card holders are around 12%, which, according to BBC Global News (Thu, 17 Dec 09) is the lowest rate in the western world. To change that and to increase the number of donors and recipients, Israel just passed into law a system that prioritizes ADI card holders above those that do not hold organ donation cards; a move controversial for relegating need and urgency below card holder status.

Perhaps hindering transplants and donations is a still common belief that the cadaver was once viewed as "as sacred space not to be viewed or invaded once the soul has moved on and can no longer animate that body in its own personal way" according to Rabbi Dr. Goldie Milgram, who says the belief is now that donation is the greatest of mitzvahs, saving a life. The U.S. government notes that all branches of Judaism support donations and transplants, even Orthodox Judiasm.

Despite the assent to organ transplants, there's still cases where individuals, unsure of religious obligations, defer or decline these life-saving donations.
posted by boo_radley at 8:11 AM on December 21, 2009


I mean it is possible that I rankle at that. And it's not just possible. I rankle, I really do.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:11 AM on December 21, 2009


Probably because "green beer in an abomination" is something just about everyone on this site can get behind.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:12 AM on December 21, 2009


green beer in an abomination

that's why frosty keeps coming back - he ducks into the bar every st patrick's day, gets drunk and STAYS there
posted by pyramid termite at 8:12 AM on December 21, 2009


Then I'm going after kilts, which are not Irish, even though the Irish claim to have invented them.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:12 AM on December 21, 2009


Hey guys, I've got this great idea for a new post, it's about Zombie Brittany Murphy listening to Rage Against the Machine while her corneas are being harvested because the death panels of the Democratic health bill that just passed decided that there was good money to be made by shipping fresh corpses to Israel. Great post or greatest post?
posted by Rhomboid at 8:13 AM on December 21, 2009


Apparently it's organ donation day on MeFi!

A serious question: In light of the recent reported shortages, has MeFI ever done a gift of life blood and organ donation drive? In all seriousness, I think it would be kind of neat to see our community rally together and promise to donate our (somewhat used) blood and organs to folks who need them. We have several thousand active members, yes? Wouldn't it be neat if 25% of us pledged to donate?
posted by zarq at 8:13 AM on December 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


I fully support deleting all I/P threads for no reason other than 'don't'

seriously just dont
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:14 AM on December 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


Seriously mods you might not like the subject but the paying and unpaying public seem to want to have their say.

Seriously, we don't like how this shit has been handled in the last 24 hours. I don't have a problem with a good post on the topic, made well outside the penumbra of how badly this has been going so far—if someone relatively disinterested wants to give it a hack in a few days when shit has died down, okie-fucking-doke. It'll probably still be a bumpy ride at best and possibly a big fucking mess instead, and I'm less than stoked about that, but it certainly couldn't go worse than this initial approach has.

And I'm sick as shit of hearing about what my opinion is on the subject, especially given my lack of any particularly strong opinion on the subject in the first place.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:14 AM on December 21, 2009 [11 favorites]


Wow, that latest post was shit: It appears that Hiss conducted the interview after he was made a scapegoat for the illegal program. Hiss has been subsequently silent, and it has been speculated that he is being paid off...

What a ridiculous use of speculation and passive voice opinioneering in a post. Maybe if folks stopped trying to score points and just presented the facts one of the stupid posts about this will stick. Mods are doing fine with the shit they're being handed on a plate in this one.
posted by mediareport at 8:17 AM on December 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


A serious question: In light of the recent reported shortages, has MeFI ever done a gift of life blood and organ donation drive? In all seriousness, I think it would be kind of neat to see our community rally together and promise to donate our (somewhat used) blood and organs to folks who need them. We have several thousand active members, yes? Wouldn't it be neat if 25% of us pledged to donate?

This is a capital idea. I'm already an organ donor myself. I don't understand - apart from religious reasons - why someone wouldn't go ahead and sign up for the program.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:18 AM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


boo_radley, you know, places like the Netherlands have also been dealing with a population that refuses to donate organs yet readily accepts them. Maybe you should look outside of Israel for the source of the problems and possible solutions.
posted by FuManchu at 8:18 AM on December 21, 2009


Marisa, you have to understand that the reason the reporter in question even discovered the story back in the '90s is that he "was approached by UN staff concerned about the developments. The persons contacting me said that organ theft definitely occurred but that they were prevented from doing anything about it."

So, the UN personnel told him that organ theft was happening, and the Palestinians told him that people were disappearing and returning back dead days later, with parts missing.

Given the issue of perspective, this is consistent with the facts. The question is whether some of the soldiers killed Palestinians intentionally for harvesting organs, or whether these people died in clashes or in custody, and had their organs taken.

Both are entirely possible, but the reporter reported on what he was told. He made it clear that there were a lot of unanswered questions, and that it’s time to bring clarity to this macabre business..."

And it was. And Israel failed in that task, falsely accusing the reporter of anti-semitism.
posted by markkraft at 8:19 AM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


And I'm sick as shit of hearing about what my opinion is on the subject, especially given my lack of any particularly strong opinion on the subject in the first place.

But where do you stand on the kilt issue?
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:19 AM on December 21, 2009


Whatever you say, markkraft. I guess we have different ways of looking at what "accurate" means. The Swedish article reported one thing, the AP reported another. I don't really feel like spinning my wheels with you about this. I said what I had to say.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:20 AM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


So if the problem is with how this shit has been handled, then it seems like the problem (and the reason for the deletions) is with the form of these posts (by Ortho). However, I haven't seen how this question has been addressed substantively by the mods - whereas Ortho has addressed how he thought out the form of his post.
posted by rudster at 8:24 AM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wanted this organ story to make it to Mefi, as I had seen it around other corners of the web, and figured there would be some good discussion (and bad)

However, when I went into the mumps thread, and saw orthags comment... I wish his original comment was still up, as it was pretty horrible. Then to see what he apparently thought was the best way to rectify this situation...

This can (and should?) be discussed here, but I am grateful to the mods for making sure it wasn't this jerk who brought it up.
posted by rosswald at 8:26 AM on December 21, 2009


My perspective on the whole thing is a bit hopelessly muddled since I've known both Israelis and Palestinians and people of other ethnicities who've lived and/or worked there (and persons unknown tried to firebomb an apartment I shared with an Israeli guy who worked for Hillel in Providence which was an experience which gave me a whole new perspective on what it's like to be the target of a terrorist attack) but if there's anything that I hold onto as a clear thread in all this muck it's that human beings on both sides are dying and hurting and that anything that doesn't serve to alleviate that is wasted effort. I sometimes weep when reading/listening/watching newsreports about the latest atrocity in Israel or Palestine and I'm filled with rage and sorrow and hopelessness, so I understand that there's a lot emotion involved and that asking people to lay away their feelings is silly.

That said, human beings are dead, human beings are in pain. There are ways to alleviate that. Arguing about it on the internet will do nothing but get people upset. No one will win this debate.
posted by Kattullus at 8:29 AM on December 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


The Swedish article reported one thing, the AP reported another.

I don't get this. One says they were harvested from dead bodies, and the other says they were harvested. One makes it ok and the other doesn't? IANAD, but I would think people generally don't survive having their organs harvested.
posted by Big_B at 8:31 AM on December 21, 2009


I think the Scots were just picking up on some else's fashion.
posted by adamvasco at 8:33 AM on December 21, 2009


FuManchu: "boo_radley, you know, places like the Netherlands have also been dealing with a population that refuses to donate organs yet readily accepts them. Maybe you should look outside of Israel for the source of the problems and possible solutions"

That's true, but the interesting thing for me is primarily the new law passed by Israel, followed distantly by the admission of harvesting done by Hiss. In my mind the law is a large advance that takes good steps to correct some people's perceptions in Israel and the larger problem of OD that Hiss attempted to deal with in his unethical manner.

If you have links or suggested reading, I'd enjoy your recommendations.
posted by boo_radley at 8:34 AM on December 21, 2009


Israel is only 40% Jewish. Can we stop throwing ISRAELI around as synonymous with Jew?
posted by xmutex at 8:36 AM on December 21, 2009


Yeah, I thought the same thing Big_B. Maybe the Swedish article get's the Israeli soldiers intentions wrong, but people were killed and had their organs illegally removed.

All the while Israel denied such a thing happened and basically called Sweden nazi sympathizers.

Can it all be agreed that Lieberman definitely is not the man for the job as Foreign Affairs Minister.
posted by Allan Gordon at 8:36 AM on December 21, 2009


when the truth was it was specific doctors who were stealing organs from pretty much anybody who passed in front of them.

Stop the semantic calisthenics. The "truth" is:
Channel 2 TV reported that in the 1990s, specialists at Abu Kabir harvested skin, corneas, heart valves and bones from the bodies of Israeli soldiers, Israeli citizens, Palestinians and foreign workers, often without permission from relatives.

The Israeli military confirmed to the programme that the practice took place, but added: "This activity ended a decade ago and does not happen any longer.
In other words the military admitted that it was a "practice" to do this in the past - not the criminal behavior of some off-the-reservation lunatics. Because if it was the actions of a few rogue doctors, the military couldn't state definitively that it "does not happen any longer."

Secondly, the fact that they were stealing organs from everyone does not make it less true that they were stealing organs from Palestinians. It is also true that the Israeli army was killing Palestinians. The only thing that isn't true is that they did the latter specifically for the purpose of the former.

If the implicit or explicit linkage of the killing of Palestinians to the harvesting of their organs is what is the basis of the objection to these front page posts, then the posts should stand. The fact that a single Israeli doctor acting in an official capacity stole the organs of a single Palestinian is itself a worthwhile post.

Not that this has nothing to do at all with jews. I'm not assuming that the doctors in question were jewish israelis or arab israelis.

The fact is that you could have left the original post up and the thread would have gone cold by now. Instead, the this is raging, people are going to try and keep trying to post something to the front, and all that will happen in the end is that the mods will lose some credibility.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:37 AM on December 21, 2009 [5 favorites]


There's not a job that Lieberman is not the man for the job for.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:38 AM on December 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


The only thing that isn't true is that they did the latter specifically for the purpose of the former.

That doesn't seem like a minor point to me.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:39 AM on December 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


Man, it's the motherfucking Zombie thread that will not die. Drive a stake through its heart, shoot it with a silver bullet, douse it with Holy Water, but please make it stop.

Had this been a vampire thread or a werewolf thread maybe those methods would have worked, but none of those are appropriate ways to decommission a zombie. Aim for the head.
posted by Elmore at 8:39 AM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Big_B: "I don't get this. One says they were harvested from dead bodies, and the other says they were harvested. One makes it ok and the other doesn't? IANAD, but I would think people generally don't survive having their organs harvested."

The swedish article's shortcomings are summarized in wikipedia.
posted by boo_radley at 8:41 AM on December 21, 2009


none of those are appropriate ways to decommission a zombie. Aim for the head.

Oh, Jesus, like the Jew stuff isn't alienating enough.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:41 AM on December 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


The well is good and truly poisoned on this one. By this point, even if someone puts together a decent, non-inflammatory FPP on the topic, it will either be sunk by the comments or kneejerk flagging. If you are disappointed or pissed by this, you can thank the people who allegedly care about the issue for fucking it all up, not the mods or those critical of the allegations.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:42 AM on December 21, 2009 [9 favorites]


Perhaps hindering transplants and donations is a still common belief that the cadaver was once viewed as "as sacred space not to be viewed or invaded once the soul has moved on and can no longer animate that body in its own personal way"...

I suspect that for many Jews it's less a matter of actual belief than a matter of knowledge and habit. I must admit, I was viscerally appalled (pardon the pun) to find out that my religion suddenly approved of organ donation, when I found out about 7 or 8 years ago. Intellectually, I knew it was an incredibly important act, but it took me a little time to get used to the idea. "Jews Don't Donate Organs" had been drilled into me from a very young age.

When the Torah was written, organ donation did not exist. It does now. Times have changed for the better. So, the back of my driver's license is now signed.

Meanwhile, I only found out because someone in my family donated a kidney to one of his friends and sparked a discussion. I don't think the "policy change" was well-publicized within Jewish communities, although I could be wrong.
posted by zarq at 8:45 AM on December 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


That doesn't seem like a minor point to me.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:39 AM on December 21


Well, you aren't the standard by which posts are judged. I happen to think it is a minor point compared the the incredibly heinous act of a country's forensic center taking organs out of the bodies of people killed by that country's army.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:46 AM on December 21, 2009


I've won friends and influenced people on here before by arguing that the much of the European left discourse on Israel-Palestine does in fact play into a larger anti-Semitic narrative, by and large unintentionally but with that effect nonetheless. In the manner in which of old it was argued that certain positions could be 'objectively fascist' regardless of intent.
I don't doubt that on the other side accusations of anti-Semitism are used to deflect legitimate criticism of the actions of the Israeli state, groups of or individual Israeli citizens or certain Jewish people doing bad stuff, but to my mind that doesn't remove the responsibility of critics to be particularly careful in how they frame their arguments. Just as if you were talking about the problems of, for example, crime among black youth in London, you wouldn't present it blind to the history of racism in which it is embedded.
If the concern does indeed proceed from a basis of values of non-partisan universal rights and justice, it should not be a problem for you to set out your case without invoking however inadvertently the well-known conspiratorial narratives of the anti-Semites (even if knee-jerk defenders of israel have beaten you to the punch). Quite apart from anything else, the whole tendency to conspiratorial-type explanations is weak politics regardless of the subject and one of the banes of modern politics.
posted by Abiezer at 8:48 AM on December 21, 2009 [15 favorites]


Well, you aren't the standard by which posts are judged. I happen to think it is a minor point compared the the incredibly heinous act of a country's forensic center taking organs out of the bodies of people killed by that country's army.

Not sure what you're saying. I wasn't judging the post itself, and agree that the act of stealing from a corpse is abominable. However, the original article suggested there was a program that exclusively targeted Palestinians for murder so their organs can be harvested. That's not what happened, and the distinction is, as I said, not a minor one.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:49 AM on December 21, 2009


Hmm...
I keep trying to craft a neutral version of this story just to see if it can be done and it just ain't happening. My powers to such the life out of a subject are not strong enough. Anyone else think they're bland enough?
posted by cimbrog at 8:49 AM on December 21, 2009


The fact is that you could have left the original post up and the thread would have gone cold by now.

The fact is that the original post was getting rapidly flagged, and criticized in-thread, in response in no small part to the crappy, crappy context in which it came to be. The assertion that everything would have been keen is deeply at odds with my experiences with how shit like this has gone in the past, and I'm not sure what distinction, if any, from previous incidents you're footing it on.

I can appreciate that there are non-fighty, non-grindy folks interested in discussing the subject and I think it sucks that we're in the position we're in where the well has been so poisoned by how this has been posted about so far, but here we are. I don't see a post about this going well at this point without this specific mefi brouhaha having a few days to breath and cool down.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:52 AM on December 21, 2009


Pastabagel: "Well, you aren't the standard by which posts are judged."

I don't think he was trying to shut anyone down, just expressing an opinion in a large and rather chaotic converation.
posted by boo_radley at 8:52 AM on December 21, 2009


Palestinians still died either way Astro and had their organs stolen. While I understand your point, I don't think many Palestinians will think of the difference as anything but minor.
posted by Allan Gordon at 8:54 AM on December 21, 2009


I don't get this. One says they were harvested from dead bodies, and the other says they were harvested. One makes it ok and the other doesn't? IANAD, but I would think people generally don't survive having their organs harvested.

No, one article speculates that Israeli soldiers are killing Palestinians in order to take their organs. The other article reports a newly-disclosed interview with an Israeli pathologist who says already-dead people, including Israelis, Palestinians and foreign aid workers, had their organs harvested without the consent of their families, and mentions that details of Hiss' activities were brought to light in 2004. The difference between the one and the other should be pretty clear. In this case, the difference is one is false and the other is true.

I get and appreciate that journalism cracks the surface of something in order for other investigators to dig deeper. But there are ways of doing this right. When the accusation is this huge, you should be taking great pains to gather as many facutal details as possible, avoid taking a very bloggy and shadow-conspriacy tone, dropping a lot of rumors, what-ifs and speculations. The Swedish article is a great example of what not to do.

Having said that, what really happened is still pretty horrible. I don't think anyone disputes that. It's just unfortunate that this story had to be broken (literally, really) in the way it was.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:55 AM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Everything I do is subtly designed to shut somebody down. This comment right now is having an untraceable but very real effect on Bono, who is at this moment trying to have a serious discussion about third world debt and, for some reason, is discovering his can't.

And the sick part is, I agree with him. But sometimes you just want to fuck with Bono.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:56 AM on December 21, 2009 [12 favorites]


Instead, the this is raging, people are going to try and keep trying to post something to the front, and all that will happen in the end is that the mods will lose some credibility.

No, the mods have a lot of credibility among those who refuse to have a dog in the fight. I've got no time for those who demand a gigantic political flamewar on the front page, and throw a tantrum when they don't get it.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:59 AM on December 21, 2009 [16 favorites]


And from what I'm seeing, the Swedish paper, Aftonbladet, is basically the equivalent of The Sun.
posted by boo_radley at 9:00 AM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Okay, I'm only a quarter way through this thread so far but it's already my favorite META in some time if only for this link to a spoof on "conservative" artist John McNaughton's ridiculous "One Nation Under God", which I stumbled across via searching orthogonal's profile (and extrapolations from there). The God of the Jews most certainly works in strange and engaging ways.
posted by philip-random at 9:02 AM on December 21, 2009


There's a world of difference between "interested in talking about it" and "jumping into an argument about it", though, just as there's a difference between "here's a neat thing I found" and "let's argue about something really heated".

Terrible things happen. In the United States, in Africa, in Iraq, in Israel, everywhere. A few people see these events as a reflection of all of its citizens. Many don't. People will argue about something that you would rather see discussed. Some of these arguments will be considered silly or foolish. Some other events have been posted about before all of the facts are known or as they are being discovered.

This community cannot entirely control this and, except for the blatantly racist/sexist/untrue, I think these posts and comments should stand. There are many topics where heated arguments spring up when it would be preferable to many of us that they just be discussed. Would you shut down all of the Abu Ghraib threads? Ahmadinejad's government sanctioned torture in Iran?

I appreciate Metafilter because it is more likely that I will encounter a spectrum of opinion and reflection about many topics, beyond the "[insert favorite target here] are all idiots, amirite?" that goes on elsewhere. This issue in Israel does not reflect upon all Israelis and seems to have progressed beyond rumor. I think we should be allowed to discuss it, even though it will be a roller coaster of a thread to moderate. Just as we would for any other topic that some people would find extremely uncomfortable.
posted by jeanmari at 9:03 AM on December 21, 2009


Having said that, what really happened is still pretty horrible.

That's where you're wrong. The very idea of a corpse as some sort of magical sanctified place is just another thread in the tapestry of oppression woven by orthodox religions wether they be J... [cough cough]... ahem, I mean... I was saying that prohibitions, unscientific taboos about harvisting organs from the dead to help the living are... [cough, gag]... it's just so... ug... body... shutting... down...

DAMN YOU ASTRO ZOMbii.....
posted by fuq at 9:04 AM on December 21, 2009


boo_radley: Hm, I don't have anything off-hand, but I recall Europe putting similar laws to work because of their Muslim populations a few years ago. Basically I think experiment has been done before. I'd have to google for past articles though. Sorry for the let-down.
posted by FuManchu at 9:05 AM on December 21, 2009


That's where you're wrong.

Oh I agree that the corpse is a vessel no longer needed by the person who once bodied it. I just think there are consent issues involved on any body, living or dead. Sort of why necrophilia is illegal.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:08 AM on December 21, 2009


I think we should be allowed to discuss it, even though it will be a roller coaster of a thread to moderate. Just as we would for any other topic that some people would find extremely uncomfortable.

"Allowed to discuss it" implies that we're against it being discussed. We're not. There's no "this subject is forbidden" edict.

But we're also not going to issue carte blanche on a subject just because there's interest in discussing it, which means that in situations where posts about it have been done really badly it may have to wait a bit while all the meta-argumentation that results dissipates enough to not actively get in the way of that discussion.

I'm sincerely sorry if that's vexing for folks who want to discuss it here and now. I can sympathize. But it's not enough to make me throw up my hands and say "fuck it, go crazy".
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:10 AM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


or this link to a spoof on "conservative" artist John McNaughton's ridiculous "One Nation Under God", which I stumbled across via searching orthogonal's profile (and extrapolations from there).

If you saw my rant on McNaughton, I guess you came through my "popular favorites"; if you're gonna profile-stalk me, leave a few more favorites as tips on your way through. I'd like to get the McNaughton to an even 160.
posted by orthogonality at 9:13 AM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Palestinians still died either way Astro and had their organs stolen. While I understand your point, I don't think many Palestinians will think of the difference as anything but minor.

A campaign which desecrates the bodies of dead soldiers from a variety of sources ≠ one which solely targets and abducts live Palestinian soldiers and innocent civilians and murders them for their organs.

The distinction matters a lot. The latter meets the international legal definition of genocide while the former doesn't.
posted by zarq at 9:18 AM on December 21, 2009 [4 favorites]


is it noteworthy that the RSS feed shows the latest organ FPP above one titled "Jewish Exorcisms"?
posted by criticalbill at 9:25 AM on December 21, 2009


metafilter: fuck it, go crazy
posted by Think_Long at 9:26 AM on December 21, 2009


One of the things I find endlessly frustrating about a lot of hot button topics here...is the degree to which trying to find any approach to ugly fighting about it becomes one of us being clearly under the thumb...

I'm sure. And I think usually, that interpretation misses the mark. However.

In some cases, that sort of thing crosses over the line even into deletability, though much of the time it's more of a let-it-stand thing...

What you characterize as inconsistency, others see trends in. I know I do. I don't follow I/P threads on MetaFilter, so I can't speak to that. But for instance, it seems—from MeTas re bannings, and from seeing mods comment about having 'spoken to' certain users—that fighty-grindy right-wing (Republican, Christian, etc.) people face a shorter fuse than fighty-grindy left-wing (Democrat, atheist, etc.) folks.

Now, I can appreciate that there are non-partisan reasons for that. MetaFilter is a heavily left-wing community (compare obituary threads for right-wing versus left-wing decedents), so a fighty-grindy Republican will provoke more havoc than an equally fighty-grindy Democrat—and to the extent that you're just trying to keep peace, you can't be blind to that. But I definitely think there are political trends to mod behavior on MetaFilter. I think usually, y'all do an excellent job of being neutral in a lopsided community; but when a number of reliable users comment that you're skewing unwisely in a given instance, I'm not inclined to think it's completely unfounded.
posted by cribcage at 9:27 AM on December 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


Astro Zombie : Then I'm going after kilts, which are not Irish, even though the Irish claim to have invented them.

Let me speak for all the Irish here when I point out that we did not say that we invented kilts. We invented not wearing pants.

Big difference.
posted by quin at 9:27 AM on December 21, 2009 [18 favorites]


FuManchu: "boo_radley: Hm, I don't have anything off-hand, but I recall Europe putting similar laws to work because of their Muslim populations a few years ago."

That's the only thing interesting about this mess that keeps me coming back, the chance to take allegations and see how they match up to reality. Maybe it's nostalgia from when I was a student reporter. First the Hasidic community trying to shut down bike lanes -- that sounded implausible to me, but it turned out be true, just terribly framed.

In fact, that reminds me that there's a bunch of MMR vaccine links that I have to sift through (remember mumps?). There was one particular discussion that the combined vaccine was worrying parents (in one case, it's alleged to have given a child rubella in vitro). They weren't lobbying against the vaccine entirely, but were arguing that the three vaccines ought to be broken up into six shots (an MMR vax is administed across two shots). Doctors and clinical scientists argued against it, saying it was pain in the ass and stressful for the child.

If the end goal is to get children immunized against MMR, would it be worth it to split up the shots despite the temporary stress of getting three times as many shots?
posted by boo_radley at 9:28 AM on December 21, 2009


Let me speak for all the Irish here when I point out that we did not say that we invented kilts. We invented not wearing pants.

Right now, I am particpating in one of the great inventions of my people.

Ahhhh. Feels good.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:29 AM on December 21, 2009


Basically, why does the internet permit us to pretend like we have had deeply held beliefs on a large number of subjects that we'd go to the ramparts for? It's insane.
posted by boo_radley at 9:30 AM on December 21, 2009


Basically, why does the internet permit us to pretend like we have had deeply held beliefs on a large number of subjects that we'd go to the ramparts for? It's insane.
Stop yapping and dig us up a couple more cobblestones, mate. There's a gap in the barricades here and the hussars will be charging again any minute.
posted by Abiezer at 9:34 AM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


If the end goal is to get children immunized against MMR, would it be worth it to split up the shots despite the temporary stress of getting three times as many shots?

Some pediatricians will stagger vaccination shots if asked to do so by concerned parents. Others may recommend it. it's not quite the same as giving six shots instead of two, but it may be easier on a child if they have immune or other systemic issues.

My kids were preemies. The vaccinations they received over their first year were staggered differently than the recommended schedule. More frequent office visits, same number of shots. So rather than getting 2-4 shots at a time, they might get one or two each visit. We took them to the pediatrician nearly every month during their first year. The extra office visits were a bit of a win / win for their pediatrician as well. She wanted to keep a closer eye on how they were developing, especially during their first six months.
posted by zarq at 9:37 AM on December 21, 2009


fighty-grindy right-wing (Republican, Christian, etc.) people face a shorter fuse than fighty-grindy left-wing (Democrat, atheist, etc.) folks.

Actually it's nearly the opposite, though it may not seem that way from the outside. We've spent more email and mod time trying to work with people with, I guess you'd call it "minority viewpoints" [where minority - "on MeFi minority"] than with people who are more mainstream MeFites in terms of belief.

What does happen in a highly visible fashion, however, is people who come to MeFi specifically for the fighty-grar stuff and show up in a thread guns ablazing and have a very high-profile and noticable flameout. Those people, for whatever reason, seem to come from the more conservative side of the table [off the top if my head I can think of Mens Rights folks, but I'm sure there have been others].

The largest bias that I can see [admitting that I'm sure I'm blind to biases of my own] is that we preference long-time users over newer ones. So someone who has been around a long time, even if they're being a terrific asshole, gets a lot of second chances and Brand New Days while someone who is newer is more likely to get the "you know, you just may not be happy here" talk. That said, we know who has been banned and how many times and even though we'd like people to have a Brand New Day as far as the site goes, there's still sometimes a behind-the-scenes short leash thing going on. We try to not bring that stuff up in MeTa because we feel it does more harm than good, but I think this can lend credence to the "you guys moderate along your own political viewpoints" view of the site.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:43 AM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Seriously, I don't think there is a way to post this to the blue without it being completely pointless or deleted.

Is there any precedent for an FPP that is allowed to remain with comments closed and a link to a META? Seems to me that something like this is the only real resolution here. The information and links are allowed to stand ... but argument is kept OFF the main page.

Headache for the mods but it appears they're getting one anyway.

Also, if there's no anti-Semitic (or Zionist) taint to our "fascination" with this issue, then why aren't we equally wound up about China's gruesome organ harvest?
posted by philip-random at 9:45 AM on December 21, 2009


Is there any precedent for an FPP that is allowed to remain with comments closed and a link to a META?

Nope. We don't do closed-commments posts anywhere but in Metatalk itself, and even that is more an artifact of older architecture decisions than anything.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:47 AM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


But it's not enough to make me throw up my hands and say "fuck it, go crazy".

Too late. We've already gone. Next stop: Batshitinsane, change for OutOfYourTree, and bus service to Loonytown.
posted by rtha at 9:49 AM on December 21, 2009


You know what I think is really dodgy about that post? The title. Even if there were strong enough evidence to hold up in a court of law that the IDF were deliberately killing Palestinians for their organs I still don't think that quoting this:

"And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot"

i.e. Deuteronomy 19:21, also known as the 5th book of the Torah, is justified. I can see that the post was framed as a discussion as to the extent of these allegations, but the title quote struck me as beyond the pale.

Unless the next time that the UK does something bad the MeFi post is framed with a nice quote from the New Testament St. James' Bible, can we refrain from this kind of thing? It doesn't really start off a reasoned debate on the right foot.
posted by ob at 9:51 AM on December 21, 2009


Dealing with a population that refuses to donate organs yet readily accepts them.

I've long wondered why preference for organs isn't given to people who had already been registered as donors.

You can still get access to organs but if you didn't bother thinking about the needs of others before you got sick you can hang out at the bottom of the list and hope for the best. Oh, and if the organ is still viable when you die it comes out. Really I think you should have to become a general organ donor in order to get one but I can settle for just the organs donated to you.

I wonder what it says about me that I rank influencing behavior above saving human life.
posted by prak at 9:52 AM on December 21, 2009



Some pediatricians will stagger vaccination shots if asked to do so by concerned parents.


The feeling that I got was that the doctor's opinion was that the two shot course was as effective as six, or better, because you get all the immunity at the same time, rather than bit by bit. There was no discussion of parent anxiety; the point was "look, we have studies. Your fears are unfounded".

It seems in this case, trying to work within boundaries dictated by parent's fears is a net win: the child gets immunized, stronger herd, et cetera. I'm all for scourging ignorance and rationality, but the doctors are being a bit stubborn, I think.
posted by boo_radley at 9:53 AM on December 21, 2009


China organ harvest is linked in the first comment of the current, unclosed, organ donation FPP:

http://www.metafilter.com/47520/It-raises-many-difficult-ethical-issues
posted by orthogonality at 9:54 AM on December 21, 2009


boo_radley: The swedish article's shortcomings are summarized in wikipedia.

Your second link is missing. I don't see a detailed discussion here though.

I guess what I was implying was there seems to be what could be a semantics issue - "killing and removing the organs" versus "was dead when organs removed". This is the same scenario to me.

I don't care who or what was involved, but to see that it was sanctioned by any government is absurd, and it's too bad we can't discuss it reasonably becuase of the parties involved.
posted by Big_B at 9:56 AM on December 21, 2009


Unless the next time that the UK does something bad the MeFi post is framed with a nice quote from the New Testament St. James' Bible,

If you'll look through my posts, a number of them quote the Torah or "New Testament" for titles, always using the KJV translation. They're a subset of my even more frequent habit of making the title a quotation of some sort, often used ironically.
posted by orthogonality at 9:57 AM on December 21, 2009


You know what Metafilter does well?
Controversy.

posted by blue_beetle at 9:59 AM on December 21, 2009


Unless the next time that the UK does something bad the MeFi post is framed with a nice quote from the New Testament St. James' Bible, can we refrain from this kind of thing? It doesn't really start off a reasoned debate on the right foot.

And while we're at it, can I just say that I thought the title of markkraft's subsequent post ("Seeing the world through the eyes of Palestinians") on the same topic was pretty fucking tasteless and unnecessary?
posted by zarq at 10:00 AM on December 21, 2009


The ironic/tasteless title as a zing to an otherwise edge-case post can often be the thing that sends posts over the edge into "sucks" territory. People can do whatever they want, obviously, but I think there are a lot of people in the community who have strong negative reactions to that sort of thing.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:03 AM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


You know what Metafilter does well?

Controversy.


Well, to be fair, no one does "controversy" well or it wouldn't really be that thing. Also, I don't see why it was so difficult for people to put together a simple post about this together that didn't involve some baiting. All three posts that were deleted needed a fair amount of tightening/editing. Keep your damn controversy posts simple, sweetheart.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:03 AM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


philip-random: "
Also, if there's no anti-Semitic (or Zionist) taint to our "fascination" with this issue, then why aren't we equally wound up about China's gruesome organ harvest?
"

We could be. Are you volunteering a post? (after a reasonable cooling off period)
We got here, specifically, now, in this post, because of Orthogonality's wrap-a-saab-around-a-tree delux derailing in a mumps thread that turned into a post about a news story out of Israel. That's why we're so wound up en-masse; That it might turn into a post about another country's organ harvesting isn't out of the question.
posted by boo_radley at 10:05 AM on December 21, 2009


Kilts, were invented by someone or other in china or somesuch, but it's us (scots) thats wearing them now, so thats that.
posted by sgt.serenity at 10:08 AM on December 21, 2009


The ironic/tasteless title as a zing to an otherwise edge-case post can often be the thing that sends posts over the edge into "sucks" territory.

Yup. Sometimes it seems like editorializing by stealth and at other times it just debases the whole point of a serious post. There are enough people who wade in on discussions without reading the links. Doing this in sensitive issue post just ups-the-ante and encourages knee-jerk reactions.
posted by ob at 10:11 AM on December 21, 2009


I don't see why it was so difficult for people to put together a simple post about this together that didn't involve some baiting.

Burhanistan, I'd be curious to see what you think a non-baiting post would look like? When trying it myself I keep running into problems with the Swedish article or the "why is this important?" issue. Fixes to these seem to just turn it into a generic corpse harvesting post.
posted by cimbrog at 10:11 AM on December 21, 2009


cimbrog: that's why I posted a bit about attitudes in Israel regarding organ donation. It would seem to me that there's a direct link between not being able to get organs for donation to the described situation. It's a symptom of a societal problem.
posted by boo_radley at 10:17 AM on December 21, 2009


cimbrog: " Fixes to these seem to just turn it into a generic corpse harvesting post"

But those are usually better values, since they don't have to make back the advertising costs of premium brand corpse harvesting posts.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:23 AM on December 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


I feel deeply disturbed by the comments from many 'sides' (viewpoints) on all three of the FPP threads and this discussion thread. Multiple attempts by so many people to reduce this to 'X says this is bad' and 'Y is bad' make this a horrible topic for a FPP, imo.

While we are likely loathe to support automatic deletion for some topics, it might be best to implement some policy or method where the community or pre-determined objective folks re-write (or re-research or re-source) FPPs to be more objective if the overall content is something we want to keep or discuss.
posted by Fuka at 10:24 AM on December 21, 2009


boo-radley:
I could see a "low organ donations ---> involuntary organ harvesting" post, though with the current organ transplant post it would probably be too much of a double at this point.
posted by cimbrog at 10:24 AM on December 21, 2009


ok, I really hope my post about Jewish exorcisms doesn't get pulled into this mess. I really didn't know about this was a bad week for Judaism stuff here... anyway I understand if it ends up being nuked... it took someone commenting in the thread about "laying off the jews" for me to find out about all this deleted stuff.
posted by ServSci at 10:25 AM on December 21, 2009


ServSci, your post seems fine and I removed the "lay off the jews" comment.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:27 AM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wish more people would check out that post. It's pretty cool.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:39 AM on December 21, 2009


Yeah the dybbuk and exorcism post is fascinating.
posted by orthogonality at 10:43 AM on December 21, 2009


It seems in this case, trying to work within boundaries dictated by parent's fears is a net win: the child gets immunized, stronger herd, et cetera. I'm all for scourging ignorance and rationality, but the doctors are being a bit stubborn, I think.

Yes, exactly. There's no need to alienate parents who may be on the fence about vaccinating their kids. If the ultimate goal is to make sure the kids are immunized and a little accommodation ensures that will happen, then why not?
posted by zarq at 10:54 AM on December 21, 2009


we know who has been banned and how many times and even though we'd like people to have a Brand New Day as far as the site goes, there's still sometimes a behind-the-scenes short leash thing going on

Wht d yu mn? xmpls, plse!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:54 AM on December 21, 2009


Hey ServSci, your post about Jewish exorcisms was cool and all, and Imma let you finish, but....

What? You say that joke's already been done? To death? Awwww....

Uh... I mean... uh... Nice post, man. ;)
posted by zarq at 10:56 AM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


...anyway I understand if it ends up being nuked...
posted by ServSci


More of this imo. Kudos.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:01 AM on December 21, 2009


What? You say that joke's already been done? To death?

I certainly don’t say that. KEEP IT ALIVE
posted by Think_Long at 11:06 AM on December 21, 2009


yo dawg i heard u like to lemme finish so but i put a joke inside your joke so you can OF ALL TIME while you OF ALL TIME
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:09 AM on December 21, 2009 [17 favorites]


Chanukah is over, and Christmas is coming up. Orthogonality timed his FPP to coincide with the few days when the Jews are too busy abducting Christian babies to have noticed the post.

Unbeknown to the general public, Rabbinical scholars discovered a portion of the Talmud that was written and added on after the death of Jesus. It decreed Christmas Day (or YOM XTIANS) as a High Holy Day, and dictated the now-time-honored Jewish tradition of going to the movies, and then coming home and ordering Chinese food delivery. The part that the International Jewish Conspiracy has kept from the general public is this: "Talmud A.D." notes that it is not Chinese tea, but Christian-baby blood, that goes best with Lo Mein.

It is said that people taste like chicken. Christian babies, though, taste like hamburger.

Nom Tov!
posted by tzikeh at 11:13 AM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


if someone relatively disinterested wants to give it a hack in a few days when shit has died down, okie-fucking-doke

Uh, so, that seems like a noble attitude, but the comments are nearly guaranteed to be replicas of previous comments and really, what neutral person wants to deal with the complaints and heat from both side about some inevitable point of contention in the post? It's just not going to happen.

Which is not that big a deal - as much as I like the comments MeFi generates on various topics, not everything needs to be here.
posted by GuyZero at 11:18 AM on December 21, 2009


You know what Metafilter does well?

Controversy OUTRAGE. GRAR.


FTFY. HTH. HAND.
posted by GuyZero at 11:20 AM on December 21, 2009


It decreed Christmas Day (or YOM XTIANS) as a High Holy Day, and dictated the now-time-honored Jewish tradition of going to the movies, and then coming home and ordering Chinese food delivery

All my Jewish friends go to the movies and then go out to a Chinese restaurant (not to imply in any way that a whole diverse class of people would possibly adopt or be responsible for one particular behavior), the practice is certainly not the greatest Jewish contribution to modern culture by any means, but it's one that has had a deep and profound impact on my life. So I would like to say, thanks all the individual people of Jewish extraction and/or faith that I have known in my life, for showing me the best possible way to celebrate Christmas, bar none. I can't always do it, but every December 25th I wake up with the urge to drink a large coke while a dude blows something up on screen or people experience angst in a comical way that I can still relate to and then go have soup dumplings, citrus shrimp and some kind of braised baby bok choy.

Other than that, all I can add is late December makes everyone kind of crazy huh? Did you guys see the perfect crescent moon last night? I had to shovel out the car yesterday, it was tiring but I like projects that have a clearly defined end, you know? Stay strong friends, soon enough - in the grand scheme of things - we'll all have the cold solace of the grave.
posted by Divine_Wino at 11:31 AM on December 21, 2009 [8 favorites]


Did you guys see the perfect crescent moon last night?

Dealth to the night! Live again Unconquered Sun! Wain! Wain bringer of fear and darkness! Hail To Ligh!

Sorry. I'm in a Solstice-y mood.

Which is why I'm covered in goat blood, not that you asked.

*harump*
posted by The Whelk at 11:37 AM on December 21, 2009 [5 favorites]


I did see the perfect crescent moon! It was perfectly framed by my window so I could see its reflection in the mirror by my bed. I love it when that happens.
posted by ocherdraco at 11:37 AM on December 21, 2009


There are plenty of good things to discuss here:

A) Organ harvesting without donor or survivor consent, a problem in many countries around the world, in specific the non-consensual organ harvesting recently documented to have occurred at Abu Kabir;

B) The ways in which the Israeli government, and individuals concerned about Israel's reputation, stonewalled the issue in the international media;

C) The ways in which this outrage against medical and legal ethics was somehow caricatured as "Israel is stealing Palestinian organs" as though it were a targeted campaign supported by the Israeli government and/or the population of Israel at large;

C') Why that is appealing rhetoric to many people (with a look back at millenia of "blood libel" accusations against Jews);

D) Why this is a difficult thing to talk about for many people.

I didn't think that orthogonality's post teased those out in a good way at all. I found that his cherrypicking of quotes reinforced, rather than examining, the conflation of "Doctors in Israel outraging the legal and ethical standards around organ harvesting" with "Israel stealing Palestinian organs."

I would probably have been less intemperate in my response to that if a) there hadn't been the kerfuff in the mumps thread, and b) people hadn't brought out the tired old strawman of "OH NO WE CAN'T CRITICIZE ISRAEL" right off the bat.

Of course we can criticize Israel for the shitty stonewalling stuff; we do it here, and Israeli citizens and media outlets do it every day. And we can criticize Israel for not doing a better job of enforcing legal and ethical standards around organ harvesting. Hell, we can criticize Israel for the way the Defense Forces handle conflicts with Palestinian authorities and groups; again, we do it here (before someone pre-empts the discussion with the inevitable "OH ISRAEL IS A SACRED COW WAKE UP SHEEPLE" nonsense), and Israeli citizens and media outlets do it every day. We can even criticize Israel, if we want, for establishing its boundaries according to the Balfour Declaration without being more foresighted about the consequences of that, in re the Palestinians, than any of the other parties to the negotiation. We can criticize Israel for not distancing itself from Israel Zangwill's deeply shitty "A land without a people for a people without a land" nonsense.

What we can't do, in the sense of "I will protest strongly if we do it here on MeFi" is equate everything bad that happens in the nation of Israel as a) the fault of the Israeli government; b) the fault of all Jewish Israelis; and c) the fault of all Jewish people in the entire world.

I don't like it when people do that about the US. "America shoots abortion doctors" is a pretty tendentious way of describing the death of George Tiller; "Israel steals Palestinians' organs" is a pretty tendentious way of describing the tragedy and outrage of the illegal organ harvesting at Abu Kabir.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:39 AM on December 21, 2009 [31 favorites]


Fuck, I spelled "millennia" wrong. Humiliation.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:40 AM on December 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's the Millenia Flacon that made the Kessle Run in less that 12 prasecs.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:47 AM on December 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


isn't a parsec a measure of distance?
posted by shmegegge at 12:25 PM on December 21, 2009


isn't a parsec a measure of distance?

That Star Wars line is probably the most famous quote that makes absolutely no sense.
posted by Think_Long at 12:27 PM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Uh, so, that seems like a noble attitude, but the comments are nearly guaranteed to be replicas of previous comments and really, what neutral person wants to deal with the complaints and heat from both side about some inevitable point of contention in the post?

It's an interesting question. As someone who just came to this topic now, I was interested in giving it a couple days and making the post, since I'm a jew who varies wildly on what he thinks of israeli policy and can fairly be said to not have a dog in this particular fight (although I bought a puppy yesterday! happy early christmas to me!) but the truth is that apparently what credible news sources you pick can wildly reframe your post, because there's some pretty serious disparity in the style of reporting going on. and people are apparently dead sure that the reporter they favor is the capital R right one, and the other is evil, so I'm now not going to bother. I'm simply not savvy enough on the topic, and if I were savvy enough on the topic I might have been swayed to some dogmatic position on it.

so I'm going to ask, despite the mods' benevolence, that anyone considering remaking the fpp please do us all a favor and not do so. I have no right to ask it, but here I am anyway, cad that I am. I just don't think this one is gonna come out okay, pretty much no matter what.
posted by shmegegge at 12:30 PM on December 21, 2009


That Star Wars line is probably the most famous quote that makes absolutely no sense.

I was just watching Blue Harvest again last night on Adult Swim, and their bit on that still cracks me up.
posted by shmegegge at 12:30 PM on December 21, 2009


It always reminds me of that interminable SNL routine where Captain Nemo tells his guests that they are going to travel 20,000 leagues under the sea, and his guests opine that that seems really deep, and Nemo must explain, over and over again, that a league is a measure of distance -- fathom is a measure of depth.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:31 PM on December 21, 2009


P.S.: I wish I'd written something closer to what I wrote above (with "millennium" spelled correctly) in last night's thread itself, instead of just being a douchenozz.

orthogonality and everyone, I'm sorry for being a douchenozz last night. You (and y'all) deserve serious discussion, rather than GRARflails.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:39 PM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


The choice is clear. We must name Shmegegge's puppy whether he likes it or not.
posted by The Whelk at 12:42 PM on December 21, 2009


isn't a parsec a measure of distance?

Think_Long : That Star Wars line is probably the most famous quote that makes absolutely no sense.

Years ago my buddy and I decided that the Kessel run was probably through some kind of spacial phenomena which made taking a direct route impossible, and that Han did it in 12 parsecs suggested that he had figured out a faster way through than was commonly used. We spent our time thinking about this because we were bored and hadn't discovered booze yet.

Thus, I find it enormously funny that when I, just now, Googled "Kessel run" to verify the spelling, I found this, which suggests that others came suffered the same too-much-time-to-think condition.
posted by quin at 12:42 PM on December 21, 2009


What the hell is an Aluminum Falcon?
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:43 PM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


What the hell is an Aluminum Falcon?

Almost the same as an Aluminium Falcon.
posted by ob at 12:49 PM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Almost the same as an Aluminium Falcon.

I knew Sam Spade was bad off but this?
posted by The Whelk at 12:50 PM on December 21, 2009 [4 favorites]


Years ago my buddy and I decided that the Kessel run was probably through some kind of spacial phenomena which made taking a direct route impossible, and that Han did it in 12 parsecs suggested that he had figured out a faster way through than was commonly used.

It looks like Wookiepedia says that he actually managed to make it in 12 parsecs by taking a more direct route than most space travelers due to his increased sense of ‘acceptable risk’ by flying closer to the black holes. This only counts if you fall into “I believe the shit that people make up about star wars on the internet camp”. Currently, I’m on the fence.
posted by Think_Long at 12:52 PM on December 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


Thus, I find it enormously funny that when I, just now, Googled "Kessel run" to verify the spelling, I found this, which suggests that others came suffered the same too-much-time-to-think condition.

*hand wave* This isn't the error you think it is. *hand wave*
posted by zarq at 12:55 PM on December 21, 2009


"Fuck, I spelled "millennia" wrong."

Not according to the fine folks at Mazda Motors.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 1:00 PM on December 21, 2009


"What the hell is an Aluminum Falcon?"

Twenty bucks, same as in Mos Eisley.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 1:02 PM on December 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


The simper interpretation of Han Solo's parsec error is that he's not very smart and was making something up thinking it would impress people.
posted by mpbx at 1:03 PM on December 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


*simpler
posted by mpbx at 1:04 PM on December 21, 2009


Sweet goddamn, people. Know when to take your lumps and pull out.
posted by kalessin at 1:08 PM on December 21, 2009


The choice is clear. We must name Shmegegge's puppy whether he likes it or not.

Grar. "Grar, sit! Good boy. Roll over, Grar! Gooood Grar. Who is daddy's little Grarsy-warsy?"
posted by chinston at 1:11 PM on December 21, 2009


I would vote for "puppegegge" if I could figure out how to pronounce it.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 1:13 PM on December 21, 2009


I'm pretty sure that the "Han found a shorter route by skirting close to black holes" thing is in the Star Wars novels.

Yes, I used to read them.
posted by ocherdraco at 1:13 PM on December 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


mpbx : The simper interpretation of Han Solo's parsec error is that he's not very smart and was making something up thinking it would impress people.

I honestly had never even considered that. It does have a certain scoundrelish appeal to it though.
posted by quin at 1:13 PM on December 21, 2009


Wouldn't it be pupgegge, to scan properly?
posted by ocherdraco at 1:14 PM on December 21, 2009


The Whelk: The choice is clear. We must name Shmegegge's puppy whether he likes it or not.

I'd be quite charmed by a dog named "Whether He Likes It or Not." It has a certain Iain M. Banks quality to it.
posted by Kattullus at 1:20 PM on December 21, 2009 [9 favorites]


It's not going to be a puppy forever, so maybe doing without the pup prefix would be a good idea. I don't know though, I usually give pets normal-sounding human names, like Jeffrey or Deborah.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:21 PM on December 21, 2009


What the hell is an Aluminum Falcon?

A great name for a puppy.
posted by shothotbot at 1:33 PM on December 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


It's not going to be a puppy forever
Isn't there some argument that in fact that's precisely what we do when we make dogs companion animals - permanently keep some puppy behaviours, like barking and so on that adult wild canines would have grown out of. Too lazy to Google.
posted by Abiezer at 1:38 PM on December 21, 2009


I did see the perfect crescent moon!

Me too. It reminded of Islam and how controversial it is.

I keed, I keed.
posted by drjimmy11 at 1:39 PM on December 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty sure that the "Han found a shorter route by skirting close to black holes" thing is in the Star Wars novels.

Wow, those novels sound a lot sexier than the Rogue Squadron series that I used to read.
posted by Think_Long at 1:40 PM on December 21, 2009


You don't get to decide what I find interesting. I come here for the conversation and just because something is "all over the web" doesn't for one second imply that it's "all over the web" in a format I find accessible or comprehensive.

This. When I worked at a college radio station that prided itself on playing music that would never, ever be played anywhere else, a few folks occasionally got a hard time for playing things that might actually be played somewhere else -- even though it was important (or at least amusing) music that fit contextually within the songs bookending it that were generally bizarre and obscure.

We still served the community, we still brought unusual music and information to our listeners, but when it came to the shows that contained obscure-for-obscure's-sake music by itself for three hours versus an eclectic mix of obscure and more commercial stuff, all good, we got a lot more listener involvement for the latter shows -- which means those shows were doing a better job of serving their community.
posted by davejay at 1:52 PM on December 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


We must name Shmegegge's puppy whether he likes it or not.

Well, the puppy has already been named. She is named Nina. Though a name with pup in it would be amusing ironic since she is huge. We're not sure what breeds she's a mix of, but considering she can knock shit off of our kitchen counter with a paw at only 2 months old, we're leaning toward a 50/50 mix of Terrier/Godzilla.

Other names that were considered, and could quite possibly have been chosen if I had been drunk at the time*:

Shiva The Destroyer
Gozer The Gozarian (not chosen because friends have a cat named this)
Stay (yes, from the Steven Wright joke)
Pupzilla
Sumo
Asskicker
Boo

*which, considering I drunkenly named our last pet (a hamster) "Poop," is pretty much "the kind of thing I do."
posted by shmegegge at 2:09 PM on December 21, 2009


Shoulda named her Schmoopy!
posted by rtha at 2:29 PM on December 21, 2009


Gozer The Gozarian

CHOOSE THE FORM OF THE COUCH'S DESTRUCTOR!

"don'tthinkaboutkittiensdon'tthinkaboutkittens*
posted by The Whelk at 2:41 PM on December 21, 2009 [10 favorites]


remember that metafilter is a community first and a place to pursue their own personal rhetorical salvos only nth.

We're just trying to solve for n.
posted by blue_beetle at 2:56 PM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


You know what Metafilter does well?

FTFY. HTH. HAND.


aka Fistfucky heathen handjobs.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:16 PM on December 21, 2009


Fistfucky heathen handjobs.

They open for Jinx Titanic, right?
posted by The Whelk at 3:17 PM on December 21, 2009


That Astro Zombie is so anti-leprechaun. I've really had enough of his crap. If I wasn't so lazy, I'd put down my pint of guinness and type angrly with BOTH HANDS.

Also, I think Bono is really Scottish. We don't care about the kilts, they can have them if they make claim to Bono too, unless they can find a way to make him pay his taxes - then we want him back.
posted by Elmore at 3:31 PM on December 21, 2009


shmegegge: "Boo"

ACCEPTABLE.
posted by boo_radley at 3:36 PM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


acceptable.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:41 PM on December 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


We don't care about the kilts, they can have them if they make claim to Bono too

And who gets to keep Sean Connery?
posted by qvantamon at 3:58 PM on December 21, 2009


I'm sorry, this is all my fault for tempting fate. I've got to admit though that on the scale of I/P craziness this is rapidly approaching "Micheal Jackson".
posted by Mitheral at 3:59 PM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


When it comes to other subjects -- things like race, class, gender, sexuality, and body image -- I feel like people go out of their way to be tolerant and open-minded. But for some reason, all of this just flies right out the window when it comes to Israel.

You cannot possibly compare concepts like "body image", not to mention race and gender, to a nation state. That's ridiculous.

Nations and their actions on the world stage should certainly be subject to scrutiny and criticism. Saying that Israel is responsible for (insert horrible things here) is a lot different than blaming blacks, or anorexics, because nations are actually actors. Being opposed to any nation's actions is hardly the same as LOLfatties.

It can be done without getting racist, but it's very hard to recover from any accusation of racism. Most of the I/P clusterfucks I have seen on MeFi are ignited by those accusations, and the spiraling derail. I suspect one could get a post deleted by simply trolling a few accusations of racism and waiting for the whole thread to die as a result. Maybe people already do this to sink threads on purpose. I have no data on this. Maybe its never happened.

But I think everyone would be better served if we policed that sort of accusatory distraction as hard as we seem to police posts or comments that are simply opposed to the current administration in Israel, or its actions. Delete the comments accusing other users of racism. Send those people to MeTa. Let the meat of the posts stand.

Insert a mixed metaphor about babies and bathwater and rotten apples here.
posted by rokusan at 4:26 PM on December 21, 2009 [5 favorites]


And who gets to keep Sean Connery?

Look, there are two things that us leprechauns do well: we lay claim to any glory we can. So if a Brit, like say Daniel Day Lewis, happens to have been born inside our borders and choses to live in Wicklow, and gets something like the nobel peace prize or a grammy or whatever, we claim him to be our own. We also begrudge any bastard who claims to be from Ireland and actually succeeds at anything: Bono.

So, much as we would like to lay claim to Sean Connery's success, we know we can't. Fucker!
posted by Elmore at 4:39 PM on December 21, 2009


Throwing one rotten apple at a baby spoils the bathwater?
posted by ~ at 4:40 PM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Other people have a nationality. The Irish and the Jews have a psychosis." - Brendan Behan.
posted by Elmore at 4:46 PM on December 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


Yeah, Elmore, that's a shitty thing to say, even if Behan said it. He doesn't get the "just talking about myself" pass when it comes to Jews, even if one accepts his pass for the Irish.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:16 PM on December 21, 2009


Yeah, Elmore, that's a shitty thing to say.

Only if you read it the most literal and non-charitable way you can muster.
posted by tkchrist at 5:39 PM on December 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


I always thought Han Solo was saying something that was deliberate nonsense to see if Obi-Wan would call him on it. When he doesn't, Solo knows that he's free to gouge the fuck out of him.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:02 PM on December 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


Only if you read it the most literal and non-charitable way you can muster.

Well, I'm reading it in the light of Behan being a douchebag who said a lot of shitty, hateful things. Not saying that it was a shitty thing for Elmore to do to quote Behan.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:06 PM on December 21, 2009


Last night as I slept, I dreamt I met with Behan. I shook him by the hand and we passed the time of day. When questioned on his thoughts, on the sum of his life's philosophy, he had these very clear and simple words to say: "I am going, I am going, any which way the winds may be blowing. I am going, I am going, where streams of whiskey are flowing"
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:24 PM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Pope Guilty writes "I always thought Han Solo was saying something that was deliberate nonsense to see if Obi-Wan would call him on it. When he doesn't, Solo knows that he's free to gouge the fuck out of him."

The beauty of it is while Lucas is an idiot for writing something so crap Han Solo comes across as a smooth talking hustler. Why Lucas changed Han shooting first and not this one of the great mysteries.
posted by Mitheral at 7:34 PM on December 21, 2009


I always thought Han Solo was saying something that was deliberate nonsense to see if Obi-Wan would call him on it. When he doesn't, Solo knows that he's free to gouge the fuck out of him.

This is what I choose to believe from now on. It's great and it fits in with...


...



...wait, weren't we talking about organ harvesting and racism? Now we're talking about Han Solo?

WTH??!!
posted by fuq at 8:05 PM on December 21, 2009


A few years ago I rented the original series in VHS (Not the remastered version, so these tapes must have been old). The Brazilian Portuguese subtitles in Star Wars ("A New Hope") were interesting. Apparently they were done before the movie became mainstream, so they had some funny guesses on technical terms and even character names. The bet translation was this phrase (I translated back to English):

"Arthur D2, activate the sub-illumination engines!"

(original: "R2D2, activate the sublight engines!").
posted by qvantamon at 8:17 PM on December 21, 2009


When I first started reading about Star Wars (having gone totally gaga for the films when I was about twelve) I remember I had a strange, short-lived confusion about a few of the characters who seemed to be referenced all the time, but whose names I didn't recognize. Artoo? Threepio? Who were they?
posted by ocherdraco at 8:29 PM on December 21, 2009


That Star Wars line is probably the most famous quote that makes absolutely no sense.

Han plotted a more efficient course. Makes sense to me.
posted by spaltavian at 9:15 PM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure that the "Han found a shorter route by skirting close to black holes" thing is in the Star Wars novels.

Wow, those novels sound a lot sexier than the Rogue Squadron series that I used to read.


So, I remember this explanation from the novels as well, which means it has to have been in The Jedi Academy Trilogy (kinda bad), The Thrawn Trilogy (not terrible, actually), The Han Solo Trilogy (deliciously bad), or Shadows of the Empire (I don't recall). Because those are, I belive, the ones that I have read.

I have gotten cooler since middle school I swear.
posted by naoko at 10:35 PM on December 21, 2009


Oops, Shadows of the Empire. In case you care. Which I hope you don't.
posted by naoko at 10:36 PM on December 21, 2009


I have gotten cooler since middle school I swear.

If you had, you wouldn't be here.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:54 PM on December 21, 2009


Yeah, that's from the Jedi Academy books, and you can tell because one of the plot points involves a secret military base that's near the Kessel Run black hole extravaganza that Han Solo flies so close to. Other plot points involve reincarnations of Sith Lords, Grand Moff Tarkin's girlfriend, a Death Star that actually blows up stars, and Wedge fucking an alien.

Sigh. If only I had 1997 to do all over again.
posted by Copronymus at 11:38 PM on December 21, 2009


I feel, as a community member, that there's an ethos about the site that emotionally charged and negative arguments are intolerable, and that we expect site administrators to head off anything of this nature before it happens (or in as close to real time as possible).

I apologize if this is a mischaracterization. I will do my best to say this in a way that allows for constructive discussion.

I think that preventing anything negative or charged from happening is unhealthy for the community. We should not ask this of the admins, or of our own conversations. I would prefer the occasional frustration (or anger, or grief) in discussions and posts to vigilantly managed calm.

So long as a charged topic meets the same standards as any other topic, I'd rather see the discussion allowed to continue. Would we have the occasional brush fire? Sure. Would it be good for the community? Perhaps we could try it as an experiment for a month and see.

That Maxwell's Demon style gate that keeps the hot on one side and the cool on the other? Maybe set it to allow just one more perceived axe-grindy or otherwise objectionable story through a week, and see if the community adapts positively.
posted by zippy at 11:47 PM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Han plotted a more efficient course. Makes sense to me.

(Sorry)
HAN: Han Solo. I'm captain of the Millennium Falcon. Chewie here tells me you're looking for passage to the Alderaan system.

BEN: Yes, indeed. If it's a fast ship.

HAN: Fast ship? You've never heard of the Millennium Falcon?

BEN: Should I have?

HAN: It's the ship that made the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs!

BEN: But a parsec is a measure of distance. I was asking about speed.

LUKE: I once bulls-eyed a womp rat in less than four hours.

CHEWBACCA: Grrar! [let us ignore this one's digressive statement]

HAN: I know that. Listen, kid, you might learn something. On second thought, nevermind. See, me and Chewie here spent a whole week in the guts of the nav system plotting out this beautiful shortcut. Normally you have to go around Kessel Secundus and that's 5 parsecs out of your way. "Everybody knows the Kessel Run is slightly less than 17 parsecs." "You want to do the Kessel Run, you have to go about 17 parsecs, give or take." "Waa-waa I'm Greedo even I know the Kessel Run's some amount shy of 17 parsecs long."

CHEWBACCA: Grrarr! [how wrong they were]

BEN: But did it actually take less time? I mean, less time than normal, in your ship in particular, somehow?

HAN: Not important. All I'm saying at this point is that my ship is famous for doing that.

BEN: Couldn't anyone do that shortcut though? A Jawa1 freighter could do those less than 12 parsecs in a hundred years, that doesn't make their ship fast. And if you know a shortcut to Alderaan, maybe you should have led with that—even though I still don't know how that relates to the actual speed of your ship, or why you think your ship would have notoriety for taking a shortcut, unless you used it to win some sort of race, in which case you should have told me about that and not the way you cheated to win it.

HAN: If it makes you feel better, we can pretend that I had to fly in between two black holes or something that requires a lot of speed. Why are you so hung up on this?

LUKE: My chair doesn't work!

BEN: Aha! I think I understand. Perhaps it is the case that your ship has separate reputations, both for being fast and for pioneering this Kessel Run improvement. However, the fame for the latter is the greater. Therefore you were not implying that your ship is fast because it pioneered the Kessel Run; you were merely shocked that beyond my ignorance of the Falcon's reputation for speed—beyond that and separate from that—I did not recognize the ship at all, not even for its signal accomplishment.

HAN: Yeah, of course. What conversation were you in? I thought you'd gone senile.

BEN: Moreover, so steeped are you in your smuggler's lore (and/or the myth of your own fame) you couldn't take the next step to imagine that we hadn't heard of the Kessel Run at all. This explains my conclusion that you somehow thought a parsec was a unit of time. I thought briefly that you were trying to dazzle me with patois—but surely no one is stupid enough to try to pass a well-known unit of distance as a unit of time, especially not to someone who'd just cold-bloodedly maimed a man.

HAN: Sure, make it my fault, asshole.
1Let's not go there.
posted by fleacircus at 12:29 AM on December 22, 2009 [31 favorites]


the Jedi Academy books

I remember reading those books because the author hung out on the FidoNet Star Wars Echo. Back then I seemed to have a lot more free time.
posted by Tenuki at 12:33 AM on December 22, 2009


Ha, I'm an Irish and Jewish mutt. I have no ethnic or nationalist feeling whatsoever. Maybe my two psychoses canceled each other out.

On the other hand, moving the Jews to Northern Ireland and the Ulster Protestants to Israel sounds like a plan to me. Let's mix it up a little, people!
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:55 AM on December 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have gotten cooler since middle school I swear.

If you had, you wouldn't be here.


Heh, busted.
posted by naoko at 5:35 AM on December 22, 2009


Let's mix it up a little, people!

Oi! Vey?
posted by zarq at 6:19 AM on December 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Just to take an unfortunate and unexpected turn: this is why I hate favorites. The best one can hope for in an overheated discussion like this is to lay out one's opinion with wit and clarity. There will always be a bit of egosyntonic ranting, but the self, community and despotic moderation does a good job of discouraging it. Favorites, however, are a tip jar for ranting. A mechanism to encourage heat for heat's sake. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why my cat remains -- to this day -- circumsized.
posted by ~ at 7:10 AM on December 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


(As a side note - how do MeFites do this? Do you think in complete and grammatical sentences? Do you edit what you write before posting? It's all so inconceivable to me.)
posted by ~ at 7:12 AM on December 22, 2009


Do you think in complete and grammatical sentences?

I often think in terms of geometry and a little algebra and then have to translate that mentally before composing sentences.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:17 AM on December 22, 2009


Makes sense. Make that a complete, normed grammatical space and it's a Banach space to boot.
posted by ~ at 7:24 AM on December 22, 2009


I allow a parrot to transcribe my thoughts. He is a surprisingly quick typist but occasionally, i like crackers, I find he tends to editorialize my comments.
posted by quin at 7:27 AM on December 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


Ha, I'm an Irish and Jewish mutt.

(Stares at fourcheesemac, then adjust coke bottle glasses so nobody can see the tears.)

So this is what it feels like...when doves cry.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:32 AM on December 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think in Chomskyan ur-language and then permute through surface structures until I find something I like.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:49 AM on December 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


I think in Proto-Indo-European and then drag my utterance down the millennia, watching it mutate along the way, shedding asterisks like dandruff.
posted by languagehat at 8:11 AM on December 22, 2009 [9 favorites]


I think in the quantum possibilities of all possible comments and then find the one that's a big long story about shapeships.
posted by The Whelk at 8:13 AM on December 22, 2009


People, people... do you realize what's just occurred?

We've found the solution to the Israel/Palestine conflict, and that solution is arguing about Han Solo and Star Wars.
posted by odinsdream at 8:27 AM on December 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


i  quiet ly   think
      poetry  magnetic
  a  rose  bloom s
fart         chocolate   dream s
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:30 AM on December 22, 2009 [7 favorites]


So you're saying make sure my thoughts are in well-formed XML and then apply the appropriate stylesheet or xslt. Perfect. (I never knew Chomskyian linguistics was so simple!)
posted by ~ at 9:11 AM on December 22, 2009


I'm in ur Chomskys stealing ur languages.
posted by spaltavian at 5:01 PM on December 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


When I was kid, we'd stop by Jewish bakeries on Reistertown Rd, in Baltimore, MD after church. These bakeries were usually run by Orthodox Jews, who were very friendly to Mom's unending quest for a Sunday pie to go with dinner. I was in heaven of course, hands and nose pressed against the glass, staring at cookies and cakes and pastries, stacked in rows higher than my 6 year self.

To this day I still equate, on some weird unconscious level, Orthdox Jews with bakeries. When I see them before the Wailing Wall on tv, I always wonder who's minding the bakery even though I rationally realize that very few, if any, are actually bakers.

The world would probably be a quieter and tastier place if we all spent more time baking things.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:54 AM on December 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


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