Moron or idiot, you decide.
June 7, 2010 7:36 PM   Subscribe

racist: doubleplusgood word. idiot: ungood word.

This is a cross between a please explain and a heads-up. Apparently it's OK to post a one sentence comment calling someone a "racist." No substance, no insight, just ad hominem name-calling.

But if I want to call someone an "idiot" for saying something idiotic then it gets whipped off the comments page quicker than mum's pants on father's day. I've even had a MeMail from a Moderator warning me to lay off, with a very much implied temporary banhammer feel to it [due to a flood of complaints in the form of flags, no less].

I could also draw the long bow and explain to you that "idiot" has a very different meaning in Australia. For example, it's something you'd regularly say to your best friend or even your girlfriend in the right circumstances. It's no worse than "klutz" or "doofus."

So it's not only being hypocritical, but it's being culturally insensitive. And we can't be having that on MeFi, can we?

I'd like to link to examples of where it's appropriate to call someone an idiot. But I can't. They've been deleted.
posted by uncanny hengeman to Etiquette/Policy at 7:36 PM (76 comments total)

This post is idiotic.
posted by Nothing... and like it at 7:39 PM on June 7, 2010


Thread over!
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:41 PM on June 7, 2010


uncanny hengeman, just go out gracefully, dude.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:43 PM on June 7, 2010


So why did you link to that comment? I am so confused.
posted by chunking express at 7:45 PM on June 7, 2010


Wait, what?
posted by klangklangston at 7:46 PM on June 7, 2010


So why did you link to that comment? I am so confused.

Closest and most recent I could find. I didn't specifically call rogerd an idiot, but my deleted comment was related to that post.

Good call, but. It was a bit mysterious.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:49 PM on June 7, 2010


Man, if you are going to start a MetaTalk thread at least try and not be so half-assed about it. Why wouldn't you link to this comment, which would give some context for your rant?
posted by chunking express at 7:50 PM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wait, what?

Who put the fun in spaghetti?
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:50 PM on June 7, 2010


"Racist" is a sometimes problematic word but not forbidden. Idiot is a somewhat less but still problematic word that is also not forbidden. Like, really really not forbidden. I assume you didn't bother trying to look.

You threw a random dismissive comment into a thread instead of bothering to actually substantiate your complaint over there (if it was doable in an in-thread manner) or clearly stating it over here (if it wasn't gonna be). This is totally opaque to anyone who didn't see your random crappy comment.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:50 PM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


And I think Bardic's comment sums up why people would be calling you a racist asshole for enjoying the video. (In case you were confused about that.) I don't think I'd go so far. It is a pretty cheesy video, though. I think you have bad taste, at the very least.
posted by chunking express at 7:53 PM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sorry, could a Mod fix.

chunking express is correct.

Don't know how I linked the random one.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:53 PM on June 7, 2010


Anyway, this guy calls people "idiot" rather frequently (even though half the time he's wrong about things himself).
posted by Burhanistan at 7:54 PM on June 7, 2010


Your perfectly formed turd was carted away. But take heart, dear fellow. There are plenty more turds where that one came from, and you will surely be allowed to make them.

(Oh, and bonus points for making your allusion to Orwell in this post, you clever, clever boy!)
posted by crunchland at 7:55 PM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


This post is Australian.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 7:55 PM on June 7, 2010


Well that explains everything.
posted by chunking express at 7:56 PM on June 7, 2010


And I think Bardic's comment sums up why people would be calling you a racist asshole for enjoying the video. (In case you were confused about that.) I don't think I'd go so far. It is a pretty cheesy video, though. I think you have bad taste, at the very least.

I don't mind the name-calling at all. Bring it on.

This is about the hypocrisy. What if I could "sum up" someone's comment as being idiotic? What if I could find another MeFite's comment that "summed up" an idiotic comment?
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:57 PM on June 7, 2010


This is about the hypocrisy. What if I could "sum up" someone's comment as being idiotic? What if I could find another MeFite's comment that "summed up" an idiotic comment?

Then do a competent job of calling them on their idiocy and quit your pointless whining here.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:58 PM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Anyway, this guy calls people "idiot" rather frequently (even though half the time he's wrong about things himself).

Not lately. It's a banned word now.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:59 PM on June 7, 2010


To be clear, I agree that calling you racist is obnoxious. Similarly, calling someone an idiot is obnoxious. However, I disagree with your proposed 'bring it on' solution. The site would probably be better if we didn't call each other names. At the very least, people should probably explain why they suspect a particular user is an idiot and/or asshole.
posted by chunking express at 8:00 PM on June 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Then do a competent job of calling them on their idiocy and quit your pointless whining here.

Fail.

rogerd should do a competent job of calling me on my racism. That's my point. Or both comments should have been deleted.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:01 PM on June 7, 2010


Sweet.
posted by yhbc at 8:01 PM on June 7, 2010


Ironically, I once called someone an idiot for accusing me of being a racist. And I think the guy in question was Australian.

That was a fun time!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:01 PM on June 7, 2010


But in all fairness, he really was an idiot.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:03 PM on June 7, 2010


Where was it that I read someone saying that she grew up used to seeing behavior and hearing words that were casually racist, because she grew up in a society that has deeply-ingrained hang-ups about race, still, and only recently has she begun to notice that white people think labeling behavior and words 'racist' is, like, the meanest thing someone can say.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:03 PM on June 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


However, I disagree with your proposed 'bring it on' solution.

So do I. This is what makes MeFi a good forum. I prefixed it by saying "I don't mind the name-calling" if that's the way it's gonna be. For the last time now: it's the hypocrisy. "Racist" is a pretty strong term.

Very recently we had a big hand wringing session over the term "anti Semite," did we not?
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:06 PM on June 7, 2010


Oh yeah, it was Beverly Tatum's Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?
posted by shakespeherian at 8:07 PM on June 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Well it seems that uncanny hengeman's from Perth (assuming that the Swanbourne Hotel referred to in his profile is a reflection of his location).

It's ironic really; Western Australians are stereotyped by other Australians as backwards, idiotic racists. Don't even start me on Tasmanians
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 8:09 PM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


But in all fairness, he really was an idiot.

And favorited numerous times.

This is kind of what I'm getting at. If your comment agrees with the hive mind then it gets a free pass. If it doesn't: deleted!
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:13 PM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


oh just shut up already.
posted by crunchland at 8:14 PM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Shut up! Don't cry!
posted by Burhanistan at 8:18 PM on June 7, 2010


Racist means something specific. Idiot is just a generic insult. If you get called a racist, you can explain why you're not, or admit to being one, or point out how someone is misusing the label. If you get called an idiot, then what?
posted by zinfandel at 8:20 PM on June 7, 2010


Framing this as a newspeak issue really elevates the discourse.
posted by dirtdirt at 8:27 PM on June 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


You threw a random dismissive comment into a thread instead of bothering to actually substantiate your complaint over there (if it was doable in an in-thread manner) or clearly stating it over here (if it wasn't gonna be). This is totally opaque to anyone who didn't see your random crappy comment.

cortex, with all due respect, my comment was no more a random crappy unsubstantiated comment that rogered threw in. And who started the random crappy comments?

Your reaction to this, plus we've got stavrosthewonderchicken gloating about the time he called someone an idiot but that's OK because they "really" were being idiots.

I think you and other MeFites above have proved my point.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:28 PM on June 7, 2010


Framing this as a newspeak issue really elevates the discourse.

And how!
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:28 PM on June 7, 2010


Sorry, could a Mod fix.

I replaced the link the comment you meant. And, look, I don't think you're out of line for being bothered by rogerd's comment. I'd love to see that exchange not keep rolling because I frankly think once it gets to the level of slapping labels on folks we've pretty much fucked up conversationally. Part of seeing that stopping is you being high-minded enough to either argue back civilly or leaving it alone. Drop us a line via the contact form if you think we need to see something that got overlooked, etc.

Because just snapping back in-thread and then going to metatalk with stuff like this:

Not lately. It's a banned word now.

Is stupid, bullshit framing. Orwellian overtures likewise. If you want to try and have something resembling an actual discussion about this, please make an effort.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:33 PM on June 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


I think you and other MeFites above have proved my point.

Oh, but not nearly as well as you've proven theirs.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:37 PM on June 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Goddamit, for once and for all, it's Jibe, not jive. That drives me nuts.

As you were.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:37 PM on June 7, 2010 [14 favorites]


Apparently it's OK to post a one sentence comment calling someone a "racist... but if I want to call someone an "idiot" for saying something idiotic then it gets whipped off the comments page quicker than mum's pants on father's day."

Is it okay to call you sexist?
posted by tzikeh at 8:38 PM on June 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


stop sulking, uncanny. What do you want? Please use your words.
posted by boo_radley at 8:40 PM on June 7, 2010


whipped off the comments page quicker than mum's pants on father's day.

I don't know, uncanny hengeman, you're looking like a bit too much of a fixer-upper to me.

Even if we did somehow manage to scrape away all that racism, assuming it hasn't started to rot the beams yet, we'd still have to haul away all that toxic sexism in the basement and let it air out for months, probably-- and do you have any idea what the disposal fees are for that stuff these days?
posted by jamjam at 8:40 PM on June 7, 2010


And, look, I don't think you're out of line for being bothered by rogerd's comment.

Please. For the last time. Not bothered at all. Loving it. I'm bothered that my random crappy unsubstantiated comment got deleted and his didn't.

Love yer work, Mods. It must be a tough job. But remember, I offered - nay, DEMANDED - to be a Mod way back, and Matt never gave me the password.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:40 PM on June 7, 2010


I'm trying to imagine the bizarro world where uncanny hengeman became a mod.
posted by dunkadunc at 8:42 PM on June 7, 2010 [8 favorites]


stop sulking, uncanny. What do you want?

Yibbida yibbida.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:42 PM on June 7, 2010


Goddamit, for once and for all, it's Jibe, not jive. That drives me nuts.

It's gybe, actually. Next you'll be saying gaol is spelled with a j ... and an i!
posted by Sys Rq at 8:42 PM on June 7, 2010


Didn't we just have a thread about drunk posting?
posted by Burhanistan at 8:42 PM on June 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


But remember, I offered - nay, DEMANDED - to be a Mod way back, and Matt never gave me the password.

And boy howdy did the community ever dodge a bullet on that one.
posted by Nothing... and like it at 8:45 PM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm trying to imagine the bizarro world where uncanny hengeman became a mod.

LOL. Same here. It was a very much tongue in cheek conversation, back when Matt was hell-overworked and put out some feelers for help. I had a quick Google for it but couldn't find it.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:45 PM on June 7, 2010


Please. For the last time. Not bothered at all. Loving it. I'm bothered that my random crappy unsubstantiated comment got deleted and his didn't.

Then I humbly suggest that you are the problem, and that you do not grok the MetaFilter..
posted by Chuckles at 8:46 PM on June 7, 2010


Didn't we just have a thread about drunk posting?

And good God, this thread makes me want to knock one back.

hamburger!
posted by joe lisboa at 8:47 PM on June 7, 2010 [14 favorites]


Next you'll be saying gaol is spelled with a j ... and an i!

I hate change make it stop
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:47 PM on June 7, 2010


Your reaction to this, plus we've got stavrosthewonderchicken gloating about the time he called someone an idiot but that's OK because they "really" were being idiots.

Gloating? I do not gloat, sir.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:47 PM on June 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Even A Silly MeTa Can Have An Anthem
posted by zarq at 8:48 PM on June 7, 2010


Yibbida yibbida

You're Rex Hunt? That explains everything.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 8:48 PM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Didn't we just have a thread about drunk posting?

Now now. Play nice. It's 7 o'clock in the morning here.

I'll leave you guys too it, you've proved my point. Now there's just too many random crappy unsubstantiated comments saying "stop sulking" and "go away" and "you're drunk" and "can I call you sexy?"

I'll check in later for some laffs.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:52 PM on June 7, 2010


> I'll leave you guys too it, you've proved my point.

Given the way that you framed this post, and then the way that you responded in the thread, you don't actually expect that anyone thinks you posted this in earnest, do you?
posted by Burhanistan at 8:54 PM on June 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


You're Rex Hunt? That explains everything.

Way more apropos than Rex Manning. I think.
posted by desuetude at 8:54 PM on June 7, 2010


Randomly-selected 5-digit numbers and their randomly-assigned banned epithets: Why, yes, I was rejected by McSweeneys!
posted by The White Hat at 8:56 PM on June 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


I bought a slab of lemon meringue fudge at lunchtime, would anybody like some?
posted by turgid dahlia at 8:58 PM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


At Devil's Rancher, it's okay. I speak jive

but ita on the jibe/jive thing!
posted by pointystick at 8:59 PM on June 7, 2010


Way more apropos than Rex Manning. I think

Or Rex Harrison. Though I could imagine him stagily declaiming "it gets whipped off the comments page quicker than mum's pants on father's day" with one of those eyebrows raised, just so
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 9:00 PM on June 7, 2010


Everyone who comments after this is a racist idiot.
posted by item at 9:03 PM on June 7, 2010


All right. Which one of you idiots called this idiot an idiot?
posted by GeckoDundee at 9:06 PM on June 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm not racist, this is just "autumn face."
posted by Sys Rq at 9:08 PM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Antisemenite.
posted by Artw at 9:11 PM on June 7, 2010


I'm not poker, this is just my-my-my "racist face."
posted by joe lisboa at 9:12 PM on June 7, 2010


Love yer work, Mods. It must be a tough job. But remember, I offered - nay, DEMANDED - to be a Mod way back, and Matt never gave me the password.

Can you please refer to what I wrote you in the previous MeMail where we talked about this sort of thing?

Your comment was deleted because it was basically just bitching out everyone in the thread and adding nothing of substance. I didn't leave a note saying "hey take this to MetaTalk." I guess if I had this would have wound up here sooner?

Didn't like rogerd's comment either. Everyone should know better.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:14 PM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yibbida yibbida.

Would someone who is not uncanny hengeman explain this for the benefit of interested parties?
posted by immlass at 9:28 PM on June 7, 2010


Even A Silly MeTa Can Have An Anthem

This seems more appropriate.
posted by Sailormom at 9:28 PM on June 7, 2010


Someone on Soulseek recommended this one.
posted by dunkadunc at 9:31 PM on June 7, 2010


I wish people would reign in "alot" because it doesn't jive either.
posted by flabdablet at 9:33 PM on June 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


I could also draw the long bow and explain to you that "idiot" has a very different meaning in Australia. For example, it's something you'd regularly say to your best friend or even your girlfriend in the right circumstances. It's no worse than "klutz" or "doofus."

"Ya spilt me beeyah, ya idiot sheila!"
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:34 PM on June 7, 2010


Even better: Tobacco - Berries That Burn. SO GOOD
posted by dunkadunc at 9:34 PM on June 7, 2010


Would someone who is not uncanny hengeman explain this for the benefit of interested parties?

Moron or idiot, you decide.

posted by flabdablet at 9:35 PM on June 7, 2010


Here's another "idiot" anthem, but it might be a bit too clever for this thread.

"All the above will come back to you in purgatory and confirm you as a damn pest"
posted by Burhanistan at 9:36 PM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's an insane deconstruction.
posted by at the crossroads at 9:37 PM on June 7, 2010


Okay, I guess we're done here. uc, this doesn't seem like you really making a good faith effort to use metatalk, so maybe just write to us directly or close the browser window and take a walk next time if you've got a problem with moderation or another user.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:44 PM on June 7, 2010


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