Metaclog June 25, 2010 2:25 PM   Subscribe

I think its time we ban I/P threads completely. This thread gets deleted, while this thread, and this thread stand?

From the Shalit Thread: "This post was deleted for the following reason: this is more of the same. Please do not post here about I/P issues unless there's something happening that is of interest to the larger community that you can talk about without resorting to the same old GRAR. MetaTalk is your option. Thank you." -- jessamyn

How is this not of interest of the community, how are the other posts linked above?

I am not alleging bias, but I do think unless we very clearly set the definitions for these posts, the deletions of some threads and not others will produce more grar, not less.

I can understand if the mods just got tired of moderating I/P threads, but if thats the case here, will it be the case going forward?
posted by rosswald to Etiquette/Policy at 2:25 PM (184 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

the deletions of some threads and not others will produce more grar, not less.

Example one: double Metas.

As someone who contributed a little bit to the most recently deleted thread before it turned into a blizzard-level shitstorm of acrimonious link-swapping, I'm fine with kill-on-sight being the Mefi I/P policy. I/P threads fill so rapidly with fighting duos you'd think they were The French Mistake.
posted by Bookhouse at 2:31 PM on June 25, 2010


I don't have to do nearly the amount of I/P thread clean-up that cortex and jessamyn do but I'll be bold and say that yes, I get tired of moderating I/P threads. Also, MetaFilter is about sharing interesting links to amazing stories and/or websites and so much of the I/P subject matter that gets posted here is basically trying to turn MetaFilter into the DailyKos. This isn't a daily-news-about-Israel-and-Palenstine site, it's MetaFilter.

There won't be an outright ban on any and all links about I/P because we don't do zero tolerance absolutes here. If tomorrow there's something truly different and major news about the area, perhaps there could be a post, but if it's going to be yet another small thing about the I/P conflict I'd likely delete it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:31 PM on June 25, 2010 [9 favorites]


I loved "Blazing Saddles"!
posted by Burhanistan at 2:34 PM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


This post was up for awhile, but it went south, big time.

My heart bleeds for Shalit and his family, in all seriousness, but I have to agree with the mods that fighty threads on the blue do none of us any good. This one was was traveling on very sore and recently trampled ground.
posted by bearwife at 2:35 PM on June 25, 2010


I do think unless we very clearly set the definitions for these posts

We have a pretty clear oft-stated definition: there is a very high bar for I/P posts, if you are making one, it needs to be on something that will interest the entire community and crafted carefully.

I very specifically ran this thread past mathowie before I did anything about it. This was a post by someone who has been dragged into MeTa for being fighty on the I/P topic in the recent past making a post about an anniversary of a political prisoner with some snarky asides thrown in for good measure. I am not pointing the finger at Joe in Australia here, I don't think he did anything wrong particularly, but this is not the place to have these discussions.

We bring this up every single time there is an I/P MeTa post. We are not interested in being more aggressive at moderating these threads so that people can have the same old fights which is what we see as the alternative to just closing threads.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:36 PM on June 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm disappointed it was deleted. It wasn't just a piece of random news about I/P; it was locally significant because it brackets the post made at the time Gilad Shalit was captured. The comments on the posts provide a grassroots historical perspective that is probably unique to Metafilter.

I know I/P threads tend to generate a lot of heat, but it's a shame to think that they have to be censored in advance. For the longest time I've been sitting on a post about a really interesting site - the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron which is fascinating for all sorts of reasons: it's probably the place described in the Bible as the burial place of Abraham; it's the last reasonably-whole structure built by King Herod; it apparently became a Jewish mausoleum, and then a source of Christian relics - lots of reasons, lots of stories. But it was also the site of at least one massacre of Jews by Arabs and of Arabs by Jews. I was sure it would get derailed so I've been reluctant to post it. I only posted the Shalit FPP because it was timely.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:43 PM on June 25, 2010


I think the I/P threads would be fine if the pro-palestinian side would just give up already.
posted by shmegegge at 2:46 PM on June 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


or is it the pro-israel side?
posted by shmegegge at 2:46 PM on June 25, 2010


god, I don't even know anymore.
posted by shmegegge at 2:46 PM on June 25, 2010 [8 favorites]


Gene Shalit? Still alive?
posted by fixedgear at 2:48 PM on June 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


I know I/P threads tend to generate a lot of heat, but it's a shame to think that they have to be censored in advance.

It wasn't censored "in advance," it was there for some time and quickly went south. Frankly, I saw it as obvious trolling - a previous thread went south when someone resorted to ridiculous "anti-Israel equals anti-Semitism" statements, while eschewing any sort of thoughtful consideration of anything. Oh, that was you, Joe!

Come on, you had to know where this one would go.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 2:50 PM on June 25, 2010 [6 favorites]


I don't think a post noting a political prisoner's anniversary in detention is quite the same as the emerging news relayed in the latter two posts aside from a facile "they are both about the I/P conflict".
posted by boo_radley at 2:50 PM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


> I was sure it would get derailed so I've been reluctant to post it.

Very wise. You need to think like that more often. It's an interesting topic, and probably someone else will post it eventually. Frankly, you have zero credibility on the topic, and pretty much everyone would assume you were posting it with a fighty agenda, and sadly, they would almost certainly be right.
posted by languagehat at 2:51 PM on June 25, 2010 [11 favorites]


Yeesh, Joe must know by now about the nature of I/P GRAR. Given his history in those threads, his posting this one seems to me like straight-up trolling.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:53 PM on June 25, 2010


maybe we can have the next i/p thread when the messiah returns.
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:53 PM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


(I should clarify that I mean "trolling" in that, come on, someone is bound to make a tasteless Gene Shalit joke.)
posted by Sys Rq at 2:55 PM on June 25, 2010


My whole life, I was never sure Gene Shalit wasn't a muppet.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:56 PM on June 25, 2010 [8 favorites]


> . Frankly, I saw it as obvious trolling

As did I. I should've refrained from even going in there, but the way Joe presented it as if Shalit was just kidnapped by evil Palestinians out of the blue for no reason and there's nothing else going on here was clearly biased, as was the implication that the blockade affecting millions is a just punishment. So, if I made it worse by spamming up the thread with links to the contrary then my apologies. But, Joe should obviously refrain from making I/P kinds of posts in the first place unless they're going to take a more balanced view.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:00 PM on June 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


languagehat: "Frankly, you have zero credibility on the topic, and pretty much everyone would assume you were posting it with a fighty agenda"

It's almost as though you're saying that JiA posted the deleted item prior to mentioning the Tomb of the Patriarchs as a way of affirming his biases: A story based in ancient history, with a lot of potentially exciting avenues for exploration -- that's OK to sit on. A political prisoner's continued captivity, demonstrations and related media in a conflict that shocks and inflames the passions of even, level-headed people -- that ought to get posted immediately.
posted by boo_radley at 3:01 PM on June 25, 2010


There's no constitutional right to post to MetaFilter. People who care so darn much about specific topics should GYO(F)B.
posted by GuyZero at 3:08 PM on June 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ken O'Keefe on HARDtalk (Parts: 1 2 3)
posted by gman at 3:10 PM on June 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think Intellectual Property is important and appropriate to discuss on MetaFilter.
posted by lukemeister at 3:13 PM on June 25, 2010 [10 favorites]


As other said, the thread was going decently, and it just seems unfair to me that Burhanistan's bad behavior gets rewarded by giving him what he wanted.

I mean, Matt pretty clearly stated what his policy is, which I guess is what I was asking for. Still, I hope you (the mods) see where having y'all define what is a "small thing" versus "major news" can at least be a little problematic.
posted by rosswald at 3:18 PM on June 25, 2010


I think that the I/P post that actually accomplishes something -- something other than providing a platform for people to shout past each other -- something that actually can change minds, and bring about change in the middle east -- THAT post should be allowed to stay. All others, deleted.

(Now if you could come up with an I/P post that involved an abusive cop all encompassed in a single Peanuts comic strip, I might be willing to reconsider.)
posted by crunchland at 3:21 PM on June 25, 2010


> t Burhanistan's bad behavior

Eh, you can label my posting of links that betray Joe's tidy little narrative as "bad behavior" if you want, but maybe if he had done a better job framing his post then I wouldn't have felt that any attention was warranted. It was a clearly biased post, unlike the other posts you link that were not deleted.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:24 PM on June 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


I personally worry that we will never truly have a safe space in which to discuss important issues with Internet Protocol.
posted by elizardbits at 3:31 PM on June 25, 2010 [8 favorites]


I mean, Matt pretty clearly stated what his policy is, which I guess is what I was asking for. Still, I hope you (the mods) see where having y'all define what is a "small thing" versus "major news" can at least be a little problematic.

It's fuzzy, there are grey areas. We do our best to navigate those as we can based on the context (has there been a lot of posts in this territory lately, is this topic extra contentious, are the circumstances here problematic at all, etc) and make a decision one way or the other on each case.

It'll never be tightly codified. That just isn't how mefi works, and we'd destroy the place trying to change that.

That said, this case-by-case stuff seems to work pretty well most of the time without significant friction. We remove some things, leave others, and every once in a while we get an email or see a metatalk post discussing that decision.

But there are a small handful of topics where even choosing to delete a post when we think that's the correct moves appears in its own right to be a likely prompt for a metatalk complaint about the deletion. I/P is one of them, one of the worst lately it seems like, and it leaves us in really shitty damned-if-we-do, damned-if-we-don't territory on this stuff.

And frankly I think a lot of that comes down to a failure on the part of various folks who are passionate about the subject to stop and take a step back from the situation and remember that Metafilter is a generalist community blog with a primary focus on sharing links to neat stuff on the web. Not a political news site. Not an activism blog. Not a place to stage arguments about hot-button topics. That that stuff happens on the site at all is part of the cost of us not specifically prohibiting any given topic, and it happening in moderate doses is not itself a problem even if it tends to be a good bit higher on the pain-in-the-ass index than everything else; but it needs to remain just a bit of the overall mix, and part of that comes down to folks respecting the fact that if they need a whole lot hardcore political/ideological chatter they need to go find somewhere else where that's actually the mission of the site and not a distraction from the site.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:31 PM on June 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


DAMN YOU LUKEMEISTER
posted by elizardbits at 3:31 PM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


As other said, the thread was going decently

It seemed really fighty toward the end, when the discussion turned into a neener neener dispute ("Israel commits genocide!" "Well, Hamas tortures prisoners!" "Well, so does Israel!").
posted by sallybrown at 3:33 PM on June 25, 2010


This is what is good about Metafilter, right? Anything goes, but not everything stays. Some posts go south, some go north, some get boarded before they reach the border. Metafilter woudn't be what it is without the moderation it has now. So I'd be against making rules that they need to adhere by, and I'd stick with trustiing their judgement.
posted by Elmore at 3:36 PM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


cortex is very polite but I'm goign to tranlate here:

if they need a whole lot hardcore political/ideological chatter they need to go find somewhere else where that's actually the mission of the site and not a distraction from the site.

GYOFB.
posted by GuyZero at 3:36 PM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I agree Sallybrown, and I guess I felt that the thread could have been scrubbed of the offending comments (as happened in the other threads I linked to) rather than just nuking the whole thing.

Thanks Matt and Cortex, I respect the site, and the work you put in.
posted by rosswald at 3:40 PM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


and Jessamyn!
posted by rosswald at 3:40 PM on June 25, 2010


The problems with the Internet Protocol will not go away until we address the issues of illegal cybersquatting, admins setting up firewalls to restrict certain user groups to sub-domains, or blocking access to ports.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:43 PM on June 25, 2010 [14 favorites]


I guess I felt that the thread could have been scrubbed of the offending comments

Agreed. This was a conscious decision we made to close the thread instead of babysit it all evening. And we made that decision, together, because we feel that these types of threads are not central to what we see as MetaFilter's purpose, they're predictable and tiresome, and that there are many other places on the web to go if all you want to do is holler at each other and call each other racists.

If you want to stay here and have a reasonable discussion about a topic, it's a good idea to try to start the conversation reasonably and try to moderate your own tone as well as the tone of others. It's work to delete comments and prune back a thread. We'll do it if we think it's important, but we feel like people need to make an effort towards being reasonable themselves.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:44 PM on June 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


I suspect the mods may have something better to do with their Friday nights than babysit threads. And, if a certain subject needs constant babysitting, it may be a bad match for MetaFilter until the people participating in it are able to do so in a way that doesn't require constant mod supervision.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:49 PM on June 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


All the I/P posts should stay. "I/P Freely!" must be MetaFilter's motto!
posted by Crabby Appleton at 3:50 PM on June 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's work to delete comments and prune back a thread.

Kind of tangential question: If I'm going to flag a comment that's fighty but not to the level of being offensive/sexist/racist, and it's technically on-topic so it's not really noise or derail, is it confusing/unhelpful to you all if I flag it as other? Or would that be it breaks the guidelines?
posted by sallybrown at 3:52 PM on June 25, 2010


Gene Shalit? Still alive?

Alive!
posted by ericb at 4:02 PM on June 25, 2010


"I/P" is just internet shorthand for the Pearl Izumi logo.

Even if I behaved badly in that thread, it taught me that the entire story hinged on it merely being an anniversary. Nothing else had changed. So, what could be a possible and appropriate response? "What's the traditional gift for a first anniversary again? Paper?" Nothing else had changed.

I dunno, maybe we're throwing away an opportunity to reflect on the nature of anniversaries, maybe with a derail into alternate calendars.
posted by rhizome at 4:05 PM on June 25, 2010




I suspect it might be awesome to get two violently opposing persons to collaborate on a post.
posted by artlung at 4:07 PM on June 25, 2010


sallybrown, when in doubt go ahead and flag it as "break guidelines" or "other", sure. Much of the time it's a preponderance of flags that really gets our attention, so a single flagging choice isn't a great big deal.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:08 PM on June 25, 2010


This has always been my favourite.
posted by elizardbits at 4:23 PM on June 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


Even if I behaved badly in that thread, it taught me that the entire story hinged on it merely being an anniversary. Nothing else had changed.

The new facts were that HRW and the Red Cross had both made statements about his detention, that there were demonstrations around the world, that he'd been made an honorary citizen of Rome, and so forth. The story has finally gained momentum outside Israel. I think it's an extraordinary story, much like the War of Jenkins' Ear: this guy's mistreatment has had huge consequences. And as I said above, it's locally interesting because you can go back in time to the previous comment on Metafilter and see people - some of the same people commenting today - talking about his capture and making predictions about future developments.

My problem with the present situation is that I can guarantee nobody can make a FPP about the example I gave (the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron) without it getting derailed - it really was the site of massacres, it really is a flashpoint and divided between Jews and Moslems. So that topic is effectively censored. The same probably goes for every archaeological site in Israel. I think that's a shame.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:27 PM on June 25, 2010


I've got dibs on the Gene Shalit obit post, BTW. "As soon as he was able to shave he began cultivating his trademark mustache..."
posted by fixedgear at 4:31 PM on June 25, 2010


I think Internal Parasites are important and appropriate to discuss on MetaFilter.
posted by homunculus at 4:33 PM on June 25, 2010


I think Intellectual Property is important and appropriate to discuss on MetaFilter.

You stole that joke!
posted by fleacircus at 4:33 PM on June 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


I can guarantee nobody can make a FPP about the example I gave (the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron) without it getting derailed

I'm happy to take this on as a challenge in the next week or so. I've seen a lot of interesting archaeology posts over the years about stuff going on in the Middle East. But I swear to jehu if you derail it yourself, I will be quite incensed.

And again, it's a big internet. I'm sorry people get argumentative here about certain topics, but these topics can be discussed ad nauseum on the internet at large, we really don't feel terrifically bad if a post on a touchy topic framed in a not-that-great way doesn't get to stick around.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:44 PM on June 25, 2010 [2 favorites]



My problem with the present situation is that I can guarantee nobody can make a FPP about the example I gave (the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron) without it getting derailed - it really was the site of massacres, it really is a flashpoint and divided between Jews and Moslems. So that topic is effectively censored. The same probably goes for every archaeological site in Israel. I think that's a shame.


Wait, so you think that you won't be able to make a post about archaeology because it will be removed for I/P fighty issues. You then make a one sided post about I/P issues just to stir shit up? I really don't get your train of thought.
posted by nestor_makhno at 4:45 PM on June 25, 2010


The new facts were that HRW and the Red Cross had both made statements about his detention...

The sheer posting of the imprisonment of single solider is political in the I/P conflict. If you can't understand that, you should not make another other posts about the subject on Metafilter.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:54 PM on June 25, 2010


nestor_makhno writes "Wait, so you think that you won't be able to make a post about archaeology because it will be removed for I/P fighty issues. You then make a one sided post about I/P issues just to stir shit up? I really don't get your train of thought."

This is a prime example of why self links are banned; we can't judge the relative merits of things that are important/close to us.
posted by Mitheral at 4:55 PM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


By the by, I can't believe no one else has used 'Metaclog' before. When I posted, I figured there would be at least one or two other mentions, but nope.

Not that I think its genius or anything, but what else could happen to Metafilter but a Metaclog? Come on people!
posted by rosswald at 5:01 PM on June 25, 2010


Moslems

What is up with this spelling as a cultural signifier? I generally only see the word spelled this way on right-leaning blogs. I know that it is a "valid" spelling in English, but I wonder if anyone knows how it came to be associated with the American right? Note: My assumptions may be wrong and I don't know how this spelling is used outside the American context.
posted by Falconetti at 5:04 PM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


perhaps one day in the far future we will have intense discussions about the Ibm/bP corporate wars.
posted by edgeways at 5:09 PM on June 25, 2010




Falconetti: Interesting point. When you search for this alternative spelling, you find websites about "Obama the Moslem" or "World War III: The Moslem Terrorism War". Some internet comments on the subject:

"I wish I could remember to spell it this way. Moslem! Especially since the word itself is much more descriptive of what they truly are. " (I don't know what this means)

"I use moslem most of the time because I know it ticks them off."

However, AskMe denied any such connection in 2006.
posted by shii at 5:13 PM on June 25, 2010




What is up with this spelling as a cultural signifier?

It's somewhat shorter than "Musselman".
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:17 PM on June 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


I/P posts won't fly here till Jesus Himself comes down and sorts it out.

A lot of you new kids don't remember just how totally, totally hoppitamoppita the old I/p threads used to get. Honestly, they'd have to hire a new mod or two just to keep up with the carnage.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:24 PM on June 25, 2010


I suspect it might be awesome to get two violently opposing persons to collaborate on a post.

Yeah! It'd be just like Crossfire 'round here! I can't see how that could possibly go wrong - I mean, that show resolved so many difficult issues, right?
posted by item at 5:31 PM on June 25, 2010


I/P posts won't fly here till Jesus Himself comes down and sorts it out.

When He does, I would advise Him to retain a lawyer and shut the hell up before he implicates himself -- or his Dad -- in this mess.
posted by joe lisboa at 5:31 PM on June 25, 2010 [6 favorites]


Eh, you can label my posting of links that betray Joe's tidy little narrative as "bad behavior" if you want

Joe was being a dick with his post, sure, but I'm going to go ahead and put forward the no-doubt crazy idea that you deciding it a good idea to post that Israeli Jews are racists who think Jews are superior to everyone else and which links to a page which says that Israeli behavior is pretty much the same as the Nazi SS qualifies as rather more than "bad behavior". But, hey, if you want to call that "betraying Joe's tidy little narrative", whatever.
posted by Justinian at 6:03 PM on June 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is what is good about Metafilter, right? Anything goes, but not everything stays.
It's the "Filter" in "MetaFilter."
posted by Floydd at 6:32 PM on June 25, 2010


Candy apple grey. You must know that by now. Not black, not white. Palestinians minding their own business, wham. Jews taking heat for centuries, bam. Put 'em together? What do you get?
posted by fixedgear at 6:35 PM on June 25, 2010


Free Gene Shalit!
posted by alms at 7:06 PM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Until both sides can set their routers to DMZ, this will always be too contentious a topic.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:21 PM on June 25, 2010


I thought that said TMZ, which is an equally valid suggestion.
posted by desjardins at 7:32 PM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm happy to take this on as a challenge in the next week or so. I've seen a lot of interesting archaeology posts over the years about stuff going on in the Middle East. But I swear to jehu if you derail it yourself, I will be quite incensed.

If you wind up not doing one for some reason, I would be willing to try. With one caveat: once it's posted, I won't comment in the thread unless it's about archaeology. ;)

Joe: It's most certainly possible to make a controversial post about Israel without having it deleted or derailed. There's no guarantee either way, though.

Heck, it's even possible to make a "stunt" post that sounds like it's about antisemitism, but isn't. ;) I really, really don't recommend that.

Being objective and even-handed in the way you frame a post gives it a better shot at survival. So does refraining from editorializing to prove a point.

I've slowly learned that I don't have to respond to every comment I disagree with, either. Trying to choose my battles.

Look, I made a post about hoder yesterday. In that thread, delmoi said something I disagree with. I had a choice: challenge him on it and potentially derail the whole post over a point that really wasn't all that important, or simply let it go. I let it go. I started working on that post in April. If the post gets deleted, to me that's a greater loss than me proving I'm right to someone on the internets.

Plus who knows... he may be right and I may be wrong. ;)

My point is simply that if you're passionate about a topic, sometimes it's better to step back, breathe and not engage. Or just write a comment and then simply not post it.
posted by zarq at 7:44 PM on June 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


What is up with this spelling as a cultural signifier?

It's somewhat shorter than "Musselman".


No love for "Mohammedan?"
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:20 PM on June 25, 2010


Gene Shalit is is the most famous graduate of my high school. Craig Newmark is second.
posted by octothorpe at 8:32 PM on June 25, 2010


well clearly we just need to start spelling it 'moose-lem'
posted by delmoi at 8:46 PM on June 25, 2010


This shit again? .. well I never.

Am I the only one that loses all self control when faced with shelled pistachios? Whenever I get a bag of them I simply can not stop until the lot is reduced to a sad pile of shells. Halfway through I will tell myself, "OK just 3 more" and then keep right on going. I mean they're good, but there's something else going on there I think. Maybe it's just me.
posted by cj_ at 8:58 PM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


i think everyone needs to chill - and to facilitate that, i would like to present our president singing jackie wilson
posted by pyramid termite at 9:11 PM on June 25, 2010


Laura Shigihara (composer for Plants vs. Zombies soundtrack) doing a live version of the title song. She has a cat named Metroid.

This should cheer anyone up.
posted by cj_ at 10:43 PM on June 25, 2010


Am I the only one that loses all self control when faced with shelled pistachios?

No. Quiting smoking was easier than restraining myself around pistachios, especially those everybody's nuts salt & pepper pistachios. I love those fucking things. I finished a bag this afternoon and now I want more.
posted by homunculus at 11:07 PM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


That that stuff happens on the site at all is part of the cost of us not specifically prohibiting any given topic, and it happening in moderate doses is not itself a problem even if it tends to be a good bit higher on the pain-in-the-ass index than everything else; but it needs to remain just a bit of the overall mix, and part of that comes down to folks respecting the fact that if they need a whole lot hardcore political/ideological chatter they need to go find somewhere else where that's actually the mission of the site and not a distraction from the site.

Mighty long sentence, Cortex!
posted by ambient2 at 11:26 PM on June 25, 2010


especially those everybody's nuts salt & pepper pistachios.

I normally hate flash sites, but this one stole my heart. It might be the pistachio addiction talking. Either way, order placed. :/
posted by cj_ at 11:39 PM on June 25, 2010


> but I'm going to go ahead and put forward the no-doubt crazy idea that you deciding it a good idea to post that Israeli Jews are racists who think Jews are superior to everyone else and which links to a page which says that Israeli behavior is pretty much the same as the Nazi SS qualifies as rather more than "bad behavior".

A couple of things about that. It's no secret that top people in the Israeli military and Knesset are fiercely racist against the Palestinians, and have implemented extremely harsh measures decried around the world as something that is very close to de facto genocide. This has been discussed at length so I don't feel to add any citations. That link was a bit over the top in its depictions, and perhaps it would have been better for me to not have posted it. Now, I wasn't aware that we had to agree 100% with every link we shared. I don't think of all Israeli Jews as racist, but certainly there are some with very real power.

However, it's pretty obvious that at that point I was simply trying to torpedo what I saw as a really terrible one-sided post from someone with a history of spewing bias here. That was one link of many that I posted in a flurry. I'm not proud of being rowdy like that, but hostility seemed appropriate to me. Judge that how you will. I offer an apology to anyone who might have been unduly offended, and for making the mods' job a bit more stressful. I will try to stay away from I/P threads because there's really no point to them here. This website's business model isn't about outrage and politics so much, and there are better places on the web for that.

As for Joe in Australia, I don't think its quite descriptive for me to label him as a troll. He's more of a volunteer shill for the Israeli extreme right wing. I'll forgive him his vain attempts at spinning events, and the deliberate use of the outmoded spelling of Muslim. If I were a bit more paranoid I would think he's a member or subscriber of some kind of propaganda think tank that fills the web with comments and posts supporting the hard line Israeli right but probably he just feels justified on his own accord. He's pretty good at it here. He doesn't acknowledge opposing viewpoints, twists others' words, and offers zero contrition for bad behavior. I realize I'm stating the obvious here. I'm sure there's a decent contributor in there if he can untie all those ugly knots in his perception.

Anyway, since that was the second time you called that out I didn't want to leave it without responding to you in good faith about it. I'm quite fine to drop the whole thing and just flag any of Joe's posts that are like that in the future and go listen to some Udokotela Shange Namajaha instead.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:17 AM on June 26, 2010


Did you know ambling is a (semi) technical term for a number of four-beat intermediate gaits of horses? And that certain breeds have distinctive ambles? For example, Icelandic horses have the "tölt," and Icelandic Riders will demonstrate the smoothness of a tölt by going at the speed of a gallop without spilling a drink they hold? Fascinating!

If that's too serious for you, why not enjoy some miniature horse Chuck Wagon demonstrations?

(All that pistachio talk was making me hungry, when I should instead be going to bed. And I didn't want to derail the Iceland meetup thread with discussions of the odd ways horses can walk.)
posted by filthy light thief at 12:30 AM on June 26, 2010


Burhanistan - that was really good, thanks.
posted by cj_ at 12:35 AM on June 26, 2010


Burhanistan: I do understand why you posted all those links and I do understand that you're not advocating all of it. So that's cool. I just don't think we do anyone any favors by confronting bad behavior with trollish, racist, or hate-filled links even if the underlying reason isn't to advocate those things. In the future the context could easily be lost.
posted by Justinian at 12:54 AM on June 26, 2010


I am the zucchini chef; I am a man of ostriches.
posted by coelacanth! at 1:30 AM on June 26, 2010


As for Joe in Australia, I don't think its quite descriptive for me to label him as a troll.

I think "racist" is a pretty appropriate label.
posted by rodgerd at 1:54 AM on June 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


if they need a whole lot hardcore political/ideological chatter they need to go find somewhere else where that's actually the mission of the site and not a distraction from the site.

Israel/Palestine: Is Two-State solution realistic anymore?

General Rules
The Rules of Debate and Discussion
Precedent

Perhaps not the best thread to start off in unless you are all right with the idea of having to pay $10 to get your account unbanned. Still, it is the only forum I have ever found that even approaches being able to handle the more difficult debates. They also do decent, vaguely liberal, gun (although not Tasers) advice.
posted by prak at 1:58 AM on June 26, 2010


However, it's pretty obvious that at that point I was simply trying to torpedo what I saw as a really terrible one-sided post from someone with a history of spewing bias here.

Since you brought it up, you've been here long enough to know how these things work. Flag it. Move on. Email a mod. Take it to MeTa. Don't deliberately derail a thread by trolling with opposing racist threadshitting.

It was a shitty post. It deserved to die. But damn man, that link was really fucking offensive. You have a point to make, that's fine. I agree that what's being done to the Palestinians by the state of Israel is unnecessarily harsh and needs to stop. I agree that the Israeli government is biased against the Palestinians. We disagree that it's genocide, but that's fine. Adults can disagree.

But this:
"One of the most repulsive expressions of Israeli racism is the firmly-held belief that a Jew is superior to and more important than a non-Jew.

According to this unholy principle, which most Israeli Jews see as an unquestionable truism, a Jewish life is more important than a non-Jewish life, and a Jewish blood is far more important than a non-Jewish blood.

Unfortunately, it is upon this manifestly racist concept that the entire Israeli justice system is based.
"
If you have a problem with Israeli policies, say so. You'll get little objection from me as long as you steer clear of rhetoric like this and are able to present an objective argument. You want a discussion? Steer clear of bullshit tropes that skirt the line of antisemitism. We have enough problems trying to discuss these issues without links that accuse all Israeli Jews of reverse antisemitism by trotting out an old fucking antisemitic trope that Jews think they're somehow superior to everyone else.

I thought better of you than that. Were you looking to have him decry the link as antisemitic so you could take us all down the "Joe's equating antisemitism with criticism of Israel again" path? Shitty behavior on your part. Especially when the link itself skirts that line so finely.

Now, I wasn't aware that we had to agree 100% with every link we shared. I don't think of all Israeli Jews as racist, but certainly there are some with very real power.

You should have said this in the thread, rather than posting it without context. Without context, you're clearly saying that what you are linking to is a valid argument and should be taken with the same face value as everything else you're posting without context.
posted by zarq at 3:26 AM on June 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


> "A Muslim in Arabic means "one who gives himself to God," and is by definition, someone who adheres to Islam. By contrast, a Moslem in Arabic means "one who is evil and unjust" when the word is pronounced, as it is in English, Mozlem with a z. "

That's completely ridiculous, just so you know. "Moslem" is a slightly old-fashioned spelling (based on the Persian pronunciation), end of story.
posted by languagehat at 3:42 AM on June 26, 2010 [5 favorites]


So I guess the completely opaque abbreviation “I/P” has nothing to do with information technology. Spell your words out, people.
posted by joeclark at 5:18 AM on June 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


There were a lot of interesting links being posted in that thread. Worth a mention.
posted by mediareport at 6:21 AM on June 26, 2010


I prefer the term massaman, but I know it doesn't curry favor.
posted by klangklangston at 7:55 AM on June 26, 2010


I'm for intellectual property and internet protocol discussions myself.

I'm not for the highly misleading lede on this discussion.

The rest, meh-Fi.
posted by DaveP at 8:18 AM on June 26, 2010


Mighty long sentence, Cortex!

Sometimes I get going and then before I know what's happening I'm on a downhill grade, and I know if I try to stop I'm just gonna fall over, so I bear down and see it through to where the terrain levels out.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:47 AM on June 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


> I thought better of you than that. Were you looking to have him decry the link as antisemitic so you could take us all down the "Joe's equating antisemitism with criticism of Israel again" path? Shitty behavior on your part. Especially when the link itself skirts that line so finely.

You're right of course. I could've paused and not resorted to such things. Mea culpa.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:22 AM on June 26, 2010 [1 favorite]




That's completely ridiculous, just so you know. "Moslem" is a slightly old-fashioned spelling (based on the Persian pronunciation), end of story.

No, sorry, that is not the end of the story. Just because you choose to conveniently disregard the reason for the "slightly old-fashioned" spelling falling out of favour doesn't mean there isn't one.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:13 PM on June 26, 2010


Mea culpa

OK. Thank you.
posted by zarq at 1:21 PM on June 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


New York Times Reporter On Zionist Terrorism: ‘It Was A More Romantic Era’

As the link suggests, I suspect he was being clumsily sarcastic. It's unfortunate, because he comes across as a total prick by allowing the incident to be whitewashed.

I had a Jewish relative who died in that bombing, which has been accurately characterized as one of the worst terrorist acts of the 20th century, fuck the Irgun. I have zero doubt that the slaughter was deliberate. The Irgun were Zionist terrorists, operating with the blessing of the Haganah, and no amount of historical revisionism can possibly make the slaughter of 91 people "romantic."
posted by zarq at 1:29 PM on June 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


That should read "...of the 20th century. Fuck the Irgun."

It's still readable without me correcting it. But the sentiment bears repeating.

Fuck the Irgun.
posted by zarq at 1:30 PM on June 26, 2010


Sometimes I get going and then before I know what's happening I'm on a downhill grade, and I know if I try to stop I'm just gonna fall over, so I bear down and see it through to where the terrain levels out.

Or look for a runaway sentence ramp. That loose gravel will slow you to a stop.
posted by fixedgear at 1:31 PM on June 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


What is an elipses, after all, but an idiographic representation of loose rocks trailing up the incline?
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:40 PM on June 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Do you know how hard it is to get the gravel out of all that hair?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:41 PM on June 26, 2010


Looks like we've been there before with the "Muslim/Moslem" question.

The exact phrase "Moslem in Arabic means "one who is evil and unjust" when the word is pronounced, as it is in English, Mozlem with a z" turns up 36 (now 37) times on Google, mostly on places like freerepublic and stormfront. The earliest reference seems to be from early 2002.
posted by psyche7 at 4:58 PM on June 26, 2010


> Just because you choose to conveniently disregard the reason for the "slightly old-fashioned" spelling falling out of favour doesn't mean there isn't one.

There are doubtless various reasons for it, as there are for all such changes, but the idea that "Moslem in Arabic means 'one who is evil and unjust' when the word is pronounced, as it is in English, Mozlem with a z" is ludicrous. It's on a par with the NAACP's wrath over the card that talked about "black holes." There is such a thing as political correctness run amuck, and this is a perfect example. But by all means, cling to your righteous outrage, however unjustified.
posted by languagehat at 5:19 PM on June 26, 2010


The exact phrase "Moslem in Arabic means "one who is evil and unjust" when the word is pronounced, as it is in English, Mozlem with a z" turns up 36 (now 37) times on Google, mostly on places like freerepublic and stormfront.

My understanding is that "Moslem" is used by rightist websites because it's the older, "classical" spelling of Muslim, which is to say, it's what we used to call Muslims when we still knew "how to deal with them".

It's meant to hearken back to a day when Muslims, as a group, were more easily conflated with the Enemy.
posted by Avenger at 6:15 PM on June 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


An addendum: I've also seen rightist websites refer to Muslims as "Mohammedeans" and "Musselmen". Again, because it hearkens back to the good old days when Christendom was unambiguously at war with Islam.
posted by Avenger at 6:19 PM on June 26, 2010


Moslem

Both Avenger and languagehat are correct. "Moslem" is simply an outmoded spelling. It doesn't mean anything other than Muslim. For some reason, the American wingnuts like to use "Moslem" as some sort of diminutive form. It's rather silly, and I personally don't know of any Muslims who find its usage offensive. It seems to me to be orders of magnitude less offensive than calling me a "honky", which is not at all offensive. Now, using "Mohammedan" in place of Muslim will indeed work up the ire of many Muslims because it downplays the teleological aspects of revelation in Islam (as opposed to people simply following a person).
posted by Burhanistan at 7:07 PM on June 26, 2010


I don't believe that there is any sort of cultural or racist significance to the spelling "Moslem" as distinct from "Muslim". I see both spellings used in non-offensive contexts and the only time I have seen anyone called a racist over it has been here, on Metafilter. For what it's worth I originally spelled it "Muslim" and then thought "Hang on - someone here doesn't like that spelling" so I carefully went back and corrected it. Apparently I had it the wrong way around.

While we're on the subject of insults, though, why is it OK for people to call me a racist, a supporter of colonialism and Apartheid and so forth, but it's entirely beyond the pale for me to say that someone's an antisemite? Is it presumed that calling someone a racist is just a normal part of heated debate? Or is it presumed that I really am racist? Because I'm not, you know.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:42 PM on June 26, 2010


As a Muslim, "Moslem" doesn't bother me one bit. It just seems rather out-of-date, style-wise. I only ever see it in very old books and when used by people who are racist and want to convey their convictions without actually being man enough to simply spell them out honestly. Generally speaking, those people tend to have lost most public credibility long ago anyhow, so this "Moslem" usage is just a telegrammatic way of expressing the user's small-mindedness and idiocy.

Frankly, I find this rather convenient.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 7:45 PM on June 26, 2010


While we're on the subject of insults, though, why is it OK for people to call me a racist, a supporter of colonialism and Apartheid and so forth, but it's entirely beyond the pale for me to say that someone's an antisemite? Is it presumed that calling someone a racist is just a normal part of heated debate? Or is it presumed that I really am racist? Because I'm not, you know.

Your own actions have caused you to lose credibility with many MeFites. To begin with, calling anyone who criticizes Israel an "anti-Semite" is beyond the pale by many, especially when it's unsupported by any real evidence of anti-Semitic thought.

You don't respond to well-considered and well-articulated criticism of your words.

Your bias isn't only mightily obvious (no crime in itself), but it's wholly lacking in any sort of attempt to display awareness of the other side of the issue.

You are unwilling to admit your mistakes, even when they are clearly shown to be wrong.

You troll, that's clearly what the deleted post was all about.

You're disingenuous. The fourth anniversary of the Israeli soldier's captivity, for instance. Is it "timely," as you suggested? Think about it. Does a day go by when it's not someone's "4th anniversary of captivity" in this conflict? When there are 10,000 Palestinian prisoners held in conditions which are not necessarily any better? Somehow, I doubt it.

Your disingenuousness continues with your so-called "explanation" of how your obviously provocative (now deleted) post somehow would have been less argumentative than a post about archeological sites. Languagehat speaks for me, when he writes "Frankly, you have zero credibility on the topic, and pretty much everyone would assume you were posting it with a fighty agenda, and sadly, they would almost certainly be right." People post things about funny cats, Lego sculptures, blues musicians. You might want to practice these sorts of things for a while, because frankly, you don't do well with the controversial stuff.

Once you lose credibility, everything becomes suspect. I don't believe you "mistakenly" used Moslem instead of Muslim - the latter of which is 14 times more commonly seen (via Google.) Within the realm of human experience, it's possible. And I would have believed it from anyone else. Do you see what I mean?

I have always been able to discuss my own experiences of the violence and hate of ethnic / religious conflict in neutral and unbiased terms. These were incredibly savage, life-changing incidents. And frankly, I don't find it hard to do so. (I suppose if I did find it difficult to discuss things rationally, I'd at least have the sense to keep my mouth shut.) That's my standard for this sort of discussion, and you've always fallen short of it. I'm not so egotistical to assume this would matter to you, but you might want to think about it.

People don't arbitrarily pick someone to insult, especially on a largely-anonymous internet forum. And yes, I imagine many here see you as racist. To quote Sartre, "Appearances are evil, but appearances are everything." If you're concerned about this fact, and feel that you aren't racist, you might want to actually display some diversity of consideration, post things which exhibit a level of balance, respond to criticism with logical thought and factual refutation, and maybe even be a big enough fellow to admit it when you're wrong.

You might perceive all these comments as one Great Big Insult. But Joe, I'd really love to see you stick around MetaFilter, as long as it's in a productive way. There's a lot to be learned about I/P issues, and an intelligent defense or explanation of Israel's actions would be welcome. But if your posts are so poorly-constructed as to guarantee their train-wreck status, and if your unjustified name-calling derails every thread, then it's no good for anyone. You've disproportionately contributed to the nastiness of nearly every post that covers related topics. You can claim "victim status" as you seem to do above, but that's really a kind of paranoid fantasy. If you want the perception people have of you to change, why not begin by intelligently combating some of what you see as inaccuracies about your mindset. I'd love to hear a well-put and factually-based explanation of why Israel's policies are not colonialist or aparthied-like, for instance. I'm sure others would too.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 8:58 PM on June 26, 2010 [9 favorites]


Dee Xtrovert, I don't think I can usefully respond to what is really nothing more than a rant. If you really think I'm a racist you might give some reason better than "appearances are everything" - not that I think I have even given the appearance of racism. In any event, do you acknowledge that an accusation of racism is just as serious as an accusation of antisemitism?
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:59 PM on June 26, 2010


Can't reason with the guy.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:01 PM on June 26, 2010


I don't believe that there is any sort of cultural or racist significance to the spelling "Moslem" as distinct from "Muslim".

I don't have a dog in this specific race—I use Muslim on the rare occasion that I have a reason to but can't think of the last time I enjoyed a conversation someone else wanted to have on the subject and so don't go chasing down opportunities—but maybe take into account that it's not at all hard even with the best of intentions to end up on the thoughtless/naive side of that kind of dispute. That you don't believe it doesn't mean that other people don't have valid reasons for believing it, and if they're telling you so you may want to consider looking harder at the subject instead of just telling them they're wrong to have a problem with it.

I had a discussion relatively recently with someone who really truly wanted to know just what the hell was wrong with describing black people as "colored people" and how that was any different from "people of color". And it's not something where you can say, "well, there's a clear rational derivation of one term vs. the other that makes it problematic", because the history of race dynamics in the US is really complex and full of evolving usage patterns. That person wasn't as far as I know a racist and meant nothing by it, but they absolutely did not believe that "colored people" had any sort of cultural or racist significance. It's even in the name of the NAACP, after all. Etc.

If you say something and a lot of people reply with "this is kind of problematic", you're not honor bound to take them at their word, but it's a the wiser move to consider that they may actually be on to something than to tell them that of course there's nothing problematic. These things are often muddier than a binary Is or Isn't, and how you choose to deal with that info is ultimately your call but how people react to the choice your make isn't yours to control. If you don't like their reaction, maybe reconsider your approach to yours.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:31 PM on June 26, 2010


"While we're on the subject of insults, though, why is it OK for people to call me a racist, a supporter of colonialism and Apartheid and so forth, but it's entirely beyond the pale for me to say that someone's an antisemite?"

Frankly, it's not really all that great for people to call you a racist. It's also not all that great to imply that you're a racist, or to use the vague appeal to "some people" in order to discuss whether or not you are a racist.

But that's what's called "tu quoque." That someone else is doing bad doesn't excuse you from doing good. If it did, then kidnapping some Israeli soldier would be A-OK, or killing a whole bunch of Palestinians would be justified by the terrorist attacks perpetrated by a tiny, generally unpopular minority that draw attention away from legitimate grievances.

Just because the other side is wrong doesn't make you right—an aphorism apropos to I/P.
posted by klangklangston at 11:09 PM on June 26, 2010


Cortex: I actually agree with you, which is why I tried to pick the preferred form. I got it wrong. On the other hand, a couple of commentators above seem to assert that although neither they nor their friends find it offensive, they can tell that I used it maliciously because I am allegedly a racist, as demonstrated by my malicious use of the homonym. It's an extraordinarily circular argument.
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:43 PM on June 26, 2010


> That you don't believe it doesn't mean that other people don't have valid reasons for believing it, and if they're telling you so you may want to consider looking harder at the subject instead of just telling them they're wrong to have a problem with it.

You might want to consider that the only actual Muslims in this thread have said they don't have a problem with it.

Joe in Australia: If you're so nonracist and broadminded and all, and everyone's picking on you for no reason, how about you link to a few posts and comments of yours that will demonstrate that your opinion of yourself is more accurate than ours? None of us have any problem finding many, many links to support our view of you.
posted by languagehat at 6:20 AM on June 27, 2010


Dee Xtrovert, I don't think I can usefully respond to what is really nothing more than a rant.

You are plainly not here to engage in good faith of any sort and do not have any business speaking to adults.


Frankly, it's not really all that great for people to call you a racist. It's also not all that great to imply that you're a racist, or to use the vague appeal to "some people" in order to discuss whether or not you are a racist.

Have you read his posts? He's a racist, straight up. Not calling him a racist would be lying, and would in fact be racist by virtue of assisting in the cloaking of racism by defining it as non-racist, in much the same sense that refusing to acknowledge that beating the shit out of somebody is violence enables violence.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:22 AM on June 27, 2010


Gene Shalit? Still alive?

Alive!


He's a friend of my boss, so he sometimes comes into my store. He wears sweaters so linty that they're almost as fuzzy as his face.
posted by jonmc at 8:00 AM on June 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Pope Guilty, I believe your perverse interpretation of Helen Thomas's comments enables racism. See what I did? I identified evidence for my assertion. Perhaps you could do the same before saying that people who decline to join your little lynch-mob are themselves racist.
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:07 AM on June 27, 2010


Lynch mob? Dude, you've been given so much rope that you've hung yourself repeatedly, as you just did with that asinine assertion.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:11 AM on June 27, 2010


"Have you read his posts? He's a racist, straight up."

Have a whole bunch been deleted? Because, yeah, I just read his posts and two pages worth of his comments. I disagree vociferously with a lot of the positions and viewpoints that he advances, but I'm not seeing the racist thing, and think that a lot of his ripostes have only drawn censure because they're against the general opinion of Metafilter users. The Helen Thomas snark was a fair zing against someone who clumsily, likely inadvertently, asserted the Jews were a thieving race. I disagree with that characterization of Helen Thomas, but I thought it was fair and even funny.

So unless a whole lot has been deleted, Joe just seems like a reliably pro-Zionism voice on Metafilter, and I'm able to distinguish between disagreement and loathing.
posted by klangklangston at 11:12 AM on June 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pope Guilty, I believe your perverse interpretation of Helen Thomas's comments enables racism.

The perverse interpretation she herself gave for the comment?


And klang, Joe is a racial nationalist, a staunch supporter of Israeli Apartheid, supports the theft of Palestinian land by Israeli settlers, and supports the immiseration and starvation of the Palestinians by the Israelis. These are all racist sentiments, all of which are demonstrated in his currently-existing comment history.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:49 AM on June 27, 2010


So unless a whole lot has been deleted, Joe just seems like a reliably pro-Zionism voice on Metafilter

It would seem.

Joe is a racial nationalist, a staunch supporter of Israeli Apartheid, supports the theft of Palestinian land by Israeli settlers, and supports the immiseration and starvation of the Palestinians by the Israelis.

PG, I'm very pro Palestinian, but I don't think that someone who supports Israel is by default a racist, anymore than I think I'm an anti semite for wishing Israel would stop acting like assholes.
posted by nola at 1:08 PM on June 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Joe is a racial nationalist, a staunch supporter of Israeli Apartheid, supports the theft of Palestinian land by Israeli settlers, and supports the immiseration and starvation of the Palestinians by the Israelis.

These are the positions that make people consider you a racist. One could excuse the positions above as extreme nationalism (i.e., something less noxious than racism) . . . but you're the one who decided it was fair game to conflate nations with peoples, which is how race entered into it - your doing entirely. Remember that, Joe?

There were many points in my post to which you might have responded. An example:

If you want the perception people have of you to change, why not begin by intelligently combating some of what you see as inaccuracies about your mindset. I'd love to hear a well-put and factually-based explanation of why Israel's policies are not colonialist or aparthied-like, for instance.

I reckon the reason you don't attempt things like this is because you're cognizant of the irrationality of your position. I can't imagine any such defense of Israel's many grievous human rights abuses would stand up to scrutiny. I'd love to see you try, but you don't try. I think you enjoy being a victim. This is amply shown by your inability to grasp the impulse beyond the criticism you receive, even when it's from some of MetaFilters more illustrious members:

languagehat: If you're so nonracist and broadminded and all, and everyone's picking on you for no reason, how about you link to a few posts and comments of yours that will demonstrate that your opinion of yourself is more accurate than ours? None of us have any problem finding many, many links to support our view of you.

Pop Guilty: You are plainly not here to engage in good faith of any sort and do not have any business speaking to adults.

burhanistan: Can't reason with the guy.

As I wrote in my "rant," you're disingenuous. Again:

Once you lose credibility, everything becomes suspect. I don't believe you "mistakenly" used Moslem instead of Muslim - the latter of which is 14 times more commonly seen (via Google.) Within the realm of human experience, it's possible. And I would have believed it from anyone else. Do you see what I mean?

Your response:

On the other hand, a couple of commentators above seem to assert that although neither they nor their friends find it offensive, they can tell that I used it maliciously because I am allegedly a racist, as demonstrated by my malicious use of the homonym. It's an extraordinarily circular argument.

This is false. I wrote that while it's in the range of human experience that you used "Moslem" mistakenly, it's hard to believe it, because you don't have any real credibility left. That's it. Full stop. You turned that into a circle. Not a single person here stated both that you used it because you are racist *and* that it's proof of your racism. Your complaint is self-created and imagined.

I've been urged by one friend here to stop responding to your posts, as it's "clear" your real goal is to stir up pro-Palestinian sentiment by making pro-Israeli sentiment seem, well, crazy, and to make Israeli apologists people look like twisted racists. This is from a person who's pretty clearly on the pro-Israel side herself. Think about that.

And finally, JIA wrote:

Dee Xtrovert, I don't think I can usefully respond to what is really nothing more than a rant. If you really think I'm a racist you might give some reason better than "appearances are everything" - not that I think I have even given the appearance of racism. In any event, do you acknowledge that an accusation of racism is just as serious as an accusation of antisemitism?

Here's the section that JIA is responding to, which he's obviously oversimplified:

People don't arbitrarily pick someone to insult, especially on a largely-anonymous internet forum. And yes, I imagine many here see you as racist. To quote Sartre, "Appearances are evil, but appearances are everything." If you're concerned about this fact, and feel that you aren't racist, you might want to actually display some diversity of consideration, post things which exhibit a level of balance, respond to criticism with logical thought and factual refutation, and maybe even be a big enough fellow to admit it when you're wrong.

Many people feel JIA is racist; he believes that he's never even given that appearance. One can believe one or the other, but I reckon it's most reasonable to go along with cortex's statement, ". . . it's a the wiser move to consider that they may actually be on to something than to tell them that of course there's nothing problematic."
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 2:12 PM on June 27, 2010


Arguing over the right to label someone you're talking to "racist" seems counterproductive.
posted by zennie at 4:02 PM on June 27, 2010


PG: I don't support a lot of the things Israel does, but your sloganeering labels are easily just as repellent as anything I've seen Joe say.

I honestly think your throwing around 'racist' does a disservice to this site. There are plenty of nationalistic right wing comments on metafilter, and few deserve to be called racist.

Don't be an asshole just because you strongly disagree with someone.
posted by rosswald at 6:19 PM on June 27, 2010


prak, that SA thread you linked was both very well put together and incredibly depressing. Thanks, though, for pointing out that there are corners of the internet where people try to talk about this stuff in rational, non-fighty ways.
posted by Aizkolari at 6:44 PM on June 27, 2010


PG: I don't support a lot of the things Israel does, but your sloganeering labels are easily just as repellent as anything I've seen Joe say.

What exactly is "repellent" about summarizing a person's beliefs? And how is doing so just as repellent as, say, racial nationalism?

There are plenty of nationalistic right wing comments on metafilter, and few deserve to be called racist.

JiA's comments express racial nationalist sentiments and the belief that a particular race of people should be treated in a given way. They are therefore racist. I do not know how much simpler or clearer terms this can be expressed in, or why refusing to pretend that racism is not racism is problematic for you.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:10 PM on June 27, 2010


Unless Joe agrees with your summary of his beliefs, I'd say that was a strawman if ever one existed, Pope. I don't agree with Joe on I/P but I don't see how you're helping things. It's kind of ironic that language like that is in part the reason I/P doesn't go forward for the better. We've gotta start being more generous with each other, blind spots notwithstanding.
posted by nola at 7:19 PM on June 27, 2010


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_nationalism
posted by rosswald at 7:19 PM on June 27, 2010


Woops, Link here
posted by rosswald at 7:19 PM on June 27, 2010


[Gene Shalit] is a friend of my boss, so he sometimes comes into my store. He wears sweaters so linty that they're almost as fuzzy as his face.

I should probably take the opportunity to mention he's my dad, if only to save some embarrassment if the eventual obit-filter post does happen.
posted by alms at 7:35 PM on June 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, and no relation to Gilad.
posted by alms at 7:36 PM on June 27, 2010


And as for the subject thread of this post:

My general rule is: make a FPP and get out of the way. If you have to comment a lot in your own FPP, you did something wrong. A good FPP stands on its own; once you make it, give other people a chance to discuss it. An FPP shouldn't be an excuse to initiate an argument or debate or discussion with OP. It's something the OP gives the rest of the community to discuss. At least that's the how I feel on the rare occasions I post to the home page of the blue.
posted by alms at 7:39 PM on June 27, 2010


JiA's comments express racial nationalist sentiments and the belief that a particular race of people should be treated in a given way.

Judaism is not a race. There is no such thing as the "Jewish race." Discussion of junk DNA markers aside, Jews are not biologically separate and distinct from caucasians, asians or any other race of people. Judaism is a religion, and a culture.

The last group of people who referred to us as a race of people were the Nazis. If you do not intend to Godwin this thread with inaccurate, inflammatory statements, perhaps it would be a good idea for you to choose your words far more carefully.
posted by zarq at 7:43 PM on June 27, 2010


So would you refrain from characterizing people who hate Jews for being Jews as racist, then, zarq? 'Cause I sure wouldn't.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:46 PM on June 27, 2010




'Racist' means something specific, yes? I would refer to them as antisemites, which would be more accurate.

My read of the situation is that Joe and the Israeli far right-wing are engaging in what I would refer to as extreme religious nationalism. You see that a lot in Christian dominionists.
posted by zarq at 7:55 PM on June 27, 2010


And what of the embrace of anti-Arab racism?
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:58 PM on June 27, 2010


When you see it, flag it?
posted by rosswald at 8:01 PM on June 27, 2010


'Racist' means something specific, yes?

Racism happens when I put real or imagined characteristics together to form the basis of my racial check list. Racism is in the eye of the racist, since race it self is a flimsy false construct anyway. I say people X do Y, then I build my bigoted case for it. To my mind the Holocaust proved that anti semitism is racism. Just because racism makes no sense doesn't mean it isn't constructed out of personal prejudice for any fallacious reason imaginable.

The question is how do we know someone is a racist if they don't tell us? They can sure as shit tip their hand, but I haven't seen that here with Joe so I don't know what to say. I could have missed a really out there comment by him.
posted by nola at 9:39 PM on June 27, 2010


Nola wrote: Unless Joe agrees with your summary of his beliefs...

I don't, obviously. And I don't know where Zarq's getting this "extreme religious nationalism" thing either; it certainly doesn't come from anything I've said. It's as if people carry on imaginary conversations with me in their heads after I've logged out.
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:59 PM on June 27, 2010


Shoot them all and let God sort 'em out. (It's the same God for all of them, innit?)

By the by, praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.
posted by WalterMitty at 2:02 AM on June 28, 2010


Joe, your position on the West Bank settlements is that most of them are irrelevant to a negotiated solution, and that they "probably help focus the Palestinian leadership on the need to actually get something done."

The only people I've ever heard say this were religious extremists. Most people agree that the settlements are a theft of Palestinian land. Even the Israeli Supreme Court has said so.

Why?

It's a violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention: "The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies." Israel encourages settlement through incentives, therefore helping to transfer its own population. And yes, I do believe they're an occupying force, no matter what semantic games Israel's government tries to play with their own status. For all intents and purposes, "disputed" means "occupied" in this case. The UN characterized it as such in '67.

Meanwhile, people in the know have stated that the settlements are a barrier to peace.

You deliberately whitewash an issue whose details seem apparent. That's an extreme position. I believe the reason you do so is religious nationalism for Israel.
posted by zarq at 7:57 AM on June 28, 2010


Zarq wrote: You deliberately whitewash an issue whose details seem apparent. That's an extreme position. I believe the reason you do so is religious nationalism for Israel.

Well, you're wrong about both of those. I don't believe I hold extreme positions (though they're certainly unpopular here); and all of my political positions come from my liberal philosophy. I'll be happy to discuss it in email if you like.

I suggest you consider how you know that "The only people I've ever heard say this were religious extremists." I presume that they went around saying things religiously-extreme things like "Lo, we must go and establish settlements as the Lord hath commanded," right? Because if they didn't - if, like me, they merely advocated positions with which you disagree - you may well have misjudged them. As you did me.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:09 PM on June 28, 2010


I don't believe I hold extreme positions

I think your posting history indicates that you are not in a position to evaluate the extremism or lack thereof of positions. You hold extremist, racist positions and think of yourself as a nice, liberal person. You are severely self-deluded out of a desire to see yourself as a decent person while holding genocidal beliefs, and I am frankly surprised that the cognitive dissonance hasn't caused your head to explode.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:19 PM on June 28, 2010


Well, you're wrong about both of those. I don't believe I hold extreme positions (though they're certainly unpopular here); and all of my political positions come from my liberal philosophy.

At this point, I'm pretty sure that being pro-settlement is an extreme position. Are you arguing that it's not?

There are four arguments which are commonly raised, when Israelis defend their right to the West Bank settlements. Please note that the page is part of a pro-Israel website.

1: “Israel is the biblical Promised Land. Israel must retain the West Bank, and continue to establish settlements there”

2: “The Jewish people can only achieve their national redemption and bring the Messiah by retaining the entire biblical Land of Israel”

3: “There has never existed a sovereign Palestinian state west of the Jordan river. Israeli settlements do not deny any people’s national rights.”

4: “Israeli settlements strengthen Israel’s military security”

Two of these are religious arguments. These are the same arguments that were raised prior to, during and after the Gaza settlements were dismantled.

Arguments 3 and 4 are demonstrably false. If you're not defending a religious justification, which of the remaining ones are you advocating? Or are you proposing a fifth justification that is not listed here?

#4 is obviously a false statement. In addition to the arguments posed on the linked page, the settlements cause international anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian sentiment. They are also a continuing barrier to successful peace talks.

As for #3...
…In the vast majority of the settlements – about 75 percent – construction, sometimes on a large scale, has been carried out without the appropriate permits or contrary to the permits that were issued. The database also shows that, in more than 30 settlements, extensive construction of buildings and infrastructure (roads, schools, synagogues, yeshivas and even police stations) has been carried out on private lands belonging to Palestinian West Bank residents.
The links and comments on that post further erode the argument posed in #3.

I suggest you consider how you know that "The only people I've ever heard say this were religious extremists." I presume that they went around saying things religiously-extreme things like "Lo, we must go and establish settlements as the Lord hath commanded," right? Because if they didn't - if, like me, they merely advocated positions with which you disagree - you may well have misjudged them. As you did me.

Perhaps? I would note that a 'national extremist' is marginally better than a 'religious extremist.'

I haven't met anyone who has argued that the settlements are required for Israel's national security in years. The idea has been promoted extensively by the Yesha Council, but even a Likud hawk like Netanyahu doesn't really seem to think they're important to Israel's national security.
posted by zarq at 7:38 AM on June 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


And what of the embrace of anti-Arab racism?

I am convinced it exists. I believe anti-Palestinian bias and fear of Arabs in general has manifested in a form of institutional racism in parts of Israel, as evidenced by the Orr report and others. I also believe that institutional racism is guiding Israel's policies with regard to the settlements and the blockade of Gaza. It's hard to argue that it isn't. After all, the blockade is collective punishment that has created humanitarian concerns. I don't subscribe to the notion that the Palestinians somehow deserve or have brought upon themselves a blockade that keeps out basic supplies that can't possibly be turned into weapons against Israel.

The concept of an Israeli blockade makes sense from a self-protective military point of view, only if its measures are not wildly disproportionate. Keeping rockets and weapons out of the hands of people who seem eager to use them seems logical to me. Barring them from receiving non-military items like mattresses, chocolate and cardamom is collective punishment, without a doubt in my mind.

But I remain unconvinced that being Zionist is de facto racism. We obviously differ on several issues, but I'm not convinced that Joe's 'brand' of Zionism is anti-Arab racism, either.
posted by zarq at 8:17 AM on June 29, 2010


Zarq wrote: If you're not defending a religious justification, which of the remaining ones are you advocating? Or are you proposing a fifth justification that is not listed here?

I don't propose any justification. I don't believe they're the reason why Hamas won't talk to the Palestinian Authority, or the reason why neither of them will tolerate elections for a unified government, or the reason why neither will discuss a peace deal with Israel, but that doesn't mean that I think they're a good idea.
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:17 AM on June 29, 2010


So you wouldn't have a problem with the Israeli settlements in the West Bank being dismantled? Do you also agree that they in violation of both Israeli and international law, they have been constructed on private land which formerly belonged to Palestinians?

As far as I can see from your comment history, after having conversations on this subject on several threads, this is the first time I've ever seen you criticize the settlements. Am I wrong?
posted by zarq at 2:02 PM on June 29, 2010


Ha! He got you! He didn't "criticize the settlements," he just doesn't "propose any justification," and [a complicated series of negative statements] doesn't mean that he thinks they're a good idea. Doesn't mean he doesn't, though!
posted by languagehat at 2:37 PM on June 29, 2010


Doesn't mean he doesn't, though!

Will see. I'm asking direct questions. Going to assume in good faith that direct answers will be forthcoming.
posted by zarq at 2:47 PM on June 29, 2010


If this is going to be some kind of inquisition thing, maybe take it to memail?
posted by rosswald at 6:20 PM on June 29, 2010


This isn't an inquisition. I'm simply asking some questions, to try and understand his position on the issue a little better. This is not going to turn into a witch hunt or a flamewar. And despite the way I worded my questions above, there are no "right" or "wrong" answers. Joe can agree or disagree with me as he chooses.
posted by zarq at 6:57 PM on June 29, 2010


Ya inquisition was obviously a little strong, I just don't want a pile-on. Generally I am non-plussed about the idea of this thread being about Joe's views on settlements and whether that makes him a racist.

If everyone still wants to argue around me, feel free.
posted by rosswald at 7:44 PM on June 29, 2010


I'm bored with this. Zarq, if you're genuinely interested in answers to your questions please read these three Wikipedia entries, then MeMail me.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:27 PM on June 30, 2010


If you are bored, then why should I expect you to respond in good faith to simple questions in MeMail, when you are unwilling to do so in this public forum?

It seems apparent then, that I did not misread or misinterpret your position. Thanks for clarifying.
posted by zarq at 5:36 PM on June 30, 2010


I think it would be easier to answer your questions if you read up on some of the topics I plan to touch on in my answer. And if you MeMail me when you've done this I won't need to keep checking back here.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:59 PM on June 30, 2010


Oh, Jeez, Joe, c'mon. The "I require you to read these pieces before I give you a simple answer" is pretty bullshit.

For the record, I don't think that labeling these positions as extreme is helpful or accurate—too many folks hold them for them to be truly extreme. However, I do think that support for the settlements is deeply wrong and fundamentally unjustifiable in both practical and moral terms. But the idea that I have to check through your syllabus before you deign to reply reads as dissembling of the first order.
posted by klangklangston at 9:09 PM on June 30, 2010




No. Quiting smoking was easier than restraining myself around pistachios, especially those everybody's nuts salt & pepper pistachios. I love those fucking things. I finished a bag this afternoon and now I want more.

God damn you homunculus. My shipment arrived and I have demolished a bag already. These things should be a controlled substance, seriously. Love the combination of salty pistachio goodness with the slow pepper burn. Shiver.
posted by cj_ at 7:45 PM on July 2, 2010




But its a small thing.
posted by rosswald at 9:06 AM on July 3, 2010


too many folks hold them for them to be truly extreme

This should set you to worrying, not to rationalizing.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:50 AM on July 3, 2010


too many folks hold them for them to be truly extreme

What a load of dumbfuck. You know what makes oppressive regimes possible in the first place? Overwhelming popularity. Hence Nazism, Stalinism, Fascism, and blah de blah.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:36 AM on July 3, 2010


God damn you homunculus. My shipment arrived and I have demolished a bag already. These things should be a controlled substance, seriously.

Yeah, you almost wonder if they don't have a special ingredient, like Latka's cookies on Taxi.
posted by homunculus at 12:15 PM on July 3, 2010




"What a load of dumbfuck. You know what makes oppressive regimes possible in the first place? Overwhelming popularity. Hence Nazism, Stalinism, Fascism, and blah de blah."

Because I'm not an absolute fucking moron, I'm able to parse the difference between different positions I disagree with, and not just label them all "extreme" like I'm in some fucking Mountain Dew base jump. And because I have a vocabulary blessed with over five adjectives, I know that "extreme," especially in the context of political discussions, means unusual and opposed to the mainstream or moderate opinions. That Nazism was popular in Germany has no bearing on whether or not it was extreme, and maybe when your stupid gland is better controlled with medication, you might even acknowledge that there were positions of extremism and moderation within the Nazi party, especially when looking at the context of popular German support. I mean, fuck, "the banality of evil" would be meaningless if every Nazi was EXTREME CHILL FROST BERRY BLAST BROWNSHIRT!

So knock off your fucking dudgeon and stop acting like I've said anything profound or provocative just because I'm not beating the anti-Zionism drum to the tattoo you'd like, asshole. Especially since nothing you said went to disprove the central point of the sentence: that labeling these views as extreme is helpful or accurate.
posted by klangklangston at 4:12 PM on July 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


klang, the argument is that popularity does not exclude extremity, which appeared to be your claim.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:16 PM on July 3, 2010


It does in at least one fundamental sense, and generally any attempt to label something popular as extreme is ahistorical. Supporting slavery now is extreme; supporting slavery in 1776 was mainstream.
posted by klangklangston at 4:23 PM on July 3, 2010


That claim strikes me as requiring a belief in cultural relativism.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:25 PM on July 3, 2010


Also, it makes it very difficult to call anything extreme, because you can simply construct the context to define anything as popular.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:27 PM on July 3, 2010


As for the first, the very act of calling something extreme requires relativism. It's always relational. As for the second, that's why if you want to call something extreme, you should be clear about the context. And making it more difficult to call things extreme is a feature, not a bug. It's not Best Week Ever, where you can just slather hyperbole on anything and expect to be taken seriously, especially you want to have anything approaching a conversation with someone you disagree with.
posted by klangklangston at 4:30 PM on July 3, 2010


As for the first, the very act of calling something extreme requires relativism. It's always relational.

Uh, no. Quite the opposite, in fact. A non-relativist viewpoint has a far easier time labeling a particular position as extreme, as it doesn't have to pretend that things become more or less okay simply because people do or don't believe in them.

It's not Best Week Ever, where you can just slather hyperbole on anything and expect to be taken seriously, especially you want to have anything approaching a conversation with someone you disagree with.

Being unable to call a thing by its name gives it unwarranted credibility.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:33 PM on July 3, 2010


"Uh, no. Quite the opposite, in fact. A non-relativist viewpoint has a far easier time labeling a particular position as extreme, as it doesn't have to pretend that things become more or less okay simply because people do or don't believe in them."

Well, no, actually. You are, of course, free to use words however you like, but as extreme means outermost, it's always got an implied relational term in it. It's like calling something "outside;" it necessarily implies that there is an inside in opposition. So, really, if you call something "extreme" with reference to opinions or beliefs, you are making a statement about where they lie relatively. It's the same as fringe or edge—you can't say that Nazism in '30s and '40s Germany was a fringe belief and be taken seriously, no matter how much of a non-relativistic view you claim to have.

This is especially true in politics, politics being an inherently relational discipline. Unless, of course, you believe that the ideas of "right" and "left" are fixed by the stars.
posted by klangklangston at 4:44 PM on July 3, 2010


I'd think that as an American you'd be particular attentive to the damage done by the definitions of "left" and "right" being moved.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:21 PM on July 3, 2010


Klang, perhaps I'm misreading you here. If I am, then I'd appreciate it if you would clarify and correct me. But you seem to be saying that one cannot hold extreme views and also be in the majority. There is ample historical evidence that this is not true.

Fringe does not mean the same thing as "extreme." Fringe means "on the periphery." "Extreme" is, among other things, a measure of intensity and degree. Fringe automatically denotes that something is in the minority. Extreme does not.

Fringe:
1. a decorative border of thread, cord, or the like, usually hanging loosely from a raveled edge or separate strip.
2. anything resembling or suggesting this: a fringe of grass around a swimming pool.
3. an outer edge; margin; periphery: on the fringe of the art world.
4. something regarded as peripheral, marginal, secondary, or extreme in relation to something else: the lunatic fringe of a strong political party.
5. Optics . one of the alternate light and dark bands produced by diffraction or interference.


Extreme:
1. of a character or kind farthest removed from the ordinary or average: extreme measures.
2. utmost or exceedingly great in degree: extreme joy.
3. farthest from the center or middle; outermost; endmost: the extreme limits of a town.
4. farthest, utmost, or very far in any direction: an object at the extreme point of vision.
5. exceeding the bounds of moderation: extreme fashions.
6. going to the utmost or very great lengths in action, habit, opinion, etc.: an extreme conservative.
7. last or final: extreme hopes.
posted by zarq at 5:50 PM on July 3, 2010


"I'd think that as an American you'd be particular attentive to the damage done by the definitions of "left" and "right" being moved."

Well, yes, of course. Because I don't think they're absolutes, but rather relative positions, just like "mainstream" and "extreme" or "moderate" and "extreme."

Zarq: Did you read those definitions? Number three is nearly identical in both, and the fourth definition of fringe explicitly defines "fringe" in terms of "extreme." Both are spacial metaphors that inherently connote distance from the center. The only way that you can argue that a majority held an extreme view is by removing that majority from the context that makes them a majority, and even then, you usually have to use whatever you're referring to as metanymic—Nazism was extreme in its antisemitism, but not particularly so in terms of industrial policy for Europe in the '30s and '40s, and even with antisemitism, labeling the Nazis as extreme only really makes sense by placing them in the context of all modern states, which again makes the Nazis a minority in their actions.
posted by klangklangston at 7:48 PM on July 3, 2010


Why doesn't the media cover the pistachio overdoses that must be occurring all over the country? Two words, Big Pistachio.
posted by cj_ at 11:42 PM on July 3, 2010


"relative" and "relational" are not the same word.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:30 AM on July 4, 2010


No, they're not. One says things are related, the other is about how they're related. But that's irrelevant to the point that both of them require something to refer to something else. Anything else is rather special pleading.
posted by klangklangston at 10:07 AM on July 4, 2010


I would argue that "relative", particularly in relation to the term "relativist", does not simply mean "related".

Relativism is the notion that ideas derive their validity from the cultures they exist in. I believe that this is a) the total substance of your claim that a belief being popular within some particular context excludes it from being extremist, and b) unmitigated nonsense. That is why I say that I am not a relativist, and that one has to be to make your argument.

As an aside, is that your argument? I don't want to strawman you.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:39 AM on July 4, 2010


"I would argue that "relative", particularly in relation to the term "relativist", does not simply mean "related"."

It does not simply mean "related." However, "related" is the sine qua non of "relative." You cannot have something that is relative without having it be related.

"I believe that this is a) the total substance of your claim that a belief being popular within some particular context excludes it from being extremist,"

…within that context. To bring it back home, a support for the appropriative "settlers" in the context of political views of Zionists isn't extreme. That doesn't make it right, but it's not extreme—extreme would be advocating further expansion, especially military expansion, and even that's not automatically extreme, as it would depend in part on the reasons that was advocated.

As for the larger issue of relativism, well, frankly, dismissing it as unmitigated nonsense is itself nonsense and the height of dogmatic arrogance. This isn't to say that the idea of what is popular automatically decides what is right, but that's a foolish and reductive view at best of relativism. Which you're entitled to, but when you use relational metaphors, realize that they are entirely empty without the idea of something relative to something else, and that empty metaphors result in empty hyperbole.

There simply is no ideology that is consistent and does not require serious cultural assumptions for its validity. As those assumptions are fundamentally unprovable, and lead to unproductive dead ends like simply dismissing those you disagree with as "extremists," they will never change minds.
posted by klangklangston at 2:31 PM on July 4, 2010


There simply is no ideology that is consistent and does not require serious cultural assumptions for its validity.

This statement essentially necessitates the discarding of the concepts of truth and correspondence. How do you formulate even the most basic of statements about reality while believing that?
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:03 PM on July 4, 2010


"This statement essentially necessitates the discarding of the concepts of truth and correspondence. How do you formulate even the most basic of statements about reality while believing that?"

You acknowledge your assumptions and allow that they may not be correct. And really, necessitates the discarding of truth and correspondence? Seriously? Yeah, as much as e=mc2 necessitated the discarding of Fg=9.8m/s2.
posted by klangklangston at 8:16 PM on July 4, 2010


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