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August 25, 2010 7:19 AM   Subscribe

Maybe this thread could use a clean-up, or a do-over?

I really hate the idea of a thread like this becoming what it has become because of one person's vile contributions. And while people are offering interesting and heartfelt rebuttals against him, it's yet another case of the level of discourse starting out at the absolute nadir and trying to work its way up, on a subject that is very sensitive to quite a few people. MetaFilter (generally) aspires to better than this, even if luke1249 doesn't.
posted by hermitosis to Etiquette/Policy at 7:19 AM (376 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

I just left a note in the thread. You may want to drop a link to this there as well if you haven't already.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:20 AM on August 25, 2010


Simple solution: don't engage with the troll. I flagged the hell out of him hoping it would get cut out before anyone started a dialogue with him.
posted by TrialByMedia at 7:25 AM on August 25, 2010


if this is going to be this thread, i am still confused about his hatred of Torres.
posted by PinkMoose at 7:25 AM on August 25, 2010


I think luke1249 should be given a timeout for this behavior in that thread. Totally not cool.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:26 AM on August 25, 2010


Totally, nuke all Luke and Luke related comments, mine included, that shit is nuts.
posted by The Straightener at 7:26 AM on August 25, 2010


Yeah.. can't Luke's comments just be deleted and he be given some sort of time out?
posted by pwally at 7:28 AM on August 25, 2010


Yeah, nuke mine in response to his if it helps too.
posted by blucevalo at 7:29 AM on August 25, 2010


19 of the 25 comments in that thread as of this moment are his or responses to his comments. Removing that would utterly gut the thread; my inclination in a case like that is not to go there, though I can see it both ways.

At this point, I've clearly said "stop it", there's this metatalk thread for anybody who needs to keep discussing that, and more in the blue along those lines will get nixed without pause. I'm sorry the thread got off to such a weird ugly start, but that's about all there is to the thread at this point, so I feel like maybe we should just let it try growing again from where it is right now.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:30 AM on August 25, 2010


Yeah people here always seem to be divided on whether to ignore ignorance, or try to remedy it with rational, reason-based responses. Plenty of both going on. He started this late last night when there were fewer people to flag, so a conversation accumulated before any flagging critical-mass could accumulate. Either way, the thread as it stands is pretty sickening to read, especially considering the project it's attached to. Perhaps luke's local news sites have plenty of articles he could comment on? His contributions to MetaFilter are of about that quality.
posted by hermitosis at 7:32 AM on August 25, 2010


Removing that would utterly gut the thread

Would that be a great loss? I don't think so.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:34 AM on August 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


You are welcome to delete any of my comments from that thread that are in response to his, if things go that way.
posted by hermitosis at 7:35 AM on August 25, 2010


Fair enough, I'll go ahead and clean it up.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:39 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I favor the nuke.
posted by greekphilosophy at 7:41 AM on August 25, 2010


Wonderful.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:42 AM on August 25, 2010


As the OP, I'd suggest deleting and starting over, except there are a couple of comments, especially dancestoblue's, that it would be a shame to lose.* I would be fine with uprooting the derail, even though it's most of the comments.

*Also, I've never had a post deleted, and I'm proud of my perfect record. Yes, I'm embarrassed that I care.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:42 AM on August 25, 2010


Thank you.
posted by TrialByMedia at 7:42 AM on August 25, 2010


Yeah.. can't Luke's comments just be deleted and he be given some sort of time out?

I happened to catch the thread before the mass comment deletion. luke1249's comments in the thread are both logically and ideologically misguided (and quite fighty as he went on), but they did manage to bring out some thoughtful commentary on AIDS, race, and class in response.

Removing the comments and ensuing discussion was, IMO, a poor choice. You've got people like St. Alia of the Bunnies who pull that shit time and time again in similar threads, yet that stays.
posted by mkultra at 7:43 AM on August 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


Heh, always hit preview before making superfluous admissions.

Superfluous Admissions is the name of my Depeche Mode cover band.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:45 AM on August 25, 2010 [8 favorites]


You've got people like St. Alia of the Bunnies who pull that shit time and time again in similar threads, yet that stays.

I dunno. I found most of what was there to be considerably more offensive (and veering offtopic) than most of the controversial threads that have stayed.
posted by schmod at 7:47 AM on August 25, 2010


Personally I'd prefer threads be revised to show what conversations could be instead of left to warn what they shouldn't be. I'd rather that comments from Alia, or pla, or whoever, not set the bar for what a conversation on a certain topic winds up being.

You have to trust people to contribute thoughtfully even when there's no fire to put out.
posted by hermitosis at 7:50 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, what was he saying? I'm curious.
posted by nomadicink at 7:50 AM on August 25, 2010


Wow major cleanup.
Now, without all the crap in the thread to distract me, I can go back and watch the video.
(I am very distractable.)
posted by SLC Mom at 7:51 AM on August 25, 2010


Wow, what a bunch of cowards. Is this the way you deal with all points of view you don't like but can't argue against?
posted by luke1249 at 7:51 AM on August 25, 2010


the thread as it stands is pretty sickening to read

I don't know. luke1249's comments are certainly crap - it's probably confirmation bias, but it really seems that there has been an uptick in 'Pfft, X isn't a tragedy, Y is a tragedy, you misguided fools' derails - but many of the responses to his crap have been thoughtful, and moving, and to the benefit of the post, IMO.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:53 AM on August 25, 2010


It wasn't that Luke had a controversial opinion based in cluelessness so much that he seemed bent on screaming FUCK YOU in the faces of anyone who feels passionate about America's AIDS crisis.
posted by The Straightener at 7:53 AM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Aha! Right on cue, I figured there was a quickly ticking t-minus until Luke showed up to cry about his free speech rights being violated.
posted by The Straightener at 7:54 AM on August 25, 2010 [8 favorites]


Luke's measured and thoughtful response here in MeTa has led me conclude that we have wrongly judged him. Please put all his comments back ASAP.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:55 AM on August 25, 2010 [23 favorites]


Removing the comments and ensuing discussion was, IMO, a poor choice.

It's a poor choice either way, unfortunately. I think I'm inclined to agree with you, as far as inclinations go, as I said earlier: askme aside, my default move when it's a bunch of discussion tied into bad behavior is to remove as much of the badness as I can without dinging the remaining discussion too much. But that has its own problems, as well—if what's on display is ugly and basically kicks off a hard topic with some really poorly-footed derailment, leaving it in place can lead to a lot of aftershocks and further flareups. So it's not cost-free to leave stuff. It's always an unhappy dilemma in these weird cases.

But if the feeling of a whole bunch of the people not just reading but actively participating in the thread is that it was poisoned at the root and they'd rather see their own comments gone then leave up the ugliness that prompted it, that's gonna get me off the fence a bit more. The clear response here was "please clean it up", so I went that way.

I hope anyone who was mixing in some substantial discussion or linkage with their digging-into-the-derail stuff will bring some of that back in another comment stripped of the back-and-forth context. I hate to see good stuff go too.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:55 AM on August 25, 2010


Luke, your point of view is valid. But the way you were arguing it was pretty miserable.

There are lots of ways to compare one set of victims to another, or to parse a set into subsets. You can even argue that TB kills more (poor) people than AIDS kills (wealthier) people but gets less funding. Or how about malaria?

But that post was about a particular set of people and you set out to trivialize it. That is not cool.
posted by SLC Mom at 7:56 AM on August 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


For those of us that missed them maybe you could make state your views again.
posted by adamvasco at 7:56 AM on August 25, 2010


people here always seem to be divided on whether to ignore ignorance, or try to remedy it

That's why I propose troll drills. If a troll enters the thread, a mod activates an alarm. We all file calmly and quietly out of the thread and congregate in MeTa until the mod(s) make sure we're all ok, and the troll has been casually tossed into a rubbish bin.

I also ask that the troll alarm be understated, like a butler's cough, because those fire alarms had me shitting myself each time they went off.
posted by everichon at 7:56 AM on August 25, 2010 [26 favorites]


There is a distinct difference between "These people got AIDS in a time when it was utterly preventable, and there are a lot of people who didn't have that luxury. Perhaps we should focus on the latter; the former doesn't seem worth this kind of hagiography" and "rich white hypocrisy." Calling people "cowards" doesn't jibe with "I haven't been rude to anyone."
posted by Etrigan at 7:57 AM on August 25, 2010


Removing the comments and ensuing discussion was, IMO, a poor choice. You've got people like St. Alia of the Bunnies who pull that shit time and time again in similar threads, yet that stays.

Apart from the fact that the luke1249 comments were beyond the pale, how would it have been possible to keep the responses to his comments without keeping his comments in the thread as well?

I actually kind of half-wanted all the comments to stay, because his line of thinking is not an uncommon one these days (especially the poisonous "you deserve AIDS if you ever had unprotected sex" trope), and it makes just as much sense to me to have it out and debate what he's expressing as it does to screen it all out.

In any event, I don't think it's all that constructive to call out other mefites by name as points of comparison with this particular individual.
posted by blucevalo at 7:57 AM on August 25, 2010


nomadicink---I pointed out that AIDS (which was compared to the plague, etc. by other commenters) was not a tragedy for the people eulogized in the video, because they knew better than to engage in unprotected sex, but that it is a tragedy for addicts who can't get needles, for kids born with it, for girls forced into prostitution, etc.

You can gauge how well that went over by the fury it elicited.

Some people's worldviews are so fragile that even the gentlest counter-wind of disagreement totally ruins their day.

And frankly, this is really disappointing. If I post a question, I'm assuming the mods are going to arbitrarily delete comments they don't like.

What use is this site if you're not allowed to disagree?
posted by luke1249 at 7:59 AM on August 25, 2010


Luke 12:49 : "I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! "

The dude couldn't be announcing he is a troll any more obviously if he had chosen the username "Troll"
posted by Rumple at 7:59 AM on August 25, 2010 [60 favorites]


For the record: I am a her, and no, my head did not explode. I would not waste a good head explosion on you.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:59 AM on August 25, 2010 [7 favorites]


luke1249, this is what I said in the thread before cleaning it up along with everything else:

"I know that you're trying to argue with what you see as a misguided or mistargeted piece of media, but you're doing so in a way that is really bizarrely antagonistic and I'd really like you to cut it out. This thread is not the place to achieve whatever it is you're trying to achieve; making and reiterating bad-faith assumptions about your fellow mefites like this is crappy behavior.

If you feel there's some sort of legitimate community issue here, you can try and take this to Metatalk and make it clear what you think is problematic. Barring that, please just take a pass on this particular thread because this is really not going well."

And I'm sticking with that. There's nothing wrong with you having a contrasting opinion or disagreeing with the appropriateness of one vs. another way of looking at a tough topic, but your approach over in the blue was needlessly combative and dismissive and volatile. You were showing massive social cluelessness and apparently arbitrarily picking that thread to make a big fucking stink in, and that, not your possession of a different opinion on the subject, was the problem.

You can talk it out in here if you want and if you can manage to be halfway civil about it. But I've already removed another comment from you in that thread that was out of line, and I think you need to be done in there period and you need to at the very least cool it a bit even over here.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:59 AM on August 25, 2010


Wow, what a bunch of cowards. Is this the way you deal with all points of view you don't like but can't argue against?

Luke, what argument are you talking about?
That post was not about arguing that AIDS is more terrible for one group than another. It was about how one person dealt with their grief and made a video about it. AIDS is a disease that does not discriminate - it doesn't care if you're black, white or orange, it kills. And that sucks.

You're totally welcome to your opinion, but that thread was not the place to do this. And seriously, if you are that concerned that certain groups aren't represented in AIDS grieving videos, please, feel free to make your own video.
posted by NoraCharles at 8:04 AM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Thanks for the scrub, cortex.

Luke, here's the thing -- disagreement is fine, and rational discussion is awesome, but the core intereste in that thread seemed to be much more towards reminiscences of friends-past.

I guess you can go ahead with your "gentlest counter-wind of disagreement" here if you want, but I reckon you'll be needing asbestos pants if it's anything other than gentle.
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:05 AM on August 25, 2010


Ah-ha, the assumptions and extrapolations begin.

I never complained about my free speech being violated. I have the entire internet to go talk about things.

I never said anyone deserved to get AIDS.

"Cowards" is I think pretty mild compared to how rude people were being to me. I'm the one with the unpopular opinion, however, so obviously the crowd wins. I never complained about the whole "pain isn't a zero-sum game" comment, etc. And I'm not complaining now. I can ignore it. I'm just pointing out that it's pretty unfair to delete my comments simply because people disagree with them.

Again, either point out specifically who I was rude to, how my comments were off-topic, or point me to the rule that states that all comments have to concur with the OP.

You're not going to be able to. Deleting my comments was an act of cowardice. People couldn't argue with the points I was bringing up, so they had them deleted.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but I had higher expectations of this site.
posted by luke1249 at 8:05 AM on August 25, 2010


I pointed out that AIDS (which was compared to the plague, etc. by other commenters) was not a tragedy for the people eulogized in the video, because they knew better than to engage in unprotected sex, but that it is a tragedy for addicts who can't get needles, for kids born with it, for girls forced into prostitution, etc.

And people are saying, 'Yes Virginia, it was a tragedy.' And you keep saying no, apparently because the commemorated got what was coming to them. Your view is narrow and myopic, and cold, and I pity you.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:06 AM on August 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


I had higher expectations of this site.

That works both ways.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:06 AM on August 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


What use is this site if you're not allowed to disagree?

What is the use of disagreeing or even talking at all if you have no respect for this site's members or standards?
posted by hermitosis at 8:06 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


The real tragedy is here is that Luke still feels that he is some kind of vanguard prophet, schooling us about revolutionary insights on privilege, but yet the sheeple are terrified of his wisdom.

Instead of say... just understanding that he was being a dick.
posted by Theta States at 8:07 AM on August 25, 2010 [13 favorites]


pointed out that AIDS (which was compared to the plague, etc. by other commenters) was not a tragedy for the people eulogized in the video, because they knew better than to engage in unprotected sex...

What?
posted by R. Mutt at 8:07 AM on August 25, 2010


it doesn't care if you're black, white, or orange

YOU LEAVE SNOOKI OUT OF THIS GODDAMNIT
posted by item at 8:07 AM on August 25, 2010 [24 favorites]


I think a good general rule for commenting on Metafilter threads is, don't try to undermine or de-legitimize other people's level of feeling for or against something. This applies across the board: don't jump in to say
- a death's not tragic
- a funny video is boring
- a political controversy that people feel strongly about isn't really important

Then, look at what you were going to say, and see what's left:
- a legitimate criticism of how "AIDS culture" in the West tends to lionize certain arguably privileged victims
- a specific criticism of why you think a supposedly funny video fails to work
- an explanation of why the political controversy will prove to be insignificant in the long term.

etc.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 8:09 AM on August 25, 2010 [15 favorites]


What use is this site if you're not allowed to disagree?

I'm often puzzled by this attitude when it shows up. I'm reasonably confident that most of the community thinks Metafilter is not debate club. I think a better metaphor would be a big party at someone's place where you know some people, but you also don't know some people and you suggest interesting things to discuss and people share their thoughts on them. So when someone gets fighty and combative in a thread it's essentially like they've thrown a drink down and ranted at the top of their lungs on their favorite politcal issue which obviously upsets people at the party. The ranters however think they've found a room full of soapboxes where everyone is allowed a turn on one. So they feel like they're being denied their turn on the soapbox.
posted by edbles at 8:11 AM on August 25, 2010 [67 favorites]


I pointed out that AIDS (which was compared to the plague, etc. by other commenters) was not a tragedy for the people eulogized in the video, because they knew better than to engage in unprotected sex, but that it is a tragedy for addicts who can't get needles, for kids born with it, for girls forced into prostitution, etc.

Okay, so where's your complete roster of categories of people whose fate it's okay to consider "tragedies" in this situation and those who aren't "tragedies" so we can keep score?

As far as I can discern, the only distinction between your two lists is -- surprise! -- that most of the people on one list were (in your view) rich, privileged, white, disease-ridden homosexuals who shoulda "known better."

Given the New Testament damnation deal going on with your handle, I'd say that's another argument lining up in favor of that proposition.

Make all the slippery counterarguments you want, but that's pretty much the sum of your claim.
posted by blucevalo at 8:12 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Luke, when you look at your categories of "tragic AIDS victims" and "non-tragic AIDS victims", how closely do they mirror the categories "straight AIDS victims" and "gay AIDS victims"?
posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:12 AM on August 25, 2010 [11 favorites]


People couldn't argue with the points I was bringing up, so they had them deleted.

On the contrary - people did, but you simply restated your point progressively more loudly rather than listen to or engaging them.

Also, we didn't delete them, Cortex did. For the record, I'd have rather that the whole mess stayed up.
posted by ryanshepard at 8:12 AM on August 25, 2010


Perfect examples:

I would not waste a good head explosion on you.

The dude couldn't be announcing he is a troll any more obviously if he had chosen the username "Troll"

These are, I'm guessing, the kind of ad hominem thing that mods call posters out on.

Again, let me supercalifragilistically emphasize that I'm not saying either of those commenters should be in any way moderated or reprimanded for what they said. I don't want anyone to be told to sit down and shut up.

I'm pointing out the hypocrisy in deleting my polite, on-topic, and otherwise downright solicitously rule-abiding comments simply because the majority didn't agree with them, while other people aren't subject to the same treatment.
posted by luke1249 at 8:12 AM on August 25, 2010


Wow, what a bunch of cowards. Is this the way you deal with all points of view you don't like but can't argue against?

No, we just don't like to get rick rolled by some drive-by. Fighty troll like behavior isn't given a chance to set up shop here. It's a choice. If you want to have a good faith relationship with other people on this site you'll do well to walk softly, this aint' 4chan.
posted by nola at 8:13 AM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


think a good general rule for commenting on Metafilter threads is, don't try to undermine or de-legitimize other people's level of feeling for or against something.

Works in real life, too!

You think you know what the truth is, luke? Great, now learn when to speak it. Once you've got that down, you can study up on how to do so without coming across as petty, malicious, or smug. Maybe then -- MAYBE -- you will be able to participate in intellectual conversations about sensitive topics without everyone wanting to open up a window in hopes that you might jump out of it.
posted by hermitosis at 8:14 AM on August 25, 2010


I'm pointing out the hypocrisy in deleting my polite, on-topic, and otherwise downright solicitously rule-abiding comments

Your comments were not polite, on-topic OR rule-abiding. Seriously, 0 for 3.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:14 AM on August 25, 2010 [13 favorites]


You're not going to be able to. Deleting my comments was an act of cowardice. People couldn't argue with the points I was bringing up, so they had them deleted.

This is wrong-headed self-serving bullshit. You need to figure out how not to fuck a thread up with badly-presented derailing comments if what you want is a decent discussion instead of a bunch of grief about your behavior. I am trying really hard to extend some kind of benefit of the doubt there—that this is a topic that just really upsets you enough that you got carried away, that the thread kept going the way it did originally because you couldn't stop digging even though you knew you maybe should, that you are just having an enormously bad week and it's coming out here—but that thread of optimism is unraveling fast.

If you cannot stop and reassess and figure out that everybody but you thinking there's a problem with your behavior there and here means that there's probably an actual problem and not just a mysterious confluence of people trying to pull a fast one on you for no apparent reason, I don't know how this is going to work out. Please find some way to take a step back from this and realize this community is bigger than just you and that how and where you choose to approach a topic is as important as what you have to say about it. Disagreeing is fine. Acting like a jerk in the process is not.

I'm pointing out the hypocrisy in deleting my polite, on-topic, and otherwise downright solicitously rule-abiding comments simply because the majority didn't agree with them, while other people aren't subject to the same treatment.

And a whole bunch of people are pointing out that your assessment of your own comments seems to be awfully inaccurate.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:15 AM on August 25, 2010 [9 favorites]


And frankly, this is really disappointing. If I post a question, I'm assuming the mods are going to arbitrarily delete comments they don't like.

Luke, you're new here, so I'd strongly advise you not cast such blanket and dire assumptions. The moderation of Metafilter isn't a black and white affair and the deletation of comments is not based on whether the mods like it or not.

There is a link on the Wiki that lists various deletion reasons, with explanations, but I can't find it at the moment, anyone know where it is?. Reading that may help give a better idea of how Metafilter runs.

Long story short, Luke you're interacting with a year's old community and you're breaking some social conventions in doing so and coming off as an antagonistic jerk in many ways. I'd highly suggest you hang back a bit and stop calling people cowards and feeling as though you're censored.

Calmly ask questions. Calmly post your views. Posting in anger and with condescending attitude doesn't do anything productive. Garbage in, garbage out, etc.
posted by nomadicink at 8:18 AM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Well, that was a nice break. I should do that more often. Very restful. So, anything fun been happening while I've been away?
posted by Decani at 8:18 AM on August 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


I pointed out that AIDS (which was compared to the plague, etc. by other commenters) was not a tragedy for the people eulogized in the video, because they knew better than to engage in unprotected sex

Well, I think this gets to the root of the whole thing. We now know that everyone in the video contracted HIV via intentionally unprotected sex, thanks to this poster's efforts.

Wouldn't terribly mind citing a source, would you? Just for the doubters, you understand.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 8:19 AM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


These are, I'm guessing, the kind of ad hominem thing that mods call posters out on.

In the blue, yes, but they weren't posted in the blue, they were posted here.

In the Thunderdome. Welcome to it.
posted by The Straightener at 8:20 AM on August 25, 2010 [6 favorites]

nomadicink---I pointed out that AIDS (which was compared to the plague, etc. by other commenters) was not a tragedy for the people eulogized in the video, because they knew better than to engage in unprotected sex, but that it is a tragedy for addicts who can't get needles, for kids born with it, for girls forced into prostitution, etc.
Wow. Well, that's an utterly putrid point of view.

(It's not even true. A lot of those early AIDS victims contracted the disease before anyone even knew it was sexually transmitted. But even if it were true. Exactly how blameless do you have to be before your death is considered a tragedy?)
posted by craichead at 8:22 AM on August 25, 2010 [10 favorites]


New Testament?? I'm a freaking atheist. luke1249 was the name Yahoo suggested for my email address a long time ago, because obviously there were 1248 other lukes with yahoo email address.

Of course this is now something that I'm going to be unable to prove and people will just assume I'm lying. So I should probably just own it.

Yes, I'm here to fill the world with Amazon Kindles.

When I said people couldn't argue the points I was bringing up, I didn't mean they weren't trying. I meant that they were failing to. Plus, who was arguing the point? No one. Super whinefest of "I don't like him" ensued and my comments got deleted.

But! There is one response amid all the rationalization of deletion of unpopular comments because they were unpopular and consequent ass-covering which has characterized this whole, pathetic exchange: edbles's description of what this site is. He's right. I thought it was someplace everyone got a chance to have their say. Apparently, it's not. You have to agree with people, like at a dinner party. Or rather, you can disagree, if you want, but you can't disagree and win the argument, because that would be rude.

Got it.
posted by luke1249 at 8:23 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Luke, it seems you've got two options here.

A: admit you trolled deliberately and realize that generally doesn't accomplish much positive here (or anywhere)

B: admit that you blew it unintentionally and, as many have already suggested, get busy "learning" how to be a more effective MetaFilter communicator.

Because any way you look at it, you dropped a stinkbomb in that thread that many could not ignore and, as such, it almost died. Clearly it wasn't just you that made this so (ie: it takes more than one to tango), but you are the one that dropped the stinkbomb.
posted by philip-random at 8:24 AM on August 25, 2010


"49I have come to bring flaming on MeFi, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50But I have a callout to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed! 51Do you think I came to bring peace on The Blue? No, I tell you, but GRAR. 52From now on there will be five in one contact list divided against each other, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, mod against noob and noob against mod, Sibling/Neighbor against Crush/Muse and Crush/Muse against Sibling/Neighbor, SLYT Poster against ObitFilter Poster and Lady GaGa fan against jonmc.

This is the word of the LOL."

"ButtsLOL"
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:25 AM on August 25, 2010 [39 favorites]


I wish there were a symbol, like the . for a moment of silence, for the sound of the world's tiniest violin playing a sad, sad song. If such a symbol existed, I would post it in this thread for the sad repression of luke1249.
posted by Aizkolari at 8:26 AM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


These are, I'm guessing, the kind of ad hominem thing that mods call posters out on.

I'm having a hard time figuring out where you draw the line. "AIDS (which was compared to the plague, etc. by other commenters) was not a tragedy for the people eulogized in the video, because they knew better than to engage in unprotected sex", OK. "I would not waste a good head explosion on you", ATTACK.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:26 AM on August 25, 2010


that thread of optimism is unraveling fast

As one of the few users who stood up for allowing luke1249's wrongheaded commentary to stay, I echo this sentiment.

Dude, you need to step away from the keyboard, take a few deep breaths, and enjoy some fresh air.
posted by mkultra at 8:26 AM on August 25, 2010


I thought it was someplace everyone got a chance to have their say.

Get your own blog.

you can disagree, if you want, but you can't disagree and win the argument, because that would be rude.

MetaFilter is not about winning. MetaTalk, on the other hand, is. It's just that usually by the time we end up here, everyone has already lost.
posted by hermitosis at 8:27 AM on August 25, 2010 [8 favorites]


In the blue, yes, but they weren't posted in the blue, they were posted here.

To explain this a bit more to Luke:

AskMe is the most heavily moderated part of the site, with a pretty strict adherence to the idea that comments should be answering the question and nothing else, no matter how interesting.

Metafilter is more lightly moderated, usually with a eye towards keeping things from being a complete war, but some arguing and being off topic is fine, the mods can probably define it better.

Metatalk? It's rarely moderated. Short of revealing personal info (which isn't allowed on any part of the site, by the way) or real nastiness, comments are not deleted or moderated on Metatalk (aslo known as MeTa).
posted by nomadicink at 8:27 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


What use is this site if you're not allowed to disagree?

Yeah, boy, we never have disagreements on this site. Never happens. Never have 500+ comment fpps that spawn 500+ comment meTas.

Also? Your metric of what makes something "good," like your metric of what makes something tragic, is really fucked up. Declaring that someone who died of AIDS that they acquired through sexual activity (rather than being an "innocent victim" who acquires it via dirty needles or being born with HIV) is awfully 80s; it more than skates the line of saying they deserved it - it marches right over the line and tells people grieving their dead friends, lovers and family members that they should quit their crying already, because the dead person should have known better.

One preview: You have to agree with people, like at a dinner party.

No. You just have to not act like a jerk. There's a meTa several threads down that's been going on for days where people are disagreeing with each other without being jerks, or namecalling, or demanding Special Snowflake status for their Special Maverick Opinions. They are talking to each other. Like adults.
posted by rtha at 8:28 AM on August 25, 2010 [5 favorites]


Apparently, it's not. You have to agree with people, like at a dinner party. Or rather, you can disagree, if you want, but you can't disagree and win the argument, because that would be rude.

A hilarious mischaracterization of edbles' comment. You can disagree, and win, but you can't throw a wine glass at someone at yell in their face and swear and go into the living room and smash their Xbox.

In other words, yes, Metafilter is more similar to real life conversations, in its liking for basic civility, than you may be used to in a number of other online forums. I'd never really made the connection but that may be as good an explanation as any of why I like it so much more.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 8:29 AM on August 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


You have to agree with people, like at a dinner party. Or rather, you can disagree, if you want, but you can't disagree and win the argument, because that would be rude.

Win what? You keep talking about an argument. There isn't one. It's like you showed up for Person A's funeral and were "Hey, what about Person B, they died too!" How is this an argument? No one is saying anything bad about Person B, but it's not their funeral.

Got it.

No, I don't think you do.
posted by NoraCharles at 8:30 AM on August 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


When I was 22, I was in a homeless shelter for gay teenagers in Hollywood. This was 1992. Bush was still president, and the AIDS crisis was still tearing through the gay community. The discussion had become public -- no thanks to President's Reagan and Bush, who couldn't be bothered to address the subject in any formal way. But thanks to activists who got on television and screamed, and celebrities who made it their cause, and thanks, terribly, to the number of people who were dying. It was absolutely destroying the artistic communities of LA and New York -- an entire generation of performers and artists were growing sick and dying in just a few years. You can still see the gap in the arts community. There are people my age and younger, and there are people a decade or two older, and between the two it starts thinning out, and when you get to areas of the arts that had the highest percentage of gay men, suddenly there the living population grows very small indeed. Some of them were big names -- Keith Haring, who was all of 31 when he died. Charles Ludlam. Oh, Christ -- Ludlam was 44 and at his absolute prime, and I can't imagine what he would have produced had he lived. Klaus Nomi. Life without Nomi is no kid of goddamn life at all. Fucking Mappelthorpe; these were the big names.

But so many died unnoticed, and so many of them were young. Back to the shelter: I went with a young man, probably 21, to get the results of his test. Positive. He and I spent the day together getting drinks and walking around Hollywood as he came to terms with what was then a death sentence. I barely knew the young man and don't remember his name, and never saw him after that day. He was young and gay and broke, and it's unlikely he lived more than a few years, and those few years would have been miserable. I hope somebody got to know him well enough to commemorate him. I remember him, for what it's worth.

Luke, on behalf of him, I am not afraid to engage you. Not on your argument, which is so petty and ill-considered as to be beneath addressing. Just on your general behavior. And, on behalf of an entire generation of artists that were wiped out by illness, I say this to you:

You're making a very bad showing of yourself here. Before you spit on the graves of people who died to young, or minimize the tragedy of their deaths, please ask yourself what sort of person that shows you to be, and if that's the person you want people to know you as. And, if so, please find a nice, damp hole in the ground, crawl in, and pull the dirt atop yourself.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:31 AM on August 25, 2010 [172 favorites]


edbles is a she.
posted by nomadicink at 8:31 AM on August 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


Also, we didn't delete them, Cortex did. For the record, I'd have rather that the whole mess stayed up.

Yeah, I'm more of a mind to let them stay up, but I understand the thinking behind nipping that shit in the bud. The need for people to draw their own conclusions about a person's comments gets kind of dwarfed by unavoidable derailing of posts by people that intentionally playing 80,000 plus members in a game of wack-a-troll. I'm reserving judgement on luke, I'm not calling him a troll. But in principle we don't need that brand of out and out acrimony turning an otherwise good thread upside down, and making the thread about the person (who may not have intend to) who started a fight.
posted by nola at 8:32 AM on August 25, 2010


Well, since Pink Super Hero and Cortex have now stated that I wasn't polite or on-topic, I think it would behoove them to prove it.

They won't be able to.

The comments are all gone, so the mischaracterization of what happened will remain. I said nice vid, but kinda hypocritical, and everyone started being rude and off-topic-y. I remained on-topic and polite.

The main problem I think is this: Wow. Well, that's an utterly putrid point of view.

It's the view that I expressed which is offensive. Not how I said it. It's a view which should not be voiced, because the reigning viewpoint (not just here, but in white society) is essentially: Poor black people dying of AIDS? Fuck 'em. Rich white people? Let's all shed a tear for the ineffable tragedy.

Yes, it is something I feel strongly about. We live in a fucked up society, and watching white people eulogize people who should have known better (but didn't deserve it---a distinction I'm beginning to think only smart people can make) makes me sick.

And once again, I've never complained about being censored!! I'm complaining about the unequal treatment.

And if I'm a bit testy, try having all your totally legitimate comments deleted.
posted by luke1249 at 8:33 AM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Seriously, are you like some old buddy of ours, who knows all the secret codes to get everybody all het up? Because this is another masterpiece. I thought Taser VS Gun for home defense was good, but this is great.
posted by dirtdirt at 8:35 AM on August 25, 2010 [11 favorites]


And if I'm a bit testy, try having all your totally legitimate comments deleted.

Luke has a point here. This is no record of comments, so he's being tarred and feathered here, perhaps fairly, perhaps not, I don't know. I would prefer to have all or some of comments there and let my opinion of him be based on that rather than other's reaction to them.
posted by nomadicink at 8:36 AM on August 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


uh oh a brave gadfly

i hope he doesnt speak some brave truth, it would just set my cowardly world on its head
posted by Greg Nog at 8:36 AM on August 25, 2010 [14 favorites]


Well, since Pink Super Hero and Cortex have now stated that I wasn't polite or on-topic, I think it would behoove them to prove it.

They won't be able to.


Well, look at the title of this post! That was only what I could gather in a snippet.
posted by hermitosis at 8:38 AM on August 25, 2010


Yes, I'm here to fill the world with Amazon Kindles.

May I admit I LOLed?
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 8:38 AM on August 25, 2010


Luke, if you want to make a productive contribution, why not put together a really comprehensive post about the issue you feel so strongly about.
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:39 AM on August 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


I remained on-topic and polite.

Many commenters have said you were impolite. One of the mods said, "Disagreeing is fine. Acting like a jerk in the process is not." You seem to be ignoring the comments here saying, "luke1249, it wasn't what you said so much as how you said it."
posted by komara at 8:39 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


The comments are all gone

I have the original thread open in another tab.

And if I'm a bit testy, try having all your totally legitimate comments deleted.

If you have made a legitimate comment, either here or in the original thread, I haven't seen it.

It's a view which should not be voiced, because the reigning viewpoint (not just here, but in white society) is essentially: Poor black people dying of AIDS? Fuck 'em. Rich white people? Let's all shed a tear for the ineffable tragedy.

A perusal of the AIDS tag puts the lie to your fucking bullshit.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:41 AM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


So I am not allowed to mourn the passing of Keith Haring without giving a eulogy for everyone else who died with less privilege in the world?

At my grandfather's funeral should I have given a speech about how utterly white he was, and chide all of his white family members for spending so much time grieving over some white guy?
(he was in the military and got a bad lung condition from it. He should have known better than enlist, really)
posted by Theta States at 8:41 AM on August 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


I sincerely doubt a comprehensive post about why it's okay that gay men die of AIDS because they should have known better, and why we shouldn't mourn for people with money who die when poor people also die and in larger amounts, or white people as opposed to people of color, or whatever dreary, inconsiderate point was being made, would survive the front page.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:41 AM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Aizkolari (benetan euskalduna bazara): what's the point? I'm not feeling sorry for myself. I'm not complaining that people are being meanies. I'm saying that my comments were deleted for expressing a point of view which was offensive to the sensibilities and worldviews of the other people in the thread.

To those saying there wasn't an argument: there was one, then it got deleted. The only thing that's been proven here is that comments can get deleted for expressing the wrong ideology.
posted by luke1249 at 8:41 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think it would behoove them to prove it.

Well, if you really want, cortex can probably snag your deleted comments from the database, and paste them here. I think it's not a great idea, policy-wise, but on the other hand, the adrenaline of reading them would probably give me the shot I need to make it through this day.

And thanks to this headcold I'm carrying around, I realized that I screwed up a sentence in my previous comment, which should have read Declaring that the death of someone who died of AIDS that they acquired through sexual activity (rather than being an "innocent victim" who acquires it via dirty needles or being born with HIV) was not tragic is awfully 80s...
posted by rtha at 8:43 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


There's another point being expressed, which is that people who say they are not feeling sorry for themselves are almost always mistaken.

I am impressed by your cross, though; did you make it yourself, and why did you make it so large?
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:43 AM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


They won't be able to.

Hi. I work here. Keeping this place from falling over is my job. I don't really like deleting stuff from the site and tend to avoid it wherever possible, something that anyone who knows me well from spending time here can tell you. There's discussion of my misgivings about it even in this thread.

And I don't sit around pulling rank on a regular basis because I don't think it's a particularly helpful thing to do in most contexts, but: I am among the three people in the world most qualified to tell you that your behavior in a metafilter thread sucked.

You were being rude. You were being disruptive. You were taking a thread about one thing and, right out of the gate and by ugly brute force making it about something else; you were making shitty, bad-faith assertions about your fellow site members. It was a bullshit. It would have been bullshit if it had remained undeleted, but it'd also be distracting bullshit at that point which isn't really fair to anyone interested in reading a non-crazy thread on the actual subject of the post.

Again: you are welcome to your opinions. You are welcome to disagree. But you have to locate the world beyond the tip of your own nose and actually take the time and effort to understand where you are and develop a sense of the community you're in theory trying to be a part of. A big part of that is learning to moderate your own behavior, and learning to listen to your fellow mefites when they're saying "something is wrong here".

That's a separate issue entirely from whether you agree with anyone about the substance of a discussion. People here love to argue, love to disagree. But you have to do it like an adult; there has to be give-and-take, there has to be a mutual attempt at civility and the willingness to take the high road even if someone else does not. Discussions here can go really well when all that happens; they can go very poorly when it doesn't. You were not doing a good job, at all, of managing that stuff.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:43 AM on August 25, 2010 [31 favorites]


Hey guys, it's ok, luke cares about the poor black AIDS people. He's fighting the good fight and we should all be ashamed of our rich white selves.
posted by item at 8:44 AM on August 25, 2010


Luke, I'll chime in here, since I was the first one to call you on the inaccuracy of your snarky comments, since the deletion of your 'totally legitimate comments' is what has you riled. You said the video was white people eulogizing other white people. I pointed out that six of the featured artists (at least) were people of color. You dismissed this 22% representation as meaningless when compared with some unfathomably large multiplier.

Sorry, but what?

Legitimate and valid are nice words, but if you're going to lay claim to them, at least be able to back your argument up without appealing to imaginary mathematics.
posted by yellowcandy at 8:46 AM on August 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


Seriously, the tab is just, like, one over in, beside the Pakistan FPP. It has everything up to hermitosis' MeTa link...
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:46 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


cortex: Finally someone who addresses the point. I haven't seen a lot of people loving to disagree here. In fact, my impression is that people downright hate it. I wasn't the one being uncivil. Why am I the one who has to take the high road when others don't?

That's the only point I'm making. I'm not feeling sorry for myself (which, in a bit of self-serving and Orwellian logic, apparently proves that I am to some people), but I'm not.

My complaint is, I think, legitimate. I politely voiced an opinion no one liked. Result: Za-a-ap! It's gone.

You mention community---I genuinely was not unaware that there was some kind of community thing going on here. I really and truly just thought people could say whatever they wanted.

They can't. Astro Zombie's comment about a post with just my contention wouldn't survive the front page proves this, doesn't it? Is he/she right? Do I have to run topics past mods before posting them? If so, can I get a general outline of what's okay and what isn't okay?
posted by luke1249 at 8:51 AM on August 25, 2010


Metafilter actually IS a dinner party. It's not some free speech zone where you can express anything you feel like. I hope this helps.
posted by empath at 8:53 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


You mention community---I genuinely was not unaware that there was some kind of community thing going on here. I really and truly just thought people could say whatever they wanted.

Uh... have you seen the MetaFilter logo?
posted by inmediasres at 8:55 AM on August 25, 2010 [7 favorites]


I haven't seen a lot of people loving to disagree here. In fact, my impression is that people downright hate it....I genuinely was not unaware that there was some kind of community thing going on here. I really and truly just thought people could say whatever they wanted.

These are two giant, glaring, bright neon signs. They both say LURK MORE.
posted by rollbiz at 8:55 AM on August 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


Maybe everyone could stop poking the guy. The mob pile on thing is getting really boring and asinine.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:57 AM on August 25, 2010 [6 favorites]


I genuinely was not unaware that there was some kind of community thing going on here.

Quite.
posted by dirtdirt at 8:57 AM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


You haven't answered the question about the lists, Luke. Who deserves to be on the tragedy list and who doesn't? Get on it.
posted by blucevalo at 8:58 AM on August 25, 2010


Wait, this is a community? Next you'll be telling me it's some sort of "weblog"!
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:58 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I wasn't the one being uncivil. Why am I the one who has to take the high road when others don't?

Lies. Repost the original comments and demolish this jerk off.
posted by The Straightener at 8:58 AM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


The math. Okay, pedant, it's not 100%. But that's not the point. The point is with white people, my god, you'd think AIDS only killed their favorite artist. Such hypocrisy.

And look at the comments here addressing what I've said. All snark, all BS. No one addresses the actual point. Everyone here is saying, "Look, why don't you just admit you were being a jerk, huh? Huh? Huh?" so why don't people just admit that I brought up a point about their Weltanschauung that makes them uncomfortable?

I will say this: it's fine for people to eulogize the dead. No matter how much the people on the other side of this debate might wish it to be otherwise, I don't think anyone should die of AIDS. I also don't think people should die in bungee-jumping accidents. But can you really look at the video and not think of all the AIDS babies? And not think, "where's the movie about that?" Where's the moving tribute to them? And more importantly, where's the help?

I can't.
posted by luke1249 at 8:59 AM on August 25, 2010


An idle comment: We have a tolerant, tight-knit community, where new users and old alike get taken seriously and are engaged with and are given the benefit of the doubt. A cost of that is that it's pretty easy for a troll to get a long free joyride. At $5 a pop, I wonder whether it's worth it, but it isn't my money.
posted by Kwine at 8:59 AM on August 25, 2010


I politely voiced an opinion no one liked. Result: Za-a-ap! It's gone.

You are lying.

You posted a comment that, while not containing any profanity or attacks, was entirely dismissive of the content of the post and those eulogized in the post. Responses ranged from the wry, the factual, personal anecdote, and the poetic. Your second comment was very rude, baiting, patronizing, antagonistic, and even more dismissive.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:59 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Seriously, the tab is just, like, one over in, beside the Pakistan FPP. It has everything up to hermitosis' MeTa link...

Alvy, would you be willing to post the contents of that page to scribd? I'd like to see what sparked the uproar.
posted by zarq at 9:03 AM on August 25, 2010


Astro Zombie's comment about a post with just my contention wouldn't survive the front page proves this, doesn't it? Is he/she right? Do I have to run topics past mods before posting them?

If you are posting with the intention of expressing a point of view, whatever the point of view is, there is a pretty good chance that the thread will not go well or that it will get deleted.

We prefer that people don't editorialize, in general, and let the links stand for themselves. There are a million political websites on the internet. Metafilter is not one of them.
posted by empath at 9:03 AM on August 25, 2010


And not think, "where's the movie about that?"

That could be an excellent movie. If nobody's made the one that you think should be made, then get on it, and then post it in Projects.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 9:04 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wait, weblog? Holy shit, this is a weblog? Pah, get mah bahble? What duz Jayzus Chrahst have to say about weblogs?

Yeah, as the jerk here, I would appreciate reposting the original.

Lists: I already addressed that. Tragedy is the unavoidable (I'm sticking with Shakespeare here, which means I'm not using "tragic" to mean "really sad"). Forced prostitution, AIDS babies, drug addicts (it's a disease, not a lifestyle choice), etc. getting AIDS=tragedy. Millionaire artist having unprotected sex and getting AIDS=sad, but not tragic.
posted by luke1249 at 9:05 AM on August 25, 2010


Finally someone who addresses the point. I haven't seen a lot of people loving to disagree here. In fact, my impression is that people downright hate it.

This is a sign that you have not been paying attention to Metafilter. There is no more polite way to say it. You are mistaking people disliking your crappy approach to that thread for people disliking disagreement. You are badly misapprehending the situation.

I wasn't the one being uncivil.

Again, I wholly disagree. I will believe that your intent was not to be uncivil, but if that is the case you failed miserably at achieving your goal.

Why am I the one who has to take the high road when others don't?

Everybody should be trying to. That's how it works. The whole idea of civility is pointless, just utterly fragile and indurable, if "but he started it" is enough to void it.

Here, in metatalk, the expectation on topicality and general non-obnoxiousness is lower, which is why it's okay (for a very neutral "this is not stuff we're generally going to delete" sense of permissiveness) for you to repeatedly tell everyone they're totally wrong about everything in here and why it's okay for other people to tell you you're off your rocker. I'd personally love it if everybody could be a model of restraint even over here, but it doesn't happen. It kind of sucks that it doesn't happen, but at least it's in the right place.

Now, again: I think "I took the high road" is a miserably inapt and self-serving way to describe your behavior from comment number one. And again: maybe that was you just failing badly to achieve your intent. I feel from how this has gone that it's more that you have failed so far to develop any real sense of this place and are injecting your own incorrect expectations of what's an effective way to argue or communicate on mefi, whether based on your own personal rhetorical preferences or on your experience with some other noisier, more brusque, less conversationally substantial forum or something.

And, ultimately, that happens and culture shock is a bitch but you can get over it with some effort. But you have to make that effort, and that starts with realizing that you're not achieving whatever it is that you set out to achieve and the culpability there lies with you.

You mention community---I genuinely was not unaware that there was some kind of community thing going on here. I really and truly just thought people could say whatever they wanted.

This is the feeling I have been getting too, yes. You really really need to get to know the site better. That said, people can more or less say what they want if they put in the time and effort to get a sense for the place, get to know the guidelines, and learn not to stir shit up in disruptive or antagonistic ways.

Astro Zombie's comment about a post with just my contention wouldn't survive the front page proves this, doesn't it?

Astro Zombie's comment was more about his deeply lowered expectations of how the post you'd put together would look than about the validity of the general topic. The way this discussion has gone, I'm inclined to agree with that feeling: you don't seem to get the site, you seem to have a massive axe to grind, and a post that resembled your comments so far on the subject would be a horrible disaster because of how it would be presented. Presentation matters. A lot.

If you really and truly are interested in trying to make a post, we can talk about it. I have a hard time seeing this being something that is going to work well, but I enjoy being happily surprised about stuff. But that's a tangent here; feel free to run a post draft by me via email if that's something you're seriously considering, we can talk about that way.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:05 AM on August 25, 2010 [6 favorites]


This is terribly boring at this point. If this were a dinner party, I'd have asked luke1249 to leave by now and we'd all be laughing nervously over creme brulee and coffee, wondering who invited him in the first place.
posted by greekphilosophy at 9:06 AM on August 25, 2010 [6 favorites]


This is a example of why the comments should've been moved over here to MeTa rather than just wiped from the face of the Earth. There's a bunch of people arguing about comments that most of us haven't even seen.
posted by rollbiz at 9:07 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


No one addresses the actual point.

If you actually made a point, it would be addressed. You continue to ignore valid questions. What's your list? Who's on it? Who's off it? Is Keith Haring off it? Is Robert Mapplethorpe off it? Is Rock Hudson off it? Is Anthony Perkins off it? Is anyone who's rich and famous and gay and white off it? Is Sylvester off it? He was rich and had AIDS but was black. Is Eazy-E off it? Is Fela Kuti off it?

I suppose Ryan White isn't off your tragedy list, even though he was white, because he didn't have unprotected sex.

Answer the question.
posted by blucevalo at 9:10 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I really and truly just thought people could say whatever they wanted.

Lurk more. Seriously. Places like fark and reddit and even 4chan have their norms and mores and weird little customs and whatnot, and while there may be less moderation/no moderation on those sites or others, you can't actually go in and say whatever you want...at least, and not get shit for it if you cross boundaries. This is true here, as well - you can, in fact, say (almost) whatever you want - you just can't say it and expect no consequences. If that's what you want, start your own blog and turn comments off.

But can you really look at the video and not think of all the AIDS babies? And not think, "where's the movie about that?"

Actually, yeah, I can. Just like I can watch a movie about Batman without wondering why it isn't about Cthulu.

A thing that is about something is about that thing. It doesn't have to be about EVERYTHING that it is not about. A documentary about kids who die of HIV may well be out there - there are a lot of documentaries out there, after all - and if it isn't, and you think it's an important issue, maybe you should work towards making one.

A documentary about adult artists who died of AIDS doesn't have to be about anything else. I'm really curious as to why you think it has to be.
posted by rtha at 9:11 AM on August 25, 2010 [18 favorites]


But can you really look at the video and not think of all the AIDS babies? And not think, "where's the movie about that?" Where's the moving tribute to them? And more importantly, where's the help?

A few points.

There is not a finite amount of care in the world. The fact that there is a project devoted to showing the final residences of artists who died of AIDS doesn't mean that there are no projects about AIDS babies, about the kids in africa who are dying from it, et cetera. This is true even on this site though I doubt I'm the first person to link to this.

You stated that your bone of contention was that this tribute is to people who contracted AIDS through unprotected sex and should have known better. I am asking: How do you know what these people knew and didn't know, at the time? You say they knew better; how is it that you know this? How do you know how they contracted AIDS?

The issue wasn't that you were totally blasting the truth in the face of uncomfortable squares. It's that you were accusing folks of not giving a shit about something because they weren't specifically discussing the aspect of the issue that is most important to you at that exact moment. And I'm sorry, but fuck that. What you were doing was not enlightening, but derailing. I read it as it happened and you weren't being polite by any stretch of the imagination. If you want to believe you were, then okay, we can agree to disagree.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 9:11 AM on August 25, 2010 [9 favorites]


You mention community---I genuinely was not unaware that there was some kind of community thing going on here. I really and truly just thought people could say whatever they wanted.

Cool. Sounds like we're getting somewhere. For what it's worth, I've had (I think) four front-page-posts deleted in slightly more than two years membership, and who knows how many sloppy, arguably offensive (or just stupid) comments removed.

So yeah, Metafilter does have rules. Some are explicit and you can read about them in the FAQ etc. Others are a little more vague and have to do with negotiating all the gray areas that inevitably pop up in any community as it strives to communicate with itself. Which is the key point. Your comments were deleted because, in the informed opinion of the moderators, they weren't helping the community be a good, functioning community.

Don't like it? Find some other community. Like this community too much to just walk away? Figure out a way to make your points a little more sensitively.
posted by philip-random at 9:14 AM on August 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


I will say this: it's fine for people to eulogize the dead. No matter how much the people on the other side of this debate might wish it to be otherwise, I don't think anyone should die of AIDS. I also don't think people should die in bungee-jumping accidents. But can you really look at the video and not think of all the AIDS babies? And not think, "where's the movie about that?" Where's the moving tribute to them? And more importantly, where's the help?

I think what people are saying is that if you wanted to have your point heard more clearly by people on the site, a better way to do would have been instead of dismissing the video originally, to say something more along the lines of:

"This video is an example of something about the AIDS crisis that depresses me. It seems like a lot of the money, attention and art tends to be focused on well-connected AIDS victims of means who choose to engage in high risk behaviors, rather than focusing on victims who blah blah blah..."

It's still derail-y, there still would have been a discussion, but maybe not a fight.
posted by edbles at 9:14 AM on August 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


Those millionaire art-fags you so disparage, many of whom are still living with an incurable disease they caught decades ago, have probably raised more money and awareness to fight AIDS on all fronts than virtually anyone else in the nation. The help that is out there for the people you are so concerned about? It is owing to them.
posted by hermitosis at 9:15 AM on August 25, 2010 [15 favorites]


But can you really look at the video and not think of all the AIDS babies? And not think, "where's the movie about that?" Where's the moving tribute to them? And more importantly, where's the help?

This is such a huge gap in logic, it seems.
First, there are many movies being made about HIV/AIDS in many contexts, including
"poor AIDS babies".
Second, if a producer makes a film to eulogize the dead in a specific cultural and temporal context, they are not implicitly required to include reference to all other victims outside of defined context.
Third, it is disingenuous to assume that just because the producer has chosen a specific context (that itself can have it's selection discussed,) that they do not acknowledge nor care about poor AIDS babies.

There are many stories to tell about AIDS. These people chose this one. If the movie was somehow claiming "this is the entire story of AIDS and the pinnacle of its tragedy", then maybe you'd have a valid gripe, imho.

If you are annoyed by this story and its context, please contribute to the community by creating a post that examines the aspects of AIDS that you are focused on.
I am assuming you are a tireless crusader and activist, and not just a contrarian who enjoys "calling people out" on the internet.
posted by Theta States at 9:16 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


greekphilosophy: that's essentially what happened. Right now we're in the parking lot, and I'm not happy about being kicked out after paying to get in, dammit!

I don't get the "this is so boring, so I'm going to comment on how boring it is" thing, though. Maybe someone can explain that.

Cortex, I'm not going to post that, because this is starting to bore even me (and I'm one argumentative motherfucker-you probably didn't notice). Seriously, no one will engage the issue? At all? People have their worldviews, and they don't want them bruised. Better not to engage, I guess.

But I get the point. This isn't a forum where you can just say anything. Most forums aren't. On rightwing forums saying Obama isn't a socialist will get you banned. On leftwing forums saying Bush wasn't a fascist will get you banned. Every forum has it's reigning ideology and you can't go against it.

I truly did think this was different, free from all that, but it isn't. It's got its own rules and sensibilities and toes you have to avoid treading. That's what's so disappointing. I thought it was a community of people willing to engage opposing viewpoints even when they are stridently expressed. It isn't.

Roger. 10-4.

I've got to go to work now, so you beautiful people keep keeping it real while I'm gone, aight?
posted by luke1249 at 9:17 AM on August 25, 2010


I genuinely was not unaware that there was some kind of community thing going on here. I really and truly just thought people could say whatever they wanted.

This may have been your first mistake. I also work here. This all happened when I was asleep. There's a big difference between stating your opinion, or even arguing, and making a thread about you and your derailing opinions to the point where people can't really talk about anything else. This is sort of our definition of "asshole" in the "don't be an asshole" guideline which is the general overarching guideline for MeFi. Most people who hang out here have been here a while and while people do not agree on most topics, there's a general sense of respect for other people's opinions and a general sense of respect for the people who are here [such that we don't really start tirades against "oh all X people are like Y, AMIRITE" for the most part]. Doesn't always work out perfectly and we have MeTa for when it doesn't, but if you're not getting what the problematic part of your interaction in that thread was, we may have some trouble moving forward. Up to you.

Alvy, would you be willing to post the contents of that page to scribd? I'd like to see what sparked the uproar.

Please do not turn this into selectively pullquoting and shaming over at Meta. cortex took the pretty strong step of taking most of the comments out of the thread and I don't mind sharing them but I don't want this to become an insufferable interrogation thread where people pull comments apart word by word and say "well what did you mean but THIS, huh?"
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:17 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why am I the one who has to take the high road when others don't?

General rule of thumb in life: Taking the high road and being calm and collected generally presents a better face for your arguments.

You have thoughts worth discussing and they in fact seem* to mirror some of my own when I say the post. But there's no way in hell that I want to be seen as being on the same side as you, because you're coming off as combative jackass who isn't willing to listen.

I strongly suggest you take a walk and come back to this thread in a few hours if you want to talk about what's occurred here. At present you're just digging yourself into a larger hole.

* I say seem because your comments (and others) have been deleted, so it's hard to come to any definitive conclusions about what occurred because there's nothing there now. However you actions and comments in this thread do give weight to negative attributions assigned to you in the Metafilter thread.

Take a walk, come back with a cooler head, please. It'll help the situation a lot.
posted by nomadicink at 9:17 AM on August 25, 2010


Uh wait, what's with the Basque?
posted by yarly at 9:18 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Luke, I am (or used to be) the poster child for posting unpopular opinions here. I have been roasted, fried, lambasted, and called everything but a child of God (which, I happen to be, go figure) on those threads. BUT I rarely have had comments deleted.

Let me suggest you sit down, have a cup or glass of your favorite beverage, and think about why, maybe, your stuff got cleaned up. People in this thread, if you ask nicely, will help you if what has already been posted is not enough.

I didn't see your comments, but for what it's worth, I too think it is offensive that anyone could see these deaths as anything but a tragedy. I'll just leave it at that.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 9:18 AM on August 25, 2010 [30 favorites]


Ok so I've read the now white washed (heh) thread on the Blue and this whole thread here and maybe I missed it but I still don't see a reproduction of the so called 'rude' comments. In order for anyone to have any kind of idea of who is being less than forthright here, we need to see the exact comments in question. Why is that so hard to do? Then we can all make our own judgments and be done with it. Or is everyone really bored today and they just want to get their Ya Yas out?
posted by spicynuts at 9:19 AM on August 25, 2010


Sorry, and then in the time I was writing that, some people actually engaged the issue. Superfantastic. But I've got to go to work. I'll be back.
posted by luke1249 at 9:20 AM on August 25, 2010


Why am I the one who has to take the high road when others don't?

That is pretty much the definition of taking the high road.
posted by dfan at 9:21 AM on August 25, 2010 [28 favorites]


Those millionaire art-fags you so disparage...

Those cokehead millionaire art-fags, hermitosis, let's not forget that part.
posted by The Straightener at 9:21 AM on August 25, 2010


It seems there may be a difference of opinion about what tragedy means. For Luke, having unprotected sex, knowing the risk of HIV infections, if it leads to that infection, is not tragic.

Perhaps not. It's not an argument I care to have, because this actual discussion is about civility. Whether Shakespeare would have considered the death of a gay white middle class artist tragic isn't really an interesting point to me.

I have a rule of thumb that I have been trying to follow, and it is this: Treat my own pain as comedy, and other people's pain as tragedies. Perhaps it is not good theater, but I find it keeps me from getting yelled at. Incivility is good for drama; civility helps a lot with life.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:21 AM on August 25, 2010 [17 favorites]


Wow, what a bunch of cowards. Is this the way you deal with all points of view you don't like but can't argue against?

Anytime anybody says this sort of thing, it's only a matter of time before they flame out, either get banned for future nonsense, or disable their account and come back under a new, nicer sockpuppet.

Anybody taking bets? I got five bucks on him getting banned by cortex before January 2011. (If we guess what time of day and by what topic, it will be more interesting. I'm thinking evening and guns.)
posted by anniecat at 9:23 AM on August 25, 2010


I genuinely was not unaware that there was some kind of community thing going on here. I really and truly just thought people could say whatever they wanted.

Really? You really can't tell the difference between MetaFilter and the utter trash heap that is the rest of the internet? This statement alone is so hard to swallow as sincere that I'm really tempted to call troll.

And this - MetaFilter is a bunch of rich white people who don't care about poor black people? Grasping at straws like that just to be able to keep throwing punches is the very definition of bad faith and lack of grace. Either that, or your "debate skills" never progressed past the point of junior high debate club, where everyone is entitled to their opinion. Well, everyone has an asshole too, and you don't get credit just for having one. And yes, there is a way to hold a constructive debate, and "saying whatever you want" is not one of them. If you can't tell the difference between "controversial differing perspective" and "unsubstantiated soapboxing," by now, I guess it's pointless to explain.
posted by keep it under cover at 9:25 AM on August 25, 2010


Here's a pretty good example of people disagreeing on metafilter, without getting massively fighty.
posted by edbles at 9:26 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Luke

four questions/points

a) as a queer artist, who is slightly younger then when AIDS almost completely wiped out the community, so that I remember my forefathers and mothers, how am i supposed to mourn them.
b) i was the one who suggested that for queer artists , esp, men who had sex with men, in the 80s, it could be called a plauge, even the CDC called it an epidemic. you could see in certain peroids of time, work being stopped because of disease, and work being created about disease, when an epidmeic sweeps through--why can AIDS not be added to this
c) I agree with Elizabeth Pisani, that there are significant amount of money being wasted, and that HIV is often spread by making poor choices--there is a place to talk about Pisani and like minded scholars, but it is not on a thread like the one you pointed it. Could you start a thread maybe about AIDS policy where we could talk about t hese issues
d) seriously, what the hell is wrong with Torres
posted by PinkMoose at 9:27 AM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Anybody taking bets?

No.
posted by rollbiz at 9:27 AM on August 25, 2010 [5 favorites]


Those millionaire art-fags you so disparage...

This kind of language does not help, especially when the original comments can not be seen. You're putting words into his mouth and that's not right or fair.

But can you really look at the video and not think of all the AIDS babies?

Looking at how a specific disease hurt a specific community really isn't that strange.
posted by nomadicink at 9:28 AM on August 25, 2010


For the record, often threads that look at how people deal with the idea that death is coming for them are shat in if you can take a moral stance against the person or people who have the disease. I show you, for example, this thread, where someone immediately chimes in with "you fuck, you deserve it" or something to that effect. I think it's a shame that people feel this way, and am ashamed sometimes when I read of it on a site that I love and am proud to be a member of.

It's like some assholes have no empathy. And I suspect if they were born to a different culture, would be the same folks who say that their sisters/mothers/daughters deserve to be stoned to death/lit on fire because they did something that brought dishonor onto their families.

I'd hoped that we were better than that here.
posted by From the Fortress at 9:28 AM on August 25, 2010


Please do not turn this into selectively pullquoting and shaming over at Meta.

B-but I spent ten minutes learning how to take screencaps on this stupid laptop!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:29 AM on August 25, 2010


> I thought it was a community of people willing to engage opposing viewpoints even when they are stridently expressed.

There are several comments directly engaging your premise: NoraCharles, bluecevalo, Horace Rumpole, FAMOUS MONSTER, craichead, ThePinkSuperhero, Astro Zombie, Alvy Ampersand, yellowcandy and more.

Each of these has addressed very specific points in what can be deduced of your argument and asked very specific questions. They have also been quite strident in their tone which is perhaps unavoidable, yet you have not felt the need to address them all thewhile complaining that nobody is engaging with you.

Fast-moving thread is fast-moving, I get that. Perhaps stop and read the whole thread before continuing to post.
posted by Skorgu at 9:29 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Seriously, no one will engage the issue? At all? People have their worldviews, and they don't want them bruised.

It is a mistake on your part to imagine that the rest of an entire community has an obligation to engage you where and when you want on whatever topic you want regardless of context.

I truly did think this was different, free from all that, but it isn't.

"Free from all that" is an unmoderated USENET fight club. You may find that a place you enjoy spending time at; if so, awesome for you. But this isn't that. There are some basic expectations that people will show some sense and compromise and restraint in how they argue touchy topics, because that's vital to not having rambling shitstorm arguments 24/7.

Right now we're in the parking lot, and I'm not happy about being kicked out after paying to get in, dammit!

Right now we're standing in the green room discussing why your rushing the stage to yell at people for coming to see the wrong show was not okay. You haven't been kicked out. You're right here. This, taking metacommentary and arguments about arguments to Metatalk where they aren't distracting to non-fighting users and the hordes of non-member readers trying to look at a thread about something interesting on the internet, is part of how this place works.

Anybody taking bets? I got five bucks on him getting banned by cortex before January 2011.

Please do not do this. I'm as frustrated with luke1249's behavior as anyone here, believe me, but whether he makes this work is up to him and is manifestly not something we want people taking shots at.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:31 AM on August 25, 2010 [9 favorites]


Anybody taking bets? I got five bucks on him getting banned by cortex before January 2011.

Can we please not do this? MetaTalk isn't a gladiatorial pit. Rooting for or betting on people to flame out or be banned by the mods is really, really not cool.
posted by zarq at 9:31 AM on August 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


Or, what Cortex said.
posted by zarq at 9:31 AM on August 25, 2010


> Alvy, would you be willing to post the contents of that page to scribd? I'd like to see what sparked the uproar.

That seems like the wrong road to go down. A mess was cleaned up; there are far more important things to get worked up about.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:32 AM on August 25, 2010


Anybody taking bets? I got five bucks on him getting banned by cortex before January 2011.

Not cool.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:33 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oops, lack of preview.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:34 AM on August 25, 2010


You're putting words into his mouth and that's not right or fair.

Actually I'm just addressing things he said in THIS thread.
posted by hermitosis at 9:34 AM on August 25, 2010


Anybody taking bets? I got five bucks on him getting banned by cortex before January 2011.

Man, I just don't understand the updated version of Clue at all.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 9:35 AM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Looking at how a specific disease hurt a specific community really isn't that strange.

Is he doing so objectively and without passing judgment?

My impression of this (and keeping in mind that I haven't read his original comments,) is that he's telling us we should place a greater value on some people the disease killed over others, while simultaneously complaining that we are somehow doing so.
posted by zarq at 9:36 AM on August 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


Though I guess saying "art-fags" in my comment was putting words in his mouth. I should have said "art gay-lifestyle-choosers" instead.
posted by hermitosis at 9:37 AM on August 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


That seems like the wrong road to go down. A mess was cleaned up; there are far more important things to get worked up about.

He says he is being mischaracterized. Other people are accusing him of lying.

If we can set the record straight, why shouldn't we?
posted by zarq at 9:38 AM on August 25, 2010


I hope you appreciate the irony that, in your zeal to turn a discussion about some mainly white, mainly not poor artists who died of AIDS into a discussion about poor black people with AIDS, you've turned it into a discussion about you and your expression of a uniquely bourgeois sense of rhetorical entitlement.

You've really served those poor, desperate people dying of AIDS well. Congrats.
posted by mkultra at 9:38 AM on August 25, 2010 [6 favorites]


B-but I spent ten minutes learning how to take screencaps on this stupid laptop!

You could simply copy and paste the page's text into a scribd document without creating screencaps.
posted by zarq at 9:38 AM on August 25, 2010


Actually I'm just addressing things he said in THIS thread.

No, you're not, taking his words and assigning homophobia to them. I get that he's unpopular at the moment and everyone is loving to hate on him, but making shit up is a stretch and not helpful.
posted by nomadicink at 9:40 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I truly did think this was different, free from all that, but it isn't. It's got its own rules and sensibilities and toes you have to avoid treading. That's what's so disappointing. I thought it was a community of people willing to engage opposing viewpoints even when they are stridently expressed. It isn't.

I think the main thing you are missing here is that a funeral is not the occasion for debating whether the deceased's death was "tragic" or merely "sad." Different posts generate different kinds of conversations, and you misread all the cues of this one pretty badly.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 9:40 AM on August 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm also a little puzzled by the idea that gay artists are somehow rich and privileged, and that all of them knew the risks of AIDS but went ahead and had unprotected sex anyway.

I'm willing to discuss a well-considered opinion, but I am not willing to go through and fact-check every single ill-considered and understudied premise any crank brings to the table. There is so much bad faith arguing being passed off as just being a guy with an opinion that I am a little afraid that if I start unpacking this argument, I'll find something terrifying insider.

Unpack your own bags, Luke, and we'll discuss the contents. But there have to be contents. All you have done is mock people in pain with a collection of unsupported opinions.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:41 AM on August 25, 2010 [5 favorites]


luke1249, there's next to no information in your profile, and I almost hesitate to ask you this, but you seem very set on people knowing that babies die of AIDS and defending the innocence of babies and how that is a greater tragedy than people who otherwise contracted AIDS.

Did a baby, or a small child, you loved contract or die of AIDS? I'm not trying to stir up shit with you, but assuming you're not just trolling for kicks, this topic has you riled up for some reason, and I just have to wonder if it's rooted in something deeply, and possibly, heavily personal? I could be seeing too much in your comments. I didn't see the original thread before it was cleaned up, and I don't really care to. But I can't help but notice the the side of extra fighty in your comments here that make me wonder about your motivations for keeping up this particular fight here and now. You're new, and you don't post much. MeFites will often give the benefit of the doubt to someone when they know them or will accept if something is a bit out of character for a day or two. But we don't know you that well, so it's hard for us to understand you. Metafilter is a community, and as with any community, it takes newcomers a bit to figure out how to fit in and it takes the community a bit to figure out how to work the newcomers in. It's a process that takes learning on both sides.

And to address one comment ---- Yes, it is something I feel strongly about. We live in a fucked up society, and watching white people eulogize people who should have known better (but didn't deserve it---a distinction I'm beginning to think only smart people can make) makes me sick. ---- sometimes it's better to be compassionate than smart, and sometimes being smart means knowing when to behave compassionately. But your words just sound angry, and I'm having a really hard time determining if the anger is directed at the issue, at the particular happenings on MeFi today, or your own away-from-Metafilter-life.
posted by zizzle at 9:41 AM on August 25, 2010


I don't have to stretch, nomadicink. He's the one that complained, in the comment I linked, about millionaire gays (at least he left out the cocaine-sniffing reference this time) and the consequences of their "lifestyle choice".
posted by hermitosis at 9:42 AM on August 25, 2010


I pointed out that AIDS (which was compared to the plague, etc. by other commenters) was not a tragedy for the people eulogized in the video, because they knew better than to engage in unprotected sex, but that it is a tragedy for addicts who can't get needles, for kids born with it, for girls forced into prostitution, etc.

I'm sure you're coming down on all of the other people who are also doing things that cause disease and death for themselves. Because I'm sure its not the gay sex that is the main reason why you are saying that. I'm certain that you are also equally screaming against the persons who eat too much and get clogged arteries and die, and the people who smoke and get lung cancer.

Why I'm certain you would actually have to spend more time ripping on them, because they cost society so much more.

And I'm sure you're also pounding on all those heteros who got AIDS when they had unprotected sex for the purposes of procreating with their spouse too.

There are plenty of arguments out there that say that AIDS spending is too high for the overall mortality associated with the disease in the US, (less so in Africa, of course), so I'm sure it wasn't the sex thing at all, no.

So, if you could please just link us to all of the other places where you were just ripping on all those other things too.

thanks,

Matt715
posted by Ironmouth at 9:43 AM on August 25, 2010


You could simply copy and paste the page's text into a scribd document without creating screencaps.

I'm not familiar with Scribd, but wouldn't that mean I could monkey with what was said and by whom? Of course I wouldn't want to do that, but screencaps felt like a bit more of an objective, unimpeachable way to present what was said. Moot point anyway, I guess.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:45 AM on August 25, 2010


Please check out what Alvy Ampersand posted if you haven't already. There have been 261 Metafilter posts tagged with AIDS and 182 tagged with HIV. Spreading awareness of the impact of HIV/AIDS as a global epidemic is happening here on Metafilter. But Metafilter does not exist as a soapbox for causes. Seriously, lurk more and learn more. And please learn to give us all the benefit of the doubt and we'll try to extend the same courtesy to you.

Also, what in the world makes our comments hypocritical? Hypocrisy is "a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not; especially : the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion. 2: an act or instance of hypocrisy " (cite) Are you accusing us of lying about being saddened by the AIDS crisis in the gay artist community? Or that by being saddened by their loss, we cannot be sad about tragedy elsewhere? It is possible to be sad about AIDS-related deaths among the gay artist community and sad about the AIDS-related deaths of African men, women, and children at the same time.
posted by Mouse Army at 9:48 AM on August 25, 2010


Right now we're in the parking lot, and I'm not happy about being kicked out after paying to get in, dammit!

Is this about your $5? Because the mods might give you a refund if you decide this place is not for you. If not, I'd be happy to contribute a dollar to go towards making you whole.
posted by grouse at 9:48 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not familiar with Scribd, but wouldn't that mean I could monkey with what was said and by whom?

Yes. I'd trust you not to, though.

I think whether the final version is editable depends on the original format that's uploaded.

If you were on a Mac (I'm assuming you're not) you could simply print the page to a PDF file (a function that's built into the OS) and upload that. Formatting would remain consistent and I believe it would be read only even to you.
posted by zarq at 9:50 AM on August 25, 2010


I wanted to get back to what initially riled Luke, which was the movie about AIDS deaths in New York.
I run an LGBTTQ documentary films series, and so while I more specifically know great movies about HIV/AIDS in New York ( >1, 2, 3), I also know there are also many films dealing with HIV/AIDS in Africa. (1, 2, 3, 4)

And there are many others, this was just looking at one distributor.

It was because of this that I was so confused and upset about Luke's initial attack, because it seemed based on the assumption that no one knows about nor cares about AIDS in third world countries.
And I also just recently visited the reconstruction of Keith Haring's Pop Shop at the Pop Life art exhibit, a show which featured many works from casualities of AIDS, so the topic was certainly sensitive on my mind.
(BTW, The National Art Gallery of Canada also currently has General Idea's One Year Of AZT installed in their normal collection, for anyone interested)
posted by Theta States at 9:53 AM on August 25, 2010 [8 favorites]


Guy: "Oh oh! I thought this was America. I thought we had freedom of speech in this country. I'm sorry, I thought this was America!"

Gal: "This is my house. Would you please pull your pants up, it's time for dinner."
posted by nola at 9:56 AM on August 25, 2010 [9 favorites]


No, you're not, taking his words and assigning homophobia to them.

I'm not sure why you think it's such a stretch to impute those motives to him. He baldly stated that anyone who had unprotected sex and died of AIDS must be placed in a category separate from those who were infected by AIDS in other ways, because those who had unprotected sex and got infected should have known better than to have unprotected sex (even, presumably, those who were infected before anyone knew that AIDS or the virus that causes it existed).

In the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, a large number of people who had unprotected sex and subsequently got infected with AIDS and subsequently died of "AIDS-related complications" were gay men. That's a plain fact.

If that's not homophobic, I don't know what is.
posted by blucevalo at 9:56 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


No, you're not, taking his words and assigning homophobia to them.

I've given him the opportunity to link to all the other times in which he was pounding on other so-called "lifestyle" diseases. There are many worse culprits. What are the odds he's been railing against those too?
posted by Ironmouth at 10:02 AM on August 25, 2010


i still want to talk about Felix Gonzales Torres
posted by PinkMoose at 10:05 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is anything good going to come out of this? The guy said he had to go to work, so he won't be back for hours, and even if he does come back, what's likely to happen then? The original comments have been deleted, everybody's had their say and plenty of it, and it's just going to be another "I demand that you respond" pileon. Can't we just close this up and let the guy be WRONG ON THE INTERNET, and if he starts any more crap in the future, deal with that when it occurs?
posted by Gator at 10:08 AM on August 25, 2010


Hello, Luke. I'm not sure what your comments in the original thread were, but I will provide you with a tip. Let us say you read a post -- The Haunted Houses post -- and you have a reaction -- "What about the AIDS babies?" you think -- it is entirely within your purview to make a post in that theme. You could start with Love and Babies in the Time of AIDS, or Pandemic or Crisis in the Crib. There are lots of different ways to go. As part of the community, you're fully empowered to contribute, and making a post is a good and positive way to do that.

Regarding deleted comments: The more tangential comments are, the more likely they are to get deleted. If your comment is inflammatory, it's more likely to get deleted. Again, I'm not sure what you wrote, so that's the brief starters guide there.

Good luck to you.
posted by boo_radley at 10:08 AM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


UserNotes script.
posted by BeerFilter at 10:09 AM on August 25, 2010


Maybe this thread about this thread could use a clean-up, or a do-over?

Seriously guys. The ad-hominem attacks need to stop. Luke's a troll. Don't give him the satisfaction.
posted by schmod at 10:12 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I thought that we were all clear on the difference between Good Aids and Bad Aids.
posted by Len at 10:14 AM on August 25, 2010


Matt715

heh.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 10:15 AM on August 25, 2010


I don't have to stretch, nomadicink. He's the one that complained, in the comment I linked, about millionaire gays...

He never said anything about gays in the comment you linked to. I understand how it's easy to jump to the conclusion that is what he meant, but he never said, so your assumption that's what he meant, plus throwing 'art-fag' in there wasn't helping.

I'm all of for crucifying people for what they've said or written, but at least let'em say it first.
posted by nomadicink at 10:15 AM on August 25, 2010


I understand how it's easy to jump to the conclusion that is what he meant, but he never said, so your assumption that's what he meant, plus throwing 'art-fag' in there wasn't helping.

I don't think it's "jumping to a conclusion," for the reasons I've stated above.
posted by blucevalo at 10:19 AM on August 25, 2010


Seriously guys. The ad-hominem attacks need to stop. Luke's a troll. Don't give him the satisfaction.
posted by PugAchev at 10:25 AM on August 25, 2010


Unreal.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:32 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


If that's not homophobic, I don't know what is.

He put them in a different class for their ability to have prevented getting AIDS, not specifically because they were gay.
posted by nomadicink at 10:36 AM on August 25, 2010


He put them in a different class for their ability to have prevented getting AIDS, not specifically because they were gay.

Right, it's just part of their lifestyle choice, we got it.
posted by hermitosis at 10:41 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


All else aside, let me just say right here: cortex continues to impress me deeply, as a website moderator and as a human being, and his presence here is a credit to Metafilter and to everyone who takes part on this site. It goes without saying that I couldn't hold a candle to his ability to stay focused and carefully detached during spats like this, but I've gradually become convinced that he's more capable of thoughtful arbitration than almost anyone else I've ever met. And his comments in this thread only cement that conviction further.
posted by koeselitz at 10:47 AM on August 25, 2010 [32 favorites]


Luke, I highly suggest you lurk more and post less. I'm not saying that to be rude, and I apologize if appears as such. I'm saying you need to take time to learn more about what metafilter is and what it isn't.

Metafilter isn't perfect. There are popular people here who easily get away with stuff that the rest don't. Chatfilter, for example ... but that's small potatoes compared to what the majority of the internet is like.

Here, there really is a sense of community. If you don't see that, you need to observe more. The community aspect of metafilter is one of the site's strongest points. I'm not kidding when I say I consider this one of the five most helpful sites on the entire web. Read the questions on 'ask' and you'll see so many people being helped, day after day. That sort of thing doesn't happen elsewhere because trolls take over.

Metafilter is less a site to post on and more a site to be part of. If you act inappropriately here, you will be called out on it because members value the community aspect of the site and they want to protect it. That's a good thing.
posted by 2oh1 at 11:05 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I didnt see lukes comments, so I'm not gonna pile on him. I wish other mefites would stay out for the same reason.
posted by hal_c_on at 11:08 AM on August 25, 2010 [6 favorites]


I truly did think this was different, free from all that, but it isn't. It's got its own rules and sensibilities and toes you have to avoid treading. That's what's so disappointing. I thought it was a community of people willing to engage opposing viewpoints even when they are stridently expressed. It isn't.

One of the more interesting thing about Metafilter, and the reason why it's such a great place to share ideas, debate, learn and just plain ol' hang out is that there's a fairly heavy emphasis on context.

That thread was about an art project eulogising a particular set of AIDS victims. And that's just fine. It wasn't about "AIDS in general" or even "general ways to eulogise AIDS victims." A civil discussion could have evolved that way over the course of the thread if everyone had been on board. However, the general onus is to stay on topic.

Think about it as a topic hierarchy:

> AIDS
> > AIDS victims
> > > Remembering AIDS victims
> > > > Eulogising AIDS victims who were artists
> > > > > Eulogising AIDS victims who were artists with an interesting video

There are lots of things within the AIDS and AIDS victims classes of topics that are worthy of discussion, and the differing perceptions and public consciousness of victims is certainly one of them. However, that thread at that time wasn't the place to do it.

At a party with a few people talking about Peanut Butter and how awesome it is, you probably wouldn't jump in with "Yeah, but you know who sucks? Peanut farmers. Seriously, fuck them." It's kind of broadly within the same topic class of "peanuts," but not really.

(That's kind of a terribly analogy. I need more coffee. I also hope I've spelled "eulogising" correctly, since I used it several times.)
posted by generichuman at 11:13 AM on August 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


Quick a note just to say thanks for your thoughtful and moving comments here, Astro Zombie.
posted by jokeefe at 11:14 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Luke's comments suggest at best a nodding familiarity with the history of the AIDS crisis in the US. It is preposterous to suggest that gay men who got infected in the early to mid-80s "should have known better." No one knew better. In 1981 weird, rare conditions like PCP started showing up in clusters. Eventually the term GRID was coined to describe the constellation of unusual symptoms that presented predominantly in gay men.

In 1983, the HIV virus was isolated experimentally; but there was still no way to test for it, no definitive causative link between the virus and the condition had been established, and the common bias (in the US) was that only gay men could get AIDS. Disease transmission was hypothesized to be blood-borne, and there were some early recommendations, even in 1983, to avoid sexual contact with people with AIDS. Still, it would be grossly inaccurate to suggest that medical science in the early-mid '80s knew exactly what was going on with AIDS and how to prevent infection.

Couple that with the Reagan administration's steadfast refusal to fund any sort of significant public education or disease prevention campaigns for AIDS, or even to publicly acknowledge the existence of AIDS, and it's pretty obvious that these artists, most of whom were dead by 1990, had no idea that death would be the consequence of their sexual activity.
posted by Mister_A at 11:14 AM on August 25, 2010 [19 favorites]


I want to say something about tragedy.

The Greek tragedies are not about bad things happening to good people. They are about people making choices which lead to their destruction. Nor were Shakespeare's tragedies about the inevitability of someone's tragic fate. King Lear chose to divide his kingdom. Juliet should have joined Romeo in Mantua. Macbeth could have ignored his wife.

It's a tragedy when Romeo kills Paris, who is blameless. It's also a tragedy when Romeo kills himself, even though this is his free choice and an obvious mistake.

I don't reserve my pity or my sympathy for perfect people. If anything, it's harder to deal with the consequences of your own choices because of the shame and blame from others.
posted by prefpara at 11:16 AM on August 25, 2010 [53 favorites]


nomadicink: He put them in a different class for their ability to have prevented getting AIDS, not specifically because they were gay.

What Mister_A said, above.

You and I disagree. Let's leave it at that.
posted by blucevalo at 11:17 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I pointed out that AIDS (which was compared to the plague, etc. by other commenters) was not a tragedy for the people eulogized in the video, because they knew better than to engage in unprotected sex...

I'm speechless.

What next?

"Homosexuality is Intrinsically Promiscuous' and AIDS is God's 'Invention' to Punish It."
posted by ericb at 11:24 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Right up there with Jeremy Walters, a Republican candidate running for the State House in Iowa who suggests AIDS is punishment for homosexuality.
posted by ericb at 11:27 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah, that's helping.
posted by nomadicink at 11:28 AM on August 25, 2010


Couple that with the Reagan administration's steadfast refusal to fund any sort of significant public education or disease prevention campaigns for AIDS, or even to publicly acknowledge the existence of AIDS, and it's pretty obvious that these artists, most of whom were dead by 1990, had no idea that death would be the consequence of their sexual activity.

In 1985, a mayoral candidate for Houston named Louie Welch suggested "shooting the queers" to fight AIDS.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/5489747.html

Are you suggesting that a homophobic bigot in Houston, TX knew more about the AIDS problem than artists in New York?
posted by luke1249 at 11:32 AM on August 25, 2010


prefpara thank you for putting that so eloquently. I am no English major, but I had always thought the "tragic flaw" in a hero was meant to show that even the bravest, best protagonists are fallible and sometimes a mistake or misjudgment can lead to horrific consequences and that's what makes the "tragedy".
posted by pointystick at 11:34 AM on August 25, 2010


Are you suggesting that a homophobic bigot in Houston, TX knew more about the AIDS problem than artists in New York?

After all of the thoughtful things that were written here, and all of the direct responses to your statements, THAT was your reply?
This isn't going well.
posted by Theta States at 11:41 AM on August 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


Are you suggesting that a homophobic bigot in Houston, TX knew more about the AIDS problem than artists in New York?

This one's easy, folks, I got it.

"No."
posted by carsonb at 11:42 AM on August 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


And for the people orgiastically quoting me out of context, I'll just point out that I've said (in this thread, I think) that I'm not using the word "tragedy" to mean "very sad," the way bad writers do. A tragedy is when a bad thing happens and it can't be avoided. Again, a 14-year-old girl forced into prostitution: that's tragic. Knowing that having unprotected sex might lead to AIDS and getting it anyway? That's sad, obviously, because someone is dying, but it's not tragic.

But feel free to disregard this (as I know you will). You've created a conveniently Manichean narrative that allows you to interpret the things I'm saying simply as the bigoted ravings of a homophobe who thinks gays deserve to die because they're gay. It would hurt your brains to try to get them around the idea that a non-homophobe thinks gay people who engage in unprotected sex are in a less tragic position than other people who really had no choice.
posted by luke1249 at 11:42 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


luke, I think it's more that a homophobic bigot is likely to suggest "shooting the queers" for a wide variety of problems, whether or not there was evidence that the problem had to do with gay people.

As such, it's possible that it was common knowledge by 1985 that AIDS predominately affected gay men without knowledge that unprotected sex would transmit AIDS. So I'm not sure how Welch's comment relates to the assertion about the NY artists' knowledge.
posted by Lemurrhea at 11:43 AM on August 25, 2010


Then the people in New York must've known about AIDS, too. Thanks for proving my point, Theta States and carsonb.
posted by luke1249 at 11:44 AM on August 25, 2010


A tragedy is when a bad thing happens and it can't be avoided.

Cite?
posted by hermitosis at 11:46 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Are you suggesting that a homophobic bigot in Houston, TX knew more about the AIDS problem than artists in New York?

WHBT. WHL. HAND.
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:46 AM on August 25, 2010


He put them in a different class for their ability to have prevented getting AIDS, not specifically because they were gay.

But at the same time, he puts drug users in the "tragic" category because they have a disease whereas gay men who had unprotected sex in an era when AIDS was unknown made a "lifestyle choice."

Using drugs is also a lifestyle choice and, dare I say it, more of a choice than it is to be GLBT. Sure, being an addict isn't, but the choice to use drugs in the first place is exactly that: a choice. Having unprotected sex is also a choice but being gay is not. So, in his worldview - an action that starts with a choice and leads to a disease: blameless. Having a sexual orientation (which, PS, not a choice) and making poor decisions: well, the opposite of blameless. Blameful.

This is the part that weirds me out - seeing drug users as being victims of their disease, but gay men as making a choice. Sure, unprotected sex is a choice, but so is drug use. Also, at the start of the AIDS epidemic, the disease was previously unheard of and its transmission methods were completely unknown, so no one was making a calculated risk by having unprotected sex. Now? Maybe that's different, but if we're talking about the 80s... no one knew. You can't blame someone for incurring consequences of actions where there was absolutely no way of knowing ahead of time that they would occur.

You can't blame anyone in the 80s for getting AIDS. Race, color, gender, sexual orientation - whatever. People in the 1980s who died of AIDS had no way of knowing what AIDS was before they transmitted it. It hadn't existed before. It was a completely unknown quantity.

If you want to get on your soapbox about the present day, that's a different matter entirely, but that's not what this film is about and not what the FPP was about. People take risks. It happens. If you want to use your energy blaming them for their risks, that's your prerogative. And it's anyone else's prerogative to disagree with you.

TL;DR: Unprotected sex is a choice, being gay is not. Using drugs is a choice, being an addict is not. Neither group of people had any information in the 80s to know how AIDS was transmitted, so to say that one of them made bad choices and the other was blameless simply does not make any sense.
posted by sonika at 11:47 AM on August 25, 2010 [10 favorites]


Lemurrhea, he was specifically addressing the issue of AIDS. And in 1986, when I entered high school, we were given a speech in biology class about condoms and AIDS.

So unless Houston was some kind of cutting-edge AIDS awareness utopia, I'm pretty sure the artists in New York knew about it.
posted by luke1249 at 11:47 AM on August 25, 2010


Still, it would be grossly inaccurate to suggest that medical science in the early-mid '80s knew exactly what was going on with AIDS and how to prevent infection.

This seems rather revisionist to me. By the early 80s, every college kid was being told that unprotected sex was dangerous. If anything, the actual risk to heterosexuals who weren't in some other high-risk category was probably being overstated by then.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 11:47 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wait wait wait, so your point is that since someone in New York must have known about something called AIDS, that therefore anyone who contracted it and died has no one to blame but themselves?

Holy shit, you can't be serious...


Wait, did 4chan send you?
posted by Theta States at 11:47 AM on August 25, 2010


When I went to bed last night I saw the initial comment that I read as saying that the post "was simply more of the same white people mourning other white people and generally ignoring the devastation that the AIDS epidemic has had on people of color." I am paraphrasing, and the lines are now gone, but this bothered me for a couple of reasons.

It is really all about presentation, as far as I am concerned. I had a similar thought, but it was more "I wish they would have also focused on the broader spectrum - Willi Ninja and all of the East Village/Harlem artists (lots of people of color) and creatives who died". But after that comment, I didn't want to introduce anything into the conversation that would be taken as agreeing with what were certainly not polite or civil remarks. It wasn't a post about everyone who has died. It was a post about artists who died. The website and video could have been more inclusive, though.

See, even when I disagree with the tone or scope of the post, I hold back and think about whether or not my contribution would be appreciated or whether or not I can politely and civilly make my point. In this case, I don't think I could and don't think you did.

The post wasn't framed as what-have-we-lost-as white-people, but rather: Here is a small tribute to some of the artists and creatives who are no longer with us.

Having said that, there is something I respect in your method. LOOK. AT. THIS. SOMETHING ISN'T RIGHT. If it weren't for tactics like yours, refined by any number of AIDS activists, we wouldn't be at a place where we could even discuss this as we are doing right now. So I respect that, even if I think that your particular method in this particular thread was misguided.

For me, Metafilter has been this really enriching, interesting place. So much so that I am not sure I can put it into words properly. The people here are some of the most decent you will find online, but there is a time and place for everything. I don't agree with what everyone says, but there is both a level of respect maintained and a time and a place for things. I don't butt into threads with my personal theories about Ayn Rand and how even if her philosophy is garbage she had important things to say about art, artists, and how they should function in society. But when the time and place is right, I may. And that seems to be how a lot of the folks here operate. It is about time and place.

So try again. Don't leave. It doesn't need to be a stuffy dinner party where feel constrained, stifled, and silenced but it also doesn't need to be the pleasant dinner party where you take off your shirt, stand on your chair, and fist pump the air while you scream about how you are going to Show Them A Thing or Two!!! There is more room at this table than most others.
posted by Tchad at 11:48 AM on August 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'll give you some credit luke, you didn't make the FPP about you but you've got all the attention you want over here in the grey.

I'm not using the word "tragedy" to mean "very sad," the way bad writers do.

I'm not using the phrase, "get bent" to mean "physiological unconformity" they way crazy people do.
posted by nola at 11:49 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


In 1985, a mayoral candidate for Houston named Louie Welch suggested "shooting the queers" to fight AIDS.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/5489747.html

Are you suggesting that a homophobic bigot in Houston, TX knew more about the AIDS problem than artists in New York?


No, and no one has implied otherwise. The main vectors of AIDS transmission were reasonably well established by 1985. Those who engaged in unprotected sex within high risk communities after this was known were being foolish. However, many of the people who died of AIDS acquired the disease before this information was widely known. Given AIDS famously long incubation period this should not be too surprising.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 11:49 AM on August 25, 2010 [10 favorites]


It would hurt your brains to try to get them around the idea that a non-homophobe thinks gay people who engage in unprotected sex are in a less tragic position than other people who really had no choice.

Y'know, I was kind of joking when I linked to Brass Eye's "good aids vs bad aids" sketch upthread, but this is just rank fucking bigotry disguised as "won't somebody think of the poor defenceless children". Good Aids versus Bad Aids indeed. You ought to be ashamed.
posted by Len at 11:50 AM on August 25, 2010


sonika, drugs is a tricky issue, and while there are lifestyle aspects to it, you don't get AIDS from doing drugs. You get AIDS from using dirty needles, and the people who are using dirty needles are addicted, and addiction is a disease. A junkie not having a clean needle and needing to shoot up is in a different category from someone really horny and wanting to have sex but not having a condom.

And by the way, this has gotten all focused on gays, but I never said it's just gays. Straight people having sex without condoms are in the exact same category.
posted by luke1249 at 11:51 AM on August 25, 2010


It would hurt your brains to try to get them around the idea that a non-homophobe thinks gay people who engage in unprotected sex are in a less tragic position than other people who really had no choice.

Actually, that's not possible because that statement is in and of itself homophobic. As in: that statement casts gay people in a negative light for no reason other than that they're gay. That's homophobia. Plain and simple.
posted by sonika at 11:51 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Great post, Tchad. But before you give Luke too much sympathy, be sure to get to the point in the thread where he says it isn't tragic when homosexuals died of AIDS, because apparently they knew damn well what they were getting in to when they had sex...
posted by Theta States at 11:52 AM on August 25, 2010


Its Never Lurgi, that's a good point. That's not what the person who originally said that people who died by 1990 didn't know about the disease was saying, though, and that's what my comment was addressed at.
posted by luke1249 at 11:52 AM on August 25, 2010


luke, 1985 was well into the AIDS epidemic and was also the start of Reagan's second term. However, the president had been asked to speak out about it since 1981. By the time Welch made his comments, Reagan had had four ruinously ineffective years on the topic.

You seem to be comparing the events of 1990 with Welch's comments. This is not a valid comparison. Those dying in 1990 would have contracted AIDS in the early 80s.

When you write "Are you suggesting that a homophobic bigot in Houston, TX knew more about the AIDS problem than artists in New York?", you seem to be suggesting that shooting gay men would be a valid response to the AIDS crisis. I'm sure this is not the case; that is not a reasonable position for anyone to take. Please try to rephrase your point without resorting to edgy (and almost textbook) strawman arguments.
posted by boo_radley at 11:52 AM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


A tragedy is when a bad thing happens and it can't be avoided. Again, a 14-year-old girl forced into prostitution: that's tragic. Knowing that having unprotected sex might lead to AIDS and getting it anyway? That's sad, obviously, because someone is dying, but it's not tragic.

Alright, granted that this is your point of view and I'm not saying you can't or shouldn't have it. You're welcome to it. However, I think that what many people (and certainly myself up to now) take issue with is not the content of your opinion but your insistence on making the distinction whenever and wherever you please. Instead of thinking of MeFi like a dinner party, think of that thread as a remembrance service for a certain group of people. If you attended such a thing the expectation is that you're attending to remember/honor as well, so when you show up and say "hey, this is no tragedy! how about that tragedy over there!" (not putting words in your mouth, just for-exampling) to all the teary-eyed folks milling about and grieving, they're probably not going to take it well. It's not a matter of holding an opposing viewpoint; it's a matter of knowing when to make that viewpoint known and then how to go about doing it.

I'd humbly suggest that you don't yet have a good handle on when it's appropriate to voice your opinion nor how to go about it when you do. When people in this thread have said "lurk more" or "familiarize yourself with the community" (yep, it's a community!), they're encouraging you to figure out when and how better to share your viewpoints. It's good advice.
posted by carsonb at 11:53 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


You get AIDS from using dirty needles, and the people who are using dirty needles are addicted, and addiction is a disease. A junkie not having a clean needle and needing to shoot up is in a different category from someone really horny and wanting to have sex but not having a condom.

This is not necessarily true. You can get AIDS from a dirty needle your very first time shooting up. Pretending that you must be a junkie in order to get AIDS is obfuscating the actual method of transmission. You do not have to be addicted to use a dirty needle. You do not have to be "too horny to use a condom" to have unprotected sex. Both are choices. Just because one of these choices meets your moral standards and not the other doesn't mean that they're not both choices with the very same amount of risk attached.
posted by sonika at 11:53 AM on August 25, 2010 [5 favorites]


"Are you suggesting that a homophobic bigot in Houston, TX knew more about the AIDS problem than artists in New York?"

What the heck? At this point, why are you still fighting here? What is this oh so grand point you need to make, and what does it have to do with the actual topic of this thread or the thread that caused this thread?

I gave you the benefit of the doubt when I posted earlier in this thread. I was wrong. You're just a troll. Granted, you might be a troll who doesn't even realize he is a troll, but you're a troll nonetheless.

Not only would I suggest you take some time away from metafilter to sort out your issues, I'd suggest walking away from the internet entirely for a while. In fact, you might want to take time to figure out if your online traits are also offline traits. I know that suggesting therapy is downright cliche, but.... duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude... you've got issues. And you probably need help.
posted by 2oh1 at 11:53 AM on August 25, 2010


sonika, no it's not. It's called personal responsibility, and gays aren't exempted. No one in. If you die bungee-jumping, is that a tragedy? No. You took a risk and paid the price that you knew you might have to pay. Having sex with a stranger without a condom is the same thing. Again, nothing to do with gay or straight.
posted by luke1249 at 11:54 AM on August 25, 2010


What is even happening in this thread? Of course drug use is more of lifestyle choice than homosexuality. Homosexuality isn't actually a lifestyle choice. I mean, I guess you could consider gay sex a lifestyle choice just as you could consider choosing to have any sort of sex at all a lifestyle choice.
posted by Tha Race Card at 11:55 AM on August 25, 2010


If you die bungee-jumping, is that a tragedy? No.

Yeah, it's still a tragedy for all the important friends in family in your life who were affected by that decision. Do you really want to make some people's pain and suffering is better/worse than other people's pain and suffering your Alamo?
posted by edbles at 11:56 AM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Those who engaged in unprotected sex within high risk communities after this was known were being foolish.

I think context needs to be applied here.
I wasn't gay in the 80s in Amerca, but it'd be foolish to revise history and imagine that these people in 1985 were filled with agency, self esteem, support systems, and access to proper medical care and sexual advice.

To look back, draw a line in time and say "everyone that had unprotected sex after 1985 was a fool who knew what they were getting in to" disregards a huge amount of history and contributing factors, and it reeks of Libertarian-style blaming.
posted by Theta States at 11:56 AM on August 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


luke, can you point out where anyone said gays were exempted from personal responsibility?
posted by boo_radley at 11:57 AM on August 25, 2010


sonika, how many people shoot up the very first time with a dirty needle? That's a ludicrous statement.

2oh1, at this point, there's no point in continuing the discussion, because it's all just people hell-bent on painting me (god, if they only knew) a homophobe. I'm trying to restore the honor of my internet handle, dammit! :)

I don't think I'm being unreasonable. Telling people that there's this thing called personal responsibility always gets tempers going, though.
posted by luke1249 at 11:57 AM on August 25, 2010


Sounds like the real rant is about perceived racism.

For some reason he's equating one website remembering (from his perspective) 'rich white people' to a struggle actually fought on many fronts; black, white, rich AND poor.
posted by matty at 11:58 AM on August 25, 2010


A tragedy is when a bad thing happens and it can't be avoided.

Look, everything else aside, that's not what the word means. I'm not even sure how you got that idea in the first place. Yes, in the classical tragedies there's a strong sense of what I guess you could call the inevitability of fate, but even there it's fate being driven forward by individual choices. By Shakespeare's time (since Shakespeare is who you cite for your understanding of tragedy) even that is gone. Someone earlier in this thread already made the point that most of the deaths in Shakespeare's tragedies are quite avoidable.

So when you come into the thread and dismiss people's grief with bizarre and unfounded semantic nitpicking, it's not really a big surprise that they're offended, and it's not a surprise that they don't find it worthwhile to engage with your argument.
posted by moss at 11:58 AM on August 25, 2010 [9 favorites]


A tragedy is when a bad thing happens and it can't be avoided

If this whole argument really about you trying to force your specific definition of tragedy on the rest of us? Because, yes, dramatically speaking, that is a historic definition of tragedy. And, in that universe, Darth Vader is a tragedy and Alvin Ailey wasn't. Yes, that's true in the world of Aeschylus, if we are going to simplifying the terrifyingly complex world of Greek tragedy down to a few simple rules.

There are more definitions to tragedy than merely the one the Greeks came up with, and I assure you, Ailey's death was tragic.

As to your comment about the homophobic bigot in Houston, TX, I would respond if I understood your point. Alas, I do not.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:59 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Tell me more about this personal responsibility you speak of.
posted by Mister_A at 11:59 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


edbles, what is this? Death by point-proving counter-example? I know it's a tragedy for the family members. I've said that. I'm not making anything my Alamo. (I've just got time on break now.) I'm saying that the kid born with AIDS is in a much suckier position than the guy who decided to bang that chick at the night club without a condom, because the former had no choice, and the latter did.

Is that that difficult to understand??

boo_radley, anyone arguing against my point (see above) is essentially taking the position that a gay (or straight, it doesn't matter) person who has sex without a condom and dies represents as much of an unavoidable tragedy as a kid born with AIDS.
posted by luke1249 at 12:00 PM on August 25, 2010


Yeah showing up in a thread that is about a memorial to the dead to tell everyone off about "personal responsibility" will do that luke. You are either clueless or an asshole, or maybe both I don't know, but I'm done with this thread.
posted by nola at 12:01 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


sonika, no it's not. It's called personal responsibility, and gays aren't exempted. No one in. If you die bungee-jumping, is that a tragedy? No. You took a risk and paid the price that you knew you might have to pay. Having sex with a stranger without a condom is the same thing. Again, nothing to do with gay or straight.

If you can see that the same standards apply to drug use, you will see that I'm not actually disagreeing with you w/r/t the standards of personal responsibility.

sonika, how many people shoot up the very first time with a dirty needle? That's a ludicrous statement.

How many people ever who are shooting up have access to clean needles? How can you ever know if a needle is clean? How do you have so much insider information on the cleanliness standards of drug users?
posted by sonika at 12:03 PM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


moss, the deaths in his tragedies are motivated by tragic flaws. Hamlet's indecision. That's what makes for great drama: you're sitting there thinking, "Just kill the fucker! Who cares if he's praying?!" but he doesn't.

I'm not trying to foist this on anyone. My only point from the beginning has been that sad as a death may be, deaths caused by knowingly engaging in risky behavior aren't tragic. The end. They're very sad. They're not tragic.
posted by luke1249 at 12:03 PM on August 25, 2010


Telling people that there's this thing called personal responsibility always gets tempers going, though.

People get angry when you ignore their history, their struggle, and just say "oh, weren't you being stupid" and act like you aren't being a homophobe.
Looking back on gays in the 80s and saying "they brought that on themselves" is the dumbest application of "personal responsibility", as it crosses severely in to the realm of "extreme prejudice and ignorance".
posted by Theta States at 12:03 PM on August 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


...watching white people eulogize people who should have known better

Given that you didn't know the gender of the people commenting on the last thread, how did you know everyone commenting was white?

Then the people in New York must've known about AIDS, too
No one's arguing that no one knew about AIDS in the early 80's. But people had no idea what it was caused by, or if it was transmitted by sex, sneezing, kissing or touching. I would recommend And the Band Played On as a really great retrospective on the early years of the 80's epidemic.
posted by fermezporte at 12:03 PM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm saying that the kid born with AIDS is in a much suckier position than the guy who decided to bang that chick at the night club without a condom, because the former had no choice, and the latter did.

Is that that difficult to understand??


Nope!

What's difficult to understand was (was, mind you) your decision to make the point in the MeFi thread in question. You can argue about it till your fingers turn blue here in MeTa, and find no end of willing rhetors to engage your arguments, but the whole reason this thread is here to begin with and the whole entire reason your comments were deleted is because there is a time and a place for everything and you chose the wrong time and place to make your point.

Acknowledge?
posted by carsonb at 12:04 PM on August 25, 2010 [7 favorites]


I'm saying that the kid born with AIDS is in a much suckier position than the guy who decided to bang that chick at the night club without a condom, because the former had no choice, and the latter did.

Well, that all depends, doesn't it. If that child has health care, and the adult doesn't, and if the chick at the concert was his girlfriend, and they were in a long-term monogamous relationship, and it was 1984 and she got HIV from a blood transfusion --

Well, you're in no position to judge who is culpable for what. You don't know the details of everybody's circumstances, and the presumptuousness of you deciding whose death is more tragic is appalling.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:05 PM on August 25, 2010 [27 favorites]


sonika, I said that drug use was a tricky issue, and I'll grant you that if you do wind up with AIDS from a dirty needle, your death is probably not as tragic as the filmmakers of that very well made film wanted to portray the deaths of those artists as being, but wasn't.
posted by luke1249 at 12:05 PM on August 25, 2010


> anyone arguing against my point (see above) is essentially taking the position

Stop right there. Someone disagreeing with your ludicrous framing does not at all mean they are automatically taking the reverse position. Only Siths deal in absolutes, etc.

Please take a breath and read all of your comments as if you were reading someone else's comments. They're really not logical nor really even worthwhile. I mentioned upthread that these kinds of pile-ons are not so great, but man you're sure earning it.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:06 PM on August 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


That's not what the person who originally said that people who died by 1990 didn't know about the disease was saying, though, and that's what my comment was addressed at.

The people who died in 1990 probably knew (or guessed what had caused their AIDS), but they didn't necessarily know it at the time they acquired AIDS (which could well have been in the early 1980s). Knowing in 1985 that you made a mistake in 1981 doesn't mean that the mistake is magically fixed.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 12:06 PM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


luke

can we seriously talk about yr dismissal of performance art

ase
posted by PinkMoose at 12:06 PM on August 25, 2010


moss, the deaths in his tragedies are motivated by tragic flaws. Hamlet's indecision. That's what makes for great drama: you're sitting there thinking, "Just kill the fucker! Who cares if he's praying?!" but he doesn't.

And, as a professional theater critic and playwrights with two decades in this business, I think I am in a position to say the following: You know nothing about theater, and should stop discussing it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:07 PM on August 25, 2010 [13 favorites]


"personal responsibility"

The dog whistle of the freeper crowd.
posted by Rumple at 12:07 PM on August 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


"I'm trying to restore the honor of my internet handle, dammit! :)"

You're attempting to do so by digging a hole.

Deeper.
And deeper.
And deeper.
posted by 2oh1 at 12:07 PM on August 25, 2010


carsnob, dude, we're way past that. Scroll waaay up. I now understand that this is a place (slightly disappointingly, but I'm surviving) that you really can't just disagree with someone straight out. You have to modulate your opinions so to not offend anyone. Basically, it's like anywhere else on the internet, which is why it's disappointing.
posted by luke1249 at 12:08 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's called personal responsibility, and gays aren't exempted. No one in. If you die bungee-jumping, is that a tragedy? No. You took a risk and paid the price that you knew you might have to pay. Having sex with a stranger without a condom is the same thing. Again, nothing to do with gay or straight.

And what about those who got in their car, drove responsibly to work, were hit by a driver, had massive bleeding, required a blood transfusion, and contracted AIDS?

Their getting AIDS could have been avoided if they hadn't gotten in the car in the first place. Heck, it goes back to not owning a car. Or back even further to not getting a driver's license or even bothering with learning how to drive.

Life is risk. I've said this in regard to another topic before, but it's not always a question of risk or no risk (or, in your case, taking responsibility or not), it's a question of which risks in a given situation a person is willing to accept. And whose to say that someone who had unprotected sex an contracted AIDS didn't take responsibility?

Taking responsibility doesn't mean avoiding actions. It means accepting the role one played in the consequences of those actions. In other words, "I had unprotected sex. I got AIDS. It was a stupid decision I made, and I'm paying a pretty high price for it. This is my life now." That is accepting responsibility. Many, many, many people who contracted AIDS under the circumstances you describe have taken a responsibility in it, but these aren't the people Last Address was eulogizing.

Also, life isn't fiction. Fiction has to make some sense to garner an audience. Life is under no obligation to do any such thing.
posted by zizzle at 12:08 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think age is definitely a factor here. I know we try to be an egalitarian forum, but sometimes I wish it was 23 and over (with special permits for non-trollish types).
posted by Burhanistan at 12:08 PM on August 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


My only point from the beginning has been that sad as a death may be, deaths caused by knowingly engaging in risky behavior aren't tragic. The end. They're very sad. They're not tragic.


I assure you that the death of all of your parents, grand parents, siblings and relatives will NOT be tragic.
I assure you I can look at whatever ways they die (except in a few exceptions) and find a good way to dismiss whatever happened to them as them being involved in some form of risk.

Their deaths will not be a tragedy, it will all be their own damn fault. And your grief will be pathetic, because why waste time mourning over their lack of personal responsibility? It's not like their deaths were tragic or anything.
posted by Theta States at 12:08 PM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'll grant you that if you do wind up with AIDS from a dirty needle, your death is probably not as tragic as the filmmakers of that very well made film wanted to portray the deaths of those artists as being, but wasn't.

This sentence doesn't parse to me, at all. Especially since I'm not trying to argue the relative tragedy of anyone's death. My only contribution to the discussion is about the issue of "choice" and what constitutes personal responsibility and what constitutes tragedy. That's all. I am not here to debate the merits of whose death is more tragic, only to show that there is an element of choice involved in a scenario that you were speaking of as being completely blameless. That's it. That's the only point I was trying to make.
posted by sonika at 12:08 PM on August 25, 2010


I now understand that this is a place (slightly disappointingly, but I'm surviving) that you really can't just disagree with someone straight out.

As a longtime member of MetaFilter, I think I am in a position to say the following: You know nothing about MetaFilter, and should stop discussing it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:08 PM on August 25, 2010 [20 favorites]


Astro Zombie, arguments to authority? Really? Sign of weakness, man, total sign of weakness. You can't argue the point so you try to pull rank.

Très weak.
posted by luke1249 at 12:09 PM on August 25, 2010


I think age is definitely a factor here.

Age isn't a factor. This guy says he entered high school in 1986.
posted by blucevalo at 12:10 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


sonika, no it's not. It's called personal responsibility, and gays aren't exempted. No one in. If you die bungee-jumping, is that a tragedy? No. You took a risk and paid the price that you knew you might have to pay. Having sex with a stranger without a condom is the same thing. Again, nothing to do with gay or straight.

Every time I get in a car or in a plane or hell just walk down the street, I am aware that I am engaging in some activity that has the possibility of serious harm befalling me. I would like to think that when a plane goes down, even though all the people in it undoubtedly knew the risks of flying, people would still think of that as a tragedy. When a police officer or a soldier is shot and killed, even though they were undoubtedly aware that they were choosing a line of work with a much higher fatality rate than other jobs, I too have no problem calling that a tragedy for their families.

You're approaching the world in very weird way, as though we are all isolated atoms bouncing off each other, not connected to others in any meaningful way. If you were to die tomorrow in a bungee-jumping accident, I've no doubt that you wife/parents/children/siblings/friends would assuredly think of it as a tragedy.

Welcome to MetaFilter. Enjoy your stay, but to get the most out of it, use your brain more.
posted by modernnomad at 12:11 PM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


carsnob, dude, we're way past that. Scroll waaay up. I now understand that this is a place (slightly disappointingly, but I'm surviving) that you really can't just disagree with someone straight out. You have to modulate your opinions so to not offend anyone. Basically, it's like anywhere else on the internet, which is why it's disappointing.

It is mind-boggling to me that you still don't understand the fundamental problem of what happened here. You showed up in a thread, threw out impolite comments (yes, you think you were being polite, but everyone else said you weren't), and made it an argument. That is not how you make friends.
posted by komara at 12:11 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


> Age isn't a factor. This guy says he entered high school in 1986.

Oh, man. That's terrible. I thought he was like 19.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:11 PM on August 25, 2010 [12 favorites]


Luke, read this one again.
posted by 2oh1 at 12:12 PM on August 25, 2010


I'm not arguing with you, you little idiot. I argue with people who have a point to make.

I'm telling you. And when somebody who knows what they're talking about says something, the smart person shuts up and listens. But you're shut your ears and played the martyr throughout this thread, just so that you can foist off on the world your hideous view of human tragedy onto the world, in which the death of the young are sad but not really tragic, no, not in the way Shakespeare would have liked.

You no something, when I see somebody pissing on a grave, I don't argue theater with them. I tell them to go the fuck home, grow the fuck up, and learn some goddamn respect.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:12 PM on August 25, 2010 [32 favorites]


Theta States, good luck with that line of argument, because I've already stated that the deaths are tragic to family members.

But feel free to continue hacking at that thicket. Something might come out of it.

sonika, you're right. It should be "but weren't" at the end.

Astro Zombie, if I'm wrong about that, then why were my comments deleted?
posted by luke1249 at 12:12 PM on August 25, 2010


Oh, man. That's terrible. I thought he was like 19.

No, it's not terrible. It's tragic.
posted by blucevalo at 12:12 PM on August 25, 2010 [24 favorites]


know something, rather. I apologize for typing so quickly.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:13 PM on August 25, 2010


Yes, this idea that something is tragic only when it happens to someone "innocent" is a very strange one to me, as is the idea that there can be some defined list of things that are objectively tragic, and some things that are not.

Tragedy is defined by the people who lived. The person who died can't care anymore if how they died is tragic or not; it only matters to the survivors. The soldier who dies because of a roadside bomb would not, according to luke's metric, be a tragic death - it's a volunteer war, the soldier was in a war zone, etc. - but to the soldier's parents, spouse, kids...well, luke, are you going to tell them that what's happened to them is not a tragedy?

There was a terrible car crash near here a few months ago - a family in a minivan was killed when an 18-wheeler failed to stop in time and crushed their vehicle. But not tragic, I guess, since the act of driving is entirely voluntary - they wouldn't have died if they hadn't been in a car.

Tragedy is something that's incredibly subjective. You're well within your rights to consider [foo] tragic but not [bar], but it's wicked rude (not to mention pointlessly fighty) to tell other people that they're foolish or wrong for thinking that [bar] is also tragic.
posted by rtha at 12:14 PM on August 25, 2010 [11 favorites]


Astro Zombie, if I'm wrong about that, then why were my comments deleted?

How many time must one thing be explained to you. There are two people in this thread, Cortex and Jessamyn, who have explained it to you. Go back and reread. If you can't abide the rules here, go elsewhere. It's not a complicated equation.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:14 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Please, this guy is not getting it and is not going to get it. I hate seeing some of my favorite posters being baited and reeled in like this. I can't watch anymore.
posted by thinkpiece at 12:14 PM on August 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's not tragic it's sad. Damnit I said I was done here.
posted by nola at 12:14 PM on August 25, 2010


I pointed out that AIDS (which was compared to the plague, etc. by other commenters) was not a tragedy for the people eulogized in the video, because they knew better than to engage in unprotected sex, but that it is a tragedy for addicts who can't get needles, for kids born with it, for girls forced into prostitution, etc.

anyone arguing against my point (see above) is essentially taking the position that a gay (or straight, it doesn't matter) person who has sex without a condom and dies represents as much of an unavoidable tragedy as a kid born with AIDS.

You're working an excluded middle by leaning heavily on lame semantics of 'tragedy'. It's all smoke and mirrors; you don't actually believe shit.

I was surprised that you hadn't come out to us as a libertarian yet. And if indeed you are approaching 40—instead of, say, 23—then I feel sorry for how undeveloped you are. And coming from me, that's a burn.
posted by fleacircus at 12:14 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just saw this: That's not what the person who originally said that people who died by 1990 didn't know about the disease was saying, though, and that's what my comment was addressed at.

Dude, that's exactly what I'm saying. You could well have become infected with HIV in 1981, 1982, and lingered until the late '80s or early '90s. That is exactly my point—looking at the dates these people died, I suspect that the majority of them contracted the infection when it was an unknown or little-known disease.

I admit that I can't prove this beyond the shadow of a doubt any more than you can prove that every artist on the list knowingly engaged in unprotected sex knowing full well that that's exactly how you get a lethal disease called AIDS.

That seems to be your point — these deaths aren't "tragic" according to your narrow academic definition, because, as you've repeatedly asserted, the artists knew what they were getting into. I contend that that doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
posted by Mister_A at 12:15 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not trying to foist this on anyone. My only point from the beginning has been that sad as a death may be, deaths caused by knowingly engaging in risky behavior aren't tragic. The end. They're very sad. They're not tragic.

In your first comment on the blue, you presented this opinion. Some people disagreed, or found it repugnant. Rather than inferring from the responses that your opinion needed some rethinking or that this wasn't the time or place to push the matter, you became argumentative and very much DID try to foist it onto whomever was listening.

This "tragedy" point of yours is a semantics issue, one that no one seems interested in debating because it is purely personal and based on your own understanding of issues that other people (many of them here) actually have a much greater knowledge of.

You're the one who brought it up in the first place -- why? It's beginning to sound like something from inside your own head that should have just stayed there, for all the good it could do anyone else to hear it. Your persistence is the very essence of foisting. You haven't personally responded to a single one of my comments, in either thread. Do you think that myself or others are just picking on you because we are afraid of absorbing the impact of your statements, that I can't handle the truth?

People take stupid risks all the time, sometimes those risks result in deaths. I don't know what I find more disturbing -- your lack of ability to see the tragedy in someone being dealt an agonizing death in exchange for a moment of sexual carelessness, or your lack of ability to extend compassion to those (like myself) who have lost friends or loved ones to AIDS and consider the effects of the timing, placement, and tone of your comments.
posted by hermitosis at 12:16 PM on August 25, 2010 [17 favorites]


luke1249: It might be better for all involved if you took a break and came back to this thread tomorrow. As is this isn't headed anywhere good.
posted by Skorgu at 12:17 PM on August 25, 2010


If a world without Freddie Mercury isn't a tragedy, there is no such thing as tragedy.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:17 PM on August 25, 2010 [34 favorites]


Modulating yourself to be context-appropriate is one of those things that society and interpersonal communication is based upon. Wildly issuing proclamations without regard to your audience or surroundings is the mark of someone who doesn't understand that there are other people out there, people with emotions and feelings and attachments and perspectives that one can't possibly even imagine, let alone disagree with, even yes here on the internets.

Much of the shit pile that is the internet hasn't cared much for this social convention, it's true. But that doesn't make it some sort of ideal to be lamented when a particular community you've chosen to join won't tolerate you spouting off whenever you feel like it.

But whatever, dude. Have fun rousing grar and discussing everyone's personal responsibility.
posted by carsonb at 12:18 PM on August 25, 2010 [15 favorites]


But people had no idea what it was caused by, or if it was transmitted by sex, sneezing, kissing or touching.

In fact, not only were we unaware of how it was transmitted, numerous reports both urged people to take precautions which turned out to be entirely unnecessary and frightened them into making AIDS patients pariahs. Families were told it could be transmitted by casual contact. Police officers in at least a couple of cities were issued gloves and masks to wear when dealing with AIDS patients. A number of doctors, including Robert Root-Bernstein argued vociferously that HIV did not cause AIDS but was only a cofactor. The AIDS denialists still exist and have caused an unknown but likely extensive amount of harm by spreading lies about the disease in South Africa. This page has more on the history of our discovery process regarding the disease.
posted by zarq at 12:18 PM on August 25, 2010 [6 favorites]


I was an artist in Charleston, Baltimore and then New York in the 80s. It was the mid 80s before anyone knew that AIDS was sexually transmitted; I was just out of college. Before that, the only incurable thing you could get from unprotected sex was herpes and herpes doesn't kill you. The culture of the times was totally different: casual sex was really not considered a big deal and it never occurred to us to use condoms. I came of age during a strange time.

I'm a heterosexual woman and I never used a damn condom until probably the 90s because, hey, I was on the pill, or had an IUD or a diaphragm and, as one lover declared, who wants to go swimming in a raincoat? We didn't think that way. And, you know, if we had, so what? Death from sex? Is that okay? It's not okay.

Many, if not most, of the artists you are complaining about probably contracted AIDS in the 70s, long before anyone knew what it was. People just started dying. Most of them were not millionaires. There was a lot of hysteria and a whole lot of contradictory, often insane, advice around. Meanwhile, people died. You weren't there. I was and it was a tragedy that I mourn, just as I mourn so many other tragedies in my lifetime. The one does not take away from the other.

Ah fuck. It's easy now to say, ooh, bad choices, you deserve to die. Easy and wrong and sometimes I pity your generation. As usual, the doctor said it better: What do you say, for instance, about a generation that has been taught that rain is poison and sex is death? If making love might be fatal and if a cool spring rain on any summer afternoon can turn a crystal blue lake into a puddle of black poison scum right in front of your eyes, there is not much left except TV and relentless masturbation. - - Hunter S. Thompson, from the intro to Generation of Swine.
posted by mygothlaundry at 12:18 PM on August 25, 2010 [57 favorites]


Astro Zombie, if I'm wrong about that, then why were my comments deleted?

This has been addressed repeatedly.
posted by edbles at 12:19 PM on August 25, 2010


Astro Zombie, no, I don't "no" something. I "know" something. Why don't you calm down a bit? It's affecting your spelling. I'm sure you know a lot more about theater than me, but that doesn't mean that my definition of tragic is wrong. We can argue Hamlet and drama on another thread. Maybe we could even start a thread on the evil of homonyms.

The only reason anyone thinks I'm being a troll is because you disagree with my position and can't argue me out of it. Guess what? I'm right. You're wrong. On this issue. Only lots of other issues I'm sure I have lots to learn from you.

modernnomad, someone, like a police officer, is a hero when killed precisely because he knew what would happen. It's very sad, but not tragic. Actually, it could be called tragic, because it's a job someone has to do, I guess. Someone who signs up to do the inevitably risky thing is a hero.
posted by luke1249 at 12:19 PM on August 25, 2010


> Why didn't you warn me that this guy was a libertarian gun fan?

Maybe we shouldn't be linking to profiles on other sites like that?

This guy doesn't get it, and is clearly in a binary mode that won't allow him to get it, only further mire him in his position. There's nothing more going on here.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:21 PM on August 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


"Telling people that there's this thing called personal responsibility always gets tempers going, though."

This statement, coming from Luke, coming this deep in this thread that is based on his inappropriate behavior in the first thread...

That's comedy!
posted by 2oh1 at 12:21 PM on August 25, 2010


My only point from the beginning has been that sad as a death may be, deaths caused by knowingly engaging in risky behavior aren't tragic.

If this was your only point from the beginning, why did you frame it as white people not caring about minorities?
posted by shakespeherian at 12:22 PM on August 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


hermitosis, you became argumentative and very much DID try to foist it onto whomever was listening.

Yes! I know that! People attacked me, I attacked back. I know realize the error of my ways. And the tragedy thing is total semantics. It's an incidental point related to my main point, which is that people have to take responsibility for their actions, and if they pay the price, then their death isn't tragic like that of an AIDS baby.

That's it.

The rest of this thread has been a joke: people accusing me of being a homophobe. Now someone says "hey the guy likes guns, what can he know about anything?" which is an awesome non-sequitur.
posted by luke1249 at 12:23 PM on August 25, 2010


Your definition of tragedy is a massive oversimplification, limited in its exposure to the great tragedies of the past and limiting in application. There are many fine books on the subject; if you are truly interested in the subject of a dramatic understanding of tragedy, I might recommend starting with Adrian Poole's very short introduction to the subject and go from there.

But this is not a thread about Sophocles or Racine.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:23 PM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Look, this guy clearly loves playing the ULTIMATE FLAME WARRIOR role. He's said as much in this thread, that he'll say what he pleases and that he is here to pick fights and "win" arguments. It's kind of funny, actually, seeing him in this thread fail to see that the moderators, who are clearly compassionate about the community, are trying to give him an opportunity to make good with the community. (Does he even know who the moderators are?) It's like a sociological experiment--take a longtime veteran of fighty political forums and dump him here.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:23 PM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


luke, I hope you didn't miss these words from carsonb because I think it's the best non-moderator comment in this whole thread.
posted by komara at 12:24 PM on August 25, 2010


"The only reason anyone thinks I'm being a troll is because you disagree with my position and can't argue me out of it. Guess what? I'm right. You're wrong. On this issue."

I feel sorry for you if you actually believe any of that.
The only reason? You're wrong.
On this issue? You're wrong.
Can't argue you out of it? Metafilter isn't the place to do so.
posted by 2oh1 at 12:25 PM on August 25, 2010


It's an incidental point related to my main point, which is that people have to take responsibility for their actions, and if they pay the price, then their death isn't tragic like that of an AIDS baby.


Right, and your MAIN POINT is that you have no concept of how personal responsibility, context, privilege, and oppression intersect.
When you disregard the reality of the situation just to make a trite libertarian stand, yes that is homophobia.
posted by Theta States at 12:25 PM on August 25, 2010


shakespeherian, because the way it plays out in society is that if you're poor and/or non-white, you're a lot likelier to be affected by it.

Shit, now I'm misspelling things. I caught whatever Astro Zombie has.
posted by luke1249 at 12:25 PM on August 25, 2010


@monju_bosatsu: Where you been?
posted by Mister_A at 12:25 PM on August 25, 2010


That's comedy!

I'm sorry, but if this was a comedy, we'd all be married by now.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:25 PM on August 25, 2010 [16 favorites]


For luke1249 and others who might be interested in documentaries about children living with HIV/AIDS:
Millicent's Story.

Bana Botswana.

Annabella's Story.

A Generation Challenged.

Generation Free. [clip].*

Travis.
posted by ericb at 12:26 PM on August 25, 2010 [8 favorites]


Astro Zombie, isn't comedy just something that ain't tragedy?
posted by Mister_A at 12:27 PM on August 25, 2010


Shit, now I'm misspelling things. I caught whatever Astro Zombie has.

I'm sorry. This comment is in terrible taste in light of the topics at hand.
posted by zizzle at 12:27 PM on August 25, 2010 [9 favorites]


@Mister_A: Working a bunch, sadly.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:28 PM on August 25, 2010


I know realize the error of my ways.

luke, no, I don't "know" realize the error of my ways. I "now" realize. Why don't you calm down a bit? It's affecting your spelling.
posted by blucevalo at 12:28 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Astro Zombie, isn't comedy just something that ain't tragedy?

I think it's supposed to be tragedy plus time.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:28 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


> It's like a sociological experiment--take a longtime veteran of fighty political forums and dump him here.

It's more like he's a longtime turd dropper on news sites (where comments are pretty much universally abysmal--worse than YouTube) and is now actually coming into a place where his flames and biased statements are being challenged in a nuanced way, rather than flame responding to flame. You can see he's not used to that style, and tries to respond to valid criticism with escalation.

I really hate the comments on news sites and don't like to see that style here. luke1249, please try to comment in a manner that you would use to speak to someone sitting in front of you. If that's not palatable, maybe go away.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:28 PM on August 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


Guess what? I'm right. You're wrong. On this issue.

Then why hasn't one single other person in either thread agreed with you?
posted by hermitosis at 12:29 PM on August 25, 2010


shakespeherian, because the way it plays out in society is that if you're poor and/or non-white, you're a lot likelier to be affected by it.

I don't understand what this sentence means. If you're poor and/or non-white, you're a lot likelier to be affected by knowingly engaging in risky behavior? Or, if you're poor and/or non-white, you're a lot less likely to know what behavior is risky? Can you please explain this?
posted by shakespeherian at 12:29 PM on August 25, 2010


The only reason anyone thinks I'm being a troll is because you disagree with my position and can't argue me out of it. Guess what? I'm right. You're wrong. On this issue. Only lots of other issues I'm sure I have lots to learn from you.

You're a moron.

It's been repeatedly explained to you that the problem is not your arguments per se, it's the manner in which you articulated them.

Look up any thread on Israel/Palestine here, and you'll see plenty of strident disagreement. Or Roman Polanski. Or police brutality. Or circumcision. Or cat declawing. The one about Henry Louis Gates' arrest was pretty good. There are lots of topics on which Mefites argue, no holds barred, and they don't experience widespread deletion.

You were threadshitting, and got called on it. The content of your arguments was part of the threadshitting, so that may be confusing you. In another thread about the culpability of victims of AIDS, and how public sympathy is disproportionately allocated, you wouldn't have been deleted. Until you understand this, you're not going to get anywhere here.
posted by fatbird at 12:29 PM on August 25, 2010 [7 favorites]


monju_bosatsu, tou're right, I do kind of feel cornered here. Mainly because people are accusing me of being a homophobe, when I'm not. The main point here was resolved many pages up.

I'm not enjoying having to defend myself like this, but people keep attacking me. Look at the hate! I'm neither a homophobe nor a bigot of any kind. I think white society has a race problem that it ignores at its peril.

Boy, some of you people love yourself some labels, though, don't you? Because I agree with libertarians on a lot of issues (gay marriage, legalization of pot, gun rights, etc.), suddenly I'm some kind of loon?

Do you ask everyone you talk to what political party they belong to before you engage them in conversation?
posted by luke1249 at 12:30 PM on August 25, 2010


Because I agree with libertarians on a lot of issues (gay marriage, legalization of pot, gun rights, etc.), suddenly I'm some kind of loon?

I shall bite my tongue here.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:30 PM on August 25, 2010 [7 favorites]


I'm biting my thumb.
posted by carsonb at 12:32 PM on August 25, 2010 [12 favorites]


Astro Zombie, good idea. Because prejudice is defined as making judgments before you know everything about a situation or person.
posted by luke1249 at 12:32 PM on August 25, 2010


Metafilter: the very essence of foisting

sorry.
posted by longtime_lurker at 12:32 PM on August 25, 2010


Goddamn, don't you people have anything better to do that sit at your computer all day accusing people of homophobia?
posted by luke1249 at 12:33 PM on August 25, 2010


Because prejudice is defined as making judgments before you know everything about a situation or person.

Exactly what you're doing.
posted by blucevalo at 12:33 PM on August 25, 2010


Ooh! Idea for a movie: A shotgun wedding of two gay potheads. It's like [anything with Seth Rogen in it] meets [Anything with Nathan Lane in it].
posted by Mister_A at 12:33 PM on August 25, 2010


I'm neither a homophobe nor a bigot of any kind.

With all due respect, your comments on the subject of unprotected gay sex have indeed been homophobic. I am more than willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and believe that you aren't intending them to sound as inflammatory as they do, but the fact is that from this side of the screen, they do indeed read as indicating a bias against GLBT people.
posted by sonika at 12:34 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hey cortex, I know it's not up to me really, but since I opened this thread I'll go ahead and make the request -- can we close this now? I think we've all learned everything we can here, and letting him keep going like this is really depressing.
posted by hermitosis at 12:34 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Because prejudice is defined as making judgments before you know everything about a situation or person.

Properly: an assumption made about someone or something before having adequate knowledge to be able to do so with guaranteed accuracy.

I think I have adequate knowledge. It's been on display throughout the thread.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:34 PM on August 25, 2010


Because prejudice is defined as making judgments before you know everything about a situation or person.

Like saying that any artist in New York who died of AIDS in the 80s did so because they lacked personal responsibility?
posted by shakespeherian at 12:35 PM on August 25, 2010 [9 favorites]


hermitosis, I contacted cortex. He's podcassting at the moment, but it's going to be looked at.
posted by zizzle at 12:35 PM on August 25, 2010


I'm sorry, did you think I was talking to you? I was actually talking with the other adults in the thread. And you're not cornered. You can open the door and walk out of this little cell anytime by closing your browser. Oh, but that would mean you didn't "win," wouldn't it? I guess that's a really tragedy--you being damned by fate, unable to leave this thread until you "win" your argument. Well, don't worry, these threads get closed automatically after 30 days.

See you next month!
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:35 PM on August 25, 2010 [6 favorites]


I'm biting a bagel. It's lunch.
posted by 2oh1 at 12:36 PM on August 25, 2010


Dude, please close it. All you'll be doing is stopping these people from making unfounded attacks on me. Nobody is listening to what I'm saying anyway. People have made up their minds and they're not going to let what I have to say about anything interfere with it.

Shut it. It's long past its usefulness.
posted by luke1249 at 12:37 PM on August 25, 2010


Only lots of other issues I'm sure I have lots to learn from you.

Ironically, after telling Astro Zombie "Why don't you calm down a bit? It's affecting your spelling" you made a typo / grammatical error in this sentence.

You describe yourself as an "argumentative motherfucker." You are taking the reprehensible position of condemning victims of a hideous, dignity-destroying fatal disease as deserving of their fates, while ignoring the very real context of the times in which those victims lived and medicine's (and our society's) lack of knowledge of what AIDS was and how patients could be treated.

Many of the comments in this thread have been thoughtful responses to you. You are clearly ignoring them. You have been told several times by a moderator, cortex, why your comments were deleted. You now also seem to be mischaracterizing your intentions for commenting in the original thread.

And you're telling people who disagree with your comments and behavior to "calm down."

If you're wondering why people are attacking you, perhaps you haven't been paying attention to your own behavior.
posted by zarq at 12:37 PM on August 25, 2010 [7 favorites]


Luke, You are considered a loon because you don't think that the deaths of thousands of people due to AIDS in the late 80s is a tragedy.
You are considered a loon because you would rather drop napalm in a forum than admit someone has a better concept of the meaning of "Tragedy" than you do, even though no one else agrees with your specific usage.
And you are considered a loon because your callouss hardline stance on AIDS and personal responsibility would make even the Pope weep.
posted by Theta States at 12:37 PM on August 25, 2010


Since luke and I finally agree on something, everyone stop commenting here on the count of 3!



1...



2...




3!!!STOP COMMENTING
posted by hermitosis at 12:38 PM on August 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


I want a bagel.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:39 PM on August 25, 2010


I'm sorry, but if this was a comedy, we'd all be married by now.

Come back to us, Brandon Blatcher. You're needed badly.
posted by longtime_lurker at 12:40 PM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


OK, Google ads are starting to get a little uncanny.
posted by teraflop at 12:41 PM on August 25, 2010 [7 favorites]


I want to know how to make bagels. You know, give a man a bagel and he'll nosh for a little. Teach him to make bagels, he's always got breakfast.

So, anyone have any sort of... um... bagel-making instruction sheets?
posted by Mister_A at 12:41 PM on August 25, 2010


Goodbye metatalk thread, we barely knew ye...
posted by Theta States at 12:41 PM on August 25, 2010


You all owe me a Coke.
posted by Gator at 12:41 PM on August 25, 2010


Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?
posted by Babblesort at 12:41 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


What you need are some giant bubbles.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:42 PM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


while there are lifestyle aspects to it, you don't get AIDS from doing drugs. You get AIDS from using dirty needles, and the people who are using dirty needles are addicted, and addiction is a disease. A junkie not having a clean needle and needing to shoot up is in a different category from someone really horny and wanting to have sex but not having a condom.

And by the way, this has gotten all focused on gays, but I never said it's just gays. Straight people having sex without condoms are in the exact same category.


Interesting thread here. I didn't read luke1249's now deleted comments before deletion, but I have been feeling increasingly offended by what he has said here.

Let me explain what bothers me about what you seem to be saying, luke1249. Your theme reeks of homophobia. But assuming we are just talking about unprotected sex, regardless of who had the unprotected sex, there is something grossly offensive about criticizing people who died, and on top of that criticizing the people who mourn for them. For example, plenty of MeFites couldn't stand Ted Stevens, but there was resistance to bringing criticism of his life to his obituary thread, and no one here would be okay with a critique of his family and friends for loving him in life and mourning him in death.

In addition, I think I'm not the only person here who objects to the idea that saying people taking "personal responsibility" for condomless sex somehow equates to death being all right for them or their deaths being less deserving of mourning for than the deaths of people who died of the disease due to a different cause. I mean, even capital punishment is a lively area of debate, and when we talk about that, we are talking about inflicting it on people who committed murder, and usually a particularly atrocious type of murder -- not people who had unprotected sex.

Finally, you have a real tin ear about the fact that many people on this site, and in the world at large, are LGBT, friends of people who are LGBT, or family of people who are LGBT. And that "deserving' AIDS for having LGBT sex is an idea that anti-LGBT people love to throw around. Really, can't you be sensitive to those realities?

Hope that explains why your positions are sure bothering me.
posted by bearwife at 12:42 PM on August 25, 2010 [8 favorites]


So, anyone have any sort of... um... bagel-making instruction sheets?

Yes.
posted by zarq at 12:42 PM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Before Cortex closes up this thread, I'll offer you a warning, a word to the wise, luke. MetaFilter responds well to temperate discussion. But this is like an Old West town populated by retired gunslingers -- many who have been shooting it out in threads elsewhere for decades. A lot are like me -- I've tried to hang up my pistols and treat the Web as a place where reasoned people have reasoned discussions.

That being said, when somebody comes into the saloon with both guns drawn, it's hard to check my impulse to reach for my sidearms, and I'm not alone here -- I'm not even the best shot on this site, not by a country mile. You've got your guns out, and that's a dangerous way to approach this site. I know it's how things are done everywhere else, but this is a place where people are going to ask that you not derail threads to make whatever political points seem more important to you, and that you go into a discussion as an honest broken, actually listening to what others have to say, and responding with respect, and basing those responses on reason and referencing facts where they bolster your points. People may still disagree, but they'll be genial about it -- more like a friendly game of Faro than a high noon gunfight. And, sonofabitch, turns out it can be just as exciting.

The problem with your comment that started all this wasn't that you were wrong -- although, as many in this thread have pointed out, you were working from a set of assumptions that were demonstrably false. No, it's that you went into a thread that was about one specific thing and said, this isn't good enough, we should be talking about another thing instead. That's never kosher on this site, especially when dealing with grief.

And, yes, this is an Old West town that keeps Kosher.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:42 PM on August 25, 2010 [33 favorites]


I do bite my thumb, motherfucker!!!
posted by Mister_A at 12:42 PM on August 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


Now I want to invent popcorn bagels.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:42 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I want a bagel.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero


Don't you live in New York? I thought they grew on trees up there. I hope no one lied to me. We have biscuit trees in the south.
posted by marxchivist at 12:42 PM on August 25, 2010 [8 favorites]


> making judgements before you know everything about a situation

Oh, it's too perfect. You've got basically no experience on MetaFilter and you're arguing about the merits, problems and social contract of the site with people who've been here for five and ten years.

Stomp away angrily if you like, even demand the conversation be closed out from under you so you can say that you've won by default, but I guarantee when you come back, MetaFilter and it's civilized discourse will still be here. And if you can simmer down the snarling, you'll be as welcome as any of the rest of us to join in.
posted by seanmpuckett at 12:43 PM on August 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


Don't you live in New York? I thought they grew on trees up there. I hope no one lied to me. We have biscuit trees in the south.

Office is on the 14th floor. Bagel trees are only 3 stories tall :(
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:44 PM on August 25, 2010 [6 favorites]


Honest broker, rather. I know luke likes to point out my typos.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:44 PM on August 25, 2010


And, yes, this is an Old West town that keeps Kosher.

I thought I settled that a while back.....
posted by zarq at 12:44 PM on August 25, 2010


I'm not biting my thumb, but I am licking my finger.
posted by Theta States at 12:44 PM on August 25, 2010


> Now I want to invent popcorn bagels.

Wait...wait. Do you mean like a bowl of little toasted bagels that were the size of popped corn? Because, if that's what you're talking about...you need to get that to market and in my hands yesterday. With honey cream cheese spray.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:45 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Don't you live in New York? I thought they grew on trees up there. I hope no one lied to me. We have biscuit trees in the south.

They do grow on trees, but unfortunately it being New York. We have a limited number of trees. It's a little ironic.
posted by edbles at 12:46 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm biting my pillow.
posted by shiu mai baby at 12:46 PM on August 25, 2010


Let the Wookkie win already.
posted by lee at 12:46 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wookie*
posted by lee at 12:47 PM on August 25, 2010


Luke, you realize that there are literally thousands of people here reading this thread and just not posting in it too, right? Many of them are people who have been doing this for years, they've seen this fight before, and they know how it ends. You might want to consider the advice of those who bothered to comment here. Most of them are trying to help you, I promise.

(There are even many who started out in this community much like you are, guns blazing and all. But have since found a way to be a loved part of it. You'd be surprised.)
posted by iamkimiam at 12:47 PM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


I want a bagel too.
posted by nomadicink at 12:47 PM on August 25, 2010


So you want butter or cream cheese on that popcorn bagel?
posted by Babblesort at 12:48 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Burhanistan: "Do you mean like a bowl of little toasted bagels that were the size of popped corn? Because, if that's what you're talking about...you need to get that to market and in my hands yesterday. With honey cream cheese spray."

A device that sprays honey, let alone honey and cream cheese together, would be quite the feat.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:48 PM on August 25, 2010


> A device that sprays honey, let alone honey and cream cheese together, would be quite the feat.

Patent Pending.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:49 PM on August 25, 2010


WE CANNOT CLOSE THIS THREAD UNTIL I GET ANSWERS ON THE VITAL PERFORMANCE ART QUESTION THAT CONTINUALLY GETS IGNORED.
posted by PinkMoose at 12:49 PM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty sure Acme makes a honey and cream cheese sprayer.
posted by Mister_A at 12:49 PM on August 25, 2010


Also quite the fete.

(Laughing into sleeve.)

Ah ha! Ah ha ha!
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:49 PM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Let the Wookkie win already.

That's one a them there Star Trek muppets?
posted by edbles at 12:50 PM on August 25, 2010


If a world without Freddie Mercury isn't a tragedy, there is no such thing as tragedy.

It should be pointed out that while Freddie Mercury was probably as pomiscuous as any rocker of that era was (i.e. reeeeeeeeally promiscuous), he contracted AIDS from a long term monogamous (AFAIK) boyfriend who was not diagnosed until some years later.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 12:50 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Performance art is to theater as conceptual art is to the fine arts: It's hated by other artists but gets the big museum bucks.

It's also a lot more fun.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:51 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pure troll. His only motive for being here is to antagonize others and focus attention on himself. Why bother?

Hammering on the idea that his main and only point is a dispassionate and polite quibble over the definition of one word is the tell. Trust me, I know this troll tactic.
posted by y6y6y6 at 12:51 PM on August 25, 2010


And now, instead of Queen, we have Muse. Why, God, why?
posted by Mister_A at 12:51 PM on August 25, 2010 [5 favorites]


WE CANNOT CLOSE THIS THREAD UNTIL I GET ANSWERS ON THE VITAL PERFORMANCE ART QUESTION THAT CONTINUALLY GETS IGNORED.

*gives answer via interpretive dance*
posted by Theta States at 12:51 PM on August 25, 2010 [5 favorites]


I love it when we get into arguing emotions versus arguing facts. These things always go superbly.
posted by frecklefaerie at 12:51 PM on August 25, 2010


PinkMoose: Performance art is when I do some cool shit that blows your mind on a stage. Being a big weirdo is when you go up on stage and try to do some cool shit but mostly just make random noises in a weird costume.

Dammit AZ.
posted by edbles at 12:52 PM on August 25, 2010


So unless Houston was some kind of cutting-edge AIDS awareness utopia, I'm pretty sure the artists in New York knew about it.

As has been stated by Mister_A above, there wasn't a clear picture in the early 80s about what caused HIV/AIDS, how to test for it, etc.

There is a latency stage before HIV evolves into AIDS. It can be anywhere from 2-weeks to 20 years. Also, it depends on the individual as to what type of symptons and complications arise from a compromised immune system -- and when they occur.

There are many who contracted HIV in the 1970's and early 1980s before it was known that the disease spread via bodily fluids.

Many of the artists eulogized in that film didn't know they had the illness until a reliable test was established in the mid-1980s. So, they, in my book, as are ALL who suffer from HIV/AIDS, blameless and innocent.
posted by ericb at 12:52 PM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


So you want butter or cream cheese on that popcorn bagel?

I SAID I WANT A POPCORN BAGEL WHY ARE YOU OPPRESSING LANGUAGE DO YOU KNOW I AM A TEACHER
posted by shakespeherian at 12:52 PM on August 25, 2010 [13 favorites]


YOU WOULD SAY THAT RUNS FROM ROOM CRYING
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:52 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


This has been a really weird week.
posted by The Whelk at 12:53 PM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think we should turn this thread into polite, non-argumentative advice for luke1249. General MetaFilter tips, as it were. Even though I'm not sure he checked the destination beforehand, he certainly paid for the ticket, and he's here, so ...
posted by komara at 12:53 PM on August 25, 2010


... I'm still trying to figure out my first bit of advice. You lead.
posted by komara at 12:53 PM on August 25, 2010


So you want butter or cream cheese on that popcorn bagel?

I have been paralyzed by the paradox of choice. I also have a weird desire to dip some popcorn in cream cheese.
posted by edbles at 12:54 PM on August 25, 2010


I SAID I WANT A POPCORN BAGEL

YOU'LL GET A NICE TRADITIONAL SESAME BAGEL WITH A SCHMEAR OF PROPER PHILADELPHIA CREAM CHEESE AND LIKE IT YOUNG MAN.
posted by zarq at 12:54 PM on August 25, 2010


Always...

Wait.

NEVER...

forget to check your references.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 12:54 PM on August 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


CAPS LOCK POPCORN BAGEL THREAD
posted by shakespeherian at 12:55 PM on August 25, 2010


I think we should turn this thread into polite, non-argumentative advice for luke1249.

Read the FAQ. Read the Wiki. Don't mess with the Mod Squad. Don't Self Link. Avoid MeTa.

And if someone asks you if you're a god, YOU SAY YES!
posted by zarq at 12:55 PM on August 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


... I'm still trying to figure out my first bit of advice. You lead.

My other piece of advice: These threads get a bit more fun the further down you go. Like my torso.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:55 PM on August 25, 2010 [12 favorites]


Advice: It's always pronounced BAY-GULL, never BAGGLE.

Sweeet lord, never baggle.
posted by Theta States at 12:56 PM on August 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


Everything Bagels are objectively the best bagel !
posted by The Whelk at 12:57 PM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


These threads get a bit more fun the further down you go. Like my torso.

Enhanced cyberspace helmet with direct brain link at 60 FPS or it didn't happen.
posted by nomadicink at 12:58 PM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Everything bagel. Plain cream cheese. Genoa salami.

SANDWICH
posted by shakespeherian at 12:58 PM on August 25, 2010


I WANT SOMEONE TO MAKE ME POPCORN BAGEL STRINGS TO HANG DURING THE HOLIDAYS. I WILL NOT PAY WITH MONEY BUT I WILL FEED YOU 5 FAVORITES.
posted by edbles at 12:58 PM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Everything Bagels are objectively the best bagel !

I'm actually eating one now with lox spread cream cheese. No joke. :)
posted by zarq at 12:58 PM on August 25, 2010


NEVER...

forget to check your references.


NEVER THROW SALT IN YOUR EYES
posted by Theta States at 12:59 PM on August 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


Everything bagel. Plain cream cheese. Genoa salami.

SANDWICH



WRONG.

Everything bagel.
Ham or bacon
CHEESE <--- this is key
egg

FUCKING DELIGHTFUL SANDWICH
posted by edbles at 12:59 PM on August 25, 2010


Someone hug me.
posted by Mister_A at 1:00 PM on August 25, 2010


> NEVER THROW SALT IN YOUR EYES

Kill Danny!

posted by Burhanistan at 1:00 PM on August 25, 2010 [7 favorites]


Mixing milk and meat on a bagel? And ham yet?

Oy, you gentiles. You'll put anything in your mouth.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:01 PM on August 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


As has been stated by Mister_A above, there wasn't a clear picture in the early 80s about what caused HIV/AIDS, how to test for it, etc.

To get a sense of the confusion, fear, etc. at the time of the emergence of HIV/AIDS in 1981 (New York Times | July 3, 1981: Rare cancer seen in 41 homosexuals") I strongly recommend you watch the 1990 film 'Longtime Companion' || Trailer.
posted by ericb at 1:01 PM on August 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


And people accused me of continuing the thread pointlessly...

Sheesh.
posted by luke1249 at 1:01 PM on August 25, 2010


I'm sorry this stayed open as long as it did, since I don't get the feeling luke1249 is making an effort to do anything but kill time in here, but the whole team was on the horn recording the monthly podcast for the last couple hours.

luke1249, this needs to not happen again. If you seriously have no idea why your approach to the thread on the blue was a problem, you need to just stay away from participating over there, because a repeat of today's performance is not gonna fly. If you have specific questions about how the site works and what's going on with your interactions here that's problematic and how to maybe work on that in a positive way, feel free to email me.

Beyond that, please reread my comments in this thread and jessamyn's as well and try to understand that there is a problem here and it's not everybody else. You've got some work to do if you're going to make a go of it here, period, and that starts with you recognizing that fact yourself.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:02 PM on August 25, 2010 [11 favorites]


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