Much Ado About Donuts December 6, 2010 11:13 AM   Subscribe

I appear to have just gotten my first comment deletion, out of this thread. Out of concern about aggressive moderation and love for the MetaFilter community, I have several pony requests.

So, I always assumed that when a comment was deleted, something would happen. I know that the comment itself is in the database but not visible, but I also assumed I'd get a MeMail from the mods going "don't do this specific thing," or a little box where the post was saying "don't do this specific thing" would appear, or there would be something else to provide any confirmation that the post had been deleted.

But that's not the case. It appears to just be unpublished. There's no indication to either myself or the world what was deleted.

Pony request 1: There should be some manner of notification when a comment is deleted. This could be by MeMail, this could be by the "deleted because" box like the one for posts in the blue that I mentioned above, it could just be a link saying "Your comment was deleted." Optimally, I think it would be wonderful to be able to enable, in one's account (or through a greasemonkey script) the ability to view deleted comments as part of a thread.

Another point of contention: there were a couple of favorites already when I reviewed the post. There were no comments, to the best of my knowledge, that accused me of derailing or threadcrapping or just plain being wrong.

My question is this: was I flagged by the MeFi community, or was this purely a moderator's decision? How problematic does a comment have to be, if there are favorites, for moderators to remove the comment?

Pony Request 2: On one's own comments, it would be great to make it possible for a user to see how many time one's own comment has been flagged -- and, as above, if a comment has been deleted due to input from the community, an indication that x number of members flagged the post as y.

Finally, I do understand why my post was likely deleted, although I (naturally) disagree with that assessment. Yes, yes, I know, "wisecracks don't help people find answers." However, I do feel that, except with certain deeply serious topics when grave offense is possible or lives are on the line -- and I think we can all agree that that isn't the case when we're talking about donuts -- jokes, wisecracks, or a certain type of comedic writing when approached with respect to the question can make a community a much more lively and interesting place.

Here's what I wrote:

It's funny that in a town like San Francisco, where it seems that anything and everything is possible, nobody can make a good donut. I've been here for years now, and I've given up.

It's sort of like our libraries. The main library is large, has vibrant architecture and promises a world of knowledge, but features three racks of computer guides from the 80s and a new release rack from which anything of value is promptly stolen. Occasionally, one is able to find a useful book and acquire it by inter-library loan, but the time required to do so is ultimately longer than the process of walking across America, taking up residency in any east-coast town, checking out the book there, then walking back to San Francisco. This is the smartest town in America, and the best they can do is a copy of Flowers in the Attic and a Banyan Vines reference.

Similarly, we have chains like Happy Donut, which is a double lie; there generally are no donuts, and nobody there is happy. No, I'm too harsh. There might be a tray of 8 cake donuts that had been baked the month prior. If you go at just the right time and are deeply lucky, there may be twists of some sort. But that's it. As if to add insult to injury, they usually have everything else *but* donuts. They should rename the place Vaguely Annoyed Vietnamese Sandwich.

But yes, the streets here glow with soy milk and agave nectar, mixed in the with the newspapers, dispensary baggies and pants one finds laying in any given street. Why pants? San Francisco isn't very good with pants, I guess. There *are* vegan donuts, by the bushelful, crafted with love and care and that bring to mind sweetened quinoa when actually consumed. But rarely here do grain and yeast actually come together to form a delicious, round, inexpensive commodity morsel as one can find in any other town in the US. I mean, if Portland can do exemplary donuts of both vegan and ethically challenged varieties, you'd think we could -- but no.

I anticipate with much excitement the post that proves me wrong, and allows me to eat a decent goddamn donut in this town.


While that's certainly a comment with high wisecrack density, my post is really quite sincere. I'm not just grandstanding -- I truly believe that the quality of donuts in San Francisco is sub-par across the board, and that the visitors should adjust their expectations regarding the quality of donuts here than in most any other place in America. That thing that sounds like a crack about buying vegan donuts that taste like sweetened quinoa? It's really not a wisecrack, but (several) actual experiences. It's sort of what we've got here. (It's also not a crack about vegan donuts in general, as there are, as I mentioned, excellent vegan donuts elsewhere.)

If I had instead written…

"The quality of donuts in San Francisco, in my opinion, are uniformly poor, even at well-rated donut shops. You'll want to adjust your expectations, as things here really aren't as good as you might be expecting."

… would that have been deleted?

If that would have stayed, but my original comment wouldn't have, then:

Pony Request 3: Could the mods be a little bit looser with the wisecracks? It's one thing to want a community where things stay on topic and there's supportive discussion of the issues -- I'm completely down with that -- but it's another thing entirely to wipe out on-topic posts because they're written in a way that might be construed as affected or humorous. If my post, which was really very carefully written to express a sincere but somewhat negative opinion in a way that (perhaps, hopefully) was entertaining and easy to read, without any mechanism to review what comments are being deleted, I have to wonder what we're all missing on the rest of the site that's falling into the cracks.

As such, my main concern is that without any mechanism by which the moderator's decisions can be reviewed by the community, where favorited posts can go away without notification, and where material with a decent signal to noise ratio is getting deleted because there's a humorous element, it ultimately makes the community stiff, formal, restrictive and honestly, both less human, less enjoyable to read, and ultimately less useful as a resource. If individuals deliberately bland-down their answers -- or worse, become less likely to comment -- in fear that something with a bit of edge, a dollop of humor, or a little bite will just disappear, the overall quality of communications on the site are diminished.
posted by eschatfische to Etiquette/Policy at 11:13 AM (192 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Happy Donuts is delicious.
posted by parmanparman at 11:17 AM on December 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Dude, that comment wasn't an answer to the question at all. It was a declaration of all things wrong with San Francisco that happened to mention donuts.

AskMe is a good resource because things like this get deleted.

Save the wisecracks for the front, or for Ask Reddit.

I mean, are you serious?
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:18 AM on December 6, 2010 [55 favorites]


So your answer to the original question is roughly.... I don't know of any good donut places in SF?
posted by R. Mutt at 11:19 AM on December 6, 2010 [13 favorites]


Finally, I do understand why my post was likely deleted, although I (naturally) disagree with that assessment. Yes, yes, I know, "wisecracks don't help people find answers." However, I do feel that, except with certain deeply serious topics when grave offense is possible or lives are on the line -- and I think we can all agree that that isn't the case when we're talking about donuts -- jokes, wisecracks, or a certain type of comedic writing when approached with respect to the question can make a community a much more lively and interesting place.

It might make it more lively and interesting, but it would also make it much more difficult for people trying to find answers to the questions that they asked. No matter how funny you may think you are, your lengthy rambling opinion on SF area donuts and libraries is just more noise to someone who is looking to help solve a problem. Your comment wasn't deleted because it was funny, but because it didn't answer the question.
posted by googly at 11:19 AM on December 6, 2010 [13 favorites]


Looks more like a giant stampede of teal deer than ponies you've got there.

(And FWIW, the first two have had been repeatedly rejected in the past.)
posted by kmz at 11:19 AM on December 6, 2010 [7 favorites]


Thank you for visiting Metatalk today. Today's special, lovingly served by the mods, will be a piping hot plate of "no", with side of "not ever". For dessert there is a lovely baked "Seriously, not gonna happen".
posted by nomadicink at 11:19 AM on December 6, 2010 [60 favorites]


You don't really answer the question. Even saying that the donuts are poor doesn't answer. The guy just wants his vegan donuts.
posted by frecklefaerie at 11:20 AM on December 6, 2010


The question was about where to find vegan donuts, and normal donuts. It didn't ask about the Most Awesome Normal Donuts Ever, though it did ask about good vegan donuts. Your comment didn't answer either question.
posted by rtha at 11:22 AM on December 6, 2010


MetaTalk may be an inappropriate venue for this, but I was under the impression that Happy Donut(s) (at least the ones in the East Bay, and as of about five years ago) was not a chain but a collection of unaffiliated Asian-owned bakeries with similar names.
posted by theodolite at 11:22 AM on December 6, 2010


in a way that (perhaps, hopefully) was entertaining and easy to read

donut for 2

is this how the wisecrack pony works?
posted by mikepop at 11:23 AM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I sure hope the answers to your three ponies are no, no, and no, because, no. Notification on every single deletion has long been held to be a non-starter, partly because it's time-consuming in itself and also because it's likely to start "Bu WHYYYYYYYYY" arguments that the mods aren't interested in having. Seeing your own flags is something that has pretty much no upside and several downsides, mostly having to do with "But WHYYYYYYYYY" in some form or another, drawing attention to things that are only going to start fights and bad feeling. And as for easing up on wisecracks and non-answers, that would greatly reduce the usefulness of the site. Remember, AskMe is not a place to have conversations and discussions, it's primarily a place for people to find answers to their questions and solutions to their problems.
posted by Gator at 11:24 AM on December 6, 2010


This site's weird. Sometimes people like really long, personal, meandering comments and sometimes people don't. Don't let it get to you.
posted by 2bucksplus at 11:25 AM on December 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


Pony request 1: There should be some manner of notification when a comment is deleted.

As a general rule, no.

We will sometimes leave notes or write an email if it seems like there's something that explicitly needs addressing—user with an apparent ongoing habit of a specific kind of problematic commenting, something in the thread itself that's likely to lead to a recurrence of whatever we needed to remove, etc—but for most things it's overkill and would (a) require us to do a bunch more tedious "here is what was wrong, please go read the FAQ" work every day and (b) create more work for us dealing with people who feel compelled to respond to a deletion notification even if they wouldn't have otherwise noticed or felt the need to have a discussion about a textbook deletion.

On one's own comments, it would be great to make it possible for a user to see how many time one's own comment has been flagged -- and, as above, if a comment has been deleted due to input from the community, an indication that x number of members flagged the post as y.

You're welcome to write us an ask if you want feedback on a specific deletion or related stuff. We're not planning to make that automatically available, however. The flagging stuff is useful for us as a "take a look" form of notification on stuff but trying to treat it as anything other than a form of loose guidance in need of a lot of interpretation is not a great idea.

Could the mods be a little bit looser with the wisecracks?

No. We already try to show some flexibility there when it's more of a "here's a bit of wisecrack with my answer" instead of "here's a nominal answer to justify my wisecrack", and there are plenty of good solid focused answers that also have a humorous lilt to them, but askme is about utility, not about awesome chatting fun time, and when answers get more toward funny-anecdote or I-will-entertain-you performances than just trying to get the asker help with whatever problem they're trying to solve, they're flirting pretty directly with deletion according to the guidelines we've had for a long time now.

As such, my main concern is that without any mechanism by which the moderator's decisions can be reviewed by the community

There are mechanisms. The contact form is one of them. Metatalk is another. We're willing to discuss both personal "what's the story with my comment/deletion/flag/whatever" questions and public "what did you do/why did you do it/how does moderation work" stuff and we try to be as transparent as we can in that capacity because we want folks to feel comfortable to whatever extent possible with how this place functions. But we also need to be able to do our jobs without having every single step requiring documentation and debate; if what you're asking for is unthrottled transparency of every move we make, no, you are going to be disappointed.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:25 AM on December 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


Hello, community member and opinion holder here. I like that the mods are decently strict with ask. Your concern for community review of mod actions is bad; I don't need that kind of pressure and trust the mods even more after your reproduced comment. To be explicit: good job deleting this, cortex and jessamyn.

Your comment was not "a dollop of humor", it was a face-blast of tedious monkey cheese. An example: "But yes, the streets here glow with soy milk and agave nectar, mixed in the with the newspapers, dispensary baggies and pants one finds laying in any given street. Why pants? San Francisco isn't very good with pants, I guess." Here we see you set up a joke (poorly and with an excess of chattiness, like a student padding out a paper due in minutes) and there's no goddamn punchline. This is an echo of the fact that your advice ultimately is "I dunno, lol" (see last sentence). It's not that your answer's bland, there's no answer in your answer.

They've done similar things to my own comments that were much less lulzy and much more helpful. IIRC, herrdoktor got chastized because his question was long-form comedy as well (and was still funnier that your comment or my own).
posted by boo_radley at 11:25 AM on December 6, 2010 [14 favorites]


While I quite enjoyed your comment, that's what it was, a comment. Not an answer.
posted by josher71 at 11:26 AM on December 6, 2010


jokes, wisecracks, or a certain type of comedic writing when approached with respect to the question can make a community a much more lively and interesting place.

Those contributors who try to walk that line often do manage to pep the place up as well as help people -- but they do so knowing that their comments run a greater risk of getting deleted.

Shrug it off. You win some, you lose some. Anyhow, I predict that your loss in that thread is going to seem pretty paltry to the losses you experience in this one.
posted by hermitosis at 11:26 AM on December 6, 2010 [6 favorites]


PROTIP: If you had answered that nearly every SF dough-nut you had ever tasted was terrible, but included a short list of establishments serving the least bletcherous (in your experience) dough-nuts, your comment would have stood in all its purple glory until it scrolled off the page, as we all shall scroll off the page of life...
posted by Mister_A at 11:26 AM on December 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


You are a very special cruller.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 11:27 AM on December 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


1. I think an automated MeMail notification that your comment was deleted is worthwhile, but it would be way way too much work for the moderators to have to craft a deletion reason for every freaking comment they delete (and then argue about each deletion reason in MeTa)

2. It isn't obvious to me why seeing flags your comments receive would be useful - it seems like it mostly would fuel angry MeTa posts about how the moderators deleted a comment with x man flags, no fair.

3. I disagree with you - I think they should keep their wisecrack-tolerance levels where they are now. Your comment was essentially a long ramble about libraries, restaurant chains you dislike, some poking of fun at vegan food, and how hard it is to find donuts in San Francisco. It can be summed up as "I don't know the answer to your question", which of course, you needn't have bothered posting. Your comment would have been well received if it had been in an FPP thread about donut quality. But the mods admirably keep a tight reign on AskMe to keep the resource highly answer-focused.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 11:28 AM on December 6, 2010


Eschatfische, I think the biggest difference between your comment and the "non-jokey" hypothetical rewrite of it you asked about, is that your comment was over three PARAGRAPHS, whereas the hypothetical non-jokey answer was a line.

When it's already something that doesn't really answer the question, even one line is iffy. But when you take up over three paragraphs of space, it's really damaging the signal to noise ration of the thread.
posted by Ashley801 at 11:30 AM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


x man flags? I have no idea.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 11:33 AM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Dude, you spoke badly about donuts AND a library, do you not know our mods? If you'd added something about people that use Blogger to talk about Cycling and how they're dumb, you would have gotten the permanent Ban-Hammer.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:33 AM on December 6, 2010 [49 favorites]


Mister_A: "your comment would have stood in all its purple glory until it scrolled off the page, as we all shall scroll off the page of life..."

Aye, all the world's a XHTML document
and all the men and women merely entities therein;
they have their tags and their attributes
one man, in his time, may have one-or-more occurrences as defined by his own schema,
his container being defined by several block elements.
posted by boo_radley at 11:35 AM on December 6, 2010 [22 favorites]


Also if you'd said something to upset vacapinta, same deal. I don't know how to upset him but I'm doing some research.
posted by Mister_A at 11:35 AM on December 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


That's beautiful, boo_radley. Let's have sex!
posted by Mister_A at 11:36 AM on December 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


Save the snarky bullshit for MetaTalk. If you are aware you are being snarky, delete your intended comment and move on, or reformulate. Non-answers are not really welcome on Ask Metafilter.
posted by kalessin at 11:36 AM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


boo_radley: "
Aye, all the world's a XHTML document
and all the men and women merely entities therein;
they have their tags and their attributes
one man, in his time, may have one-or-more occurrences as defined by his own schema,
his container being defined by several block elements
"

I can stretch that to fit Rush until the last two lines. Then it sounds like when I forget the words to a song and start making things up. Usually centered around the idea that I forgot the words to the song.
posted by theichibun at 11:37 AM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hello, community member and opinion holder here.
Damn, I thought it was my turn to hold the opinion this week. Does this mean I'm just stuck nursing my prejudices again?
posted by Abiezer at 11:37 AM on December 6, 2010 [7 favorites]


Your "answer" to that question would have annoyed me if I had asked the question. The whole point of ask mefi is to actually get useful information and your response did not contain any. The good news for you is that you can make this kind of commentary all you like in the blue (provided it stays within guidelines of course) and here in metatalk as well.
posted by Kimberly at 11:38 AM on December 6, 2010


Abiezer: "Damn, I thought it was my turn to hold the opinion this week. Does this mean I'm just stuck nursing my prejudices again?"

I'm gonna say no.
posted by boo_radley at 11:39 AM on December 6, 2010


Could the mods be a little bit looser with the wisecracks? It's one thing to want a community where things stay on topic and there's supportive discussion of the issues -- I'm completely down with that -- but it's another thing entirely to wipe out on-topic posts because they're written in a way that might be construed as affected or humorous. If my post, which was really very carefully written to express a sincere but somewhat negative opinion in a way that (perhaps, hopefully) was entertaining and easy to read, without any mechanism to review what comments are being deleted, I have to wonder what we're all missing on the rest of the site that's falling into the cracks.

AskMe has a single purpose: People use it to ask questions that they hope Mefites will be able to answer. Your role when you comment on askme is to answer the question.

That's it.

The site's not there to stroke our egos or be a showcase for how witty we are. It's not a place for us to post our entire life stories (unless they would somehow be helpful to the OP,) or answers that barely touch on the topic being asked about. Generally, the people asking questions don't need smart ass answers, wisecracks or sarcasm. They simply need help, and it's our job to give it to them when possible.

Not every question requires our input.

Does your answer assist the OP, or were you trying to make conversation? Your comment wasn't an answer to the question being posed. That's why it was deleted.
posted by zarq at 11:40 AM on December 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Okay, after many many requests, I've finally written a Greasemonkey script that uses a backdoor that I discovered to show all deleted comments. It took me a while to write it in such a way that the requests will be hard to track down by Mathowie. It uses a distributed peer-to-peer network so that deleted comments data are shared between all clients (helping to disguise these requests even more). The source code is encoded and encrypted, and you'll have to Paypal me five dollars to get me to unlock it for your account, just so I can be sure that Matt and pb won't get the source code and close the back door. All that said, without further ado, here's where you can get started:

JUST KIDDING THATS A TERRIBLE IDEA
posted by Plutor at 11:40 AM on December 6, 2010 [12 favorites]


Also---

where material with a decent signal to noise ratio is getting deleted because there's a humorous element,

I have to be perfectly frank with you. There was not a decent signal to noise ratio within your comment itself.

If you are saying the "signal" in your comment was: I truly believe that the quality of donuts in San Francisco is sub-par across the board, and that the visitors should adjust their expectations regarding the quality of donuts here than in most any other place in America.

that's a sentence. Your post contained ~20 sentences. That's 19 parts noise, one part signal.
posted by Ashley801 at 11:41 AM on December 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


JUST KIDDING THATS A TERRIBLE IDEA

Dude. I would TOTALLY pay for that script.
posted by zarq at 11:43 AM on December 6, 2010


What a crumby answer!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:44 AM on December 6, 2010


The part where you reposted the whole comment here makes me feel less like you think "dude, come on, that was a good answer" and more "but I want you all to read this funny thing I wrote." That's kind of not what AskMe is for. Hang out in MeTa more. It's like 95% wisecracks. You'll love it.
posted by mintcake! at 11:44 AM on December 6, 2010 [17 favorites]


I'm in the no, no, and no camp on your requests too. I consider your answer to be a pretty aggressive abuse of Ask policies and I absolutely would have flagged it if I encountered it. I think there is a pretty broad consensus that Ask is about a high signal to noise ratio where "signal" means answering the question. Sticking 5 paragraphs and a dozen and a half lines of verbiage into an Ask response for the sake of your admitted one and a half lines of relevant content is NOT "material with a decent signal to noise ratio." Most of the rest of Metafilter is very amenable to being entertaining for being entertaining's sake. Letting comments like yours go in Ask would very much diminish its utility in my opinion.
posted by nanojath at 11:44 AM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


JUST KIDDING THATS A TERRIBLE IDEA

Five-bucks-well-spent's worth of terrible if you ask me.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 11:45 AM on December 6, 2010


Entemanns, TPS? Evil.
posted by mintcake! at 11:45 AM on December 6, 2010


I think you're confusing the guidelies of the Blue with the Green. Sure, on The 'Filter, you can go on rhapsodizing about donuts to your heart's content, wisecracks and all. On the Green? You have to answer the question. Your comment wasn't deleted because no one thinks you're funny, it was deleted because it did not provide an answer.

It's tough to reconcile the two, I know, but you can write those kinds of diatribes on the Blue but on the Green... it had best be answering the question, or it's going to be nuked from orbit.

It's the only way to be sure.
posted by sonika at 11:46 AM on December 6, 2010


What a crumby answer!

I haven't eaten lunch. And now I know what I want. :P
posted by zarq at 11:47 AM on December 6, 2010


Finally -- I asked a question a while ago which, although it was a serious question and I was kind of pissed off when I wrote it, received quite a few jokey answers, some of which were a little "edgy."

All those answers stayed. The difference is that they actually answered my question, and were completely relevant. It helped that they were pithy. They were all very well received by me. Here are a few examples, if you'd like to see some answers that "did it right".

My question was, essentially, how do I get annoying people to stop trying to talk to me when I travel.

Some of the answers (there were a LOT of good ones):

Greg Nog: Hand them a small pre-typed card that says, "Sorry, I am mute."
This also provides extra comedic potential of saying "See you later!" at the end of the ride.

BitterOldPunk: Ask then if they've accepted Jesus as their personal savior, and offer to share the story of your journey into Christ's welcoming arms. Then make up some crazy shit about childhood Satanic ritual abuse and the Trilateral Commission. Twitch a lot.

The World Famous: Of course, if someone tries to witness for Jesus to you, you can just respond that you are Jesus.


posted by Ashley801 at 11:47 AM on December 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Could the mods be a little bit looser with the wisecracks?

Cortex did that once. Let's just say it wasn't pretty.
posted by special-k at 11:47 AM on December 6, 2010


How come no one quotes Dr. Strangelove?

Gentlemen! You can't fight in here, this is the war room!
posted by Mister_A at 11:48 AM on December 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Metatalk: My deleted comment. Let me show you it.
posted by special-k at 11:50 AM on December 6, 2010 [19 favorites]


I agree it would be a good thing if we at least got an automated msg saying "Your post/comment XYZ was deleted, here's a link to it".

At the moment there's no way know when something of yours has been deleted, and it seems to be pretty hard to even find the deleted thing once you realize it's vanished. Sometimes the deletion reason is explained in the deleted thread, but actually finding the thread to discover what the reason was seems to be needlessly difficult.

I understand the mods don't have time to explain all their decisions, but it can't be that difficult to have an automated Memail sent when they hit their delete button, the same as happens when a post goes live.
posted by philipy at 11:50 AM on December 6, 2010


Entemanns, TPS? Evil.

No, DELICIOUS. I could eat a whole box of those things. So yeah, I guess "evil" is right, too.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:53 AM on December 6, 2010


JUST KIDDING THATS A TERRIBLE IDEA

Just go to my new site, special.snowfla.ke and provide your MeFi username and password when you register, then do all of your Mefi reading posting and commenting through the new site! It'll put all your deleted comments back in for you! And if you friend someone, you'll see their deleted comments and posts, too! END MODERATOR HEGEMONY NOW!
posted by Zed at 11:54 AM on December 6, 2010


Okay, after many many requests, I've finally written a Greasemonkey script that uses a backdoor that I discovered to show all deleted comments.

You should call it Metaleaks.
posted by kmz at 11:55 AM on December 6, 2010 [8 favorites]


While I agree with philipy and eschatfische that it would be nice to get an auto-notification about deleted comments for the sake of learning, it also seems like it would open up a can of worms in which there was a deluge of "why was my comment deleted?" on the grey.
posted by aniola at 11:58 AM on December 6, 2010


aniola: "it also seems like it would open up a can of worms in which there was a deluge of "why was my comment deleted?" on the grey."

In your own words, can you say how this might vary from status quo?
posted by boo_radley at 11:59 AM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


it would open up a can of worms in which there was a deluge of "why was my comment deleted?" on the grey.

Seriously. I'd be willing to bet that half the time I don't realize when a comment of mine is deleted because I have forgotten that I made it in the first place.
posted by amro at 12:00 PM on December 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


but it would be way way too much work for the moderators to have to craft a deletion reason for every freaking comment

This is true, but if there was an automated system, it'd be nice to offer the mods a drop-down list of common reasons to choose from.

However even if there was zero info on the deletion reason, I'd be happy to a) simply be made aware that something had been deleted, and b) have an easy way to find it again.

The latter so as to be able to access any links that were in the thread, and be able to reuse the text someplace else if I want to, such as posting to my own blog.
posted by philipy at 12:04 PM on December 6, 2010


However, I do feel that, except with certain deeply serious topics when grave offense is possible or lives are on the line -- and I think we can all agree that that isn't the case when we're talking about donuts -- jokes, wisecracks, or a certain type of comedic writing when approached with respect to the question can make a community a much more lively and interesting place.

I don't want a lively and interesting place, I want a place where people who do not answer the question get the crap deleted out of their non-answers.
posted by 23skidoo at 12:07 PM on December 6, 2010


WIKILEAKS CONFIRMS EXISTENCE OF PLUTOR'S D-SCRIPT.

WHAT IS HE HIDING?!?!?
posted by blue_beetle at 12:08 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


That kind of comment is fine for the blue, but out of place in AskMe.
posted by empath at 12:08 PM on December 6, 2010


was I flagged by the MeFi community, or was this purely a moderator's decision? How problematic does a comment have to be, if there are favorites, for moderators to remove the comment?

I know people love favorites but we basically don't take favorites into account if we're trying to decide if a comment needs the axe. People favorite jokes in AskMe, that doesn't mean they're not jokes or that they're okay for that part of the site. In fact, the only reason we sometimes even check faovrites [I have them turned off in my view here] is if I'm wondering why something got a lot of flags AND a lot of favorites and I'm wondering if there was a joke I missed [there often is]. This was not one of those times.

And the notification on comment deletion thing is a non-starter. I know why people would like it, but it's something we've seriously considered and rejected. As we've said many times, most people either never have a comment deleted or only rarely do. Some people have a lot of comments deleted. Some new folks may not understand the rules and we'll try to email them. Opening up some sort of not-MetaTalk way to talk about [i.e. fight about] comment deletion is not really something we think is a good idea for us or the community. If it's a big enough deal, you'll come here or contact us. If it's not, there's no reason to send you notifications about it. We're very above board about deletions when asked and we'll send you a list of every comment you've had deleted but we do not want to start up a separate conversation about every comment deletion. It won't scale and it makes it more likely for people who are grumpy and threadshitting to then be grumpy over email to us.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:08 PM on December 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm not a big doughnut fan, too sugary, but I enjoy a nice cake doughnut every now and then.
posted by nomadicink at 12:11 PM on December 6, 2010


If you take me to San Francisco, I'll be your ethically-challenged friend.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:11 PM on December 6, 2010


boo_radley: "In your own words, can you say how this might vary from status quo"

If you don't know, you can't complain.

I'm sure I've had some comment deleted somewhere in a thread I'll never want to look in again. I can think of one thread that I just checked where my comment should be deleted. It's not.
posted by theichibun at 12:12 PM on December 6, 2010


This is true, but if there was an automated system, it'd be nice to offer the mods a drop-down list of common reasons to choose from.

We hate form letters. Form letters are what people send you when they're compelled to send you something but can't or don't want to actually take the time to talk with you.

The one form letter type thing we have is an email I wrote up a while back that gently broaches the "we're not sure if you're using two accounts to get around the 7-day limit in askme, here's why that would be a problem, please let us know what's up" topic because it takes like four paragraphs to cover all that in a way that makes the situation clear and doesn't come off as a You Are So Banned sort of accusation in the process, and I got tired of writing it up from scratch every time. Even at that, I need to tweak the letter sometimes and just throw it out entirely at others and write something context-specific.

As it is, we write post deletion reasons each time, try to do a pretty good job of making it briefly clear why a post is being deleted, and still deal with angry or upset or just argumentative responses to that stuff on a regular basis.

We delete a lot more comments than posts on any given day; the math on that should make it clear why we're really not interested in notifying someone every time that happens, setting aside the question of whether the content of that notification would have a hand-written reason, a drop-down form-letter reason, or no reason at all.

However even if there was zero info on the deletion reason, I'd be happy to a) simply be made aware that something had been deleted, and b) have an easy way to find it again.

This is really just an "ask us and we're happy to help you out" situation. If you want a copy of your deleted comment, will furnish it on request, no problem. If you're curious if a comment got deleted, or why it did, etc, we'll be happy to tell you what we know. If you want to know about a comment that you didn't even notice got deleted, that's about where our ability to help out runs dry, because it's getting to the point of being impractical for us in response to something that wasn't actually on your radar to begin with.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:15 PM on December 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Everybody needs a fritter. I mean a hug. With glaze. Mmmm, Krispy Kreme waterfall of glaze.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:15 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


J.Co or get out.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:18 PM on December 6, 2010


Pony Request 3: Could the mods be a little bit looser with the wisecracks?

Hell No!
posted by clavdivs at 12:24 PM on December 6, 2010


It's useful to not to care whether your comments get deleted, and also to try and make comments that won't get deleted. It's certainly going to be a lot easier than requesting the mods change the way they do things because one of your comments got deleted. They're pretty open to requests, but "change everything because it would benefit me if things were different" is closer to a prayer than a request.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:27 PM on December 6, 2010


I was co-piloting an airship with my good comrade Lord Elgin III when we encountered a peculiar weather phenomena over Tanger. Before we could account for the sudden barometric fluctuation, the nose of our great beast sank and all items in the cabin went a-waltzing one after another -slowly at first of course -and then all in a single great rush. The journal, an inkstand, the De Groene Amsterdammer, a box of three toroidal fried dough foods from Lord Elgin’s niece in California, and fifty-four playing cards – all came to greet us at the window to get a peak of the great continent of Africa, now almost directly below. And yet through no skill of my own, we made a successful landing, losing only three days off our planned voyage.

This is of course all to say that San Francisco has terrible donuts.
posted by yeti at 12:28 PM on December 6, 2010 [21 favorites]


You seem to be confusing "pony" with "dead horse."
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:29 PM on December 6, 2010 [8 favorites]


So this is where the holes in the donut are made!
posted by not_on_display at 12:31 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


However even if there was zero info on the deletion reason, I'd be happy to a) simply be made aware that something had been deleted, and b) have an easy way to find it again.

The latter so as to be able to access any links that were in the thread, and be able to reuse the text someplace else if I want to, such as posting to my own blog.


Deleted comments aren't recoverable, and I would think most FPP makers would watch their post for at least the usual window before it would get deleted if it's going to be deleted.
posted by kmz at 12:31 PM on December 6, 2010


Is this the place to thank the mods for not having form emails? I love when I email them and cortex or jessamyn or even *swoon* mathowie answer me pithily and in direct response to what I wrote.

It's like they're actual people, and not complex AI programs set up to keep us distracted in our free time.
posted by muddgirl at 12:31 PM on December 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


Mmmm, Krispy Kreme waterfall of glaze.

See, that's what I'm talking about, there's zero need for that much frigging sugar on something, it's insane!
posted by nomadicink at 12:31 PM on December 6, 2010


Hell No!

Well, OK, this is actually helpful. I assumed that what has seemed to me to be increasingly strict policy enforcement of removing small gags and light or edgy discussion was primarily moderator-driven and didn't actually have substantial community support, but that's clearly not the case. Do not fear, there will be no more discussion of pants and/or libraries, except when directly answering the question.
posted by eschatfische at 12:35 PM on December 6, 2010


Pony Request 3: Could the mods be a little bit looser with the wisecracks?

On askme? I'm going to counter-request that wisecracks continue to remain as tightly reigned in as they have been.

Look over my comment history on this site, and you'll see that the entirety of my ability to speak is based around making stupid and mostly useless wisecracks. Often off-topic, sometimes so grammaticality flawed as to invite the reader to question my sobriety.

Understand, I'm not funny, and I know it. But the knee-jerk bon-mot has just become the default reaction for me. And it's mostly tolerated, I believe, because I limit it to the grey and the blue. To the best of my knowledge I've had one comment deleted from Askme and it was just the kick in my ass I needed to not ever do it again. When I post a question, I'm not looking for clever and funny, I'm looking for clear and concise. I now understand that is the way to best show someone reading my answer that I respect them; when I do comment on the green, I try like hell to keep my voice limited to the topic being inquired about.
posted by quin at 12:35 PM on December 6, 2010


I give you all hugs and offer you all donuts and coffee (or tea). Great donuts. Donuts made by that guy who used to ride them around downtown Manhattan on his bike. Seven dollar donuts that made me believe, fleetingly, that there was moral order to the universe. Powerful donuts. Life is, at times, too fucking hard otherwise.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:38 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


eschatfische: “If individuals deliberately bland-down their answers -- or worse, become less likely to comment -- in fear that something with a bit of edge, a dollop of humor, or a little bite will just disappear, the overall quality of communications on the site are diminished.”

This is absolutely true. And I want to make a point of saying that I disagree with everyone here that's been dragging poor eschatfische through the mud on this. He's completely correct here, and I stand with him in his insistence that responses in AskMe should not be blanded down. And while it's clear to me that he's been very respectful of site policy thus far – every single AskMe response eschatfische has ever made has clearly been blanded down in accordance with the mods' preference – I want to call on him to defy this paradigm of blandness by henceforth posting responses that are actually interesting, compelling, and witty.

Well, and that actually respond to the question. Then they might not be deleted.
posted by koeselitz at 12:40 PM on December 6, 2010


You see? You set the expectations up and then BAM! punchline. That's comedy.
posted by boo_radley at 12:43 PM on December 6, 2010


TIMING!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:45 PM on December 6, 2010 [10 favorites]


Oh, it's 1:45, why do you ask?
posted by boo_radley at 12:47 PM on December 6, 2010


MetaFilter: Just a plate of doughnuts.
posted by Cranberry at 12:47 PM on December 6, 2010


Do not fear, there will be no more discussion of pants and/or libraries, except when directly answering the question.

Dear AskMe: I work at a prestigious library in New England, but I'm finding it increasingly difficult to reconcile my chosen profession with my newfound interest in nudism...
posted by Horace Rumpole at 12:50 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Who's dragging him through the mud? Nobody's saying don't be funny. Nobody's saying be bland. You have to answer the question. If you can be funny/edgy/not bland and still answer the question, then yay.
posted by rtha at 12:51 PM on December 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think I've had two jokey "answers" deleted from AskMe. The second one was so hilarious that Jessamyn herself emailed to let me know that although the quip was the funniest thing she had ever read in all her years of reading witty quips, it had to go. I cried a little, but ultimately I understood, and I cherish that email to this day. Well, I would, except I deleted it. But I cherish the memory of that moment, or at least I cherish what I can vaguely recall about the memory of that moment, to the best of my recollection. Jokey answers that have been deleted from AskMe are like chewing gum on the sidewalk of the internet, they may be gone, but somewhere in your mind is that little black spot that even a pressure-washer won't cleanse. They're deleted, yet they live on in the hearts and minds of those who have posted them, and isn't that the greater gift?
posted by Floydd at 12:51 PM on December 6, 2010 [8 favorites]


Now all we need is an open sewer and somebody to walk in and DIE.
posted by Gator at 12:52 PM on December 6, 2010


Understand, I'm not funny, and I know it. But the knee-jerk bon-mot has just become the default reaction for me. And it's mostly tolerated, I believe, because I limit it to the grey and the blue.

I've been working under the assumption that everything's funny to somebody. And I agree with William K. Zinsser, who once said that if you think something is funny, go ahead and write it.

Ultimately, though, I think people prefer my reflexive joke-telling to me lecturing them about privilege, which I interpret as a mark of their privilege.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:55 PM on December 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oooh, walk in?

Because I dragged like three people in earlier today, if that counts.
posted by quin at 12:56 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's pure comedy to me when I get het up by a comment, and then get to the punchline and laugh, and then a little later someone else obviously didn't make it to the punchline.

Of course, sometimes I AM that somebody. "For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors and laugh at them in our turn?"
posted by muddgirl at 12:58 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Who's dragging him through the mud? Nobody's saying don't be funny.

I think koeslitz was making a joke? But as I said I am bad at this sort of thing.

Also if you think SFPL is lacking, you should try the Brookfield Library. Is your library open more than 14 hours per week? Does it have more than one computer? Does it have a web site that is more than one page? You are doing fine, my friend.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:59 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Your little string of ponies seem mangy and uninviting to me, but I think your comment was responsive and informative and should not have been deleted.
posted by jamjam at 1:05 PM on December 6, 2010


Is this the place to thank the mods for not having form emails?

Dear  Moderators of MeFi ,

Thank you very much for  not using form e-mails in your communications with us . That was really  great  of you, and we can't thank you  enough .

Yours truly,

Fish Bike 
posted by FishBike at 1:05 PM on December 6, 2010 [20 favorites]


I think your comment was responsive and informative and should not have been deleted.

How was it responsive to someone who was planning to go to San Francisco and looking for donuts while they were there? They weren't going on a search for the world's greatest donut (in which case, the comment might have been responsive, as in "You won't find it in SF"); they were already going to be in SF, so general tergiversations about how terrible the SF donuts are doesn't actually provide them with any help whatsoever.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:08 PM on December 6, 2010


Who's dragging him through the mud? Nobody's saying don't be funny. Nobody's saying be bland. You have to answer the question. If you can be funny/edgy/not bland and still answer the question, then yay.

First, be smart from the very beginning....
posted by zarq at 1:10 PM on December 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


I must be the only one one this website who thinks that famous answer to get rid of a body is just horrible advice. Protip: don't keep any evidence at your house or any property you can be linked to.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:13 PM on December 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


I had a really neat image like one from that episode of the simpsons where moe leaves the bar and he's tiptoeing through the meadow with a knife by the moonlight.

Except what I imagine is cortex is looking at his computer screen, giving the faintest of nods, grabbing his keys, pushing his chair away from his desk, putting his old fake leather jacket on, leaving his place, getting in his car, driving hundreds of miles to some username's house (no breaks, nothing -- he drives like a Geo Prizm (or a rust colored Ford Festiva just a little lighter than the color of your fake leather jacket) and doesn't have to refill the tank), knocking on the door like he knows exactly where every user lives and doesn't even have to spend time google mapping or GPS-ing it.... (and remember, the whole time, his face is supposed to be void of emotion).

I haven't figured out exactly what happens next. Maybe cortex threatens the user in sort of a monotone voice, with a dead serious look (the user is too afraid to blink) and cortex says says nothing except, "If you do it again, I will [insert threat yet to be thought up here]." And the user is a mix of bewildered, awed, and afraid, and can only mumble a sincere but truly embarrassed apology.

Then, cortex turns right around (the user is still watching cortex walk away with the same look of awe and embarrassment), and cortex gets back in his car, and drives back home hundreds of miles through the day and night, returns to his house, goes in the front door (lady cortex is like, "Hey?" in a confused and not unpleasant way) and he goes down the long hallway into his "office," sits back down in front of the computer, and logs back on to MetaFilter, like nothing out of the ordinary happened.

Of course, cortex has to be wearing wire rimmed glasses and a sort of curly hair poof at the top of his head or else it won't work. I don't know what kind of shoes would go with this though. I don't think jeans would work either.
posted by anniecat at 1:17 PM on December 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


How about they make it so logged-in members live in a fantasy world and always see their own comments as if they weren't deleted?
posted by floam at 1:27 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I haven't figured out exactly what happens next.

In a moment filled with portentous menace, cortex slowly puts his hand into his jacket, and with a cold, dead look, draws out the weapon. He points it at the user, right between the eyes, and pulls the trigger.

To which the spray bottle goes "pfwwwit" "pfwwwwit" and cortex in a loud and clear voice says "No! Bad user. No!"

Then off into the sunset.
posted by quin at 1:30 PM on December 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


If your comment was deleted, how did you quote it exactly for this thread? Do deleted comments not get removed from RSS readers or something?
posted by r_nebblesworthII at 1:34 PM on December 6, 2010


If your comment was deleted, how did you quote it exactly for this thread? Do deleted comments not get removed from RSS readers or something?

I've never used a comments RSS feed but it would be plausible that someone could download the feed before the comment was deleted, and obviously the mods can't delete stuff in your feed reader. I imagine the more reliable thing would just be to dig the content out of the browser cache/history.
posted by floam at 1:38 PM on December 6, 2010


I haven't figured out exactly what happens next.

I'm hoping cortex says something like "BY THE POWER OF GRAYSKULL!!!!!" and whips out his mighty banhammer.
posted by zarq at 1:40 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I appear to have just gotten my first comment deletion

suck it up, jackwagon.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 1:46 PM on December 6, 2010 [8 favorites]


(lady cortex is like, "Hey?" in a confused and not unpleasant way)

No no no. He comes home, it's morning and Ms. Cortex and Cortex Jr are having breakfast. She gives him that look TV cops get after missing dinner and being gone all night due to the job for the 15th time, but she doesn't want to have this conversation in front of the child. Cortex begins to form some kind of excuse but instead just goes to the bedroom, to either sleep or go back to work, we don't find out.
posted by floam at 1:47 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also if you think SFPL is lacking, you should try the Brookfield Library.

You know, I looked at that website, and for a minute I tried to figure out what the Latin motto of the library meant.

Then I realized I'm an idiot, and that Librarian Florence Barnum isn't Latin, even if it's three italicized and unpunctuated words under the name of an institution.
posted by ocherdraco at 1:47 PM on December 6, 2010 [50 favorites]


Who brought the cool kid?
posted by chillmost at 1:47 PM on December 6, 2010


They weren't going on a search for the world's greatest donut (in which case, the comment might have been responsive, as in "You won't find it in SF")

Actually, I did read the question as being a search for the world's greatest vegan donut. Clearly others are reading the question differently than I did, but hear me out.

The questioner indicated that they wanted to "try the best vegan doughnuts money can buy". The context of that request was that "Rumour has it the streets [of San Francisco] flow of soy milk and agave nectar" causing the asker to "imagine that awesome vegan doughnuts are abundant." Note the word awesome.

As such, I thought it was clear -- and again, perhaps I'm wrong -- that this the asker thought that because San Francisco is known as a mecca of vegan culture they would be able to find the best vegan donuts in the country or world here. That on their trip, they'd be able to find the best vegan donuts money can buy period. I wanted to tell them that the assumption they were making -- that because San Francisco has a large vegan community the vegan donuts would be awesome -- was unfortunately incorrect. And I was trying to do so kindly, by pointing out similar ironies, like San Francisco having mediocre libraries despite having high levels of intelligence (as measured by college graduates per capita, etc.) and taking on a humorous tone.

Now, if that's not the case -- if the gist of the question really was just "where can I find the best vegan donuts in San Francisco" -- my response really was a rambling and unfunny non-answer. But I do genuinely think my post provides a legitimate answer to the question as I read it. Underneath all of the wisecracks, I was actually trying to be helpful.

If your comment was deleted, how did you quote it exactly for this thread? Do deleted comments not get removed from RSS readers or something?

Boring answer: I happened to still have the originally-posted comment still open in a browser tab.
posted by eschatfische at 1:48 PM on December 6, 2010


A hale and hearty welcome, new community member quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon!
posted by Mister_A at 1:48 PM on December 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


Question: Please recommend me some great vegan (and non-vegan) donut places in San Francisco. Thanks!

Your response: "Blah, blah, blah, snark, donuts in SF suck, look at me, blah, blah, [attempted smug witticism], blah. Ooh, I can't wait to see if anyone else actually answers this question."

Of COURSE it got deleted. And now you write a humungous whinge about it on the grey. Dude. Seriously. Get a grip.
posted by Decani at 1:50 PM on December 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


Oh come on Decani, he or she is taking its lumps pretty well. Kudos to you, my long-winded friend eschatfische! I extend the benefit of the doubt unto thee!
posted by Mister_A at 1:52 PM on December 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


In other news, I really dig the "relate your answer to the question" rule. It has been generally helpful for me with my writing to remember to relate my interesting story to my point.
posted by aniola at 1:55 PM on December 6, 2010


if the gist of the question really was just "where can I find the best vegan donuts in San Francisco"

How is that not the gist of the question, given that the poster is going to be in San Francisco, specifically? The question was not "Where can I find the best vegan donuts money can buy?" It was "Gonna be in SF, where are the best vegan donuts?"
posted by rtha at 1:57 PM on December 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Librarian Florence Barnum

Librarians flourish in barns?
posted by Horace Rumpole at 1:58 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Protip: don't keep any evidence at your house or any property you can be linked to.

Good advice, sure, but now the crawlspace seems so EMPTY.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:11 PM on December 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


Let me out!
posted by nomadicink at 2:17 PM on December 6, 2010


eschatfische, you're not half as a clever or witty as you seem to think you are.

The question was clearly "where in SF can i get some awesome vegan donuts?" If you want wilfully misread that as invitation for you to ramble on in a tangentially related fashion about donuts or SF or vegans in general, and then get snippy when your 'answer' is deleted, more power to you. But don't expect a lot of sympathy from people here.
posted by modernnomad at 2:18 PM on December 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


> Let me out!

"I can't stand the dark anymore!"
posted by Burhanistan at 2:19 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


He or she is way too verbose to be described as snippy. I think eschatfische just rambles a little. Charity starts at home, motherfuckers.
posted by Mister_A at 2:20 PM on December 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


hey eschatfische! I just want to say that, although I totally agree with the comment deletion, and also would not like to see any of your ponies implemented, and also I generally agree with all the points that other people who aren't you are making in this thread,

I also want to say that I agree with Mister_A that you are being a pretty good sport here,

and also say that I know the feeling of writing—nay, crafting, amirite?—a pithy, hilarious thing for the internet, hitting "post" then sitting back and waiting for the back-slapping chortles to roll in... only to find that it got hung in an approval queue, or deleted by the owner, or deleted by a mod for not answering the question, or generally eaten by a machine.

And I know that let-down feels a bit like when you're having a fabulous sex dream and you're just about to get to the final scene... and the alarm clock goes off. You don't get the payoff nor can you get back the time you invested to that point, and it really truly would have been mind-blowing... if only you'd had the chance to see it through.

But the nice thing is that there's always tomorrow. Also, I find that a few hours later, I didn't remember the disappointment or even what I was on about in the first place. And then I wonder if I was even really that pithy or hilarious to begin with.

So, this too shall pass. But consider this a bicep-chuck and a "better luck next time" from a fellow deletee.

And, something that works for me, in a case where my AskMe answer contains snark, commentary, or anything that is non-answer: I look at it in preview and say to myself, "Self, if I stripped out all the jokey bits, does the remaining bit actually answer the question usefully?" I imagine there is a spectrum, in AskMe, and one side is labeled "Useful" and the other side is "Other". It's a fine line to walk, but you have to be at least > 51% Useful, really.
posted by pineapple at 2:25 PM on December 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


lorem ipsum librarium
posted by Babblesort at 2:29 PM on December 6, 2010


Loren is a Liberian?
posted by longsleeves at 2:35 PM on December 6, 2010


No no no. He comes home, it's morning and Ms. Cortex and Cortex Jr are having breakfast. She gives him that look TV cops get after missing dinner and being gone all night due to the job for the 15th time, but she doesn't want to have this conversation in front of the child.

That would mean cortex would have to be more Nicholas Cage and lady cortex would have to be like Patricia Heaton on that Everybody Loves Raymond, and I'm pretty sure people can't stomach her. I'm thinking lady cortex is a foil to cortex --- cortex is a like overtoasted toast that is about to snap but doesn't and won't, and lady cortex is sunny, bright, cheerful, and organized like one of the blonde ladies modeling the dutch blue cable knit sweaters in a catalog. No angst. She's a busy lady, and she and cortex share a telepathic connection, so she kind of always Knows what's going on. I can't find an example because all the models in the LL Bean catalog look slightly burdened.

Does cortex have a kid? The kid from Jerry Maguire is too old and too blond for the role. If he's under three, we need a toddler with glasses but a full head of curly hair that matches cortex's, so the audience knows without a doubt that they're related.
posted by anniecat at 2:43 PM on December 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


Libertarian Libertine: Iberian Imports aka Jamón ibérico
posted by clavdivs at 2:49 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Underneath all of the wisecracks, I was actually trying to be helpful.

That's good of you. (I mean this, no hamburger.)

But you didn't actually succeed in being helpful, so that's why your comment got deleted. And then you made a big ol' mod-bashing post on the Gray.

You have to understand that this event feels exceptional to you, but to many of us, someone posting something to MeTa that boils down to "Oh, my heavens! My excellent comment was deleted by the trigger-happy mods! We must all band together to introduce some new community standards!" is an event that has happened dozens, maybe even hundreds of times, and it's always pretty much the same. "Oh, look, Sisyphus! There goes your rock again!"

Sometimes we all fuck up. (I more than most people, because I am basically kind of an idiot with a circus-freak brain, so I know whereof I speak.)

So let me say this to you, in all compassion and with sincere respect--the next time your comment gets deleted, it is also going to be because it did not succeed in what your intent for it was, not because there is anything wrong with the site or the moderators or the community standards.

At least the next time you will know not to make a huffpost to the Gray, right? So it's all good; we learn from one another.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:50 PM on December 6, 2010 [8 favorites]


aggressive moderation

You have got to be kidding me. This calls to mind the difference between aggressive and defensive driving. Jessamyn and Cortex are cautious in their decisions for this site, and aggressive is so far below the bottom of a list of words I could imagine being justifiably used to describe their work here.
posted by bilabial at 2:57 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sidhedevil: "(I mean this, no hamburger.)"

Oh my god.

oh my god.
posted by boo_radley at 3:04 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


There were no comments, to the best of my knowledge, that accused me of derailing or threadcrapping or just plain being wrong.


I didn't make those comments because I didn't want to derail. But really, ragging on SF's libraries (which, personally, I find awesome. Three within walking distance, one of which has a fireplace. And queer erotica. In addition to lots of great books and movies.) in a thread about donuts?
posted by needs more cowbell at 3:10 PM on December 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think your comment was responsive and informative and should not have been deleted.

How was it responsive to someone who was planning to go to San Francisco and looking for donuts while they were there? They weren't going on a search for the world's greatest donut (in which case, the comment might have been responsive, as in "You won't find it in SF"); they were already going to be in SF, so general tergiversations about how terrible the SF donuts are doesn't actually provide them with any help whatsoever.
posted by Sidhedevil


If I were the donut OP, and I ended up climbing all the hills of San Francisco dragging along my 'ethically challenged' partner, like a modern Diogenes with an oil (vegetable!) filled lantern in unsuccessful quest for an honest donut, I know I would find eschatfische's answer more useful than the others because it would allow me to give up without feeling 'if only I'd gone to one more shop...'.

Interesting use of tergiversations, by the way, which I have previously seen in the wild only from Gary Wills, and which puts you in very good company indeed, in my opinion.
posted by jamjam at 3:16 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


When considering answering a question, ask yourself, do I know the answer to this question? If the answer is no, do not answer the question. It's really quite simple.
posted by doctor_negative at 3:25 PM on December 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hell, if anything I wish the scalpel was wielded more viciously, especially in AskMe. This is not Yahoo Answers... this is not even Yahoo Serious.
posted by edgeways at 3:26 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm sure the current iteration of the latest achingly hip foodie/anti-foodie blog is dying for your contributions.
posted by desuetude at 3:26 PM on December 6, 2010


While we're asking for ridiculous ponies, can we start using a "foodthreadcomplaints" tag for MeTa? Because I can envision some future day when I'll want to revisit this thread along with September's grilled cheese meltdown together, and poor feeble-minded me will have trouble finding one or more of them.
posted by .kobayashi. at 3:27 PM on December 6, 2010


I more than most people, because I am basically kind of an idiot with a circus-freak brain,

We should start a detective agency together. Or maybe a band. Possibly an elite assassination team.

Or, and hear me out on this; all three. With your brain and my... let's call it "judgmental imbalance" we could do great and terrible things.

Great and terrible.

Like the atom bomb. Or New Coke.
posted by quin at 3:31 PM on December 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


I had a comment deleted today and then others went on to make essentially the same point and their comments were not deleted. I don't get it!
posted by mareli at 3:49 PM on December 6, 2010


Who wants pie?
posted by ericb at 3:54 PM on December 6, 2010


I agree it would be a good thing if we at least got an automated msg saying "Your post/comment XYZ was deleted, here's a link to it".

At that point we'd need a whole new subsite about deleted complaints. For fun it could be like this dreadful thing I am having to write at work because people who enter the same type of data all day long can't remember to be consistent in entering it. Imagine that there are dropdown menus where the underlines are.

Dear MeTa;

Why was my post>comment>answer deleted? It was very funny>important>on-topic. I am very upset>sad>angry because I think that Metafilter should be funny>community-focused>not dictatorial.

I am tired>sick>furious that the mod staff is behaving like Stalin>George Bush>Obama and is not permitting free speech>comedy>sharing.

My internet experience>emotional state>marriage will never be the same because of this travesty. I think that such arrant bigotry>snobbery>liberality should be dispreferred in future.

Most Respectfully Yours,
The Dearly Deleted
posted by winna at 3:58 PM on December 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


I think lorem ipsum librarian must have lost its last letter, and is actually lorem ipsum librariant - "They have made the loris itself a librarian".
posted by DNye at 3:59 PM on December 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Part of being in a position of authority in a community is having the respect to tell other people when they violate the norms of the community.

You are creating a game where you hope nobody will notice the deletion, but if they do notice they end up creating extra work for everyone. It is a policy designed to create drama, not reduce it.

And there is no reason why an automatic reason generator has to be any more work than the "flag it and move on" mechanism.
posted by gjc at 4:00 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


"You are creating a game where you hope nobody will notice the deletion, but if they do notice they end up creating extra work for everyone. It is a policy designed to create drama, not reduce it."

Well, yeah. For YOU maybe, but MetaFilter isn't your job.
The deleted comment to MetaTalk callout ratio is pretty low, and I'm pretty sure it's better for everyone if we work just a little bit to reduce that.
posted by Floydd at 4:13 PM on December 6, 2010


I'm sure the moderators need someone like gjc to tell them how to do their job. Good thing he deigned to stop by!
posted by muddgirl at 4:13 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, gjc, you're doing the math wrong. Like, really wrong.
posted by restless_nomad at 4:27 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


The mods make games?!
posted by nomadicink at 4:31 PM on December 6, 2010


Who wants pie?

Is it peach pie?
posted by fixedgear at 4:34 PM on December 6, 2010


Part of being in a position of authority in a community is having the respect to tell other people when they violate the norms of the community.

Part of making people comfortable in a community is trying to avoid putting them on the spot any more than is strictly necessary. Declining to force someone to confront their every perceivable error is part of that. While I understand there are some people here who would like more info about what they've had deleted or flagged or whatever, a lot of people don't really want any more stuff that feels like "oh hey here's another thing you did to fuck up" in their lives than is strictly necessary. Part of the problem with any automated alert system is that it can't tell one from the other. Instead, we tell folks who want more info that they're welcome to drop us an email and ask.

If someone seems to be struggling with the site, we talk to them about it. If something seems to keep going wrong in a specific way, we'll talk about it. If someone just has a bad moment or a mild misunderstanding that leads to a deletion, they don't need a talking to and we'd rather not give people that extra grief since our assumption is most people are trying in good faith to get along here and are capable of doing a little self-correction without anybody making a thing of it.

You are creating a game where you hope nobody will notice the deletion, but if they do notice they end up creating extra work for everyone. It is a policy designed to create drama, not reduce it.

No, we're looking for an equilibrium where the only deletions that we need to spend time discussing are the ones that folks are actually motivated to notice and discuss with us without being explicitly provoked.

Again: anyone can drop us a line if they want to know about something that went down, or even if they want to ask whether there's deletions they might not have noticed. They can do so via the contact form that we monitor constantly and respond to pretty much religiously. That's basically a zero-drama solution, it works well, and you may not realize how much of average week involves basically interacting with people over email already.

If it's something they feel like is grounds for a community discussion, they can bring it up here. Even that doesn't need to have any drama involved and it often doesn't.

And there is no reason why an automatic reason generator has to be any more work than the "flag it and move on" mechanism.

I disagree.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:39 PM on December 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


All this is giving me a faint sense of dread for the inevitable day when a new mod has to be brought on board to help manage all this kudzu. I'm guessing the "So-and-so has been helping out lately" method of announcing it mid-complaint-thread wouldn't go over as well today as it did five years ago.
posted by Gator at 4:45 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


When you start seeing vowels disappearing, you'll get the picture.
posted by found missing at 4:47 PM on December 6, 2010


Gator: eh. I'd be amused to see "This is not a good post for Metafilter. -- obscureUser" just pop up one day. No announcement, no "hey, this is the new mod", just bam! and there it is.
posted by boo_radley at 4:48 PM on December 6, 2010


Isn't 'obscureUser' the name that the guy who won the contest picked?
posted by fixedgear at 4:51 PM on December 6, 2010


Part of being in a position of authority in a community is having the respect to tell other people when they violate the norms of the community.

And part of being within this community is having enough respect for the mods not to cause a big song-and-dance if you have something deleted, but just accept that decision with good grace, and move on.

Sometimes you may concede that you probably overstepped the mark, other times you might feel a bit ripped off, but having a comment deleted isn't the end of the world. Is it really a hill you want to die on?
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:01 PM on December 6, 2010


Man, I like drama and all, but I prefer it Elizabethan. So, if we're going to go the high-drama route, could I trouble all y'all to drop a "forsooth" or two into the thread every once in a while?
posted by .kobayashi. at 5:15 PM on December 6, 2010


Forsooth! To answer or not to answer: that is the question. 'Tis nobler to use AskMe for its intended usage than to labour under the delusion that it is th'equvalent of Open Mic Night at the Globe.
posted by scody at 5:23 PM on December 6, 2010 [7 favorites]


Noob. Boon. Donuts. Cookie.
posted by effluvia at 5:38 PM on December 6, 2010


You are creating a game where you hope nobody will notice the deletion, but if they do notice they end up creating extra work for everyone. It is a policy designed to create drama, not reduce it.

I assure you one of the reasons this site works as well as it does is because all the mods are basically allergic to drama. Seriously, we just do not start, continue, or encourage drama. That said, if there are site issues like people unhappy with deletions it's better to have that discussion in public than over email. We've always had a few users that do the sort of "work the ref" angle where they'll harangue us over email about policy but won't do that in public because it's easier to yell at one of us over email than do that in MetaTalk where there will be a lot of people telling them they're out of line. That is an ungood thing and at some point we have to tell people "you need to bring this to metatalk, this is a community policy issue not my unilateral decision" and sometimes they do and sometimes they don't. Most deletions are us enforcing community policies, some of them are judgment calls on our part. All of them are open to discussion.

Similarly in this case it seems like it was helpful to eschatfische to see the community response to his assertions, not just the mods saying "no, because I'm the mod."

Plus, flat out we do not have time to engage in back and forth email with a ton of users who want to have this discussion with us. We dislike form letters. We don't want to send them. It's totally against the rules for us to send out form letters with no reply-to address, but if people reply then we'd be pretty duty bound to write them back. Carrying on five discussions a day about individual comment deletions is impossible with the staffing levels we have and the interest we have in making the work we do more or less transparent. I'm not sure where the idea that MeTa threads are "extra work for everyone" comes from, they're significantly less work than saying the same thing over and over to ten or twenty different people some of whom will not be particularly receptive to it.

For every MeFi who doesn't like to see this sort of thing happen in public, there are MeFites who don't feel good about getting some sort of private "we deleted your comment" email [I've had people tell me to never email them again when I've notified users of this before, when I thought they might be confused]. We'll talk over email if you want. We can talk here if you want. We're not planning to automate the process, we think it's worse than what we have now.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:40 PM on December 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


If you make a comment that gets deleted, does the thread still show up in your recent activity?
posted by that girl at 5:41 PM on December 6, 2010


If you make a comment that gets deleted, does the thread still show up in your recent activity?

Nope, RA ignores deleted comments I believe. (So more precisely, if the only comment or comments you have made in a thread have been deleted, and you didn't post the thread, then it won't show up there.)
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:46 PM on December 6, 2010


FEATURE.
posted by Deathalicious at 6:01 PM on December 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


Two.
posted by Splunge at 6:13 PM on December 6, 2010


Yet another example of the perniciousness of favorites:

there were a couple of favorites already when I reviewed the post. There were no comments, to the best of my knowledge, that accused me of derailing or threadcrapping or just plain being wrong.

My question is this: was I flagged by the MeFi community, or was this purely a moderator's decision? How problematic does a comment have to be, if there are favorites, for moderators to remove the comment?

posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:32 PM on December 6, 2010


Oh man, the last thing I would want is automatic notification when my AskMe comments get deleted by the mods.

I still feel a burning sense of shame over the few comments I've noticed were deleted. I'm sure there are more, but I don't want to know about them.

I assume if there were too many, one of the mods would tap me on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper. Short of that, I'm happy to trot on in my blissful ignorance. DOOP DEE DOO CATS ARE WEIRD DEEDLEY DOO!!!
posted by ErikaB at 6:43 PM on December 6, 2010 [9 favorites]


"Oh, look, Sisyphus! There goes your rock again!"
posted by toodleydoodley at 6:46 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Occasionally, one is able to find a useful book and acquire it by inter-library loan, but the time required to do so is ultimately longer than the process of walking across America, taking up residency in any east-coast town, checking out the book there, then walking back to San Francisco.

That was great, thanks for the laugh :)
posted by mlis at 7:22 PM on December 6, 2010


smock fishpants, people, smock fishpants.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:43 PM on December 6, 2010


Your flood of content-free, flabby crap, gaily larded with attempted whimsy (and studded with half-chewed peanuts) got deleted, and you are sad. I am sorry you are sad. Were you sitting there reloading the page waiting for feedback, when suddenly it was gone?

I know it took you a long time to make that, but this thread is the screech of a three-year-old, in despair because someone flushed before he could show everyone his masterpiece. Wipe up and go to your room.
posted by Sallyfur at 8:07 PM on December 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


"Oh, look, Sisyphus! There goes your rock again!"


Apropos of everything, I only just realized that Santa Claus is Sisyphus. THINK ABOUT IT.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:14 PM on December 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


I know it took you a long time to make that, but this thread is the screech of a three-year-old, in despair because someone flushed before he could show everyone his masterpiece. Wipe up and go to your room.

Wow, that was harsh.
posted by 6550 at 8:25 PM on December 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


Librarian Florence Barnum isn't Latin

This is my favorite thing of the day. Thank you for this.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:54 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Happy to oblige.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:30 PM on December 6, 2010


I think we can compromise and the mods should disemvowel comments instead of deleting them. Everyone loves that.
posted by Justinian at 9:34 PM on December 6, 2010


MetaFilter: Your flood of content-free, flabby crap, gaily larded with attempted whimsy.

(I kind of hope this gets deleted, honestly.)
posted by Zozo at 9:47 PM on December 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


The mods are too nice.

If I was in charge, not only would the comment be deleted, this post would be deleted, and any whiny emails on the subject would earn a reply consisting of nothing more than one link to the FAQ and another to the MeTa search bar.

Be thankful.

Be quiet.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:00 PM on December 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


I mean, if Portland can do exemplary donuts of both vegan and ethically challenged varieties, you'd think we could -- but no.

I think we all know this is the real reason for deletion.

Nobody puts Portland in a corner!
posted by bluedaisy at 10:03 PM on December 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Most times when I have a comment deleted, I'm grateful, and shut the fuck up.

This would have been optimal behavior here too.
posted by unSane at 10:13 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was about 18% over my snark budget.

I am sorry, eschatfische. I intended more of a pokey-nudgey and less of a pointy grar.
posted by Sallyfur at 10:27 PM on December 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


Librarian Florence Barnum isn't Latin

Then why did AskMe suggest this when I was looking for a clever tattoo in Latin?
posted by ActingTheGoat at 10:43 PM on December 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


While I agree that San Francisco is a 7x7 desert of suck when it comes to donuts, it more than makes up for that with its dynamite bootleg Art of Noise remixes.
posted by Lazlo at 10:59 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


You are creating a game where you hope nobody will notice the deletion, but if they do notice they end up creating extra work for everyone.

And plus all those deleted comments I made telling people to eat shit and die were pretty mostly justified.

Why do you fear the poopy-deathy truth that I bring, mods?!?

Does this mean I'm just stuck nursing my prejudices again?

'Ey pally, put those away, this is a family place, y'see?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:33 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ask MetaFilter is an answer machine. You put in a plain question and you get one or more plain answers. All extra parts are noise.

A fantastic answer -- unique and super helpful -- can afford to have fins and chrome and maybe even fuzzy dice, but was your answer, stripped of its trim, fantastic? Or was it all trim? Was it a blog entry in search of a blog?
posted by pracowity at 11:58 PM on December 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


The OP would benefit by watching all the Colin Hunt sketches from The Fast Show, paying special to attention why Hunt ends up getting slapped or punched in most of them.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 4:47 AM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sallyfur: "Your flood of content-free, flabby crap, gaily larded with attempted whimsy (and studded with half-chewed peanuts) got deleted, and you are sad. I am sorry you are sad. Were you sitting there reloading the page waiting for feedback, when suddenly it was gone?

I know it took you a long time to make that, but this thread is the screech of a three-year-old, in despair because someone flushed before he could show everyone his masterpiece. Wipe up and go to your room
"

Pot, kettle.
posted by Splunge at 6:04 AM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I assumed that what... [the] strict policy ... was primarily moderator-driven and didn't actually have substantial community support

eschatfische, I agree you're being a good sport about this!

If you're new-ish here, you may not know that jessamyn and cortex were regular members here for years before Matt employed them as mods. They are both exceedingly bright and level-headed, but they're not eccentrically outside the norm in terms of their beliefs about this site. As far as I can tell, most of their agenda comes from observing and participating here for a long, long time -- and seeing what works and what doesn't.

Which is not my way of saying "Don't ever question anything they do, because they always know best." I'm just pointing out that, from my perspective of having been here since 2001 (fuck, I'm old), there doesn't seem to be an us-vs-them thing going on. To me, it seems more like the inmates are running the asylum.
posted by grumblebee at 6:30 AM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I am sad I missed this thread when it first went live.

If you're new-ish here, you may not know that jessamyn and cortex were regular members here for years before Matt employed them as mods.

If only there were a way to see how long someone has been a member....
posted by cjorgensen at 6:57 AM on December 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


Man, I was just looking forward to getting on Sallyfur's case for really unloading on eschatfische (as an introduction to mentioning that it's awfully crummy to use a thread like this, however ill-considered it might have been to create, to jump up and down on someone who has very politely stated waaaay upthread that he accepts that the policy he had contention with represents a general community preference, not just moderator activism... I know it's a long thread, you know, it's not that hard though to look at the author's comment history in Metatalk, oh look, you've got all of 4 comments to sift through).

And then I scroll down and see that Sallyfur has already said she* was sorry for going over the top and now I have to practice what I preach, and be all like, good job, sister. Or possibly "owl-brother".

Which gets me to my point which is the REAL problem around here, which is not over-moderation but under-moderation and the resultant syndrome of my constantly having to practice what I preach, which can be quite a trick if you've gone ahead and written a bunch of stupid, contradictory things over the years. That Walt Whitman schtick about being large and containing multitudes is only going to get you so far. All the time now I find myself about to say something awful to someone and then I'm all like, oh shit, did I at some point do exactly what I'm about to slag this person off for, and what if someone remembers it, and then they'll link to it and I will look like a damn fool. It's a real problem.

*okay I'm just guessing at Sallyfur's gender her since what she actually put in the gender box on her profile is "I Like Owls", which is, like, I don't even know. Deep.
posted by nanojath at 7:38 AM on December 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


If I was in charge, not only would the comment be deleted, this post would be deleted, and any whiny emails on the subject would earn a reply consisting of nothing more than one link to the FAQ and another to the MeTa search bar.

I wish I could do that with some of my users. It would make my job eleventy million times easier.
posted by winna at 7:55 AM on December 7, 2010


While we're asking for ridiculous ponies

People here often pretend to be asking for a pony, but what they're actually asking for is a pony and trap.

When my comments get deleted, the last thing I want is a certificate from the mods as an award to testify to my profound shame.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:06 AM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


eschatfische wrote: ...the overall quality of communications on the site are diminished.

The last sentence of your MeTa post sums up the entire issue at hand, and you need to re-read it, understand it and take it to heart.

As others have pointed out, eschatfische, what you were doing did not contribute to the overall quality of communication of Ask. Long winded, over-reaching attempts at humor aren't what Ask is for. Even if you're actually answering the question it's really pushing it to inject that much editorial bias into an answer. Even if you're the wittiest bastard in the world you're still injecting noise into the thread. I've probably had over a dozen comments-that-weren't-answers deleted from Ask and I agree with them all.

And then you do it here in the main post and in several replies - way too much text and not enough communication. The points you're trying to discuss or make aren't so nuanced that they need this much exposition or overthinking.

And when someone like me - who is known for bloviating and excess verbiage - sees your comments and thinks "Wow, that's a lot of text... yet they don't actually seem to be saying anything..." you should probably heed that as a warning sign.

Anyway. Less is more. Quantity is not quality. And relax. Don't try so hard.
posted by loquacious at 8:21 AM on December 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Pony Flags
posted by galadriel at 11:20 AM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Can I have a pony and pie?
posted by mareli at 12:39 PM on December 7, 2010


Leave the pony. Take the pie.

/Clemenza
posted by Splunge at 1:32 PM on December 7, 2010


Drop the chalupa.
posted by Gator at 1:58 PM on December 7, 2010


Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family.
Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars,
compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good
health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed
interest mortage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your
friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a
three-piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics.
Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning.
Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing
game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose
rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable
home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up
brats you spawned to replace yourself.

Choose your future.

Choose life.

Choose Bob's Donut & Pastry Shop.
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:42 PM on December 7, 2010


I choo-choo-choose you, sarge.
posted by fixedgear at 4:40 PM on December 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


do you now ?


Anyway, kudos to the mods - I hadnt actually thought that they have to placate hordes of bamsticks like myself every day without turning up at their front door.
posted by sgt.serenity at 6:23 PM on December 7, 2010


Well, of course you think it isn't disrespectful and are defending it. That's what disrespectful people do.
posted by gjc at 6:30 PM on December 7, 2010


San Francisco's libraries are great. Seriously. The main library isn't to everyone's liking, but it's full of great books, full of fantastic exhibits, and full of life. The branch libraries are terrific too. Interlibrary loan is kind of problematic, maybe, depending on what you're looking for, but they still work hard and do their best to get you what you need 9 times out of 10. And consider joining the Mechanics Institute Library if you're so down on the public library system there. The building is magnificent, the library dates from 1854 and is the oldest library on the west coast, the collection is stupendously diverse, and you're bound to feel wonderful just walking through the doors. The cost for membership is $95/year, which is less than the cost of three Starbucks venti whatevers per month.

/end of shill
posted by blucevalo at 9:12 PM on December 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


San Francisco: Despite appearances, not perfect. Tourists beware especially.
posted by rhizome at 10:07 PM on December 7, 2010


One of the things I like about SF is that it's not perfect. If I want to go somewhere perfect I'll go to Disney World. SF is a place where you can drink too much and piss yourself and your friends will just shrug and laugh. And hand you a towel.

I mean, so I hear.

PS Don't try that at Disney World; drinks are horribly expensive (worse than San Francisco!).
posted by Mister_A at 6:43 AM on December 9, 2010


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