Concerning my Mark Madoff obituary post December 11, 2010 4:00 PM   Subscribe

Concerning my Mark Madoff obituary post.

Postroad and Burhanistan had things to say.
posted by Joe Beese to MetaFilter-Related at 4:00 PM (248 comments total)

Burhanistan, why not?
posted by zarq at 4:03 PM on December 11, 2010


Surely this is all Obama's fault.
posted by special-k at 4:03 PM on December 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't know that I read postroad's comment the same way you did, Joe. It seemed like he was genuinely thanking you. But maybe my sarcasm detector is busted.
posted by orville sash at 4:07 PM on December 11, 2010


I understand that the death of the relative of a public figure might have your guard up, Joe, but you could have waited more than eleven minutes and a dozen comments before determining that one complaint about the post was derailing the thread.
posted by ardgedee at 4:11 PM on December 11, 2010


Jesus, Joe, never drag your own ass into Metatalk. Come on, you know this by now.
posted by mediareport at 4:11 PM on December 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


Postroad and Burhanistan had things to say

But I think Postroad liked it. What's the problem there; didn't he like it in the approved manner?
posted by octobersurprise at 4:12 PM on December 11, 2010


Burhanistan is a troll. Flag his comments and move on, maybe.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:15 PM on December 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


This struck me as Random Newsfeed Filter. I mean if I'd skim off the cream of my BBC "Latest Headlines", I'd be able to make a post every day.
posted by Namlit at 4:15 PM on December 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


And what makes Burhanistan a troll, Blazecock? His saying that perhaps this isn't the best sort of post to have on MetaFilter? I mean, probably he should have flagged and moved on, or come here, but just because he posted a comment in a thread doesn't make him bad for having done so.

Are we not allowed to say we don't like things without it becoming trolling?
posted by Rory Marinich at 4:19 PM on December 11, 2010


--Burhanistan is a troll.--

Objecting to the post is not trolling. I tend to agree; although I don't care enough to call for its removal.
posted by peacay at 4:20 PM on December 11, 2010


And what makes Burhanistan a troll, Blazecock?

Chronic threadshitting, including, but not limited to, comments like this.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:21 PM on December 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


It was Burhanistan from the future, and he was referring to this post.
posted by chinston at 4:22 PM on December 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


Postroad tends to confuse me (not as much as clavdivs, but still). Burhanistan I can at least make sense of, and in this case I agree with them.
posted by Dumsnill at 4:23 PM on December 11, 2010


I enjoy Burhanistan's thoughtful contributions to the site. Absolutely not a troll. Also, citing the same comment in a thread about said comment does not equal supporting information.
posted by Existential Dread at 4:23 PM on December 11, 2010 [10 favorites]


1. As a post it was kind of weird and was getting flagged at a pretty solid clip. I've deleted it.
2. People who don't think a post should be on metafilter should flag that post and move on.
3. People who have a problem with comments in a post should likewise FIAMO.
4. If you want to start a metatalk discussion about something, use your fucking words and address the issue you're starting the metatalk about. This coy cutesy framing does not make these sorts of things work well.
5. Good god I'm sick of people calling each other trolls. Again with the using your words. Describe specific behavior explicitly that you have a problem with if you think there's a problem.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:25 PM on December 11, 2010 [52 favorites]


The post is now deleted. Derails are mounting. My "this will wendell" radar is pinging loudly. Can we close this up now, before anyone leaves in a big unnecessary huff?
posted by googly at 4:26 PM on December 11, 2010


There's no reason for that to be posted; for one thing it's all over the news, and for another, what is there to say other than "suicide is always a shame" vs "nothing is too bad for that evil family"? It's not like the guy had a body of life work or a personal legacy we can look over, all there is to this story is pain and bad feelings, and gawking and soapboxing, all the way around. Blech.
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:29 PM on December 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


MetaTalk: Use Your Fucking Words!
posted by Mick at 4:30 PM on December 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sorry cortex. I didn't mean to open up the portal when I posted eariler.
posted by Sailormom at 4:30 PM on December 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Good god I'm sick of people calling each other trolls.

SERIOUSLY. It's not a synonym for "person I really dislike." There are a number of people around here whose posting habits I don't much care for, but that doesn't make them trolls.
posted by Gator at 4:32 PM on December 11, 2010 [9 favorites]


> Postroad and Burhanistan had things to say.

Uhh, if you're unhappy with people commenting, perhaps Metafilter isn't the right place to share information?
posted by desuetude at 4:32 PM on December 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


There must be some MetaTalk law where the long and ranty posts don't have any supporting links, and the posts with supporting links are poorly written.
posted by yaymukund at 4:32 PM on December 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


This post was deleted for the following reason: This feels kind of out of the blue; I realize "gawk at awful person's son's death" isn't the intent but Mark hasn't exactly been on the radar and I'm not sure what a post about his suicide is supposed to be for. -- cortex

By way of addressing your puzzlement, I just asked Mrs. Beese why, in a nutshell, she had thought this news worth alerting me to this morning.

"The whole thing is like a Greek tragedy," she said.

Basically what the last three comments in the thread said before you deleted it.
posted by Joe Beese at 4:33 PM on December 11, 2010 [8 favorites]


No good reason for that thread to be deleted. What a shame.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:33 PM on December 11, 2010 [8 favorites]


If you want to start a metatalk discussion about something, use your fucking words and address the issue you're starting the metatalk about. This coy cutesy framing does not make these sorts of things work well.

I didn't want to start a MetaTalk discussion. Some of the commenters in my post did. But since they did not do so, I did so for them - by way of trying to keep them from shitting in my thread.

If you think my framing would have been improved by saying, "Please shit here instead of in my thread", I'll remember for that for next time.
posted by Joe Beese at 4:37 PM on December 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


> Burhanistan, why not?

I think LobsterMitten said it well. As for me, I should've followed cortex's second point. As for cortex's fifth point, Mr. Pileon harbors a nasty grudge, and that's his loss. I contribute in good faith here and while I may veer into gripey territory at times it's pretty clear that I'm not a troll. Have a nice evening.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:38 PM on December 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


Life is not a Greek tragedy, and the public interest and reportage strikes me as rubbernecking at some poor soul's suicide. Schadenfreude is kinda gross in this context.
posted by Existential Dread at 4:39 PM on December 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


No good reason for that thread to be deleted.

Newsfilter?
Not the best of the web?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:40 PM on December 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


I didn't want to start a MetaTalk discussion. Some of the commenters in my post did.

Bullshit. Some of the commenters in your thread failed to move on when they ought to have, and that's basically it. There did not seem to be any kind of fomenting policy discussion in there; flagging their comments and moving on yourself would have been wholly sufficient.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:42 PM on December 11, 2010 [6 favorites]


As for cortex's fifth point, Mr. Pileon harbors a nasty grudge, and that's his loss.

Burhanistan does not participate in good faith. He is a troll. The only loss is his continued presence here.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:43 PM on December 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Well, if it then is like a Greek tragedy, I guess it would be good to get a specific angle up front, so that the discussion does not first turn into a rubberneck contest. Like: how do you think it is like a Greek tragedy, what does that imply, etc. Or whatever else. "Here's stuff. Discuss." really only works for single vids with wind-shattered ducklings (perhaps not even that).
posted by Namlit at 4:46 PM on December 11, 2010


4. If you want to start a metatalk discussion about something, use your fucking words and address the issue you're starting the metatalk about. This coy cutesy framing does not make these sorts of things work well.

Maybe it makes sense to close this thread, then?
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 4:50 PM on December 11, 2010


Well, if it then is like a Greek tragedy, I guess it would be good to get a specific angle up front...

Another word for that is "editorializing".

In any case, I would think that the title "Mark Madoff's Tragedy" gives one a reasonably fair indication of where the writer will be coming from.
posted by Joe Beese at 4:54 PM on December 11, 2010


Stop calling people trolls that you don't like. People may be snarky jerkoffs but if snarky jerk-offery were prohibited, this place would be fucking tumbleweeds. Also, BP, you continually sanctimoniously call people out for what you deem to be trollish behavior. Seriously, it's tired, stale, and your behavior in some of your hotbutton issue posts shouts "troll" far louder than anything said in that post.
posted by proj at 4:54 PM on December 11, 2010 [13 favorites]


Burhanistan does not participate in good faith. He is a troll. The only loss is his continued presence here.

Dude, you're being an Internet ass. You've been on MetaFilter longer than I am; surely you don't think that users hating on other users is a sign of trolling. Are you really determined to think that Burhanistan is a malevolent user just because he snarks a little? That seems a little... silly.
posted by Rory Marinich at 4:56 PM on December 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


> I enjoy Burhanistan's thoughtful contributions to the site. Absolutely not a troll.

Absolutely, and while "flag it and move on" is always useful advice, none among us follows it consistently, and certainly not BP. To claim that saying "This really shouldn't be a post here" is trolling is just plain bizarre.
posted by languagehat at 4:56 PM on December 11, 2010 [13 favorites]


So, hows the weather round your way? We're supposed to get a bunch of snow tomorrow but those damn weather people always get those things wrong. Still, I'm running out to buy milk and toilet paper before it hits just to be sure.
posted by octothorpe at 4:57 PM on December 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


Holy Jebus Mackerel! I know it's Saturday, but what the hell is going on?

That post was awful. Someone's death, especially a suicide, shouldn't be a conversation starter. A good post could be made around his suicide, but the framing would have to be very careful to not come across as: "Hey, look at that! This guy died! Oh wow, isn't that something!"
posted by Kattullus at 4:57 PM on December 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


So, hows the weather round your way?

Fine, except for the damn chemtrails.
posted by AkzidenzGrotesk at 4:59 PM on December 11, 2010 [8 favorites]


I know it's Saturday, but what the hell is going on?

People are being dicks to each other in metatalk. What else would be going on?
posted by dersins at 4:59 PM on December 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


That post was awful. Someone's death, especially a suicide, shouldn't be a conversation starter.

And when in the last two years did you arrive at that opinion?
posted by Joe Beese at 5:01 PM on December 11, 2010


Burhanistan does not participate in good faith. He is a troll. The only loss is his continued presence here.

Jeez, BP, stop being such a troll.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:01 PM on December 11, 2010 [11 favorites]


dersins: People are being dicks to each other in metatalk. What else would be going on?

But it's not the holidays yet. We're not supposed to have a sturm und drang hellfire flamewar over nothing for at least another two weeks.
posted by Kattullus at 5:03 PM on December 11, 2010


It comes earlier each year, huh.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:03 PM on December 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Burhanistan does not participate in good faith.

I'm really not trying to fight, nor am I trying to make you the bad guy, Blazecock. I just know from experience that changing others' behavior is impossible, and I think if you benefit from this, others might benefit with you.

Your example makes nobody look good, certainly not exclusively but definitely including yourself for bringing it up. It would be great to see more people getting along: when you see a goad, avoid it, or at least stop running at it. Maybe you're a moth to a flame, I know I get bent out of shape over loads of different things, but when you see someone who you think is making things worse for everybody, don't join in with him. If you do, you all but guarantee the worst.
posted by breezeway at 5:04 PM on December 11, 2010


Holy Jebus Mackerel! I know it's Saturday, but what the hell is going on?

I said I was sorry.
posted by Sailormom at 5:05 PM on December 11, 2010


"The whole thing is like a Greek tragedy,"

Which Greek tragedy in particular, I wonder.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:05 PM on December 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


And when in the last two years did you arrive at that opinion?

Don't be disingenuous, Joe. I know you're smart enough to know the difference between the death of a famous, revered writer with a large, complex body of work and many thousands of dedicated fans, and the death of a non-public figure whose only claim to notability is that his father famously stole a lot of money.
posted by dersins at 5:06 PM on December 11, 2010 [13 favorites]


It's not a Greek tragedy. Not unless there was a goat involved.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:07 PM on December 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: I know you're smart enough.
posted by Namlit at 5:08 PM on December 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Stop calling people trolls that you don't like

His "contributions" in at least two threads today consist of dropped turds. We've had countless Metatalk threads that establish what threadshitting is, and that is precisely what Burhanistan is doing today, even if you feel the need to shoot the messengers.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:08 PM on December 11, 2010


Which Greek tragedy in particular, I wonder.

The one where the I dropped the Gyro. God I cried and cried.
posted by nomadicink at 5:09 PM on December 11, 2010 [18 favorites]


Don't be disingenuous, Joe. I know you're smart enough to know the difference between the death of a famous, revered writer with a large, complex body of work and many thousands of dedicated fans, and the death of a non-public figure whose only claim to notability is that his father famously stole a lot of money.

It's different when the suicide is only notable for their parent, you say.
posted by Joe Beese at 5:10 PM on December 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Threadshitting does not equal trolling, even if you'd like for it to be otherwise. We've also had countless MetaTalk comments on your bad behavior, even if you don't want to hear that.
posted by proj at 5:11 PM on December 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I didn't want to start a MetaTalk discussion. Some of the commenters in my post did. But since they did not do so, I did so for them - by way of trying to keep them from shitting in my thread.

For future reference, please don't do that, and certainly not like this. It's strange and it winds up just drawing attention to bad comments that we might have otherwise deleted if we'd seen them in time [and I agree with cortex, I think only Burhanistan was being snarky and I think he needs to learn to flag it and move on]. MetaTalk threads take mod time and attention and we'd rather not have to spend some of that time and attention figuring out what you're talking about.

I'm off doing something this Saturday evening. I don't see much of a mod angle here. I don't think Burhan is a troll though he could probably do better at not being snarky when it's not appropriate.

And when in the last two years did you arrive at that opinion?

I'm aware that it stings when your posts are removed or disliked, but comment trawling through someone's post history so that you can make snarky comments based on something they said years ago is also one of those "not so great actually" things here. Seriously, please stop doing that.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:11 PM on December 11, 2010 [19 favorites]


Jesus Joe.
posted by Sailormom at 5:11 PM on December 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


If you think my framing would have been improved by saying, "Please shit here instead of in my thread", I'll remember for that for next time.

I think it could be improved even further. Maybe something like this:

"I posted an obit to the front page. Some people don't like it and are criticizing it in the thread. Please discuss your objects here instead of there, so that the thread can keep on topic. Thanks."
posted by grumblebee at 5:14 PM on December 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


mmm...comment stalking. Not creepy at all, Joe.
posted by dersins at 5:14 PM on December 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm starting to realize why some people occasionally dislike Joe's comments.

(I still love many of your posts and comments, though, but fuck.)
posted by Dumsnill at 5:15 PM on December 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


We've also had countless MetaTalk comments on your bad behavior, even if you don't want to hear that.

Years ago. So for all the talk about grudge-holding, perhaps you should look in a mirror.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:15 PM on December 11, 2010


> Someone's death, especially a suicide, shouldn't be a conversation starter.

I totally agree. Etiquette dictates that one should open a conversation innocuously.

Goofus: "Haw haw! Your son died funny!"
Gallant: "Hey, Mr. Hamshaw, awfully fine weather today, awfully fine. Say, it's a shame your son offed himself with a Shriner's go-kart this morning."
posted by ardgedee at 5:16 PM on December 11, 2010 [10 favorites]


Not interested in getting involved in the pissing contest going on here. I wanted to comment on a post in that thread but didn't get a chance before the thread got shut down:
Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. [Exodus 34:7]
I generally don't like using Scripture to make an argument but could not let this stand and offer another view from a nearby source:
The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them. [Ezekiel 18:20]
It's unfortunate and sad that Mark Madoff seemed to take the former view, especially if it's true that he really didn't know what his father was up to until it was too late to remove himself from the situation. Hopefully his children will eventually be able to live under the latter view.
posted by fuse theorem at 5:16 PM on December 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


Come to think of it, we should probably make a rule that people can't open a MeTa thread about their own post if it's still open.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:17 PM on December 11, 2010 [10 favorites]


Joe Beese: And when in the last two years did you arrive at that opinion?

I appreciate that you may not have any particular associations with suicide and therefore may not fully understand how loaded a subject matter that is for people. Or you do, and may just enjoy riling people up in debate, I don't know. So let me be as absolutely clear about this as I can. Reading or hearing about suicide can ruin the day for people who've had close friends or family end their own lives. Treating it lightly, treating it as a story, is not to be done. In the case that you dredge up from my commenting history, we have an individual who many here felt they had a connection with, which is manifestly not the case with Bernie Madoff. That old post was an opportunity for people in the community to grieve. Your post was an attempt to start a conversation using the suicide of a man few if any MeFites know much about. You may not understand the difference, but there is one and it's quite important.
posted by Kattullus at 5:18 PM on December 11, 2010 [33 favorites]


>> Come to think of it, we should probably make a rule that people can't open a MeTa thread about their own post if it's still open.

I was thinking the same thing. There outta be a law.
posted by lampshade at 5:18 PM on December 11, 2010


Years ago. So for all the talk about grudge-holding, perhaps you should look in a mirror.

You honestly think it was years ago that there were MetaTalk comments about your posting behavior? Jesus fucking christ, you are a troll.
posted by proj at 5:20 PM on December 11, 2010


Nobody's a troll. Stop it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:21 PM on December 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm aware that it stings when your posts are removed or disliked, but comment trawling through someone's post history so that you can make snarky comments based on something they said years ago is also one of those "not so great actually" things here.

Except what stung in this case was neither of those things. What stung was Kattullus' hypocrisy.

He said, "Your post is bad for this reason."

My rebuttal evidence that it is not bad is his own participation in such posts.
posted by Joe Beese at 5:21 PM on December 11, 2010


I participated in your post, Joe Beese, even though I thought it was bad, and flagged it. I figured if it wasn't going to be deleted (which I figured it would be), I wanted to help set the tone for the kind of post I wanted it to be, instead of the kind of post I suspected it would become.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:24 PM on December 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


Isn't it a bit old to call each other names? I thought this was an intellectual gathering. And Joe Beese, did you even read Kattullus' last comment? No? That stings.
posted by Namlit at 5:26 PM on December 11, 2010


I didn't want to start a MetaTalk discussion. Some of the commenters in my post did. But since they did not do so, I did so for them - by way of trying to keep them from shitting in my thread.

Uh, you know you posted on the blue and not the green, right? Comments which could, I suppose, arguably be considered "off-topic" are neverthless not forbidden. And damn, with the me my me me me. It's your post, but it's not YOUR discussion.


Burhanistan does not participate in good faith. He is a troll. The only loss is his continued presence here.

Blazecock, speaking as someone who has defended you when other MeFites have jumped all over your ass just like this, please knock it off.
posted by desuetude at 5:26 PM on December 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


i'm a troll
posted by shakespeherian at 5:27 PM on December 11, 2010 [7 favorites]


i'm a troll No you're not. GRAR
posted by Namlit at 5:29 PM on December 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


That old post was an opportunity for people in the community to grieve.

As was this one, for 8 commenters.

For a while, anyway.
posted by Joe Beese at 5:29 PM on December 11, 2010


Since I'm a nosey person and my curiosity is piqued, I'm just going to come right out and ask: What's the deal with the antagonism between you two, Blazecock and Burhanistan? It's obviously something more than just the few examples provided. It seems like there's a deep-seated history there. What sparked it, and is there any way it can be resolved?

I know I could have MeMailed to ask in private, and I hope I haven't angered or upset either of you by asking here (and you are free, of course, to tell me to mind my own beeswax) but it seems like it's all of our business because it affects the site in general, and the mood of individual threads in particular, when you go at each other in front of the rest of us.
posted by amyms at 5:32 PM on December 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Every time I want to get angry with Joe Beese, I look at his profile picture and immediately start liking the guy and want to buy him a beer.
posted by marxchivist at 5:32 PM on December 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Jesus fucking christ, you are a troll.

And you are an obnoxious prat. I'm sorry I wasted my time.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:35 PM on December 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Didn't Mark Madoff actually turn his father in to the authorities? I thought he was a little more of a public figure than just some guy who happened to have a bad guy for a father.
posted by Gator at 5:38 PM on December 11, 2010


amyms, I have no idea what the history is, but I can't imagine any good will be done by airing it here.
posted by LobsterMitten at 5:40 PM on December 11, 2010


That does it. I'm out of here.
posted by loquacious at 5:41 PM on December 11, 2010


Burhanistan is a truly excellent contributor to Metafilter. If he were to stop posting it would be a huge loss.

I say this despite hating calls for deletion of a post within that post.

I don't think the Mark Madoff post should have been deleted.
posted by jamjam at 5:45 PM on December 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Burhanistan is a truly excellent contributor to Metafilter. If he were to stop posting it would be a huge loss.

Agreed.
posted by Joe Beese at 5:46 PM on December 11, 2010


Kattullus was not being a hypocrite, Joe. His post said it better than I could, but I'll add that you're better than this. Please drop it.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:52 PM on December 11, 2010


God where is clav-divs when we need him?

Btw. Kattullus is also a truly excellent contributor to MetaFilter. And one could go on.
Anyone for beers, already? It's getting late over here.
posted by Namlit at 5:52 PM on December 11, 2010


           _______________
         _/_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_\_
       _/_/               \_\_
______/_/       a troll      \_\______



My work is done here.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 5:56 PM on December 11, 2010 [6 favorites]


Here's a useful rule of thumb: if you want a fight, respond to the fighty comments. If you want a conversation, respond to the conversational ones.

There are all sorts of corollaries to this, including that you show yourself to be uninterested in conversation when you only respond to other fighters.
posted by breezeway at 5:57 PM on December 11, 2010 [9 favorites]


Wait, did someone say "beers"?
posted by loquacious at 5:57 PM on December 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Kattullus We're not supposed to have a sturm und drang hellfire flamewar over nothing for at least another two weeks

Beginning to look a lot like Götterdämmerung!
posted by mlis at 6:03 PM on December 11, 2010


Kattullus was not being a hypocrite, Joe.

He wrote:

.. we have an individual who many here felt they had a connection with, which is manifestly not the case with Bernie Madoff. That old post was an opportunity for people in the community to grieve. Your post was an attempt to start a conversation using the suicide of a man few if any MeFites know much about.

Many people here had a connection with marine biologist Nicholas Hughes? They knew a lot about him?

When it's different because it's someone you like, that's hypocrisy.
posted by Joe Beese at 6:06 PM on December 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


POSTY. RULES.
posted by clavdivs at 6:08 PM on December 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think it was a notable enough death to warrant a post on the blue. He was a public figure because of what his dad did, but he was a public figure. He and his brother did turn their father in to the feds. I know every suicide is tragic, but this one was tragic in a unique way and very high profile. There is a good amount of conversation to have on the topic.

Reading or hearing about suicide can ruin the day for people who've had close friends or family end their own lives.

You can say that for any cause of death.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:08 PM on December 11, 2010 [6 favorites]


I have no idea what the history is, but I can't imagine any good will be done by airing it here.

You're probably right, LobsterMitten. It's just frustrating seeing the skirmishes pop up out of nowhere, and thinking "What the hell's going on?"

A best-case scenario would be a cathartic examination of the situation, ending with big hugs all around, but the chances of that happening are probably infinitesimal and I shouldn't have asked.
posted by amyms at 6:09 PM on December 11, 2010


Jesus Christ, Joe. That's just sad. Walkin' away now.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:11 PM on December 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Digg comments on this made me want to puke, so at least I'm glad to see a more reasoned response here. Suicide is a final, devastating symptom of mental illness regardless of what else has been happening in the person's life/past.
posted by sweetkid at 6:12 PM on December 11, 2010


I ate goat tacos from a taco truck that was parked under a bridge this afternoon. Basically this means I am the troll king and you are all my minions.

Bring me cake, minions.
posted by elizardbits at 6:20 PM on December 11, 2010 [7 favorites]


> Come to think of it, we should probably make a rule that people can't open a MeTa thread about their own post if it's still open.

I was thinking the same thing. There outta be a law.


That's exactly what this place needs. More rules.
posted by Marla Singer at 6:22 PM on December 11, 2010


That's exactly what this place needs. More rules.

Man, they're still enforcing that No Marla Singer You Can't Bugger Off Somewhere Else rule?
I HATE that rule!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:31 PM on December 11, 2010


Calling people trolls makes the baby billy goat sad.
posted by amyms at 6:35 PM on December 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


I've posted very little in the 5 years since I registered. I've lurked a lot, and I've seen a lot of people "bugger off." There are good reasons for both of those. But it's Saturday night, there are definitely better things to do right now (for me anyway), so I will indeed bugger off for tonight. Cheers!
posted by Marla Singer at 6:37 PM on December 11, 2010


Come to think of it, we should probably make a rule that people can't open a MeTa thread about their own post if it's still open.

How about a rule, you can't open a MeTa about your own thread period. If there is a controversial deletion someone else can stand up for you, otherwise suck it up.
posted by shothotbot at 6:41 PM on December 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


so are they or aren't they still enforcing the Marla Singer rule? Do we need a new MeTa?
posted by Kwine at 6:42 PM on December 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Joe, seriously: do you think you are going to get any satisfaction by doing a GOTCHA on Cortex? Do you really think any substantial body of participants thinks metafilter would be improved by an ironclad, consistent set of rules and five tiered decision matrix to decide what goes and what stays? If so, you need to pay more attention. If not, what is your point?

You have been here a long time. You know the deal.
posted by shothotbot at 6:45 PM on December 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I kind of thought there was stuff to say, but I wasn't riled by the deletion. The MeTa callout isn't horrible, just kind of odd. If only everybody could chill out a little. My meds must be just about right.
posted by theora55 at 6:47 PM on December 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Burhanistan does not participate in good faith. He is a troll. The only loss is his continued presence here.

Good grief... get a couple thousand favorites and this MetaFilter shit goes to your head!
posted by abc123xyzinfinity at 6:54 PM on December 11, 2010


Burhanistan does not participate in good faith. He is a troll. The only loss is his continued presence here.

Blaze on, cockpile.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 6:58 PM on December 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


What's the difference between an apple crumble?
posted by ob at 7:03 PM on December 11, 2010


Every time I want to get angry with Joe Beese, I look at his profile picture and immediately start liking the guy and want to buy him a beer.

I've actually drank beer with Kattullus (although he failed to furnish Brennevin), and he was a good guy, so Joe is out of line.
posted by jonmc at 7:06 PM on December 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


cortex : Good god I'm sick of people calling each other trolls. Again with the using your words. Describe specific behavior explicitly that you have a problem with if you think there's a problem.

Thank you! Good to see someone other than me getting annoyed at the casual redefining of a variety of well-established terms.

Troll doesn't mean "someone I disagree with", or even "someone who posted something pretty damned ugly". It means someone who posts solely to get a response out of people. Reflecting on its derivation from a fishing term, trolling doesn't mean your engine belches out foul black diesel fumes; it just means dragging a line behind the boat in the hopes of randomly getting the fish to bite at your hook.

As a possible better, slightly more generic term, a few folks around here might try "flamebait", though even that still implies an intent to cause argument rather than simply making a point in an argumentative manner, not the same thing.

Or more realistically - Most uses I see of such language here, you could replace simply with "I disagree", and have a far more accurate statement. ;)



ob : What's the difference between an apple crumble?

Oatmeal.
posted by pla at 7:52 PM on December 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


> > Come to think of it, we should probably make a rule that people can't open a MeTa thread about their own post if it's still open.

I was thinking the same thing. There outta be a law.

That's exactly what this place needs. More rules.
posted by Marla Singer

This chould be judicial, like the rules of appellate court. guessing but one cannot open an appeal or open a new case using the same case at the same time. (i think) Since a verdict is not rendered in the first case, the second case would depend on first case outcome to proceed in any sort of rational manner in the second case. to warrant an appeal or greivance in appellate court suggests a verdict has been renedered about the case. are you appealing joe? because the supreme court is another analogy.
Postoad is wise. B@#$%^&x58#N not a troll.
and saying that about kattullus is not nice. no. this is clear. not nice or fair.

let the fun commence.
posted by clavdivs at 8:00 PM on December 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


POSTY i cannot nor every have been able to type 'Postroad'
posted by clavdivs at 8:03 PM on December 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Come to think of it, we should probably make a rule that people can't open a MeTa thread about their own post if it's still open.

Hmm, while it sounds nice in light of this particular MeTa post, would a blanket rule like this truly be helpful. Has the situation of authors making MeTa posts about their still live Ask or Meta posts always been negative?

I'm not saying it's a bad idea, but I'm leery of this suggestion at this stage and think it needs to be thought out a bit more by the community.
posted by nomadicink at 8:15 PM on December 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


What's the deal with the antagonism between you two, Blazecock and Burhanistan? It's obviously something more than just the few examples provided. It seems like there's a deep-seated history there. What sparked it, and is there any way it can be resolved?

Maybe Burhanistan has an Android phone?
posted by TrialByMedia at 8:25 PM on December 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


Troll doesn't mean "someone I disagree with", or even "someone who posted something pretty damned ugly". It means someone who posts solely to get a response out of people.

For Example: ParisParamus. Now there was a first class Troll.
Wow, time flies-- has it really been more than four years since he was finally banned? I remember the Golden Age of Trolling like it was yesterday!
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 8:25 PM on December 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Bring me cake, minions.

What kind of cake?
posted by blucevalo at 8:27 PM on December 11, 2010


Reflecting on its derivation from a fishing term

Whenever people said this I thought they were confusing it with trawling (I know nothing about fishing). Then I looked it up and you're right.

And now, because I have learned something from the internet, I will turn back into a pumpkin.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:43 PM on December 11, 2010


The airing of grievances began early this Festivus.
posted by wv kay in ga at 9:02 PM on December 11, 2010 [8 favorites]


I'm disappointed with the deletion itself. The story is timely and compelling. Many of us among the large general population that lost wealth during this last round of financial shenanigans sometimes wonder how the tiny percentage of people who made out like bandits feel about the whole situation. Do they just sit around their Hampton's mansions chuckling at what a bunch of rubes live in this country? Mark Madoff's suicide supported by the Daily Beast article is rich with possiblities of insight into that social strata. Like did you notice that Mark Madoff's wife changed her own and her children's name to MORGAN? Like that's much of an improvement? The Madoff family's fall is interesting, this suicide speaks volumes and the story has far wider implications beyond one person's death.
posted by telstar at 9:04 PM on December 11, 2010 [6 favorites]


Has the situation of authors making MeTa posts about their still live Ask or Meta posts always been negative?

For the most part, in my recollection, yeah there's often some sort of "hey pay attention to my post/question!" aspect which is often not that useful. Otherwise, just comment in your own thread. My comment wasn't a serious "yes, let's do this as policy" suggestion but an observation that if you've already got a thread open someplace else, maybe opening a MeTa isn't the best use of the tools that are available to you. Consider using flagging, moving on, commenting in your own post, contacting us, etc.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:09 PM on December 11, 2010


I've been following the Mark Madoff story and I think it's interesting. He's not just the son of an awful person, but he was most likely also an awful person who was in on this for awhile, possibly in as bad or worse than Bernie. There were all these sketchy transactions going on just a few days before Bernie got arrested, probably Andrew and Mark funneling money to accounts under their wives' names, knowing their accounts would be frozen soon.

But there are plenty of other places to read about it. It doesn't have to be here.
posted by anniecat at 9:23 PM on December 11, 2010


Yeah...
A headache of Mefites.
posted by edgeways at 9:24 PM on December 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


From the CNN Money link:

Mark and his brother Andrew, both former executives of the firm, as well as their mother Ruth and other family members have been sued for $69 million by the court-appointed trustee in the Madoff asset recovery. Mark and his brother were also the targets of a federal criminal investigation, though they haven't been charged.

Mark Madoff was a public figure, like it or not. Bad deletion, cortex.
posted by mlis at 9:33 PM on December 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


jessamyn: "Come to think of it, we should probably make a rule that people can't open a MeTa thread about their own post if it's still open."

shothotbot: " How about a rule, you can't open a MeTa about your own thread period. If there is a controversial deletion someone else can stand up for you, otherwise suck it up."

I'm against such a policy.

MeTa posts that reference open AskMe posts are not always problematic.

It would also make posts like this one impossible, and prevent people from alerting the community when the subject of a thread they created joins Metafilter and is commenting.

You know, MeTa posts are created all the time which help prevent threads on the Blue from derailing into incoherent arguing. I've created FPPs in MeTa a couple of times for that reason, and they could have easily been for Metafilter posts I had made instead of someone else. That's part of the purpose of MeTa. If some users here have a problem with Joe Beese, I don't think that should translate into the rest of us being punished over it.
posted by zarq at 9:34 PM on December 11, 2010 [7 favorites]


This post was deleted for the following reason: This feels kind of out of the blue; I realize "gawk at awful person's son's death" isn't the intent but Mark hasn't exactly been on the radar and I'm not sure what a post about his suicide is supposed to be for. -- cortex

I've read this reason several times now, and I'm not sure I understand why the Mark Madoff post was deleted. It's an obituary. Obituaries are intended to alert us that someone has died. They explain the circumstances of the death, and why that person is thought to be notable. Are additional justifications beyond that now going to be required when we create an obituary thread?

I've spent the last few days working on a new Obituaries page on the Wiki. There are probably about 100 obits listed there now. When I'm done, it will probably contain between 600 and 700 obits. A few of those were created for people who committed suicide. Many of them were for people who were not widely known. They weren't that famous. But someone found their story interesting. Or at least notable. And a Mefite decided to share it with the group.

Why isn't that enough?
posted by zarq at 9:46 PM on December 11, 2010 [13 favorites]


I'm curious when it started to be OK to talk on the site about who you've killfiled. I thought that was verboten.
posted by enn at 9:48 PM on December 11, 2010


> I'm curious when it started to be OK to talk on the site about who you've killfiled. I thought that was verboten.

This was a lapse on my part. I responded poorly to a hyperbolic sideways jab.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:54 PM on December 11, 2010


jessamyn: "My comment wasn't a serious "yes, let's do this as policy" suggestion but an observation that if you've already got a thread open someplace else, maybe opening a MeTa isn't the best use of the tools that are available to you. Consider using flagging, moving on, commenting in your own post, contacting us, etc."

I posted my comment about it without having seen this. That's fair. I'm glad it's not being seriously considered as a site rule.
posted by zarq at 9:59 PM on December 11, 2010


Are additional justifications beyond that now going to be required when we create an obituary thread?

I think, at least in my mind, the issue is that the deleted post invited quite a bit of speculation regarding the reasons for Mark Madoff's suicide, and such speculation would almost necessarily be distasteful. Typical obituary threads are about celebrating a person's life (or, sometimes, discussing what made a person an asshole), rather than discussion about the cause of death. Because Mark Madoff wasn't much in the public consciousness, the obvious conclusion (aided, perhaps, by the framing of the post) is that he killed himself out of guilt or shame over his family's situation. We don't know that this is the case, but that is almost certainly the direction the thread will take. This is very different from other obit posts or even other posts about a suicide.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:01 PM on December 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Because Mark Madoff wasn't much in the public consciousness

yeah, maybe read some of the links? He was the target of a federal criminal investigation and being sued by the court-appointed trustee.
posted by mlis at 10:08 PM on December 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


I thought that was verboten.

Very, very little is verboten. I consider talking about that stuff obnoxious and would rather people didn't; if you need to use a killfile to keep yourself from reacting badly to someone on the site, by all means use it, but, yes, please don't talk about it because that doesn't really help anything.

Bad deletion, cortex.

At a certain point this needs to be "bad deletion, healthy chunk of mefites who flagged this post for deletion." I'm not going to pass on having responsibility for making the decision to take it down, but this was not some "gosh, I don't like this" fiat thing out of nowhere. It's rare that the whole userbase agrees about anything here, even deletions, and "bad failure to delete" is the inevitable counterpoint if it went the other way.

The post was picking up flags. It did not feel like a great post. There may be a reason to, and a way by which to, make a strong, self-justified post about Mark Madoff killing himself, but this did not seem like it to me or to a bunch of mefites using the correct feedback mechanisms to signal that perception.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:12 PM on December 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


I realize that. That isn't the same thing as being in the public consciousness. If you started a conversation with someone about Madoff, most people would probably not ask you 'Bernie or Mark?'
posted by shakespeherian at 10:13 PM on December 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


This post was deleted for the following reason: This feels kind of out of the blue; I realize "gawk at awful person's son's death" isn't the intent but Mark hasn't exactly been on the radar and I'm not sure what a post about his suicide is supposed to be for. -- cortex

I've read this reason several times now, and I'm not sure I understand why the Mark Madoff post was deleted


I didn't want to say it directly, but I also think it's a weird deletion. My guess is that cortex didn't really follow the Madoff scandal if he doesn't know who Mark Madoff and Andrew Madoff are, which is fine, some people don't find it compelling. Mark and Andrew have been on the radar. They were actually the ones who turned Madoff in (for reasons that aren't entirely clear, aside from saving their own asses from going to jail). There's been movement in figuring out what happened in the Madoff case. It didn't end with just Bernie going to jail.

I guess it would have been a good idea to ask Joe Beese why he thought Mark's suicide was notable if cortex didn't know why he important before deleting it altogether.

Because Mark Madoff wasn't much in the public consciousness, the obvious conclusion (aided, perhaps, by the framing of the post) is that he killed himself out of guilt or shame over his family's situation.

He was in the public consciousness. It was actually his situation, as in, he played a huge part in it.
posted by anniecat at 10:15 PM on December 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


If you started a conversation with someone about Madoff, most people would probably not ask you 'Bernie or Mark?'

You'd sort of be wasting your time talking to that person about the Madoff scandal, then, wouldn't you? Sounds like they don't know all that much about it and aren't really interested in it.
posted by anniecat at 10:17 PM on December 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Whenever someone's fighty beef is getting you down simply say "Oh Reginald...........................I disagree!"

posted by Existential Dread at 10:26 PM on December 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


He was the target of a federal criminal investigation and being sued by the court-appointed trustee.

But even Joe recognised that most people wouldn't have known his name, since his father Bernie's name appears first in the post. Yes, that line is a quote from the linked article which is titled, "Madoff ruined thousands, including his son". (And, more pointedly, at the top of my browser, "Bernie Madoff's fraud led to son Mark's apparent suicide.)

So even the links lead with Bernie Madoff in articles about Mark Madoff's suicide. Which is why many of us don't think the original post was a good faith discussion of Mark Madoff's life or suicide, but another post about Bernie Madoff and the terrible things that have happened in his life.

And I don't believe the name Mark Madoff has ever been uttered at Metafilter before Joe's deleted obit post.
posted by crossoverman at 10:27 PM on December 11, 2010


Suicide is a final, devastating symptom of mental illness regardless of what else has been happening in the person's life/past.

Often but not necessarily. It's possible for someone to make a rational, sane decision to end his or her own life (terminal or debilitating illness, completely unbearable situations one has no power to change, etc).
posted by Justinian at 10:37 PM on December 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


And I don't believe the name Mark Madoff has ever been uttered at Metafilter before Joe's deleted obit post.

Would a mention of "the two sons, Andrew and Mark" in the original Madoff arrest post count?

Or do the names "Mark" and "Madoff" need to appear consecutively?
posted by Joe Beese at 10:40 PM on December 11, 2010


And I don't believe the name Mark Madoff has ever been uttered at Metafilter before Joe's deleted obit post.


Yes, it has.

Though this is all getting ridiculous. It's pretty clear that some of us are interested how white collar criminals manage to cover their asses in this economy and some people are bored by this scandal after it wasn't on the front page everyday. I'm not really surprised why white collar criminals get off so easily this in country, even though many people here scoff at it, but they easily get bored when it's not news anymore and they often don't figure out how people can cover their asses. People have to kind of be steered through the implications.
posted by anniecat at 10:46 PM on December 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Often but not necessarily. It's possible for someone to make a rational, sane decision to end his or her own life (terminal or debilitating illness, completely unbearable situations one has no power to change, etc).

Agreed on terminal illness, but don't think that was involved here.
posted by sweetkid at 10:49 PM on December 11, 2010


Agreed on terminal illness, but don't think that was involved here.

I think we once had some post on why rich people kill themselves after losing their money? It's like they lose their sense of self-worth or something? They're embarrassed because their friends aren't their friends anymore and they sort of just freefall without any identity safety net.
posted by anniecat at 10:54 PM on December 11, 2010


MLIS: “Mark Madoff was a public figure, like it or not. Bad deletion, cortex.”

anniecat: “Though this is all getting ridiculous. It's pretty clear that some of us are interested how white collar criminals manage to cover their asses in this economy and some people are bored by this scandal after it wasn't on the front page everyday. I'm not really surprised why white collar criminals get off so easily this in country, even though many people here scoff at it, but they easily get bored when it's not news anymore and they often don't figure out how people can cover their asses. People have to kind of be steered through the implications.”

I can't believe you people are defending this shit.

Since when is it okay to have goddamned obit posts for people merely because they were "public figures"?

This guy was a public figure who has been well-hated. He would have been hated on roundly here. We've had a hell of a lot of nasty, mean, hateful, hurtful obituatry posts. Why the flying fuck did we need another one?

anniecat: “I think we once had some post on why rich people kill themselves after losing their money? It's like they lose their sense of self-worth or something? They're embarrassed because their friends aren't their friends anymore and they sort of just freefall without any identity safe.”

You have no fucking clue why this guy killed himself. Neither do I. Seriously, why are you doing this? This is Metafilter, not Gawker. I thought we were more intelligent than to psychoanalyze people we don't fucking know and make all kinds of ridiculous assumptions about who they were and what they fucking went through.

Anybody who knows me here knows I'm no capitalist. I'd like to see Wall Street burn. I have no sympathy for any of them that rots in jail for the rest of their lives. But there are just lines you pay attention to here. I mean, this is a person. A person with a family. A person that had a life. And even if we don't do so out of respect, we at least ought to be intelligent enough to realize that we have no fucking clue what their life was really like.

I might feel a little different if Joe Beese had offered even the tiniest hint of an explanation for that crap post. But he didn't. Not an iota. He felt the information – a CNN news post with links to tabloids added in for flavor – could "stand on its own." It wasn't hard to connect the dots on where lots of people stand on this. I've been watching this whole thread all night in between some hacking, and it's getting very, very hard to avoid the sense that lots of people are actually seeing poetic justice in this. If that's the case, well, whoever feels that way can fuck right off, because crowing about someone's suicide, however quietly you do it, is despicable. And it kind of gets under my skin that Joe Beese feels like it's okay to just flat out imply that he feels that way and then even act as though he has every right to do so on the front page. And anybody who doesn't see that implication in the post is blind.
posted by koeselitz at 11:13 PM on December 11, 2010 [11 favorites]


You have no fucking clue why this guy killed himself. Neither do I. Seriously, why are you doing this? This is Metafilter, not Gawker. I thought we were more intelligent than to psychoanalyze people we don't fucking know and make all kinds of ridiculous assumptions about who they were and what they fucking went through.

I've become immune to comments that are equivalent to written tantrums, because this is Metafilter, which occasionally turns into a daycare center full of screaming babies who jump at the opportunity to seem like paragons of humanity. You know written tantrums? It's a screaming fit characterized by the use of "fucking" as every other word to show extreme discontent. It doesn't really give off the sense that you have a more developed sense of humanity than other people and prove that you have more sensitivity. In the end, you're just being a jerk and an opportunist. It's hard for me to believe you give a crap about this guy, but you're really looking for some pats on the back and confirmation that you're such a nice person. And the way you communicate, so rudely, is proof enough to me that you're just a jerk.
posted by anniecat at 11:45 PM on December 11, 2010 [13 favorites]


anniecat: “And the way you communicate, so rudely, is proof enough to me that you're just a jerk.”

Fine. You want pithy? I don't like it that you and Joe seem to take pleasure in a guy's suicide, and seem utterly uninterested in disabusing anybody of the notion that you do. How's that?
posted by koeselitz at 11:52 PM on December 11, 2010 [7 favorites]


(And frankly I think a few "fucks" are a hell of a lot less rude than that.)
posted by koeselitz at 11:55 PM on December 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


Fine. You want pithy? I don't like it that you and Joe seem to take pleasure in a guy's suicide, and seem utterly uninterested in disabusing anybody of the notion that you do. How's that?

I suspect I'll get a MeMail from you in a few hours with an apology for being fighty, so I'm going to let it go. Hope you get some rest tonight. You seem to need it.
posted by anniecat at 12:01 AM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've become immune to comments that are equivalent to written tantrums [...] And the way you communicate, so rudely, is proof enough to me that you're just a jerk.

Ah, and I remember so clearly the day you first arrived, anniecat, throwing crap left, right and centre at me, nickyskye and the cydonian. Looking back, it seems a lot of the comments there must have been deleted, because there was certainly more than remains in the historical record.

You've been tops since then, though, so maybe it was just teething problems. *smiles with a tongue pointing out*
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:02 AM on December 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Look, all you could say about this above was that you find it "interesting" how "white collar criminals cover their asses." I don't see what connection that has to do with this post, except in the sense that you find it "interesting" that this one didn't, or couldn't, "get off so easily." What exactly was the point of the post, then? It had nothing to do with finance, that much is pretty clear, right? So what exactly was it about? Please clear this up. It'd be nice to believe we're not actually having a conversation about wanting to see people dead. Maybe I'm just thick, but it's hard for me to avoid that sense here.

And yes, it still kind of pisses me off that Joe Beese posted this crap and, instead of taking the time to explain the bare-bones, completely narrative-free post, chose to snipe at people and drag them down. I'm well aware that I'm a jackass, but at least I'm here trying to explain my position. It'd be damned nice to see him do the same.
posted by koeselitz at 12:05 AM on December 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'd just like to spend my 5000th MetaTalk comment (yes, 4990 of them are silly and inconsequential) wishing anyone reading this a truly good holiday season and a great start on 2011. May all unnecessary interpersonal tension be lessened, and may we all learn from each other in positive ways.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:06 AM on December 12, 2010 [22 favorites]


You've been tops since then, though, so maybe it was just teething problems. *smiles with a tongue pointing out*

I thought you were supposed to fight your way in, like a gang initiation=)
posted by anniecat at 12:14 AM on December 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


There's a divide between users who prefer snideness and contempt and users who prefer the earnestness of just saying fuck and hitting imaginary pillows with righteous earnestness. I think at one point we'll have to have a sitewide argument over "snide asshole" versus "foul-mouthed asshole".

It's hard for me to believe you give a crap about this guy, but you're really looking for some pats on the back and confirmation that you're such a nice person. And the way you communicate, so rudely, is proof enough to me that you're just a jerk.

This is a shitty way to talk to people. I know it's tempting on the Internet to take somebody's comment and assume that because of some part of it you're capable of instantly denouncing somebody as whatever phrase you like to use to denounce people, but everybody involved here has been around for a little while, and I'd like to think we can disagree with each other without calling names.

There's a difference, I think, between being rude to somebody and outright calling them a name; to me the latter suggests a more thorough condemnation that I'm not comfortable with. Whether you're calling koeselitz a jerk or Blazecock is calling Burhanistan a troll, such name-calling has a way of instantly shutting down conversation, and announcing that you refuse to participate fairly with other members because you've labeled them as unworthy. You can be rude and still progress a conversation along, albeit with more and more fuck-words as you go; you can call somebody a name as politely as you can but it still instantly changes the nature of the conversation. You demote your opponent from peer level to something worse.

I understand the temptation. I want to call a few people in this thread names that would make Jessamyn and Cortex write me sad words. And I'm frustrated with some older-timers refusing to respect the rest of this community. Joe, for all that you're a lot of fun when you're fun, when you're not fun you're both stubborn and cutesily snide, like the way you started this thread; usually I value your contributions and I imagine you've put an effort into not derailing things as much as you have been in recent months, but it's still very off-putting when you get the way you're getting. And Blazecock, I've had a lot of interesting discussions with you and I've usually sided with you when people call you out for being a negative user, but in this case I really do think you're taking things too far, treating people poorly, and treating the Internet way more seriously than anybody should.

And annie:

It's pretty clear that some of us are interested how white collar criminals manage to cover their asses in this economy and some people are bored by this scandal after it wasn't on the front page everyday. I'm not really surprised why white collar criminals get off so easily this in country, even though many people here scoff at it, but they easily get bored when it's not news anymore and they often don't figure out how people can cover their asses.

Yeah I get it. Apathetic population, hurrdiblurrdiblurr, not caring enough about horrible criminals hurting people. I totally agree with you. It sucks. But this wasn't about Bernie Madoff. It was about his son, who killed himself. Maybe because of these events. Maybe there was something completely different going on. But the only part of the post that talked about Bernie instead of his son was linked to on MetaFilter before, and not that many people seemed to care about talking much then.

How could that thread have turned into a healthy discussion of Madoff? One person would go, "Man Madoff sucks so much, look, now he's led to his son's death", and somebody else would go "Maybe Mark was implicitly as bad as his father because he didn't speak out against things and he's super privileged and I'm not saying he deserved to die but I'm not gonna weep many tears", and a third person would go "Stop saying Madoff killed his son, and stop dissing his son," and then we would have gone to MetaTalk anyways. Because those are the only three sorts of comments we ever get on this shit, and none of them are worth actually printing.
posted by Rory Marinich at 12:17 AM on December 12, 2010 [19 favorites]


Al-hamdu-li'llah, ahki.

On preview: another option is to post a picture of a bunny rabbit. Either way, I'd just like to make it clear that for my part there's no interpersonal tension, necessary or unnecessary, between us, anniecat.

Now, let's all celebrate festivus by eating bacon, or donuts, or [insert your comfort food of choice, each according to their wishes]
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:20 AM on December 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


A few of those were created for people who committed suicide. Many of them were for people who were not widely known. They weren't that famous. But someone found their story interesting. Or at least notable

Those are people who died, died
posted by Hoopo at 12:20 AM on December 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


The reason to delete a post like that is not even necessarily that the guy was not in the public eye, because sure, he was just at the edge of the public eye and it's sensational enough that it got a lot of coverage today. But rather that all there is to the post at this point is "this guy you may not know anything about killed himself" (+ either he was involved in his dad's fraud or he wasn't, we don't know). There is just nothing else here. All you can do is say "that is a shame" or "ha ha". So all there is to do is fight about generalities (the rich are bad! the rich aren't so bad! suicide is so awful! suicide is sometimes a great choice! some people deserve death! his dad deserved to be punished in this greek-tragic way! no, this poor guy was just a victim and my parents cruelly manipulated me so I feel his pain! let's talk about the economy and class and general things we feel strongly about! bankers suck! irresponsible investors suck!).

All there is to do in a thread like that is fight.

So at this point, with no illuminating details, there's just no benefit to posting it other than "people are seeing it on the news and want to talk about it in very general terms" (which is not really what mefi's about most of the time), there's no light being shed by a bunch of people all riled up by this very emotional thing but with no actual specifics to grapple with. It's all potential-downside for the site, generating fightiness and grudges and whatnot for not much potential upside.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:21 AM on December 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


It had nothing to do with finance, that much is pretty clear, right? So what exactly was it about? Please clear this up.

When they turned Madoff in, they did it under the advisement of their lawyer. They funneled a lot of money into accounts under their wives' names in the days preceding Bernie's arrest, including a few million into a nonprofit Mark had established. Then Bernie, Andrew and Mark's accounts were frozen. There was a strategy involved in making sure there was a good amount of liquidity before the freezing of the accounts and that it would be untouchable.

If you need more information, wait until tomorrow morning. I'm only up now because I'm hemorrhaging, my menstrual cramps are bad again, and the laptop makes a nice heating pad. And there are Christmas episodes on Hulu.
posted by anniecat at 12:35 AM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


but anniecat, his point was that the story about how money was funnelled etc is not part of the actual post that was deleted.

The post was not about finance, or money funnelling, or white collar crime generally, or details of how the Madoffs did what they did. Saying "it's so interesting how the money was funnelled" or "it's important for us to understand how white collar criminals cover themselves" etc are irrelevant to whether the obit post should or should not have been deleted.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:51 AM on December 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


The post was not about finance, or money funnelling, or white collar crime generally, or details of how the Madoffs did what they did. Saying "it's so interesting how the money was funnelled" or "it's important for us to understand how white collar criminals cover themselves" etc are irrelevant to whether the obit post should or should not have been deleted.

Yes, that's right.
posted by anniecat at 1:03 AM on December 12, 2010


I never said I was smart. I just had five dollars. I say Lobstermittens is the brains of this operation.
posted by anniecat at 1:11 AM on December 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


To me the post was not exactly an obit post, but more like a news post, somewhat in the same way this post about a young boy who shot himself after holding a classroom hostage was not a traditional Metafilter obituary post.

We have news posts and we have obit posts, and sometimes the news posts also include tragic death scenarios with questions and possibly larger implications and issues about why it happened. Sometimes we can discuss those questions rationally and add insight or further details to aid understanding, and sometimes we can't. I don't think it's quite fair to be terribly accusatory about why anyone would make (or want to participate in) this post at all when it is certainly a type of post we do have sometimes.

It's fine to argue the merits of whether we ever want to have those posts as a general question, but I didn't find this post in particular any sort of significantly egregious overstepping of boundaries.
posted by taz at 1:40 AM on December 12, 2010


And damn, with the me my me me me. It's your post, but it's not YOUR discussion. - desuetude

This should be on the orientation page.
posted by Surfurrus at 4:36 AM on December 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


This IS my comment, damn it!

mmmm, precccciousssssss
posted by nomadicink at 5:15 AM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


We already have too many obit posts. One about someone of non-general interest isn't needed.
posted by gaspode at 5:39 AM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's pretty clear that some of us are interested how white collar criminals manage to cover their asses in this economy and some people are bored by this scandal after it wasn't on the front page everyday. I'm not really surprised why white collar criminals get off so easily this in country, even though many people here scoff at it, but they easily get bored when it's not news anymore and they often don't figure out how people can cover their asses.

It's this kind of hateful projecting on strangers that makes me glad the post on the blue was deleted. Anyone who can claim to know this much for certain about someone they didn't know at all is just wrong, and I'm fine denying them their soapbox.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:22 AM on December 12, 2010 [11 favorites]


We have news posts and we have obit posts

And both tend to suck.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but when I signed up here, Metafilter was much more explicitly about the best of the web. There was a tendency for things that got called 'Newsfilter' to get deleted, and even obituaries were seen as a bit suspect. The stories that you'd expect to see in every newspaper just didn't make it to the blue because they weren't considered 'the best of the web.'

At some point, obituaries seemed to become more acceptable -- perhaps because of a few iconic deaths that resulted in big feelgood threads. James Brown and Mr Rogers spring to mind.

Since then, anyone who dies seems to provoke a race for who can get the obit post up first, and the winner recieves a lovely thread full of dots.

If I was mathowie, I'd ban 'em all.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:27 AM on December 12, 2010 [11 favorites]


We already have too many obit posts. One about someone of non-general interest isn't needed.

If I had to estimate, I'd say there have been about 700-750 obit posts made in the history of Mefi. That's less than 100 per year, say one every 3-4 days. Daily, the front page typically sees a minimum of a dozen posts.

I happen to like obit posts, but I do know that puts me in the minority around here. When they're done well, they teach us something about someone who may not have been on our radar at all, or whose work / life we may have only had minimal contact. We can see someone familiar in a new light, or be introduced to them entirely.

To give you a tiny example, I bet many folks hadn't heard of these people before they were posted on MeFi.
Gloria "South Street Annie" Wasserman
Antonia Pineda
Carla Zilberman
Sigmar Polke
Joe Ades
Paul Quarrington
John Storm Roberts

Isn't this what MeFi does best?
posted by zarq at 6:41 AM on December 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


When they're done well...

This one wasn't.
posted by nomadicink at 7:01 AM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


taz: I didn't find this post in particular any sort of significantly egregious overstepping of boundaries.

I dunno, taz, it was pretty lame newsfilter, even if arguably not deleteworthy. Joe posts a lot of newsy stuff to the front page (he posts a lot, period - I don't mind, done it myself, just an observation that for months he's been one of the more prolific front-page posters around here), so it's not unusual that he'd have a dud or two once in a while.

What *is* unusual is his reaction when one of his duds gets deleted. Look what he did here: angrily hiked way out into I'VE BEEN SILENCED ALL MY LIFE land, jammed his flag in the ground and started strafing in all directions. Yeesh. There may have been a good way to make a news post about this suicide (and yeah, the idea that Bernie did it without his sons' assistance or knowledge has always been a reach, so the suicide doesn't surprise me), but his didn't make the cut. Anyone who's accumulated over 270 front-page posts should, by now, have reached a point where the removal of one of his or her precious gems doesn't result in a fourth-grade fury.

For whatever reason, Joe hasn't reached that point yet. I think he seems to prefer this kind of juvenile stuff, which he's perfectly free to engage in on his favorite political blogs, and whatever adult behavior we see from him at MeFi is almost like an indulgence on his part, so periodically we have to see a thread like this mess when he blows off weeks of accumulated anger at having to control himself.
posted by mediareport at 7:03 AM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


This one wasn't.

That's irrelevant to the comment gaspode made, and to the point I'm making.
posted by zarq at 7:06 AM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Out of 750 of anything, you'd be likely to find a couple that were worth your while. But if they were all of the quality of the few you've posted, I don't think you would be in the minority.

More usually, it's a lazy, single link post that's seeking to be first, and the first post with any substance attached -- regardless of how banal or obvious -- tends to get it.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:28 AM on December 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


“And the way you communicate, so rudely, is proof enough to me that you're just a jerk.”

I love comments like this. "You're so rude, you jerk!"

I like everybody. Everybody is great.
posted by Decani at 7:51 AM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I thought we were more intelligent than to psychoanalyze people we don't fucking know... And it kind of gets under my skin that Joe Beese feels like it's okay to just flat out imply that he feels that way and then even act as though he has every right to do so on the front page.

Noted without comment.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:00 AM on December 12, 2010


not true.
posted by Sailormom at 8:03 AM on December 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


PeterMcDermott: There was a tendency for things that got called 'Newsfilter' to get deleted, and even obituaries were seen as a bit suspect. The stories that you'd expect to see in every newspaper just didn't make it to the blue because they weren't considered 'the best of the web.

I'm not an advocate. In fact, for personal reasons, I very much dislike obit, and in terms of the rest, I stopped posting myself (with only a few exceptions) a million years ago when a cool/neat/fun/original/thoughtful/imaginative/arty thing would get five comments, and a news post would get 100+ (and this was pre-favorites).

That's not the issue. I was a bit sullen about all that for a while, and then realized that people wanted to talk about the news. So okay, and that's how it is. Within the current framework, I just don't find this one particularly out of bounds.

Mediareport: What *is* unusual is his reaction when one of his duds gets deleted. Look what he did here: angrily hiked way out into I'VE BEEN SILENCED ALL MY LIFE land, jammed his flag in the ground and started strafing in all directions.

I do understand, but I wasn't addressing (or considering) the poster personality aspect at all, just the idea of whether a post about the suicide of Mark Madoff is something that is an out-of-bounds topic for Metafilter … and also reacting to at least one comment that seems to suggest that anyone who wants to discuss it is a ghoul, which I don't think is true.
posted by taz at 8:04 AM on December 12, 2010


I like everybody. Everybody is great.

Well, I'm not.
posted by jonmc at 8:08 AM on December 12, 2010


zarq, you hurt my feelings when you left out Billy Ruane.
posted by emhutchinson at 8:09 AM on December 12, 2010


Well, I'm not.

It's true, he's note. Fucker caused the gyro tragedy.
posted by nomadicink at 8:20 AM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


to suggest that anyone who wants to discuss it is a ghoul, which I don't think is true.

Fair enough. I agree. But I do think there was something ghoulish and gleeful in Joe's first comment.
posted by mediareport at 8:22 AM on December 12, 2010


That's irrelevant to the comment gaspode made, and to the point I'm making.
But it's highly relevant to this thread.
posted by adamvasco at 8:23 AM on December 12, 2010


There was a tendency for things that got called 'Newsfilter' to get deleted

The Metafilter that did this hasn't been around for half a decade. I don't like newsfilter either, but I've gotten pretty good at not reading those posts and petting my cat instead. "Good kitty!", is what I usually say.
posted by Kwine at 8:29 AM on December 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


Could the person who just sent me a MeFi Mail in connection with this thread either stop doing that or remove their block against my ability to reply?

Thanks.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:34 AM on December 12, 2010


They say MetaFilter was once the best of the web. I say that's nostalgia. It was once cats in scanners.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:40 AM on December 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


Like sands through the hourglass, these are the days of Dramafilter.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:02 AM on December 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


*organ music*
posted by jonmc at 9:13 AM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Anyone who's accumulated over 270 front-page posts should, by now, have reached a point where the removal of one of his or her precious gems doesn't result in a fourth-grade fury.

I haven't reached 270 posts yet, but when I experience a deletion I strive for seventh-grade indignation. Baby steps, people.
posted by amyms at 9:38 AM on December 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


I don't really understand the visceral reaction that some people here have to newsfilter and obitfilter. I've been here for years myself and have never had a problem with either, although obviously there are items posted that occasionally cross the line of what we deem acceptable or "the best of the web," and those generally don't see the light of day for long.

I don't really see the point of the hullabaloo about this particular obitfilter either. I don't think that the thread should have been deleted, and I don't think that there was a strong rationale for doing so other than a sense that commenting upon or highlighting this particular person's death is somehow off limits.

And no, my support of the thread not being deleted does not mean that I'm exulting in the man's suicide.
posted by blucevalo at 9:47 AM on December 12, 2010


Note: everyone needs a motherfucking hug.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:55 AM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't really understand the visceral reaction that some people here have to newsfilter and obitfilter.

I don't have a visceral reaction to them. I don't think I've ever flagged one. I was simply responding to the argument that there was no reason for them to be deleted.

They say MetaFilter was once the best of the web. I say that's nostalgia. It was once cats in scanners.

While today it's cat torture in South Korea. That's progress for you.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:56 AM on December 12, 2010


Sorry, link.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:57 AM on December 12, 2010


Sometimes I end up feeling like maybe we should all try to be less invested in how the other guy behaves on MetaFilter, Joe, and more invested in our own behavior.
posted by kalessin at 10:01 AM on December 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sure zarq, I said too many, not that they should be banned completely. I don't think you pointing out some good ones contradicts my statement at all.
posted by gaspode at 10:22 AM on December 12, 2010


How will I feel better about myself if I can't point out how awful someone else is?
posted by nomadicink at 10:24 AM on December 12, 2010


I haven't reached 270 posts yet, but when I experience a deletion I strive for seventh-grade indignation.

It's a beginning. Most posters can only manage grad school malaise.
posted by jonmc at 10:26 AM on December 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm going to ask Kegel the Elf to put coal in all of your stockings, asswipes.
posted by iconomy at 10:36 AM on December 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Burhanistan is a troll.

This is not even remotely true.
posted by adamdschneider at 10:41 AM on December 12, 2010


Oh great, ANOTHER newsfiltery suicide post, nobody listens around here.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:43 AM on December 12, 2010


I'm going to ask Kegel the Elf to put coal in all of your stockings, asswipes.

Thanks! The economy being what it is, we may need it to keep warm.
posted by jonmc at 10:49 AM on December 12, 2010


Burhanistan is a troll.

Looks more like hobbit to me.
posted by nomadicink at 10:59 AM on December 12, 2010


Joe Beese: "Noted without comment."

That's what I was objecting to in the first place. But anyway, all I did was make a direct and pretty straightforward inference, not psychoanalyze you. Or is it really that weird to assume that you "think it's okay" to do precisely what you did? Or to assume that the point of the post was schadenfreude? I guess the more important point is that I'm not just psychoanalyzing somebody I don't know first and foremost because you're not just somebody I don't know. Whatever our differences, we know each other on this web site here. Can you please explain just a little bit what that post was about?
posted by koeselitz at 11:21 AM on December 12, 2010


More usually, it's a lazy, single link post that's seeking to be first, and the first post with any substance attached -- regardless of how banal or obvious -- tends to get it.

I don't think this is true anymore. Obit posts have changed a lot over the years. Some are definitely thin. But lately, we're getting a very wide variety of content.

There are 132 unique links to obits on that wiki page. For the most part, I compiled them by working my way backwards through the the first couple of pages of the "obit" and "obituary" tags. So for the most part it currently covers 2010.

There are four single-link posts: Milorad Pavic, Fred Rogers, "Shopping Cart Annie" and John Storm Roberts. I deliberately include Annie and John in my comment earlier. They're good examples of posts that might be considered thin if we look at them solely from the "single-link" criteria.

There are fewer than 10 double-link obits. And probably about 10-15 triple link obits. The rest, more than 100 posts, are multi-link efforts.

Some of those are really thin, I agree. But a lot of them -- I'd venture to say the vast majority -- are not.
posted by zarq at 11:29 AM on December 12, 2010


Postroad tends to confuse me (not as much as clavdivs, but still).

I'm glad I'm not the only one. clavdivs's comments sit squarely in the uncanny valley of incoherence. Like, my brain wants them to make sense, and they seem to have all the words in the right place, but for some reason, they fail to come together properly. I have been wondering if maybe English isn't his first language, or he was raised by robots or he's a time traveller or something.
posted by empath at 11:32 AM on December 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


I don't think this is true anymore. Obit posts have changed a lot over the years. Some are definitely thin. But lately, we're getting a very wide variety of content.

I've been seeing this as well. For a lot of people, a solid obit post is their first post on MetaFilter. We'll still see some thing breaking news "OMG famous person has died" with a single link, but there have been a lot of good obit posts and I see the good ones as the rule rather than the exception. People may still not like them, but they're easy enough to avoid entirely for the most part and it's only in complicated situations like "hated or semi-hated person dies" or "suicide with complications" that I think people even notice them most of the time.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:35 AM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I thought we were more intelligent than to psychoanalyze people we don't fucking know... And it kind of gets under my skin that Joe Beese feels like it's okay to just flat out imply that he feels that way and then even act as though he has every right to do so on the front page.

Noted without comment.


Shit like this, Joe! This is exactly the shit that so many of us are pissed off at you for!

Stop fucking not commenting! Apparently you have something to say, right? Like, you have an argument you want to make about this post other than "Look at how much like a Greek tragedy this is"? Then fucking make it! Communicate! Use words! Upload a pantomime video and link it if you'd rather! But stop "cleverly insinuating" things rather than coming out and saying them!

Like when you start off by saying "Postroad and Burhanistan had things to say" without offering ANY commentary of your own. Yeah, we get it, some people complained about your stupid shitty post which was shitty. What do you think about that? Other than "I'm Joe Beese and I'm making Deep Statements On The Internet." I mean I get pissed off sometimes when fucking James Joyce uses silence to make a point rather than stating it outright. Even fucking James Joyce takes that kind of smugness too far. And Joe, you're not fucking James Joyce. You're not even fucking Irish to the best of my knowledge.

The reason we're goddamn analyzing you is that you refuse to say anything whatsoever. We wouldn't be trying to paint a portrait of the asshole as a middle-aged asshole if you would speak up and use your grownup-words to actually FUCKING SAY SHIT. But instead you play this game like you're an enigma wrapped in a shroud wrapped in an IP address and we're all supposed to guess why it is that the great Joe Beese has chosen to fucking grace us with his fucking suicide story.

I'm not saying you don't have a case to make in your defense. Other people are arguing for you quite eloquently. I was interested in seeing where your stupid shitty post was going too, because I'm a terrible human being who enjoys watching people argue pointlessly instead of getting work done. But too many times — this is CERTAINLY not the first time — you decide instead to post half-finished thoughts and assume that when we get mad it's because we're Bad People instead of simply People Who Want You To Finish Your Thoughts Maybe Once, Maybe Just This Once, Pretty Please?

Like I said earlier, when you're being a good citizen and talking to us then I love your presence on the site. I even kind of like you half of the time that you're turning yet another thread into how fucking awful Obama is, because despite your absolute stubborn arsedness you know how to argue your side really well, and I learn interesting things. But when you're being the way you are right now, it's really fucking frustrating. If MetaFilter is about a community of people who talk to one another, I feel like people who post without actually saying anything should be given the banhammer until there're little bits of Internet shrapnel splintering off their bloodied pulp of an Internet skull.
posted by Rory Marinich at 11:47 AM on December 12, 2010 [20 favorites]


Wow that's almost exactly what Grandma said to me at Thanksgiving.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:19 PM on December 12, 2010 [9 favorites]


Your grandmother used to drive a truck though.

Noted without comment.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:21 PM on December 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


Jessamyn: they're easy enough to avoid entirely for the most part and it's only in complicated situations like "hated or semi-hated person dies" or "suicide with complications" that I think people even notice them most of the time.

Actually, for me that's not true; they're not easy enough to avoid at all, and believe me, I'd like to avoid most of them. I sometimes go for days not looking at the Mefi front page, or I'm seriously bracing myself to look at it, and it's mostly because of obits. I personally detest the rise of obitfilter, and oddly enough it's the one thing that makes me sometimes think of just dropping the site altogether. I have my reasons, but regardless of what my current reasons are, I was never one to read the obit page in traditional newspapers anyway. I hate seeing these posts that are all oh, hey here's this remarkable (mostly unknown) person — and now they're dead. Why weren't they remarkable enough to talk about when they were living? Or Remember that great person who did X? They're dead. I truly, truly hate it.

I now have to scan the front page with very jaundiced eye. The minute I see something like "Thisperson was an amazing musician/innovator/artist/scientist/whatever" I force myself to stop reading because I figure I'm coming up against an obit post, but too much of the time they catch me by surprise, and it can ruin my day, or worse. This is obviously MEfilter, and my own problem, but trust me, they are definitely not easy enough to avoid.

I recognize that I can't avoid announcements of the deaths of famous people, and not being insane, am reconciled to that. Metafilter has become like a general death notice site, though, and it really isn't okay for me. I now sort of read the front page through my fingers, so to speak; I just allow my eyes to sort of flicker over the bolded link parts of posts hoping (often in vain) to avoid the death ones.

so obviously, my argument about this post was not a support of obits.
posted by taz at 12:22 PM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


While today it's cat torture in South Korea. That's progress for you.

No, that shit went away. That's progress for you.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:23 PM on December 12, 2010


Your grandmother used to drive a truck though.

I want to kill you with a shovel.

Noted without comment.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:24 PM on December 12, 2010


omigod i'm such an asshole i'm sorry

Noted without comment.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:26 PM on December 12, 2010


Your grandmother was Bea Arthur? Awesome.
posted by elizardbits at 12:31 PM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I force myself to stop reading because I figure I'm coming up against an obit post, but too much of the time they catch me by surprise, and it can ruin my day, or worse.
posted by taz


A Mefi post you don't like can ruin your day... or worse? Might a suggest it's time for a holiday, sir?
posted by Decani at 12:32 PM on December 12, 2010


Or even, might I suggest...
posted by Decani at 12:33 PM on December 12, 2010


No, you may not, madam.
posted by taz at 12:41 PM on December 12, 2010


Decani has a beard.

NWC
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:46 PM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I sometimes go for days not looking at the Mefi front page, or I'm seriously bracing myself to look at it, and it's mostly because of obits.

In the last 10 years:

As of this moment, 98443 posts have been made to Metafilter. Some of those have been deleted. Less than 1000 obit posts have survived on the front page. So let's be generous and say about 1% of posts made to Metafilter have been obit posts, and some of them have been deleted.

Metafilter has become like a general death notice site, though, and it really isn't okay for me.

Respectfully, considering the numbers, this strikes me as either hyperbole or confirmation bias.
posted by zarq at 12:47 PM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Metafilter has become like a general death notice site, though, and it really isn't okay for me.

Not true. That is hyperbole.
posted by blucevalo at 12:50 PM on December 12, 2010


Sure zarq, I said too many, not that they should be banned completely.

True! :)

I don't think you pointing out some good ones contradicts my statement at all.

My point was just that I don't think being of general interest should determine whether a topic or person should be the subject of a post.
posted by zarq at 12:56 PM on December 12, 2010


But it's highly relevant to this thread.

I made the distinction because my read of nomadicink's comment was that he was implying I was praising Joe's post when I wasn't.

I wanted to make that clear.
posted by zarq at 1:05 PM on December 12, 2010


I swear its like some of you have never even picked up a guitar.
posted by Sailormom at 1:19 PM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


If this thread has taught me anything it's that Rory Marinich has spunk and that I would support his/her candidacy for Jr. Mod
posted by jtron at 1:22 PM on December 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


Damn, I drank a lot of beer last night.

Bloated without comment.
posted by adamdschneider at 1:26 PM on December 12, 2010


Zarq posted a comment.

Noted without comment.
posted by nomadicink at 1:31 PM on December 12, 2010


The airing of grievances began early this Festivus.

I'm personally looking forward to the Feats of Strength.
posted by sonika at 1:39 PM on December 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Anybody ever hang out on Daily Dime Live chat on ESPN.com during the NBA season? Someone will be all like "Note it, Zach: Some kind of crazy ass opinion relating to this evening's NBA action!"

And Zach will be all, "Noted!"

I don't really have a point here.
posted by Kwine at 1:48 PM on December 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


nomadicink: "Zarq posted a comment.

Noted without comment.
"

My impression (and I'm perfectly willing to admit this might be confirmation bias on my part,) is that you've been pretty active recently in attacking comments and posts I and other people made.

So fwiw, I'm not exactly displeased that you're refraining here.
posted by zarq at 2:10 PM on December 12, 2010


3. 'Do you feel overwhelmed when watching something horrible in real life or even on television?'

-From, "The 7 signs You're A Empath" (via google via 'hubpages')

The hysteron proteron is a weak skit or, just scroll on bye, Ibid.



posted by clavdivs at 2:32 PM on December 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


is that you've been pretty active recently in attacking comments and posts I and other people made.

If you have something to say, then say it. Otherwise, casting vast assertions isn't really helpful.
posted by nomadicink at 2:35 PM on December 12, 2010


er, vast=vague
posted by nomadicink at 2:40 PM on December 12, 2010


Having just re-watched season 13 of The Simpsons, I think someone should make a Angry Dad Joe Beese web cartoon. I would totally watch it.
posted by special-k at 2:41 PM on December 12, 2010


The Heisenberg No Commentary Principle. In one screen, it is an obituary thread. In the other screen, a thread with comments that do not appear to be comments. In a third, the thread has disappeared entirely and is now only a suggestion.
posted by effluvia at 2:41 PM on December 12, 2010


zarq : Respectfully, considering the numbers, this strikes me as either hyperbole or confirmation bias.

Hyperbole, yes; We have perhaps one or two obit threads a day, in itself not too bad IMO. I would, however, love to see an end to BS "dot" threads.

It seems like every time I try to discuss something in an obit thread, the community shouts me down for doing anything so gauche as to discuss what made some otherwise-unknown worthy of a FP mention on an international newsblog in the first place.

Now, I readily admit I don't phrase my questions as delicately as I perhaps could, but c'mon, none of us really care about Random Dead Guy. All just a matter of who can look the most compassionate.

Mark Madoff, IMO, makes a particularly good example for this... So he died. By his own hand, even. So what? None of us feel bad that this scum, who helped defraud little old ladies and countless charities out of their funds. Posting a dot for him just insults the intelligence of everyone on this site (or your own, for mourning someone whose absence brings up the average quality of human on this planet).


/ Yeah yeah, I look forward to the first joke about my contribution to humanity - Bonus points for a pun on the word "mean" in place of "average". ;)
posted by pla at 2:50 PM on December 12, 2010


none of us really care about Random Dead Guy. All just a matter of who can look the most compassionate.

With respect, you seem to be overgeneralizing [what may be] your own feelings about this topic to a bunch of people who you don't know anything about. This seems to be a problematic way to interact with the site, for you or anyone else.

I have a sad moment for anyone who has committed suicide because I feel it's one of those sad things, feeling that terribly, even if you were a total sonofabitch. Doesn't ruin my day, gives me pause to think about depression and suicide. I don't expect other people to feel like I do, but it seems that some other people do feel this way. There are other people who may feel like you do, that anything we say on a website about feelings in this sort of way is just posturing and having some sort of play-emotions for the purpose of achieving status amongst our internet peers, maybe? I'm not sure I understand it and I definitely don't understand your certainty that others are feeling this way.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:01 PM on December 12, 2010 [10 favorites]


If you have something to say, then say it. Otherwise, casting vast assertions isn't really helpful.

It was not my intention to be "helpful."

It's not worth the effort, attention or drama to call you out over.

Anyway, even if I were inclined to do so, I can't create a lengthy, documented response to you here based on your posting history. I'd get slapped on the wrist by the mods for breaking an unwritten site rule.
posted by zarq at 3:11 PM on December 12, 2010


c'mon, none of us really care about Random Dead Guy. All just a matter of who can look the most compassionate.

So you hate that there are threads in which dozens of people just post dots, and it's your feeling that in doing so they are competing with one another to look the most compassionate?
posted by shakespeherian at 3:37 PM on December 12, 2010


jessamyn : With respect, you seem to be overgeneralizing [what may be] your own feelings about this topic to a bunch of people who you don't know anything about. This seems to be a problematic way to interact with the site, for you or anyone else.

Okay, fair point. I can't tell you how you feel, no arguments there, and I apologize for phrasing it that way.

I can, however, claim that people in general don't seriously care about the deaths of people they don't know; I can support that with nothing more than the fact that we keep getting into pointless wars where lots of people die for no good reason. If we (as a whole) actually cared about (human) life in the abstract, we'd choose less hawkish leaders and overthrown the ones we have when things went too far. Yet, the most serious complaints we hear, about a situation where hundreds of thousands of innocents died for no good reason? It costs too much.

If you would, take that observation itself as my expression of compassion. People die, people kill each other in the name of maps and gods and economic theories. I accept that. I find it far more insulting to any possible "sanctity of life" that we piss and moan about social philosophy rather than actively rising up and making sure this shit never happens again. One dead guy just doesn't mean much until then.


I'm not sure I understand it and I definitely don't understand your certainty that others are feeling this way.

Well, I can appreciate what you say in the context of reflecting on the event as divorced from the person. But at the same time, I just can't bring myself to feel bad about it.

Ironically enough, I can imagine myself feeling bad about the hypothetical truly random dead guy. We all die, and that sucks. But someone who actively ruined their own (and many, many others') life to the point that suicide looked like the best, most rational way out (not meant as comment on suicide in general)? I dunno. Whether the flaw lies in me or those who would pity a monster, I can't say; but I just can't feel bad about it.
posted by pla at 3:51 PM on December 12, 2010


pla: I can support that with nothing more than the fact that we keep getting into pointless wars where lots of people die for no good reason. If we (as a whole) actually cared about (human) life in the abstract, we'd choose less hawkish leaders and overthrown the ones we have when things went too far. Yet, the most serious complaints we hear, about a situation where hundreds of thousands of innocents died for no good reason? It costs too much.

Humans are very adept at caring about specific humans, less adept at caring about human beings in the abstract. This is a hardware flaw but it can be fixed in software.
posted by Kattullus at 3:57 PM on December 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


I have a sad moment for anyone who has committed suicide because I feel it's one of those sad things, feeling that terribly, even if you were a total sonofabitch. .

It IS one of those sad things. Even total sonsofbitches have the potential to be otherwise. And most also happen to have people in their lives who love and care about them -- and who suffer along with them when they are in pain. The guilt suffered by those left behind when a loved one commits suicide is among the most profoundly damaging emotional phenomena I have witnessed. One particular sonofabitch I knew well took his life a few years ago, and despite the damage he'd done to me personally over a decade ago, I was still very sad to see him go that way. Without airing the details of anybody's personal struggle, let me say that bastard asshole sonsofbitches all have stories. Many of them also have redeeming qualities, even sweet sides. A few are truly wonderful people, despite having committed shocking transgressions in times of extreme stress and subsequent emotional decompensation. This isn't a simple world, people...
posted by fernabelle at 4:05 PM on December 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


Whether the flaw lies in me or those who would pity a monster, I can't say; but I just can't feel bad about it.

Well calling them a monster does seem to tip your hand somewhat. I don't believe in monsters, not like that.

At some level if all you have to contribute to an obit thread [or many other MeFi threads] is "I don't really care" we'd all prefer if you just moved on. This is not you = pla, this is you = anyone inclined to feel the urge to participate in that way.

People who feel the need to show up in a thread where other people are having discussions with each other and just, apropos of nothing say "Well I don't feel bad about them being dead" just seems weird to me. Like, if a lot of people are saying "Aww I miss this person" there's some sort of objectivity rule where the people who don't or won't miss the deceased feel some need to pipe up. And yet they're not part of the conversation, they're showing up to object to the conversation. Not entirely unlike the "noted without comment" thing which I find useful for humorous effect sometimes, but a sort of crappy non sequitor if people don't get or don't know what you're talking about.

And I think this is what bothers people about obit threads. They feel there's a set etiquette and it rankles and they don't want to just flag and move on, they want to show up in the thread and be like "You know, not everyone cares about the dead guy!" as some sort of balancing force. It's not necessary. Similar to how AskMe questions that start "hey does anyone know..." often wind up with a bunch of people piping up "Nope, I don't..." even though it's a total non-answer. It's some sort of tic and I don't have it myself and I find it a little difficult to comprehend.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:36 PM on December 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


And I think this is what bothers people about obit threads. They feel there's a set etiquette and it rankles and they don't want to just flag and move on, they want to show up in the thread and be like "You know, not everyone cares about the dead guy!" as some sort of balancing force. It's not necessary.

Sort of, but I think some people just disagree with the idea that speaking ill of the dead of verboten. Indeed, they may be actively repelled by and thus really feel the need to speak up.
posted by nomadicink at 4:53 PM on December 12, 2010


I get what you're saying but I do feel that they're taking a general societal norm -- hey talking smack about the recently deceased, especially at some sort of memorial, is often considered poor form -- and bringing it over here where it doesn't quite apply and then rebelling against it.

If you have something to say about the dead person that's on topic but might not be flattering or positive, that's totally AOK here and always has been. If you just want to show up where a bunch of people are saying "oh hey, that's too bad" and say "Actually I am psyched they're dead, they were a shitty person!" that's just sort of out of place and makes you seem like someone having a rebel moment in the wrong time/place.

I'm aware this is an ongoing struggle here but I do feel that there's some sort of consistent haranguing tendency that makes people show up in threads that aren't on topics they care about and loudly insist they don't care and I don't understand it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:27 PM on December 12, 2010


I'm aware this is an ongoing struggle here but I do feel that there's some sort of consistent haranguing tendency that makes people show up in threads that aren't on topics they care about and loudly insist they don't care and I don't understand it.

In my humble and handsome opinion, it's the controlling and irritable elements of metafilter members, which I think the site has a higher percentage of than the regular populace. So when we they see something that goes against how we they think things should be or are, that haranguing tendency comes out.

My own tic in this department comes out on the posts about "re-imagined" movie posters, usually because there's a an fawning aspect to those posters. I feel strongly in a different way, so it feels challenge to how I think design, composition and messaging should appear in a movie poster and must respond.

So it's passionate call and response type thing, where some people think A are bona finda movie posters and others think B and I suspect the various sides are caught up in proving things as right instead of considering and learning from the multitude of different responses.

But that's because they're wrong, see?
posted by nomadicink at 6:17 PM on December 12, 2010


The threadshitting on metafilter is entirely due to the moderation system at metafilter.

If people could visibly downvote/bury fpp's and comments, people would just downvote the fpp if they don't like it, and then if they threadshit, also, people would downvote their threadshitting comments. This is generally how things go on reddit.

But metafilter isn't community moderated, it's curated by basically two people, so folks complain about the curation, or attempt to influence it, however they can.
posted by empath at 9:23 PM on December 12, 2010


(which is not to say the moderation system is bad, just that threadshitting is pretty much going to be an unavoidable consequence of it)
posted by empath at 9:24 PM on December 12, 2010


The threadshitting on metafilter is entirely due to the moderation system at metafilter.

Visible threadshitting on metafilter is entirely due to design choices we've made at MetaFilter and is done by threadshitters themselves who bear the actual responsibility. People who like the Reddit model better are more than welcome to go there. There are strengths and weaknesses to both sorts of approaches. Our feeling is that people should be responsible for how they act on this site.

it's curated by basically two people

...who do the bidding of the flag queue. There are edge cases where we make decisions, but most deletions and moderator actions on this site are user-instigated.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:13 PM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Since then, anyone who dies seems to provoke a race for who can get the obit post up first, and the winner recieves a lovely thread full of dots.

If I was mathowie, I'd ban 'em all.


Flag 'em all, let the mods sort them out.
posted by Rangeboy at 12:50 AM on December 13, 2010


Decani has a beard.

NWC
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:46 PM


Not right now. It comes and goes.
posted by Decani at 3:30 AM on December 13, 2010


The threadshitting on metafilter is entirely due to the moderation system at metafilter.

... People who like the Reddit model better are more than welcome to go there. There are strengths and weaknesses to both sorts of approaches. Our feeling is that people should be responsible for how they act on this site...


You know, the only flaw in this (I'd never thought about this before until right now - for the most part I'm 100% a-ok with how things are done here) is that sometimes people might be threadshitting but think they are being witty. With 'downvoting' they would receive feedback on their comment right away and could then think about how, in the future, they could be less (or more) of a drag (as the case may be). At the same time I'm not backing that pony. Mostly because of this:

it's curated by basically two people

...who do the bidding of the flag queue. There are edge cases where we make decisions, but most deletions and moderator actions on this site are user-instigated.

posted by From Bklyn at 3:33 AM on December 13, 2010


> One dead guy just doesn't mean much until then.

This is your opinion. It is not the opinion of humanity in general, no matter how deeply you believe that or want to believe that. (As I've said before, if someone tells me "Everyone lies/cheats/whatever, most people are just too chickenshit to admit it," what I take from that is that the person who says it lies/cheats/whatever.) And in my opinion, it is a lousy, anti-human opinion that has been responsible for a lot of bad things (notably killing a bunch of "one dead guy"s for the supposed greater/future good of Humanity).
posted by languagehat at 8:44 AM on December 13, 2010 [6 favorites]


*drifts slowly by, line in water*
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 8:59 AM on December 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


Pfft. You'll never catch anything with them red wigglers, gotta bait that hook with some declawed cats.
posted by electroboy at 11:43 AM on December 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Nobody reads down here, right?

I've been thinking about this. I started by wondering what makes a post an obituary post in my mind as opposed to simply a post about someone who is dead. The obituary post has sort of a 'breaking news' feel to it, with a vague notion of an expiry date before which this information might be salient and after which it's just part of the blend of data with which we all deal every day.

Where does this sense of salience come from? Why is it time-limited?

The person themselves will be as dead next year, next decade, next century as they are now. Moreover, time gives a better sense of their wider significance, as opposed to simply their significance to us personally. But even our appreciation of their personal influence may broaden and deepen over time. Surely these capsule summaries, emerging in the immediate aftermath of someone's passing, don't do any kind of justice to them as complex human beings?

So why the rush? What would be lost? It's evident that people feel there is something good to be said for the obituary. If they didn't, we wouldn't keep having them.

Somebody dies, and a door closes. Their life is now like a house from which we are permanently barred. Maybe we feel something needs to be said right now, to tie off the loose ends of history, so we're not continually overwhelmed by the feeling of unfinished business, of stories half-told.

I still don't know. We get older and our lives become progressively more and more clogged with dead bodies. Then, we'll die. Everyone knows this. Does the obituary, with it's sense of immediacy, of something that just happened, make that knowledge less depressing? I don't know.
posted by Ritchie at 7:17 PM on December 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


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