Change in MetaFilter's attitude on things that are "different"
December 29, 2010 3:26 PM   Subscribe

"Change" in MetaFilter culture? I know I'm newish, but I'm curious about something...

I'm writing in response to stoneweaver's comment on the Offbeat Mama post wherein s/he writes:

I've been struggling to find a way of talking about my childhood with people who weren't raised in the same way environment. I was delighted to see this on the front page and excited to read the comments. But the comments just reinforce that I should keep my story to myself. Snark and condescension about the right way to raise a child is limiting the voices you hear. It's a strangely conservative reaction for such a liberal place to have.

So my question and something I hope y'all can help me with, but when did MetaFilter get so reactionary towards the counterculture? I know that there's at least one group out there on an alt-sex site which was created purely because people asking questions about BDSM in AskMe were feeling ostracized and marginalized by the overwhelming negative answers they were receiving.

And now we're bringing this into parenting as well? When did all this start happening?
posted by TrishaLynn to Etiquette/Policy at 3:26 PM (154 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I've only been here since '04, but from where I stand the general "tone" of Metafilter has been, for better or worse, remarkably consistent. Either that or this is one of those "frog in a boiling pot" situations and one day I'm going to log on and realize this place has turned into 4chan.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:39 PM on December 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Favorites?
posted by exogenous at 3:44 PM on December 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


MetaFilter hasn't changed, the Internet has gotten freakier.
posted by entropicamericana at 3:50 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


We've got how many thousands of members, all making their opinions heard and interacting with people in each their own special way. This is not a "conservative reaction" from a "liberal place" and god damn the day who we are and what we say can be expressed in such a facile tone.

What I see is an individual not feeling accepted because people disagree and don't express it in a way said individual finds inoffensive.
posted by griphus at 3:51 PM on December 29, 2010 [8 favorites]


Sounds like newish guilt to me.
posted by Vectorcon Systems at 3:54 PM on December 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


Unfortunately, there's snark and condescension about every topic in Metafilter, alternative lifestyles included. It's sad that those bdsm people were too sensitive to the torture we put them through in AskMefi. I'm going on 10 years here, and always thought Mefi skewed liberal, but maybe that's starting to change.
posted by crunchland at 3:55 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


MeFi does skew liberal, but if you push them too hard they have the typical American Left reaction: DENY AND CIRCLE THE FIRING SQUAD! MUST KEEP POWDER DRY!

You don't have any street cred if you don't punch hippies.
posted by DU at 3:57 PM on December 29, 2010 [7 favorites]


This is a nondenominationally snarky place for the most part. Always has been, for as far back as I can remember (and I have been here in some form or fashion for almost a decade....)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 3:58 PM on December 29, 2010


Wow, I've always had the feeling that BDSM, D/s, and kink in general are overrepresented on Ask versus 'the rest of the world'. (I concede I don't spend a lot of time on the green so this may just be confirmation bias.)
posted by Skorgu at 4:00 PM on December 29, 2010


You don't have any street cred if you don't punch hippies.

What? I thought it was frat boys now. Geez, remind me never to play Risk with you guys.
posted by griphus at 4:01 PM on December 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


This is not a "conservative reaction" from a "liberal place" and god damn the day who we are and what we say can be expressed in such a facile tone.

See, OP, it doesn't matter what you say. Metafilter always disagrees with it. My theory is people just like to be contrary.
posted by Lobster Garden at 4:05 PM on December 29, 2010 [14 favorites]


No we don't.
posted by Drastic at 4:06 PM on December 29, 2010 [27 favorites]


"Gentlemen, it seems we are not all in agreement."
"I disagree!"

-MST3K, Space Mutiny
posted by Lobster Garden at 4:07 PM on December 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


I feel like my pretty standard mostly inoffensive left leaning outlook is pretty outrageously left wing when compared to most of MetaFilter. This could be selective reading or just the usual liberal HELP I'M A VICTIM thing. It's probably more like the US is a long way right compared to whatever. I didn't read much of the thread but I didn't think the offbeat mama article was an example of mediocre let alone bad parenting so I was surprised at some of the response too.
posted by doublehappy at 4:07 PM on December 29, 2010


MetaFilter can be very anti-fun if someone else appears to be having too much of it.
posted by hermitosis at 4:08 PM on December 29, 2010 [24 favorites]


Is it true that the fetlife group was spawned because people felt marginalized here? Not my impression.

More generally: It's the internet. People are going to snark whatever is snarkable. Parenting is a SCENE. People like to judge it.
posted by dchrssyr at 4:11 PM on December 29, 2010


I notice that MF seems to be skewing younger these days, adding to a narcissistic lack of empathy... wait is this the wrong thread?
posted by Max Power at 4:12 PM on December 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


A recent study finds a decline in empathy among young people in the U.S." In fact, the report concludes "empathy levels have been declining over the past 30 years."
posted by hazyspring at 4:17 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I blame it on video games. The Legend of Zelda specifically.
posted by iconomy at 4:18 PM on December 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


'Zombie' Satellite Comes Back to Life'

has meta examined this generational gap. It is been 11 years for the 000 gen who are now in the mid-twenties...
runs
posted by clavdivs at 4:20 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


My theory is people just like to be contrary.

Oh I do not.
posted by griphus at 4:21 PM on December 29, 2010


We're real good at fighting and defending opposing positions. With the exception of a few seriously taboo subjects, hang out in a thread long enough and someone will either threadshit or launch a counter protest (and then someone will launch a counter-counter protest).

Sometimes we argue just to argue. Its like that episode of Arrested development when the have to sellessly sleep with the blind lawyer so the other brother can steal evidence from the blind lawyer that is pretending to be blind to free their father that did something illegal: we don't count on folks sticking to one side in an arguement.
posted by Nanukthedog at 4:22 PM on December 29, 2010


"Change" in MetaFilter culture?

Respectfully and non-rhetorically, what makes you think that MeFi wasn't ALWAYS this square?
posted by 23skidoo at 4:22 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I didn't found the people from metafilter on fetlife group for that reason.

Sometimes I'm glad that it exists for that reason. There are also some obnoxious LOL-polyamory folks here but luckily some of us are thick-skinned enough to stick around anyway.
posted by the young rope-rider at 4:25 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


TIMING
posted by griphus at 4:25 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I know that there's at least one group out there on an alt-sex site which was created purely because people asking questions about BDSM in AskMe were feeling ostracized and marginalized by the overwhelming negative answers they were receiving.

Metafilter is not and can not be all things to all people. The sports fans created a separate site, the rabid chatterboxes did the same, etc etc. Most of these people don't seem to have left site totally, they just find new places for more niche interests. This seems understandable and reasonable to me.


And now we're bringing this into parenting as well? When did all this start happening?

I'm not sure this is anything new. Parts of Metafilter howled over the post about the mom letting her young kid ride the New York subway alone. Other parts said "right on". So it goes. Branding yourself as offbeat means you're going to get some flack from society at times. You gotta learn to roll with it.

Finally, be the change you wish you to see. Hiding offbeat experiences doesn't make Metafilter more accepting, it just makes them see more foreign. Share or not, but please, no whining about how awful the site is because it doesn't seem like your special snowflake existence/upbringing/point of view. IT DOESN'T HAVE TO. You're never going to please everyone and someone people are are just not going to get it. But I'm betting you'll find a lot of people who do agree with or have experienced those unconventional ways and the only way you're going to find each other is by sharing.

That said, I don't see what the big deal is about sharing that shit. I have an 18 year old stepdaughter, we raised her in unconventional ways at times, i.e. explaining sex and the clitoris and protection over the dinner table, discussing religion and the existence of God after church services, purposefully letting her go off on her own and fail at times, etc, etc. If this bothers someone around here, I really don't give a flying fuck, the kid turned out awesome (partially due to her own awesome personality too), is a free thinking non follower who, while boy crazy, isn't one to be manipulated or let them tell her (or sometimes anyone) tell her what to do (God, that so backfires sometimes, as parents, hee).

Be the change you wish to see.
posted by nomadicink at 4:26 PM on December 29, 2010 [10 favorites]


polygot
posted by clavdivs at 4:27 PM on December 29, 2010


TIMING
posted by clavdivs at 4:27 PM on December 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


griphus, I'm afraid I don't follow.

In general, parenting brings out judgmental jerks, usually unless contrary/snarky/dissenting views are actually deleted or banned. I got in a fight last night with someone who thought I was a horrible person because I don't plan to completely avoid artificial coloring in my food.

I think this is a good topic, though. I wish people would keep more of an open mind and try to learn from other people instead of impressing everyone with their snark and judgmentalism.

Thanks for posting.
posted by the young rope-rider at 4:28 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, when in doubt, just follow the age-old tradition here... post the fuck out of your "alternative" lifestyle to the front page. Every news story, every new wrinkle, everything. You'll probably end up converting a few, and demoralizing the rest by your constant onslaught.

Think of it this way -- if you have an agenda, you have a platform. Every day, you get another chance to push it.
posted by crunchland at 4:29 PM on December 29, 2010


griphus, I'm afraid I don't follow.

That was a followup to this which was a response to this and beaten to the punch by this.

TL;DR

What's the secret to comedy?
posted by griphus at 4:32 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Holy. Crap. I did not realize that there was a sports spinoff site.
posted by phelixshu at 4:35 PM on December 29, 2010


See, OP, it doesn't matter what you say. Metafilter always disagrees with it. My theory is people just like to be contrary.

You keep saying things like that, and I'm starting to wonder if it's performance art.
posted by Gator at 4:36 PM on December 29, 2010


Holy. Crap. I did not realize that there was a sports spinoff site.

Here's a handy list of related sites.
posted by nomadicink at 4:39 PM on December 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Ordinarily I might scoff at your hypothesis. But we just had that freaky-ass Comic Sans thread where everyone was all "LEAVE COMIC SANS ALONE [SOB]!!!!" So maybe it's true!
posted by ErikaB at 4:41 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


metafilter has gotten so much nicer over the last decade. seriously. search for inflammatory words and look at things before 2003. i'm always a little surprised when i find myself trawling through the archives at some of the "i'd fuck her" jokes and just the antagonizing attitudes.

as a lock carrying member of the vocal BDSM subculture here on mefi, i'd say that i don't think i've ever felt marginalized for my views on the topic. and you'll have to show me threads where the response was overwhelmingly negative, because i don't really recall any of those either.

i think there's a lot of selection bias when people talk about the tone of metafilter. it's easy to skim and see the parts that don't agree with you and feel like those that do agree with you are a smaller number. the ones that disagree are more abrasive by mere fact that they're different than your opinion. sometimes when i feel like OMG OVERWHELMING MAJORITY IS WRONG! i go back and actually count the comments that agree with me - more often than not, it's not a huge minority, i'm just more sensitive to the comments i think are wrongheaded.

finally, part of being counter culture is that it's not normal and when you have a huge group of people that weren't gathered for that counter culture specifically, most of them will have life experiences that don't match your own and that will inform their positions just as your past has informed yours. i know it can seem like the free spirits are always giving others the benefit of the doubt while the squares are making zero progress, but that's just part of being weird, different and wonderful. slowly change is made and minds are changed, rarely does that happen in a flash.
posted by nadawi at 4:41 PM on December 29, 2010 [16 favorites]


"post the fuck out of your "alternative" lifestyle to the front page. Every news story, every new wrinkle, everything. You'll probably end up converting a few, and demoralizing the rest by your constant onslaught. "

....what?
posted by the young rope-rider at 4:43 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


...everyone was all "LEAVE COMIC SANS ALONE [SOB]!!!!"

I thought it was more like that point you reach halfway through your first episode of No Reservations, when you realize that not only is he not going to stop bitching, but that the bitching is, in fact, his entire shtick. And then you turn it off and see if Ghostbusters is still on Instant Watch.
posted by griphus at 4:45 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have seen mefites snark in threads about hippie parenting and helicopter-suburban-yuppie parenting alike. I think there's some confirmation bias happening.
posted by rtha at 4:47 PM on December 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


"Change" in MetaFilter culture? [...] when did MetaFilter get so reactionary towards the counterculture?

Come Mee-fites and Meh-fites
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Other posters and commenters
Are beyond your command
Your old snark is
Rapidly agin'
Please stay out of the thread
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'
posted by amyms at 4:53 PM on December 29, 2010 [8 favorites]


Good lord - I did not mean to criticize all of MetaFilter, and I hope that's not how people read that comment. A thread with a mere 30ish comments can hardly be said to be representative of the thousands of people here. Being the change you wish to see is speaking up when you feel like a point of view is being derided too easily, that's all I was doing. For what it's worth, I've been reading the site for just about a decade now and I think that - if anything - the culture has gotten more inclusive, not less. Partially, that's why I felt the reaction to that FPP was uncharacteristically conservative. (NOTE: "Conservative" doesn't mean republican or right wing in every context. In this case, it pretty clearly means "conservative" in the sense of maintaining a connection and congruence with the past and how things have "always" been done. I don't think it's facile to point that out.)

Quite honestly, I can't think of anywhere I prefer to have discussions. MeFites have taught me a great number of wonderful things and opened my eyes to lots of things I never would have encountered on my own. I strive to be a positive voice, and I apologize if anyone took my comment as fighty, that was certainly not my intention.
posted by stoneweaver at 4:54 PM on December 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


I've noticed changes to MetaFilter since I started here, oh yes I have. Wither thou, fair-haired youth? Your tresses are streak'd with silver now. Whither thou, golden child? Age hath made thee stooped and gnarled, just as age doth the mighty oak. Once we were young; now age hath passed its beclouding hand thither. Your beauty, spoiled; your vitality, sapped; your grace, undone. I mourn for thee, MetaFilter; also into Arcadia we go.

Also, we don't write as good as we once done.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:01 PM on December 29, 2010 [9 favorites]


Hey anyone remember the thread about people who have that voice, or running monologue, in the back of their heads? I think it was on Metatalk, was pretty interesting to read.
posted by nomadicink at 5:07 PM on December 29, 2010


I know that there's at least one group out there on an alt-sex site which was created purely because people asking questions about BDSM in AskMe were feeling ostracized and marginalized by the overwhelming negative answers they were receiving.

Oh there will be negative answers and snark. Metafilter is about getting over it and sticking to your guns. That's what makes it cool.
posted by Jimbob at 5:09 PM on December 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


There is no safe word in AskMe.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:10 PM on December 29, 2010 [9 favorites]


It's sad that those bdsm people were too sensitive to the torture we put them through in AskMefi

Maybe Ask Metafilter needs a safeword?
posted by Hoopo at 5:13 PM on December 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


crap. Preview
posted by Hoopo at 5:13 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


And then you turn it off and see if Ghostbusters is still on Instant Watch.

It's totally not. And I've been waiting for it to be, so I think you made it up to send me lurching to netflix so you could laugh at my disappointment. Tease.
posted by longtime_lurker at 5:14 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I used to think that Metafilter didn't do body modification or hip-hop well.

But lately I think that these things are important to me, and so I'm a little, y'know, extra sensitive about them.

Whatever the topic--childrearing or vegetarianism or Apple or Obama--it's important to somebody.
posted by box at 5:14 PM on December 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


three lashes for repeating the joke from the line above you! it's the failure to preview punishment!
posted by nadawi at 5:14 PM on December 29, 2010


But lately I think that these things are important to me, and so I'm a little, y'know, extra sensitive about them.

this is so spot freaking on. sometimes when i think metafilter (or my family or friends or other websites) don't do X topic well - the real problem is that i don't do that topic well. i remembered this lesson elsewhere on the internet today and i kept myself from getting indigent and righteously pissed off.
posted by nadawi at 5:17 PM on December 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


I've been here--mostly as a lurker but sometimes as a member--for quite awhile, and I had to learn to handle this by not reading or posting in threads where I have strong feelings about the subject. I have more fun and it makes my time here more satisfying. I realize though this may not work for everybody.
posted by rain at 5:20 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is something I've been thinking about lately. I've got a feeling that the primary metric of proper parenting has become domesticity. The right way to parent according to contemporary society is to create a "good home," a safe space where a child can grow in a proper nurturing environment. I'm not saying that's a bad thing (I'm a product of my culture after all) but I can't help but think that this facet of parenting hasn't been so heavily emphasized before (as opposed to, for instance, discipline, education, providing role models and teaching work ethics). I wonder if this is because domesticity is the front on which the battle for equal rights for gay parents has been waged. The strongest argument has been that gay parents can make equally good homes for their children (which I agree with completely) but I wonder if a side effect of this definition of childrearing with domesticity has been to marginalize parenting which doesn't put first the creation if this particular type of safe space for children to grow up in.

Anyway, based on an observation I'm not entirely sure is true I'd like to nonetheless suggest that today's society is very judgmental when it comes to family life that is not domestic. Thus, when presented with a lifestyle like the one in the link which is undomestic, most people's BADPARENTBADPARENT alarm starts blaring. Much like in the past when people heard about a boy growing up with a lesbian couple and became worried that he lacked proper male role models.

My observation from the admittedly limited dataset of my friends, is that domesticity is but one factor in bringing up a child, and growing up in a non-standard home, or even living a peripatetic existence as a kid, doesn't affect anyone adversely.

I've also seen these friends have to defend their parents from other people's judgment. It's weird to me.
posted by Kattullus at 5:20 PM on December 29, 2010 [7 favorites]


Ah, here's the thread I was thinking of, it talked about back of the brain thoughts, about suicide and other stuff.
posted by nomadicink at 5:39 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I had to learn to handle this by not reading or posting in threads where I have strong feelings about the subject. I have more fun and it makes my time here more satisfying.

Oh, srsly. I've had to do this namely with religion threads. I read them, but I keep myself from commenting in them by sheer force of will because it's so much way better for my blood pressure that way. It's not that MeFi doesn't do it well (though it certainly has its biases) so much as I can't let it go as easily as other topics, so it's best for me to just avoid it.

Someone wise once said "It's better to be happy than right" and I try to carry that attitude around MeFi - if a subject comes up wherein I have to be right, it's not a subject for me to comment on.
posted by sonika at 5:40 PM on December 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


a/s/l?
posted by bardic at 5:46 PM on December 29, 2010


It would be interesting to know if the Metafilter user base is aging. Certainly a lot of the main voices have been around for a while now.

Perhaps the average user number of the most active posters mapped over time?
posted by Meta Filter at 5:54 PM on December 29, 2010


One thing Metafilter is really bad at is accepting the FACT that everything was better when I was younger: music, food, movies, books, sex, fashion, people, terrorism, politicians, pollution, war, disease, religion, Jesus, beer, wine, single malt whiskey, hockey, baseball, roller derby, even cats.
posted by philip-random at 6:12 PM on December 29, 2010


single malt whiskey

Well that's just crazy. Proof: Suppose you had a very nice 15 year old scotch lying around, back at the turn of the century. Now, when you're older, it's a fantastic 25 year old scotch! Clearly better.

Oh crap, now I'm anxious about drinking my scotch rather than saving it. Time value of intoxication is complicated.
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:16 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


My impression -- and it's an impression only, I wasn't involved in any forming any of the semi-split-off groups -- is that the problem here with bdsm/sports/hippies/etc is not so much the snark and harshing as it is the insta-LULZ. The reduction of things that people take really seriously to dumb and not very funny one-liners just gets old. I'm sure I've contributed to it myself, and it's such a rock-solid MeFi tradition that it's a no-brainer to hive off an interest group than it is to try and battle it out here.

For some things -- casual sexism, say -- the battle to change the discourse here is worth it, definitely. But for other things, like being able to discuss the World Series or kinky sex without having to sift through the lulz, it isn't worth it.

The irony of it all is that MeFi has managed so strongly to create "safe spaces," as it were, for serious and thoughtful discussions of computer games, science fiction shows, and other subjects that get the full lulz treatment in most places. Why that social protection is reserved only for certain subjects, and not others, I don't know -- there's a funny group psychology that happens, for whatever reason.
posted by Forktine at 6:36 PM on December 29, 2010 [21 favorites]


Forktine, you have hit it absolutely spot on. That's a perfect elucidation of what I was trying to get at in my comment. Except you did it a million times more clearly and with broad enough language to encompass all the subjects it touches.
posted by stoneweaver at 6:43 PM on December 29, 2010


Forktine, I think that may be one reason why I participate more in AskMe than in the blue.

On AskMe all the lulz are filtered out by our super-awesome mod team. This means that if you click on a discussion about a thing, people inside are talking about that thing. And if they're making a funny, it's a very informed and on-topic funny.

Which is a pretty amazing thing, if you think about it.
posted by ErikaB at 6:48 PM on December 29, 2010


MetaFilter: Sex and the clitoris and protection over the dinner table
posted by Floydd at 6:48 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Metafilter is sinking under the weight of its own levity.
posted by jamjam at 6:48 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


n did MetaFilter get so reactionary towards the counterculture?

Er...what is "the counterculture?" First you have to define the counterculture, and then you have to show how MeFi is "Reactionary" to it.
posted by Miko at 6:54 PM on December 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Speaking of lulz:

MetaFilter: Sex and the clitoris and protection over the dinner table

I mean, why have a serious conversation about parenting (or a serious meta-conversation about how we talk about parenting) when you can parrot a type of one-liner that wasn't very funny back when it was first used? It's crappy, thoughtless noise, and although a certain amount of it is always present, certain subjects (sex, hippies, etc) really bring it on.
posted by Forktine at 6:58 PM on December 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


You see, when there seems to be a consensus of a few people that my chosen modality is a target for scrutiny or ridicule then it's my privilege to make blanket assertions about the user base as a whole, dig?
posted by Burhanistan at 6:59 PM on December 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


The reduction of things that people take really seriously to dumb and not very funny one-liners just gets old.

I blame the holidays for everyone's lack of humor including myself. There are just some topics and some times of year when it's harder to say something off the cuff without a ton of qualifications [if you're trying to be polite] or a veneer of sneer [if you've just about had it].

MetaFilter is not reactionary to any specific counterculture that I know of [we have well-loved members from most of them that I can think of off the top of my head] but we have a lot of contrary members who like to overanalyze things and talk about things. Also, some people get irritable over the holidaytimes.

DID I MENTION THE HOLIDAYS?

In summary: I could use a hug this week and I suspect I am not the only one.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:01 PM on December 29, 2010 [13 favorites]


That thread went better than it could have. What's happened with Metafilter is that the userbase has aged, and nothing gets old people going like the chance to judge other people's weird lifestyles.
posted by furiousthought at 7:07 PM on December 29, 2010


What's happened with Metafilter is that the userbase has aged, and nothing gets old people going like the chance to judge other people's weird lifestyles.

I think that more younger people are joining and they have not had the experience or diversification that older people have had.

For christ's sake someone hug the mod up there!
posted by Max Power at 7:10 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Depending on the topic of the post, I usually end up skipping the first 5-10 comments. In my (admittedly limited) experience they are almost always simple favorite-bait and contribute nothing to an actual discussion. Some folks here rush to be the first out of the gate with a witty rejoinder and while that certainly has its place, it's Not Useful or Interesting most of the time, and I think it shuts down actual, thoughtful consideration and discussion of the topic for awhile.

On more than one occasion, I have clicked away from a thread disappointed or disinterested, only to glance at it later and find that once the LULZiness has passed, a good conversation is underway.

My point, and I do have one, is that folks will snark for nothing more than the lulz, or to just be contrarian (even if they secretly think it's swell), or because that's just how they relate to the Internet, and I bet if you stayed on top of that thread you would find more thoughtful, if not outright support, as it grows.
posted by That's Numberwang! at 7:14 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Speaking of lulz:

MetaFilter: Sex and the clitoris and protection over the dinner table

I mean, why have a serious conversation about parenting (or a serious meta-conversation about how we talk about parenting) when you can parrot a type of one-liner that wasn't very funny back when it was first used?


The comment made me smile and get a warm glow inside, seriously.

I don't see why we can't have a bit of lulz and serious discussion about topics. Yes, it can be thin line at times, and God knows I've tripped over it at times, but really, we're adults here (sometimes), and we shouldn't expect or demand (not that anyone is particular is, I'm just talking) that everyone take what we're saying in the exact same vein as we're feeling at that particular moment. If you feel someone is getting too jokey about a serious subject, just ask them to lay off a bit or dial it down a notch because it's an important subject to you. It's not a perfect solution that will be followed at all times, but maybe it'll help sometimes? If something is important to ya, say so and say that you want to discuss something.

In summary: I could use a hug this week and I suspect I am not the only one.

Bummer, I had a pretty good time, but who couldn't use more dancing narwhals in their life?
posted by nomadicink at 7:17 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


What's happened with Metafilter is that the userbase has aged

This is totallly true and interesting and under-discussed up to this point. I feel that sex/kink questions peaked maybe 3-4 years ago, and family/religion/child/marriage/job questions are a lot more frequent now. I leave it to cortex and the datawonk army to hash out the realities of the data categories of questions now vs. 5 years ago, but I feel it's very clear that I've been aging along with the bulk of the MeFi army, and there are fewer questions now about getting your partner off, and more questions about dealing with your offspring's Kindergarten teacher or your aging parents.
posted by Miko at 7:26 PM on December 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


I feel it's very clear that I've been aging along with the bulk of the MeFi army

Let me recommend this awesome portrait painter I know...
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:31 PM on December 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


This post initially referenced a post about parenting and lifestyle on metafilter.com, then referenced BDSM on ask.metafilter.com and finished comparing the attitudes about the former with the latter.

Given the range of the subject matter and the consideration of the responses your question: "...when did MetaFilter get so reactionary towards the counterculture?" makes me think that I have to get out more.
posted by vapidave at 7:33 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


The comments about the Offbeat Mama post make me want to give Metafilter a rest for awhile. The problem isn't whether or not comments come from the right or the left. The problem is that everyone treats posts as data. The Left is as quantoid as the Right.

I don't know if it's because Internet users skew young or not---but people simultaneously believe that a statement is all there is, in a sense being "true" and a whole truth at that, and also look for clues, based on their own frames of reference, to support the assumptions they're making about the OP.

Everybody has an f-ing opinion and thinks the Internet is raising it up and giving it importance --- but on the Internet EVERYBODY HAS AN F-ING OPINION and in such an environment, no one's opinion matters in the least.

Me? I'm just a story whore.

Over and out.
posted by vitabellosi at 7:45 PM on December 29, 2010


It's not really "Who's young or old on the Internet." It's recognizing that people at different life stages use the Internet in different ways. DiscourseMarker linked to this Pew study recently, which shows that we're all out here for different reasons, depending on our life stages. MetaFilter has always, to some degree, cut across demographics by appealing to datawonky, information-houndy people,. but I've always felt it's a place with a distinctly GenX approach to the world.
posted by Miko at 7:51 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Metafiler is by far better than it ever has been.

For realsies.
posted by bardic at 7:54 PM on December 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Metafiler is by far better than it ever has been.

See: yeah, totally, but only for those of us in the peak demographic...
posted by Miko at 7:56 PM on December 29, 2010


nothing gets old people going like the chance to judge other people's weird lifestyles.

Heh. Really? I was a damn sight more judgmental at 25 than I am at 45. At 25 I was certain that I knew what was what. At 45 I'm certain that if someone claims to know what's what they are deluded, crazy, or after my money. And at 25 I really CARED about stuff that MATTERED and that made me EARNEST and often UNBEARABLE. Now at 45 I find that not giving a fuck about much of anything to be quite liberating.

See, you see your weird lifestyle as bold and empowering and honest and all those good things, and that may all be true, but you know what?

It's just like every other person's "lifestyle" (what a horrid, horrid word that is) on the planet. Every. Single. One. You can change the nouns all you want, but the verbs never change. You find shelter, you find sustenance, you dig a hole to shit in. You try to connect with other people. That's all it is. In every case. The rest is just window-dressing. Distracting details.

The difference is that the young seem to find that stuff important. Many old people know better.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 8:20 PM on December 29, 2010 [63 favorites]


"The reduction of things that people take really seriously to dumb and not very funny one-liners just gets old."

Yes. Every single time there is a discussion about polyamory someone talks about how boring polyamorists are, LOLX10000 so funny!
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:21 PM on December 29, 2010


Been visiting metafilter since ~2000. Only change I've noticed is that the average comment length seemed longer (whole paragraphs) 5-6 years ago, they seem to have gotten shorter - I could be wrong.

I think there's a lot less conversation/exchange happening. If "favorites" went away forever, I would not care.
posted by peppito at 8:36 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


> I had to learn to handle this by not reading or posting in threads where I have strong feelings about the subject.

> I keep myself from commenting in them by sheer force of will because it's so much way better for my blood pressure that way.

Yeah, we hear this advice over and over again. It's practical advice, but it's not a good thing. It means we never hear from people who know a lot about a topic and care about it.

The bullies always win.
posted by nangar at 8:43 PM on December 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


when did MetaFilter get so reactionary towards the counterculture? [...] When did all this start happening?

metafilter has gotten so much nicer over the last decade. seriously. search for inflammatory words and look at things before 2003. i'm always a little surprised when i find myself trawling through the archives at some of the "i'd fuck her" jokes and just the antagonizing attitudes.

I'd agree with both these statements, actually. Mefi is indeed "nicer" these days, but you don't get nice without some degree of conformity, as nangar points out... and it's no surprise that counterculture people take the brunt of that, because they don't get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to being "nice".

0xFCAF explained this double-standard with regards to religion, but it's the same for parenting, sex, or anything else: choices which are far enough outside the mainstream in a given community are perceived as being actively against it, while mainstream choices are always perceived as being for something. This means -- you guessed it! -- that unpopular choices are hardly ever "nice"... and the more unpopular they get, the angrier (and, of course, actually not-nice) everyone else gets about how not-nice they are.
posted by vorfeed at 8:52 PM on December 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


I've got a feeling that the primary metric of proper parenting has become domesticity.

Kattullus, this is an interesting point. I see this too. It speaks to the whole 'radical homemaking' movement, where some feminist women want to stay home and take care of their kids while their husbands work but still feel like they are empowered and not in traditional roles. So they take crafting and gardening and cooking to extremes.

But I don't agree completely, as I think there's huge pressure to get lessons, languages, etc to your kids as much as possible. Junior must take music lessons, attend a second language-immersion school, and never ever watch tv or eat non-organic veggies.
posted by bluedaisy at 8:53 PM on December 29, 2010


What's happened with Metafilter is that the userbase has aged

Some of us were old already :)

Actually, it's kind of true: Everyone who's been around since the beginning is now 11+ years older- which means that the management is growing up as well as the userbase, It's natural that things are going to change; the magic is in managing that change well.

It's been mentioned to me by someone who's in a position to know that I skew way outside the 'norm' of Metafilter users on a couple of factors. Oddly enough, I feel pretty damn comfortable here and valued by my friends here. I think that's pretty damned indicative of the kind of place this is.
posted by pjern at 8:56 PM on December 29, 2010


Does anyone else ever avoid favoriting a comment because they feel that they aren't the absolutely most erudite or popular person here and don't want for people to subsequently avoid favoriting a comment out of fear that they may tarnish their reputation by association?
I did that tonight at 10:20 PM which, I think, qualifies me as a coelenterate.
posted by vapidave at 9:00 PM on December 29, 2010


Perhaps the presentation of what is essentially the carrying out of a lifestyle choice as something akin to social activism is what winds people up. I don't see that response as somehow being conservative in any way.
posted by sgt.serenity at 9:09 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fair and balanced.
posted by maxwelton at 9:26 PM on December 29, 2010


Really? I was a damn sight more judgmental at 25 than I am at 45.

Yeah but it's not really about being judgmental in general. Young people are judgmental about people's tastes, looks, careers, that sort of thing, but what really seems to get the 30s and 40s set going around here is lifestyle shit – how people raise their kids, how often they change their towels, which way the toilet paper goes, subjects like that. Look at what gets comments reliably.

Also, for every person who develops perspective and non-judgmental qualities as they age, you have another unreflective person who thinks they know it all now that they're 19, then thinks they know it all now that they're 29, then thinks they know it all now that they're 39, and so on, and my god if those aren't the ones who are super proud of the perspective they've developed every step of the way. Not saying you're like that, but you see that around here all the time.
posted by furiousthought at 9:28 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Here's a thing:

When I was pretty young, 7 or 8 or so, my paternal grandfather made a big deal of shaking my hand at Christmas that year, it being his best opportunity to do so, some few days after our mutual birthday, which forever bonded us as "twins" in his lexicon, while my parents and I and my brother visited my grandparents.

"And you should remember this," he said. "Because the hand you are shaking, shook the hand of a man who shook Abraham Lincoln's hand." I was then, and have been, ever since, from time to time, pretty impressed with my right hand, on no more testimony than that.

Shaddup, you simmering idiots, on all other right hand references. I'm tellin' a true story here.

Which is to say, what "Metafilter culture" appears to be, on any given day, is pretty thin, in time, despite its apparent breadth. But, you know, it builds, thread by thread, and I still have hopes for it...
posted by paulsc at 9:28 PM on December 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


It's sad that those bdsm people were too sensitive to the torture we put them through in AskMefi.

I see what you did there.
posted by empath at 9:39 PM on December 29, 2010


I was raised by hippies/communists/revolutionaries/SDS members, and had pretty much the textbook "alternative" childhood. Apparently, I saw Janis Joplin at Winterland when I was too young to remember it. Was often along for the ride -- born to a 19-year-old. People have sex, then babies appear on the scene - it's the goddamnedest thing.

I typed, then deleted a couple of comments in that thread because I didn't feel like I had the strength to argue if it got fighty, and it seemed like it was headed there. I don't get the whole drawing a line, then getting on one side or the other of it and shouting across thing, any more. Maybe I'm just old, be it seems like tough issues like child-rearing need to be more nuanced than just FREEDOM DO AS THOU WILT vs. OMG TEH BABBIES. It's okay to be conflicted and to see good and bad points across a spectrum of possibilities. Think, talk, listen, learn. Blaming, assuming and belittling, even just for the fun of it gets to be a drag to read sometimes. I know it stifles discussion.

The article linked in the FPP was written by someone who seems to have turned out okay, and her and her mom got to have some great times together, and are probably pretty close. It sounds like here mom loves her, and that's the biggest thing of all. Conversely, I bet there were times when the kid was in the way of a good time. Nobody's perfect. We weren't there, and judging people off of a few paragraphs of writing is... what? Childish?


But we just had that freaky-ass Comic Sans thread where everyone was all "LEAVE COMIC SANS ALONE [SOB]!!!!"

That shit weirded me right the fuck out.

Also. "kidlet?" That makes me a little curmedgeony.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:40 PM on December 29, 2010 [10 favorites]


Also, for every person who develops perspective and non-judgmental qualities as they age, you have another unreflective person who thinks they know it all now that they're 19,

The only metric I've ever bought into is the Milgram's 35. That is, the 35 percent (in Milgram's Experiment) of everyday folk who, in spite of various psychological manipulations and coercions refused to register a lethal dose of electricity to innocent people in spite of orders from authority figures to do so -- those are my people.

The other 65 percent (two-thirds of humanity apparently) -- they scare the fuck out of me.

sorry. what were we talking about?
posted by philip-random at 9:44 PM on December 29, 2010 [10 favorites]


I typed, then deleted a couple of comments in that thread because I didn't feel like I had the strength to argue if it got fighty, and it seemed like it was headed there. I don't get the whole drawing a line, then getting on one side or the other of it and shouting across thing, any more. Maybe I'm just old, be it seems like tough issues like child-rearing need to be more nuanced than just FREEDOM DO AS THOU WILT vs. OMG TEH BABBIES. It's okay to be conflicted and to see good and bad points across a spectrum of possibilities. Think, talk, listen, learn. Blaming, assuming and belittling, even just for the fun of it gets to be a drag to read sometimes. I know it stifles discussion.

See this? Exactly what I was thinking about. Other threads I've read here on the gray have said of MetaFilter that we encourage discussion, we want to have a conversation with people about the things we're reading on the 'net or watching in vids.

Except, how can we have a conversation if the people who have things to say about this from their own experiences feel as if they can't say anything because of the people who are being judgmental?
posted by TrishaLynn at 10:05 PM on December 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


When I was just a little girl, I asked my mother, "What will I be? Will I be pretty? Will I be rich?" Here's what she said to me : "Que Sera, Sera. Whatever will be, will be. The future's not ours to see. Que Sera, Sera."
posted by crunchland at 10:06 PM on December 29, 2010


Great advice, crunchland. But not particularly original, or, um, germane to this thread, which might be, when you were a little girl, how the future might have given you some hope, as the past has given your forebearers, and how today's Metafilter fits in, to all that.
posted by paulsc at 10:20 PM on December 29, 2010


Except, how can we have a conversation if the people who have things to say about this from their own experiences feel as if they can't say anything because of the people who are being judgmental?

How can we have a conversation if people that want to be judgemental are afraid they're going to be called out in metatalk?
posted by empath at 10:44 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, we hear this advice over and over again. It's practical advice, but it's not a good thing. It means we never hear from people who know a lot about a topic and care about it.

No, it means we don't hear from as many folks as we might. It's not a binary thing. And, yes, it's pragmatic advice, not ideal-world stuff: I'd rather folks with a passion for a given topic always felt willing and able to engage that passion in a constructive way, but as a mental-health and community-health measure it only makes good sense for folks to be honest with themselves about whether digging in on a specific topic at a specific time is going to yield good discussion and an improvement of their day or whether it's more likely to be bad for their blood pressure and turn into a fight.

"Forbid anyone from disagreeing or criticizing a passionately-held viewpoint" is not a practical solution to that difficulty, but it's the only one that would guarantee that folks who were worried about their reaction to said disagreement or criticism could proceed without caution. So we're stuck, practically, with the compromise where from the mod side we'll try to keep people from being outright jerks; folks worried about their reaction to a harsh or dismissive reception make a personal call case-by-case about whether to engage; and what we get as a result is a mixed bag that may not be as accommodating to or protective of any given topic as folks interested in that topic would like but there is at least the general expectation that people will be halfway civil about things and no topic will be off-limits.

The irony of it all is that MeFi has managed so strongly to create "safe spaces," as it were, for serious and thoughtful discussions of computer games, science fiction shows, and other subjects that get the full lulz treatment in most places.

Interesting. Those specific subjects are things that mostly strike me as having a far lower threshold of "safety", as I understand the idea, than the highly-charged stuff usually associated with that idea when folks talk about what mefi is or isn't. I think it'd be difficult for discussions of video games or scifi to get to the point of being unsafe in internet-discussion terms, as much because the stakes are relatively low: sure, people can be jerkish about it, but generally speaking that's as far as it goes.

Because, well, people do indeed get jerkish about such stuff, or make tired lulzy comments, or leap into threads about games or genre fiction to barf out one dismissal or another. Show me a thread about Guitar Hero et al, I'll show you a thread where someone has wondered aloud why folks don't just Learn A Real Instrument, etc. But, so it goes. Liking video games or scifi or comic books is easier on the Internet, and easier on Metafilter, than perhaps it was in middle school, but it's also not some kind of protected class and mostly I think folks just don't feel like it needs the extra attention on that front because someone having a contrasting opinion, even a deeply facile one, isn't likely to ruin anyone's day.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:50 PM on December 29, 2010


*hugs jessamyn,*


*blows a kiss to everyone else....*
posted by Lynsey at 11:00 PM on December 29, 2010


The irony of it all is that MeFi has managed so strongly to create "safe spaces," as it were, for serious and thoughtful discussions of computer games, science fiction shows, and other subjects that get the full lulz treatment in most places.

People who like those things have generally developed pretty thick skins. It's probably a good idea for pretty much talking about anything on the internet.
posted by empath at 11:16 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


For many things you may say or post on MeFi, there's the Typical Metafilter Response to that thing. If you, like me, are tired of hearing the Typical Metafilter response, try not to say, post, or read things that will evoke that response. Dead serious about this; it's something I myself have struggled with.
posted by Afroblanco at 11:19 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


The reactions to the Offbeat Mama thread seemed pretty normal to me. Some people thought that parenting style was ridiculous or dumb, and others thought it was perfectly fine. There wasn't a pile-on, and given how judgmental some people can be about parenting styles, I thought it was a fairly tame thread.

Maybe there was a lot of snark deleted, but most of the responses are either reasonably disagreeing or agreeing with the sentiments of the OP's link. I think if most of the reactions were snark we'd have a problem.
posted by Ortho at 11:23 PM on December 29, 2010


Proof: Suppose you had a very nice 15 year old scotch lying around, back at the turn of the century. Now, when you're older, it's a fantastic 25 year old scotch!

The internets disagree. Please to be sending all your nice scotch to me for immediate drinkage.
posted by Dr Dracator at 11:27 PM on December 29, 2010


I think the seeming dichotomy is perfectly summed up by oneirodynia's comment: I stopped thinking of MetaFilter as liberal in the sense of "open-minded" a long time ago. It may be socially liberal here, but culturally it's very conservative. There's a significant amount of commenters here who can't seem to understand people living different lives than they do. People can be chill about sex and gender, and completely knee-jerk about hipsters or fedora-wearers. emphasis mine.

And as much as we can speak of an entire userbase (we can't), I would add that once the putative borg identifies and adopts a trend/theory/practice/attitude it can become viciously dogmatic about it, even while sneering at others with ostensibly blinkered attitudes or beliefs. This combined with an often naive failure (especially echoing oneirodynia here) to imagine conditions or existence outside the demographic norm tends to create an atmosphere of issues-liberalism that is nevertheless quite conservative.

Has this conservatism actually increased over the years? I really can't say, but I think not. I've seen us painfully work through a lot of casually intolerant and/or solipsistic attitudes, so, to me, the fact that the mechanism (and habit!) is in place for challenging unexamined biases is the saving grace and promising hope in what I think could have otherwise become an accidentally, but profoundly, exclusionary community.
posted by taz at 12:45 AM on December 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


You don't have any street cred if you don't punch hippies.

What? I thought it was frat boys now.


We definitely agreed it was ok to punch Mark Zuckerberg.
posted by londonmark at 3:38 AM on December 30, 2010


But not particularly original, or, um, germane to this thread, which might be, when you were a little girl, how the future might have given you some hope, as the past has given your forebearers, and how today's Metafilter fits in, to all that. --- There you go, criticizing my mom's parenting skills.
posted by crunchland at 4:45 AM on December 30, 2010


What's happened with Metafilter is that the userbase has aged

I'm not sure this is true. Sure, those who have been around for a long time have aged, but those people are a pretty small subset of members these days. It would have been an interesting social experiment to leave memberships closed and watch the community grow old(er) together, but that hasn't happened. My perception is that the userbase is now much younger overall than it used to be. I hope that doesn't just mean that I'm old.
posted by dg at 4:59 AM on December 30, 2010


That post was badly framed from the get-go: a single-link snapshot of one young person's thoughts *without any other context* about the author, the festival culture she grew up in, alternative parenting styles or anything else is an invitation to have an opinion. It's not the best set-up for debate or learning. The conversation itself could have been much, much worse. I would have welcomed links to blogs by kids like Jade, or other communities that support non-mainstream parenting practice, and I think that the comments would have been much richer for them.
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:09 AM on December 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yes. Every single time there is a discussion about polyamory someone talks about how boring polyamorists are, LOLX10000 so funny!
posted by the young rope-rider (*) at 5:21 AM on December 30 [+] [!]


The reason people say polyamorists are boring is because of the fact that out of four comments you made, only one was unrelated to your fabulous practice of polyamory.

Let us discuss Dwarf Fortress for a little while now, ok? Can it be?
posted by CautionToTheWind at 5:09 AM on December 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


You know, being liberal doesn't mean being endlessly accepting of everything. Or at least, it shouldn't.
posted by Decani at 5:16 AM on December 30, 2010 [6 favorites]


Afroblanco: "For many things you may say or post on MeFi, there's the Typical Metafilter Response to that thing. If you, like me, are tired of hearing the Typical Metafilter response, try not to say, post, or read things that will evoke that response. Dead serious about this; it's something I myself have struggled with."

Struggled ain't even the word, my man.
posted by gman at 5:24 AM on December 30, 2010


I know that there's at least one group out there on an alt-sex site which was created purely because people asking questions about BDSM in AskMe were feeling ostracized and marginalized by the overwhelming negative answers they were receiving.

If you're talking about FetLife, that doesn't seem to be the case.
posted by nomadicink at 5:35 AM on December 30, 2010


Okay. I learned a few things today. crunchland is a girl. I could've sworn Afroblanco was here when I got here. I miss miss lynnster.
posted by marxchivist at 5:45 AM on December 30, 2010


Different subject I know, but here's another thread I don't feel up to posting in as a result of the angry snark. I don't own any double-kick pedals or 5-string bases, but blanket statements are blankety.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:55 AM on December 30, 2010


The irony of it all is that MeFi has managed so strongly to create "safe spaces," as it were, for serious and thoughtful discussions of computer games, science fiction shows, and other subjects that get the full lulz treatment in most places.

You know, cortex describes it pretty well, but as a constant poster/participant in these threads, I have to say that you are capital-w Wrong. Not a single thread of that sort has been a "safe space" for anyone or for their tastes. There's contention, there's arguing, there's good ole-fashioned threadshitting, all of these things are there. They're just usually couched in considerably more inside-baseball language than the sort of stuff that goes on in universally-applicable threads like in threads about parenting or sex. It's a lot easier for everyone to get GRAR/offended/whatever over "mom ain't doin' her job right"/"people are fuckin' weird" than it is about "Frank Miller's been descending down a weird misogynist path these last five year" or "the latest Minecraft release is buggy as shit."
posted by griphus at 6:27 AM on December 30, 2010


I think around the holidays, for two weeks, we should just shut off all the posts and commenting. It would be an interesting experiment.
posted by geoff. at 6:39 AM on December 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


griphus: It's a lot easier for everyone to get GRAR/offended/whatever over "mom ain't doin' her job right"/"people are fuckin' weird" than it is about "Frank Miller's been descending down a weird misogynist path these last five year" or "the latest Minecraft release is buggy as shit."

There's a rather large difference between castigating ways of parenting and having an opinion on the quality of Frank Miller or Minecraft. Also, the former broad-bush attack is usually argued from ignorance while critiques of specific popculture artifacts are generally made by people who have a thorough knowledge of the subject. I think what people are objecting too isn't debate about various non-mainstream lifestyles so much as people denouncing those lifestyles without knowing much about them.

geoff.: I think around the holidays, for two weeks, we should just shut off all the posts and commenting. It would be an interesting experiment.

Think of all the grar that would overflow into people's real lives. MetaFilter provides an important public holiday service in that it allows people to vent their otherwise-threatening-to-explode spleen in the safety of the internet, rather than all over a communal turkey dinner. Snarking on the internet can ruin someone's day. Snark in real life can damage people's lives.
posted by Kattullus at 6:58 AM on December 30, 2010


Heh. Really? I was a damn sight more judgmental at 25 than I am at 45...

Wow, I'm older than BitterOldPunk!
posted by octothorpe at 7:17 AM on December 30, 2010


crunchland is not a girl. He was quoting a Doris Day song.
posted by pineapple at 7:34 AM on December 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I knew the stuff in quotes was from the song, but thought the unquoted stuff wasn't....

Found Afroblanco showed up shortly after me with a slightly different username. So miss lynnster is probably still active here and I just missed the whole thing.

I'm obviously doing Metafilter wrong today.
posted by marxchivist at 7:47 AM on December 30, 2010


You know, being liberal doesn't mean being endlessly accepting of everything. Or at least, it shouldn't. Hear, hear! Particularly -- maybe most particularly -- when it comes to parenting. Children of the alternative, the peripatetic, the cave-dwelling and even toddlers in tiaras are entitled to 3 squares, a good night's sleep, safe harbor and the freedom to mature at their own pace because they are secure in the intrinsic knowledge that they are not the boss, the grown-ups are the boss.
posted by thinkpiece at 8:02 AM on December 30, 2010


gman is clearly in love with me. He probably pays more attention to me than anyone else on this site. I'm ... flattered?
posted by Afroblanco at 8:33 AM on December 30, 2010


While this call-out is fair game, I'm a little uncomfortable with what I perceive to be the implied message herein which suggests that anything other than complete lockstep agreement with any and all out of the mainstream ideas and lifestyles by the entire Metafilter userbase implies that Metalilter has become overly "reactionary" or nasty.

In the linked thread on parenting, any sort of snarky responses were far outnumbered by thoughtful and well-written counter-arguments suggesting that perhaps this method of child rearing is not as idyllic as the teen writer would suggest. In my view, that makes for a far more interesting and useful discussion than simply reading a string of, "Great" or "I agree" responses.
posted by The Gooch at 8:47 AM on December 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


I referred to it earlier, but I'll elaborate. If you think Metafilter as a whole is insensitive to your particular pet-agenda, we've shown a general acceptance towards social re-education.

When it was determined by some that Metafilter was an intolerable boyzone, subtle and not so subtle attempts have been and continue to be reinforced. Misogynistic comments are not tolerated, and people get called out when they make them. Many (admittedly contentious) threads about no-no naughty words being used have been pursued on Metatalk, and while there is usually a strong opposing force to it, in general, people end up complying.

I'm convinced that there are several people who think its necessary to push a pro-gay agenda on the front page, and who post pro-gay stories and links. I don't think they get any negative reactions because I don't think, in this day and age, with the skews and demographics of the site, there's much negativity to be given, but it still goes on.

So if you think that the pro-bdsm factions, or alternative methods of child-rearing aren't properly represented on the site, then make it a goal. You can post a new thread every day. Educate us. It may be rough at first, but the more we know, the less likely you'll receive ignorant responses in the future.
posted by crunchland at 8:49 AM on December 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think part of the reason for the BDSM-interested-mefites group on the other site is because some people feel a bit uptight about letting some aspects of their freak flag fly and it's easier to do that there than get a pervy sock-puppet account here for answering questions. Plus there's an urge to associate with mefites elsewhere because mefites are, overall, SO AWESOME. There's a mefite group on fetlife, but there's also a mefite group on ravelry.com, too, and i don't think it's because of any kind of pro or anti fiber-crafts feeling here.
posted by rmd1023 at 9:52 AM on December 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


gman gets random nasty crushes on lots of people, afroblanco. Sorry to burst your bubble.
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:58 AM on December 30, 2010


He was quoting a Doris Day song.

I always preferred Sly Stone's take on it.
posted by philip-random at 10:06 AM on December 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


The other 65 percent (two-thirds of humanity apparently) -- they scare the fuck out of me.

*proudly polishes 65%er pin*

Now where's that button? I've got some people that need to be called "sparky"...
posted by quin at 10:16 AM on December 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


There's a mefite group on fetlife, but there's also a mefite group on ravelry.com, too, and i don't think it's because of any kind of pro or anti fiber-crafts feeling here.

Communique for Anti-Fibrous Handiwork Guild Eyes Only:
Excellent, the resistance movement goes undetected. Minions our next job will be the consistent thrreadshitting of any and all AskMe questions related to "crafting" as our adversary's refer to it. Should someone request help with finding alpaca wool, we will redirect them to site's featuring youtube videos of New Zealanders shearing sheep to the tune of "It's a Small World After All." Should they request help with integrating Paypal with their Etsy store we will link them to an image of defaced image of stitch and bitch. First we take the green, then the blue.

Topic of next communique: Research the enemy's code phrase: "dropped stitch". Possibly related to counter-espionage techniques?
posted by edbles at 10:24 AM on December 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


This screen you are now looking at is destroying your pineal gland.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:35 AM on December 30, 2010


Please, can't we all just get along with our various freak flags and crazy ways?
posted by nomadicink at 10:40 AM on December 30, 2010


the young rope-rider: "gman gets random nasty crushes on lots of people, afroblanco."

Naw, it just seems that way to those who change their username more frequently than their choice of partners.
posted by gman at 10:41 AM on December 30, 2010


baboom chick
posted by clavdivs at 10:53 AM on December 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Topic of next communique: Research the enemy's code phrase: "dropped stitch". Possibly related to counter-espionage techniques?
posted by edbles

you have compromised operational security, please report to the bunker and bring you name tag and todays lunch chit.

'drop-stitich' is know 'NO GO.'

don't worry afroblanco, i too dislike memememememememeememems
posted by clavdivs at 11:00 AM on December 30, 2010


"Frank Miller's been descending down a weird misogynist path these last five year"

You're just straight-up baiting Art now.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:07 AM on December 30, 2010


What if six turned out to be nine? Would you mind?
posted by Sailormom at 12:35 PM on December 30, 2010


gman, that was weak. Half-assed slut-shaming? Try harder, I'm starting to think you don't love me anymore.
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:49 PM on December 30, 2010


Try harder, I'm starting to think you don't love me anymore.

This stops here. You two can take this to email.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:31 PM on December 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


. My perception is that the userbase is now much younger overall than it used to be. I hope that doesn't just mean that I'm old.

I don't know how much of a sense we could get of that, datawonk wise, but I'd be surprised if the average age today isn't higher than the average age in 1999. Not that there aren't a lot of younger people continually joining, but lots of the new people joining are also already over 30.
posted by Miko at 2:29 PM on December 30, 2010


I don't know how much of a sense we could get of that, datawonk wise

It's complicated. I could certainly take a look at those accounts that have a birth year set and put that up against join year to do a sort of snapshot of average-age-at-signup, but of course that'd be a self-selecting sample of users that may or may not actually represent the overall userbase well.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:40 PM on December 30, 2010


The sample size was probably too small -- about 2,500 people -- for it to be really solid number-crunchery, but whatever happened with iamkimiam's poll from earlier this year?
posted by Gator at 2:52 PM on December 30, 2010


I believe she is still a-crunchin' away at it in some fashion or other. The machinations of academia as mysterious to me, and slow.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:57 PM on December 30, 2010


Is this judgemental thing related to the, "This Muppet comedy offended me, even though I didn't look at the site at all," or, rather, "I'm glad all you people told me this was creepy, because I was suspicious of the site, and now I don't have to click on it" thing? If you thought you would have thought that, why bother commenting, or favoriting such a comment? I was thinking, Sheesh, you didn't even look at the site. Please keep it to yourself, OK? If you apply limits in comedy, it's fine to say so, but if you can't be bothered to check the comedy out, shut your piehole.
posted by raysmj at 4:59 PM on December 30, 2010


I'm convinced that there are several people who think its necessary to push a pro-gay agenda on the front page, and who post pro-gay stories and links.

Stories about advances in rights for GLBTQ people aren't part of a "pro-gay agenda"--they're news stories about the world becoming a little more just for everybody.

Characterizing sharing links to that stuff as a "pro-gay agenda" strikes me as awfully odd, unless I'm missing some larger point you're trying to make (always quite possible for me), or if I've missed FPPs that were actually linking to sites that were part of a "pro-gay agenda" (I don't even know what that would be--some weird Allan Bloom-esque thing about how Socrates was awesome because of all the man-sex, or a lesbian separatists' commune?)
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:53 PM on December 30, 2010 [5 favorites]


You're just straight-up baiting Art now.

Or me, AstroZombie, but from the other side. I was all "Only five years? It seems to me that Miller has been a stone misogynist from the first time he doodled on the flyleaf of his math book in elementary school!"

What does Cowboy Frank Miller ride?
HORSE HORSE HORSE
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:55 PM on December 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


I may start a Metafilter spinoff BDSM forum just to call it WhipMe.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:36 PM on December 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


One of the things I continue to love about this place is how much it reminds me of this imaginary one.
posted by bearwife at 2:30 PM on December 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


I could certainly take a look at those accounts that have a birth year set and put that up against join year to do a sort of snapshot of average-age-at-signup, but of course that'd be a self-selecting sample of users that may or may not actually represent the overall userbase well
If you then analysed those patterns against where some age groupings participate on the site, that would be awesome, thanks ;-)
posted by dg at 2:39 PM on December 31, 2010


Hugs and hi-fives for jessamyn and the rest of the mods. The only way this place would change is if they all stopped being awesome, which I don't foresee.
posted by localhuman at 4:56 PM on December 31, 2010


> Proof: Suppose you had a very nice 15 year old scotch lying around, back at the turn of the century. Now, when you're older, it's a fantastic 25 year old scotch! Clearly better.

Oh crap, now I'm anxious about drinking my scotch rather than saving it.


Nope, scotch ages in the barrel, not the bottle. It's no better now than it was when you bought it. By all means drink it; that's what it's for!

All the rest of you: you're wrong. About everything.
posted by languagehat at 11:45 AM on January 1, 2011


Does this mean I'm wrong about everything I know being probably wrong?
posted by philip-random at 11:48 AM on January 1, 2011


All the rest of you: you're wrong. About everything.

See, I knew it! That's what I've been saying all along.
posted by rain at 1:45 PM on January 1, 2011


Is it only me who kind of thinks that "Ex-treeem Lifestyles" and such is a very nineties concept? And who associates the notion that You Must Take My Alternative Lifestyle Seriously with a sort of late-20th-century outmoded kind of culture?

I mean, I'm not saying "conformity - it's the wave of the future!" or anything. I just remember 10+ years ago being a much more earnest time, socio-culturally speaking. My feelings about it remind me a little of the way people feel alternately squicked and nostalgic about the 70's.

I think something around the Bush/Gore election and September 11 permanently broke that part of society.
posted by Sara C. at 12:52 PM on January 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


« Older Aimler2 and myself are just th...  |  Hey Ask Me: What are the most ... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments