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May 17, 2011 1:13 AM   Subscribe

Why are thread-shitty sarcastic comments in music threads like this allowed to remain?

“What is a Tegan and Sara?”

“Who the hell is Tyler the Creator?”

“Am I the only person that has no idea who any of these people are?
From his twitter feed I'd peg Tyler as a black Borat and from the Tegan and Sara post I'd peg them as a lesbian Belle and Sebastion. How far off am I?”

If the posters were legitimately interested in the subject, they’d take five minutes to read the artist bios on Wikipedia and listen to a couple of tracks on the artists’ websites, MySpace music or Last FM. Comments like those above actually mean “This subject is boring and stupid and you are all boring and stupid for caring about it.” It’s such a fucking ugly attitude.


If you have no interest in or knowledge of modern popular music beyond what’s played on your crappy local KISS 97 FM-whatever radio station, if the last time you bought a new CD was in college, if you’ve ever answered a question about your taste in music with the phrase “anything but rap and country”, then maybe you should just stay out of music threads. They’re not for you, unless you’re genuinely interested in learning and asking legitimate questions. If you do know about music but you’re just being intentionally obtuse to make some sort of hipster point, well, fuck you too, I guess.
posted by Wroksie to Etiquette/Policy at 1:13 AM (446 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

It's not that easy to grasp the "relevance" of an artist in a few minutes of googling.
posted by delmoi at 1:17 AM on May 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


If you don't understand the subject, then don't comment on the post. It's not that hard, I don't comment on hundreds of posts every day.
posted by Wroksie at 1:19 AM on May 17, 2011 [30 favorites]


I think the thread moved on fine despite the dread specter of these comments. I believe people write them when they slip into a conversational modality instead of a publishing modality. I mean, is it worth getting that worked up about.
posted by the mad poster! at 1:21 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is it worth getting worked up about anything on the internet? These kinds of comments land in every music thread, and I think it's worth discussing. If you don't agree, that's cool.
posted by Wroksie at 1:24 AM on May 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't think it was necessary for you to take such a harsh tone. Furthermore, suggesting that those without any knowledge of popular music should stay out of the music threads seems absurd. There are quite a few posts that don't contribute much to the discussion and this isn't limited to music threads. The best course of action is to flag it if you think it is bad and write a response in the thread calling someone out for being as asshat if it's particularly bad. There's always going to be noise.

That being said, it'd be nice if those comments were more substantive.
posted by EsotericAlgorithm at 1:26 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I said people with no interest in music should stay out if they're only interested in talking about how they're not interested. If they have legitimate questions or comments, then come on in. Sorry you think it's harsh, but I just think it's a really, really ugly attitude to have and it riles me up.
posted by Wroksie at 1:29 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I agree, but the last half of your post was guest written by a doors fan.
posted by yaymukund at 1:37 AM on May 17, 2011 [7 favorites]


if you’ve ever answered a question about your taste in music with the phrase “anything but rap and country”

But I don't listen to anything but rap and country!
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:57 AM on May 17, 2011 [20 favorites]


I had no idea that post was about music. 'the entertainment industry' is pretty broad. A lot of the time that kind of "who's this? why should I care?" aren't ignorance from non-music-listeners, but passive-aggressive complaints from people who prefer posts to have more explanatory text.

e.g. In an eloquent and thoughtful letter on indie band Tegan and Sara's website, Sara Quin asks "When will misogynistic and homophobic ranting and raving result in meaningful repercussions in the entertainment industry?" Tyler the Creator, controversial rapper and producer and the object of her ire, responds...

That way, people can decide if the opinions of indie bands and rappers are relevant to their interest in misogynistic and homophobic ranting and raving.
posted by harriet vane at 2:04 AM on May 17, 2011 [74 favorites]


> I said people with no interest in music should stay out if they're only interested in talking about how they're not interested.

It doesn't seem to be that much about music. The post is just: "Hey, these guys think this guy is a dick." Like harriet vane points out, there's no context in the post. And without context it's just some people fighting on the internet, which is hardly interesting in itself. It's completely unsurprising (to me) that people wonder what the point of the post is.
posted by bjrn at 2:09 AM on May 17, 2011 [13 favorites]


But I don't listen to anything but rap and country!

I just had a look at my most-played music and it’s about 80% rap and country at the moment, with some dancehall thrown in for good measure. I sometimes wonder if I’ve been listening to it so much because I appreciate the incongruity of being a 33 year old office lady in practical two-inch heels, understated makeup, and nice print dresses listening to nasty New Orleans bounce or some desperately sad George Jones drinkin’ tunes on my cute blue headphones. I’m sure that’s part of it, but mostly it’s because the music is awesome.
posted by Wroksie at 2:10 AM on May 17, 2011 [11 favorites]


It doesn't just happen in music threads. I don't understand the need some people have to march into threads and proclaim their ignorance and lack of interest. I don't like Joss Whedon, but the people discussing Firefly don't need to know that and I assume they don't care. It seems like there's been a lot of "I do not like this thing I have never heard of" lately. Why?
posted by betweenthebars at 2:12 AM on May 17, 2011 [13 favorites]


bjrn - I see your point, but I think the context was fleshed out pretty well within the first 20 or so comments. Doesn't excuse a thin post, but it doesn't excuse knee-jerk "what is a Tegan and Sara" comments, either.
posted by Wroksie at 2:13 AM on May 17, 2011


Complaining about people asking legitimate questions on a thin post doesn't make sense.

If you have no interest in or knowledge of modern popular music beyond what’s played on your crappy local KISS 97 FM-whatever radio station, if the last time you bought a new CD was in college, if you’ve ever answered a question about your taste in music with the phrase “anything but rap and country”, then maybe you should just stay out of music threads.

God forbid someone ask a question eh?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:35 AM on May 17, 2011 [13 favorites]


Brandon - please see my very next sentence. They’re not for you, unless you’re genuinely interested in learning and asking legitimate questions.

The entire point is that these aren’t actually questions, but rather sarcastic expressions of disinterest and superiority. An actual question would be, for example, “I had a look at Tegan and Sara’s website and they seem to have released quite a few albums. Where should I start?”
posted by Wroksie at 2:48 AM on May 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


I sympathise, it's irritating when your thread takes a direction you don't like, but that's usually a sign that the thread could have been phrased better. It isn't an automatic failure of moderation.
posted by londonmark at 2:49 AM on May 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


I don’t drop in to sports-related threads to tell everyone how little I know about sports in a passive-aggressive bid to point out what a waste of time and money I think they are. I don’t care for sports, so sports threads aren’t for me. If I accidentally found myself in a sports thread based on a thin or confusing post, I’d close the tab, because a thin or confusing post isn’t an excuse for me to shit on a conversation that other people might be enjoying in spite of the quality of the original post.
posted by Wroksie at 2:52 AM on May 17, 2011 [21 favorites]


The entire point is that these aren’t actually questions, but rather sarcastic expressions of disinterest and superiority.

It must be nifty to be so telepathic.

Really, they're legitimate questions. Absolutely no context is given, just an assumption that people know who Teagan and Sara are. Yes they could Google'em, but the point is that some people won't. They just won't and getting get up about it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:59 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's only now that I have worked out that the complainers in this edition of people-I-don't-know-fighting-on-the-internet were a band. I was tempted to say "Who, what?", to that very thin, very vague post, but I stopped myself.

That said:

1: it was a thin, vague post.
2: "Your favourite band sucks" is a known issue.

Also this:

Comments like those above actually mean “This subject is boring and stupid and you are all boring and stupid for caring about it.”

is utter bollocks. If there are a bunch of people in the thread who could provide a bit of supporting context, why should people not ask them about it?
posted by pompomtom at 3:09 AM on May 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oh, come on. The use of “What is” instead of “Who are” to preface what are obviously two names is a blatant indication that the commenter was being sarcastic. Other commenters gave more information to flesh out the admittedly imperfect original post (which wasn’t nearly as opaque as some people seem to think) but the “who the hell is x/never heard of x” comments kept coming.
posted by Wroksie at 3:12 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is a very well-known indie band calling out one of the most popular, controversial rappers. This was all over the web and it was perfect for MeFi. There's lots of music I don't like so I stay out of threads about that kind of music. I find deliberately ignorant, ugly comments in music threads a big problem.
I'm weary about making more music threads because I'm afraid of writing about a band I like and being greeted with a chorus of 'they suck' or 'why should anyone care?'

And it dosen't just happen in indie threads. I saw the same crap in a Beach Boys thread!
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:22 AM on May 17, 2011 [12 favorites]


If you don't understand the subject, then don't comment on the post. It's not that hard, I don't comment on hundreds of posts every day.

Hi. I take things the funniest way I can. I laughed out loud at this one for obvious reasons.
posted by hal_c_on at 3:23 AM on May 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


Look, it seems like most people disagree with me here, and I’m not going to stand up and say “I’m right no matter what you think” in the face of twenty-odd people with reasonable arguments contrary to my own. Maybe I overreacted here, and I genuinely apologise to the commenters I quoted if you weren’t trying to be sarcastic or dismissive.

However, I still maintain that there are lots of subjects (music, sci fi, sports, television, whatever) that attract lots of derision and sarcasm from people who don’t like or don’t understand them, and I feel like this is something that should be specifically and thoroughly addressed and weeded out. And this is not something that you need a television to understand.
posted by Wroksie at 3:24 AM on May 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


I sympathize with your general annoyance at this kind of stuff - it's the "do I need to own a TV to understand this post?" of music - but in this case, I agree with others that a lot of the snarkiness is the result of a thin and poorly-framed post. All the OP needed to do was link to previous OFWGKTA posts and some of this would have been averted.
posted by googly at 3:27 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


hal_c_on, I have been trying to parse what was so funny for about thirty seconds, and then I got it and I giggled out loud. Can’t believe I didn’t see that at first.
posted by Wroksie at 3:29 AM on May 17, 2011


(Wroksie, dude, you've got a good point. But you don't have to reply to every comment in this thread.)
posted by Dano St at 3:32 AM on May 17, 2011 [11 favorites]


Have to say, I laughed at those comments, too - and I thought that the main jist of the post was to address misogyny and homophobia in the entertainment industry in general, rap specifically and Tyler the Creator's works particularly? Didn't see it as a music thread exclusively.

On preview: yay, Wroksie! Glad you see the funny. :)
posted by likeso at 3:32 AM on May 17, 2011


Right, Dano, apologies if it bothers you, but I think it’s OK for me to participate in the thread I started as I see fit. Would it have been better for me to dump this post here and turn off the computer for the rest of the day? Exactly how much interaction with the other commenters in this thread would be appropriate?
posted by Wroksie at 3:40 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Generally it's considered ok to walk away from a new thread for a few hours, even if it is a callout. Gives you time to cool off, gives other people a chance to hash the issue out. Never coming back to it would be a crappy thing to do, though.
posted by harriet vane at 3:51 AM on May 17, 2011 [6 favorites]


Exactly how much interaction with the other commenters in this thread would be appropriate?

The FAQ says you should only interact to a maximum level of 50%. I often do this just by refusing to finish my
posted by the quidnunc kid at 3:53 AM on May 17, 2011 [30 favorites]


There is no "exactly appropriate" amount of interaction, of course. It's just when every other comment in a thread is a rebuttal by the OP, it just gives the impression that OP is too entrenched in their position to properly consider the opinions of other community members. See "moderating your own thread".

But like I said, you've got a good point. The same thing bothers me in sports and religion threads. I don't mean to distract from that point, so I'll bow out now.
posted by Dano St at 3:55 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wroksie, "This band sucks!" is threadshitting. Being 11 of 31 comments on a thread is babysitting. Each of those things is bad. You can only control one of them right now.
posted by Etrigan at 3:57 AM on May 17, 2011 [6 favorites]


This is a very well-known indie band
I wouldn't go that far.

I posted in a Star Wars thread that I hadn't seen it, slightly sarcastically. I got flamed out. Probably rightly.
posted by mippy at 4:04 AM on May 17, 2011


Back on topic: I guess I don't see posts as a secret code aimed at the people who already understand the issue. I see them more as a way to entice people to broaden their horizons with new and interesting things on the web. So vague posts irritate me - why post about something if you don't want to actually share info about it?

Of course, people don't mean to be vague, they just forget that not everyone has the same cultural knowledge as they do. But including a bit more information in the FPP means that you don't get people clicking into the comments to try to find out the subject, being disappointed that it's not one they're interested in, then leaving a turd on their way out. They can just scroll on by, safe in the knowledge that they're not missing out on anything.
posted by harriet vane at 4:08 AM on May 17, 2011 [6 favorites]


I honestly wasn't aware that there was a limit to how much one should participate in a metatalk discussion, I didn't think 'threadsitting' applied since I wasn't trying to direct or control the discussion but rather I was answering points that I felt were levelled directly at me and clarifying/adjusting my position. Anyway, no need to chastise my any more, I'll leave the rest of you to it.
posted by Wroksie at 4:13 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


> However, I still maintain that there are lots of subjects (music, sci fi, sports, television, whatever) that attract lots of derision and sarcasm from people who don’t like or don’t understand them, and I feel like this is something that should be specifically and thoroughly addressed and weeded out. And this is not something that you need a television to understand.

I think you have a point here, but then I have the impression that posts which require people to do independent research before reading the links of the post are more prone to this no matter what the subject matter is. If you post "Here's Alice's rebuttal to Bob's [whatever topic] essay" and you need to know who Alice and Bob are, but you don't give a summary in the post, or a link to a place with explanation then you will get a lot of "Who are Alice and Bob?" posts, even if commenters later come in to flesh things out. It might annoy you greatly but there are always lots of comments that are in reply/about the post, not the comments following the post.

Having said all that: Yeah, no matter what you do you might still get these kinds of comments, and I think especially music and entertainment posts are in the danger zone. All I'm saying is that framing is important, and everything you need to know should be more or less universally known or part of the post itself.
posted by bjrn at 4:24 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I made the original post. I purposefully didn't pad it out with wikipedia type links to explain who the main protagonists were, partly because I assumed most mefites with any interest in commenting would have heard of them but mostly because such links would have drawn attention away from the two links which mattered. In writing I think you should focus on the drama and leave the backstory in the bin and anyone can google these people in a moment to find out who they are. Previous discussions on metatalk have revealed that many people find even two links in a post too many to read or get confused as to what the point of the post is if there are too many links in it.

If it really helps to offer a quick precis on everything ("Tegan and Sara, a semi-popular Canadian modern beat combo") then fine, but plenty of posts are put up assuming a knowledge of computers, American culture or whatever which most people in the world - and a lot on metafilter - have no clue about. You'd have to explain every reference to Star Wars or gridiron or U.S. state politics to me, for example and I certainly don't expect anyone to bother to do that.

That said, I personally don't mind people saying they don't know who these people are, or aren't interested in them or that the post is thin or uninteresting or whatever. They paid their five dollars same as everyone else. I thought Sara's letter summed up her case pretty well and I included the whole twitter stream of the rapper to show his remark was pretty much in character and thought anyone wanting to discuss it or add more info could take it from there.
posted by joannemullen at 4:30 AM on May 17, 2011 [8 favorites]


More information in the post itself may well have resulted in fewer of these types of comments, but it wouldn't have resulted in none.

For all the talk of what a great community we are (and we are!), and what a breath of fresh air we provide contrasted with, say, YouTube (and we do!), pretty much any thread that gets a decent amount of attention is going to suffer from, as betweenthebars so eloquently put it, people who "march into threads and proclaim their ignorance and lack of interest." I don't understand it, and I hate to see MeFites whose contributions I admire get dragged down to that level. I'm sure I've done it myself.

When it comes right down to it, I like to think that we've got one of the better signal to noise ratios out there, but the noise will never go away, and as we grow, it'll increase. It sucks. It sucks a lot. But it's also a good reminder that even in the best place on the internet, you're going to see some of the less excellent parts internet, and indeed, life.

So: I'm glad you posted this, because we could all use a reminder that this sort of behavior sucks and the less of it there is, the better. But don't use this thread to try to start a battle, because this will never, ever, completely go away.
posted by SpiffyRob at 4:32 AM on May 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


On the one hand, I think this is basically the same thing as, "Is this something I would need to own a _________ to care about?" It's dickatry that's there because you aren't interested in the subject, MeFi's own less cool "Cool story, bro!" I pretty much think that if people are talking about something you aren't interested in, you should skip the thread.

On the other hand, though, FPPs that don't explain themselves/mystify the shit out of people, etc., are aggravating to me, especially when I haven't had any coffee yet, and I imagine they piss other people off, too. I don't think this FPP was one of them, but I do think that's a thing.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:32 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I thought they were making jokes. Kind of like, "is this something I would need a ______ to understand."

*shrug*
posted by functionequalsform at 4:34 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


they just forget that not everyone has the same cultural knowledge as they do.

harriet vane makes an excellent point here. Assuming that people are going to recognize this set of names as representing musical performers is a fairly large assumption, even in a place where people are often plugged in to contemporary music news.

We don't all track the latest flamewars in the music community and aren't all interested in these genres. The post itself makes the assumption that you already know (and care) who these people are, and the responses, though they are indeed a little "so what?," are purposely indicating, in a passive-aggressive and yet legitimate way, that further descriptive or contextual information would have been welcome.

The "Who-WHA?" response is not the nicest thing to do, agreed, but it certainly doesn't merit the KISS 97 rant. I suspect that some of the readiness with which people lob the snark is a reaction to the kind of "if-you're-cool-you'll-catch-my-reference" name-dropping that all too often becomes a cultural shibboleth designed to define in- and out-groups. I can understand why someone feeling a little fed up with that is willing to take out a hairpin and try to pop that balloon. It's possible to love music, even make your living in music, while having zero awareness of specific genres and acts within that very large world. It's fair to want to know a little more about the acts before asking "Where should I start?," if in fact you have enough information to ever decide that you want to start at all.

The post could just use more framing and less assuming, and that's the underlying message of the snark.
posted by Miko at 4:37 AM on May 17, 2011 [27 favorites]


Mystery meat posts will always lead to snark. Period. It's like a law around here or something.

The only mystery meat you can get away with seems to be SLYT posts where the video takes under 2 minutes to view. Everything else will have people asking exactly these kinds of questions in the thread.

You're welcome to draft your FPP any way you want, but when it doesn't go the way you wanted it to, it's probably because of how you wrote it, not because of how others are misinterpreting it.
posted by hippybear at 4:40 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


The post could just use more framing and less assuming, and that's the underlying message of the snark.

I agree, but this post, made perfectly, still would have brought out the snark. It's a hypothesis that can't be proven, but one I'm quite confident in.

And the comparison with sports above is spot on. There's a great post to be made about the Posada/Yankee drama going on right now, but it's so inside baseball that, even immaculately constructed, there's no way it wouldn't bring out the HURF DURY MILLIONAIRE GAMEPLAYER crowd.
posted by SpiffyRob at 4:41 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


SpiffyRob is absolutely right. Doesn't matter how the post was framed, it still would have brought the usual pop-culture "I am too cool to know/care about this" comments that come out in every. single. post. about pop culture. Music, sports, television, movies, books. And it drives me up the fucking wall. Never read Game of Thrones and consider yourself too hip to pick up the books or at least RTFA? Then stay out of the freaking thread. Not that difficult, people!
posted by specialagentwebb at 4:48 AM on May 17, 2011 [6 favorites]


if you’ve ever answered a question about your taste in music with the phrase “anything but rap and country”

But I don't listen to anything but rap and country!


How about rap and country at the same time?
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 4:48 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well, I never heard of Tegan and Sara, but then again I'm an old fart who really does listen mostly to country music. And I think you're getting way bent out of shape over nothing. People do this in non-music threads all the time ("is this something i would have to have a television to understand?"). Just like they can ignore the thread from your point of view, you can ignore those comments from theirs. There's no rule against snark on Metafilter, and the line between snark and the (oh so evil epithet) "thread shitting" (which I think is a bullshit callout most of the time) is a very blurry one, depending more on the attitudes and tonality on display in the thread than on any absolute standard. So what if your favorite band sucks? Chill out dude.

As for this:
incongruity of being a 33 year old office lady in practical two-inch heels, understated makeup, and nice print dresses listening to nasty New Orleans bounce or some desperately sad George Jones drinkin’ tunes on my cute blue headphones

Are you married? Just kidding, sort of.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:48 AM on May 17, 2011


Hey, how about rap and country at the same time, again?
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:49 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


And finally, for those of us old school folks, what I really miss lately are flapjax's music posts.

I dare anyone to snark in one of those.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:52 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


In writing I think you should focus on the drama and leave the backstory in the bin

Maybe in screenwriting or fiction. Generally, MeFi posts are more on the model of short magazine squibs or blurbs, and you have to consider your audience. Another important rule of writing is not to make readers do too much work before perceiving your point.

this post, made perfectly, still would have brought out the snark

Definitely not as much snark, if it were made with an 'extended hand' approach. But some snark, yes, surely. It happens. We can probably live with it and we can probably focus the discussion around those snarky comments and get back on the rails. We do know it's a tendency of MeFi - no, wait, humans - to dismiss things that aren't clearly presented and relevant, so it's possible to recognize that and try to work around it. The Yankees post, for instance, is something that probably only the hardest-core baseball fans are going to care about, so it maybe is not the best post for MeFi where you don't have an audience of only highly informed baseball fans, but also a large lay audience who doesn't automatically agree on the relevance or value of professional sports. So you're right that almost any post about that would draw critics of professional sports in general, because you wouldn't be preaching to the choir here. However, I'm willing to bet that if someone were able to craft the post with some context from baseball history, the sociology of sports, the business of sports, etc - some broader framing - you might get more reflective general comments. But you still wouldn't get fan talk.

With this post, it stood a chance of being interesting to people beyond a "fan talk" audience, because it deals with pop culture and representation of gender, which we know MeFites do like to discuss. The only missing piece was contextualization. I suspect it would have gone better with the contextualization. In journalism, there's often a debate in how much to assume your audience knows. Can I just say "Lucinda Williams" or should I add a two-word descriptor like "country songwriter Lucinda Williams" or a lengthier introduction like "flinty-voiced country/folk songstress and critics' darling Lucinda Williams," or should I lay it all out like "Grammy award-winning Lucinda Williams, a country/folk singer-songwriter and late-blooming critical success, tours annually to a hard-won and passionate following of fans." It depends, and in a newspaper or magazine setting it even depends whether you're in the news section, the entertainment section, the regional section, or whatever. It's a judgment call, and the judgment just has to be based on the best evaluation of what information maybe 80% of people are likely to need in order to place the subject in their universe of knowledge. Sometimes that's just a name, other times a few additional words help immeasurably.
posted by Miko at 4:54 AM on May 17, 2011 [12 favorites]


Anyway, no need to chastise my any more, I'll leave the rest of you to it.

Yeah, I don't think babysitting applies to metatalk. Stay and talk as long as you need to.

But I'm not really on your side in this argument. A post is a lot better when it doesn't assume everyone already knows everything about the subject of the post. I had to use Google, YouTube, and Twitter to get an idea of what was going on, which as far as I could see was this: OK, now I know that the rapper is a fucking asshole. But that still doesn't give me the sort of context and perspective someone in the know could have easily offered in the original post. Let us know whether anyone besides the poster cares about this thing and is talking about this thing. Do lots of people actually (seriously) care or is it just a laugh? Do substantial numbers of people read her blog or his tweets, or is it something you'd have to be in the fan club to know about? Why is this important compared to some other people's blog posts and tweets? Sell your story. Use the opportunity to win people over to your favorite thing, whatever that thing might be.
posted by pracowity at 4:59 AM on May 17, 2011 [18 favorites]


The snark in the comments was entirely down to the way the post was constructed.
posted by unSane at 5:14 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I don't think babysitting applies to metatalk. Stay and talk as long as you need to.

There's talking and then there's arguing. Starting a MeTa thread and then proceeding to fight with pretty much everyone who doesn't agree with you isn't a WIN situation.

Say your piece, let it go. If it has legs, it'll walk.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:16 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


The snark in the comments was entirely down to the way the post was constructed.
And rape is entirely down to how the victim is dressed.
posted by doublehappy at 5:17 AM on May 17, 2011


Oh, dear.
posted by pracowity at 5:19 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Doublehappy, get a fucking grip.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 5:19 AM on May 17, 2011 [10 favorites]


Uh, I'm just gonna call myself out for that comment. 5 minute delete window, please.
posted by doublehappy at 5:20 AM on May 17, 2011 [15 favorites]


Yeah, you know what pisses me off? The idea that you have to be some sort of aging-hipster-approved level of cool to care about homophobia in pop culture. Because seriously, this shit affects everyone, whether you listen to KISS 97 or not. And if you're in your 30s and are still playing cooler-than-thou games about what radio stations people listen to, then it might be time to get over not having been popular in junior high school.

I find the professions of not-caring annoying, too, but it would be cool if people would give enough background to explain the key players to the uninitiated.
posted by craichead at 5:21 AM on May 17, 2011 [13 favorites]


Seems like you beat me to it.
posted by doublehappy at 5:22 AM on May 17, 2011


I like that Tegan and Sara song about the ghost! Because whooooooooo ghostes are scarey!
posted by Mister_A at 5:24 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Now would be a good time for water balloon battle. But instead of being filled with water, the balloons are filled with gin. Or scotch, whatever.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:25 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have found that "well-known indie band" still has about a 5% of being known by an average person you are talking to. This is especially frustrating when you are geeking out about someone playing locally and they don't even appreciate it, dammit.
posted by smackfu at 5:32 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Odd Future are playing the Sydney Opera House this month. I don't listen to them or hiphop but they're a pretty big deal. Tegan and Sara have been around for ages and get lots of love from various subcultures. This controversy was lots of places online.

I think these kind of comments are a symptom of MeFi's general snobbery. MeFites like to think of themselves as knowing everything worth knowing so if they don't know something than it must be useless or stupid.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:40 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


It seems like there's been a lot of "I do not like this thing I have never heard of" lately. Why?

Sometimes I think it's because we all feel entitled to only see things on MetaFilter which we personally find valuable. All those threads we're not commenting in? What's the point of those? Maybe sometimes we check them out, decide they're not worthwhile, and tell everybody that, hey, this thread sucks, I declare it, it has been declared, let's talk about something else now.

But more often I think it's because MetaFilter is a site that rewards you for being an asshole. We use the word "snark" because it sounds better, and a few users, like the quidnunc kid and It's Raining Florence Henderson, are legit talented snarkers. But a lot of us snark by just saying shitty things about we don't like, perhaps with a faint glimmer of wit so we can pass it off as a joke.

And, because MetaFilter is no different from any other site with a voting system, cheap glib comments are rewarded with favorites from people who use favorites to validate their own lazy, negative opinions. Not that I'm saying favorites ought to matter, but they do. They tell me-the-poster that people will like me for saying certain things. They tell me-the-thread-reader that these are the opinions most valued about this subject in-thread. I don't know if I've ever seen a favorites system that favors interesting discussion over cheap shots.

This applies to me, by the way. When I'm reading an argument, I'll favorite everybody who thinks the same things that I do, in hopes that favoriting them will encourage them to continue the discussion. But I'll also favorite the lazy semiclever assholery, especially if it already has favorites. It's kind of a reflex more than it is an actual favorite. I try not to jump into threads and post shitty things, but I got sixty favorites once for telling another user to fuck herself, so clearly when I am shitty a lot of people enjoy it.

I think that our rewarding of insincerity and laziness and negativity is maybe the biggest problem with the MetaFilter community at large. I was thinking yesterday that it would be nice to have a "Christ, What An Asshole" flag, but it would be used so often that I suspect the mods would all drown themselves.
posted by Rory Marinich at 5:41 AM on May 17, 2011 [21 favorites]


Use the opportunity to win people over to your favorite thing, whatever that thing might be.

I've tried to do that, only to be told that my favorite thing sucks. I'm a bit weary of repeating the experience.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:42 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Gin makes me sleepy.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:46 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I had no idea who any of the people in the post were, either. I don't think a bio in the post was necessary, but maybe a little bit of context-setting would have helped.
posted by empath at 5:47 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


It seems like there's been a lot of "I do not like this thing I have never heard of" lately. Why?

Sometimes people are exposed to new things and don't like it. Are they not allowed to say so? It's kind of a jerky thing to do, but sometimes the thread just goes that way, especially if the thread is basically 'hey, listen to this new thing and comment on it'.

I think it's probably less cool when it's a derail on a thread that's not about the music itself but something ancillary to that.
posted by empath at 5:53 AM on May 17, 2011


To be fair, Lovecraft in Brooklyn, your favorite thing does suck. Sorry.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:53 AM on May 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


I often do this just by refusing to finish my

Pfft. I was into Candlejack before he was
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 5:54 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


MeFites like to think of themselves as knowing everything worth knowing so if they don't know something than it must be useless or stupid.

Call me a wide-eyed pollyanna, but I joined because I learn something new here every day, and think the (silent?) majority is here for the same reason.

I don't always comment or favorite to indicate this, though. Unless I have something to contribute to a discussion or a funny (in my little mind, anyway) remark to make, I usually just absorb. I didn't want to just add noise or fluff... But I now realize that the "thanks for this" comments on posts are heartening and counterbalance intended and unintended insults, so I guess I'll start posting more of these.
posted by likeso at 5:57 AM on May 17, 2011 [10 favorites]


However, I'm willing to bet that if someone were able to craft the post with some context from baseball history, the sociology of sports, the business of sports, etc - some broader framing - you might get more reflective general comments. But you still wouldn't get fan talk.

To be clear, it was certainly this that I had in mind. Not looking for fan talk, there are plenty of other places on the internet for that. What I was picturing was exactly the broad view that you're suggesting, with the recent scuffling as a jumping off point for the larger issue of beloved athletes' diminished roles on teams as they get older, something all the more intensified by the fact that it's really, really rare for anyone to stay with a single team for the entirety of their career, now more than ever.

But I need to stop myself, because I'm getting dangerously close to spending the time to actually craft this post, and I'm getting married in four days.
posted by SpiffyRob at 6:02 AM on May 17, 2011


from the Tegan and Sara post I'd peg them as a lesbian Belle and Sebastian.

Ten minutes ago I thought Tuck & Patti were the lesbian Belle and Sebastian. Then I learned that Tuck Andress is a man.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:04 AM on May 17, 2011


But I now realize that the "thanks for this" comments on posts are heartening and counterbalance intended and unintended insults, so I guess I'll start posting more of these.

We should all do more of this. Sometimes the urge to Say Something Funny gets the better of us.
posted by londonmark at 6:05 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, frankly, the spat under discussion could not have been more stereotypically predictacble. Lesbian Canadian twin indie darlings espouse sexual equality on their blog, misogynist rapper makes hurf durf comments on Twitter. Now if it had been the other way round...
posted by unSane at 6:05 AM on May 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


I have to admit, when I read that thread, I knew who Tegan and Sara were and had no idea who Tyler, the Creator was. So, I clicked on the second link, couldn't figure out what any of the posts on that twitter feed had to do with Tegan and Sara, still didn't know how Tyler, the Creator was, but was pretty sure I didn't want to, and wandered off to a different thread.

"Who the hell is Tyler, the Creator, and why should I care?" certainly occurred to me as a question, but having seen his Twitter feed, I actually cared so little, I bothered neither to google him nor to ask in the thread. I imagine some of the people who did post could have cared less, like me, but they didn't. And yeah, they expressed their mild but not so mild they left it unexpressed interest in a sarcastic way, but this is Metafilter.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:07 AM on May 17, 2011 [13 favorites]


There's a long tradition for bad snark on Metafilter. Might as well try fighting the tide.
posted by crunchland at 6:19 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


To answer the opening question:

Wroksie: "Why are thread-shitty sarcastic comments in music threads like this allowed to remain? "

Because we're not Big Government Liberals here, we're Small Government Conservatives (metaphorically). The only place where non-contributing comments are removed as a matter of course is AskMe. Thread Shitting is bad etiquette, but it's not necessarily against the rules except in extreme cases.
posted by Plutor at 6:32 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have to admit, when I read that thread, I knew who Tegan and Sara were and had no idea who Tyler, the Creator was. So, I clicked on the second link, couldn't figure out what any of the posts on that twitter feed had to do with Tegan and Sara, still didn't know how Tyler, the Creator was, but was pretty sure I didn't want to, and wandered off to a different thread.

"Who the hell is Tyler, the Creator, and why should I care?" certainly occurred to me as a question, but having seen his Twitter feed, I actually cared so little, I bothered neither to google him nor to ask in the thread. I imagine some of the people who did post could have cared less, like me, but they didn't. And yeah, they expressed their mild but not so mild they left it unexpressed interest in a sarcastic way, but this is Metafilter.


Yes. This is almost precisely what I did.
posted by Kwine at 6:51 AM on May 17, 2011


Hey, how about rap and country at the same time, again?

Two great tastes that go better together.

Or not?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:57 AM on May 17, 2011


I don't get this, a thin post with 0 background is responded to primarily by people saying "this is a thin post with 0 background" and thus we must be neophytes and rubes who don't understand how music works?

Hi, if I go into my work break room right now and start talking about Rick Berman's poor directorial decisions, and after 5 minutes someone asks me who Rick Berman is, i'm not going to start screaming about how popular Star Trek is, and how they should do their homework because they clearly don't know what TV is.

My very first post to the blue wasn't well received either. Life sucks, wear a helmet.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 6:57 AM on May 17, 2011 [8 favorites]


Miko: " With this post, it stood a chance of being interesting to people beyond a "fan talk" audience, because it deals with pop culture and representation of gender, which we know MeFites do like to discuss. The only missing piece was contextualization. I suspect it would have gone better with the contextualization. In journalism, there's often a debate in how much to assume your audience knows. Can I just say "Lucinda Williams" or should I add a two-word descriptor like "country songwriter Lucinda Williams" or a lengthier introduction like "flinty-voiced country/folk songstress and critics' darling Lucinda Williams," or should I lay it all out like "Grammy award-winning Lucinda Williams, a country/folk singer-songwriter and late-blooming critical success, tours annually to a hard-won and passionate following of fans." It depends, and in a newspaper or magazine setting it even depends whether you're in the news section, the entertainment section, the regional section, or whatever. It's a judgment call, and the judgment just has to be based on the best evaluation of what information maybe 80% of people are likely to need in order to place the subject in their universe of knowledge. Sometimes that's just a name, other times a few additional words help immeasurably."

Seconding this.

Regarding descriptions... one of the nice things about MeFi is we're not restricted to traditional ways of adding context. It's perfectly possible to make your post description short and pithy above the fold. Then, if you've piqued a reader's curiosity you can place [more inside.] Links, explanations, descriptions, etc. Often, that additional information isn't necessary. But if a subject is obscure or complicated, additional information can offer deeper understanding.

If you're concerned about flooding a post with too many links above the fold, putting them below can be an alternative.
posted by zarq at 7:02 AM on May 17, 2011


Life sucks, wear a helmet.

I used to use "life sucks" as an excuse to be a dickweed too, until I realized that pretty much the only people who say "life sucks" as a response to somebody's being upset are people using it to be a dickweed.

What's strange about MetaFilter is that we have an astonishing number of users willing to be empathetic and understanding and listen to each other, yet we still have users who seem to deny the possibility of behaving better. Are we going to pretend that being a dickweed is a genetic thing that you can't help, or do we admit that dickweeds are only dickweeds because they're too lazy to be anything else?
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:02 AM on May 17, 2011 [18 favorites]


Uther Bentrazor: "My very first post to the blue wasn't well received either."

Are you talking about Stonefridge? Or another one that was deleted? Because tbh the Stonefridge thread is really tame.
posted by zarq at 7:07 AM on May 17, 2011


I used to use "life sucks" as an excuse to be a dickweed too...

I don't think it's an excuse but a reminder that some people are indeed dickweeds. Having a thick skin is advisable in life.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:09 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Since when does life suck? Life is awesome. Maybe you're holding it wrong.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:17 AM on May 17, 2011 [9 favorites]


Wait, who's Rick Berman?
posted by googly at 7:18 AM on May 17, 2011


I don't think it's an excuse but a reminder that some people are indeed dickweeds. Having a thick skin is advisable in life.

Disagree. Better to call people out when they're being dickweeds and say "That shit's not okay, cut it out."

Otherwise, they learn nothing and the cycle continues.
posted by zarq at 7:18 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I purposefully didn't pad it out with wikipedia type links to explain who the main protagonists were, partly because I assumed most mefites with any interest in commenting would have heard of them but mostly because such links would have drawn attention away from the two links which mattered.

Even if I'm the only one who says this, I'm still going to say it: Thank you, thank you, thank you for making a post that assumes that MeFites are grown-ass people who can google some stuff. Yay for you, and yay for posts like this. Adding text that Sara and Tegan are an established indie-band or that Tyler the Creator fronts a trendy offensive rap collective add nothing to the post, at all. Adding links explaining that makes it even worse, because it dilutes what the post is supposed to be about: Tegan and Sara calling out Tyler, and Tyler responding on Twitter.

People who chimed in with "Who are Tegan and Sara" or "Who is Tyler the Creator" or anything like that are making MeFi seem lazy, either by making lazy dad-jokes or by being too lazy to answer their own sincere questions.
posted by 23skidoo at 7:22 AM on May 17, 2011 [12 favorites]


Disagree. Better to call people out when they're being dickweeds and say "That shit's not okay, cut it out."

Sometimes. Other times it's better to move along. It's hard to convince dickweed that they're a dickweek, trust me on this.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:24 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why are thread-shitty sarcastic comments in music threads like this allowed to remain?

Because we delete relatively little, and a lazy or obnoxious comment isn't always going to cross the threshold for deletion. Sometimes we do nix slight obnoxiousness, including "who?" type comments, but it depends a lot on the context and the timeliness with which we become aware of it. It's grey area stuff, not guaranteed deletion stuff.

I share your general sentiment: it'd be great if people would be less obnoxious about how they pursue "I don't know what this is about" in threads. I think the discussion in here about how thread framing can help avoid some of that (and I think it certainly could have here) is pretty good, but at the same time, yes, poor post framing isn't actually a good reason to be obnoxious in a thread. Either walking away or trying to engage substantively in that mystery material would be a better choice.

But not everything obnoxious gets deleted. This goes for aggro stuff like your "well, fuck you too, I guess" in the post text here; it's still there, but it's a crappy way to go and it'd be better if people would not do that.

I think it’s OK for me to participate in the thread I started as I see fit. Would it have been better for me to dump this post here and turn off the computer for the rest of the day? Exactly how much interaction with the other commenters in this thread would be appropriate?

Wroskie, to reiterate a bit, better would have been a bit of a middle ground approach, maybe respond once every dozen or two comments to clarify if there's something that needs it. Being hyper-responsive in a thread, whether you started it or not, pretty often reads to folks as trying to steer or own the conversation in a way that's out of character with how things normally go here.

Totally fine if you didn't know that, and I appreciate you taking the advice and easing off after it came up. Just, yeah, not a good idea generally speaking, however good your intent.

Another nice thing about responding less often is that sometimes people might sort of cover both sides of a point of contention in the mean time. This is a conversational space, best not to force the conversation into one-vs-many form where practical.

And rape is entirely down to how the victim is dressed.

Thanks for disavowing that comment, doublehappy. Comparing things that are not anything like rape to rape for rhetorical gotchas is definitely one of those "really obnoxious even if it doesn't necessarily get deleted" things.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:29 AM on May 17, 2011 [6 favorites]


Brandon Blatcher: " Sometimes. Other times it's better to move along. It's hard to convince dickweed that they're a dickweek, trust me on this."

I do agree that there's wisdom in choosing one's battles.
posted by zarq at 7:30 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder how true that is. I think it's more likely that it's hard to get dickweeds to admit that they're being dickweeds-- maybe this is my own starry-eyed naivety, but I think most people are aware when they're being dickweeds.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:30 AM on May 17, 2011


How long is a dickweek?
posted by Bookhouse at 7:32 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thank you, thank you, thank you for making a post that assumes that MeFites are grown-ass people who can google some stuff.

Absolutely. We're adults here. Everyone here could Google everything everyone posts. There is no actual need for MetaFilter at all. Save your five bucks!

But it's better for everyone when the poster does all of that Googling for everyone else and applies a little of the ol' 'Filtering to create a really interesting MetaFilter post.
posted by pracowity at 7:33 AM on May 17, 2011 [6 favorites]


Bookhouse: "How long is a dickweek?"

Well, it varies. They're longer during the summer months. Subject to shrinkage during colder months.
posted by zarq at 7:34 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


How long is a dickweek?

They'll claim it's seven days, but if you actually measure it, it's only five.
posted by FishBike at 7:37 AM on May 17, 2011 [42 favorites]


Adding text that Sara and Tegan are an established indie-band or that Tyler the Creator fronts a trendy offensive rap collective add nothing to the post, at all.

There's an unavoidable element of personal taste here and so to each his own, but I think that's overstating it. Providing any context at all for a public dispute means people not already directly and immediately invested in the principal players have a better starting point then "google all the nouns".

In a post about e.g. how awesome these songs/videos/whatever by Artist X, the actual creative work being presented is the direct context and, especially if that fact is clear in how the post is presented, it's not really an issue whether anybody know who Artist X is.

But in a post where there's some sort of exchange happening in a social or artistic context, that context is likely to be a more important defining aspect of the situation being posted about. Some indication of who T&S and Tyler are and why they'd be having this exchange beyond Two People On The Internet Have Social Media Accounts And Enmity would help make it clearer to the reader, in a useful way, what the rationale for posting was.

Which, again, this is mostly a to-each-his-own thing, everybody has their own personal style in posting. But as much as it's true that there's no such thing as snark-proof posting style, there's definitely good posting habits to mitigate some of that predictable noise, and that thread feels like a pretty good case study in how eliding basic context can help get a discussion off on the wrong foot.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:37 AM on May 17, 2011 [10 favorites]


But it's better for everyone when the poster does all of that Googling for everyone else and applies a little of the ol' 'Filtering to create a really interesting MetaFilter post.

Thanks for the groupthink, but no. It's not better for everyone, it's better for people who like that sort of thing. It's not better for me, and for people who are like me. The post was plenty interesting just as it was, and adding a bunch of explanatory text makes it less interesting and more of a primer on who Tegan and Sara or Tyler the Creator are. That's not interesting to me, at all.

That post was not less-interesting because it didn't have explanatory text in it.
posted by 23skidoo at 7:37 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wait, so I'm the dickweed, but the guy who spent the first half of this thread saying that everyone who didn't either a. already know who Tegan & Sara and Odd Future are or b. didn't do the work to establish the context that the OP failed to is? Because I said 'life sucks' at the end?

Cool story bro, enjoy your discussion.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:40 AM on May 17, 2011


is/isn't, whatever; clearly I am the villain in this piece.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:41 AM on May 17, 2011


My favorite part is that the URL title of this post gets to be "Fandking google it". Fandking.
posted by kingbenny at 7:47 AM on May 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


If you have no interest in or knowledge of modern popular music beyond what’s played on your crappy local KISS 97 FM-whatever radio station, if the last time you bought a new CD was in college, if you’ve ever answered a question about your taste in music with the phrase “anything but rap and country”, then maybe you should just stay out of music threads.

Blah, blah, dismissive bullshit, blah.
posted by adamdschneider at 7:47 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I will add background info phrases into the text of posts no matter how well-known the artist is, IF I can find an interesting link that explains it (not wikipedia).

So in this case I would have added a link to that amazing Awl article as background linked to Tyler's name or the phrase "controversial rapper" or something. For me, it's about the links.

And "Previously" links are always always helpful in my opinion to show that the community has discussed them before.

What if this: what if when you tag a post (in this case the poster should have tagged it Tylerthecreator) a checklist of previously tagged posts shows up where you can include them in the body of the post as auto-previouslies? Or if there was an even smarter search for posts on the same subject that could be easily referenced in new posts?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:48 AM on May 17, 2011


I've been both sides of this little fight. I've been distressed to see people shitting in threads where I cared about the music, and I've dropped in to threads to say that a particular musician is shit.

There's a conflict right there, and I'm not 100% sure I've figured out what the right approach is, but here's how I'm starting to see it.

If someone snarks about a musician or a genre or a musical instrument in a thread, they're making a subjective statement. There is an unspoken "In my opinion, " at the beginning of every comment which states "your music sucks". We need to remember that.

There's no difference between saying "OMG, isn't Tori Amos amazing" and saying "OMG, Tori Amos suxxx." As much as haters gotta hate, lovers gotta love. Either both or neither sentiments should be allowed.

Snark fights are usually personalised by the snarked, not the snarkers. If you snark, and someone starts calling you names, that's to be expected. It's poor form, but don't act all suprised when people start calling you names after you've made a joke about how shit you think Lady Gaga is.

If somebody is having a pop at something you care about, you need to realise it's not personal. It feels personal, but it's not personal.

Finally. A bit ago, cortex made a comment about what it was like being a musician and having non-musicians snarking over ukele players. It was an awesome comment, but it felt a bit off.
I'm 100% happy to hear cortex say "game xyz is shit" or "book abc is boring" without calling him on his book writing / video game making abilities. Not sure what I'm trying to say with this particular statement. It's more an observation than anything else.

So yeah.

Like I said, I've not formalised my opinion 100% on this, but I'm getting there. If anything, my feeling is we should allow snark in these threads because without it we're implicitly saying that majority opinion in a thread gets to decide what the theme of the thread is.
posted by seanyboy at 7:50 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's not that easy to grasp the "relevance" of an artist in a few minutes of googling.

Is this supposed to be sarcastic? It takes one minute to Google Tegan and Sara's Wikipedia page and skim through.
posted by John Cohen at 7:57 AM on May 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


I love that typing in your browser's Google box is somehow much harder work than typing out a comment.

I think that the problem is that many people perceive online discussions to be happening in realtime, like a conversation at a party. The impulse to just jump in with whatever's on their mind, even if it's basically a non-contribution, is just too strong for them to resist.

So, hey -- if this is you, try to remember that the conversation will still be here in five minutes, after you've used this amazing internet machine to find something to contribute. We promise!
posted by hermitosis at 7:58 AM on May 17, 2011 [12 favorites]


Because we delete relatively little, and a lazy or obnoxious comment isn't always going to cross the threshold for deletion. --- Unless it's Saturday or Sunday.
posted by crunchland at 8:07 AM on May 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think that the problem is that many people perceive online discussions to be happening in realtime, like a conversation at a party. The impulse to just jump in with whatever's on their mind, even if it's basically a non-contribution, is just too strong for them to resist.

The more I think about it, the more it seems like this is a variation of Ask/Guess culture.

Me, I think it's annoying or lazy not include a link to some basic information. Others find it refreshing, figuring people can Google on their on. Why not include a link or to this thing you love, so others can learn to love it to? Different strokes, etc etc.

With smart phones becoming the norm, I can't wait for real life conversations to start including "just Google it," as the conversation moves on.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:08 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm forty years old, for god's sake and even I've heard (and listened to and loved) Tegan and Sara. I had no idea there were people on the planet who hadn't been exposed to them.

That other guy, the troll? It would have been nice to get a little context.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:08 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


KokuRyu: "I'm forty years old, for god's sake and even I've heard (and listened to and loved) Tegan and Sara. I had no idea there were people on the planet who hadn't been exposed to them."

*raises hand*

Still haven't, since I haven't explored the other post.

Your experiences are not universal. Neither are mine.
posted by zarq at 8:11 AM on May 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


I have found that "well-known indie band" still has about a 5% of being known by an average person you are talking to.

Maybe 5% if you're in the same groovy town and age demographic as the person reading. On the web in general it's going to be more like 0.1%. Seriously, your parents and redneck cousins are on the net. Be realistic. And don't take it personally when no one cares about your Cool Thing. (I was into Todd Rundgren in my teens in the late 70s. I know what I'm talking about here.)

Use the opportunity to win people over to your favorite thing, whatever that thing might be.

One of the reasons the snark happens is because some people do their proselytizing passive-aggressively (the pretending everyone should already know what their Coolest Thing is, and being weirdly defensive when they don't), and that really pushes other folks' snark buttons (I try to limit myself to a RMEAMO* reaction, personally).

* Roll My Eyes and Move On
posted by aught at 8:12 AM on May 17, 2011 [6 favorites]


While I agree with Wroksie about threadshitting, I find her vulgar condescension in this post to be, well, more than simply counterproductive. Like Wroksie, I have a low opinion of people who show open disdain for the tastes of others; it's a sad irony that her nasty salvo launched her into the wrong here.

The last paragraph of this post is far worse than the snark on the blue, because it can't be dismissed as idiotic one-linerism. It's sincerely meant, and meant to hurt.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 8:12 AM on May 17, 2011 [13 favorites]


I had no idea who any of the people in the post were, either.
posted by empath


Why hast thou forsaken me?
posted by cashman at 8:12 AM on May 17, 2011


Unless it's Saturday or Sunday.

I'm sorry you were bothered by your one-word hashtag joke getting deleted from a thread, crunchland. Nobody likes getting something deleted.

That said, I wasn't really interested in passive-aggressive grumping about it in email, which is why I didn't keep responding to you. Trotting it out again coyly in thread here like this seems completely unproductive, so please consider either finding a substantial way to broach your grievance or just let it drop.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:15 AM on May 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


I saw those comments and by the time I'd read the thread well, people seemed to have moved past it. That said, early "who are these people and why should I care" comments are noise, non-contributory and seem on their face to be expressing a sort of "I can't be bothered, why isn't this catering more to my interests?" perspective. That said, I'm not a mind reader, people seemed to deal with it okay in the thread, but if we see these sort of lazy comments early in a non-mystery meat post, yeah we'll sometimes delete them. It's a continuum between legit "I'm not sure what's going on here?" questions and "I can't be bothered to Google" comments, though I'm sure orthogonality and cjorgenson would be amused to be called hipsters.

If you get angry to the point of telling people to fuck off, I'd suggest emailing us via the contact form before posting an angry MetaTalk. This sort of thing is bad for morale.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:17 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I purposefully didn't pad it out with wikipedia type links to explain who the main protagonists were

No one is asking for this. Seriously, this comes up every time in these threads and people say, "well, I didn't want to pad the post with weak links," but that is a pure straw man, no one wants that. All we want is a nice little adjectival phrase: "indie band X, controversial rapper Y." That's it. If you think it's easy and non-time-consuming to Google every single reference you don't catch on the front page, imagine how much easier and less time-consuming it is to add those few little words to your post and save everyone the hassle!
posted by enn at 8:17 AM on May 17, 2011 [15 favorites]


While I agree with Wroksie, sometimes this haterizing backfires on the snarkers, as in the Shaggs thread, where imho they ended up well exposed.

Other, unconnected, pre-coffee anecdatapoints: most of my FPPs would probably be described as mystery meat by the mystery vegetarians, yet I don't think I've ever really gotten snarked on barely at all. Then again, last night I posted an awesome webscriptappomatatron I found on Projects and the whole damn thread has been a weird derail.
Also, the Sandkings have Google?

posted by jtron at 8:18 AM on May 17, 2011


Comparing things that are not anything like rape to rape for rhetorical gotchas is definitely one of those "really obnoxious even if it doesn't necessarily get deleted" things.

That's good to know because sometimes I wonder how that shit stands in threads. (The last time it happened to me was infuriating, but fortunately cortex deleted the thread before I saw it.)
posted by immlass at 8:19 AM on May 17, 2011


"I'm forty years old, for god's sake and even I've heard (and listened to and loved) Tegan and Sara. I had no idea there were people on the planet who hadn't been exposed to them."

Dude. The planet is BIG. I participated in that thread several times, interacted with other members etc. and didn't know Tegan and Sara were musicians.. how on earth would I have known that?! I just assumed they were some bloggers.
posted by the mad poster! at 8:21 AM on May 17, 2011


Your experiences are not universal. Neither are mine.

Give me a fucking break, zarq, and don't talk to me like that. All right, I'll spell it out:

- I assumed that Tegan and Sara were pretty well known. However, it's always a good idea when constructing an FPP to provide a little context for people. For example, there are probably a lot of folks who don't realize that Tegan and Sara are twin sisters, and both identify themselves as lesbians, which makes their comments relevant.

Would have helped the FPP in question.

And to whoever created this Meta callout:

F*&king google it.

You are really trying to be offensive, right? Ordering someone what to do, punctuated with an expletive is actually pretty goddamn hostile.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:21 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


This thread is boring and stupid and you are boring and stupid for caring about it.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 8:27 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


All we want is a nice little adjectival phrase: "indie band X, controversial rapper Y."

I am asking this in all seriousness: Would that really have cleared up anything for you, if you had no idea who Tegan and Sara or Tyler the Creator were? To me, if you don't know the people in the post, then including more adjectives in the post doesn't help the audience enough for them to understand the post that they didn't understand before.
posted by 23skidoo at 8:27 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


KokuRyu. Not sure if you're being funny here, but "Fucking Google It" (tm) is a pretty well known meme. The title is a joke. I wouldn't take it personally.

Of course, you'd know this if you'd just fucking googled "fucking google it". :-) #nothostile
posted by seanyboy at 8:29 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Would that really have cleared up anything for you

Yes, for example, what does Tyler create?
posted by josher71 at 8:29 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am asking this in all seriousness: Would that really have cleared up anything for you, if you had no idea who Tegan and Sara or Tyler the Creator were

It would have definitely helped give a context.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:30 AM on May 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


What the fuck's a Google?
posted by gman at 8:31 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am asking this in all seriousness: Would that really have cleared up anything for you, if you had no idea who Tegan and Sara or Tyler the Creator were?

Absolutely. Why would you think it wouldn't?
posted by Aquaman at 8:32 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


What the fuck's a Google?

Fucking Bing it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:34 AM on May 17, 2011 [16 favorites]


Brandon Blatcher: Fucking Bing it.

I'm right here, motherfucker. Right here.
posted by gman at 8:38 AM on May 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


cortex: "That said, I wasn't really interested in passive-aggressive grumping about it in email, which is why I didn't keep responding to you. "

What a relief that was directed at cortex. I thought for sure this was going to turn into another pointless thread about hating on restless_nomad.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:39 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm right here, motherfucker. Right here.

Like you could easily make it across the border.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:39 AM on May 17, 2011


Absolutely. Why would you think it wouldn't?

Because to me, the adding adjectives to the post in question is like me doing a spot-on impersonation of a friend that you don't know, and then explaining why the impersonation is spot-on. Sure it gives some context, but it doesn't really help you understand the thing.
posted by 23skidoo at 8:40 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am asking this in all seriousness: Would that really have cleared up anything for you, if you had no idea who Tegan and Sara or Tyler the Creator were?

Yes. That post was poorly framed in that it had, oh wait - absolutely no framing at all. It is not polite to assume that all people with something of value to offer share your frame of reference.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:40 AM on May 17, 2011


I had no idea there were people on the planet who hadn't been exposed to them.

Blimey O'Reilly. There's a ton of people who are household names to me and who aren't to 99% of the world.

That said. Watching Family Guy, with its heavy reliance on references, can make as much sense as Albanian satire if you aren't American. What's an Urkel? Why is a red jug smiling after crashing through walls? Why have they done a whole episode about Rush Limbaugh as if everyone knows who he is? But, y'know, I can look these things up if I want to. And if I don't, then it probably doesn't interest me, so I can move on to the next thing.
posted by mippy at 8:43 AM on May 17, 2011 [8 favorites]


I heard someone say 'I Binged it' the other day. It was as surprising as overhearing 'They were meant to get married, yeah, but lastminute.com they called it all off.' Just...as unnatural as SEO.
posted by mippy at 8:44 AM on May 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


Because to me, the adding adjectives to the post in question is like me doing a spot-on impersonation of a friend that you don't know, and then explaining why the impersonation is spot-on. Sure it gives some context, but it doesn't really help you understand the thing.

There's a huge difference between "Dave told me today" where Dave isn't someone the person you're talking to can place and "my co-worker Dave said today.." There's like a universe of possibilities that's narrowed down to a specific context
posted by the mad poster! at 8:44 AM on May 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


so there's a false dichotomy between knowing nothing about the nouns involved and knowing them well enough to "get" everything. Just googling them for a couple minutes doesn't help you "get" them fully either so you might as well add an adjective or two
posted by the mad poster! at 8:45 AM on May 17, 2011


They're twins?!

I used to call them a faux-indie version of t.A.T.u; now I'm gonna start calling them a faux-indie version of Nelson.
posted by entropicamericana at 8:46 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I heard someone say 'I Binged it' the other day.

Fucking yahoos.

But you're right, it does sound odd. Google at least sounds similar to goggles, which kinda sorta implies looking for something or going somewhere. "Bing?" That's just old and annoying computer sound. Which kinda makes sense for Microsoft.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:48 AM on May 17, 2011


I find this thread and the resistance to including context pretty amusing considering there is a post on the front page that starts "Famous physicist Stephen Hawking...". It even goes on to mention "The Guardian newspaper" OH GOD TOO MUCH CONTEXT IT BURNS
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:49 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am asking this in all seriousness: Would that really have cleared up anything for you, if you had no idea who Tegan and Sara or Tyler the Creator were?

Yes; it would have given me enough context to decide if I wanted to learn more about them and their dispute or not.
posted by enn at 8:50 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you don't know who these people are, and it gets explained above the fold, isn't that a spoiler? I think any adjectives should be in ROT13.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:55 AM on May 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


KokuRyu: "Give me a fucking break, zarq, and don't talk to me like that. "

I wasn't trying to be snarky or rude. If it came across that way, I apologize.
posted by zarq at 8:59 AM on May 17, 2011


Sorry (genuinely, non-snarkily sorry) to cortex jessamyn and everyone else, for the F bombs, I have a filthy mouth and I am surrounded by people who are the same. I forget that it's not always appropriate to throw around 'fucks' like frisbees at the picnic. In my mind, "well, fuck you too" (as well as the preceding rant) didn't sound nearly as shitty as it does now that I'm seeing it through other people's eyes. The sentiment stands but I meant it far less vehemently and aggressively than it came across.
posted by Wroksie at 9:00 AM on May 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


I was going to make a snide suggestion that one shouldn't assume general familiarity with a band unless it's sold at Walmart, but then to my shame discovered Walmart sells Tegan and Sara. Oh Metafilter, why did you not bring Tegan & Sara to my attention sooner? I blame you for my ignorance!
posted by Esteemed Offendi at 9:03 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think the context was fleshed out pretty well within the first 20 or so comments.

And my comment was the 11th. I'd explain it to you, but seems like you don't really care, since I'm pretty sure I get a fuck you either way.

This is a shitty call out.

The way that thread read to me was a lesbian woman got pissed at a twitter stream of some bigot asshole. This is far from news or noteworthy in my mind. People say all kinds of stupid shit on twitter. There's a real easy way to not get upset by what they are saying, don't follow. And it looks like most people aren't following. Hell, the asshole is barely a blip on twitter. He has less followers than Leo Laporte.

If you are relying on context to flesh out your post I'm going to maintain you should maybe not post. That post was heavy handed on the editorializing and lacking in context. Maybe link to the essay in question and let people make up their own mind? Many of the readers did not find it exactly "eloquent and thoughtful."

And I ask why shouldn't those comments stand? I read the essay. I looked over the linked twitter stream. If after doing that I am expected to need to go do additional research and googling, than it's a crap post, not crap comments. If no one had said they had no idea what the hell was going on then no one would have bothered to explain.

or the tl;dr version, eh, fuck you to.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:07 AM on May 17, 2011 [6 favorites]


23skidoo writes "Adding text that Sara and Tegan are an established indie-band or that Tyler the Creator fronts a trendy offensive rap collective add nothing to the post, at all. Adding links explaining that makes it even worse, because it dilutes what the post is supposed to be about: Tegan and Sara calling out Tyler, and Tyler responding on Twitter."

That's ridiculous. A couple of my neighbours have been feuding for longer than I've lived here for similar reasons but they don't need a FPP. Without the cultural context to make this relevant to the world at large some of the membership of Metafilter neither does their feud. If who Tegan and Sara and Tyler are isn't relevant then the post is straight up outrage filter and should be deleted. Because I'm pretty sure every single one of us could post a similar post at least monthly involving people that aren't public figures.
posted by Mitheral at 9:07 AM on May 17, 2011 [12 favorites]


Cjorgenson: I know this is a long thread and you probably missed it but I pulled back a bit and pre-emptivey apologised upthread to you and the other commenters I quoted, and again, generally to everyone, just a few comments above. Sorry for not linking but im on my phone now. Or if you didn't miss it, fair enough, I'll take my punches.
posted by Wroksie at 9:14 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would like to withdraw my comment about life being awesome.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:24 AM on May 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


23skidoo (and others), adding 'indie darlings' to Tegan and Sara and 'frontman of controversial and popular rap collective OMGWTFBBQ*' to Tyler the Creator would have helped me remember who they are.

I know Tegan and Sara but it took me a moment to place them, and while I know of Tyler the Creator, I know him under the name of the collective (per the previous Metafilter posts on them actually). So, adding so filler information would have let me know, "Oh yeah, those musicians. Ok, got it."

*I know that's not their name but that's what their name defaults to, every time. For the record, it's OFWGKTA and that took me three tries post-googling to get that right. Doesn't stick in my head, to say the least.
posted by librarylis at 9:24 AM on May 17, 2011


But Tegan and Sara are no longer indie darlings and Tyler, the Creator has his largest following among indie kids.
posted by defenestration at 9:28 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is a shitty call out.

It was a poorly framed callout, but it was a fair one. I flagged every single "who are these people" comment. If you honestly think more information is needed in the thread, you can contribute that information. If you think it's a big enough issue, you can start a MeTa thread on the topic. But, whether you mean it or not, "Who are these people" is going to trend to sound like "Why should I care?" And the answer is, you don't have to. If you don't care, you can go elsewhere. There are a ton of threads, some of which will probably dovetail with stuff you already know.

I have seen threads in the past that I felt were worthwhile but could use more context, and so I have thrown in some additional links. There are some threads where I didn't know what was being discussed, and didn't have an opinion, and so I stayed out. I do not see what use "Who are these people and why should I care?" serves, except to make noise. And both Cortex and Jess above have stated they don't find those sorts of comments useful, but they often fall below the threshold of deletion. Is that really the standard of comment you want to defend? "Hey! It's below the threshold of deletion!"
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:40 AM on May 17, 2011 [6 favorites]


joannemullen:

If it really helps to offer a quick precis on everything ("Tegan and Sara, a semi-popular Canadian modern beat combo") then fine, but plenty of posts are put up assuming a knowledge of computers, American culture or whatever which most people in the world - and a lot on metafilter - have no clue about. You'd have to explain every reference to Star Wars or gridiron or U.S. state politics to me, for example and I certainly don't expect anyone to bother to do that.

That pretty much sums up my feelings on the issue. When it's music, people seem to take more offense to perceived posturing. Either that or they respond another way internally, that I can't surmise, that leads to the same snarky professions of ignorance or (mostly) disingenuous clarion calls for journalistic standards.

It's probably because we live in a world obsessed with cool, with music at the center of it all.
posted by defenestration at 9:52 AM on May 17, 2011


I think a problem with "Who is this?" comments is that it's hard to tell if it's (in increasing order of snarkiness): It would be good if people would word these a little more carefully to make their intention clear.
posted by FishBike at 9:55 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Odd Future are playing the Sydney Opera House this month

Who the hell is Sydney?
posted by staggernation at 10:01 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


All we want is a nice little adjectival phrase: "indie band X, controversial rapper Y." That's it.

Yeah, and then there's a half hour of 'They're not indie, they're on a Warner subsidiary!' 'I meant indie aesthetically, ding-dong!' 'Is there really an indie aesthetic?' 'There used to be.'

And then it's just people talking about Paul Westerberg and I want to shoot myself.

Me, I have a context search extension thingy in my browser. I don't even have to type shit or nuthin'.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:01 AM on May 17, 2011 [8 favorites]


Me, I have a context search extension thingy in my browser. I don't even have to type shit or nuthin'.

don't say greasemonkey don't say greasemonkey
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:04 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


staggernation: " Who the hell is Sydney?"

P. Sherman
42 Wallaby Way
Sydney
posted by zarq at 10:05 AM on May 17, 2011 [11 favorites]


I don't need adjectives. Just a link to a well chosen page that tells you what the poster would like you to know about $MYSTERY_MEAT_THING. Otherwise you're left googling for context and usually missing something. It's just polite.

And also, can we knock off the ageist, elitist shit? Whether you have heard of Tegan and Sara is not some kind of status marker round these parts.
posted by unSane at 10:12 AM on May 17, 2011


If you honestly think more information is needed in the thread, you can contribute that information.

I dunno, I don't think it's my role to spruce up other people's thin posts; I generally just flag it and move on. In this case, it was probably the least contextual post I've ever seen outside of SLYT posts. I've always thought that a good FPP is about the length and depth of the lede in a good newspaper article. All the necessary context should be there, though it shouldn't be the length of a wikipedia article with a thousand links. Yes, it goes without saying that this is just my opinion. Please go on writing the posts you want to post.

I agree, though, that the old chestnut "Is this something I'd have to ____ to understand?" is just noise. But if people could agree simply to say "Could you provide some more context to this post?", I think that would be entirely fair. Though I doubt it would be well-received either.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 10:14 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


A couple of my neighbours have been feuding for longer than I've lived here for similar reasons

I really doubt that the reasons that your neighbors are feuding is anything similar to one of them fronts a rap collective that creates raps filled with incredibly offensive lyrics, which music critics (who are mostly dudes) seem to never care about (at least not to a level on par with their awfulness), and the other one thinking that someone has to say "Hey, I'm a lesbian woman and a musician and these lyrics should be called out as being harmful."

If you want to argue for context, fine, but merely noting that these people are famous does not provide enough context to all the good press that Odd Future gets. Adjectives (or links, really) aren't enough to explain the whole "Ohhh, we're all supposed to ignore the offensiveness of the lyrics, or appreciate them for being offensive on purpose, but we're not supposed to imply that there might be something bad about ironically/non-chalantly/trollishly rapping about horrible things just to piss people off". The whole "Someone called someone out who has been getting lots and lots of positive press" angle is the context needed to get the post, not what these two people do for a living.
posted by 23skidoo at 10:16 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


can i just say that a group that releases their work under sire records (part of WMG) isn't exactly an indie act? especially since their label before that was a subsidiary of UMG. i know that "indie" means "kids in tight pants" to a lot of people - but it means independent, as in, not part of large music companies. tegan & sara just don't qualify as indie.
posted by nadawi at 10:18 AM on May 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


You are fandking with me, aren't you?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:20 AM on May 17, 2011 [8 favorites]


i'm also surprised at how many people haven't heard/heard of tegan and sara - their last two records were in the top 40 in most markets and their music has shown up a lot of tv shows. then there was that cover by the white stripes.

not arguing that context should have been left out of the post (i'm always in favor of more context) - just registering my surprise is all.
posted by nadawi at 10:24 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


nadawi: "can i just say that a group that releases their work under sire records (part of WMG) isn't exactly an indie act? especially since their label before that was a subsidiary of UMG. i know that "indie" means "kids in tight pants" to a lot of people - but it means independent, as in, not part of large music companies. tegan & sara just don't qualify as indie."

Yes, but do they wear tight pants? ;)
posted by zarq at 10:32 AM on May 17, 2011


I want to clarify what I meant when I posted this:

But Tegan and Sara are no longer indie darlings and Tyler, the Creator has his largest following among indie kids.

My point was that indie music scenes are fickle, and—in the context of that post—the conversation about sexism/homophobia and whether it should be acceptable, ironic-or-not!, was more important than the artists that engendered said conversation. The pervasiveness of these issues will long outlast yr favorite buzzband.
posted by defenestration at 10:33 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


i'm also surprised at how many people haven't heard/heard of tegan and sara - their last two records were in the top 40 in most markets and their music has shown up a lot of tv shows.

According to Wikipedia, their 2009 album sold about 23,000 in the first week--which is, according to my calculations, 3.4 x 10^-4 percent of the world's population.
posted by IjonTichy at 10:35 AM on May 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also, that cab has a dent in it.
posted by defenestration at 10:36 AM on May 17, 2011


"Who is x, and why should I care?" is Metafilter's version of "first post!" and I'd definitely support summarily getting rid of those comments and getting rid of the vain, shitty old pigs that actually defend that behavior.
posted by furiousthought at 10:41 AM on May 17, 2011 [10 favorites]


how much they sold and how much they're played aren't the same number. i'm not playing a gotcha game, i am honestly registering my surprise because they aren't some tiny indie rock band that plays only small venues in college towns. they are charting artists on a major label.
posted by nadawi at 10:47 AM on May 17, 2011


I forget that it's not always appropriate to throw around 'fucks' like frisbees at the picnic.

TFYI, the 'fucks' are generally fine. The 'fuck you's' don't go down well though.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:50 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


furiousthought: X was a punk band from the west coast that was mostly active in the 80's. Everyone knows that.
posted by defenestration at 10:50 AM on May 17, 2011 [13 favorites]


Nobody I know listens to the radio—or maybe they listen to NPR, but certainly not to music—so I don't really see why it is so surprising that people don't know a band that is getting heavy radio play if it falls outside of their usual genre interests.
posted by enn at 10:51 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I know who Tegan and Sara are, but you'd be amazed at how many charting artists on major labels are completely alien to me. I just looked at the current US Top 40, and I have exactly no idea who LMFAO, Bad Meets Evil, Mike Posner, or Jason Aldean are.
posted by craichead at 10:52 AM on May 17, 2011


getting rid of the vain, shitty old pigs that actually defend that behavior.

and I'd suggest getting rid of 'old' as an insult
posted by unSane at 10:52 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I heard Tegan and Sara in a Qdoba. They had several tracks on the local "alternative" station (the air quotes here are required). They played here at the largest non-stadium venue. I don't think they are small potatoes.

I was mystified by Tyler the Creator, though.
posted by adipocere at 10:53 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I flagged every single "who are these people" comment. If you honestly think more information is needed in the thread, you can contribute that information. If you think it's a big enough issue, you can start a MeTa thread on the topic. But, whether you mean it or not, "Who are these people" is going to trend to sound like "Why should I care?" And the answer is, you don't have to.

My damage is that often the criticism is RTFA. I'd say that any post where people do RTFA, and there isn't enough meat on the FAs to stand on their own then someone asking who these people are or why this is significant isn't out of line.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:59 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


176 comments and no "Who the hell is Wroskie"?

getting rid of the vain, shitty old pigs that actually defend that behavior.

come on, mystery meat post was mysterious. Adding a little context never killed anyone.
posted by GuyZero at 10:59 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


then someone asking who these people are or why this is significant isn't out of line.

Asking is fine. There are ways to do this better and ways to do this worse. Being conversational and not "prove to me this is important" is useful, especally in a situation where the mystification is not totally universal. I have a hard time parsing some posts and before I go all "And I should care why?" on it, I'll ask cortex or someone else why this sort of thing is important. Usually I learn something and I can go into a thread being more informed and not surly.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:03 AM on May 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


cjorgensen: "If you are relying on context to flesh out your post I'm going to maintain you should maybe not post. "

This seems to be excessive: "Popular comedian Will Ferrell has a new video up showing Former United States President George W. Bush's response to the capture of architect of the Sept 11th terrorist attacks Osama Bin Laden. Farrell has done a number of videos as the former president, and frequently imitated him on American comedy program Saturday Night Live."
posted by Chrysostom at 11:05 AM on May 17, 2011


Remember that time the Arcade Fire won a best album Grammy and all those people were like, "Who the f is Arcade Fire?" This pile-on sort of feels like that.

I also sense an underlying hipster-hate in all of the "Who the f is Tegan and Sara?" comments. I agree that the post could have been fleshed out more as to who Tegan & Sara and Tyler the Creator are (just to save me a quick Google trip), but if you want to celebrate being out-of-date and uninformed, there are better places to do this than Metafilter. Pointing out your own willing ignorance on a topic reeks of close-mindedness, which is the opposite of what Metafilter is about (to me, anyways).
posted by jabberjaw at 11:11 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


getting rid of the vain, shitty old pigs that actually defend that behavior.

>I'd suggest getting rid of 'old' as an insult


Also, pigs are smart enough not to shit where they eat.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:12 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


No one is asking for this. Seriously, this comes up every time in these threads and people say, "well, I didn't want to pad the post with weak links," but that is a pure straw man, no one wants that. All we want is a nice little adjectival phrase: "indie band X, controversial rapper Y." That's it. If you think it's easy and non-time-consuming to Google every single reference you don't catch on the front page, imagine how much easier and less time-consuming it is to add those few little words to your post and save everyone the hassle!

Since some posts do have Wikipedia links, I don't know how you can say no one wants them in FPPs. I would rather get a Wikipedia link that explains why someone is controversial, so I can see the details and make up my own mind about whatever it is that's supposed to be controversial, than just being expected to take the OP's description at face value.
posted by John Cohen at 11:14 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks for disavowing that comment, doublehappy. Comparing things that are not anything like rape to rape for rhetorical gotchas is definitely one of those "really obnoxious even if it doesn't necessarily get deleted" things.
posted by cortex at 3:29 PM on May 17


Not trying to be an arse, honestly, and I recognise that doublehappy has withdrawn the remark, but he did not do that. That is not how analogies work, and it is very exasperating that so many otherwise smart people seem not to get this. The analogy did not compare snark to rape, nor did it compare post framing to the way a woman dresses. Again, that is not how analogies work. The point of the analogy was to illustrate the idea that there was an innate fallaciousness inherent in both statements, and to show how that was similar.

Sorry, but this is one of those things that drives me crazy. It results in perfectly reasonable and often quite potent statements being called out for entirely illogical and emotionally-driven reasons. It's like people just stop thinking when they see certain trigger words like "rape" and suddenly lose all sight of context and meaning. Which is never good.
posted by Decani at 11:18 AM on May 17, 2011 [8 favorites]


But if your links are to a serious Will Ferrell essay and a @GWbush twitter stream I would say that you failed. Sarah Palin's twitter stream reads like a 14 year old girl's txt log on the weekend she broke up with her boyfriend: unintelligible outrage. I wouldn't say linking to that is worth much if you are expecting people to understand any kind of cultural context.

I read the Tyler twitter stream. Decided I didn't get why anyone would care what he has to say. Followed the link on his profile to his website and still didn't have an answer.

I would have thought the best thing to do at this point would be to ignore him, not write an essay on why people shouldn't care.

Pointing out your own willing ignorance on a topic reeks of close-mindedness, which is the opposite of what Metafilter is about (to me, anyways).

I see it like the physics threads. I all the time see people say, "Can someone post this in layman's terms?" This post needed the layman's terms. At least on the T&S site you get they are musicians. The Tyler twitter stream only proves he's an ass.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:19 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have a hard time parsing some posts and before I go all "And I should care why?" on it, I'll ask cortex or someone else why this sort of thing is important. Usually I learn something and I can go into a thread being more informed and not surly.

True, readers can individually research these things. The rationale for giving context in the FPP isn't that otherwise it's impossible for us to find out about that context. It's just that since the OP apparently does know the context, it's more efficient if the OP can take the initiative in adding some of it to the post. (I have no problem with how this specific FPP presented the information.)
posted by John Cohen at 11:19 AM on May 17, 2011


All this is weird to me, because among the sorts of websites I read and people I follow on twitter, the big punchline lately is "HERE IS MY OPINION ABOUT ODD FUTURE" because everyone, everywhere, is talking about them. They're 2011's Lady Gaga. You wouldn't provide an introduction to Lady Gaga in a post about her at this point, would you? It's hard to gauge a community for what they may or may not be familiar with. If I start an entry on an indie music blog with three paragraphs introducing who Odd Future are, I'd be met with frustrated people and derision because who doesn't know who Odd Future is at this point? But if I didn't provide that same context in a MetaFilter post, I'd be castigated and brought in to MetaTalk.

Add to this: indie music is no longer an underground handshake, not by a long shot. The Pitchfork Festival has Odd Future booked this year, and tens of thousands of people show up to that every year. It's easy to assume that they're not some new phenomenon to 95% of people reading MetaFilter, which is a community more informed about everything than my high school friends on Facebook are. We don't demand context for the Mountain Goats or any of a number of music posts I've seen here.

So it's not easy, is what I'm saying. I sympathize with uncertainty about how much context to provide in just about any given situation.
posted by naju at 11:20 AM on May 17, 2011 [3 favorites]

I also sense an underlying hipster-hate in all of the "Who the f is Tegan and Sara?" comments.
Seriously? If I posted something about Martin Hayes or Iarla Ó Lionáird, I don't think it would indicate Irish-trad hate if people didn't know who they were. I don't expect everyone to share my musical taste, and it's a little weird to me when other people do.
posted by craichead at 11:20 AM on May 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


The whole "Someone called someone out who has been getting lots and lots of positive press" angle is the context needed to get the post, not what these two people do for a living.

Yes, but a basic descriptive phrase tells me whether I care enough about their milieu in general to puruse a thread about this minor aspect of it further. I like indie rock and would be more likely to be interested in a thread related to that subject than I might about oh, I dunno, nuclear physics or anthropology or ballet.

I mean, really. People just want a couple adjectives to know if this is something that they would potentially care about. Someone who might be interested in some perpective on a controversial rapper from say, an gender studies prof might not be interested in a take from an indie rocker or a former Source beat writer or a conservative columnist or what have you. There's a reason why English has appositive phrases.
posted by Diablevert at 11:20 AM on May 17, 2011


There is a shit load of music out there, and unless the person you are talking about is literally inescapable like Justin Bieber, there's a pretty good chance that a good percentage of metafilter is going to have no idea who the fuck you are talking about.

I listen to piles of music that all my friends would have heard of but 80% of metafilter wouldn't have, and there's no chance that I'd make a post about any of it without including some context.

Just because someone doesn't know all the obscure shit on your 'indie' playlist, that doesn't mean that they don't like music or they don't know alot about music, maybe even more about music than you.
posted by empath at 11:24 AM on May 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


. Pointing out your own willing ignorance on a topic reeks of close-mindedness, which is the opposite of what Metafilter is about (to me, anyways).

Pointing out how you know everything about every band on the planet reeks of self-importance, which is the opposite of what Metafilter is about (to me, anyways).
posted by GuyZero at 11:25 AM on May 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Decani, I understand your logical point, but logical points aren't the only things that matter. Sometimes an analogy is so wildly discordant and inflammatory that it just distracts from any underlying good point that could have been made more clearly. Comparing criticism of the wording of a blog post for a discussion that ensues, to criticism of a rape victim for being raped, is definitely an example of that. There's just no reason to insist on pushing that particular analogy, which is why doublehappy appropriately apologized for it.
posted by John Cohen at 11:26 AM on May 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


unless the person you are talking about is literally inescapable like Justin Bieber

That's why I find this fascinating. To me, Odd Future have been literally inescapable like Justin Bieber.
posted by naju at 11:27 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Does this just seem like Grar Tuesday to anyone else? I feel like we're going around in circles, largely agreeing with each other in the most ornery way possible.

Which is good, because for some reason, I'm itching for a fight today, and all you idiots are driving me fucking crazy with your slightly different opinions, though I understand where you're coming from. Fuckers.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 11:27 AM on May 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


It's easy to assume that they're [Odd Future] not some new phenomenon to 95% of people reading MetaFilter

The readership of this site does not exclusively consist of young people who read music blogs.
posted by IjonTichy at 11:27 AM on May 17, 2011 [6 favorites]


. Pointing out your own willing ignorance on a topic reeks of close-mindedness, which is the opposite of what Metafilter is about (to me, anyways).

If your post isn't interesting to most of the audience without them having to google a bunch of shit, then you made a bad post. It's not willful ignorance to ask questions in the thread. It's providing information in the thread that should have been in the post to begin with, assuming someone answers instead of throwing a hissy fit.
posted by empath at 11:27 AM on May 17, 2011


That's why I find this fascinating. To me, Odd Future have been literally inescapable like Justin Bieber.

I've never heard of them and I read music blogs all of the time. I must read different ones than you, go figure.
posted by empath at 11:28 AM on May 17, 2011


I didn't know who they were or what was going on and I didn't have much time to find out. I scrolled through the comments, and within about 30 seconds knew enough to know that it wasn't a thread for me. I moved on. Time spent learning a few names? - About 30 seconds. Cost of moving on without shitting in the thread? - $20, same as in town. What - you thought I was going to say "priceless"? Awfully high opinion you have of yourself, there. Wait - who are you talking to, anyway? That almost sounded like a shot. Are you taking a shot at me? Well fuck you, too, buddy! No - fuck you, pal! I'm not your pal, buddy! Well, I'm not your buddy, pal! That't it: IT'S GO TIME!!!

*calls the 911 operator in his head

Shots fired! Shots fired! Man down! Man down!

*chung CHUNG

Well, what do we have here?

Double homicide. This body, here, belongs to a Mr. Pot. The one over there is a Mr. Kettle. Witnesses heard them arguing, and then shots fired. Guns found with the victims have been fired recently and 9mm casings on the ground match the guns and the bullet wounds. Looks like they shot each other.

Well... whatever else happened here, one thing seems clear: The Pot finally called the Kettle black one time too many!

*removes sunglasses

*YEEEEEEEAAAAAUUUUUUUUU!!!!

-Wait a minute. We don't know who shot first, here. Maybe Mr. Pot shot first?

*puts sunglasses back on

Well... We do know one thing: A watched Pot never boils!

*removes sunglasses

*YEEEE-

-Wait a minute. That doesn't make any sense.

*puts sunglasses back on

Well... This is one fine kettle of fish!

*removes sunglasses

-That's just dumb. And why are we doing CSI Miami? Didn't we start this bit
with the Law & Order "chung CHUNG" sound?

*puts sunglasses back on

The Pot and Kettle finally boiled over!

...

...

-Yeah, I suppose that works.

*removes sunglasses

*YEEEEEEEAAAAAUUUUUUUUU!!!!

...Won't get fooled again!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:30 AM on May 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


If your post isn't interesting to most of the audience without them having to google a bunch of shit, then you made a bad post.

Just because less people understand a post than possibly could doesn't mean a post is bad. Also, I never read music blogs and I've heard of Odd Future.
posted by 23skidoo at 11:31 AM on May 17, 2011


Not trying to be an arse, honestly, and I recognise that doublehappy has withdrawn the remark, but he did not do that. That is not how analogies work, and it is very exasperating that so many otherwise smart people seem not to get this.

I was not trying to be specific about what the rhetorical structure or intent of the juxtaposition of rape was. If the word "compare" there was problematic in that sense, I hear you but think you are looking for a more formal argument about the parallelism than anyone was likely to be digging into there.

To restate it: it would be great for people to not react to "oh, hey, here's a situation that has nothing to do with rape" by thinking "you know what I'll bring up here? Rape." It's a bunk move, it bogs down a conversation and trivializes traumatic shit for no good reason.

It's like people just stop thinking when they see certain trigger words like "rape" and suddenly lose all sight of context and meaning. Which is never good.

It's like randomly injecting a complicated, painful, and for many many people personal traumatic subject into a conversation for trivial rhetorical points is problematic. Is basically the whole thing. When reaching for a metaphor, if you don't have a very good and specific reason to go for an unusually charged referent you should probably use something else instead so as not to piss people off and derail your own point and the discussion surrounding it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:32 AM on May 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


To me, Odd Future have been literally inescapable like Justin Bieber.

FYI, I'm 30 years old and listen to a lot of music, and I had never heard of Odd Future till I read your comment.
posted by John Cohen at 11:32 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Do you want a cookie?
posted by empath at 11:32 AM on May 17, 2011


(sorry, my snark was directed at 23skidoo)
posted by empath at 11:32 AM on May 17, 2011


Does that mean I don't get a cookie?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:34 AM on May 17, 2011


I'm a time traveler, and let me tell you, you are in for an odd future.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:34 AM on May 17, 2011


Do you want a cookie?

No, I want a dessert you've never heard of. Jeez, just because someone is saying "Hey, it never occurred to me that someone might not know about Odd Future" doesn't mean they're saying "Hey, it never occurred to me that someone might not know about Odd Future. People who haven't heard of Odd Future are idiots."
posted by 23skidoo at 11:35 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


At this point, we might as well just have a show of hands: Who's heard of Odd Future?

*lowers hand*
posted by kingbenny at 11:35 AM on May 17, 2011


Tyler was featured last week in the NYT, which is not typically a vanguard of obscure rap.

In any event, cookies for everyone. Except you.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 11:36 AM on May 17, 2011


Exactly. Like 23skidoo says, I'm not asserting some music knowledge superiority, I'm just saying it's easy to make a genuine mistake about how much knowledge a community has about something. It's a symptom of the new selective, individualized way we have of getting our news. Something that seems universally known to me may not be universally know to the internet at large. It can be an honest mistake.
posted by naju at 11:38 AM on May 17, 2011


Pointing out how you know everything about every band on the planet reeks of self-importance, which is the opposite of what Metafilter is about (to me, anyways).

Agreed. I hate that strawman.
posted by jabberjaw at 11:39 AM on May 17, 2011


I generally try to include all the extra context I'd need to get my mom to understand the post, when I make FPP, personally.
posted by empath at 11:40 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't listen to Tyler, the creator or Odd Future all that much, but I'm aware of him/them. (I've checked their stuff out, just to see what it was all about, but it didn't grab me all that much.) They have been written about in blogs (including MeFi), magazines, and the goddamn Paper of Record.

The indie scene isn't what it used to be. It's an always-accelerating, buzz-based economy (where no one buys anything) that is so drama-obsessed that it reads like USWeekly. The arbiters of taste—and sometimes tastelessness, for the lulz—that are hooked into it will slash-and-burn the smallest microgenre or regurgitation of gobbled-up riffs and rhythms of yesteryear, until there's some other novel bullshit ready elbo.w its way into the playlists or mixtapes of the Tumblr set. It all feels pretty inevitable: recorded art has piled into a ball pit; the kids are just playing in it. The old guard feels lost, so they watch it carefully. They snap photos of it on their iPhones, using apps that emulate the deficiencies of their age. They amplify it and make it more important than it ever was, to show they still "get it", even if there's nothing to get.

So yeah, it's obscure as fuck (until it isn't), but it's written about everywhere, more than things that are actually important. If you've been paying attention, you've probably heard of Odd Future, even if you've never actually heard them.

And sure, Tegan & Sara have been on the decline mindshare-wise, but the essay is on... their website, which is filled with information about them.
posted by defenestration at 11:40 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


If I posted something about Martin Hayes or Iarla Ó Lionáird, I don't think it would indicate Irish-trad hate if people didn't know who they were.

If you made such post, I for one would be very excited and pleased (even though I had to google Ó Lionáird). Having said that, I suspect that there would be a lot less snark about not knowing who Irish trad musicians are than about Tegan and Sara or Tyler the Creator.

(disclaimer: 43, sorta know who they all are, have actually seen T&S open for a band I like a few years ago, know enough about Odd Future & Tyler to know they're not my bag, read links from the OP but wasn't in the thread.)
posted by immlass at 11:40 AM on May 17, 2011


i am honestly registering my surprise because they aren't some tiny indie rock band that plays only small venues in college towns. they are charting artists on a major label.

I think it's possible that MetaFilter users are a lot more diverse in their aesthetic tastes than it might seem. I'm a huge music geek, but not about contemporary pop music. I've heard Tegan and Sara's names before, but I couldn't pick one of their songs out of a lineup. However, I can really get down into it as far as old-time country, blues, gospel, swing, vernacular/occupations songs, and early country music go. Arcane knowledge about defunct genres is my specialty. Long ago, I gave up trying to follow, listen to, or care about every new release by every new band. The stuff is just not that interesting to me, and with limited time I'd rather spend it digging into old obscure genres to learn more about them.

That doesn't mean I wouldn't occasionally be interested in a newsworthy event related to contemporary pop music. But I don't think anyone should be surprised that not everyone - in fact, I'd hazard a guess that the majority of people - do not listen to contemporary Top 40 or pop music as their primary musical interest. I can think of people into the kind of music I listen to, people into modern country, people into soundtracks, people into jazz or classical, people into classic rock or metal, people into singer-songwriters...but I really know very few people getting their music mainly through commercial radio at this point. I like to think we can expect that MeFites are aficionados at all sorts of things, not that they're ignorant for not knowing about a pop music act.
posted by Miko at 11:45 AM on May 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


Most things we think go without saying, don't.
posted by Trurl at 11:46 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


seriously? 200+ comments about this shit?
posted by edgeways at 11:47 AM on May 17, 2011


You can say that again.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:47 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I heard someone say 'I Binged it' the other day. ...
posted by mippy at 8:44 AM


God, thank you mippy.

I am a clueless fool, but I did not realize until reading your post that Microsoft must have chosen this awkward name for the sake of this phrase, essentially because it makes for a good sound effect.

I think you're 100% right, Wroksie.

I liked that post because it crystallized for me this nagging feeling that there must be some deep connection between rap and tourettes, but when I Googled 'tourette's rap' I got this from Urban Dictionary:

Rap Tourette's

The condition of any aspect of life--events, words someone said, something you read, even nothing at all, who needs a reason?--calls up lines from rap songs. Takes you to a happy place more often than not.


And now I think rap owes a big part of its (truly primordial) appeal to the fact that it gives the part of your brain that people with some varieties of Tourette's syndrome can't prevent from taking over their speech something more interesting to do with itself than sit around in the background all day long mumbling profanity to itself.
posted by jamjam at 11:47 AM on May 17, 2011


edgeways: "seriously? 200+ comments about this shit?"

...and no one has mentioned "desperate, ass-jittering cattle" yet.
posted by zarq at 11:51 AM on May 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


Yeah edgeways, don't be an anus on stilts.
posted by hermitosis at 12:02 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Trurl: "Most things we think go without saying, don't."

If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:06 PM on May 17, 2011


jamjam - bing story that you might find funny with your new revelation.
posted by nadawi at 12:14 PM on May 17, 2011


Do you want a cookie?

No, we want to be recognized as data points.
posted by John Cohen at 12:43 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Do you want a cookie?

Oh man, do I ever miss the <img> tag.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:46 PM on May 17, 2011


I have exactly no idea who LMFAO, Bad Meets Evil, Mike Posner, or Jason Aldean are.

Mike Posner is an extremely successful cognitive psychology researcher interested in the mechanisms underlying attention, of course. Anyone who isn't already sick to death of hearing of him is living in a cave!
posted by Jpfed at 12:49 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Tyler was featured last week in the NYT,

Which I can't freakin read any more without paying them money, thanks for reminding me.
posted by aught at 12:57 PM on May 17, 2011


NYClean
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:00 PM on May 17, 2011


Mention this to me
Mention something, mention anything
... and watch the weather change.
posted by clavdivs at 1:00 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


> Just googling them for a couple minutes doesn't help you "get" them fully either

the googles, they do nothing
posted by jfuller at 1:02 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


The older we get, the more likely we are to hear the words "Elvis who?" That's really going to freak me out when that happens.
posted by Bookhouse at 1:03 PM on May 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Everyone who's anyone knows me. To know me is to love me. Everyone who's anyone loves me. Everyone who's anyone should get themselves tested. It's science, people.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:04 PM on May 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


NYClean
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:00 PM on May 17 [+] [!]


Huh, thanks, BP - I was googling* titles of articles for a while but that many times doesn't bring up results.

* amusing given the topic of this thread, no?
posted by aught at 1:09 PM on May 17, 2011


It's Raining Florence Henderson: "Everyone who's anyone knows me. To know me is to love me. Everyone who's anyone loves me. Everyone who's anyone should get themselves tested. It's science, people."

I think you should me more explicit in step two.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:12 PM on May 17, 2011


I listen to piles of music that all my friends would have heard of but 80% of metafilter wouldn't have, and there's no chance that I'd make a post about any of it without including some context.

This is a great attitude and one I wish more people would adopt. Unless someone provides some context for their music posts I usually just skip them. I don't have time to go searching for context in every single post so it's great when people do us the courtesy of including it.
posted by Justinian at 1:16 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I feel moderately positive regarding my knowledge level of Tegan and Sara.
posted by malocchio at 1:19 PM on May 17, 2011


The older we get, the more likely we are to hear the words "Elvis who?" That's really going to freak me out when that happens.

When did this become about figure skating?
posted by GuyZero at 1:22 PM on May 17, 2011


Everyone who's anyone knows me.
posted by clavdivs at 1:26 PM on May 17, 2011


...I'M SMART...
posted by clavdivs at 1:26 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Exactly. Like 23skidoo says, I'm not asserting some music knowledge superiority, I'm just saying it's easy to make a genuine mistake about how much knowledge a community has about something. It's a symptom of the new selective, individualized way we have of getting our news. Something that seems universally known to me may not be universally know to the internet at large. It can be an honest mistake.

I tend to agree with you, and feel that this undermines 22skidoo's point that one should just put stuff in without context and trust that the vast majority of the people who are likely to care will recognize the names and know it's for them. The Internet melts and warps our Venn circles and makes the borders all wavy. Things that you'd think would overlap don't always.
posted by Diablevert at 1:28 PM on May 17, 2011


The older we get, the more likely we are to hear the words "Elvis who?" That's really going to freak me out when that happens.

At a stage production of the Rocky Horror show, I heard a guy say to his date, "So, I've never seen the movie, what's this all about anyways?"
posted by nomisxid at 1:29 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


> The older we get, the more likely we are to hear the words "Elvis who?" That's really going to freak me out when that happens.

>> When did this become about figure skating?


It didn't, it became about merengue music.

I gave context! I'll take that cookie, thankyouverymuch.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 1:30 PM on May 17, 2011


Speaking of "Elvis who?", I have worked with ~20 year olds who have:

-not known who Jimi Hendrix is
-thought the name David Bowie "rings a bell"
-believed "Ned Zeppelin" was the name of the singer

None of them seem to be major music people, but still.
posted by neuromodulator at 1:36 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thank you, empath. Now turn that awful noise down or put on some headphones.
posted by headnsouth at 1:36 PM on May 17, 2011


I honestly wasn't aware that there was a limit to how much one should participate in a metatalk discussion, I didn't think 'threadsitting' applied since I wasn't trying to direct or control the discussion but rather I was answering points that I felt were levelled directly at me and clarifying/adjusting my position. Anyway, no need to chastise my any more, I'll leave the rest of you to it.

Wroksi, this is not 'Nam. This is metafilter. There are rules.

Say what you will about the tenets of metafilter, Dude, but at least it's an ethos.
posted by TheBones at 1:38 PM on May 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


-thought the name David Bowie "rings a bell"

I was singing "Let's Dance" at karaoke last friday, and a bunch of people come down in front of the stage and start dancing, but this one woman keeps stopping her dancing and looks up, staring at me. After the song is over and I'm walking back to my seat, she stops me,

"Are you in the band?"
"I've been in a band before, but I'm not in one right now?"
"No, that song you just sang, were you in THAT band? You sound just like their singer..."
"???No, I'm not david bowie"
"who?"
posted by nomisxid at 1:53 PM on May 17, 2011


Dear Miko, Lob the Snark is my new Metafilter sockpuppet name.
posted by theora55 at 1:57 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Flaming Lips post without context

There aren't any comments yet like "Who the hell are the Flaming Lips? Why should I care?" They're universally known here, I take it? I'm pretty sure it's a perfectly fine post, but after this discussion I'm tempted to drown everything in Wikipedia links just to be sure.
posted by naju at 2:21 PM on May 17, 2011


I think the difference is the Flaming Lips don't suck.
posted by entropicamericana at 2:29 PM on May 17, 2011


I like to think releasing an EP as a USB Gummy Skull would be FPP worthy regardless of the band.
posted by absalom at 2:33 PM on May 17, 2011


Flaming Lips post without context

There aren't any comments yet like "Who the hell are the Flaming Lips? Why should I care?" They're universally known here, I take it? I'm pretty sure it's a perfectly fine post, but after this discussion I'm tempted to drown everything in Wikipedia links just to be sure.


I think the difference here is that the post itself provides all the context. It doesn't matter as much that the Flaming Lips are an [insert genre] band or anything. The story is the gummy skull & songs, rather than the surrounding people. Whereas the T&S situation was about the players.
posted by Lemurrhea at 2:34 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


believed "Ned Zeppelin" was the name of the singer

Best known for "Stair-diddley-airway to Heaven" and "Whole Lotta Lord".
posted by Trurl at 2:43 PM on May 17, 2011 [27 favorites]


Very, very nice!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:45 PM on May 17, 2011


"Random Internet Drama Between Random People" is not interesting.

"Random Band sells $150 Gummy Skull with music inside" is actually a little interesting on its own.

But yeah, I'm kind of against "Band Releases New Thing" posts in general, unless it's spectacularly interesting.
posted by empath at 2:45 PM on May 17, 2011


Best known for "Stair-diddley-airway to Heaven" and "Whole Lotta Lord".

Other hits include:

- Sermon on the Misty Mount
- Praised and Confused
- Houses of the Holy Mary Mother of God
- Communion Breakdown
- D'Yer Sav'yer
- Good Times End Times
- The Psalm Remains the Same
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:52 PM on May 17, 2011 [14 favorites]


TYLER THE CREATOR'S "GOBLIN" PROJECTED TO SELL 45k COPIES IN FIRST WEEK.

J.B?

Sales in the first week.

posted by josher71 at 2:54 PM on May 17, 2011


I flagged every single "who are these people" comment.

I hope you didn't flag mine, then. Because I wasn't just snarking, I was trying to provide constructive criticism. My comment, in full:

I had no idea who Tyler the Creator was, or Sara Quin, either. I know, my fault, I'm old, so I looked them up.

But I would still have appreciated more context for this post (thanks to masali and Joey_Bagels for clarifying within the thread, btw. I think the Guardian synopsis is better than the post).

Basically it's a blog entry complaining about trolling by a minor celebrity shock jock, right?


So here's my problem with that post. The FPP said, 'Tyler the Creator, the object of her ire, responds on his twitter feed in characteristic fashion'. But that link didn't go to the response, but to Tyler's whole Twitter feed. And that Twitter feed is a mess to wade through.

So Joey_Bagels helpfully linked to the actual Twitter comment, and masali added some context to Tyler the Creator. But I still had no clue who Tegan and Sara were, because although Googling them brought up their Wikipedia page and discography, I hadn't actually heard any of their music. So then I went to YouTube and found some and listened to it.

Now, for those who say, "If you don't like their music, why not skip the thread?" The description of Sara's editorial called it an "an eloquent and thoughtful letter," and I always want to read eloquent and thoughtful writing. I didn't even know Tegan and Sara WERE musicians because nothing in the post says they are. Turns out I didn't agree with the OP about the eloquence, either, but to say I should have just skipped the thread is discounting that the post was not a post about music. It sure didn't have any link to any music, anyway.

Linking 'Tegan and Sara' to one of their performances and linking 'Tyler the Creator' to one of his performances might have been a good idea.

Ad linking to Tyler's specific response to Sara's editorial would have helped, too.

Linking to none of those? Makes it a poor FPP, IMO.

But I still didn't just come in and threadshit, I went and researched it all myself. And after doing that, what I found on my own convinced me that these are minor players in a petty internet feud, so I said so.

Suggesting I am 'close-minded', as someone did above, because I didn't know who the musicians are, when the OP didn't care enough about them to include even one link to their music, is just wrong.

I mean, hey, I'm trying to broaden my horizons here, the least you can do is meet me halfway with a bit of hypertext.

My music-guru teen doesn't know who any of these people are, either, btw, so its not just an age thing.
posted by misha at 2:56 PM on May 17, 2011 [22 favorites]


I'm flagging that comment too, misha!
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:00 PM on May 17, 2011


My music-guru teen doesn't know who any of these people are, either, btw, so its not just an age thing.

Oh, it's still an age thing, probably, as Tegan and Sara's audience would likely fall in between the demographics of someone who had a teenager and someone who is a teenager. Plus, they're not exactly full on mainstream regardless of your age bracket -- they've never even had a gold record in the US.

I have no idea what Tyler, the Creator's demographic is, and despite the other thread and this thread, I am still finding it tremendously easy not to care.
posted by jacquilynne at 3:08 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Look, it doesn't matter if you don't know what a post is about – it really doesn't – but not knowing things isn't a virtue you should parade around at the drop of a hat, and a site that's even nominally about finding neat new things on the internet shouldn't encourage that attitude in the slightest. I mean, it's definitely ok to ask. But demanding that everything people serve you around here come predigested is crap. If you want the site to be a rest home with book reports on what happened 20 years ago today, though, that attitude fits right in and is super exciting.
posted by furiousthought at 3:20 PM on May 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


Look, it doesn't matter if you don't know what a post is about – it really doesn't – but not knowing things isn't a virtue you should parade around at the drop of a hat

Sturgeon's Law says 90% of everything is crap. I don't want to burn braincells on knowing crap. The way I see it, the burden of proving non-crappiness is on whoever is pushing the stuff that is likely crap at me.
posted by entropicamericana at 3:28 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


In conclusion, Libya is a land of contrast.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:28 PM on May 17, 2011 [13 favorites]


furiousthought: X was a punk band from the west coast that was mostly active in the 80's. Everyone knows that.

They're also an Aussie punk band. Good one.

I don't listen to Odd Future but they're INESCAPABLE among my friends and the media sites I consume. They're at least as well known as Braid or Minecraft or the Mountain Goats or other MeFi darlings. The thread was actually filled with people talking about them knowledgeably. This reverse snobbery is annoying, but it does let people not know things and STILL feel superior.
"I googled these folks and they seem to be another group of tiresome minstrels so beloved of the young people today. Wake me up when they achieve the true cultural importance of Richard Stallman or Rick Wakeman'.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:32 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sturgeon's Law is also crap for a variety of reasons. If you aren't curious about finding out new things, don't read. That's a guaranteed way of sparing your brain cells (to the extent that they're doing anything to begin with).
posted by furiousthought at 3:33 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't know how many times it needs to be said, but a link to "Random People Arguing On the Internet" is not an invitation to learn about new music.
posted by empath at 3:36 PM on May 17, 2011 [7 favorites]


I have to admit, when I read that thread, I knew who Tegan and Sara were and had no idea who Tyler, the Creator was. So, I clicked on the second link, couldn't figure out what any of the posts on that twitter feed had to do with Tegan and Sara, still didn't know how Tyler, the Creator was, but was pretty sure I didn't want to, and wandered off to a different thread.

"Who the hell is Tyler, the Creator, and why should I care?" certainly occurred to me as a question, but having seen his Twitter feed, I actually cared so little, I bothered neither to google him nor to ask in the thread.


Nth. Personally found the lack of short, helpful descriptions extremely confusing..

I didn't lose sleep over my outcome (which again, consisted of not giving the thread much attention and going to read about something else), but a description about as long as the examples already suggested, ie. "rapper/whatnot Tyler, The Creator" and "indie something whatnots Tegan And Sara" probably would have made the necessary difference.
posted by herbplarfegan at 3:36 PM on May 17, 2011


I felt the same about Crowley until it was time for the silk capes and orange brochade.
posted by clavdivs at 3:37 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't listen to Odd Future but they're INESCAPABLE among my friends and the media sites I consume.

Knowledge of what the amygdala does is inescapable among my friends and the media sites I consume, but that doesn't mean I should casually reference it in a post without any sort of explanation or background or context.
posted by IjonTichy at 3:37 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Knowledge of what the amygdala does is inescapable among my friends and the media sites I consume

The prequels made no sense. Was she a Queen or an elected leader or what? And all that kabuki makeup? He's just throwing shit out there.
posted by GuyZero at 3:43 PM on May 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


The prequels made no sense. Was she a Queen or an elected leader or what? And all that kabuki makeup? He's just throwing shit out there.

I have written a hundred page thesis on how Tyler the Creator* is wrong about this.






*Nah, JK, I honestly have no idea who that is.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:58 PM on May 17, 2011


Personally, I don't believe that Tyler is actually the Creator.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:07 PM on May 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't know how many times it needs to be said, but a link to "Random People Arguing On the Internet" is not an invitation to learn about new music.

Nthing this. The only way to know that post is about musicians, if you didn't already, is to infer from the tag "music". There's a big middle ground between "explaining the relevance of an artist when that's not what the post is about" and y'know, mentioning that they are an artist. That post was thinner than a William Powell/Myrna Loy extravaganza*.

Which does not mean that dropping "WTF is this" in the thread is great; it just means it's to be expected. The only other way that thread could've gone (and the way I expected it to go, when I first read it shortly after it was posted) was for it to get a tiny handful of comments from the people who already knew all about it and just needed a venue for the debate. I'd much rather argue about things I didn't already know about; that's why I come here instead of [insert favorite narrow-set-of-interests echo chamber website here].




*see, I too can toss out names without any context, and force other people to google to connect the dots! Also I can then proceed to act superior to you, because seriously, you didn't know who they were or what they'd done? Pfft, where've you been, under a rock since the 1930s?
posted by mstokes650 at 4:10 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't listen to Odd Future but they're INESCAPABLE among my friends and the media sites I consume. They're at least as well known as Braid or Minecraft or the Mountain Goats or other MeFi darlings. The thread was actually filled with people talking about them knowledgeably. This reverse snobbery is annoying, but it does let people not know things and STILL feel superior.

Right, but metafilter is not your friends or the other media sites you consume. I dutifully listen to the music on most indie music posts here (some of which I don't like, but whatev, at 27 I'm old, I guess, and music is no longer for me kids these days etc etc). I'm fairly open minded and also not a total music idiot,, but I 1. Had no idea who Tyler the Creator was 2. Was unable to figure it out through context 3. Ultimately decided to neither participate in the thread based on one and two, despite knowing T&S and enjoying arguing about homophobia on the internet. Assuming that people here come from the same fairly narrow cultural context seems just as snobby. If not more so.

Also, I gotta say that part of my confusion is that "Tyler the Creator" sounds more like the name of a wrestler or something. The twitter stream was as good as useless for providing context. Nice MS paint ponies in the background, though.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:11 PM on May 17, 2011


The thing is, it's trivial to provide a little context. At the very least and with virtually no effort you can do something like make the words "Tegan and Sara" and "Tyler the Creator" link to their wikipedia pages. Wikipedia shouldn't be the basis for a post but it's a great way to provide a tiny bit of context for name-drops that a lot of people are going to be clueless about.
posted by Justinian at 4:43 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


a great Tegan + Sera song


... and also the only one I know off-hand
posted by philip-random at 4:44 PM on May 17, 2011


“What is a Tegan and Sara?” was my comment.

And before I wrote it, I googled and found that Tegan and Sarah are twins in an indie band.

But it was still context-less. I was still at a loss as to why their fight was news, let alone best of the web.

What is much harder to google is, is the typical American of a certain age range assumed to know who they or their band are? Or are they relatively obscure, known only to kool kids and hipsters? What about the dude they're fighting with, he only has one name so is he famous?

Does this fight they're having have a backstory, or did S&T just get pissed off and blog about it one day?

The poster is joannemullen, who likes to drop into threads to complain that we don't hate Stalin enough and that Fred Hayek was right when he warned we're on the road to serfdom unless we screw the poor harder. Is there a wacky Randite subtext to this post? Are Sarah and Tegin something like Prussian Blue, another band made up of two twins?

And honestly, why should I care? What distinguishes their ire, what makes it worth my time, from any rant on any blog? Are we talking about them because their argument is particularly fresh and insightful, or because we're gossiping about celebs? The post doesn't tell me. Google can't tell me, and I lack the telepathy that gives Wroksie knowledge of others' intents.

To paraphrase another band, I've got ninety-nine problems Wroksie, and this ain't one.
posted by orthogonality at 4:53 PM on May 17, 2011 [9 favorites]


Up until today, I was vaguely aware that a group called Tegan & Sara existed and for some reason I thought of them as a cutrate Indigo Girls. I had never heard off Odd Future. I asked a few younger co-workers and they said that they had heard about this 'feud.' and that T&S were 'indie pop for 16 year old girls' and that Odd Future was 'OK.'
posted by jonmc at 4:53 PM on May 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


I wish someone would put together a post about shoegaze black metal.

Not because I particularly like it, but "I AM SO ANGRY AT BEING SAD!" is a kind of wonderful stance.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 5:03 PM on May 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


joannemullen is a troll i can't help but marvel she still has an account because she is a particularly unsubtle troll.
posted by entropicamericana at 5:10 PM on May 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


I also sense an underlying hipster-hate in all of the "Who the f is Tegan and Sara?" comments.

Eh, I like a lot of hipster music.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:17 PM on May 17, 2011


at 27 I'm old, I guess

I have t-shirts older than you.
posted by jonmc at 5:25 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have t-shirts that haven't even been washed in 27 years!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:29 PM on May 17, 2011


I haven't been washed in 27 years!
posted by jonmc at 5:32 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


T&S have been around in the "indie music scene"—as loosely as that can be defined—for a while now. The "indie music scene" is very much an outgrowth of DIY/punk rock subcultures/scenes. As things have moved further toward indie territory, the shift on the importance of lyrics, messages, and personal ethics has shifted. T&S is in the middle of the spectrum — from what I know their lyrics are mostly introspective, but they also care about stuff and stuff. Odd Future and Tyler, the Creator are current "indie music scene" buzzbands that are getting a lot of mainstream press. Odd Future and Tyler, the Creator have misogynist, sexist, homophobic, and violent lyrics, but they can deflect direct criticism, because, hey irony. It seems that T&S feels like a "scene" they've long considered themselves a part of has changed around them, becoming more apathetic. They posted something to their blog about it. It's important because discussing misogyny, sexism, homophobia and violence—and their place in pop culture—is always important. It's notable because a member of the same loosely defined "scene" has spoken out and made their stance known on the issue, hoping to start a discussion on something they think people are purposefully staying quiet about.

Is that enough context, orthogonality? One of the weird things about your post and questions is how many of your assumptions were correct or close to the truth. It's like you didn't even need the context or something.
posted by defenestration at 5:35 PM on May 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah - about that...
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:36 PM on May 17, 2011


...you find it sexy? I'm flattered, but I'm spoken for.
posted by jonmc at 5:38 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


joannemullen is a troll i can't help but marvel she still has an account because she is a particularly unsubtle troll.

I don't want to go that far. I don't know that she's a troll, but yes, she enjoys making aggressive comments that highlight a hate of all things Russian.

She reminds me of jenleigh, the "conservative Scottish woman" who was actually a shit-stirring sockpuppet of dhoyt.
posted by orthogonality at 5:38 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Can someone explain to me why every time I download a discography/rarities collection for some orgcore/folk-punk band it has a Tegan and Sara cover?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:41 PM on May 17, 2011


what the fuck is 'orgcore?'
posted by jonmc at 5:43 PM on May 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


I also think that Metafilter does discussions of sexism really well, so its natural to want to bring those discussions here. I did a post about sexism in punk using two bands that I'd never heard of, and who I'm pretty sure are way more obscure than T&S and OFWG, and that went well.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:43 PM on May 17, 2011


what the fuck is 'orgcore?'

kinda a joking term for the kinda of earnest punk that Punknews.org likes
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:44 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


there's too many -cores. The music scene is not a fucking orchard.

(seriously, the genre hairsplitting is fucking ridiculous)
posted by jonmc at 5:46 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was still at a loss as to why their fight was news, let alone best of the web.

So much is posted to Metafilter that is totally not the best of the web. This post isn't the best of the web. If you figured out who the people were, and still didn't find the story interesting, then just move on. Not everything on MeFi is going to appeal to everyone. Just because you find the story uninteresting doesn't mean that everyone else has to.
posted by 23skidoo at 5:47 PM on May 17, 2011


Applecore: kids who perform electronic music using only MacBook Pros.
posted by defenestration at 5:47 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


the genre hairsplitting is fucking ridiculous

I take it you are into minutiaecore?
posted by Papaver somniferum at 5:48 PM on May 17, 2011


One of the weird things about your post and questions is how many of your assumptions were correct or close to the truth. It's like you didn't even need the context or something.

Yeah, it's one thing to guess, another to know. Given everything I've read now, it looks to me like this was a tempest in a teapot and not a good FPP. Homophobia is bad, mmkay, but Tegan's (Sara's) blog post wasn't insightful enough to warrant attention outside their inside-baseball world, and their inside-baseball world is too insular for its gossip/drama to be of general interest.
posted by orthogonality at 5:49 PM on May 17, 2011


Marinecore: military marching blues bands
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:49 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Applecore: kids who perform electronic music using only MacBook Pros.

Nintendocore is a thing that kinda exists thats like this, only with Gameboys

and jonmc, its not really a genre, I don't think. it's kinda a shorthand? i dunno. i mean to say 'why do Gaslight Anthem and Alkaline Trio cover Tegan and Sara songs'
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:50 PM on May 17, 2011



Yeah, it's one thing to guess, another to know. Given everything I've read now, it looks to me like this was a tempest in a teapot and not a good FPP. Homophobia is bad, mmkay, but Tegan's (Sara's) blog post wasn't insightful enough to warrant attention outside their inside-baseball world, and their inside-baseball world is too insular for its gossip/drama to be of general interest.


Except it's not inside baseball. As people have explained, Odd Future are getting way more attention from the indie and mainstream press than a rap group normally would. When the government is giving a group money to play at the Sydney Opera House they deserve a bit of attention.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:51 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


what the fuck is 'orgcore?'

Let me consult my org chart. Actually, I first read it as ogrecore, and I would totally get into ogrecore.
posted by Papaver somniferum at 5:52 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


inside-baseball world,

I live inside a baseball, dude.

The stiches are kind of uncomfortable abd I'm still sore from that time Reggie Jackson knocked my house outta the park.
posted by jonmc at 5:52 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


When I was a kid, I opened up a baseball — inside of of it, there was a piece of paper or tag or something that said "SEX." True story, I swear.
posted by defenestration at 5:53 PM on May 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


I watched Hardball with Chris Matthews, once. I fell asleep before the 7th inning stretch. I'm not sure who won.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:55 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


joannemullen is a troll i can't help but marvel she still has an account because she is a particularly unsubtle troll.

I'm not sure about "troll" but there's a peculiar, possibly willful tone deafness there. Her comfort with making and then defending gross generalisations about people/places/history/genders is... notable and discordant here.
posted by DarlingBri at 5:56 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Dave Roberts showed how to throw a curve ball, then signed it.
posted by clavdivs at 5:59 PM on May 17, 2011


I only listen to manticore.
posted by Bookhouse at 6:01 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


When the government is giving a group money to play at the Sydney Opera House they deserve a bit of attention.

Maybe, but the post didn't seem to think enough of them to bother to link to what the guy actually said, choosing instead to link to a feed that as time goes by will become farther and farther from the bit of it that had relevance and letting a random poster inside the thread pick up the slack.
posted by rewil at 6:03 PM on May 17, 2011


I just cleaned my toilet for the first time in 27 years.
posted by philip-random at 6:04 PM on May 17, 2011


When the government is giving a group money to play at the Sydney Opera House they deserve a bit of attention.

WHatever they do, don't let them give any money to Neil Gaiman!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:06 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Not trying to be an arse, honestly, and I recognise that doublehappy has withdrawn the remark, but he did not do that. That is not how analogies work, and it is very exasperating that so many otherwise smart people seem not to get this."

You know who else didn't understand why needlessly inflammatory analogies were a problem?
posted by klangklangston at 6:06 PM on May 17, 2011


Seals and Ashcroft are my favorite indie duo.
posted by Papaver somniferum at 6:07 PM on May 17, 2011


I. B. Profin?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:07 PM on May 17, 2011


Maybe, but the post didn't seem to think enough of them to bother to link to what the guy actually said, choosing instead to link to a feed that as time goes by will become farther and farther from the bit of it that had relevance and letting a random poster inside the thread pick up the slack.

Linking to the wrong thing on Twitter doesn't have anything to do with anything. Weak.
posted by 23skidoo at 6:09 PM on May 17, 2011


Vegan and Hanna Barbera are all the rage.
posted by Papaver somniferum at 6:10 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Except it's not inside baseball. As people have explained, Odd Future are getting way more attention from the indie and mainstream press than a rap group normally would. When the government is giving a group money to play at the Sydney Opera House they deserve a bit of attention.

I think you're really overestimating how true this is, and more, how reflective the tastes of your immediate peers/the tastes of other music websites you frequent reflect on the general population at large and metafilter specifically.

(I asked my husband, who religiously reads celeb news, if he's heard of Odd Future or Tyler the Creator and he had no idea, fr'example. And, you know, I know I'm not actually old. My tastes skew pretty indie. And I had no idea, either.)

Generally, I think when it comes to music, if you're an adorable young passionate music fan (which you are!), it's probably best to regard metafilter as kinda like your older brother who once was cool but now has a kid and a sensible hatchback and whose music knowledge doesn't stretch beyond whatever comes on the indie rock station on sirius radio. You know, he's happy to be turned on to cool shit, but he can't be expected to follow this stuff like he once did, so you have to hold his hand a little bit about all of it.

Or something. I dunno.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:18 PM on May 17, 2011 [7 favorites]


Metafilter: I don't comment on hundreds of posts every day.
posted by nile_red at 6:19 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was about to type up a big long response that basically boiled down to "there's tons of stuff on here that I regard as eye-rolling, middle-brow masturbatory self-indulgence that I don't give a second shit about, and that means that when such a post comes up, instead of proudly hooting my ignorance into the world at large, I just don't post."

That boils down to "I agree." It's irritating to see threads and discussion derailed because old people are cranky about their sudden, jarring detachment from pop culture, and they come into threads to let everyone else know about it and shame them for caring.

I've done it before from the opposite end of the spectrum (in classic rock threads - I apologize), but it's super irritating. I'm going to take steps from now on to make sure that I don't thread shit in FPPs that I really don't care about or that I'm not informed enough about to post in, and it would make the level of discourse much better if other people extended the same courtesy.

If you're going to politely ask for more information, as the OP is a little thin, then that's fine.

If you've researched the issue and have an opinion, that's fine.

If you're already well versed in the issue and want to make a comment, that's fine.

But if you read the thread and realize it's not for you, then just don't post.
posted by codacorolla at 6:32 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Odd Future's been linked twice before. I know that MeFi's too big to assume that people have read every link that comes across, but MeFi's covered them before.
posted by klangklangston at 6:33 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


A previously would have been nice then, particularly as the OP didn't actually name the band (collective?) but the person.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:35 PM on May 17, 2011


(I asked my husband, who religiously reads celeb news, if he's heard of Odd Future or Tyler the Creator and he had no idea, fr'example. And, you know, I know I'm not actually old. My tastes skew pretty indie. And I had no idea, either.)


Someone on Youtube asked a bunch of young New York kids who the Beatles were, and they pretty much had no idea.
That doesn't mean the Beatles aren't well-known. One group's ignorance of who someone is doesn't mean that they aren't being talked about and discussed all to heck.
posted by 23skidoo at 6:38 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]



\\\\\\\\gnn-p ;;;;[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[-H


(sorry; I just let my kitten sit on the keyboard; I am not making this up.)
posted by Papaver somniferum at 6:40 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Right, sure, but the argument was being made that Odd Future is getting enough mainstream media coverage that we should all know who they are.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:41 PM on May 17, 2011


Right, sure, but the argument was being made that Odd Future is getting enough mainstream media coverage that we should all know who they are.

No, someone just said that a piece on them wasn't "insider baseball". No one said that everyone on Metafilter should be expected to know anything, someone just implied that the people being discussed in this story are newsworthy.
posted by 23skidoo at 6:47 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


"piece on them" = "post about them"
posted by 23skidoo at 6:47 PM on May 17, 2011


Does your kitten know who Odd Future is? That would pretty much settle things, I think.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:48 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


old people are cranky about their sudden, jarring detachment from pop culture

I realize this is the narrative that has been adopted, but is it actually the case here? Not every failure of pop culture currency is due to this; for one thing "pop culture" has long since fractured into a veritable infinity of subcultures, such that the list of references one is expected to know is perhaps less clear than it has been in a long while.
posted by Papaver somniferum at 6:48 PM on May 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


My cat knows tons about underground rap. Or, uh, mainstream rap? I forget what we're talking about again. Other than my cat, who is awesome.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:49 PM on May 17, 2011


is it actually the case here?

It is for me.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:49 PM on May 17, 2011


Linking to the wrong thing on Twitter doesn't have anything to do with anything. Weak.

I'm sorry, I but do not buy that wanting to know what the hell was said by both sides before discussing an argument such as this weak. It would come across differently if it were a mistaken link, but the OP said the post was deliberately crafted that way.
posted by rewil at 6:54 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


From a very, very quick search of "mainstream" publications that popped into my head:

New Yorker:

http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/musical/2010/11/22/101122crmu_music_frerejones
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/05/23/110523fa_fact_sanneh

New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/13/arts/music/13odd.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/08/arts/music/tyler-the-creator-of-odd-future-and-goblin.html

Wall Street Journal:

http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2011/05/13/odd-future/

LA Times:

http://articles.latimes.com/2011/apr/10/entertainment/la-ca-odd-future-20110410

The Washington Post:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/television/odd-future-rap-group-draws-fans-with-online-savvy-critics-with-violent-lyrics/2011/05/09/AFj5OY2G_story.html

Village Voice:

http://www.villagevoice.com/2011-01-19/music/odd-future-wiz-khalifa-and-the-internet-rap-atomization/
http://blogs.villagevoice.com/music/2010/11/on_odd_future_r.php

Rolling Stone:

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/the-new-wu-tang-clan-odd-future-20110505
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/odd-future-live-show-surpasses-the-hype-20110516

Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicblog/2010/nov/08/scene-heard-odd-future
posted by defenestration at 6:57 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I realize that's sort of cherry picking or whatever, but Odd Future really has saturated the media, including mainstream publications.
posted by defenestration at 7:01 PM on May 17, 2011


I'm sorry, I but do not buy that wanting to know what the hell was said by both sides before discussing an argument such as this weak. It would come across differently if it were a mistaken link, but the OP said the post was deliberately crafted that way.

You're misunderstanding what I meant. I don't think it's weak to want to know what was said by both sides before discussing an argument. I do think it's weak to imply that a person doesn't care about their post because of their posting style.
posted by 23skidoo at 7:03 PM on May 17, 2011


I realize that's sort of cherry picking or whatever, but Odd Future really has saturated the media, including mainstream publications.

If you call that saturating the media, what does Lady Gaga do?
posted by smackfu at 7:07 PM on May 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


Bore us to tears?
posted by 23skidoo at 7:09 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


You're misunderstanding what I meant. I don't think it's weak to want to know what was said by both sides before discussing an argument. I do think it's weak to imply that a person doesn't care about their post because of their posting style.

I think in this case the posting style, which involved a seemingly deliberate omission of part of the crux of the matter, did in fact do a disservice to both the readers and the subjects of the post.

Provided us a decently entertaining MeTa thread, though, so there's that.
posted by rewil at 7:18 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I realize that's sort of cherry picking or whatever, but Odd Future really has saturated the media, including mainstream publications.

This is getting ridiculous.

Again, I'm 30 and had never heard of Odd Future mentioned until today — and I subscribe to two of those publications you linked (the New York Times and the New Yorker). I just don't read every single article in them.

By comparison, I can hardly go a day without seeing some kind of reference to Justin Bieber. And I have no interest in his music. (I don't know that I've ever heard one of his songs in full — I tried listening to one once but had to turn it off because it was so horrible.)

However, if I do see Odd Future's name in the future, I'll always think: "Oh, Metafilter commenters think I'm ignorant for not knowing about this." Which is not very appealing.
posted by John Cohen at 7:19 PM on May 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


I never made the claim you were ignorant. And for the record, I rarely hear of/read about Bieber except on Twitter, or as part of a joke. I don't watch television, so I probably miss a fair amount of references to him right there. (That is not snark.) Honestly, I've learned about as much about Odd Future and Tyler, the Creator from MSM and MetaFilter as I have at totally cool blogz.

I agree that the framing of the post could be better. I just think the reaction has something to do with the fact that it's music we're talking about. It changes people's perspective on the issue at hand and gets them riled up, more than a discussion of board games or Russian literature or chili cook-offs would.
posted by defenestration at 7:26 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am a person who is interested in joining a conversation about misogyny in popular culture. I am also a person who really doesn't follow music, and after reading this entire thread and the entire thread that this thread is about and followed a bunch of the links from both threads, can't figure out what's going on.

I mean, yes, I get the basic facts, but I don't have any sense of how it fits into other things I know about entertainment industry politics or homophobia or business or any of the other relevant threads that might help me pick this up.

I absolutely love figuring out the details of fights other people are having. Love it. Spent an hour today reading stuff about people suing the TSA. Had a great time a few weeks back parsing an argument among a bunch of paleo-dieters about who gets to speak for their lifestyle. I would seriously read internet fights all day. But I'm really having trouble figuring this one out. And that makes me sad, because I care about misogyny and homophobia, and it seems like an interesting debate that I'd like to hear more about.

If there's an article someplace with a bunch of links that would help me understand what's going on here, could someone please point me to it? I've devoted about an hour to it, and I'm still pretty lost.

(On the bright side, I did Google "Justin Bieber," and now I know who's responsible for that atrocious haircut that every male under the age of 25 seems to be sporting. So, thanks!)
posted by decathecting at 7:27 PM on May 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Neither of my cats know who Odd Future is, but the Maine Coon is s a total metalhead elitist, so don't take that personally.
posted by misha at 7:28 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I know there's a perception of this being especially true for music, but I've seen mefites act just as up-in-arms about, say, John Green (in fact, on every single post about John Green). Most of the posts I've made have gotten some sort of curmudgeonly response. My instinct is that Haters Gonna Hate, but people tend to be really attached to what they view as important music, and so it hurts extra when haters hate on it.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:29 PM on May 17, 2011


Again, I'm 30 and had never heard of Odd Future mentioned until today

That's fine, but your own personal experience is just that: your PERSONAL experience. Just because you haven't heard of them doesn't mean they are not being discussed. If you want to frame this as people calling you ignorant, that seems a little harsh. I think people are just trying to show that this group is being discussed alot in mainstream media outlets, to people who claim "They can't be being discussed in mainstream media outlets alot if I don't know about them."
posted by 23skidoo at 7:33 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Odd Future really has saturated the media, including mainstream publications.

But this doesn't help anyone who consistently skips articles about the latest wrinkle in the endless deluge of new music information.

I don't think anyone is arguing that these people are completely obscure. All I see being asked is better framing with about a two-word descriptor to help place otherwise unassociated names into the cosmos of culture. Teegan and Sara - sounds familiar - are they visual artists? A sitcom? A cartoon? A band? Designers? Bloggers? Just a little hand, here, please. We don't all track it obsessively. Personally, I'm at the point where I'm trying to track such an onslaught of cultural information daily that any navigation aids are a big help.

I just read something about Odd Future a couple weeks ago in the New Yorker, but I stopped reading when within the first few paragraphs I was told how groundbreakingly offensive and "challenging" they were and moved on to other content. That's not a new sort of thing. I just don't need any more of that and am not really interested in the latest version.

Again, it's not the content, it's the framing. If the argument is that I should be interested, why should this particular content be interesting?

Five years ago, we'd be hearing about how vital an understanding of the gender dynamics represented by Usher, Gwen Stefani, or Queer Eye for the Straight Guy was. Somehow we moved on and have not yet resolved the central issues. If we're talking about Tyler the Creator or Odd Future here in five years, I promise you, I will eat a small portion of one of my socks. It's OK to admit that the thing of the moment is the thing of the moment, and to recognize that moments pass. Lots of people don't bother with each minor flutter of the cultural curtains, because they don't have time. If there is a bigger story here, something of import to the cultural landsape that might actually stand to change the chronic problem of misogyny or homophobia in music, I'm all ears. I don't get the sense that this is really that watershed moment, and the post (wisely) doesn't make that argument. Fair enough for people to say, OK, if that is the argument, how important are these people and how longlasting will the impact of this interchange be?
posted by Miko at 7:36 PM on May 17, 2011 [9 favorites]


Um, I just want to put it out there that I don't know who John Green is, but I'd be glad to get in a fight about chili cook-offs. Let me know.
posted by facetious at 7:37 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, just to make this a complete MeTa thread: I had a Jamaican Jerk Slim Jim on the way home tonight. It was good.
posted by jonmc at 7:37 PM on May 17, 2011


I think people are just trying to show that this group is being discussed alot in mainstream media outlets, to people who claim "They can't be being discussed in mainstream media outlets alot if I don't know about them."

I wasn't saying, or trying to say that. I was saying that their notoriety wasn't widespread enough that it should be safely assumed that mefites (who skew a little older in their musical tastes anyway) would know who they are with some sort of framing. Who was even saying that?!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:38 PM on May 17, 2011


Um, I just want to put it out there that I don't know who John Green is, but I'd be glad to get in a fight about chili cook-offs. Let me know.

What weird kismet! I just made chili tonight.


. . . with John Green! And Tyler the Creator!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:39 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


and I subscribe to two of those publications you linked (the New York Times and the New Yorker). I just don't read every single article in them.

The best journalists in the world work for The Times... [portentous pause] and there's no debating that.

John, are you fluent in three sections, actually?

(Of course I'm alluding to the New York Times broadcast advertisement, which tells you that it's trendy to read the Times by showing as typical Times readers bald hipsters and ethnic actors who are trying so very very painfully hard to be white.

Thus implying that be ye ne'er so ethnic, if despite that Ivy League degree and accompanying loans, you're still being "othered", daily reading of The Times shall gentle your condition and provide entrance into water-cooler brotherhood with the elite.)
posted by orthogonality at 7:41 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


What the hell is a Miko?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:41 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


If we're talking about Tyler the Creator or Odd Future here in five years

By "here," I assume you mean this thread.

By "five years," I assume you are making a Bowie reference.
posted by Papaver somniferum at 7:42 PM on May 17, 2011 [6 favorites]


Hi decathecting, I think this was written before the Tegan and Sara got involved, but it's the best piece I've read yet on the peculiar excitement, disgust and controversy fueling the Odd Future phenomenon (which is Important, whether we've heard of them or not)

http://www.visitation-rites.com/2011/05/why-gaslighting-works-tyler-his-creation-and-the-media/
posted by naju at 7:45 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seals and Ashcroft are my favorite indie duo.

You mean Shields and Gigot, right? So much better than Shields and Brooks.
posted by orthogonality at 7:50 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


this group is being discussed alot in mainstream media outlets

In mainstream media outlets, like the ones listed in this comment, you are going to find descriptors and additional context that help one make an evaluative judgment about the identity, significance and import of a particular celebrity. Like:

New Yorker: "Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All is a ten-member collective from Los Angeles....[a] hip-hop act as unsettling as they are entertaining."

TNew York Times: "Tyler is Odd Future’s central rapper and producer and also its main visual artist, merchandise designer and video director."

WSJ: "hip-hop wunderkinds Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All (also known as Odd Future, or OFWGKTA) played a free, “secret” show at Los Angeles venue The Troubadour to commemorate the release of frontman Tyler The Creator’s first official album, “Goblin.”

Rolling Stone: "The L.A. rapper is calling from a car in Austin where the 11-person hip-hop collective he helms, Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, have taken South by Southwest by storm"

Guardian: "Tyler, the Creator has become the most well-known member of sprawling rap crew Odd Future."

These outlets know that they may be introducing the topic and characters to readers, and recognize that by providing the scaffolding needed for readers to make sense of new information in context. In regard to its diversity of readers' backgrounds, MeFi is pretty similar to many mainstream magazine/news media. It helps here too.
posted by Miko at 7:52 PM on May 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


orthogonality: I don't know that she's a troll, but yes, she enjoys making aggressive comments that highlight a hate of all things Russian.

From what I've seen of her comments, joannemullen is a conservative who's oft prone to expressing her political views in the exact same fashion that many liberals on this site do on a regular basis- namely, through drive-by snark. And, like most Metafilter liberals, she does also contribute more to the site than just that- though both of the artists discussed are out of my musical field of interest, I thought it was a perfectly fine FPP that provoked some interesting discussion. Is she a "troll"? I don't know what's going through her mind, so I don't know. What I do think, though, is that if one can troll this site simply by doing just what everyone else is doing except coming from the opposite political perspective while doing it, this implies a community-wide double standard which I think is not really good for the community as a whole. Personally, I would be happy to see less of the substance-free political snark in general on this site, regardless of which side it's coming from. As long as it's as widespread as it is, though, I really don't think she should be called a "troll" for doing just the same thing so many others do in political threads here, even if I don't agree with a lot of her views.

(And where are you getting "hate of all things Russian?" I haven't seen any of that from her, though I could have missed some comment. Hatred of Soviet-style Marxist-Leninist communism, though, yes, and that's entirely warranted, as far as I'm concerned- would you complain that someone hated fascism or theocracy too much? Because as far as I'm concerned, Marxism-Leninism is in the same "moral horror" category as those. Just because it was rooted in left-wing ideology does not mean that it had some noble or redeeming quality about it- it was a brutal, authoritarian nightmare right from the beginning. Anti-Communism has been used as an excuse to do or justify lots of terrible things, but this does not automatically mean that anyone who's anti-Communist supports those things, or that they hate anything Russian.)
posted by a louis wain cat at 7:54 PM on May 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


By "five years," I assume you are making a Bowie reference.

Bowie reference? I'm not that cool.
posted by Miko at 7:54 PM on May 17, 2011


"They can't be being discussed in mainstream media outlets alot if I don't know about them."

Define "a lot". Neither Odd Future or Tegan & Sara are more than a tiny blip on the pop culture radar. Sorry if that offends anyone but it's true. Compared to the Biebers, Gagas and Beyonces of the world Odd Future probably rank somewhere between Hollywood Undead and MGMT.
posted by MikeMc at 7:55 PM on May 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


For Miko, with love*,

David Bowie singing "Five Years" on The Old Grey Whistle Test.

*Seriously. 100% pure shmoopy, 0% added snarkfiller.
posted by bakerina at 8:00 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


David Bowie singing "Five Years" on The Old Grey Whistle Test.

Five Years is probably my favorite song ever. No joke. Thank you thank you for linking it tonight, because it's making me irrepressibly happy.

David Bowie you are so preeeetty!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:06 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


And where are you getting "hate of all things Russian?"

1. I'm not calling her a troll, in fact I'm questioning the comment of someone who does.

2. I agree Stalinism was terrible and Soviet Russia a horrible place to be. I read Gulag Archipelago in high school, and ever since and even before that characterized the Soviets as anti-freedom -- just like McCarthyism.

3. joannemullen has a number of anti-Soviet comments but also a comment to the effect of, "I know Russian -- unfortunately", which suggests an animus that goes beyond anti-Communism.
posted by orthogonality at 8:09 PM on May 17, 2011


By "five years," I assume you are making a Bowie reference.

To complete the Bowie reference. Five Years was written in 1972, predicting the end of the world in five years. So yeah, it all went down 34 years ago. There is no Tegan. There is no Sara. There is no Tyler The Creator. None of them were even born. This thread doesn't exist. Can remains the only band that truly matters, as they manage to transcend Apocalypse ...
posted by philip-random at 8:10 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


"hate of all things Russian?"

I'm not a fan of their dressing.
posted by jonmc at 8:10 PM on May 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


As long as it's as widespread as it is, though, I really don't think she should be called a "troll" for doing just the same thing so many others do in political threads here, even if I don't agree with a lot of her views.

She's a bit more "drive-by" than most drive by snarkers, in that she drops a choice bon mot into a thread, then completely disappears without even any illusion of engaging (and some of the things she's said have been really offensive--I spotted a few deleted comments on ask.metafilter that were just euuuch). And this is the second post she's made with really sparse framing which she later admitted was her way of pointing out how metafilter has biases that she finds excluding or offensive or something (the first post, about cricket, was uselessly thin--which was a shame, because I'd like to learn about cricket. But oh well). I do get the feeling that her presence here is largely an attempt to show us how wrong we all are, but then, I also get the feeling that her recent posts were more good-faith attempts to participate.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:12 PM on May 17, 2011


Fwiw I had never heard of Odd Future until now, and had heard of Tegan & Sara but did not know anything about them. Keep in mind I'm talking only about name recognition or lack thereof in both cases, and nothing more.

I went to youtube just now to see how many "most views" numbers each artist has (not to watch anything by either one btw, since I genuinely don't care); Odd Future (aka Tyler the Creator) has garnered 9,515,938 views for "Yonkers," and Tegan & Sara has garnered 3,126,114 views for "Nineteen."

Sounds like a lot, right? Not really. It's easy to find artists you've never heard of who have WAY more views. Here are a few I just found: Chino & Nacho has 19,652,052 views for "Tu Angelito"; Bruno Mars has 138,997,182 views for "Just the Way You Are" (hopefully not the Billy Joel song). Someone will probably come along and tell me I'm out of the loop for not knowing (i.e. for not having heard of, not actually heard) who Chino&Nacho and/or Bruno Mars are. But that's OK.
posted by Papaver somniferum at 8:17 PM on May 17, 2011


"hate of all things Russian?"

roulette, not fun.
posted by clavdivs at 8:29 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


And this is the second post she's made with really sparse framing which she later admitted was her way of pointing out how metafilter has biases that she finds excluding or offensive or something....

So we're 400 comments into a call-out over a stunt post? Dayum if she isn't trolling' us hard.

R.E.S.T.E.C.P! Do ya even know wha it spellz?
posted by orthogonality at 8:37 PM on May 17, 2011


"Also, just to make this a complete MeTa thread: I had a Jamaican Jerk Slim Jim on the way home tonight. It was good."

When did those come out? I'm a bit of a mechanically separated meat snack aficionado and you sir have just rocked my world!
posted by MikeMc at 8:40 PM on May 17, 2011


So we're 400 comments into a call-out over a stunt post? Dayum if she isn't trolling' us hard.

Do not turn this into a trolling callout, please. If you guys have some on-site animosity then work it out over email or learn to ignore each other, but this isn't the thread for a pile-on about this particular topic and you can start your own MeTa if you have some sort of issue about this.

She's a community member, she participates within the guidelines, I don't know her personally, but we usually give people a chance to figure things out here and I'm asking you to do that.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:48 PM on May 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


Someone will probably come along and tell me I'm out of the loop for not knowing (i.e. for not having heard of, not actually heard) who Chino&Nacho and/or Bruno Mars are.

What the fuck. You motherfucker! Why the hell didn't you google Chino & Nacho? 'Since 2010, the duo is known as "The Chino y Nacho Mania" for the massive popularity over the world.'

If you have no interest in or knowledge of modern popular music beyond what’s played on your crappy local KISS 97 FM-whatever radio station, if the last time you bought a new CD was in college, if you’ve ever answered a question about your taste in music with the phrase “anything but rap and country”, then maybe you should just stay out of music threads. They’re not for you, unless you’re genuinely interested in learning and asking legitimate questions. If you do know about music but you’re just being intentionally obtuse to make some sort of hipster point, well, fuck you too, I guess.

Get out of the Temple of modern popular music, you Philistine, you money changer! It is written, My thread shall be called the thread of modern popular music; but ye have made it a den of KISS 97 FM-whatever thieves! Get out! Out!
posted by orthogonality at 8:50 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


If you guys have some on-site animosity

We don't, I've even favorited her, we've never memailed, it'sw just that she does remind me of jenleigh. Again, I don't think she's a troll, but PhoBWanKenobi's comment raises a question.
posted by orthogonality at 8:54 PM on May 17, 2011


When did those come out? I'm a bit of a mechanically separated meat snack aficionado and you sir have just rocked my world!

I dunno, but I saw them for the first time today.
posted by jonmc at 8:55 PM on May 17, 2011


I admit my music tastes are way narrow, and I had no idea what the post was about, but when I saw: "misogynistic and homophobic ranting and raving" I assumed gamers or rappers were involved. Damn my stupid prejudices. The only advantage to listening to old stuff is the lack of keeping up with the soap operas. Or is that a bug, rather than feature?
posted by Redhush at 8:56 PM on May 17, 2011


I agree that the framing of the post could be better. I just think the reaction has something to do with the fact that it's music we're talking about. It changes people's perspective on the issue at hand and gets them riled up, more than a discussion of board games or Russian literature or chili cook-offs would.

It's part of the high school mentality of MeFi. Lots of people have a chip on their shoulders about being uncool or picked on as kids, and music is part of that. They see people talking about things they think don't know about and feel like the cool kids are making fun of them again.

So we're 400 comments into a call-out over a stunt post? Dayum if she isn't trolling' us hard.

It's not a stunt post. I or another member probably would have posted the same thing, though admittedly I would have done the 'controversial hip-hop group' and 'lesbian indie duo' adjectives.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:59 PM on May 17, 2011


We don't, I've even favorited her, we've never memailed, it'sw just that she does remind me of jenleigh. Again, I don't think she's a troll, but PhoBWanKenobi's comment raises a question.

Sorry, I don't know if this makes any difference, but I thought her explanation here had hints of provocativeness (what with how most posts have unexplained bits of American culture, etc.). But I think the post itself was probably made in good faith, even if the framing was weirdly justified.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:59 PM on May 17, 2011


The only advantage to listening to old stuff is the lack of keeping up with the soap operas. Or is that a bug, rather than feature?

I dunno... I listen to old stuff and i'm still confused by all the Fleetwood Mac infighting. And I JUST realized a song on 'All Things Must Pass' must have been written about Clapton stealing Patti.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:00 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


needs more mythos
posted by clavdivs at 9:02 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


The best thing about music is that there is so much great stuff, you'll never hear all of it. But it's fun to try.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:05 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]



It's not a stunt post. I or another member probably would have posted the same thing, though admittedly I would have done the 'controversial hip-hop group' and 'lesbian indie duo' adjectives.


I think my point and (PhoBWanKenobi's implication) is that not including those adjectives is what made the FPP sparse and possibly stunty (if the post was "her way of pointing out how metafilter has biases"). Once you contextualize it, it's no longer going to raise complaints of inside-baseball.
posted by orthogonality at 9:06 PM on May 17, 2011


Brandon Blatcher: “The best thing about music is that there is so much great stuff, you'll never hear all of it. But it's fun to try.”

No, the best thing about music is when it hits, you feel all right.
posted by koeselitz at 9:18 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well, that's one good thing...
posted by pompomtom at 9:32 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


groovy
posted by clavdivs at 9:33 PM on May 17, 2011


the best thing about music is that everybody agrees with me when it comes to what does and doesn't matter. much like politics.
posted by philip-random at 9:40 PM on May 17, 2011


The best thing about music is all the sex.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:43 PM on May 17, 2011


And the comparison with sports above is spot on. There's a great post to be made about the Posada/Yankee drama going on right now, but it's so inside baseball that, even immaculately constructed, there's no way it wouldn't bring out the HURF DURY MILLIONAIRE GAMEPLAYER crowd.
posted by SpiffyRob

The Yankees post, for instance, is something that probably only the hardest-core baseball fans are going to care about, so it maybe is not the best post for MeFi where you don't have an audience of only highly informed baseball fans, but also a large lay audience who doesn't automatically agree on the relevance or value of professional sports.
posted by Miko


I disagree. The Yankees are the most famous team in baseball (and the world). This isn't 'inside baseball'. It's been covered everywhere online, on tv, on the radio. Almost anyone that simply follows baseball would know about the situation, and I'm sure out of all the members of mefi we have a significant number that follow baseball.

The problem is simply that it's a sports topic, and sports is not a topic taken seriously on mefi, which means there will be no shortage of comments from people that couldn't care less about sports littering the comment section. And posting lots of background (wikipedia links on posada, cashman, etc.) won't prevent that from happening.

That doesn't mean that sports links won't have interesting discussions on mefi, but they'll be littered with comments you'll have to step around. Of course, sports isn't the only topic on mefi that has this happen, but in this case there's too many other places to discuss sports for me to take the time to make this kind of post.
posted by justgary at 9:46 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


The best thing about music is when the bandmembers go around with socks on their dicks and every song is about California. Also pulling vomit-clogged hairballs out of the drain in the shower.
posted by tumid dahlia at 9:47 PM on May 17, 2011


I already knew that Odd Future could start huge arguments among people who have listened to their music, and even between people who have only read about them. But with people who have never even heard of them? Now that's star power.
posted by acidic at 9:50 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


When the government is giving a group money to play at the Sydney Opera House they deserve a bit of attention.
Yeah, don't judge the worth of a thing by whether the government (any government) throws money at it.
posted by dg at 10:14 PM on May 17, 2011


When the government is giving a group money to play at the Sydney Opera House they deserve a bit of attention.
Yeah, don't judge the worth of a thing by whether the government (any government) throws money at it.


I'm not judging their worth. I'm pointing out that if they're playing at a music/arts festival at the bottom of the world they're certainly known. (Tegan and Sara had to settle for opening for Jack Johnson).
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:15 PM on May 17, 2011


Here is a post on a blog* about hate speech in the entertainment industry**. (Colored text indicates a link. Click on it, and you will be taken to another website!) In an eloquent and thoughtful electronic letter*** on the Tegan and Sara website, Sara Quin asks, "When will misogynistic (historical context) and homophobic (definition) ranting and raving (a communication style that is sometimes surprisingly musical) result in meaningful repercussions in the entertainment industry?" [more inside]

For those who don't know, Tegan and Sara is the name of a band (of musicians, NOT of Merry Men****) that consists of Tegan and Sara, who are twins. Twins are babies that were in the same stomach at the same time (related ). Twins often look alike, but they are not always identical (documentary evidence). Tegan and Sara are also lesbians (lesbians are the best kind of homosexual*****).

Tyler the Creator, a rapper and the object of her ire ("ire" is not a misspelling of "tire;" "ire" means, roughly, "anger"), responds on his twitter feed****** in characteristic fashion. Twitter is a website that allows people to make short, public posts that are limited to 140 characters. In some respects, it is similar to a blog!

Rap is a kind of music that originated in the continental United States of America. It draws on a wide range of influences, including rock music, blues, r&b, various electronic styles, and African(-American) musical traditions*******. It is beat- and rhythm-centric and tends to prize a stylized method of lyrical delivery that is markedly different from most Western singing styles (though lyric- and flow-centric music is a part of the Western music tradition). Melody, dissonance, and harmony are generally not emphasized elements of rap music, though there are many exceptions.********

*Rather like an electronic, public diary. The site you are viewing right now is rather like a blog in some ways, and rather not in others!
**"Entertainment industry" usually refers to people, corporations, and institutions that create, produce, sell, market, or otherwise enable arts such as music albums, films, concerts, plays, and stand up comedy. The preceding was not an exhaustive list.
***Actually, it's a blog post. It is doubtful as to whether or not anyone mailed a physical copy to anyone else, and it likely had no specific intended recipient other than the whole of the English-speaking public.
****Reference to Robin Hood. See also: novel, film, rule 34
*****Joking. It's not a contest. See also: boy's club, trendy lesbianism
******This kind of "feed" has nothing to do with food.
*******Too soon?
********I have no music training, so I just made all that up and it's all probably wrong.
posted by jsturgill at 10:36 PM on May 17, 2011 [20 favorites]


Can someone replace the original post with that, because that was EXACTLY what everyone was looking for.

That's a model that everyone should follow in the future.
posted by empath at 10:43 PM on May 17, 2011


I'm not judging their worth. I'm pointing out that if they're playing at a music/arts festival at the bottom of the world they're certainly known.
Fair enough - when you said they 'deserve a bit of attention', I thought you meant that they were worthy of being supported by public funds. My impression is that public funding of any art is based on it being worthy of expending such funds to ensure its continuation but not likely to be popular enough to be commercially viable.
posted by dg at 10:47 PM on May 17, 2011


Fair enough - when you said they 'deserve a bit of attention', I thought you meant that they were worthy of being supported by public funds. My impression is that public funding of any art is based on it being worthy of expending such funds to ensure its continuation but not likely to be popular enough to be commercially viable.

They're actually not being funded directly. They're playing the Vivid Festival (not related to the porn company) which is government supported but curated by hipster icon Steve Pav, from Modular Records. I'm not very happy with Pav getting the funding, though it's an interesting program But there is definitely awareness of them.

It's not so much the content of the criticisms as the tone. There's a weird sort of 'how dare you expect me to know who these people are?' sniffing that comes across as very irritating. Again, I don't know or care about whatever DJs empath likes. But I don't go in his threads to tell him that.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:51 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm pointing out that if they're playing at a music/arts festival at the bottom of the world they're certainly known.

Surely, when even these benighted provincials are aware of such a thing, civilized people have no excuse for ignorance.
posted by pompomtom at 11:19 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Who here - or anywhere - can claim to be au courant on all possible music one can link to in an FPP? It's absurd. I'm in LA, so I've known about Tyler, the Creator for quite some time - I've even youtube linked him in the blue awhile back (and anyone who frequents Low End Theory can see most cutting edge LA musicians live), but I can not be expected to have the same kind of familiarity with, f.ex. the Detroit scene. There are musicians linked to in FPPs here all the time, whom I am completely unfamiliar with - it would be quite weird to then pop into the thread and drop "is this someone I'm supposed to know about?". No sane person expects you to know every single musician in history, just as not knowing a musician, in turn, does not earn you special brownie points either. If you are interested, go have a listen, or read further, if not, move on. What a bizarre controversy.
posted by VikingSword at 11:33 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Slow day on MetaTalk, huh?
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:57 AM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Okay, I read the whole thing. I googled. Still don't care. I am not posting, just poking keyboard randomlike.

Not really posting.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 1:00 AM on May 18, 2011


"Of course I'm alluding to the New York Times broadcast advertisement, which tells you that it's trendy to read the Times by showing as typical Times readers bald hipsters and ethnic actors who are trying so very very painfully hard to be white.

Thus implying that be ye ne'er so ethnic, if despite that Ivy League degree and accompanying loans, you're still being "othered", daily reading of The Times shall gentle your condition and provide entrance into water-cooler brotherhood with the elite.
"

Totally fun historical context:

The New York Times in the early 20th Century, positioned itself as the newspaper that reported the news that mattered to the elite, and the elite's opinions, to social striving middle class aspirants to elite status.

Out of that class anxiety and struggle, we got the Objective mode of journalism.

So now it's pitching itself to othered ethnics who are striving to achieve the NYT seal of establishment.

But it's fun to see that some traditions don't die, and the ways in which the same essential message is marketed 100 years down the line.
posted by klangklangston at 1:44 AM on May 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


a) This wasn't a music post to help people discover new music.
b) People weren't making old fart complaints about the music that kids today listen to, they were complaining because it wasn't even clear musicians were involved.

No, we don't want posts padded with Wikipedia links with 'context' as an excuse. But I come to MetaFilter because of the filter. There's a firehose of information on the internet: new music, new blog posts, new ideas, plus old stuff being rediscovered. MeFi is supposed to be the best of the web. I know I won't be interested in every post, but at least give me a clue as to why this item stands out from the rest. I don't expect to like everything that gets posted, but I need something to work with when I decide whether or not to dig into the subject further or not.

How am I supposed to tell if I'll find a post interesting or not if I've got no clue what it's about? MeFi isn't about having a conversation only with people who already know everything about the subject, it's about sharing neat stuff that you suspect people won't hear about otherwise.
posted by harriet vane at 5:04 AM on May 18, 2011 [15 favorites]


"Curated by". -_-
posted by adamdschneider at 6:43 AM on May 18, 2011


How am I supposed to tell if I'll find a post interesting or not if I've got no clue what it's about?

Why is it so bad if you have to skip some posts because you didn't know if you would find them interesting?
posted by 23skidoo at 6:49 AM on May 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why is it so bad if you have to skip some posts because you didn't know if you would find them interesting?

Why is it so bad to use a couple extra words to encourage a more diverse group of people to become interested in a topic you care about enough to make a post on it?
posted by Miko at 7:02 AM on May 18, 2011 [10 favorites]


Boy, both sides are just one more comment away from totally convincing the other side.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:04 AM on May 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


Why is it so bad if you have to skip some posts because you didn't know if you would find them interesting?

Because metafilter is best when it's inclusionary.
posted by empath at 7:05 AM on May 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is what it sounds like when doves cry.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:08 AM on May 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Darling, you send me (to wikipedia).
posted by h00py at 7:16 AM on May 18, 2011


Why is it so bad to use a couple extra words to encourage a more diverse group of people to become interested in a topic you care about enough to make a post on it?

Because suggesting that there's a right way and a wrong way to make posts at Metafilter makes it a worse place. There are all different kinds of people here who like all different kinds of posts.
posted by 23skidoo at 7:36 AM on May 18, 2011


What have I done
posted by Wroksie at 7:47 AM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


What have I done

With great power comes great responsibility.
posted by josher71 at 7:52 AM on May 18, 2011


Because suggesting that there's a right way and a wrong way to make posts at Metafilter makes it a worse place.

That's ridiculous. Of course there's a wrong way to make posts. There have always been wrong ways to make posts.
posted by enn at 7:54 AM on May 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


suggesting that there's a right way and a wrong way to make posts at Metafilter makes it a worse place.

You're going to LOVE my upcoming post that consists of nothing but commas, one of which links to my own website.
posted by IjonTichy at 8:03 AM on May 18, 2011 [8 favorites]


What have I done
posted by Wroksie


Played the picador.
posted by Diablevert at 8:13 AM on May 18, 2011


Because suggesting that there's a right way and a wrong way to make posts at Metafilter makes it a worse place.

There absolutely are wrong ways to make posts, as evidenced by the many posts that get deleted.
posted by empath at 8:20 AM on May 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I had to explain to workmates what a meme was recently, which taught me that not everyone spends far too much time on the internet.
posted by mippy at 8:23 AM on May 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


I guess we're just not all very hip and with it* these days, and you might just have to put up with that.

* the kids still say that, right?
posted by Artw at 8:45 AM on May 18, 2011


"I used to be with it, but then they changed what 'it' was. Now what I'm 'with' isn't 'it,' and what's 'it' seems unoriginal and trite to me. It’ll happen to you…"
posted by entropicamericana at 8:49 AM on May 18, 2011


can one be a rad and a fuddy.
posted by clavdivs at 8:56 AM on May 18, 2011


Since Kid 1 my knowlege of popular music has sunk to be on a par with that of a high court judge. With kid 2 I'll probably start going backwards.
posted by Artw at 9:02 AM on May 18, 2011


Boy, both sides are just one more comment away from totally convincing the other side.

So then, I submit that the Bible is just a bunch of fairy stories, and God is just an imaginary friend in the sky.
posted by philip-random at 9:10 AM on May 18, 2011


Metafilter: What have I done
posted by nooneyouknow at 9:11 AM on May 18, 2011


Artw, the album is called Kid A.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:12 AM on May 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


Too late, everything beyond Pablo Honey has been erased.
posted by Artw at 9:19 AM on May 18, 2011


Artw,

Guess you no longer need your copy of How to Disappear Completely, then? Can I borrow it? I'm not quite an Idioteque, yet (speaking Optimistic). Thanks!

Your's from In Limbo,

Treefingers
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:27 AM on May 18, 2011


If your going to be one of the people who is claiming that context in posts is super important, it would help if you didn't take things I said in comments out of context.
posted by 23skidoo at 9:30 AM on May 18, 2011


I have no idea what you just said. What is this Radiohead? Is it basically just Can from the future?
posted by Artw at 9:31 AM on May 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I had to explain to workmates what a meme was recently, which taught me that not everyone spends far too much time on the internet.

I had to explain to a bunch of folklorists a couple weeks ago that they didn't own the word "meme" and that it is frequently used on the internet as well as in ethnographic and cultural studies.
posted by Miko at 9:37 AM on May 18, 2011


I was using the word "trope" before people started using it for anything and everything and get irritated by it's missuse.
posted by Artw at 9:39 AM on May 18, 2011


You do that on purpose now to annoy me, Artw.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:40 AM on May 18, 2011


If Edgar Allen Poe wrote a short story about Jessamyn it would be called The Tell-Tale Apostrophe.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:41 AM on May 18, 2011


If he wrote one about me it would be The Minecraft of Amontillado.

Matt's would be The Fall of the Bike of Usher.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:42 AM on May 18, 2011


restless_nomad's is A Descent Into The Maelström and I didn't even have to change the title.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:45 AM on May 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Fucking Bing it.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:08 AM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


And finally, for those of us old school folks, what I really miss lately are flapjax's music posts. I dare anyone to snark in one of those.

Ha! Thanks, fourcheesemac! I'll try to get back to posting soon, I've just been a bit too busy to put decent posts together.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:11 AM on May 18, 2011


I had to explain to workmates what a meme was recently, which taught me that not everyone spends far too much time on the internet.

I taught my boss what instant messaging is the other day; she'd never heard of it, although she has a yahoo email account. She called some of the other women in the office over to ask if they all knew about this "new thing," and the three of them said they had also never encountered IM. There was at least one, "Well, I'll be darned!"

Yeah... I dunno either. It's like I'm in some weird alternate world for 8 hours a day, in which I am the SMARTEST HUMAN ALIVE.

Kinda neat, kinda disconcerting, I gotta say.
posted by heyho at 11:51 AM on May 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah... I dunno either. It's like I'm in some weird alternate world for 8 hours a day, in which I am the SMARTEST HUMAN ALIVE.

Brandon's Law of Computers: When Person B knows more about computers than Person A, the former is considered an expert by the latter.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:02 PM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


...get irritated by it's missuse.

Its mruse is somewhat irritating, as well.
posted by jamjam at 12:18 PM on May 18, 2011


Because metafilter is best when it's inclusionary.

This explains the gaseous pockets.
posted by clavdivs at 12:50 PM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't know about you idiots, but my local KISS 97 FM plays shit like this. Fuck that weak shit.
posted by NoMich at 6:45 PM on May 18, 2011


Fucking Bing it.

I'd rather Big Dee Irwin and Little Eva it.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:13 PM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'd rather Big Dee Irwin and Little Eva it.

That, Peter, is because you are a man of taste and distinction.

And I will go on record here as saying I just never, ever got Bing Crosby. I mean, WHY was that guy so huge in his day? I just don't understand it.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:40 PM on May 18, 2011


He was hung like Bob Hope's nose.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:45 PM on May 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


What have I done
Don't worry - you were just the catalyst that lowered the (rather low) energy barrier required to start the MeTa chain reaction. Everything you see here is normal (for a somewhat perverted value of normal).
posted by dg at 7:55 PM on May 18, 2011


Ah, come on, a bit of Bing is great at Christmas time.
posted by Artw at 7:55 PM on May 18, 2011


Especially in the eggnog.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:57 PM on May 18, 2011


I just never, ever got Bing Crosby. I mean, WHY was that guy so huge in his day?

I remember being knocked out when I learned Bing was a serious viper the whole of his life.

Picked up the reefer habit from Louis Armstrong, and from then on in, smoked weed every day. Apparently, one of his kids tells of him trying to persuade them to stop drinking and take up the spliff.

"He said to me one time when he was really mad, ranting and raving about my heavy drinking, he said, "Oh that fucking booze. It killed your mother. Why don't you just smoke shit?" That was all he said but there were other times when marijuana was mentioned and he'd get a smile on his face. He'd kind of think about it and there'd be that little smile."

So Bing was clearly a bit of a hip dude. And you can definitely hear it in that slow, laconic, behind-the-beat vocal delivery.

"Crosby was considered conservative but as early as 1939 he spoke for tolerance against the anti-semitic remarks of radio priest Father Coughlin. In 1936, after winning the contractual right to produce his own pictures, he hired Louis Armstrong and gave him star billing, a Hollywood first for a black entertainer. Later he let it be known that he opposed the Vietnam War, advocated the legalization of marijuana, and despised Richard Nixon."


Gotta respect Father O'Malley. Not like that sonovabitch Father Connolly in Angels with Dirty Faces. That sanctimonious old nonce would have have grassed you up to the screws in a wink. But Father O'Malley might have had a little parcel up his rectum that he'd brought along to help his boys get through their jail time faster and with a little more chillax.

And the most he'd have wanted from the choirboys would have been to spark up a fatty and kick it in a bit of a jam session.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:31 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I just never, ever got Bing Crosby. I mean, WHY was that guy so huge in his day?

I used to not get him. In my teens, they would run old clips of him or his holiday specials on TV now and then, and my brother and I would snort and roll our eyes. How could that have ever been hip?

Fast forward a decade or so - it's the 90s, I'm in my 20s, and getting into retro style, Golden Age movies, swing dancing, and history. It all starts to fall into place. Bing was really hip in his day. One of the things that made him hip was that he crossed racial boundaries. I think this is really, really hard to perceive now, but in an age in which the members of the Duke Ellington orchestra were not allowed to be served a drink in the clubs they played, in which Benny Goodman's band was barred from a lot of venues because their band was interracial and that was too uncomfortable for some clubs, Bing Crosby was a blue-eyed white guy who dressed, sang, and spoke in a style strong influenced by that of black performers. It was the Elvis thing before there was an Elvis. A lot of people credit him with being the first white artist to sing in the style of black artists of the day - bluesy, mellowed, intimate. If you listen to his laconic drawl and devotion to hepster-speak wordplay on the early radio recordings where he hosts and chats as well as sings, it becomes clear as day what he was doing and why it was blowing people's minds.

The way he treated singing was a pretty large departure from the other, more strictly genre-based popular tastes of the day. He wasn't operatic and he wasn't a stagey/minstrelly singer like Al Jolson. He doesn't land squarely and purely on notes, he tweaks them and bends them, "Binging" them up and down (I've heard choral conductors chastise people for "Binging" - for an example, listen to the slow ramp-up he takes to finally arrive at the true note of "I" in "White Christmas"), drawing notes out, playing with phrasing, scat singing a little, and improvising sung asides.

Because his career started to come together at the exact time that microphone technology was being developed, he was well placed to benefit from the "right-in-your-ear" sound illusion that the recording studio microphone creates. And he reached an incredibly huge audience, partly because he was recorded on a lot of V-discs and every WWII GI or WAC or USO person heard his singing constantly while they were overseas. I also think he still has the distinction of making more studio recordings than any other pop singer, ever.

I know in my mind that he could be a big giant asshole and that there was a whole lot of dysfunction in his life. And yet I still love his music, his style, and I love his public posture. He dressed well, and walks around on film with a comfortable slouchy grace. He's never flustered, always calm, relaxed, and with a slight detached amusement, the very definition of cool.

So over the years, I went from total puzzlement at why this boring-seeming dude was so famous, to appreciating him deeply and sincerely, first just in context, and now because I understand the significance of his contribution to the creation of American pop music and its aesthetic. Bing is cool.
posted by Miko at 1:05 PM on May 19, 2011 [13 favorites]


Kind of a neat little link about Bing.
posted by Miko at 1:07 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


A bit more on the Bing/microphone thing: his was the first generation that didn't have to sing LOUD, not just because of recording microphones, but because of microphones on stage. That gave rise to the whole crooner genre because it was now possible to sing gently to a large audience, barely more than a whisper in some places. That was part of the whole relaxation thing -- singing as an extension of talking. That was really quite new.
posted by unSane at 2:06 PM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


I just never, ever got Bing Crosby. I mean, WHY was that guy so huge in his day?

Listen to the pipes a-callin', son.

(sriously, he was to the Irish what Sinatra was to the Italians)
posted by jonmc at 4:53 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Who is this Clapton, and why are they obssesed with hamburgers?
posted by Redhush at 7:24 PM on May 21, 2011


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