Seriously, take a walk. June 4, 2011 11:19 AM   Subscribe

These comments, to me, are over the top and not worthy of MetaFilter. From this thread.

Perhaps a little time-out would not be inappropriate.
posted by lazaruslong to Etiquette/Policy at 11:19 AM (383 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Was deleting the latter as you posted. Just to be totally clear, comments in the form of "[user], you need to suck a dick/fuck off/kiss my ass" are not long for this site.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 11:21 AM on June 4, 2011


Well, ok. But, I'm going to miss you.
posted by found missing at 11:21 AM on June 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


Occupation: Provocateur

I think we're taking our career a mite too seriously today?
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:24 AM on June 4, 2011


Man, restless_nomad, you are quick on the draw!

(Or, I'm too slow when it comes to witty comebacks. One of those.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:25 AM on June 4, 2011


That was seriously one of the most shocking comments I've seen on this site. According to weather.com, it's a beautiful day in NYC. I hope the poster gets to enjoy it.
posted by desjardins at 11:26 AM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think it's perfectly okay to think this dad is an asshole. Telling other members to suck a dick is uncool, but having a superstrong opinion about this dad's behavior is really okay. Telling him to calm down or implying that he's drinking is pretty rude.
posted by 23skidoo at 11:29 AM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I apologize for starting this, I didn't know you were so quick r_n. Please feel free to close this up if you feel it would be most appropriate.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:29 AM on June 4, 2011


I have no problem with a "superstrong opinion." I have a problem with the way he expressed it.
posted by That's Numberwang! at 11:33 AM on June 4, 2011


I encourage everyone to suck a dick.

Nothing inherently wrong with dick-sucking, and it can be so pleasurable for both parties. Have a dick handy? Suck it! Don't have one nearby? Eat a pussy, they're great too!
posted by carsonb at 11:34 AM on June 4, 2011 [45 favorites]


I think all of us have at least one of those things quite close, carsonb, but unfortunately nature neglected to provide us with a way to get our mouths around them
posted by koeselitz at 11:36 AM on June 4, 2011 [19 favorites]


I have no problem with a "superstrong opinion." I have a problem with the way he expressed it.

Exactly what is the proper way to express the opinion that the dad is a fucking asshole?
posted by 23skidoo at 11:36 AM on June 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


23skiddo: Probably not suggesting that his child is going to be a serial killer, or making some inept comparison to Balloon Boy. Do you really want to die on this hill? The dude was way outta line.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:38 AM on June 4, 2011


Also, telling a site member to calm down or take a walk is not rude. Its self-policing. Pretty common, and if done respectfully can frequently de-escalate a bad situation.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:41 AM on June 4, 2011


Go play your bongos and smoke your chiba in pac square then hippie and leave the internetting to real people, like the ones you linked to above.
posted by TheBones at 11:43 AM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Somebody call a man a dickass and RN is there with a power washer.
posted by boo_radley at 11:43 AM on June 4, 2011


TheBones: Did you really just lookup my IRL location in order to make a stereotype? Thats kinda creepy. I'm gonna go ahead and bow out now.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:44 AM on June 4, 2011 [7 favorites]


I'm not "dying on a hill", I'm just disagreeing with you. What harm does it do to make a comment that the kid is going to become a serial killer? Or to compare the dad to Balloon Boy's dad? It's just one member's over-the-top opinion.

And sorry, but telling him to take a walk is EXACTLY what made him tell you to suck a dick. If he was going on and on in multiple comments, then telling him to take a walk would be helpful. In this case, it totally was just dismissive and TOTALLY rude.
posted by 23skidoo at 11:44 AM on June 4, 2011 [13 favorites]


Isn't it spelled 'cheeba'?

Don't mind me--I'm just going to sit under the ceiling fan on my front porch and drink some moonshine.
posted by box at 11:54 AM on June 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Speaking from experience, telling someone to go take a walk is really tricky to pull off. A) They're either already pretty wound up or you've badly misread them - in either case, they're not likely to receive suggestions with dispassionate logic. B) There's a rhetorical line to walk between looking like you're kicking someone out of a thread vs. using "I" statements - it's easy to escalate rather than de-escalate the conflict. C) It's really really hard, even as the moderator, to tell people to go away without backing it up with a big stick. The default response tends to be "Yeah? Make me." And then if you don't, you've just made the problem worse.

Short version, this is not a conversational tactic that has a high rate of success. Jessamyn manages to pull it off more than anyone I've ever seen, and none of us are Jessamyn.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 11:54 AM on June 4, 2011 [12 favorites]


made him tell you to suck a dick

I don't think we can have a productive conversation about this. People are responsible for their own words and actions. No one "made" him act like a tool and break site guidelines. The fact that you believe otherwise means we have a fundamental disconnect on the responsibility of adults to control their own mouths.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:54 AM on June 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


don't make me tell you to suck a dick. I'll do it, I swear!
posted by Think_Long at 11:59 AM on June 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think you're taking me out of context. I was responding to your assertion that telling people to take a walk can de-escalate a situation. I was making the point that in this situation, telling another member to take a walk escalated the situation.
posted by 23skidoo at 11:59 AM on June 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't think I am. Your comment is right there.

And sorry, but telling him to take a walk is EXACTLY what made him tell you to suck a dick.
The caps are yours. Dunno what else exactly means.


Ignoring the first part, you're right about the second. My assertion is that it can de-escalate a situation.

Can. Not "does". In this situation, it didn't. You are correct.

Neither of those points has any bearing on my culpability for his chosen response, which again highlights the disconnect we seem to have.
posted by lazaruslong at 12:04 PM on June 4, 2011


You have no idea what it means to bow out, do you?
posted by found missing at 12:07 PM on June 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


I think if you really need to tell someone you think it's best they step out of the thread, it's best you take it to Mefi mail so any potential blowback isn't littering up the thread.

(or, flag/mod contact)
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:10 PM on June 4, 2011


There are only a few letters difference between 'bow out' and 'bow up.'
posted by box at 12:14 PM on June 4, 2011


Just because I said "telling him to take a walk is EXACTLY what made him tell you to suck a dick" doesn't mean I think that telling members to suck a dick is acceptable, or that the member who says "suck a dick" isn't responsible for their actions.

It just means that telling a member to take a walk has the potential to make things worse (which seems to completely negate the potential it has to make things better), and if you're trying to calm things down, you should probably not tell people to take a walk after they make exactly over-the-top comment, when they might not have needed to calm down at all. Maybe that one comment was all they were going to say.
posted by 23skidoo at 12:15 PM on June 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, to be clear, linking to to-be-deleted comments isn't always the best way to make them vanish. Email works just fine. MeTa is also okay but then it usually means people taking apart and entire interaction and assigning blame/responsibility. People sometimes get pissed off at me for telling them to take a walk, and sometimes they realize a walk is in order and come back later. Telling someone to suck a dick is pretty much always not okay and if BillBishop comes back with more of the same, there will be some timeouting happening.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:17 PM on June 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Man I hate it when called-out comments are deleted before I get to see them. It's like being in middle school and realizing that you just missed seeing the fight in the hallway that everyone will be talking about for DAYS.
posted by greta simone at 12:18 PM on June 4, 2011 [57 favorites]


Yeah, now someone pretty much HAS to repost what was deleted, or this whole thread is pointless.
posted by evilcolonel at 12:20 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think it went like this greta:

Metafilter: Dad is awesome!

Billy: Dad is an asshole!

Metafilter: Awesome!!

Billy: Super-mega-shitty asshole!!!

Metafilter: Awesome!!!

Billy: ASSHOLISHST ASSHOLE THAT EVER ASSHOLED MAKES SERIAL KILLERS!!!

lazarus: Dude, take a walk.

Billy: Suck my cock.

r_n: MOD-Hulksmash!

The End
posted by ZeroAmbition at 12:33 PM on June 4, 2011 [24 favorites]


You know who can suck my dick. The person commenting straight after me. What a fuckwad douche. Suck my goddamned cocking dick.
posted by seanyboy at 12:34 PM on June 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


HEY, TAKE A WALK!
posted by found missing at 12:36 PM on June 4, 2011 [13 favorites]


I think it went like this greta:

Metafilter: Dad is awesome!

Billy: Dad is an asshole!

Metafilter: Awesome!!

Billy: Super-mega-shitty asshole!!!

Metafilter: Awesome!!!

Billy: ASSHOLISHST ASSHOLE THAT EVER ASSHOLED MAKES SERIAL KILLERS!!!

lazarus: Dude, take a walk.

Billy: Suck my cock.

r_n: MOD-Hulksmash!

The End


Totally wrong. BillBishop got told to take a walk after his first comment in the thread.
posted by 23skidoo at 12:41 PM on June 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


You'll never guess what I saw while I was out strolling around
posted by From Bklyn at 12:41 PM on June 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Sure, you can walk, talk and chew bubblegum all at the same time, but can you walk while sucking a dick? Therein lies the rub.
posted by mstokes650 at 12:46 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think I'll take my dick out for a walk.
posted by Sailormom at 12:52 PM on June 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Speaking of posts, has anyone done a Weiner post yet?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:53 PM on June 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


^ Meant to say speaking of dicks. Usually you freudian slip INTO saying dicks.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:53 PM on June 4, 2011 [13 favorites]


All this talk of dick sucking is making me thirsty, I'm gonna go fix a drink in my large novelty banana glass.
posted by The Whelk at 1:25 PM on June 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


please close this
posted by mykescipark at 1:31 PM on June 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


Speaking of posts, has anyone done a Weiner post yet?

BREITBART REVEALS WEINER TIP
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:31 PM on June 4, 2011 [16 favorites]


MetaTalk is the best. It reminds me of sneaking around behind the shed as a kid to hear the grownups swearing and telling dirty jokes.
posted by madred at 2:11 PM on June 4, 2011 [13 favorites]


Speaking of posts, has anyone done a Weiner post yet?

I had to look this up and instantly felt stupider for even knowing about it. Or maybe because it was a Drudge article I came across. Either way, just ugh.

Also yay, a sonascope epic comment in that thread, which I almost skipped.
posted by cj_ at 2:12 PM on June 4, 2011


Next time, flag and move on- the mods are there for a reason and do a pretty damn good job. If it bugs you that much, send a private note. No good will come of a fallout on MeTa, I know from experience.
posted by TheBones at 2:28 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


*callout
posted by TheBones at 2:30 PM on June 4, 2011


" Jessamyn manages to pull it off more than anyone I've ever seen, and none of us are Jessamyn."

dont tell me who im not!
posted by klangklangston at 2:40 PM on June 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


"none of us is Jessamyn" would be a better way to say that; but to be more accurate, one of is Jessamyn
posted by found missing at 2:44 PM on June 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Hey!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:44 PM on June 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


I AM SPARTACUS JESSAMYN
posted by 23skidoo at 2:46 PM on June 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Totally wrong. BillBishop got told to take a walk after his first comment in the thread.

Really? My bad then. Never paid enough attention in middle school (hallway) either.

I'm kinda on the Dad is somewhat dickish side too, but me thinks it's a lost cause.
posted by ZeroAmbition at 2:51 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Lucky thing that the school year ended, 'cuz I heard his next costume was going to be to look like a plate of beans.
posted by tomswift at 2:56 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I took a walk this morning. At Griffith Park. Then my friend locked her keys in the car. Then the AAA guy came. They have all kinds of crazy tools now, like a balloony-inflatey thing that pries the door part way open so they stick the other things in. True story.
posted by drjimmy11 at 3:24 PM on June 4, 2011


I'm totally stuck on island six of tiny wings, btw.
posted by The Whelk at 3:27 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


You made it to island 6? I didn't think getting past 5 was even possible. Casual game my ass.
posted by cj_ at 3:35 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


"I took a walk this morning. At Griffith Park."

Hey, you're in my neighborhood!
posted by klangklangston at 3:42 PM on June 4, 2011


Klang stop skulking in the bushes it is bad for your knees.
posted by The Whelk at 3:48 PM on June 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


I encourage everyone to suck a dick.

Or to fuck yourself! It's pleasurable, releases stress, and may contribute to better prostate health (if you're a dude). Hooray!!
posted by NoraReed at 3:50 PM on June 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


There's an island 6? Wow. I love to fly, but my wings are so tiny.
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:54 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks for leaving one comment intact. I hate wandering into these clusterfuck threads without a clue
posted by jonmc at 4:19 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I hate wandering into these clusterfuck threads without a clue

Seems like you have two choices; take a walk or suck a dick
posted by found missing at 4:26 PM on June 4, 2011 [13 favorites]


Eh, if I could reach I'd never leave home.
posted by Mooski at 4:33 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


You can take a walk and suck a dick, but it has to be a walk in the Rambles.
posted by The Whelk at 4:35 PM on June 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Don't talk the walk if you can't suck a cock. 'cause nine out of ten, you're gonna be told to choke on it.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:55 PM on June 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wow! Whichever one of you just sucked my dick, thanks! I totally missed this thread, and thought I was in the middle of an Onion article for a minute.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:00 PM on June 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


same conversation on reddit, ya know, the site where people have the morals of Donald Trump or however it was put in the recent reddit hate thread.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:02 PM on June 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Speaking of invective, when the little bird in Tiny Wings taunts you after you break fever mode by taking a bad slide, does it say "Sucker!" or "Fuck off!"?

Yes, I am having a (polite and respectful) argument with someone about this. I say it's "Sucker!"
posted by maudlin at 5:15 PM on June 4, 2011


Please tell me where the top is so that I may summit it as early and as often as possible.
posted by Eideteker at 5:23 PM on June 4, 2011


Summit it hard.
posted by Eideteker at 5:25 PM on June 4, 2011


When you submit is between you and your top Eide.
posted by The Whelk at 5:25 PM on June 4, 2011


"Would you summit me? I'd summit me. I'd summit me hard."
posted by Eideteker at 5:26 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Rule 34 wins again.
posted by The Whelk at 5:27 PM on June 4, 2011


"When you submit is between you and your top Eide."

America's Next Top Eide


I am your fall lineup.
posted by Eideteker at 5:28 PM on June 4, 2011


Must see Eide.

"If I haven't seen it, it's new to me!"
posted by Eideteker at 5:29 PM on June 4, 2011


"Rule 34 wins again."

It's all part of life's rich fapestry.
posted by Eideteker at 5:34 PM on June 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


Ciiiiiiiiiircle of liiiiiiiife
posted by The Whelk at 5:36 PM on June 4, 2011


Speaking of invective, when the little bird in Tiny Wings taunts you after you break fever mode by taking a bad slide, does it say "Sucker!" or "Fuck off!"?

Doesn't it just make a little disappointed noise? I haven't really thought of it swearing. Have I been naive?
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:42 PM on June 4, 2011


what is even going ON in here people. how did we get from blow jobs to sexy mountaineering?
posted by elizardbits at 5:44 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


how did we get from blow jobs to sexy mountaineering?

What were trying to do here, see, is come up with The Price is Right...After Dark. We will sell it to Cinemax and make a killing!
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 5:45 PM on June 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


how did we get from blow jobs to sexy mountaineering?

*scribbles furiously*

I have a diagram here I think.
posted by carsonb at 5:47 PM on June 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


And, yes, it does say quite a bit about me that I read "sexy mountaineering" and I think of that mountain climbing game on The Price is Right.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 5:47 PM on June 4, 2011 [12 favorites]


"These Hollywod Squares are anything but!"
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:48 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hahaha. It's funny because penis.
posted by 1000monkeys at 5:52 PM on June 4, 2011 [10 favorites]


The Internet is where you laugh at penis because if you laugh at someone's penis in real life you are probably going to start a fight or make someone cry.
posted by idiopath at 6:19 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


In Soviet Russia, dick sucks you.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:20 PM on June 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Do you have his phone number?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:25 PM on June 4, 2011 [7 favorites]


Wait, so its not ok to tell people to suck a dick?

How about telling people to eat a bowl of dicks?
posted by hal_c_on at 6:26 PM on June 4, 2011


How about telling people to eat a bowl of dicks?

How about there is a difference between MetaFilter and MetaTalk?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:28 PM on June 4, 2011


Jessamyn, take a walk. Its for cardiovascular fitness, don't ya know!
posted by hal_c_on at 6:32 PM on June 4, 2011


Why would someone have a bowl of dicks? Wouldn't they go bad after a while, shouldn't you freeze them or something?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:32 PM on June 4, 2011


That difference, of course, is the use of bowls. We are civilized people here, we use proper table settings, none of this drinking milk out of the carton or eating dick straight out of the box.
posted by mstokes650 at 6:33 PM on June 4, 2011 [12 favorites]


I prefer a platter of penises, myself.

penii?
posted by desjardins at 6:33 PM on June 4, 2011


Serial killers get a bad rap from Ed Gein. Rather than taping noses to walls and shit, some actually preserve the victim's bodies for later.

Crazy and thinking "a head"!
posted by hal_c_on at 6:34 PM on June 4, 2011


Oh wow.
posted by cavalier at 6:50 PM on June 4, 2011


Dude.
What the hell is sonascope's deal?

It seems like once a month or so he is all "oh this makes me think of a charming, folksy meditation on some fascinating personal history, which in turn nicely illuminates a facet of life and its living. Don't you think?"

God damn!

I mean, really? I'm interested in things, I do stuff. Why don't I have pithy anecdotes for every occasion? Grumble!
posted by kavasa at 7:00 PM on June 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Whenever sonascope comments you might as well close the thread and sidebar that shit right there. Actually, is there any chance you guys can just sidebar all his comments so nobody misses them?
posted by Ad hominem at 7:18 PM on June 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm totally stuck on island 6 of Tiny Wings too. I think if you get that far you should get a time bonus. Bird clearly says "sucker."
posted by IndigoRain at 7:25 PM on June 4, 2011


The more I think about it. All the comments I have read from sonascope have been "life affirming" they are about shit like dancing on the roofs of skyscrapers. There are other mefites who often post anecdotes but more often than not they are of the "and that's how I learned there is no god, lost my job and somebody stole my kitten all in one day" school of anecdotalist .
posted by Ad hominem at 7:33 PM on June 4, 2011


Ad hominem writes "same conversation on reddit, ya know, the site where people have the morals of Donald Trump or however it was put in the recent reddit hate thread."

If you think Reddit did this topic better than us sort it like this and expand all the below threshold comments keeping in mind they had comments deleted as well. The dad is called alternatively called a douche, an alcoholic, a selfish prick, someone who is incapable of holding a job, a troll (how you troll real life I'm not sure), and an attention whore. It's stated the dad must be impotent. One of the comments that was deleted must have stated or implied he was mentally ill. Another commentator thinks there is a possibility the son will murder his father in the future (may have been hyperbolic). The son is called a bitch.

There is back and forth between commentators about whether they have a sense of humour. Gay is used as a derogatory label in an ad hominem.

Oh and some meta comments whining because certain comments aren't being voted up to the point of being shown first. Relatively innocuous comments being down voted into the negatives. And a much greater proportion of users who seem unable or unwilling to properly capitalize, punctuate or form complete sentences.

On a different note is the the reddit style twitterly short comments? Are longer multiparagraph comments discouraged?
posted by Mitheral at 7:55 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ad hominem writes "Actually, is there any chance you guys can just sidebar all his comments so nobody misses them?"

I think this would be bad policy especially considering you can get the same effect on a user level by linking to him as a contact.
posted by Mitheral at 7:57 PM on June 4, 2011


Man, sonascope is a national treasure.

How do we get the rest of the nation to see it?
posted by zizzle at 7:59 PM on June 4, 2011


With a sonascopescope?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:03 PM on June 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


I think this would be bad policy especially considering you can get the same effect on a user level by linking to him as a contact

I was kidding about that.

If you think Reddit did this topic better than us sort it like this and expand all the below threshold comments keeping in mind they had comments deleted as well

I thought it was eerily similar, odd considering the fact that reddit is, my own admission, filled with hordes of trolls and assholes. This was front page on reddit with 1k plus upvotes,frankly I'm surprised it went as well as it did there.

troll (how you troll real life I'm not sure),

"troll dad" is kind of a meme on reddit.

On a different note is the the reddit style twitterly short comments

There are a lot of one line quips here as well. Within minutes of a post there are dozens of one liners. If they are funny, or meaningful, this is a feature IMHO.


At any rate, I vow never to bring up reddit again. I have better things to do than be reddit ambassador to metafilter.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:08 PM on June 4, 2011


PUT HIS LIKENESS ON THE WORLDS BIGGEST CLOCK TOWER IN THE WORLD IN PLACE OF THE FORMER GIANT BOTTLE LIKENESS!
posted by infinite intimation at 8:12 PM on June 4, 2011


Mitheral: "On a different note is the the reddit style twitterly short comments? Are longer multiparagraph comments discouraged?"

tl;dr
posted by idiopath at 8:13 PM on June 4, 2011


Also, the [deleted] comments are almost always deleted by the poster after they get massive downvotes. I think it speaks well of reddit that the comments you highlight are all < 0.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:15 PM on June 4, 2011


People are afraid to merge on freeways in Reddit.
posted by box at 8:18 PM on June 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ad hominem: ""troll dad" is kind of a meme on reddit."

yeah the terminology is decaying and nowadays "troll" pretty much means "asshole" and "meme" pretty much means "cliché".
posted by idiopath at 8:21 PM on June 4, 2011


yeah the terminology is decaying and nowadays "troll" pretty much means "asshole" and "meme" pretty much means "cliché

That is probably an accurate assessment but trolldad might be one of the only memes to originate on reddit.

People are afraid to merge on freeways in Reddit.

Don't male me defend Bret Easton Ellis as well, I ain't gonna.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:28 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Man I hate it when called-out comments are deleted before I get to see them. It's like being in middle school and realizing that you just missed seeing the fight in the hallway that everyone will be talking about for DAYS.

I was home sick the day my school bus overbalanced on a tight turn and tipped over onto its side in a deep ditch. No one was hurt beyond a few bruises, and I have not yet really gotten over not being on that bus when it went over, which was the most interesting thing that ever happened at my school.
posted by not that girl at 8:46 PM on June 4, 2011


This is an enjoyable thread and makes me want to link to this comment. That was when I realized I didn't have the balls for MetaTalk.
posted by salvia at 8:54 PM on June 4, 2011


that mountain climbing game on The Price is Right

So... lederhosen and seductive yodeling, then? oh dear.
posted by elizardbits at 8:58 PM on June 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


People are afraid to merge on freeways in Reddit.

Blair, is that you? It's me, Clay.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:14 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Speaking of posts, has anyone done a Weiner post yet?

I took a look at the tweeted picture and anyone can tell it is from a Democrat because he so obviously leans to the left.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 9:15 PM on June 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's like being in middle school and realizing that you just missed seeing the fight in the hallway that everyone will be talking about for DAYS.

Just pretend you were there. You know, like Woodstock. If anybody doubts you, make shit up.

"Did you see that one dude tell that other dude to suck a dick? And then the other dude totally pulled a shiv! I was just about to eat the brown acid, too..."
posted by steambadger at 9:52 PM on June 4, 2011


I made it to the 8th island a couple of days ago, after about two weeks of playing. Now I just need to get to the fourth island with no great slides.

I spent all day, from about 9:00am to around 9:30pm, on Galveston beach. It was nice. I hope your walk was great.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 9:55 PM on June 4, 2011


I read the description and was instantly on the son's side. Maybe it's because I'm closer to 16 but life is hard enough without being embarrassed by some attention-seeker of a dad.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:12 PM on June 4, 2011


FTR, I asked if he'd taken that walk yet, and he responded that he had. Seems to me the message broadcast and received was not go fuck yourself, but take a break and some deep breaths.
posted by hypersloth at 10:39 PM on June 4, 2011


Also, telling a site member to calm down or take a walk is not rude. Its self-policing.

It's not self-policing; it's impersonating an officer.

Seems to me, if you are not a moderator, your job is to flag comments you find unacceptable and let the qualified professionals deal with them.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:34 AM on June 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


I was a teen in the 80s. My dad was in his early 60s. He wore Sansabelt slacks and golf shirts that made Cosby's sweaters seem understated. The man owned a baby blue ultrasuede leisure suit, for reals.

He could've stood out front waving to the bus in a hoop skirt and a gimp mask and I'd've been less embarrassed to be seen with him.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:12 AM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Always let the professionals deal with those who want their dicks sucked.
posted by taz at 1:13 AM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Man, sonascope is a national treasure.

How do we get the rest of the nation to see it?


By forcing to finish writing Skaggsville already.
posted by The Whelk at 1:19 AM on June 5, 2011


I was home sick the day my school bus overbalanced on a tight turn and tipped over onto its side in a deep ditch.

Maybe you would have been the one who died. In an alternate universe, everyone else got bruises but your face got wedged in some huge smelly kid's ass and they couldn't separate his ass cheeks until the fire truck came with the Jaws of Life, but by then you were blue. And brown.
posted by pracowity at 2:55 AM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Seems to me, if you are not a moderator, your job is to flag comments you find unacceptable and let the qualified professionals deal with them.

Yeah, from where I'm sitting lazaruslong looks like a prissy little whiner who should have been content to flag any content he found objectionable. But to say "take a walk" to someone who just expressed a strong opinion about the dad's antics? And then to come whine about it here when the commenter tells him to go wrap his lips around some sausage? Weak.
posted by jayder at 4:56 AM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Flaccid even.
posted by stinkycheese at 5:07 AM on June 5, 2011


Seems to me, if you are not a moderator, your job is to flag comments you find unacceptable and let the qualified professionals deal with them.

Nah, it's perfectly fine to suggest someone take a walk, particularly when things get heated. It's been done by members for years.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:08 AM on June 5, 2011


It read here as rude and out of line IMHO.
posted by stinkycheese at 5:11 AM on June 5, 2011


I didn't realise I had a job here, I just dropped in to click the links and read the comments. But, if my 'job is to flag comments' I'll probably start slacking off and bitching about the crap coffee.
posted by Elmore at 5:17 AM on June 5, 2011


And why the hell am I here on the weekend?
posted by Elmore at 5:19 AM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Unpaid overtime. Me, I have a doctor's appointment. And my grandmother died. Oh, and the cable guy is due any moment.
posted by likeso at 5:25 AM on June 5, 2011


I have a lot of down time on this business trip.
posted by The Whelk at 5:37 AM on June 5, 2011


If you think Reddit did this topic better than us sort it like this and expand all the below threshold comments keeping in mind they had comments deleted as well.

Isn't that a bit like saying 'If you think Metafilter has good discussions, look at the thread before anything gets deleted by the mods'?
posted by Busy Old Fool at 5:46 AM on June 5, 2011


I took a walk this morning. At Griffith Park. Then my friend locked her keys in the car. Then the AAA guy came. They have all kinds of crazy tools now, like a balloony-inflatey thing that pries the door part way open so they stick the other things in. True story.

I drove a tow truck for a little while after the dotcom thing collapsed and nobody was hiring web developers. The deal was you had to buy your own lockout tools, but the owner would chip in and get you a discount. In any event they are your tools, and I still have them. According to the letter of the law I'm not supposed to have them now that I no longer do lockouts for a towing company, but I only use the tools for good and don't charge anyone. Well, nobody knows I have the tools anyway, except family and a few friends. I don't have one of those balloon deals but I do have a wedge that works for most windows. The fancy balloon wedge is for the people who are really touchy about their cars. My manager had one of those.

True story.
posted by krinklyfig at 5:49 AM on June 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


The fancy balloon wedge is for the people who are really touchy about their cars.

Thinking back, that's probably because we didn't get those in the regular lockout tool kit. You had to pay for it extra. If I had one I probably would have used it all the time. Now I feel lacking.
posted by krinklyfig at 6:00 AM on June 5, 2011


Wait, so its not ok to tell people to suck a dick?

How about telling people to eat a bowl of dicks?
posted by hal_c_on at 2:26 AM on June 5


This is over-thinking a plate of penis.
posted by Decani at 6:02 AM on June 5, 2011


Can I just get a nice handjob?
posted by fuq at 6:04 AM on June 5, 2011


What the hell is sonascope's deal?

I believe the technical term is 'long windedness.'
posted by jonmc at 6:18 AM on June 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


carsonb: "I encourage everyone to suck a dick.

Nothing inherently wrong with dick-sucking, and it can be so pleasurable for both parties. Have a dick handy? Suck it! Don't have one nearby? Eat a pussy, they're great too!
"

Al Swearengen, is that you?
posted by bwg at 7:08 AM on June 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


I like sonascope's anecdotes and I like the troll dad too. I also like the idea of telling people who are getting all worked up about people who are just wanting to have a good time to take a fucking walk too. I also like those people who are getting worked up to explain why they are getting worked up, which billbishop did. I like you all!
posted by h00py at 7:21 AM on June 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


I like you all!

Well, you're weird.
posted by jonmc at 7:25 AM on June 5, 2011


Yes. And?
posted by h00py at 7:28 AM on June 5, 2011


Scalia
Santorum
Gingrich
Palin
Bachmann
Trump
Limbaugh
Beck
O'Reilly


There . . . I just wanted those names associated prominently on google with hundreds of variants of the phrase "suck a dick." Gotta be good for the google results.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:58 AM on June 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


The one-legged father in that story apparently markets something called a Pegleg Autococker.
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:10 AM on June 5, 2011


Busy Old Fool: "Isn't that a bit like saying 'If you think Metafilter has good discussions, look at the thread before anything gets deleted by the mods'?"

I forget the exact numbers, but IIRC most threads never even need a single comment deleted around here, not to mention being littered with deleted comments like many active reddit threads are. And those threads are still full of things that would have been deleted if they had been on metafilter.
posted by idiopath at 8:20 AM on June 5, 2011


Seems to me, if you are not a moderator, your job is to flag comments you find unacceptable and let the qualified professionals deal with them.

Well, there's cat herding and there's cat herding. One of the things that goes with our jobs as mods is that when we tell someone to cool it it's generally understood that that's not just an idle suggestion, which is a meaningful distinction from when it's random mefite to random mefite, but that doesn't mean folks can't or shouldn't ever make an effort to help de-escalate a situation with a gentle "hey, now..." sort of comment.

It's tricky to do and it's not guaranteed to work, and much of the time (especially if it's in response to A Weird Comment rather than A Long String Of Weirdness) it may be a lower-friction path to just flag and carry on the conversation around whatever the outburst was and hope for things repair themselves. But community members have always and will always be able to try and help the conversation stay decent with a carefully chosen interjection now and then. It's part of what this place is; it is part of the self-policing thing.

Isn't that a bit like saying 'If you think Metafilter has good discussions, look at the thread before anything gets deleted by the mods'?

Most metafilter threads don't actually have anything deleted from them; those that do it's usually only a comment or two. There are exceptions, but if we really want to size that up against the downmodding and self-deletion and one-linerism and troll brigade hijinks on a typical reddit thread, I'm pretty comfortable with Metafilter's overall performance as much as I am annoyed sometimes by the worse sorts of behavior here. But there's two different sites with two different characters and two (largely) different userbases, so they're going to behave in different ways. So be it, and to each his own.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:31 AM on June 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm entirely in accord with the claim that Metafilter has better discussions in general than Reddit. (That's why I have an account here and not there.)

My point was that, as Cortex says, they are two different sites and they have two different ways of encouraging good discussion. Metafilter does it mostly via community-building, Reddit mostly through voting. We should compare like-with-like, the final result, rather than an unsorted stream of Reddit comments with a moderated MeFi thread.

I think it's fair to be saddened when a Reddit discussion goes better (even in some regards) than a Metafilter one on the same topic, which is something I've seen happen a few times. 90%+ of the time I'd prefer to read Metafilter threads over Reddit ones, but given the quality of the userbase here, it's shocking to me that that should ever happen.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 9:30 AM on June 5, 2011


Seems to me, if you are not a moderator, your job is to flag comments you find unacceptable and let the qualified professionals deal with them.

I'm glad cortex (thoughtfully) debunked the above, because it's definitely not how the site's been run, and it's weird to see folks who've been here for years endorsing it.
posted by mediareport at 9:46 AM on June 5, 2011


I just wanted those names associated prominently on google with hundreds of variants of the phrase "suck a dick."

Jeff Beck and Radar O'Reilly are gonna be pissed.
posted by jonmc at 9:48 AM on June 5, 2011


Only because you just used their first names! Sheesh.
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:55 AM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Busy Old Fool writes "Isn't that a bit like saying 'If you think Metafilter has good discussions, look at the thread before anything gets deleted by the mods'?"

I don't think down voting is a good or even fair way to run a discussion site so I always expand all the comments when the site allows for it. And leaving comments up that do nothing but reference deleted comments is a failure of the moderation system IMO. Though I understand why Reddit moderators don't prune entire branches even though it would be technically easy in a threaded comment system.

Busy Old Fool writes "We should compare like-with-like, the final result, rather than an unsorted stream of Reddit comments with a moderated MeFi thread."

I thought Reddit is moderated. Every page says who is moderating the discussion. In this case hueypriest, jedberg, KeyserSosa, Paradox, spladug, alienth, and krispykrackers.
posted by Mitheral at 10:08 AM on June 5, 2011


Metafilter: A self-appointed-hall-monitor-friendly community!
posted by Crabby Appleton at 10:29 AM on June 5, 2011


I thought Reddit is moderated.
posted by Mitheral at 6:08 PM on June 5


It is. Each subreddit has moderators and most of the main ones moderate with a very, very light hand - which I love, because that's how I believe internet forums should be, but hey, that's me. There's excessive moderation there too: r/christianity and r/socialism are two examples that spring to mind. It is extremely easy to get banned on both of those subreddits, and for far lesser transgressions than it takes to get banned here. I managed to get myself banned from r/socialism and I'm a bleedin' socialist. All I did was knock a piece that happened to be written by one of the mods. Goddamn commies! I'm still not banned from r/christianity but only because I don't post there a lot and I've had the warning of seeing other atheists banned in short order for, well, being atheist, pretty much.

One of the great things about reddit is it's incredibly heterogenous and also pretty free-and-easy. I like it and Metafilter. I get something different from each.
posted by Decani at 10:36 AM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I recommend antibiotics AND topical cream.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:47 AM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


If a mod tells me to "take a walk" I take it to mean, "you are causing distress, now move along before we move you along." I comply.
If a fellow MeFite tells me to "take a walk" I tell them to ess my dee because that is some condescending, corny bullshit.

Yes, I have a strong opinion about that story, and no matter how much you insist it's because I have some terrible childhood trauma, and it says more about me than it does about the story, it's just my opinion.
I think that dad is a real fucking asshole, as you may have heard. I get why some of you think it's cool to do what he's doing, but I think you're really off-base with that.

In some respects, it made me think of using ones own children in a stunt, like Balloon Boy. If some of you didn't like the connection, you didn't have to attack me personally, especially since I didn't attack you.

Then I used an IF, THEN construction with a bit of hyperbole, where I hoped to be the one voice in the crowd who might make some other dad out there think twice about this method for teaching the kid a lesson about life.
I never called anyone here a bad parent or anything of the sort. I said IF one did this, THEN their children would grow up to be a serial killer. Hypothetical exageration, yes, but come on, how do you get offended enough by that to attack me personally?

I'm not sure how my comment was taken to be a diatribe against individuality or an ode to conformity, but that is a giant misread. This stunt is a ridiculous way to teach any kid about independence or being yourself. If you disagree, you can obviously say so, but why am I so damaged for having a different opinion?

I'm really not sure what the problem is, but if you think I'm coming after you for doing a silly dance in front of your baby, or dressing up as Darth Vader for your kids 8th birthday, or being goofy one time in the mall in front of the kids friends, that is far from my position.

I really appreciate the few people who spoke out defending my right to express an opinion different from the group. Thank you. I also appreciate the even fewer who expressed a counter opinion without feeling it necessary to come at me personally.

Does expressing a strong opinion counter to the groupthink make one the enemy here? Or did you get offended because I called him a fucking asshole? Everybody's got such sensitive eyes that they've never seen those words before? Or is it the combination of profanity with an opinion that doesn't match yours?
posted by BillBishop at 11:37 AM on June 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


"Does expressing a strong opinion counter to the groupthink make one the enemy here?"

quite often, yes. i think unpopular opinions get stomped pretty vigorously sometimes. also, the tolerance for intemperate language is higher with those people who speak the party line.

it's unfortunate. there's a lot of freedom of expression here, but that freedom comes at the cost of being bullied.

i haven't seen this from the mods, though. i think when comments get deleted, it's just to avoid a riot, rather than censorship. unfortunately, riot-control usually results in silencing minority opinions.
posted by stubby phillips at 11:57 AM on June 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


Sure, you can walk, talk and chew bubblegum all at the same time, but can you walk while sucking a dick? Therein lies the rub.

I've been thinking about this all thread and I think it might work if the guy was really tall and very comfortable walking backwards.
posted by Diablevert at 12:04 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


it's unfortunate. there's a lot of freedom of expression here, but that freedom comes at the cost of being bullied.

Nice way of putting it, Stubby. I do think BillBishop has been bullied over this.
posted by jayder at 12:10 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


hey stubby phillips remember when all "they" had were garbage cans lids and harsh language.

Another aspect to community policing is not confrontation alone but conflict resolution-metatalk, etc.

I really appreciate the few people who spoke out defending my right to express an opinion different from the group.

I have no doubt but you may want to consider that others could use matched language to posit a counter-argument. An esculation if you will ensues, did it happen there, yes... did it happen here, on an intellectual level here, no.

*Dispenses an analgesic to lieutenant commander Henderson.
posted by clavdivs at 12:14 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


And when you think about it, it's a pretty remarkable cognitive dissonance (and outright hypocrisy) being maintained by lazaruslong, sonoscope, and other fans of this dad -- they're basically saying "how DARE you disagree with our opinion about this man's wonderful celebration of freethinking and nonconformity!!! Moderators, please delete these comments that disagree with us and give this commenter a time out!!!"

Ha ha, wow.
posted by jayder at 12:16 PM on June 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


i'm not sure what you mean by "they", clavdivs. in fact, i'm not sure what you mean at all.

however, too often, metatalk is just a gang-bashing of the outliers, rather than conflict-resolution.
posted by stubby phillips at 12:19 PM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I should maybe note for the record here that as a mod with no real strong opinion about that Dad dude, I thought BillBishop's approach to expressing his opinion was pretty crappy and I think a hell of lot of the blowback had to do with that, not with him not digging the dad's choice of stunt. Presentation matters, and when you go overt in a thread like that it tends to create a big distraction and piss people off.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:22 PM on June 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


nevertheless, emotionally charged language in support of the majority opinion does not have the same effect.

i realize it's an impossible situation for the mods. maintaining order is difficult in a pile-on.

here's what i've observed:

the original "offending" comment was preserved, but the blow-back comment was deleted. this is probably the right move, but the unintended consequences are that the dissenting opinion was available to anybody who wanted to take it to metatalk and flame the guy who disagrees.

we don't literally know what his response was, but we get hearsay from the outraged majority and this allows everybody with an axe to grind to register their consternation.

metatalk is more free-wheeling, so the invective is more harsh. we get a pile-on.

i'm not disagreeing with the way things work, i'm just occasionally disappointed in the result.
posted by stubby phillips at 12:30 PM on June 5, 2011


I do think BillBishop has been bullied over this.

Aw, how precious. I mean, if you're going to go over the top, I prefer the tack BillBishop took later in the thread, that got deleted, which was really memorable, so I remembered it:

"Yeah, he's pretty much the Hitler of dads. If you can't see that, maybe that makes you the Eva Braun of commenters."

Which, you know, style, right? Instead of just sitting there making a googly-eyed poutyface, leap from a double overpass and do a cannonball directly into an old folks' pool. Reach for the stars! This I can respect.
posted by furiousthought at 12:47 PM on June 5, 2011 [13 favorites]


One thing, as long as we're discussing derails and deletions -- could the mods be a little more specific when they delete-and-call-out? For instance, in the circumcision thread, jessamyn says "[don't pre-doom this thread please, thank you.]" That's the entirety of her commentary on the thread. Ditto her comment "[folks? maybe don't pre-doom this thread? thank you?]" in the Penny Arcade thread from last week.

I feel like I've been around MeFi long enough to know a lot of the running gags, but I honestly have no idea what the issues are that she's (presumably) deleting comments about. I even searched the site for "pre-doom" just to see if that's a Thing that I missed, but those are the only two times it's ever appeared.

Not that I'm picking on jessamyn -- her other recent deletion comments include "take grudges to email and name-calling to some other website" and "if you don't like it, that's fine, the facebook hate is a little strident and derailing," each of which is usefully explanatory.

posted by Etrigan at 12:47 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, the higher the invective ratchets up, the less people are going to stick around if they aren't interested in a wind-up/fight.

Once we get into "fucking asshole" "serial killer" "take a walk" "suck a dick" "you have childhood trauma and hate individuality" "your dads were bad if they didn't work all the time" etc -- who wants to hang around and be involved in that, enough to make a fairminded comment that acknowledges the fair points of both sides and calms things down?

So most people leave and you end up with ten people or so commenting. At that point I don't think there's much use in calling it a pile-on, when it's 7 vs 3, or in lamenting how minority opinions get silenced. It's just a garbage flinging contest with hurt feelings and indignance all around. Blech. This is why presentation matters in the first place, on both sides.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:56 PM on June 5, 2011


and yet, here we are. well, here you are. i'm going to take a walk.
posted by stubby phillips at 12:58 PM on June 5, 2011


Etrigan, I'm guessing "don't pre-doom the thread" refers to comments like "this thread will go down in flames!" or that kind of thing - speculating that the thread will go badly, it's like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:59 PM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I may be mistaken, but I think 'pre-dooming' is something like when there's a post about declawing Palestine, and then the first half-dozen commenters are all like 'This will not wendell' and 'This is a topic that Metafilter does not do well' and 'Jesus fuck, there's a shitstorm a-comin'.'
posted by box at 1:01 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Or, uh, what LobsterMitten said.
posted by box at 1:01 PM on June 5, 2011


stubby phillips, I didn't mean that to be a slam on your comment, I'm sorry if it came off that way.
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:01 PM on June 5, 2011


Yeah, we have different ways of phrasing things as time goes by, blame the faddish nature of vocabulary and the repetition that comes with the job. I will sometimes use "doomsaying", and I think I've used "shitbombing" once or twice, to communicate the same thing: don't immediately turn a thread into the worst sort of deraily fight possible.

It's one of those things where as much as anything we're leaving a note for the people whose comments we removed and for people contemplating or composing a response to that stuff in the interim; it's there secondarily as a marker for any confused third parties who either saw stuff disappear or notice that the cleaned up thread has some rough edges, but if you weren't in the process of starting or perpetuating the derail, you're basically in the clear.

Sometimes we communicate that stuff more explicitly than other times, it may depend a lot on the circumstances (including e.g. how much time we have to fiddle with it and how quickly we want to just Get It Out There), but I hear you on the degree to which it might as a result seem a bit opaque or jargony at times.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:04 PM on June 5, 2011


I seriously don't get how people here are so sensitive about calling the subject of a post a fucking asshole when I really think that's the case.
It would have made for a better discussion if I said he's a "darn fool" or a "farging icehole?"
I get that you don't use that language towards another commenter who doesn't agree with you, and now I get that one shouldn't tell off another poster even if they're being super condescending towards you, but how is it acceptable that my opinion of stunt dad turns into me being the enemy?
posted by BillBishop at 1:11 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Took a break from this thread, but I feel I should say the following:

I apologize for starting this callout, it was a bad idea and not necessary. I'm not usually the type to start a Meta for some troll-esque comment. This is actually the first callout I've ever posted, in the 8 and 1/2 years I've been a member of MetaFilter.

I thought BillBishop's comment re: serial killer kids to be way over the top, and when I suggested he take a walk, it was not my intention to come across as bullying or condescending. In hindsight, it definitely did. BillBishop, I am sorry that I said that. I shouldn't have, and it was wrong.

I also should not have taken your "Suck a Dick" comment as personally as I did. The reason I did was that I had posted a longer comment here, which included a brief anectdotal mention of sexual trauma, which I've made mention of on MetaFilter before. So when that comment popped up, the incredibly ungenerous reading of it, to me, was the he used the opportunity to make a joke about dick sucking as a rape trigger. That set me off.

Again, in hindsight, that is a very ungenerous reading, and probably not what he was trying to do. That's my bad. My rational brain was overridden. Sorry everyone.

I think I've made enough of an ass of myself here, so I won't hop into the meta-policy discussion. Thanks to the mods for their patience. I hope you all have wonderful days.
posted by lazaruslong at 1:13 PM on June 5, 2011 [13 favorites]


and walks. =)
posted by lazaruslong at 1:15 PM on June 5, 2011


Yeah, telling someone to suck a/my dick is really unnecessarily referring to sexual violence/sexism/certain sexual acts as "degrading" and I really despise it as an insult. I think it was really far out of line and would be triggering or unusually upsetting for a significant number of people.
posted by the young rope-rider at 1:16 PM on June 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


Then I used an IF, THEN construction with a bit of hyperbole,

Word of advice, dude. A lot of people here don't really go for that. But as I always say, those people deserve to be flayed alive and dipped in salt, repeatedly, until they die.
posted by Decani at 1:16 PM on June 5, 2011


"Yeah, he's pretty much the Hitler of dads. If you can't see that, maybe that makes you the Eva Braun of commenters."

This comment is absolutely hilarious. I feel kinda sad for people who can't get that, and worse, I certainly wouldn't want such people at one of my intimate cheese and wine soirées.
posted by Decani at 1:21 PM on June 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


...but how is it acceptable that my opinion of stunt dad turns into me being the enemy?

Honest answer: Your initial comment was needlessly aggressive and hyperbolic. It was pretty much guaranteed to start a fight, probably because in painting the dad as an asshole, those who liked or approved of his actions took it somewhat personally.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:22 PM on June 5, 2011


There are TEN islands.
posted by Specklet at 1:24 PM on June 5, 2011


lobster mitten, no problem. i didn't take it as a slam. i literally took a walk on this hot sunny day.

now i shall hop on the trolley and see what pittsburgh has to offer.

because i have a bunch of quarters and it's a pretty cool town.
posted by stubby phillips at 1:30 PM on June 5, 2011


I accept the apology of lazaruslong and would like to state for the record:

1. I never read his comment from another thread and "suck a dick" was solely a response to being told to take a walk.
There was absolutely no intended connection there to anything he's mentioned in the past in any thread.

2. I was not trolling. I believe the dad in that post is an asshole. That is my opinion, and you have yours, and that doesn't make you an asshole if it's a different opinion than mine.
posted by BillBishop at 1:35 PM on June 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


Thank you, BillBishop, for accepting my apology.
posted by lazaruslong at 1:37 PM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


If I were BillBishop, I'd probably apologize to lazaruslong as well....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:47 PM on June 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


Brandon Blatcher: I get that it was an aggressive and strongly worded comment. I did not mean it to be taken aggressively "against" any member of this community.
I really think that's on them for reacting like that against me, when I made sure to not deride the commenters before me.
I get what you're saying, but if not speaking a contrary opinion or having to sugarcoat a contrary opinion is the way to avoid this response...Well, that just lowers my opinion of the general community.

Decani: Thank you for taking that one silly comment in the spirit it was posted.
posted by BillBishop at 1:48 PM on June 5, 2011


I honestly have no idea what the issues are that she's (presumably) deleting comments about.

Sorry about that. I deleted two comments, one of which was basically *gets popcorn* and another of which was a list of the ways the thread was going to go badly. The thread is actually not going that badly, all things considering [though there's still time] but yeah I could be a bit more clear.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:50 PM on June 5, 2011


Yeah, we have different ways of phrasing things as time goes by, blame the faddish nature of vocabulary

I miss the term "recreational outrage".
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:55 PM on June 5, 2011


I think I've made enough of an ass of myself here

We all do it sometimes, and we all do it for our reasons. <3
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:57 PM on June 5, 2011


It was pretty much guaranteed to start a fight, probably because in painting the dad as an asshole, those who liked or approved of his actions took it somewhat personally.

Non-rhetorically and non-judgingly, if a member thinks a person in a story is an asshole, exactly how should they say that so that no one takes it personally?
posted by 23skidoo at 1:58 PM on June 5, 2011


If I were EmpressCallipygos I'd probably think about how condescending my previous comment reads.
posted by BillBishop at 2:01 PM on June 5, 2011 [8 favorites]


exactly how should they say that so that no one takes it personally?

"Well, I never!"
posted by found missing at 2:02 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


No, I was being serious.
posted by 23skidoo at 2:03 PM on June 5, 2011


I've found Metafilter is more comfortable with "You are behaving like an asshole." rather than "You are an asshole."
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:04 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've found Metafilter is more comfortable with "You are behaving like an asshole." rather than "You are an asshole."
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:04 PM on June 5


Oh, now you're behaving like a sarcastic person. Tch!
posted by Decani at 2:19 PM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


if a member thinks a person in a story is an asshole, exactly how should they say that so that no one takes it personally?

"I understand why some of you think this is fun, but I see it in the opposite way - isn't this guy deliberately embarrassing his kid, in a bid to get attention for himself? In my book that makes him an asshole," maybe.

I think just the acknowledgment of "I understand there is a way to view this as harmless fun, so if you view it that way you're not a moral reprobate, but I don't see it that way" might go far to avoid people feeling defensive.

But maybe in this case there is going to be some irritation anyway, just because it's two camps that are "this is harmless fun" vs "this is harmful and not fun" - and those discussions are always going to be hard.
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:27 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Non-rhetorically and non-judgingly, if a member thinks a person in a story is an asshole, exactly how should they say that so that no one takes it personally?

Probably something that doesn't equate said asshole's actions with turning kids into serial killers.

If you want to be combative, you can, but don't be surprised when others are combative right back with ya.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:27 PM on June 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Probably something that doesn't equate said asshole's actions with turning kids into serial killers.

posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:27 PM on June 5


I do not think this word "equate" means what you think it does. At least in this instance.
posted by Decani at 2:30 PM on June 5, 2011


BillBishop: “I get that it was an aggressive and strongly worded comment. I did not mean it to be taken aggressively ‘against’ any member of this community.”

Making quick distinctions between "member of this community" and "just a random dad on the internet" doesn't generally work out very well, since those two groups quite often end up overlapping. We have no guarantee that mr dress-up dad (whom I do not admire much either, for the record) is not now a MeFite, or that he won't become one in the future. In fact, this has happened several times; we're not exactly a small community, and quite often the subject of a post turns up in the thread to talk about it.

It just seems as though, if we're going to be careful about how we talk about members, common sense dictates that we be just as careful about how we talk about non-members. In short: if you're not comfortable saying it to the person's face, you probably shouldn't say it in a thread about them.

Also, this should make it clear why "a person in a story" isn't a very good analogue for this: the person you were talking about is a real person. A person with thoughts and feelings. There is a right and wrong way to declare to that person that you think they're doing something awful that will not make their kid very happy.

One significant side-effect of electronic communication is: context is destroyed along with inhibition. It becomes very, very easy for us to say the things we've always wanted to say – we don't have to endure looking at anyone's face and seeing the pain or shame or disgust when we say it – in any and all contexts, even when the person we might be tearing down could be listening. I think we have to make an effort to keep this in mind, and to always speak about people as though they're listening right now. That was easier back before instantaneous and massive communication became ubiquitous, but it's no less essential now.
posted by koeselitz at 2:32 PM on June 5, 2011 [43 favorites]


Wow, I could not agree any more with koeselitz' comment above.
posted by sweetkid at 2:40 PM on June 5, 2011


Oh, now you're behaving like a sarcastic person. Tch!

No, a mod told me I was behaving like an asshole and explained the difference. :P
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:42 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


if a member thinks a person in a story is an asshole, exactly how should they say that so that no one takes it personally?

I've found that this isn't too difficult if your goal is to make sure that people don't take it personally. A lot of people don't necessarily have that as their goal, which is fine, but it's a far from unattainable goal.

"Wow, the way that guy is behaving really gives me this visceral ICK reaction, like I can imagine being his humiliated son in the bus and that makes me pissed off at him."
"Does anyone else think this guy may have a bit of a screw loose, not being mindful of how his actions are being perceived by not only his son, but the whole neighborhood? That seems uncaring and assholish to me."
"Reading this makes me angry. I dont like the way that guy is acting and I'm surprised other people in this thread don't think he's an asshole the way I do."

So, in short, a lot of "I" language and why you feel a certain way and some general acknowledgement that the world is full of varying opinions on how exactly people should go through life. An awareness that your comment is part of a conversation and should, at some level, facilitate discussion and not just poop in the punchbowl. A lot less of "If you disagree with me, you're just as fucked as this guy" or whatever.

I didn't read the article, but my general assertion here is that you can be angry at something without having to act angry at something. Lots of things make me angry, but very few things will make me yell, holler or otherwise be a jerk to other people (on MeFi or in the larger world) even other people I think are assholes and/or jerks. My own particular brand of emotional asceticism doesn't really allow that sort of behavior; it rarely solves problems and often starts them. But folks are different, and MeFi would suck if it were all people like me. But for people who see this sort of spiralling grar thing as inevitable, it's worth pointing out that not everyone sees it that way.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:46 PM on June 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


See?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:49 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Non-rhetorically and non-judgingly, if a member thinks a person in a story is an asshole, exactly how should they say that so that no one takes it personally?

Probably something that doesn't equate said asshole's actions with turning kids into serial killers.

If you want to be combative, you can, but don't be surprised when others are combative right back with ya.


Read what I said again. I wasn't defending combativeness, I was earnestly asking for people's suggestions on how to say "that dad is an asshole".
posted by 23skidoo at 2:56 PM on June 5, 2011


koeselitz: I would feel totally comfortable IRL telling that guy to his face that I think he's a fucking asshole, but here that would violate the community standards, which is fair enough.
If he ever logged in as a user here then I would speak to him according to MeFi rules. Until then, that guy can suck a dick.
posted by BillBishop at 3:15 PM on June 5, 2011


If he ever logged in as a user here then I would speak to him according to MeFi rules. Until then, that guy can suck a dick.

BillBishop, I've defended you in the relevant thread on the blue, but I think perhaps it would be good to keep in mind what the young rope-rider said above:
Yeah, telling someone to suck a/my dick is really unnecessarily referring to sexual violence/sexism/certain sexual acts as "degrading" and I really despise it as an insult. I think it was really far out of line and would be triggering or unusually upsetting for a significant number of people.
I think I have to agree with this.
posted by grouse at 3:43 PM on June 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


Grouse: I disagree, and I think that gets us into a "thought police/speech police" zone that I find as uncomfortable as potentially triggering something in somebody.
That's a big derail and a whole other discussion, so maybe this is not the place. I do appreciate the way in which you express your issue with my words in a civil manner.
We don't have to agree to act like adults, so thank you.
posted by BillBishop at 4:06 PM on June 5, 2011


Should read: We don't have to agree in order to act like adults.
posted by BillBishop at 4:07 PM on June 5, 2011


Well, there's cat herding and there's cat herding. One of the things that goes with our jobs as mods is that when we tell someone to cool it it's generally understood that that's not just an idle suggestion, which is a meaningful distinction from when it's random mefite to random mefite, but that doesn't mean folks can't or shouldn't ever make an effort to help de-escalate a situation with a gentle "hey, now..." sort of comment.

It's tricky to do and it's not guaranteed to work, and much of the time (especially if it's in response to A Weird Comment rather than A Long String Of Weirdness) it may be a lower-friction path to just flag and carry on the conversation around whatever the outburst was and hope for things repair themselves. But community members have always and will always be able to try and help the conversation stay decent with a carefully chosen interjection now and then. It's part of what this place is; it is part of the self-policing thing.


Hm. I'm just not buying that.

I get what you mean, and I understand it working on paper, but in the wild, it's just one user deciding (s)he outranks another user of equal status. All that does is add a clash of egos to an already GRARy situation; it can't not escalate the conflict. It's always obnoxious, and even when it's not adding fuel to the fire, it's just additional noise that you mods have to come in and clean up.

So, uh, yeah. I just don't like it, is what I'm saying, and it makes MetaFilter all the worse.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:14 PM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


We don't have to agree in order to act like adults.

Repeatedly telling people to suck a dick falls outside of my understanding of what it means to act like an adult.

I'm saying this as someone who has agreed that the reaction to your initial contribution in that thread was an overblown.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 4:21 PM on June 5, 2011 [10 favorites]


Read what I said again. I wasn't defending combativeness, I was earnestly asking for people's suggestions on how to say "that dad is an asshole".

Forgive me, I'm not being clear.

Going back to BillBishop's original comment, he didn't just call the dad an asshole, but let loose with a string of insults about the man, his frame of mind, intentions and actions.

So to answer your question more directly, just say "that dad is an asshole". Skip the complete indictment of the dad as human being and father.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:31 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


The moon is made out of green dick cheese.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 4:40 PM on June 5, 2011


I see. So calling someone an asshole and telling folks to suck a dick totally falls under the banner of "acting like an adult," and/or I should take notes on what "acting like an adult" means from someone who calls someone an asshole and tells folks to suck a dick.

I'm all about free speech, so in that spirit I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest BillBishop hang out with some other kinds of adults.
posted by Madamina at 4:41 PM on June 5, 2011


Or you can, if I am here and not to your liking. Free country, for now.
posted by BillBishop at 4:57 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Someone give me a good reason why this hasn't been closed up.
posted by tomswift at 4:59 PM on June 5, 2011


Why should this be closed up?
posted by grouse at 5:02 PM on June 5, 2011


I get what you mean, and I understand it working on paper, but in the wild, it's just one user deciding (s)he outranks another user of equal status. All that does is add a clash of egos to an already GRARy situation; it can't not escalate the conflict. It's always obnoxious, and even when it's not adding fuel to the fire, it's just additional noise that you mods have to come in and clean up.

But it's not just on paper. It has been done successfully plenty of times in the wild, in part because it's possible to say "hey, this is getting kind of out of hand, can we all just cool it a little?" in a way that doesn't involve pulling rank or going all ego on the thread.

Like I said, it's tricky stuff and it probably works a lot better generally speaking if you're coming at the thread cold than if you're already sort of tangled up or emotionally invested in whatever's been going down, but it's manifestly possible to be a gentle voice toward sanity in a thread getting a bit out of hand.

Skipping out on an actual aggro tell-off comment in favor of flagging or dropping us a line at the contact form if you are overly invested (or feel like in general you're not well disposed toward the whole diplomatic pacification routine) remains a good idea in any case, yes.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:20 PM on June 5, 2011


Why should this be closed up?
posted by grouse at 5:02 PM on June 5 [+] [!]


Yeah, I've wondered why rank-and-file Mefites say things like "let's close this up" ... while people are actively contributing. Despite the fact that we are enjoying the continuing conversation, they want it wrapped up? Why?

One has the option of just not clicking on this thread. Does its very existence irk them?
posted by jayder at 5:28 PM on June 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Someone give me a good reason why this hasn't been closed up.

We have more dick jokes:

On her 70th birthday, an old spinnster decides it's time to finnaly get married. Since she has no hot prospects, she decides to run this ad in the local newspaper:

" Seventy-year young virgin seeks husband. Must be in same age group, must not beat me, must not run around on me, and MUST still be good in bed. Apply in person"

The next day, her doorbell rings, and when she opens the door, much to her dismay is a gray haired man in a wheelchair, and he has no arms or legs.

She asks the man, "Do you really expect me to choose you? You don't even have any arms or legs!" The old man replies, "Well, I don't have arms, so how could I beat you?" The woman agrees, and asks him to proceed. "I don't have any legs, so how could I run around on you? Again, she agrees, and replies, "But how could you, without any arms or legs, possibly be good in bed?"

The man smiles and says, "I rang the doorbell, didn't I!"

posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:49 PM on June 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


MeFi would suck if it were all people like me.

Now I'm imagining some Being John MalkovJessamyn version of metafilter where somebody posts a really contentious thread topic and all the replies are like:

That's unfortunate.
posted by jessamyn ★ at 12:17 PM on June 4 [1 favorites +] [!]

Reading this kind of stuff makes me sad.
posted by jessamyn ★ at 12:18 PM on June 4 [1 favorites +] [!]

Yeah, sometimes you just wish people could be a little kinder to each other, you know? Or just have a little civility in the public square.
posted by jessamyn ★ at 12:19 PM on June 4 [1 favorites +] [!]

When I feel myself losing my temper, that's when I know it's time to walk away. Be the change.
posted by jessamyn ★ at 12:20 PM on June 4 [1 favorites +] [!]

Who wants cookies?
posted by jessamyn ★ at 12:22 PM on June 4 [1 favorites +] [!]

posted by Diablevert at 6:00 PM on June 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


I love how all my comments come back to the Price Is Right mountain climber.
posted by Eideteker at 6:02 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Someone give me a good reason why this hasn't been closed up.

We pretty much only close up threads that have gone off the rails in a substantive way. This isn't that.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:46 PM on June 5, 2011


BillBishop: “I would feel totally comfortable IRL telling that guy to his face that I think he's a fucking asshole, but here that would violate the community standards, which is fair enough. If he ever logged in as a user here then I would speak to him according to MeFi rules. Until then, that guy can suck a dick.”

I don't believe you'd ever talk to another person that way in real life. You would have to be a sociopath to talk like that.

Seriously, I don't think any of us is generally aware of how different internet communication is from real life. I mean, I'm speaking from experience here, BillBishop, honestly, and to make it clear to you that I'm not just trying to moralize you here, I'll confess that I've said things on Metafilter before that were a hell of a lot worse than the bit we're talking about here. And I know how it feels: thrilling and liberating. It means total freedom to speak your mind – real freedom, unencumbered by discomfort with the way other people react when we say it to their faces. It's just so much easier.

Sincerely, in what context would you call this dad guy an asshole and tell him that his kid is going to grow up to be a serial killer? At a PTA meeting? At your kids' soccer game? Waiting at the dentist? Really, where would you say something like that?

Please note that I'm not saying you don't really feel that way. I believe you really mean what you say when you say that he's an asshole. But the fact is that society is based on our learning, through lifelong conditioning, to avoid saying things that are too egregiously disturbing to other people. We learn that because we care what other people think and how they feel, even though sometimes we'd rather not. The internet makes it easier for us to forget that, but very few of us forget it when we're face to face with another person.
posted by koeselitz at 7:11 PM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


What the fuck happened here? I took a spontaneous trip down to check out Phish yesterday for my birthday and come back to see this shit? You know, I was waiting at the counter grabbing a shwarma when I decided to check in and see how the thread was going, only to read BillBishop's initial comment in the Metafilter thread and I was honestly taken aback. Serial killer? Dude, what the fuck is wrong with you? I'd never noticed your username before yesterday and thought to myself, 'ah, must be a new user who isn't aware of what that type of language will do to a thread on the blue'. No, no. Now I see you actually joined right around the same time I did. You know, it took me a while to get the hang of things around here, but damn, dude, you are fuckin' slow. You have a right to say you disagree with what the father did, or that you think he's doing it for fame, but I cannot get over that serial killer bull shit you pulled, especially since I pointed Dale Price to my thread. For both our sakes, I'm just happy I was too lazy to type out my initial reaction on my mobile phone. While I realize this comment is completely inappropriate, that's all I got right now, and instead of going for a walk, I think I'll just hit the sack.
posted by gman at 7:16 PM on June 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


What the fuck happened here?

Someone was really upset by the dad, they made a poorly worded comment, someone else made this meta, people talked a bunch of stuff out, and people were discussing the issue respectfully.

Then you left your comment.
posted by 23skidoo at 7:28 PM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Or you can, if I am here and not to your liking. Free country, for now."

Jeez, dude, are you working on actively eroding any sympathy anyone might have had for your hackneyed free speech bullshit? Stop acting like the lack of strict rules entitles you to spout off like a moron.
posted by klangklangston at 7:50 PM on June 5, 2011


All I know is that I would a trillion times more prefer silly-costume-dad to anger-management-dad. Guy with the Bozo nose, or guy who's screaming at people to suck his dick? Hmmmmmm... let me think...
posted by taz at 8:03 PM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think some people make a big distinction between "suck a dick" and "suck my dick" and I am mostly just o_O about the whole thing. Like I'd even maybe call someone a fucking asshole to their face, but saying the dick stuff just seems weird. Like it's either homophobic or being sexually dominating or I don't even know. Maybe it's an insult that works better for guys?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:11 PM on June 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


especially since I pointed Dale Price to my thread

I really can't imagine a scenario in which I would point the subject of a thread to a Metafilter thread, unless I already knew what direction it had taken.

That really seems to have been inviting hurt feelings.
posted by jayder at 8:21 PM on June 5, 2011


Well, what if the subject of your hypothetical thread had done a harmless fun thing, which you imagine nobody could possibly get bent out of shape over? (I realize you jayder don't see this actual thread that way, but it should be easy to see how the original poster would have seen it that way.)
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:29 PM on June 5, 2011


gman: those are my thoughts on this Dad. I would love for him to read them because they are honest feelings plainly expressed in strong language. I understand I hold the minority opinion and I'm sure stunt dad would see the ratio of AWESOME JOB DUDER to YOU'RE A FUCKING ASSHOLE FOR MAKING THE KID'S HIGH SCHOOL EXPERIENCE ABOUT YOU, STUNT DAD, works out in his favor.
Sucks that it didn't go 100% the way you hoped, but if you were posting it because you think what he's doing is really cool, then the majority opinion seems to agree with you. That makes me question my opinion of the general MeFi opinion, but that's my little issue to deal with.
Thought provoking post, though, thank you!


Koeselitz: I wouldn't go up to him randomly and say that. I would definitely say that to him if asked, or if it somehow became my business (school board voting on Embarrass Your Kid On A Systematic Basis Day).
I get what you're saying about how most people don't want to say things that upset others, this is true. I disagree that not doing that would make one a sociopath. If no ever spoke out against groupthink, or a popular opinion, that would be a scary place to live.
I don't think I'm a sociopath, but you never know. I do seem to have some beliefs very contrary to the group.

klang: not looking for sympathy. Don't expect or need any. It would be cool if other MeFites played nicely and observed community rules when engaging with me, but if not, then not.
Sorry you think I'm a hackneyed moron, or acting like one. I would disagree on both counts.
posted by BillBishop at 8:50 PM on June 5, 2011


I disagree that not doing that would make one a sociopath. If no ever spoke out against groupthink, or a popular opinion, that would be a scary place to live.

That's very true.

The only question that remains is if you care to win over your audience to your side or simply communicate the strength of your disagreement as firmly as possible. If the latter, then going the Fuck All Y'all Fascists route is certainly apropos. It tends to communicate a contempt for the audience as well, though --- a presumption that they cannot be won over, so why not just flip 'em off and make clear what you think of them? If the former, the Polite and Reasonable, Quiet but Steady Murmur of Discontent Shtick is the way to go.
posted by Diablevert at 9:04 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


BillBishop: I wouldn't go up to him randomly and say that. I would definitely say that to him if asked, or if it somehow became my business (school board voting on Embarrass Your Kid On A Systematic Basis Day).

Neither of those situations was that thread/discussion. You basically did go up randomly and say that, by writing that comment. You're perfectly justified holding the opinions you have, but I think defending your insistence on sharing them with what amounts to a random group of people (think shouting at a cocktail party) is pretty baseless.

Also, relatedly but somewhat off-topic, your opinion on the matter of the father doesn't seem to take into account the fact that those two people live under the same roof and probably have had some opportunity to discuss the matter and come to terms with each other over it. A father that insists on performing to embarrass his son every day for a school year is most definitely, yes, a fucking asshole. But I'm pretty confident in saying that any father willing to go so far as to do such a ridiculous thing even one day is probably also willing to sit down at the dinner table with his son and ask if the bus ride that day was too horrible, and then stop performing if it was.
posted by carsonb at 9:21 PM on June 5, 2011


I just want to say, I love Metafilter. I read these last few comments after spending my afternoon transcribing a three-hour business meeting in which I participated. It had a few disagreements in opinion, or ... lack of any expressed agreement (is that the same thing?), but there were no point by point rebuttals, no call-outs, no unrequested advice on communication like "the only question that remains is if you care to win over your audience... or simply communicate the strength of your disagreement as firmly as possible. If the latter, then going the Fuck All Y'all Fascists route is certainly apropos... If the former, the Polite and Reasonable, Quiet but Steady Murmur of Discontent Shtick is the way to go."

The only places I've experienced this level of communication are coop housing and a few very close relationships. I wish most business teams, community groups, and families had the same level of dedication to processing as Metafilter does. Compared to meetings with no focused debate and lots of meaningful(?) silences, it's refreshing.
posted by salvia at 9:26 PM on June 5, 2011


Er, allow me to swap
Neither of those situations was that thread/discussion.
for
That thread was not a school board meeting.
in the name of Clarity, if you please.
posted by carsonb at 9:30 PM on June 5, 2011


blocks go in the basket
posted by clavdivs at 9:34 PM on June 5, 2011


carsonb: I disagree on both points.
Isn't that thread exactly the place we should be expressing our opinions? Wouldn't comments be disabled if this were not the place? This is not a random group of people, it's a community where site members share links and they're discussed in the comments according to community rules.

On the second point, I think your assumption that they communicate well is wildly off-base. We don't know. In my opinion, any father who would do this to a 16 year old young man in an American high school circa 2011 is so batshit, so off-the-wall willing to ignore anything that a caring parent would ever do, anything that a sane parent would ever do, that of course he is not listening to his son at the dinner table or thinking rationally.
posted by BillBishop at 9:42 PM on June 5, 2011


It would be cool if other MeFites played nicely and observed community rules

You seem to think you're some kind of beacon of free speech, using sexist/homophobic language in a long brave struggle against the thought police, and then you complain that people aren't nice enough and they're not observing the rules? Oh, boo hoo, you entitled little hypocrite.

You thought that I was triggered by what you said so you sent me a nasty memail about it and then chose to use the same phrase in this thread again. Why, because I dared to criticize you, you wanted to punish me by triggering me? Or prove that you don't have to care about my feelings? What a nasty piece of work you are. Guess what, I'm not triggered by that phrase. Not like that makes you any less of an asshole.

By the way, you're not sociopathic or exciting or daring. Railing against "groupthink" while throwing around an incredibly common and thoughtless insult makes you a cliche. That's it.
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:44 PM on June 5, 2011 [17 favorites]


I feel like we're getting a tone argument mixed up with a content argument, BillBishop. Presentation matters, context matters, and what you're saying matters.

You said you wouldn't tell that dad to his face just out of the blue, randomly. Well, imagine he was reading that thread. You just did that. You told him to his face that he was a fucking asshole. I'm not saying you can't have that opinion, nor that you can't express it any way you feel anywhere you want. I'm only agreeing with you that there are certain contexts that call for overt action, like school board voting on Embarrass Your Kid On A Systematic Basis Day most definitely is, and then pretty much every other time when using some tact and consideration is called for when sharing your opinion.
posted by carsonb at 9:48 PM on June 5, 2011


Well, what if the subject of your hypothetical thread had done a harmless fun thing, which you imagine nobody could possibly get bent out of shape over? (I realize you jayder don't see this actual thread that way, but it should be easy to see how the original poster would have seen it that way.)
posted by LobsterMitten Almost an hour ago [+]


If one intends to post something on Metafilter and expects uniformly tasteful and positive responses ... I'd say one doesn't get how this place operates. And in fact, I'd say it's pretty assured that whatever response you think you're going to get, will not be the one you actually get. I could have seen the snark this coming a mile away, had I posted this.

Given all that, gman's "golly gee, I invited Mr. Rice to this thread and never would have imagined y'all would have said ugly things about him" routine feels pretty damn disingenuous.
posted by jayder at 9:48 PM on June 5, 2011


"This stunty bullshit does NOT make a good dad. Is an attention seeking dickbag better then an abusive or absentee dad? Yes, but not by much," is crystal clear: Attention-seeking dad seeks attention at expense of child's chronic embarrassment, behavior inconsistent with good parenting; ergo attention-seeking dad is a bad dad.

I can even see following up with "I'm just shocked that a community of intelligent people mostly think this is awesome."

But the response to every disagreement was a restatement of the same argument. Eight more (8!) times. That goes beyond "stating a strong opinion counter the groupthink" to belaboring the point. Even in the most temperate language, that's quarrelsome. In combination with vituperatives, it's belligerent.
posted by gingerest at 10:05 PM on June 5, 2011


You said you wouldn't tell that dad to his face just out of the blue, randomly. Well, imagine he was reading that thread. You just did that. You told him to his face that he was a fucking asshole.

casonb: that's thought provoking. My first reaction is that this is the MeFi sandbox and if he comes here, he has to play by the sandbox rules and deal with it. People have opinions, they type them into the box.
His sandbox is his lawn and his life which I wouldn't go butt into unless it affected me, or there was some kind of abuse that in my opinion demanded action. I do not classify this as abuse, just serious assholery that's hurtful to his kid.
I guess the difference between me shouting "YOU'RE A FUCKING ASSHOLE" in his face and not shouting that in his face metaphorically here online is a site membership to Metafilter. I wouldn't type that at any MeFite here because it's against the rules, and it would get deleted anyway, and that's what it is.

Very interesting though, carsonb. I never thought about that before. My sincere thanks.
posted by BillBishop at 10:08 PM on June 5, 2011


gingerest: I just couldn't believe that the reaction was so overwhelmingly different than mine. In the moment I was hopeful that I would add to what I was expressing with each post, or answer something directed at me. I intended to be belligerent towards the subject of the post, and not at all belligerent towards anyone posting opposing opinions.
posted by BillBishop at 10:19 PM on June 5, 2011


My first reaction is that this is the MeFi sandbox and if he comes here, he has to play by the sandbox rules and deal with it. People have opinions, they type them into the box.

Again, BillBishop, I'll refer to something you mentioned earlier, that you respect the community guideline to not insult participants in the discussion. It's easy to extend this guideline to all people because nobody on MetaFilter is required to associate their real name with their account. Therefore any functionally anonymous MetaFilter user account could conceivably be the subject of the discussion. Dress-up Dad could be any one of the thousands of MeFites who don't have their real names in their profile and haven't divulged any personal information on the site. Therefore in order to respect the community guideline to not insult a participant (a commendable approach, by the way =), you'd have to consider the possibility that any given person has paid their $5 (or gotten an account before that was necessary, natch) and therefore deserves the same consideration.

You cottoned on to what happened in your first comment in this thread: Presentation matters; your words matter near equal the ideas they're conveying in any setting. But then perhaps even more so online, where non-verbal cues such as voice intonation and inflection, body language, and social setting are nonexistent or negligible—all there is to go on are the words you're using to convey the opinions you're so beautifully entitled to express.

All of these ideas are contingent upon agreeing with your fellow raconteurs on some basic guidelines for discourse. If you choose not to agree, then weird, non-rational responses like you received in the other thread tend to happen. When a common ground can be found on which to base a discussion or an argument, cool stuff happens like this MeTa thread lately, and that's good communication. That's good discussion. And that's what MetaFilter's allllll about. (Well, and the links of course. ;)
posted by carsonb at 10:41 PM on June 5, 2011


the young rope rider: That's a pretty heavy comment filled with a lot of stuff to unpack.

I sent you a MeMail because I didn't want to derail this into a discussion of "suck a dick" and/or "suck my dick" but I did want to acknowledge that I saw your comment, and I would absolutely NOT consider the use of those terms off-limits. I now understand site rules prohibit that sort of language directed against another user, even if one is provoked. I will not do it again.
The fact that I will not tell another MeFite to "suck a dick" if I mean "fuck off," does not mean that those who use those phrases are sexist or homophobic. I am not those things, you are wrong.

Of course I'm not a victim, I'm fine, just trying to explain myself and not hurt anyone's feelings.

I'd like to lash out at you a little because of your harsh comments towards me, but I won't engage you at that level.

I do feel strongly that "suck a dick" or any variation thereof is not homophobic or sexist. Anything can be used in anger, and anything can be hurtful. I can't and don't care to prove anything to you, but I am far from homophobic or sexist.
Maybe I love to suck dicks? Ever think of that?

If you are spearheading the movement to make "suck my dick" a "thing that cannot be said," I will try and thwart your quest. I will fight you on MeFi and I will fight you in the media. I will defend my and your right to suck a dick, to say "suck a dick," and so on.
But no matter how much I will fight you on that point, I won't say mean things about you.
posted by BillBishop at 11:00 PM on June 5, 2011


One thought; the son is in marching band (I love Marching Bands). He can handle teasing (bring your best), abuse, and mockery. He is brave, he is strong, he is proud (did you read any of the words of the articles? At all? He was so far from the "devastated" shell of a person being painted for us). Is there any evidence he is not a strong kid. Why infantilize him based on a "gut instinct" (a snapshot of a snapshot of a moment in a life; through the lens of living a different life).

I disagree, and I think that gets us into a "thought police/speech police" zone that I find as uncomfortable as potentially triggering something in somebody.

"Free country, for now."

Eh?
Interesting that you have such an immanent problem with even being asked to swallow the tiniest portion of other people's so called "PC-ness"... The thing that "liberty crusaders" misrepresent is that ANYONE can create "political-corectnesses"... as has been ably shown. Making use of each and every of the protections of civil society, and then begrudging every single inch of reciprocal protections. Demanding not to be oppressed by "PCness", while freely slinging mud on the same ideas as they come to impact the neighbour. Wanting to have authorial control over labels and stigma placed on your habits and life, while simultaneously enjoying the ability to hold the same powers over individuals who are not one'self (creating an il-liberal deficit of self-definitional control, personal sovereignty, and identity management.


You seem to understand, and have begun to be advocate of the vital value in being free to say your mind.
But then leap a block, and dismiss the value to the neighbour of not having their mind defined by a strangers pre-formed understanding (or lack thereof) of multiple situational realities... different experience making up differing worldviews, so that they may be free to say their mind equally, without needing to counter some counter-factual assertions, and the stigma of being the target of disproportionate volumes of the total cultural "joke quota". The majority set the terms of the discourse (as some suggest was shown by this situation), the terms of the discourse shape the discussions stemming from that umbrella; and finally, the outcomes of individual discussions shape the shaping of definitions of those who become "subjects" within the purview of the given discourse.

Also, that is not just "metafilter norms"... that is civilized societal norms.
You talk like that face to face, with no introductions, no prior communications; you're likely looking for a fight. Are you? It really doesn't seem like it... I wouldn't "hypothesize" that you are, everyone faces awkwardnesses in communication, difficulties, hiccups, and makes mistakes, it is not a sign of being more free to entrench further in the face of differing opinions, there are more efficient ways of accomplishing that if that were a goal, even if I though you were there isn't evidence to think like that... it would quite possibly have that effect in face to face "real world", I don't mean that it "would", only to raise that as a consideration if you really would consider it logical to "say everything to his face" (I think you followed up saying that you wouldn't, or would, but at a school board meeting). By treating him like "someone who you will never have to see, or interact with", you assert your preference, and build a climate where this individual (or any potential following, similar scenarios) will be hard pressed to feel "welcome", or "acceptable" here... were you treated this way? Is that sort of invective, and assertion necessary, or valid? One might wonder why you should have a climate of "acceptance", while any given other person shouldn't have precisely the same.

Am I missing a rhetorical point about being a crusader for the feelings of people who did not personally ask you to crusade for them... even then...

The thing that confuses me is that, reading BillBishop's comments... it is becoming more clear that the positions being argued hold a strong ring of commonality (with the accused "terrible" father...) in that, this;
Political correctness: We realize that many of these waves are not politically correct. We never claimed to be PC. For goodness sake, it’s humor people. Good thing we aren’t running for office of any kind. Although we did get a laugh out of a recent tweet that said Dale should be “Ruler of the World.”
So there seems to be some basis for wedding of positions rather than absolute disagreement and need for disparagement. So, thanks for making me read more, and find that I have even more elements of disagreement with this advocated position.
posted by infinite intimation at 11:14 PM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


carsonb: I'm not sure I can agree at all with what you say in the first paragraph. Is that really the general interpretation of the site rules? That can't be. No, "Fuck you Sarah Palin" etc.? Maybe she's a member, who knows? Or anyone COULD be a member.

The second and third paragraphs are very rational. Well said.
I probably will always land a little on the "fuck you, I won't do what you tell me" side of the line. But, contrary to popular opinion, I'm not here to troll, and I don't get off on making people feel bad.
I will use this experience and the things in your comment to inform my MeFi experience moving forward.
posted by BillBishop at 11:21 PM on June 5, 2011


infinite intimation: A commonality there is a bit of a stretch in my opinion. I'm not protesting the P.C.ness of what he's doing. Actually, from the reaction here, it seems that it is more P.C. to think this is a great thing to do and that it shows love for the teen. I support his right to do his thing, I just think it's really the wrong thing to do.
posted by BillBishop at 11:35 PM on June 5, 2011


"The fact that I will not tell another MeFite to "suck a dick" if I mean "fuck off," does not mean that those who use those phrases are sexist or homophobic. I am not those things, you are wrong."

Ah, that's a cogent rebuttal. Got anything else? Maybe a "nuh-uh"?

"I probably will always land a little on the "fuck you, I won't do what you tell me" side of the line. But, contrary to popular opinion, I'm not here to troll, and I don't get off on making people feel bad. "

Protip: Basing your life on Rage Against The Machine lyrics would only be barely tolerable if you were 14 and this were '96.

But hey, that sort of shallow contrarianism goes well with your repeated assertion of your opinion as if your opinion alone is worth reading. No, don't bother to support your opinion with anything resembling an argument, just start calling people assholes and telling them to suck a dick.
posted by klangklangston at 11:58 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


klang: Your tone is super hostile towards me.
Thank you for the Protip, those are not usually offered in a sincere manner, so I'll take yours in the spirit in which it's given.
(RAGE RULZ 4EVA)
posted by BillBishop at 12:35 AM on June 6, 2011


Surely you see why "go suck a dick" as a way of telling someone off is... maybe not homophobic but surely it's treating dick-sucking as... a thing one wouldn't want to do?

(I don't really care too deeply about this, in the context of this discussion, but I find it weird that you'd disagree with that assessment of what the line means. It seems like that's obviously the main meaning of using the line as a kiss-off, up-yours kind of line.)
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:54 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sure, but I guess that's the line in the P.C. war that I'm defending. "Suck my dick" is a good way to tell someone off, and I just disagree that it comes loaded with anything more that is relevant.
America was practically built on the idea that when you feel it is necessary, you can say "suck my dick."
If someone is that sensitive that "suck my dick" comes loaded with so much baggage, then it is their responsibility to deal with their issues and not mine.
Once again, I agree to not say "fuck off" or "suck a dick" or anything similar in a way that's directed at any site member. I'm not and haven't been attacking anybody, just eating a lot of shit for my coarse manner.

I did not intend to be the guardian of free speech or the 2011 Dick Sucking champion. I'll keep addressing comments if you need to keep going in the Great Cocksucker Debate, but I'm cool with dialing it all down here.
posted by BillBishop at 1:11 AM on June 6, 2011


"Suck my dick" is a good way to tell someone off, and I just disagree that it comes loaded with anything more that is relevant.

It only works as a way to tell someone off if you think dick-sucking is a bad thing, as if it's a punishment or humiliation for someone you think should be subservient to you.

If you actually think "suck my dick" is a fun suggestion for a lovely night in, it doesn't do much good as a way of telling anyone off, does it?

Really, you need to think through the logic of this a bit more.
posted by harriet vane at 1:37 AM on June 6, 2011 [10 favorites]


harriet vane: check out some George Carlin for the proper wordplay on why "cock sucker" and the like isn't to be taken literally.
Of course it's a rude expression, it's meant to be. Just because it's rude doesn't make it homophobic or sexist. That's an important distinction.
posted by BillBishop at 1:44 AM on June 6, 2011


It's not that certain comments get deleted that winds me up, it's that they only get deleted if they're heavily flagged. This is no reflection on the moderation here. You can only fix what you get told about & it can be hard sometimes to differentiate instantly between a lighthearted name calling and an abusive one. But it does mean that those people outside general consensus are more likely to be punished than those within it. That can't be a good thing.

I think that if you're going to flag BillBishop's dickitude, then you need to consider if you'd flag it if you actually agreed with what he said.
posted by seanyboy at 2:15 AM on June 6, 2011


Everybody thinks they're George Carlin, nobody thinks they're random tedious pottymouth.

Seanyboy, the comment that was deleted was BillBishop telling someone to suck his dick. I don't think there was much agreeing or not agreeing involved. At any rate, he's now called the dad a "fucking asshole" – what? 10 times? 20? Along with dickhead, dirtbag, and attention whore, etc. There's not overmuch risk that his opinion is being silenced by the moderation process.
posted by taz at 3:08 AM on June 6, 2011 [10 favorites]


"Suck my dick" is a good way to tell someone off, and I just disagree that it comes loaded with anything more that is relevant.

"Suck my dick" makes you sound like a 10 year old boy, IMO. It comes off as you think certain things are dirty and unclean and therefore only doable by someone who you think is of lower status than you.

As an adult, the idea that an enemy or someone you dislike is of a lowly status and therefore they can just suck you off is bizarre. It's like telling someone to bend over and spread'em because they disagree with you. There's a needlessly and oververtly sexual aggressiveness to the comment which has no place in mature adult conversation. The thread was about dad and the kid, it's makes zero sense to start throwing sexual references of superiority in there.

Cocksucking is an art and those who wish to practice it or the activity itself should not be denigrated. And the last thing you want is someone who's pissed off at you going to town on your junk. Unless you're into some darker stuff and in that case, no one here needs to know that. But then no needs or wants to know who you think should be sucking you off.

harriet vane: check out some George Carlin for the proper wordplay on why "cock sucker" and the like isn't to be taken literally.

Not everyone has seen or enjoys George Carlin. The insult is dulled if one has to go do homework to understand the exact sense in what you mean it.

It's like if someone used the N word and said "no, I don't mean it like that, but how Chris Rock uses it". To many people that word has a very specific meaning and it doesn't matter how some comedian used it. They're still seeing red and the person who spoke it is dealing with that meaning, no matter what they meant.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:59 AM on June 6, 2011 [15 favorites]


I think I've made enough of an ass of myself here

Not at all.

and MeFi would suck if it were all people like me

Not at all.

Until then, that guy can suck a dick

Maybe he likes sucking dicks. What then? Is this really a high insult to you? Could you explain why?

Yeah, I've wondered why rank-and-file Mefites say things like "let's close this up"

Because it gets to a point, evidenced here, where things just get worse and worse. Though I agree they should not actually be closed, I think that's the rationale behind this sentiment. If this thread were closed about 50 comments ago with Lazaruslongs mea culpa, everyone would've been better off, methinks.

discussing the issue respectfully

The constant rejoinder to fellate his member if you disagree is not "respectful". It's, I dunno, what's the word.. the complete opposite?
posted by cj_ at 4:02 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


But it does mean that those people outside general consensus are more likely to be punished than those within it. That can't be a good thing.

As someone who was on the unpopular or minority side in a recent thread, I'd say it's a human thing. In like minded groups, certain ideas are considered the norm and any challenging of those ideas is usually met with hostility. Get a bunch of American liberals together and mention welfare queens and you'll be verbally skinned alive. Get a bunch of US conservatives together and mention universal healthcare and they'll do the same.

A bunch of ya'll were probably just thinking "But it's ok in that example, 'cause it's complete bullshit!" I think we all know which example I'm talking about.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:03 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Everybody thinks they're George Carlin, nobody thinks they're random tedious pottymouth.


I think, depending on age, quite a lot of people think they are Bill Hicks.

On the plus side - sometimes I feel a little eponysterical, usually when that weird misquote-to-insult thing kicks in, but this is really resetting the bar on what constitutes taking things too far. I feel a lot more confident that I'll be able to bed down and acclimate over time.

Also, would it be wrong to set up a sockpuppet that communicates entirely in lyrics from mid-90s indie rock bands?
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:10 AM on June 6, 2011


Also.. I just want to address this:

I think some people make a big distinction between "suck a dick" and "suck my dick"

No. It means the same thing either way. Maybe there's some weird male agression undertone to "my dick" vs. "a dick", I'm not sure, but either way, both hinge on the accusation of being a homosexual. That's the whole point of this insult, and it amounts to just calling them a "fag".
posted by cj_ at 4:15 AM on June 6, 2011


Brandon Blatcher: I think it is a human thing, but it always seems tough to me when the majority opinion in a thread gets more leeway for unacceptable behaviour. I can't see any way around it. If (as a group) we're allowed to name call, we're going to start calling people names. So that's not ideal.

I think this is a self-awareness thing. If we don't like it when someone who we agree with gets called a cock-sucker, we need to be more aware when those on the other side of the floor get called the same.

Of course - I'm drifting now into my usual contrarian / tiresome "defending of the unpopular" position. Which is something I've been trying not to do. So there's that for me to think about.

Also - Hey taz. Hiya. Yeah. I was talking about the deleted "You're a cocksucker" comment. I'm not that bothered in this instance that BillBishop didn't get to get his say.
posted by seanyboy at 4:16 AM on June 6, 2011


Also seems strange that "suck my dick" as an insult be deemed to be homophobic. I too think it's more about power and control.
posted by seanyboy at 4:19 AM on June 6, 2011


I think it's been deemed to be misogynistic as well, FWIW - but I figure it could be either of those and be about power and control.
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:28 AM on June 6, 2011


jayder: I really can't imagine a scenario in which I would point the subject of a thread to a Metafilter thread, unless I already knew what direction it had taken.

Out of the half dozen or so subjects I've invited to join a thread I've posted, three or four of them have shown up to comment, and I think Metafilter quite likes when this happens. Look, I love contrarian viewpoints and often take them myself, but there was no way in hell I would've guessed that the father would be blamed for turning his kid into a serial killer. Ironically enough, I'm of the opinion that people who tell other people to "suck a dick" often turn out to be pedophiles. I mean, I have absolutely nothing to base this on, but that's just what I feel like saying to villainize those I disagree with even further.
posted by gman at 4:31 AM on June 6, 2011


For a while, it seemed like the word BillBishop was using most (in this thread--I haven't read the dad one) was 'condescending,' but now it seems like it's 'PC' (and variants on same).
posted by box at 4:37 AM on June 6, 2011


Also seems strange that "suck my dick" as an insult be deemed to be homophobic.

It was said as an insult. What other reason would it be an insult if sucking dick weren't inherently bad? It seems, to me, homophobic by definition.
posted by cj_ at 4:40 AM on June 6, 2011


Frankly, most second-person imperatives seem inappropriate on Metafilter. In a similar sense, isn't "Seriously, Take a Walk" sort of suggesting that perambulation is a punishment for bad behavior?
posted by anotherpanacea at 5:25 AM on June 6, 2011


I've always found 'go fuck yourself,' to be the best all purpose obscene dismissal. I'm just saying.
posted by jonmc at 5:41 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Go forth and do likewise."
posted by anotherpanacea at 5:48 AM on June 6, 2011


'Fuck off' is also an excellent choice and comes with a wide versatility. If you have the means, I do recommend it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:49 AM on June 6, 2011


"Eat Shit, Suck Wind and Die," is nice as well.
posted by jonmc at 5:52 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


cj_ : What other reason would it be an insult if sucking dick weren't inherently bad?
Because "You can {verb} my {taboo-bodypart}" is a known and well understood insult cliche.

And if you disagree, you can bite my shiny metal ass.
posted by seanyboy at 5:52 AM on June 6, 2011


You can {verb} my {taboo-bodypart}: well understood insult cliche, or third date conversation-opener?
posted by taz at 6:02 AM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Little derail: where I live, the worst curses translate to "get cancer" and "get tuberculosis", while epithets include "cancer sufferer" and " tuberculosis sufferer".
posted by likeso at 6:13 AM on June 6, 2011


8===================> O-8
posted by nathancaswell at 6:25 AM on June 6, 2011


In a similar sense, isn't "Seriously, Take a Walk" sort of suggesting that perambulation is a punishment for bad behavior?

I've always thought of that phrase as "Hey you're not having a good time here, maybe you should go out and do something fun and good for you and come back with your spirits renewed?"

I will henceforth try to look at "suck a dick" in the same manner.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:27 AM on June 6, 2011 [11 favorites]


I've always thought of that phrase as "Hey you're not having a good time here, maybe you should go out and do something fun and good for you and come back with your spirits renewed?"

I always thought of it as "Hey, you're acting irrationally, why don't you go cool off, come back when you've calmed down."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:38 AM on June 6, 2011


Tomato, tomato.

(that sounds better when I say it out loud.)
posted by seanyboy at 6:45 AM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oooh girl I wanna verb your taboo-bodypart /
With my taboo-bodypart, oh yeah /
Then I'm gonna adverb verb your noun conjunction noun /
Mmm cos baby you're my adjective noun, ejactulation!
posted by the quidnunc kid at 7:01 AM on June 6, 2011 [9 favorites]


I will henceforth try to look at "suck a dick" in the same manner.

Heh. That's funny, but I stand by what I said: imperatives are out of place here, as they assume the authority to command.

Even you, with your *actual* authority, tend to say things like "It'd be good if people could not derail the thread," of "If you want to continue participating in the site, you're going to need to adjust your conversational style" instead of "Don't derail" or "Don't troll."

It reminds me of discussions we've had here about the problematic gender politics in phrases like "Relax" and "Chill out." Ultimately, it's not appropriate to tell people to do things unless you're their parent, their boss, or their teacher (and maybe not even then.)
posted by anotherpanacea at 7:08 AM on June 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Don't tell me what to do!
posted by 23skidoo at 7:18 AM on June 6, 2011


It reminds me of discussions we've had here about the problematic gender politics in phrases like "Relax" and "Chill out."

Wait, what?
posted by nathancaswell at 7:24 AM on June 6, 2011


Don't tell me what to do!

Fix yourself a martini, turn on some good jazz and admire a the sunset.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:25 AM on June 6, 2011


"Some guy hit my fender, and I said 'Be fruitful and multiply,' but not in those words." -- Woody Allen
posted by bakerina at 7:31 AM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Dammit, I munged the quote. It should be "...and I said unto him, 'Be fruitful and multiply...'" Lousy rotten bar-prep-addled brain.
posted by bakerina at 7:33 AM on June 6, 2011


Brandon Blatcher, your above comment parsing fellative imperatives is the best thing I've seen you post here ever.
posted by jtron at 7:46 AM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


If one intends to post something on Metafilter and expects uniformly tasteful and positive responses ... I'd say one doesn't get how this place operates.

Does it strike anyone else as weird that jayder is now setting himself up as someone who "gets how this place operates" when he clearly didn't have a clue that, as cortex put it, "community members have always and will always be able to try and help the conversation stay decent with a carefully chosen interjection now and then. It's part of what this place is; it is part of the self-policing thing."

Seriously, why we should listen to jayder's pontifications about "how this place operates" when he obviously didn't really understand how this place has been operating for, oh, the last ten years or so is at this point a very open question.
posted by mediareport at 7:47 AM on June 6, 2011


I prefer "suck my cock." The kennings are better.
posted by Mister_A at 7:54 AM on June 6, 2011


I felt more welcome before BillBishop showed up.
posted by msittig at 7:56 AM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Have a nice day!

But seriously. Thinking aloud here, but it feels like a problem with "take a walk", or "relax"/"chill out"/"calm down" is that one of the ways people behave unhelpfully during arguments on the Internet is to suggest that the other party has "lost" because they have become emotional - expressed by "r u crying lol" or "r u raging lol" at whatever level of linguistic sophistication the environment requires. I don't know exactly when or how having an emotional response to a topic was first presented as proof of having "lost" an argument, but it's been an observable gambit for as long as I've been online.

So, a mod appearing and saying "calm down" or "take a walk" has a clear meaning in terms of the management of the board. It means "you are in danger of becoming a problem that needs us to step in". I imagine that this is mainly done by MeMail, because otherwise the potential for it to be spun as a public shaming would cause its own problems.

A non-mod - and especially a non-mod who is already involved in the discussion - doing the same thing potentially can be interpreted as either pulling rank or using the emotional gambit - in effect saying "I am the adult here, and I have gauged your emotional state and found it wanting". So, if you've already staked out a position, and you tell someone disagreeing with your position to calm down or to take a walk, it might be hard for that person not to see that as the opening of a second front in the disagreement rather than a disinterested recommendation motivated by altruistic concern. Which is further complicated by people not always being the best judges of the motivations behind their own actions or the actions of people they are disagreeing with

Food for thought, there, for me at least.
posted by running order squabble fest at 8:04 AM on June 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


So, uhh....if Dale and/or Rain were to show up and say, "Whoa, guys. Whoa --- we're all cool with this over here, " and Rain were to add, "Yeah, my dad is awesome! This was a cool thing he did," would the people on the other side of this debate still consider Rain to have been completely damaged and his high school experience totally ruined and his dad still an asshole?

Because that's what really matters, and it doesn't seem that people on the other side of the debate are considering the very real and likely possibility that Dad thinks his dad is cool and the complete opposite of an asshole.
posted by zizzle at 8:06 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sorry -- RAIN thinks his dad is cool and the opposite of an asshole.
posted by zizzle at 8:07 AM on June 6, 2011


Because that's what really matters, and it doesn't seem that people on the other side of the debate are considering the very real and likely possibility that Dad thinks his dad is cool and the complete opposite of an asshole.

It also seems that people on your side of the debate aren't considering the very real and likely possibility that Rain is saying the bare minimum of positive things he can about this because Rain doesn't want to look like a jerk as his dad gets all this media attention.
posted by 23skidoo at 8:11 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


You could say...

(SUNGLASSES)

He doesn't want to Rain on his Dad's parade.

YYYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAH
posted by subbes at 8:15 AM on June 6, 2011 [9 favorites]


If someone is that sensitive that "suck my dick" comes loaded with so much baggage, then it is their responsibility to deal with their issues and not mine.

You're right. It's not your responsibility, but in choosing to frame the discussion this way, you've passed up an opportunity to choose something better. Yes, we each have a responsibility to deal with our own baggage, to figure out how to live with the shitty things that have happened to us and those around us, and to manage our reactions to what people say.

However, we also each have an opportunity to moderate our words, to show compassion to people who have experienced shitty things, to empathize with them even if we don't agree with them and to decide to say things in a different way--not as a way of backing down from our opinions but as a way of contributing to the community in a more productive way and in a way that promotes continued participation from others. We, of course, do not have to take that opportunity--do not have to think about how our words may affect someone else, do not have to inconvenience ourselves by thinking about how else to say what we think--but having more and more people of this community choose to take the opportunity to moderate their words in deference to others (and I think many, many discussions on this site have led many, many of us to think more carefully about the words we use), that is a good thing.
posted by BlooPen at 8:26 AM on June 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


If George Carlin has such a great reason why telling someone to suck your dick isn't homophobic or misogynistic, how about you explain it instead of vaguely referring to it? I haven't got time to watch the back catalogue of every ancient comedian just in case it explains the illogical rambling of a random person.

Saying "suck my dick" to someone you dislike in order to tell them off sounds like "haha, sucking cock is a shameful act that I would never do myself. Why would anyone do anything so vile? It's like a punishment". Which is offensive to all the straight women and gay men who enjoy giving head, and frankly, makes you sound unappreciative of any fellatio you've received. I hope you don't think your partners were suffering the whole time they were sucking you off.

If you want people to leave you alone about saying misogynistic stuff like this, you'll have to explain *why* it's not a problem, not just bleat out "Carlin!" and "PC!".
posted by harriet vane at 8:34 AM on June 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


I assume that when one man tells another man to "suck a dick" that it's a coded offer that can be back-pedaled out of easily enough by just saying, "I really meant that you should fuck off, or... or... something else mean and uninviting."

Apparently I've been wrong all these years? Heh heh. Sooooooo unlikely.
posted by heyho at 8:56 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Brandon Blatcher writes "I always thought of it as 'Hey, you're acting irrationally, why don't you go cool off, come back when you've calmed down.'"

Yes. A chance to stop digging rather than punishment.
posted by Mitheral at 8:59 AM on June 6, 2011


The problem with "Go suck a dick" (or "Fuck you" or "Kiss my ass") directed at another user, particularly when it's the sole content of a comment, is that it pretty much kills conversation dead. It has no purpose other than to start (or continue) a fight - it's got no topical relevance at all. It's metacommentary, and inflammatory metacommentary at that.

This is probably true of any imperative without enough context, and had this MeTa not been posted when it was, I would have considered pulling the "Go take a walk" line as well. As I said above, that's a tricky sentiment to express, and a one-line command is definitely not the most effective way to do it. (It is also totally metacommentary and worth considering if it belongs in the thread at all.)
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 9:18 AM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


>One thought; the son is in marching band (I love Marching Bands). He can handle teasing (bring your best), abuse, and mockery.

Hear, hear, infinite intimation. And I speak as someone who was already considered socially inept before she joined marching band, whereupon she donned the required outfit of royal blue polyester blazer and bright yellow poly trousers and commenced to play the glockenspiel in front of her peers.

Oy.
posted by virago at 9:33 AM on June 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Harriet Vane: George Carlin was a great artist and performer who died in 2008. It's pretty dismissive to call someone of his stature "ancient" like that, as if his work is irrelevant.
I'll pass on going into his joke. I couldn't do it justice, and I think it would be wasted effort, you come across as humorless.
posted by BillBishop at 10:43 AM on June 6, 2011


Broken Record.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 10:48 AM on June 6, 2011


It's like you're hitting the opposite of home runs without even trying.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:48 AM on June 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


I don't want to seem, for a second, like I'm sympathetic to BillBishop, or that I regularly tell people to "suck a/my dick". But I think it's perfectly valid to say "the insult has nothing to do with the actual sexual act for many (even most!) people". Telling someone to "fuck off" is not actually telling them to go have sex with something. They're self-contained: they refer to nothing except the insult. I think that's pretty normal.

I think it's easy to go, "Well, that's because you have the privilege of not thinking about how that became an insult in the first place. If we trace the origins of it...blahblahblah" and that may be true and interesting but it doesn't automatically indicate that the current deployer has the same baggage the original deployer did.

It's interesting to talk about, and making people aware of their privileges is good, and examining our actions for hidden biases is good, but I just don't think we can jump to "you are sexist/homophobic". It just doesn't signify that for him, and I think jumping to those kind of reactions is sure to make it so the user dismisses what you're saying and continues to be privileged/not examine their biases.
posted by neuromodulator at 11:00 AM on June 6, 2011


"I didn't mean it like that" is not actually a defense against an accusation of privilege. That's the point.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 11:04 AM on June 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's pretty dismissive to call someone of his stature "ancient" like that, as if his work is irrelevant.

I agree, Imagine what george have have to say about this thread.
posted by clavdivs at 11:10 AM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Rufus from Bill and Ted could never be irrelevant in absolute terms. But I think he is probably not very relevant here. We'd need a comic with more online community experience. Jesse Strong?
posted by running order squabble fest at 11:13 AM on June 6, 2011


I'll pass on going into his joke. I couldn't do it justice, and I think it would be wasted effort, you come across as humorless.

You brought Carlin up as someone who harriet vane should watch to discover 'why "cock sucker" and the like isn't to be taken literally' and isn't 'homophobic or sexist'.

She balked at going through his oeuvre to find this reason and asked you to explain it. You're refusing on the grounds that she 'come[s] across as humorless'.
  • Her sense of humour should not affect her ability to understand Carlin's point about the non-literal nature of insults.
  • It's a horrible cliché to claim that those who find one's actions or words offensive are humourless.
  • There is some irony that this all began with a claim that something that lots of people found funny was, in fact, hurtful.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 11:15 AM on June 6, 2011 [12 favorites]


I think there's a distinction between an accusation of privilege and an accusation of sexism/homophobia. I also think "I didn't mean it like that" has a different connotation than "it does not have that meaning for me" and that you're framing the discussion one way with that choice of words.

I agree that "I didn't mean it like that" is not a defense against an accusation of privilege. I think "It does not have that meaning for me" is a defense against an accusation of sexism. That's my point.

If anyone wants to refer me to reading on why I should not distinguish between "the privilege that allows X-ism" and "X-ism itself", I'd be happy to read on it. I'm finding the idea interesting, and have never really *coughprivilegecough* thought much about it before.
posted by neuromodulator at 11:19 AM on June 6, 2011


BillBishop: “The fact that I will not tell another MeFite to ‘suck a dick’ if I mean ‘fuck off,’ does not mean that those who use those phrases are sexist or homophobic. I am not those things, you are wrong.”

Hey there, I'd like to talk about this distinction right here.

BillBishop, do you see the hidden assumption you made here? You assumed that because the young rope-rider was calling those phrases sexist and homophobic, he was calling you sexist and homophobic. But that is not necessarily what was going on.

Let's be clear about this: I can sit here and explain to you precisely why the insult "suck a dick" is sexist and homophobic. It implies that sucking dicks is a terrible thing, first of all; and it also carries with it the notion that dick-sucking is a position of subjection and degradation. What I can't do is tell you what you mean by it, or what's in your mind when you say it. But that doesn't matter. A homophobic or sexist phrase isn't homophobic or sexist because of what is in the mind of the person who says it. It's homophobic or sexist because of the impact it has on us and on the world.

The upshot of all this is that we should see that this isn't as personal as it might seem. Nobody here (as far as I can tell) is saying you're a sexist or a homophobe at heart, and for the moment I think we should take that off the table. But it's possible for a person who isn't a sexist or a homophobe to say sexist or homophobic things without realizing that that's what they are.

Also, on the subject of George Carlin: I revere him as well, and I think highly of a lot of his ideas; but I happen to think he was wrong about political correctness. It matters, the way our words sound. It's important to try not to be hurtful or hateful in the way we talk. And it does have an impact when we continue to use gay and female stereotypes like dick-sucking as insults.
posted by koeselitz at 11:53 AM on June 6, 2011 [20 favorites]


"Your tone is super hostile towards me. "

Dude, your fucking tone is super hostile in general, so if you don't like a hostile reaction, stop smearing your opinions around like wet shit.
posted by klangklangston at 12:09 PM on June 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


And taking someone's words from the past and making them apply to the current landcape only goes so far. Do you really believe that George Carlin alive in 2011 would be all, Woo! Yeah! Call that motherfucking cocksucker a faggot! For freedom!

I really don't think so.
posted by taz at 12:17 PM on June 6, 2011


Okay, what follows is me seriously, earnestly, trying to think about this and think this through and my questions are not rhetorical like "ho ho bet you can't answer this" devices but like seriously puzzling for me. And if I say something that people think is small or narrow-minded, please give me the benefit of the doubt and assume that I'm really not and am just trying to puzzle this out:

Does telling someone to "fuck off" have the same "impact on us and on the world"? Because it seems to me that obvious answer is "no, because it's not lopsided in the way cock-sucking is". But then (this is where I'm afraid of sounding dumb): Why can we then say, "And that asymmetry in cocksucking is important and indicates sexism/homophobia" and not "that asymmetry is irrelevant; (like 'fuck off' and 'fucker') we use sex acts as insults"?

Please understand I'm not arguing for my right to tell someone to suck my dick. I have no horse in this race.
posted by neuromodulator at 12:28 PM on June 6, 2011


Cocksucking has an inherent gender reference in a way "fuck off" doesn't - I think that's most of the asymmetry.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 12:33 PM on June 6, 2011


Well I don't know about the father in the story, but somebody around here sure loves all this attention.
posted by iamabot at 12:35 PM on June 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


Right, r_n, I get that. But I don't get why we can assert that the asymmetry is important and not irrelevant, given that the comparable use of "fuck off" establishes it in a larger, non-asymmetrical context.

For instance, I can recall someone angrily calling another man a cocksucker. And that definitely sounds horribly homophobic. But then when I think about the use of "fucker", instead, in his sentence, I feel like the argument that it's homophobic loses ground.

And I get that "hey if something sounds maybe homophobic, why not choose something that doesn't?" And that seems all well and good and a sufficient reason not to do something. But I guess I'm asking if that's all there is to this, or if there's another way to look at it.
posted by neuromodulator at 12:46 PM on June 6, 2011


I wonder what my reaction would be to be told to suck a pussy. I mean, it sounds almost like, "have a nice day," or "go eat a wonderful sandwich." I say this as a straight woman. I don't know what my point is.
posted by angrycat at 12:47 PM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Go eat a wonderful sandwich" is not something I hear often enough.
posted by neuromodulator at 12:49 PM on June 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


Though I guess your point, angrycat, (even if you're not sure of it) is that my point that the asymmetry of "cocksucking" is undermined by the fact that we seem to use sex acts as insults in general is in turn undermined by the fact that we don't see "pussy-eating" used as an insult.
posted by neuromodulator at 12:58 PM on June 6, 2011


I know that "found art" is a thing, and "performance art" is also a thing, but is "found performance art" anything?

Because if not, I nominate this thread as a great first example of.
posted by quin at 1:00 PM on June 6, 2011


Wait, what? Because we use non-gendered insults that makes the implications of gendered insults irrelevant? I'm really confused.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 1:02 PM on June 6, 2011


I may regret posting this - which should tell me that I shouldn't post it, but hey, live dangerously and all that - but I adore posts like this. Yes, they can turn out to be absolute train-wrecks but that ultimately lead to an interesting and nuanced discussion in which we learn things about other people. So.

Regarding the costumed, embarrass-the-kid dad and the subsequent fallout on the blue:
Dad probably thought it was cute and a way to reach out to his kid, as he mentions in the article. Kid naturally thought no, that's a pretty awful thing for him to do to me and I don't appreciate the intention there at all. Okay, so there's a disconnect there that happens with - in my experience, anyway - every parent/child relationship at some point. I came home once to my father wearing my old prom dress because he had a bet with a friend of his. I then spent a few minutes outside taking pictures for later bribery opportunities. That's just how he and I roll. It's weird, and it really bothered me that he was so nonchalant about parading around outside, in front of neighbors, in my old prom dress, but he is who he is, he isn't going to change and so it's funny to us. It probably wouldn't be to other people.

Costumed-dad is a bit of a jerk, but I'm willing to believe he's a well-meaning jerk and that tempers the whole "oh, god, go get laid and leave your kid be" reaction.

Regarding triggers, dick-sucking and so on:
I was, at one point, forced to suck a dick. Being told to makes me uncomfortable, but I'm also a woman with a - I hope - sense of humor and I tend to take people less seriously when they're rather obviously being less-than-literal. I'm bi, and pretty much the only slang I ever hear on a regular basis that does come across as homophobic to me is "that's gay." But that's me - I recognize that people will and do have vastly different reactions than I do, and I try to act accordingly.

I've had my moments here. I've been upset at other posters, I've said some phenomenally stupid things, and I think most of us probably do at some point (barring the mods, maybe). I've taken one or two things to MeMail, because it was obvious after a post or two that nothing was going to be solved in-thread the way things were going and, whether or not I was being a dick at the time (pardon the turn of phrase), nobody wants people in that sort of situation to continue to be a dick and totally ruin the thread ... not intentionally, anyway, not unless there's an exceptional circumstance. I use phrases like "go ___ yourself" in some situations in real life without taking into consideration their possible past traumas, but I don't generally say that kind of thing to people here because there isn't a face-to-face that they can gauge my seriousness or intentions from. If I were told, here, to go suck a dick I'd be upset for the same reason, whether or not I'd been enough of a jerk to actually deserve it.

You're not me, though. I like MeFi because we're usually able to have these awful comments and subsequent MeTa threads and work around stuff. In real life, we should do that, but my experience as a bar waitress has amply demonstrated that we're better at it in general than real life most of the time.
posted by neewom at 1:05 PM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


neuromodulator, I've always been affected by "fuck off," "fucker," and a lot more. Being arguably too sensitive to the meanings of words, I got the idea from a very young age that for most of the world everything to do with sex was disgusting and demeaning -- despite the fact that my parents cut short my Catholic education (and were always very loving, in love, and clearly sexually in love with each other).

I think this was not helped by some sexual abuse I got from some older boys as a 6-year-old, or my later de-virgining, which was a rape. For me, all the sexual invective really nasty and upsetting, but the stuff that you would say to someone while raping them is the worst. Suck my dick? Seriously, I can't even imagine that in tender way.

That's my problem, but I don't think the rest of world is all that keen either. I always think, are you willing to say this to your boss, mother, the policeman who stops you from speeding, the girl/guy you want to date, anybody at all you have any respect for? No? Then don't go spouting off like a monkey flinging poo at any disagreement with people you don't even know. Do you very, very specifically want to use the most aggressive and hostile language (which seems to be rape language) against a particular person? Are you sure? Then go ahead and let fling. For freedom, or whatever.

something, something, George Carlin.
posted by taz at 1:06 PM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


George Carlin was kind of a jerk, and basing one's style of interaction with other humans on his stand-up is just plain wrongheaded.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 1:08 PM on June 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


One thing to keep in mind is that the word, "fuck," is almost a generic curseword in our society. (taz brings up good points about whether or not it should be -- I'm not discussing that.) To say "fuck off" is to pretty much say, "I curse you! I curse you in a generic way!" I expect the only reason we say "fuck off" rather than, say, "shit off," is because "fuck" is obviously a verb whereas "shit" is commonly used as a noun.

Using a generic curse is different from developing a rather complex and creative curse. No, "suck a dick" isn't that creative, but it's in a whole different world than "fuck off." You say "Go suck a dick," you're putting thought and energy into the insult/curse/command that isn't in anyway a part of saying "fuck off." That's what I find disturbing about it. Creative curses and threats, in general, disturb me.

I don't generally tell people to fuck off, either. Again, I'm not trying to justify using "fuck off." I'm just trying to examine the difference between it and other forms of sexual, insulting language.
posted by meese at 1:35 PM on June 6, 2011


Note: Go eat a wonderful sandwich.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:51 PM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


When I was in college, I went to a George Carlin concert. He had shirts on sale with his face on the front and "Simon Says Go Fuck Yourself" on the back. I thought it was funny, so I bought one.

A few months later, I was going to class and had nothing clean to wear. I scrounged around and found this old t shirt with George Carlin's face on it that I vaguely recalled buying some time ago. I had to give a presentation in class that day, and as I was walking up to the front of the classroom everyone started laughing. I was like "the hell?", then a light bulb went off and I remembered what was on the back of the shirt. I had totally forgotten. I told the TA, "Sorry, I forgot what was on the back of the shirt", and gave the presentation.

Anyway, I totally lost that shirt. I have no idea what happened to it. I wish I still had it, because I'm 12 and "Simon says go fuck yourself" will never stop being funny.
posted by nooneyouknow at 1:52 PM on June 6, 2011


Wait, what? Because we use non-gendered insults that makes the implications of gendered insults irrelevant? I'm really confused.

I'm not really sure where I'm losing you.

People are saying, "telling someone to suck a dick as an insult is an insult because you believe that sucking a dick is a degrading act that women and gay men engage in." To rephrase that: the fact that it's gendered is directly, inseparably related to the fact that it's an insult. And I'm saying, maybe it's an insult because we use sex acts as insults, as established by our use of "fuck". I'm saying "we can establish culturally why it's an insult without referring to the gendered aspect of it".

This specific case about the differences and similarities between these two specific insults has nothing to do with my thoughts on gendered insults in general, and so I feel like you're mischaracterizing my argument above in a way that makes me out to be kind of a dick. As such, I'm bowing out. No hard feelings but I'm feeling defensive, and whether with good cause or no, I feel like I'm done here.
posted by neuromodulator at 2:10 PM on June 6, 2011


My new favorite insult shall henceforth be: Go eat a grilled cheese sandwich.

This will actually pass PC muster, no?

God, you guys.
posted by heyho at 2:13 PM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Go receive a blowjob" doesn't sound much like an insult to me, so I don't think it's right to separate the gender/homosexuality issues from "go suck a dick."
posted by meese at 2:14 PM on June 6, 2011


I never understood "go fly a kite" as a dismissive insult. What's wrong with flying kites? It's fun.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:19 PM on June 6, 2011


Oh! Ok, no, I just totally lost you there. Now I see where you're going with it.

I think the fact that we as a culture tend towards sex acts as insults is relevant, but doesn't really mitigate the gendered aspects of dick-sucking (or any other commonly-used gender-specific insult - I'm thinking about various possible references to fucking/being fucked in the ass, which has definite masculine/dominant overtones.)

Koeselitz defined the issue pretty well, I think - there are a bunch of historical and cultural implications involved in being the receptive partner in a sex act that are pretty hard to unlink from sexism and/or homophobia. We may, as a culture, think sex is generally dirty, but we think being the receptive partner is particularly dirty in a very specific way. (We also tend to express that enjoying sex is also dirtier than just having sex in general - hence all the masturbation-related insults - but that doesn't come with quite as much baggage in re: oppression of non-privileged classes.)

Because of that baggage, there's a lot more implied by "go suck a dick" than "fuck off" or even "go fuck yourself." I think its unrealistic to lump them all together simply because they're related to sex. Maybe at some point in the future when sexism and homophobia are quaint historical notions, they'll all end up being equally weighted, but they're really not right now.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 2:20 PM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah, you're right. It'd be more like: Go make [me] a grilled cheese sandwich. Meh; lacks impact.
posted by heyho at 2:21 PM on June 6, 2011


I never understood "go fly a kite" as a dismissive insult. What's wrong with flying kites? It's fun.

The phrase works better during a thunderstorm.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:24 PM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


It'd be more like: Go make [me] a grilled cheese sandwich. Meh; lacks impact.

But the more general "get back in the kitchen" has its own well-trodden history. I have heard "go make me a sandwich" directed by men towards women, and it didn't really lack for impact then.
posted by Errant at 2:27 PM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mulder agrees.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 2:32 PM on June 6, 2011


Go eat a Hamburger
posted by iamabot at 2:34 PM on June 6, 2011


My new favorite insult shall henceforth be: Go eat a grilled cheese sandwich.

This will actually pass PC muster, no?


As a lactose-intolerant person, I am offended.
posted by desjardins at 2:36 PM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I never understood "go fly a kite" as a dismissive insult. What's wrong with flying kites? It's fun.

I have never had this leveled at me as an insult, but I think I'd struggle to not immediately break out into that Mary Poppins song if someone actually did, which probably wouldn't be the effect they were going for.

I've always been a fan of Vonnegut: "Go take a flying fuck at a rolling donut."
posted by mstokes650 at 2:39 PM on June 6, 2011


My one big regret here is casually using a Rage Against The Machine lyric to illustrate a point. That's a great song but I'm really not into them otherwise.

I'm moving on from this discussion. I posted because the guy in the story is not a hero or good parent to me, he's a dick. You all know I feel that way, hopefully some other more eloquent commenters have presented reasons why this kind of systematic embarrassment is not a great way to show a young adult love.

I tried to avoid the cock sucker discussion here, but it was too difficult for me to ignore the young rope rider's comments. I shouldn't have responded to petty name-calling, so that's on me.

It's genuinely cool that some users like koeselitz and carsonb can have a discussion without getting into personal attacks, especially when none were thrown at them or any MeFite (with the exception of lazaruslong, who started with me in the original thread, opened this one, and eventually apologized. For the none of you who care, I MeMailed lazaruslong a sincere acceptance of his gracious apology).

I really didn't think that so many MeFites would be offended by calling that guy in the story a fucking asshole, or so sensitive about the phrase "suck my dick."
I appreciate the thoughtful responses to why "suck my dick" is offensive to some. I understand the points, but disagree with them. In my world, it's divorced from literal meaning like "fuck you" or "fuck off" and does not represent sexism or homophobia in any way.

My takeaway is that I don't really want to be a contributing part of a community that takes things like that so literally and humorlessly. To me it feels uptight, stuffy, and corny.
My gay friends call each other and their straight friends fags, my female friends talk about choking down dicks, and none of it is to be taken too seriously, except for the fact that when the words are used against someone in anger they hurt, and when they're used in other ways they are used in other ways. I also get that you don't know me or my tone since this is the internet, and at this point you don't care to know me or my tone. That's fine.
The bottom line is that breaking down gender roles and coded language cues and subjugation and privilege is a lot of crap that I don't want to deal with. It sounds like a class I dropped out of in college, and very far from the world I live in. Spoken like someone with privilege, right?

Do you want to hear about how my first experience of racial discrimination against me happened at age 4 and is one of my very first memories? Want to hear about getting assaulted in a racially motivated attack in the workplace? How about sexual assault, I got one of those, too. I forgot about the time a cop pointed his gun at a friend and I, and called us fags, that was a super privileged moment!

Yes, I know, if I had a better way of expressing myself, you might have been interested at one point, but I blew my whole nut calling the dude a fucking asshole and defending my right to say "suck a dick." Fair enough.

It's tempting to go out in a flame of glory against some of you, but no thanks.
I do think some of you should take a look at some of the posts directed against me. A lot of needlessly harsh and weird stuff there from long time MeFites that went unmoderated and unmentioned by the community.
I hope any of the posters who spoke up on my behalf don't have their good names tarnished by an affiliation with me or my views.

I'll go back to silently lurking and not causing anyone any distress.
You can catch me on Twitter where I discuss cock sucking and fucking assholes without messing up anyone's community or harshing on your mellow.

Be well, no hard feelings, peace in the middle east, and have a good summer!
posted by BillBishop at 3:05 PM on June 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oh, god.

This has to be the most attention you've had, like, ever, right? Have fun on your cocksucking twitter! Don't let the door hit you on your fucking asshole!
posted by taz at 3:18 PM on June 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


> My takeaway is that I don't really want to be a contributing part of a community that takes things like that so literally and humorlessly. To me it feels uptight, stuffy, and corny

Man, sorry, we would be less uptight, but our dad's didn't take their time to show us how to have humor and fun during our teenage years, by enabling us to laugh at ourselves.
posted by mrzarquon at 3:23 PM on June 6, 2011 [12 favorites]


My takeaway is that I don't really want to be a contributing part of a community that takes things like that so literally and humorlessly.

I don't understand how "suck my dick" is supposed to be humorous. Maybe I am humorless.
posted by grouse at 3:26 PM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Two words: Billy-Bob Teeth.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:30 PM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


BillBishop: “It's genuinely cool that some users like koeselitz and carsonb can have a discussion without getting into personal attacks...”

If you think I'm very good at having a discussion without personally attacking anybody, you might want to look at my comment history. I'm not.

“In my world, [‘suck my dick’ is] divorced from literal meaning like ‘fuck you’ or ‘fuck off’ and does not represent sexism or homophobia in any way.”

That's is the point: this is not your world. Neither is it mine. I fully apprehend that you didn't mean it in a sexist or homophobic way. With all due respect, it really doesn't matter at all how you meant it.
posted by koeselitz at 3:41 PM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


If it helps, Neuromodulator, I was confused by your statement in, I think, exactly the same way that restless_nomad was. It's only a sample size of two, but it might help to reassure you that it's not a deliberate mischaracterization of your argument - it was a credible reading of a confusing piece of phrasing.
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:44 PM on June 6, 2011


I appreciate the thoughtful responses to why "suck my dick" is offensive to some. I understand the points, but disagree with them. In my world, it's divorced from literal meaning like "fuck you" or "fuck off" and does not represent sexism or homophobia in any way.

I'm reminded of certain recurring discussions back in the day on rec.arts.bodyart. To paraphrase and summarize, "If you get a swastika tattooed on your forehead because to you it means 'I love the whole world' you have to understand that to a lot of people it means something entirely different. And the fact that to you it means 'I love the whole world' doesn't change the fact that most of the people who see it on your forehead will interpret it as a symbol of hate."

So the fact that to you "suck my dick" doesn't have a literal meaning doesn't change the fact that to a lot of people it does have a literal meaning, and that literal meaning is homophobic or misogynistic (or both) and violent.

Nobody's saying that you have to consider it homophobic, misogynistic, or violent. But if you're interested in communicating with people, not just typing words past each other, you will likely be more successful if you recognize that your interpretation of the phrase is different from many people's interpretation of it.
posted by Lexica at 3:44 PM on June 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


My gay friends call each other and their straight friends fags, my female friends talk about choking down dicks, and none of it is to be taken too seriously, except for the fact that when the words are used against someone in anger they hurt,

Dude, people can talk to their friends however they want because they are their FRIENDS. I have friends that I greet exclusively with "Wassup, hooker", but I'd never say that to a stranger, because they wouldn't know how to take it. These words on a screen you see here They're mostly posted by people who don't know you from Adam. You can't use the "But That's How I Talk to My Friends" excuse.

Plus, you were clearly already really angry when you posted your first comment, so when you told someone to suck a dick moments later, they (*gasp*) probably thought you were angry then, too.

When words are used against someone in anger, they hurt.
posted by 23skidoo at 4:30 PM on June 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


I use the "Wassup, hooker" line, too. Course in my defense, I'm usually talking to William Shatner. While he's making a rug. For $20, SAIT.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:33 PM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


So are you fucking off to twitter or merely leaving? C'mon, the jackals demand a spectacle.

Also, the first rule of being an internet jackass is Never Apologize. You have to commit fully. Lurk moar, but also... umm, lern... moar, my young padawang.
posted by Eideteker at 4:44 PM on June 6, 2011


Flounce flounce flounce
Flounce flounce flounce
Flounce FLOUNCE flounce flounce flooooounce!
posted by Madamina at 4:51 PM on June 6, 2011


When I was at college, my friends and I all lived in dorms a short distance away from each other. Thanks to the wonder of the newly-discovered (by us) Ethernet connection and way too much time on instant messaging services, we all knew whenever anyone was home, and our doors were usually unlocked. So we would go over to visit each other, but we didn't knock. Instead, we would fling the door open and scream, "HERE I AM!" And anyone/everyone who was in the room would scream back, "ROCK YOU LIKE A HURRICANE!"

I wouldn't do that when entering a thread here, though. For one thing, I don't know you guys that well and don't know if you want to be rocked like a hurricane. For another thing, you might be masturbating. So I guess my behavior is different here as opposed to with my friends, because my friends don't mind me watching them masturbate.

I think I had a different point than the one I seem to have made.
posted by Errant at 4:58 PM on June 6, 2011 [15 favorites]


Speaking of posts, has anyone done a Weiner post yet?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:53 PM on June 4 [2 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]

^ Meant to say speaking of dicks. Usually you freudian slip INTO saying dicks.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:53 PM on June 4 [11 favorites +] [!]


Never you worry: "Speaking of posts" = much funnier, realsies
posted by herbplarfegan at 5:00 PM on June 6, 2011


here I expected this MeTa to be about that "ableist" nonsense....
posted by herbplarfegan at 5:16 PM on June 6, 2011


C'mon, the jackals demand a spectacle.

You want MetaTalk circa 2003. I can't tell if you're goofing or not but goading people is sort of not that great and it would be great if people did less of it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:05 PM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


You want MetaTalk circa 2003.

Available here.
posted by grouse at 6:12 PM on June 6, 2011


Not like that makes you any less of an asshole.

That was a rude thing to say.
posted by Dano St at 6:24 PM on June 6, 2011


When words are used against someone in anger, they hurt.

Use your words fists, kids.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:03 PM on June 6, 2011


"I can't tell if you're goofing or not..."

Wow, clearly I have not been trying hard enough over the past 6½ years.
posted by Eideteker at 7:28 PM on June 6, 2011


BtW, if anyone wants Doctor Who, circa 2003, I've been rewatching Shalka recently. Yeah, it's totally still there! Marvel over the 9th Doctor who never was.
posted by Eideteker at 7:30 PM on June 6, 2011


HERE I AM!......
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:45 PM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Jesus Christ I can't believe I read this whole thing. I love almost all of you.

Everyone should go and have a lovely sandwich.
posted by motty at 8:52 PM on June 6, 2011


The bottom line is that breaking down gender roles and coded language cues and subjugation and privilege is a lot of crap that I don't want to deal with. It sounds like a class I dropped out of in college, and very far from the world I live in. Spoken like someone with privilege, right?

Pretty much yeah. And I don't see a reason to get defensive and evoke tales of victimization. The quarrel is not with some deep and terrible character flaw of yours; just the impact of a set of words on other people. That's really it. If you think not being able to use that phrase around a certain set of people shows humorlessness on their part, that's a shame for more than one reason.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:57 PM on June 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Perhaps my sense of humour is too subtle for you, Bill, sorry about that. It never occured to me that telling someone to suck my dick during a disagreement might make people laugh instead of thinking that it's weirdly aggressive. At any rate, if you can't explain Carlin's point (I didn't ask you to perform the routine) then I guess you're not actually sure what it is.

Either way, I'm sincerely sorry that you've experienced racial and sexual abuse. It's a shitty thing to happen to anyone.
posted by harriet vane at 9:56 PM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm saying, maybe it's an insult because we use sex acts as insults, as established by our use of "fuck"

That may be true, but the invective behind "suck my dick" and "fuck off" aren't even comparable. To claim otherwise is either hopelessly obtuse, or outright dishonest. I don't know I can engage this further in either case.

So yeah, whatever, George Carlin, hooray.
posted by cj_ at 2:22 AM on June 7, 2011


That may be true, but the invective behind "suck my dick" and "fuck off" aren't even comparable. To claim otherwise is either hopelessly obtuse, or outright dishonest

I don't know... I have some language training - although not in English - and sometimes things which seem obvious to me about that language are impenetrable to others without the same systems in place. Conversely, people get frustrated with my having, to their eyes, ridiculous trouble understanding formal elements of other structures.

One way I'm trying to deal with that is by telling myself that what seems like deliberate obtuseness might be wholly accidental.

In this case, neuromodulator's initial point isn't controversial, when you broaden it out. Insults are based on whatever a culture places cultural importance or taboo on, like sex (same with religion and people's mothers).

The odd part is the idea that all sexual insults function in the same way - that if you tell someone to $sexualact, then that functions in the same as way telling them to $anyothersexualact. That's both counterfactual and counterintuitive - language needs different levels of force, and assigns different terms to different levels. Calling someone a jerk-off is not the same as calling them a motherfucker, even though they are both describing sexual acts, because other cultural and linguistic forces are in play.

There's a second part of the argument, which is about second-order qualities. I think this is what BillBishop was going for with the George Carlin schtick - the idea being that insults become separated by use from their original meanings and just become a delivery mechanism for a kind of invective payload. So, people still say the name of their culture's deity when they drop hammers on their feet, regardless of their feelings about the divine.

This is roughly the argument that is used to defend the use of "gay" as an all-purpose pejorative, or "faggot" as a general term of abuse between XBox gamers. Personally, I don't buy that - calling a ringtone gay doesn't mean you think it wants to have sex with ringtones of the same gender, but it depends for its force on negative connotations around homosexuality. The second-order payload depends on the first-order application.
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:15 AM on June 7, 2011


There's no way anyone saying "suck my dick" doesn't actually know it's more offensive than generic "fuck you" insults. I get where you are coming from, in an academic way, but I think you've put more thought into this than the people you are defending.
posted by cj_ at 3:27 AM on June 7, 2011


I get where you are coming from, in an academic way, but I think you've put more thought into this than the people you are defending.

I agree entirely - and I think that putting thought into things is kind of the minimum requirement for discussing them, especially if it's a sensitive subject. It's not my intention to defend anyone. What I'm saying is that it is at least theoretically possible that neuromodulator honestly hadn't thought about why it was more offensive, rather than that he didn't understand that it was.

BillBishop specifically said that thinking about this was not something he was interested in doing - that it sounded like a course he dropped out of in college. Having the freedom to decide not to think about the impact of your language, or take responsibility for it, it is a part of the structure of privilege. Like the XBox gamer who thinks "faggot" is acceptable trash-talk, and that if you don't like it then it's his problem, not yours - at best he is a stooge to institutional homophobia and at worst its eager champion.

(Plus, of course, from a structural linguistic standpoint "fuck off", the example neuromodulator uses, functions totally differently. Because it makes no syntactical sense with the standard usage of the word "fuck", it's clear that it's being used as a syntactically distinct second-order intensifier - "fuck off" is an abbreviated equivalent of "get the fuck off" or "leave me the fuck alone". Which it's also clear isn't the case in "suck a/my dick"- that clearly both references and describes a specific sexual act - it's a first-order usage, however metaphorical.)
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:55 AM on June 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


Gah! Should read:

Like the XBox gamer who thinks "faggot" is acceptable trash-talk, and that if you don't like it then it's your problem, not his.

Although you can make it his by applied team killing, at least.
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:01 AM on June 7, 2011


Everyone should go and have a lovely sandwich.

That's hard to do if you're sucking a dick.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:22 AM on June 7, 2011


Between the Circumcision thread, the Weiner thread and this MeTa, I guess this is Cock Week on Metafilter?
posted by zarq at 7:04 AM on June 7, 2011


For folks that see "suck my dick" as more than just a random personal insult (that has no place here regardless), that assign homophobia/misogyny to it whether it is intended or not, where are you on "that sucks"? Is implied dick sucking more OK than explicit dick sucking, even though they share the same offensive etymology? If you say "that sucks" and someone said you've afflicted psychological trauma on them by doing so, what would your reaction be? Would you feel defensive? Would you make a conscious effort to remove the the phrase from your vocabulary?
posted by Dano St at 7:08 AM on June 7, 2011


Between the Circumcision thread, the Weiner thread and this MeTa, I guess this is Cock Week on Metafilter?

There's one more. Over at MeFi Music, in a thread on an article about pop music, someone referenced "mind your Ps and Qs", which branched off into a conversation on the meaning of that phrase, and then we got into substituting Qs for Ps, and eventually "pop music" became "qoq music", and it devolved from there. So, yeah, it's definitely a thing.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:12 AM on June 7, 2011


> where are you on "that sucks"?

This assumes that "that sucks" implies fellatio. I'd say "that sucks" is more a variant "that's a drag", as in something that slows you down or takes away energy.

But seriously, it really doesn't need a lot of analysis. Telling someone to go suck a dick is just inane and adolescent.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 7:15 AM on June 7, 2011


I think it is fairly weird that a site culture which disfavors "suck my dick" still regards "dick" as an acceptable insult.
posted by adipocere at 7:16 AM on June 7, 2011


I think it is fairly weird that a site culture which disfavors "suck my dick" still regards "dick" as an acceptable insult.

I hear you. I'd be OK with it, though, if we were able to use "jane" as an insult for female Mefiers.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:19 AM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Where do we stand on 'kiss my grits'?
posted by found missing at 9:06 AM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Probably depends on where you keep your grits.
posted by running order squabble fest at 9:33 AM on June 7, 2011


The bottom line is that breaking down gender roles and coded language cues and subjugation and privilege is a lot of crap that I don't want to deal with.G

iven that you casually referred to a guy dressing up in costumes as being worse than an abusive/absent parent (which is pretty shitty) it doesn't surprise me that you don't give a shit about careless use of language either.

(And, I dunno why, but 'attention whore' really grinds my gears. Maybe because it reminds me of those LJ snark communities where people talked about 'butthurt' and 'sand in your vagina' and euuuugh.)
posted by mippy at 9:57 AM on June 7, 2011


Between the Circumcision thread, the Weiner thread and this MeTa, I guess this is Cock Week on Metafilter?


At work, we just sung the song 'Weeble gigolos, they will suck your balls.' So I think all the cock has got to me. Meatus.
posted by mippy at 9:58 AM on June 7, 2011


HERE I AM!......

You see, EmpressCallipygos, the problem here is the double ellipses. They're too tentative. So, rather than thrashing like a natural disaster, you have instead blown the wind of change, straight into the face of time.
posted by Errant at 10:09 AM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Where do we stand on 'kiss my grits'?

heh, I always like comparing Alice to the movie Legion.
posted by clavdivs at 10:39 AM on June 7, 2011


You see, EmpressCallipygos, the problem here is the double ellipses. They're too tentative. So, rather than thrashing like a natural disaster, you have instead blown the wind of change, straight into the face of time.

So does that mean the appropriate response should be "MILDLY BLOW YOU ABOUT LIKE A TROPICAL DEPRESSION?"

In fact, whether or not that is the case, I think I shall walk into work tonight shouting that. Yay for keeping 'em on their toes.

Seriously, though, the whole "in my world" and the "I do this with my friends" thing work, but it doesn't work when you've affected people outside your world, so... perhaps it doesn't really work at all. YMMV. One of my friends, when discussing the then-recent forced-blowjob I endured, used the phrase "that blows," then profusely apologized because he didn't really think about the implications first, and I laughed at his discomfort and accepted his apology because, frankly, it wasn't fun. But, also not long after all that, a guy I didn't know from Adam told me that I would greatly enjoy eating his sandwich, as it were, and kept at it when I told him to leave it - and me - be. He tried the "but I say this to friends" thing with me, and when we're talking about people sucking dicks and other things like that, it's more likely to result in a lot of shouting and pain than a sincere, "Oh. Wow. I'm truly sorry."

We have more time to respond on the internet than we do in person. We should, therefore, have more time to think out what the implications could be and how we could better phrase something potentially problematic. This sort of discussion highlights the need.
posted by neewom at 12:09 PM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Lest Bill get the wrong idea — I don't particularly have anything against being offensive. It's just that I find ignorance an obnoxious excuse, and generally want offensive people to realize that in order to get by with it, they have to step their game up. Your friends won't call you out on lazy Simpsons references or hackneyed catch-phrases or a lot of weak shit either, but I don't have any real problem saying that "suck a dick" is weak bullshit compounded by some pretty unfortunate homophobia/misogyny and that MeFi deserves better than b-game rants.
posted by klangklangston at 2:11 PM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


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