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You don't get points for posting first. June 20, 2011 5:50 PM   Subscribe

Wikipedia, TMZ, and The Daily Mail? Come on...

That is shitty, shitty newsfilter rubber-necking of the worst kind. I would love it if we could simply delete bad obits like this. If the post had been about anything other than someone's death, surely it wouldn't have stayed up?

I understand that there may have been a dearth of good links about a second-line Jackass star, but surely then the correct course of action is not to post at all, rather than post rubbish like this? At very least they could have put a few of his videos or something in there. It looks like voyeuristic tutting as-is. Was poster even a fan? (not a fan myself, but surely, obits on mefi are really as a form of tribute)
posted by smoke to Etiquette/Policy at 5:50 PM (237 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

I'm pretty sure that TMZ was the first to report this. That's worth something, IMO.
posted by amro at 5:54 PM on June 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


I would love it if we could simply delete bad Metas like this.
posted by item at 5:56 PM on June 20, 2011 [19 favorites]


I mean, with all that's wrong and horrible about how people are acting in that thread, THIS is what you're choosing to complain about?
posted by item at 5:58 PM on June 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


item, I think the two are connected. If the post had been framed more as a tribute to the dude, instead of "omfgwtfbbq_a_celebrity_died!", I think the responses would have been different. What else were people supposed to say? There was nothing there.
posted by smoke at 6:00 PM on June 20, 2011


As obits go, it wasn't great. That said, it didn't hit my "insta-delete" radar absent a ton of flags which it didn't have. Of course early comments also set the tone. I'd like people to make better obit posts, and by and large they do.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:02 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


But what about my brilliant reconstruction of the accident based on a single photo?

It's going to take the authorities a couple days to figure the whole thing out. Deleting the thread before then is unfair. Think of the favorites!
posted by ryanrs at 6:02 PM on June 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


You know what?

TMZ is generally first out of the gate with *factual* reports regarding celebrity news. You might not give a shit about celebrity news; you might think the folks at TMZ are a bunch of bottom feeders. But they're almost always *exactly right,* and seem to do a hell of a lot more fact-checking before posting news than standard media outlets do anymore. Bitching about TMZ as a bad source of information doesn't hold water.
posted by tzikeh at 6:03 PM on June 20, 2011 [14 favorites]


I agree with smoke. Out of all the many people who died today, a drunk-driving street-racing jackass gets the front page?

Fuck that noise.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:03 PM on June 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Agreed that it's not a particularly defensible obit post, borderline at best, and I would have loved to see folks hold off for a bit and opt for better sourcing rather than faster posting, but like Jess says it didn't get a quick storm of Must Delete flags and we ended up letting it be.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:07 PM on June 20, 2011


Was poster even a fan?

There's no way to know, which is why this can't be a criterion for obits or FPPs in general.
posted by John Cohen at 6:17 PM on June 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Out of all the many people who died today, a drunk-driving street-racing jackass gets the front page?

You're still alive. Have a drink and enjoy that.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:18 PM on June 20, 2011 [9 favorites]


I mean, with all that's wrong and horrible about how people are acting in that thread, THIS is what you're choosing to complain about?

I thought that's what this MeTa was going to be about when I clicked. Oh well.
posted by Specklet at 6:28 PM on June 20, 2011


i think commenting on dunn's life or death or any of it is just fine, but i am totally sick of the "why should i care, huh?! huh!?" voice. it's so very easy to not click on a post and it's even easier to not comment.

i do think the differences in the thread and the big man's obit are interesting.
posted by nadawi at 6:30 PM on June 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I thought it was going to be about the douchebag thread shitters too. I guess a better obit thread would maybe have had some videos, by I'm guessing the tone would have been the same
posted by AzzaMcKazza at 6:31 PM on June 20, 2011


Part of the problem is that while he's probably notable enough to warrant an obit, his body of work isn't exactly the kind of stuff that would really make a good retrospective post.
posted by burnmp3s at 6:32 PM on June 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Today I learned that people who can't muster respectful, civilized responses in public obituary threads are somehow superior to the subjects of those threads. Thank goodness mefites are so vocal, or else I never would have known.
posted by hermitosis at 6:40 PM on June 20, 2011 [12 favorites]


There's totally a great post to be made about the Jackass series, the guys and their collective place in the contemporary reality tv heavens. It could probably be tied into all sorts of commentary about the world being 'safer' leading to risk homeostasis and increased seeky behavior per Huplescat's comment.

The fact that the subject is controversial or not an obvious fit for the usual Mefi crowd should make the bar for a post higher not lower.
posted by Skorgu at 6:41 PM on June 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Stop calling us Shirley.
posted by crunchland at 6:42 PM on June 20, 2011


But what about my brilliant reconstruction of the accident based on a single photo?

I thought that was well spotted. Now I'm curious about the other car as well, and who was driving.


his body of work isn't exactly the kind of stuff that would really make a good retrospective post.


I don't know about that. There are a lot of angles that could have been taken. A fan certainly could have dug up some clips that would have been good for a commemorative laugh. And yes, I know a lot of people can't stand Jackass. I felt the same way until I watched it - I thought the very concept was repellent. I still cannot explain why I end up absolutely convulsed in sobbing hysterics when I watch some of the bits.

It's always best when an obit is about a person's life, rather than his death.



As for the manner of his death, I do think he's been punished well enough for his recklessness.
posted by louche mustachio at 6:49 PM on June 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


For being the first obit post for a Jackass member I think that went pretty well. We learned about the evils of drunk driving and we had some crass comments...Which, frankly just remind me of the band Crass.

As a skater/punker/biker/lunatic it's still a shame that he took someone with him. Like, dying in a ball of fire may be better than breaking your neck and being paralyzed neck down...but if you have to go that way; FLY SOLO!
posted by snsranch at 7:11 PM on June 20, 2011


Let's be honest here. Take a look at the number of mefites who have left in the last two years, and ask yourself why they left.
posted by orthogonality at 7:15 PM on June 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


why did they leave? because people were rude in obit threads or because people make obit threads about personalities that are considered 'unworthy' of obit threads because of the other people who died on the same day? ( not snarking, genuinely curious about orthogonality's point).
posted by sweetkid at 7:18 PM on June 20, 2011


Take a look at the number of mefites who have left in the last two years, and ask yourself why they left.

They died in car accidents.
posted by MattMangels at 7:19 PM on June 20, 2011 [9 favorites]


Take a look at the number of mefites who have left in the last two years, and ask yourself why they left.

They died in car accidents.


Eww. Yuck. Seriously.
posted by amro at 7:22 PM on June 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


They died in car accidents.

Cite? Ha, just kidding. But really, WTF?
posted by snsranch at 7:23 PM on June 20, 2011




Part of the problem is that while he's probably notable enough to warrant an obit, his body of work isn't exactly the kind of stuff that would really make a good retrospective post.


Couldn't you link to a bunch of his clips and stunts?

I'm not a Jackass fan, but I'm in the right generation and some of my friends are pretty broken up about this. If you don't have anything nice to say about the subject of an obit thread or don't know who the person is, just don't say anything!

When I talked about Clarence Clemons with my family this weekend my little brother guessed that he'd died of a drug overdose, since he was a musician. That wasn't okay, and it wouldn't have been okay if he'd said it about the guy from Jackass or an obscure singer or an actor you don't care about.

Everybody means something to somebody. Serious question: did the Anal Cunt obit thread go this badly?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:23 PM on June 20, 2011


Take a look at the number of mefites who have left in the last two years, and ask yourself why they left.

Recently, it's been banned spammers, people upset about spoilers [pro and con], people needing time off because of new jobs, people upset because other people are being assholes, people who feel that they don't fit in here, people who need a break. There are a number of reasons and maybe 50% of people who leave leave some sort of indicator when they press the big red button. We've also had a bunch of MeFites come back recently, something that happens much more quietly in most cases, but it's been sort of neat to see.

I'm not sure what your point was. I feel like I know why they've left in some cases, and not in others. My ballpark back-of-envelope calculations is that maybe 30% of the people who left left for "avoidable" reasons [i.e. they felt that something was going wrong on the site in ways that it's not supposed to go wrong and they were fed up with it enough that they left instead of tried to work it out for a variety of reasons and they left angry and upset with the site] and the rest of those people just made a choice that wasn't a heat-of-passion sort of thing and we wish them well and hope they'll be back when they want to be.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:25 PM on June 20, 2011 [13 favorites]


Would it have been better if it had linked to a tumblr site about him... and cats... and gifs of crazy animals doing "dick" things?
posted by TheBones at 7:33 PM on June 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Nobody, either here or on the original thread, has shown there are major factual errors in the sources used in the post so I don't see the problem with them. There's an interesting discussion to be had about a risk taker paying the ultimate price for his behaviour and the amount of sympathy or condemnation he is due and that conversation is happening. Some people think it's too callous or flippant or sanctimonious or whatever but it's certainly a lot better than fifty people just posting a dot.
posted by joannemullen at 7:35 PM on June 20, 2011 [7 favorites]


Let's be honest here. Take a look at the number of mefites who have left in the last two years, and ask yourself why they left.

I'm not sure if you're talking about the quality of the post itself or the fact that it was about a Jackass star, but either way your point seems off. Looking through the archives I see a ton of obituary posts from 2009 and back that have a single news link. I see Peter Boyle's death in 2006 had nothing but a link to a Yahoo! News article that no longer exists. Sure, a more robust post would have been great, but quick obit posts are hardly a new phenomenon.

As for whether Dunn qualified for a MeFi post... well... I see a ~150 comment thread with a number of those comments being condolences. I am a philistine who doesn't much care for saxophone solos, but I didn't go into the Clarence Clemons thread and declare it a new low for MetaFilter.
posted by jess at 7:36 PM on June 20, 2011 [7 favorites]


Ummm, I guess the Muppet thread got deleted? For lack of a deleted thread blog, what could possibly have derailed it into a rape argument?
posted by codacorolla at 7:37 PM on June 20, 2011


I think we can all agree to call this Shitty, Shitty Bang Bang.
posted by staggernation at 7:38 PM on June 20, 2011


The sanctimonious pricks and human robots were out in full force in that thread. MetaFilter is rapidly running out of things it does well.
posted by entropicamericana at 7:39 PM on June 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


Oh, the Muppet thread is still kicking, I just lacked the ability to find it...
posted by codacorolla at 7:43 PM on June 20, 2011


Well, we do still excel at expressing concern for people's lost grandmas, and then inexplicably feeling really good about ourselves when said grandmas turn up. Surely that's worth something??
posted by hermitosis at 7:43 PM on June 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Bitching about TMZ as a bad source of information doesn't hold water.

I completely agree with you about the quality of TMZ's reporting. But the kind of information that TMZ is a good source of isn't the kind of information that makes a good post.

Consider the case of Michael Jackson. Although there was no better site in the world for minute-by-minute updates of what was happening once he was dead, they told us little-to-nothing about why he mattered when alive.

It's the latter that an obit post needs. Doubly-so in cases like this where the deceased's cultural importance is... less immediately obvious.
posted by Trurl at 7:48 PM on June 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well, we do still excel at expressing concern for people's lost grandmas, and then inexplicably feeling really good about ourselves when said grandmas turn up. Surely that's worth something??

Metafilter exists as a vehicle for fake to help everyone in need.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 7:49 PM on June 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Won't anyone think of the 911 GT3 that was lost last night? It was only 4 years old.
posted by nathancaswell at 7:52 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think we can all agree to call this Shitty, Shitty Bang Bang.

Well, okay.

(sfx: door creaking open)

Greetings, BOILS and GHOULS! I was just watching some old HACKass videos and wondering whatever happened to those fine young gentlemen...such as Johnny SHOCKSville and GRAVE England. I think we can all agree that the crew brought us all SCREAMS of laughter with their crazy stunts. But tonight, the CHOKE's on them, kiddies! Because they're going to take the ride of their life -- or the ride of their DEATH -- in a very special car. Once upon a time they put toy cars up their butts, but now it's they who are in the shit! EEEHEEHEEHEE! See, kiddies, tonight, the Jackass crew will find themselves taking a ride in a flying car made entirely of human shit! It's a Corolla, for the record. Just throwing that out there.

So buckle up, kiddies, and don't wear your best clothes, because after zooming around in an airborne car which is literally made of nothing but glistening logs of fecal matter, you'll need a trip to the wash, DIE and fold! EEEHEEHEEHEE! Now let's settle in for a terrifying tale I like to call...SHITTY SHITTY BANG BANG!
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 7:56 PM on June 20, 2011 [15 favorites]


but it's certainly a lot better than fifty people just posting a dot.
posted by joannemullen


Agreed.


Ouch! That hurt. Stoppit!
posted by futz at 8:08 PM on June 20, 2011


Trurl: But the kind of information that TMZ is a good source of isn't the kind of information that makes a good post.

Taken all by itself, maybe, absolutely not. But I see no reason not to include a link to TMZ in an FFP that included other links with more meat on them. However, this call out is about denigrating the sources qua sources used in the post, and I wanted to point out that there is nothing wrong with TMZ as a source of news.
posted by tzikeh at 8:09 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


i do think the differences in the thread and the big man's obit are interesting.

How many people did Clarence Clemons kill again?
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 8:14 PM on June 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


To quote myself from the thread, I don't think obituary threads are required to be hagiographical here on Metafilter. We're not exactly at his wake. This isn't a mourning site, it's a link and discuss site. And we're discussing the subject of the post.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 8:16 PM on June 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


I've never seen any of the Jackass movies or shows -- not my milieu -- and I couldn't have picked any of its stars out of a lineup before last week. One night, I was exhausted and sitting on the couch. It was the kind of exhaustion where you can't be bothered to change the channel when something you'd never watch otherwise comes on, and you can't be bothered to do anything other than sit there and exhaustedly watch it, and you're too exhausted to even CARE that you're watching it.

It was that stupid Minute to Win It show, and Ryan Dunn and the Steve guy were on it. Like I said, I'd never watch it otherwise, but there you go.

I knew nothing about him. And before today, all I knew about him came from that show. What I knew of him yesterday was that he seemed like a genuinely sweet guy. He was doing stupid tricks on a TV game show for a charity that he seemed absolutely devoted to. The only reason he was even doing stupid tricks on a TV game show for a charity he cared about was that he'd made himself famous by doing disgusting and stupid tricks on another show. The other, awful obit thread taught me about some of those tricks. I wouldn't have known about them otherwise. Not my thing, but I can't hate the guy for it.

What I take away from his death after watching that game show is that he was an actual person who was probably kind and caring and stupid and juvenile and sweet and reckless and attention-seeking and thrill-seeking and sad and flatulent and frustrating and off-putting and maddening and reliable and human, just like everyone else here.

I further would like to point out that a non-insignificant segment of the Metafilter population (me included) has been photographed getting drunk at meetups, and many of those photos were probably posted before the meetup ended. If the next morning, someone posted that one of us -- whom others had seen drunk at the meetup -- was killed in a "fiery car crash" on the way home, I hope to god the reaction would be less vitriolic that it was with him.

People do stupid things. They do stupid things for money, even. They're still people. They're still human.

Those among us who spew such hatred upon their deaths need to reexamine their own humanity, if you ask me.

That thread was more disgusting than any Jackass stunt.
posted by mudpuppie at 8:23 PM on June 20, 2011 [65 favorites]


Greetings, BOILS and GHOULS! I was just watching some old HACKass videos and wondering whatever happened to those fine young gentlemen...such as Johnny SHOCKSville and GRAVE England. I think we can all agree that the crew brought us all SCREAMS of laughter with their crazy stunts. But tonight, the CHOKE's on them, kiddies! Because they're going to take the ride of their life -- or the ride of their DEATH -- in a very special car. Once upon a time they put toy cars up their butts, but now it's they who are in the shit! EEEHEEHEEHEE! See, kiddies, tonight, the Jackass crew will find themselves taking a ride in a flying car made entirely of human shit! It's a Corolla, for the record. Just throwing that out there.

So buckle up, kiddies, and don't wear your best clothes, because after zooming around in an airborne car which is literally made of nothing but glistening logs of fecal matter, you'll need a trip to the wash, DIE and fold! EEEHEEHEEHEE! Now let's settle in for a terrifying tale I like to call...SHITTY SHITTY BANG BANG!


I'm pretty sure this was how an X-Files episode started. Wasn't Steve-O in it?

Those among us who spew such hatred upon their deaths need to reexamine their own humanity, if you ask me.

MeFites love being better than other people, or pretending they're better than other people.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:30 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


'Man who lived recklessly died recklessly.'

Now gimmie my Pulitzer.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:35 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


How many people did Clarence Clemons kill again?

Seriously, how huge of an erection are you getting over this? Something about the way you're reveling on the HE KILLED PEOPLE angle of this event seems downright erotomaniacal.
posted by hermitosis at 8:36 PM on June 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


How many people did Clarence Clemons kill again?

At night we ride through mansions of glory in suicide machines....
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:39 PM on June 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


Metaphorically? With the awesomeness of his playing?

Millions.
posted by Trurl at 9:11 PM on June 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


Holy shit. Mefites are dicks. WTF?!?! Just because you don't appreciate his art, you can talk shit about how its funny he died, and make up that he was "super drunk", when the CORONER doesn't even know it yet.

True colors, guys.
posted by hal_c_on at 9:17 PM on June 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Okay, okay, okay. It's time for me to confess.

I'm Afroblanco.
posted by afroblanca at 9:17 PM on June 20, 2011


That thread was more disgusting than any Jackass stunt.

Well said. All of it.
posted by hal_c_on at 9:18 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seriously, how huge of an erection are you getting over this? Something about the way you're reveling on the HE KILLED PEOPLE angle of this event seems downright erotomaniacal.

Bullshit. I'm trying not to get all lifetime movie sympathy bullshit card here, but my ERECTION? Fine. let's do this. People like him derailed my entire fucking life by killing my fiancée with me sitting in the car next to her. Every fucking day I think about that, how some prick got a few drinks in him and decided he could handle it, and now instead of a wife instead I have an empty house and back problems. Someone came back to work from maternity leave today and was showing picture of their baby and all I'm thinking is "would I have had a baby by now?"

This fuck did the exact same thing, killed his friend, killed himself, could have EASILY killed anyone else: your wife, husband, son, daughter, mother, father, whatever, cause he couldn't care less about other people, and everyone here is saying "oh what a shame, he was a great guy."

You want to treat it that way, you go right ahead, but when someone else isn't okay with the whole "well, sure, people died from his indifference to human life, but that's hardly worth mentioning," tone and choose NOT to be 'okay' with it, maybe you shouldn't go asking about how hard their dick is getting, huh?
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 9:20 PM on June 20, 2011 [37 favorites]


I don't usually say much around here but it sure seems like the sanctimonious bullshit is getting pretty thick lately. Confirmation bias? I don't know. Maybe it's just the heat.
posted by Kloryne at 9:24 PM on June 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


John Kenneth - The obit thread wasn't about you.
posted by Kloryne at 9:25 PM on June 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


No, it was about a guy who was on a tv show, made some movies, and then was responsible for his death and that of another person. Hermitosis made it about me by asking about my erection.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 9:26 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


If I wanted it to be about me, I would have gotten into this 13 hours ago. I'm just as entitled to express my disrespect as you are to express respect, and I'd thank you not to impugn my motives. This isn't a pep rally with MeFi as the marching band that needs to stay in step.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 9:40 PM on June 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


Yeah, and that was also lame of Hermitosis to say that. I honestly don't understand what the motivation is here for everyone to take this death like they are directly involved. To start fighting about who he was or why this happened or if it was a good or bad death. He's fucking dead. His friend is dead. WTF is the point of this becoming important to any of you to this extent unless you are someone who loved him or his friend? It's creepy and sad to take another person's death and use it for your own cause. OK, now I'm talking about it just as much. I'll stop too.
posted by Kloryne at 9:40 PM on June 20, 2011


Here's what I don't understand. Why are we assuming he was driving drunk? No, seriously. Is there any evidence that he was driving drunk? Because people here seem to be taking that for granted, and I just haven't seen any evidence that it's true. There's a photo from two hours before his death that shows him drinking something that looks like it could be an alcoholic beverage. But does that really prove that he was driving drunk? Couldn't he have been drinking ginger ale? If he'd had one drink, would he necessarily have been drunk two hours later? Are we assuming he was drunk because his Jackass persona was the kind of guy who would have been drunk, and we assume that his Jackass persona was who he really was?

I get that this pushes terribly painful buttons for you, John Kenneth Fisher. But Ryan Dunn was a real person, and there are people who loved him who are grieving tonight. Are you really comfortable gloating over his death in such a public way, given that you're going on speculation here? Do you really think that your pain justifies that?
posted by craichead at 9:53 PM on June 20, 2011 [7 favorites]


MattMangels writes "They died in car accidents."
snsranch writes "Cite? Ha, just kidding. But really, WTF?"

Fatality rate of 11-15/100,000 (applicable to the bulk of the user base) and something like 30,000 active accounts means statistically we probably lose a couple people annually to traffic accidents.
posted by Mitheral at 10:11 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Let's be honest here. Take a look at the number of mefites who have left in the last two years, and ask yourself why they left.

Let's be honest here. You have nothing remotely resembling actual, factual data to back up whatever it is you're trying to say here.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:19 PM on June 20, 2011


I'm Afroblanco.
posted by afroblanca


Bottom surgery or just hormone treatments?
posted by orthogonality at 10:20 PM on June 20, 2011


Here's what I don't understand. Why are we assuming he was driving drunk? No, seriously. Is there any evidence that he was driving drunk?

I think it's safe to say he was driving recklessly, drunk or not. Like JKF, I don't have much respect for people who endanger others. I don't know why the Jackass guy, great as he might have been away from the wheel, should get a free pass on that count.
posted by mazola at 10:23 PM on June 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


He's not getting a free pass on it, he's *dead* and that's why people are so upset that people came into his thread bashing him. It's not like he's serving three days on a 90 day sentence in some cushy LA "jail" like Paris or Lindsay Lohan. He's dead.
posted by sweetkid at 10:46 PM on June 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


Won't anyone think of the 911 GT3 that was lost last night? It was only 4 years old.

This is pretty funny if you hear it in the voice of Steve Coogan doing Michael Caine.
posted by nicwolff at 10:47 PM on June 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


There's a huge divide between not giving someone a free pass for reckless behavior and pissing on a grave body that's still warm.
posted by mudpuppie at 10:48 PM on June 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


I wish you'd expressed your reaction that elaborately in the actual thread, JKF. It would have been a valuable contribution to the discussion. Without knowing where you were coming from, your comments seemed senselessly angry and totally out of place. Inappropriate for an obit thread, to say the least. (Even a thin one.)

We can't read your mind. It's up to you do decide what you want to share, and where, and how. Or even whether to share at all, and in the case of that thread it seems to me like you probably should never have waded in to begin with. I have (believe it or not) learned to (mostly) abstain from threads that I know strike too close to home. It sucks, but the alternative usually sucks worse.

I'm sorry that it took a harsh comment from me to get you to share that story. I don't think that compassion for victims ought to exclude the possibility of compassion for perpetrators, but everyone has their own grief to deal with in their own way, and I don't envy yours.
posted by hermitosis at 10:50 PM on June 20, 2011 [14 favorites]


Just that if someone is going to drive drunk and kill someone else, it would be better, not good, but better, if they had killed themselves first.

Ugh. Get over yourself. The only people I've spoken to today that have acrimony and wish death for this "suburban brat in a Porsche," are a handful of mightier-than-thou sober alcoholics, and those who have lost loved ones in drunk driving accidents.

Sorry to break this to you, but shitting on strangers who lost their lives, and acting like you live on some moral high ground because you're really angry, or maybe because you're jealous that this guy has a television show, or because you believe you're in a position to pass judgment on someone else, isn't a fucking solution.

As big of a douche as Ryan Dunn might have been in real life, and I wouldn't know because I didn't know the guy, check your anger at the door. It doesn't translate well. If you're essentially happy that this guy lost his life, but sad that his passenger died, you're essentially a fucking asshole with a justified resentment and need to exercise some compassion and forgiveness.
posted by phaedon at 11:06 PM on June 20, 2011 [2 favorites]




That thread, wow. Just wow. I can't remember the last time I've been more disappointed with this community.
posted by EatTheWeak at 1:01 AM on June 21, 2011


Metafilter: Hermitosis made it about me by asking about my erection.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:08 AM on June 21, 2011


turns out there wasn't an obit post for the lead singer of Anal Cunt. wonder how that would have gone
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 1:20 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


JKF, I am very, very sorry about your loss. I am certain I would feel the same as you do (hell, you're probably a bastion of objectivity compared to how I would feel and express my feelings) if I had lost a loved one because of drunk driving.

But...as I implied in the thread --and this may sound very harsh and I'm sorry -- that, to me, gives your opinion less gravity in the sense that it isn't coming from an objective place. In the same sort of vein that it would not be fair to someone being tried for alcohol-infused vehicular homicide to be tried by a jury of people entirely who have lost close family members to drunk driving accidents.

And indeed, I suspect that a very large number of the people myself and others are complaining about in that thread probably are coming from the same place you are - personal experience.

So maybe both camps - the "Let's dig him up so we can kill him again" camp and the "A new low for Metafilter in its sanctity" camp - can chill out a bit.
posted by mreleganza at 1:24 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Let's be honest here. Take a look at the number of mefites who have left in the last two years, and ask yourself why they left.

Orthogonality, I'm curious as to why you think they left. Cuz I've seen people leave for various and sundry reasons. Some high profile users mad about the special attention from mods, some upset because they think the userbase are a bunch of shit heels, and some just mad because they can't handle criticism of their ideas. A few others were band for repeatedly shitty behavior. All told, to me, metafilter is plodding along same as it ever was.

What am I missing?
posted by to sir with millipedes at 2:07 AM on June 21, 2011


There's a huge divide between not giving someone a free pass for reckless behavior and pissing on a body that's still warm.

Probably still smoldering.
posted by timeistight at 3:36 AM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Consider the case of Michael Jackson. Although there was no better site in the world for minute-by-minute updates of what was happening once he was dead, they told us little-to-nothing about why he mattered when alive.
Call me a cultural imperialist, but I don't think we - those of us over 20, at least - needed to be told about MJ.
posted by mippy at 3:46 AM on June 21, 2011


I wish you'd expressed your reaction that elaborately in the actual thread, JKF. It would have been a valuable contribution to the discussion. Without knowing where you were coming from, your comments seemed senselessly angry and totally out of place. Inappropriate for an obit thread, to say the least. (Even a thin one.)

Well, I was trying to avoid the inevitable "This thread is not about you" kneejerk. I did say early on (but not wanting other people to suffer the losses I and possibly others here have is not 'sanctimony'), but yeah not the same thing.

in the case of that thread it seems to me like you probably should never have waded in to begin with.

You're not wrong.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 4:02 AM on June 21, 2011


Here's what I don't understand. Why are we assuming he was driving drunk?

I think many are using drunk driving as a messy shorthand for a broader set of behaviors; if you're willing to go that fast on a road like that at 3am you've amply demonstrated that your decision-making abilities are compromised somehow. Even if alcohol was a factor it just moves the irresponsibility around a bit.
posted by Skorgu at 5:13 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


in the sense that it isn't coming from an objective place.

Sorry, but anyone who thinks *their* opinions are coming from a more "objective place" than anyone else, particularly in a contentious exchange of comments, is almost certainly kidding themselves.
posted by aught at 5:38 AM on June 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


But does that really prove that he was driving drunk?

Does it matter? He was going 110 miles an hour. Drunk or sober, it was a stupid fucking thing to do, and a couple of people are dead because of it.

I don't think a grown man doing something incredibly reckless and dangerous and taking someone else out with him is tragic. It's just fucking stupid and senseless, and he doesn't get a dot from me. I'm sorry.
posted by empath at 6:00 AM on June 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


Big difference between "He doesn't get a dot from me" and "I will show up in his obituary thread and slag him."
posted by hermitosis at 6:06 AM on June 21, 2011


I am not sure how people expect a thread like that to go. There was not much in the post to celebrate his life. The details of his death made it open game to talk about the selfishness of reckless/drunk driving.

This is not his funeral, it's a 'community weblog'.
posted by mazola at 6:32 AM on June 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


"I will show up in his obituary thread and slag him."

That wasn't in any sense an obituary thread. It was a news story about him dying.
posted by empath at 6:38 AM on June 21, 2011 [7 favorites]


But...as I implied in the thread --and this may sound very harsh and I'm sorry -- that, to me, gives your opinion less gravity in the sense that it isn't coming from an objective place.

Hy-sterical.

'Your experience makes what you say less important' -- ha!
posted by mazola at 6:39 AM on June 21, 2011


He's not getting a free pass on it, he's *dead* and that's why people are so upset that people came into his thread bashing him. It's not like he's serving three days on a 90 day sentence in some cushy LA "jail" like Paris or Lindsay Lohan. He's dead.

And it seems he took a soul with him. That's worth a mention or a thought too or being upset about, no?

Or are you saying being reckless and killing someone is ok but mentioning it is somehow 'gauche'?

Got it.
posted by mazola at 6:47 AM on June 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


At very least they could have put a few of his videos or something in there. It looks like voyeuristic tutting as-is.

I'm not sure how including videos of Mr. Dunn getting punched in the nuts (or whatever it was he specialized in) would have made for less "voyeuristic tutting."
posted by octobersurprise at 6:59 AM on June 21, 2011


Or are you saying being reckless and killing someone is ok but mentioning it is somehow 'gauche'?

No, I was referring specifically to the 'free pass' quote. I didn't say anything about what's ok and what's gauche.
posted by sweetkid at 7:25 AM on June 21, 2011


I'd be interested to know the ages of those decrying criticism and those criticizing the jackass's decision to drive so very fast on a dark, deery road, possibly drunk.

I suspect a correlation with those who decry the harsh criticism the Vancouver rioters have received, and those who are really pissed-off at the rioters.

Kids these days. GOML.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:34 AM on June 21, 2011


I note that there has been no great sympathy for the dead passenger nor an outpouring of empathy for his/her family, from those that are upset that Dunn is being criticized for his poor decision.

I think that says a hell of a lot.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:46 AM on June 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Has the passenger been identified yet?
posted by hermitosis at 7:58 AM on June 21, 2011


Yes.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 8:09 AM on June 21, 2011


I note that there has been no great sympathy for the dead passenger nor an outpouring of empathy for his/her family, from those that are upset that Dunn is being criticized for his poor decision.

Did he have a TV show?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:11 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Recently, it's been banned spammers, people upset about spoilers [pro and con], people needing time off because of new jobs, people upset because other people are being assholes, people who feel that they don't fit in here, people who need a break.

"They go on. They leave MetaFilter, they walk ahead into the darkness, and they do not come back. The place they go towards is a place even less imaginable to most of us than weblog as conversation. I cannot describe it at all. It is possible that it does not exist. But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from MetaFilter."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:22 AM on June 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


For God's sake.

No one's saying "yay drunk driving" or "yay dead passenger" - it's the inflated self-importance of those users who just gotta make their precious little judgments against another human being that hasn't even been buried yet that disgusts and embarrasses me. Shit, there's even a contingent willing to judge the passenger. The deceased are both "idiots" and "stupid" or whatever the hell, and therefore they deserved it - I can only assume these moral paragon MeFites would display the same bloodthirsty glee if a friend or family member of theirs perished in a similar fashion. And that they wouldn't wait for the funeral, either, cuz people who deserve to live are the ones that never do anything reckless or dumb and it's up to MeFite idiot-spotters to determine which deaths count and which humans are worthy of respect.

Not that I expect anyone's mind to be changed, of course. I expect more snide judgments and more justifications for them. This is the internet - to some of y'all, that's what the internet's for. I exited that thread because this is conduct unbecoming of Metafilter and a truly ugly, odious thing to watch unfold.
posted by EatTheWeak at 8:34 AM on June 21, 2011 [10 favorites]


Apropos of nothing, Wikipedia has an article on skid marks.

(Amazingly, it doesn't mention the underwear kind)
posted by dirigibleman at 8:41 AM on June 21, 2011


Or are you saying being reckless and killing someone is ok but mentioning it is somehow 'gauche'?

Got it.


I really wish people would stop with this I-am-pretending-to-think-you-are-suggesting-something-horrible form of reductio ad absurdum. It's fucking condescending and annoying.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:42 AM on June 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


I really wish people would stop with this I-am-pretending-to-think-you-are-suggesting-something-horrible form of reductio ad absurdum. It's fucking condescending and annoying.

Point taken.

That said, I saw nothing in that thread that was out of line given the set-up of the post.
posted by mazola at 8:46 AM on June 21, 2011


If you don't get points for posting first, then what do you get points for?
posted by Sailormom at 8:49 AM on June 21, 2011


Posting best, hopefully.
posted by mazola at 8:50 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


No one's saying "yay drunk driving" or "yay dead passenger" - it's the inflated self-importance of those users who just gotta make their precious little judgments against another human being that hasn't even been buried yet that disgusts and embarrasses me.

Is that a precious little judgement against another human being that I'm reading?
posted by empath at 8:59 AM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


That said, I saw nothing in that thread that was out of line given the set-up of the post.

Though I'll add it seems to be a train-wreck now.

But it didn't have to be that way! It didn't have to be that way!

And that is the real tragedy.
posted by mazola at 9:02 AM on June 21, 2011


Though I'll add it seems to be a train-wreck now.

I'm really not sure what people expected from a guy who made a living from acting like an asshole, dying from doing an asshole-ish thing.
posted by empath at 9:05 AM on June 21, 2011


Jesus, why are you still talking?
posted by Horselover Phattie at 9:06 AM on June 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


I didn't expect anything from Ryan Dunn, I did expect more from the contributers on this site.
posted by Elmore at 9:08 AM on June 21, 2011


I'm really not sure what people expected from a guy who made a living from acting like an asshole, dying from doing an asshole-ish thing.

I, for one, expected:

1) respect from people who liked him as an artist
2) discussion around the circumstances of his death; including discussion around selfishness, recklessness, and responsibility because those issues were all in play here
3) 'irreverent' comments; I expect Dunn would have wanted it that way

It's the bickering and name callling I could do without.
posted by mazola at 9:09 AM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Jesus, why are you still talking?

Because I'm bored and this is metatalk.

You can go read something else if you want.
posted by empath at 9:10 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


(and I only posted a single comment in that thread).
posted by empath at 9:11 AM on June 21, 2011


Artist? Really?
posted by 26.2 at 9:12 AM on June 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


Well, you know what I mean.
posted by mazola at 9:14 AM on June 21, 2011


I started working on an obit post for Seth Putnam when I saw no one else was posting one, but I scrapped the idea when I imagined the resultant thread being more or less what we got here: THIS PERSON WAS SCUM AND I'M GLAD THEY'RE DEAD.
posted by stinkycheese at 9:15 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's a huge divide between not giving someone a free pass for reckless behavior and pissing on a body that's still warm.

I guess, but nobody pissed on a body. Some people posted comments on a community weblog. If you don't like their comments, too bad. There are a lot of users here with a lot of opinions and chances are some of them won't be the same as yours. Some may even offend you. If you expect any different you're in the wrong place.
We've had obit posts and notable death posts that garnered mostly respectful comments. We've had others that were outright celebrations (I expect Margaret Thatcher and Dick Cheney will be in that category when their times come).
Ryan Dunn's fell somewhere in the middle. Yes he was a human and his death is as tragic as any. Yes there's evidence he may have been driving drunk and recklessly and that's worthy of contempt. Both responses are valid.
As I've said before, I'd like to see obit posts have a special category here where they're somehow set up in a way that we can only comment once. Say your piece and get out. It would cut down on the in-thread fighting, anyway.
posted by rocket88 at 9:15 AM on June 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm really not sure what people expected from a guy who made a living from acting like an asshole, dying from doing an asshole-ish thing.

Even people who were assholes and did stupid things that killed them often had people who loved them and/or cared about them and/or just wouldn't wish ill on another human being, especially one who seemed sort of broken.

In the aftermath of my self-destructive father's death, I've gotten some really scary "What a fucking totally terrible asshole, by the way" comments [directed to me, left on websites, flying in the ether] and I've always felt that it's a particular sort of nastiness that directs things like this towards the living while the object of derision is peaceably dead. It's non-productive in every way except possibly the spleen venting does some good to the person who is venting. I have no idea.

Want to talk about the guy and his checkered past and the fact that drinking and driving is a particularly unsmart thing to do, fine. No one expects the thread to be a funeral, or if they do, they've come to the wrong place. But showing up and being a "who cares, what an asshole" asshole in the thread just makes it difficult for people who just want to talk about things to do that. Obit threads are particularly difficult because for people who DO care, they may be feeling a little prickly or fragile whatever.

empath: your single comment was flagged so much we would have removed it except that a ton of people had replied to it, mentioned it, whatever. Showing up early in an obit thread with a "who cares, this isn't tragic" comment has a tendency to poison discussion. Not that the obit post couldn't have been better to begin with, but it would be nice if people would not do that.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:16 AM on June 21, 2011 [20 favorites]


And a few posts later, mathowie showed up to say he was super drunk.

It was going to go that way, whether I said anything or not.
posted by empath at 9:19 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I mean, you can't really blame me for stuff that people other people in the thread continued to say less bluntly than I did.
posted by empath at 9:21 AM on June 21, 2011


The tone of mathowie's comment and yours is different by several orders of magnitude, empath.
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:24 AM on June 21, 2011


We can certainly blame you for taking a lazy crap in the thread, yes. Please do less of that. It's okay not to comment right away in a thread if you don't have much in particular to say, no one is going to think less of you for it and you'll be less likely to contribute to a crappier early-thread tone that way.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:33 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think it needed to be said, personally, as did a couple dozen other people, apparently.

People disagree, and that's fine, but it was a lazy, crap post to begin with, and my single sentence didn't wreck it.
posted by empath at 9:36 AM on June 21, 2011


(and, btw, I wouldn't have been particularly exercised about it if you guys had decided to delete it. I don't think I've ever complained about any of my comments being deleted).
posted by empath at 9:38 AM on June 21, 2011


I don't think I've ever complained about any of my comments being deleted

Considering you're more of a quantity over quality kind of guy, I would be surprised if you even noticed when a comment got the hook.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:41 AM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


> People disagree, and that's fine, but it was a lazy, crap post to begin with, and my single sentence didn't wreck it.

The accumulation of your lazy, crap sentences is really a drag on the site, however. Maybe let things flow without always having to comment so much.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 9:42 AM on June 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


People disagree, and that's fine, but it was a lazy, crap post to begin with, and my single sentence didn't wreck it.

So, if a person doesn't meet your standards, it's okay for you to shit on them and if a post doesn't meet your standards, it's okay for you to shit in it? Got it.

We're learning a lot today.
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:50 AM on June 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


FYI - empath's profile: This account is disabled.
posted by lampshade at 9:53 AM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


So, if a person doesn't meet your standards, it's okay for you to shit on them and if a post doesn't meet your standards, it's okay for you to shit in it? Got it.

Well that's harsh. Empath's comment in the thread may have been blunt, but it was germane.

For an obit post it probably wouldn't be considered respectful but the post read as a newsfilter to me.
posted by mazola at 9:58 AM on June 21, 2011


FYI - empath's profile: This account is disabled.

So the day hasn't been a total loss!
posted by entropicamericana at 10:03 AM on June 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


so, wait - you shouldn't speak ill of the dead but it's totally cool to be a shit to someone who was just moments ago an active mefite?
posted by nadawi at 10:04 AM on June 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


So the day hasn't been a total loss!

Don't be a dick.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:06 AM on June 21, 2011 [27 favorites]


Well, he was an asshole! I'm just glad he didn't take anyone else with him!

(Seriously though, you're going to compare a temporary ragequit to a, y'know, death?)
posted by entropicamericana at 10:07 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


no, i'm comparing your behavior to the behavior you complained about.
posted by nadawi at 10:08 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


And I'm saying it's apples and oranges.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:10 AM on June 21, 2011


hey mods, do you have some way of seeing how many deleted comments each user has had when you decide to drop the banhammer or do you go by reputation alone?
posted by nathancaswell at 10:11 AM on June 21, 2011


like, could you give us a top 10?
posted by nathancaswell at 10:11 AM on June 21, 2011


And I'm saying it's apples and oranges.

Maybe they aren't comparable. Regardless, don't be a dick.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:11 AM on June 21, 2011


nathancaswell - This doesn't smell of a ban, but of the Big Red Button. I could be wrong, but there tends to be a prebanning comment from a mod.
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:12 AM on June 21, 2011


We can see how many comments someone has had deleted, it's not how banning (which is, spammers aside, very rare) goes down, and it's a moot point here because we did not ban empath. He hit the big red button and didn't leave a note.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:12 AM on June 21, 2011


like, could you give us a top 10?

We can see it, but it's rarely a contributing factor in all but a few cases. There will be no top 10 posted anyplace publicly.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:13 AM on June 21, 2011


And I'm saying it's apples and oranges.

Yet both taste like an asshole.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:13 AM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Seriously, if you suffer from the snarky misanthropic urge to defend your unwillingness to provide a dead person with a dot to a community of strangers in an anonymous manner, because of your grandiose "take" on the situation, there really seems to be no logic to being here in the first place. If you are a prominent contributor to this site and that's where you've ended up after six years of being here, go find something better to do with your life.
posted by phaedon at 10:14 AM on June 21, 2011


I think you might be eating the wrong kind of apples; road apples aren't really apples.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:15 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


They're slightly tastier than red delicious, though. Blech.
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:16 AM on June 21, 2011


Chatted with empath briefly, he's taking some time off, will be back, fyi.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:24 AM on June 21, 2011


yeah i figured it was the red button, i was just curious... also curious if the deleted comments can be parsed by #of flags, we could get a "worst of metafilter" sidebar
posted by nathancaswell at 10:28 AM on June 21, 2011


Boy oh boy is that not ever gonna happen, no.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:30 AM on June 21, 2011


Cortex, did you just take my pony out to the back yard and shoot it in the head?
posted by nathancaswell at 10:31 AM on June 21, 2011


I believe he did. Now can we talk about what a stupid stupid pony it was and deserving of death?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:34 AM on June 21, 2011 [14 favorites]


Blunt, but germane.
posted by mazola at 10:36 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


He may have been a foul tempered, racist, uncircumcised tea party pony but I loved him, goddamn it.
posted by nathancaswell at 10:37 AM on June 21, 2011


It ain't that I don't share the morbid fascination, nathan, but yeah - that pony was diseased. (was it a joke pony?)
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:37 AM on June 21, 2011


this is relevant to this discussion

(or i've been sitting on this image waiting for anything that can be construed as an appropriate time to post it)
posted by nadawi at 10:37 AM on June 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


nathancaswell 's pony.
posted by gman at 10:37 AM on June 21, 2011


ps I included uncircumcised because I was trying to think of threads that would get a lot of deletions, let me just cut that whole derail off at the pass
posted by nathancaswell at 10:38 AM on June 21, 2011


(and yes, it was a joke pony)
posted by nathancaswell at 10:39 AM on June 21, 2011


Don't be a dick. - Cortex

Cortex, this is why I have an internet crush on you.
posted by 26.2 at 10:50 AM on June 21, 2011


lampshade: "FYI - empath's profile: This account is disabled."

*sigh*
posted by zarq at 10:51 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


jessamyn: "Chatted with empath briefly, he's taking some time off, will be back, fyi."

Thanks for letting us know.
posted by zarq at 10:51 AM on June 21, 2011


Seriously, if you suffer from the snarky misanthropic urge to defend your unwillingness to provide a dead person with a dot to a community of strangers in an anonymous manner, because of your grandiose "take" on the situation, there really seems to be no logic to being here in the first place.

Look, someone did something that kills people. They then died doing something that kills people. And while he was at it, he killed someone else, too. It wasn't a freak accident, drunk driving is something that kills all the time. Plenty of people here have been affected by people killing people by driving drunk.

When you drive drunk you are accepting the responsibility that you very well may kill someone when you do it, but that chance is worth it so you don't have to call and pay for a cab. Just because people live outside of cities and do it all of the time doesn't make it any more acceptable.

It is very different than someone being a dick during their lives, or you not thinking they generally contributed enough to society, or whatever. Driving drunk is something you do that is actively rolling the dice with other peoples' lives.

Sure, threadshitting is an uncool thing to do, but is it really so outlandish for someone to be offended a lack of recognition of what drunk driving entails? I know it's easy to sit back and think "hey man, just relax!", but I think you should be able to appreciate someone needing to step in and say something when confronted with "man this guy died what a bummer," even if you think they're overreacting.

If Ryan Dunn had died as a passenger to a drunk driver we'd absolutely be getting our hate on for the driver.

and of course what they end up saying is going to be something that's going to get others riled up, it's something emotional and this is goddamn Metafilter
posted by soma lkzx at 11:01 AM on June 21, 2011 [15 favorites]


Is that what this is about? Not posting dots? IIRC the Elaine Kaufman obit had not a single dot. Many of them don't.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:08 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am generally unlikely to post in "someone died" threads, but if I do I am also unlikely to "get my hate on" for any of the deceased.

I think it's possible to point out that a person was quite probably driving drunk without saying something along the lines of "that asshole deserved it". On the other hand, even if someone was planning to throw a grenade into a preschool and fumbled it and blew himself up, I probably wouldn't say that. I think (hope?) I'd say something along the lines of "I am very glad he wasn't able to blow up all those kids, and I wonder why he was trying to."

On the other hand, if I personally had lost someone to a drunk driver, maybe I'd be more angry and spleenful about it. I dunno.
posted by kavasa at 11:15 AM on June 21, 2011


IIRC the Elaine Kaufman obit had not a single dot. Many of them don't.

I counted six just now.
posted by Trurl at 11:55 AM on June 21, 2011


I counted six just now.

Yeah I was wrong about that. I'm glad she got some dots.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:13 PM on June 21, 2011


So entropicamericana "we're all living proof nothin' lasts."
how long do we have to wait?
posted by adamvasco at 12:32 PM on June 21, 2011


I believe he did. Now can we talk about what a stupid stupid pony it was and deserving of death?"

Not only deserving of death its head should be mounted on a spike and a photo be displayed in a prominent place.
posted by Mitheral at 12:34 PM on June 21, 2011


If his unpleasant passing has in some way enlightened the rest of you as to the grim finish beneath the glossy veneer of reckless living and inspired you to change your ways, then his demise carries with it an inherent nobility, and a supreme glory. We should all be so fortunate.

You say poor Ryan? I say poor us.
posted by sambosambo at 1:32 PM on June 21, 2011


Let's be honest here. Take a look at the number of mefites who have left in the last two years, and ask yourself why they left.



Ortho's right - we should lose cortex and jess, and replace them with the dalai lama and stephen hawking.

THEN NO ONE WILL COMPLAIN
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:52 PM on June 21, 2011


Let's be honest here. Take a look at the number of mefites who have left in the last two years, and ask yourself why they left.

They had to go to the bathroom?
posted by mazola at 2:59 PM on June 21, 2011


Hawking's mod comments would totally be in robot voice.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 3:00 PM on June 21, 2011


Lovecraft In Brooklyn: "When I talked about Clarence Clemons with my family this weekend my little brother guessed that he'd died of a drug overdose, since he was a musician. That wasn't okay, and it wouldn't have been okay if he'd said it about the guy from Jackass or an obscure singer or an actor you don't care about."

If Clarence Clemons had died from playing the sax too hard, this would have been an apt analogy.

However, Ryan Dunn made a career out of making dangerous and reckless decisions in front a camera. All evidence currently indicates that he died doing exactly that, sans camera. He also took another life along with him.
posted by schmod at 3:00 PM on June 21, 2011


Let's be honest here. Take a look at the number of mefites who have left in the last two years, and ask yourself why they left.

You'd be surprised how many of them left because someone else on metafilter stopped sleeping with them on the regular.

SOLUTION: ???
posted by the young rope-rider at 3:19 PM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Let's be honest here. Take a look at the number of mefites who have left in the last two years, and ask yourself why they left.

Agreed. I can see why someone would want to leave a community that utterly delights in attacking the recently dead.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:27 PM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Agreed. I can see why someone would want to leave a community that utterly delights in attacking those with differing opinions.
posted by Duke999R at 4:44 PM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I started working on an obit post for Seth Putnam when I saw no one else was posting one, but I scrapped the idea when I imagined the resultant thread being more or less what we got here: THIS PERSON WAS SCUM AND I'M GLAD THEY'RE DEAD.

And this is the effect that this sort of snark has on the site. I'm a bit curious about grindcore. A Seth Putnam obit thread, if done well, would have good links to his music and a few people who liked the band posting crazy stories of shows they've seen and remembrances and stuff like that. But it won't happen, because the holier-than-thou brigade would show up and say they're glad he's dead because of the content of his lyrics and the name of his band and all that.

Agreed. I can see why someone would want to leave a community that utterly delights in attacking those with differing opinions.

It's not differing opinions. Its basic human decency and respect. When Tiesto dies I'm not going to show up in his obit thread and drop one of my 'dance music sucks' comments, because that would be horrible. When Hunter S Thompson killed himself was the thread filled with people calling him a selfish, drunken asshole and saying 'what do you expect from a guy who drank that much around that many drugs?' Probably not!

But because somebody was famous in a way MeFi disapproves of - especially if it involves 'stupidity' than it's okay to shit on their obits.

If ASavage or Jamie die in an explosion-related accident, will the thread go the same way? Of course not.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:51 PM on June 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


There's a lot of people I admire who are dead, and of whom it could accurately be said, "They caused an/or contributed to their own death," whom I still mourn.

That said, I have never seen an episode of jackass and have no opinion on this guy.
posted by jonmc at 5:09 PM on June 21, 2011


Hunter S Thompson killed HIMSELF, as you said yourself, he did not kill or endanger anybody else through his actions.

And I'm sure that you know that both ASavage and Jamie Hyneman take every precaution against injury to themselves and any one else in the vicinity when exploding shit. Unlike some other two-bit celebrities.

Don't you have laundry to do, or something?
posted by Duke999R at 5:12 PM on June 21, 2011


"We love to see the powerful humiliated because it proves that they were no better than us to begin with. Yet we simultaneously imagine that because they're powerful and famous, they don't need the empathy that we'd desire were we in their stead. Instead of being moved by their suffering, we revel in it." --- Peter Beinart wrote that about Anthony Weiner, but it applies here. It's a part of our modern media culture. Empathy is in short supply these days.
posted by crunchland at 5:12 PM on June 21, 2011 [7 favorites]


And I'm sure that you know that both ASavage and Jamie Hyneman take every precaution against injury to themselves and any one else in the vicinity when exploding shit. Unlike some other two-bit celebrities.

I don't watch Jackass, but I imagine they do too. And you just proved my point. We watch the show. We know the guys on the Internet. We know they're more than 'those dudes that blow things up'.

Apparently, the Jackass guys were like that too. Again, I'm not even a fan. I'm just suggesting some basic respect.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:18 PM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


"I respect a person who drove drunk and at insane speeds on a dark narrow road, killing himself and his passenger."

Nope. That just doesn't fly.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:22 PM on June 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


You'd be surprised how many of them left because someone else on metafilter stopped sleeping with them on the regular.

SOLUTION: ???


it's not that bead thing again, is it?
posted by elizardbits at 5:30 PM on June 21, 2011


We allow people to gush over Christopher Hitchens, so I don't see what is wrong with a post mourning the death of a popular TV show star.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:32 PM on June 21, 2011


We allow people to gush over Christopher Hitchens, so I don't see what is wrong with a post mourning the death of a popular TV show star.

ALLOW? Who are you to 'allow' me to like or dislike someone? That's part of the same problem. People set themselves up as moral or intellectual judges.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:45 PM on June 21, 2011


And I'm sure that you know that both ASavage and Jamie Hyneman take every precaution against injury to themselves and any one else in the vicinity when exploding shit. Unlike some other two-bit celebrities.

I think you're confused. The difference between Jackass and Mythbusters isn't safety, its insurance coverage. I'd throw down 4 figures right here to bet that the insurance coverage for Jackass was way more than Mythbusters for the same period. They were able to do a lot more shit on Jackass simply because they spent a lot more money on insurance.

I remember one time Adam wanted to participate in a segment, and some suit came out saying "Our insurance won't allow this...Tory has to do it". It wasn't that Tory was skilled in that environment...its that one is worth more than the other. And sorry...but Tory just isn't that expensive to kill. Everyone on the show laughed, including Tory, and it WAS funny.

It showed how crucial to the show insurance coverage is.

Also, we didn't even get into "what would happen if their calculations of exploding shit was off by a magnitude?".

That shit would be FAR more dangerous for a LOT more people than any stupid shit they've shown on Jackass.
posted by hal_c_on at 5:47 PM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


ALLOW? Who are you to 'allow' me to like or dislike someone? That's part of the same problem. People set themselves up as moral or intellectual judges.

You're treading on thin ice here, counselor...but I'll allow it.
posted by hal_c_on at 5:48 PM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Facebook Briefly Pulls Ebert’s Page After ‘Jackass’ Rant

Yesterday, MeFi was less classy than Facebook. Be proud.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:14 PM on June 21, 2011


“The page was removed in error. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

You're right that was classy. They realized they screwed up.
posted by Big_B at 6:29 PM on June 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


it's not that bead thing again, is it?

APPARENTLY, if you're broken up that's "creepy" and "a choking hazard" and "why are you in my apartment". Let down once again by self-"help" lit.
posted by the young rope-rider at 6:34 PM on June 21, 2011


You would have thought if anyone could transcend the culture of narcissism, it would be Ebert. I have to say, I'm really starting to have doubts about his sanctity now.
posted by crunchland at 7:11 PM on June 21, 2011


How old are you, LiB? I'm guessing early 20s. A product of a generation where red pencils, failing grades, and "No" are all verboten.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:26 PM on June 21, 2011


How old are you, LiB? I'm guessing early 20s. A product of a generation where red pencils, failing grades, and "No" are all verboten.

I hate The Youngs as much as anyone, but that's just obnoxious. Chaulk me up as another who thinks it's sad when a young man dies, even when it's through his own fault. In fact, since what matters is those he left behind, perhaps it's worse when it's through his own fault.
posted by moxiedoll at 7:31 PM on June 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


How old are you, LiB? I'm guessing early 20s. A product of a generation where red pencils, failing grades, and "No" are all verboten.

Mid 20s. I like to think that not speaking ill of the dead is an old fashioned value, but with Gen X becoming parents who knows what's happening? "In my day we snarked at EVERYTHING, whether it deserved it or not".
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:32 PM on June 21, 2011 [3 favorites]




How old are you, LiB? I'm guessing early 20s. A product of a generation where red pencils, failing grades, and "No" are all verboten.
De mortuis nihil nisi bonum is a Latin phrase which indicates that it is socially inappropriate to say anything negative about a (recently) deceased person. Sometimes shortened to nil nisi bonum, the phrase derives from the sentence "de mortuis nil nisi bonum dicendum est" and is variously translated as "Speak no ill of the dead", "Of the dead, speak no evil", "Do not/ Don't speak ill of the dead" or, strictly literally, "Of the dead, nothing unless good".

The first recorded use of the phrase is by Diogenes Laërtius in Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, where he attributes it to Chilon of Sparta. Since both men were Greek, the original aphorism was rendered as τὸν τεθνηκóτα μὴ κακολογεῖν ("Don't badmouth a dead man"). In 1432 Italian theologian Ambrogio Traversari translated Diogenes' work into Latin, popularizing the phrase in that language.[1]
posted by craichead at 7:33 PM on June 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


How old are you, LiB? I'm guessing early 20s. A product of a generation where red pencils, failing grades, and "No" are all verboten.

Thank you, Time Magazine opinion columnist.
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:43 PM on June 21, 2011 [12 favorites]


Lovecraft In Brooklyn: " But because somebody was famous in a way MeFi disapproves of - especially if it involves 'stupidity' than it's okay to shit on their obits."

I didn't participate in the other thread. I have never seen an episode of Jackass, or any of their movies.

But let's recap what happened, shall we? Ryan Dunn got behind the wheel of his Porsche, reportedly drove at 110mph in a 30mph zone, careened offroad through the woods for 40 yards, smashed into a tree and his car went up in flames. He was killed. His passenger died. They identified Ryan by his tattoos. It took longer to identify his passenger because the body was so badly burned.

His recklessness killed himself, and took the life of his innocent passenger.

This wasn't stupidity. It was a tragedy. And it was entirely the driver's fault. He was going 110mph. In a 30mph zone. That's not a mistake. He didn't accidentally exceed the speed limit by 80mph!

I'm sorry he's dead. But he drove that way deliberately, an innocent passenger was killed and that is absolutely inexcusable.

His celebrity status and what he did for a living doesn't change that.
posted by zarq at 8:04 PM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]




What makes everyone assume the passenger was sitting there shouting "STOP STOP STOP" instead of "Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo"?
posted by nathancaswell at 8:32 PM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yesterday, MeFi was less classy than Facebook. Be proud.

I blame all the Australians.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:50 PM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't really know what the people who want to slam this guy really want. Maybe he did something reckless. He died. Where is the free pass/this is cool rhetoric coming from, from our side as people who just think it's tragic that anyone died?

What do you win, for saying he's an asshole who deserved death? If anything you bring more pain for the people he's left behind, for the other person in the car, for the countless other victims of reckless driving/drunk driving/what have you.

Honestly, what good faith effort are you making here?
posted by sweetkid at 8:54 PM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


None. We're expressing our opinions on MetaFilter. Some of us are being respectful of the Jackass guy and some of us aren't. It seems to me only one of those sides is having a real problem accepting the existence of the other.
posted by rocket88 at 9:14 PM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


So the respectful people are having a hard time accepting the disrespectful people. Cancel the thread, I think you've cracked the code.
posted by nathancaswell at 9:16 PM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wow is that a new idea, nathancaswell! It's like - oh! - the tolerance squad doesn't tolerate people who are intolerant!
posted by moxiedoll at 9:22 PM on June 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


It's not just about opinion.

Apparently, the Jackass guys were like that too. Again, I'm not even a fan. I'm just suggesting some basic respect.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:18 PM on June 21 [1 favorite −] [!]


"I respect a person who drove drunk and at insane speeds on a dark narrow road, killing himself and his passenger."

Nope. That just doesn't fly.

That "quote" isn't a quote, It's a full on misread of what LiB was saying. A willfull misread, in fact. Again: I feel like the people who think it's appropriate to say that a 34 year old man who died in a horrific car accident is getting a "free pass" in life just because some people in a Metafilter thread don't want to shit on his death -- those people honestly seem to feel like they are making some kind of good faith, moral stand that the rest of us can't appreciate. Honestly, tell me what good you're doing with your message.
posted by sweetkid at 9:23 PM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


stinkycheese: I started working on an obit post for Seth Putnam when I saw no one else was posting one, but I scrapped the idea when I imagined the resultant thread being more or less what we got here: THIS PERSON WAS SCUM AND I'M GLAD THEY'RE DEAD.

Lovecraft In Brooklyn: And this is the effect that this sort of snark has on the site. I'm a bit curious about grindcore. A Seth Putnam obit thread, if done well, would have good links to his music and a few people who liked the band posting crazy stories of shows they've seen and remembrances and stuff like that. But it won't happen, because the holier-than-thou brigade would show up and say they're glad he's dead because of the content of his lyrics and the name of his band and all that.

Well, now I'm curious. I'd have thought it unlikely that people would be hateful in the way you guys think, and anticipated a thread that might not follow a typical obit trajectory, but not because of people opining that he was a bad person who deserved to die. I'd sort of expect some sarcastic comments playing off some of the song titles, yes, and I'd expect things to veer into discussions of if the music sucks/doesn't suck... how is that not going to happen in any music-related thread? I do think that the nature of the artist/work will influence the commentary, but a poisonous thread would surprise me (plus I suspect that most people who have a problem with the band name/lyrics are rather more likely not to be the same people who would be proclaiming that they're happy/don't care that somebody died).

Of course I might be totally off-base; maybe someone will make that post, and we'll see.
posted by taz at 12:32 AM on June 22, 2011


Not speaking ill of the dead sounds superstitious to me - I didn't comment in the obit thread, but I don't think Dunn will be coming back to haunt anyone who said harsh words about him.
posted by harriet vane at 4:47 AM on June 22, 2011

Not speaking ill of the dead sounds superstitious to me - I didn't comment in the obit thread, but I don't think Dunn will be coming back to haunt anyone who said harsh words about him.
Huh. It's never occurred to me to think of it that way. I'm not sure I agree that you shouldn't speak ill of the dead. I think, for instance, it sometimes gets in the way of an honest appraisal of the legacy of powerful political figures. But I think it's rooted more in respect for those who are grieving and in a belief that every life has value than in fear of haunting.

I don't know. Would people feel differently if Dunn weren't a celebrity? The thing that has pushed me over the edge about this is the comments section of my local newspaper's website, where people do a similar piss-on-the-corpse routine about perfectly average, non-famous people who die in ways that are thought to be their fault. For instance, a while back there was a case where a woman who had moved here from a big city went back home for a visit and was murdered while she was there. She was hanging out with some old friends, one of them was involved with gangs and/or crime, and she was killed by a bullet that was intended for him. The comments section went wild about how that's what you get for hanging out with criminals and about the evils of the big city and the people who move here from it. This woman had school-aged children and lots of family and friends in my town, and it's entirely possible that they read that crap.

I've seen similar nastiness about people who died in drug overdoses and suicides. And sometimes they're interspersed with comments like "oh, this is so sad. I went to high school with Susie, and while she was always troubled, she was also funny and kind." Even when faced with evidence of someone's humanity, some people can't stop treating them not like a person, but like a manifestation of the evils of meth or the selfishness of suicide or something.
posted by craichead at 6:26 AM on June 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Not speaking ill of the dead sounds superstitious to me - I didn't comment in the obit thread, but I don't think Dunn will be coming back to haunt anyone who said harsh words about him.

I always thought that not speaking ill of the dead was out of respect for the fact that they can no longer speak for themselves.
posted by marimeko at 6:28 AM on June 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


I always thought that not speaking ill of the dead was out of respect for the fact that they can no longer speak for themselves.

That, and the fact that we'll have the same vulnerability someday.

What goes around, comes around, etc.
posted by Trurl at 6:32 AM on June 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


That was a quote of me saying it and measuring my reaction.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:55 AM on June 22, 2011


Where is the free pass/this is cool rhetoric coming from, from our side as people who just think it's tragic that anyone died?

What do you win, for saying he's an asshole who deserved death?


Well, to me the 'free pass' was that somehow we're supposed to pretend the manner of his death didn't happen or we can't talk about it because somehow it is disrespectful.

This isn't his funeral and my audience isn't his family. This is a web board talking about a news event that had at least two aspects to it: 1) celebrity; 2) dangerous driving causing death. Those are both valid issues to talk about.

I also never said anything about him deserving death, so don't paint everyone with such a broad brush.
posted by mazola at 7:06 AM on June 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


nathancaswell: "What makes everyone assume the passenger was sitting there shouting "STOP STOP STOP" instead of "Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo"?"

Who was driving the car?

I don't know the exact circumstances, but I think we're pretty safe in saying that the passenger was not driving the vehicle.
posted by zarq at 7:40 AM on June 22, 2011


What makes everyone assume the passenger was sitting there shouting "STOP STOP STOP" instead of "Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo"?"

That could be true but doesn't make much difference to me. The cold facts are that reckless driving killed two people. Thank god and dumb luck it didn't involve someone else outside their vehicle.
posted by mazola at 7:45 AM on June 22, 2011


I think we're pretty safe in saying that the passenger was not driving the vehicle.

Clap, clap, clap, clap
posted by nathancaswell at 7:49 AM on June 22, 2011


nathancaswell: " Clap, clap, clap, clap"

Did you have something constructive to say, or are you just here for the obscure gifs?
posted by zarq at 11:35 AM on June 22, 2011




'Jackass' star's blood-alcohol level twice the legal limit.

God, what a steaming asshole. I'm sorry if that's too judgmental, but the guy really was an asshole to get behind the wheel of a car in that state.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:28 PM on June 22, 2011


So his BAC was just this shy of (according to Wikipedia):

Stupor
Loss of understanding
Impaired sensations
Severe motor impairment
Loss of consciousness
Memory blackout

and he got behind the wheel of a vehicle and drove 110mph? I do wonder what the reactions would have been if he'd struck another vehicle and killed some other folks.
posted by adamdschneider at 2:31 PM on June 22, 2011


and he got behind the wheel of a vehicle and drove 110mph?

That's a lie, he DID NOT!


He was going between 132-140 mph
posted by mazola at 2:35 PM on June 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


and he got behind the wheel of a vehicle and drove 110mph? --- Which part of "Loss of understanding" do you not understand?
posted by crunchland at 2:39 PM on June 22, 2011


Not sure if there's a linear relationship between amount drunk and BAC, but if there is, then 1.9 is equivalant to 4 pints of a low strength lager. Or 2/3 a bottle of wine.

I'm in the "he's an asshole for doing this" brigade, but I don't think that's going to put a seasoned drinker into "loss of understanding" / "memory blackout" territory.
posted by seanyboy at 2:46 PM on June 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Not sure if there's a linear relationship between amount drunk and BAC, but if there is, then 1.9 is equivalant to 4 pints of a low strength lager. Or 2/3 a bottle of wine.

This may be a misunderstanding. In a 200 lb/91 kg man, .19 is equivalent to ten cans of beer/shots/glasses of wine imbibed in an hour. It's double what you could get pulled over for and have your keys taken away. The Wikipedia BAC page has a very boring but useful chart.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:53 PM on June 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


seanyboy - you should also take time into account, as BAC goes down as the body processes the alcohol out of its system. So that equivalent to 4 pints or 2/3 of a bottle of wine is assuming he drank them in the space of an hour or less, and I suspect you're underestimating. And if he was drinking for more than an hour (likely), he would have had to maintain that level over the course of the evening.

For even a seasoned drinker, shotgunning that much booze that fast is going to have an effect.
posted by Tknophobia at 2:55 PM on June 22, 2011


...or I could have previewed and seen that jessamyn beat me to the punch. :)
posted by Tknophobia at 2:56 PM on June 22, 2011


Which part of "Loss of understanding" do you not understand?

Well, I don't know. I've been blackout drunk before, but I've never thought, "You know what would be a good idea right now? Driving." Then again, I've never been on Jackass, either.
posted by adamdschneider at 2:57 PM on June 22, 2011


jessamyn: I suspect that wikipedia article is wrong.

A pint of 5% red stripe lager contains 2.3 UK units.
A UK unit is equivalent to a BAC of 0.02
It's commonly known that the UK drink driving limit is 4 units or a BAC of 0.08
1 Unit is equal to a BAC of 0.02

4 cans of red stripe = 9.2 units.
9.2 * 0.02 units gives you a BAC of 0.184

Maybe cans of beer are smaller in the US? They tend to be about 484ml here. That's about 16 fl oz. Less than a pint. (Although I think US and UK pints are different so that's more weirdness to the mix)

I think either wikipedia has it wrong here or I'm missing something fundamental.

And I still don't think 4 (or even 5) pints is enough to tip a seasoned drinker into "loss of understanding" territory.
posted by seanyboy at 4:06 PM on June 22, 2011


addendum: Looks like the "Driving limit is 4 units" thing is just an approximation and not used by any authority. Now I have no idea.
posted by seanyboy at 4:13 PM on June 22, 2011


For reference, beer servings in the US come mostly in 12oz/355ml cans and bottles, 16oz tallboy cans, and ~16oz (US) pint pours.

I think the thing you've got is an extra multiplication in there. A UK unit is (according to some googling) 10ml or ~0.3oz; a US drink unit per the wikipedia chart is 18ml or ~0.6oz. So if you've had four cans of beer, you've got 9.2 UK units at 2.3 UK units per beer, or 4 US units at ~1 US unit per beer, which in either case is BAC 0.08, end of math.

Four UK units != 0.08 BAC, it equals something like 0.04.

That all fits just right with four beers = no driving, at 0.08 as legal limit. But getting up to 0.19 means drinking a bit more than twice that: nine or ten bottles of beer (maybe seven or eight pints?).

At that point I'd expect a seasoned drinker would probably be keeping their feet with a little effort but would be wobbly and distractable and a lousy conversationalist at best, and not in any shape to even discuss reparking their car, yeah.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:35 PM on June 22, 2011


> And I still don't think 4 (or even 5) pints is enough to tip a seasoned drinker into "loss of understanding" territory.

Depends, certainly, but drinking them all in an hour might do it. And it's cumulative. If you continue to drink, you break alcochol down less quickly than you add it. So a few pints an hour over a few or many hours could do it. The "loss of understanding" level merely starts there and goes up to almost another third as much, so it's just a general outline.

Cans of beer in the US are 12 oz/355ml and our pints are 473ml. They're usually considered "a drink" [i.e. having .5 oz/15ml of alcohol] for the purposes of the charts in the US like the one on the Wikipedia site. It's a moving average situation, since most people don't drink all at once, they do it over time. So you have

- alcohol added, over time
- alcohol removed, over time
- metabolism and tolerance factors

As far as the approximation, I think that's because the BAC is what matters, not how much you've drank, and in the US they can take you in even if you don't have a .08 BAC [as determined by the breathalizer] if you exhibit significant impairment during a trafic stop. So you could have, say, taken an Ativan and had one drink and get taken in for DWI.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:41 PM on June 22, 2011


Can someone explain to me why we should not penalize any non-zero BAC? Shouldn't even a 0.01 be, prima facie, minor impairment and result in at least a ticket?
posted by chimaera at 4:42 PM on June 22, 2011


We should probably also mandate significantly lower maximum speed limits, better safety feature requirements, rigorous regular retesting for competence, and far more significant constraints on vehicle emissions, etc., but there's a bunch of complicated socioeconomic stuff that gets tied up in personal vehicle use stuff.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:47 PM on June 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can someone explain to me why we should not penalize any non-zero BAC?

They do that in many countries. I suspect it's a very strong alcohol lobby combined with the smell of lifestyle policing that causes the BAC not to be lowered further. In the US just the change from .10 to .08 as the legal limit was met with a lot of fuss by drinkers and alcohol producers alike. It's a pretty difficult sell in a country that has an aggressive stance towards personal responsibility [see also seatbelt and helmet laws, and the (incorrect) implication that you are only hurting yourself if you decide to be unsafe] like the US. And if you go down this road, what about ticketing people for driving-while-sleepy or driving-while-on-valium or whatever else? People argue that the threshhold should be impairment and not a non-zero amount of alcohol in the bloodstream. You'd also wind up with problems like rum cake and tiramisu and whatever else.

Or, as cortex says, blame capitalism.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:50 PM on June 22, 2011


The human body naturally synthesizes alcohol. I don't think there's such a thing as a zero BAC.
posted by shakespeherian at 4:50 PM on June 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Can someone explain to me why we should not penalize any non-zero BAC? Shouldn't even a 0.01 be, prima facie, minor impairment and result in at least a ticket?

Because alcoholic drinks are not the only things that can raise BAC, and because BAC can only be reasonably determined legally during detainment, which means that an officer has to detain you first. I would not be in favor of giving officers more authority to arrest the people that are already disproportionately detained by traffic stops.
posted by Errant at 4:55 PM on June 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fair points, all.
posted by chimaera at 5:00 PM on June 22, 2011


Common consensus definitely has it that four units UK is equivalent to a 0.08 BAC.

Maybe people are erring on the side of caution in the UK.

The most drunk drunk driver I could find on the internet though was 6 times over the legal limit.

Jessamyn's calculation would have him drinking a staggering 24 beers.
UK Calculation has him drinking a more reasonable 12 beers.
He'd reportedly drunk about 15 beers.

I think I'll err on the side of caution and continue to think 1 unit = a 0.02 BAC.
posted by seanyboy at 5:05 PM on June 22, 2011


Not Jessamyn's calculation, cortex's. Anyway - it's an approximation. Seems like everyone is right.
posted by seanyboy at 5:09 PM on June 22, 2011


Yeah, there may be a fair amount of collision in casual rules of thumb between the different magnitude of units, different sizes of drinks, and a (gladdening!) tendency of people to err more on the side of "don't drive after drinking" rather than just "don't drive after clearly hitting or bypassing the legal limit that will get your ass in legal trouble". Erring on the side of caution is definitely the way to go and to hell with the specifics.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:15 PM on June 22, 2011


I've been blackout drunk before, but I've never thought, "You know what would be a good idea right now? Driving."

How do you know?
posted by Bookhouse at 5:50 PM on June 22, 2011 [5 favorites]


Sweden has a 0.02BAC limit, IIRC.

Imagine.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:43 PM on June 22, 2011


How do you know?

I guess I don't any more than I know there is no god, but in this as well the evidence is on my side.

For one, I've never done it.

For two, I'm not that much of a dumbass.
posted by adamdschneider at 7:40 PM on June 22, 2011


seanyboy writes "The most drunk drunk driver I could find on the internet though was 6 times over the legal limit. "

Oregon woman found unconscious in her running car which had crashed into a snow bank with a BAC of .72. Which handily beat a different Oregon woman with a BAC of .55.

Indiana man blows .69 BAC.

Former Seattle cop blows .47 BAC.

Polish driver hospitalized after car crash registers 1.48 BAC. Yep that 1 is in front of the decimal.

South African man transporting stolen sheep registers 1.6 BAC. That's 32 times the SA limit of .05 BAC.
posted by Mitheral at 7:41 PM on June 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


.
posted by caddis at 7:21 AM on June 23, 2011


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