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July 5, 2011 11:28 PM   Subscribe

An otherwise great post (thanks, Slarty Bartfast) is appended with the following:
I am hoping we will not debate here whether "Everything but Marriage" is really marriage equality. I am hoping we will learn about and admire the efforts of those heroes who suffered and fought so that we can all be free someday.
I was going to respond in the thread to this, but I thought MetaTalk would be a better place. It seems like a bad idea to me to preemptively tell people how to discuss political activism (or any topic on Metafilter, really...). "Learning" and "admiring" are not discussion (although they can arise from discussion). I appreciate the desire to see a FPP discussion go well, but basically telling people not to engage with one another seems bad style. Is there some kind of posting etiquette about this? I figured others might have the same response as me, so to avoid totally derailing the thread, we can discuss here.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike to Etiquette/Policy at 11:28 PM (40 comments total)

Personally I don't have a problem with it. He didn't tell anyone what to do, just said what he hoped would happen. As long as he doesn't come back in getting shitty if it doesn't happen like he hopes then all is good.
posted by shelleycat at 11:41 PM on July 5, 2011


It's bad etiquette to try and direct how the comments go, yes. I would personally would delete it on that basis, but I am not a mod.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:42 PM on July 5, 2011 [8 favorites]


That kind of editorializing in the text of an FPP should be and generally has been deleted.
posted by Kwine at 11:51 PM on July 5, 2011


I appreciate that this was taken here, and not in thread. Here in Washington, the domestic partnership law somehow became known as the "Everything but Marriage" law which then made it a very hot button issue: "Well, why *not* marriage?"

I wanted the focus of the post to be the story here and not a rehash of a two year old local political debate. Yeah, I could have avoided this by not mentioning the "everything but..." issue but someone else was going to mention the shortcomings of the law and I think this would certainly detract from what I think is a remarkable (unpublicized) back story to how we got our domestic partnership law. It's not a post about a political story, it's a human story.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 11:57 PM on July 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


To me it looks like a low-key, preemptive reminder that the thread may not be the place to grab the obvious bait and turn it into a knee-jerk rehash of dozen previous threads.

It might be bad form in principle but perhaps not ill-advised in practice, and it was reasonably gracefully done.

As was opening this thread to debate that before the debate started in-thread, I might add.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:05 AM on July 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


politics is best discussed on all fours
(Malaclypse the Younger)
posted by philip-random at 12:20 AM on July 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was surprised, not only by the comment at the end, but by the way the whole post was written as a first-person narrative. The closing lines just seemed like more of the same.

It's an interesting story, but the FPP was structured like a blog post.

I wanted the focus of the post to be the story here and not a rehash of a two year old local political debate.

Agreed; if nothing else, you reminded me that not every Metafilter thread needs to be hundreds of comments, or a long debate. It's okay to read some posts and, y'know, just think about the kinds of experiences we have as humans.
posted by dubold at 12:46 AM on July 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Is the purpose of an FPP to show the community something of interest or value, or is it to trigger and facilitate discussion? I think it should be the former and that discussion (however interesting or awesome or frustrating or terrible they have the potential to be) should be considered incidental to a post during its creation.
posted by doublehappy at 1:10 AM on July 6, 2011


I agree with the sentiments...so its hard for me to criticize it unless I think about the precedence it creates. And it creates a DANGEROUS precedence to our sensibilities.

Because of that, I agree to oppose opining in metas.

However, far be it from me to hurt an already oppressed people by upholding some administrative text. Like it would say on those Valentine's Day hearts:

Ⓞⓟⓘⓝⓔ Ⓑⓔ Ⓜⓘⓝⓔ
posted by hal_c_on at 1:15 AM on July 6, 2011


It's very obviously a blog post with some interesting links in it. This kind of thing has been pounced on mercilessly in the past. It's not personally something I want to see more of.
posted by londonmark at 2:14 AM on July 6, 2011


I wanted the focus of the post to be the story here and not a rehash of a two year old local political debate.

You don't get to do that by telling people how to react to your FPP. Your only influence in how things develop should be by the way you craft your FPP and the links you select. Launch it - stay out of your own FPPs - and let what happens happen.

If you don't think you can make an FPP without it being a rehash of a two year old debate, then you probably shouldn't post it.
posted by three blind mice at 2:33 AM on July 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


Might have been smarter to stick the contentious sentiment in the first comment. That way, the mods could have deleted the comment while leaving the otherwise pretty good post intact.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:07 AM on July 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I didn't click through the links, but I was turned off by the bloggy "So there I was..." lead in. Seemed a bit loose throughout.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 3:24 AM on July 6, 2011


I was turned off by the FPP's aura, which I saw as a hazy, yellow-green miasma surrounding it like a ball of translucent wisps.

This glowing aura detached itself from the FPP itself and floated in the direction of the window, pausing in its flight every so often to circle back around my head, as if urging me to follow.

And follow the elusive lights I did - transfixed by the ethereal and otherworldly creature, I tore off my clothes, and leaped out the window and began to skip and dance behind my transcendental guide.

The ball of brightness led me on, through the dank grey world of men, across the seas, and into strange, colourful lands - suddenly I realised that I was present in a new reality - another, brighter and more pure existence, where thought and feeling existed as a kind of infinite energy that wheeled about the Universe, moved by and moving all things with the power of awesome and divine love.

My point is: why wasn't all this referred to in the "more inside" section of the post? Surely there should be a rule against this happening again. A RULE, you understand? We CANNOT live without pinched and tedious little RULES.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 3:56 AM on July 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


That sort of thing goes in the first comment to the post, not the post itself.
posted by Eideteker at 4:06 AM on July 6, 2011


Yeah, the post starts off bloggy and finishes with editorialising. Not good.
posted by crossoverman at 4:22 AM on July 6, 2011


Oh right - sorry everyone. Sorry.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 4:22 AM on July 6, 2011


Probably best left out but sure is non intrusive language with the "hoping". Didn't bother me any.
posted by josher71 at 5:12 AM on July 6, 2011


Mefi pro tip: If you include the personal pronoun in your post and don't have it in a quote, people will be about 10 times more scrutinous and criticize you for what otherwise would have gone unnoticed.
posted by Think_Long at 5:57 AM on July 6, 2011


If you include the personal pronoun in your post and don't have it in a quote, people will be about 10 times more scrutinous and criticize you for what otherwise would have gone unnoticed.

One could replace 'I' with 'you' and be all Jedi-mind-tricky about it:
"You are hoping we will not debate here whether "Everything but Marriage" is really marriage equality. You are hoping we will learn about and admire the efforts of those heroes who suffered and fought so that we can all be free someday."
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 6:09 AM on July 6, 2011


One could replace 'I' with 'you'

"One" is the lonliest pronoun that you'll ever do. "You" can be as bad as "one" - it's the lonliest pronoun since the pronoun "one".
posted by the quidnunc kid at 6:25 AM on July 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


The ball of brightness led me on, through the dank grey world of men, across the seas, and into strange, colourful lands - suddenly I realised that I was present in a new reality - another, brighter and more pure existence, where thought and feeling existed as a kind of infinite energy that wheeled about the Universe, moved by and moving all things with the power of awesome and divine love.

Get off my lawn.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:33 AM on July 6, 2011


*goes into Meatbomb's house*
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:40 AM on July 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


I wanted the focus of the post to be the story here and not a rehash of a two year old local political debate.

While I totally respect your feelings on that and have felt the same way myself, my usual approach is to just not post threads on hot button political stuff that MeFi-types might tear to shreads. Maybe this is too much chilling effect on me but the whole "this is how I'd appreciate us talking about this" while totally understandable is somewhat anathema around here.

That said, it doesn't hit my delete threshhold (I'll talk to the other mods when they get up), so more of a thing to think about for later. Posts that are more bloggish and "I was just thinking about this" in nature often work better on people's own blogs.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:42 AM on July 6, 2011


Definitely in the "If you want to direct conversation, do it in a comment" camp. I think it's worth doing, but I think it's worth keeping out of the FPP.

Like this.
posted by valkyryn at 6:44 AM on July 6, 2011


Seems like a totally decent subject for a post, Slarty, and if you want to give this another shot tonight or tomorrow that's fine, but, yeah, less conversational/bloggy framing to the post and ditch the directive. A gentle nudge in the comments if things start going in a totally blarg direction is okay, but the preemptive disclaimer is, all good intentions aside, kind of the opposite of what it's intended to be in practice around here.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:44 AM on July 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


TIMING!
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:46 AM on July 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Slarty, I kind of liked that you were really compelled to make the post, and I think it's unfortunate that it was deleted, but I think you have to make the best post you can, and let it stand on its own. If it gets derailed, you can try to redirect, but commenters gonna comment.
posted by theora55 at 6:49 AM on July 6, 2011


So in the light of the morning, I see what everyone's getting at. I have no agenda on the current domestic partner law and I think the post about the back story stands fine on it's own. Mods, I'm fine with deleting my last couple comments. Or, you know, the whole post if you see fit.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 6:52 AM on July 6, 2011


Heh.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 6:53 AM on July 6, 2011


It's like a sitcom sometimes.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:02 AM on July 6, 2011


But yeah, seriously, do give it a go again with tweaked framing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:13 AM on July 6, 2011


cortex is the mean mod, we all know it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:16 AM on July 6, 2011 [17 favorites]


Wow - what a victory for the miniscule, clench-faced pettifarts who worship RULES.

If I had MY way, MetaFilter would be a place FREE of the burden of such tired, idiotic little RULES and the pseudomagistracy that feed off them in MetaTalk, like annoying flies feeding off a turd.

In fact there would only be ONE rule: "THERE ARE NO RULES". And anyone who disagreed with that high principle of FREEDOM would be held down and thoroughly SCRUBBED with an iron-bristled brush of TRUTH. That would actually be a rule, as well. So there would be two rules altogether. But rule three would be: "NO MORE FREEDOM-SAPPING RULES!!!", and every morning the mods would be FORCED to personally memail every user saying: "Hey! Do what you want! No Rules!" and if the mods failed to do that, well! There would be a VERY STRICT SET OF RULES ABOUT THAT! And everyone would be FORCED to memorize those rules and then Rule 4,537 would be: "THAT'S IT! NO MORE FUCKING RULES! I AM TOTALLY SERIOUS THIS TIME, OK?".

So vote #1 quidnunc.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 7:39 AM on July 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


AND I WANT TO SEE MY FACE SHINING IN THAT SADDLE COME THE MORN
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:40 AM on July 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Gimmee eat! GIVE EVERYBODY EAT!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:58 AM on July 6, 2011


Even though we can get at the content via this MeTa, I personally found it compelling, and I think others would, too. I for one encourage Slarty to repost it with an updated framing.

You know, if you feel like it and everything...

(You see, people?! THIS is why you NEVER just ask cortex if you can take the car on Saturday night, you ALWAYS ask jessamyn FIRST...)
posted by OneMonkeysUncle at 8:07 AM on July 6, 2011


MetaFilter: miniscule, clench-faced pettifarts who worship RULES

I love the word "pettifart"

pettifart pettifart pettifart

PETTIfaaaaaaaaart pettifart

I'll see myself out
posted by scrump at 9:13 AM on July 6, 2011


what a victory for the miniscule, clench-faced pettifarts who worship RULES

We're number one! We're number one!

[NOT MINISCULIST!]
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:30 AM on July 6, 2011


He didn't tell anyone what to do, just said what he hoped would happen.

That's a very fine line.
posted by John Cohen at 11:17 AM on July 6, 2011


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