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War, what is is good for?
February 5, 2012 12:58 PM   Subscribe

Can we have a moratorium on context free posts on how weird and crazy one of the "axis-of-evil" members is while there's a significant probability that US arms will be used against them?

Aside from it being a shitty post, (I mean, ninjas in 2012?) this sort of thing is PR or propaganda for war, in the current context. Evaluating context is difficult, but without context metafilter becomes just another wall in the echo-chamber reverberating this stuff. And, war is pretty serious, yes? And once you start adding context it just becomes a shitty post.

You could take the position that it's not the job of metafilter to filter out war propaganda... but I don't think you should take that position.
posted by ennui.bz to MetaFilter-Related at 12:58 PM (39 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Or you could take the position that's "war propaganda" is hard to judge, but the point here is that this post is just making a "funny" about a country and situation that isn't very funny right now.
posted by ennui.bz at 1:01 PM on February 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Really?
posted by found missing at 1:02 PM on February 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


yeah, there's nothing funny about Iran right now, especially ninjas.
posted by ennui.bz at 1:04 PM on February 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Maybe you can explain how the post is propaganda for war in the current context? It's obvious to the both of us, of course, but it might help the conversation flow. I think a good explanation would both distinguish the current context from other contexts, and point out the similarities between the post and other pieces of widely accepted war propaganda.
posted by planet at 1:04 PM on February 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


So what is the intention of this? Is the idea to convince the mods to delete posts of this nature?
posted by hellslinger at 1:04 PM on February 5, 2012


I'm kind of confused. This is a post about how martial arts are being used as a tool for women's empowerment in a famously repressive society. It doesn't have much if anything to do with global politics. Are you asking that we not make non-war-related posts about Iran?

(And yes, I train and am on the board of a women's-empowerment-focused martial arts school, so this looks like a neat if thin post on the topic. This has actually been a trend in a bunch of countries, India being the last one I saw news about, and I think it's pretty cool.)
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 1:07 PM on February 5, 2012 [13 favorites]


Here is the current context.
posted by ennui.bz at 1:07 PM on February 5, 2012


Thousands of ninjas, gender notwithstanding, are likely to be a HUGE deterrent against US attack.
posted by found missing at 1:08 PM on February 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


Take yourself back to 2003: what is the context for goofy news about Saddam Hussein?
posted by ennui.bz at 1:09 PM on February 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


this sort of thing is PR or propaganda for war, in the current context

Sorry, that's bullshit. You can't just drop your completely baseless opinion about how people will react to seeing women peform martial arts into a MetaTalk post and expect it to count for something. Most people's reaction to seeing Iranian women perform martial arts is not to view them as a threat. You're projecting.
posted by Dasein at 1:10 PM on February 5, 2012 [24 favorites]

Can we have a moratorium on context free posts on how weird and crazy one of the "axis-of-evil" members is while there's a significant probability that US arms will be used against them?
Seriously? What you're saying is "can we all agree to adopt my perspective on hot-button issues as site-wide policy?" I'm thinking the answer to that is going to be "no."
posted by craichead at 1:10 PM on February 5, 2012 [19 favorites]


How about we have a moratorium on you bringing your paranoid delusions into metatalk?
posted by atrazine at 1:10 PM on February 5, 2012 [18 favorites]


Also, you might consider whether you are one of those people who says they're in favour of free expression but then can always find a reason - usually having to do with corporate or military power - to try to stop people from saying things you don't like to hear.
posted by Dasein at 1:12 PM on February 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


Thousands of ninjas, gender notwithstanding, are likely to be a HUGE deterrent against US attack.

All the consternation about nukes and such is actually the result of a very poor translation of a Kurdish phrase that transliterates roughly as "real ultimate power", yes.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:12 PM on February 5, 2012 [7 favorites]


Take yourself back to 2003: what is the context for goofy news about Saddam Hussein?
Don't you mean goofy news about ordinary Iraqis? I don't remember any of that.

Maybe more warm, humanizing view of ordinary Iraqis doing ordinary things would have averted a disaster. Who knows.
posted by planet at 1:13 PM on February 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Most people's reaction to seeing Iranian women perform martial arts is not to view them as a threat.

The point isn't that they are a threat. The point is that

a) Iran is weird and crazy
b) Somehow a video about women training to be crazy is evidence of Iranian women struggling against oppression.

How about we have a moratorium on you bringing your paranoid delusions into metatalk?

Fuck you?
posted by ennui.bz at 1:13 PM on February 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


Maybe you can explain how the post is propaganda for war in the current context?

I don't know if the post is propaganda, that the author of the post is a propagandist, but there is an aspect to the writing in the piece linked from the post that would be different if the US and Israel were not currently threatening war. I'm surprised to see The Atllantic get on board with it, honestly. I'm more used to reading stuff in the vein of Seymour Hersh and James Fallows there.

Most people's reaction to seeing Iranian women perform martial arts is not to view them as a threat.

That reaction would only come if you haven't read the article, which isn't about Westerners being scared, but about Iranian women seeking, presumably, an outlet for what Westerners perceive as their version of oppression.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:14 PM on February 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

b) Somehow a video about women training to be crazy is evidence of Iranian women struggling against oppression.
Wait, what?

I really didn't like the article. I thought it was bizarre and fucked-up and basically played into a really lazy narrative about Iranian women, while linking to a video that subverted the narrative it was pushing. But that video was not "women training to be crazy." It was "look at the cool people doing a cool sport! Isn't it cool!" Nobody was depicted as being crazy.
posted by craichead at 1:17 PM on February 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


That post shows women empowering themselves as opposed to the usual posts that tell some new variant of the same old feminist dogma. That places it directly in the A tier.
posted by Ardiril at 1:17 PM on February 5, 2012


But that video was not "women training to be crazy." I meant to type "ninjas"...
posted by ennui.bz at 1:18 PM on February 5, 2012


The point isn't that they are a threat. The point is that

a) Iran is weird and crazy
b) Somehow a video about women training to be crazy is evidence of Iranian women struggling against oppression.


a) You're projecting. Most people won't see anything crazy or weird in women doing martial arts.
b) Training to be crazy? WTF? See above. Also, if you don't think Iranian women are oppressed, you need to read more.
posted by Dasein at 1:19 PM on February 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


If we're going to start having a moratorium on posts about countries against whom US arms are likely to be used, we might as well ban any post about North Korea, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Canada.
posted by griphus at 1:19 PM on February 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would like a ban on any post that is not about ninjas.
posted by michaelh at 1:21 PM on February 5, 2012 [7 favorites]


Well I did see an Iranian cameraman videotaping a bunch of suburban housewives doing Karate in San Jose today. He was cackling maniacally about how this footage would rouse the Iranian people to war. So that's something.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:21 PM on February 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


During the Cold War, I think you'd have been the guy raining on the parade of anyone telling a Russian joke because, hey, the Doomsday Clock.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:21 PM on February 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think adults can use critical thinking skills to figure out what they think is propaganda. I doubt folks who read Metafilter, who are currently against a way with Iran, are likely to change their opinion based on wacky Iranian posts.

Your attitude, however, makes me think you may be too close to this to grant the benefit of the doubt to other adults.
posted by OmieWise at 1:24 PM on February 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

I would like a ban on any post that is not about ninjas.
This is clear anti-pirate propaganda. I demand a moratorium on such statements.
posted by craichead at 1:24 PM on February 5, 2012 [13 favorites]


If we're going to start having a moratorium on posts about countries against whom US arms are likely to be used, we might as well ban any post about North Korea, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Canada.

Frankly, all of the "wacky north korea" posts make more uncomfortable for similar reasons. The difference is that right now there's little likelihood of war with North Korea. The only reason anyone in the US knows anything about North Korea, Pakistan, or Afghanistan is because of the adventures of the US military.

During the Cold War, I think you'd have been the guy raining on the parade of anyone telling a Russian joke because, hey, the Doomsday Clock.

Yeah, I would. Fun fact: there are lots of people who thought we could win a nuclear war with the USSR. We even elected one of them to be president. But the further point is that a "Russia joke" is a lame topic for a post because the whole meme is generated by government propaganda in the end. (The fact that we outsource US government propaganda to the private sector doesn't change anything)
posted by ennui.bz at 1:25 PM on February 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think adults can use critical thinking skills to figure out what they think is propaganda. I doubt folks who read Metafilter, who are currently against a way with Iran, are likely to change their opinion based on wacky Iranian posts.

I guess the internet/media spectacle of 2003 is just doomed to repeat itself. Hooray for the internet.
posted by ennui.bz at 1:26 PM on February 5, 2012


Halloween Jack Now there's an interesting link, and now it's started me wondering: If the Doomsday Clock has only ever read between 11 and midnight, what are the other 11 hours on the clock for? That seems like a calibration error. It's like Olympic gymnastic scoring where everything is ostensibly out of 10 points, but nobody ever actually varies the first digit.
posted by yeolcoatl at 1:27 PM on February 5, 2012


I would. Fun fact: there are lots of people who thought we could win a nuclear war with the USSR. We even elected one of them to be president.
And the ensuing nuclear war with the USSR was a tragedy, but it's time to move on.
posted by planet at 1:27 PM on February 5, 2012 [14 favorites]


You know what? I live less than 100 miles from Iran, until recently I travelled there regularly (which I have been doing on and off since I was 15). I'd wager that I know rather more Iranians than you do, including one in the Iranian air force who will almost definitely die if the United States or Israel attack Iran.

I have to keep track of how much drinking water I keep at home because if there is a war, and significant chemicals leak into the Persian Gulf the desalination plants on which I rely for my water won't work any more. I have fucking iodine tablets in my apartment despite knowing that it won't help much in case of a serious nuclear leak because I'm right in the middle of the prevailing wind plume from Bushehr.

So please don't presume to think that you care more about the potential for an American attack on Iran than I do.

To think that a fluff blog post based around a video produced by the Iranian government's own international outreach channel is part of a drum pounding propaganda offensive designed to get Americans behind a war is well beyond specious and into the realm of paranoia.
posted by atrazine at 1:28 PM on February 5, 2012 [49 favorites]


I guess the internet/media spectacle of 2003 is just doomed to repeat itself. Hooray for the internet.

When Israel bombs Iran this spring, Metafilter will have only itself to blame.
posted by Dasein at 1:28 PM on February 5, 2012 [6 favorites]


I guess the internet/media spectacle of 2003 is just doomed to repeat itself. Hooray for the internet.

Why are you being such a jerk? Seeking to censor posts on Metafilter is not anti-war activism, so maybe you should dial back your righteousness.
posted by OmieWise at 1:29 PM on February 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


Get Your Own Fucking War Blog On?
posted by joe lisboa at 1:29 PM on February 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ah, there's not going to be a war with those Iranian cocksuckers.
posted by thelonius at 1:29 PM on February 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


One hopes.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:34 PM on February 5, 2012


Fuck you?

You know, it's been a busy week and weekend in Metatalk already, this is not really at all clearly a thing-Metafilter-needs-a-community-consensus-on sort of situation, and it kind of feels like you came in here a little too ready for a fight. Let's give this a pass for now and if there's something that's not so much hung on a single post that nobody else has a problem with, we'll talk about it later when that's clearer. Everybody can go ahead and either watch or ignore the Superbowl this afternoon without one more contentions metatalk thread bubbling along.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:34 PM on February 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


Fuck you?

Don't.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:35 PM on February 5, 2012 [6 favorites]


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