What more was there to say? July 2, 2012 2:42 PM   Subscribe

I said "fuck you" and got deleted.

To this comment in this shitshow of a post:

I see their point on a lot of the stuff about the South. In fact, the older I get and the longer I live in the North, the more I see the South as a warped, quasi-feudal society that seems to in a lot of ways pine for a time before the US was a developed country with a large prosperous middle class.

This is disgusting divisive hate speech. Seems my reply was an entirely appropriate reaction.
posted by ferdinand.bardamu to Etiquette/Policy at 2:42 PM (360 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

Perhaps you could find less fighty way to say it. One that doesn't rely on vulgarity and perhaps expands on your point.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 2:44 PM on July 2, 2012 [12 favorites]


The point is the comment I replied to is simply a more verbose way of saying the same thing.
posted by ferdinand.bardamu at 2:45 PM on July 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


No, it's not.
posted by enn at 2:46 PM on July 2, 2012 [15 favorites]


Then flag it. Don't contribute garbage. Or just avoid the thread altogether which is what I am doing whenever I see an article by someone who is a "Trained social futurist".
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:47 PM on July 2, 2012 [18 favorites]


Seems my reply was an entirely appropriate reaction.

It wasn't. Use the range of your vocabulary to discuss the topic with the other commenters, or flag their comments and/or email us if you feel that there is some sort of hate speech situation that you think we need to deal with. Otherwise we have a few lines that we require people not cross and "fuck you" responses are one of them. Usually it's an instant night-off but we've been relaxing that guideline lately.

I, also, wish that Salon didn't post such borderline clickbait trollish-sounding articles but it seems like we have the internet we deserve some days.

Making shirty complaints about the south in general and saying "fuck you" to another specific member are not treated the same way here. You are welcome to make the argument that possibly they should be, but they aren't. If we think people are making dismissive thread-shitting "Fuck the south" (or wherever) comments we'll axe them. I didn't think Sara C's comment was doing that.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:48 PM on July 2, 2012 [23 favorites]


Uh yeah maybe that's a rude and generalizing thing to say about where someone is from but that is NOT "hate speech".
posted by windbox at 2:48 PM on July 2, 2012 [9 favorites]



The point is the comment I replied to is simply a more verbose way of saying the same thing.


It doesn't seem that way to me, in particular because it doesn't not directly pick a fight with another member of the site. I agree that it was an ugly comment and you are quite within your rights to say so, but that's different from being directly abusive to another member of the site.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 2:49 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Er, "doesn't not" --> "does not"
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 2:50 PM on July 2, 2012


For posts about the South, it's best to just read the linked articles and not even click the "more inside" unless you like to read comments like that.
posted by Houstonian at 2:51 PM on July 2, 2012 [13 favorites]


For posts about the South, it's best to just read the linked articles and not even click the "more inside" unless you like to read comments like that.

Yeah, yeah... but that says a lot, doesn't it?
posted by ferdinand.bardamu at 2:55 PM on July 2, 2012 [8 favorites]


Seems my reply was an entirely appropriate reaction.

A couple years ago, I thought the same thing and went on kind of a "fuck you" tear around the joint. got timed out for it, too, and ended up disabling my account to give myself a thinkover on what I figured was worth a hearty "fuck you" around here. A year and a half later I decided I had my answer:

Turns out it's "not really a whole hell of a lot."

just thought I'd put that out there.
posted by shmegegge at 2:58 PM on July 2, 2012 [8 favorites]


ferdinand.bardamu: " I said "fuck you" and got deleted. "

Excellent! The flagging system works!

The comment was rude and clueless. It wasn't hate speech. Your comment was noise, and an attack on another member. It is understandable that it was deleted.
posted by zarq at 2:59 PM on July 2, 2012 [35 favorites]


So would "Fuck you too!" be an appropriate response to your original comment?
posted by demiurge at 3:00 PM on July 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


Also, considering the last MeTa callout which was made about one of your comments, for you to be referring to anything as hate speech is jaw-droppingly, mind-numbingly, stunningly tone deaf.
posted by zarq at 3:03 PM on July 2, 2012 [39 favorites]


"Fuck you" was probably all respect and consideration the poster deserved for such an ignorant and blatantly hateful remark, granted, but that doesn't mean the comment was appropriate for the site.

Responding to idiocy with idiocy doesn't make anyone smarter.
posted by toomuchpete at 3:04 PM on July 2, 2012


MY FREE SPEECH :(
posted by windbox at 3:05 PM on July 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


i'm a southerner who was raised mormon and am now an atheist queer submissive housewife. people say stunningly awful and just plain ignorant things about subgroups i'm pretty well versed in constantly. somewhere along the line i figured out that i either have to use my words and try to change perceptions or i have to move on. if you're not up for getting entrenched and explaining why that's a false place to start from, that's ok. there are lots of other southerners here who do an awesome job of disproving that these stereotypes are all encompassing and show why, despite all it's flaws, really neat people keep choosing to make their home south of the sweet tea line.
posted by nadawi at 3:12 PM on July 2, 2012 [21 favorites]


This is disgusting divisive hate speech. Seems my reply was an entirely appropriate reaction.

Not so much, no.

Also, I'm uncertain what the problem is - what they stated was how they saw the south, not how the area actually is.

Maybe those two are the same thing, maybe not, but the poster didn't make that relation, you did. It is not an explicit relationship. Anyway, unless you have some evidence to the contrary, the poster is almost certainly correct - that is how they see the south.

Which is a shame of its own, sure.

So, it really seems like you have a problem with your baggage; it seems to cloud your reading comprehension.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 3:19 PM on July 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


You got deleted because FUCK YOU is an asshole statement to make. You are in control of your own reaction to things posted. Use your words wisely. Don't be an asshole. Treat people how you would like to be treated. It's really not that difficult.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 3:20 PM on July 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Flag unacceptable comments, kids. Yelling or unnecessary aggression lacks luster.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 3:21 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Nthing "It's not hate speech."
posted by liketitanic at 3:21 PM on July 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


For posts about the South, it's best to just read the linked articles and not even click the "more inside" unless you like to read comments like that.

I've been here for a long time, and this is good advice. I have trouble following it myself, but that's another story.

I have gotten better when non-southerners decide to rant against the south, because I realize often they've never been to the south, or took that one spring break trip through alabama when they were in college.

But some of the most hateful speech you will find, here and elsewhere, often comes from southerners that move north to live (as I believe sara c. did). My guess has always been that it's there way of of seperating themselves from their southern past. They were born there, but it was awful, so they left. Now listen to them spew southern stereotypes!

And yes, you can use your words and experience to show how wrong they are, and how their stereotyping is no different than what people do to fat people, or black people... But realize two things. One, you will never reach some people. Their opinions will never change. And two, the majority of metafilter members already understand, and disagree, with the type of comments sara c. made.
posted by justgary at 3:22 PM on July 2, 2012 [14 favorites]


I actually think 'fuck you's should be allowed to stand, sometimes. Not in this case, but when things get personal, as they sometimes do.

Also, the comment to which our friend launched his 'fuck you' airstrike? If that had been about religion, I think it would also have been deleted, at least, apparently, if I had made it.

This is something that has been bothering me recently.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:23 PM on July 2, 2012 [12 favorites]


it seems like we have the internet we deserve some days.

We have the Internet we find!. It is so huge, so vast and varied, the access to human knowledge and experience so terrific (all senses) that really, you could spend a lifetime digging through the good and kind and neat and beautiful all over, or the uplifting and inspirational, or the moving and gripping, or any other combination of experiences and range of emotions.

The font of information multiplies, and I happily drink.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:24 PM on July 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


I do understand why you saw red, but saying "fuck you" really doesn't lead the conversation anywhere. Maybe you can write a more insightful comment explaining why you feel that their statement was hurtful and incorrect?
posted by 200burritos at 3:32 PM on July 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


That's the sort of comment that I would type out and then delete. I've typed out about nine comments in this box right here, and deleted them all, as that thread makes me angry as well. I come from Southern stock; I'm excellent at suppressing my true feelings in the spirit of politeness.
posted by Bookhouse at 3:36 PM on July 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


on further reflection - please don't defend the south/southerners. something tells me that will help entrench the position of those who feel it's a cesspool of racism down here.
posted by nadawi at 3:38 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's always "bless your heart", for situations where "fuck you" doesn't work.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:41 PM on July 2, 2012 [27 favorites]


From what I've been told, "Well, bless your heart" says the same thing but is less likely to be deleted. (Insofar as one can actually predict that sort of thing anymore.)
posted by entropicamericana at 3:41 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


woah. Great minds, et cetera.
posted by entropicamericana at 3:42 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


"It doesn't seem that way to me, in particular because it doesn't not directly pick a fight with another member of the site."

Yes, if you want to gratuitously and deeply insult someone, just be sure to do it indirectly. That makes is perfectly acceptable.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:45 PM on July 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


I've said "fuck you" to people here because I was angry. And it got deleted because there's a bright-line rule that posts saying "fuck you" to other posters get deleted.

Now you know.

"That's a hateful and reductive way of describing millions of people, and it frankly pisses me off" would not have been deleted.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:52 PM on July 2, 2012 [12 favorites]


There's always "bless your heart", for situations where "fuck you" doesn't work.

Huh. I always heard that the other way.
posted by mazola at 3:53 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


how their stereotyping is no different than what people do to fat people, or black people.

No Southerners are black?
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:53 PM on July 2, 2012


Seriously, I think it's weird when people are all "Oh blah blah Southerners" to mean exclusively "racist white Southerners" as if there aren't any black people living in the South. PAY NO ATTENTION TO THAT ATLANTA BEHIND THE CURTAIN
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:55 PM on July 2, 2012 [34 favorites]


The real crime of the South is the deep fried okra I am presently cramming into my mouth at an alarming speed.
posted by elizardbits at 3:57 PM on July 2, 2012 [18 favorites]


That is a crime. Our should share.
posted by ook at 3:58 PM on July 2, 2012


You should autocorrect.
posted by ook at 3:58 PM on July 2, 2012 [2 favorites]



Yes, if it weren't so annoying and the source of much vile banter, the vast ignorance of outsiders as to the demographic reality of the deep south would be humorous.

As Skip Gates says, the south is the best place in the United States to be black.
posted by ferdinand.bardamu at 3:59 PM on July 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


It is never okay to say "fuck you" to another MeFite in a comment thread. Because it is a lazy thing to say. Instead, if you must resort to vulgarities, at least be creative about it. The comment will still most likely be deleted, but at least the inevitable MeTa thread will be entertaining as a result. Thanks in advance.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:00 PM on July 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


> As Skip Gates says

You a friend of his? (I sold him my furniture, so I get to call him "Skip.")
posted by languagehat at 4:06 PM on July 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


For a while, we had a member who hated -- hated -- Texas. On his profile page, it said something like, "Fuck Texas". Any thread about Texas (and there were quite a few, what with the president at the time) was his entry point to tell how he felt about Texans. After a while, he just couldn't contain himself in even completely unrelated threads, and I think he left or was banned.

But toward the end, after many Metas about this, the mods started culling the "all Texans are stoopid" talk. I noticed, and it was nice. Welcoming, even. Felt like we were all here sharing ideas and opinions, and not like this was a website where one group of people tears down other, "outsider" groups.

We also had the "LOL XTians" thing going pretty strong for a while, and again the mods seemed to come to an agreement that we'd scale back on that.

Would be nice if we could extend that to all southern states.
posted by Houstonian at 4:07 PM on July 2, 2012 [8 favorites]


Nope, quoting someone else quoting him. Not sure if he knew him or just happened to hear that line.
posted by ferdinand.bardamu at 4:08 PM on July 2, 2012


People are jerks about lots of places on MeFi. Or at least I think so, but since I live in Boston I have no soul and no culture thanks to my obsession with professional sports, so maybe I misjudged it.

I would like to see the "lol{whatever}" bullshit dialed way, way back.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:10 PM on July 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


DELETED ALL MY LIFE
posted by Sebmojo at 4:13 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


In response to nadawi's comment, I vote that we change 'bible belt' to 'sweet tea line'.
posted by 200burritos at 4:16 PM on July 2, 2012 [26 favorites]


Huh. I always heard that the other way.

Well, bless your heart!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:18 PM on July 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


My heart could probably use some blessing. Also my lungs and liver. Thanks in advance.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:29 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sorry - thought that said "dressing." Also hot sauce. Thanks in advance.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:30 PM on July 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


As Skip Gates says, the south is the best place in the United States to be black.
posted by ferdinand.bardamu at 6:59 PM on July 2 [+] [!]


Where did Gates say that? And did he mean in downtown Atlanta or Jasper, Texas? Talk about stereotyping, dude. Where's the best place to be white?
posted by spitbull at 4:32 PM on July 2, 2012


Yes, if it weren't so annoying and the source of much vile banter, the vast ignorance of outsiders as to the demographic reality of the deep south would be humorous.

I'm not sure how humorous this is. The history of voter disenfranchisement in the south is repulsive. And it could be argued that current redistricting being done by the GOP is continuing this injustice and lack of representation: “What’s uniform across the South is that Republicans are using race as a central basis in drawing districts for partisan advantage,”

I think these discussions are valuable and the best thing is to lay out the facts and understand our feelings and moral arguments the best we can. I don't think the F U comment is a problem in this context when it is basically saying, "this really offends me." But it should be followed with an explanation of what is offensive, otherwise the conversation goes nowhere. Like it or not we are part of the same country (or if not that living on the same planet) and it would be nice if we understood each other better.
posted by Golden Eternity at 4:34 PM on July 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


The real crime of the South is the deep fried okra I am presently cramming into my mouth at an alarming speed.

My profound love and admiration for miss lizardbits has received a nasty shock. While I have lived in the south all my life, eating collard greens and pigs feet and ramps and pickled beets and eggs and swilling iced tea and sun tea and my daddy's homemade peach hooch° I have to draw the line at okra, because it is nasty.

It is shocking to me that any right-thinking person could like okra, because it is a slimy joke of a vegetable with a weird soapy aftertaste.

°not all at once my god the tummy ache would kill you.
posted by winna at 4:37 PM on July 2, 2012 [9 favorites]


i wish i could take credit for the sweet tea line. here's a mefi post on it. the first link goes to some text that then goes to an interactive map showing how virginia is separated by sweet tea.

also, okra is delicious and i will gladly accept all the okra other people don't want. except, sadly, the spicy pickled okra i recently bought wasn't very delicious i am willing to give that away.
posted by nadawi at 4:44 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


except, sadly, the spicy pickled okra i recently bought wasn't very delicious i am willing to give that away.

Try it in a bloody mary instead of the celery.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 4:47 PM on July 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


I am happy to share all potential okra windfalls I receive with folk. From each according to their dislike of okra, to each according to their need of okra!
posted by winna at 4:48 PM on July 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


I'll take the pickled okra. Want some fried squash? (It 's awesome fried up with some vidalia onions.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:48 PM on July 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Also, saying "fuck you" to a mildly parochial comment is not a good way to make the case for your civilized True South. Responding like someone called you a personal insult in a tavern confirms the original comment's veracity, presuming you represent yourself as an ambassador of the region. Way more Hank Jr. than Wendell Berry. Yeehaw.
posted by spitbull at 4:48 PM on July 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


Also, saying "fuck you" to a mildly parochial comment is not a good way to make the case for your civilized True South.

How about something like "Ah sahy sir you hahve insahlted mah honor and ah challenge you to a doo-ell."?
posted by Talez at 4:50 PM on July 2, 2012 [29 favorites]


"Ah sahy sir you hahve insahlted mah honor and ah challenge you to a doo-ell."?

I hear this in a voice that is the exact cross between Foghorn Leghorn and Vampire Beeell on True Blood.

posted by scody at 4:53 PM on July 2, 2012 [21 favorites]


except, sadly, the spicy pickled okra i recently bought wasn't very delicious i am willing to give that away.

Try it in a bloody mary instead of the celery.


I did this yesterday after like 18 hours of trying to fly to the west coast and YEP!
posted by villanelles at dawn at 4:56 PM on July 2, 2012


Responding like someone called you a personal insult in a tavern confirms the original comment's veracity, presuming you represent yourself as an ambassador of the region.

True. Really, you should be polite right up to the moment when you challenge them to an eye-gouge.
posted by Bookhouse at 5:00 PM on July 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, I for one would like to say a belated thanks for all of the hints on making sweet tea. My Yankee family appreciates it!
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:01 PM on July 2, 2012


Where's the best place to be white?
Historically, a courtroom.
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:03 PM on July 2, 2012 [58 favorites]


I hear this in a voice that is the exact cross between Foghorn Leghorn and Vampire Beeell on True Blood.

I say, I say... I read all of MetaFilter in that voice, even! Sooooookie!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:06 PM on July 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is disgusting divisive hate speech. Seems my reply was an entirely appropriate reaction.

Of course you'd think that. You're probably from the South!

Seriously though, the way to respond to something you think is hate speech isn't to tussle in the mud. It's to say "Dude, that was pretty goddamned ignorant of you. I don't respect you for having such an idiotic opinion."
posted by inturnaround at 5:07 PM on July 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Golden Eternity, you make a really good point about white-dominated crony politics disenfranchising black Southerners in many areas, but "racist old-boy politicians in the South suck" is a more nuanced statement than "the South sucks," yes?
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:10 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd like to voice some support for the word "shirty".
posted by DU at 5:15 PM on July 2, 2012 [23 favorites]


Too starchy.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:16 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fresh raw okra is actually delicious, in my opinion. Although I'll pretty much eat anything covered in batter and deep fried.
posted by MadamM at 5:16 PM on July 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think it is the case that there's frequently a knee-jerk "heartland" kind of response to posts about rural places, "red states," the South, etc. It gets frustrating (and I'm just a transplanted New Englander). Fucking everyone who says it is not the way forward - and I don't know how to be passive aggressive in Ohioan. What makes metafilter awesome is the conversations, so engage. Cursing people out just shuts things down.
posted by ChuraChura at 5:16 PM on July 2, 2012


Seriously, I think it's weird when people are all "Oh blah blah Southerners" to mean exclusively "racist white Southerners" as if there aren't any black people living in the South

Or, you know, non-racist white Southerners.
posted by Ufez Jones at 5:18 PM on July 2, 2012 [14 favorites]


I know how frustrating it is when you're in the MeFi minority on a topic and someone posts a generality insulting you or your family or your religion and the comment stands because nobody flagged it.

But the f-bomb isn't the way to fight back. That's what "Flag it and Move On" means. You flag it and literally close the window and never come back to that thread.
posted by ladygypsy at 5:19 PM on July 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Although I'll pretty much eat anything covered in batter and deep fried.

Babies? Worms? Poop? Rush Limbaugh?
posted by elizardbits at 5:19 PM on July 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


I am sorry, I went too far with that last one. Disgusting.
posted by elizardbits at 5:20 PM on July 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


It is not the way forward.
posted by Golden Eternity at 5:20 PM on July 2, 2012


The incidence of members telling other members "fuck you" and those comments standing is pretty low, for if that helps frame the deletion.
posted by DarlingBri at 5:20 PM on July 2, 2012


The situation isn't helped by the poorly focused linked article, but when people see a post with a negative take on a subset of whatever their group might be, even if that take is extremely specific to the point of actually not being about them, the problems arise. It makes sense, people see "Southern" and they say "hey I'm from the South, this isn't describing me!" But sometimes that's the point: it isn't describing you, and the mild presumption that it is helps to turn most of these threads into a mess of misplaced pride and hurt feelings.

And it's certainly not just the erroneously injured parties who are at fault. There are plenty of contributors who go about eliciting such reactions, who either by not reading or not catching the drift of the linked articles, are quick to throw their bait in the water. Some of these users come in to hurl the same insults in every such thread. That sucks, because it makes those threads into the same old stupid battles about people's hurt feelings: nothing of substance.

It's a shame in this case that the linked article was sloppy enough to encourage more of the same sloppiness from the members here. It can't truly be said that the Salon piece was at all fair to either Southerners as a group or to the ideas in the books reviewed. This isn't the case of an article deserving a better post; it's the case of books and ideas deserving a better article.

I don't know if there's a solution beyond reading the article and giving the kind of benefit of the doubt that we are supposed to extend to other posters here, to the author of the article. Which parts seem true? Which parts represent ideas worth consideration? Which parts are prejudice, or idiocy, or an attempt to cleave together disparate ideas to fit a thesis? But we can't fairly expect our fellows to do that kind of parsing when they're being slapped in the face, can we?

I think the discourse beyond Metafilter is poisoned with this fencing and patrolling of identities, damn the specifics, and it has led to a total lockdown on communication about the problems we face. The discourse on this site is potable, and I think we're generally quite lucky, though in this particular case obviously not. It's a shame all around.

Also, as a general note, when you say "Fuck you," you're saying "You hurt my feelings." If you get the sense that the insult you're responding to was intended to hurt your feelings, saying "Fuck you" is handing an asshole a victory. I don't think that's the message you want to send.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 5:24 PM on July 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


Oh, hi. That's my comment.

I'm from Louisiana. I'm sorry that people don't like that the South is a fucked up sort of place, but welp, it actually is. The North is fucked up, too, in its own way, and in general I hate it when Yankees make the South the butt of jokes/ignorant ranting/whatever. But, I also think that it's wrong to refuse to criticize a place simply because others sometimes criticize it in ugly ways.

I was tempted in that comment to back up my assertions with fact. Experiences. Things I've seen with my own (yankiefied) eyes. I didn't, because I thought others would think them dull and they weren't really the point of my comment. I was a lot more interested in either divorcing the ethos of the article from geography, or questioning the real source/complicated sources of such an ethos.

But ohnoes, I criticized the south! Unforgivable!

(That's all I'm going to say. Not here to pick a fight. Just wanted to somewhat explain my comment. Okra is yummy. I had the best grits I've ever tasted on Saturday, and they were made by a woman from New Jersey!)
posted by Sara C. at 5:25 PM on July 2, 2012 [18 favorites]


Forget the internet - I can't think of a single moment in my life when telling someone "fuck you" improved the situation. Saying "fuck you" is basically saying "I am so angry that I want to spit something at you, devoid of any meaning beyond my own anger." Nothing is learned, nothing is gained.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:25 PM on July 2, 2012 [20 favorites]


Would be nice if we could extend that to all southern states.

Also, "hippies," boomers, hipsters, etc.


Torture apologists, on the other hand, deserve whatever they get.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:29 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Want some fried squash? (It 's awesome fried up with some vidalia onions.)

Fried squash with tomatoes and lots of garlic is one of the best things on earth.
posted by winna at 5:35 PM on July 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Torture apologists, on the other hand, deserve whatever they get.

and people who chew with their mouths open
posted by elizardbits at 5:35 PM on July 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


Guys who wear top knots.

Young, baby-faced guys with beards.

Young, baby-faced guys who smoke pipes.

Bronies.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:38 PM on July 2, 2012


I will take all the southern fried vegetables please. Also you may leave paper bags of zucchini on my porch or by my mailbox.
posted by Occula at 5:38 PM on July 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is disgusting divisive hate speech.

Why, bless your heart.
posted by Deoridhe at 5:38 PM on July 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


elizardbits: and people who chew with their mouths open

And people who don't use proper punctuation and capitalization.
posted by gman at 5:38 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Awww, I think young guys with topknots who smoke pipes and like My Little Ponies are kind of cute.

Unless they're wearing jorts.

DEATH TO THE JORTS-WEARERS! BLESS THEIR CUTOFF DENIM HEARTS!
posted by Sara C. at 5:42 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


OK, actually, it's more the word "brony" I take issue with. Or really any variant of "bro".
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:46 PM on July 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


And people who don't use proper punctuation and capitalization.

yes those people are also bad
posted by elizardbits at 5:48 PM on July 2, 2012 [11 favorites]


And not in the Michael Jackson way.
posted by gman at 5:50 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Eh, it's human nature.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:51 PM on July 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


I've gotten away with it -- burying it under a good verbose broadside usually does the trick.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:57 PM on July 2, 2012


Good grief, I just googled "bronie."
posted by thinkpiece at 6:02 PM on July 2, 2012


You'll get better videos if you spell it brony.
posted by heyho at 6:09 PM on July 2, 2012


Actually "bronie" sounds like some sort of Scottish biscuity thing.
posted by elizardbits at 6:10 PM on July 2, 2012 [8 favorites]


Where's the best place to be white?
Historically, a courtroom.
posted by Iris Gambol


In the south, especially.

(and because: O Brony, Where Art Thou?)
posted by spitbull at 6:14 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


We Southerners tend to be gracious to anyone, including naysayers who have NO CLUE about how we roll....Lots of assumptions, very little of it true. Bless their hearts. And fried okra is the BOMB!!! My gosh....it's my favorite....and squash casserole, and fried chicken......now I'm hungry...
posted by pearlybob at 6:16 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Marisa Stole the Precious Thing: "Guys who wear top knots.

Young, baby-faced guys with beards.

Young, baby-faced guys who smoke pipes.

Bronies.
"

ah, but you repeat yourself sir.

ferdinand.bardamu: "I said "fuck you" and got deleted."

Aw man, Ferd, doesn't do you any good, you know dat ol' principal's gonna get you fer cussin like that! Then we're gunna miss out on KISS cause your dad won't letcha borrow the van for to go to Minneapolis!

the system works!
posted by boo_radley at 6:18 PM on July 2, 2012


Ufez Jones, yeah, but it seems to me even more outrageous to erase black Southerners in a condemnation of the entire South as racist CSA-dreaming hellspawn than it does to erase non-racist white Southerners, seeing as the latter aren't usually the target of the racist bullshit that does occur (as it does everywhere in the US, of course).
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:19 PM on July 2, 2012


Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous bronie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start a Tumblr tasty
With bicker and prattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,
Wi' murdering pattle.
posted by box at 6:20 PM on July 2, 2012 [8 favorites]


I've gotten away with it

Pfft, I've gotten away with it - IN THIS VERY META!!!!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:26 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Guys? That's plenty of zucchini now, thanks. Guys? help
posted by Occula at 6:27 PM on July 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


I also forgot the Native, Latino and Hispanic, and Asian Southerners, because as a Bostonian I am both racist as fuck and snooty to boot. Yep, that was me throwing DAR paperweights at METCO buses back in the day.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:34 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Come sit with me on the porch and we'll talk about that family down the street. You know which one.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:38 PM on July 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Occula: "Guys? That's plenty of zucchini now, thanks. Guys? help"

how are you on kudzu jelly? Because I was thinking about making a small batc~

* throws a milk crate of jelly-filled mason jars at you, drives off into the sunset*
posted by boo_radley at 6:39 PM on July 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


Ufez Jones, yeah, but it seems to me even more outrageous to erase black Southerners in a condemnation of the entire South as racist CSA-dreaming hellspawn than it does to erase non-racist white Southerners, seeing as the latter aren't usually the target of the racist bullshit that does occur (as it does everywhere in the US, of course).

Sure. But when people do get all "Southern folks are just ignorant rednecks", it's not the black people (or Native Americans or Latinos or Asians) they're mocking.
posted by Ufez Jones at 6:40 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


pimento cheese sandwiches
boiled peanuts
shrimp and grits
bbq
posted by nathancaswell at 6:56 PM on July 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


i will take your crate of kudzu jelly!
also, sweet onion jalapeno relish...
posted by nadawi at 7:01 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fried Peach Pies.......enough said.
posted by pearlybob at 7:02 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


My Pa-Paw would slap the taste out yer mouth for saying such a thing to a lady. Me-Maw would make you some thin cut pan fried poke chops with runny eggs and grits and ask you why you got so mad when you already knew better.

Uncle Wayne would pour you a short glass of bourbon and have a chuckle and I would be holdin' the bottle saying, "Hey man, it's Metafilter. Put yer best foot forward."

(Whatever, I actually just miss Me-Maw's breakfast.)
posted by snsranch at 7:08 PM on July 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


"i'm a southerner who was raised mormon and am now an atheist queer submissive housewife"

I'll take "Things You Only Read Once In Your Lifetime" for $2000, Alex.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:10 PM on July 2, 2012 [33 favorites]


ha! the subgroup qualifier list is actually longer, but it had already gotten ridiculous so i just stopped it there.
posted by nadawi at 7:12 PM on July 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


pearlybob, Popeyes is selling fried peach pies right now. They look delicious.

Things that have come out of this thread:

-a deep and abiding hunger for some grilled slabs of zucchini
-"the sweet tea line"
-a renewed interest in ASL
-HUNGER
posted by Night_owl at 7:15 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


pimento cheese sandwiches
boiled peanuts
shrimp and grits
bbq


You spelled "boiled p'nuts" wrong.
posted by cooker girl at 7:21 PM on July 2, 2012


I'm kind of surprised someone thought a "fuck you" would actually stand.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:23 PM on July 2, 2012


OK, actually, it's more the word "brony" I take issue with. Or really any variant of "bro".

Like "brother"?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:25 PM on July 2, 2012


Pearlybob, I am now burning for squash casserole and don't feel like going to all the trouble To make it myself. You are a bad person!

I will retaliate for that suffering and mention strawberry rhubarb pie. Mwahhahah.

Also I've never understood why people complain about zucchini growing vigorously. It is yummy in so many ways. I still refuse to like white corn, though. Yellow corn is people food. White corn is hog feed.
posted by winna at 7:27 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


you spelled "boiled p'nuts" wrong.

well if you're gonna be like that, you spelled "bald p'nuts" wrong
posted by nathancaswell at 7:28 PM on July 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


Sorry winna.....my husband makes the BEST....lots of cheese, easy on the onions.... Damn!!


Night_owl...I'm actually googling for a Popeye's that is open late.....
posted by pearlybob at 7:29 PM on July 2, 2012


I said fuck you but
My fuck you was deleted
It sucks but it works
posted by Splunge at 7:30 PM on July 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Anyway no one has mentioned the coke to put the peanuts in. BURN
posted by winna at 7:30 PM on July 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


Tch.. It's "bolld p'nuts"
posted by subbes at 7:30 PM on July 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't blame you being mad, Ferdinand, but "fuck you" just doesn't add much. Since we can't throw punches here, where does the conversation go after that?

I liked Brundlefly's little ditty: " We [the Southern land] don't need you around anyhow."

A witty, allusional version of a "fuck you," if you will. We can all sing that dead band song together.
posted by tyllwin at 7:34 PM on July 2, 2012


BURN made me literally laugh out loud
posted by nathancaswell at 7:34 PM on July 2, 2012


Also you may leave paper bags of zucchini on my porch or by my mailbox.

Reminds me of the woman who said the only time she ever locked her car doors was at church during squash season.
posted by mediareport at 7:35 PM on July 2, 2012 [17 favorites]


And random capitalization is required:

"BOiLEd p'NuTs" is a standard I've seen all over the place.
posted by cooker girl at 7:45 PM on July 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is disgusting divisive hate speech.

I'm sorry but there is no way I can take what you're saying seriously considering your history of disgusting and divisive hate speech on this site.

On the very off chance that you're serious here and not just posting this for the lolz, I hope that the comment which has upset you so much today causes you to think really hard about some of the very hurtful comments you have made on this site in the past.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:55 PM on July 2, 2012 [19 favorites]


Popeyes is selling fried peach pies right now

Not in Dubai. Dammit!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by ambient2 at 8:16 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Some things:

1. I'm from the south.

2. Yeah, don't make a comment consisting of "Fuck You". Not polite.

3. Okra is only delicious when freshly picked and properly fried. This is hard almost impossible to do.

4. Picking okra is incredibly unpleasant.
posted by trip and a half at 8:24 PM on July 2, 2012


Squash is delicious and anyone who says it isn't is perfectly welcome to their opinion... provided they accept any offers of free squash and give it to me! (Except spaghetti squash. What is that wintry noise?)
posted by Night_owl at 8:32 PM on July 2, 2012


4. Picking okra is incredibly unpleasant.

What is it about standong next to an okra plant that makes the sun feel 70% hotter and causes your skin to itch before you've even touched the damn thing?
posted by Mooski at 8:36 PM on July 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Perfectly fried fresh okra = good. The right amount of okra in a non-roux gumbo = good. Otherwise - foul weed.
posted by Carbolic at 8:42 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I said "fuck you" and got deleted.

Help, I'm being oppressed!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:45 PM on July 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


4. Picking okra is incredibly unpleasant.

OH GOD THE ITCHING
posted by junco at 9:01 PM on July 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


I feel like you letting this shit go is kinda you paying it forward for the entire site letting your horrendous and contemptible racism go. But like so many creepy racist misogynist types, the true victims of "hate" speech in your world can only be white men. Everyone else is just being sensitive. Bravo, brave soldier against bigotry. Keep fighting the good fight for justice and peace.
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:05 PM on July 2, 2012 [35 favorites]


The 1% of the northerners and the 1% of the southerners all get along just fabulous. That the rest of us are all GRAR about one another is to their continued benefit. Read the history of what the English did in Nigeria or what happened to the Tutus and Hutsis if you want to see how bad it can go.
posted by bukvich at 9:06 PM on July 2, 2012


I love okra and smoked paprika, and on the recommendation of a friend I picked up some smokra! Sadly the lid's on so tight I can't open it and I haven't tried it myself yet, so no personal story to share. And this is a very boring comment other than alerting you to smokra's existence if this is not common knowledge.
posted by NikitaNikita at 9:07 PM on July 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Or just avoid the thread altogether which is what I am doing whenever I see an article by someone who is a "Trained social futurist"."

aww shit i gotta cancel vistaprint then

"but since I live in Boston I have no soul and no culture thanks to my obsession with professional sports, so maybe I misjudged it."

Mostly in Boston, I only know assholes. Gets dark too early and you can't buy beer after, what, 7pm?

Where's the best place to be white?"

Milwaukee, probably.

"Really, you should be polite right up to the moment when you challenge them to an eye-gouge."

Shreveport Rules, obvs.
posted by klangklangston at 9:07 PM on July 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


Now we see the violence inherent in the system.
posted by kalessin at 9:08 PM on July 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Lowcountry boil.
She-Crab Soup
Fried Green Tomatoes.
Eastern NC BBQ
Bourbon garnished with fresh peaches

As a sidenote: Okra is the only vegetable I don't like.
posted by thivaia at 9:39 PM on July 2, 2012


Oh yeah Carbolic I forgot about non-roux gumbo! Still, almost every use for okra exists for punishing the kids.
posted by trip and a half at 9:42 PM on July 2, 2012


Bourbon garnished with fresh peaches

Now that is something I have to try.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:44 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was way more interested in the sidebars about Hackett Fischer and Woodard (the two books) than I am about the sidebar involving "I grew up in the South and I had a bad experience and y'all who had other experiences are WRONG!". Still, "fuck you" is not an appropriate thing to say back.

Also perfectly fried okra is marvellous and delicious. If you don't like it, more for those of us who do!
posted by immlass at 9:58 PM on July 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


And not in the Michael Jackson way.

No, I meant in the Run-DMC way.
posted by elizardbits at 10:03 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bourbon garnished with fresh peaches

That sounds... Extremely sweet. I love brown liqour but bourbon is already pushing it on the sweet scale for me.
posted by nathancaswell at 10:09 PM on July 2, 2012


elizardbits: "No, I meant in the Run-DMC way."
Well, it's tricky.
posted by boo_radley at 10:27 PM on July 2, 2012 [9 favorites]


Where's the best place to be white

The audience of a TED talk.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:32 PM on July 2, 2012 [11 favorites]


This thread and the original thread remind me of a day spent in a long, pointless argument about whether Texas was the South or the West. We don't sweeten our tea in the pitcher, we like beef BBQ, we never had much in the way of plantations, and our true cuisine is Tex-Mex, not fried okra and grits. But we were in the Confederacy, we do many Southern things like drawl and have weird rules of chivalry, and we've got plenty of Southern-flavored racism going on.

All of which is to say that fights over geographic regional variations should only take place over beers and good food as an exercise in bonding and pleasurable argument, because they fall apart when you try to use them as the basis for anything else, like linkbait Salon articles.
posted by emjaybee at 11:20 PM on July 2, 2012 [8 favorites]


Guys who wear top knots.

Young, baby-faced guys with beards.

Young, baby-faced guys who smoke pipes.

Bronies.


Oh no. I think I have been all of those guys, at one awkward point in my life or another.

Although I don't know if I would necessarily call myself a Brony, but I have watched enough my little pony show to know that the best my little pony is Pinky Pie.
posted by St. Sorryass at 12:11 AM on July 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


My exMIL thought that dried okra pods sprayed painted gold and dipped in glitter looked mighty purty. Yes, she was Southern.

her fried okra was purty good though
posted by a humble nudibranch at 12:17 AM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


look i'mma let you finish but fluttershy is the best pony of all time. OF ALL TIME.
posted by nadawi at 1:34 AM on July 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


I grew up with a pretty intense irrational dislike of the south, I have a memory from when I was 5 or 6, and studying. For a long time I loved the word "southern". It just had such a good feel to it, and I was so disappointed to make the connection between the word "southern" and "The South".

The South was where my mothers family lived, and we had gone and visited, and the thing I remembered most (and I have some great memories of corn muffins, sweet tea, cardinals, and when I found a whole squirrel's tail). was when my parents were out of the room, and my uncle said something about the problem with the niggers. He said it in front of my grandmother, and my other uncles and aunts and everyone, and they did not say anything. It was ok with them. They had told me that it was a sin to say the word damn. That had been a big deal, but Nigger went by without anything.

And I had grown up being taught the weight of what the word "nigger" had. I knew the difference between damn, and Nigger.
Both my parents had been involved in the civil rights movement, before they gave it up and ran for the hills on the other side of the country. My mother had a story of nearly being trampled by a police horse during a protest, that was something that stuck with me pretty vividly.
I remember my dad's best friend, he was the nicest, genteelest person I knew. He used to read me old african folk tales and climb the pine trees with me, but also he was a sword fighter. A professional sword fighting teacher. He literally fought guys with a sword, and he was the first person I ever knew who owned and could use a computer. He was basically the biggest badass in the world as far as I was concerned, and I remember him coming up to our house in the woods, and everything was wrong, and him crying, maybe the first time I remember seeing an adult cry.

On his way into town some motherfucker in a pickup truck had sideswiped his car, tried to drive him off the road, and as explanation just yelled "nigger!".
That was the center of the story for him. Not the act of aggression. Not nearly getting killed.
Just hearing a word. That was the shit they all moved out here to get away from.

So hearing my uncle say that, like it was just any other word, and everyone just being ok with that, and then later, as I got older hearing more of the stories of how my mom left, and talking to that part of the family some. Not just the race stuff, but the religion, the politics, the insistence that I and my brother (vegetarians at the time) just eat some nice ham, and read the bible or go to hell.. I just hated those people. That became the south for me. That one family in that one neighborhood, that strict unbending worldview, where Gordon Liddy, and Oliver North where heroes, where the blacks where taking over our parts of town, where this terrible sticky weather was an acceptable thing, and boiled peanuts did not taste awful.

I did not go to my grandmothers funeral. I never really got to know my people on that side of the family. That was probably bad decision, but there is still a part of me with some pretty strong resentments for wo my family was.

But I live down here now, and I still say fuck his sticky weather, but New Orleans is not Dothan, and probably Dothan is not just the Dothan of the awful enclaves I visited there.
I can walk a few blocks to a pretty major voodoo temple, a giant musical instrument/art installment/house, where you you will get an occasional, live remix of some of sissy bounce music, or a super earnest anarchist plays. Last Sunday I spent all day just napping off a hangover, with $2 drinks, in a lawn chair, in a thunderstorm, at an historic gay swimming pool.
That is not going to happen in California.

So I guess I am saying I understand were people come from with their issues about the south, particularly, thoes who have made it out of its worst parts. People like my mother and like Sara. There is some understandable bitterness. It also sucks to get your place or your people generalized, based on peoples worst experiences in their own niches.

Fuck boiled peanuts though. That is a bad way to eat a peanut.
posted by St. Sorryass at 1:50 AM on July 3, 2012 [46 favorites]


You are wrong. About the peanuts.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:00 AM on July 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


zxdw#E Ωå2
posted by angrycat at 2:07 AM on July 3, 2012


look i'mma let you finish but fluttershy is the best pony of all time. OF ALL TIME.

Yeah that is what my girlfriend says, (she calls her the Joanna Newsom pony.) But you can nit really argue with this.

You are wrong. About the peanuts.

I have a pretty good argument, but can not find the right youtube video for it, so here is Pinkie Pie hiding in a thing then making a threat.

zxdw#E Ωå2

I dont,t really know what that means, but a thing I also like in my little pony show is this alligator. He might really be my favorite.
posted by St. Sorryass at 2:36 AM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


The problem with vulgarity is it doesn't get you anywhere. We're all immune to it by now, surely? It just drags the tone down and contributes to a shitty conversation and that is unworthy of everyone on this site.

But IMO the bigger issue was the thread itself. It's hard to see how this single-link Salon flamebait post passed the same bar that yesterday's other single-link Salon flamebait post failed (something about how atheists can't be trusted grr arr?) I even thought that *other* thread got off to a far more promising start.
posted by londonmark at 3:02 AM on July 3, 2012


I have a pretty good argument, but can not find the right youtube video for it, so here is Pinkie Pie hiding in a thing then making a threat.

You can't use Pinkie Pie to refute the arguments of someone with a picture of Pinkie Pie in their profile. I have preemptively played the Pinkie Pie card.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:15 AM on July 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


I have always admired straight talkers.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 3:20 AM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


...and I don't know how to be passive aggressive in Ohioan.

Bring yet another green bean casserole to upstage the two already promised at your family gathering. Or make your jello casserole with extra rage.

In fact, just bring a casserole.
posted by DisreputableDog at 3:28 AM on July 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


The problem with vulgarity is it doesn't get you anywhere

My wife: Wanna fuck?
Me: Shit yeah.

Q TO THE E TO THE MOTHERFUCKING D
posted by the quidnunc kid at 4:23 AM on July 3, 2012 [17 favorites]


...as a Bostonian I am both racist as fuck and snooty to boot.

Just as a clarification, there is no truth to the rumor that Bostonians are snooty to booty.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:52 AM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I stand corrected.
posted by londonmark at 4:58 AM on July 3, 2012


stavrosthewonderchicken: " Also, the comment to which our friend launched his 'fuck you' airstrike? If that had been about religion, I think it would also have been deleted, at least, apparently, if I had made it."

Doubtful. Many worse comments about religion or religious people have remained undeleted over the years. I know I've made a handful that survived.
posted by zarq at 5:03 AM on July 3, 2012


East Texas is the South.
posted by spitbull at 5:07 AM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have a possibly controversial question.

....From a culinary perspective alone, is New Orleans "the south," or can it be considered its own little (delicious) enclave?

(I'm pretty sure that if anything ever were to happen to New York City to thus render it uninhabitable, me and about six of my friends would just automatically move to New Orleans as a group because one of the things we all bonded over is the fact that we bloody love that city.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:22 AM on July 3, 2012


> East Texas is the South.

It's in its own special place Behind the Pine Curtain.

Anyway, I've been on the receiving end of a "go fuck yourself" (that was a response to an obviously misunderstood joke) that didn't get deleted because apparently if a thread is locked then it becomes permanent, or something.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:22 AM on July 3, 2012



This thread and the original thread remind me of a day spent in a long, pointless argument about whether Texas was the South or the West.


It has both, and with a big swath of what I guess you could call "lower midwest" (similar to Oklahoma) also, and then there's the border region which is different from all of the above. When that poet wrote about containing multitudes, he was thinking of Texas.
posted by Forktine at 5:39 AM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Next time link to CeeLo and your comment will be saved.
posted by stormpooper at 5:46 AM on July 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm pretty sure that if anything ever were to happen to New York City to thus render it uninhabitable...

Speaking only for myself, several anythings like that happened long ago.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:52 AM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I took nearly a year off from the site--in part because of many Mefite's impressions of the South--and came back remarkably refreshed.

See, I now know that I can fry anything and eat it without guilt. Take that Yankees. And hippies!
posted by PapaLobo at 6:11 AM on July 3, 2012


i'm a southerner who was raised mormon and am now an atheist queer submissive housewife
I just read this to my (non-mefite) wife.
Truly an example of a tag line waiting to be born.
posted by bystander at 6:23 AM on July 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh god i've favorited a comment this guy made in the past
posted by MangyCarface at 6:27 AM on July 3, 2012


And on topic. I'm a male 18-49 white guy, to quote Homer Simpson, but I learned I can be offended when people are overly critical (IMHO) about my national group.
I try to imagine what it is like to have a real demographic/minority heritage and hear this kind of talk very regularly. So I have a fairly large amount of time for people with dark skin or non-mainstream sexualities or fetishes for large donuts.
I'm not a big supporter of anybody getting abusive as a way of objecting to a (admittedly pretty sub-par) comment. Especially when it is describing a dig at a broad swath of fairly privileged society as hate speech. Because that is hyperbolic, inaccurate, and probably a bit offensive to those that are actual targets of hate speech.
posted by bystander at 6:32 AM on July 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


she calls her the Joanna Newsom pony

I cannot understand how this would be present in anyone's lexicon as a compliment.
posted by elizardbits at 6:33 AM on July 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


New Orleans has a unique culinary heritage. Not for nothing are her historic dishes combinations of many ingredients, cooked together to form a delicious whole.

Texas finds itself split between The Breadbasket, Dixie, and Mexamerica, while the culinary traditions map shows a similar divide.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:02 AM on July 3, 2012


I said "fuck you" and got deleted.

Well then I suggest you endeavour to moderate your language in future, young man. There's no call for that sort of rudery.
posted by Decani at 7:04 AM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Young, baby-faced guys who smoke pipes.

Oh, God yes. There is no way for a young guy to smoke a pipe and not look like a pretentious ass. I mentioned this to a female co-worker of mine (one who I don't much care for and who dosen't much care for me) and she was mildly miffed and said that her 'boy' smoked a pipe. I answered, aghast, 'You let your son smoke a pipe??' and she stomped off. So add people who call their boyfreinds their 'boy' to the list. Later, I stumbled upon naked pics of her at a nightclub. FWIW.
posted by jonmc at 7:10 AM on July 3, 2012 [14 favorites]


As far as the south goes, I love the music, love the food, and I like most southerners I've met. The politics are a mixed bag, but what can you do?
posted by jonmc at 7:13 AM on July 3, 2012


Guys who wear top knots.

Guys who wear fedoras.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:13 AM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Over their top knots.
posted by nicwolff at 7:15 AM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Now I want you to tell me just one more thing. Why do you hate the South?"
posted by koeselitz at 7:17 AM on July 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


So add people who call their boyfreinds their 'boy' to the list.

Oh, heavens, yes. Except, perhaps, in certain special private situations. I mean, I don't judge.

Later, I stumbled upon naked pics of her at a nightclub. FWIW.

Wait, were these pictures you found in a nightclub of you naked coworker or pictures of your coworker being naked at a nightclub?

Additionally, I keep reading that as "cow worker," which makes the story more disturbing....
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:22 AM on July 3, 2012


Wait, were these pictures you found in a nightclub of you naked coworker or pictures of your coworker being naked at a nightclub?

The latter.
posted by jonmc at 7:23 AM on July 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


When I was younger I used to casually drop stupid comments about southern states that weren't fair. The thing that made me realize what I was doing was moving abroad for a few years and listening to non-Americans bash America. It was during the Bush years and I thought there were probably a lot of legitimate criticisms that could be made of America. However, people rarely used these reasonable and valid arguments and generally just fell back on the LOLFATANDSTUPIDYANKS LOLOLOL. It totally bummed me out because it kind of felt like they were grouping me and my family and friends and other people I loved in there. And it felt pretty unfair and sometimes hostile. Which sucked because I totally understand and often agree with the criticisms about America. But some arrogant guy who is going to group all Americans into the same IDIOT group is not really winning the hearts and minds of people like me who would otherwise be natural allies. I know that I always thought less when I would see an op-ed columnist fall back on tired old stereotypes when talking about America and Americans, but what discouraged me more is that a lot of people seemed to eat it right up. And regardless of how I feel about my country I am American, and I am well aware that there are a lot of things wrong with my country. But there are a lot of things I love about it too. So it's kind of hard to not take these kind of generalized attacks personally.

So anyway. I know a lot of people from the south who are super cool. There are a lot of Mefites from southern states on here whom I like very much. Back when Texas bashing seemed to come up on this site a lot MadamM posted a few comments which I thought were very thoughtful.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:27 AM on July 3, 2012 [18 favorites]


So add people who call their boyfreinds their 'boy' to the list.

Yes, this... and, make it worse by referring to him as "the boy".
posted by HuronBob at 7:31 AM on July 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


It makes me sad that I really don't like Southern food or weather. Gorgeous architecture, and a tremendous amount of variety socially, though.
I refuse to judge a quarter of a continent on the basis of Aunt Betty, who voted for Democrats due to Reconstruction. She also grew an absurd number of strawberries and owned at least two hideous dogs and was pointlessly cruel to my mother (her eldest niece.) Her brothers and at least two sisters were unlike her in every last respect. You couldn't throw something in that town without hitting someone who had a different opinion about whatever it was you were arguing about - even the freaky obelisk dedicated to the memory of Jefferson Davis. Which is basically across the street from a mental hospital. Heh.

The food thing is why Texas is not really Southern. I like Tex-Mex. I'm from California, which is very far south but not Southern; this distinction baffled me for YEARS.
posted by SMPA at 7:38 AM on July 3, 2012


I spent months at Ft. Benning, GA. I always thought it was humid and hot in Iowa. Either it was a bad summer in '87 or it's always like that. The only time it rained was about every 30 minutes for about 30 second. Just enough to keep the humidity amazingly high.

I hate the heat. I am suffering this week. It's still nothing like it was down there.

I like the food though.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:43 AM on July 3, 2012


Ugh. This won't help with anti-southerners: last night, North Carolina legalized fracking *by accident* when a Democrat pushed the wrong button and the Republicans in charge of the state House refused to give her the normally routine opportunity to correct her error.

Sorry, just had to vent on that one.
posted by mediareport at 7:48 AM on July 3, 2012


I have a pea under my fuck you mattress.
posted by y2karl at 8:01 AM on July 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


I feel like you letting this shit go is kinda you paying it forward for the entire site letting your horrendous and contemptible racism go.

Really? Examples?
posted by grouse at 8:02 AM on July 3, 2012


Do you see what happens? When you make too many broad generalizations about the South, Andy Griffith dies. I hope you're happy.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 8:12 AM on July 3, 2012 [18 favorites]


Oh man, I would trade all my soul for a bag of boiled peanuts right now.
posted by Mrs.Spiffy at 8:14 AM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Really? Examples?

Everybody's history is available on their user profile page if you need examples. Personally, I don't think this conversation needs to turn into a referendum on any particular user.
posted by gauche at 8:15 AM on July 3, 2012


Oh man, I would trade all my soul for a bag of boiled peanuts right now.

I felt this way earlier this summer, then I discovered you can buy green peanuts in Chinatown. GOD BLESS CHINATOWN.
posted by nathancaswell at 8:16 AM on July 3, 2012


The very first MeTa comment by the user in question will point you to the relevant thread.
posted by SpiffyRob at 8:19 AM on July 3, 2012


I cannot understand how this would be present in anyone's lexicon as a compliment.

THANK YOU. Everyone I know - even people who should know better - absolutely adores Joanna Newsom. To me, her voice and her songwriting comes across as "I'm going to be really, really fairy dust gaspingly twee, but in the laziest way possible."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:21 AM on July 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


So add people who call their boyfreinds their 'boy' to the list.

If they are any age up to about 19-20 they get a pass. Once they are beyond that limit it is reprehensible.
posted by elizardbits at 8:22 AM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Her voice makes me want to peel off my skin with a lemon zester before throwing myself dramatically into a pool of vodka to my death.
posted by elizardbits at 8:23 AM on July 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


SpiffyRob: "The very first MeTa comment by the user in question will point you to the relevant thread."

Yeah. I didn't link to it in my comment above because really... who the hell wants to revisit that shit. That comment, and the Mefi post it was in actually made at least one person here cry. :(
posted by zarq at 8:25 AM on July 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Shit, it made me cry, and I wasn't even in the center of that whole thing. That really should have been a banning moment.
posted by koeselitz at 8:32 AM on July 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


If the shoe fits, wear it in private.
posted by fleacircus at 8:38 AM on July 3, 2012


koeselitz: "That really should have been a banning moment."

Agreed. Considering his entire history, I'm surprised he hasn't been by now. I know it takes a lot to get banned, but damn.
posted by zarq at 8:39 AM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


.....?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:45 AM on July 3, 2012


Oh wow, I totally forgot this was that same person (and I apologize anonymously to the other wholly unrelated and inoffensive person I associated that comment with randomly). What an immense douchebag.
posted by elizardbits at 8:46 AM on July 3, 2012


EmpressCallipygos: ".....?"

I memailed you.

Sorry... we're not really supposed to drag people's history into Metatalk, so we're all sort of tiptoeing around, obliquely mentioning an incident that happened in 2009, and others.
posted by zarq at 8:54 AM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]



"Now I want you to tell me just one more thing. Why do you hate the South?"


"I don't hate it," Quentin said, quickly, at once, immediately; "I don't hate it," he said.
posted by thivaia at 8:58 AM on July 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yes, if you want to gratuitously and deeply insult someone, just be sure to do it indirectly. That makes is perfectly acceptable.

Not so much perfectly acceptable as

really... ?

so... ?

and and your point is... ? acceptable.

For the obvious tree soundlessly falling in a forest where there is no one to hear it reason: if a comment is made that no one else in the virtual room even notices, let alone, gets, then whether or not to allow a pair of panties to get into a twist over it is a problem for one whole person. Which is not exactly a stop the presses violation of the social contract.
posted by y2karl at 8:59 AM on July 3, 2012


the more I see the South as a warped, quasi-feudal society that seems to in a lot of ways pine for a time before the US was a developed country with a large prosperous middle class.

If this characterization is hateful, then so are the complete works of William Faulkner.

Also, I like okra and the one true barbeque (mustard-based).
posted by octobersurprise at 9:02 AM on July 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Everyone I know - even people who should know better - absolutely adores Joanna Newsom.

So, I thought to myself, "Self, how bad could it be?" So I ventured forth to YouTube, and found out.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:03 AM on July 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


you can borrow my lemon zester if you need it
posted by elizardbits at 9:04 AM on July 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


There's always "bless your heart", for situations where "fuck you" doesn't work.
I'll pray for you.
posted by feral_goldfish at 9:05 AM on July 3, 2012 [10 favorites]


I would express disbelief about people's fondness for Joanna Newsom, but I like Ardbeg and Nethack so I don't really have room to move.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:07 AM on July 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


...last night, North Carolina legalized fracking *by accident* ...

And the Democratic governor promptly vetoed it.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:09 AM on July 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


you can borrow my lemon zester if you need it

See, then I thought to myself, "Self, she sounds a bit like that girl in the Heineken ad, except out of tune. Who sang that Heineken ad, anyway?" So I went forth and found that out, too. Now that goddam thing is stuck in my brain in a way that I think only Napalm Death can dislodge.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:13 AM on July 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


or Boney M
posted by elizardbits at 9:15 AM on July 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


But like so many creepy racist misogynist types,...

I've been refreshing this thread all morning waiting for this comment to disappear. It's now lunch time, so it seems it is here to stay, gathering favorites while nobody seesm to have a problems with it. This is curious to me since I've recently had two comments deleted from the gray: one for calling a user "a creep" and another for saying a user's history shows she "has issues with men". It's hard to see how "creepy, racist and misogynist" is on the right side of the line when my comments weren't.
posted by Dano St at 9:19 AM on July 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


but I like Ardbeg

People who don't like Ardbeg are simply in need of a new set of tastebuds.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:20 AM on July 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


I would express disbelief about people's fondness for Joanna Newsom...

Never heard of her before today, but I like people whose heads are like a whole 'nother person-- and they do tend to have uncannily resonant voices.
posted by jamjam at 9:23 AM on July 3, 2012


So, putting aside the absurdity of this particular callout, I'd be curious to know how we can talk about problems in the South in a way that avoids these kinds of problems, or if we can. Because, look, the North obviously has its share of troubling racism. Among other things, Minstrel shows were actually mostly a northern phenomenon, New York City (because it was the home of the business side of the cotton industry) was a hotbed of anti-abolitionist sentiment, and obviously the draft riots weren't our finest moment.

But, there does seem to be a curious phenomenon in which Southern institutions, out of a perhaps understandable desire not to live in shame about their past, have instead decided to be proud of some really ugly stuff. I am genuinely mystified as to how local and state governments can, in good conscience, erect statues to heroes of the confederate army. Or how two communities in the United States could possibly think it's ok to name a school after Nathan Bedford Forrest.

Obviously, there are tons of Southerners who do not support these kinds of decisions. Is there a good way to talk about these issues? This is a serious question. As a lifelong New Yorker with an Arkansan girlfriend, I'm fascinated by this stuff. I'd love to be able to talk to Southern Mefites about it, but I obviously don't want to piss anyone off.
posted by Ragged Richard at 9:25 AM on July 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


koeselitz: "That really should have been a banning moment."

Agreed. Considering his entire history, I'm surprised he hasn't been by now. I know it takes a lot to get banned, but damn.


As per jessamyn in 2009, he didn't have many chances left. I was surprised to see that he was still here when I saw this post.

How many more times does he get?

Probably one, or maybe two.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:54 PM on October 8, 2009 [+] [!]

posted by triggerfinger at 9:28 AM on July 3, 2012


Guys? That's plenty of zucchini now, thanks.

Once you learn that zucchini makes a wonderful substitution for crab in crab cakes, you'll never think that again. Just double up on the Old Bay.
posted by hwyengr at 9:29 AM on July 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


Dano St, I thought your comment saying that I had issues with men was like a year ago and I don't remember it getting deleted. Or maybe this is a repeated thing for you?
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:29 AM on July 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


...last night, North Carolina legalized fracking *by accident* ...

And the Democratic governor promptly vetoed it.


The accidental passage happened after the veto. The legislature voted to override the veto, and then one of the democratic representatives accidentally hit the wrong button. They refused to let her change her vote.
posted by winna at 9:30 AM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Googling 'heineken beer commercial' took me to this piece of weirdness so it can't be all bad.

Ragged Richard, some tips: don't generalize. Don't lump. Redneck is a culture, not a race. Specific is better than sweeping. Personal experience is better than guessing. And remember that there are many, many people who simply sit and read - your comments are never for one other person alone.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:31 AM on July 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Repeated issue, young rope-rider, if repeated is defined as twice. How many mefites have you called misogynist?
posted by Dano St at 9:35 AM on July 3, 2012


Sort of off the point of the callout here, but,

I am genuinely mystified as to how local and state governments can, in good conscience, erect statues to heroes of the confederate army

Do you find yourself in agreement with the US government's wars and purposes in Iraq and Vietnam? Does that answer change your opinion about the appropriateness of memorials to those fallen there?

They're memorials to soldiers, often the ancestors of the people living there now, who gave their lives to defend their home from what they rightly or wrongly thought was undue aggression. That they were tragically mistaken does not make them less worthy of remembrance.
posted by tyllwin at 9:36 AM on July 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Newsom's singing always reminds me of Florence Foster Jenkins. I can't put my finger on why, but it does.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:38 AM on July 3, 2012


Repeated issue, young rope-rider, if repeated is defined as twice. How many mefites have you called misogynist?

ALL OF THEM, it's practically a reign of terror.
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:39 AM on July 3, 2012 [28 favorites]


tyllwin, fair enough. I guess I think the issue is complicated, in a way it isn't in those other wars, by the fact that the ancestors of the people who those soldiers were fighting to keep enslaved also have to live in the South. To put it another way, I have no problem with erecting a memorial to American soldiers who died in Vietnam, but I would feel a lot less ok about putting one up in Saigon.
posted by Ragged Richard at 9:40 AM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obviously, there are tons of Southerners who do not support these kinds of decisions. Is there a good way to talk about these issues?

As an extension not to generalize, understand the South is a very diverse region with people who may share some, but not all traits "identified" as being Southern. What may be true in place X is not necessarily true in place Y. Don't rest on presumptions and ask in good faith.
posted by Atreides at 9:43 AM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have no problem with erecting a memorial to American soldiers who died in Vietnam, but I would feel a lot less ok about putting one up in Saigon.

Interestingly and tangentially - I've always thought it was pretty classy that the Turkish government put up a memorial for Austrailian soldiers who died at Gallipoli and ANZAC Cove.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:43 AM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


And I too, will admit that the memorials are made more problematic by the fact that few of them acknowledge that their sacrifice was for an utterly false cause.

So far as Nathan Bedford Forrest, well, that's much more of problem. I don't want to see schools named after that man.
posted by tyllwin at 9:44 AM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think schools are more troublesome than statues, because you can more easily ignore some old memorial, but being a POC and going to a school every day for years named after someone who would call you subhuman is.... ugh.
posted by elizardbits at 9:48 AM on July 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Actually, yeah, one thing I noticed when I visited Arkansas was that I notice the confederate statues/flags way more than anyone who actually lives there does.
posted by Ragged Richard at 9:51 AM on July 3, 2012


Especially if that school then teaches revisionist history. Whoo.
posted by Phire at 9:52 AM on July 3, 2012


Ya'll should check out the memorial boulevard in Richmond, VA sometimes.
posted by kalessin at 9:52 AM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monument_Avenue

It's essentially a long line of Confederate leaders and then an Arthur Ashe monument.
posted by kalessin at 9:54 AM on July 3, 2012


Jefferson impregnated his slaves, yet those backwards rednecks at the U.S. Mint keep ignoring my letters about the nickels.
posted by Dano St at 9:57 AM on July 3, 2012


Wait til you see the $20 bill.
posted by elizardbits at 9:57 AM on July 3, 2012


This thread and the original thread remind me of a day spent in a long, pointless argument about whether Texas was the South or the West. We don't sweeten our tea in the pitcher, we like beef BBQ, we never had much in the way of plantations, and our true cuisine is Tex-Mex, not fried okra and grits. But we were in the Confederacy, we do many Southern things like drawl and have weird rules of chivalry, and we've got plenty of Southern-flavored racism going on.

All of which is to say that fights over geographic regional variations should only take place over beers and good food as an exercise in bonding and pleasurable argument, because they fall apart when you try to use them as the basis for anything else, like linkbait Salon articles.
posted by emjaybee at 11:20 PM on July 2 [4 favorites +] [!]



See, but what part of Texas are you from? In Deep East Texas, you grow up eating grits, massive quantities of okra, crawdads, fried catfish, hush puppies, SUPER sweet tea as the default in every pitcher---people don't even have unsweet, banana pudding...PLUS all of the classic Texan things (brisket, oxtails, mexican, chicken fried steak, venison). That's cotton country (and bayou/pine woods), and is very different from the deserts of West Texas or the endless plains in the center or the coastal Galveston area.

Texas is both the South and the West. If you described the upbringing of an East Texan, it would sound remarkably similar to that of someone from Louisana or Mississippi or Arkansas PLUS Texas armadillo rodeo belt buckle ranching flavor thrown in with it. If you described the upbringing of somebody from San Antonio or Midland, you'd 100% be getting the kinda Texas that most people think of.


That being said, we all know that Texas is the only truly good place to ever exist. All Texans will present a united front and bond over Schlitterbahn, swimming holes/lakes, 4-wheelers, shooting rifles right after learning to walk, rodeos, western riding, venison, and 4-H.
posted by 200burritos at 9:59 AM on July 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Dano St: “I've been refreshing this thread all morning waiting for this comment to disappear. It's now lunch time, so it seems it is here to stay, gathering favorites while nobody seesm to have a problems with it. This is curious to me since I've recently had two comments deleted from the gray: one for calling a user ‘a creep’ and another for saying a user's history shows she ‘has issues with men’. It's hard to see how ‘creepy, racist and misogynist’ is on the right side of the line when my comments weren't.”

I'm just going to ask if you're aware of the context of that comment – that ferdinand made a comment a few years ago that comes close to being the most racist, misogynist, and utterly hurtful thing I've ever heard, that he has never seen fit to acknowledge that it was outrageous, much less apologize for it.

I know that there are many standard guidelines here, and it's a good idea not to delve into that kind of namecalling. And I guess I won't be surprised if the young rope-rider's comment disappears. But – this case is a little different, I think. It is a case of something insanely troubling, something that was never really set right. And I know we're not supposed to bring back old history, it's good to let things be. I guess that's probably what I should be doing.

I was mostly just wondering if you were aware of the history behind that comment, Dano St, or if you were just taking that comment at face value. Because it seems to me that the history is sort of essential to understanding it.
posted by koeselitz at 10:00 AM on July 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


This thread is starting to echo previous threads. I think I need to refresh my cash.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:01 AM on July 3, 2012


It's the Lost Thread mythos, Blazecock. We've nothing but the past to dwell upon in Meta!
posted by Atreides at 10:02 AM on July 3, 2012


koeselitz, thanks. That was well said.
posted by zarq at 10:04 AM on July 3, 2012


I've never had a 'fuck you' deleted, but I've lost a 'go fuck yourself' to moderation. A twat and a couple of cunts as well, by my reckoning.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:07 AM on July 3, 2012


We lost a really good member to that comment and some of the filth that spread from it. That kind of hurt is hard to walk past again and again, especially after someone decides to vent their Specialness gland in such a clueless fashion.
posted by batmonkey at 10:08 AM on July 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I am genuinely mystified as to how local and state governments can, in good conscience, erect statues to heroes of the confederate army.

The majority of those statues were built from the 1870's up through the 1920's, the height of Jim Crow, disenfranchisement, and violence towards blacks. Yeah, yeah, they were memorials to the "boys in gray who sacrificed all in defense of hearth and home." But they were also symbols of white supremacy, used to rally the poor and ruling class whites together, and to literally carve in stone and display in the most prominent place in town their version of the war and its causes.

I know more about this than you can possibly imagine.
posted by marxchivist at 10:21 AM on July 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


ALL OF THEM, it's practically a reign of terror.

I am so afeared of the threat that I barely dare to post....
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:25 AM on July 3, 2012


I am genuinely mystified as to how local and state governments can, in good conscience, erect statues to heroes of the confederate army.

Erecting memorials to Confederate "heroes" today would be offensive; living with the memorials erected to the Confederate "heroes" of 60 or 100 or more years ago is just another one of the bad dreams of history. In most cases, I think, it would be just as irresponsible to history to remove these memorials as it would be offensive to build new ones. (I'm unaware of any southern state or local governments which are currently commissioning memorials to Confederate heroes ((but it wouldn't surprise me to learn that one was, somewhere).)

We've nothing but the past to dwell upon in Meta!

The past isn't dead. It isn't even past.
posted by octobersurprise at 10:26 AM on July 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Obviously, there are tons of Southerners who do not support these kinds of decisions. Is there a good way to talk about these issues? This is a serious question. As a lifelong New Yorker with an Arkansan girlfriend, I'm fascinated by this stuff. I'd love to be able to talk to Southern Mefites about it, but I obviously don't want to piss anyone off.

Well, say you're fascinated about the history and social issues involved in the era and make an AskMe about it.

Don't expect the discussion to go totally smoothly, but if you're really interested in the history, then talk about the history, you know?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:29 AM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was mostly just wondering if you were aware of the history behind that comment, Dano St

Yes, I'm aware of it. You seem to be saying it's OK to call another member a creepy misogynist racist type if there are indeed such a type. FWIW the moderator that deleted my creep comment agreed with my assessment of the user in private, but that didn't make it acceptable. Obviously you're right that there is some context that makes young rope rider's insults OK but made mine deletable, but I'm not convinced "because it's true" is quite it.
posted by Dano St at 10:35 AM on July 3, 2012


Dano St: "Obviously you're right that there is some context that makes young rope rider's insults OK but made mine deletable, but I'm not convinced "because it's true" is quite it."

Am I understanding correctly that you had one deleted and a similar one not deleted? What was different about them?
posted by zarq at 10:41 AM on July 3, 2012


I know more about this than you can possibly imagine.
posted by marxchivist at 1:21 PM on July 3 [+] [!]


I think that would actually be an awfully interesting FPP.
posted by tyllwin at 10:46 AM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think it was mostly a difference of time/era. The deletions being a recent phenomena. Also, if I recall correctly the un-deleted one was more hypothetically indirect. But, hey, not here to play 20 questions about old stuff. I note that her comment is apparently within acceptable parameters and that I find that fact curious given my experience. I will leave it at that.
posted by Dano St at 10:49 AM on July 3, 2012


My feeling: misogynist is an accusation which may be challenged and refuted, while has issues with men is a slander which sticks to what it touches. Is a creep is name calling; is creepy identifies a a subjective feeling that the speaker experiences. Further, in both cases, the former is applied to comments, while the latter is applied to a person.

Articulated, these may appear as fine distinctions, but I think the felt difference between the cases is fairly large to attentive readers of good will, including the mods.
posted by longtime_lurker at 10:54 AM on July 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


FWIW the moderator that deleted my creep comment agreed with my assessment of the user in private...

This is kind of an icky thing to post.
posted by lalex at 10:54 AM on July 3, 2012 [14 favorites]


Dano St: " But, hey, not here to play 20 questions about old stuff."

No worries. Was just curious.
posted by zarq at 10:56 AM on July 3, 2012


"I know more about this than you can possibly imagine."

PLEASE MAKE A POST ABOUT IT
posted by klangklangston at 10:56 AM on July 3, 2012


Or rather, in the former pair, the latter is applied to a comment and the former to a person, while in the latter the opposite is true. I'll just shut up now.
posted by longtime_lurker at 10:57 AM on July 3, 2012


I'm not sure if talking about this old crap is the best thing to be doing, as distasteful as it was to me. I'm done here.
posted by koeselitz at 10:57 AM on July 3, 2012


FWIW the moderator that deleted my creep comment agreed with my assessment of the user in private

This is getting into fairly weird territory as far as skirting the "don't republish private correspondence without permission" rule goes even aside from any questions of the specific context of that email.

More generally, yeah, re-adjudicating several old things out of context in here is basically not great all around and should probably have just been given a rest before now.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:59 AM on July 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


i love joanna newsom. i just got milk eyed mender on vinyl. it's an awesome record to cook eggs to on a sunday morning. part of my love actually stems from hammer dulcimer festivals we went to. i know she hails from the appalachian area, but the ozarks have taken quite a bit of that music and turned it into their own thing, so listening to her is sort of like listening to an alien write music in the style of my youth.


re: pinkypie/fluttershy - i see your one pony band and counter with this
posted by nadawi at 11:02 AM on July 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Texas finds itself split between The Breadbasket, Dixie, and Mexamerica, while the culinary traditions map shows a similar divide.

That map is incorrect as it shows that they serve barbeque outside the state of North Carolina. Who can I contact to correct this error?
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:04 AM on July 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


PLEASE MAKE A POST ABOUT IT

I'll try that in the next couple weeks. Unfortunately, if I was to link to one of the best online resources about that subject, I'd be self-linking! I think I could still do a good post on it, it'll just take some time.
posted by marxchivist at 11:06 AM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Re the memorials and high schools named after Klan heroes and the like: a big part of it, in my experience, is that people's innate small-c conservatism kicks in anytime you bring this up. Now that the school is already called Edwin Forrest High, well, what's done is done, and we can't just go renaming things willy-nilly.

A lot of Southerners, even very liberal and modern and forward-thinking Southerners, are really attracted to the idea of Time Immemorial. When the reality is that most of Americans' ideas about "tradition" and "always" is very recent. Like, not even 1776 recent. More like 1920 recent.
posted by Sara C. at 11:06 AM on July 3, 2012


Send it to me, then, I'll post it.
posted by klangklangston at 11:09 AM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


That map is incorrect as it shows that they serve barbeque outside the state of North Carolina. Who can I contact to correct this error?


Those who would put ketchup on pork (or, God forbid: beef) and call it barbecue are to be regarded as mere talented childen: smart, but not wise. We should then only attempt to teach, not to scold, and hope that one day they too can know the truth.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 11:11 AM on July 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


as to the south and civil war and how they deal with the big bag of icky history in their laps - it's a tricky thing. yes, some of the monuments and schools and roads and parks are named by racists being racist - but some of it - well, there's nuance to the civil war that rarely seems to come up when yankees are in the conversation.

yes, slavery is bad and the south should have given it up, full stop. there was also all this other stuff about how much raw materials are worth to the industrial north and if our country is really a combination of individual republics and other things. latching on to the slavery part of the fight was a great move and got everyone galvanized against the south (rightly so), but it wasn't the only thing being fought about. i think sometimes that's what the remembrance is about - that all war is complex and to come out of one as the winners and say "we were 100% right" is suspect and probably hand waving over some unpleasant truths.
posted by nadawi at 11:11 AM on July 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


i will not get into these barbeque fights. i'm of the mind that just like chili is made differently depending on geography and familial traditions, barbeque contains multitudes. if it's well prepared and done with care, i'll try it and probably love it. i just ask that you serve it on a paper plate with store bought white bread and a put a roll of paper towels on the long bench tables.
posted by nadawi at 11:13 AM on July 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Those who would put ketchup on pork (or, God forbid: beef) and call it barbecue are to be regarded as mere talented childen: smart, but not wise. We should then only attempt to teach, not to scold, and hope that one day they too can know the truth.

Their "barbequeu" is covered in sugar, so it keeps them in the mental state of small children, always craving sweet things.
posted by scose at 11:15 AM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


"latching on to the slavery part of the fight was a great move and got everyone galvanized against the south (rightly so), but it wasn't the only thing being fought about."

It was, however, the primary thing that the South fought for, and there's been a trend of revisionism that by exploring nuance diminishes the central fact of the Civil War, that it was a defense of slavery as a way of life.
posted by klangklangston at 11:15 AM on July 3, 2012 [17 favorites]


Oops, barbequeu -> barbeque. Thinking about that ketchup-based sauce has got me so mad I can't see straight.
posted by scose at 11:17 AM on July 3, 2012


ah, but where do you stand on slaw? red or white?
posted by needled at 11:24 AM on July 3, 2012


I find them both equally unpleasant PERSONALLY.
posted by elizardbits at 11:27 AM on July 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


White, but only on the sandwich. I prefer a side of collard greens.
posted by scose at 11:28 AM on July 3, 2012


to the south and civil war and how they deal with the big bag of icky history in their laps - it's a tricky thing. yes, some of the monuments and schools and roads and parks are named by racists being racist - but some of it - well, there's nuance to the civil war that rarely seems to come up when yankees are in the conversation.

There's also always nuance to how anyone deals with the problematic aspects of their history because it's your history even when you wish it weren't; American history is rife with this, but very few people expect New Englanders to completely reject the Puritans over the Pequot War or rename Brown University because of the slave trade. As a Southerner, the sense I have is that I'm expected to disown my ancestor who fought for the Confederacy. Even if I wanted to do that, it would still be meaningless since I would still be a person who was raised by his descendants.

Are there better ways to deal with that legacy than naming things after Nathan Bedford Forest? Of course, that stuff is mostly racist people naming stuff after racists because of racism. That said, you can't expect people to completely turn their back on their past.

Oh, and red slaw, obviously.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:29 AM on July 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


latching on to the slavery part of the fight was a great move and got everyone galvanized against the south (rightly so), but it wasn't the only thing being fought about
Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and moral condition.
-- Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens, March 21, 1861
posted by kirkaracha at 11:33 AM on July 3, 2012 [13 favorites]


What a creepy racist.
posted by nathancaswell at 11:37 AM on July 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


yes, slavery was the big thing on both sides, but the way it's talked about sometimes insinuates that all of the confederacy were for slavery and all of the yankees were against it and that it was the only issue on the table. my readings of journals and newspapers and church meetings of the time shows that's a simplistic view of what actually happened.

on preview, and see, this is what happens when you try to bring it up - let me say it again just so there's no confusion - slavery was the main part of the fight but it wasn't the only part and the yankees didn't act like perfect little soldiers only killing when they had to and never raping or stealing or torturing those they fought against. in the fog of war, everyone's a sinner.
posted by nadawi at 11:37 AM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Actually, the primary thing the South fought for was the right to BBQ and collards without those northern haters constantly trying to force scrapple and steamed parsnips and unsweetened apple pie and molasses dirt tea and feather macaroni and other weird puritan things on everybody. The civil war was really about fucked up food versus not fucked up food.

Seriously, think about it. New Englanders: don't even try to front and claim the Italian and Jewish foods like they're original 13 colony cuisines. Before you attempt to protest, keep in mind that "[t]he most typical cooking method of the Quakers was boiling"(Wikipedia) and that Puritans didn't even believe in lunch.
posted by 200burritos at 11:39 AM on July 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


So add people who call their boyfreinds their 'boy' to the list.

If they are any age up to about 19-20 they get a pass. Once they are beyond that limit it is reprehensible.


Thank god someone else agrees. My friend who is 40 does this to her husband. Poor man lost his soul/identity 12 years ago when they met. Love them both but I feel bad for the guy.

posted by stormpooper at 11:41 AM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


in defense of the yankees - new england clam chowder.
posted by nadawi at 11:42 AM on July 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Sure. Except one group of sinners was doing their sinning in the name of slavery, and one was doing it in the name of... arguably more complicated stuff, but partially for the abolition of slavery.
posted by Sara C. at 11:43 AM on July 3, 2012


Is that the red kind or the white kind? (i fear all eldritch horrors of the deep so it doesn't really matter tbh)
posted by elizardbits at 11:45 AM on July 3, 2012


In response to nadawi's comment, I vote that we change 'bible belt' to 'sweet tea line'.

Guess whose perineal raphe just got a new nickname!
posted by Sys Rq at 11:47 AM on July 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


in defense of the yankees - new england clam chowder.

New Englanders should only be allowed to cook seafood. You get them too far away from the ocean and they're eating pie for breakfast and boiling pieces of beef. Say what you will about the obesity in the South, being among the healthiest states in the country is easy when your food is terrible.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:48 AM on July 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


New Englanders should only be allowed to cook seafood.

Wow, lotta racism here from Southerners who don't know that the best breakfast is a few birch shavings and a big glass of granite with a side of flannel. Maybe check your invisible backpack?
posted by Greg Nog at 11:50 AM on July 3, 2012 [35 favorites]


they're eating pie for breakfast

Preferably with a melted slice of cheese on top.
posted by elizardbits at 11:52 AM on July 3, 2012


I said "delete this comment" and got deleted. Where's the justice in that?
posted by daniel_charms at 11:55 AM on July 3, 2012


This is disgusting divisive hate speech.

That sets an absurdly low bar for the term, one that wouldn't be recognized by anyone familiar with it. That will only get laughed at in MeTa.

slavery was the main part of the fight but it wasn't the only part

From Texas's "A Declaration of the Causes which Impel the State of Texas to Secede from the Federal Union": "We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable." And in case "dependent" is too euphemistic, it continues, "the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free".

Are there better ways to deal with that legacy than naming things after Nathan Bedford Forest? Of course, that stuff is mostly racist people naming stuff after racists because of racism. That said, you can't expect people to completely turn their back on their past.

Nathan Bedford Forrest High School!? "Fort Pillow Forrest"?! Slave-Trader Forrest?! Grand Wizard KKK Forrest?!

If that's the Civil War figure the Neo-Confederates of Chapel Hill, TN and Jacksonville, FL choose to commemorate, then no amount of tu quoque's or appeals to tradition and history can distract from the legacy they're upholding.
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:57 AM on July 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


Like I said, naming stuff after Nathan Forrest is almost certainly just racism, so saying I was trying to "distract from that legacy" is a strawman.

On a lighter note, I would point out that the page for the school in Jacksonville has this written at the top of the page:

2010-2011 School Grade: C
"Exceeding Expectations...and Beyond"

Set the bar high, guys.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:02 PM on July 3, 2012


I'm sorry, there is nothing wrong with pie for breakfast and anyone who says otherwise is clearly delusional. Live Free With Pie isn't my state's motto for nothing!
posted by ChuraChura at 12:09 PM on July 3, 2012 [14 favorites]


Slavery was certainly the cause of the war, but that's a far different thing from the preservation of slavery being the motivation for each of the individuals fighting. There the reasons can run from the evil "I wanna keep my field slaves," to the foolish "I don't want another race to be placed ruling over me;" and from the problematic "forcing me to stay in the Union is tyranny," to the tragic "I won't see Sherman burn my town without a fight." I wonder how many soldiers on both sides started fighting just so that friends and family wouldn't brand them a coward, and kept fighting so as not to let down brothers in arms.

I'm intrigued by the idea that the memorials may have a similar mix of roots, from honoring an ancestor or a late husband up to a coded way of expressing white supremacy sentiments., so I'd love to see that post!!
posted by tyllwin at 12:10 PM on July 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


congratulations, you can find support for slavery in confederate documents. you must be a master researcher. i will show my own master researching credentials by linking to wikipedia-

As a panel of historians emphasized in 2011, "while slavery and its various and multifaceted discontents were the primary cause of disunion, it was disunion itself that sparked the war." States' rights and the tariff issue became entangled in the slavery issue, and were intensified by it. Other important factors were party politics, abolitionism, Southern nationalism, Northern nationalism, expansionism, sectionalism, economics and modernization in the Antebellum period.

there's still a lot of racists in the south, but this isn't the only place you'll find the confederate flag - there are rednecks everywhere - for instance, eastern washington and large swaths of the militia-happy northern midwest. if you look at the civil war and say "that was 100% about slavery for 100% of the people" you close yourself off from learning anything from it besides "slavery is bad" - a good lesson, but not the only one that conflict teaches.
posted by nadawi at 12:16 PM on July 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


I wonder how many soldiers on both sides ... kept fighting so as not to let down brothers in arms.

Very, very many.

marxchivist, if you're uncomfortable linking, I'll do it. Or put it in Projects
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:26 PM on July 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Can't stop chortling about feather macaroni personally. Not that it's a laughing matter.
posted by Occula at 12:30 PM on July 3, 2012


I didn't know who Joanna Newsom was, so I just watched Peach Plum Pear.

Holy shit is that annoying.

I feel like I am owed an apology.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:34 PM on July 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


Slavery was certainly the cause of the war, but that's a far different thing from the preservation of slavery being the motivation for each of the individuals fighting. There the reasons can run from the evil "I wanna keep my field slaves," to the foolish "I don't want another race to be placed ruling over me;" and from the problematic "forcing me to stay in the Union is tyranny," to the tragic "I won't see Sherman burn my town without a fight." I wonder how many soldiers on both sides started fighting just so that friends and family wouldn't brand them a coward, and kept fighting so as not to let down brothers in arms.

True, obviously.

It's also just as true of the Nazis. Doesn't really make flying a swastika a-ok, though.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:35 PM on July 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


i will not get into these barbeque fights. i'm of the mind that just like chili is made differently depending on geography and familial traditions, barbeque contains multitudes.

I have a theory. The longer food takes to prepare the more likely people are to becoming purists about it, and the more loyal they are to the version they had growing up. I mean, there's just so much effort that gets put into BBQ, chili, etc. What's more, each version tells of a story about where the people who make it came from, who they've met, and where they are right now. The differences in various types of BBQ, clam chowder, or chili stand as monuments to the fundamental ability of humanity to adapt, and of people's memory for their personal and family histories.

I say that the important things to remember are that we all put the same amount of love and energy into those kinds of food, and if you make Rouladen in anyway but the way my mom did, you're a horrible human being.
posted by Gygesringtone at 12:42 PM on July 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


You guys know that, when we say the Civil War was primarily about slavery, nobody is saying that 100% of Confederate soldiers joined up because they loved beating their field slaves every day, and 100% of Union soldiers joined up because they wanted to put their bodies on the line for the noble abolitionist cause. Right?

I have a long distant ancestor who fought for the Confederacy. He was eighteen years old, a person of little status and no particular distinction. He most likely did not own any slaves*. It's more likely that he joined up for a pair of boots, or because his schoolmates all did, or because by that point it was 1863 and any able-bodied adult man was desperately needed. Either way, after six weeks he was injured and discharged, and his motivations for joining up were a moot point.

*I have other ancestors who probably did own slaves, back in the eighteenth century. But they didn't fight in the Civil War.
posted by Sara C. at 12:42 PM on July 3, 2012


Peach, Plum, Pear is an awesome song. I am sorry for those of you who can't appreciate atonality; also for those of you who can't recognize that the North/South cuisine argument is sadly beside the point when the West is full of breakfast burritos and actual flavor.
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:44 PM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's also just as true of the Nazis. Doesn't really make flying a swastika a-ok, though

Hmm, true. I suppose I think of the swastika as being tied much more closely to a specific ideology. A confederate flag strikes me as more akin to a nationalist sort of symbol than than the swastika does. I think the equivalent to the swastika is a burning cross, and there's not not really much love of that shit in today's South.

I don't think a memorial to German dead of WWII is an inherently racist symbol.
posted by tyllwin at 12:45 PM on July 3, 2012


You guys are cute.

Metafilter: Where it is understood that homosexuality is obviously genetically determined but admitting an overwhelming preference to wrapping one's lips around the lilly-white labia of others also descended from northern Europeans is considered a moral failing that leaves middle-aged women revulsed and recoiling in horror at the thought they even interacted with you over the internet or, God forbid, even favorited something you wrote.
posted by ferdinand.bardamu at 12:45 PM on July 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


I didn't know who Joanna Newsom was, so I just watched Peach Plum Pear. yt

Holy shit is that annoying.

I feel like I am owed an apology.


Bless your heart.
posted by daniel_charms at 12:46 PM on July 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


oh man you gonna get banned
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:46 PM on July 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


It's more likely that he joined up for a pair of boots, or because his schoolmates all did, or because by that point it was 1863 and any able-bodied adult man was desperately needed. Either way, after six weeks he was injured and discharged, and his motivations for joining up were a moot point.

It's also likely he was conscripted. One of the few legacies of the Confederate States of America is the first American conscription laws.
posted by Atreides at 12:48 PM on July 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Likely = = possible.
posted by Atreides at 12:48 PM on July 3, 2012


Jesus christ. We've given you more than one chance to recover from some weird fucking behavior and you do not seem to be meeting us halfway on this shit. Take a hike.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:49 PM on July 3, 2012 [46 favorites]


they're eating pie for breakfast

I regard that as a mark of civilization.

"while slavery and its various and multifaceted discontents were the primary cause of disunion, it was disunion itself that sparked the war."

Ah. This is where I came in.

As a Southerner, the sense I have is that I'm expected to disown my ancestor who fought for the Confederacy.

I've never felt obliged to disown my Confederate ancestor, but I can't say I take any pride in his service, either. At most I feel a kind of distant curiosity and sorrow for the poor fucker who was persuaded to fight a war that was not only of no benefit to him, but also in defense of a society based on the most vicious kind of slavery.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:49 PM on July 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


is considered a moral failing that leaves middle-aged women revulsed

No. I share, in fact, a preference for those who look more like myself. The moral failing is in expressing that preference crudely, crassly and hurtfully with absolutely no reason to.
posted by tyllwin at 12:49 PM on July 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's also just as true of the Nazis. Doesn't really make flying a swastika a-ok, though.

Just to flesh this out a little bit, I do think that the differences between the way that Germany had dealt with its troubling past and the way that some segments of the American South have dealt with theirs is really striking. Most of the people who fought in the German army during World War II did not do so because they personally supported the extermination of the Jews. And so modern Germany has been at pains to make clear that its memorial day is not a celebration of the Nazi cause, and seems to have struggled a little bit with how to appropriately have a memorial day at all. Whereas the South is not content to fold civil war soldiers into the existing Memorial Day, but instead celebrates a separate Confederate Memorial Day.
posted by Ragged Richard at 12:49 PM on July 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


cortex: "Jesus christ. We've given you more than one chance to recover from some weird fucking behavior and you do not seem to be meeting us halfway on this shit. Take a hike."

Thank you.
posted by zarq at 12:51 PM on July 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


ferdinand.bardamu this is no longer looking like a good faith effort by you to interact with the community at all, if it ever was. You are welcome to avail yourself of the Brand New Day option but we're done with this account. And if you come back, you need to pretty clearly not be doing this same thing.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:52 PM on July 3, 2012 [11 favorites]


"in the fog of war, everyone's a sinner."

That's a bullshit false equivalency.

"As a panel of historians emphasized in 2011, "while slavery and its various and multifaceted discontents were the primary cause of disunion, it was disunion itself that sparked the war." States' rights and the tariff issue became entangled in the slavery issue, and were intensified by it. Other important factors were party politics, abolitionism, Southern nationalism, Northern nationalism, expansionism, sectionalism, economics and modernization in the Antebellum period."

"Disunion itself that sparked the war"? Yeah, in the most literal sense — secession and firing on Fort Sumpter did spark the war. But really, it was slavery as a perverse institution that animated the vast majority of Southern life.

"there's still a lot of racists in the south, but this isn't the only place you'll find the confederate flag - there are rednecks everywhere - for instance, eastern washington and large swaths of the militia-happy northern midwest. if you look at the civil war and say "that was 100% about slavery for 100% of the people" you close yourself off from learning anything from it besides "slavery is bad" - a good lesson, but not the only one that conflict teaches."

The thing is, it was 95 percent about slavery for 95 percent of the people, so there's only a limited amount that looking at the Civil War without slavery can teach us. Even most of the tangential justifications (whether economic or legal) have to be best understood through the context of slavery.

That there are racists in the North or west doesn't mean that the South wasn't fighting for deep, hideous racism and slavery more cruel and insidious in practice than anywhere else. Acknowledging that has to be the first step in pretty much every discussion about the Civil War or Confederacy.

Part of why I'm so vehement about this is because of a teacher I had for my History of Journalism class who wanted to trot out shit about how really, being a slave wasn't nearly as bad as indentured servitude for whites in the South, because (as property) blacks were worth more. He was also full of shit about a lot of other aspects of the Civil War, and it was pretty much a semester-long slugfest on the issue for me. I liked him for a lot of other reasons, but I've seen plenty of good Southerners trot out some amazingly bullshit rationalizations for the war or Confederacy, and it really bugs me as hugely dishonest.
posted by klangklangston at 12:54 PM on July 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Whereas the South is not content to fold civil war soldiers into the existing Memorial Day, but instead celebrates a separate Confederate Memorial Day.

Leaving aside that Confederate Memorial Day might well have come first, I'm not sure how much I would say the South "celebrates" Confederate Memorial Day. I lived in the South proper for the first 18 years of my life, and while apparently my state celebrated that holiday( per Wikipedia anyway), I had no idea until just now. We never got the day off from school, there was never a parade or anything like that. I'm sure there are places where this isn't the case, but for where I was "celebrating" didn't mean a thing.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:58 PM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


for those of you who can't recognize that the North/South cuisine argument is sadly beside the point when the West is full of breakfast burritos and actual flavor.

HA! Good one. Maybe in California, but I can vouch that Washington is a depressing display of blandness with no spicy or vinegary foods, overcooked dry meat, and a strange obsession with (poorly executed) breakfast foods. Seriously, that stuff you consider "biscuits and gravy" is really "dense crumbly bread and congealed milk". There were good Asian and Mexican restaurants but the whiteman food was bad.
posted by scose at 1:01 PM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am sorry for those of you who can't appreciate atonality

in the spirit of "This is Metafilter and we can argue about ANYTHING," that song is not atonal. It has a perfectly well defined tonal center. This is atonal.
posted by KathrynT at 1:01 PM on July 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Like I said, naming stuff after Nathan Forrest is almost certainly just racism, so saying I was trying to "distract from that legacy" is a strawman.

Saying "you can't expect people to completely turn their back on their past" sounds like a pretty weak-tea apology. Why shouldn't Forrest be persona non grata in American history the way we hold Aaron Burr and Benedict Arnold? How is racists being racists anything less than unacceptable?

congratulations, you can find support for slavery in confederate documents. you must be a master researcher. i will show my own master researching credentials by linking to wikipedia

A "panel of historians" chaired by a professor from the University of ... Virginia. This is my surprised face. I'd be more surprised if they protested Virginia's Confederate History Month.

Sure, you can muddy the waters by introducing issues of Southern nationalism, Northern nationalism, expansionism, economics, modernization, etc., etc., but slavery was so deeply rooted in the pre-Civil War United States that one cannot discuss any of these topics in depth without addressing the South's "peculiar institution" as a unique factor among the causes of the war. The South started the war over slavery, tout court. Putting scare quotes around saying it was "100% about slavery for 100% of the people" is a pre-emptive strawman argument against the judgement of history.

A confederate flag strikes me as more akin to a nationalist sort of symbol than than the swastika does.

The Confederate Battle Flag, a.k.a. the "Southern Cross", was flown by the Lost Causers after the war and became only more popular among them during the Civil Rights era. Its white supremacist legacy cannot be disentangled from its tradition as a standard. {On preview, Ragged Richard said this better.}
posted by Doktor Zed at 1:02 PM on July 3, 2012


klangklangston: "how really, being a slave wasn't nearly as bad as indentured servitude for whites in the South, because (as property) blacks were worth more."

I went on a single date with someone during my freshman college year who was, unbeknownst to me, something of a white supremacist. She started spouting bullshit like that at me over dinner and we got into a huge, loud argument before I finally walked out.

Your teacher sounds like a prize.
posted by zarq at 1:03 PM on July 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


klang: check your email listed in your profile
posted by marxchivist at 1:03 PM on July 3, 2012


in the spirit of "This is Metafilter and we can argue about ANYTHING," that song is not atonal. It has a perfectly well defined tonal center. This yt is atonal.

I knew someone would come correct me and also hoped that my wrongness would make my arrogance more satisfying for the kind of people who hang around here (my people <3 )
posted by the young rope-rider at 1:05 PM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't think a memorial to German dead of WWII is an inherently racist symbol.

Really? Is that because you've never seen one, or because it has no immediate connection to you?

I saw Fascist war memorials all over northern Italy when I was there last year. It was a bit chilling, even as someone who has no associations with that particular part of history/geography.

I also thought the remnants of Mussolini's architecture and attempts at archaeological reconstruction, which are all over Italy, were sort of ominous. I don't think they need to be pulled down or anything, but you kind of can't avoid recognizing what they are. And I would be sort of creeped out to talk to a young Italian who didn't connect the two or know anything about it, or who just thought the monuments were totally apolitical memorials to the war dead.
posted by Sara C. at 1:06 PM on July 3, 2012


I'm not sure how much I would say the South "celebrates" Confederate Memorial Day.

In my state, at least, it's an official state holiday, May 10. Seems a perfect opportunity for a white sale, but, somehow, retailers never take it up.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:08 PM on July 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'd be more surprised if they protested Virginia's Confederate History Month.

Hmn - while Prof. Larry Sabato teaches poli sci, not history, at UVa, he does have a proper perspective: "Frederick Douglass said after the Civil War that there was a right side and a wrong side to this war, and we should never forget which is which. And that's the point of these sesquicentennial celebrations: There is right and wrong in history. It isn't all value neutral."
posted by Doktor Zed at 1:12 PM on July 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Louisiana also doesn't not officially celebrate Confederate Memorial Day, for anyone keeping score. Then again, we have to find room for a full week off for Mardi Gras, and Good Friday crawfish boils, so we're willing to compromise on all the boring "woo woo let's have a boring military parade with no throws or Professor Longhair blaring from car stereos" holidays like Columbus Day, Memorial Day, Presidents' Day, etc.

So as it stands, our dance card is pretty full in terms of dubious public holidays.
posted by Sara C. at 1:15 PM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ugh, does not. Louisiana does not. Illiterate today, I tell you.
posted by Sara C. at 1:15 PM on July 3, 2012


Saying "you can't expect people to completely turn their back on their past" sounds like a pretty weak-tea apology. Why shouldn't Forrest be persona non grata in American history the way we hold Aaron Burr and Benedict Arnold? How is racists being racists anything less than unacceptable?

Why do you keep acting like I said Nathan Bedford Forrest ISN'T persona non grata or that racist being racist is acceptable? He is and it's not. My point is that if you live in the South it's acceptable to have a complicated relationship with the Confederacy because that history is your history even when it turns your stomach. One part of that complicated relationship should be condemning Forrest, but it's not all of it. That complicated relationship is part of all of American history. it's just that when the South is involved people come in and make it seem like this is a special neurosis of the South. Southerners can honor their past without accepting slavery just as we can put Andrew Jackson on the 20 dollar bill without accepting the Trail of Tears.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:15 PM on July 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


I, too, used to think that the (white) South was a wretched hive of scum and villany. But I realized I had been kinda wrong about that after reading Bitterly Divided: The South's Inner Civil War, which is about the resistance of Southerners to the Confederacy:

"Williams marshals abundant evidence to demonstrate that the Confederacy also lost an internal civil war during 1861–65. Slaveholding planters had pushed secession against the wishes of the nonslaveholding majority of white Southerners, who were profoundly skeptical of slavery. Most Southerners looked on the conflict with the North as “a rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight,” especially because owners of 20 or more slaves and all planters and public officials were exempt from military service. The planters’ continued raising of cotton and tobacco rather than food for the army; a military draft from 1862 on; skyrocketing taxes; the confiscation of nonplanters’ goods for the army—all these and more reinforced the class-based perception of the war. From the outset, desertion from the army was constant, and because deserters were savagely hunted, a new underground railroad arose, bringing deserters north, often to join the ranks of the half-million Union soldiers from the South. The Confederacy lost, it seems, because it was precisely the kind of house divided against itself that Lincoln famously said could not stand. This firm repudiation of the myth of the solid Confederate South is absolutely essential Civil War reading."


But reading this thread, I'm wondering, why is it that the South/(white) southerners choose to glorify the Confederacy instead of Unionists; why when people talk about the South, racism, and the Civil War the standard defenses are "You can't expect me to be ashamed of my ancestors." or "The Civil War wasn't about slavery."

Instead of: "Do you know how we got West Virginia?", "Ever heard of Unionists? Look it up." , "At least 100,000* men from the South fought in the Union army. Every state in the South except South Carolina sent regiments to join the Union, douchbag."

*Estimates vary.

If you want to talk about how the South isn't all racist, then talk about the South isn't all racist instead of offering defenses for the (white) southerners who were/are racist.
posted by nooneyouknow at 1:16 PM on July 3, 2012 [15 favorites]


I don't think a memorial to German dead of WWII is an inherently racist symbol.

Really? Is that because you've never seen one, or because it has no immediate connection to you?


Both, I suppose. No one really close to me died at the hands of the Nazis, and I've never seen one in person. Perhaps I'd feel differently with the emotional reaction of looking at the thing. But here in cool blood, I think most of the Germans who died in WWII, were not fighting for the goal of stamping out the Jews. Mourning that you grandfather died, even on the wrong side, seems different to me than endorsing his cause. Clearly I wouldn't feel this way about a swastika monument honoring war criminals. Memorializing the dead is one thing, memorializing Nazism another. FWIW, I don't actually approve of Jeff Davis memorials either.
posted by tyllwin at 1:19 PM on July 3, 2012


Hey, can we not refight the Civil War yet again in this fairly inappropriate venue? Those interested can enjoy earlier brouhahas like this and (the granddaddy of them all) this.
posted by languagehat at 1:20 PM on July 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh, come on, you have to admit that if you were wandering the streets of Munich and you saw a huge swastika-clad monument with a bas-relief of Der Fuhrer, you would think it was in poor taste, at the very least.
posted by Sara C. at 1:25 PM on July 3, 2012


i'm bowing out of that derail because now it seems people are arguing about things that aren't being said or even implied in this thread because other people at other times have said things that were just masking racism. if you think i'm masking my own racism, you're going to have to back that up with shit i actually said. if you think i'm saying that slavery wasn't the major part of the war, you're also mistaken. all i'm saying is that a disservice is done to learning about the war if people insist that it was completely about slavery and that there is no value to considering other angles, such as the personal motivations for soldiers and monetary concerns.

as to confederate memorial day - in arkansas the only activities i ever personally witnessed for it were going to gravesites and battlefields and reflecting on the lives lost and cleaning the areas. coming from a military family memorial day was celebrated enthusiastically with barbeques and flags and red/white/blue clothes and face paint and stories of brave soldiers.

finally - even lincoln, who by all accounts was very personally against slavery, still found a way to approach the topic in a measured way - "My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that."
posted by nadawi at 1:25 PM on July 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sara C, as I said "Clearly I wouldn't feel this way about a swastika monument honoring war criminals"

But maybe now that the user who started this thread is no longer with us, we can just leave this thread as a memorial itself?
posted by tyllwin at 1:30 PM on July 3, 2012


if you think i'm masking my own racism, you're going to have to back that up with shit i actually said.

I don't think that, but I do think you are arguably making a strong effort to present the South as anything other than the main belligerent party ("sinners on both sides", etc.). I suggest that dismissing the South's history in this way might perhaps be rubbing some people the wrong way.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:31 PM on July 3, 2012


The thing is, it was 95 percent about slavery for 95 percent of the people, so there's only a limited amount that looking at the Civil War without slavery can teach us. Even most of the tangential justifications (whether economic or legal) have to be best understood through the context of slavery.

It was 95% about slavery for the leaders in the south that decided to secede. It was 95% about preventing the south from seceding for the leaders in the north (Lincoln even tried to convince southerners he would not object to a proposed original 13th amendment that made banning slavery unconstitutional). For 95% of people it was about being a victim to the culture, society, and circumstances of their lives, which sadly included repressing and denying the horror of slavery they were born into--made convenient by extremely racist beliefs of the time. It would be good to memorialize not just the confederate soldiers but the entire story to help us see how similar processes may affect us today. What will future generations condemn us for? Is unfettered capitalism a convenient horror we believe in religiously today. I sometimes think so.
posted by Golden Eternity at 1:32 PM on July 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Why do you keep acting like I said Nathan Bedford Forrest ISN'T persona non grata

A rhetorical shrug of the shoulders - "Are there better ways to deal with that legacy than naming things after Nathan Bedford Forest?" - isn't a very convincing disavowal to start with. Forrest can't be treated like an embarrassing uncle nobody wants to mention at the family reunion. The man was a slaveholder, a slavetrader, and a war criminal. Naming high schools after him is abhorrent. There's nothing "complicated" about it, as nooneyouknow makes clear.

But here in cool blood, I think most of the Germans who died in WWII, were not fighting for the goal of stamping out the Jews.

Discussing German antisemitism during the Nazi era would only be a derail of a derail.

Hey, can we not refight the Civil War yet again in this fairly inappropriate venue?

Quite right. Clearly Metafilter needs some sort of Civil War debate reenactment society. Have a good 4th of July, everyone. See you on Mefi on Thursday.
posted by Doktor Zed at 1:33 PM on July 3, 2012


I scrolled down from a bunch of things I really wanted to read on the South vs. the opinions of the South thing in order to state the following:

I hadn't heard Joanna Newsom, either, until I clicked that Peach, Plum, Pear link, and I was also offended by it. Still, I felt like I'd not been really introduced to the singer in the video, so I clicked another song on the sidebar and it was not only more listenable, but it scratched a particular music itch I didn't know I had: Soft as Chalk (live on Jimmy Fallon).

Then I decided to give Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie a shot and...wow. Yeah. This is some good music.

totally see the Pinky Pie reference, too.
posted by batmonkey at 1:36 PM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


HERE STANDS THE INTERNET MEMORIAL TO ferdinand.bardamu
December 6, 2008 TO July 3, 2012
"peperony and fuck you"
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:36 PM on July 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


i do not dismiss the south as the main belligerent party. i do think most current support of the confederacy (though the flag, the naming of things, the monuments) is born out of racism. i can't say it any clearer than that. i do think when you get down to the people who actually did the fighting you'll find a lot less clarity and strength of a single position.
posted by nadawi at 1:36 PM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


languagehat: " Those interested can enjoy earlier brouhahas like this and (the granddaddy of them all) this."

Also, this.
posted by zarq at 1:37 PM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Are there better ways to deal with that legacy than naming things after Nathan Bedford Forest?" - isn't a very convincing disavowal to start with.

I said it was a bad idea, I said it was racist. I didn't focus on it because we've all agreed that it was a bad idea and because I was talking about other aspects of the relationship between Southern history and modern Southern identity that are more complicated than naming things after him.

Also, if you're concerned about people naming schools after slave traders, I'd again suggest that you start in Rhode Island.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:44 PM on July 3, 2012


Jesus, zarq, I just broke my nose facepalming. Ow, fuck!
posted by Devils Rancher at 1:44 PM on July 3, 2012


i do think when you get down to the people who actually did the fighting you'll find a lot less clarity and strength of a single position.

Well, yeah. Of course. Anyone who believed that everyone who fought on one side or the other was either pro-or anti-slavery would be pretty ignorant about the American Civil War. That said, it isn't inaccurate to say that "The Civil War was fought over slavery."
posted by octobersurprise at 1:45 PM on July 3, 2012


I'm no expert on the history of human conflict, but I think if reading the accounts of veterans of many different wars has taught me anything, it's that a very great many who fought did so for reasons that had little to do with why their respective governments started these conflicts. The dead are family and friends of others; very much more often than not compelled by force to engage in some horrific violence, and losing their lives in the process. That is why I can mourn these dead, and hate the reasons why they died.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:48 PM on July 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Since this post is already here and in progress on this exact topic, this kind of shit should be excised from the site. Either the guy is trolling for an f-u given the on-going conversation here or he doesn't know any better. Either way, that's precisely the type of insulting, off-topic noise that shouldn't be there.
posted by dios at 1:49 PM on July 3, 2012


it isn't inaccurate to say that "The Civil War was fought over slavery."

agreed. but, as i think every single person in this thread knows that slavery is wrong and awful, there's no harm in saying, what about the individual soldiers? what about the tariff concerns? what about the idea that it fundamentally changed the balance of power between the nation and the states? not everyone who takes a nuanced views of all wars, including the civil war, are championing the cause of the leaders who were in the wrong.
posted by nadawi at 1:52 PM on July 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


what an awesome flameout comment!
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 1:54 PM on July 3, 2012


I thought flameouts were solely under the domain of one last shriek before disabling your account; not making the one comment that gets you banned. Unless it was some suicide-by-mod scenario.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:00 PM on July 3, 2012


That is why I can mourn these dead, and hate the reasons why they died.

Absolutely. Where it turns into a discussion worth having, for me, is when you're not just mourning, but celebrating the contribution. So, for example, is it appropriate to express admiration for Stonewall Jackson's skill as a general? Does it matter that his generalship was deployed in the service of white supremacy?

Again, I don't necessarily think the answer to this is a simple "no." But I don't think the answer is a simple "yes" either, and I think it's worth talking about where to draw that line.

This may not be the place for that discussion. And since I think I was a big part of moving the conversation this way, well, that's on me. Still, I'm glad that by the time ferdinand.bardamu came back to his own MeTa to do his flameout, we were so wrapped up in this other conversation that he represented, at most, an irritating distraction.
posted by Ragged Richard at 2:00 PM on July 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Where it turns into a discussion worth having, for me, is when you're not just mourning, but celebrating the contribution. So, for example, is it appropriate to express admiration for Stonewall Jackson's skill as a general? Does it matter that his generalship was deployed in the service of white supremacy?

Yeah, for me, that goes beyond "Stalin could actually knit some beautiful sweaters" or something. Here, we're talking about a military leader's skill doing what they do. I think at the level of officer going above and beyond, or being a general in a war, you're a bit outside the realm of some poor shmuck from East Jobless, Wisconsin signing up for the only paying gig in town.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:03 PM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jesus christ. We've given you more than one chance to recover from some weird fucking behavior and you do not seem to be meeting us halfway on this shit. Take a hike.

THAT'S WHAT PONTIUS PILATE SAID
posted by brain_drain at 2:06 PM on July 3, 2012 [35 favorites]


what about the idea that it fundamentally changed the balance of power between the nation and the states?

kirkaracha makes a great point in the previous thread regarding states' rights:

Speaking of states' rights, the slave states had no problem with Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, which required the federal government to track down escaped slaves and return them to the state they escaped from, even if slavery was illegal in the state where they were captured.

posted by Golden Eternity at 2:07 PM on July 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


It's a little late for this, but I've always liked Patterson Hood's take on the duality of the Southern Thing.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k84lMPX_Kjg
posted by Occula at 2:09 PM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


THAT'S WHAT PONTIUS PILATE SAID

Thank you. I really needed this today.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:10 PM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


i wish i could take credit for the sweet tea line. here's a mefi post on it. the first link goes to some text that then goes to an interactive map showing how virginia is separated by sweet tea.

And then at some point, McDonald's started selling sweet tea and now you can get sweet tea even in NEW! ENGLAND! and zomg, amazing. They even sell sweet tea pre-made in the grocery store! Can't order it in a restaurant though. "Iced Tea" around here is still blasphemously unsweetened and besmirched by stray lemon wedges.

I must have been Southern in a former life because I've never lived within spitting distance of the Mason-Dixon line and seriously - does life get better than drinking sweet tea on the porch in the summertime? No, no it does not.
posted by sonika at 2:16 PM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I propose a mod should consider closing this thread at this point. It's my position there's little to be gained going forward. Feel free to disagree.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:18 PM on July 3, 2012


and see, that's a totally awesome and succinct point about the states rights argument that gets hidden and not discussed when people insist on saying the only thing to discuss about the civil war that slavery is bad and the south were awful racists.

personally, i am generally opposed to the states rights side of the argument. like that comment points out, it only seems to be trotted out when people want to be assholes and ignored when their beliefs are on the other side (like supporting a federal amendment to ban gay marriage). i just don't want to see the conversation absolutely shouted down because then we only preach to the choir - which is sometimes useful, but sometimes it's also useful to try to hit the people in the back row.

the comment that started all this brushed the south with this huge broad brush that i don't feel is accurate. when that happens, the conversation goes back to civil rights and slavery and the civil war and then it usually just stops dead with some form of "slavery is bad, the confederacy was racist, therefor, the south is a hotbed of racism." for some of us who have spent a long time walking the battlefields and reading the first person accounts (not to mention, living in very diverse and sometimes straight up progressive parts of the south), there's more to say, more to think about.
posted by nadawi at 2:20 PM on July 3, 2012




I'm not sure why you felt the need to post that. I'm going to close this thread up because I don't want to babysit it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:26 PM on July 3, 2012


Thanks for getting rid of ferdinand.christwhatanasshole. There I was, reading an interesting and new to me that about the American Civil War, and then up pops that ugliest comment ever seen, simultaneously the most objectifying and most racist I've read.

And my view of humanity goes from "Wow, isn't it nice how people from such differing worlds can have such a variety of respectfully held and interesting slightly contradictory perspectives on one event" straight to "Oh my goodness, hatred rules over everything". Such mood whiplash there.
posted by ambrosen at 2:26 PM on July 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


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