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December 5, 2012 9:52 AM   Subscribe

He Who Must Not be Named on Metafilter quotes Blue_Beetle.

Sullivan has linked to Metafilter posts before, but I think this is the first time he has quoted a member of our community. Since Blue Beetle's remark is so widely quoted and paraphrased, often without attribution, it is nice to see someone get the citation correct.
posted by LarryC to MetaFilter-Related at 9:52 AM (97 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I thought you meant Om-Tay Ruise-Cay.

Also, to get it out of the way, Phht, That Quote Isn't So Insightful/Crassus Said It First/My Cat Said It Better.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:02 AM on December 5, 2012 [8 favorites]


Pretty cool to see blue_beetle get credit-- particularly given that that quote is often offered without attribution, and that Sullivan's blog sometimes quotes "a commenter" without name.
posted by ibmcginty at 10:08 AM on December 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


He Who Must Not be Named on Metafilter

We're doing it wrong.
posted by zarq at 10:10 AM on December 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Marcus Crassus?

Batiatus: That man shits gold!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:14 AM on December 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, various other sites have noted the comment (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). This MeTa makes the sixth.

Is blue beetle's comment the most linked in all of Metatalk history? To the data mines!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:24 AM on December 5, 2012


Googling "linksto:http://www.metafilter.com/95152/Userdriven-discontent#3256046" reveals at least 42 unique links.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:37 AM on December 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


Blue Beetle for Secretary of Commerce.
posted by Cranberry at 10:43 AM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I thought you meant Om-Tay Ruise-Cay.


Point of order. Proper Pig Latin dictates this be Om-tay Uise-cray, which is oddly fitting.
posted by phunniemee at 10:56 AM on December 5, 2012 [23 favorites]


You know what else is oddly fitting? That's right: Om-tay Uise-cray's dentures.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:01 AM on December 5, 2012 [28 favorites]


Still doesn't make any sense to me, that comment.
posted by Decani at 11:06 AM on December 5, 2012


You're the product, citizen #3928dk20;localname|Decani|. Proceed to your recharging chamber and prepare for daily backup.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:10 AM on December 5, 2012 [5 favorites]



Still doesn't make any sense to me, that comment.
posted by Decani at 11:06 AM on December 5 [+] [!]


I don't think it's terribly accurate, but it is exceptionally quotable.

There are a lot of things in life that don't fit well into that paradigm, and sometimes the best things in life really are free. On other side of it, a lot of times you pay for things and still get exploited.

The idea is definitely older than metafilter. The glib quote is, I suppose, creditable to this place and that user.

This has also of course all been said before.
posted by Stagger Lee at 11:18 AM on December 5, 2012


All this has happened before, and all this will happen again.
posted by Area Man at 11:22 AM on December 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


If you're not the Time Cube, you're the Time Cube.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:24 AM on December 5, 2012 [10 favorites]


I just said "Om-Tay Ruise-Cay" aloud and there is now a magical imp bouncing on my couch and what do i do
posted by griphus at 11:25 AM on December 5, 2012 [14 favorites]


Oh, sweet, that gum I like has come back in style!
posted by Bugbread at 11:27 AM on December 5, 2012 [7 favorites]


griphus: Yell, "The power of Xenu compels you!" three times. Then run.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:29 AM on December 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


If you're not collecting gold rings, you're not the Sonic, you're the Hedgehog.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:30 AM on December 5, 2012 [6 favorites]


In Soviet Russia, car drives you.
posted by Area Man at 11:32 AM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you're in the bowl, you're not a dog. You're the dog food.

Am I doing this right?
posted by slogger at 11:33 AM on December 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


He Who Must Not be Named on Metafilter

....That guy's a Voldemort? Since when and why?

(NB: I'm not saying he IS Voldemort. I just use "Voldemort" as the single-word form shorthand for "the person who we aren't supposed to name".)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:37 AM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


You're not the flag; you are the person who wrote the comment that got flagged.

You are probably a bad person, but you are not the flag.

No! Even if it is "Fantastic," you are not the flag!!!!
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:37 AM on December 5, 2012


LarryC: "He Who Must Not be Named"

I thought this was Ott-Scay Dams-Aay.
posted by boo_radley at 11:38 AM on December 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos: "....That guy's a Voldemort? Since when and why?"

"If you're not the dark wizard, you're the horcrux!"
posted by boo_radley at 11:39 AM on December 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


If you're not the solution, you're the solute.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:42 AM on December 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm pretty sure I've read the sentiment on several tech/startup blogs years before Blue Beetle's comment. Always thought that's where Blue Beetle got it from.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 11:43 AM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's Raining Florence Henderson: "If you're not the solution, you're the solute."

AKA "if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate!"

Thank you, AP chemistry.
posted by boo_radley at 11:46 AM on December 5, 2012 [10 favorites]


The tracing of ideas is a guessing game. We can't tell who first had an idea; we can only tell who first had it influentially, who formulated it in some form, poem or equation or picture, that others could stumble upon with the shock of recognition. The radical ideas that have been changing our attitudes towards our habitat have been around forever. -Wallace Stegner

It seems to be something like a 'portmantquo[te]', mixing several well known ideas, with several permutations or formulations that are well known, into a 'novel', memorable form; hence the 'shock of recognition'.
posted by infinite intimation at 11:47 AM on December 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you're in the bun you're not a bunny, you are a hamburger.
posted by Namlit at 12:00 PM on December 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


Hot dog!
posted by maryr at 12:02 PM on December 5, 2012


I'm really glad the quote is from someone named Blue_Beetle and not something like HungStud4u69 or SocomKillahMLG or I_GAPE_CATS. Gives it an air of respectability. Metafilter usernames are best of the web.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:03 PM on December 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


For a small donation of $15, I will make this MeTa the best MeTa.
posted by griphus at 12:05 PM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you're not the Blue Beetle, you're the Scarab.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:06 PM on December 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


If you pay for the service it's not art, it's business.
posted by Elmore at 12:08 PM on December 5, 2012


If you're in the sock and you're not the sockpuppet, something is afoot.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:08 PM on December 5, 2012 [15 favorites]


I've you're not a carnivore you're prey. Unless you taste disgusting or can fire poo from your ears.
posted by MuffinMan at 12:17 PM on December 5, 2012


If you're not a product, what are you doing on that shelf at the Dollar Store? Get off that shelf for goodness sake
posted by Greg Nog at 12:21 PM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Greg Nog: "If you're not a product, what are you doing on that shelf at the Dollar Store? Get off that shelf for goodness sake"

YOU'RE NOT MY SUPERVISOR!
posted by boo_radley at 12:28 PM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you're not the product, then you should be subtracted from the equation.
posted by SpiffyRob at 12:33 PM on December 5, 2012


If you're not the pro-duct, you are clearly against insulation.
posted by Twain Device at 12:34 PM on December 5, 2012


Product is the opposite of conduct.
posted by entropicamericana at 12:35 PM on December 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


If you are not causing hypertension, you're not the salt. You are the pepper.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:44 PM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you're not the enema, you're the enemee.
posted by griphus at 12:46 PM on December 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


If you're not the schlemiel, you're the schlemazel.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:52 PM on December 5, 2012 [14 favorites]


If you're not in the Gauss Warthog, I may decide to not shoot you with the Banshee.

I can't wait until I get home. Wednesday is game night!
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:55 PM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I call "Hassenpfeffer Incorporated"!
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:02 PM on December 5, 2012


Product is the opposite of amateurduct.
posted by slogger at 1:03 PM on December 5, 2012


♫ Give us any chance, we'll take it.
Give us any rule, we'll break it.
We're gonna make our dreams come true.
Doin' it our way, yes, our way... ♬

Damn it, Empress. :P
posted by zarq at 1:08 PM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Good to see him finally getting recognition after his years and years of working on that quote.
posted by GuyZero at 1:08 PM on December 5, 2012


Can MeFi sponsor a WWF wrestler called THE PRODUCT and after he wins he climbs up to the top rope and yells 'YOU'VE BEEN SOLD' please please please?
posted by mintcake! at 1:13 PM on December 5, 2012 [14 favorites]


For whatever reason, I remain a Sullivan fan, and even like being occasionally infuriated by him. What I like about his blog is the way he lets his own struggles, contradictions, and weaknesses sort of all hang out. And he can write, sorry h8ters.

Sullivan's blog sometimes quotes "a commenter" without name.

I always presume this is to protect anonymity by request. He is, as this post notes, generally quite meticulous about citation, which appeals to my academic sensibility and is so damn rare in the blogosphere.
posted by spitbull at 1:20 PM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait, why do we hate this Sullivan fellow? Admittedly my rageprocessor is in sore need of a firmware update...
posted by Doleful Creature at 1:27 PM on December 5, 2012


If you are paying $5 for it, you are not the links, you are the discussion that unfolds.
posted by perhapses at 1:28 PM on December 5, 2012


Why would you want wildlife to wrestle that is terrible.
posted by SpiffyRob at 1:29 PM on December 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you are not hunting down a nexus 6 pleasure model, you're not cop, you're little people.
posted by Gygesringtone at 1:30 PM on December 5, 2012


If you're not big, it's the pictures that got small.
posted by griphus at 1:32 PM on December 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


HungStud4u69 or SocomKillahMLG or I_GAPE_CATS

xBongZilla69x I SUMMON THEE
posted by elizardbits at 1:32 PM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


We're doing it wrong.

True enough. Fox News knows how to ignore Andrew Sullivan.
posted by LarryC at 1:33 PM on December 5, 2012


From today's Andrew Sullivan front page, just entered as evidence the man can put words together. Come on you know if this was a comment on MeFi you'd favorite it . . . .


I guess I find the entertainment of pundits less worthwhile than actually doing some sane trivial things, like a return to the top Clinton tax rates, and entitlement and tax reform. Right now, the GOP is not acting like a national party seeking the best for the public interest. They are acting still as purists in gerry-mandered safe districts, focusing entirely on their faction's ideology, and playing chicken - they're laughing at a re-elected president's proposals, backed by a majority in polling - as if they were in a sandbox, instead of holding the entire global economy to ransom. The idea that we should be thinking about which party can make the most hay out of this, rather than fixing the fucking problem, is part of the fucking problem. Can't we just get this over with? Or is the GOP's fever actually rising after this election?
posted by spitbull at 1:38 PM on December 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


If you're not the bop, you're the bop-shoo-bop-shoo-bop.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:39 PM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you aren't the meat, you're the motion. (pace the Swallows)

If you aren't the wave, you're just the water. (pace Jimmie Dale Gilmour)

This is fun.
posted by spitbull at 1:40 PM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Speaking of citation, I should have provided a link for that Sullivan quote above.
posted by spitbull at 1:44 PM on December 5, 2012


Doleful Creature: "Wait, why do we hate this Sullivan fellow?"

I'd never heard of him until today, but Google says http://metatalk.metafilter.com/18721/Come-Get-Yer-Sully-Here
posted by Bugbread at 1:57 PM on December 5, 2012


If you're not the knot, you're untied.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:58 PM on December 5, 2012


I'm not a bit of string; I'm a frayed knot.
posted by entropicamericana at 2:19 PM on December 5, 2012


Who the fuck is Andrew Sullivan and why are you reading his site?

Please provide one (1) justification in the OP for every fuck I am supposed to give.
posted by Eideteker at 2:26 PM on December 5, 2012


I'm not a null-terminated string, I'm 4FJfj4$#^%%@jlkf^C^L
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 2:32 PM on December 5, 2012


Andrew Sullivan is a conservative variety show blogger. His blog was famously the first American blog to host The Beatles, despite his being British, and most of The Beatles being dead.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:33 PM on December 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


Anyone who wants the low down on Om-tay Uise-cray is welcome to metamail me for the details.
posted by Mitheral at 2:34 PM on December 5, 2012


Andrew Sullivan came up with all those Chuck Norris jokes.
posted by griphus at 2:53 PM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Please provide one (1) justification in the OP for every fuck I am supposed to give.

Don't you have some orphans to feed
posted by shakespeherian at 2:55 PM on December 5, 2012 [7 favorites]


first we get the client
then we give an asking price
then we put on the fire helmet.
posted by clavdivs at 3:00 PM on December 5, 2012


One you lock the target,
Two you bait the line,
Three you slowly spread the net,
And four you catch the man.
posted by Bugbread at 3:04 PM on December 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


"If you're not the Blue Beetle, you're the Scarab."

If you're not the Blue_Beetle, you're the scarabic.
(As linking quotes generally goes.)
posted by iamkimiam at 3:06 PM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Matt, I've been meaning to ask:

I paid $5 to get in, but before a certain point in time, registration was free.

Am I an individual in a room of products?
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:25 PM on December 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


I AM NOT A PRODUCT! I AM A HUMAN BEING!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:43 PM on December 5, 2012


You know, it's exactly this point that I was adamant about 14 years ago when I was editor in chief of a local newsweekly. Nobody there came from a newspaper background, and the publisher was the head salesman, and the paper was constantly on the verge of collapse. So they came up with all sorts of tricks to goose sales, which they had literally been doing for years -- one piece of duct tape on top of another.

One of these tricks was to sneak a look at what was on the editorial page and quickly call businesses, telling them that we were publishing such and such story and they might want to get a last minute ad cheap. When I found out, I was livid. There is supposed to be a wall between sales and editorial. Selling ads based on what we published was a great way to make a business think they have some ownership over the editorial, and that they can dictate content, and demand to be written about in exchange for buying ad space. The bright shining line between sales and editorial must be preserved, because the job of editorial is to develop an audience, and audiences want their news without a hint of financial obligation.

I went so far as to photocopy an entire book, written by a salesman for a newspaper, who explained that what salespeople were selling was the eyes of the readership. That it had to be clear to advertisers that what they purchased was access to those eyes. The editorial was not the product. It was the loss leader to bring in the product -- an engaged readership. The readers are the product being sold.

I was thoroughly ignored. And eventually I found out why:

The newspaper had been lying for years about how many readers they had. One of their stopgap measures to boost income was to pretend they had a third as many more readers as they actually had. But this left the advertisers feeling like they weren't getting much of a return on their investment -- their ads never seemed to produce tangible results. This disgusted me, and I left the paper soon afterward.

And then I moved on to a reputable newspaper. And the web came along, and everything crashed. Because it turned out everybody had been lying. Not necessarily about how many issues of a newspaper are being published, or how many readers they have. Instead, about how effective newspaper advertising is. It had all been falsely inflated. Perhaps this was not deliberate, but instead bad guesswork, because, after all, something like that is hard to track.

It turned out most ads are pretty valueless. People have learned to ignore them. Direct mail coupons provides a much larger -- and trackable -- ROI. Newspaper ads just go into the ether. Even ads people notice don't count for much. An especially funny ad might get attention, but later, when you ask people what was being advertised and what company was advertising, they don't remember. And a recession kicked in, and a lot of advertisers decided to cut back, and they saw no real difference between advertising and not advertising. That bubble burst, and took a lot of newspapers down with it.

So, if it helps any, yes, you are the product being sold. But even if they are gathering your private shopping data, they only care about it in aggregate. You yourself are not individually valuable, unless you are one of those rare supershoppers that spends thousands reliably on one product. No, you are valuable in the millions, the tens of millions.

And, for those of you who don't like to think of yourself as a product, congratulations. Your steadfast refusal to look at ads, to the point of installing ad blacking devices online, but even just by leaving the room when they're on to make a sandwich, or flipping radio stations, or turning out, have guaranteed that you might still be seen as a product, but as a product that is, for most companies, individually worthless. It's why the only shows on television that make any money on commercial are event shows like the Oscars and sports, and they basically underwrite the rest of television -- because they are the last shows on television that bring in hundreds of millions of viewers.

At least, this is this one guy's experience. And I'm fine with it, even if it cost me my profession. We were always secretly financially supported by sex workers anyway, and it never went discussed, because you don't want to think that your actual paycheck might come, in part, from sex slavery. The last place I worked was an online publication that used the MPR model, supporting itself mostly through audience donations and grant money. It worked, and it's growing.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 3:55 PM on December 5, 2012 [14 favorites]


Please provide one (1) justification in the OP for every fuck I am supposed to give.

It's not about you. Keep moving.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:02 PM on December 5, 2012 [9 favorites]


"Andrew Sullivan is a conservative variety show blogger. His blog was famously the first American blog to host The Beatles, despite his being British, and most of The Beatles being dead."

Christjesus, at least someone on this site is helpful.
posted by Eideteker at 5:33 PM on December 5, 2012


It's Raining Florence Henderson: "Andrew Sullivan is a conservative variety show blogger. His blog was famously the first American blog to host The Beatles, despite his being British, and most of The Beatles being dead."

Eideteker: "Christjesus, at least someone on this site is helpful."

Eideteker, that's actually a joke. He's a conservative blogger (or formerly conservative blogger, which is part of the contention), but he's being conflated with Ed Sullivan, a variety show host who was the first to have the Beatles perform on TV, in 1964.
posted by Bugbread at 5:38 PM on December 5, 2012


It was the least I could do. Literally.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:40 PM on December 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


Supplying helpful incorrect information is where I'm a viking.
posted by arcticseal at 6:33 PM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


We were always secretly financially supported by sex workers anyway, and it never went discussed, because you don't want to think that your actual paycheck might come, in part, from sex slavery.

what

I see what you did there?

$20...SAIT?
posted by lordaych at 7:36 PM on December 5, 2012


lordaych: "what

I see what you did there?
"

Escort ads, is my guess.
posted by boo_radley at 8:41 PM on December 5, 2012


Really? Do we have to do the escorts == sex slaves thing again?
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 8:57 PM on December 5, 2012


Really? Do we have to do the escorts == sex slaves thing again?

I am sure some of them were. Minneapolis actually had a problem with sex slavery.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:04 PM on December 5, 2012


Ah. :-(

Fair enough then.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:19 PM on December 5, 2012


If you're not the Blue Beetle, you're Booster Gold.
posted by Mezentian at 9:36 PM on December 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


If you ain't got that swing, you don't mean a thing. DOO WOP DOO WOP DOO WOP DOO WOOOOOP.

Christjesus, at least someone on this site is helpful.

Slightly meta considering the point of your nick was you can find and remember things with internet access ;)
posted by ersatz at 6:06 AM on December 6, 2012


I once made someone credit blue_beetle on twitter
posted by infini at 8:05 AM on December 6, 2012


Tell Me No Lies: "Really? Do we have to do the escorts == sex slaves thing again?"

Fair point, I should have used a Stan Lee asterisk there to indicate the background story.
posted by boo_radley at 8:10 AM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I adore blue_beetle, I do, but I can't help but consistently feel bad for idiopath every time this comes up for having said literally the exact same thing months previously and never gotten any attention for it. I know at this point it's futile to try to correct the public record, but man, that still stinks.
posted by Phire at 9:13 AM on December 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


Next time I'll wrassle 'em to the ground and make 'em credit Idiopath.
posted by infini at 11:14 AM on December 6, 2012


I adore blue_beetle, I do, but I can't help but consistently feel bad for idiopath every time this comes up for having said literally the exact same thing months previously and never gotten any attention for it. I know at this point it's futile to try to correct the public record, but man, that still stinks.

Yes, but alas, he said it in a slightly less pithy and quotable form, and so he goes into the blackness, forgotten.
posted by adamdschneider at 2:03 PM on December 6, 2012


If you're not the sound bite, you're invisible.
posted by misha at 2:36 PM on December 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you're not the paying customer, you're very likely to be the product. [BBC, 17 December 2012]
posted by MuffinMan at 3:57 AM on December 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


It is now a "classic saying", according to Andrew Sullivan (scroll down, it's in a block quote), as he announces his move to create an ad-free independent website funded by user payments.
posted by alms at 9:26 AM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


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